Season 5 Episode 19

Time Bomb

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Apr 28, 2004 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (12)

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out of 10
417 votes
  • Illyria loses her godhood


    The Good;

    Great performance from mad Wes and lovely scenes between him and Gunn making up

    The Bad;

    In any show featuring time travel it's always a bit of a cheat to kill characters knowing you can just click your fingers and bring them back.

    Best line;

    Marcus; "Curing cancer Mr Pryce?"

    Wes; "Wouldn't be cost effective. I'm sure we make a lot of money from cancer"

    Marcus; "True, the patent holder is a client"

    Jeez, how did they get away with that?

    The Breathren want to feed their baby messiah consecrated urine and panda meat. I'm not sure which is worse?

    Apocalypses: 5

    Angel Cliches

    Subverting the Hollywood cliche; evil demon Fell Breathren all paternal (and rather camp?) about the coming baby. They also like organic cola.

    In disguise; 8

    DB/JM get's his shirt off; 19,

    Cheap Angel; 8

    Fang Gang in bondage:

    Cordy: 5

    Angel: 15

    Wes: 8

    Gunn; 8

    Lorne; 6

    Fred; 5

    Spike; 6

    Fang gang knocked out:

    Cordy: 15

    Angel: 20

    Wes: 10

    Doyle; 1

    Gunn; 4

    Lorne; 8

    Groo; 1

    Connor; 1

    Faith; 1

    Fred; 7

    Spike; 5


    Cordy: 5 vamps, 3 demons

    Angel; 48 vamps, 72 and 1/2 demons, 5 zombies, 12 humans, one werewolf and one cyborg

    Doyle; 1 vamp

    Wes; 16 demons+5 vamps, 5 zombies, 4 humans, 2 cyborgs

    Kate; 3 vamps

    Faith; 18 vamps, 6 demons, 3 humans.

    Gunn; 11 vamps+ 15 demons, 5 zombies, 1 human.

    Groo; 1 demon

    Fred; 3 vamps+ 14 demons, 5 zombies

    Connor; 16 vamps, 5 zombies, 4 demons, Jasmine

    Spike; 21 vamps, 12 demons+1 human+one parasite

    Fang Gang go evil:

    Cordy: 3

    Angel: 3

    Gunn; 1

    Wes; 1

    Alternate Fang Gang;

    Cordy: 4

    Angel: 12

    Fred; 3

    Wes; 1

    Gunn; 2

    Connor; 1

    Lorne; 1

    Characters killed:


    Recurring characters killed; everyone but then they come back


    Total number of Angel Investigations; 5,

    Angel, Gunn, Lorne, Wes, Spike

    Angel Investigations shot:

    Angel: 15

    Wes; 2

    Spike; 1

    Packing heat;

    Wes; 13

    Doyle; 1

    Angel; 4

    Gunn; 3

    Fred; 5

    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, 2 possible, Justine, Fred

    Gunn; 2 Fred and Gwen.

    Fred; 1 Gunn, 1 possible Wes

    Groo; 1Cordy

    Spike; 3-Buffy, Anya, Harmony

    Kinky dinky:

    Gunn suggests they keep Illyria in a leash. Spike refers to 'Dear Penthouse'.

    Captain Subtext;

    Illyria says that adaptation is compromise and Spike teases her about learning and the Internet. Again, we see why humans rule the world and demons don't.

    Know the face, different character; 7

    Parking garages;


    Guantanamo Bay;

    Suspicion of each other has started to pull AI apart, they don't trust each other anymore?

    Buffy characters on Angel; 17

    Wetherby, Collins and Smith. Angel, Cordy, Oz, Spike, Buffy, Wes, Faith, Darla, Dru, The Master, Anne, Willow and Harmony. POSSIBLY The First Evil, Andrew.

    What the fanficcers thought; .

    Angel travelling in time used by many fanficcers to rescue characters from all sorts of trouble.

    Questions and observations;

    Wes suggests they keep Illyria as an asset and he's to be proven correct. Jamie Bergman of course is Mrs Boreanaz and a Playboy Playmate. Has she turned up in Bones yet? Anyone else worry that Wes is slowly becoming Illyria's high priest? Marcus suggests that Angel has gone from front runner in the earning stakes to back of the pack, a hint of Angel's history at the WB? When did the 1000 year war begin? Anyone else think that Illyria reminds you of Lady Gaga? Jim Jones was a religious cult leader who led his followers into mass suicide in the South American jungle.

    Here Angel get's the idea for the story arc in the last few eps.

