From Demensproboards.com & Angelsacolyte.com
AngelAngel 4x17 Inside Out - Wildfeed
Thursday 3 April 2003, by Webmaster
From Demensproboards.com :
Angel stands facing Cordy, he says "All this time, it was you." Cordy chides him for not being able to see it coming. She asks him what tipped it off. He says her tongue. A slip of it. She called the baby her sweet, the same word the beast’s master used when it was in his head. Cordy says she still has some tricks. Angel says it’s not the real Cordelia, the real Cordy would never hurt her friends. He grabs her by the throat, asks her where the real Cordelia is. She asks him what he really thinks is going on. Connor crashes through the skylight, shoots Angel with a tranquilizer. Connor whisks Cordy off, she turns and smiles as she walks away. The magic 8 ball tips, it says Try again later.
Gunn comes in from his electro date to find everyone all beat up. He asks what happened. They explain Cordy is evil. Gunn asks if mamma and pappa kicked their asses. They say no, just pappa, Cordy just made with the evil laugh. They explain that Cordy is the beastmaster. They figure out that the spell that Lorne did to Cordy woke up whatever Cordy brought back with her. That’s what Wolfram and Hart sucked out of Lorne’s head. They put back together the pieces of what Cordy did. When Cordy was trying to resoul Angel it was all misdirection, what she really did was put the whammy on Lorne. Angel figures out Cordy killed Lilah. They wonder what’s baking in Cordy’s oven. Evil and pregnant, they bet it’s not cookies.
Connor takes Cordy somewhere safe. She asks him how careful he was. He says very careful. Connor asks Cordy why Angel is against them. Cordy says it’s because Angel hates him. He can’t stand that he’ll never know the feel of her touch and the warmth of her lips. She kisses Connor, tells him he was right about Angel, he’s an animal, he’ll turn everyone against them. Connor says he won’t let them hurt her. Cordy hugs him, calls him her sweet sweet boy.
Wes walks in on Angel staring at a sketch of Cordy. He says he just let it happen. He didn’t see it. Wes says it played on his emotions. But at least he had a reason for not seeing it. Angel says that he and Lilah weren’t exactly mortal enemies, as Wes stares into the darkness. Wes changes the subject. He deduces that whatever happened to Cordy happened after she ascended. He says maybe they should seek the powers for advice. Angel asks him if he thinks the powers couldn’t see something pretending to be Cordelia and still return it. Angel says they need someone else. They need someone who is deeper into it.
Connor takes Cordy somewhere to hide.Connor tells Cordy he can’t believe Angel tried to kill her. He thinks maybe they got tricked and Angel is still Angelus. Cordy tells him he’s not still Angelus. They discuss good and evil. Connor can’t believe the things the others are doing, being that they’re supposed to be good. Cordy says good and evil are just words and they don’t have to live by those rules because they’re special. And their child will be extraordinary.
Fred explains that they’re basically hooped as far as evidence on Cordy goes, her room was squeaky clean no clues. Fred and Gunn express that maybe Angel should try and find someone else to do what he’s about to do, he says it’s fine he’s done it before.
Angel finds Skip. He startles Skip. Skip asks him if he ever knocks. Angel asks Skip when was the last time he saw Cordelia. Skip says last time he saw Cordy was her ascension. Angel says what about her welcome home party. Skip says no one returns from paradise, well except for that one slayer. Angel accuses Skip of lying, being in on it of being a dupe. A spike comes out of Skip’s arm, he says he’s not a dupe. He throws Angel across the room.
Skip tells Angel it’s not like last time is it? Not like when Angel beat Skip up to take Billy. Skip proceeds to kick Angel’s ass.
Cordy gets Connor to touch her stomach, to see what he’s fighting for. It moves just as he touches her stomach. She tells him that’s what babies do when they’re happy. Connor asks how long she thinks they need to hide for. Cordy says a week, maybe two. Connor says he won’t let Angel hurt her. Cordy says she doesn’t want him to have to hurt Angel. Maybe they can speed up the birth. She asks him to go get her some stuff.
Angel and Skip fight. Angel wants to know what they did to Cordelia. Skip throws Angel to the ground, he says the beautiful thing is, he’s going to die never knowing what happened to the woman he loves says you have to respect the classics. Angel gets up, attacks Skip. He knocks Skip out.
There’s a bright flash of light. Angel appears back in the hotel. Says they have to bind Skip to this dimension, before he wakes up.
Connor saves a woman from a vampire. Then as she’s thanking him, he knocks her out, brings her to Cordy.
Cordy says she’s perfect. Cordy tells Connor that he has to understand his feelings over what he’s done. She’s one of them. She’s just a normal person. They will give her life meaning. Her blood for their baby.
The gang tries to interrogate Skip. Fred threatens him with a sphere of some kind. Skip says he’ll co operate, he asks for a cigarette. Angel asks where Cordy is. Skip says that evil Cordelia is the real Cordelia, but someone else is driving. Angel asks if something else is controlling her. Skip says it’s something else. It’s part of her ascension. Wes asks if this was something done to her on the higher plain. Skip sarcastically says no, Cordelia chose to ascend because she was such a pure radiant being. Then says Puh leeze.
Cordelia incants a spell. The girl Connor knocked out weeps to Connor, begs for freedom. Connor hears a voice. Aks who’s there. The voice replies "I’m here, close to your heart." Darla appears, she says "Isn’t that where a mother belongs."
