Season 3 Episode 21


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM May 13, 2002 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
326 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Angel and Connor successfully engage in some much-needed father-son bonding when they find themselves fighting side-by-side. Then foster-father Holtz stirs things up by suggesting Connor should leave him to live with Angel. Meanwhile, Lilah continues to work on recruiting Wesley for the bad guys; and Cordelia's closeness with Angel causes a rift in her relationship with Groosalugg.moreless

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  • Holtz and Angel showdown


    The Good;

    The return of Justine but this ep will always be remembered for the incredible scenes between Angel and Holtz. They strike you as a pair of weary emotional boxers slugging it out to the last. I especially like the moment where Angel rages at Holtz for stealing his son and Holtz points out that he kept Angel's son alive whilst Angel(us) killed his.

    The Bad;

    Angel just leaves a set of vamps lying on the floor of the club.

    Best line:

    Justine; "How did you survive?"

    Holtz; "My hatred kept us alive" HOOOOoooooooooo!

    also like;

    Fred; "He's survived an unspeakable hell dimension. Who hasn't? It doesn't mean you can leave him on the streets of LA"

    Jeez, how did they get away with that?

    Holtz forcing Justine to stab him with the icepick

    Apocalypses: 5

    Angel Cliches

    In disguise; 8

    DB get's his shirt off; 12

    Cordy's tatt; 10

    Cheap Angel; 9

    Fang Gang in bondage:

    Cordy: 5

    Angel: 11

    Wes: 6

    Gunn; 4

    Lorne; 3

    Fred; 2

    Fang gang knocked out:

    Cordy: 12

    Angel: 14

    Wes: 5

    Doyle; 1

    Gunn; 1

    Lorne; 3

    Groo; 1

    Kills: 2 vamps for Angel. 2 for Connor as well and we can add in the demon he killed in The Price

    Cordy: 5 vamps, 3 demons

    Angel; 41 vamps, 57 and 1/2 demons, 7 humans

    Doyle; 1 vamp

    Wes; 12 demons+3 vamps, 2 humans

    Kate; 3 vamps

    Faith; 16 vamps, 6 demons, 3 humans.

    Gunn; 10 vamps+ 11 demons.

    Groo; 1 demon

    Fred; 1 vamp

    Connor; 2 vamps and one demon

    Fang Gang go evil:

    Cordy: 2

    Angel: 2

    Gunn; 1

    Wes; 1

    Alternate Fang Gang:

    Cordy: 2

    Angel: 8

    Fred; 1

    Characters killed:


    Recurring characters killed;


    Total number of Angel Investigations:

    6, Angel, Cordy, Gunn, Fred, Lorne and Groo

    Angel Investigations shot:

    Angel: 12

    Wes; 1

    Packing heat;

    Wes; 6

    Doyle; 1

    Angel; 2

    Gunn; 1

    Notches on Fang Gang bedpost:

    Cordy: 4 ?+Wilson/Hacksaw Beast+Phantom Dennis+Groo

    Angel: 5; Buffy, Darla and The Transcending Furies

    Wes; 2; Virginia and the bleached blonde

    Gunn; 1 Fred

    Fred; 1 Gunn

    Groo; 1Cordy

    Kinky dinky:

    According to Fred's gizmo Connor is 'Hot'. Gunn dislikes the idea of tracking Angel's teenage son's 'emissions'.

    Captain Subtext;

    Groo and Lorne, their scene together very reminiscent of a scene in season 5 Buffy with Xander and Riley at the magic shop. But the Groo does it SOOOOO much better than Riley does "If she asks" Awwwwww!

    Know the face, different character; 4

    Parking garages;


    Buffy characters on Angel; 16

    Wetherby, Collins and Smith. Angel, Cordy, Oz, Spike, Buffy, Wes, Faith, Darla, Dru, The Master, Anne, Willow and Harmony

    Questions and observations;

    One thing I've noticed in working my way through Buffy season 6 and Angel season 3 is that I keep leaping ahead wanting to watch more and more Angel and not Buffy. Note that the PTB's decide to save Justine through CC's vision. Holtz is quite religious believing god gave him Connor. You genuinely get the impression that they do love each other. Interestingly Fred refers to 'being at the bottom of the ocean looking upwards'. Does Holtz go to hell? Is he an evil man? The only evil thing I can think off he does is slitting Wes' throat but that's Justine and we've no idea that he even knew about it.

