Season 5 Episode 10

Soul Purpose

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Jan 21, 2004 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
370 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A mysterious stranger approaches Spike claiming responsibility for recorporealizing him in a mission to guide Spike in supplanting Angel as the new vampire champion. Meanwhile, Angel is racked by intense fever dreams and hallucinations of his worst fears intensifying his worries that he will lose authority to Spike.moreless

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  • Bad dreams


    The Good;

    Brilliant dream sequences, especially like Honky Tonk, Fred's surgery and the apocalypse fantasy. Interesting to see Spike and Lindsey setting themselves up like a proto Angel and Doyle.

    The Bad;

    Stupid looking creature and I don't buy the whole earrings idea. What's Lindsey's plan, he doesn't want to kill Angel as he sends Spike to rescue him? Just want to dishearten him so he gives up? Afraid that killing him would incur the wrath of the Senior Partners?

    Best line;

    Wes; "You're overlooking the merits of assassination" (words to make James Bond proud!)

    Jeez, how did they get away with that?

    Apocalypses: 5

    Angel Cliches

    In disguise; 8

    DB/JM get's his shirt off; 18, yep and his chest opened.

    Cheap Angel; 8

    Subverting the cliche; Spike tells off the woman he rescued for walking down dark alleys in high heels.

    Fang Gang in bondage:

    Cordy: 5

    Angel: 14

    Wes: 7

    Gunn; 7

    Lorne; 6

    Fred; 4

    Fang gang knocked out:

    Cordy: 15

    Angel: 19

    Wes: 8

    Doyle; 1

    Gunn; 3

    Lorne; 8

    Groo; 1

    Connor; 1

    Faith; 1

    Fred; 5

    Kills; Spike kills 5 vamps (2 offscreen) plus the parasite. Does Lindsey hire these guys and set them up to be killed or does Spike just patrol and run into them?

    Cordy: 5 vamps, 3 demons

    Angel; 45 vamps, 62 and 1/2 demons, 5 zombies, 12 humans, one werewolf and one cyborg

    Doyle; 1 vamp

    Wes; 14 demons+5 vamps, 5 zombies, 3 humans, 2 cyborgs

    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

    Spike; 21 vamps, 7 demons+1 human+one parasite

    Fang Gang go evil:

    Cordy: 3

    Angel: 3

    Gunn; 1

    Wes; 1

    Alternate Fang Gang;

    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; 11

    Doyle; 1

    Angel; 4

    Gunn; 3

    Fred; 3

    Notches on Fang Gang bedpost:

    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

    Spike; 3-Buffy, Anya, Harmony

    Kinky dinky:

    As the writer states, the way to endear yourself to a film crew is to set a scene in a strip club (and a HUGE number of shows seem to end up there eventually), lots of lovely ladies wearing very little flexing themselves around poles. Angel gives Fred a pearl necklace, a pornographic slang term you either understand or you don't so I'm certainly not going to explain it here.

    Captain Subtext;

    Lindsey almost seems to trying a gay pickup on Spike who refers to him as Mary and Butch. He says he doesn't want to be Lindsey's 'kept boy'. Fred retrieves a pearl necklace from Angel's stomach? Angel imagines himself in bed with Buffy AND Spike (in the comics Buffy fantasises about the same except they're all in chains and she's dressed as a sexy nurse). Note however there are also female clients in the strip club.

    Spike refers to himself as a 'working class lad'. Rubbish, his 'mockney' accent is all a sham as Lies My Parents Told Me proved. He's upper class. This may be some form of class guilt from Angel who was middle class (The Prodigal) and feels bad about all the luxury he know enjoys. Get Gunn together and they could do the Class sketch from the David Frost show (funniest sketch EVER!)

    Know the face, different character; 5

    Parking garages;


    Guantanamo Bay;

    "Sold their children to the devil, KILL THEM ALL!" Angel has his Xena moment.

    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;

    Remember reading an interesting one once where the stripper called Sunshine who Spike is watching is actually Kate Lochley earning money to fund her law degree (so that she can change her identity and become a DA in New York), supposedly based on the rumour that it really was supposed to be Kate as the lapdancer but Elizabeth Rhom couldn't get the time off from Law & Order. Also not a few from Spikettes where Spike is the hero and takes over WR&H from Angel.