Connor is shocked. Darla says the Powers sent her to speak to him. Connor says she’s not Darla. Darla says she has all Darla’s memories, that’s what makes a person what they are. Darla says she’s felt like he’s feeling a thousand times, nurturing a victim before killing them. Darla said she shared his soul once. She says she gave her life for his. She tells him that he’s the one good thing she ever did. She’d die every day for an eternity for him, and this is how he repays her? Connor says the woman’s blood will save his baby. Darla asks him if he honestly thinks that something good will come from spilling the blood of an innocent. He says he thinks it will. Darla tells him not to let her death be for nothing.
Back at the hotel, they interrogate Skip. Skip links pretty much every event that’s happened to them to the Powers That Be. Everything from Cordy getting the visions, to Wes sleeping with Lilah, to Connor being born. Connor’s purpose was to make the child inside of Cordy. It’s a vessel for a being that desired to come into the world. Angel asks how to stop it. Skip says he has to find Cordy and cut her head off. They ask if there’s another way, what will happen to Cordy during the birth. Skip says giving birth will kill Cordy anyway. He says the only way for Angel to stop it is to kill the woman he loves. Angel asks how to find Cordy. Skip tells them they need some strange ingredient. Lorne says he has it. Skip backtracks, pretends he told them the wrong thing. Everyone scrambles to set events in motion.
Darla explains to Connor why she sacrificed herself for Connor. She felt his warmth and his goodness. Her sacrifice was a worthy one. She tries to talk him into letting the girl go. Connor says she’s been gone for a long time, what would she know. Darla says they shared a soul for awhile. She feels his pain. She knows he wants to be good. Deep down she feels that he knows what’s the right thing to do.
Fred asks Gunn what he thinks Angel will do. Gunn says whatever Angel has to do. Fred comments that they’re like pieces on a game board. Gunn says they may be, but in the end, the final act, might not always play out the way it’s planned. Fred asks him if he’s been practicing that speech. Lorne comes in, tells them to hug their neighbors, they’ve located Cordy. Skip calls them puppets, they tell Skip to shut up. Gunn comments about getting ready to go. Angel says he’s going alone. He has to kill the woman he loves, and he doesn’t want anyone else to carry that. Angel leaves.
Cordy orders Connor to bring the woman in the other room. Connor says he won’t. Something about their child needing to be anointed with blood. Cordy suspects that Connor’s being manipulated. Darla tells Connor not to trust her. Cordy says she can see Darla. It’s something Angel is making to confuse him. Darla pleads with Connor not to go with Cordy. Cordy tells him it’s a vision from Angel, manipulating him to kill their baby. Connor yells to Darla "You are not my mother." drags the woman off. Cordelia follows. Connor drops the woman. Darla begs him not to do it. Connor drops the woman. Cordelia kills her with a meat cleaver saying "There, that wasn’t so hard was it?"In a ring of candles, Cordy writhes in obvious pain. Connor is standing staring at the dead woman. Cordy says they have to do this while it’s fresh. Connor stoops to the body. Cordy chants a spell, rubbing her stomach as she does. Connor approaches. Cordy tells him to do it now. Connor makes a bloody handprint on Cordy’s stomach. The handprint disappears. Cordy screams, the world begins to shake.
Back at the hotel they ask what’s going on. Skip says the end of the world. He steps out of the circle that supposedly bound him. He attacks Fred and Gunn and Wesley.
Connor asks what’s happening. Cordy says the birth of a new world. She begins to giggle. Angel comes in. Connor moves to attack him. Angel says that’s not Cordy. They fight.
Skip fights off the gang, beat them up, tells them there’s no way they can defeat him. Wesley grabs a gun, shoots Skip in the head, killing him.
Angel knocks out Connor, asks him if he thinks he wants to do this, Angel says he doesn’t have a choice. Angel approaches Cordy with a sword. He says he’s so sorry. Cordy screams. Light bursts from her stomach, Jasmine appears within the glowing light. Cordy’s head bobs side to side on the floor (as she appears to fall unconscious). Angel and Connor fall to their knees as the light fades and they see Jasmine. Angel says "Oh my god, you’re beautiful." Jasmine says "Angel."
From Angelsacolyte.com :
Cordelia tells the others it took them long enough to figure it out, offering a sarcastic compliment on the plan that tripped her up. She tells Angel there was a time she would have figured that out "eons before it ever crossed your tiny little mind." Angel reckons she thinks she’s pretty clever. Cordy answers, "On a scale of you to me? Pretty damn." Angel points out they managed to be a step ahead of her this time. She wonders what finally clued them in.
Angel tells her it was "tongue, slip of." He recalls her referring to "My sweet baby" when she told the others of her pregnancy. He notes the Master used the same phrase when he was in Angelus’ head. He says he thought it was a "bit femme for the booming macho act." Cordy is unimpressed. She asks if that’s all it took, pointing out she’s been bringing his world down around him and it only took two little words to finally make him suspicious.
Wes offers it was a combination of things; what they already knew, what Angel discovered as Angelus, everything led to her. Angel says they just needed to be certain. Cordy offers she might have a few tricks left.
