Season 5 Episode 6

The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Nov 05, 2003 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (16)

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out of 10
396 votes
  • Angel enters the world of mexican was really funny

    This is an odd episode, completely different from almost every other episode of angel or even Buffy. But that's because they're dealing with a different type of mythology. all demons and vampires and other creatures portrayed until this episode where inspired in different european traditions. This time the writers seem to realise that on this side of the continent are also good monster stories worth to be told. And what better way to destroy an aztec (mexican) monster than mexican warrios? and what better mexican warriors than the "luchadores"? I know many people didn't like this episode, but i think they just didin't get it. P.S. i'm not mexican, and to be honest and don't like their culture very much, but i enjoyed this episode.
  • Middling ground


    The Good;

    Love the return of the brothers and love the idea of El Diablo Robotico, we MUST see that in the Angel comics some time. Love Angel's cadiallac and the ref to Holland Manners.

    The Bad;

    Angel seems very rough with No5 at his apartment, he could have killed him! Don't you think Angel's rather full of himself about being the hero.

    Best line;

    Angel; "Wes, did you ever hear about the devil building a robot?"

    Wes; "Ah, el diablo robotico!"

    Angel; "No one ever tells me anything"

    Jeez, how did they get away with that?

    Hearts cut from bodies

    Apocalypses: 5

    Angel Cliches

    In disguise; 8

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

    Cheap Angel; 7

    Subverting the cliche; Angel's heart no good because it's 'dried up beef jerky'. No5 thinks Angel wants to drag him into the quest but actually just wants to give him some mail. After Angel's stirring speech No5 just jumps on the bus

    Fang Gang in bondage:

    Cordy: 5

    Angel: 14

    Wes: 7

    Gunn; 5

    Lorne; 5

    Fred; 3

    Fang gang knocked out:

    Cordy: 15

    Angel: 19

    Wes: 7

    Doyle; 1

    Gunn; 2

    Lorne; 7

    Groo; 1

    Connor; 1

    Faith; 1

    Fred; 3

    Kills; Angel kills the demon with a little help from his friends (or should that be amigos?)

    Cordy: 5 vamps, 3 demons

    Angel; 45 vamps, 61 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;

    Cordy: 4

    Angel: 11

    Fred; 2

    Wes; 1

    Gunn; 1

    Connor; 1

    Lorne; 1

    Characters killed: 4+No5 victims, the security guards have to be the redshirts of the Buffyverse


    Recurring characters killed; No5


    Total number of Angel Investigations; 5, Spike however is now coming along for the ride on investigations.

    Angel, Gunn, Fred, Lorne, Wes,

    Angel Investigations shot:

    Angel: 14

    Wes; 2

    Packing heat; Wes with his shotgun (nice gag about the weapons check)

    Wes; 10

    Doyle; 1

    Angel; 4

    Gunn; 3

    Fred; 2

    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

    Kinky dinky:

    Spike remarks he can't 'diddle his willy'. He again refers to Harmony as 'his old tumble' and is jealous that she's now Angel's pet.

    Captain Subtext;

    Angel remarks of 'the father will kill the son' to Wes who hasn't a clue what he's talking about. How much do the rest of the gang remember? Spike refers to Angel as a drama queen. Now of course Liam is the Irish version of William so maybe 'diddle his willy' has another meaning?

    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

    Questions and observations;

    Great ref where the man who recruits number 5 is Holland Manners from season 2. Can anyone tell me whom the aging starlet Lorne is referring to? Wonder Woman referenced, this is at a time when Joss was planning the movie which sadly didn't come off (love to have seen ED or CC in the role). Very clear that Gunn is the most comfortable at WR&H. Angel's photographic memory again. Angel appears to limp some of the time, because of the beatings he's recieved or because DB's knee is giving him trouble? Note Spike knows how to defeat the demon through his poetic soul. Angel enters No5's home without an invite but does No5 dragging him inside count as one? So what happens the medallion after the fall of WR&H? Love to see it and the creature turn up some time in Fray.

