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"Forgiving" is the seventeenth episode of the third season of Angel and the sixty-first episode in the series. Written by Jeffrey Bell and directed by Turi Meyer, it was originally broadcast on April 15, 2002, on The WB network.


Angel is a man out for revenge to get back at Wesley for kidnapping Connor and turning him over to their enemies. While Fred and Gunn try to reason with him, Angel conjures dark magic and risks ripping right through the fabric of reality to find his lost son.[1]


In his destroyed room, Angel stares at Connor's empty crib. Meanwhile, Gunn and Fred are searching Wesley's apartment for a reason why he decided to steal Connor from Angel. Fred, upset by everything that happens, suggests looking for Wesley's diaries as she keeps trying his cell phone. What she doesn't realize is that Wes is actually close by, lying where Justine cut his throat and left him for dead.

In Holtz's lair, Justine returns and lies to the remaining troops by telling them that Holtz escaped with Angel's son as planned and commended his men. Justine takes charge and tells the assembled that Holtz's mission to kill Angelus is now theirs.

Gunn and Fred return to the hotel and is informed of what happened by Lorne. Fred is upset, especially given her own experience with portals while Gunn has more and more trouble believing that Wesley would just hand Connor over to Holtz. Lorne can only confirm what he read from Wesley when he read him earlier: he had been meeting Holtz in secret and when he took Connor out of the hotel he hadn't intended for either of them to ever return. Suddenly Angel appears, declaring that he's going to get Connor back and will get revenge on everyone responsible for his disappearance, including Wesley. Lorne states he's never heard of Quor'toth, and Angel sets him to work researching it and finding a way to open a portal, intending to head there. He then decides the best way of finding a way to open a portal is to get a hold of Sahjhan who's done it before and has been involved in the chain of events since the beginning.

At Wolfram & Hart, Lilah is finishing paperwork on the night's events when Linwood enters her office on his way back from a fundraiser. He reveals that he's fully aware she'd met with both Sahjhan and Angel, and (in a friendly manner) criticizes her for her failure to get Connor for them and for leaving him out of the loop before leaving. Lilah is left angry, knowing the blame for the evening's events and denying Wolfram & Hart any chance of getting hold of Connor will be placed directly on her.

In the hotel, all search of Wesley's files have shown no mention of Sahjhan. As Gunn continues to look, Fred decides to call Cordelia but Angel won't let her. Fred argues that Cordy should know what happened, but Angel tells her that he wants Connor to be there when Cordelia brings home presents for him, with a hint of his devastation coming through his voice. Fred puts the phone down, and Angel decides he can't just wait anymore and leaves. Gunn and Fred, knowing Angel might be about to track down those responsible (namely Wesley), decide they need to start looking again.

Meanwhile, Wesley is found by a homeless man who originally intends to help him, but when he finds hundreds of dollars Wes had withdrawn to fund his escape while looking for ID, the man instead mugs him and drags him out of sight.

Lorne enters the hotel to find Angel standing over the weapons chest, and gives him some very bad news: Quor'toth is one of the worst demon dimensions, enough to frighten anyone who's heard of it. Also, Sahjhan didn't actually open a portal but ripped open a hole in reality, and that's the only way to get there. What Lorne hasn't noticed is that Angel has been picking up sharp objects before heading to his room. As Lorne explains that even if Angel does somehow make it to Quor'toth, finding Connor will still be almost impossible. They enter the room, and Lorne finds that Angel has a guest: Linwood, who has been kidnapped and tied to a chair.

Lorne is very troubled as he realizes Angel intends to torture Linwood for information, and that he can't do that to a human, even someone like Linwood. Linwood makes threats, but Angel knows Wolfram & Hart will kill their own employees before him. Linwood promises he won't press any charges, but Angel simply takes a spindle he picked up and starts to hover it dangerously close to Linwood's eye asking for information on who Sahjhan is and how he can be found. Linwood gets Angel to take out his cell phone and use the speed dial, after which he talks to Lilah and tells her Angel is coming to Wolfram & Hart and he is to be given the firm's full support.

Gunn and Fred enter Holtz's lair to be confronted by Justine and Holtz's troops. They demand information of Wesley, but she isn't talking and Fred realizes that Justine is devastated by Holtz's disappearance. Justine sets Holtz's troops on them and the two are caught be surprise. Before they can kill Gunn, Justine remembers slashing Wesley's throat and lets them go.

