Season 3 Episode 13

Waiting in the Wings

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Feb 04, 2002 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
489 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Angel takes the gang out for an evening at the ballet, but becomes suspicious when the prima ballerina seems to be the one he saw dance more than a century ago. When Angel and Cordelia sneak backstage to investigate, they find themselves consumed with an unnaturally sudden and strong passion for one another.moreless

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  • Perfect!

    Wonderful episode, so much passion and pain
  • Beauty at the ballet


    The Good;

    All of it, great humour, great pathos, the ballet is beautiful and this is THE ep for Cangelers

    The Bad;

    ?-actually how can Angel be so sure that it's the same people he saw 100 years ago, do vampires have perfect recall? And do we really believe that Angelus who casually slaughters entire famillies gets moved to tears by a ballet (or is he just gilding the lily for Gunn?). How does the Count explain that his ballet company appears to have no members?

    Best line:

    Showing the double edged genius of the ep (comedy and tragedy) it's either "I don't dance, I echo" by the ballerina or "You know I was cool before I met y'all" by Gunn

    Apocalypses: 5

    Angel Cliches

    Inverting the Hollywood cliche; In the end the ballerina fades away, she's free but not as we might have expected her to go free.

    In disguise; 8

    DB get's his shirt off; 12

    Cordy's tatt; astonishingly given all the nudity no,10

    Cheap Angel; 9

    He complains he used to be able to get better seats.

    Fang Gang in bondage:

    Cordy: 5

    Angel: 11

    Wes: 6

    Gunn; 3

    Lorne; 3

    Fred; 1

    Fang gang knocked out:

    Cordy: 11

    Angel: 14

    Wes: 5

    Doyle; 1

    Gunn; 1

    Lorne; 3

    Kills: 3 minions for Angel and 1 for Wes

    Cordy: 5 vamps, 3 demons

    Angel; 39 vamps, 55 and 1/2 demons, 7 humans

    Doyle; 1 vamp

    Wes; 12 demons+3 vamps, 2 humans

    Kate; 3 vamps

    Faith; 16 vamps, 6 demons, 3 humans.

    Gunn; 8 vamps+ 8 demons.

    Fang Gang go evil:

    Cordy: 2

    Angel: 2

    Gunn; 1

    Wes; 1

    Alternate Fang Gang: CC and Angel possessed by the spirits of the ballerina and her lover

    Cordy: 2

    Angel: 8

    Characters killed: the ballerina


    Recurring characters killed;


    Total number of Angel Investigations:

    5, Angel, Cordy, Wes, Gunn and Fred

    Angel Investigations shot:

    Angel: 11

    Wes; 1

    Packing heat;

    Wes; 5

    Doyle; 1

    Angel; 1

    Gunn; 1

    Notches on Fang Gang bedpost: so how far do CC and Angel go? Certainly plenty of above the waist action but probably not all the way, certainly second and very possibly 3rd base. Cordy however confirms her relationship with Phantom Dennis.

    Cordy: 3 ?+Wilson/Hacksaw Beast+Phantom Dennis

    Angel: 5; Buffy, Darla and The Transcending Furies

    Wes; 2; Virginia and the bleached blonde

    Kinky dinky:

    CC thinks that men would dig 'The Ravager' because she has 6 breasts. The jacket gag, some extremely saucy dialogue between CC and Angel. Lorne comments on Angel's yen for cheerleaders.

    Captain Subtext;

    Fred thinks Gunn is 'pretty'. The entire ep concentrates on the ballet. Lorne calls Angel a variety of pastries.

    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

    Questions and observations;

    Amazed they let Joss away with the shameless plugging of his brother's band. Also amazed that Summer Glau had no acting experience prior to this, she's amazing both acting and dancing. Once again how would CC who was born around 1985 know about Spinal Tap? Wes shows his fencing skill which we saw him practicing with Giles back in SD. For a moment you really think that Wes will turn Iago style on Gunn and Fred but as CC comments he's a gentleman. Always wondered about the little moment when Fred turns to Wes and says 'I thought it would work out another way'. Does she know how Wes feels about her? Is she hinting that she's still interested? Lorne tells Connor the story of the Rat Pack, wonder if he knew Angel hung out with them? Start a "website", nice reach out to the fans.

