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Season 1 Episode 17


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Apr 04, 2000 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
449 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Angel takes a job protecting a well-known actress from a crazed stalker. When a mirror happens to be in just the wrong place, however, she begins to suspect what he really is.

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  • To live and live in LA


    The Good;

    Nice central concept, lovely to see Oliver again and the scens with him and Rebecca and Angel and Rebecca are also good. Tamara Gorski is very good as she also was in Hercules although her Irish accent is just as bad as DBs.

    The Bad;

    The explanation that the drugs effects are only temporary is stupid, it's not like the 'happy' Buffy gave Angel lasted for weeks (or if it did I'm doing it wrong?) In season 4 when they need to bring Angelus out why not just give him some of this? Why does Angelus cut the phones, who are they going to call?

    Best line:

    Rebecca (after Angel tells her he doesn't kill any more) "There's a support group for everything in this town"

    Jeez, how did they get away with that?

    Angel(us)? spraying the blood over Rebecca

    Apocalypses: 4 Cordy tells Rebecca that Angel saved the world but he also points out he tried to destroy it

    Angel Cliches

    Damsel in distress; 15,

    Inverting the Hollywood cliche; Angel tries to act casual about saving Rebecca but you can see he's miffed when the papers don't mention him.

    In disguise; 3

    DB get's his shirt off; yep, after Rebecca spills her drink on it


    Cordy's tattoo;3

    Cheap Angel; 2

    Fang Gang in bondage: Cordy chains the boss to the bed again

    Cordy: 5

    Angel: 7

    Wes: 1

    Fang gang knocked out: Wes and Angel(us)

    Cordy: 8

    Angel: 10

    Wes: 3

    Doyle; 1


    Cordy: 3 vamps, 1 demons

    Angel: 11 vamps, 6 and 1/2 demons, 2 humans.

    Doyle; 1 vamp

    Wes; 1/2 a demon

    Fang Gang go evil: Angel and how!

    Cordy: 2

    Angel: 2

    Alternate Fang Gang: Angelus

    Cordy: 2

    Angel: 6

    Characters killed:


    Recurring characters killed;


    Total number of Angel Investigations:

    3, Angel and Cordy and Wes

    Angel Investigations shot: just blanks this week

    Angel: 7,

    Packing heat;

    Wes; 2

    Doyle; 1

    Notches on Fang Gang bedpost:

    Cordy: 2 ?+Wilson/Hacksaw Beast

    Angel: 1;Buffy

    Kinky dinky:

    Cordy calls Rebecca a ***. How long did she know Wilson for before jumping into bed with him and his Hackslaw beast?

    Captain Subtext;

    Cordy says she'd have picketed the studio but lacked 'sensible shoes' (interesting considering the furore surrounding Angel's cancellation). Angel says that Ernest Borgnine is a 'skilled lover'?

    Know the face, different character; 2

    Parking garages;


    Guantanamo Bay;

    Buffy characters on Angel;

    6; Angel, Cordy, Oz, Spike, Buffy, Wes

    Questions and observations;

    Can't quite imagine Doyle and Angel at an Ibsen play? Wes and Angel seem much more at home. Wes' remark of ET meaning Emma Thompson is SOOO him. Angel thinks Frank Langella is the best Dracula (did he ever meet the real deal? Langella doesn't physically resemble him). Wonder what he'd have made of his Oscar nominated turn in Frost vs Nixon? Angelus says he never killed a famous person which is reassuring.

    Marks out of 10; 8/10 good ep, nice character development and a little to say about Hollywood

    Stay tuned, hurricane Faith is on her way!

  • Overall, this episode has an interesting enough central premise, but the execution leaves something to be desired. Even worse, there’s a serious logical flaw at the heart of the episode, one that was thankfully ignored in later seasons.moreless

    This episode, like the previous installment, hinges on how well the writers sell the central conceit: a fading young star, seeking immortality, temporarily unleashes her worst nightmare. And it just happens to be locked within Angel in the form of Angelus. That’s all well and good, but the process of getting there is not the most interesting journey in the world. There are also some issues of character development that don’t quite work in the overall scheme of things.