At Wolfram & Hart, Lilah can't help but be impressed at Angel kidnapping Linwood. She is nervous and has been told to take him to the White Room, a place that she didn't learn about until she'd been at the firm for three years, and she still doesn't know what it is or does. Entering an elevator, Angel has the button combination for getting to the room and enters it, but he doesn't give Lilah the piece of paper with the information. A new, white button appears on the panel, and Angel presses it causing him and Lilah to be absorbed by a light.

The two find themselves in a literal white room, which appears to go on forever. They are approached by the image of a little girl who already knows why Angel is there and what he wants: Sahjhan. She tells them that Sahjhan is a Granok demon, and in the past Granok demons brought torture and death to all that encountered them. The Senior Partners were concerned at how much chaos the Granoks were causing, so made them immaterial. They can only watch events now, and can be trapped by a special urn which swallows their essence. The little girl knows that Angel wants not an image but someone he can touch, and offers to help on a condition: kill Lilah. Without hesitation, Angel moves to snap Lilah's neck but the girl stops him. His willingness to do it is enough for her. She hands over a dark magic ritual that will return Sahjhan to his bodily form before casting Angel and Lilah out of the room.

With none of Wesley's notes present in his apartment, Fred knows that he either threw them away or took them with him. With that, she looks through his building's dumpster. After some searching, she finds them. Reading them, she finds that Wesley learned of a coming event that scared him and became desperate to disprove. Gunn finds the passage which reveals that Angel was destined to kill Connor. Fred starts to tell her that Wesley did the right and the only thing he could do, but Gunn knows that Wesley had another option: tell them what he'd found at the start. Fred reasons that Angel might start to forgive Wesley when he finds out why he did what he did.

In the hotel, Angel has painted a pentagram on the floor of the lobby and prepares to start the ritual with Lorne, Lilah and a still tied-up Linwood watching. Lorne tries to talk Angel out of his actions, as dark magic always has dire consequences. Angel isn't interested, and tells Lilah the only ingredient left is human blood. For a second, it looks like Lilah is going to get some out of Linwood, but then cuts her hand and supplies it herself. Angel reads the words from the incantation he was given. Sahjhan forms in the middle of the hotel, then disappears. Angel demands information out of Linwood as to why the spell went wrong, but Linwood is clueless.

In the middle of a street, Sahjhan suddenly forms. The demon wonders what he's doing there, when suddenly a truck hits his now physical form. The driver is shocked, and the truck is suddenly flipped up by Sahjhan, who doesn't know how he got his form back but intends to enjoy it.

Angel starts pulling Linwood up the stairs when Lilah tells him of what happened with Sahjhan and the truck. Angel lets Linwood go, causing him to crash down the stairs, and moves to leave the hotel. As Lilah takes the chance to free her boss, Gunn and Fred arrive and tell Angel of the prophecy. Angel is incredulous: he knows he'd never hurt Connor or anyone he cares about. But it becomes clear he'll break the rule if Fred doesn't get out of his way and she has to let him leave. Suddenly the two notice Lilah and Linwood, and Lorne explains that bad things happened as the two lawyers leave swearing revenge.

Angel is attacked on his way out of the hotel by Justine and her troops, but he makes quick work of them and continues on. Justine runs off, and is spotted by Gunn and Fred getting into Wesley's car. They realize she must know where he is.

At the scene of the accident, Angel finds the truck driver blaming himself for what happened. Angel, despite his own personal pain, assures the driver he wasn't at fault for something which was out of his control. Angel then finds some of Sahjhan's blood and manages to get the demon's scent.

At the lair, Gunn and Fred find Justine trying to come to terms with the fact that Holtz was only interested in her as a means for getting revenge. She reveals that Wesley didn't hand Connor over to Holtz willingly and that she slit his throat. Fred attacks Justine, and the two briefly fight before Gunn throws Justine to the floor and demands she take them to him. Suddenly Sahjahn arrives, intending to show them some real rough stuff.

Sahjhan begins by hitting Justine in return for his attempt to cut off his head, then heads towards Gunn and Fred intending to beat them to death. Angel then turns up, and Sahjhan guessed that he must be responsible for his suddenly becoming solid. Angel demands Sahjhan take him to Quor'toth and help him find Connor, but Sahjhan explains that he won't and, more importantly, can't. The reason he ripped open the door to Quor'toth was because he only had the power to do it once without destroying the universe.

