Season 1 Episode 18

Five by Five

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Apr 25, 2000 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
513 votes

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Episode Summary

Faith, the rogue Slayer, arrives in L.A., and Wolfram and Hart make plans to use her in their fight against Angel.

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  • A clever title goes here!

    very good
  • My favourite ever Angel ep


    The Good;

    All of it, brilliant episode that gives Angel it's first 10/10 story. It's my all time favorite Angel ep AND contains my nearly all time favourite Angel moment, Wes coming across the weeping Faith in Angel's arms and dropping the knife.

    The Bad;

    If you think there's anything bad in this ep, go to the doctor because you're clearly crazy

    Best line:

    Cordy 'Generally you don't change a guy. Scratch the surface and what do you get? More surface!' (the events of Expecting still sting obviously)

    Jeez, how did they get away with that?

    Faith tortures Wes, horribly. She hurts Lee too but who cares? Darla describes killing children who 'squeal like little piggies', eugh!

    Apocalypses: 4

    Angel Cliches

    Damsel in distress; 15,

    Inverting the Hollywood cliche; loathsome pimp picks up beautiful lost girl who then turns around and beats the crap out of him! Good for her!

    In disguise; 4, Angel masquerades as a lawyer

    DB get's his shirt off; 5

    Cordy's tattoo;3

    Cheap Angel; he doesn't carry any cash with him


    Fang Gang in bondage: Wes tied to a chair

    Cordy: 5

    Angel: 8

    Wes: 2

    Fang gang knocked out: Cordy and Wes

    Cordy: 9

    Angel: 10

    Wes: 4

    Doyle; 1


    Cordy: 3 vamps, 1 demons

    Angel: 3 demons so 11 vamps, 9 and 1/2 demons, 2 humans.

    Doyle; 1 vamp

    Wes; 1/2 a demon

    Kate; 3 vamps

    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 by Faith

    Angel: 8,

    Packing heat; Angel tries to shoot Faith in the leg but fires blanks

    Wes; 2

    Doyle; 1

    Angel; 1

    Notches on Fang Gang bedpost:

    Cordy: 2 ?+Wilson/Hacksaw Beast

    Angel: 1;Buffy

    Kinky dinky:

    Lindsey offers to 'get Faith off' but she's heard that from guys before (although Lilah promises she'll impress Faith?). The guy who picks Faith up at the bus station is clearly looking to be her pimp but she gives him what he deserves. In a blow to Cesly fans CC proclaims that hell will freeze over before she has sex with Wes. Faith dancing is always a highlight. Darla and Angel(us) refer to 'playing games'.

    Captain Subtext;

    Lilah picks Faith up in the club. Faith remarks she's not much of a talker, more of a doer

    Know the face, different character; 2

    Parking garages;


    Buffy characters on Angel;

    7; Angel, Cordy, Oz, Spike, Buffy, Wes, Faith

    Questions and observations;

    Note that when Angel catches the crossbow bolt Faith fires at him it's nowhere near his heart, she just wants to goad him into the fight. At this stage Wolfram and Hart don't realise that they need Angel for their prophecy so are quite happy to try and kill him. We have flashbacks to resouled Angel having broken up with Darla, starving but isn't able to bring himself to kill in order to eat. All of the WR&H lawyers have the same initials, LM? How does Angel enter the thugs apartment when he's not invited? PTB or is the guy squatting?

    Marks out of 10; 10/10 my favourite Angel ep ever

  • The One Where Faith's Unleashed on LA

    We always knew that Faith was one psychotic chick but due to restraints on the amount of violence on Buffy, we never really saw her go to the extremes she so desperately wants to reach. Thankfully, in her first appearance on the darker spin-off Angel, Faith goes all out crazy and crashes into Los Angeles. As soon as she arrives, she kills a pimp and starts a riot in an LA club.

    The club scene has to be one of the most spectacular scenes in Buffyverse history. How she starts a brawl and just casually continues to dance around, whilst occasionally punching or kicking anybody in her way, all to Rob Zombie's adrenalin-pumping song "Living Dead Girl", is just astounding and Eliza has never been sexier.