Fred asks why she’s doing this. Angel tells her it isn’t Cordelia. Cordy wonders if he really believes that. Angel answers that she wouldn’t hurt her friends the way she’s been doing. Cordy suggests perhaps he just doesn’t know her very well. Angel assures her he doesn’t want to know her. She tries to stab him with the bone dagger. He grabs her wrist with one hand and grabs her by the throat with the other. He demands to know where Cordelia is.
Connor jumps down through the ceiling. Angel tries to reason with him, telling him it’s not Cordelia. Connor isn’t listening. He grabs Angel and tosses him into Wes, knocking them both to the ground. Lorne takes aim with a tranquilizer gun, Connor slams him into a pillar and knocks him out. Fred takes aim with a tranq. gun. Connor grabs her and turns the gun on Angel who’s gotten to his feet and is approaching. He shoots Angel in the shoulder with a tranq. dart then knocks Fred to the floor. Connor takes Cordelia by the hand and directs her to come with him.
Angel tries to follow, but sinks to his knees as the tranquilizer dart takes effect. He asks haltingly, "What .. are .. you?" Cordy smiles and runs off with Connor. The magic 8-ball rolls across the floor and comes to a stop near Angel. The display reads, "Ask again later."
Gunn returns to the hotel, noting he only recently got the message he was sent, saying being close to "Electric Gwen" messes up the electronics. He notices everyone is a bit bruised and asks what happened. Fred, holding an ice pack to the side of her face, tells him Cordy is evil, then compliments his suit.
Angel says it isn’t Cordelia. Wes adds they can’t be sure of that. Gunn asks for clarification, wondering if they’re telling him the pregnant woman beat them all down. Lorne nurses a drink and notes it was Connor who handled the beating part while Cordy "just muwah-ha-ha’d at us." Gunn asks why. Angel answers, "Beastmaster." Gunn wonders if they believe Cordy is working for him. Fred tells him Cordy is the Master.
Gunn takes that in as he sits next to Lorne on the back of the couch, noting he just went out a few hours and half the place turns evil. Angel says Connor isn’t part of it, he’s just "confused, again". Lorne notes his bruises say otherwise. Fred reckons they know now what Cordelia was doing with Connor, she was "grooming him" for something. Wes adds she was making him into her "champion." Gunn realizes it’s been Cordy who’s been one step ahead of them all along. He wonders how it happened and when as he grabs Lorne’s drink and takes a swig from the glass.
Fred wonders if Cordy has been like this since her return from the other realm. Gunn asks about the amnesia she came back with, wondering if that was a ruse. Wes suggests it could have been a side effect of descending to a lower realm, it would likely be disorienting.
Angel thinks maybe whatever it is just hitched a ride, deep inside, when Cordelia returned. He notes that "the real damage didn’t start" until after Lorne did the memory restoration spell ("Spin the Bottle"). Fred reckons they "woke it up." Lorne realizes that’s what he saw, what Wolfram & Hart pulled out of his brain, not Cordelia’s future, the Master.
Gunn notes the Master has been playing them for a long time. Angel adds it’s been doing it from the inside, where it can hurt them the most. He pulls it together, the things the Beast could not have done, the Master did; spiking the blood he was drinking at Gwen’s so it could get into the vault and kill Manny —"
Gunn interrupts, pointing out that when he and Gwen returned shortly afterward, there was no blood on Cordelia. He figures there must have been blood given the mess in the vault. He wonders how the Master magicked that out of Cordy’s clothes. Wes reckons she wasn’t wearing any. We see Cordy, in flashback, naked and hacking Manny to bits. Gunn realizes a quick shower would have taken care of the evidence.
Angel figures it was easier for her to kill the Svear priestesses, noting they were preoccupied with finding the Beast at the time. She snuck off and killed the only means they had of banishing the Beast. We see Cordy, in flashback, slaughtering the priestesses and their family. Angel goes on, saying while they were trying to figure out that failure, she was stealing his soul.
Fred asks about the vision Cordy claimed to have had directing them to the soul restoration spell. Angel answers that it was misdirection, while everyone was looking at him, the real mojo was being worked on Lorne. We see the first soul restoration spell, in flashback. As the white light snakes its way into the cell to envelope Angelus, Lorne’s eyes flash quickly. While everyone was watching Angelus, Lorne was her real target, though he didn’t know it at the time. He knows now this is why his abilities have been messed up, "Queen Bee-otch put the whammy on me."
Angel goes on, saying then she "let the monster out of the box", releasing Angelus. More misdirection, more killing as we see a flashback of Cordy killing Lilah. Angel notes the plan was obviously to keep them confused. Wes suddenly realizes it was Cordy who killed Lilah. Angel reminds him they don’t yet know if it’s Cordelia. Fred adds they don’t know what she’s pregnant with either. Gunn reckons evil and pregnant likely means whatever she’s carrying, it’s not of the good.
In the meat locker of an abandoned packing plant where they’ve taken refuge, Cordy rubs her belly and asks Connor if he’s sure Angel can’t follow them. Connor assures her he was careful then asks why the others were trying to hurt her. She tells him they’re afraid, "Of you, of me, what our love has created." She tells him the others were going to kill her and the baby if Connor hadn’t arrived and stopped them
Connor tells her he didn’t know where to find her, he was afraid something bad had happened. He followed her scent. He asks how Angel could do this. Cordelia says it’s because Angel hates Connor. She didn’t want to believe it, but it’s true. He hates Connor because he’s with her. She reckons Angel didn’t like losing her to his son. She goes into softly seductive mode, kissing him. She tells him he was right about Angel, "He’s an animal and he’s turned everyone against us." They embrace. Connor promises he’ll "kill them all before I let them hurt you." Cordy purrs, "What a sweet, sweet boy" as she smiles.
