Season 5 Episode 10

Soul Purpose

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Jan 21, 2004 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

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out of 10
371 votes
  • 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!)
  • 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!!!!!!!
  • 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.
  • "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.
  • David's directing debut.

    Angel (David Boreanaz) himself directs this episode and I gotta say big kudos! It's very well done. Visually, it's also fantastic. David really deserves his dues for such a great job.

    Now, onto the actual episode. This was one of those odd episdoes that had everything and that's what made it so good. Angel's dreams are the absolute best part. At one point he dreams that the blue fairy from Pinnochio comes to make Spike into a human, 'a real boy' as his reward for saving the world which everyone else had been watching movie theatre style inside inside Wolfram & Hart. Seriously again big dues to David for this episode, the story was great and he had a lot to work with but he really did it amazingly and surprisingly well. You never know how actors are going to do when they transition from acting into directing, especially on their own shows. He did after all have to direct himself, that can't be easy.
  • Angel is having some weird dreams

    This was a strange episode, but it was good all the same. Lindsay returns and seeks out Spike at a strip bar. He spins his yarn to Spike that he has been sent by the PTB and he has visions of people who need saving, and oh yeah he introduces himself as Doyle. Angel, meanwhile, is under the weather and having some strange dreams. Seems he isnt crazy, but he has this *thing* attached to him courtesy of Eve(il) that keeps him asleep and dreaming. Most of his dreams center around his fear that Spike is the hero and he is...a lackey. He even dreams Spike is made human while Angel is made...mailboy. Whilst all the (crazy) dreams are taking place, Spike is out helping those helpless the way Angel used to. "Doyle" even sets him up in an apartment that is eerily similar to Angels digs in Season 1. "Doyles" last vision of the ep sends Spike to save Angel. Fortunately Angel remembers Eve(il) being in his bedroom and she is DEFINITELY under suspicion now.
  • angel is sick and obsessing over spike. more.

    this is really annoying again with angel only thinking about spike if you love him so much go marry him! stupid writers. but the episode was an improvement from the last two horrible ones. the dreams were very cool with fred operating angel and the bear and the fairy land world.

    lindsey is also back and that makes the episode better but i wish spike would just explode because he ruins a episode that could be perfect
  • And with silly I mean Hilarious

    I just love Angels halllucinations. The one where Spike saves the world and everything is wonderfull magic land and he becomes a real boy and the part where Fred dissects Angels with the refference to the shell she'll become and the bear suddenly appearing. The unlogical funnyness reminded me of the Buffy episode, Restless, which I also loved. The refference to Doyle was also fun for the people who really follow everything from season one.
  • Um ... it was his soul. And it apparently needed to be flushed. More to the point ... //what is Lindsey up to//?

    S5x10 - SOUL PURPOSE

    Or Part Eleventeen of Our Continuing Investigation Into What is Lindsey Up To?

    In this episode, we learn that Angel is unsure that his role as CEO of Wolfram&Hart is doing any good at all.


    More interesting to me -- besides Harmony mixing up "Machiavelli" and "Machibelli," //Einstein//, and immediately saying a truly stupid thing herself:

    Gunn: Is he in?
    Harmony: Is who in?

    If I could do smilies right now, that would deserve an eyeroll.

    Yes, Wes and Gunn are seeking to foment some disorder in an unstable and far-reaching cult following which is stockpiling dark magicks. Back at the hotel, they'd rally an army of ... well, they'd probably get Cordy glowing at her glowiest and storm in from every direction. Fred could open a portal to Pylea and they'd all be cultic cows for the rest of their days. Not pleasant, but probably more //contained// than they are up here.

    Here the goal seems to be instigate violence among rival factions.

    That works too. In the end, the leader of the stronger faction will him/herself be all gouged up and the following would for certainly be weakened.

    Angel is torn between these options. The manipulating and scheming vs. the swooping and killing.