    The few screws that remained in Faith's head are immediately screwed loosed as soon as she is recruited by Wolfram & Hart. She severely injures a W&H lawyer, injures Angel, breaks into Cordelia's apartment, attacks Cordy and abducts Wesley. Dragging him back to the stolen apartment she beat up the pimp for, she uses any object around her to torture Wes.

    Even though Faith is a complete nutjob, you immediately feel for her. She has had such a mess of a life and her life only got worse when she came to Sunnydale. She was driven to insanity when she accidentally killed a man and began working for the Mayor, a psychotic demon who was planning to be transformed into a giant snake on Graduation Day. She engaged in a massive fight with Buffy which left her stabbed and thrown off a balcony. In a coma for a year, she awakened and took Joyce, Buffy's mother, hostage. Using a device the late Mayor got for her before he died, Faith swapped bodies with Buffy, letting herself become what she has always wanted to be and leaving Buffy in her own natural body, which she loathed.

    The closing moments of Five by Five are absolutely stunning. As she fights Angel in an alleyway, she begs him to kill her, begs him to end the pain and her self-loathing. Wesley runs into the alley, holding a knife in which he plans to use to kill her with. He sees Faith in Angel's arms, weeping and begging for death, and drops the knife to the ground.

    Five by Five is honestly the greatest, most powerful episode of Angel. Every character gets their time in the limelight and Eliza Dushku is like a whirlwind throughout the episode, showing she is the most talented actor in the Buffyverse. Truly amazing.moreless
  • Overall, this episode is a highlight of the first season. As usual, Eliza Dushku brings something unique and dangerous to the role of Faith, and given the character’s madness in this episode, it works beautifully.moreless

    Coming on the heels of the “Buffy” episode “Who Are You”, this episode begins a process that would send “Angel” to a more consistent level of storytelling. Much of the first season had been spent trying to find the right direction: some episodes were devoted to a relatively simple theme of redemption, while others were predicated on the idea of Angel as Champion. Other initiatives were attempted that never really came together, like the Angel/Kate dynamic.

    Faith’s arrival in Los Angeles changed all of that. Faith came on the scene after an experience that forced her to see all the emotional and psychological baggage that was ruling her actions. “Who Are You” forced Faith to recognize everything she hated about herself, and she arrived in LA with no real concept of what to do about it.

    Angel was identified during the third season of “Buffy” as the perfect person to give Faith perspective. That resonance between the characters is what drives this story, and it actually serves as an important moment in Faith’s overall character arc. Just as Buffy must endure a long and laborious process of self-discovery to find her sense of balance, so must Faith lose everything to find her true strength of character.

    Ever since “Amends”, the third season episode of “Buffy” that began Angel’s recent search for redemption, Angel has been trying to find a way to make real progress in that personal quest. His activities in Los Angeles have been heroic in many cases, but in other moments, his lack of connection with humanity has been apparent. Faith represents someone with a clear need for change and redemption.

    Angel’s flashbacks to the circumstances of his cursing give scope to his level of understanding. Angel finds himself suddenly recognizing the depth of his evil as Angelus, and in response, he tries to “correct” his conscience by engaging in exactly the kind of evil behavior that used to make him so happy. Angel recognizes the same look of psychological desperation in Faith’s eyes, and as the episode progresses, that dynamic becomes central to the episode.

    Of course, part of the fun is that Angel can’t be sure that Faith can be saved. It’s easy enough for him to recognize Faith’s descent; it’s quite another to use that as a motivation to become the person to bring Faith back from the abyss. Angel needed someone to show him that there’s something good and worthy left in him, and so he must question whether or not he can do the same for Faith. It’s really a question of whether or not Angel can replace the “guidance” of the Mayor with an equally powerful influence.

    If that were the only layer to the storytelling, then it would have probably worked as a typical first season episode. However, the writers also wanted to establish more firmly the role of Wolfram and Hart. Lindsay and Lilah become far more prominent in their machinations, and the “office politics” of the demonic law firm make their first appearance. This additional layer of intrigue not only brings back much of the promise of the pilot episode, but it also sets the stage for some of the complexities of the second season.

    This element is tied to Angel’s previous escapades through the plot device of convincing Marquez to testify in a case that Wolfram and Hart has a stake in (not literally, this time). This places Angel and his activities in something of a wider context; his mission is getting in the way of the firm’s goals. Those goals are still somewhat murky at this point, but the intent is clear.

