Season 2 Episode 2

Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 03, 2000 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
446 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Angel directs Cordelia and Wesley to investigate the mysteriously abandoned Hyperion Hotel, and as they piece together the building's dark history, they discover that his interest is more personal than he let on. In a flashback to 1952, Angel is not the atoning vampire of present day, but a recluse who is detached from the tortured humans around him, until one fateful day.moreless

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  • Mad Men Angel style


    The Good;

    Very good allegory of the McCarthy age and we get an idea of what Angel got up to after 'Why we fight?'.

    The Bad;

    According to the commentary Angel sends the money back to the bank. I wouldn't, they're a bunch of racists, I'd have given it to charity or something.

    Best line:

    DENVER; "No other cat but me"

    Jeez, how did they get away with that?

    Seeing Angel lynched is nasty in the extreme.

    Apocalypses: 4

    Angel Cliches

    Damsel in distress; 16,

    Inverting the Hollywood cliche;

    Angel doesn't save the inhabitants of the hotel, just leaves the demon to feast upon them. When he finally returns to rescue Melissa it's to let her die.

    In disguise; 4

    DB get's his shirt off; 7

    Cordy's tattoo;3

    Cheap Angel;


    Fang Gang in bondage:

    Cordy: 5

    Angel: 8

    Wes: 2

    Fang gang knocked out: yep, Angel

    Cordy: 9

    Angel: 11

    Wes: 5

    Doyle; 1


    Cordy: 3 vamps, 1 demons

    Angel; 1 demon for Angel so 16 vamps, 17 and 1/2 demons, 3 humans

    Doyle; 1 vamp

    Wes; 1/2 a demon

    Kate; 3 vamps

    Faith; 16 vamps, 6 demons, 3 humans.

    Gunn; one more vamp so 4 in all.

    Fang Gang go evil:

    Cordy: 2

    Angel: 2

    Alternate Fang Gang:

    Cordy: 2

    Angel: 6

    Characters killed:


    Recurring characters killed;


    Total number of Angel Investigations:

    3, Angel and Cordy and Wes

    Angel Investigations shot:

    Angel: 8,

    Packing heat;

    Wes; 2

    Doyle; 1

    Angel; 1

    Notches on Fang Gang bedpost:

    Cordy: 2 ?+Wilson/Hacksaw Beast

    Angel: 1;Buffy

    Kinky dinky:

    The starlet is obviously supplementing her income through prostitution. Nevertheless she refers to Melissa as a slut as an insult.

    Captain Subtext;

    The leading man is obviously gay and hiding it Rock Hudson style.

    Know the face, different character; 2

    Parking garages;


    Guantanamo Bay;

    The McCarthy era is a strange one as after the fall of communism it was revealed that many of those he persecuted were indeed Soviet agents (it's an interesting paralell of George Bush/Barack Obama being pressured to release some the Guantanamo inmates only for 1 in 7 going back to terrorism) but the important point here is that we rail against all lynch-mobs and witch-hunts which are inherently evil no matter their justification, Angel season 2 of course was during the War on Terror and the point is well made.

    Buffy characters on Angel; 11

    Wetherby, Collins and Smith. Angel, Cordy, Oz, Spike, Buffy, Wes, Faith, Darla

    Questions and observations;

    2nd appearance of the Hyperion which is also in Judgement and 'I fall to pieces' under a different name . Presumably Angel must be pretty rich just to be able to give the money away like that. After this we presume he must go into his hedonistic phase, henceforth to be known as 'The Manilow Era'. He does return to hotel later however as he's in the picture when the police arrest the bell-hop (who goes to the electric chair despite being innocent of the charges against him). First apprearance of Denver who'll crop up again later. In an ep about the 50s Cordy's dress seems very sixties? If this ep is 9 minutes over as the commentary says, why not Special Edition DVDs with the footage restored?

    Marks out of 10; 8/10

  • 'The Shining' meets 'Angel' with a touch of 'Barton Fink'.

    Angel is mysteriously drawn to the dilapidated 'Hyperion Hotel' he came across in the Season 2 opener, 'Judgement'. While Wes and Cordy investigates the violent history of the L.A. landmark, Angel wanders its halls, and we see through flashbacks that this isn't the first time our hero has visited this place.