    Missing scenes;

    Apparently for an April Fools Day gag there was a trailer for Dollhouse where Echo and Ballard get in the lift and ask the bear from this ep to hit the floor button for them. Anyone seen it?

    Questions and observations;

    What does Harmony's remark about Machiavelli mean? Interesting that Spike used to do good deeds in order to impress his love Buffy. Now he does them because he has a conscience and it's the right thing to do. Eve is already wearing her earrings in the Honky Tonk scene. You can't help but think Wes and Gunn would make a good pair if they were ever to remake Miami Vice (certainly better than Fox and Farrell). Spike reads Wes and Gunn perfectly, once more showing his insight, the points he makes are all very true as Gunn is loathe to admit. Harmony remarks of Angel "Act like we care", Harm's Way obviously still rankles. What's the significance of the stone, is it just a plain red herring? The critter is very Aliens/Bad Eggs/The Hidden. Great to have DB's commentary but wish he'd talk less about cameras and more about the series as a whole. Eve says that Spike has yet to have a big red S on his shirt, may be coincidence but of course JM appears on Smallville. Once again Spike quotes Star Wars despite his mocking the Geeks for doing so in Sunnydale.

    The bear may be a reference to Hoopy Bear, a demonic teddy bear from the Buffy comics that turns into a real bear and acts out it's owners inner desires Something Blue style. Problem is the demon acolytes accidentally give it to Dawn rather than Buffy who's in the asylum at the time. Read it if you can, very cute story with a lovely ending of Dawn, Hank and Joyce happy together and a dejected Hoopy Bear down and out drinking beer behind the 7-11. Does Spike have any money stashed? He seemed to constantly be broke in Sunnydale. Shame SMG couldn't do a cameo, do we know the name of her double? She could go into the list of actresses who played Buffy along with SMG, Kristy Swanson, Eliza Dushku and the 2 little Buffy's we see in 'Weight of the World' and 'Killed by Death'.

    Marks out of 10; 8/10

  • Ohh Angel, It's All In Your Head!

    Soul Purpose-A mysterious stranger approaches Spike claiming responsibility for recorporealizing him in a mission to guide Spike in supplanting Angel as the new vampire champion. Meanwhile, Angel is racked by intense fever dreams and hallucinations of his worst fears intensifying his worries that he will lose authority to Spike.

    Not much of a "Restless" counterpart to Buffy as one might think, the dream sequences are just a minor part to the overall episode. I have to say Mr. Boreanez himself did a fine job his first time directing especially with the dream sequences. Like "Restless", they are hilarious, disturbing, odd and random, portraying dreams like they truly are! My favorite dream sequences would have to be when the gang and the lawyers are watching the Apocalpyse like it's a B movie. Then, there's Spike's celebration party where everyone's so cheesy and you see the world has been changed into a fairytale, lol. You do feel bad for Angel as he goes from nightmare to nightmare, he even sees Spike bang Buffy (or some cheap immitation that was suppose to be SMG reprising her role!) I have to say the best aspect of the episode is Lindsey and Eve messing with the gang. It's really great to have Lindsey back for the rest of the season and the way he uses Doyle's identity as well as his mission to pit Spike against Team Angel is a wonderful development. Christian Kane plays Lindsey well when his menacing and his scenes with Spike were great. Speaking of Spike, I loved how he was getting into the role of Angel circa Season 1, but with less brooding and more rude. He saves a woman only to verbally degreed her appearence with his lack of sensitivity, lol. Other great scenes are Eve putting those over sized bed bugs on Angel, which looked disgusting beyond belief. Glad to see by the end of the episode that the gang ganged up on Eve and saw through her so called evil facade and sent her walking. All and All, "Soul Purpose" is well directed episode with great developments and creepy yet hilarious sequences (Lorne's get up with the piano, classic!)moreless
  • Soul Purpose

    Soul Purpose was a really great episode of Angel. I really enjoyed watching this episode because it starts to show Lindsey's plan as he plays pretend with Spike. I also enjoyed watching Angel's Hallucinations and thought the directors were very creative with these scenes. There was definitely a lot of soul searching in this episode not only for Angel but Spike as well. I really though Lindsey was pretty clever. This episode is an important step in the Hero's quest and was done quite well. I liked how the other characters were trying to figure out what was going on with Angel. I look forward to the next episode!!!!!!!moreless
  • A demon parasite causes Angel to hallucinate in some of the craziest and most bizarre dreams in the Angel/Buffyverse to date.