    Meanwhile, Faith tries to find some outlet for her own negative energy. She wants to be hated, yet a part of her wants to be found worthy of something real. Unfortunately for Faith, she’s never learned any other way than what she’s always done: sex and violence. Since those are the things that rule her from the Chosen legacy (thanks to what appears to be heavy abuse as a child), it’s how she instinctively reacts. She doesn’t have the nurturing influence that Buffy has received.

    For Eliza Dushku fans, that’s a good thing, because it means lots of sweaty, sexy dancing in skimpy outfits that tend to be tight and shiny. Faith always dresses to kill, and that’s one of the best things about the character, especially at this stage of the Buffyverse. (For better or worse, Buffy had abandoned much of her inherent sexiness when Sarah Michelle Gellar dropped far too much weight.) Faith is something of a slut, but she gives the broiling instincts of the Slayer expression.

    What’s interesting is the reaction from Wolfram and Hart to Angel’s interference. The implication of later episodes is that the firm always knew that Angel would be a player. So why try to kill him now? It could be a question of shifting assessments. At this point, Angel is showing little or no proclivity towards slipping back to the dark side. Killing him could be seen as a better option. It’s not until the end of the season that they put into motion the plan to subvert and turn Angel.

    Another interesting concept introduced in this episode is the idea that Darla recognizes the return of Angel’s soul. This would suggest that it has happened before Angelus, and that Darla either saw the effects or learned about it from the Master. Whatever the case, vampires are clearly disgusted and terrified at the thought of having a soul restored. As later seasons of “Buffy” would demonstrate, there’s more than one way for a vampire to have his or her soul restored, and it’s often not something that most vampires would admire or revere.

    The fact that Giles didn’t say anything to Wesley is a nice bit of evolution for the Buffyverse. Clearly, Wesley or Cordelia must have informed the gang back in Sunnydale regarding the status quo in LA, or Wesley wouldn’t comment on the fact that Giles should have known where he was to make contact. The fact that he wasn’t warned is an indication of how little respect Giles has for Wesley, and that’s something that carries through the rest Wesley’s arc.

    Adding another layer to the mix, Wesley is initially the one who insists that Faith be saved from herself. This becomes important later when Wesley becomes the one ready to kill, forced to face his own demons. This is the episode where a lot of the hidden strength in Wesley comes through, and the character is all the better for it. He never quite loses his naïve qualities, but they become a lot less prominent.

    Faith’s torture session with Wesley is more brutal than one would expect, but it effectively communicates how far Faith has fallen. More to the point, this is when Wesley’s desire to help Faith see the light comes to an abrupt and painful end. But it’s also nicely mirrored by Angel’s own actions in the past, providing a strong resonance between Angel and Faith and their journey towards redemption.

    What’s great about this episode is how Angel’s choices take him further down the same road that he offers to help Faith find. It’s even better when taken in context with the later developments in Faith’s arc. In a lot of ways, Faith gets to find a way to find peace within herself by the end of “Buffy”, while Angel’s path is a lot less direct. This begins Faith’s process of becoming the Slayer she was always meant to be; Angel’s search for redemption will never truly end.

    Of course, there are immediate obstacles for Faith, and Angel has to make some serious choices to allow her the time to overcome them. It’s that immediate conflict of interest that comes into play with the second half of the story. Those conflicts also complete the process of bringing “Angel” to the next level of storytelling.

  • 'Face it, Wesley, you really were a jerk. Always walking around like you had some great big stake rammed up your English Channel.'

    ‘Five By Five’ features Faith coming to LA after her disastrous choices in Buffy’s episode ‘Who Are You?’

    The episode begins with Angel saving a guy from some demons, he needs the guy to testify against W&H and he does. Thanks to him Wolfram & Heart loose the case.

    In this episode, Faith goes to LA and is just the thing what the W&H lawyers need, a rogue slayer that is willing to kill Angel for money. Three lawyers returned that all have been in one episode over the past season one, Lindsey McDonalds (City Of..), Lee Mercer (Sense & Sensitivity) and Lilah Morgan (The Ring). They work together to get Faith on the case and naturally she accepts it.

