Subtlety >> Couplet

C/A spice: Strong and it burns my tongue


Previously on Angel, Angel is about to admit his feelings for Cordelia and gets interrupted by the arrival of Groo. Cordy and Groo have a big ol' smootchie reunion. Unable to watch, Angel goes upstairs to check on Connor. The TVGuide ad for this episode had a picture of Cordelia and Angel on it, and said "She made him what he is today... jealous." Hehe :-P

Angel is over Connor's crib, gazing at the baby.

Angel: It's strange. I remember him being taller.

Host: (off the baby) Trick of the light. They don't actually get smaller until they're very, very old.

Angel moves away from the crib, starts to untie his tie, remove his tux. Host automatically helps him, a green valet.

Angel: I didn't mean the baby.

Host: I know you didn't.

Angel: I meant the Groosalugg.

Host: I know you did.

Angel: He seem, I dunno, short?

Host: Oh, absolutely. Clearly the guy shrank. All over, probably. Why he's nothing but a muscle-y midget. I'm sure the moment Cordelia gets him home she'll just pop him in a small-ish drawer and that'll be that. You got nothing to worry about, tiger.

Angel only really registered one thought from that:

Angel: She took him home -- (then) Well, that's... good. At least we won't have to put him up here. (kinda muttery) Place was starting to turn into a hotel.

Haha. I'm still laughing about that "shrank all over" line. Meanwhile, ya gotta love Lorne, he's always there to support Angel. Plus, an encouraging C/A shipper.

Host: So... you don't have a problem with that, then?

Angel: Of course not. Why would I?

Host: Oh, I don't know... maybe because I don't remember you wearing this perfume when you left this evening.

The Host sniffs Angel's tux jacket. Angel grabs it from him.

Angel: (admitting only this much) Okay, so there may have been some magic.

Host: Ya see!

Angel: Actual magic, Lorne. Whatever happened, it was a spell. But it's worn off now. There's nothing between Cordelia and me.

Host: Sure there is! And it's got arms like steel cables and a deeply ironic sense of timing.

Did anyone understand that "arms like steel cables" thing? I'm completely clueless.

Angel: It's good Groo showed up when he did. You were right -- Cordelia deserves a champion. Now she's got one.

Host: And what about you?

Angel: I don't need a champion.

Host: You need someone.

Angel: You're wrong. I'm fine. I've been a solo act most of my two hundred forty plus years. And when I wasn't, never turned out well. Being alone is good. I like it.

Host: Fine, Miss Garbo. Have it your way. Be alone.

And the Host exits. Angel moves to his closet --

Angel hangs his tux coat. Shuts the closet door. We hold for a beat, then the closet door re-opens, Angel takes the lapel of his hanging tux, puts it to his face, breathes her in. Then shuts the closet door --

Aww, Angel's hiding his pain.


The next morning, Angel carries Connor downstairs and asks Wesley if he's the only one here.

Angel: Cordelia's usually in by now, isn't she?

Wes: It's early. And I imagine she and Groosalugg were up late. They had a lot of catching up to do.

Angel: Huh. Right. "They."

Distracted, Angel moves into Wesley's office and Wes follows. Angel puts Connor down in the office crib.

Wes: I was hoping you and I could talk before the others arrived...

Angel: What is it?

Wes: Well... it's the fact of him. I know his sudden arrival was something we all needed a moment to digest. Still, there are questions...

Angel: You're suspicious.

Wes: "Cautious" might be a better word.

Angel: No, right. Cautious. We should be cautious. I agree totally.

Wes: You do? Good. Because --


Angel: You think he's evil?

Wes: Evil?

Angel: Okay, maybe not "evil," but he's definitely hiding something. He seem shorter to you?

Wesley stares for a long beat, then --

Wes: We are both talking about Connor, aren't we?

Angel: What about Connor?

Ah, Angel's mind is obviously still stuck on Groo with Cordy. Meanwhile, when Cordy saw Groo as a that ugly blue demon in the teaser, I was thinking, "Yes! He's an evil demon!" Maybe Cor's new semi-demoness allows her to see people's true form. That would be too easy for a Tim Minear episode, though. Sigh. Hopes shattered.

Anyway, Angel and Wes keep talking and don't hear Cordy come in.

She's out at her station, un-shouldering her over-sized bag.

Angel: You're here.

Angel: So's he.

He sees Groosalugg over at the weapon's cabinet, looking at various items, toying with a sword. He sees Angel, nods.