    Marks out of 10; 6/10, ok but not brilliant

  • Different and so touching


    I do not understand so much criticism about his episode. What attracts me to this series is the huge variety of the storylines---suspenseful, touching, hilarious, historical, incredible cast and guest stars...

    The interaction between Angel and "Number Five" is endearing, and yet there is plenty of action, which so many viewers seem to prefer.

    Angel's subtle expressions--particularly his "reaction" expressions, is what makes an episode like this such fun while the story also has such a sweet tone.

  • The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco

    The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco was a perfect and classically campy episode of Angel. This episode brought the story of a mask wearing mail clerk at Wolfram and Hart to light. I really enjoyed this episode because it was fun and filled with action, drama, and full of character. The story was unique and a side step from the main plot lines of the season though it is definitely a memorable episode. I remember seeing this mail man in the background a few times in previous episodes and think its great the way they portrayed his story and brought it to the foreground. I look forward to the next episode!!!!!!!
  • The Cautionary Tale of What The Hell Happened!!?

    The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco-Angel discovers the only remaining member of five ancient evil fighters working in Wolfram & Hart, while researching an Aztec warrior named Tezcatcatl. We are shown this man's life through a series of flashbacks which tell the tale of 'The Luchadors', a family of Mexican wrestlers which helped the helpless until one day they were slain by Tezcatcatl. In the present day, Angel tries to help the last member discover the hero inside which he lost when his family were killed.

    So I'm thinking the writers were a little over confident in their abilites and thought the week of writing this episode and said, "Hey why don't we make the Mexican equivalent for it....The Power Rangers!" Hey, we'll even throw in a demon that looks like one of those fake monsters on the TV, that'd be cool right? WRONG! "Numero Cinco" is without a doubt the worst episode of Angel since the sci-fi hack job that was "She" in Season 1. Why, you ask? Because it has everything that was wrong with "She". A plot thinner than ice, horrible guest stars, and storyline that doesn't be long ANYWHERE near Angel. I couldn't stand this episode upon first viewing and literally 4 years later, it still didn't hold my interest. Maybe it's the corny backstory? Maybe it's the horrible make-up of the Aztec demon? Maybe it's Numero Cinco's awful story-telling? Maybe it's the cheesy fight scenes where the Luchadors do some very lame Power Ranger-esqe moves? Maybe it's just really, really, really, REALLY easy to lose interest while watching this episode? BINGO! Without the usual classic remarks from Spike, this episode would have been "Bottom of the Barrel" worthy material! Here's my cautionary tale...avoid this episode like a bad rash!
  • Spike coming to Angel may have caused the show to jump the shark, but this was worthless

    I really hate to say that something that people worked so hard to produce (the actors, writers, network exces., Joss himself...) but I really don't see why this story had to be told. It doesn't fit in with the season. The way the episode acts, I would have thought it was a season 1 episode. This story is a filler episode, that doesn't move the seasonal plot along, doesn't center around any of the main players and doesn't do a thing for me.

    In the entire Buffy-verse, this has to be the worst episode, ever! Granted, compared to other series of television this episode was ok, but it is bottom of the barrel compared to others of Joss' works.

    I know people will disagree with me, but we are all entitled to our own opinion.
  • Awesome episode. Out of character yes, but that's part of what makes it great. Really funny stuff.

    Ok, a lot of people don't like this one, and I can understand. If you're looking for continuity of the main story arc, or deep character development, then you can definitely skip this one.

    One the bright side, the writers decide to go for a little adventure and break from the usual formula, getting into a quite funny parody of mexican wrestling and aztec mythology. In particular I found the gag about "El diablo robotico" to be one of the most hilarious moments of the entire series. Also, this episode couldn't come at a better time; right when Angel is sinking into his depression and all, comes this funny, lighthearted pick-me-up.
  • The Crappy Tale Of Numero Cinco

    For the purposes of this review, I forced myself to watch this episode again, for the second and last time. I am never going to put myself through the torment that is this episode again. This is the only episode of Buffy or Angel I will ever advise you to skip- most bad episodes have some good things but this episode is devoid any reason to watch it. The acting is poor, the story is poor and the annoying Mexican music is extremely poor.