    Marks out of 10; 7/10 I think the Illyria storyline drags on too long

  • Time Bomb

    Time Bomb was a perfect episode of Angel because it had a lot of action, drama, and character development. I enjoyed watching this episode because we learned more about Illyria and her power. I thought it was funny how Lorne was watching Illyria and was spotted by her. I also enjoyed the sub plot of the pregnant woman giving up her baby to a demon clan. This episode definitely showes us a different side of Angel and this is where the gang really begin to question just what side Angel is really on. It was cool to see more of Illyria and learn more about her. I look forward to watching the next episode of Angel!!!!!!!
  • "A true ruler."

    This is the episode that I've been waiting for ever since I've started liking Illyria. She's been quite a big storyline throughout the last few episodes, but she's reached her top in this one, that's for sure. Not being able to exist in her shell for a longer time, she goes through different time periods in order to keep her powers, but the Angel crew finally manages to bring her down a notch.

    I like how Gunn was brought back into the fold, how Wesley has this connection with Illyria, and how the writers decided to keep Illyria and note that she might join the team yet. The ending was a bit confusing with Angel changing his ways, but I guess that's something to worry about in the next episode.
  • Touch me and die vermin!

    Time Bomb is another excellent episode that focuses on Illyria as she struggles to adapt to humanity and to our world, and shows how her powers are getting out of control. It is exciting and well worth a watch.

    I'm a big fan of Illyria- she may have killed old Fredikins but she's a great character, coming out with some funny lines and portrayed breathtakingly by the superb Amy Acker. This is one of the only episode where we see Illyria exhibit weaknesses and pain. It was a tad confusing at times when she just jumped through time but the action makes up for the slight confusion. I LOVED the fight where she killed Spike, Lorne, Wesley and Angel- it was brutal and completely shocking. I was thinking "But there's 3 episodes left! How could she kill them?" but then she went back in time again. It was a great moment and quite weird to watch everyone get killed, especially Angel! I'm glad they didn't stay dead though (obviously). Illyria's confusion here was interesting. Illyria rarely shows any weaknesses, always coming across as an all powerful god and seeing her in pain was quite something. I like that Angel stood up to her and that she finally lost some of her powers- she needs to mellow a bit. Her line at the end "Touch me and die vermin" is a great line and I laughed out loud at it. Wesley's relationship with Illyria is also interesting- he should hate her (she killed the woman he loved) but instead he comes the closes thing she has to a friend. I liked his speech at the end saying he didn't love her but he needed her. Illyria looking like Fred must be a small comfort so that he can see her face every day but in the long run it's not a good thing.

    The end of the episode where Angel looks like he's joining the evil side of life was good. It made you wonder whether Angel is succumbing to evil but we all know Angel isn't going to! He's a champion, of course.

    Time Bomb is a great episode that has some brilliant action and focuses on old Liry. It's not too heavy but is a fun ride that you won't forget soon.
  • There She Blows!

    Timb Bomb-When Illyria's powers become unstable and cause her to erratically jump through time, she learns that the gang intends to kill her. Upon returning to the present, Illyria decides that she must kill everyone else before they are able to attack her. Angel, caught in Illyria's time distortion is pulled into the past and must find a way to alter the course of events.

    It's funny in a matter of very few episodes that Illyria has become one of the most best characters of the Buffyverse. I mean, besides the First, she's the oldest thing on Earth. She was a powerful god, who ruled the primordial world and was feared my all creatures as well as feared by them. But now, in the words of Spike, "Can't even get a polite hello." Since her return, Illyria has been searching for her place among the world she no longer knows, but can't seem to let go of her claim to fame of the demon era. What "Time Bomb" does well is letting us see for the first time a vunerable side to Illyria. That even with all that power and ego, she knows that world the world doesn't belong to her. In some ways, she feels safe with Wesley because that is her only connect to the world. But once she finds out she can't trust them she's willing to kill them becuase she's afraid of failure. Of maybe I'm just reading too much into this?

    Anyway, the time loops were great yet were bizarre at first when you didn't know what was going on. The best part was definately watching Illyria massacring Team Angel in the blink of eye! Just goes to show that Illyria is truly one of the most powerful beings the Buffyverse ever had! That sequence alone gives this episode a major upgrade! But of course, with an ally this powerful, there was no way for the gang to be useful so Wesley de-powers her in end. No more time manipulation. No more portal opening. Decreased superstrength. I'm guessing from her power display in the last 2 episodes, Illyria's strength is still good as she seems stronger than a slayer by the looks of it. Ohh, Illyria saves Gunn from hell world which was a great teaser by the way with Illyria kickin' the crap out of that Basement demon! Aww, but those days of glory are over. All and All, "Time Bomb" is great character sutdy of Illyria and actually develops her character in ways not thought possible.
  • This episode is a tiny bit confusing at certain moments but is great.