Groo: Angel! Your weapons are most impressive!

Angel: (forced smile) Thanks. Thank you. (sotto to Cor) Could you please ask him not to handle my weapons?

Cordy: Relax. If there's one thing Groo knows, it's how to handle a weapon. (glances at Groo) Poor guy. Looks like that's about all he's gonna be handling.

Sudden hope.

Angel: You mean... you two didn't..?

Cordy: I got him home last night and we started to... you know. But then...

She's taking some materials, note-pad, sketch-pad, from her bag, organizing these things. She pauses. Looks at him. A moment of seeming connection...

Cordy: I couldn't go through with it.

Angel: You couldn't?

Cordy: Not after seeing that disgusting spiny thing.

Angel: Spiny?!

Angel's allowed to have his mind in the gutter, considering his desperate situation. Everyone else, get out of there!

Cordy: Right up in my face...

Cordy: ...that's what the visions are like now. No pain, less artsy, sometimes floaty - though not lately -- and very often stinky.

Oh, she was talking about a vision. Going on...

Wes: Why can't you have sex?

Cordy: I could lose my visionity.

Angel and Wes share a look.

Wes: (muttering looking back at materials) Allllright. If you want to play it that way...

Cordy: Vision-ity. The visions. When that one hit me last night -- it hit me: in Pylea, the visions were supposed to pass to Groo if we ever did the royal Com-Shuk. How do I know that won't happen here?

Angel: Wow. Good point. You really don't.

Thank God for the visions! Last ditch effort!

Wes: But your recent transformation might've changed all that. It's possible you could...

Angel: (kicks the table very loudly) Still. Better safe than sorry. You're doing the right thing.

As she drifts to the doorway, gazes out at Groo who looks studly and hero-y in the near distance with his big weapons.

Cordy: I know. I know! I can't risk it. It's just... I'm so... he's such a... (pure sexual desire) Errrrr-ruf!! (to them) Don'tcha think?

Angel and Wes both look away, muttering, uncomfortable.

Angel: Oh, well, sure. I guess.

Wes: Certainly a very attractive man.

Cordy: (thinks, watches Groo) Maybe there're other things we could do to relieve the tension.

Angel jumps in: Jogging could be a thing.

Wes: Or perhaps there's some form of paranormal prophylactic that would allow you to...

Angel: Because, you know, jogging...

Cordy: I guess we could probably "Com" without actually "Shuking," right?

Dirty, dirty, minds, people. :-P Plus the words, even in Pylean, sound much too familiar.

Angel: Well... I dunno. That could be a slippery slope that once you're on it you could... slide.

Cordy: Well, at least I won't be upsetting the average around here... Nobody in this office is ever gonna get any...

Then she steps out of the office.


Wes is explaining to the gang about what he found on the demon in Cordy's vision. Cordy is sitting with Groo behind her.

Angel kind of hovers in the background, behind Groo, trying to see if he's taller.

Wow, jealous Angel is *real* mature, isn't he?

Groo: I know this creature. It resembles the Bleaucha which nest in The Scum Pits Of Ur. I have slain many.

Wes: Really?

Angel rolls his eyes. Big man. Wow, you're so impressive.

Groo: Tracking it will be simple. Killing it, more difficult.

Angel: (under his breath) Well, yeah.

Meaning, well duh.

Wes: Alright, then. Groo, you go with Angel.

Angel is about to mouth his protest, but Groo turns to him.

Groo: It will be an honor.

Wes: Let's move out.

Everyone hops up, breaks off. Cor and Groo and Gunn and Fred move to weapons cabinet, gear up. Angel moves to Wesley.

Angel: You know -- I don't think this is such a great idea. Me and him. I'm more of a loner, really. Plus, he's kinda bulky. Could slow me down.

Wes: He's an experienced warrior. He should be a great asset.

At the weapons cabinet, Cor picks out a broadsword for Groo.

Cordy: Here's a nice one.

Groo tests it with a flourish. Angel bristles.

Angel: That's my favorite broadsword!

Wes: It'll be fine, Angel.

Cor and Groo approach. She fiddles with his tunic.

Cordy: Sure that's gonna be warm enough for you? Those sewers are pretty damp. (to Angel) Here.

She thrusts a smaller axe into Angel's hand. Then she rises up, kisses Groo.

