Season 5 Episode 5

Life of the Party

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 29, 2003 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (10)

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out of 10
398 votes
  • Nice to see a Lorne-centric ep


    The Good;

    Great acting from Andy Hallet, really showing some range here. Love the characterisation of Sebassis, he's like a demonic Noel Coward. "Yes, yes, sycophants writhe before me, you disgust me!"

    The Bad;

    Why do Knox and co keep referring to last years party? I thought the Beast killed everyone except Lilah? Were they brought in from WR&H branches in other cities? Obviously this ep owes a lot to the Buffy ep Something Blue with the Lorne storyline thrown in. The monster Lorne just looks stupid, reminds me of Dr Jekyll from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

    Best line;

    Harmony; (of Angel's leadership)"Good luck! Morale here stinks. Everyone thinks you suck!"

    Jeez, how did they get away with that?

    The Pee-Pee demon is SUCH a yucky concept. Equally Gunn staking his territory is eugghh! Personally I always found lack of sleep the worst torture imagineable.

    Apocalypses: 5

    Angel Cliches

    In disguise; 8

    DB/JM get's his shirt off; 17, naked Angelx2

    Cheap Angel; 7

    Fang Gang in bondage:

    Cordy: 5

    Angel: 14

    Wes: 7

    Gunn; 5

    Lorne; 5

    Fred; 3

    Fang gang knocked out: Lorne for about a month

    Cordy: 15

    Angel: 19

    Wes: 7

    Doyle; 1

    Gunn; 2

    Lorne; 7

    Groo; 1

    Connor; 1

    Faith; 1

    Fred; 3


    Cordy: 5 vamps, 3 demons

    Angel; 45 vamps, 60 and 1/2 demons, 5 zombies, 12 humans, one werewolf

    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; Lorne's id monster

    Cordy: 4

    Angel: 11

    Fred; 2

    Wes; 1

    Gunn; 1

    Connor; 1

    Lorne; 1

    Characters killed:


    Recurring characters killed;


    Total number of Angel Investigations; 5, .

    Angel, Gunn, Fred, Lorne, Wes,

    Angel Investigations shot:

    Angel: 14

    Wes; 2

    Packing heat;

    Wes; 9

    Doyle; 1

    Angel; 4

    Gunn; 3

    Fred; 2

    Notches on Fang Gang bedpost: Eve and Angel, wonder what Lindsey made of THAT! Got his job and his girl!

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

    Angel: 6; Buffy, Darla, The Transcending Furies, Eve

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

    Gunn; 2 Fred and Gwen.

    Fred; 1 Gunn

    Groo; 1Cordy

    Kinky dinky:

    Voyeur Eve spies on naked Angel in the shower. She wonder if Angel needs some 'hands on' gentlemen's time. Harmony dancing! MMMMMMmmmm! Mercedes sure can cut a rug! Spike refers to Harmony as Angel's chippy just as CC did with the Furies. Angel considers Eve's quite lovely dress to be 'banging it out to the cheap seats'. Eve and Angel get it on big time, even with Lorne and Spike still IN THE ROOM! Eve has had sex under the 'great roofie spirit' before (maybe she ran into RJ's brother or dad?)

    Captain Subtext;

    Eve comments that Angel takes a long shower 'for a guy'. Sebassis strokes the PP demon affectionately. Lorne talks about jacuzzi strategy sessions. Fred and Wes start coming together. Gunn stakes his territory on Angel's chair, does this mean he wants to replace him?

    Know the face, different character; 5

    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. POSSIBLY The First Evil

    What the fanficcers thought;

    Not a lot, Eve/Angel actually less popular a pairing than even Connor/Cordy

    Questions and observations;

    Lorne now loves Harmony and vice versa. He refers to Angel as Top Cat. Note Spike is now included in the AI meetings. Harmony now plays the CC role of saying what's true but what no one wants to say. Angel is a hockey fan as is DB. Who's raggedy Anne? They certainly do celebrate Halloween in England although not to the same degree as in America (in fact it's more celebrated in America than anywhere else including Ireland where it originiates from). Fred appear to be a violent drunk, good thing she stuck with cannabis. Wes' dancing has got a lot better since She.

