Season 1 Episode 15

The Prodigal

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Feb 22, 2000 on The WB



  • Trivia

    • When Angel kills "Head Demon Guy," he falls back with his head firmly attached. Then, the head suddenly rolls across the room.

    • When Cordelia and Wesley are attacked in their office, Cordelia pulls a bookshelf down onto one of the demons. In the next scene, however, the bookshelf is standing upright.

    • When Angel is speaking to Kate in his office, you can see his reflection in the desk.

    • When examining the body of the demon from the subway, Wesley says that he has performed a "vivisection." A vivisection can only be done on an animal that is alive when you begin the process. Since Angel killed the demon back in the subway, Wes actually performed a "disection."

    • You can actually hear Angel breathing heavily when he digs his way out of his grave in the flashback. This could be considered a goof, but it has also been shown that even though vampires do not need to breathe, they often continue to do so out of habit. This includes many examples of vampires seeming "out of breath" or otherwise breathing heavily in both this series and in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    • When Kate finds her dead father lying on the ground, you can clearly see the actor blinking several times during the scene.

    • Both Darla and Liam's breath is visible in the cold air. Since both of their bodies are now the same temperature as the air around them, their breath should not be misting in the cold.

    • During the fight scene in the warehouse, Kate's grip on the pistol shifts from two-handed to one-handed (with her left hand at her side) back to two-handed in consecutive cut shots.

    • When Angel is talking to Kate in her office about how the "evil thing" isn't an evil "evil thing", the boom mic is visible a couple of times at the top of the screen.

  • Quotes

    • Wesley: I think you'll find most people require some period of adjustment after being confronted with the dark forces which surround us. Women in particular--
      (Cordelia is seen kneeling over the Kwaini demon with a hacksaw)
      Cordelia: Found it! (starts to saw into the demon)
      Wesley: ...struggle with it.

    • Liam: As you wish, father. Always, just as you wish.
      Liam's father It's a son I wished for, a man. Instead, God gave me you, a terrible disappointment.
      Liam: Disappointment? A more dutiful son you couldn't have asked for. My whole life you told me in word, in glance what it is you've required of me and I've lived down to your every expectation now, haven't I?
      Liam's father: That's madness!
      Liam: No, the madness is I couldn't fail enough for you, but we'll fix that now, won't we?
      Liam's father: I fear for you, lad.
      Liam: And is that the only thing you can find in your heart for me now, father?
      Liam's father: Who'll take you in, hm? No one.
      Liam: I'll not lack for a place to sleep, I can tell you that. Out of my way.
      Liam's father : (clearly in emotional pain) I was never in your way, boy.

    • Darla: Your victory over him took but moments.
      Angelus: Yes.
      Darla: But his defeat of you will last lifetimes.
      Angelus: What are you talking about? He can't defeat me now.
      Darla: Nor can he ever approve of you. In this world or any other. What we once were informs all that we have become. The same love will infect our hearts, even if they no longer beat. Simple death won't change that.
      Angelus: Love. Is this the work of love?
      Darla: Darling boy. So young. Still so very young.

    • Angelus: I could feel them above me. As I slept in the earth. Heartbeats. The blood coursing through their veins. Was it a dream?
      Darla: A dream for you. Soon their nightmare.

    • Angel: So, you're back.
      Cordelia: Very good, Mister I-can't-tail-the-suspect-during-the-day- because-I'll-burst-into-flames Private Eye.

    • Trevor: (about Angel) You two still seeing each other?
      Kate: We were never seeing each other, Dad.
      Trevor: What's wrong with him?
      Kate: Nothing!
      Trevor: Must be something wrong with him. He married?
      Kate: No.
      Trevor: West Hollywood?
      Kate: Daddy, no! Angel's just... not my type. Or I'm not his type. There is definitely a type involved and it's the wrong one.

    • Angel: (about Kate) Ever since she ran me through with a 2 x 4, things have been different.

    • Angel: It's just that the... uh... Evil Thing, turns out that it wasn't an evil Thing.
      Kate: The Evil Thing wasn't an evil Thing?
      Angel: Well, it was an Evil Thing, in terms of that word. It just wasn't an evil "Evil Thing".
      Kate: There are not-evil Evil Things?
      Angel: Well, yeah.

    • Angel: This thing was a fighter.
      Wesley: Not if it was a Kwahini, it wasn't. At least, not a fighter by nature. They're incredibly articulate, gentle creatures. Not even capable of the kind of power and strength you described.
      Cordelia: Maybe it was just having a bad skanky rag day.

    • Cordelia: The installation guy said it should be something easy to remember, like... my birthday.
      Angel: I don't know your birthday.
      Cordelia: Yeah, tell me something you don't know that I don't know.

    • Darla: He's magnificent.
      Barmaid: Oh, yeah, God's gift alright.
      Darla: Really? I've never known God to be so generous.
      Barmaid: Oh, his lies sound pretty when the stars are out. But he forgets every promise he's made when the sun comes up again.
      Darla: That wouldn't really be a problem for me, actually.

    • Wesley: What happened to calmly, cautiously, and deliberately investigating before rushing in?
      Angel: That was plan A. We've since moved on to plan B.
      Wesley: And plan B is?
      Angel: (twirls a battle ax) Do I really have to explain it to you, Wesley?

    • Head Demon Guy: You're dead!
      Angel: I'm already dead. Welcome to the club.

    • Kate: Sorry. I guess I'm still having a little trouble with this otherworldly stuff.
      Angel: Right, although demons aren't technically otherworldly. I mean, in fact, they were here... first.

    • Kate: No, you don't get to do that.
      Angel: What?
      Kate: Kill a demon in front of me and then act like we're going to have a cappuccino together. It doesn't work that way.
      Angel: How does it work?
      Kate: I'm not convinced it does.

  • Notes

    • This episode scored a rating of 5.2/8 in the overnight Nielsen ratings, ranking 4th out of 15 WB shows for that week.

    • David Boreanaz does the "Previously on Angel" voiceover.

    • This is the first appearance of Darla (Julie Benz) on Angel. It's her first return to the Buffy/Angelverse since she was dusted in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Angel" (1x07) three seasons before. Darla was present briefly in Buffy's second season finale in a flashback of when she sired Angel.

    • This episode is unusually short clocking in at only 40 minutes rather than the usual 44 minutes.

    • Liam's tombstone reads: "1727-1753 Beloved Son."
      Angel was turned into a vampire at age 26.

    • "Liam" is an Irish form of "William," so essentially Angel and Spike (who was known as "William the Bloody") have the same name.

    • Angel's real name is Liam. After becoming a vampire, Liam goes back home to murder his family. His sister, seeing him alive again, believes that he must be an angel. This may have been the original basis for Darla naming him Angelus, Latin for "angel."

    • Cordelia's Birthday is May 22.

  • Allusions

    • Trevor: What's wrong with him? Is he married?
      Kate: No.
      Trevor: West Hollywood?

      West Hollywood is an area of L.A. well known to have an extremely large gay population (roughly 41% as of the 2000 Census). Kate's father is asking if Angel is either married or gay.

    • The title of this epsiode refers to the Biblical parable of the prodigal son. That tale is about a son who leaves home, squanders all his wealth, and then returns home to a joyous welcome from his father. This fits thematically with the episode because it is largely about Kate's relationship with her father and (through flashbacks) about Angel's relationship with his human father.