    Marks out of 10; 10/10 a real treat rivalling OMWF

  • Waiting in the Wings

    Waiting in the Wings was a perfect episode of Angel. I really enjoyed watching this episode. Though not one of my favorites, this episode has a lot of implications for the future. The relations between Angel and Cordelia are put through some strange tests, as Wesley realizes that Fred is more drawn to Gunn. I think there was a lot of heart felt motives in this episode and that the characters feelings were explored rather well. This was an interesting story that is important to the seasons over all story line, yet it was a side track into an individual situation. I can't wait to watch what happens next!!!!!!!moreless
  • "Dance is like wine, it matures with every performance." - Alarmel Valli

    As a dancer myself, I couldn't help but be drawn to this gem of an episode. It is perhaps one of the best of the entire series. Wrought with passion, temptation, jealousy and sadness, the episode still manages to float on air.

    It starts out innocent enough, with Angel scoring tickets to see the Ballet, Giselle, a beautiful piece. Angel and Cordelia have been dancing around each other since the beginning of the season and the other characters are starting to edge them together. Not to be outdone, Fred is having a bit of a romantic trouble herself. She has a crush but doesn't know what to do about it. Cordelia assumes it's Wesley due to their mutual cuteness and brains. Once at the ballet, Angel starts to get the willies. He's seen this thing before, not just the story, but the actual performers. He and Cordelia go to investigate while the others stay and enjoy the magic of the theater. Backstage, they find endless corridors. Entering a room, they start to feel a weird energy. They get hit by the possession whammy. Intense making out ensues. They stop, freaked out, only to realize that what they're saying is more than just love talk. The Prima ballerina had a secret lover and they were afraid of someone. They get interrupted, however, by freakish comedy-tragedy goons. They quickly escape, meeting up with Fred, Wes and Gunn later on. By this time, Gunn had been stabbed by a goon with Fred tending to him.

    During all this, Lorne is back at the hotel with baby Connor. Suddenly, someone shows up.

    Fred and Gunn kiss, with Wesley discovering them in the most beautiful shot of the episode, with Wes reflected in the trombone and looking devastated. He wanders away and discovers another hot spot of his own. When Angel and Cordelia show up, he explains what is happening, why the backstage goes on forever. The owner of the ballet company, Count Kurskov, fell in love with the Prima ballerina and took her out of time so she could dance for him alone. When the gang gets set upon by goons who multiply when killed, Angel goes off to find the Prima ballerina on the side of the stage. The Prima, played by the lovely Summer Glau, tells him her whole sad story. Angel tells her to change the ending of the ballet so as to weaken Kurskov. Angel finds him and destroys his power source, setting the Prima free.

    The whole gang is back at the hotel. Gunn and Fred make goo goo eyes while Wesley looks upset and sad. Angel tries to tell Cordelia something important about what happened between them, but then Groo from Pylea shows up and he and Cordelia kiss. Angel looks sad and leaves.

    Well that's about it. It's much better to see it all unfold on the screen. I would give this episode 12 out of 10 if I could, it's just that beautiful and amazing. Go watch it.moreless
  • The gang go to the Ballet for a night out, only to discover that this performance of 'Giselle' is exactly the same as the one Angel saw in 1890. When investigating, Angel and Cordy are possessed by the spirit of a ballerina and her secret lover.moreless

    This is one of my favourite Angel episodes ever, and if you watch it I'm sure that you would see why!

    It is a very original episode with plenty of wonderful scenes and great chemistry.

    I have to admit that this episode is a bit, no a lot, of a tease! Sexual tension is flying left right and centre, but it doesn't work out at all like you expect it will!

    In the beginning you think that Fred and Wes will get together for sure, especially after Fred and Cordelia's conversation. You never dream that she was talking about Gunn, and the Wes will get his heart broken, which actually ties in well with him being possessed by Kurskov's spirit.

    The sexual tension built up by Cordy and Angel literally explodes in this episode, their scenes as the possessed lovers were fantastic and are truly a testament to the awesome chemistry between David and Charisma. Just when you think they will finally get their act together, with Angel about to admit his feelings, disappointment strikes in the form of the return on the Groosalug. I think that most fans, as I was, will be disappointed by his return and exceptional bad timing.