    Opposite end of the Crymia River is Spike, taking in a show at The Peppermint Stick. Ethan Rayne comes in and ...

    Oh, sorry. That's Lindsey.

    Well, I think the reason I was thinking he was Ethan Rayne was because he seems to have access to all sorts of dark mojo for no apparent reason -- I'm thinking that while all W&H operatives have a base-level training in the black arts as part of their on-the-job training, Lindsey in his work with Special Projects might have had more and may indeed have socked some away, but _come on_.

    Also, his //modus operandi// seems to mirror that of Loki, or perhaps Carmen Miranda: showing up, creating big pointless splashy chaos and then puff of smoke.

    It was reasonably safe to introduce himself as Doyle to Spike. Spike was never introduced to Doyle by name in "In The Dark," and he probably wouldn't make a connection here even if he had been. Lindsey knew about the visions through W&H's obsessive study of Angel, knew about Doyle, of course, and knew about the girl in the alley, or the couple in the alley, or the other girl in the alley -- as Spike points out, you can't throw a stick in L.A. without hitting someone in trouble.

    But this touches on resources. Even though Lindsey can be reasonably certain something is happening //somewhere// all the time, Spike could brood in any //specific// alley all night without encountering anything more mystical than a couple rats having a shag. If Lindsey is arranging the attacks, well, //how// is he arranging them? I mean, I buy his ice cream headaches to the tune of zero. No Power That Be is talking to Lindsey.

    Secondly, let's talk motivation. If Lindsey is orchestrating a bit of chaos to con//fooz// the Senior Partners, apologies, but they know their Shoop and they know which Vampire With A Soul has faced the Coming Darkness and the Portents and the Beast in Reseda and several -- not so many -- fiends. There's a reason they've expended the resources they have on Angel and there's a reason why he's the focus of so much of their efforts. No prophecy exists in a vacuum, and if Angel is fulfilling it, probably there are other harbingers as well.

    Lindsey presenting Spike as the Hero of the Shoop -- telling him he sent him the amulet (iffy -- Lilah [who appeared at the behest of the Senior Partners themselves] handed it off to Angel to begin with and Buffy's the only thing that kept him from putting it on himself -- the intention was probably for Angel to end up spectrally trapped in W&H), pulling him out of the Hellmouth (probably true), sending him the Box o' Corporeality (certainly true) and then sending Spike and Angel on that desert run (absolutely true) and then attributing it all to visions that _he doesn't receive_, that's really disappointing.

    Later, with Eve, he mu-wha-ha-has about all the instability he's causing with his Cup of Perpetual Nothing and these ridiculous parasites. And he certainly seems disruptive. But the only reason we give that any weight is that we're privy to his dreams. For all Lindsey knows, Angel is deeply confident about his role in all of this and he's dreaming of winning epic apocalyptic battles.

    Instead, he //is// dreaming, alternatively, about burning up in the presence of Spike's shooping, Wes staking him in his room, Spike sleeping with a Blonde Wig on a Broomstick (with some //thoroughly// appropo and deeply convincing lines dubbed in from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), Fred ...

    This sequence merits discussion: Fred arrives and disembowels him, taking a pearl necklace for herself, pulling out his heart -- a dried up little walnut (ref to "Cautionary Tale," I believe) -- and handing his limply dead tropical fish of a soul off to a scary-ass bear (with the chirpiest possible "Thank you, Bear!"). And then she mentions him being a hollow shell -- at least her second use of that word -- and ends looking down a hole that runs through the center of the world.

    Wow. Was _that_ stuffed full of portents.

    He also dreams about Spike saving the world and regaining his humanity (in the cheesiest possible sequence) and then about not being able to sing for Lorne.

    Now here's where the storytelling gets //really// iffy.