    Faith immediately shows initiative when she hits Lee because he doesn’t want her to make him look bad. Then soon she shows the gang that she’s n town and starts shooting the boss and hides in Cordelia’s apartment waiting for them just to give Cordy her famous elbow and knock out Wes.

    Faith takes Wes to an apartment where she was staying and tortures him and almost even burns him. Her chemistry with him was brilliant and it’s the first time we see Wesley as tortured and tough. But Angel comes in to save Wes and he has a big fight with Faith and fall out of a window. When it begins to rain and Faith begins to ask Angel to fight it becomes obvious that she actually wants Angel to kill her, she begs for it and falls crying in his arm. When Wesley grabs a knife to kill her he finds her crying on Angel’s shoulders and lets his knife fall.

    The episode also featured flashbacks on how Angel killed the gypsy and how Darla kicked him out of the house. And of Angel trying to drain a woman but not being able to kill her.

    Another great scene is the Lindsey/Angel one, there is a big vibe between them that will continue the second and fifth season. And ofcourse the classic Faith dance and how she starts a fight in a dance club.

    The episode was downright brilliant even though I don’t consider it to be one of the show’s best.

Thomas Burr

Thomas Burr

Lee Mercer

Guest Star

Francis Fallon

Francis Fallon


Guest Star

Jennifer Slimko

Jennifer Slimko

Romanian Woman

Guest Star

Julie Benz

Julie Benz


Recurring Role

Christian Kane

Christian Kane

Lindsey McDonald

Recurring Role

Stephanie Romanov

Stephanie Romanov

Lilah Morgan

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (12)

    • When Faith and Angel are fighting in the apartment you can see the "brick" wall shake when one of them gets thrown against it.

    • When Wesley tips his chair backwards to get away from Faith, he lands on his back. In the next visible shot of the chair, Wesley is on his left side. The next immediate shot has him on his back again, in a position to see the knife. Then on his left side again, his back to the knife.

    • When Angel goes to Wolfram & Hart to investigate Lindsey's office, we see a shot of Lindsey's name plaque and a head approaching the door. This is presumably Lilah's head, as the hair is long, brown, and bouncy, but in the next shot we see Angel entering Lindsey's office, and he definitely does not have long hair.

    • As Angel and Faith fell from the window, they landed on the trash bins below the window, which is impossible. Considering their angle of descent after they went flying out the window, the two of them should have landed in the middle of the alley.

    • Angel casts a visible reflection at least three times in this episode. Once on his desk while talking to Cordelia and Wesley after getting off the phone with Giles, again later on Lindsey's office desk, and finally, you can see a faint reflection of him in the windows while he and Faith are fighting just after Faith says "You can't take me--no one can take me".

    • When Faith is sitting at the window and looks at the piece of broken glass she used to torture Wesley, it has a different shape than the one she first takes to torture Wesley. When she drops it out the window it has its original shape again.

    • The title of this episode is a phrase that Faith says frequently in season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Five by Five."

    • How does Angel get into Faith's apartment? The guy who actually owns it is still living, although probably injured, and Angel definitely was not invited in.

    • How did Faith get into Cordelia's apartment without Phantom Dennis trying to stop her in any way?

    • When Faith is fighting Angel in the alley, a shot reveals a stream of water that appears to be a bit too big given no more than 5 seconds of rain.

    • In the kitchen of the apartment Faith is in, the canister of knives on the counter and the clutter to the left of the coffee maker move around or appear/disappear in different shots.

    • In the episode "Room w/a Vu," Cordelia's apartment number was 212 and she had no neighboring doors. In this episode she is now in apartment #6 and there are neighboring doors to left and right.

  • QUOTES (17)

    • Wesley: It's not too late.
      Faith: For cappuccino? 'Cuz, just keeps me up.

    • Cordelia: I'm gonna pack a bag.
      Wesley: Cordelia, please. Just a few things. We're not going on safari.

    • Wesley: This isn't right.
      Cordelia: When a whacked out Slayer tries to kill your boss, it's very wrong.

    • Cordelia: Oh, and we should pick up the tab for lunch. Nothing says success less than splitting the bill.
      Angel: I didn't bring any money with me.
      Cordelia: Okay, Elvis, when you're a big star, you can get away without carrying cash.