    The writers remember that Cordelia has been seeking an acting career, and so the story is somewhat grounded in Cordy’s wistful yearnings for fame. It must be rather hard to act when the character is supposed to be a bad actor, but Charisma does a good job of it. Unfortunately, the script forces her into territory that is not unlike bad acting in and of itself, when she has to go ga-ga for a supposed star that was never important to her before this episode.

    Underneath the first act of the episode is an interesting concept that remains in the background of the entire series. Angel seems to detect the fact that his actions and choices are transparent to the rest of the world, and even the hint of possible fame and public adulation has its allure. Of course, what makes Angel a Champion is the fact that he’s fighting for a world that doesn’t even know he exists.

    There’s some commentary on how fame is ephemeral, especially in a town where there’s always someone new and younger waiting in the wings, but it gets old fast. Especially since there’s nothing all that attractive about the actress. But the premise demands that Angel feel an attraction, so that he can be concerned about the desire to get too close. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be an issue for Rebecca to show interest in Angel, since Angel would be on his guard.

    Some external pressure must still be applied, however, and so someone is stalking Rebecca, requiring someone with the right skill to keep her safe. This sets the stage for Rebecca’s discovery that Angel is a vampire, something that a person with such a desire for endless youth would find rather fortuitous. And that quickly, Cordy gets rather worried over the possibility of Angelus’ return.

    That doesn’t quite track, because it’s not like Rebecca is incredibly gorgeous or seductive. She’s actually a bit desperate and pathetic. There’s no reason to think that Angel would suddenly forget all about the curse, and before he knew about the curse itself, it took him forever to get close enough to Buffy for that kind of action.

    Rather quickly, the plot against Rebecca turns out to be a bid by her agent to generate buzz, because Rebecca’s career has hit the skids completely. This just serves to put a very stupid plan into Rebecca’s head, which makes her seem even more pathetic. (It also feels like a retread, to a certain extent, of a second season “Buffy” episode “.)

    Returning to one of the weaknesses of the story, Rebecca somehow gets Cordy to spill everything about Angel’s history. Cordy is so blinded by her star worship that she completely misses how obvious Rebecca is being. For one thing, Cordy is smarter than this; she should have quickly seen that Rebecca is not the best person in terms of mentoring a career. And Cordy usually picks up on the undercurrent of a conversation (at least eventually). It’s far too convenient that it takes her hours to figure it out.

    That brings the story to a place that is rather questionable: the synthetic re-awakening of Angelus. There are a number of levels on which this doesn’t work. The most obvious problem is that the curse was broken by a moment of perfect happiness; it didn’t revert once the happiness faded. The state of bliss was also not tied to a physiological cause, as the second season would directly address. The nature of the curse was such that Angel’s psychological state needed to be free of any guilt or desire for redemption, so that when Angel finally felt free of his burdens, darkness would consume him.

    The ingestion of a drug would result in euphoria, but then again, so would so many other things (the exhilaration of victory being the best first season example). Future seasons are filled with moments that would clearly result in euphoria and extreme happiness. But that’s not the same thing as what he felt with Buffy, which was a freedom from his inner demons, brought about through love and the prospect of a future filled with contentment.

    One might argue that a drug could bring those feelings about, but then there’s still the question of how the curse suddenly reverts without another trigger event. Angelus should remain in control, even after the drug wears off. A far more logical reaction to the drug might have been a loosening of his morals, since Angelus’ personality is essentially an extreme reflection of Angel’s darkest obsessions. A drug might allow him to act on those desires as Angel, but it doesn’t make sense for a drug to unleash Angelus on a temporary basis.

    Perhaps the worst part, however, is that Angelus only comes out long enough to be brutally honest with Rebecca, Wesley, and Cordelia, and then it’s all over. He’s easily beaten, and he disappears without unleashing much of a consequence on anyone. There’s not even a follow-up to see if Rebecca learned anything from her experience. Everything is fine and dandy in the final scene, and then it’s barely mentioned again.

