Release Date: June 27, 2012
Following his impossible quest to resurrect Giles from a natural death, Angel has been living on the edge of right and wrong as he gathers remnants of Giles’s soul into himself. As Faith keeps a weary eye on her friend, she has her own problems, reeling from a visit from her estranged father and resentment from her Slayer comrades. As if things couldn’t get any weirder, a familiar face arrives with a special request and a bargaining chip…
This issue beings with Angel still standing in shock at the door after finding Willow on the other side of it with the Scythe. Willow tells Angel that Andrew told her that he wanted to talk to her and wonders if it was maybe Andrew confusing reality with his fanfiction again. Angel tells her no, he did want to talk to her, but he thought that she would call. Willow tells him that it sounded like something he’d rather talk to her about in person and she happened to be in the neighborhood on her quest for magic. She tells him that she was at Stonehenge which she says is now just a big pile of rocks. Willow comes inside and Angel slams the door behind her, she says hello to Faith and Faith asks her if everyone is good. Willow tells her that everyone is, “still alive and wacky”. She asks Faith how she is and Faith tells her, “brooding, bad decisions, violence. Rinse and repeat.”
Lavinia comes downstairs in her robe and with a face mask on and says tells Angel to quit slamming doors. Sophie comes out of her room and recognizes Willow as the “lesbian witch from America” and calls her Sunflower. Willow corrects her and tells them hello. Angel is surprised to find that they know each other and Will tells him that it was from when she was training with Giles at his estate in Bath, but she’s surprised to find them here, but says that she’s not surprised because after working in the real world she can see forgiving a murder if it means it keeps the gravy train rolling. Lavinia tells Will to cheer up because Angel is going to bring Giles back. Sophie tosses Lavinia some earplugs that she founds in Faith’s drawer and tells her that they will keep everyone from waking them again.
Angel tries to tell Willow that he can explain, but she tells him that she has already figured it out and that he can’t bring Giles’s soul back with a spell so she knows that he is gathering magical items and using them to assemble is soul piece by piece.
She tells him that he was holding the Scythe when he died and it’s very much magic. She tells Angel that he is stupid, selfish and reckless and delusional if he thinks this is going to end well. Angel asks if she told Buffy and Willow tells him that she has enough on her plate and that the last thing she needs is him bring back bad memories because Buffy went through hell after she was resurrected. Angel jumps into accusatory mode and tells her that she means after she resurrected her. Willow says yes, but it was from a magical death when magic actually existed, but she had no idea how much pain it would bring everyone, especially Buffy. Angel asks her if she regrets it and she tells him not for a second, but she’s not sure if Buffy feels the same. All the while Faith is sitting waiting for them to finish arguing.
Angel asks if she came all this way to tell him to go to hell, but she tells him no and that she needs his help and in order to bring magic back she needs Connors help too. Faith jumps ins and asks if she means Angel’s son, Connor and Willow tells them that she needs to leave this dimension to bring it back, but she needs to go to a place that still has magic and all of the portals are closed. She tells them that Connor grew up on Quor’toth, which is the one hell dimension that you don’t reach through a portal, you can only get there by tearing a hole in reality. She tells them that it takes centuries of accumulated dark magic and that she has found a shortcut. She tells them that most magical items act as batteries and still have some energy left in them and the Scythe is one of them. She tells them that she can use it to tear a hole if she has something that has the essence of Quor’toth to serve as a compass. Angel asks her if she means a boy who spent the first seventeen years of his life there. Willow tells Angel that Connor barely knows her so she needs his help convincing him. Faith jumps in and tells her that Angel has been dodging his calls, which he’s told him isn’t good, but he won’t listen and she tells her that Connor finally stopped calling and they don’t know where he is. Angel tells them that he is in school and has a girlfriend that he is happy and he knows this because he has someone keeping an eye on him. Faith is upset now and is mad at Angel for not telling her. Angel tells her that this was a family matter and that the point is that Connor is better off without Angel in his life. Angel tells Willow that he was ashamed of her, but now here she is asking him to find the son that he’s never been there for and destroy his life by asking him to go back to the hell dimension that he grew up in because of Angel for something that isn’t even possible. Willow smacks Angel across the face and yells at him not to compare her to him because this is all his fault. She tells him that he is running down this road blind because he thinks it might lead to redemption; never worrying about the consequences until it is too late. She tells him that he ruined everything and now the world is empty; that there hasn’t been a decent book, movie or song since the seed was destroyed and people are killing themselves because there is no hope. She tells him that it’s just starting and it will only get worse; that the world is dying and no one will admit it.
She bursts into tears and tells him that she needs to save the world and asks why no one understands. Angel grabs her shoulder to comfort her, he tells her that they will go and see Connor so she can talk to him, but this is his choice. Willow tells him that that is all she is asking. Angel tells her that Quor’toth is dangerous and that she’ll be fighting every second for her life; Will tells him that she isn’t going to stay there long because from there, she can go anywhere she needs and she was hoping that Angel would come with her to keep her alive. She tells him that if he does that then whatever part of Giles is in the Scythe is his. Willow tells him that they both need help and that they are both chasing something that the other thinks is crazy, but neither of them can do it alone. Angel tells her that he needs to make some arrangements, but they will leave in the morning and leaves the loft.
