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Angel 5x21 Power Play - Full Summary

By Pandora

Wednesday 28 April 2004, by Webmaster

As Angel’s behavior grows increasingly hostile, his friends learn he’s associating with members of an evil secret society, and may have deliberately engineered Fred’s death.

Episode 21 | POWER PLAY

In a dark stone room, five black-cloaked figures savagely beat a man. Before the deathblow, however, Angel appears and pulls the man to his feet. As the man thanks him, Angel vamps and rips into the man’s throat. Flashing back a day and a half, Angel wakes up in bed with Nina (the werewolf girl), and as they bask in post-coital bliss, she proposes a beach vacation. Angel declines, feeling pressured by work. A bit later, at Wolfram and Hart, Spike finds Illyria moping around and suggests she get out for some fresh air. Meanwhile Hamilton introduces Angel and Gunn to Senator Helen Brucker and her vampire assistant, Ernesto. As they exchange pleasantries, Wes interrupts to tell Angel about the latest victim of a nasty Boretz demon. To Wes’ surprise, however, Angel tells him not to sweat the “small stuff,” and ushers him out of the office. Outside Wes tells Spike about the demon, and Spike offers to take Illyria and go hunt for it. Back in Angel’s office, Brucker asks Angel to help her campaign by convincing the world that her opponent is a pedophile. Gunn bristles at spreading nasty lies, but Angel agrees to do it. Gunn storms out of the office. A few minutes later, as Wes pores over a book about Boretz demons, a strange symbol (which was also visible in the dark room in the opening scene), appears on the page, accompanied by the words, “You’re looking in the wrong place.” Just then, however, Gunn enters, and when Wes looks back at the book, the symbol is gone. A bit later Angel plays racquetball with Izzy (the devil from episode 12). Izzy updates Angel on the Fell brethren, who are happily raising the baby Angel helped them acquire for a ritual sacrifice, and tells Angel the Fell are spreading good word of mouth and “it won’t be long now.” Meanwhile, as Spike and Illyria cruise an abandoned amusement park looking for Boretz demons, Illyria comments that Angel is exhibiting all the signs of someone who has been corrupted and is about to betray his friends. Then, as she predicts Angel will kill one of them, Drogyn - the keeper of the Well from which Illyria was released - appears and says Angel has already done so.

Spike gets grabbed away by a Boretz demon. After he and Illyria fight it off, Drogyn says he’s come to warn them about something. Then they notice Drogyn is bleeding, and when they ask who attacked him, he says it was Angel. Meanwhile, at Wolfram and Hart, Wes storms into Angel’s office, but Angel - who’s in a private meeting with Hamilton - asks Wes to leave. Later Lorne and Gunn join Wes in his office, and just as they start to wonder what’s wrong with Angel, Spike calls. They all regroup at Spike’s apartment, where Drogyn tells them he was tortured by a demon sent by Angel, who was afraid Drogyn would find something in the Well indicating Angel was the one responsible for Illyria’s release and Fred’s death. Gunn is skeptical, but Spike remembers Drogyn can’t lie. Wes shows Drogyn the symbol he saw earlier in his book, but Drogyn doesn’t recognize it. Nonetheless the group decides to confront Angel, and leaves Drogyn to guard Illyria. Later, at Wolfram and Hart, Spike, Wes, Lorne, and Gunn find Angel and demand to know what he’s up to. He just says you can’t get obsessed with good and evil when power is the only thing that counts. He repeats his earlier advice about not sweating the “small stuff.” Wes asks if Fred was “small stuff,” but Angel dodges the question and closes the door in Wes’ face.

Later Gunn and Spike return to Wes’ office with Lindsey in shackles. Meanwhile Angel gives Nina tickets for a tropical vacation - for herself and her sister - saying she needs to be far away while he takes care of some dangerous business. And as Drogyn and Illyria play video games at Spike’s apartment, Hamilton arrives and attacks Drogyn. Illyria rushes to Drogyn’s aid, but Hamilton attacks her too. At Wolfram and Hart, Lindsey identifies the symbol Wes found as the mark of a secret society, the Circle of the Black Thorn: an elite group of evildoers who keep man’s inhumanity to man running smoothly. Wes notes that’s the Senior Partners’ job, but Lindsey says they exist on another plane while the Circle is in charge in this world. Wes realizes Lindsey was hoping to break into the Circle himself, and Gunn speculates that Angel may have succeeded where Lindsey failed. Lindsey says Angel would have to kill one of his own associates to get in, and the others realize he may already have done that with Fred. Meanwhile Angel follows the Circle’s symbols down a long hallway, through a wall of fire, and into the dark room from the opening scene. This time, when Angel pulls the beating victim to his feet, sucks his blood, and then breaks his neck, we see the victim is Drogyn.

Izzy and ten other masked figures watch as the Circle’s symbol is burned onto Angel’s chest. Then Izzy welcomes Angel to the fold and the other figures remove their masks, revealing most of the villains introduced in the past few months: Sebassis; Cyvus Vale; Brucker; and several Fell brethren, who congratulate Angel on joining their ranks. A bit later Angel returns to his office, where he’s met by Spike’s fist; as well as the rest of his angry, armed friends, who say they know now what Angel has been up to with the Circle. They raise their weapons and Angel strikes back, sparking a huge fight which finally reaches a standoff. Then Angel pulls a crystal out of his pocket and utters an incantation, and there’s a bright flash... after which Angel says they have six minutes to talk while anyone looking in from outside will still see them fighting. Then, under this magical cloak, Angel explains that he set things up so that Drogyn would think he had helped kill Fred, and word of this evil would get out to the Circle. He says it all started two months ago when Cordelia’s magical kiss transferred a one-time vision to him, revealing who the real powers are. When Fred died he decided to use the incident to win the trust of the Circle members. In other words, it’s all his master plan to take on the Circle and attack the true powers of evil in a way he never could before. Finally Angel asks if the others are ready to join him in the fight, which will likely kill them as well as the evildoers. His friends think it over, and one by one agree to join him. Meanwhile Hamilton watches Angel’s office from outside. All he sees is the magical illusion of the group inside still fighting... but then a slight look of skepticism crosses his face.