Let's see, Cordy's taking care of her albeit not-so-bright, but big, sweet, muscle-y man and Angel's practically got blood coming out of his ears.

Angel: (resigned) Let's go.

Angel grabs Groo and they head toward the basement exit.

Groo: (to Angel, as they go) After we slay this beast, I shall present its head to my princess. As a token.

Angel: Right. 'Cos she'd love that.

Cordy: (To Wesley, happily watching them go) They're cute together, aren't they?

Wes: Yes... they are.

Ha.


Angel and Groo are in the sewers. is all laser beam concentration. Groo seems preoccupied.

Angel: You sense anything?

Groo: Yes. A deep sadness. (then) My princess. She is unhappy. I fear I am the cause.

Angel: No. No, and she's not unhappy, Groo. She's thrilled you're here.

Seeing green or not, Of course Angel's not going to purposely sabotage their relationship.

Groo: Then what keeps her from me? There is a distance. As if her heart is not free.

Angel: I think maybe she's afraid to get close. I guess she's scared if she does, she might lose something.

Or if could be a more subtle, subconscious reason why her heart's not free. Like her subtle, subconscious feelings for Angel. Hey, a C/A shipper can hope. And over-analyze, speculate...


The demon they are chasing crashes through the factory walls and into the daylight.

SUNLIGHT comes BLASTING into the building. Angel's hit by the shaft of light briefly. SIZZLE. He rolls free of it. Draws back.

Groosalugg runs to Angel, offers his hand --

Groo: Come!

Angel: I can't --

Groo takes a confused beat, then he turns and goes after the demon himself, rushing into the daylight. All Angel can do is watch, as --

Groo, in an astounding hero shot moves in for the attack/rescue - with the rest of the gang arriving on the scene, to see -- Groo, saving the damsel and slayubg the demon. The park is full of onlookers who are awed. There's applause. Cordelia rushes up to Groo. Her hero. She plants a big one on him, as...

Through the shattered wall. Angel, lurking in the shadows, can only watch Groo's triumph from the distance.

Aww, Angel.


Back at the hotel.

Looking through the office windows into the lobby. Cordelia and Groosalugg can BE SEEN. Very chummy and lovey dovey together. Groo seems to be re-telling the tale of his victory. This image is favoring Cor and her adoring attitude toward Groo.

Susan (a client): You think you know someone. You think your place is secure and that there's a future there... and then something happens. No. Strike that. Someone happens. They insinuate themselves, pushing you out, taking your place.

Probably exactly what Angel's thinking. Except he's not listening to her, he's watching Cordya and Groo through the doorway, whispering and laughing together. The only two people on earth.


Angel and Wes are at the bookstore looking for a book with commentaries on the Nyazian text. Angel's still thinking about Cordy and Groo. Kind of a one-tracked mind, huh?

Angel: I don't know. Maybe they should just do it, get it over with.

Wes: I'm sorry?

Angel: Cordelia and Groo. She's trying to be all noble, for the good of the team, and I'm thinking maybe she should make with the Com-Shuk. That's what she wants.

Wes: Ah.

Wes and store proprietor talk. The owner goes to get the book Wes asked for.

Angel: I mean, why not? Life's short, right? Okay, not mine, but most people's. And if Groo does it for her, she should go for it. It'll make her happy. Make him happy. (clearly unhappy) Everybody happy.

Except Angel.

Wes: Still... office romance. Complicates things. What if they should break up? Or have a row?

Angel: All of us fight with each other at some point and it's not like anyone else is having a romance. I don't see it changing things much.

Wes: Well, she said it herself -- it could risk the visions.

Angel: (shrugs) Okay. So the visions pass to Groo. He gets 'em instead of her. So what?

Wes: You're not suggesting Groosalugg could replace Cordelia?

Angel: (under his breath) Maybe not Cordelia.

Wesley gets it now. Angel's feeling pushed out.

Wes: I see. But you think he could replace you --

Angel: I dunno. Seems to me here's a guy who can do everything I can do -- and a few things I can't.

Wes: That's not true.

Angel: You saw what happened this afternoon. If Groo hadn't been there --

Wes: Then the rest of us would have. (then) Angel -- you're the reason we're all in this. It's your mission which animates us. We each contribute, it's true -- but you... you're unique. You're like one of these rare volumes. A one-of-a-kind.

Thank God for Wes. He really is a good friend. Well, not counting the stuff that happens in the next few episodes...

