Season 4 Episode 3

The House Always Wins

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 20, 2002 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
345 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Angel, Fred and Gunn take a road trip to Las Vegas to enlist Lorne's help in finding Cordelia, but when the get there Lorne doesn't even acknowledge their presence. It soon becomes clear that Lorne is being held against his will, and that his popular casino act is actually a way for his captor to read the futures of people in the crowd. Angel and the gang must find a way to help Lorne escape without sacrificing their own destinies in the process.moreless

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  • Waking up in Vegas


    The Good;

    Lorne's performance is wonderful and love Fred's excited squeal. The Vegas stuff is all great

    The Bad;

    The actual story is not that good.

    Best line:

    Angel; "Boy, Vegas was a lot friendlier when the mob ran it!"

    Jeez, how did they get away with that?

    Apocalypses: 5

    Angel Cliches

    In disguise; 8

    DB get's his shirt off; 12

    Cordy's tatt; 10

    Fang Gang in bondage:

    Cordy: 5

    Angel: 12

    Wes: 6

    Gunn; 4

    Lorne; 3

    Fred; 2

    Connor; 1

    Fang gang knocked out:

    Cordy: 12

    Angel: 15

    Wes: 5

    Doyle; 1

    Gunn; 1

    Lorne; 3

    Groo; 1

    Fred; 1

    Connor; 1

    Kills: 1 vamp for Connor and another human for Angel

    Cordy: 5 vamps, 3 demons

    Angel; 41 vamps, 57 and 1/2 demons, 8 humans

    Doyle; 1 vamp

    Wes; 13 demons+3 vamps, 2 humans

    Kate; 3 vamps

    Faith; 16 vamps, 6 demons, 3 humans.

    Gunn; 11 vamps+ 11 demons.

    Groo; 1 demon

    Fred; 3 vamp

    Connor; 6 vamps and 1 demon

    Fang Gang go evil:

    Cordy: 2

    Angel: 2

    Gunn; 1

    Wes; 1

    Alternate Fang Gang: Destinyless Angel

    Cordy: 2

    Angel: 9

    Fred; 1

    Characters killed:


    Recurring characters killed;


    Total number of Angel Investigations: 4

    Angel, Gunn, Fred, Lorne

    Angel Investigations shot:

    Angel: 11

    Wes; 1

    Packing heat; Angel uses the guard's gun to kill the casino owners' assistant

    Wes; 6

    Doyle; 1

    Angel; 3

    Gunn; 1

    Notches on Fang Gang bedpost:

    Cordy: 4 ?+Wilson/Hacksaw Beast+Phantom Dennis+Groo

    Angel: 5; Buffy, Darla and The Transcending Furies

    Wes; 3; Virginia, the bleached blonde and Lilah

    Gunn; 1 Fred

    Fred; 1 Gunn

    Groo; 1Cordy

    Kinky dinky:

    Fred in her Lornette costume is a revelation. Hands up who else was thinking what a shame we don't get to see CC in the same? (and Charisma is a Vegas girl after all). Lilah and Wes have some pretty explicit phone sex.

    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

    What the fanficcers thought;

    Once read an interesting one where Angel introduces Elvis to the delights of wearing black leather whilst Elvis teachers him karate.

    Questions and observations;

    Angel in pinstripes, interesting look for him. Good enough, esepcially the musical numbers, glad to have the gang back together and Gunn get's to achieve his ambition, as indeed does Lorne. But you want them to get back to LA and crack on with the season. Wes seems quite happy to take AI's business when they're out of town suggesting he was partly responsible for their lack of clients during the summer. Also Fred seems to win pretty good at the blackjack table which might explain why AI's money problems seem to be over. Weird to hear Andy Hallet's commentary when you know he's no longer with us.

    Marks out of 10; 6/10

  • The House Always Wins

    The House Always Wins was a really superb episode of Angel. I enjoyed watching this episode as Cordelia watches from the higher planes while Angel, Gunn, and Fred all go to Las Vegas to see Lorne. To their surprise he ignores them during his show and after. I thought this was a great story to bring a few characters back into the fold. Lorne's power is being exploited and Wesley continues his carnal relations with Lilah. The man holding Lorne captive steals Angel's destiny and it all culminates with a little divine intervention and the defeat of the soul stealer. I really enjoyed the ending and I can't wait to watch the next episode!!!!!!!moreless
  • Vegas!

    The House Always Wins is a light, fluffy episode that re-intergrates Lorne into the circle and brings Cordelia back from the higher plane.

