Angel

Season 4 Episode 19

The Magic Bullet

2
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Apr 16, 2003 on The WB
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

8.8
out of 10
Average
322 votes
  • Fred vs the world

    7.0
    THE MAGIC BULLET



    The Good;

    All of open mic night is classic but Connor and Angel singing 'Oh Jasmine' to the tune of Mandy is so funny it makes me want to lie on the floor kicking my legs in the air with laughter! Whatever they paid to use the Beach Boys it's well worth it.



    The Bad;

    So Fred just happens to fall down a slope and into a demon's lair who gives her the idea for defeating Jasmine? I guess we could just put this down to the PTBs. Personally I find the demon scenes boring and gross. Why doesn't Fred try to blow Jasmine's head off? The mind control books seem to burn very fast.



    Best line;

    Angel; "Someone has to go and get Connor"

    Wes; "I'll do it. After all I've kidnapped him before"



    Jeez, how did they get away with that?

    Finger food and religious zealots on fire!



    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: Fred at the shop, possibly Gunn and Wes

    Cordy: 15

    Angel: 17

    Wes: 6

    Doyle; 1

    Gunn; 2

    Lorne; 6

    Groo; 1

    Connor; 1

    Faith; 1

    Fred; 2



    Kills; 1 demon for Fred

    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 vamps+ 2 demon, 5 zombies

    Connor; 16 vamps, 5 zombies, 2 demons



    Fang Gang go evil:

    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:

    255



    Recurring characters killed;

    9;



    Total number of Angel Investigations;

    Angel, Gunn, Fred, Lorne, Wes, Connor



    Angel Investigations shot: yep, Angel by Fred

    Angel: 12

    Wes; 2



    Packing heat; Fred a dab hand with her .357 Magnum she takes from the shop

    Wes; 8

    Doyle; 1

    Angel; 3

    Gunn; 2

    Fred; 1



    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



    Kinky dinky:

    The couple who spot Fred at the motel appear to be an amazingly voluptuous hooker and her trick, even Jasmine can't stop the world's oldest profession.

    Fred kisses Angel. Angel kisses a sleeping CC (aaaawwwwww!).



    Captain Subtext;

    Lorne says that Jasmine 'Walked off the street and came into my ass' then hurriedly explains that's where his heart is.



    Know the face, different character; 4



    Parking garages;

    6,



    Guantanamo Bay;

    Actually Jasmine is correct, Lee Harvey Oswald did act alone when he killed Kennedy. Holtz used to tie Connor to a tree and then Connor would have to free himself and track Holtz down. Talk about tough love!



    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;

    Not much, paradise on earth actually pretty boring



    Questions and observations;

    Lovely idea that the woman Gunn and Wes mistake for Fred got her first ever TV job on Angel, I would have pegged her for AA's stand in. The bookseller rather reminds of the character of Denver from season 2 and Hank Azaria. Lorne refers to himself as Judas just as Lilah said Wes was. Love Lorne's baseball bat. Does CC get paid just to come in to work and lie down and go to sleep? When Jasmine's not at the hotel her power over AI seems to fade a little. You wonder if Angel got his CC's blood idea from Buffy and Dawn in 'The Gift'? When CC grabs Angel's hand is Fred telling him the truth about coma patients involuntary movements or just telling him what she need's him to hear? It's a small line in a big show but Angel seems to finally have forgiven Wes over the whole Connor kidnap. Possibly the longest ep of Angel ever at nearly 42 minutes



    Marks out of 10; 7/10 I think

  • The Magic Bullet

    10
    The Magic Bullet was a perfect and classic episode of Angel. I really enjoyed watching this episode because there was a lot of character development, plot development, and perfect story telling. I think this episode is scary on a deeper level than normal horror. Jasmine has so much power and basically can control the earth. I thought Fred's encounter with the midget demon was entertaining. Fred was pretty smart to make Angel aware of what is really going on. This episode certainly makes the story take a turn towards a different out come than planned. I really enjoyed watching Jasmine do her thing. I look forward to the next episode!!!!!!!
  • Die, Jasmine, die.

    8.6
    By this stage I'm just extremely bored by the Jasmine arc and it's becoming a bit of a chore to watch. Jasmine herself just isn't a fun character and whilst I love Fred, 40 minutes of her running around just isn't that great. Thankfully, near the end things get a LOT better and it has a good ending!