    The problem is, of course, that Wesley and Cordelia should be very worried if Angelus can be unleashed by something so simple as a drug dropped in Angel’s drink. Surely the writers understood the problem: why wouldn’t an enemy just lace Angel’s blood supply with some of the drug when a little distraction was needed? It’s too quick and easy this way; the writers simply didn’t earn Angelus’ return.

    Thankfully, this would turn out to be the last episode of the first season to tread water. After this, the writers would resume setting the stage for the second season and introducing the concepts that would drive that season’s character arcs. Episodes like “Eternity” would become an aberration…something easily set aside in favor of the episodes that followed.

  • Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.

    As season one starts getting into the last stretch of original episodes, the series really got a lot stronger. The episodes were better, and the overall shape of the show was coming together. Not that there weren't classics in the beginning of the season(eps like "In The Dark" and "I Will Remember You" chief among them). But this latter half was stronger overall. It still had some episodes that were not the best, but none of them were that bad to me at all. Some would claim that this episode is nothing but filler and mostly forgettable. Filler?. In some ways. Forgettable?. Maybe. But it was a decent enough hour to forget afterwards!. There are some issues in this episode that are pretty important(at the time anyways)to our core three characters. The scene where Angelus lets it all out to Cordelia and Wesley was an uncomfortable scene, but when Angel comes too, Cordelia tells him that Angelus was honest with her. Angel has to be honest with her and tell her what he really thinks of her acting. It's a message about being truthful and honest with each other. Even if it stings. But the moral of this story being about Hollywood and it's treatment of stars whose light has faded and are getting older, is quite good and well done. "Eternity" may not be the best episode, but it's premise was really good and it's always a plus whenever Angelus rears his ugly head. So, what happened you ask?...

    Angel and his team meet famous TV actress Rebecca Lowell. Cordy thinks this is the best thing for her to get into the biz, but she comes to the team for help. She hires Angel as her personal bodyguard as she is being stalked by some crazed fan. Later on, Rebecca finds out that Angel is a vampire and she wants him to turn her into one so she can stay young forever and continue to have a career in Hollywood. Big mistake.

    The premise of this episode, and dealing with everything Rebecca is, is great. The problems that she is going through with her career are things that a lot of actors and actresses have to deal with in Hollywood. The showbiz capitol of the world can put you up on a pedestal one second, and completely throw you off of it the next. Hollywood can sometimes be downright cruel to the people they once helped climb to the top. Being an actor or actress can be hard, and there are things that you just have to abide by in order to make it and stay there. A lot of it is mostly directed at the women more than the men I think. You have to be thin, and you have to be young. You just have to be and look a certain way, and god forbid that changes. Rebecca is getting into her late 20's and it's already starting. Late 20's!. Look at how hard it is for actresses in their 40's and 50's to get the top of the line roles. Tracey Stern, who wrote this, wonderfully weaves the vampire youthfulness with Hollywood's obsession with it perfectly. And Rebecca has it pretty bad. She is worried because she feels typecast as her old TV character, and she isn't getting the work she wants. People are using her and her name, and now all the press she gets are in the tabloids. It must also sting when she finds out that the "stalker" was all a con put on by her agent to bring the press and attention to Rebecca. But Rebecca realizes that she can stay young forever when she learns of Angel's vampiric nature, and goes about plotting to get him to turn her into one. Easier said than done folks!. Rebecca drugs Angel's drink with a happy pill, and she has no idea what she has just done and what she is in for. This sets off Angel's unfortunate curse. A moment's happiness and it's off to Angelus Land. We haven't seen Angelus in a while, and it's a startling return. Even though it's brief and it's easier to bring Angel back this time, it doesn't soften the scary blow of Angelus' return. He's back and just as vicious as ever. It's also a scary thought to know that Angel can be Angelus so easily. That that crazed killing monster is just right there. So close. The whole moment with Angelus and Rebecca was quite intense. She was in a bad situation, and it was made all the worse that they were in Angel's small and cramped abode. This is the Angelus we all knew from season 2 of "Buffy". Scaring, taunting, and ridiculing. Rebecca was not the only target on his list. Wesley and Cordelia got some of Angelus' verbal blows as well. The lights go out just like he did with Willow in the halls of Sunnydale High, and he sets about preying on the people. Angelus has always(and will again in future seasons)preyed upon people's thoughts, secrets, and their own insecurities. But in the end, when Angel comes back, he and the other two have to deal with what just happened and what Angelus said. I talked about this earlier, and although Angelus' words might've shocked and hurt the ones that Angel loves, it was also pushing along their characters and their relationship with one another. It made it stronger. They know who they are, and they make sure that they are truthful and honest with one another. If Cordelia's acting sucks, she wants to know about it. She doesn't want anyone to lie and say she is great and go out thinking that and make a fool out of herself. It can improve her skills, when lies would only hamper them. Wesley was hurt as well, but tells Angel that it's okay because he knew that it wasn't him talking. Or was it?.