    The main story of this episode of Number 5 and his backstory about being a hero and the Luchadores was just extremely boring. I honestly didn't care about anything he said and most of his story is pointless rubbish. Does anyone really care if his brothers were heroes but he wasn't? I don't. His accent grated on me a LOT and the silly little Mexican tune in the background made it worse. The cemetary scenes dragged on and on and there was no suspense; I honestly couldn't care less if No. 5 died. Thankfully it is never brought up again.

    Number 5 was supposed to be a "What Not To Do" guide for Angel. It told him that by giving up on his hope and work that he will become bitter and will not be a hero. It's just sort of pointless; why couldn't Lorne just give him a speech? No need for an episode based around it. Speaking of Lorne, he was back to the two lines an episode here. I hoped that after last week's Lorne centric "Life Of The Party" he might get more use but no, he's back to useless. It was irritating and unnecessary; he's more important than Spike but is just pushed to the side here.

    The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco is just a very poor episode. It was badly written and badly executed. Do yourself a favour and skip it- you won't miss out on anything good save for a few good Spike comments. A very disappointing episode.
  • Angel gets personally involved in a case when heroes start turning up dead.

    Based on other reviews and the low score, this episode seems to be rather universally unloved. Well, I'm here to give it some loving. Not incredibly interesting on the surface, or part of a season arc, there is still a lot to like here. To begin with, the humor in the opening scene is clas-sic. Lorne asking the mail guy for advice, then inadvartantly insulting Fred, Gunn telling Angel he's been signing contracts in his own blood, Spike being his wonderfully annoying self and then the mail guy throwing Angel through the window.

    I had already noticed #5 in a previous episode, which is good. Had he just been in this episode it would have been too pat. Angel is feeling disconnected and left out of things, as his advice and participation are no longer necessary at Wolfram and Hart. He's glad when a case opens up where he can get back out on the street and do some investigating.

    Once they figure out that #5 can help them with the case, I was starting to think this episode would be booooring. But for some reason, I loved the story of the five brothers, entertaining people and fighting evil in their spare time. The flashbacks to them in the wrestling ring were actually quite entertaining and the man's story sad but sweet. I think the well-chosen music helped me enjoy things a lot more than I might have. I laughed during the flashback because despite the rather important points the man was making about his brothers dying, Angel focuses on the fact that the brothers always wore their masks, even outside of the ring.

    The final fight scene in the cemetary was somewhat predictable, but I still loved when the brothers come out of the grave to fight the demon and that they wanted Angel to help them. They seemed like they really were a bunch of heroes, and Angel was proud they asked for him to help. I even thought it was sad that the brothers took #5 back to the grave with them. Maybe I'm overly sentimental, but I enjoyed the episode a lot. It's not one of the best by a longshot, but it was still great and I'd watch it again.
  • "Sucks beyond the telling of it" (quote borrowed from Buffy)

    There comes a time in every great show when you need(?) to have an episode that just completely makes you appreciate how good the rest of the series is. Numero Cinco fits the bill better than any ep I have seen. I would have rather seen Nina the Werewolf tapdancing on Angels desk than to have watched this ep more than once. Yeah, I did have some sympathy for old Number 5, but the whole Luchadore story (hey it rhymes) was just BORING. The only good thing that came out of this was that it encouraged Angel to revisit the Shanshu prophecy...not that it did him any good as we find out later. And we also get to hear that Angels heart is like a dried up walnut. (yawn)
  • I agree with other viewers in that I found this a comparatively weak episode, and one that could have easily been passed over. For first time viewers, especially on the first airing of Angel, it must have been a big disappointment.