    Jasmine as a character DOES get more interesting here but not too interesting. I'm just sick of her spouting off about love and the like and it's just getting old. Gina Torres isn't that impressive as her (yeah I said it!) and just seems a bit bored throughout the episode. Amy Acker does a wonderful job as Fred on the run however and makes her desperation and sadness believable. She really is a fantastic actress. All throughout the episode Fred looked so lost and lonely and it was all because that idiot child Jasmine. *loads on Jasmine hate*

    I really liked the Open Mic sequence of people describing Jasmine. The old lady who named her all her cats Jasmine was HILARIOUS and should of got her own show. Not really but she should have been featured a lot more. Like a trilogy about her cats. JOKE JOKE! The whole sequence was great fun and plus Angel and Connor singing "Oh Jasmine" was hilarious! Guess the Manilow love is generic then. I thoroughly enjoyed the biker dude "Jasmine rocks!" too. I only wish it could have been changed to "Kill Jasmine with rocks", then it would of been my favourite scene of all time! Sadly she's back for two more episodes.

    Aside from Jasmine, this episode has some great things! Fred shooting Jasmine was inspired and who didn't hope them bullets killed Jasmine (and Connor for that matter). Sadly Miss Burkle didn't have the sense to aim at Jazzy's head. I enjoyed all the gang being reunited in their non love for Jasmine and felt depressed just watching them moping around. Also, Charisma Carpenter gets to do something! She only grabbed Angel's hand but still it was fun. I enjoyed Jazzee Rascal going all glowy too as it at least gave her some mystery and alluded to some other power than making people talk about their love for her.

    The Magic Bullet is a good but not great episode. It does have some great scenes but the Jasmine overload ruins it. Just kill her already!
  • Fred runs from the people Jasmine has brainwashed - that is, everyone.

    9.1
    THe conspiracy theorist guy was absolutely freakin hilarious - He reminds me of lots of people I know personally. His acting was utterly superb. It was also rather thrilling when our little Fred Burkle, the sweetest of the gang, was hunted to be turned or killed by the rest of the gang. The hand-eating monster was also pretty a a a a funny. b b c c d d d e e e f f g g dkjfldfj erei i i o o o p p p ; ; ; l l l k k k k j j j j h h h h g g g g
  • Fred goes ballistic!

    9.0
    After the last episode, which was just plain odd, things start to hot up now that Fred has seen Jasmine's true face and she's able to show Angel too. It's still not clear what Jasmine is all about and after Glory in the Buffy shows, she's much less frightening.

    I don't really get this season - lots of the episodes have been really good and I'm enjoying it, but where there has normally been a very clear story arc, there seems to be a bit of a 'where do we go from here' concept to the way the episodes are playing out. After all, we started out with a bit of the Wolfram and Hart normal evil stuff, then had a stone demon, seemingly invincible, then had a sudden revelation when Cordelia killed Lila and now we're onto our next big demon in the form of a supermodel from hell.

    And what IS with Connor. I know he's a teenager who hasn't had a childhood, distrusts just abour everyone and has some serious issues (not least his hair). But get over it! The character is becoming seriously boring and could have been so much more interesting. I'm not in favour of violence but even I would give him a slap.

    And again in this episode where the hell is Cordy? Does she only act lying down now?
  • Only The Bullet Knows...

    8.8
    The Magic Bullet-Fred is on the run from the rest of the Angel Investigations gang... and the entire city of Los Angeles. Jasmine is using every mind in the city to search for her and to bring her to ground. Fred must find a way to show Angel and the rest what she has seen before they manage to hunt her down.

    Now here is when the arc gets interesting and the character of Jasmine shows how much of a threat she is. Our dear Fred is still on the run, as Jasmine's thrawl continues to spread throughout L.A. Amy Acker gives a top notch peformance as Fred realizes she's the only one who can save the day. She out smarts Wesley and Gunn, even kills a little green demon all on her on, hilarious scene, but wait a go! This episode also has some of the creepiest scenes of the series with Jasmine using her thrawl to track Fred down, just watching people suddenly stare and follow Fred is very horrir movie-ish, especially when a man on fire continues to walk toward Fred. There's also more of a subtle evil undertone to Jasmine this hour which Gina conveys so smoothly, you defnately tell this goddess gal is not so good after all...right? There are also some really hilarious scenes like deaf lady telling the rest of the Jasmanics that if she was Fred's skull, she would blow up her brain. Not to mention anytime Angel sings is comic gold, even Connor joins him to do a rendition of Mandy, to which they use Jasmine's name instead, lol! I have to say the best scene is Fred shooting Jasmine with the bullet which frees Angel from the thrawl. The blood of Jasmine mixed with anyone else's=maggot, rottoning faced vision, not the best power is it? Anyway, it's great that Fred is not alone another with her and Angel making a great team in the end. They even get some of Cordelia's blood to...wait she's awake!..oh, no she's not, just a coma reflex? Aww! Nice to see Lorne back, then Wesley and Gunn. Loved Lorne with the bat as they entered the room. Now it's time to bring back Connor, whhhyyyy?...Anyway they bring Connor back, oh wait, no they don't...he calls for the Jasmanics to stop them! Where's Faith when you need her? All and All, A much, MUCH better follow-up with some truly creepy scenes, great developments and well acted moments.
  • Run Fred Run!