    Angel wishes to kill Illyria, though Wesley has other ideas. However Illyria's powers become unstable before he has the chance, her human "shell" unable to contain the power within, and things get all time warp-y. She jumps through time several times and things get very muddled, not to mention the fact that she killes everyone just before she explodes destroying Wolfram & Hart with her. Then Illyria's time line gets fractured and put back together all out of order when Angel is somehow swept up with her and moved through time, things don't happen as they first did. See the confusion? The episode is actually easier to understand then this review. But it really is a good episode, especially because it if really the first and only Illyria-centric episode we get of the series. Amy Acker once again does a stellar job, proving how great an actress she is.
  • Illyria is da bomb

    Another great ep leading us up to the end of the series *sniffles* It seems Illyria has become unstable, well more than usual. She breaks Gunn out of his hell and portals back to Wolfram and Hart. Wes recognizes that she has done this so that they will "owe her one" so to speak. Gunn feels like a fish out of water upon his return and he goes and visits Wes, who is acting strangely and is obsessed with anything he can read about Illyria. I would love to take you step by step through this episode, but the time travelling *whooshing* was a bit much to describe. To sum up the Illyria bits: Her power has become unstable and the gang has to stop her. They end up able to take away some of her power without killing her. The other thing to take note of in this ep: Angel meets with a pregnant woman who is going to give her baby up to the Fell Brethren. Gunn tries to talk her out of it, but (surprise) she isnt the client. The Fell Brethren are the clients. In a shocking ending, Angel shuts Gunn down and tells him that their job is to serve the clients. What has happened to our champion?
  • WOW!

    i am always negative about this season but then you get an epiosde like this. WOW. that is all i can say. WOW.

    illyria really is the best of this season by far! she is so cool as she can travel through time and how strong she is and easy she kills everyone. angel is also showing a darker side or he makes everyone believe so as he makes a deal with a pregnant woman.
    but anyway, this episode was fantastic. illyria gets her powers cut off at the end and i love how she is. touch me and die virmin. very good and amazing episode. just wow
  • The 4th last episode of the series. Very solid. Spoiler warning.

    As we head towards the series finale the quality of the episodes just keeps getting better. Season 5 is surely one of the best Angel has to offer. It makes you wonder why this show was cancelled & Charmed got 2 more seasons. This episode is just great from start to finish. Illyria is causing time to shift & we find out that she is a time bomb waiting to explode. The gang know they need to kill her, bur Illyria would end up being the one who kills them. After that though, time shifts backward & the gang overcomes Illyria. They are able to take a significant amount of her power away so that she can continue to exist. A must see episode.
  • One of the best explorations of temporal paradox I've encountered in speculative fiction (mostly through its whizzing right on by)

    [b]ILLYRIA:[/b] "Odd. It doesn't exist until it cracks apart."

    The end is very much in sight. Wesley is carrying the weight of unbidden memories amid the wreckage of what they could not bring back. Gunn is trapped in a hell dimension. Illyria remains impossible to read but as ungoverned as ever. And Angel is keeping his own counsel but takes a moment to discuss the lay of the land with his shattered lieutenant.

    Already in these initial scenes, Angel is agitated. No more conciliatory discussion with Wes as to how his judgment is piercing, true, regardless of cost and respecting of persons, he sees the clear path and the right decisions.

    Instead, Wesley is quizzed mercilessly about the nature of Illyria, how she fits into the current lay of things. If Wesley is babysitter or Kwaa-ha-zan, he's not even the go-to man for keeping an eye on her. Wes is a broken shell of himself, his last plan -- to wit, the bringing back of Fred with the alteration of perception -- the seat of reality -- his entire undoing. Looking at Wes, Angel is no longer certain which way is up. At least Lorne can keep track of a body in flight, and Angel commits him to that service.

    Wesley has more important things to do.

    On one level, this episode provides structure for the final moments of the series. The task of studying Illyria is rejected as pointless. Instead, she must be contained. This becomes Wesley's focus for the duration.

    As to why Illyria is a priority, he has returned Gunn to this reality without permission or fanfare. In the little garb of Fred, he is still able to open portals and walk among dimensions and he does so, reaching into a holding dimension and making short work of the denizens in achieving his goal -- to put Angel in his debt.

    One episode to the north, Hamilton was beaming about how profitable the Partners' agreement with Angel is progressing -- despite the loss of $10 million in bail money for an escaped ne'er-do-well (the tracking of whom wouldn't be a poor task to set Illyria, who is likely as little in need of five slain holy women as he is of a Camaro in pursuit of his cause). Balance bookwise, it seems Angel remains in the black.