    I would have classifed this episode as a "Silly", but I did not see this the first time it aired; only after having marathoned thru the later DVD episodes. I could thus put it in perspective and see it still put forth the consistant Whedon message: heros don't give up.
    In this story Numero 5 had given up and was thus not consider a hero to the demon that was looking for such entities: a not-so-subtle foreshadowing to Angel's own battle against the ennui that would engulf him in later episodes.

    Also, knowing now (hindsight is perfect), that Josh was under pressure to provide stand-alone episodes for easier syndication of the series, I can forgive the occassional less-than-perfect storyline. Afterall, I still got to see my favorite vamp duking it out with his nemisis and Spike saying "It's Mountain Dew..." made me laugh.
  • mexican wrestling

    another pretty boring episode but its not season 5 worst one some moments were pretty good and i really liked the use of spanish in the episode also how angel realised that he is on the wrong path and begins to read the prophecy again

    the episode writing is good but there is something wrong with the episode that makes it seem worse than it is it would be a lot better if cordelia was in it for example
  • a demon feeds on the hearts of heroes.

    episode was a great example of a running theme throughout the show-- how difficult it is to be the one left with the job/responsibility of fighting on, even after you have lost the reason. i.e. when angel first launched with its pilot episode "City Of"; "Hero" when moral was low after doyle; the ones following "Reunion" when the group is separated and everyone is unsure of what the future holds. also a great precursor to the losses in "You're Welcome" and "Hole in the World". also, loved that it touched on the surface of mexican culture.
  • It was weak.

    The weakest episode of the whole entire series. very disapointing. I DONT reccoment this episode. obviously, the whole mexican wrestler/ mailboy / hero storyline was very stupid. If your new to the show id reccoment NOT seeing this episode. this episode was extremely dumb. I actually laughed at some of its stupidity. The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco is the worst episode ever on Angel.
  • Indulgent, silly and ultimately pointless.

    The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco

    or, "The one with the cumbersome, unwieldly name"

    It feels like Joss just gave up with this one.

    We know it isn't true, and we know the best is yet to come, but in this case, Angel disregarding the Shanshu with no immediate reasoning as to why (Spike's suggestion that it's a fairytale to keep vampires from misbehaving is ludicrous) is very disappointing.

    Since the prophecy was discovered in Season 1, this is a series arc question, and one which has been clumsily resurrected within the last couple of episodes.

    The Shanshu has been referenced in "Birthday" (the evil that rose in Reseda in 2003) and throughout Season 4. Part of why Season 4 was so ridiculous was that they tried to cram all the Shanshu events into the single season, which was why The Beast/Beastmaster/Jasmine was so impossibly unreadable and why the storylines seemed to make no sense whatsoever. The vampire with a soul will face the coming darkness, the Beast, several -- not that many -- fiends and then that thing in Reseda, and that was pretty much it.

    Sirk's discussion in "Destiny" adds vast swaths of over-detailed requirements, but in the end, in "Not Fade Away," Angel is meant to sign it all away anyway -- that same scribbly, somewhat damaged and, I believe, highlighted document that they gave him.

    The one that came up so neatly in the source book at the end.

    Wait a minute. Are we talking about the same episode? El Diablo Robotico, luchadores, Teztlewetleweezerwhatever and slain heroes come back to life? Wasn't that what this episode was about?

    No. Jeff Bell wanted Mexican wrestlers. There was a Day of the Dead theme running throughout, yes, but the point of this episode is that Angel has given up.

    Was it Angel or Joss?

    It's ... really hard to know.

    This episode -- the worst in the series IMO -- was a 42-minute discussion of who's a hero, and who's truly doing heroic things. It was never resolved, but the fact is that quite apart from his day job, Angel does walk the streets by night, slaying demons and helping the hopeless, like his forerunners Los Hermanos Numeros. The cautionary tale in this case is you can never give up, and never lose sight of the fact that the good you do is of some benefit to someone, even if the evil you can't quite vanquish keeps popping up like a bad burrito.