    The teaser was good; we had a good amount of Higher Plane Cordy and her lines were excellent and made me wish she was back. I like that she seems to be having her own conversation with Angel and he can't even hear her. Also she admits she loves him again. Woot! Another brilliant thing was the minimal amount of Connor here- all he does is slay a vampire and he's gone for this episode!

    I loved the gang in Vegas and it was a great idea to get out of the hotel- we needed some new scenery and sets and Vegas is perfect! I loved Lorne's show and the Lornettes and it made me want to go to Vegas, haha!

    The whole gambling away your destiny thing was a great, original idea and implemented well. The casino owner was a good, if completely unthreatening villain, and there was no doubt Angel would save the day- but who cares? The rest is all funny Lorne-centric goodness and exactly what we needed after what seems like an eternity of sorrow and pain and darkness. This episode is 90% filler and thankfully, it's great filler.

    I was glad to see Lorne back in action here- I think he's a great character and he always makes me laugh. I love all the names he has for people e.g. "peach pie" etc. I don't know why but I find them endearing. Andy Hallett was excellent here as always and he can really sing! You can tell he has a great time playing Lorne and his performance is the better for it!

    Fred pretending to be a Lornette was simply genius and I was laughing at her the whole time. Her anxiety was hilarious and her lines and delivery were spot on. Amy Acker is just an amazing actress- she can make you laugh out loud one minute and then reduce to tears the next. The House Always Wins was an excellent episode and a favourite of mine. It's fun, light and definitely what we needed.moreless
  • fluffy.

    the gang goes on vacation to las vegas, and find lorne headlinging at a major club on the strip. they go check him out, and he goes into the audience and completely ignores them. lorne is being held against his will in order to read peoples destiny's at his show. then they are given a chance at a million dollars in which the chip takes their destiny. they are left to spend the rest of their life in vegas. angel falls victim, and just sits there and plays to win. cordy kinda saves the day. and cordy returns home with no memory.

    this episodde had a lot of funny parts. like the begining where cordy is trying to talk to angel. she is just too funny. and the blue man demon thing was cool. fred's lornette stage was funny. i loved the fluffy part. and angel was at elvis' wedding, with fried penut butter and jelly sandwiches.moreless
  • Livin' La Vida Vegas!

    The House Always Wins-Angel, Fred and Gunn take a road trip to Las Vegas to enlist Lorne's help in finding Cordelia, but when the get there Lorne doesn't even acknowledge their presence. It soon becomes clear that Lorne is being held against his will, and that his popular casino act is actually a way for his captor to read the futures of people in the crowd. Angel and the gang must find a way to help Lorne escape without sacrificing their own destinies in the process.

    It's very rare when Angel travels outside it's normal settings let alone the city itself! Thankfully, Angel takes full advantage of the luxurious city that is Las Vegas. The cinematography of the city is stunning and all the extras involved are great. It's great to see Lorne again after his short appearance in the season premeire was so vague. The situation his involved is a great one, and the idea of a casino owner stealing the destinies of innocent by standers and selling them in the black market is played well here. Clayton Rohmon is great as Lee DeMarco as tortures and threatens Lorne. There are also some fun scenes like Cordelia helping Angel save the day, although the explaination of why he snapped out of his thrawl was vague. Also there's the scene where Lorne performs in front of the crowd with his Lornettes. Also, seeing Fred was cute in the Lorne make-up. The episode ends with Cordelia suddenly reappearing, yet she has not memory of her friends. All and All, a great setting with solid plot and stunning cinematography.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (13)

    • When Fred, Gunn, and Lorne run out of the casino, Fred has something like tissue paper coming out of her dress, but after they turn around from hiding from the guards it is gone.

    • Lorne says he was stuck in the car for five and a half hours during the return trip from Las Vegas to L.A. Downtown where they live (although the hotel they use as home is actually in Hollywood). It takes 4 hours at most from L.V. to L.A. and they drove at night when there's even less traffic.

    • When one of the Lornettes walks up to Vivian and gives her a Play-to-Win chip, one chip in her stack falls, but when cuts back to Vivian, the chip is back up in its place.

    • When the casino owner realizes how important Angel's destiny is, he tells someone to "put a call in to that weirdo law firm in L.A". But during 5x20 it's established that Wolfram & Hart have offices in every major city around the world. Wouldn't it make more sense for the casino owner to call the nearby Las Vegas chapter of W&H?

    • When Wesley and Lilah are speaking on the phone, she mentions that she is both in a meeting and in her office. If the meeting is taking place in her office, it is probaly one or more of her subordinates presenting information to her, or else it wouldn't be taking place in her private office. Whatever Wesley was suggesting she do would be very obvious, as the employees would be waiting patiently for her to get off of the phone.

