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"Apocalypse, Nowish," originally aired as "Rain of Fire,"[1] is the seventh episode of the fourth season of Angel and the seventy-third episode in the series. Written by Steven S. DeKnight and directed by Vern Gillum, it was originally broadcast on November 17, 2002, on The WB network.


When Cordelia's apocalyptic nightmares become a reality, Angel, Wesley, Gunn and Lorne find themselves powerless against The Beast who has risen from the center of the Earth, bringing earthquakes and a rain of fire to Los Angeles. Bloodied and beaten, Angel and his friends realize that they may not be able to stop the impending doom.[1]


In the Hyperion Hotel, Gunn and Fred gear up to deal with "spookies in a pipe." Meanwhile, Angel and Lorne argue about when they should have Cordelia sing.

Connor returns to his loft with food as Cordelia is watching an old movie on TV. She thanks him for everything. She says that she has been unable to sleep, seeing visions of something horrible clawing its way up from underneath. Cordelia suddenly wakes up screaming after a tall, horned beast grabs hold of her neck.

Lorne takes a call about snakes, asking Angel if they fight snakes. Angel replies: "Only if they are giants, or demons, or giant demons."

Fred and Gunn arrive at the client's apartment. They enter the bathroom, commenting on it being the kind of bathroom they want in the future. The room starts shaking and the glass on the medicine cabinet explodes. Rats are in the medicine cabinet and coming out of every drain. They quickly leave the apartment, telling the client they need to hire an exterminator or burn the place down.

Wesley arrives home, finding Lilah waiting for him. Lilah is dressed and acting like Fred. As they begin to have sex, Wesley tells Lilah to keep the glasses on.

Fred and Gunn arrive back at the hotel, Fred being cool towards Gunn about taking a bath together. Gunn wants to have a meaningful conversation with her, and Fred reluctantly agrees. Fred runs off after telling Gunn it wasn't his decision to kill Professor Seidel.

Lorne continues taking calls as Angel arranges weapons. Gunn starts fielding calls, and Lorne discuss with Angel how to arrange weapons. Connor arrives at the hotel and tells Angel that Cordelia is staying with him and that Angel should talk to her. At Connor's loft, Angel and Cordelia start talking, Cordelia telling Angel that she was able to see and feel everything he did before he had a soul. Cordelia gets a vision of the beast coming through the pavement.

Cordelia tells Angel that her visions are more intense. She says she needs to know more about the beast, asking if Lorne could read her again.

Lorne and Gunn are taking calls while the phones are ringing. Lorne asks Gunn to get Fred to help, and Gunn says he doesn't know where she is, prompting Lorne to ask if they are okay. Before the discussion can get any further, a thump is heard at the door. Checking, Gunn finds a sparrow that died by slamming into the door. As Gunn checks it over, Lorne yells at him to close the door, which he does just before an entire flock of sparrows start throwing themselves into it.

At Wolfram & Hart, Angel is waiting for Lilah in her office. Angel knows Lilah wouldn't say anything, so he tied Gavin to a chair. Angel tells Lilah he wanted to torture Gavin more, but that Gavin wouldn't stop talking long enough for him to do so. Angel wants to know what Wolfram & Hart has learned about the info they sucked out of Lorne. The psychics who have been working on that info haven't been good at deciphering it, as every time they peel back a layer, their heads explode. Angel tells Lilah that helping him is win-win for her — she helps him and he succeeds, she will be in their good graces; if he fails, Lilah wins with Angel dead.

At Connor's loft, Cordelia is about to leave and Connor returns, surprising her. She wants to go outside for a walk because she has been inside all day. Cordelia and Connor roam the streets aimlessly at first, finally arriving at the spot Connor was born. The Beast suddenly appears from below ground. Connor attacks the Beast, doing no damage to it as he flings Connor aside. It approaches Cordelia, looks at her, laughs, then flies off.

Gunn is calling around, looking for Fred as Lorne continues taking calls. As Lorne and Gunn are about to leave the hotel to look for Fred, Wesley arrives. Wesley suggests they pool their resources to figure out what's happening. Gunn says he is going to look for Fred and Angel arrives holding a folder, telling him he isn't leaving. The guys pore over the pages of info Wolfram & Hart were able to decipher from Lorne's vision, unable to make sense of it. Angel asks Lorne to start mapping out where the calls have been coming from.

The pages are made up of glyphs, symbols, and archaic languages, all jumbled together. Gunn gets up to stretch, looking over Wesley's shoulder as he does. Gunn realizes that they are looking too close at the pages, seeing a pattern from a distance. They lay the pages out, revealing an even larger symbol, the eye of fire. Lorne shows them a map of where the calls have been coming from, the pattern being a diamond.

