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"Expecting" is the twelfth episode of the first season of Angel and the twelfth episode in the series. Written by Howard Gordon and directed by David Semel, it was originally broadcast on January 25, 2000, on The WB network.


OH BABY — After what Cordelia thought was a dream date, she wakes up to find herself in the middle of a nightmare — extremely pregnant with something extremely unnatural. Meanwhile, Cordelia's condition leads Angel and Wesley down a path of protection for their friend and colleague.[1]


Cordelia gets ready to go out for the evening while Angel tries to decipher her filing system, which includes filling Mrs. Bensen under "F" because she was from France. Seeking company, Wesley comes back to the office just before Cordelia's friends, Serena and Emily, make an entrance. The two young women intend to take Cordelia to the club Lounge LaBrea to meet the famous photographer Wilson Christopher, whom she has apparently been seeing for some time. As Angel takes Cordelia aside to ask her why she hasn't introduced him to the person she's dating, she gets a vision that knocks her to the floor behind the desk.

To cover Cordelia's distress, Angel and Wesley distract Serena and Emily so awkwardly the girls conclude they are a couple. Meanwhile, Cordelia forces herself to stand, gives Angel the necessary information about the evil thing he's supposed to fight, then departs with her friends. Angel and Wesley manage to locate and slay the demon, grateful to face it just hatching from its egg rather than fully grown. Commenting on Cordelia's lack of clerical reliability, Wesley also makes a disparaging remark about the "doxies" she has for friends. He changes his tune in mid-phrase when Angel teases, "I think they liked you."

At LaBrea, Cordelia and Wilson talk, seeming to make a genuine connection. Wilson takes Cordelia home, where, after a kiss in the doorway, she invites him to come in. Dennis registers his displeasure by brightening the lights she dims and putting on a "jaunty polka" rather than the mellow music she selects. Wilson and Cordelia kiss again and spend the night together in lovemaking. She wakes the next morning to an empty bed and is horrified to find she has grown very pregnant.

Concerned by her unprecedented absence and unable to reach her by phone for several hours, Angel and Wesley go to Cordelia's apartment. They find her still huddled under the covers, staring in shock. Both men are aghast at her physical and mental state, and Cordelia tearfully says she's ready to wake up now. She recounts everything that happened the night before, recalling nothing unusual or out of the ordinary, and Angel promises to figure things out. After discovering that the phone number Wilson gave to Cordelia is no longer in service, Angel instructs Wesley to take her for an ultrasound to see exactly what it is they are dealing with, while he goes to hunt down "daddy."

Starting his search at La Brea, Angel gains the bartender's reluctant trust and obtains information about Cordelia's friend Serena, who turns out to be the ringleader of a group of attractive young women hooking up with Wilson's group of well-heeled guys. When he gets to her apartment, Angel cautiously enters, calling Serena's name. She answers, saying, in reference to the dimness relieved only by candles, that the light hurts her eyes. Back turned, she tells Angel she thought he was the liquor store's delivery service. When Serena turns, Angel sees she is just as enormously pregnant as Cordelia.

Meanwhile, in the clinic exam room, the doctor and his assistant disapprove of the way "Mr. and Mrs. Pangborn" seem to have been caring for Cordelia's condition for the past eight and a half months. Reading the ultrasound in shock, Dr. Wasserman counts seven heartbeats and, trying to conceal his agitation, orders the nurse to prep for amniocentesis. Accepting the full syringe after the doctor has withdrawn fluid from Cordelia's abdomen, the nurse shrieks and drops the disintegrating instrument to smash on the floor. Behaving like a powerful acid, the spilled amniotic fluid rapidly eats a hole right through the tile, then through the sub-flooring beneath. Excusing themselves, the doctor and the nurse flee in terror. Wesley suggests that they go find Angel, and Cordelia starts questioning Wesley about what's inside of her. However, she isn't worried about the abnormality of it — she's worried that they might be unhealthy.

At Serena's, Angel sits with her, asking questions that could give him some clue to Wilson's current whereabouts. When he asks whether there is anyone he can call for her, Serena shakes her head and explains that Wilson and a few others are careful to select girls who have no family and few friends in the city. Just as it occurs to her to tell Angel that the money the guys use smells, Serena suddenly doubles over with pain.