    Mystical holding dimensions appear to be spendier than fugitives fleeing them, however, and the destruction in Illyria's wake regarding this one seems to require a personal appearance. Hamilton scolds Angel for his recklessness and Angel hardly knows how to answer, but he does seem less agitated at this point.

    The confusion sets in as scenes continue to focus around Illyria -- Wesley guiding him, Lorne following him, Spike sparring with him. While sinking into an endless drunk, Wesley's gift shines through. However much obeisance he must make to stave off Illyria's wrath or counter Angel's probing questions, his particular skill -- his unique awareness of reality -- remains, if obscured somewhat by his seeming divorce from it.

    I truly enjoy his scene with Gunn, where he is mincing his way unshod about the open documents, scrolls and papers scattered about his office. I love Lorne's limited reaction to it. And how ultimately valuable it proves.

    If Illyria has seen his betrayal, Wesley believes him. It's not the one he talks of -- his attempt to shift reality back to a prior timeline -- but rather one he hints at. As the moment becomes closer in consensus reality, a number of things happen that I'm simply going to ignore except to mention:

    Which Illyria lives at any given moment in the timeline? It feels like his incursion into the holding dimension provides a starting point for time to unfix itself. But how many times has Illyria lived what must be a very tedious looping reality, in which tiresome ants once dispatched appear once more mewling about his form?

    If his destruction provides an endpoint to the disruptions, his experience beyond that reality is a blank as well, as it must be for all of us, memory traveling only in one dimension. But how his form replaces itself in each instance of the timeline discusses the instability. Angel's unwitting accompaniment of him then must be especially jarring.

    Angel's pursuing his own plan. His own vector in his monomaniacal opposition to the Apocalypso the Senior Partners have called, and Illyria is nothing more than disruption -- this "x factor ... bouncing around unchecked." He needs to win Hamilton's trust at the expense of that of his team. Hamilton and the Senior Partners are unhappy with the status quo. The ascension of a god-king represents power they hadn't factored in, and they are making their complaints known through what means they might.

    Indeed, Hamilton proves helpful in the powering down of Illyria. Encountering Wesley in Fred's abandoned lab, he points to the one aspect of Illyria all of their technology may have some effect on.

    Wesley is able to use the information.


    LORNE: A broken shell of himself, he looks back on years of being the beloved Host of Caritas, a swell gig after his years of disappointing his family. There's no better reason for him to spend his last moments in Los Angeles at a karaoke bar, laying out the saga of what started the whole mess. I'm coming around to the notion that his presentation in "Spin the Bottle" essentially is his off-camera commentary from "Not Fade Away." Once Fred was lost, once his memories were restored, his biggest problem with taking the deal offered by Wolfram & Hart -- how empty and useless it made him -- was fresh enough in his mind that an afternoon's soul-searching could well ready him for the task Angel sets for him.

    GUNN: A broken shell of himself. A fortnight's "leisure" in penance for his loss -- the all-too-literal tearing out of his heart following the loss of Fred -- left him wearied and ill-equipped to face the task at hand -- filing documents, however mystically, with any enthusiasm. Even the opportunity to reverse the fortunes of a girl who'd fallen into a bad situation -- momentarily restoring his righteous zeal and reminding him of his purpose in this destructive space -- is denied to him. He's stronger at the end of the episode, but while he might indeed have a weapon, he's none too clear on where he should be aiming it.

    WESLEY: A broken shell of himself, for all the reasons I've already discussed, and one other: He discusses, in "Not Fade Away," about how a Watcher's first rule is to perceive spells and magics and maintain a footing within reality as she is spoke. For an entire season, this has been denied him. The blow is all the more shuddering for his complicity in it -- signing away reality for access to greater knowledge and power. He gets in the limo to save Lilah, and he cannot, and by that point is unable to save himself.

    But he thinks he does. His demeanor for most of S5 is akin to the effects of Demerol on a sucking wound. You feel wonderful, despite your innards spilling out in every direction.

    He overcomes the palliative and now is left with the pain.

    And ... on some level ... recaptures the ability to both see what needs to be done and then to do it, to restore some semblance of order regardless of the cost.

    SPIKE: Not broken much. This was never his scene and it was never his fight. He's pleased enough for a worthy adversary but Illyria's toying with him. All the same, that hanging-in-the-air thing he did was tres cool and should be made avaiable as a screen-saver.

    ILLYRIA: If Illyria has been trapped in a graceless bag of sticks, he is still more powerful than most beings. He'd probably be able to take on that creature in the basement handily. His manipulation of time gives him a special relationship with it, and he is able to discuss it as an element of this reality rather than a fixture within it.