    This has got to be one of the craziest episodes in the Angelverse. First of all, David Boreanaz does an amazing job in his directorial debut. The most brilliant moments in this episode are probably when A) Fred dissects Angel's body in that crazy scene with the Thank You Bear and the fish bowl, B) Spike's fight scene with Angel's old sleeve-hidden stakes, C) Angel's nightmare of Spike being rewarded with the Shanshu from the Fairy. Fantastic episode, really underrated and one of the most unique of all time. People that gave this a lower rating will probably admire it upon 2nd or 3rd viewing.moreless
  • "Thank you Mr. Bear".

    Soul Purpose is a very good episode that gives us insight into Angel's thought and feelings but if I'm honest it's basically a poor man's version of "Restless". Buffy's dream sequence is far superior and give us good insight into all our characters and also cryptic warnings, whereas Restless is sort of a bit muddled at times.

    David Boreanaz directs here for the first time and he does a good job- I didn't really notice any difference between him and other directors. This episode was basically thrown together as he had knee problems and for a rushly put together episode it's very good.

    The dreams feel like actual dreams- there's some very silly stuff but they all have some meaning. The one where Fred pulls things out of Angel and the apocalypse ones are the most significant. In the Fred and Angel one, she gives us one small hint about her future where she refers to Angel as a shell forshadowing her inevitable possession by Illyria, leaving her a shell. The apocalypse one shows what Angel thinks of Spike; he thinks everyone loves him and Spike is more important and he may as well be a nobody. I really enjoyed the big cheesy fairy coming in at the end, it was really funny. Also special mentions to the bear that takes the goldfish- a hilarious moment.

    Eve and Lindsey show more of their plan here. For the most part it seems they're just trying to leave Angel a vegetable, trapped in his own nightmares but the end proves they're trying to make Angel feel worthless compared to Spike. Lindsey pretending to be Doyle was quite smart but also a quite disrespectful move- taking on Angel's old best friend's persona is mean. Eve also foolishly reveals herself to be in on this plan to Angel Investigations at the end- glad as they'd be pretty dumb to not recognize it. Soul Purpose is an interesting, well written and well executed episode that gives us some good insight into our main character's thoughts, opinions and feelings and works like another version of "Restless", although unfortunately nowhere near as good. Still, a very good episode that should not be missed.moreless
Carmen Nicole

Carmen Nicole


Guest Star

Rob Evors

Rob Evors


Guest Star

Jodi Harris

Jodi Harris


Guest Star

Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson


Recurring Role

Christian Kane

Christian Kane

Lindsey McDonald

Recurring Role

Mercedes McNab

Mercedes McNab

Harmony Kendall

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • In Angel's dream where Fred cuts him open, the items she pulls out of him are his liver, his kidneys, a walnut, a pearl necklace, some raisins, a license plate and a fish bowl.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Spike: I didn't do this for a reward.
      Gunn: That's why you're getting one!

    • Spike: You can't throw a bloody stone in this town without hitting some bimbo in trouble.

    • Lindsey: We need a champion.
      Spike: You are barking up the wrong vampire.

    • Spike: If you know so much about me, you must know that I get really violent when I'm being played.

    • Angel: Spike?
      Spike: No need to thank me. Just helping the helpless.

    • Lorne: Hey, down in front!
      Harmony: Yeah, Angel. You're blocking the apocalypse.

    • Wesley: Really? Well, what is your plan?
      Gunn: We open a can of Machiavelli on his ass.
      Harmony: It's "Match-a-belli", Einstein, and it doesn't come in a can.

