|Season 1, Episode 17|
|Air date||April 4, 2000|
|Written by||Tracey Stern|
|Directed by||Regis Kimble|
Five by Five
Eternity is the seventeenth episode of season one of Angel.
Angel befriends a television star with a dream of becoming eternally young and beautiful.
Angel and Wesley are attending a rehearsal for a play in which Cordelia has a part. They want to escape, but see no way to do it. Afterwards, the three of them are walking together when Cordelia spots Oliver Simon, a well-known talent manager, and a famous actress, Rebecca Lowell. When Rebecca crosses the street, a parked car pulls into traffic and accelerates toward her, as if the driver intends to murder her. Angel pushes her out of the car's path, saving her life. Oliver offers Angel a reward, but he refuses to accept it. Cordelia gives Rebecca a business card for Angel Investigations.
The next day, the papers report on the rescue, but Angel is not mentioned in the story. Rebecca and two boydguards come to Angel Investigations, asking for Angel's help with a stalker fan. Angel declines to take the case. This infuriates Cordelia, who sees it as a chance for her to network with Hollywood people. Wesley explains that Angel cannot take the case because he likes Rebecca and is afraid of getting close. Angel remains silent. When Wesley says he agrees with Angel's decision not to take the case, Cordelia pretends to have a vision about Rebecca being in danger. Wesley and Angel are not fooled.
At her house, Rebecca is receiving a painful skin treatment. She is considering plastic surgery. She hosts a party that night. After her guests leave, a masked man breaks in. Angel, who has evidently been watching the house, breaks through a sliding glass door to protect Rebecca. The masked man escapes. Rebecca notices that Angel has no reflection. Angel disappears. Rebecca's bodyguards call the police. After the police leave the house, Rebecca calls out Angel, knowing he is still in the house. She knows he is a vampire, but is not frightened. She asks Angel to stay in the house for the night.
The next morning, Angel phones Wesley to say he is taking Rebecca's case. Cordelia is worried that Angel might turn evil. She goes to Rebecca's house with three lattes and a large wooden cross. Angel tells her that Rebecca knows he is a vampire.
Rebecca has lunch with Oliver, where she learns that did not get a part she was hoping for. Oliver says the producers want to hear her read.
Back at her house, Rebecca tells Angel that she is not used to reading for parts. Her career is in decline, after more than a year off the air.
That night, Rebecca attends a premiere, with Angel as her bodyguard. As they leave, an attacker in evening dress shoots at them. Angel fights him off. Rebecca recognizes the attacker as a stunt man whom Oliver once represented. When Oliver appears at the scene, he confesses that he arranged the attacks on Rebecca to get publicity for her. Rebecca guesses that she did not get the part she was hoping for. Oliver explains that she is now too "mature" for some roles, and no one can stay young forever. Rebecca glances at Angel.
Back at Angel Investigations, Wesley tells Angel the shooter from the previous night was using blanks. Angel already knows this. He guesses the reason. He is worried that Rebecca will be hurt if she learns that no one cares about her enough to stalk her.
Rebecca and Cordelia go shopping together, and Cordelia helps Rebecca pick out a bottle of champagne for Angel. That night, while sipping champagne, Rebecca accidentally spills some on Angel and he has to go change his shirt. She slips a drug, later revealed to be doximal, into his drink and they toast and drink when he returns.
Cordelia confesses to Wesley that she told Rebecca all about Angel and how one could become a vampire by him. As the drug takes effect, Rebecca tries to convince Angel to make her a vampire. Angel says she doesn't realize what she's asking of him, and in a sudden burst of rage, he sprays blood into her mouth so she can taste what she's getting into. She confesses that she slipped a happy pill into his drink and it has given him the feeling of "perfect happiness." No longer Angel, Angelus attacks Rebecca, but she escapes through the elevator while Angelus goes outside to cut the power and phones.
In the office, Angelus confronts Rebecca and his two employees. He mocks Wesley for being inadequate, then tells Cordelia how bad she was in the play. She threatens him with water, trying to convince him that it's holy water. The water temporarily stuns him when it hits him, allowing Wesley to knock him down into the elevator shaft. Angel wakes up, chained to his bed, feeling horrible about the things he said. Cordelia reluctantly forgives him, but leaves Angel chained to the bed.
- David Boreanaz as Angel/Angelus
- Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
- Alexis Denisof as Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
- Robin Meyers as Masseuse
- Originally, Angel was envisioned as being an anthology, with the client of the week providing the emotional center for each episode. However, as the first season progressed, the writers began to concentrate on the emotional interplay between the main characters instead. As producer Tim Minear explains, "You can have an interesting plot and an interesting client, but it's difficult to create sympathy for someone you're introducing for one episode." This episode at first presents events from the guest character's point of view, but "if you look at how the episode ended up," Minear says, "it's really about our core people, and by the end of the episode the client's gone. There's not even a wrap up scene at the end with the actress. It's all about Angel being chained to the bed and Cordelia not untying him." In the first versions of the script, the emotional focus remained on Rebecca for the entire episode, until creator Joss Whedon decided to add the element of Angel going bad. "If that episode had gone before the cameras earlier in the rotation, I think you would have probably seen a different ending, with more emphasis placed on the actress and her problem than on Angel," Minear says.
- Minear says, "I know there was a lot of criticism on the Internet about the way he went bad, and did he really go bad?" However, he feels the drug was a good plot device to bring Angelus into the series "so that he could interact with our characters without doing some big ‘Angel has turned evil’ arc. You sort of get to have your cake and eat it too in that episode." He adds, "I saw some criticism about Cordelia reacting too Cordelia-like in the first half of the episode with her star-struckness. But that would be her."
- The play in which Cordelia stars at the beginning of this episode is A Doll's House by Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen. Cordelia is playing Nora Helmer, the female main part. The scene shown is from the first act.
- At one point, Rebecca says, "Bela Lugosi and Gary Oldman... they're vampires", to which Angel replies, "I thought Frank Langella was the only performance I believed..." They refer to three actors who have played Dracula, Lugosi in Dracula in 1931, Langella in 1979's Dracula and Oldman in Bram Stoker's Dracula in 1992.
- When Rebecca say's, "Listen to me. Poor little rich girl." she is using a direct quote from Titanic, except Rose goes on to say, "what does she know about misery?" Rebecca does not.
- Oliver Simon, Rebecca's manager, was seen in a brief and uncredited appearance in the series pilot "City of" at Margo's party as the manager who gives Angel his card and disclaims any effort at a come-on.
- This marks the first reappearance of Angelus (excepting flashbacks) since the Buffy episode "Becoming, Part Two". This episode stirs up the feeling among Cordelia and Wesley that Angel's soul is a very fragile thing and he could turn on them at any time. This aspect of mistrust plays heavily in season 2.
- This episode demonstrates that the "moment of perfect happiness" that triggers Angel's curse does not have to be sexual. As Wesley points out, Angel became Angelus in the episode "Surprise" not because he had sex, but because he was with Buffy. "It is a very fine line that he walks," Minear says. "And if he goes a little bit too far, there is the danger that he will destroy the very people he's connecting with."
- This is the first time on Angel that Cordelia is shown to have decent acting skills when necessary, as is seen when she convinces Angelus she is holding holy water.