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Angel vs. The Invisible Hand

The camera moves into the office, where Gunn is talking to a young blonde'll never guess this one. She's being stalked! Probably by a stylist who wants to fix that freaky feathered bob she's got going. The girl explains that her ex-boyfriend, Brian, has been harassing her, and that the cops won't help. Gunn sympathizes, "You go to the cops for help, they don't do a thing till somebody ends up dead." The girl explains that, actually, Brian is dead.

Wesley has learned from Fred that everyone's impressed by your intelligence if you talk nonsense. So he, with the help of Cary's translation, tells the chrome demons that he's currently working on an article which "posits a formula for the genome mapping of creatures who don't have genes." Wesley goes on to say that it's "an exciting arena." Cary snarks, "One I'm sure we can all download at I'll-never-know- the-love-of-a- woman-dot-com." Not until the peer review is complete. Cary says that the demons want to buy Wesley's head. After some more clicking with the Castanetoids, he explains that they want Wesley to help solve a "traditional puzzle" in honor of their prince's birthday. The audience isn't fooled. But Wesley is. Fred pops up to point out that the designs on the demon's outfits are puzzles. She claims that the shapes on their tunics represent prime numbers and blah blee "exponential accumulation" gibberish. Wesley realizes that her observations have no relationship to reality, so he just smirks wearily at Fred. The Castanetoids click at each other and suddenly rush away. Cary says, "They either have to consult with their prince or go eat a cheese monkey." Mmm, cheese monkey. Gunn pops out of the office and asks for Wesley's help. Angel hangs up the phone, hands the baby over to Cordelia, instructs her that the baby needs to be fed, and hurries out before she can throw something at him. Like an axe. Or a blipvert.

Time to change channels again. I seem to have found a gritty detective show. I didn't think anyone made those these days. Angel enters a badly lit office and finds a man finishing up a business deal on the phone. The call ends, and the man introduces himself as Harlan Ellster. Harlan notes that Angel is "well-coiffed," and asks if he minds getting "a little mussed." I like this guy. But I don't like his sideburns. He looks familiar, and I've decided that he resembles a young George Clooney, if you stretched his head sideways so it was wider. Or maybe I'm just insane. Harlan says that there's a nest of vampires in an abandoned building. What's more, these vampires aren't out for blood -- he claims that they've been demanding extortion money: "We pay them a protection fee, and they don't eat our employees." Angel finds this plausible, because he knows that vampires often have a need -- or in fact use -- for money. Maybe he's just prepared to accept the story because Harlan offers to pay him $10,000 to take care of the vamps -- half now, half later. Angel tries to contain his glee as he takes the check and leaves. He gets out just in time to avoid seeing a man enter the office from the other door. Which is lucky, since if he'd lingered a second longer, the whole episode would have been ruined. The new guy says, "What the hell are you doing in my office?" The client formerly known as Harlan exclaims, "Mr. Ellster!" and then decks him.

During the commercial break, I go channel-surfing, hoping to run across that creepy Twilight Zone slayer show. Found it! Cool. Justine is still pinned to the table when Holtz returns. He sits down and leans over so that he, like Justine, has his head resting on the table. I guess it's nap time. Later they'll get juice and saltines. Holtz puts a hand on the icepick (or whatever) as he explains, "I want you to go out and find others like you. People who have suffered as we have." He says she'll be able to recognize such people because "their eyes will look like this feels," and then he pulls out the icepick. Justine screams, and after a minute she wraps her wounded hand in the hanky Holtz offers. And then she punches him. Heh.

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