    • When Lorne has his audience sing for his show, he asks a man, a woman, and then Vivian. Yet later on, when he reports back to the casino-owner, he names the fates of two different men, and Vivian. Was there a fourth singer?

    • Angel brags about having had a life before he met Fred and Gunn, playing tennis with Bugsy Siegel, having drinks with the Rat Pack, and gatecrashing Elvis's wedding. However it was pretty much established in Buffy - "Becoming (1)" and "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?" and then later in "Orpheus" that he had limited contact with humans between 1900 and 1996.

    • It seems odd when, upon returning to the hotel at the end of the episode, Lorne had to pee SO bad, so he ran inside to go. Then when the rest of the gang enters and finds Cordelia, she hadn't turned around yet and Lorne is nowhere to be seen. Perhaps she appeared after Lorne went to the bathroom.

    • Gunn asks Angel if his new retreat will be like the one at the monastery in Tibet. Angel seems to know what Gunn's talking about, despite the fact that monastery was in Sri Lanka, not Tibet.

    • As they leave the Tropicana Gunn says he'll get the car "at the end of the block in front of the Golden Nugget." The Tropicana and Golden Nugget aren't at opposite ends of the same block. They're not even on the same block - they're in completely different parts of Las Vegas.

    • Do tough-guy Las Vegas security guys in the 21st century really use terms like "cotton" and "diddle?" Does anyone?

    • Angel switches sides of the street when he sees Vivian and when he runs out to rescue her from being run over.

    • For those of you unaware, the new Strip in Vegas is a little over 4 miles long. The old Strip, Fremont Street, is located in the old part of downtown. Fremont is about a 5 mile hike from the eastern end of the new Strip.
      The Tropicana is on the western end of the Strip. So Lorne, Gunn, and Fred walk out of the Tropicana and end up almost 9 miles away.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Cordelia: (from the Higher Plane) You're picking up on it, too, aren't you, Angel? Somethings wrong with those people. They could probably use your help. So that's got me wondering... where's that keen sense of perception as far as I'm concerned, huh? What, am I out of the range of your super vampire senses? Angel!

    • Fred: Who's Fluffy?
      Lorne: Fluffy. Fluffy the dog. The dog you don't have. The universally recognized code for "I'm being held prisoner, send help!"

    • Angel: This place was so much friendlier when the mob ran it...

    • Angel: I know you're there. Watching me.
      Cordelia: Oh my God, Angel! You can hear me? I so love you! You don't know what it's been like...
      Fred: We weren't spying...
      Cordelia: Oh, for crap's sake.

    • Gunn: Something starting to feel a lot not right about this.
      Fred: That's what I've been saying, only with better grammar.

    • Angel: I just thought we all could use a little get-away to decompress. You know I haven't had a vacation in a while, not counting my recent ocean cruise.

    • Lorne: You got me. Grind your organ - I'll be your monkey.

    • Fred: (talking about Lorne) They must think it's all make-up, like the Blue Man Group... You don't think that Blue Man Group's...?
      Angel: Only two of them.

  • NOTES (7)

    • Andy Hallett (Lorne) is credited as "Special Guest Star Andy Hallett."

    • From this point on Andy Hallett appears in every episode of Angel.

    • The original running length of this episode was a couple minutes too short. Joss Whedon stepped in with an uncredited contribution and wrote the scene of Wesley in his apartment running his new organization and having phone sex with Lilah. Without this scene, Alexis Denisof wouldn't have appeared in the episode.

    • Although Vincent Kartheiser is credited in this episode, he only appears in the teaser.

    • At the Lorne show in Las Vegas, David Fury is in the front row with a bobblehead Kelly Manners.

    • On the scrolling boards in the Destiny Room, one of the destinies says "Deal with Disney to run new ABC series," which according to the DVD commentary for this episode is a reference to David Greenwalt. The destiny never leaves the board.

    • This episode was actually filmed on location in Las Vegas, with a real Lorne show at the Tropicana casino & hotel. Many of the Lornettes are real dancers at that same casino.


    • Gunn: Wait a minute. Hold it. You knew the Rat Pack?
      Angel and Gunn discuss the famed group of entertainers known as the Rat Pack. The group comprised of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop and Sammy Davis Jr.

    • Angel: And maybe afterwards we can check out that Danny Gans guy I keep seeing billboards for.
      Angel refers to the multi talented Las Vegas headliner. It also seems that advertising works.