In the back office of the hotel, Wes sits behind the desk, looking over a sketch of Cordelia. Angel enters. Wes asks if he found anything. Angel answers that he walked the streets until dawn, checked the sewer tunnels, nothing. He adds he picked up their scent a few times but it didn’t lead him anywhere. Wes notes Connor won’t be found if he chooses not to be. Wes reckons he was getting Angel to waste his time.
Angel picks up the sketch of Cordelia, looks at it, and notes he’s getting rather accomplished at the time wasting thing. He realizes now the answer was right in front of him, but he couldn’t see it, "the thought of losing her to Connor —" Wes adds that it did exactly what it was supposed to do, distracted him, clouded his judgment, kept him occupied so it would be free to murder. He notes quietly that Angel at least had a reason to be distracted.
Angel understands what Wes is thinking. He starts to tell him, "Lilah and I weren’t exactly friends, but —" Wes points out they were "mortal enemies." He wonders why Angel should care what happened to her. Angel answers, "Because you did." They exchange a look of understanding, then Wes gets back to the matter at hand. He points out the mass of books and papers on the desk, saying he couldn’t find anything. He’s not surprised by that, figuring if the Master could obliterate all references to the Beast, it’s not likely it left any information to be found on itself either.
Angel asks about references in "pan-dimensional texts", like Lilah’s book. The mention of her name wounds Wes a bit, he takes a brief pause and notes that he’s sent Lorne to check the black markets but it’s going to take time. Angel knows they don’t have much time.
Wes suggests they go to the source, pointing out that whatever happened with Cordelia, it happened after her ascension to the higher realm. He reckons The Powers could provide some answers.
Angel curtly notes that when he’s asked them for assistance before, they’ve made it clear that’s not what they do. Wes points out that one of those times Angel was asking to save Darla’s life, "a mass murdering, ex-vampire dying of syphilis." He doesn’t figure the fact The Powers said "no" should have come as a surprise.
Angel wonders if Wes really believes The Powers didn’t see the Master was masquerading as Cordelia, what it was doing to them. He reckons they didn’t stop it because they didn’t want to "get their hands dirty." He gets an idea, telling Wes they need someone who is, someone who’s in the middle of it all.
Cordelia looks around the packing plant, not thrilled with the decor of large hooks hanging from the ceilingr. Connor says he’ll find them another place. She says this one will do. She notices he’s upset and reassures him they’ll be fine. He knows that, but can’t believe Angel really tried to kill Cordy. He hopefully wonders if perhaps it was Angelus, saying he could have tricked them again.
Cordelia assures him it was Angel. She thinks Connor knows that. He remembers what Angel told him about how he could make the world a better place, being a champion — Cordelia tells him it was all lies, intended to keep Connor in his place where Angel could keep an eye on him, control him. Connor says he thought the others were "good".
An irritated Cordy asks him what that means, exactly. She wonders who makes the judgment. She says "good" and "evil" are nothing more than words, concepts forced upon him to control him. She reminds him he doesn’t have to live by those rules anymore, he’s with her. She asks if he remembers why. He answers quietly, "Because we’re special." She tells him they are, and their baby will be "extraordinary."
At the lobby desk, Fred goes through a box of things she’s retrieved from Cordy’s room. She notes a few candles, some fragments of the Muo-Ping, nothing really helpful.
Angel opens the desk drawer and picks up a flat, circular object with a small hole in the center. He tells Fred and Gunn to keep trying to locate Cordelia and adds if he doesn’t return in a couple of hours — Gunn finishes the thought, "You’re dead. We’re screwed. End of the world."
Fred suggests Angel could stay there instead. Angel tells her not to worry, he’s done this before, "Walk in the park."
In a dungeon like place, Angel punches out a demonic guard, noting he’s not all that fond of parks. He retrieves the guard’s sword and continues on. He slowly descends a staircase into a chamber. He finds a demon in the center of the chamber, its back to Angel. He sneaks up on it, sword at the ready.
A startled Skip turns to face him, asking if Angel doesn’t know how to knock. Angel apologizes, explaining he wasn’t sure it was Skip. The demon wipes his mouth with a napkin and offers to share his Buffalo Wings and the game which is about to start.
Angel declines, saying he’s in a hurry. He asks when Skip last saw Cordelia. Skip asks who Angel is talking about. Angel says Cordy told him Skip was her guide when she decided to become part demon. Skip responds, "She did, huh?" He concedes he wanted to tell Angel, but The Powers like to keep secrets. He says it may be difficult for Angel to accept, but Cordy has ascended "to a higher plane." Angel informs him he’s aware of that, she’s back. Skip seems surprised to hear that. Angel adds at least it’s something that looks like her. Skip says "Nobody comes back from paradise. Okay, a Slayer once but —"
Angel reckons Skip is saying he hasn’t heard anything. Skip confirms that, he hasn’t seen Cordelia since her ascension. He tells Angel it was beautiful, he should have been there. Angel asks, suspiciously, if Skip was involved in that. Skip acknowledges that’s part of his job, as her demon guide he’s supposed to be involved in the big events.
