Season 4 Episode 18

Shiny Happy People

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Apr 09, 2003 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
338 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Cordelia's "child" is a fully grown woman, and everyone who sees or hears her instantly and rapturously begins to worship her. Angel and the crew are no exceptions, but that may change when one of them gets a glimpse of what this strange woman really is.

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  • So boring!

    Awful. Loved every episode up to this one, half way through this episode I figured that something was bound to happen any minute (other than everyone wandering brainwashed in awe of Jasmine) but nothing else happened! When I inevitably rewatch Angel I'll skip this episode and pretend it didnt happen
  • Invasion of the lotus eaters


    The Good;

    Gina Torres is great. Certainly this is an ep that turns things on it's head!

    The Bad;

    Just because Jasmine's true face is ugly is that any reason to presuppose she's actually evil? I mean Lorne is pretty unconventional looking but he's a good guy?

    Best line;

    Fred; "There's been too much dismembering going on in that basement recently!"

    Jeez, how did they get away with that?

    Jasmine's true appearance and severed head bowling.

    Apocalypses: 5

    Angel Cliches

    In disguise; 8

    DB get's his shirt off; 12

    Cheap Angel; 6

    Fang Gang in bondage:

    Cordy: 5

    Angel: 14

    Wes: 6

    Gunn; 4

    Lorne; 4

    Fred; 2

    Fang gang knocked out:

    Cordy: 15

    Angel: 17

    Wes: 6

    Doyle; 1

    Gunn; 2

    Lorne; 6

    Groo; 1

    Connor; 1

    Faith; 1

    Fred; 1

    Kills; 3 vamps and 1 demon for Angel, 1 vamp and 1 demon for Wes, 2 vamps for Connor

    Cordy: 5 vamps, 3 demons

    Angel; 44 vamps, 58 and 1/2 demons, 5 zombies, 8 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 vamp+ 1 demon, 5 zombies

    Connor; 16 vamps, 5 zombies, 2 demons

    Fang Gang go evil: not so much evil as happily enslaved

    Cordy: 3

    Angel: 3

    Gunn; 1

    Wes; 1

    Alternate Fang Gang: possessed Lorne, Gunn, Fred and Wes

    Cordy: 4

    Angel: 11

    Fred; 2

    Wes; 1

    Gunn; 1

    Connor; 1

    Characters killed:


    Recurring characters killed;


    Total number of Angel Investigations: CC out of it until season 5, Connor back in

    Angel, Gunn, Fred, Lorne, Wes, Connor

    Angel Investigations shot:

    Angel: 12


    Packing heat;

    Wes; 8

    Doyle; 1

    Angel; 3

    Gunn; 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; Virginia, the bleached blonde and Lilah, 1 possible, Justine

    Gunn; 2 Fred and Gwen.

    Fred; 1 Gunn

    Groo; 1Cordy

    Know the face, different character; 4

    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

    Questions and observations;

    Like the way you can spot CC's Sunnydale High cheerleader trophy in her room. Note that Angel now wears a lighter coloured shirt now he's no longer haunted all the time. The bowling scene is reminiscent of Fright Night pt2 (which features Buffy alumni Brian Thompson).

    Well, Angel throws us another ball from leftfield, not so great in itself but speaks of interesting things to come.

    Marks out of 10; 6/10

  • Was everyone on drugs?

    I like the title and it's very fitting, but it's a very dippy episode. So the fount of all evil or whatever she is is a very pretty woman and everyone loves her. Why? It seems extremely strange that everyone is under her spell - not only we pesky humans but a vampire with a soul, a green, horned empath, the progeny of two vampires and assorted people who've been through things that would make them question just about anything. It's good that Fred has the story arc, but there's no reason she would see through it, or that the guy in the hospital would either.

    Having had to go through the hell of Cordelia being evil, we're now left with her lying in bed whilst all around her people are acting completely out of character. I know it's a clever ploy to make the characters kind of impotent in the presence of Jasmine, and it can't be easy for the writers to come up with yet another Big Bad, but the whole thing is just a little too over the top.

    Definitely not one of the best.moreless
  • ...Birth pains??

    It is disappointing when fantasy shows resort to some nonsensical explanation of why significant events in a show occur.

