Season 5 Episode 1


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 01, 2003 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
406 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Angel and the group are still getting used to their ownership of Wolfram & Hart when one of their clients threatens to kill all of L.A. if they cannot get him acquitted in court. Meanwhile, the Senior Partners' liaison, Eve, introduces herself, Harmony becomes Angel's secretary, the Senior Partners grant Gunn new talents, and a mysterious envelope has been delivered.moreless

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  • Settling in


    The Good;

    Angel vs the ops team and Charley Gunn/Harmony coming to the rescue. Plus Spanky! Also love the ritual sacrifice gag and Lorne's vetting of the staff (what would you sing? Wichita Limeman myself).

    The Bad;

    Disagree with Joss, evil people never believe they're evil, they always believe they're the justified victims.

    Best line;

    Goon; (after Angel blows Hauser's head off) "What about mercy?"

    Angel; "He got the last of it"

    Jeez, how did they get away with that?

    Nasty disease pictures and a vile villain.

    Apocalypses: bad for LA but not the rest of the world 5

    Angel Cliches

    Inverting the Hollywood cliche; despite his cynicism towards WR&H and characteristic dourness Angel can't help squealing with joy at the sight of his collection of classic muscle cars (although his yellow charger looks horrible!). On the minus side note that Hauser note only packs a different weapon to the rest of his team but is the only one unmasked for much of the time to distinguish him from the others, such a Hollywood cliche.

    In disguise; 8

    DB get's his shirt off; 13

    Cheap Angel; 6

    Fang Gang in bondage:

    Cordy: 5

    Angel: 14

    Wes: 7

    Gunn; 5

    Lorne; 5

    Fred; 3

    Fang gang knocked out: not on screen but Angel get's knocked out by Caleb whilst visiting Buffy in Sunnydale

    Cordy: 15

    Angel: 18

    Wes: 7

    Doyle; 1

    Gunn; 2

    Lorne; 6

    Groo; 1

    Connor; 1

    Faith; 1

    Fred; 2

    Kills; 1 vamp and at least 2 humans for Angel.

    Cordy: 5 vamps, 3 demons

    Angel; 45 vamps, 59 and 1/2 demons, 5 zombies, 10 humans

    Doyle; 1 vamp

    Wes; 14 demons+5 vamps, 5 zombies, 2 humans

    Kate; 3 vamps

    Faith; 18 vamps, 6 demons, 3 humans.

    Gunn; 11 vamps+ 13 demons, 5 zombies, 1 human.

    Groo; 1 demon

    Fred; 3 vamps+ 2 demon, 5 zombies

    Connor; 16 vamps, 5 zombies, 2 demons, Jasmine

    Fang Gang go evil:

    Cordy: 3

    Angel: 3

    Gunn; 1

    Wes; 1

    Alternate Fang Gang;

    Cordy: 4

    Angel: 11

    Fred; 2

    Wes; 1

    Gunn; 1

    Connor; 1

    Characters killed:


    Recurring characters killed;


    Total number of Angel Investigations; 5

    Angel, Gunn, Fred, Lorne, Wes,

    Angel Investigations shot: yep, Angel by Hauser's men

    Angel: 13

    Wes; 2

    Packing heat; Wes' backup plan for the bad guy not getting acquitted is his .45 automatic. How did he get that into the courtroom? Angel kills Hauser using his own shotgun.

    Wes; 8

    Doyle; 1

    Angel; 4

    Gunn; 2

    Fred; 2

    Notches on Fang Gang bedpost:

    Cordy: 5 ?+Wilson/Hacksaw Beast+Phantom Dennis+Groo+Connor plus possibly the Beast

    Angel: 5; Buffy, Darla and The Transcending Furies

    Wes; 3 definite; Virginia, the bleached blonde and Lilah, 1 possible, Justine

    Gunn; 2 Fred and Gwen.

    Fred; 1 Gunn

    Groo; 1Cordy

    Kinky dinky:

    The wonderfully named Spanky who has his own fetish website and lots of S&M gear to prove it. One popular fan theory is that this is the guy Faith used to dress up as a naughty schoolgirl for and let him punish her? He certainly has a bullwhip. When Angel asks if the gang heard about last night Gunn replies "You got lucky?". Harmony does a sexy little shimmy when she basks in the sunlight. Shirtless Gunn. Eve asks Angel what he'd like to have 'passing through her lips' (wait until Life of the Party and you'll find out!)

    Captain Subtext;

    Spanky doesn't spank men although he's fine with other people liking to (love the characterisation here, he's evil but he's not a bigot, spanking men just isn't his thing). Angel interestingly comments that he has NO problem spanking men. Hmmm? Hauser calls him a fairy.

