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Season 4, Episode 7
407 ApocNowish.jpg
Air date November 17, 2002
Written by Steven S. DeKnight
Directed by Vern Gillum
Episode Guide
"Spin the Bottle"
"Habeas Corpses"
David Boreanaz Angel
Charisma Carpenter Cordelia
J. August Richards Gunn
Amy Acker Fred
Vincent Kartheiser Connor
Alexis Denisof Wesley
Special Guest Starring
Andy Hallett Lorne
Guest Starring
Stephanie Romanov Lilah
Daniel Dae Kim Gavin
Vladimir Kulich The Beast
Co Starring
Tina Morasco Mrs. Pritchard
Molly Weber Waitress

"Apocalypse, Nowish" is the seventh episode of the fourth season of Angel and the seventy-third episode overall. Written by Steven S. DeKnight and directed by Vern Gillum, it was originally broadcast on November 17, 2002 on the WB network.

Cordelia's apocalyptic nightmares become a reality as a powerful demon emerges in L.A.


As Gunn and Fred gear up to deal with "spookies in a pipe", Angel and Lorne argue about when they should have Cordelia Chase sing for Lorne. Connor returns to his apartment with food as Cordelia is watching an old movie on TV. Cordelia thanks Connor for everything. Cordelia informs Connor that she has been unable to sleep, seeing visions of something horrible clawing its way up from underneath. Cordelia suddenly wakes up screaming after The 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 how big and luxurious it is as well as it being the kind of bathroom they want in the future. the room starts shaking and all of a sudden the glass on the medicine cabinet explodes. Rats are seen in the medicine cabinet, as well as 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 like and acting like Fred. As they begin to make love, 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, Fred reluctantly agrees. Fred runs off after telling Gunn it wasn't his decision to kill Professor Sidell. Lorne continues taking calls as Angel arranges weapons. Gunn starts fielding calls and Lorne & Angel discuss how to arrange weapons. Connor arrives at the hotel and informs Angel that Cordelia is staying with him and that Angel should talk to her. Angel arrives at Connor's apartment. Angel and Cordelia start talking, Cordelia telling Angel that she was able to see and feel everything he did as Angelus. Cordelia gets a vision of The Beast coming through the pavement.

Cordelia tells Angel that her visions are more intense, the old ones being a lawn sprinkler and the new ones like Niagara Falls. Cordelia 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 off the hook. Lorne asks Gunn to get Fred to help, Gunn saying 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 killed itself 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 Park 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 apartment, 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 exact spot where 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 is tending to Connor's wounds from his encounter with The Beast. Back at the hotel, they 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 the bar after arming themselves. After arriving at the rooftop bar, they see a pile of bodies and The Beast.

They start attacking The Beast, having little to no effect on it. The Beast is easily able to deflect 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 and stabs Angel in the neck with a stake and tosses him off of the rooftop. The Beast then slams his fist into the ground, starting a fire in the shape of the symbol they 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 make love. Angel watches them from a rooftop as fireballs continue raining down.


  • Gunn's fear of rats (first mentioned in "Heartthrob") is seen here.
  • Fred previously went to the diner in "Couplet" and "Loyalty", (both times she was with Gunn).
  • Cordelia (Jasmine) and Connor have sex. This initiates the process of Jasmine giving birth to herself, something she keeps secret from Angel Investigations until "Orpheus".
  • Lilah's attempt to please Wesley by dressing up as Fred mirrors Harmony's attempts to appease Spike by dressing up as Buffy.
  • For the first time we see that Wes now habitually carries a pair of Colt 45 automatic pistols and a pump action shotgun. This is a radical departure for the Buffyverse which had always frowned upon the use of firearms. Later, Wesley is shown to be an extremely skilled shooter.  
  • In "Tomorrow" Angel suggests that Cordelia help him 'fill in the blanks' when eventually telling Connor about sex. In this episode, the possessed Cordelia will graphically do that and more.
  • Cordelia is watching an old horror film about 'Pod People' (a reference to 'Invasion of the Bodysnatchers' with humans controlled by an alien entity). Unbeknownst to her she essentially is one herself (and had been before in 'Bad Eggs').
  • Angel's response to Lorne's question about a client's snake issue may be a call back to Mayor Richard Wilkins' ascension to the demon Olvikan, a giant snake-like demon, at the 1999 Sunnydale High graduation ceremony.

    Lorne: Do we fight snakes?

    Angel: Only if they're giant. Or demons or giant demons.

Body Count[]

  • Several birds, killed themselves in hitting the door of the hotel
  • Rooftop bar's clients, killed by The Beast

Behind the Scenes[]

Pop Culture References[]

  • The episode title is a reference to the film Apocalypse Now. The WB called the episode "Rain of Fire" when it was first aired, which DeKnight attributes to "legal issues" over the reference to the film.
  • The Friendly Ghost: Casper mentioned.
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Pod People mentioned.
  • The Birds: Sparrows and other birds begin attacking the hotel and the people in it.
  • The Ten Commandments: Lorne says, "Maybe we could save the three rounds until after the Chuck Heston Plague-A-Thon cools off."
  • Jaws: Lorne: "Ooh, uh, I'm gonna need a bigger arrow." (He already used the same reference in the previous episode.)
  • Ghostbusters: Lorne says, "The Ghostbusters lines have been ringing off the hook!"
  • Jerry Maguire: Gunn: You had me at "fire." Gunn often uses this pop culture reference to the film's line "You had me at hello".


International titles[]

  • German: Die Ankunft (The Arrival)
  • French: Le déluge de feu (The rain of fire)


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."