    8.5
    This one started out...eerie. Everything is not only sunny in L.A., but downright Stepford cheerful. Fred is being chased by Wes and Gunn but luckily she gets away. Back at Jasmine-central even more followers have descended upon the hotel wanting to be close to their new idol. I wont even go into the love-in in the lobby where people are singing Jasmines praises and making speeches. This was an exciting episode and some wonderful character development for Fred. She figures out how she was able to see Jasmine for what she really is; her blood mixing with Jasmines. Connor, Angel and Jasmine corner Fred in a bookstore and Fred draws a gun. She apologizes to Angel and shoots at Jasmine. The bullet goes through Jasmine and into Angel who now sees the real Maggot-face. Jasmine realizes what has happened and tells Connor Angel is as dead to them as Fred is. After Angel and Fred get away, she explains to him that it was Jasmines blood that was the key. They also suss out that perhaps since Cordy was Jasmines Mother, that she shares the blood link. They sneak into Cordys bedroom to steal some blood and are caught by Lorne. They are able to overtake him and mix his blood with Cordys. He is willing to help "cure" the others, but he is depressed about it. He lures Wes and Gunn into a room and you can hear the skirmish behind the closed door. Now all the gang, minus Connor know the truth. Wes gets Connor upstairs and they hold him while they mix his blood with Cordys. We *think* he is cured but he turns on them all and yells out "They're here!" and here comes Jasmine and co. We also find out this episode that Jasmine eats people...wonderful.
  • fred gets hunted

    8.4
    i have to admit but i do not want to. this episode is pretty good. now that fred is the only one who knows everyone comes after her and it was all very cool and well done. jasmine who i do not like has a power to connect to the gang and she sees through all the people where fredekens is.

    i do not like fred in general but she was brave and did a very good job in this episode. the girl was smart as she with jasmines blood brought angel out and made him realise about jasmine. now they both escape and at the end they turn everyone. poor gang!
  • The beginning of the amazing Jasmine arc. It was specially great for Fred and many character development and excitment.

    10
    The Magic Bullet

    Yep, a huge improvement from the last episode. Specially Fred\'s character is amazing and her line \'I\'m not a champion like you\' is just wow. The episode has many hilarious humor, Gina Torres looks beautiful. and it also has some awesome and cool moments with the gun for example. Fred is able to turn Angel with Jasmine\'s blood and they turn the rest of the gang except Connor.

    Cut to some happy people and all friendly. But Fred goes against a car and she runs away from Gunn and Wes and they see a girl with her jacket and she says that Fred gave it to her and they go after her. Cut to Fred in the sewers all alone.

    the credits start

    Cut to the hotel but it\'s full and they can\'t give them a room. Then comes Jasmine and she is thankful to everyone for coming. Jasmine can look into people\'s heart. Wes and Gunn come and they say that they couldn\'t find Fred. Jasmine asks a couple of persons to come with her. Wes and Gunn don\'t know what she does with those people. Cut to Fred going into a store and she comes for a book of mind control. The man says that he heard Jasmine and that he\'s now happy. He wants Jasmine\'s love to reach everyone the way it reached them but Fred isn\'t really happy. Cut to Connor and Angel in the sewers and how Holtz used to teach him how to track. Then both feel that Jasmine\'s wants them back. Cut back to the hotel, Jasmine wants to learn a lot. When Angel and Connor arrive they are going to find Fred but just by connection and they join hands. They have to picture Fred.

    Cut to Fred on the street and the people see her. People come out and they follow Fred and she runs away and a car follows her. The man comes out in fire of the car who crashed and tells her not to be afraid but then Jasmine becomes hot and falls down. Jasmine says she saw Fred but there is a start and they will find her and now everyone who loves Jasmine knows Fred. Cut to Fred walking down the street and she falls into a big hole and falls on a demon who attacks her but she grabs an axe and almost kills him but he says he\'s vegetarian. Cut to the hotel where the people teach others that Fred is a monster. Lorne then comes and says it\'s open-mic night. Everyone comes on and they give their time and Angel and Connor even sing. Fred and the man say that they live in a dirt hole because of the Jasmeniacs. The man says he pissed in his pants cause of her and they have to stop Jasmine and he is going to bed and he has hands. The demon attacks her and bites her because he wasn\'t a veggie and then she kills him with her axe.