Angel reckons her return was one of those big events. He wonders why The Powers didn’t make sure Skip was present for that. Skip notes The Powers work in "mysterious ways, they can really drive a guy nuts." Angel wonders if it’s because they were afraid if Skip knew something, he may have warned them. He realizes that doesn’t really make sense, the only one who wants to keep the secret is the one who’s been manipulating them. Skip doesn’t understand what Angel is getting at.
As Angel moves toward him, he explains Skip said it himself; he guided Cordelia to her ascension, gave her the send off to the higher realm. He adds that’s right where the Master needed Cordelia to be for its plan. Angel offers the scenario leaves two possibilities; either Skip has been played like the rest of them, or he’s been a part of it all along. The emphasis he places on the latter option makes it clear that’s the one he suspects to be true.
Skip chuckles. He says he’s telling Angel the truth. A blade ejects from his forearm as he assures Angel, he [Skip] wasn’t being played.
Fight ensues as Skip attacks Angel with the blade and Angel defends with the sword. Skip knocks the sword out of Angel’s hand, grabs him by the throat and tells him it won’t be like last time ("That Vision Thing") as he tosses Angel across the chamber, into the wall. Skip walks over to him and continues beating him down, telling him the worst part was "taking a dive" when Angel came to release Billy. He kicks Angel across the room while asking if Angel really thought he’d be so easy to defeat. He says they’ll do it "for real" this time and Angel will lose. He punches him in the face.
At the packing plant, Cordy is seated in the room as Connor stands in front of the window, looking out. She tells him Angel won’t stop until he finds them. Connor assures her he can take care of Angel.
Cordy calls him over to her, telling him she wants him to know what he’s fighting for. She takes his hand and lays it on her belly. Connor pulls away in surprise. Cordy laughs. Connor felt it move. She tells him it’s what babies do when they’re content. She says she’s grateful that she "found someone like you" but wishes the others could let them be happy. Connor says he’ll "make them".
Cordy doesn’t think that’s likely, they’re too afraid. She offers perhaps things will be different when they see her baby. Connor wonders if she thinks that really will make a difference. She assures him their baby will "change everything." Connor asks how soon the baby will arrive.
Cordy answers, a week or two but she figures Angel will find them before that. She’s certain he’ll find them and bring harm to the baby. Connor promises he won’t let anything happen. Cordy says she doesn’t want them to kill each other, she never wanted that. She suggests there may be a way to accelerate things, to bring the baby into the world before anyone can hurt them. She says she’ll need some special items and asks Connor if he can get them. He nods in response.
In the chamber, Skip continues putting a beat down on Angel. He’s disappointed it’s not turning out to be much of a fight. Angel gets to his feet, wanting Skip to tell him what happened to Cordelia. Skip wonders what Angel will do if he doesn’t answer, "Bleed on me some more?" Angel throws several blows at Skip who deflects them all then knocks Angel to the ground. He muses, "I’ve always wondered, how may chunks ya gotta hack off a vampire before he goes all dust bunny?" Angel gets back up, again demanding Skip tell him what happened. Skip notes that request sounds familiar. Angel attacks him again but Skip deflects the blows.
Angel leaps over him, grabbing onto a chain hanging from the ceiling. Skip hits him again, knocking him to the ground. He approaches telling Angel he gets to die without knowing what really happened to "the woman you love." He figures it’s a classic. Angel grabs the end of a chain in the wall and yanks it from its mooring. He gets up and faces Skip, whipping the length of chain out toward him. The chain wraps around the blade Skip is fighting with. Angel pulls, ripping the blade loose.
Angel finally gets the upper hand in the fight, beating Skip with the chain. Skip takes a swing, but misses. Angel slams him in the head with the chain. Skip reacts to the painful crunch, getting slowed a bit. Angel approaches, twirling the chain, causing it to wrap around his knuckles. He walks up to Skip who takes another swing. Angel blocks the blow and punches him a few times in the face with his chain wrapped fist. As he winds up for another punch, Skip weakly wonders if Angel really thinks that will work. Angel punches him one more time, sending him to the floor. He answers Skip’s query. Yes, he thinks it will.
Fred comes out into the hotel lobby carrying an open book. She starts to make note of something to Gunn and Lorne when she’s startled by a bright flash of light, a gust of wind and a bloodied Angel reappearing in the lobby, along with an unconscious Skip.
Wes rushes out from the back office, asking what’s happened. Angel dryly explains, "We had words." He tells them Skip is part of whatever has happened to Cordy, they need to bind him to this dimension. As he stiffly sits down, he notices nobody is moving. He reminds them it would be good to do the binding before Skip wakes up.
In an alley, a girl is attacked by a vampire. Before he has a chance to bite her, Connor dusts him. Connor asks if she’s okay. She sobs, telling him she is, Connor saved her. She thanks him and continues to do so repeatedly in an emotional flood of relief as he looks around the alley. He punches her in the face, knocking her out.
At the packing plant, Cordy looks over the now bound, unconscious girl and tells Connor "she’s perfect." She asks if he got the other things she needs. He quietly acknowledges he did. She notices he’s upset, telling him she understands what his heart is telling him but it lies. He has to trust her. It’s okay for him to be sad, to mourn the girl, but he also has to remember the truth, "She’s one of them. One of the average, normal people that fill this world, but what we’re doing will elevate her life beyond that and give her death meaning." She reckons the girl’s blood for the life of their baby is a more than fair trade.