    • Lindsey: To make a long story less long, I think for services rendered, we can get you off.
      Faith: You don't know how many men have promised me that.

    • Lilah: I'll make the contact.
      Lee: I don't think so. It's my deal; I'll make the contact.
      Lilah: Let me think about it... No.
      Lee: Why not?
      Lilah: It's your people skills. You don't have any.
      Lee: You bitch.
      Lilah: See.

    • Cordelia: (about Marquez) I knew it when you brought him in last night. Someone with that much body art is gonna have a different definition of civic duty.
      Wesley: After we saved his life?
      Cordelia: When was the last time you wrote a thank you card?

    • Angelus: Can I take off this blindfold yet?
      Darla: No.
      Angelus: Can I take off something else?

    • Faith: (torturing Wesley) I wanna hear you scream.
      Wesley: You never will.

    • Cordelia: Phantom Dennis, let us in. It's alright. It's only Wesley.
      Wesley: Dennis your ghost, I presume?
      Cordelia: Yes. He's jealous. (to Dennis) Don't worry, hell will freeze over before I have sex with him.
      Wesley: Thank goodness for small favors.

    • Faith: (throws herself against Angel screaming) I'm evil! I'm bad! I'm evil! Do you hear me? I'm bad! Angel, I'm bad! I'm bad. Do you hear me? I'm bad! I'm bad! I'm bad. Please. Angel, please, just do it. Angel please, just do it. Just do it. Just kill me. Just kill me.

    • Faith: All these little cuts and bruises just bring out the mother in me. (to fainting Wes) Come on. Now, now, don't poop out on me, dammit! Otherwise this is all just gonna be over too fast. You'll be dead, and I'll be... bored. (slight British accent) Come on, Wesley! Where's that stiff upper lip? (back to normal accent) Now, we've only done one of the five basic torture groups. We've done blunt - but that still leaves sharp, cold, hot and loud. Have a preference? Well, that's great! It's always better with audience participation. (takes a gag out of his mouth) May I take your order please?
      Wesley: I was your Watcher, Faith - I know the real you. And even if you kill me, there is just one thing I want you to remember.
      Faith: What's that, love?
      Wesley: You are a piece of shi-
      Faith: (shoves the gag back in his mouth) You should talk, huh? I guess I'll just have to try a little harder. We'll switch to sharp for a while.

    • Wesley: She's not a demon, Angel. She's a sick, sick girl. If there's even a chance she can be reasoned with -
      Angel: There was. Last year, I had a shot at saving her. I was pulling her back from the brink when some British guy kidnapped her and made damn sure she'd never trust another living soul.
      Cordelia: Angel, it's not Wesley's fault that some British guy ruined your - Oh, wait. (to Wesley) That was you. (to Angel) Go on.

    • (talking about Angel)
      Cordy: So, are you happy with the way things turned out? You can always tell when he's happy. His scowl is slightly less scowly.

    • Faith: (to Wesley) Did you ever wonder if things would've been different, if we'd never met. What if you had Buffy - and Giles had been my Watcher? Think we'd still be here right now? Or would Giles be sittin' in that chair? Or is it just like fate. You know, there is no choice. You were gonna be here no matter what. You think about that stuff? Fate and destiny? I don't. Not that any of this is your own fault. Since this may be the last chance we have to unload on each other, I feel it's kind of my duty to tell you that if you'd been a better Watcher, I might've been a more positive role model! Face it, Wesley, you really were a jerk. Always walking around like you had some great big stake rammed up your English Channel.

    • Lindsey: I hate failure when there's no one else to blame it on.

    • Wesley: Seems you're taking this personally.
      Angel: Well, she tried to shoot my own personal back, so yeah.

  • NOTES (2)


    • Lilah: To deal with our friendly neighborhood vampire.

      This is a reference to the Marvel comics superhero Spider-Man. He would often call himself to people as their "friendly neighborhood Spider-Man".

    • Title
      "Five By Five" is a radio operators' term used to denote the signal strength and clarity of incoming communications. "One by one" is the weakest and hardest to hear, while "five by five" is the strongest and clearest. Over time the phrase came to mean "everything is alright" in a more general sense. Especially popular within the military, the phrase is now anachronistic and rarely used.

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