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Angel 5x14 Smile Time - Summary

By Pandora

Saturday 24 January 2004, by Webmaster

As an ailing 7-year-old boy watches “Smile Time” on TV, the puppets on the show instruct him to put his hands on the screen, which weakens him until he collapses. Later, at Wolfram and Hart, Fred reports to Knox that 11 young children have recently been hospitalized after mysterious collapses. Meanwhile Nina, the werewolf Angel helped recently, arrives for her monthly confinement during the full moon. As Angel leads her to a secure cell, Harmony tells Gunn he filed the wrong document for a court hearing, which worries him. A moment later, as Angel locks Nina in her cell, she admits she now looks forward to seeing him each month. She asks if he’d like to have breakfast with her the next day, but he dodges the invitation. Later, though, Angel tells Wes about the awkward moment, and says he’s afraid to get involved with Nina because he can’t attain perfect bliss without turning back into Angelus. Wes says if there’s someone who can make Angel happy, he shouldn’t ignore it... which sounds like he might also be talking about himself and Fred. Just then Fred enters and tells them about the mysterious children’s epidemic. Fred says she can’t figure out what’s causing the kids’ symptoms, but Angel shuffles through photos of the affected children and sees they all have a TV on in the background... and that they all collapsed around 7:30 in the morning, while watching TV. A bit later, after Lorne tells Angel that “Smile Time” airs at 7:30, Angel goes to the TV studio, where he finds a passage to a secret room. There a man with a towel draped over his head sits limply in front of a large metal egg. The man tries to warn Angel away, but then the egg emits a blinding light that blasts Angel out of the room. When he picks himself up again, Angel realizes he’s been turned into a felt-covered puppet.

Angel returns to Wolfram and Hart, and after his friends react to his transformation, they watch “Smile Time.” They don’t see anything obviously sinister, but Fred asks an assistant to tape it so they can analyze it later. Angel is so mad about his transformation that he wants to launch a full-scale assault on the studio, but the others calm him down and Gunn and Lorne set off to speak to the show’s creator, Gregor Framkin. After they leave, Nina enters Angel’s office, and he immediately ducks under his desk. She tries to talk to him, but he refuses to come out. She finally leaves and Angel crawls out again, but then Spike walks in and sees Angel as a puppet. Spike laughs and Angel throws him out, but as he does, the other employees see him, too. Finally Angel attacks Spike, but Spike tosses him off and into an elevator, which then opens in the lobby a moment later, revealing the new Angel to everyone there, too. Meanwhile Gunn and Lorne find Framkin (the man in the towel) at the studio, but when they say why they’ve come, Framkin refuses to talk with them. Frustrated, Gunn and Lorne finally leave, and as they do, we see that “Framkin” is really another large puppet, whose body is being worked by the show’s puppet, Polo, who then summons all the other puppets to an emergency meeting.

At the puppet meeting Polo realizes that Angel must have found the “nest egg,” which is the source of all their powers. This means their secret is now in jeopardy, so they decide to stop draining children’s life forces one by one, and use tomorrow’s show to drain every child in their audience. Framkin, slumped nearby, rouses enough to protest, but Polo shoves his hand into Framkin again, making him wail in pain. Meanwhile, at Wolfram and Hart, Angel finally reveals his new self to Nina. She says she still likes him, but as she pats his felt, she transforms into the werewolf and yanks him into the cage. About the same time Gunn, upset after several recent mental lapses, meets with Dr. Sparrow, who agrees to make Gunn’s fading mental powers permanent if Gunn will help him with a legal matter involving a shipload of illegal drugs. Meanwhile Wes, Fred, and Knox analyze the “Smile Time” video, but don’t find anything unusual. Fred sends Knox home, and after he’s gone, Wes asks Fred about her relationship with Knox. She says she rejected his romantic overtures. She then notices that one of the puppets in the video seems to be talking directly to the camera during a group number. A bit later Wes and Fred explain to Angel that the video contains a magically cloaked two-way signal that allows Framkin to drain energy from the children in the audience. They also realize, from the strength of the signal, that Framkin may be planning a mass energy drain in the show’s next broadcast. Wes says he can find a spell to break the magic and free the previously afflicted kids. Then Gunn enters, mentally sharp once again, and tells them it’s not Framkin but his demon-possessed puppets who are the real villains. A few minutes later the group marches out of Wolfram and Hart, armed for puppet battle.

A bit later, as the puppets’ show begins, Angel and his friends burst onto the set. As Angel wrestles with Polo, he orders his friends to activate the nest egg. Meanwhile Wes and Fred find the nest eggs and Wes begins reading from a long scroll, which causes the egg to open and flash its blinding light. Wes tells Fred not to look, and keeps reading. A moment later Ratio attacks Wes, and as they fight, Fred picks up the scroll and continues the incantation. At the same time the fight in the studio continues, until Angel and Gunn finally vanquish Polo and his friends. In the secret room Ratio finally starts to overpower Wes, so Fred pulls out a gun and shoots him, then goes back to chanting as Wes finishes off the puppet. Finally, as Fred reaches the end of her chant, the nest egg cracks and explodes. As it does, a young girl whose energy was being drained by the broadcast is suddenly released from its spell. A bit later Nina wakes in her cell, and reacts with horror to the bits of Angel’s stuffing all around her. Then Angel greets her, saying he escaped safely, and promising that he’ll be his old self in a few days. Finally he invites her to breakfast, and she accepts. Meanwhile Wes congratulates Fred on a job well done and starts to leave, but she calls him back and asks if he’s been sensing her vibes lately. He just looks blank, so she finally grabs him and kisses him. Then she asks if he got that signal, he finally realizes what’s going on, and they kiss again.

3 Forum messages

  • > Angel 5x14 Smile Time - Summary

    29 January 2004 22:45, by Esperanza
    Ugh! i dont want fred n wes to get 2getha i likes gunn n her beta!! N dey messed gunn up yo! He wuz beta wen he wuznt all lawyery n shyt.
  • > Angel 5x14 Smile Time - Summary

    2 February 2004 14:49, by Teresa

    FRED AND WES!!!!! FRED AND WES!!!!!! I’ve wanted them to get together ever since they met!

    But that whole ’angel being a puppet’ thing is just so wrong in so many ways. I know i’m gonna cringe when i see it!

  • > Angel 5x14 Smile Time - Summary

    24 February 2004 22:36, by Erin Giles

    Fred and Wes together! *jumps up and down, running round in circles till she’s dizy* FRED AND WES! I’m so happy... and HAPPY!

    *pauses to breathe* o yeah... and Angel being a puppet should be funny...

    *continues running round in circles* FRED AND WES... FRED AND WES... FRED AND WES...