    Marks out of 10; 7/10 fun, nice to see Lorne get some decent screen time

  • ugh why ruin the sho!!!???

    after some disapointing and boring episodes this one is made which puts the b to bad. horrible!

    the plot was about lorne who couldnt sleep and becomes a big hulk. yawn! and the hole crew begins to do stupid thins like angel humpin eve and gunn peing and fred and wes drunk! ugh this episode was painful i can\'t believe its from the same show i loved for four years
  • Lame of The Party!

    Life of The Party-Lorne prepares the annual Wolfram & Hart Halloween Party. Many of the firm's clients are invited, which worries Angel since so many of them are genuinely evil. Furthermore, many of the clients are familiar with Angel as a Champion of good and are very suspicious. When something causes Angel and company to start acting erratically, they must find a way to stop it before they say or do the wrong thing in front of their skittish (and dangerous) guests.

    Remember when I said that the Buffyverse reuses storylines but do it well most of the time. Well, Life of the Party isn't one of them and it's a shame. This is a Lorne centered episode yet it doesn't exactly leave a smile on my face. I just found it bizarre and uninteresting that Lorne gave up is sleep and now can create people's destinies. I mean some of the hijinks created were good like Gunn's peeing on everything and Spike's over-positive attitude:

    Spike: "Hey, Angel's gettin some. Good on you, mate!"


    Gunn: "You might not want to seat in your chair...I got maintence coming."
    Angel: "Why can't I seat in my..."
    Spike: "You pissed in his chair, great job!"
    Gunn: "Spike, would you please turn off the warm and fuzzy?"
    Spike: "Ohhh...the whole Lorne thing? That wore off, but seriously...nice work!"

    Lol, love those lines.

    But I couldn't stomach the Angel and Eve sexcapades! Maybe it's because she looks more like a minor than an actual business woman? Yep! But the episode just got ridiculous, especially with the Hulk-out manifestation of Lorne's mind....seriously, where did that come from? There are some good scenes like Wesley flirting with Fred while they're drunk but Fred just talks about Knox. Even after 2 seasons, Wesley still showing he cares for Fred more than she'll ever know and you're pretty much routing for him to get her. Also, that demon lord and his minions, especially the one on the chains were great. I liked the comment Lorne made about him tatsing good. All and All, besides a few good jokes and hijinks, "Life of The Party" is filler material at it's best and there isn't much going for it.
  • Life of the Party

    Life of the Party was an excellent episode of Angel. I enjoyed this episode because it was a look at the toll Wolfram and Hart is taking on the gang, though Lorne is the first to suffer serious side effects to working too much. I thought this was a unique and original story with character development, intrigue, and action. I thought Lorne's influence over the others was fun and what they did because of it hilarious. I found it interesting that Angel and Eve had a little rendevous, as Fred and Wesley begin to grow closer together. I look forward to the next episode!!!!!
  • Lorneytunes!

    Life Of The Party is an excellent episode that's funny and different and also the only Angel Hallowe'en episode! Not a patch on the Buffy ones (well the first two anyway) but still lots of fun!

    Lorne finally gets something to do here- all he's done so far is say a line or two then disappear all episode! He's such a great, fun character and it was fun to have an episode centred on him. The him getting his sleep removed was good but thankfully not the centre- here the characters and their hilarious interactions are the main focus!

    Fred and Wesley were just brilliant here- they should be drunk more often! They had some great lines and Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof were excellent and extremely amusing. They were cute here as well- the first episode where I like the pairing of Fred/Wesley! I was hoping they'd get together but unfortunately she's more interested in the ever annoying Knox whom I hate. The look on Wesley's face at the end was sad and it's so obvious he's in love with her- his feelings never went away. Spike was great here as well- his comments made me laugh as they were so anti-Spike. I'm glad he didn't have much to do- S5 suffers from a Spike overload but gladly not here. Eve and Angel were fun too- I actually think they did have sexual tension and it was good to get it all out of their systems before they went all mortal enemy on each other.