    There was one flaw here that I had noticed after repeated viewings that I didn't catch before. Anybody else notice that Angel got inside Rebecca's house without being invited in?. How did you pull that one off Angel?. But there wasn't anything much major besides that.

    "Eternity" was a strongly written episode with a strong premise and a clever way of putting together the "forever young" nature of vampires, with Hollywood wanting just the young. The Angelus scenes were scary and well done, and the story between Angel, Cordy, and Wes was important to their characters development as well. In the end, this episode may not be remembered a whole lot, but it was a good episode that I have always liked.moreless
  • 'Tell you what. I'll torture ya for a few unbelievably long hours, and you can tell me if this is the lifestyle for you.'

    ‘Eternity’ is a brilliant episode and possibly one of the best written yet.

    The episode had definitely it’s comedy bits like at the beginning of the episode where Angel and Wesley have to get through watching Cordelia performing, which is a torture for them. Then they save an actress named Rebecca who seems to be getting attacked all the time. Cordelia was hilarious the way she forced herself on Rebecca and small moments are what make this episode good, like Rebecca wanting to say thanks but then realising Angel is already across the street and Cordy responding ‘Yeah, he does that’.

    Rebecca comes back at the office and wants Angel to be her protector but he doesn’t want to take her case, he likes her to much and she likes him back which could lean to unfun-Angelus.

    But when Angel decides to rescue Rebecca after all she finds out that he is a vampire after she looks in the mirror and he doesn’t cast a reflection. He tells her about his past but that he’s a good vampire now. After the third attack, she learns that her stalker was put in scene by Oliver who just wanted to give her publicity but didn’t work to make her get a new part. He tells her that nobody stays young forever, but then Rebecca sees Angel and begs to differ.

    The last scene is what makes this episode so powerful, after Rebecca sucked Cordy for information she steps over to Angel and puts something in his drink that relaxes him and feels bliss. Soon he turns into the fiend Angelus and starts poking her around and putting his blood in her mouth. Rebecca was able to escape through the elevator and Wes and Cordy were waiting downstairs for her, trouble is that they are locked in and the lights are out.

    The acting in this episode was fantastic, especially from David Boreanaz which gave his best performance the first season. The way he haunted Rebecca was down-right creepy and it was awesome how he threatened Wesley and Cordy but they both overcome their fears, Cordy uses her acting skills by making him believe her water is holy and how Wesley is the one who makes the move and knocked out Angelus.

    The end featured the three together with a chained Angel on the bed…again. Both Wesley and Cordy forgave what he said but they still leave him locked on his bed.

    ‘Eternity’ is a brilliant episode that is very underrated, the acting and dialog is impressive but the actress-failing storyline is what keeps this episode from being even better.

  • Very impressive dialog.

    This episode was one of those shows that brought out David's great acting ability, and range.

    The writer of this episode created some of the most interesting dialogs that made this episode shine for things to come in future episodes and what to expect of the character. One of my favorite parts was when the Actress Angel was with said,"You're Crazy!"

    and then Angel said "Crazy, Bitch. I aint crazy, I'm a vampire."moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • It is often noted that Angel appears to be breaking the "threshold" rule by breaking through Rebecca's window uninvited. However, Rebecca does invite Angel in when she offers him a private screening of the episode she didn't win the Emmy for.

