Season 5 Episode 13

Why We Fight

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Feb 11, 2004 on The WB

Episode Recap

The opening scene is one of a submarine. There is a chaos within, as the captain has been killed by "something" and as chilling noises of bodies being torn apart are heard off camera, the rest of the crew is scrambling for safety into another compartment of the sub.

The next scene is set at Wolfram & Hart. It's very late. Team Angel is gathered in the conference room, discussing Eve and Lindsey, but everyone is tired. They take a break, planning to meet back in a couple of hours. As the group clears the lobby, the elevator door opens to reveal a 20's-something young man.

Fred enters her lab and is surprised to find this same man flipping through her lab notes. He remarks pleasently that he used to have a head for math. Fred is nervous. She asks what he wants and is told that "Actually, I came to see your boss. I knew him back when he was in his patriotic phase."

At that point the flashback begins in earnest, opening with a shot of a 1943 newspaper headline: "Allies Strike Back." The camera pans from the newspaper on the floor upward, showing Angel, slumped morosely in the chair, listening to the radio. Suddenly the door is burst open as several suited men enter, armed. One carries a wooden stake, making it obvious that they know who and what Angel is. Their leader seats himself before Angel and explains their mission: they have captured a German prototype sub, but on it's way to allied waters it sent a distress call and something is terribly wrong.

"Have you ever heard dying men screaming for their lives, Angel?" he asks. Angel doesn't answer, doesn't have to, as one of the suited men answers for him. "Of course he has." the man sneers.

They need Angel. The groups leader states he represents a newly formed agency: Demon Research Initiative and they have been tracking Angel for some time as one who they think might be the solution for their problem: the sub is too deep for a human diver; the pressure and cold would kill a human, but would have no effect on a vampire. Angel is not interested but it's not his option to refuse, made very clear as he is punched back into the chair. Enough weight will be strapped to him to make him sink, no matter what his interest. The group leader shows Angel the subs cargo manifest. They think they know what attacked their boys and now so does Angel.

The young Ensign on board has taken over command and is attempting to buoy the morale of the remaining men. A captured German officer is among the group, the only survivor of the take over of the sub. They hear screaming beyond the compartments hatch, and while a discussion takes place as to whether to risk opening it, they hear a noise from the torpedo room. Someone is in a tube and taping out an S.O.S. in Morse code. With guns drawn they open the tube to reveal...a very wet Angel!

Angel gives the Ensign a verbal code and the group relaxes as Angel asks them to remove the heavy weights chained to his legs. The Ensign, named Lawson, gives an update on what has occurred, whereupon Angel goes through the hatch to the next compartment...alone. He unlocks the hatch to the following compartment and comes face to face with Spike wearing a Nazi coat. No, he's not a Nazi, he is quick to tell Angel. The coat came off an SS officer he had killed.

Spike was recruited against his will by the Germans along with two other demons, Nostroyev and The Prince of Lies. He introduces Angel as Angelus to the demons; Angel does not correct him. This is a power play, as Spike and the demons are ready to take out the rest of the crew. Angel stops him with a reminder that without the humans to run the sub, they'll be stuck at the bottom of the ocean. There will be no more killing of the humans. Nostroyev however has other ideas. But in a brief tussle Angel makes quick work of him, reducing the demon to dust.

The next scene cuts back to modern times as the mysterious intruder has found his way into Angel's office. Angel recognizes him: Lawson. The former Ensign is surprised at how far Angel has come, admitting he has been checking up on his sire every decade or so. Lawson reminisces about his time on the sub....

The scene cuts back to 1943 where Angel has given the command to get the sub moving again. As he helps Lawson cover the remaining bodies of the crew as, Lawson worries about the demons with Angel assuring him that they are under control. He tells Lawson he will get everyone through this safe and sound.

Switch to Angel's office again where more discussion takes place before Angel manages in a quick move to overpower Lawson. As he holds a stake to the former Ensign's chest, Lawson warns him against doing anything rash: Angel's people are in danger. To prove it, he leads Angel to the conference room where Wesley, Fred, and Gunn are all bound, gagged and placed in precarious positions on chairs, double-aught wire wrapped around their necks. A sudden move could take off a head. Angel warns Lawson that this is not the way to get something from him. But Lawson is already getting what he wants: "the worry in your eyes, the fear of what might happen next." Lawson is playing mind games...

In the flashback, the sub is moving again though not without problems, and Ensign Lawson is encouraging his crew again to stick with it. Spike is being his normal self, annoying Angel until the latter finally tells him to get out.

"Check the torpedoes before I stuff you in a tube and send you for a swim..." and he grabs Spike by the jacket, shoving him into the sub's next compartment. Lawson continues to worry. He and his crew knew this assignment could be a one-way ticket, but Angel intends that it not turn out that way. "Everybody keeps their cool and we might just make it out of this." he says.