    Away from all the love triangle dramas, I thought Summer Glau's performance as the Prima Ballerina was exceptional and she really makes you feel her pain.

    Kurskov's minions were dramatic which really went with this episode's atmosphere.

    Overall this was a fantastic, one of a kind episode that is a must see!

    Watch for all the sexual innuendos.moreless
Mark Harelik

Mark Harelik

Count Kurskov

Guest Star

Summer Glau

Summer Glau

Prima Ballerina

Guest Star

Thomas Crawford

Thomas Crawford


Guest Star

Andy Hallett

Andy Hallett


Recurring Role

Mark Lutz

Mark Lutz


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • At 23:39 there is a visible cast on the male dancer's right leg, hidden under his tights. Joss Whedon mentions this during the audio commentary on the DVD.

    • When Lorne tells Angel that he (Angel) is in love with Cordy he refers to Buffy saying, "And besides, we all know you got a thing for ex-cheerleaders."

    • By some random twist of fate, the Groosalugg finds his way to the earth dimension, and stumbles into L.A. How did he know exactly which hotel to find Cordelia in?

    • When Angel and Cordy are in the ballerina's dressing room, his tie goes from crooked when Angel is enmeshed with Cordy, and then straightens itself out without him touching it in the next shot.

  • QUOTES (28)

    • (Cordelia has her back against Angel)
      Cordelia: (moaning) Open the damn door.
      Angel: It's kind of hard...
      Cordelia: I kind of noticed.

    • Angel: Cordy... you and I, we've been working together for a long time. What I mean is, you've become a truly extraordinary woman. I know we haven't always gotten along, but I think that we, you know, we...
      Cordelia: Groo?
      Angel: Yes! We... we grew closer together, I think...
      Cordelia: Groo!

    • Angel: Nothing's changed. These are the same dancers I saw before.
      Fred: That's impossible. We're watching the exact same troupe you saw in 1990?
      Gunn: I think he said 1890.
      Fred: Oh. Okay, that's much more impossible.

    • Lorne: You're a man of many limitations, Angel. But you're a man. You got a heart. And Cordelia is a hell of a lady. I mean, if I thought she'd like to wear green, I'd be elbowing you out of the way. But she's out of my league. She's a champion, Angel, old school. And besides, we all know you got a thing for ex-cheerleaders.

    • Gunn: I'll say it once, and gloat all you want. These guys are tight and I am tripping out.

    • Cordelia: I was the ditsiest bitch in Sunnydale. Could've had any man I wanted. Now I'm all superhero-y, and the best action I can get is an invisible ghost who's good with a loofa.
      (awkward silence)
      Wesley: I'm sorry, I missed that last part.
      Cordelia: You are a gentleman.
      Angel: Who's doing what with a loofa?

    • Prima Ballerina: I don't dance. I echo.

    • Lorne: Can't fight Kyrumption, Cinnamon Buns. It's fate. It's the stars. Kyrumption is...
      Angel: Stop saying that. And stop calling me pastries.

    • Angel: So, somebody want to tell me how we're watching a show starring people who should have died sixty years ago?
      Cordy: It's a puzzler. Are there snacks?

    • Wesley: (To Cordy) But how will the dancers keep time without your rhythmic snoring?

    • Cordy: I said something important back there didn't I?
      Angel: The part where you're only alive when I'm...
      Cordy: Not that!

    • Cordelia: (about security guard) You want I should distract him? Make with the nice-nice while you slip by?
      Angel: Don't be stupid. I'm that guy and the most beautiful woman I've ever seen is making eyes at me? It's either a bachelor party or a scam.
      Cordelia: What did you just call me?
      Angel: I'm sorry. You're not stupid.
      Cordelia: No, after that.

    • Cordelia: (To Angel) I'm only alive when you're inside me.

    • Cordelia: (about Angel) Up to his ass in demon guts, fine. But ask him to mack on a hottie and he wigs, my champion, ladies and gentlemen.

    • Cordelia: Hey, you like bribes?
      Security Guard: Do I ever.
      Cordelia: Well we really want to go backstage.
      Security Guard: Yeah, Okay. But this isn't so much a bribe as it is a tip. And since I'm not parking your car, there's really no way... (Angel knocks the guard out)
      Angel: Okay, that's how we do it.

    • Cordelia: (about going back into the room) We'll be fine as long as nothing is removed...or...inserted.

