Buffyverse Wiki
Buffyverse Wiki

"Hell Bound" is the fourth episode of the fifth season of Angel television show, and the ninety-second episode in the series. Written and directed by Steven S. DeKnight, it was originally broadcast on October 22, 2003, on The WB network.


HELL HATH NO FURY — Spike struggles to maintain his weak grip on reality as spectral forces threaten to send him to hell. He encounters ghostly apparitions, including an eighteenth-century serial-killer doctor. Meanwhile, Fred continues her quest to find a way of restoring Spike to his corporeal self.[1]


Fred is working late in the science lab when Spike suddenly materializes behind her. She fakes being scared, and he complains that he's a pathetic ghost since he can't pick things up or scare people. Fred insists he's not a ghost and notes that his temperature has dropped slightly. She promises she will make him as real as a vampire with a soul can be, but different from Angel's prophecy. This interests Spike, and she explains that, if Angel helps enough people, he will become human again. When Fred informs Spike she may be able to make him corporeal, he falls through the basement and lands flat on his face. Hearing a sound, he goes to investigate and finds a man sitting at a table, chopping off his fingers one by one. The man turns around and reveals his mutilated face, riddled with cuts. Spike does a double-take, and the man vanishes.

Elsewhere in the building, Lorne negotiates a deal with a client. Fred heads to Wesley's office and requests some rare reading material. He says he'll get them for her if she agrees to have a real dinner, since she's been frequently eating takeout and working late.

In Angel's office, he and Eve discuss the amount of money Fred's science department has been spending. Fred admits she has gone over budget trying to make Spike corporeal again, and Angel says he asked her to find a way to get Spike out of Wolfram & Hart. She reminds him of their promise to use the firm's resources for good, but Angel insists that has nothing to do with Spike. Fred says Spike recently saved the world and is a champion fighting for humanity, just like Angel, and she believes Spike would be an asset to their team. Angel argues Spike is too selfish and will run off to find Buffy as soon as he becomes corporal. When she asks if Angel is jealous that Spike will try and get back with his ex, he warns her to be careful of Spike's charm. She insists she only wants to help him, but Angel remarks that some people can't be saved.

Spike reappears in the lab and notices a buzzing lamp and a looming shadow. Walking down the hallway, he notices a row of ceiling lights going off one by one. He follows them down a hallway and encounters a crying woman from the 19th century without arms. As she begs him to hold her, she suddenly disappears.

Angel enters his apartment, where Spike is waiting for him. Angel asks how it feels to be so close to hell, Spike claims that, since Angel managed to break out, it can't be a big deal. Angel admits he never escaped hell; it was just a short reprieve. Spike mentions the Shanshu Prophecy, which Angel dismisses as fake since there is no such thing as destiny; rather, the evil things they did in the past will be what matters in the end. Spike asks why they should bother doing good, and Angel wonders aloud what else they can do. Spike resigns to being Angel's sidekick, and they share a brief banter. Angel then admits he liked Spike's poems, and Spike reminds him that he also likes Barry Manilow. Spike suddenly sees a man hanging from the ceiling by a noose and realizes that Angel can't see him.

The team meets in Angel's office, where Spike tries to get the ghosts to leave him alone. Gunn and Eve arrive and announce that, according to the building's spectral sweeps, there are no ghosts. The figures tell Spike that something is coming and he begs Fred to do something to get rid of them. Spike vanishes and then reappears, but no one can see him. The team heads off to look for Spike as a voice tells him that no one can help him. Spike spots the shadow from the lab again and follows it to the elevator, which starts moving.

Wesley, Gunn, and Fred discuss whether Spike has gone crazy. Fred tells them Spike isn't losing his mind; he's slipping into hell.

The elevator takes Spike to the basement, where ghosts tell him "the Reaper" is coming for him. A woman with a piece of glass protruding out of her eye slashes him across the cheek, saying she hasn't forgotten him.

In the lab, Fred works on equations, and Spike joins her, saying that hell is coming for him. He thanks her for trying to help him despite she can't hear him. He tries to encourage her with his touch; she feels a spark and determines he's there. Angel arrives, and Fred tells him she believes Spike is in the room. He replies that the mystics did another sweep of the building and found nothing. Fred says she doesn't care and wants to figure out how to contact Spike before he's gone for good.

The team meets in a conference room, where Eve joins them with a medium named Claire. She conducts a quick seance, in which she senses Spike's presence and says he's in pain. She says a "dark soul" is coming, and Spike yells that it's the Reaper. The psychic starts choking, and Angel tells Spike to stop attacking her. The psychic composes herself, but then she spits out blood, collapsing on the table. Later in his office, Wesley tells Gunn that Spike wouldn't gain anything from killing someone trying to help him; she must have contacted the "dark soul" she warned was coming.

As Fred showers in the lab, Spike wonders why the Reaper killed the psychic and realizes it was trying to hide something. He reaches out and touches the glass on the shower stall. He concentrates, managing to write in the condensation. As Fred steps out, she sees "REAPER" spelled out on the glass. Suddenly, the glass shatters, yanking Spike through the wall and tossing him into the lobby. There, he is taunted by more ghosts until he demands to see the Reaper himself. The Reaper finally appears and informs Spike that he plans on torturing him before taking him to hell.