Returning to Angel's, Wesley and Cordelia are exiting the elevator when she also doubles over with a sharp groan. Wesley leads her to Angel's bed and tries to make her comfortable. Fading in and out of coherence, Cordelia asks what Wesley saw when he looked over the doctor's shoulder at the ultrasound monitor. When he begins to tells her, however, she already seems to know. Looking straight in his eyes for a moment, Cordelia announces that Wesley is scared of what's inside of her. Then her gaze loses focus and her voice grows distant as she tells him she can sense the babies trying to communicate with her.

After he helps Cordelia lie back, Wesley turns to find Angel observing from the doorway. Moving into the next room, Wesley reports on what happened at the clinic, showing Angel the printout from the ultrasound. Grabbing the yellow pages, Angel tells Wes that Serena believes the guys hang out at the Guns and Cigars club, but she doesn't know its name or location. As they walk past the kitchen, they see Cordelia standing in front of the open fridge drinking blood directly from one of the quart containers Angel has stashed there.

Finding Wilson down on the shooting range at the gun club, Angel takes away his gun and confronts him about Cordelia. Discovering by scent that Wilson is not a demon himself, Angel roughly demands to know the identity and whereabouts of Wilson's demon lord. When the rest of the guys show up, Wilson gets to his feet and, accepting another loaded gun from one of his friends, promptly shoots Angel three times in the gut. To his shock, Angel doesn't fall, but vamps out instead and says: "I really don't like it when people shoot me." Taking the other guys out one by one, Angel finally forces Wilson to talk.

Wesley, in the meantime, discovers that Cordelia carries the spawn of a Haxil beast. When he shows her its picture and tries to comfort her, Cordelia bashes Wesley unconscious with the heavy reference book, saying he won't "hurt her babies." The sound of the phone ringing brings Wesley back to consciousness. He answers and it is Angel, calling from a phone booth while manually extracting the bullets from his own torso. Wesley tells Angel that Cordelia has left, but Angel says he knows where she's going. Comparing notes, the two men determine that the spawn can't survive if the psychic umbilical the Haxil maintains with each of the hosts is severed. Listening to Wesley's catalog of the Haxil beast's many strengths and few weaknesses, Angel suddenly has an idea and asks Wes if he can shoot straight.

Meanwhile, Cordelia and several other pregnant women gather at an old refinery fronting the entrance to the cave where the demon resides. Dressing each other in flowing white gowns, the women slowly climb into a waist-deep pool and stand in a circle, waiting. Wesley arrives and tries to scold Cordelia and the others out of the pool, but is interrupted by the thunderous appearance of the gigantic Haxil beast emerging from its lair. The demon is about to remove Wesley and begin delivering its spawn when Angel appears, rolling a huge white tank down the ramp in front of him.

Hefting the tank, Angel whirls and launches it at the Haxil, who catches it. Before the Haxil can react to the liquid nitrogen label now visible, Wesley shoots a hole in the tank. The tank falls and sprays the escaping vapor over the demon, freezing it solid. With the psychic link broken, the women in the pool cry out in pain as the spawn they have been carrying suddenly evacuate their wombs. Cordelia climbs out, grabs a block and tackle from its anchor, and swings the heavy missile directly at the frozen Haxil, shattering it to smithereens.

Two days later, Cordelia returns to the office, looking svelte once more. She tells the boys about a dinner she'll have with a producer that night, and teases them about their concern; she's a lot stronger than "those loser demon surrogates." Cordelia then lets them know how grateful she is to have two people she trusts with her life, and explains he's dabbing his eyes because of allergies.


  • Cordy is reluctant to introduce her dates to Angel because she doesn't want him to behave like a forbidding father and interrogate them as he did with Pierce in "The Bachelor Party."
  • Angel also despaired of Cordy's secretarial skills in "Rm w/a Vu."
  • Cordelia lists having learned that "sex is bad," to which Angel agrees. He lost his soul and reverted to his evil persona following having sex in the episode "Surprise."
  • Wesley will refer to the events of this episode in the episode "Players," in which Cordelia is the subject of an accelerated mystical pregnancy once again.
  • In total, Cordelia is the victim of mystical pregnancy three times during the series: from a Haxil beast in this episode, as host of an unborn Skilosh demon in "Epiphany," and from Connor while possessed by Jasmine, as first revealed in "Salvage."



