Buffyverse Wiki
Season 4, Episode 12
Air date February 12, 2003
Written by Mere Smith
Steven S. DeKnight
Jeffrey Bell
Directed by Bill L. Norton
Episode Guide
David Boreanaz Angelus
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
Vladimir Kulich The Beast
Roger Yuan Wo-Pang
Peter Renaday Master's Voice

"Calvary" is the twelfth episode of the fourth season of Angel and the seventy-eighth episode overall. Written by Mere Smith, Steven S. DeKnight and Jeffrey Bell and directed by Bill L. Norton, it was originally broadcast on February 12, 2003 on the WB network.

The gang discover The Beast is working for a much more powerful master, who is far closer to home than they realize.


Connor, Wesley and Cordelia force their way into Wo-Pang's chambers and question him about Angel's soul, only to find that Angel's soul still remains in its container, although he warns them that if the container is broken and the soul isn't being controlled, the soul will cease to exist, Angelus will get out, and they'll,"be screwed." Angelus continues to taunt the gang, angering Gunn over his relationship with Fred. Lilah sneaks in, emerging from the sewers holding a crowbar and attempts a deal with Angelus. She tells him that she wants him to destroy the Beast who has now killed everyone who worked at Wolfram & Hart, including those who weren't in the office when he attacked, and she is the final survivor.

Back upstairs, Gunn and Fred discuss their relationship and Fred's recent kiss with Wesley. Gunn realizes that the relationship is past the point of no return and ends things between them, before finally spoting Lilah on the video monitor and rushes downstairs to put a tranquilizer dart in Angelus while Lilah runs off. While the others question Lilah's intentions, Wesley chases and catches her. He thumbs through her copy of Rhinehardt's Compendium, finding information his copy does not contain. Lilah had received her copy on the pan-dimensional black market, and Wesley determines someone has erased the information in this dimension which includes memories, explaining why Angel doesn't remember the Beast while Angelus does (as he was dormant at the time).

The gang discuss the Beast, and if he could have servants working for him. However Angelus wakes up and informs the gang that the Beast doesn't have servants; rather, it is the servant. He explains that the Beast he knew only cared about destruction, and didn't have the smarts necessary to cause the rain of fire or block out the sun. Therefore, it stands to reason that something even worse is waiting in the shadows and pulling the Beast's strings. Wesley returns with Lilah, but the gang are extremely suspicious of her and drill her about her intentions. Gunn leaves to keep watch on Angelus, who pushes Gunn's buttons again over his relationship with Fred and the gang. He mentions Dr. Seidel's death (from "Supersymmetry"), which he knows about because "even Angel's not that stupid." He offers to keep what Fred did a secret, but Gunn corrects him that Fred didn't kill Seidel, prompting Angelus to praise him for "steppin' up and bein' the man!" Angelus mock-commisserates with Gunn about Fred's affections shifting to Wesley, citing Wesley's recent descent into more violent behavior as the cause; "for once in your life," Angelus teases, "you just weren't dark enough." Gunn responds with a blast from his flame thrower, and Angelus crows that there's "hope" for Gunn yet.

Fred informs Wesley that she's no longer with Gunn, but Wesley takes the news as an opportunity to make another move on Fred, though he's interrupted by Cordelia and Lilah. Lilah and the gang argue about the possibility of saving the world, but then Cordelia gets a vision that allows her to see how to get Angel's soul back. Fred goes downstairs to inform Wesley about Cordy's vision, and she exchanges barbs with Angelus. While mock-praising Wesley, Angelus casually mentions his sexual liaisons with Lilah - another shock for Fred. Gunn and Connor dig up the grave of a soul eater, the skull of which is needed to return Angel's soul. Once they hit the coffin, the soul eater proves to be more active than dead and attacks the duo. With Connor incapacitated, Gunn is able to chop the demon to bits and retrieve the head.

Meanwhile, the Beast offers a gift to its unseen master; a knife made of his bones. Cordelia and Fred present the talismans they built for the spell while Gunn and Connor return with the fresh demon head. The spell is set up in the basement while Angelus tries to discourage them from trying. Wesley chants and a white soul-like mist emerges from the skull, passes through the talismans and surrounds Angelus in the cage. Angel's soul seems to be returned and once Angel sings forLorne, it's concluded that his soul really has returned. Still worried, Angel decides to stay in the cage and direct the others. Cordelia refuses to take his orders because he's acting like a coward and convinces him that he needs to be out of the cage. Free, Angel grabs Cordy, revealing that the spell did not work and that he is still Angelus. Cordy fights back and tries to hide in the cage, but Angelus knocks her out and heads upstairs to continue his Angel charade.