    Cut to Fred outside and she is in a shop and goes into it and tells Jasmine to come and get her. Fred goes into the shop and Jasmine comes in. Jasmine says she loves Fred and she can\'t stop her love. Fred says she\'s sorry and Jasmine forgives her but she meant Angel. She shoots and the bullet goes through Jasmine into Angel and he vamps and grabs Fred with the gun. Fred tells him to look at Jasmine and he sees what Fred saw. Jasmine realised that it\'s her blood and says that they cannot save Angel anymore and Fred shoots Jasmine a lot but Connor knocks her out and fights Angel who escapes with Fred and Jasmine needs Connor\'s help and they burn the shop to the ground for safety of her blood.

    Cut to the hotel where everyone is eating. Lorne, Wes and Gunn say that they miss Jasmine and they see her and she goes up and the guys follow her. Jasmine says that she lost Angel and now they have to kill them. She asks a couple of people to come with her. The gang says they don\'t care now abut Angel and if he has to die he dies. Cut to a place and Fred is waking up and Angel is there. Angel says that a bullet feels like a bee sting and he doesn\'t want to talk about it. Angel wants to believe the lie and Fred wishes she did and she tells about the blood. He says she had a lot of courage. Fred says that she has been alone and that she isn\'t a champion and they need more blood. Then they hear people walking and Fred kisses Angel. They see the people and they say they\'re dead so they didn\'t buy it. They start to fight.

    Cut to Jasmine taking those people inside and Connor stays outside. she tells the people to take off their clothes and then she heals herself. Cut to Cordy in bed and then Angel and Fred enter the room. They cut into Cordy but she touches his hand but Fred says it was just her muscle. Angel says that stranger things have happen but she says she\'s sorry and have to get over it. Cut to Connor feeling warmth outside Jasmine\'s room. Cut to Lorne coming in he is mad at the for being pigs and he sees blood and they grab him. Cut to Connor and Jasmine comes outside and she glows. He asks about the people and she says she ate them. Cut to the room and Lorne is turned and he comes downstairs and he asks Wes and Gunn to follow him. they arrive to the room while Lorne grabs something to hit them behind.

    Cut to Gunn and Wesley later and they are turned as well and they aren\'t really happy for it. Fred says it\'s impossible to fight something so huge and powerful and Angel wants to leave with Connor and Wesley gets Connor. In there he sees Fred and Angel grabs him and they cut him open. and they put the blood in him and they say he\'s back and he acts like he\'s back and say he\'s back and what he\'s feeling is normal. The Connor goes to the door and he opens it and he yells that they are there.

    Black Out
    ----------
    Best episode quotes:

    Fred: Um, hi. You probably don\'t remember me-
    Shopkeeper: Three days ago. Mass hypnosis. You wondered if it was possible.
    Fred: I read those books. Some wacko theories, by the way. All of the mass hypnosis theories seem highly flawed to me. I\'m looking for a type of mind control that could affect everyone across the board.
    Shopkeeper: I might have a book on that.
    Fred: Astral Projections. Satan\'s Dictionary? You must get some pretty colorful customers in here.
    Shopkeeper: Used to. You\'re the only customer I had since last time you were here.
    Fred: Oh.
    Shopkeeper: Not a huge demand for photo books of serial killer autopsies when you\'re living in a utopian wonderland. You know what I mean?
    Fred: I hadn\'t really though it- Must be hard.
    Shopkeeper: Hard? Are you kidding? It\'s great.
    Fred: Great? Really?
    Shopkeeper: Yeah. Look at me. I\'ve never been happier.
    Fred: Uh, sure. I see it now. You\'re practically glowy.
    Shopkeeper: I was flicking through the radio the other night-there\'s nothing really good on since Art Bell retired. But, uh, ended up listening to this woman talk.
    Fred: Jasmine.
    Shopkeeper: Yeah. You too, huh? What a breath of fresh air she is. I listened for almost an hour. I\'m a new man. I-I used to be obsessed with mind control. I read everything I could get my hands on.
    Fred: And you don\'t believe in it anymore?
    Shopkeeper: I believe. I just don\'t worry about it anymore.
    Fred: So, you don\'t worry that it\'s possible for someone to send out a biological or electronic trigger that effectively overrides your own sense of ideals and values, and replaces them with an alternative coercive agenda that reduces you to little more than a mindless meat puppet?
    Shopkeeper: Wow. People used to think that I was paranoid. I mean, don\'t get me wrong. I still got the implants in my head. C.I.A. is still listening in. It just doesn\'t bother me anymore. Instead, I-I beam Jasmine\'s love up to their satellite, you know? Share the love with those M.K.-Ultra bastards.
    Fred: That\'ll teach \'em.
    Shopkeeper: Hey. Now I get it.
    Fred: You do?
    Shopkeeper: Yeah. I know what you\'re doing. You want to fight fire with fire. Make sure the government and the other savages learn about Jasmine\'s love.
    Fred: Exact- that\'s exactly right. Why should we be the only shiny, happy people?
    Shopkeeper: We don\'t need to use the evil tools of \"the man\" when we have \"the wo-man\". We need to trust that Jasmine\'s love will reach the rest of the world just like it reached us.
    Fred: Oh, happy day.