    Wow. This is an incredibly beautiful episode in terms of production value. The flashback sequences to the late 50's are impressively authentic for a television series. I loved how the story was told as an old Hollywood mystery. It was great to see Angel sporting the 50's look and what his attitude was like in this particular period in his long, tortured life. Once a mysterious woman comes into his life for help, we see that Angel wasn't always into lending a helping hand once he had his soul back. Slap in some supernatural force in the Hyperion Hotel getting guests to kill themselves and go mad... and you've got yourself a spooky little whodunit. The demon of this episode is one of the best I've ever seen conceived. Most times, I don't feel that threatened by any of the buggers Angel or Buffy faces, but this dude was just... evil. An episode not to be missed. The first of many incredible episodes in Season 2.moreless
  • 'It's kinda like a puzzle, the Who Died Horribly Because Angel Screwed Up 50 Years Ago Game?'

    The real first step into the second season is immediately a series best, the magic of acting and writing was amazing. this might be even one of tv’s best creations.

    The episode begins with Cordy and Wesley in her apartment. They have to investigate a case that happened 50 years ago. The episode shows flashbacks of a hotel where everyone seems extremely paranoid. This delivery guy has to bring someone mail but he’s scared/ When the door opens it’s Angel. he was at that hotel 50 years ago. It’s the same hotel he remembered in ‘Judgment’ while saving the pregnant lady.

    When Angel goes into his room he finds a girl trying to clean his room but he knows she’s not the house keeper. When he wants to throw her out she begs him to keep her inside, she says her boyfriend is after her. The guy tries to enter Angel’s room but he hits him out with his door and then puts him on the elevator to go down and leaves the girl outside his door, he was a pretty angry puppy back in the time.

    Cordy and Wes find out that Angel is in the hotel when they see a picture of him while staying there.

    Meanwhile back in the 50’s Angel noticed that there is something in the hotel, whispers talking to the people and one of the men there listens to it and ends up murdering himself.

    The hotel is filled with paranoide, as soon as the guys death comes out everyone starts to panic and blaming themselves. The hotel manager tells the delivery guy to stuff the guy’s body in the meat locker, someone tells him to say that.

    The girl from the hotel then introduced herself to Angel, her name is Judy and believes that it’s possible Angel has something to hide. Then she tells him her life story, the guy after her is from her old job, she stole money after they fired her for passing as white while she has mixed blood. Angel helps her to hide the money and then goes to a library guy who might be able to help him. The guy knows Angel is a vampire and tries to scare him away without success, he helps Angel when he tells his plan about saving some people at a hotel.

    Back at the hotel everyone is blaming each other again, but then the guy comes back searching for Judy. They believe she killed the guy and attack her, when Angel comes home he finds them attacking Judy and she blames him and says that he is a monster. They go for Angel and beat him down and then hang him up. After they realise what they did, they go away leaving Angel hanged up. But he cuts loose and then the paranoid demon comes out, he feeds of them and says that Judy was the best of them because Angel gave her faith in humanity. But Angel lost it and tells him to have them all and walks away.

    Then back in time Angel comes to the hotel with his gang to cast out the demon, Angel sees that he is still feeding. The demon comes out and Angel grabs his tentacles to electrocute him and destroys him. Then he tells the rest they are moving into the hotel/

    The while episode was a masterpiece, but the biggest highlight was when Angel realised that Judy is still living in the hotel, only she is now an old woman. She wants to go out now that she doesn’t hear the voice but first wants to lie on the bed. Before she goes she tells Angel she’s sorry for killing him and takes a rest, there she dies. The scene was painful, you could see that DB almost cried.

    This is without a doubt a reason why this show is so magnificent. A pure masterpiece in every way possible.

  • If you haven't seen this episode, you are missing out on one of the most fascinating Angel episodes ever made.

    You have to watch this episode more than once. You're so in awe with it the first time that in order to get all the little details embedded inside it, you need to see it again.

    This episode flashes back about fifty years to when Angel had money and could afford to stay in proper accomadations. He's a seemingly careless man who keeps to himself and prefers to atone for his sins by sitting around all day and brooding about them instead of saving people. The inequality toward different races is established and the hotel itself is gloriously illustrated.

    A woman breaks into his apartment and pretends to be hiding from her boyfriend, so Angel grudgingly helps her out. Then she betrays him, so he gives the demon permission to feed on her and the entire hotel, thus setting it up for closage twenty-five years later. Angel goes back, kills the demon, rescues the woman from 50 years ago, and sets her free.

    Then he takes the hotel for his home.

    I can't stress enough how much of a fantastic episode this is. I can barely describe it. The entire flashback sequence is enthralling, the "now" sequence ties up loose ends from the flashback. Cordy and Wesley's involvement makes it amusing as well as fascinating. If you haven't seen this episode, you're missing out.moreless
  • where does campassion go to?

