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October 10, 2015

Angel: Somnambulist

by Richard Keller, posted Aug 8th 2006 10:27AM

Angel -- Episode 11(S01E11) Cordelia: (to Wesley): I don't care how many files you have on all the horrible things that he did back in the Powdered Wig Days. He is good now. And he is my friend. And nothing you or anyone else can say will make me turn on a friend.

Angel: Cordelia, he's right.

Cordelia: You stake him, and I'll cut his head off.

There wasn't much revelation of Angel's infamous past in the first half of the first season of Angel. We had appearances from both Spike and Buffy (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame) to represent his recent past, but most of the episodes featured evil from the present. However, with this episode we took a look far back into the past of Angel, actually back to Angelus to be more specific, and the consequences of his evil doings in the bad ol' days.

It turns out that Angelus had a prodigy back in the day when he was hunting down and killing innocent people; a teen-aged boy named Penn. Penn's modus operandi was to cut a cross into a victim's cheek, and then drain all of their blood. Penn hadn't changed in over 200 years and that's why Angel knew he was now in Los Angeles; a series of murders across the city fit the other vampire's profile. Well, he really knew because he was having nightmares of killing people that Penn was really murdering. Actually, Penn had been in L.A. several times before, holing up in the same hotel and causing a stir in the population with a murdering spree. This time, however, Angel was there to stop him.

Angel and Detective Kate Lockley, to be more precise. Kate was the detective in charge of this investigation and she took any leads she could get, including a suspicious bit of information from Angel himself. Using his information she was able to trace Penn's next target. This was when Kate got two unexpected surprises: both Penn and Angel were not quite human. She wasn't too happy about this discovery, especially concerning Angel. And, even though they teamed up in the end to kill Penn there was definitely a change in their relationship at the end of this episode.

After a number of episodes that were a bit more supernatural in nature, it was good to get back into the investigation part of Angel Investigations. It was also good to see Kate in one of her more meatier roles of the season. Once again, like Quinn, she was really under utilized before she left the show.

I also liked the concept of Angel's prior life biting him in the butt in the present. This would be a theme in later seasons. Another good thing was the further integration of Wesley into the Angel family. From the start you could tell that he would be a more skillful partner to Angel and Cordelia than Quinn was.

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