    Connor: She\'s been down here.
    Angel: How old were you when you realized you could track like this?
    Connor: I don\'t know. Five, six. We didn\'t exactly celebrate birthdays in Quor-Toth. Holtz made up a game so I could practice.
    Angel: What do you mean he\'d hide things for you to find?
    Connor: Kind of. He\'d tie me to a tree and then run away.
    Angel: What?
    Connor: You know, so I\'d have to escape and then find him. One time it only took me five days.
    Angel: Five days. He abandoned you... Connor, that\'s terrible. That\'s-
    Connor: Why I\'m so good at tracking.

    Fred: Ohh! Get off!
    Creature: I\'m vegetarian!
    Fred: Really? With those choppers?
    Creature: OK. I eat fish and occasionally vermin, but that\'s it, I swear! You believe me, don\'t you?
    Fred: You\'re still breathing, aren\'t you?
    Creature: More like hyperventilating. You scared the cream cheese outta me. What\'re you doing? Don\'t-don\'t do that. Go on. Get a room.
    Fred: Sit down! Any monkey business, and I\'ll chop you down like a cherry tree.
    Creature: So, we just gonna sit here like this?
    Fred: Maybe.
    Creature: Can you give me a time frame? Because I got a bladder the size a jujube.
    Fred: Shut up! I\'m trying to figure some stuff out.

    Old Woman: I have 37 cats, and I\'ve just changed all their names to Jasmine.

    Creature: Kinda drafty in here, what with that hole you smashed in the roof. You mind if I quest for fire? Forget it. I\'ll just freeze to death. Not like I care anymore. On the run like an animal.
    Fred: You don\'t live here?
    Creature: Do you live in a dirt hole?
    Fred: No.
    Creature: Do you want to live in a dirt hole?
    Fred: No.
    Creature: Then why the hell do you think that I live in a dirt hole?
    Fred: You\'re a demon.
    Creature: I\'m an executive demon, thank you very much. I had an office and an assistant and a beautiful porcelain cup for my tea. Now I live in a dirt hole because of those freakin\' Jasmaniacs and their demon jihad!
    Fred: Wait. You\'re here because of Jasmine? Me too. I\'m a fugitive too.
    Creature: Wow. Amazing. Two beings dissimilar as you and me discovering a shared link against a common foe. Huh. The irony. My feelings for you are changing. I feel warmth. Wait. No, I don\'t. That\'s just me wetting myself because you wouldn\'t let me pee! Thanks for nothing.
    Fred: Hey, I\'m as new to this fugitive thing as you are. That\'s what I\'ve been trying to suss out all night-how Jasmine controls people. We have to stop her!
    Creature: OK, fine, we\'ll stop her, but not tonight. Not \'til I\'ve had a little shuteye. I\'m beat. Huh. Hey, these yours? \'Cause I\'ve never seen \'em before. Why would anyone keep a stash of these tasty little-uh, disgusting meaty things like this laying around? OK, so, not a vegetarian. Finger food? I got your demon jihad right here!