    An excellent episode. Showing the hotel they investigate, and also showing the past of Angel. How he ignores the cry of the innocent, and see one of his dark spots. Best of all is the one innocent in there, remaining as a snack for he who dwells there. Left there for all the decades that Angel did not care.

    Even if the solution is found way to easy, the story behind the involved parties behind this all is superbly written, and well acted by all involved.

    In the end, the solution and the finale is a little too sweet, but it does fit into the harmony of past and present.

John Kapelos

John Kapelos

Hotel Manager

Guest Star

Julie Araskog

Julie Araskog

Over the Hill Whore

Guest Star

Tommy Hinkley

Tommy Hinkley


Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • When Cordelia & Wesley are going through the newspapers on the floor, there's a close-up of the clipping of Judy. If you pause and read the article, the bottom-most visible paragraph is repeated in both columns, complete with the typo in the word "immeadiate".

    • When Judy is talking to Angel as she is smoking a cigarette in their room, the cigarette grows longer and shorter between shots.

    • While the bookstore owner is screaming at Angel in the front of the store, you can see on the left hand bottom corner, a bit of David's hair and perhaps his hand, just before he comes up behind store owner and grabs him.

    • How did Judy stay inside the hotel without food and possibly water for 48 years without starving or dehydrating?

    • In the flashback when we see the embezzled $11,000, several of the bills are the new '96 $100 bills.

    • The photo Cordelia has in her hand is a little different than the close-up one she ends up handing Wes. In the far shot Angel is to the right of two men. When the camera goes in for the close-up the photo shows Angel standing between the same two men.

    • The newspaper clipping on Judy Kovacs says she worked at the Union National Bank, but later she tells Angel she worked at the City Trust Bank.

    • In the 1952 flashback, you can see the Hollywood Walk of Fame outside Denver's bookstore, with a star or two. However, the first star wasn't put down until February of 1960.

  • QUOTES (15)

    • Detective: You won't mind if I just come in and take a look around then?
      (Angel pretends to let him in then slams the door into his face)
      Angel: Gee, guess I do mind.

    • Denver: Vampire wanting to slay a demon in order to help some grubby humans? I just don't get it.
      Angel: To be honest, I'm not sure I do either.

    • Judy: I'm so sorry I killed you. Can you forgive me?
      Angel: Of course.

    • Wesley: I can sense it. There is a pattern here... Some force was residing at the Hyperion over the last decades, affecting staff and residents. I just fear there is no real way to...
      Cordelia: A Thesulac. Paranoia demon. Whispers to its victims, feeds on their innate insecurities.
      (Wesley stares, amazed)
      Cordelia: (pulling a phone from behind her back) Angel wants to talk to you.

    • Thesulac: Well, I don't know about you but I'm stuffed! God I love people! (to Angel) Don't you? They feed me their worst and I kind of serve it right back to them, and the fear and prejudice turns to certainty and hate, and I take another bite and mmm-mmm-mmm! What a beautiful, beautiful dance! Oh, you got your feelings hurt, didn't you? See now what happens when you stick your neck out for them? They throw a rope around it! And you thought you'd made a friend. (Angel begins to walk away) News flash! You had! That's what made her the yummiest morsel of all. You reached her, buddy! Restored her faith in people. Without you she would have been just another appetizer. But you plumped her up good! Now, she's a meal that's gonna last me a lifetime! Hey, you know what? There is an entire hotel here just full of tortured souls that could really use your help. What do you say?
      Angel: Take them all.

    • Beatnik Store Guy: So, you were, what, about my age when you were made?
      Angel: I don't know. How old are you?
      Beatnik Store Guy: Just north of 30.
      Angel: ...No!

    • Angel: Why'd they fire you?
      Judy: Because I'm not what I say I am. I've been passing since I was 15 years old.
      Angel: Passing?
      Judy: For white. My mother was colored, my father - I didn't even know him! My blood isn't pure. It's tainted.
      Angel: It's just blood Judy. It-it's all just blood.
      Judy: Nobody believes that! Not even my mother's family. I'm not one thing or the other. I'm nothing.
      Angel: I know what that's like.
      Judy: Yes. Yes, I am. I am something. I'm a thief! I've never stolen anything before in my life. It's just, God, the things that they called me.
      Angel: Fear makes people do stupid things.
      Judy: It was stupid. And I wish I'd never done it.
      Angel: I didn't mean you. I meant your former employers. They were afraid. That's why they fired you.