    • Cordelia flings water from a sports bottle on Angel. In the next shot the water level in the bottle is unchanged.

    • When Rebecca shows up at Angel's apartment with champagne, his clock says 8:25. At the end of the scene, several minutes later, it still says 8:25.

    • Angelus has blood on his hand when he forcefeeds Rebecca, and grabs her shoulder with the same hand. But in the next shot there is no sign of blood on his hand or her shoulder.

    • When Angel changes out of his champagne-drenched shirt, there is no sign of his angel tattoo.

    • When the bookcase is knocked over at Rebecca's house and the vases on it go flying, none of them break even though there is a dubbed-over sound of glass breaking. They appear to be plastic in previous close-up shots.

    • When Angel spills his champagne, he has the same amount in the glass before and after he spills it.

  • QUOTES (20)

    • Cordelia: What are you talking about? First off, Rebecca Lowell hasn't had a series since On Your Own was canceled, and that was almost a season and a half ago!
      Wesley: And they say there are no seasons in Los Angeles.

    • Cordelia: I think I may have done something terrible. I went shopping with Rebecca.
      Wesley: And that was terrible?
      Cordelia: Huh? No! That was fantastic! You know they close off stores for her? Oh, and lunch at Mirabelle! I had the most to-die-for veal fillet with a light truffle marinade, and...
      Wesley: Cordelia.
      Cordelia: Oh, sorry. Anyway, the whole time Rebecca is real gabby, asking questions about Angel.
      Wesley: Well, what sort of questions?
      Cordelia: Oh, you know -- where does Angel hail from, what's his favorite color, what kind of aftershave he wears, the exact specific details on how someone could make themselves into a vampire.
      Wesley: Surely you don't think...
      Cordelia: What? That she'd try to maneuver Angel into an exchange of bodily fluids in order to make herself eternally young and beautiful, thus saving her failing career? Gee, now that you mention it...

    • Angel: Cordelia...
      Cordelia: Okay, here's something I never thought I would say to you: Wesley's right.
      Angel: But I really didn't mean...
      Cordelia: Oh, yes, you did. And I'd appreciate it if you didn't try to weasel out of it. Angelus may not be the most relaxing company, but at least he's honest. Shouldn't I expect the same from the not-evil version of my friends?
      Angel: So we're okay then?
      Cordelia: I'm too big of a person to let something so petty get in the way of our friendship.
      Angel: I appreciate that. - You're not going to untie me, are you?
      Cordelia: Pfft! (walks out of the room)
      Angel: ... Wesley? Cordelia? Guys?

    • Angelus: (to Cordelia about her acting) Here's a thought. Maybe you could get Raven here to coach you, then you'd actually suck.

    • Angelus: (to Rebecca about the tranquilizer ) Oh, God, I love this stuff. Wow! Remind me to get the name of your dealer before I kill you.

    • Rebbeca: Thanks for coming. I'm so glad you could find the time.
      Cordelia: (jumpy laugh) Oh, you were being serious? 'Cuz big important stars ask me out for lunch and a shopping spree, like, all the time... in my dreams!

    • Cordelia: He knows perfect happiness. He goes evil. So don't tell me not to worry.
      Wesley: Angel's moment of true happiness occurred because he was with Buffy. Do you realize how rare that is? True happiness? And what are the odds he'd find it with an actress.
      Cordelia: What's that supposed to mean?
      Wesley: I was... ah... I meant TV actress.
      Cordelia: Save it.

    • Cordelia: Did he spend the night?
      Wesley: One assumes.
      Cordelia: Great, he spent the night with the fantasy of millions. All alone. "Protecting" her.
      Wesley: You're worried about the curse. I wouldn't be.
      Cordelia: Hey, you weren't around the last time Angel went mental. I, on the other hand, was on the first wave of the clean-up crew.