Organizations and titles[]




Death count[]

  • A parasite demon, killed by Angel at 25 Cabrillo.
  • Haxil beast, frozen solid by Angel and smashed by Cordelia at the Milliken Industrial Park.

Behind the scenes[]


  • "Expecting" had an audience of 4.3 million households upon its original airing.[2]

Pop culture references[]

  • When Cordelia accidentally smears lipstick on her face, she refers to the Joker, the Batman villain whose makeup includes an enlarged smile.
  • Serena compliments Wesley comparing him to the British actor Hugh Grant.
  • Cordelia describes her new apartment as the Buckingham Palace, home of British royalty, compared to her old one.
  • When Dennis acts out, Cordelia threatens to punish him by playing the 1996 musical Evita starring Madonna.
  • Wesley refers to the Biblical story of David and Goliath when standing up to the much taller Haxil demon.


  • While on the phone with Wesley, Angel's reflection is visible in the glass of the phone booth.
  • During the conversation in the doctor's office, the boom mic is visible in the top of the screen.


International titles[]

  • Czech: "V očekávání" (In Expectation)
  • Finnish: "Odotus" (Expecting)
  • French: "Grossesse express" (Express Pregnancy)
  • German: "Teuflische Leidenschaft" (Diabolical Passion)
  • Hungarian: "Terhes kapcsolat" (Pregnant Connection)
  • Italian: "In attesa" (Expecting)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): "Esperando" (Expecting)
  • Russian: "Ожидание" (Expectation)
  • Spanish (Latin America): "Esperando" (Expecting)
  • Spanish (Spain): "Encinta" (Pregnant)
  • Turkish: "Bekleyiş" (Expecting)


Promotional stills[]

Behind the scenes[]



Angel: "I don't think I've ever realized just how disgusting that was."
Wilson: "You shouldn't sneak up on people like that in here. That's how accidents happen."
Angel: "Speaking of accidents, I'm a friend of Cordelia Chase."
Wilson: "This is a private club. Featured word: private."
Angel: "Hey, you don't talk to me, I'll kick your ass. Featured word: ass."
Angel: "You know, I'm starting to get the big picture here. You guys proxy for Big Daddy Demon. He imbues you with his life force or whatever it is you're implanting in these women."
Jason: "He has trouble finding his own dates. We just — help him out a little, that's all."
Wilson: "Shut up, Jason."
Angel: "And you get what in return, fame, money, success? That's it, isn't it? How else would losers like you get ahead? I mean, you'd have to become procreative surrogates for a vile demonic entity."
Jason: "Well, mostly, I do it for the sex."
Wilson: "Welcome to Los Angeles. There are worse things to be in business with."
Angel: "Where is he? Where is this demon you worship?"
Wilson: "Even if we did tell you where to find him, it wouldn't matter, since you're about to have an accident."
Angel: "I really don't like it when people shoot me. Now you're going to tell me what I need to know."
Cordelia: "I'm fine. I had this great audition today for Max Crax, you know, the little crackers?"
Angel: "That's terrific."
Wesley: "Yes."
Angel: "Because, you know, a cracker is something everyone can..."
Wesley: "Eat."
Angel: "Eat."
Cordelia: "This producer was so nice. He said that I'm his first choice. We're going out to dinner tonight."
Angel: "Uh-huh, tonight?"
Wesley: "Well, best to get back on the horse, I suppose. If he seems..."
Cordelia: "He is so sweet. He says that all I have to do is let him impregnate me with his demon master's seed, and I’ve got the part. Guys, I appreciate all the concern, but I'm okay. I mean, it was an ordeal, but I got through it — and I'm a lot stronger than those loser demon surrogates thought."
Cordelia: "I learned something, too. I learned, um, men are evil? Oh, wait, I knew that. I learned that LA is full of self-serving phonies. Nope. Had that one down, too. Ah, sex is bad?"
Angel: "We all knew that."
Cordelia: "Okay. I learned that I have two people I trust absolutely with my life. And that part's new."


  1. "Angel- Season 1 Episode Guide." Lol's Site. Retrieved on June 25, 2022.
  2. "Nielsen Ratings for Angel's First Season." Nielsen Ratings for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, & Firefly. Archived from the original on July 18, 2008.