PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE. If your diet requires you to dine on television spoiler-free ... good luck with that.


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

I'm Evil! I'm Bad! I'm Evil!

Episode 1.18: Five by Five. Original Airdate: 4.25.00

“Fed up with Angel meddling in their affairs, Wolfram and Hart hire newly arrived Faith to take him out.”

Zelda’s Thoughts:

  • So to catch us all up, over in Sunnydale Faith woke up from her coma, stole Buffy’s body, wreaked some havoc, but had to stop some vamps from terrorizing a church because it’s wrong, and then after Buffy undid the body switch, Faith skipped town.
  • And now we have three demons chasing down some rando, but we also have Angel (and Wes) chasing down the demons.
  • Random guy at the bus station lights a cigarette. He’s either evil or about to die. Those are the rules of television for teens.
  • Well he’s a creeper at least, and Faith takes him down and robs him. Is he dead? I forget if he’s dead.
  • Oh a flashback to Romania. Dammit we’ve got Angelus’s stupid stupid accent. But we also have Darla! I think we’re in the lead up to Angel’s resouling.
  • Why is Angelus so turned on that Darla got him a Romani woman? What makes her more special than everyone else he slaughtered? (I have learned the error of my ways and won’t use the G word, even if he does)
  • Dang, he drinks from her inner thigh. This sure isn’t high school Buffy anymore.
  • Cordy: “Generally speaking, you don’t change a guy. What you see is what you get. Scratch the surface, and what do you find? More surface.” // Wes: “One could have said the same about Angel.”
  • Cordy and Wes are here to set up the motif/question of the Faith arc: are people capable of change, of growth? Or are they who we think they are when we meet them? Is Faith someone we can rescue?
  • I do like that they’re pairing her introduction to the show with the flashbacks to Angelus turning to Angel, to make it clear why he is the right person to help facilitate her reform: the one who can see the good in her, under the miles-deep tiers of damage.
  • Also lookit Faith just starting a fight in a club and dancing away.
  • Ahhhh, that’s why Angel rescued the rando from the demons. He wanted to tear apart the case that Lindsey(!) and Lee Mercer (!) are working on.
  • Lindsey glares at him, all:
Hey, didn't you throw my client through a window seventeen episodes ago?

  • So we track Lawyer Ex Machina … is this Angel Ex Machina? Anti-Lawyer Ex Machina?
  • Hey y’all Lilah’s here too. Man, W&H’s set is pretty utilitarian right now. Don’t worry, they’ll make it more fun eventually.
  • “You can always tell if he’s happy. His scowl is slightly less scowly.” Omg are Angel and Raymond Holt kindred spirits?

  • Lilah’s picking up Faith, and Faith thinks it’s a hook up and I’d be digging the Faith is Bi narrative more if it weren’t that villains are often coded as queer and Faith is in full villain mode right now.
  • But for the record, Eliza has said that she portrayed Faith as bi, so it’s still canon, fight me.
  • Faith: “I don’t know jack about you.” // Lilah: “Green is my favorite color. I look good in diamonds. And I love riding in limousines.” I remember really disliking Lilah on my initial watch of this series, and I wonder if it’s attached to my resistance to, y’know, evil characters. But I know she’s a fan favorite and so far I’m at least enjoying Stephanie Romanov’s performance.
  • “Not everyone screams … when you kill them. Some just stand there frozen.” It’s interesting, they don’t show us the turn from Angelus to Angel, and yes I know we had that covered in Buffy, but they’ve already reused some of the footage from his intro to Darla from Buffy in this series. Darla finds Angel, tormenting himself, the soul fresh in his psyche.
  • Too bad DB is much less interesting at the tremory torment.
  • Darla’s so mad at Angel’s soul and it’s amazing. “You’re disgusting.” She even aims to stake him. That’s loyalty. I was gonna carp that why doesn’t she spend any time trying to undo it but I kind of remember that she does in some future flashback, so I’ll keep quiet.
  • We got the power three from W&H! Or the 3L? What should we call them? Anyway, Lindsey, Lilah, and Lee are propositioning Faith and there is so much innuendo.
  • “Who am I supposed to kill?” “Please understand we would never advocate the killing of another human being. His name’s Angel.” And she agrees immediately.
  • So I guess for all that the W&H Three know about Angel and about Faith, they somehow don’t seem to clock that Angel and Faith know each other because Sunnydale is a small town.
  • Oh and then she smashes up Lee’s face a bunch. Just for funsies.
  • Wow, Faith is so close to Angel when she aims the crossbow. She knows he’ll catch it—and he does—but this is a great opening salvo. 