Faith tells Willow that they’ve got some time and there is someone that she would like for her to see. Elsewhere, in Hackney: Nadira is fighting off a horde of Zompires. She is screaming at them to say something. Faith comes up behind a vampire, stakes it and tells Nadira that the Zompires aren’t social. She tells Nadira that they are feral, pack hunters, very strong and that the Slayers are doubling the size of their packs. Nadira tells her that she’s not going to thank Faith and Faith tells her that Nadira was right. That what she asked her to do, by going to Drusilla, was wrong and that she doesn’t even want to talk about it, but she did bring her someone that she thought she might like to see. Nadira tells her that there isn’t anyone in the world that she wants to see right now. Willow pokes her head out from around a car and asks Faith if she’s sure that she and Nadira know each other. Nadira is surprised to see Willow and tells her that she healed her after she saved her life and after her squad was slaughtered. Willow remembers, gives her a hug and tells her that it’s going to get better.
Faith gives them some time alone and later Faith tells Nadira that that she has to go away for a while but that doesn’t mean that she’s giving up on Pearl and Nash. Nadira tells her that it’s okay and that Willow told her it was important and that’s good enough for her, but there is something Faith should know. She tells her that she’s been looking around and there is a rumor that Pearl and Nash are planning something big, but that no one seems to know exactly what is. She tells Faith that she’s not going to stop searching while she’s away and Faith tells her that she wouldn’t dream of it, just make sure she slays with a friend and keeps her in the loop. Faith and Willow leave; Faith thanks her for talking to Nadira and asks her if she thinks Willow can talk her out of killing Angel too. Willow tells her one battle at a time and Faith tells her that Nadira is a good kid, but she has a lot of issues. Willow asks her if Giles ever say to her, “I hope when you grow up you have a Slayer who acts just like you”? Faith tells her no, but he did tell her once that you can’t bring someone back from a natural death. She asks Willow if she thinks that Angel can really do it since she’s the resident expert on this stuff.
They board the subway and Willow tells her that if magic still existed she would say that what Angel is doing makes sense and only for someone as magical as Giles was. She said it would be a lot more likely that it ends in disaster because magic always has a high price and the bigger the rules that you try to break, the more expensive it is. Willow tells her that without magic he will probably fail but she trusts Faith to stop him if things start to get bad. Faith asks her why everyone decided that she was the right person for that job and Willow tells her to name someone else who could do it.
Faith tells her that she has a point and Willow asks if Faith thinks Angel can do it. Faith tells her that she goes back and forth and that what bugs her is that he keeps hiding things from her. She tells Willow that he doesn’t seem to care if the cure is worse than the disease and she worries what will happen if they get Giles as a zombie or if his soul gets stuck in a rotting corpse. Faith tells her that when she asks Angel about it, he just blows it off which means to her that he’s doing this for himself and not for Giles. Willow tells her that she knows she’s not the poster child for using magic responsibly but the earth has lost something that it needs because of Buffy and Angel and she’s trying to fix that because doing nothing is worse. She tells Faith that they can’t wait until things get really bad because then it will really be too late and that she’s doing this to help the world and not herself.
Back at the loft: Angel, Faith and Willow are getting ready to leave for Los Angeles. Nadira and Sophie are sitting in the living room. Faith asks what about weapons and Angel tells them that they are checking the Scythe as an antique and that they will have some other stuff waiting in L.A. He asks Sophie and Lavinia if they will be okay and Sophie tells him that they are over a century old and they think they can manage. Angel tells her if there are any problems to call and Lavinia tells him to scoot. Angel has barely shut the door behind him when Lavinia tells Sophie that Morrissey is playing in Prague. Sophie tells her forget house-sitting and they need to go pack for Prague.
Later at Los Angeles International Airport – Angel, Willow and Faith have arrived in L.A. Willow is asking him about the Twilight Universe and is confused on why he would create a whole new universe and leave everyone else to die. Angel tells her that once they had given the universe form, they were going to bring everyone over. Willow tells him that Buffy never once mentioned that and Angel asks her if she has ever tried finishing a sentence when Buffy is worked up. Willow laughs and tells him that that was sexist, but also funny and true.
They head down the escalator and find Gunn at the bottom. He tells Willow and Faith that they look lovely as ever and that Angel looks as if Ed Hardy exploded on him. Angel tells him that it’s to keep the sun off of him and that he originally picked out a trench coat and a fedora, but Faith told him that he looked like a flasher from the fifties. Gunn tells him that the car has tinted windows. In the car, Angel asks how everyone is doing and Gunn tells him that he hasn’t been able to track down Illyria, Kate is back with the L.A.P.D. in the supernatural crime unit, Lorne is the same, Nina got married and Connor is just getting out of his Psych class and should be right where they are. Angel sees Connor saying goodbye to his girlfriend and Gunn tells Angel that her name is Natalie, that she is also majoring in social work and that they have been dating for three months. Angel starts to say that he looks really happy, but cuts himself off and turns to Willow. She tells him that they are not going to back out now because they flew across the ocean. Connor has noticed them in the car and Angel is telling Willow that Connors life is together. Suddenly Connor disappears from sight and Faith is asking where he went. Connor jumps on the hood of the car and peers into the window at Angel and asks him if he’s wearing a hoodie in surprise.