    Archduke Sebassis is OK- I was glad he was introduced here rather than just at the series finale. It makes it more believable if we are introduced to the Black Thorn before in the season rather than them just being pushed in at the end. The Pee Pee demon was great too. Life Of The Party was a great, fun episode that is a lighter moment in an otherwise dark season. It has great acting, and great dialogue and shouldn't be missed- a real gem of Season 5.
  • Loreny tunes

    I like that we finally got a Lorne centric episode, and a Halloween episode. To bad it was the one and only of each. Still though it was a light filler episode that was very good. Andy Hallet got to tap into Lorne in way that we hadn't seen and even though Lorne was highly underused to the rest of the series I still enjoyed what we got. It was all a good progression for his character, especially given the fact that this was Lorne's last season. Wes and Fred's interactions were also very cute, to bad for that idiot Knox.
  • It's all about Lorne, and that's fine by me!

    Lorne seems a bit..wired/tired in the beginning of this eppy. He is hellbent on getting all of the gang on board for his upcoming Halloween blowout and we wonder why it is so important to him. We soon find out that Lorne wanted to contribute very badly and now he is in the position to do so and he wants the others to recognize this. His party finally comes together and is a smashing success, sort of. He lets Gunn in on a secret, he has had his sleep removed so he can work round the clock. You can imagine the repercussions of this, or if you can't, then here is a rundown: The lack of sleep has caused his empathic powers to go a bit wonky. Whatever he tells someone to do, THEY DO!
    We get to see Angel and Eve(il) going at it behind a couch. Wes and Fred get drunk on life and nothing else. Gunn pees on everything he comes in contact with, and Spike is a happy go lucky partier. Poor Lornes "other side" is best described as the Incredible Hulks cousin. This was a two thumbs up episode and I really enjoyed this Lorne-centered episode even more than The House Always Wins.
  • I think this episode is really good and very hillarous.

    This episode was really good and so funny exspexcially how spike was acting the things that he said were very funny and so was Angel, I exspecially liked the part were Gunn peed on Angel's chair. This episode was my favorite episode out of the fifth season. I think it was funny that every thing Lorne said would come true and then towards the end when a huge giant Lorne came to life after he fell asleep was a gread addition to this episode. Spike aas the funniest one of all of them. It was really really really really good.
  • Cause that's what the green guy does.

    It's Lorne! And he's so cheerful, and happy, and a big bursty ball of energy like he always is, fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun!

    Well, not so much.

    And now with seven years' bad luck to boot.

    The opening sequence (again, a long single shot following Lorne) begins with a muted strain of Thelma Houston's "Don't Leave Me This Way," which segues into Lorne trying to sell a space adventure vision of "The Grapes of Wrath" -- it's got space battles, laser beams, explosions, a tale of interstellar poverty (Tom Joad, the dirt poor farmer, on a journey through the stars? That sounds vaguely familiar. One wonders if that was Joss' pitch speech for "Serenity.") Lorne is asked to dig up a leading man and he tells them he'll get back to him. Henry Fonda played the lead in the 1940 original, but it's a great discussion as to how limitless Lorne's power has become by his reputation -- what kinds of things has he promised in the past, and -- more to the point -- what kinds of things has he delivered?

    Having a driven, helpful guy whose empathy has become a persuasive force on your side must be a pleasant thing. After all, Lorne hasn't slept in a month, so his powers of persuasion must have been building over this time. And with all the demanding demands demanding actors and actresses and agents and directors and producers have been making in all of Lorne's power lunches and Lorne trying to deliver -- and magically doing so most of the time, I'm guessing -- asking him to bring Henry Fonda back from the dead probably doesn't seem like too much to ask at this point.

    Again, I bring up the notion that these people, these department heads, need some staff. Lorne's interaction with his assistant, Van, is fun, but if Lorne is as busy as he claims to be, he really ought to be delegating some of this activity.

    It bears out what Fred was saying in "Unleashed," however -- everyone is working way too hard. Later in this episode, we see Fred and Wes both concerned over a mystical grenade that didn't work, and both of them -- along with Knox -- were heavily involved in the creation of it. I enjoyed the tension of division rivalry, but it felt like, um, don't both of you have better things to be doing?

    Well, it makes sense that they'd want to be very hands-on since they were sending it out to help Angel, in this case fight a Thraxis demon. Leaving a task like that to underlings -- underlings who may want nothing better than to see Angel aloft in the breeze. But they themselves worked very hard on it and it didn't work, so it's kind of the same difference.