Angelus drops in on Fred, and the others are still fooled by him, but they don't get long to chat as he leaves spouting an excuse about going out to save the world. Spotting an unconscious Cordy in the cage, they realize Angelus lied and depart to find him. A consensus is reached that they won't be saving Angelus, they'll be killing him on sight now. Angelus roams the crazy streets of LA, but can't find anything but dead bodies and vampires, and he doubles back to the hotel. Lilah fires a round of bullets at him and Cordy tries to shoot him with the crossbow, but none of the attempts are successful. Angelus throws the crossbow bolt back at Cordelia's leg, taking her down and leaving him to deal with Lilah. Connor tracks Angelus back to the hotel. Angelus stalks Lilah until he finally finds her trying to hide. He takes her ax from her, but before he can kill her with it, she tosses him over a stair railing and runs off. Lilah runs into Cordelia, telling her that Angelus is going to kill them all. Cordelia responds by stabbing Lilah in the neck with the knife made from the Beast's bones, revealing that she is the Beast's master, and taunts her, saying that she let Angelus out for a reason.


  • "Cordelia" kills Lilah Morgan, revealing she deliberately let Angelus free.
  • This is the episode in which we learn that "Cordelia" is the real power behind The Beast.
  • Angelus reveals that Angel had suspected that Fred and Gunn killed Professor Oliver Seidel in "Supersymmetry", despite apparently accepting their story that Seidel fell into his own portal. He had been uncertain whether it was Fred or Gunn who actually killed him until now.
  • Angelus is released and now stalking Angel Investigations.
  • Fred and Gunn end their relationship.
  • it is revealed that the Soul Eater was buried by the Chumash, a real life Native American tribe who also featured in the Buffy episode "Pangs". 
  • Fred's reaction to Angelus' revelation of Wesley and Lilah's relationship is similar to the way she reacts to hearing (also from Angelus) about Cordy and Connor in "Soulless" .
  • The Beast gives a possessed Cordelia a dagger made of his own bones which proves important in "Salvage" where Angelus uses it to kill him.

Body Count[]

  • Soul eater, killed by Gunn
  • a squad of L.A. firemen, drained by vampires
  • Lilah Morgan, killed by Jasmine (while possessing Cordelia Chase's body)

Behind the Scenes[]

  • Vincent Kartheiser recalled filming the scene where Gunn and Connor dig the grave and telling J. August Richards that this would be the start of the characters' bonding experience, only to be disappointed when the next episode had them adversarial again.

Production Notes[]

  • Angelus chasing Lilah is reminiscent of Jenny Calendar's death. However, instead of Angelus surprising Lilah and killing her, it was "Cordelia".
  • Lilah's connections and ability to procure extra-dimensional materials—even when destitute and living in a sewer—explains why Jasmine had the Beast wipe out all Wolfram & Hart employees, not just Mesektet or the Los Angeles branch. Their resourcefulness was too much to risk, and indeed just the knowledge that something had wiped out all traces of the Beast in the entire dimension did alert them that they were dealing with something far more powerful than they had heretofore imagined.
  • An extra scene where Angelus kills Lilah was filmed, in order to avoid word leaking out that Cordelia was the season's main villain. 

Pop Culture References[]

International titles[]

  • German: Das Geheimnis der Bestie (The Secret of the Beast)
  • French: La grande menace (The big threat)



  • The title "Calvary" references the site outside of Jerusalem where Jesus Christ was allegedly crucified. Another name for the place "Calvary" is "Golgotha" which means the "place of a skull." Among other possible reasons for the writers to choose this title, Charles Gunn and Connor have to go to a site where a Soul Eater has been buried, chop off its head, and prepare its skull for a re-ensouling ritual – hence making that scene a Golgotha, a "place of a skull."



Gunn: "Now, instead of just worryin' about big bad rock-eater, we got Darth Vampire livin' in the basement."
Cordelia: "Do you know what Angelus would do if we let him out?"
Lilah: "Kill you all in a bloody shower of violence. But, hey, greater good."
Lilah: "It's Thursday, which means everyone who should be in the weekly briefing is, um, dead."
Lilah: "He's gonna kill us!"
Cordelia: "I know." [stabs Lilah in the throat] "Why do you think I let him out, you stupid bitch?"