    As Angel walks out of the school we see a series of kids posters above his head proclaiming "Respect, learn, know, show"

    Know the face, different character; 5

    Parking garages; where Angel meets Hauser


    Buffy characters on Angel; 16

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

    What the fanficcers thought;

    Spanky a popular figure in some fanfic circles especially with Faith. In several slash fics Spanky has a slightly different fetish and Angel persuades him to come clean in a very different way.

    Questions and observations;

    LOVED Space; Above and Beyond, to my shame didn't recognise Rodney Rowland from it (he apparently was Gillian Anderson's boyfriend for a while, he was in the X-files ep with the Jodie Foster voiced tattoo). Remember 'Who watches the birds?' and thought it was brilliant although it actually has loads of dialogue in the flashback scenes. Also like "The Angriest Angel' which the writers of BSG also seemed to like as they freely adapted it for the ep with Scar the Cylon Raider. Loved Kristine Cloke and if they ever need someone to play Jennifer Connelly's sister (or indeed Megan Fox's) she's the girl which is pretty high praise in itself. Too bad they picked the most uncharismatic man in history to play the lead!

    David does look a bit fatter at the start of this and his hair more bouffant than ever. Fries won't let his son read The Punisher comics, probably because people like him would be number one on Frank Castle's neverending hitlist. Personally I never noticed the effects of the Bell's Palsy on Alexis, I don't know about you? Love Wes bashing Feng Shui and Lorne's ascots (so that Andy can wear less makeup). Not so sure about his polyester suit look, he looks like he could be appearing on Wonder Woman. Is it just me or do American apples look lovely but taste like cotton? Interesting gag that both the Kennedy's and Bush famillies have made deals with WR&H. If you're going to bash politicians you should do both sides. Note the little flash of the black panther when the screen flashes away from Gunn. For a moment I thought one of the nick-nacks Knox places on Fred's table is the puzzlebox from Hellraiser.

    Great to see Harmony back, in the pilot of Buffy and she'll be in the last ep ever of the Buffyverse too! Angel drinks coffee now, he must have taken it up since his Sunnydale days. Presumably Harmony can't really mourn for CC because she has no soul.

    What Twilight Zone ep is Joss referring to? Lorne seems a bit interested when Spanky is mentioned? Why does Spanky put on his bathrobe even if he's hot after exercising? To hide the harness for the wire gag his stuntman is about to do? His choke hold is rubbish, a 5 year old could get out of it.

    Is Hauser named after Cohegan's duplicitous henchman in Total Recall? Joss is a Law and Order fan, a show MT guested on. Wes know's Spike? They've never met as far as we know, maybe he read up on him after coming to Sunnydale?

    Joss is a little bit conflicted over his political views. He seems a trendy lefty but someone has obviously pointed out to him that his goodguy characters torture, kidnap and kill for the greater good more ruthlessly than the CIA ever did. His assertion that such things are best left in fiction sounds pretty weak. He also seems pretty knowledgable about The Punisher, probably the most right wing character in the history of comics.

    Marks out of 10; 8/10

  • Team Angel Moves In!

    Conviction-Angel and the group are still getting used to their ownership of Wolfram & Hart when one of their clients threatens to kill all of L.A. if they cannot get him acquitted in court. Meanwhile, the Senior Partners' liaison, Eve, introduces herself, Harmony becomes Angel's secretary, the Senior Partners grant Gunn new talents, and a mysterious envelope has been delivered.

    Not the best season premiere, but it gets the job done by setting up the new settings for our gang as well as establishing storylines for the rest of the season. Joss Whedon writes the gang's situation well throughout the episode. Everyone is still not sure about what taking over Wolfram and Hart means and if it was a good idea at all! I love the freshness of the new Wolfram and Hart, it gives our heroes a new challenge, especially some hilarious surprises. Like the teaser with Angel doing his usual "saving the damsel in distress" routine only to have half of Wolfram and Hart show up to back him up in the end. Then there's the return of Harmony, as Angel's assistant no less, who immediately re-joins the group with her ever cluelessness and over-doing things. The most interesting thing also about the new Wolfram and Hart opportunity is definately Gunn. It's finally great to see the character get some character development and (dare I say) better role in the gang. J. August always looks good in a suit and his infinite knowledge of law makes him more interesting as well makes you question what else could Wolfram and Hart have put in his head? But we all know that this upgrade for Gunn will come with a cost unfortunately in the latter half of the season. The storyline for the episode is pretty disturbing with a convict putting a mystical bomb inside of his own little son. Though it could have been better, the idea is still frightning. The fight scene between Angel and the SWAT team was very cool as you can tell the production has gotten sharper with the new setting. Not to mention, the shotgun manuever used on that guy...brutal yet effective finish! The only down side in the whole thing is Eve. While Sarah Thompson does her best to be ohh so convincing as an evil b!tch in disguise. She's just too young and innocent, and can't even hold a match, let alone a candle, to Lilah ! I just don't see why the writers never kept Lilah around for that part, ohh well! The episode ends with a suprise as the mystical amulet that Angel gave to Buffy is sent back to him and..."Spike!...Spiike!...Blondy Bear!" Uhh ohh! All and All, "Conviction" is a good opener not because the episode's storyline, but because it sets up the season quite well.moreless
  • Conviction