Fred is at the diner, talking to the waitress about how she feels. The diner starts shaking and Fred tells everyone to get away from the windows.

Cordelia tends to Connor's wounds.

At the hotel, the team draw the symbol on the map Lorne drew, finding that the center of the map is a temple to the flesh. They head off to Sky Temple after arming themselves. Arriving at the rooftop bar, they see a pile of bodies and the Beast.

The team attacks the Beast, having little to no effect on it. The Beast deflects any attack, only the shotgun blasts seem to slow it down a little. Angel engages the Beast in hand-to-hand combat, not doing any damage. The Beast grabs Angel, stabs him in the neck with a stake, and tosses him off of the rooftop. The Beast slams his fist into the ground, starting a fire in the shape of the symbol the team discovered earlier. The Beast then flies off again.

As the guys regroup, they realize Angel isn't with them. Angel is laying on the ground, gasping and bleeding. A column of fire shoots towards the sky. Fireballs start raining down on the city as Connor and Cordelia have sex. Angel watches them from a rooftop as the rain of fire continues.




Organizations and titles[]





Death count[]

  • Several birds, died hitting the door of the hotel.
  • Sky Temple's patrons, killed by the Beast.

Behind the scenes[]


  • The episode title is a reference to the film Apocalypse Now. The WB called the episode "Rain of Fire" when it was first aired,[1] which DeKnight attributes to "legal issues" over the reference to the film.[2]


  • "Apocalypse, Nowish" had an audience of 2.6 million households upon its original airing.[3]

Pop culture references[]

  • Connor brings Cordelia snacks including Chocodile Twinkie cakes.
  • Cordelia mentions possibly watching "pod people," referring to the Invasion of the Body Snatchers films.
  • Gunn refers to the hypothetical specter as "Casper," referring to the character Casper the Friendly Ghost.
  • Lilah guesses Angel can smell her perfume Chanel No. 5.
  • Lorne mentions "Ghostbusters lines," referring to the franchise featuring ghost hunters for hire.
  • Lorne says: "Maybe we could save the three rounds until after the Chuck Heston Plague-A-Thon cools off." Charlton Heston played Moses in the 1956 film The Ten Commandments, which depicts the plagues inflicted of Egypt.
  • Gunn says: "You had me at 'fire.'" It parodies the quote, "You had me at hello," from the film Jerry Maguire.
  • Lorne says the apocalypse is "now-ish," referring to the title of the film Apocalypse Now.
  • Lorne says: "Ooh, uh, I'm gonna need a bigger arrow." It parodies the quote, "You're going to need a bigger boat," from the film Jaws.


  • Robert J. Kral — "Start the Apocalypse"
  • Robert J. Kral — "The End of the World"
  • Robert J. Kral — original score

International titles[]

  • Czech: "Apokalypsa" (Apocalypse)
  • Finnish: "Tulisade" (Rain of Fire)
  • French: "Le déluge de feu" (The Rain of Fire)
  • German: "Die Ankunft" (The Arrival)
  • Hungarian: "Apokalipszis" (Apocalypse)
  • Italian: "Pioggia di fuoco" (Rain of Fire)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): "O Apocalipse Está Chegando" (The Apocalypse Is Coming)
  • Russian: "Огненный дождь" / "Не желаете апокалипсис" (Rain of Fire/Don't Wish for the Apocalypse)
  • Spanish (Latin America): "Apocalipsis" (Apocalypse)
  • Spanish (Spain): "Apocalipsis" (Apocalypse)
  • Turkish: "Kıyamet, Her Zamanki Gibi" (Apocalypse, Business as Usual)



Promotional stills[]

Behind the scenes[]


Angel: "You think I should keep these alphabetical, or rearrange them by how much damage they inflict?"
Lorne: "Damage. Nomenclature goes out the portal when, uh, hacking's afoot."
Angel: "Still, good to know what you're using. I mean, what if I'm fighting a Glurgg, and I ask for a Khopesh to finish him off. What would you throw me?"
Lorne: "Uh, a towel. Glurggs are 90% pus."


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "angel: Rain of Fire." TheWB.com. Archived from the original on October 23, 2004.
  2. Vern Gillum and Steven S. DeKnight, Angel Season Four on DVD: audio commentaries for "Apocalypse, Nowish." [DVD]. 20th Century Studios, September 2004.
  3. "Nielsen Ratings for Angel's Fourth Season." Nielsen Ratings for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, & Firefly. Archived from the original on July 6, 2008.