In the hotel lobby, Skip is confined to a red, glowing circle on the floor that surrounds him. He looks around, notes it’s a "child’s trick". Gunn wonders why he doesn’t step outside of the circle if he really believes that. He says he will when he’s ready.
Angel suggests he’ll have lots of spare time "after we make your accommodations a little bit more permanent." Angel looks to Fred who picks up a book and shows the illustration to Skip. She explains it’s a "Sphere of the Infinite Agonies, every second a lifetime". She reckons she can create one in fairly short order. Angel directs him to reveal what he knows about what’s happening or Fred will do her thing.
Skip is decidedly less smug, saying he’s just a mercenary, he goes with the best offer and not getting stuck in one of those sphere’s is a bargain. He asks for a cigarette. Angel reminds him he’s there to tell them what he knows about Cordelia. He asks where she is. Skip figures Angel would have a better idea of that than he would, considering this isn’t Skip’s home dimension. Angel clarifies he’s asking about Cordelia, not the "thing" masquerading as her.
Skip wonders how he could have been beaten by someone so mentally deficient. He says the "thing" is the real Cordelia. Everyone looks at him. He adds, "she’s in there somewhere." Gunn asks if it’s Cordy or not. Skip answers that it is her, "she just ain’t driving." Angel asks if something took control over her in the other realm. Skip lets him know it goes beyond that. He wonders if Angel hasn’t pondered how she ended up there in the first place.
Wes asks if the ascension was all part of the Master’s plan. Skip sarcastically answers, "No, Cordelia was chosen to become a higher being because she’s such a pure, radiant saint." Everyone looks at him. He gives them a ’duh’ sort of reaction with, "Puh-leeze".
At the packing plant, Cordy has her eyes closed as she’s sitting on a blanket on the floor, encircled by lit candles, reciting an incantation.
Connor watches from a distance. The girl he kidnapped from the alley wakes up and finds Connor kneeling in front of her. She’s afraid, sobbing. He tells her he won’t hurt her and offers a glass of water he’s brought. She continues sobbing, telling him she has to get home, her mother will be angry. Connor apologizes. She promises she won’t tell anyone if he’ll just let her go.
Connor hears a voice say "Listen." He rises to his feet and looks around, asking if anyone is there. The voice tells him, "I’ve always been here, close to your heart, after all ..." Darla steps out from the shadows. She asks if that isn’t where a mother belongs as she smiles lovingly at him.
Darla tells him The Powers sent her to give him a message. A stunned Connor doesn’t believe he’s looking at his mother. Darla says she has her memories and feelings, she reckons that pretty much makes up who a person is.
The girl sobs, begging to be let go. Darla looks at her, then walks toward her. She kneels beside the girl, telling Connor the sound and scent are familiar to her. It’s fear. She knows it well from all those she killed. She neither says that proudly or matter-of-factly, instead giving it the weight it deserves. Connor tells her his mother is dead.
The girl looks up at him quizzically. Darla gets to her feet and moves toward her son, telling him she’ll always be part of him, they shared a soul once while he was inside of her, when she’d lost her own. He brought her light, allowed her to experience joy and love. She says she never felt as close to anything as she did to "my beautiful boy." Connor asks why she left him. He wonders if she hated him. She assures him that’s not the case, explaining she wanted to be with him more than she ever wanted anything.
The girl looks up and sees Connor, from her viewpoint, talking to himself. Darla isn’t visible to her.
Connor reminds Darla he wasn’t even born and she killed herself. Darla says she did what she had to do, traded her life for his. She acknowledges she did many horrible things, brought much pain and destruction, he’s the only good thing she ever did. She tells him she’d die every day for eternity for him, looks at the girl cowering in the corner and asks Connor if that’s how he repays her.
Connor doesn’t think she can understand, saying they need the girl to keep their baby safe. Darla doesn’t figure "anointing it in the blood of an innocent" is going to bring about good things. Good doesn’t spring from evil. Connor parrots Cordy’s words to him back to Darla, telling her good and evil are "just words". Darla tells him not to let it happen, not to let her death be meaningless.
At the hotel, Skip tells the others nothing he tells them will change what’s going to happen. Angel wants to know exactly what has taken over Cordelia. Skip doesn’t figure it’s anything any of them could understand. He rambles about the big evil and their inability to comprehend it. Angel is bored with the chat, directing Fred to get on that "Infinite Agony" thing. Fred picks up the book. Skip reconsiders, offering that the evil doesn’t have a name.
Gunn asks what Skip calls it. He answers, "Master or Hey." Angel doesn’t think it makes sense pointing out Cordelia became a "higher being because she proved herself" by taking the visions. Wes notes it might have been manipulating her in that as well. Skip mutters the slow types are catching up. Angel approaches Skip, realizing that it’s not just about the visions, everything that’s happened to Cordy over the past few years has been part of the plan.
Skip points out it’s not just about Cordelia, it’s been about all of them. He looks at the gang one at a time and notes what was manipulated. Lorne’s leaving Pylea. Gunn losing his sister. Fred’s opening the book that sent her to Pylea. Wes "sleeping with the enemy." He’s pleased with himself, noting he enjoys a story with depth.
