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From Voy.com/14810


Angel 5x21 Power Play - Casting Sides

Tuesday 23 March 2004, by Webmaster

The casting side is for Senator Helen Brucker. She comes to Angel’s office wanting W&H to help her play dirty tricks on an opponent running against her for her Senate seat. She has dealt with W&H since the days of Holland Manners and expects the same kind of services. Her aide, Ernesto, is a vampire. Angel can sense this. She laughs and says she believes in diversity on her staff. She wants to do a smear campaign against her opponent, Mike Conley, to convince the public he’s a pedophile. She also wants W&H to brainwash him into believing he actually is a pedophile. Gunn starts to tell her indignantly that they don’t do that sort of thing any more, but Angel cuts him off and says he’ll help Senator Brucker. When Gunn continues to object, Angel orders him out of the room.

Brucker reappears later, but first, some fragments of other scenes. In one, Spike is talking to Illyria. Illyria says "he" (presumably Wesley) won’t have any more to do with her because he doesn’t like her imitating Fred. Illyria doesn’t understand why this bothers Wes so much. Spike says that even though she believes she isn’t as powerful as she used to be, for some people her resemblance to Fred is the most frightening power she has.

Then there’s a short bit of Wes looking at books about some species of demon—Boretz or something like that. He seems to have found something he’s been looking for.

Then there’s the other Brucker scene. It takes place at a demony party or social event where Archduke Sebassis is in attendance. Brucker is there too. Angel enters and Sebassis congratulates him on returning to his old ways. Sebassis calls him Angelus. Angel says he still uses the name Angel, but when it’s insinuated that he is evil again he doesn’t deny it—he implies he is.

I don’t know whether Angel really has gone evil or is just playing along as part of some plan with beneficial motives. But in the office scene, Gunn seemed genuinely bewildered that Angel would go along with what Brucker wanted. I don’t think Gunn was acting.

Sorry I didn’t put this in at the beginning. It’s pretty important and sheds light on what’s going on.

Sebassis actually says that he and Angel are celebrating their new alliance. And someone else at the party says to Angel that he must have really liked the power juice snack they provided for him. Angel identifies the power juice snack as Drogyn the Battlebrand. Presumably this is the same Drogyn who was the Keeper of the Well in England. So now Angel is drinking his blood(?).

Plus, Cyrus Vail is at the party too. Angel is friendly with him and shakes his hand. Vail says something about letting bygones be bygones. Angel says everything worked out for the best (referring to Connor and Sahjahn, I guess).

The Drucker dialogue consists of Angel commenting to her about how he didn’t realize she was so well-connected (meaning her hanging out with major-league demons). Brucker laughs and says she didn’t get this far in the Senate just by taking money from hostile governments around the world.

I hope there isn’t anything else I’ve forgotten, but I think this is it.

From Spoilerslayer.com :

ATS: Episode 21

Just the smallest bit of information for Angel: Episode 21. Although filled with familiar faces, they are all from previous episodes of this season of Angel. No sign of any Sunnydale alumni showing up in Los Angeles at this point. But things seem to be taking an interesting turn. Angel: Episode 21

Illyria is concerned because someone (he) has stopped talking to her. This is because she has become so adept at acting like Fred, she’s fooling practically everyone. She’s talking to Spike about it, and he points out that perhaps that’s the scariest thing about her. The fact that she still looks, and can even act, like Fred.

Meanwhile, Hamilton introduces Angel and Gunn to a U.S. Senator, Helen Brucker. She’s accompanied by her assistant, Ernesto, who Angel immediately recognizes to be a vampire. It also turns out that Brucker has had a long-term with Wolfram and Hart, having personally known Holland Manners.

Brucker has a simple request. She’s up against a tough candidate in the next election, a war veteran, family man, dog-loving, kids and education-style candidate. Which just won’t due, so she needs Dr. Sparrow to do a little mental gymnastics and make her opponent think he’s a pedophile.

Gunn starts to explain that they don’t do this kind of thing anymore, when Angel cuts him off. He’s more than happy to help the Senator. Gunn is stunned by this turn of events, even more so when Angel asks him to leave the office, so he can discuss this one-on-one with the Senator.

Wesley is in his office, researching information on a specific kind of demon. While he’s reading this info, the book’s text fades out.

Later, Angel is at a demon conference/party. Many familiar faces are there, Sebassis, Izzy, the Vinji leader and one of the Fell Brethren. Izzy is bragging about how they delivered for Angel. Even down to the coming of Illyria. (note: in this bit, Izzy refers to a lamb for the slaughter, then asks who it was. Angel replies that it was Drogyn. I don’t think Izzy was referring to the ’lamb’, but who was behind the plan to release Illyria.)

He starts to introduce Angel to those in the room. Sebassis is especially pleased about the return of ’Angelus’, though Angel is quick to correct him that he’s still going by Angel. He refers to Angel’s new alliance with the group, and at this point Senator Brucker steps up to them. Angel is surprised that she’s so well connected. Izzy then directs Angel’s attention to another guest, Cyvus Vail.

Vail explains that he’s hear Angel has been looking for him, Angel corrects him. He was only pretending to be looking for him. Izzy’s pleased, and gets them to shake hands. Not much to go on, but the main gist seems to be giving the impression that Angel has turned. It’s my take that this is a plan by Angel to find out who’s pulling the strings. In fact, isn’t it nice that Angel managed to get all his enemies from this season into one room.

Sadly, no word on any other ’familiar’ faces showing up in this episode. Then again, it would not surprise me if the Wolfram and Hart episode was wrapped up in this episode. If 5.22 is going to be the ’final episode’, they may want to wrap this one early (just as they did last season, or as was done in Buffy: Season Four).