Lionel reappears with the book Wes needs:

Lionel: I got three of 'em.


Back to the hyperion again.

Angel: Wesley -- ? (Wes looks at him) Thanks. For what you said before. I guess I was feeling a little obsolete. You put things into perspective for me.

Wes: I'm glad I could. And while I do believe having another warrior for good could be an asset to us in the coming days, you and Groosalugg are two very different... people...

Wesley trails off as they enter the lobby from the garden. Angel looks to see what he's seeing --

An Angel Double. No, wait - it's Groo with his new haircut -- Angel-like. Great shirt and pants, one of Angel's leather jackets. Cordy had given Groo and makeover. He sees them, hails them with a wave.

Groo: Hello!

Wes: ...who look exactly alike.

Angel: (through his teeth) He's wearing my clothes.

Wes: Good fit.

Angel: (to Groo, forced smile) Where's Cordelia?

Cordy: Oh, good. You're back.

Now she can compare them side-by-side. Think this little boyfriend makeover isn't a subconscious motive? My prognosis, Angel is who Cordelia really wants but since that doesn't seem to be an option because vampire and the curse thing - she can make an Angel clone that can do everything he can do and some things he can't. No wonder Angel feels replaced. I'm thinking Spike and Buffybot in BtVS, but let's not go there... Continue scene, please.

Angel: He's wearing my clothes.

Cordy: What? Oh, yeah. I didn't think you'd mind. Turns out you guys are about the same size. I think he's a little taller. Looks great, though, doesn't he?

Angel: Cordelia...

She hits him with a look right in the eyes.

Cordy: Angel I need your help.

She's not desperate, but something like it. Very focused, very serious. It takes him aback a little.

Angel: What happened? Did you have a vision?

Cordy: What? No. No, nothing like that. This is... personal.

Angel: (softening) What is it?

Cordy: I wouldn't ask, except... there's really no one else I can trust with this. It's something only you can do.

Something Angel-clone can't do? What could it be?

Angel: (gently) Tell me.

She hesitates. He looks at her. She looks at him.

Cordy: You've done so much for me already. (then, trying to lighten things) One more thing for the list, I guess.

Angel: There's no list, you know that. You just tell me what I can do.

Cordy: I need you to help me have sex. (adding) With Groo.

Angel just stares. Hairs going up on the back of his neck. He glances back, sees Groo in the lobby, grinning and waving, looks back to the plaintive Cordelia.

Cordy: I realized something today. It's not the threat of losing the visions that's been keeping me from being close. It's me. The visions are just an excuse. I mean - there's always some excuse.

So she was holding back, not only because of the visions. She doesn't exactly say why, hasn't figured it out.

She turns, looks at him.

Cordy: But love finds a way. Or it should, right?

Angel: Right.

Cordy: I'm tired of being lonely.

He just looks at her. Finally manages:

Angel: Yeah.

Cordy: (moves to desk) So I worked it out.

Angel: You did?

Cordy: It was something Wesley said. A paranormal prophylactic. It got me thinking -- I couldn't be the only woman on Earth who has some supernatural gift that could be lost through physical intimacy --

Angel: (huh?) Stands to reason...

Cordy: So I started researching. Anyway, I was right! There's a potion. A protective potion. I take it and -bang! I can.

Angel: Potion...?

Cordy: The woman's name is Anita. She's kinda "in the business." Makes love potions, elixirs, like that. She says she's got just the thing.

She jots down something on a piece of notepaper.

Cordy: At this address.

Cor tears off the address, holds it out, along with some cash. He doesn't take it.

Angel: You want me to go get this for you?

Cordy: Yeah. I went to my ATM, got cash. Nearly cleaned me out, but I think it's worth it.

Angel: So that you and Groo can...

Cordy: Com-Shuk like bunnies. You betcha.

Angel: Why don't you send him?

Cordy: Well, I am sending him. He kinda insists on it. But that's why I need you.

Angel: Huh?

Cordy: He doesn't know this world. And I can't send him into a demon brothel by himself. I mean, I trust him but I'm not crazy.

Angel: Brothel?

Cordy: Yeah. But you'd be safe there. No woman's gonna tempt you, right?

Angel: Right...

Cordy: Just take care of him. Bring him back to me. (holds out note) With the potion.

Angel takes the address and cash. Now Groo enters.

Groo: Are we ready?

Cordy: (eyes on Angel) I think so.

Groosalugg has gravitated to the make-over mirror. It's been put aside on a counter. He admires his new look.