Gunn isn’t buying it, believing they make their own choices. Skip concedes they do, but only the small things. The big events, like two vampires having a child — Angel says Connor’s name. A realization dawns on Wes, "An impossible birth to make one possible." Skip says that was Connor’s purpose. Lorne wonders if that included sleeping with evil. Angel figures it was to "create a vessel". Skip derisively notes Angel seems to be getting it. Angel reckons whatever it is, it’s vulnerable when it’s inside a human which is why it needed to stay hidden, until it could create something stronger to "pour itself into."
A bemused Gunn tries to put it together, asking if what Angel is saying is "The big nasty inside of Cordy is going to give birth to itself?" Skip notes the "circle of life" is a beautiful thing. Angel wants to know how to stop it. Skip answers it’s easy, Angel just has to find Cordelia and chop off her head. Angel wants another way. Skip suggests a stab to the "heart, kidney .. a couple of pokes to the lungs." Angel wants to know how to stop it without killing Cordelia.
Skip says what’s inside of Cordelia permeates every part of her and it won’t let go until it has a new place to go. Fred asks what happens to Cordelia then. Skip answers, labor drains her life-force, "Those contractions are a bitch." Angel asks if it will kill her. Skip responds, "Or she’ll end up a head of cabbage."
Wes asks Angel what he’s going to do. Skip offers, "The only thing he can do. Kill the woman he loves to save the world." He reckons it sucks being Angel. Angel asks how to find Cordelia. Skip says they could go with a specific ritual but they’ll need a "sacred Hutamin paw" for it. He clearly doesn’t think there’s any chance they can get one. Lorne pipes up with, "Got it!" Skip responds with a shocked, "What?!?" Lorne notes "real Cordy" kept one in the desk drawer. Skip reckons it’s probably not genuine, it isn’t something one would toss into a desk drawer. Lorne retrieves the paw from the desk, noting Cordy thought it was a "back scratcher." Angel tells them to get started.
As Wes, Lorne and Angel depart, Skip tries to convince them that he was wrong about the ritual, it’s a different one that has a similar name. He looks at Gunn and Fred, realizing nobody is buying this. He mutters, "Crap."
At the packing plant, Connor tells Darla "They hate us because we’re special." Darla is kneeling next to the sobbing girl who thinks Connor is addressing her. She tells him she doesn’t hate him.
Darla says they’re afraid because of what he’s done, not because of what he is. Connor reminds her they wanted to kill him before he was born. Darla tells him that changed once he was born, once they saw him and held him. Connor thinks that will happen when his child is born as well. They’ll feel differently about things. He looks at the girl and says there’s no other way. Darla reminds him he has a choice, something that means more than he’ll ever understand.
Connor angrily replies that the others are hunting them "like animals." Darla points out he’s acting like one. She tells him as a vampire, she killed without mercy or regret because she had no soul. She wonders what’s his excuse.
Connor asks if she thinks he really wants to do this. Darla tells him not to. He says he has to. Darla asks why, because Cordelia told him to do it? She says there are things happening, she can’t reveal what they are, it has to be his choice. He can stop it.
Connor looks at the girl who’s pleading. His eyes well up. He tells Darla her life for their child, he reckons that’s a fair trade. He screams at the sobbing girl to shut up. Darla doesn’t believe this is who Connor is. He doesn’t figure she’d really know, she’s been gone a long time.
Darla reminds him she knows because they shared a soul, "I feel the pain, the anger, the hurt, like it were my own." She says she feels the goodness in him most of all, "No matter how much you’re beaten or twisted or lied to, it’s still there in your heart." She reaches out and lays her hand on his chest, telling him she knows this and she believes somewhere deep inside, he knows it too. A tear rolls down Connor’s cheek.
In the lobby of the hotel, Fred looks toward the back office where Angel is seated behind the desk. She asks Gunn what he thinks Angel will do. Gunn answers he’ll do what he must, just like always. Fred wonders if it will make any difference if things are like Skip has said, they’re all just pieces on a chess board being played.
Gunn notes they can clear the board and start over. In spite of what Skip says, Gunn doesn’t buy that everything is predetermined. He’s learned the final score can’t be fixed. No matter how many players one pays, the last shot remains a variable. He notes one can never know when they’re taking that unexpected shot, whether it’s when fighting to save the world or crossing the street, so handle all of it like it’s your own choice.
Fred smiles and asks if he’s practiced that speech. He chuckles and concedes, "A little bit."
Lorne and Wes enter the lobby. Lorne holds up a piece of scorched paper and announces they’ve got it. Skip mutters. Wes tells him to shut up.
Fred asks where Cordy is. Lorne looks over the paper and observes that the scorch marks indicate she’s downtown, in the meat packing district.
A somber Angel emerges from the back office and congratulates Lorne on the job well done. He takes the paper from him and moves to the weapons cabinet. Gunn prepares to arm himself. Angel stops him, telling him along with the others that he has to do it alone. Whatever has taken over Cordelia, "It’s still her inside. She’s still our friend. She’s still the woman I —" He pauses a moment and tells the others he won’t let them carry that, he can’t.
Skip caustically asks if anyone has a tissue. Lorne shoots him an annoyed glance. Fred notes Angel really is going to kill Cordelia. Wes tells her there’s no choice. Angel retrieves a sword from the weapons cabinet and heads for the door. Fred calls after him. He stops and turns to face her. Neither of them says anything. He turns and walks out.