    Conviction was a superb opening episode of Angel's Fifth and final season. I really enjoyed watching this episode as Angel and the gang try to find their way around and through Wolfram and Hart. Each person seems to be preoccupied with their own interests. I enjoyed seeing new and familiar faces in this episode. There was a Buffy Crossover from her season, Spike, who in her series finale wore a necklace that basically sealed the hell mouth and burned him to a cinder. I thought there was definitely a different tone to this season, yet a good mix of potential. There was action, character development, and classic humor. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!moreless
  • The beginning of the last season of Angel.

    Conviction is a good but not amazing episode of Angel. It has some good scenes and good action and a good plot but it's quite forgettable and unremarkable. The first half of S5 is full of episodes like this and this is the main reason I'm not too fond of S5. The teaser is very good- it's sort of a welcome for new fans. It takes the basic premise of Angel- a vampire saving people and uses it effectively. It reminds me of the first episode- Angel saves a girl in an alley. Then W&H appear and reminds us that Angel is now in charge of them. It's a great teaser and sets the tone nicely. Unfortunately the rest of the episode goes downhill and this is where the show unfortunately reverts to the monster of the week format which I really don't like. I love arcs and so it's a big letdown after S4's amazing one. The Corbin Fries storyline was good but not really wow or anything. It's just sort of there. We all know Angel will save the day so there's no sense of danger at all. Add to that that Corbin Fries is an annoying, naueseating character to the mix and it's basically a redundant storyline.

    Another character I don't like is Knox. He's just really irritating and unfunny. It's like "Just kill him Fred!" His presence is anything but good and he's just a bad character. Eve is another annoying character- she's basically a less interesting version of Lilah, whom they really should have kept on. She was excellent and is sadly replaced by a younger, less attractive model.

    However, one new addition is good. Harmony was a delight in this episode, providing some good old ditzy humour. She's sort of a replacement for the old Cordelia, whereas Spike is replacement for the new Cordelia. Harmony has some great lines here and is a great addition to the show. Spike's entrance at the end is good- him just appearing out of an amulet. It was very good special effects and I was glad to see him, as he's a brilliant character.

    Conviction is an OK episode, if highly forgettable. It opens up the last season but is ultimately disappointing.moreless
  • Angel takes over at W&H, but it seems he's still not really in charge. A snoozer of an opening episode for a new season. And what's with his hair?

    OK, you can see I was less than impressed with this episode. I guess everyone just needs some time to get into the swing of a new season, again, especially the writers. It will be interesting to see how Angel and the team adapt to dealing with evil and trying to make it work for them.

    Lorne seems to be ready to work with the new situation. Loved the line Angel says to Wesley: "You turned evil a lot faster then I thought you would."

    They all see some advantages to the new arrangement, but deep down they're afraid. I don't care at all for Eve, she's too cute to be a femme fatale, and she can't decide which one she wants to be. Of course I am comparing her to Lilah, whom I eventually grew to love over time. Brainy Gunn is going to take some getting used to, but I think I'll like him. Fred is not doing much for me yet. Harmony was a big disappointment for me. I loved VampHarmony in Buffy S4, and she was fun in "Disharmony," but now she's just trying too hard, or the writers aren't trying hard enough. In terms of special effects, I could live without the Matrix-style fight scene, but I'm afraid we're in for more of that this season!

    Onto the storyline of the episode, that their client, the evil Corbin Fries has hidden a deadly virus inside his son, interesting concept. It was a good example of a case for the team to work on, since obviously they don't want him to be let off, but if he is convicted he will kill not only his son but all of California. I enjoyed seeing them all work to their strengths to find the way to get out of this one. Angel chooses violence, Fred and Wesley research and Gunn, seemingly out of character for him, chooses to think his way out of the problem. Nice resolution.