  • Aw, Angel called Giles … but we don’t get to have the convo. And Wes is mad Giles didn’t call him, since he was actually Faith’s Watcher. That’s … legit.
  • Wes, still making his argument that Faith is savable. “She’s not a demon, Angel. She’s a sick, sick girl.”
  • Oh damn, I forgot that when Angel tried to save Faith back on Buffy, bring her back from the edge, it was Wes who stymied those efforts, charging in with the Council. Damn, this is some good baggage we’ve got here. Both Angel and Wes have unfinished brokenness with Faith to wrangle with.
  • Faith, dissociated crazy in her eye, tosses Angel a gun to give him a change to take her down, and he shoots immediately, but it’s got a blank in the chamber. And she’s begging him to come at her, but still smiling. She’ll keep asking him to destroy her.
  • Angel strolls into W&H, all suited up, and a random suit mistakes him for I dunno, but anyway, let’s go to Lindsey’s office.
  • It’s just funny to me how bland the lobby set was, considering how glam the offices are in S5. 
That security desk is made of unpainted plywood.

  • Lindsey’s not even surprised to see Angel at his desk. He just smirks and shakes his head.
  • Also is this the first time we know Lindsey’s name (we saw it by his office door)? He was unnamed in the pilot.
  • Lindsey: “I remember you throwing one of my clients through a window. Killed him if I’m not mistaken.” // Angel: “Yes, I seem to remember. The window was just about that size.”
  • Omg these two are flirting SO HARD.
  • Um. Where did that security guard come from? Was there a secret extra door in Lindsey’s office? What the ? He literally just walked into frame but there was nowhere for him to have been hiding before, LIKE WHAT THE HELL IS THAT. 

  • Oh man, Cordy’s trying to come home and Phantom Dennis won’t let her in.
  • And they think it’s because he’s jealous of Wes. But seriously, if he was trying to protect them from Faith, why did he relent and let them in?
  • Wes: “It’s not too late to let me help you.” Wes believes Faith is redeemable … though he’s also willing to punch her when she knocks Cordelia out. The problem is, though Wes may be right, he’s not the one who can save Faith.
  • Flashback!Angel may be souled, but he’s still got that thirst for human blood. And this is the moment we start to retcon what he told Buffy, three years ago, that he never killed anyone after he got his soul. He done drank that lady. (okay fine, we find out in the next flashback he doesn’t kill her, but still, the retconning of Angel’s backstory has begun)
  • And Faith’s got Wes beat up, gagged, and tied to a chair. It’s torture time.
  • “I was your Watcher, Faith. I know the real you. And even if you kill me, there is just one thing I want you to remember … You are a piece of sh—” I guess Wes no longer thinks she can be saved?
  • Oof, seeing her playing with that broken piece of glass. Chilling. Eliza’s doing great with this ep.
  • Cordy’s showing off her research skills, triangulating where Faith’s violence has surfaced so far in LA. A+ Cordelia.
  • “If you’d been a better Watcher, I might have been a more positive role model.” I mean, he was her Watcher for a whole five minutes, so is that really legit? Or it’s just another way for her to needle his insecurities.
  • Angel shows up before Faith can start to set Wes on fire, but also how did he get into the apartment? I thought we found out that guy she beat up at the bus station isn’t dead yet, so he wouldn’t be able to just walk in. Daniel has dibs on this shenanigan, so I’ll just second his.
  • We really should have tracked how many windows and doors Angel breaks on this show. Oh well.
  • This fight’s going on much longer than they normally do on this show. But then, it is vampire vs slayer. And out the window they go, into the alley.
  • “You’re gonna die! You hear me? You don’t know what evil is! I’m bad!” And the rain begins. “Fight back!” As Wes manages to sever his ropes and grabs a knife so he can help.
  • “I’m not gonna make it easy for you.” // “I’m evil! I’m bad! I’m evil! Do you hear me?” And then as she breaks, “Please! Angel, please just do it … Just kill me.” Y’all, I’m actually crying and how many times have I seen this? It’s just so sad. She’s so broken, in so much pain, and Angel is strong enough to help carry her through this moment, as Wes drops the knife, looking on.

Daniel’s Thoughts:

  • By the title, I already know who’s starring in this episode!
  • Oh shizznit.  Demons has ripped off a guys arm. Why was he just sitting there with it?