Skip observes, "Yep. That’ll go well."
At the packing plant, Connor starts to untie the girl as Darla looks on, relieved. Darla tells her she’ll be okay now, everything will be all right. Cordy comes in, carrying a meat cleaver, and asks Connor what he’s doing. Connor jumps to his feet and stammers for an answer. He says he wasn’t doing anything. Cordy tells him to take the girl into the other room, it’s time.
Darla tells him to "Listen to your heart." A nervous Connor tells Cordy the girl didn’t do anything, they should let her go. That idea doesn’t sit well with Cordelia. She says they need her to protect the baby. Connor repeats his mother’s words to him, that their baby "shouldn’t be anointed with innocent blood." Cordy wonders "Who’s been filling your head with big, confusing words?" Connor says he’s been thinking about it.
Cordy looks around and wonders if "a little birdie’s been pecking at you behind my back?" Darla tells Connor Cordy will lie to him. Cordy reminds Connor how much the others like to use magicks to make things happen, whatever he thinks he’s seeing or hearing is a trick. Darla tells Connor not to "let her in." Cordy tells Connor it’s Angel, "trying to turn you against me with a cheap vision of ... Darla." Darla reacts with surprise. Connor asks Cordy if she sees her.
Darla continues trying to get through to Connor, urging him to let the girl go. Cordelia counters, insisting it’s not Darla. Darla again urges him to release the girl. Cordy insists it’s Angel, this is how much he hates Connor. Darla tells him she loves him. An agitated Cordy goes on, pointing out Angel is tormenting Connor with a cheap imitation of his dead mother. That proves how much he hates him. Darla begs him not to let Cordy succeed. Cordy demands to know if Connor is going to let them do this, let them kill their baby.
Darla begs him to listen. A totally confused Connor shouts that she’s not his mother. He grabs the girl by her bound wrists and drags her across the floor. Cordelia follows. Darla looks on sadly.
Connor drags the girl to the area where the candles are lit. He moves away from her. Darla begs him not to let this happen. Cordy slashes the girl’s throat with the meat cleaver. Her blood splatters Connor’s face.
As Connor looks down at the vacant stare of the dead girl, Cordy lies on the floor, in the middle of the circle of candles, and tells him they need to do it "while it’s fresh". He kneels beside the corpse and presses his open palm into the pool of blood that’s collected on the floor near the girl’s neck wound.
Cordelia continues grunting and groaning in labor as she begins to recite the incantation. Connor walks over to her and kneels next to her. She raises her blouse, exposing her belly and tells him to do it. He lays his bloodied palm on her. He pulls his hand back, leaving a bloody hand print The hand print dissolves into Cordy’s skin. She screams. There’s a loud crash as the building begins to shake.
At the hotel, the walls are shaking, debris crumbles from the ceiling and rains down. Lorne, Gunn and Fred get knocked to the floor. A large chunk of debris hits the circle holding Skip, breaking it. He looks at Fred and notes it’s payback time. He steps out of the circle and stalks toward her.
At the packing plant, Cordy yells. Connor calls to her, fearing something has gone wrong. He kneels beside her and tells her they have to stop it. Cordy smiles and tells him no, "It’s coming, the beginning of a new world."
A cold voice answers, "Or not." Connor gets up and turns to see Angel has arrived.
At the hotel, Skip tosses Gunn across the lobby. He lands next to an unconscious Lorne. Skip turns his attention back to Fred. Wes hits him on the back with an ax. The ax bounces off. Skip backhands Wes across the lobby. He notes the shaking and the crumbling walls and asks if they can’t stop him, how can they think they can stop what’s coming.
Angel tells Connor Cordelia lied to him. Cordy yells at him not to listen. Angel says she lied to all of them, it’s not Cordelia. Connor tells him to leave them alone then rushes Angel. Fight ensues while Cordy urges Connor to kill his father.
At the hotel, Skip picks Fred up from the floor by her throat. He asks what she was saying before about "Infinite Agony". Gunn hacks at him from behind with a sword. The weapon doesn’t penetrate Skip’s tough skin. He backhands Gunn across the lobby and points out he’s trying to get something done. He doesn’t appreciate the interruptions.
Wes pops up from the floor and fires several shots at Skip. The bullets bounce off. One ricochets off of him and knocks the gun out of Wesley’s hand. Skip wonders if that ever works. He turns back to Fred.
Wes looks at Skip’s profile and notices something. He dives to the floor, retrieves the gun and fires a shot at a vulnerable spot on the side of Skip’s head. The bullet hits with a clang, dropping him.
Connor and Angel continue their fight. Angel tells him he doesn’t want to be doing this, he has no choice. He tosses Connor across the room and looks toward Cordelia. He picks up the sword and walks over to her, raises it, and tells her he’s sorry. Connor gets up and starts to rush Angel.
As Angel begins to deliver the death blow, Cordy screams, a bright flash of light knocks both Connor and Angel backward, off their feet. Rays shoot out from the light as a vapor-like substance in the center slowly begins to coalesce into a form. The light disappears, leaving behind a young African-American woman. Cordelia passes out.
Angel picks up the sword and rushes her, prepared to finish her. He stops as he looks at her smiling at him and drops to his knees. Connor also falls to his knees. The woman smiles broadly at Angel as she says his name.