    But, saving the best for last, Spike is back! Can't wait to see how that happened!moreless
T.J. Thyne

T.J. Thyne


Guest Star

Marissa Tait

Marissa Tait


Guest Star

Susan Slome

Susan Slome

Cindy Rabinowitz

Guest Star

Mercedes McNab

Mercedes McNab

Harmony Kendall

Recurring Role

Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson


Recurring Role

Jonathan M. Woodward

Jonathan M. Woodward


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • The shot of what Knox is supposedly looking at in his microscope is random. It appears to be a spiral-shaped bacteria visualized at very high resolution. Although it could be part of a test looking for reactions of these spirochetes to the virus Knox and Fred discuss, it is unlikely. One would generally use cells closer to if not actual human cells to examine or confirm a virus' effect on people. The shot was likely chosen to represent the virus itself, but light microscopes (like the one in front of Knox) cannot resolve anything smaller than half a light wavelength, certainly not viruses. The microscopes that can see viruses, cannot observe live cultures: nothing would be moving.

    • In the last episode (the fourth season finale, "Home") the newly-reconstructed Wolfram & Hart had mostly white walls. Now there is wood paneling everywhere and the staircase is different.

    • Angel doesn't have his hair spiked anymore. This is the first time he's had a major change in hairstyle, in anything other than flashbacks.

    • When Lorne gets ready to read the Wolfram & Hart employees to weed out the evildoers, we get a quick glimpse at his clipboard. He has five categories in which to place each person: Okay, On the Bubble, Evil, To be Fired, & Yikes!

    • According to the package, Angel's mailing address reads:
      C/O Wolfram & Hart
      1127 Spring St.
      Los Angeles, CA 90008

    • Fries declares that his case would have never reached a courtroom "when Holland Manners was running things". But Manners didn't run the LA Branch, or even the regular legal department; he was Executive Vice-President of "Special Projects". Nothing about Fries's case would seem to fall under that department (at least, not before he brought out the threat).

  • QUOTES (26)

  • NOTES (12)

    • In the DVD commentary, Joss mentions that for most of this episode the left side of Alexis' face is paralyzed due to Bell's Palsy. This is why the right side of Wesley's face is almost always facing the camera, though at some points you can see Wes smiling on only one side.

    • Corbin Fries is the name of Joss's nephew.

    • Alexis Denisof has explained in an interview about the spell Angel used to make the rest of Team Angel forget about Connor and how it affects Wes, Fred, Gunn & Lorne: They all still remember the events of last year but to them they turned out a little differently and some of it is a little hazy to them, they all remember that they were fighting a little last year (mainly Wes & Gunn) but they're willing to put their differences aside to concentrate more on their mission. This also explains why Wesley is still dark and broody - like he has been since after betraying Team Angel by letting Holtz take Connor.

    • The fact that this episode takes place so soon after last season's finale marks a major departure from the normal conventions of the series. Normally new seasons on both Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer take place three months after the previous season ended.

    • Some of the props from The Magic Box from Buffy the Vampire Slayer were recycled to be used in Fred's lab.

    • The score music in the background in the teaser of this episode has the same melody heard throughout "City Of'"(1x01), including the music heard during the very similar teaser of that episode.

    • David Fury has said that originally James Marsters was going to be a recurring guest star. However, while negotiations for season 5 were being made, The WB told the producers that if James became a regular the odds of Angel being picked up for a fifth season would improve greatly.

    • James Marsters (Spike) has been added to the opening credits, he is the third and final Buffy the Vampire Slayer star to join the Angel cast.

    • David Boreanaz is now the only remaining original Angel cast member.

    • Mercedes McNab reprises her role as Harmony after being told to leave by Cordelia at the end of "Disharmony" (2x17).

    • This episode marks the first time Joss Whedon has written and directed the season premiere since the pilot.

    • Charisma Carpenter and Vincent Kartheiser have been removed from the opening credits.


    • Lorne: The part's yours. Yeah, I've got a whole freezer full of horses' heads downstairs.
      Lorne is telling someone that they will get a part of some sort, saying that "he has a freezer full of horses' heads". In the movie The Godfather, a man called Johnny Fontane gets a part in a movie because someone puts a horses head in the bed of the director who doesn't want Johnny in the movie, to scare him into giving him the part.

    • Spanky: I'm a big Our Gang fan.
      Our Gang was the name of a series of short films created by Hal Roach which later became the TV series The Little Rascals. One of the main characters, in both versions, was named "Spanky."