    I liked that knowing feeling Wesley got when he knows something.

    Back to Lorne's truck through the lobby and his exchange with Harmony. It's fun that they had a nice little vibe going -- "The hair, the eyes -- no wonder the fourth floor's got a crush on you." Angel's broody party-poopery was well established, which led us to a nice exchange with Eve. Who, so far as we can tell, got to hang out briefly with naked Angel. "Gentlemen's time" indeed. With this scene and the one in his office, David had to spend a lot of time with Sarah Thompson in advanced stages of //deshabille//. It was never as scandalous as many scenes in "Nip/Tuck," but it's pretty racy even for a Joss production.

    Finally alone, Lorne enters his office. He has a beautiful office -- spacious, actually tasteful, with space-emphasizing and visually engaging statuary and muted earth tones, against which the vibrant Lorne collection shows forth like a blazing star. He takes a moment to collect himself, because it's obvious that the pressure of what he does is really getting to him and ... this is the first time I've noticed this. Lorne's reflection sings to him in the broken and he looks deeply troubled.

    More than Lindsey's performance in "Dead End," I wonder if this is where he sees his final moments in "Not Fade Away."

    One wonders if he can read himself ...

    His reflective pep-talk over, his flicker of grave concern past, we sweep forth to the resumptive accompaniment of "Don't Leave Me This Way" and Lorne singing it into his cellphone as he strides forth and back into the fray.

    He's got a party to plan.

    It's one of the best uses of music in the series. Joss has a great ear for sound and story and the plaintive pleading message of that song -- "I can't exist, I'll surely miss, your tender kiss, don't leave me this way ..." -- was beautiful.

    Lorne is self-destructing.

    Roll the opening credits.

    Lorne gets everyone together and the main point of the episode is the party. Party, party, party. He's all upset because everyone's kinda bummed out about it, and despite all his hard work and preparations, he can't get CYNTHIA! to focus on having fun or even relaxing a little.

    But his powers of persuasion are kicking in, and he gets everyone in a party mood eventually -- even tho, during the party itself, for quite a long time the only person who's out there on the dance floor dancing is Harmony. But this is the best thing about Mercedes McNab -- how she looks -- so watching her dance is pleasant.

    First, tho, he has to get the guest list.

    The episode introduces a member of The Circle: Archduke Sebassis. We're not given his full significance -- it's not really even hinted at -- but Joss being who he is and adhering to his commitments -- no story arcs, simple, self-contained standalone episodes -- recognizes the potential for telling different parts of stories and making them even more amazing by weaving them together down the road. They overshot themselves with Jasmine, and this introduction, bit by bit, to the members of the Circle, actually seems like a better approach.

    Sebassis is charismatic, charming, scary, a little too S&M with his nameless manservant, perhaps (who in this episode becomes the "Pee-Pee Demon"), and doesn't seem to be the party sort. We know from the Fareweel Angel Bash on TVTome that he's delightful, of course, and his aristocratic nature is wonderful. "Your contempt is fragrant" is a phrase I'd love to use sometime in my life.

    He agrees to attend, and presumably all of the other hold-outs do domino in behind him.

    One moment ...

    Before we get to the crazy fun of the party, let me discuss a couple of conversations. One of the things I love about "Angel" happens, in fact, to be Angel, and I want to not fly past a couple of these exchanges so quickly.

    First: Angel and Eve in the elevator.

    Angel gives a show-so-far on what being in charge of the company he'd done everything in his power for so long to bring down is doing to his soul. He's conflicted, given to rationalization, he's done things he's completely unhappy about -- in getting to the low morale of the company, he's had to do a lot more violence than we've seen on camera. And he's never certain that any given move isn't exactly what the Senior Partners want him to do. That kind of second-guessery wears on a person.

    And he did more confiding in that one brief moment than we've seen him do all season -- and it was with Eve.

    His ties to his staff are clearly weakening.

    Step ahead to Angel and Lorne in the limo on the way to Sebassis' estate.

    He realizes -- almost surprised by it -- that this party being a success means a great huge deal to Lorne. And they talk about Lorne's position in the team. And they talk about it after that flicker of concern Lorne got when he may or may not have been reading himself in the mirror.