    • Cordelia: Something the matter?
      Angel: I, um, I think it's gone bad. It's starting to coagulate.
      Cordelia: Huh? No. That's cinnamon... What? I can't try something?

    • Cordelia: (about the hotel) Seventy years of violence, mayhem and paranoia. Bad vibes.
      Angel: We're moving in.
      Cordelia: I mean, a few throw pillows and what's not to love?

    • Judy: Uhm - uhm - my-my boyfriend, he's kind of the jealous type...
      Angel: Maybe you shouldn't go wandering into other men's rooms.

    • Angel: (fighting a demon)
      Watch his tentacles!
      Cordelia: Excuse me?
      Wesley: Tentacles.
      Cordelia: Oh.

    • Cordelia: Yep, it's not that vampires don't photograph. It's just that they don't photograph well.

    • Wesley: Angel, you don't find me especially paranoid, do you?
      Angel: Not especially.
      Wesley: Thank God. I was worried.

    • Cordelia: It's kind of like a puzzle. The "who died horribly because Angel screwed up fifty years ago?" game.

    • Wesley: I've been accused of a great many things in my time but paranoid has never been one of them, unless people have been saying it behind my back.

  • NOTES (9)

    • Joss Whedon states in the Season 5 DVD featurette "To Live and Die in L.A.: The Best of Angel", this is one of the best episodes in Season 2 and in the series.

    • This episode contains a scene with Wes that is used in the opening credits of Seasons 2 and 3. The clip is Wes casting a spell while holding a circular glass object. The spell was to get rid of the Thesulac demon that had infected the hotel.

    • Music:
      On the record player in the room next to Angel's -- "Hoop-De-Doo" by Perry Como

    • A scene at the end of Act I was cut from the final edit, which showed Angel as very uncaring and apathetic toward the other guests at the hotel during the 1950s. The scene shows Angel drinking and turning up jazz music as the saleman next door kills himself.

    • This episode makes reference to Alfred Hitchcock's movie Vertigo. Judy mentions she is from Salina, Kansas; Judy, in Vertigo, is also from Salina, Kansas.

    • When Angel goes back to the basement in present day near the middle of the episode, there is graffiti on the right side on a wall. The letters appear to spell "Angel" vertically, but if you look carefully it actually spells "Angela."

    • In this episode we meet for a first time the owner of "Demons-Books" store. We will meet him again in the next few episodes of the season.

    • John Kapelos, the hotel manager, formerly played Donald Schanke, Nicholas Knight's partner for two seasons on Forever Knight. Possibly as part of an in-joke, there is polka music playing in the hotel in one scene: Schanke was a big fan of polka music in FK.

    • You may notice that the Apple Logos on Cordelia's iBook are covered up, on the back with a pink post-it note, and on the front with a small piece of paper.


    • The scene where Judy tries to get Angel to "come see the show," in which the "world is going to end"
      Film reference to James Dean's classic Rebel Without A Cause. Angel is toting a red jacket, like Jim's in Rebel, the lead female character's name is Judy in both, the location of "the show" seems to be the same observatory, and the actress playing Judy in this episode resembles Natalie Wood.

    • Title This episode's title is a line from the McCarthy era witch-hunt for Communists. There were many televised trials and inquests at this time, and the oft-heard question at these was "are you now or have you ever been a communist?" As well as taking place during this era, this episode is thematically about the sort of paranoia which characterized the McCarthy trials.

    • Denver: (while watching TV) They keep calling her a "zany redhead." Could be a brunette for all I can tell.
      The "zany redhead" in question must be Lucille Ball, star of I Love Lucy. The show premiered in 1951, the year before the flashback sequences.

    • Angel: Now, it's been a long time since I've opened a vein, but I'll do it you pull any more of this Van Helsing Jr. crap with me.
      Professor Van Helsing was the vampire hunter in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula and its many film and stage adaptations.

    • Manager: And the weekly bill for 217.
      Bellhop: Why me? I did it the last time! Guy gives me the heebie-jeebies.
      Angel's room in the Hyperion was #217, which fans of Stephen King will recognize from the novel The Shining, as a room which holds some evil secrets. Fans of the Stanley Kubrick film, however, won't recognize those digits; the owners of the Timberline Lodge, which was used for exterior shots in the movie, asked that the room number be changed to 237, because the hotel had no 237 and they were sure no one would stay in room 217 after seeing the movie.