    Well, freeqin' yawn. Angel's worried that Tetzecuatl didn't take his heart, but ... OK, some evil demon doesn't think you're sufficiently heroic to murder you and steal your heart. What kind of a standard is that to base your self-worth on?

    Anyway, Tetty should've taken it. Angel can live for awhile without his heart (see "Heartthrob") and that would've made for a better story.

    No.5 calling it a dried-up walnut of a thing, Gunn calling it a hunk of beef jerky, it's still the heart of a hero, which if anyone was worried, didn't need to be eaten by the Tetrisol.

    Oh, and the side discussion -- Spike becoming interested in in the Shanshu doesn't make him eligible. Just because Wesley says "Any vampire with a soul (who's not a ghost)," that's not quite accurate. Any vampire with a soul who faced all of these things and met all of these requirements (and not just the Mountain Dew ones made up by Sirk).

    I recognize Wes necessarily has no recollection of Connor or S4, but the rest of us do and certainly Joss and Jeff Bell should, too.

    As an aside, I just mention that I like the fact Wes has a staff. The woman on his staff looks like she was once one of the psychics (she had different hair -- very different hair, I think, but I didn't get a good look at her.)

    At least he's getting some help.

    This episode felt cobbled together. There's a big bad and there's a thing with a thing, and Fred's in the lab analyzing demon blood (which is ultimately of little help) and Wes is looking at Mayan pictograms and Gunn is researching demon contracts (which was of a little value) and Spike is annoying everyone.

    And so's Lorne. After all his work last week, he's back to prattling to anyone (why engage No.5 in a discussion of how least to break an aging starlet's heart -- Fred's suggestion was perfect, btw) about any damn thing. If anyone needs a staff, it's clearly Lorne. Bouncing ideas off random people one passes in the hall in an evil law firm isn't the absolute best decision-making strategy.

    No.5 tossing Angel through a wall was just dumb. Yep, it's unexpected, yep, it's fun and yep, it's eyecatching, but it's meaningless. And Angel tossing him across his apartment was over the top.

    Also, W&H had "Attorney's at Law" on their calling cards (the extra apostrophe is for savings!) OK, who's fired?

    And despite the discussion of honor, tradition and heroism, this episode felt a little pander-y to me. Maybe it genuinely wasn't. But it felt kind of indulgent and silly and .. I get it, but, well, rudderless and ultimately unnecessary.

    Angel's a hero. Spike's a hero for saving Fred and for standing there and saving the world, but he didn't face everything Angel's faced, so he's not qualified for the Shoop.

    Everyone's a gorram hero.

    Now give me my 42 minutes back.

    Gunn Watch: He enjoyed mixing it up out in the field (in his suit), but he's getting very comfortable with the whole legal eagle thing. He's using it to CYNTHIA!S advantage, at least, so that's something. I got no whiff of corruption on him at all as yet.

    The Powers That Sit There: * sip *
  • That mail room guy finally comes into play!

    There has been some debate over some of the episodes in the fifth season of Angel. As part of the deal with returning for the season that Joss made with the WB, the season would focus on some more stand alone episodes instead of an intricate story arc. Season 4 was one long storyline, and I loved it, but the powers that be at the network thought that it would bring more viewers in, and boost ratings, if there were more stand alone episodes that would be easier for people who don't normally watch to tune in and to keep watching the show. Okay, fair enough. I love stand alone as much as the big arc-y ones. A huge number of stand alone eps from 'Buffy' were, a lot of the time, as good as any other. But people felt that these stand alones were not important or as good because they weren't part of the bigger picture. I disagree with that. If people had problems with this one, then they had even bigger problems with "Why We Fight", another episode that I liked quite a bit but was thrashed by a lot of fans. But first, we have this episode. Now, don't get me wrong. This is not a fantastic episode, and probably won't become a famously remembered one either. But it's fun and entertaining enough. It finally got some more action going and got characters out of the office, since up till now there seemed to be a huge majority of the show just taking place in the new offices. But anyways, how did mexican wrestling come into the Angel world?...