  • But don’t worry.  Angel & Wesley are on the case! And Wesley gets demon slime all over him.
  • It’s Faith!
  • This, of course, is right after her episode of Buffy.  She ran to LA from Sunnydale.  I keep forgetting that this is congruent to Buffy episodes. 
  • And flashback Darla is in this episode too!  Whoot!
  • Oooooooh, this is the story of how Angelus became Angel.
  • The guy Angel saved has a tattoo tear drop on his face, and other stereotypes.
  • “You’ll have to face your demons sometime.” - Theme of tonight’s episode.
  • Faith is at a club doin’ what she do.  Dancin' and fightin’.
  • Lindsey is back!  It’s really interesting that they liked him enough to bring him back from the very first episode.  We’ve had like 16 episodes since.
  • Lilah is here too!   She calls Faith a “Rogue Slayer”.  Also Lee whom I never remember.
  • “You can always tell when he’s happy.  His scowl is slightly less scowly.”
  • Suddenly Lilah is walking out of the club with Faith like they're going home for a hook-up or something.  I feel like a scene is missing.  A scene I'd like to see.
  • Lilah reels her in with diamonds and limos.  But we know Faith is smarter than that.  She’s feeling things out.
  • Meanwhile, back in the past.
  • So we’ve skipped past the whole curse thing and jumped straight into the Angel being crazy remembering his past crimes.
  • So Wolfram & Hart want Faith to kill Angel.  They don’t seem to realize that Faith knows him.
  • Wow, and Faith just goes right to it.  That’s pretty Faith.  Do, no plan.
  • Aww, they’re talking to Giles. Wesley is pissed that Giles didn’t call him right away.  He was, afterall, Faith’s Watcher.  But how would Giles know where Wesley was? Maybe he did try to call.  Maybe he called the Watcher's Council and they were all like, he's been fired.  He's probably some rogue demon hunter, now.  And Giles was all, "What's a rogue demon?"
  • Buffy is name checked a couple of times.  Don’t worry, she’s fine.
  • And there she is again.  I really love that about Faith.  Just shows up.
  • Tyler Christopher, one of Wolfram & Hart’s lackeys.  He was on General Hospital as Nikolas Cassadine.  And then he left.  And was recast.  And then he came back.  And then he left again. He’s recast again.  Yeah, so this is his only scene as a W&H douche.  I love how Angel plays off him, though.
  • And thus begins the Lindsey/Angel banter.  If this show was better, they’d be making out by now.
  • Cordelia and Wesley are going to her apartment.  Phantom Dennis is blowing the door closed. They should listen to his warnings.  It’s Faith, again.  She keeps just showin’ up!
  • Faith knocks out Cordelia.  Wesley punches Faith.  Faith knocks out Wes.  Fun times!
  • Oh, we’re in the past again. Angel seems to be draining someone but I think it’s a fake-out.
  • So Faith took Wes.  And it’s torture time.
  • How did Angel enter this guy’s apartment?  We just learned in the last scene that he's in the hospital and not dead.  Shenanigans.  
  • Back to the flashback, this time where we left off.  Angel, did not, in fact, drain the woman.
  • Big ol’ fight scene!
  • Stunt people flying through the window!

  • And we get to the point where we realize why Faith decided to take up the bounty on Angel in the first place.  She wanted to lose, though she didn’t want to make it easy - and maybe it wasn’t a completely conscious decision but she’s completely deflated.  She knows she’s done a lot bad things and probably on some level wants to make up for that. And this subconscious suicide attempt is what she thinks will solve it.   
  • It’s also some of Eliza Dushku’s best work at the end here.

(before the ep starts)
Z: So I guess this is when they finally decided what they were doing with Wolfram & Hart.
D: Yeah, it took them a while.
Z: But here we have Lindsey, Lilah, and Lee all in one episode.
D: So they finally decided these were our three.
Z: We never heard back from that one lady in the auction, right?
D: Lindsey was only in that first episode, why did they bring him back?
Z: I guess they were trying people out? See who they liked to work with? And then they were like hey remember Christian Kane, we like him, also he can sing, hey let’s have a karaoke bar next season!

Favorite Lines:
Zelda: “Scratch the surface, and what do you find? More surface.” - Cordelia
Daniel: “Angel please, just do it. Just do it. Just kill me. Just kill me.” - Faith

First Appearance: Faith
Recurring: Darla, Lindsey McDonald, Lee Mercer, Lilah Morgan, Angel’s “Irish” “accent,” Phantom Dennis
Already Famous Person: Eliza Dushku
Generally Known TV Face: Tyler Christopher
Buffy Crossover: Faith, Darla
Whedonverse Hat Trick: Eliza Dushku (Faith on Buffy and Angel, Echo on Dollhouse), Jennifer Slimko (Romanian Woman on Angel, Vampire Girl #3 on Buffy)

Cordelia’s Hair – high ponytail & down, wavy
Dead Humans – 0
Dead Undeads – 2
Dead Flashbacks – 1
Dead Lawyers – 0
Cordelia Has a Vision – 0
Wesley Prat-falls – 0
Lawyered Ex Machina – 0
Angel Ex Machina – 1
Evil Reveal – 0
Unevil Reveal – 0
Shenanigans Called – 1
Apocalypse Called – 0
Prophecy Called – 0


  1. Christian Kane is looking much better here without his awful B4-4 hair do.

    I'm actually sad I missed this episode when I refused to watch on. I guess I should give this one a try because I really do love Eliza as Faith and it would be interesting to see her redemption here before she showed up again in Buffy.

  2. Love this episode! People slag Eliza's acting ability (which admittedly is very limited) but she kills it on this episode.