Later in the market, Connor and Angel are buying muffins. Connor tells him that he tried calling him for months and he finally just stopped thinking that Angel had other stuff to deal with and now he just shows up out of nowhere. Connor tells him that he wishes Angel would make up his mind. Angel tells him that he wants to see him but the best thing he can do is just stay out of his life. Angel tells him that he’s doing great in school, no demons or anything and learning how to help people. Angel tells him that he’s turning into an amazing man and that he couldn’t be more proud of him. Angel drops the muffins and they hug.
Later in a pub: Angel and Connor at one table and Faith, Willow and Gunn are at another. Faith ask them what it is about having kids that makes people crazy and asks if any of them actually have parents that aren’t seriously crazy. At the other table Connor tells Angel that he figures that he was on a guilt trip because he always is, but when your own father wont take your calls it’s hard not to feel rejected. Angel apologizes and tells him that he was putting it off, but it wasn’t good for him. Connor tells Angel that he’s not finished and that Angel was right, he is doing great and Natalie is great too and she’s really special. He tells Angel that he’s in the right place for him and he should be wherever is best for him to o and he will be fine with it, but he never has to hide from him. Angel tells him that he will get another round. At the bar, Faith approaches him and tells him that Connor is all grown up now. Angel tells her probably more than he is and that he’s spent all this time trying to find redemption saving the world when he should have just been trying to e a better man. Faith tells him that he can start by not killing Connor trying to bring Giles back. Angel gives her a look and Faith tells him not to look at her like that and he told her to watch him and let him know if he crosses a line. She tells him that he’s doing just that by risking his son’s life to bring back someone who is already dead. Angel tells her that he has already decided that they aren’t going to do it, but to not give him any parenting advice because it wasn’t that long ago that he had to pull her off of her own father. He hands Connor his beer and tells Willow that he needs to talk to her. Connor tells him that Willow already told him about Quor’toth and that he wants to do it. Angel is shocked to learn that Willow already told Connor, but Willow tells him that they agreed it was Connor’s decision. Connor breaks in and tells them that he is in and wants to do this. Angel tells him that he’s not doing it, but Connor tells him that Willow told him that she can restore the magic and the world needs it. He tells Angel that he’s seen what’s happening on the streets and things are getting worse. He tells them that the mentally ill and the addicts are the most vulnerable people and they are feeling it the worst. Angel tells him that he’s not letting him do this and Connor tells him that he’s not asking his permission to do it. Angel asks Gunn to talk some sense into Connor, but Gunn tells them that this is a family matter and he doesn’t deal in those. Faith breaks in, still hurt by Angel’s words about her father and tells him that if he asks Gunn’s help that’s asking for parenting advice. Angel tells Connor that he has no idea how precious it is that he has built himself a normal life and he won’t let him throw it away. Connor tells Angel that he can’t stop him and Angel says he’s just concerned that it’s Quor’toth of all places. Connor reminds him that he survived there as a little kid and Angel tells him that he had Holtz with him. Connor grabs Angel’s shoulder and tells him that now he will have his father with him.
Later at the Hyperion Hotel – Willow is using the Scythe to slice cuts into Connors chest. Gunn and Faith are holding Angel back. Gunn tells Angel that if he breaks the circle there is no telling what will happen to Connor and Angel tells them that she is killing Connor.
Willow tells them that she didn’t know it would be like this, but Connor says that he is okay. He says that the cuts hurt but they are not deep. Willow tells him that they only have one more incantation to go. Connor tells her to hurry up because he may die of suspense. Willow tells him that Angel is right and that Connor is an amazing guy. She tells everyone to cross their fingers. She shouts the final incantation and a bright white light flashes through the room.
Faith, Angel and Gunn are stunned and Willow is surprised as well saying that she can’t believe it actually worked.
Willow tells them that they can cross the circle safely now and they will have 30 hours until the tear closes. She asks Gunn if he will be okay standing guard alone and he tells her he will be. He gives them a bag full of weapons and tells them that they’ll need them. Connor tells them they can’t use guns because technology doesn’t work there and tells Angel not to fight with him again because he’s going with them. Angel tells them that they go through and stand right next to the tear until Willow gets her power back. He tells them that if things get bad, even just a little bit, they are to come back through and close it. He tells them that he will stay behind to cover their retreat and they are non-negotiable terms. Conner tells him that he can live with that. Angel tells Connor to get ready and it’s time for him to see where he grew up.
TO BE CONTINUED…
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