    Still, Illyria reacts bombastically. The loss of his own reality -- the shifting perceptions to the limitations of his own form -- anger rather than crush him. Certainly he tosses Angel and Spike about like playthings but also presents Gunn as something approaching a tribute. He is aware of the power invested in Wolfram & Hart even if the rest of us are not and demands portion in it. And once the future is shown him, rather than draw in and contemplate his instability he demands continued existence as a god-king and the destruction that entails.

    Illyria, still mighty, crumpled on the floor following the extraction of his power, is a truly broken sight. Not governable but allied on some level -- no certain ally at that -- his days of raging devastation are not complete, although we will no longer need a shard of sarcophagus to keep up.

    All the same, a broken shell even of what he'd been when he turned the blade on its own attacker at the beginning of the episode.

    ANGEL: A blur. A mad, raging blur. He leaps from crisis to crisis demanding answers to questions that have none and defying the Partners to working with them. He demands Wes keep an eye on Illyria and derides his inability to do so. He brings Gunn in to assist him and rejects his counsel. He dismisses Hamilton and seems to collude with him from one scene to the next. Little short of being dragged in Illyria's wake through time and space could explain his instability, could it?

    Could it indeed. His alliance with the Partners against the weak and defenseless raises every tattered red flag CYNTHIA! retains, but that door appears closed. By the end of this episode, Angel has officially lost it.

    Is even, perhaps, broken.


    What sorcery is this, that you can unweave reality in this manner? You caged me in this fractured time frame! Plankton, envying the ocean that holds it. Drawn directly from Joss's conversations with the WB? How can you end this? How can you undo us? This form cannot contain me, I open my mouth and don't know what might come out!

    Illyria, in the final moments of his potent grandeur, seems to tower above the WB executives and release a gale of contempt.

    Or perhaps it's just fun to hear him like that.

    Initially, I thought I'd have more to say about the discussion of time-travel as experiential reality and how incredibly fun the Fell brethren were.

    But in the end, the characters //are// the storytelling. Their loss, their situations heading into the final steps of this incredible journey, their confusion and brokenness and the seemingly unbridgeable distance between them, all shine through as being more significant than the physics binding Illyria to this reality or the joy of David Boreanaz's wife explaining, with straight-faced emotion, how her husband's work has left him with permanent brain damage, and the sinister Fell cossetting her with protein shakes.

    "Time Bomb" is an excellent character study, providing a substantive breather while advancing a fascinating story.

    And with only three episodes remaining beyond it, quite a worthy installment.
  • I love episodes that feature Illyria, and her source of power.

    When Illyria's powers become unstable and cause her to erratically jump through time, she learns that the gang intends to kill her. Upon returning to the present, Illyria decides that she must kill everyone else before they are able to attack her. Angel, caught in Illyria's time distortion is pulled into the past and must find a way to alter the course of events.

    Shows the true power of Illyria.

    PS. Great fight scene where Illyria kills, Spike, Wesley, Lorne and finally Angel.
  • The One Where Illyria Kills Everybody

    "Time Bomb" gets off to a dull start with too many long discussions and scenes that feel too reminiscent of previous episodes. What seems to be the main emphasis of this episode at the beginning is a pregnant woman named Amanda (portrayed by Jaime "Mrs. David Boreanaz" Bergman) who wants to seek advice before signing her unborn baby over to a demonic cult called the Fell Brethren.

    Suddenly, this storyline disapates and the main emphasis goes on Illyria, who has been normally psycho-babbling for the past 20 minutes. Then, this episode pulls out all the stops.In a twisted 1-minute long scene, Angel, Wesley, Spike and Lorne go to fire Illyria with a weapon to stop her from blowing up when she suddenly appears behind Spike and stakes him. She then stabs Wesley, punches Lorne through his gut and finally, beheads Angel. This scene is one of the best "Angel" has ever filmed and it is immediately startling and shocking.

    The Fell Brethren are also a bundle of laughs and although Amanda is quite naieve, Jaime Bergman acts surprisingly well for an ex-Playboy model.

    The main problem of this episode is, of course, the lack of focus on one storyline and also Wesley's growing craziness. Alexis Denisof acts all well and good but we have seen this dark, brooding Wes for too long and you almost long for the days in which Wesley was a bumbling fool.
    Amy Acker is the star of the episode, although, and her character's constant babbling finally reaching it's explosive end. Hopefully, with Gunn's return and Illyria now on the good side, the Wolfram & Hart guys will be able to handle the coming apocalypse.
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