They hear a sudden scream and rush to the next compartment. The Prince of Lies demon has attacked the German over something he has found in the officer's paper work. He is outraged and against Angel's orders attacks the German again. Angel stakes the demon from behind causing him to turn to dust. The remaining crew, gathered at the compartments entrance looks dumbfounded. Angel orders them all back to their stations, leaving Lawson to press for an answer. "Vampire" is all Angel tells him.

They both wonder what could have set the demon off. Spike suggests it's the paper the demon had been reading, but it's written in German. Spike decides to threaten the information out of the officer. He vamps and the German starts talking. Lawson, who speaks a little German, translates, and the group finds out that the Nazi's were doing research on demons in an attempt to create an army of vampire slaves. Lawson is disgusted. "Only you and your Fuhrer could come up with something this sick."

The officer chuckles and says in German. "There we're not the only ones, my boy..." and he looks at directly at Angel: "Nicht wahr?" (Correct?)

Angel responds furiously: "Genug!" (Enough!)

Spike voices surprise that Angel can speak German, but more so that Angel seemed to know about this plan. It doesn't bother him if Angel is playing both sides for the humans, but he announces he now plans on eating the lot of them, starting with Lawson. Angel again reminds Spike that they need the humans to get them off the bottom of the sea. He gives him the German document. "Torch it!" he orders Spike, who does so, singing while it burns. As the flames consume the paper, they hear a muffled explosion.

"Depth charges" says Lawson. He orders the crew to dive the sub and tense moments pass as they listen to more charges…then nothing. Suddenly an explosion hits the sub, cutting off power. Lawson runs out of the control center, while Angel helps stop a leaking pipe by squeezing it. "Never liked the ocean", he comments. (...Foreshadowing a later episode in his life where he will spend time interned at the bottom of the sea.)

In the confusion the German officer has disappeared. He has followed Lawson to the engine room where the latter is attempting to start the sub's propulsion mechanism. The German attacks, stabbing Lawson in the stomach. Lawson brains him with a large wrench, but he himself is now seriously wounded, unable to continue his repairs on the engine.

Back in the conference room, Angel's people are still hostage, still in danger. Lawson lectures Angel, talking about what goes through one's head near the end of life, mocking Angel's apparent concern for his people.

Back in the sub's engine room Angel has found Lawson. He realizes that his only chance for getting off the sub is before him, bleeding badly from what is surely a fatal wound.

"Tell me what to do" Angel implores.

"I'm the only one." answers Lawson. "I can fix it...", as he slumps even lower to the floor.

"I know you can." And Angel brings forth his vampire face, grabbing Lawson, biting deeply into his neck. Lawson is helpless, nearly passing out as Angel scrapes a nearby pipe to cut his own wrist. He then presses the cut to Lawson's mouth. The Ensign is passive at first, but suddenly grasps Angel's arm and sucks hard from the cut. Angel has just sired another vampire.

The air is running out in the sub. Spike and Angel are watching the crew slowly fade into unconsciousness just as the power comes back on. Lawson has managed to start the engine again. He walks calmly into the compartment, commenting on his hunger, that since the crew never thought they'd make it out anyway....

"They're still your men," Angel reminds him.

"But they were never the mission were they?" replies Lawson, throwing a punch at Angel. Angel easily overpowers him. They are going to surface the sub.

When the sub finally breaks the surface, Angel sends Lawson up the ladder. It is dark and they are close enough to shore that he can make it before sunrise. But he tells Lawson if he ever sees him again, "I'm gonna have to kill you." Angel then signals to Spike. "You're still a dick." says Spike, but he grins and goes up the ladder too.

In the conference room Lawson's still talking to Angel while pacing in front of Angel's strung-up team. He voices his hope that his sire at least got tortured. But Angel indicates he never gave them a chance, jumping ship upon landfall and going underground for the duration the war. Lawson accuses him of being a coward.

"Wars won and lost by men." says Angel.

That comment brings forth more bitterness from Lawson. "We all need a reason to live, even if we're already dead." he says. But he now feels nothing. "60 years of blood drying in my throat like ashes."

He wants to know if all those Angel has sired feel that way.

"You're the only one I ever did this to...after I got a soul." Angel says.

"Do I have one, too?"

Angel shows discomfort, and looks aside.

"I don't think it works that way, son." he replies.

"Didn't think so." And with that Lawson jumps on Angel, repeatedly punching him. The fighting ends eventually with Angel throwing Lawson through the glass wall of the conference room. Lawson grabs a piece of the splintered wood frame, attempting to stake Angel but the older vampire grabs the younger's wrist and turns the stake around.

Lawson searches Angel's face. "Come on, Chief. Give me a mission."

Angel pounds the stake into Lawson's chest, turning him into dust. He stares down sadly at what used to be a human, then a vampire he sired...and now nothing.

It's daytime and Angel is looking at the Los Angeles skyline as Spike walks in. Spike has heard about the "sailor boy" coming back and assumes Lawson was looking for revenge. Angel disagrees.

Spike asks, "Then what was he looking for?

Angel whispers, "A reason."

End credits

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