    • Fred: We didn't sell out, we're changing the system from the inside.
      Gunn: Y'know, when you say it out loud it sounds really naïve.

    • Fred: Well… Oh, we do have an orbital range microwave cannon up there. Focuses the satellite's communication signals into a pinpoint beam. It can raise the temperature of the targeted area a thousand degrees in less than five seconds. So, yeah, in theory we could. That is, if we did that sort of thing. Do we do that sort of thing?

    • Fred: There's your soul! We are gonna have to flush this! Thank you bear.

    • Spike: Who the bloody hell are you?
      Lindsey: Your new best friend.

    • Woman: Thank you! Thank you! That thing was going to kill me.
      Spike: Well, what do you expect? Out alone in this neighborhood? I got half a mind to kill you myself, you halfwit.
      Woman: What?
      Spike: I mean, honestly, what kind of retard wears heels like that in a dark alley? Take two steps, break your bloody ankle.
      Woman: I was just trying to get home.
      Spike: Well, get a cab, you moron. And on the way, if a stranger offers you candy, don't get in the van. Stupid cow.

  • NOTES (8)

    • This episode was written mostly to give Angel an episode where he did not have to do a lot of moving or any fighting. The reason is David Boreanaz had knee surgery, and he spends most of the episode in bed. Whenever he is moving, it is slow and methodical and works within the situation of the episode. Angel's disoriented condition helped cover over that an immortal, super healing vampire has a bum knee. Even the next few episodes has Angel sitting or leaning in every scene possible.

    • According to writer Brent Fletcher on the DVD commentary, the larger version of the sucking creature that causes Angel's hallucinations cost $80,000.

    • Christian Kane is uncredited for this episode, probably to prevent a leak about his return to the show.

    • When filming this episode, Christian's character was named Sean to keep spoiler-hounds off-balance about Lindsey being back on the show.

    • On the UK VHS boxset David Fury and Jefferson Kibbee are incorrectly credited as writing and directing this episode.

    • The song that was playing at The Peppermint Stick right before Spike met Lindsey was "Junk" by the Supersuckers. The lyrics that aired (among them "I've been waiting for my revival/but everything I do/just turns to junk") could be argued to be either foreshadowing or an apt description of Spike's state of mind at the time.

    • This is the only time David Boreanaz directs an episode.

    • Sarah Michelle Gellar's voice is used in sound clips from Buffy the Vampire Slayer's "The Prom" (3x20), the episode where Angel breaks up with Buffy. She says, "Every time I say the word 'prom' you get all grouchy," and "Can you say jumping the gun? I killed my goldfish!"


    • Lindsey: (referring to Spike) I mean he hasn't sewn a big red S on his chest yet.
      Lindsey makes a reference to DC comics superhero Superman, who has a big S on his chest.

    • Wesley: ...deserves to become a real boy.
      Fred: You're human!
      In one of Angel's dreams, the Blue Fairy makes Spike human again (a "real boy" as Wesley put it). While Pinocchio was not a vampire, he was not human either, he was a puppet carved by Geppetto. The Blue Fairy gave life to Pinocchio but he wanted more, he wanted to be a real boy (human), and eventually, after earning it, he became one.

    • Spike: Sorry Mr. Vader, but I don't have an itch to join the Evil Empire
      Spike compares Wolfram & Hart to The Empire from Star Wars. He also calls Wesley Mr. Vader as in Darth Vader from Star Wars.

    • Spike : Well, look who's come to call, Crockett and Tubbs.
      Det. James "Sonny" Crockett and Det. Ricardo Tubbs are the two main characters from the hit 80s TV Show Miami Vice.

    • Lorne: Sing out Louise.
      This is from the musical Gypsy. Mama Rose tells Louise (later Gypsy Rose Lee who is a famous burlesque stripper) to sing out because she can't sing loud.

    • Fred: Hmm. Came up the gulf stream, huh?
      When Fred pulls the bent license plate out of Angels chest it is a reference to the movie Jaws where Richard Dreyfus is removing the contents of a smaller shark's belly and finds a license plate. The quote "Musta swam up the Gulf Stream" is also what he had said when he found the license plate.