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"Calvary" is the twelfth episode of the fourth season of Angel and the seventy-eighth episode in the series. 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.


When the gang receives the disturbing news that The Beast is working for a much more powerful entity, they realize they must restore Angel's soul to revert the evil Angelus back to Angel.[1]


ConnorWesley and Cordelia force their way into Wo-Pang's chambers and question him about Angel's soul, only to find that the soul still remains in its container. However, Wo-Pang 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."

In his cage at the Hyperion Hotel, Angelus continues to taunt the Angel Investigations team, angering Gunn over his relationship with FredLilah 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 he ends things between them. He then spots 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, who was dormant at the time, does.

The team discuss the Beast and if he could have servants working for him. However, Angelus wakes up and informs the team 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 team is 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 group. He mentions Dr. Seidel's death, 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-commiserates with Gunn about Fred's affections shifting to Wesley, citing Wesley's recent descent into more violent behavior as the cause; Angelus teases: "for once in your life, 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 team argue about the possibility of saving the world, but then Cordelia gets visions 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 — which shocks 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 dagger made of his bone.

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 mist emerges from the skull, passes through the talismans, and surrounds Angelus in the cage. Angel's soul seems to be returned; Angel sings for Lorne, 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 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 chaotic streets of LA, but he 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 axe 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 stabs Lilah in the neck with the knife made from the Beast's bones and says that she let Angelus out for this very reason.


  • Lilah returns after escaping the Beast's massacre in the Wolfram & Hart offices "Habeas Corpses."
  • When discussing the interdimensional provenance of her copy of the book, Lilah tells Fred: "I'm surprised you didn't think of that." Fred spent five years trapped in the dimension of Pylea ("Belonging").
  • Fred and Gunn end their relationship. It started in "Waiting in the Wings" and began to deteriorate in "Supersymmetry."
  • Angelus teases Gunn about sticking to his strengths and not expanding his horizons. In "Conviction," Gunn will perform a legal upgrade to become a supernatural lawyer, fearing being "just the muscle" again ("Shells").
  • Angelus reveals that he had deduced that Fred and Gunn killed Seidel in "Supersymmetry."
  • Fred's reaction to Angelus' revelation of Wesley and Lilah's relationship is similar to the way she reacts to hearing Angelus' revelation about Cordy and Connor in "Soulless."
  • The soul eater was buried by the Chumash, the Native American tribe also featured in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Pangs."
  • The dagger the Beast gives a possessed Cordelia will prove to be important in "Salvage," when Angelus will use it to kill him.
  • Lilah dies in this episode. She'll return, undead, in "Peace Out."
  • Angelus chasing Lilah is reminiscent of Jenny's death ("Passion"). However, instead of Angelus surprising Lilah and killing her, it was Cordelia.
  • Cordelia stabs Lilah in the neck, leading the team to believe Angelus killed her ("Salvage"). Holtz and Justine used the same maneuver to incriminate Angel in "Benediction."
  • Cordelia is revealed as the real power behind the Beast; she has been possessed since the spell in "Spin the Bottle," and the team will first learn about her actions in "Players."



Organizations and titles[]




Death count[]

  • The soul eater, killed by Gunn.
  • A squad of L.A. firemen, blood drained by vampires.
  • Lilah Morgan, killed by Jasmine (while possessing Cordelia body).

Behind the scenes[]


  • 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, 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 ensouling ritual — hence making that scene a Golgotha, a "place of a skull."
  • Lilah's "he killed the" speech is very similar to that regarding Keyser Söze's murderous quest in The Usual Suspects. This is all the more apt as Angel Investigations have their own Keyser Soze character amongst them in the shape of the Jasmine-possessed Cordelia.


  • "Calvary" had an audience of 2.3 million households upon its original airing.[2]

Pop culture references[]


International titles[]

  • Czech: "Kalvárie" (Calvary)
  • Finnish: "Ratsuväki apuun" (Cavalry to the Rescue)
  • French: "La Grande Menace" (The Big Threat)
  • German: "Das Geheimnis der Bestie" (The Secret of the Beast)
  • Hungarian: "Kálvária" (Calvary)
  • Italian: "Calvario" (Calvary)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): "O Calvário" (The Calvary)
  • Russian: "Голгофа" (Golgotha)
  • Spanish (Latin America): "Calvario" (Calvary)
  • Spanish (Spain): "Calvario" (Calvary)
  • Turkish: "Eza" (Calvary)


Promotional stills[]

Behind the scenes[]


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. Why do you think I let him out, you stupid bitch?"


  1. "angel: Calvary." TheWB.com. Archived from the original on August 3, 2004.
  2. "Nielsen Ratings for Angel's Fourth Season." Nielsen Ratings for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, & Firefly. Archived from the original on July 6, 2008.