    • Cordelia: He can fight off donkey demons who rip people's guts out, but he can't help one defenseless actress from a psycho? What is your thing?!
      Wesley: He likes her. He's afraid to get close.
      Cordelia: 'Cuz of his curse? You'd have to get awfully close for that to kick in. In the meantime, you could be helping me.
      Wesley: The person who needs help here is Miss Lowell.
      Cordelia: Right! He could be helping us both. Think of the karma!

    • Rebecca: So you never really saw even one single episode of On Your Own?
      Angel: No.
      Rebecca: Huh. Well, stop by. I'll give you a private screening of the episode I didn't win the Emmy for.
      Angel: Thanks for the invitation, but...

    • Rebecca: (to Angel) I'm sorry. I didn't get your name.
      Cordelia: Cordelia Chase. I'm so glad you weren't... (realizes she was talking to Angel) Oh. He doesn't even know who you are.

    • Cordelia: (to Wes and Angel about Rebecca) She played Raven in On Your Own. Big hit television show? It was only on for, like, 9-1/2 years... Do either of you even own a television?

    • Cordelia: Angel? Was I good?
      Angel: I wouldn't say it if I didn't think so.
      Cordelia: Thanks!.... You didn't say it.

    • Angel: Maybe we can make a break for it.
      Wesley: Impossible.
      Angel: Front exit?
      Wesley: We'd be spotted instantly.
      Angel: Back door?
      Wesley: Blocked.
      Angel: That's it then. We're trapped.
      Wesley: We might try shouting "fire." It's not technically a crowded theatre.
      Cordelia: One day I might, yes, many years from now, when I've lost my looks a little. Do not laugh.
      Wesley: Only another hour.
      Cordelia: I mean of course a time with come when Torvald is not… He's not… Line!
      O.S.: Is not as devoted to me.
      Wesley: Perhaps two.
      Cordelia: What?
      O.S.: Is not as devoted.
      Cordelia: Right, right, right. When Torvald is not as devoted to me.
      Angel: And I thought I knew eternity.

    • Angelus: I know. We'll do it like we did back in the day. I'll put your head on a stick as proof.
      Rebecca: Stick?
      Angelus: (sighs) All right...pike.
      Rebecca: (scared) You're just trying to scare me.
      Angelus: Is it working yet?

    • Rebecca: This is real. You're real. Do you drink blood?
      Angel: Yeah. But not human.
      Rebecca: You're not a killer.
      Angel: I gave that up.
      Rebecca: Well, there's a support group for everything in this town, I guess.

    • Cordelia: Why don't you just... just...
      Angelus: Just just just just... Line! "Of course, a time will come when Torvald is not as devoted to me." You were really, let me tell you, bad.
      Cordelia: Stop it.
      Angelus: Why? You didn't. I mean, I've been to Hell, but that was so much worse.

    • Angel: Cordelia, you're here. And you brought a cross.
      Cordelia: Along with three double half-caf, non-fat, skinny lattes.
      Angel: And a cross.
      Cordelia: Well, judging by that outfit, I guess it's safe to come in. Evil Angel would have never worn those pants.

    • Rebecca: Do you know how long it's been since I've had to read for anything? A season and a half off the air and suddenly I'm nobody again.
      Angel: Well, not according to these.
      Rebecca: According to those, I've slept with Ernest Borgnine and I'm bulimic.
      Angel: Well, I hear Borgnine's a very skilled lover.

    • Angelus: I'll tell you what. I'll torture you for a few unbelievably long hours and you can tell me if this is the lifestyle for you.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Joss Whedon states in the Season 5 DVD featurette "To Live and Die in L.A.: The Best of Angel", that this episode is one of the best episodes of Season 1 and of the series as a whole.

    • Tamara Gorski stated that this was the first episode Joss Whedon showed to J. August Richards in order to entice him to guest-star on the series.

    • A deleted scene from this episode addressed the issue that vampires can be photographed and caught on tape despite cameras using mirrors as part of their mechanism.

    • The character that Rebecca plays is called "Raven," which may be an in-joke reference to either Highlander: The Raven, or the name of the vampire club in the TV series Forever Knight.