Groo: We are most grateful for your help, Angel. You are a true friend to us both.

Angel steps up beside Groo, glances down to the mirror --

Only Groo is there, of course. Angel doesn't exist.


Angel: Yeah.


At the demon brothel, the woman that helps Groo and Angel asks Angel:

Anita: I know why your earnest friend is here. But why are you? What's in it for you?

Angel doesn't answer.

It's for Cordelia, what else?


Afterwards, Angel gets an urgent phone call from Fred and Gunn who are trapped in the evil tree monster's roots. Groo and Angel go to save them. While Angel tells Groo to be patient and consider what they should do first, Groo doesn't listen to him rushes in with a sword to hack at the monster. Instead, the demon gets him and starts draining the life out of him. Angel gets in there, beats on Groo, does some venting...

Angel: You've got my hair, you've got my clothes. But there's a little more to me than that. And I'm getting really tired of all the Groosa-worship. (a beat) Nothing personal, champ.

Nothing personal, meaning - it's really not about him. It's about Cordelia and the way she acts around him.

Angel: But you know what? I'm smarter, and I'm stronger, and I pick out my own clothes!

Angel's speech works, goading the tree monster into sucking the life force out of him instead of Groo - but Angel's dead, so the monster dies, too. Thus saving the day.


Back at AI headquarters, again. Boy, they go back and forth a lot, don't they?

Riipppp!

We see:

Angel's shirt being ripped open by Cordelia.

We see:

Angel's face, wincing in pain.

Angel: Ow.

Cor turns from Groo, who she's patching up. It was Angel's shirt, but the one Groo's wearing.

Cordy: (to Angel) Sorry.

Angel: It's okay. It was already ruined.

Cordy: If it's any consolation, I planned to rip it off him later, anyway. You did get the potion, right?

Angel: Yeah. We got it.

Cordy: (tending the wounds.) Well, this isn't so bad. You heal almost as fast as he does.

He reaches out, gently takes her by the arm. Concern on his face. She looks at him.

Groo: Princess. I have a confession.

Angel: (shakes his head "no") Groo --

Cordy: Confession? What confession? Did something happen at the brothel? (to Angel) You were supposed to look after him.

Angel: Nothing happened. Except... your boyfriend here was very brave. He saved the day.

Cordy: You did? Ya big hero!

Groo: What? No. I was reckless. I put everyone in great peril. Angel is the true champion.

Remember at the beginning of the episode, Angel said Cordelia deserves a champion and now she has one since Groo is here. Well, Groo's saying Angel is the true champion.

A beat as she absorbs this, her reaction a bit unreadable.

Cordy: (to Angel) Did you hear that?

Angel: Yeah, but...

Cordy: How many guys would give away the credit like that? That is just so noble. (aside to Angel) The potion?

Two!

Angel hands it to her. She looks at Groo -- a private smile promising things to, er, come.

Cordy: Let's get out of here.

He grins. Hops up. They start for the door.

Cordy: See ya.

Angel: Cordelia?

She turns back. He just looks at her. Says nothing. A beat. She moves to him, impatient to go.

Cordy: What?

His hand moves to hers... he's putting something in it. A wad of cash.

Cordy: What's this?

Angel: Just some money I've saved up.

Cordy: (looks at it) Why? What for?

Angel: I did something for you tonight... now I need you to do something for me. (then) Don't come in tomorrow. In fact, don't come in for a couple of weeks. Take Groo and go someplace nice. Someplace where there's a lot of sun. He'd like that. (In the shooting script, it's you'd like that.)

Cordy: Angel --

Angel: Will you promise?

She's not consciously sure what it all means, but goes off his tone. She nods.

Cordy: Okay.

Starts to go, turns back. Puts her hand gently to his own torn shirt. A hole where the heart is.

Cordy: You sure you don't need a little patching yourself?

Angel: I'm good. Didn't hurt a bit.

A silent moment between them. Then she turns and she and Groo go. Angel watches them.

How incredibly painful was this episode? Cordy's so... oblivious. It's like she's completely forgotten about Angel, jumped 'ship. She doesn't even realize how much she's hurting Angel. She's usually very in-tune with him. It's totally out of character for her. Once Angel got over the juvenile jealousy act, he still turns out to be all self-sacrificing. Geez, painful. Powers That Be of the Week a.k.a. Tim Minear, why do you torture us so???

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