    Marks out of 10; 8/10, an ep of great emotional depth and poignancy

  • Benediction

    Benediction was a perfect and classic episode of Angel because it had a great convergence of story lines, the beginings of new story lines, and character driven scenes. I really enjoyed watching this diverse episode as we discover the return of Holtz, Groo starts to question his relationship with Cordelia, and Connor learns that Holtz wants him to learn from Angel, however Holtz deceives Connor in the end. I thought the scene with Lorne being engaged by Connor and Cordelia coming to the rescue was awesome, beautiful, and the begining of Her and Connor's story. There was some great bonding between Angel and Connor or Steven, and it was interesting to see Holtz's reaction. The ending was a great twist and I can't wait to watch the next episode!!!!!!!moreless
  • Shocking and saddening, an excellent episode.

    Benediction is an excellent episode that continues the great teenage Connor arc and begins to tie up the storylines of this season. I'm not a big fan of Connor. In fact I hated him the majority of Season 4 and he is probably my least liked Buffyverse character. However, I would be a fool to not notice how excellent the teenage Connor arc is just because I dislike one character. This episode is dramatic, sad and interesting and step up from last week's A New World.

    We see Angel and Connor bond throughout this episode and even though Connor supposedly hates him and it is against his better judgement to begin to trust anything demonic, but the bond between them is so strong he can't help but let his guard down. Him and Angel seem like father and son, much more than him and Holtz do and I think Boreanaz and Kartheiser have good acting chemistry together. Connor is clearly an emotional wreck and has clearly been far more damaged by Quor'Toth than he is letting on. Holtz clearly passed on his black and white view of the world to Connor and as such Connor sees it as Human= Good and Demons= Bad. His verbal attack on Lorne and physical attack on Cordelia thus proves this and it seems he is filled with anger all the time and believes he belonged in Quor'Toth with the demons, proved by Cordelia's calming magic on him and her later conversation with Angel. Cordelia effectively cures him from his anger and calms him down enough to be allowed out without Angel. He says he never remembers being "lost", further proving he felt he belonged in a hell dimension.

    Angel and Cordelia's relationship continues to become more apparent here and they seemed to become like a married couple here- sharing problems and decisions together and Cordelia is almost like a mother figure to Connor, continuing from when he was a baby. Groo has obviously picked up on this too and despite Cordelia's reassurances that he is the one she loves, he can tell he isn't and can see the obvious bond between Angel and Cordelia. Cordelia has tried her hardest to make Groo more like Angel through his clothing and haircut and the moment here where she mistakes him for Angel and runs up, happy to see him and then stops when she realises who it is is a turning point in the relationship and the final push needed to make Groo break up with her.

    Holtz claims to be a different man here and claims he has no taste for vengeance anymore. His conversation with Angel almost makes him look like a good guy and Angel a bad guy, when he points out Angel murdered his son and Holtz kept Angel's alive, but for what intent did Holtz keep Connor alive? He seems to genuinely love Connor but a small part kept Connor alive to torture Angel further, as Holtz knew Connor would find a way back. He doesn't consider Connor's feelings but ends his own life with the help of Justine, framing Angel. This proves he is still the same bitter man he was back then and has not changed all that much. Justine was a tragic character and I really liked the her and Holtz scenes. I could obviously see the bond between them and I found the scene where she kills him incredibly sad and hard to watch. Laurel Holloman was excellent here and made Justine's pain so apparent that when she stabbed Holtz she cried out, as if she was the one in physical pain. Benediction is an excellent episode that is the beginning of the end for S3. Not to be missed.moreless
  • What The Holtz Was He Thinking?

    Benediction-Angel and Connor successfully engage in some much-needed father-son bonding when they find themselves fighting side-by-side. Then foster-father Holtz stirs things up by suggesting Connor should leave him to live with Angel. Meanwhile, Lilah continues to work on recruiting Wesley for the bad guys; and Cordelia's closeness with Angel causes a rift in her relationship with Groosalugg.

    Okay, this episode makes me officially hate Holtz as a villian and a character! It seems since the writers made him a villian of the season they were trying to make him have a point, but beside taking Connor to Quor-toh, his motives have been irritating. Also, I would like to go off on Justine, who is an ungrateful, annoying chick to the fullest degree. Angel saves her life not once but twice yet she still follows the man who used her and left her with no real concern, yet she goes to Holtz and still acts like he was her Savior. I have never seen the supposed father/dauthger relationship they have, because he has never taught her anything she doesn't already know. Okay before I go on I'll go to the good parts of the episode. David and Vincent continue to show an uncanny father/son dynamic, especially when they fight side by side in the night club and when they are play fighting in the alley. Lilah and Wesley have a great scene in the night club as she tests his new logic, but one thing I don't understand is how Wesley could have known that was Connor with Angel. He has had barely any contact with the group to know this, and Lilah didn't even know who he was even after she was there when Holtz jumped through the portal with the baby? But anyway, it's also interesting to see Groo realizing how close Cordy is to Angel, which begins his exit from the series. Also, the ending frustrated me beyond belief. Holtz says he loved Connor and killing himself will make his vengence worth it by making Connor love him. But Holtz comes off as ignorant old fool, he never loved Connor, Justine or anyone he worked with. He just used them to try and kill Angel. I mean Holtz has become just as bad as Angel was and his revenge becomes pointless in the end. It just stupid how gullible Justine is for going through with his plan and Connor seeing the 2 holes in his neck now makes him want to kill Angel, great! All and All, a good episode with developments that annoy me but great parts to balance it out.moreless
  • The final part of Holtz's grand plan for revenge on Angel begins.