    As Eve walks in, she has //no idea// what Angel is dreaming about, but he's becoming just the tiniest bit lucid -- probably in reaction to someone being in the room with him. And Angel becomes aware of the parasite. He rips it off and flings it across the room. He is too weak to fend off the larger parasite which seems to provide the pleasantest vision of all -- Angel relaxing in the sun, not doing much of anything, and all of his friends telling him that that's perfectly OK.

    Spike swoops in and saves the day by bringing him back to his chaotic present where Eve wandering around saying "Hey! Look at this stone!" can supersede his friends' concern for his well-being (HE'S JUST UPSTAIRS, PEOPLE!) and sorry, but we don't have a good reason to distrust Doc Sparrow yet -- unless Sparrow's in on the Lindsey thing (which I doubt -- he seems kind of wrapped up in the Knox thing -- more later) why wouldn't Angel at least get himself checked out? As Dream Wesley said, vampires don't get sick, so there's clearly something wrong.

    And Lindsey knows what Spike will find when he enters Angel's home. Because he sent it along with Eve. But the parasites seemed to be ... kind of big deals. And more than a little clumsy. Eve getting caught on the basis of her earrings was too Jessica Fletcher for words, and again, if you're only placing Angel in danger for Spike to save him, that's nothing but ridiculous.

    I'm convinced that Lindsey has no plan. No grand scheme. He has no idea what he's doing and the fact that he's running around with glyph tattoos that make him invisible to survelliance cameras and the Senior Partners ...

    Never mind. We can address that later.

    For right now, Lindsey orchestrating Spike's heroism ("From what I understand, Angel didn't save the girl on his first mission"), Spike being silly enough to follow his "visions" and buy into it himself without talking to ... //someone// (hell, //Wesley// could've told him what was what about people named Doyle having visions), and Spike keeping mum even after the whole saving Angel thing (i.e. "This guy Doyle told me you had something sucking the life out of you and I dropped everything and ran right over to [i]save you") -- not that //that// was an especially solid motivation for Spike, either.

    Again ... so much could be accomplished if people just _talked to each other_.

    I'd love to see someone with all the backstory confront Lindsey Rayne and ask him what [i]he[/i] thinks he's doing. Because he's either completely omniscient or he doesn't have the slightest clue and I don't like either of those alternatives.

    CYNTHIA'S role at W&H is examined very briefly -- really, for his directorial debut, David Boreanaz had a //lot// of story to tell. They still think they're fighting the good fight, but they're becoming used to the mechanisms of the operation, and that's absolutely shifting their focus.

    Angel himself seems to be floundering worst of all.

    If only someone could get Angel back on his path, a trusted friend from his past, someone we haven't seen for awhile ...

    Meh, just a thought.

    I'm sure they'll think of something.

    For right now, "Soul Purpose" bothers me, but I can't really put my finger on why, exactly. It's a nice set of dream sequences -- Gunn with the feline eyes is a //nice// image, and Fred pulling that battered license plate out of Angel's chest was just wacky fun, along with the Blue Fairy and the fairytale ending as Spike averts the Apocalypse, celebrated by a sheet cake as Angel sees himself vanish into obscurity.

    It's just, I absolutely know that when they finally //do// interrogate Lindsey, we don't get //any// window on why he's been doing what he's doing, so I was really digging for //any// elucidation at all in this early portion of that storyline.

    And I'm afraid it remained -- and remains to this day -- simply unavailable.

    Sad, really.
  • Fred hands Angel's heart to a man in a bear suit!

    This episode has everything that made Angel great. While it was an episode that was pivotal in the relationship in the way it showed Angel's relationship to Spike, it was also very silly. A fairy came to Wolfram & Hart to turn Spike into a real boy; and yes, Fred hands Angel's heart to a man in a bear suit.

    A side note: is the lesser cousin of TVTome. I added the "Allusion" above, about the Black Mercy, over a year ago... yet now, I tried to add a "Note" to an episode of Star Trek called "Sarek" and it said I was not authorized. What happened to this website? Why is it so slow and stupid now?
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