    Let's recap: Cordelia was brought down from heaven to have sex with Connor in order to bring forth a baby; Angelus was brought back in order to find out why a devilish creature was harassing Los Angeles; the sun had been blocked by the aforementioned fiend resulting in an influx of demons and vampires, and the human population of L.A. has severely diminished due to this. In the previous episode, Cordelia gave birth to a grown woman after she and Connor performed a blood ritual (a motif this season to take note of, by the way), after which Angel kneeled to say "You're beautiful," followed by an emulous Connor (I guess the reason he kneeled before this mysterious woman was partly to imitate Angel and partly because he was exhausted after assisting in the death of a young woman, since we know later that he is, SPOILER, not under Jasmine's spell, END SPOILER). After "Shiny Happy People," we are to assume the reason that everything in my run-on sentence came to pass was, to quote Jasmine (the lady whom Cordy birthed), because of "birth pains." The lackadaisical writers further explain this nonsense away by saying that everything big that has ever happened to Angel and his close friends, from the religious Buffy episode "Amends" to Doyle passing the power of visions onto Cordelia, was manipulated to happen by Jasmine so that she could come to being and rule the world.

    This, in effect, cheapens the impact of all of the incidents over the seasons that made me fall in love with the show. For instance, in the episode "The Trial," on which I promise not to go into too much detail, Angel undergoes a series of trials fighting for Darla's second chance at life, but he learns in the end that all he has done was for naught as Darla is already living her second chance. Later in the episode, Wolfram & Hart bring back a familiar face to kill Darla, leading to Angel's depression and the brilliant, grossly underrated Dark Angel arc. In "Shiny Happy People," we learn that Angel's actions in The Trial were not fruitless as Connor, the child of Angel and Darla, is Darla's second chance. I have to admit that it is immensely gratifying to finally understand why Connor, the product of two vampires, is alive, but this is devalued when we learn that Jasmine was the one who essentially brought him to being.

    Jasmine, as we figure out in this episode, has the power to hypnotize people into fulfilling her will (and sending people, namely Cordelia, to heaven) because she was one of the Powers That Be, the entities who, through Doyle, are responsible for persuading Angel to connect to and use his power to help humanity. She quit the PTB as they were too "hands-offish" for her taste, and she prefers a more direct approach to make people peaceful, though this direct way takes away humanity's greatest gift, free will. Jasmine, with the ability to entrance, is truly the ideal metaphor for the leader of a cult, but the episode falls short in that it cheapens Angel's character development. No need for alarm, though, since the arc that comes immediately after this episode provides plenty food for thought and might be among the most underrated arcs of Angel's entire run. In fact, the reconditeness commences in this very episode when Fred is no longer under Jasmine's thrall, the reason for which we will find out in the next installment.moreless
  • Shiny Happy People

    Shiny Happy People was a perfect and very entertaining episode of Angel. I really enjoyed watching this episode because Cordelia has given birth to a beautiful and enchanting woman who comes to be named Jasmine. I thought the information we learned from her about how she came to be was awesome. I thought this episode was scary due to the fact every one falls under Jasmine's power, except one man who appears to be crazy. Fred later learns he wasn't crazy and has learned a horrible truth. I thought the episode was well played, great character development and plot twist. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!moreless
Sam Witwer

Sam Witwer

John Stoler

Guest Star

David Figlioli

David Figlioli

Vamp Leader

Guest Star

Suzette Craft

Suzette Craft

Teacherly Woman

Guest Star

Gina Torres

Gina Torres


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

  • QUOTES (11)

  • NOTES (0)


    • Lorne: It's like a hard day's night out there.
      "Hard Day's Night" was a song and a movie by the poular British group The Beatles. In the movie, the band has girls chasing them much like everyone is following Jasmine, and the song is about everything being alright, which is Jasmine's promise.

    • Lorne:
      An in-joke reference to the '74 flick I Dismembered Mama, a really bad cut-em-up gore movie in the spirit of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. In turn its title was a play on the '48 flick I Remember Mama.

    • Title: Shiny Happy People
      "Shiny Happy People" was the title of one of the biggest hits from REM's album "Out of Time".
      The lyrics include "Everyone around love them, love them" which seems to echo Jasmine's "message".
      Interestingly the lyrics also feature "There's no time to cry /Happy happy". It's just after Fred breaks down in tears that the "happy people" spell is broken.