Season 5 Episode 21

Power Play

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM May 12, 2004 on The WB



  • Trivia

    • Members of the Circle of the Black Thorn include: Senator Bruckner who was introduced in this episode, Cyvus Vail from "Origin" (5x18), Izzy (the devil) from "You're Welcome" (5x12), the Fell Brethren Leader from "Time Bomb" (5x19), and Archduke Sebassis from "Life of the Party" (5x05).

    • Senator Brucker: Oh, I go way back with this firm, back when Holland Manners was in charge.
      Seemingly, Holland was never in charge of the entire Wolfram & Hart law firm. He was head of the "Special Projects" division.

  • Quotes

    • Illyria: (about Wesley) My recent reversion to the Burkle persona disturbed him. And he will not tell me why.
      Spike: You don't know? You may not think you're as powerful as you were, Highness, but looking like Fred, for some of us, is the most devastating power you have.

    • Lorne: Oh, so this whole Evil Angel thing's been a big scamola. Huh. I smell Oscar.

    • Angel: This isn't a keep fighting the good fight kind of deal. Let's be clear on this. I'm talking about killing every ... single ... member ... of the Black Thorn. We don't walk away from that.
      Lorne: Do we crawl away at least?
      Angel: We do this, the senior partners will rain their full wrath. They'll make an example of us. I'm talkin' full-on hell, not the basic fire-and-brimstone kind that we're used to.
      Gunn: We know the drill.
      Angel: No, you don't. Ten to one, we're gone when the smoke clears. They will do everything in their power to destroy us. So ... I need you to be sure. Power endures. We can't bring down the senior partners, but for one bright, shining moment we can show them that they don't own us. You need to decide for yourselves, if that's worth dying for. I can't order you to do this. But I can't do it without you. So ... we'll vote as a team. Think about what I'm asking you to do. Think about what I'm asking you to give.
      Spike: Kill 'em all, right? Burn the house down, while we're still in it.
      Angel: Something like that.

    • Angel: The powerful control everything, except our will to choose...

    • Lorne: It's like Angel suddenly started channeling Leona Helmsley.

    • Drogyn: No one lies when they're at the mercy of my wrath.
      Gunn: Then you're the liar, Aragorn.
      Spike: He has to tell the truth. It's a curse or something.

    • Harmony: Sorry. We have a no human blood policy. I can offer you something in a rodent. We have some fruity, unassuming vole—
      Hamilton: Oh, I think we could make an exception to our policy this time for the senator. Couldn't we, Angel?
      Angel: Harmony, the lab might have something in the blood bank. Why don't you go check it out?
      Harmony: Okay. You're the boss, Boss... Could I maybe just have a teeny, weeny—
      Angel: No.

    • Lorne: And what if he's skipped too far down that evil brick road?

    • Spike: (referring to the Circle of the Black Thorn) There's plenty of these cabals about. They usually spend a lot of time in basements paddling each others bums to prove their manliness.

    • (Drogyn and Illyria are playing Crash Bandicoot in Spike's apartment)
      Drogyn: It is a test. You must collect these crystals. And fruit.
      Illyria: Why?

    • Wesley: The small stuff that you can't worry about. Would that include Fred?
      Angel: I loved Fred.
      Wesley: That's not an answer.
      Angel: Then I guess you don't get one.

    • Bruckner: I didn't claw my way up from Hell and get installed in a human body just to have some pedophile steal my Senate seat.

    • Lindsey: It's a secret society.
      Gunn: I've never heard of them.
      Lindsey: That's 'cause they're secret.

  • Notes

    • The flashback to Cordelia, Doyle's musical score from "Hero" (1x09), and seemingly misdirection of Fred's storyline are all nods to the three dead regular characters on the show. In the final episode, Hamilton mentions them, but this episode pays tribute to each one.

    • Both the Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer penultimate episodes end with the same camera shot--something happening in the center of a room, and the camera panning out to someone watching from the side, unbeknownst to the others. In this case, Hamilton was watching Team Angel, while in the BtVS second to last episode "End of Days," Buffy and Angel are kissing, and Spike is watching from the shadows, being taunted by the First Evil.

  • Allusions

    • Spike: (about Illyria) I haven't had a decent tussle since the blue meanie and I stopped sparring.

      The Blue Meanies were villainous haters of music in the Beatles' animated film Yellow Submarine.

    • Lorne: These are very pretty people I'm talking about here, Wes, four of them getting in shape for Young Guns III.
      Young Guns is a 1988 action/western film; its stars include Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Charlie Sheen, Dermot Mulroney, and Casey Siemaszko as famous (or soon to be famous) young outlaws. As of the airing of this episode, there were only two films in the series.

    • Spike: So you tacked up a sign on your tree, waved bye to the Keeblers, hopped the puddle...
      The Keebler Elves are the animated mascots of the Keebler company. Commercials show them making all of the Keebler crackers and cookies in their hollow tree.

    • Angel: Software, oil, World Wide Wickets, the product doesn't matter.
      World Wide Wickets is the name of the company in the Broadway musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

    • Gunn: (to Drogyn) Then you're the liar, Aragorn.
      Aragorn is the name of a character in The Lord of the Rings, played in the movie version by actor Viggo Mortensen.

    • Spike: Play some Crash Bandicoot.
      Crash Bandicoot is a video game series that stars an anthropomorphic bandicoot of the same name who usually has to collect 25 purple crystals in order to stop the plans of his creator and nemesis Dr. Neo Cortex. Crash also collects such items as gems, relics, and wumpa fruits. The series started in 1996 on the PlayStation (which Crash is often considered to be the mascot for).

      Given the time in which the episode takes place, and the fact that Spike owns an XBox, the game is almost certainly "Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex". Also, the box on the TV appears to be for "Wrath of Cortex" and the music that is heard is consistent with that idea.

    • Lorne: And what if he's skipped too far down that evil brick road?
      This line refers to the yellow brick road in L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz novels and the movie they inspired. The road led through the land of Oz to the Emerald City, home of the eponymous Wizard.