    Shopkeeper: Hey, Fred.
    Fred: You know my name.
    Shopkeeper: You\'re famous.
    Fred: I\'ll chop out your implants, you come any closer.
    Shopkeeper: No need to worry. We\'re under strict orders not to hurt you.
    Fred: So, Jasmine\'s coming for me?
    Shopkeeper: Yeah. Could I get your autograph?
    Fred: Anything for a fan. Who should I sign it to?
    Jasmine: To me, of course. And to reward you for your faithfulness: Dallas, November 22, 1963-there was no second gunman. Oswald acted alone.
    Shopkeeper: Oh, my God!
    Jasmine: You know that I love you, don\'t you, Fred? And there\'s nothing that you can do or say to make me stop loving you.
    Fred: I\'m so sorry.
    Jasmine: It\'s OK. I forgive you.
    Fred: No, I\'m talking to Angel. I hope he can forgive me.
    Angel: Dumb idea for such a smarty. You know bullets don\'t kill me. Want to see how they work on you?
    Fred: Look at her.
    Angel: No.
    Jasmine: Angel.
    Fred: I\'m sorry. I had to show you. I\'m so sorry.
    Connor: Show you what?
    Angel: No. It can\'t be. No.
    Jasmine: My blood...
    Connor: Dad, what\'s going on?
    Jasmine: Don\'t. He\'s been infected. I\'m sorry, Connor. He\'s as dead to us as Fred.
    Fred: I loved you so much.
    Connor: We need to get you out of here. You ruined everything. I don\'t understand. How\'d it happen?
    Jasmine: Let them go.
    Connor: They need to be stopped.
    Jasmine: I need your help.
    Shopkeeper: Wow. So much blood.
    Jasmine: Stay away from it-both of you. We need to clean this up.
    Connor: I\'ll do it.
    Jasmine: No. Burn it to the ground.
    Shopkeeper: OK. You want me to stay here?

    Jasmine: I\'ll make this brief. Fred infected Angel. He\'s gone. Lost to us.
    Gunn: What?
    Jasmine: Don\'t worry. I\'m not so easily undone as that.
    Wesley: Any idea how she did it, how Fred turned him?
    Jasmine: Yes. My kindness turned him. By being loving to Fred, I opened the door to her hate. By trying to save Fred, I lost Angel. It won\'t happen again. We must eradicate their hate.

    Fred: Angel...you OK?
    Angel: Bullet feels like a bee sting.
    Fred: That\'s not what I meant-
    Angel: I know what you meant. I don\'t want to talk about it.
    Fred: I think you do.
    Angel: I miss her so much. I never...
    Fred: I know. It\'s been over a week, and I still cry. Part of me wishes I still believed the lie.
    Angel: Well, why don\'t we? I mean, I\'m not exactly clear on-
    Fred: Jasmine\'s blood. It was on the bullet that hit you. Somehow it breaks her spell when it mingles with ours. I think it must\'ve got in my system when I was trying to get the blood off her blouse.
    Angel: You did the right thing, Fred. It took a lot of courage. It must\'ve been hard for you.
    Fred: I\'m sorry. I\'ve been so alone and scared. I\'m not like you, not a champion.
    Angel: Everything I see says different.
    Fred: We need more of Jasmine\'s blood. We have to help the others.
    Angel: We\'ll never get close to her, not now.
    Fred: Then we need another way. What?
    Angel: It\'s pretty horrible, but ma-
    Fred: You think they bought it?
    Angel: I did. I-I mean, I didn\'t hear anything.

    Fred: I can\'t even count all the ways this is wrong.
    Angel: It\'s not like she\'ll feel it. Right? I mean, she\'s-
    Fred: Brain dead? The expression doesn\'t leave a lot to the imagination, does it?
    Angel: Just makes what I have to do a little easier.I\'m so sorry. Oh, my God. She\'s awake. Cordy? Cordelia? Can you hear me? We\'re right here. Did you see that? She grabbed my hand.
    Fred: Angel, people in comas-sometimes their bodies just do things- Mumble words, maybe even open their eyes. Doesn\'t necessarily mean they\'re waking up.
    Angel: But it could, right? I mean, stranger things have happened.
    Fred: Like Cordelia giving birth to a beautiful ebony goddess?
    Angel: Not the example I was looking for, but yeah.
    Fred: I know. Sorry. Maybe we should get this over with.

    Connor: You\'re the most beautiful thing I\'ve ever seen.
    Jasmine: My sweet boy.
    Connor: Where are those people?
    Jasmine: I ate them.
    Connor: Cool.

    Wesley: How did you figure it out?
    Fred: It was Angel. He figured since Cordy gave birth to Jasmine, they might share a blood link as well as a mystical one.
    Angel: We hoped Cordy\'s blood would have the same effect when we exposed you to it.
    Gunn: Thanks for nothing.
    Lorne: Yeah, you slashed this wrist, and I\'m ready to do the other one myself.
    Wesley: Everything we believed...deception.
    Angel: And how do we convince several million other people that Jasmine\'s message is false?
    Fred: It\'s impossible. Even if we\'re able to develop a synthetic analog to the blood, there\'s-I mean, how do we fight something this huge and powerful?
    Angel: I don\'t know yet, but what I do know is I\'m not leaving this hotel without my son.
    Wesley: I\'ll get him. I\'ve kidnapped him before.