    Holtz encourages Connor to get to know Angel. It's clear he's plotting something. I liked the scenes of them fighting together to save Justine, the only way they are able to bond. But I still cannot figure out if Holtz loves or hates Connor. Sending Connor against his will to spend time with Angel seems to be punishing the boy, and I didn't really think Holtz would do that if he loved Connor as a son. But he wants to punish Angel some more, so maybe Connor is just the weapon. When Holtz tells Angel that Connor should stay with him and gives him the letter, I thought I had it figured out, that Holtz cared more for Connor to be happy with his real father than he cared about making Angel suffer more. Wrong! Holtz's plan was brilliant, to have Justine kill him so that it would like like Angel did it. There is no way that Angel can prove he did not. And the letter that Holtz left was just ambiguous enough to make Angel seem either good or evil.

    It's interesting that Holtz never tries to directly fight Angel either before or after he takes Connor. He knows he is no match physically for Angel and chooses instead to use more subtle means of psychological torture as revenge on him, rather than physical violence. Even his use of the little army was done with the aim of taking Connor and not for killing Angel. When he does want to use violence, he uses Connor as the weapon.

    On the Groo/Cordy angle, I am feeling sorry for Groo. It's clear that Cordelia believes her role is to support Angel in any way and given the major issues he is dealing with, Groo is barely even an afterthought to her.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Time flows faster in the Quor'toth, and Holtz took at least a couple of Earth-hours to follow Connor through the rift. Holtz would have been alone in the Quor'toth for weeks, maybe even months, before following Connor's lead. When Holtz finds Connor, he acts like little to no time has passed at all, when in fact it might have been quite some time.

    • After the fight, Connor immediately returns to Holtz and Angel to Cordelia. Angel doesn't even comment on Connor's disappearance or reappearance.

    • When Angel finds Justine at the bar, he tells her to run, and she does. Why would she take advice from Angel? The reason she was at the bar in the first place was to fight vampires, so why not stay and fight them?

    • When the vampire that Connor is fighting escapes he follows it and then Angel follows him. In the overhead shot of them running out, a couple of vampires are visible laying on the ground and staggering to get up. It seems odd that Angel would leave those vampires there to hurt more people. He may not kill every demonic creature he comes across but since these vamps were actually attacking somone you'd think he would prefer them dead.

    • When Holtz finishes his voiceover, he says, "Lovingly, Your Father" but the closed captioning says, "Lovingly, Dad".

    • It is not explained how Justine was able to find Holtz at the motel.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Lorne: (Talking about Connor) That kid was toxic when he came in here tonight. Heavy on the "ick".
      Angel: What actually happened out there?
      Lorne: In my professional opinion? (indicates Cordelia) Well, Miss Demony-Britches here gave that child some kind of soul colonic. Flushed him out but good.

    • Holtz: I'm an old man now. I have nothing to offer the boy. You can give him what I can't - his purpose.
      But every time you look upon his face, every time he calls you "father" you will be reminded of that which you took and can never give back. And if that is vengeance, I find I have no taste for it.

    • (Fred & Gunn spot Connor)
      Fred: Looks like we've been following Angel's son's emissions this whole time.
      Gunn: Now there's a sentence I don't ever need to hear again.
      Fred: But that's good right? It means there was no big scary that came out of the portal.
      (Fred & Gunn spot Holtz)
      Gunn: How about a short scary?

    • Lilah: See you got my invitation.
      Wesley: Lilah. Obviously.
      Lilah: I thought the "come alone" was a particularly ironic touch. I mean, how else would you come?

    • Cordy: Wait! -Angel, before you go, we have to do that thing.
      Angel: What thing?
      Cordy: That thing we do? You know, that thing where I say 'Are you sure you know what you're doing?' 'Angel, please think about this' and then you ignore me and rush headlong into trouble?
      Angel: Right, that thing. (pauses) ...'Kay, we done?

    • Lilah: (talking about Justine) She has been pissing off a lot of undead Americans lately.

    • Fred: (About Connor) Okay, so he survived an unspeakable hell dimension. Who hasn't?

  • NOTES (0)


    • Lilah: Who's the boy wonder?
      The Boy Wonder was a nickname used for Batman's sidekick Robin in DC's Batman comic books. The creators of Angel have frequently mentioned elements of Angel that are intentionally Batman-like.