    Wesley finds out that there have been three bodies discovered with their hearts ripped out. Angel goes to a certain mysterious member of his staff to get information, when it appears that it is right up his alley.

    First of all, it was quite smooth how the writers teased us with this Numero Cinco character. Since the start of the season, we were treated to a mysterious presence with the character, as he delivered the mail with a mask over his head and the letter 5 on it. This guy was just there. No explanation. No nothing. Was this just supposed to be an odd image and nothing more?. Of course not, Mutant Enemy has more things up their sleeve than just that. So, it's just cool that they set this guy up and then we finally get an answer to just what this guy's story is.

    Written and directed by the great Jeffrey Bell, the episode is a lot better than one would assume on first viewing. Just like "Smile Time" a little later on, the episode could of just been some funky one off episode that didn't have anything to do with the show, and had as little effort put into it to stand among the other episodes. But the episode, really, is very well told and well written. The music played throughout is completely new to the show, and brings an air of freshness to it. It's not something that you would probably care to hear more of on the show, but for now, it's new and most welcome. Plus, there are the flashbacks, the era they take place, and the material. Flashbacks and bygone eras are no strangers to the Buffy/Angel fold. In fact, they are a necessity. We have been given numerous flashbacks from all kinds of eras, but we have never been given a flashback like this in a time not seen on either show before. Bell does a great job of placing the era, and writing it's history. He does a marvelous job of directing and getting the look, feel, and the action. And Bell knows what he is doing. He has said in many interviews that he, for some reason, has always wanted to do a mexican wrestling episode. Really, Jeff?. Okay. From what I could find, the idea of mexican wrestling began back in 1934 when an American wrestler known as The Masked Man came to wrestle in Mexico wearing a mask. All mexican wrestlers since then have donned these masks when they perform. They all come with a number on their masks as well. I guess these masks are supposed to signify some kind of mexican honor or something. I am still not quite into the info on that folks. But a lot of these guys, apparently, never even removed their masks when they weren't performing. And you will see that the character of Numero Cinco doesn't here. But there is a connection here. A lot of people didn't quite get the message that was there between Numero Cinco and Angel. The demon Tezcatcatl killed Numero Cinco's four brothers because they were heroes. He didn't kill Numero Cinco. He was left behind, and felt that he was no hero and had no hope. Angel, anyone?. Angel has been the hero and champion for a number of years now. But now, with the new situation in season five and how he feels about Wolfram And Hart and where he stands with it, he feels like he is no longer the hero he once was or is supposed to be. He too has given up hope. Just like Numero Cinco. He also no longer believes that he is the one that the Shanshu Prophecy is talking about. Is he right?. Is it Spike?. Angel leads Numero Cinco to believe otherwise of himself. He is a hero. There is hope after all. But is there for Angel?. Would Angel and the gang of lasted this long if there wasn't hope?. If they didn't have it?. Wesley tells Angel that it's hope that has gotten this far in the world. So, even though this was like a stand alone episode, it does have a meaning, and it does connect with ongoing storylines.

    In the end, "The Cautionary Tale Of Numero Cinco" probably won't win over any new fans, but it certainly wouldn't turn them away either. One of the things I liked about this episode was that it seemed to pump up the action a bit more and had more things going for it. This was always something that the show did a lot of, but it seemed that the start of season five was incredibly slow. A lot of episode that seemed to take place, most of the time, in the new offices. There also seemed to be more talking as well. I know that the show's budget was cut in half as part of it's renewal and that cut down on location shooting, but this episode finally got things going more and had a lot more action and finally got the people out of the offices for a while. Anyways, it was a well written and well told tale that is a lot better than people give it credit for. It won't be at the top of the list for season five episodes, but it is a decently entertaining hour with an interesting story.