    I'm on your team, he says. I don't have super-human strength, I can't do physics, I can't do spells. But this is what I can do, he says. It's something I can do.

    Well ... yes and no.

    He can, after all, do absolutely anything. He was the first one in the evil limo, he was entirely won over by the job, and he's right -- he is the Host with the Most when it came to Caritas (although that space got destroyed more than once even with the anti-violence spell in place).

    He's the schmooze factor, the lubrication in CYNTHIA!s engine, the buffer between prickly personalities, the guy who's always there to hear everyone's troubles. And as we saw at the mirror, there's barely any of him left over to support himself.

    He was strung out and stressed. A good leader would've talked to him about that much earlier than Angel did, but even Wesley, onetime head of the group, has been too wrapped up in his own stuff to check in with him and see how he's doing.

    Course, as I said before, all of them are working way too hard, which supports my W&H-as-meatgrinder theory: Just try to be in charge of everything we're in charge of and //not// be evil.

    The party was good, the spells were mostly harmless (although Angel shagging Eve may have been the "EW!"-factor that made her all but universally hated and earned her the title of "skank on a stick") And naturally shagging Eve is no road toward perfect happiness, tho Spike's enthusiasm for him "getting some" was part of why Spike was just pleasant in this episode.

    And as lighthearted as this episode ultimately was -- Wes and Fred are fun together, even with Fred's unfortunate timing ("Let's be better friends than we are. We could be confidantes, confiding confidences -- Whaddyou think of Knosch?") Oy. That was so much fun I almost forgot about where they were -- the Psyche Component Storage, where people have apparently had their ennui removed, which was just fun -- it got very dark with the assassination by Lorne's Hulkster alter ego of Artode, and the Archduke threatening a rain of destruction.

    This storyline resolved itself a little too easily, but to be honest, while this pathenogenic golem worked really well in BS4x17 - "Superstar," it's quite impossible to believe it in this case, mostly because no one had ever seen it before, it's a creature built entirely without stealth, and this is a busy enough law firm that someone would've seen it before (the mystics do regular sweeps for noncorporeals, fer Pete's sake, they would've found //that//). Course, they would've found Pavayne, too, so whatcha gonna do?

    Since it was dressed as Lorne was dressed in that episode, it may have manifested that very day, but to be honest, wouldn't someone have noticed that?

    Anyway, it shows up, goes "smash," kills Artode and the demon who came to the party as "hooman bean" -- leading to potentially the worst line of the season (and maybe the series) delivered, naturally, by Harmony -- "Someone really dipped his chip" -- a close second behind Eve's "What //would// you like passing through these lips?" in S5x01 - "Conviction" as really terrible lines from otherwise superior storytellers (those were some serious clinkers) -- and it is disappeared as Lorne finally settles down, has his sleep restored and takes a nap the way he's meant to.

    But Lorne-centric episodes are few, far between, and just joyous -- and also, they tend to foreshadow, and they give the writers an opportunity to take a step back and give us a "show so far" perspective. And naturally, examinations of the green guy himself are always satisfying, and lend themselves well to metaphor. In this environment of pushing yourself so hard to meet challenges, to make yourself vital, it's really possible to try to do too much.

    After all, what we //don't// know about sleep would overflow the Library of Congress, but this was ultimately a great storyline. Without any escape from it, Lorne's entire world had become a dreamscape bordering on nightmarish, and it was a very cool discussion -- when you try to please everyone, you end up ruining everything. Being vital isn't the same as being omnipresent.

    No Gunn Watch, no "Powers-That-Sit-There" this week. It's enough discreetly not to have mentioned Gunn's unfortunate role in the episode except in passing.

    Instead, the whole "Set realistic goals," and "Take a break once in a while," and "You're no good to anyone if you burn yourself out" -- that's a pretty good message for a one-shot.

    It's not bad advice to take to heart.
  • All of the characters were acting totally the opposite of their usual selves in this episode.

    This episode is one of my favorites. I loved seeing everyone acting so out of character. Angel having sex with Eve, Gunn 'marking his territory', Fred and Wesley 'totally drunk-faced', and Spike overly happy about everything. All because Lorne had his sleep removed. It was just so fun to watch!