    Connor: What? Hey! No!
    Angel: It\'s gonna be OK.
    Fred: You\'ve been lied to. We all have.
    Angel: Don\'t make this any harder.
    Connor: Let go.
    Angel: Easy.
    Connor: Don\'t. Aah! I\'ll kill you.
    Angel: It\'ll pass.
    Lorne: Right, \'cause Lord knows he\'s never tried that before.
    Gunn: You\'re back with us now, Connor.
    Angel: Sorry. The only way to make you see.
    Fred: What you\'re feeling is normal. We\'re all feeling it. The sadness-it gets better after a while.
    Connor: Jasmine.
    Angel: You understand why we\'re here?
    Connor: They\'re here! Come quick! They\'re here.

    ----------
    Story: 10
    Acting: 10
    Writing: 10
    Picture: 10
    Gripping: 10
    My Rank: 10
    ----------
    Total: 10
  • Fred hides out from the gang and searches for a way to break Jasmine's spell.

    9.7
    When Fred found the solution to breaking Jasmine’s thrall—blood—loyal “Angel” and “BTVS” probably weren’t surprised. After all, as Spike intoned in “The Gift” (“Buffy” 5th Season finale), “If course it’s blood. The blood is the life.”

    Something bothered me at first: when Fred, and then Angel, were infected with Jasmine’s blood, they didn’t realize her true form until they looked on her face. But when Lorne, Gunn, and Wesley were exposed to Cordelia’s blood, they became immediately aware of Jasmine’s true nature—without having to see her. My first thought was that I had spied a continuity error. But upon further reflection, I realized that it probably wasn’t a mistake by the writers (and even if so, it was a mistake which made the story better). Of course those exposed to Cordy’s blood would immediately know the truth about Jasmine—after all, she’s always been the most honest character in the Buffy/Angel universe. Her penchant for telling the truth must stretch even to her blood! And it seems that Jasmine’s choice of “mother” has led to her Achilles Heel, since the lie-exposing nature of Cordelia has passed onto her demonic daughter. Jasmine’s blood has a diluted version of this trait, but cannot get rid of it.

    In this episode we also saw a touching scene between Angel and Cordelia, as he kisses her on the forehead and apologizes in advance for cutting her. When she grasps his hand Angel is ecstatic, convinced that she’s awake—and is heartbroken when Fred tells him that Cordy is still in her coma. Angel truly loves Cordelia, and wants her back in the world not just so she can help them fight Jasmine, but so that he can see her again—as he hasn’t spoken with the real, non-amnesiac Cordelia since the end of the 3rd season (except briefly when they reverted to teenagers, but he didn’t know her then, either).
  • Working out a few painful kinks in imposing a utopian paradise.

    8.2
    An overarching characteristic of megalomaniacs is how quickly the petty priorities of one's followers become ... boring.

    Jasmine: Oh, it's always about you. [mocking] "//I'm// burning! //I'm// on fire! Put //me// out!" [/mocking] What about my needs? I hurt my hand while commandeering your brain. You were barely able to menace properly before that whole immolation thing shut down your higher functions and now she got away!

    This was the best and most important argument for why having Jasmine as your god isn't necessarily the best choice -- not that it //is// a choice, of course. People don't seem to have any say in the matter. All one has to do is experience Jasmine's presence and //mind warp//.

    As a metaphor for organized religion, this is where it gets a little sketchy. People who follow Jesus, or Muhammed, or the teachings of Zoroaster are all making, on some level, a conscious decision.

    Once they've //had// their conversion experience they do -- from the perspective of any self-respecting atheist -- sometimes seem to act with a hive mentality that seems like the townspeople all converging on the heretic. Public stonings, the burning of witches, the waging of a Crusade against the infidel, the lesser jihad, flying airplanes into buildings -- all of it //looks// like mob mentality.

    And, as illustrated in this arc, it can be frightening.

    A more useful metaphor is the thrall that Jasmine casts, the unquestioning abdication of self-direction of a cult. As Fred discusses with the creepy bookstore guy, Jasmine represents a mind control that overrides your moral and critical thought processes. When Gunn, Wes and Lorne are discussing what's happened to Angel, they are as impassive concerning the killing of Angel as they might be about eating a sandwich.