    • Fred: I love the ballet. I mean, I haven't seen that much but my family used to go to the Nutcracker every Christmas and I had my first sexual dream about the Mouse King.

    • Wesley: (about the ballet troupe) So what are we thinking, vampires?
      Cordelia: Well, they're not a deeply tanned bunch.
      Gunn: That would explain the precision and the athleticism. I mean, some of those jumps know, I was cool before I met y'all.

    • Wesley: Honestly have you ever seen anything lovelier? So graceful. So full of life. And those eyes. Make you feel like you're the only man in the world.
      Cordelia: Plus six breasts. Any man's got to love that.
      Wesley: Fred doesn't have six breasts... right?
      Cordelia: Sorialus the ravager. And yeah, she's the one from my vision.

    • Cordelia: It's a clue! Those spirits... or... energy or whatever are still in there so we can figure out what happened. We have to go back in!
      Angel: I'm marveling at the wrongness of that idea.
      Cordelia: You wanna wander around backstage like Spinal Tap for the next... ever?

    • Cordelia: (To Angel) All we have to do is play the scene. Get in, get out, no one gets happy.

    • Lorne: (singing) Go to sleep/ lullaby/ you've been fed and you're sleepy/ you'll be with/ Uncle Lorne/ who in no way resents not being asked to go to the ballet/ and is certainly/ not thinking/ of selling you to the first vampire cult that makes him a decent offer...

    • Wesley: (referring to Fred) Yes. Isn't she a vision.
      Gunn: A lot of that going around.
      Cordy: Thank you, but no thank you. There will be no visions tonight.
      Angel: How can you be sure?
      Cordy: I had a vision.

    • Angel: Gunn, these guys are tight, and you're gonna be tripping out.
      Gunn: Don't be using my own phrases when we've lost the trust.

    • Angel: I think I'm gonna have to go with my patented Sudden Burst of Violence.

    • Angel: Back in the day, I'd always get box seats... or just eat the people who had 'em.

    • Angel: (talking about a ballet company) Oh yeah, yeah. I saw their production of Giselle in 1890 -- cried like a baby. And I was evil!

    • Angel: Ask me why I'm smiling.
      Cordy: I will because it's scaring me.

  • NOTES (9)

    • The Fred/Gunn/Wesley love triangle and the scene where Fred and Gunn first kiss can be later be seen reused in season 4 "Awakening", the Cordelia/Angel/Connor love triangle and the scene in the cave where Cordelia and Angel kiss. Gunn is stabbed then Fred starts to cry and says how scared she was. After talking, they kiss. Wesley walks up and sees them kissing and is visibly upset.

    • Tim Isle was nominated for the 2003 Golden Reel Award for "Best Sound Editing in Television Episodic - Music" for this episode.

    • This episode was nominated for a Hugo Award for Dramatic Presentation: Short Form.

    • Joss Whedon states in the Season 5 DVD featurette "To Live and Die in L.A.: The Best of Angel", that this episode is one of the best episodes of Season 3 and of the series as a whole.

    • Music:
      String Quartet Op. 17, in F major by Haydn

    • During the filming of the dressing room scene, Joss Whedon was so impressed with David Boreanaz's reflection in a mirror that he planned to go from Cordelia to Angel's reflection and had to be reminded by the crew that Angel was a vampire, and therefore wouldn't appear in the mirror at all.

    • The idea for this episode came about when Amy Acker mentioned to Joss Whedon that she used to be a ballerina. Eager to show off her talents on screen, Joss wrote this episode with a dream sequence where Fred and Wesley replace the two leads. He was reportedly gutted when the scene he had written the whole episode around had to be removed. Luckily for fans, the scene has seen the light of day on the Angel Season Three DVD.

    • The first ep of Angel written by creator Joss Whedon since the pilot.

    • Mark Lutz is not listed in the opening guest star credits so that Groosalugg's return at the end of the episode is a surprise.


    • Cordelia: You wanna wander around backstage like Spinal Tap for the next... ever?
      This is Spinal Tap was a satiric film that critics praised for its hilarity, but upset many rock musicians due to its almost dead-on accuracy in what it parodied. The scene to which Cordelia is referring involves the heavy metal trio getting hopelessly lost while trying to find the main performance stage.