Sahjhan then reveals that he was responsible for writing the prophecy stating "The Father will kill The Son." 1,100 years earlier he had learned of a real prophecy which stated "The one sired by the vampire with a soul will grow to manhood and kill Sahjhan." In order to ensure this never came to pass, Sahjhan brought Holtz forward to the present day intending for him to kill Darla before she could give birth. When Holtz instead decided to let Connor live and raise him as his own son, Sahjhan then went backwards and forwards in time planting false prophecies like the one Wesley read. Sahjhan notes that out of everyone involved, Wes was the only one who showed any kind of spine.

Angel suddenly attacks Sahjhan for his part in all this, but Sahjhan's immense strength is too much for the vampire. He eventually defeats Angel and prepares to stake him while taunting that Connor had a bright future before him before Sahjhan decided to "put him down." Justine then arrives back with the urn that Holtz had been keeping as a defence against Sahjhan and traps the Granok demon inside much to everyone's surprise. She then reveals where she left Wesley before leaving.

Heading there, Angel, Gunn and Fred don't find him at first, and Angel returns to the hotel due to the sun rising. Angel is upset that despite everything he went through, his son is still lost to him forever. Lorne gives him a talk and assures him that both he and Wesley did all they could and that the first step towards forgiving Wesley is to forgive him. Suddenly, Fred calls: Wesley has been found alive and taken to hospital.

Visiting, Angel tells Gunn and Fred he couldn't stay away and wants to speak to Wesley. Entering the room, he calmly talks to him, as he explains that he knows why he took Connor but wants Wesley to understand that he would never harm Connor and asks him to understand that he's talking to Angel, not Angelus. Wesley, unable to speak, nods his understanding. Angel grabs a pillow and starts to smother Wesley with it, screaming that he'll never forgive Wesley for taking his son away and intends to kill him. An alarm is tripped, and orderlies enter and try to pull Angel off as he screams that he's going to make Wes pay for what he did. Gunn and several orderlies drag Angel away as he promises that Wesley is a dead man.


  • Fred is particularly afraid for Connor to be taken through a portal, which she experienced when she became trapped in Pylea ("Through the Looking Glass").
  • Fred mentions the Frzylcas, whom she and Gunn will meet with in the following episode, "Double or Nothing."
  • The prophecy about Sahjhan and Connor will be fulfilled in "Origin."



Organizations and titles[]




Rituals and spells[]

Death count[]

  • Two vampires, staked by Justine.
  • Four humans, killed by Sahjhan (in flashbacks).

Behind the scenes[]



  • "Forgiving" had an audience of 2.6 million households upon its original airing.[2]

Pop culture references[]

  • Lilah describes the Al's truck being flipped like it were a Tonka toy truck.


International titles[]

  • Czech: "Odpuštění" (Forgiveness)
  • Finnish: "Kysymys anteeksiannosta" (Question of Forgiveness)
  • French: "Impardonnable" (Unforgivable)
  • German: "Vergebung" (Forgiveness)
  • Hungarian: "Megbocsátás" (Forgiveness)
  • Italian: "Perdono" (Forgiveness)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): "Perdão" (Forgiveness)
  • Russian: "Прощение" (Forgiveness)
  • Spanish (Spanish): "Perdón" (Forgiveness)
  • Spanish (Latin America): "Perdonar" (Forgive)
  • Turkish: "Affetmek" (Forgive)




Angel: "Hey, Wes. I just... I want you to know I understand why you did it. I know about the prophecies and I know how hard it must have been for you to ... do what you did. You thought I was gonna turn evil and kill my son. I didn't. It's important you know that. This isn't Angelus talking. It's me, Angel. You know that, right? Good. Son of a bitch, you're gonna pay for what you did! You took my son! You son of a bitch! You bastard! You think I'd forgive you?! Never! You're gonna die! You hear me? You're gonna pay!"


  1. "angel: Forgiving." TheWB.com. Archived from the original on October 18, 2004.
  2. "Nielsen Ratings for Angel's Third Season." Nielsen Ratings for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, & Firefly. Archived from the original on July 5, 2008.