    As for whether what Jasmine offers is actually a lie, she does play fast and loose with the truth, per se. When asked how Fred managed to turn Angel against them, Jasmine said it was her kindness -- not her //blood//, even though she herself had come to that realization in the confrontation in the book store -- to the extent that she'd rather burn the place to the ground rather than risk losing anyone else through contact with her blood (even though there is some question as to whether the creepy bookstore guy escaped that little firetrap).

    Later, she comes right out and tells Connor she ate some of her followers, and Connor's completely OK with that.

    Even in his first night back from Qor-toth -- where incidentally there are, apparently, trees growing since he said Holtz would tie him to trees and then run away -- Connor had some sense of morality. When he saw Sunny being hurt (in S3x20 "A New World") his instincts were to defend her.

    So his response to this realization -- "Cool" -- seems to indicate that Fred is right -- that the thrall in fact shifts all sense of right and wrong.

    So what you have, objectively, is a demon who invades the mind (you saw how Jasmine distracted everyone from her hand by making them think about the plumbing on the third floor) and keeps everyone marinating in a Demerol high until she eats them, and there are those who would argue that she's not evil?

    What are the standards for good and evil these days? If you're only helping people through ignoring other realities (how helped was that guy on fire, exactly?) then when do the other realities get addressed?

    I guess if Jasmine was able to make everyone love each other and bring about world peace while only eating plankton, perhaps, there'd be several points in her favor. But naming all 37 of your cats "Jasmine" doesn't solve world hunger and doesn't address the hole in the ozone layer and it doesn't ... a guy was willing to leave his family homeless to get a room near Jasmine, for Jasmine's sake.

    To borrow another line from another series, //does that seem right to you?//

    To gain a little perspective on how far speculative fiction has come, the vibe at the end of "To Serve Man" is pretty uncompromising. The Kanamites were hailed as heroes when they solved world hunger and ended poverty and disease and turned the planet into their own personal people ranch -- until someone //found out// about it, at which point it was pretty horrifying.

    So ... maybe if they'd been played by Gina Torres there'd be more sympathy for them at the end.

    SIDE NOTES: Fred's interaction with that little asparagus demon was very cool, and it made me wonder what kind of a thrall was going on when people could be missing their hands and not raise some sort of an outcry, but then I figured he went dumpster diving at the local morgue, so it was probably OK.

    - Also compelling in the discussion of Jasmine as evil or not evil was Angel and Connor mangling a retrofit karaoke version of Barry Manilow's "Mandy."

    - The kiss between Fred and Angel not fooling anyone was still a nice try.

    - And the plan to use some of Cordy's blood to shift perspectives on Jasmine was pretty wild. I'm glad it worked, but ... wow. Lorne's discovery was a little weird, tho. He saw the blood on Cordy's pillow, but he didn't see the two unmistakable shapes of Angel and Fred kneeling there? Even from the back, all that sticky-up hair //alone// ...

    - How about everyone holding hands in Jasmine's room before the painful kink that needed working out? Somebody sing "Kum-Bah-Ya" already :)

    - The reference of Wes kidnapping Connor was interesting. I think that that was one of the things Wes would love to forgive himself for, and while under the thrall, he was probably almost able to, giving some shape to the pain that accompanied the lifting of Jasmine's thrall. But it's another point against her, ultimately. In Jasmania, no one has to face consequences or take responsibility for their actions -- which might be another dig at organized religion (though Christ, for example, in Matt. 5:23 says to try to make things right with your fellow beings to achieve forgiveness, and in Matt. 6:14, he says we need to offer forgiveness whether it's asked of us or not). Oftentimes, the hardest thing to do is to forgive yourself, of course, and that thrall just seemed to make that part easier.

    - Another Wes note, his presentation before open-mike night of the gentle graceful Fred as an armed, dangerous and quite possibly insane heretic was just fun.

    - Bringing that home was that absolutely artistic vision of Amy Acker making a run for it in the sewers of Los Angeles in the opening sequence, her graceful form disappearing into the shadows. That was one emotionally powerful image.

    Well, I see our old friends The Powers that Sit There Drinking Maragritas Poolside seem bent on closing the bar down, so here's one final point to ponder: Did CYNTHIA! ever actually apologize to Fred for hunting her down like a dog? I know Fred apologized for breaking the thrall on Angel, but ... it feels like some apologies for not believing her and threatening death were in order.

    Maybe, as Gunn said, it was indeed, "Thanks for nothing."
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