Angel, Gunn, and Wesley sift through books upstairs. Gunn finds numerous references to the "dark soul," with four mentioning Angel. Fred arrives and tells the others to cross-reference "reaper." Angel finds the name Matthias Pavayne, an 18th-century aristocratic doctor nicknamed the Reaper for performing unnecessary surgery on his patients. Rather than praising his brutality, Wolfram & Hart killed him and used his blood to deconsecrate the ground of the L.A. branch; the site the seers recommended was originally a church, so Pavayne's blood was needed. Angel notes that Pavayne practiced the dark arts, which is probably why he's not in hell and can get around the mystics. He wonders why there aren't any ghosts in the building since so many people have died there. Gunn suggests that Pavayne is doing something to them, and Fred worries that Spike will be his next victim.

In the science lab, Pavayne is having fun torturing Spike. Fred enters her office above, and Pavayne hopes someday he'll have her. Spike gets up and throws a punch at Pavayne, but his fist goes right through him. Suddenly, Spike finds himself naked in the basement. Pavayne brags that he can bend reality, which is why Spike is no longer visible. Pavayne and his ghosts taunt Spike, and Pavayne admits to having killed them all. Spike accuses Pavayne of trying to trick him; if he sent the ghosts to hell, they are not really there.

In the lab, Fred writes formulas on the windows. Wesley notes that it's not a good sign, but she assures she's not crazy; she just ran out of room on her whiteboard. Angel decides they'll try to get Spike first then deal with Pavayne. Fred says they need a lot of dark energy to save Spike. Gunn takes Angel to the White Room, where Angel concludes that Gunn wants to take a piece of the Conduit that connects Wolfram & Hart to the other dimensions. The black panther appears, and Gunn speaks to it calmly.

In the basement, Pavayne continues torturing Spike and opens a portal to Hell. He says the soul that blesses Spike will damn him to suffer forever; Pavayne must send Spike to hell so that he can stay in this world. Spike agrees he deserves to go to hell, but not today. As Spike begins to fight back, he notes that, since reality bends to desire, he could touch Fred and write on the glass because he wanted it enough. Spike starts to hit Pavayne, and they wind up in Angel's office.

The group meets back in the science lab, and Gunn gives Fred a flask he got from the conduit. Fred starts up her machine as Spike and Pavayne fight. They get distracted by an energy burst, and Spike runs off. In the lab, Fred determines that Spike is there and tells him to step into a circle she's built so he can become corporeal again. Pavayne grabs Fred and starts choking her. The others try to fight him, but he knocks them across the room. Pavayne declares that Spike can choose to become corporeal or save Fred. Spike knocks him into the circle, causing Pavayne to become corporeal. Angel starts punching him, and a now-visible Spike warns him not to kill Pavayne so he won't become a spirit again.

The next day, Wesley and Gunn help Fred clean up the lab and make sure she's okay. Spike appears in Fred's office, and she apologizes for being unable to repeat the ritual to return him to his corporeal form. He says he made the choice to save her and would do it again. He refuses to be like Pavayne, who cheated death no matter who it hurt. Fred says what she told everyone else was true — Spike is worth saving. Spike shows off his new ability by picking up a coffee mug, reflecting that there are worse things than being a ghost.

In the basement, Angel and Eve make sure that Pavayne is imprisoned in a device where he can't move or affect anything around him; he will remain alive for all eternity, staring at a brick wall through the window on his door. "Welcome to hell," Angel tells him.


  • Fred tells Spike she won't let him stay in the netherworld, as she first promised in "Unleashed." He will finally be corporeal again in "Destiny."
  • When Spike points out that Angel escaped from Hell, Angel reveals he considers this merely a short reprieve and that he is still not sure how he did it. He was sent to Acathla's dimension by Buffy in "Becoming, Part Two" and somehow returned from it in "Faith, Hope & Trick."
  • Angel tells Spike he likes his poems, to which Spike dismissively retorts that he likes Barry Manilow. Spike's questionable talent as a poet has been established in "Fool for Love" and Angel's appreciation of Barry Manilow in "Judgment."
  • As Fred writes formulas on the windows, the others note that that's not a good sign, a reference to her previous habit last seen in "Supersymmetry."
  • Gunn talks again with Big Cat, from "Home."
  • Spike finds out why he has been disappearing, which has been happening since "Just Rewards."
  • In "Destiny," Spike will reveal his habit of screaming whenever it gets suddenly dark is so that Pavayne would never catch him.



Organizations and titles[]




Rituals and spells[]

Death count[]

  • Pavayne's ritual victims, all killed by Pavayne (only mentioned).
  • Matthias Pavayne, sacrificed by Wolfram & Hart (only mentioned).
  • Wolfram & Hart employees, died in service of the company (only mentioned).
  • Their ghosts, disfigured and sacrificed by Pavayne.
  • Claire, exploded by Pavayne.

Behind the scenes[]


  • The Magdalene Grimoire is the fictional book used to capture the eponymous character of the comic book series The Sandman in its first arc, "Preludes & Nocturnes."


  • This is the only episode of the Buffyverse that has a viewer discretion advised warning.
  • "Hell Bound" had an audience of 3.1 million households upon its original airing.[2]

Pop culture references[]

  • After Pavayne murders the psychic, Gunn asks, "Why would he go all Scanners on her?" This Canadian horror film opens with the primary antagonist exploding someone's head.
  • Spike mentions Angel's interest on Barry Manilow.
  • Spike says he wants to be "a real boy again" in reference to Pinocchio.


  • About three minutes into the episode, Fred holds up the amulet talking about it to Spike, and a pair of googly eyes can be seen on the back of the amulet.


International titles[]

  • Czech: "Peklo čeká" (Hell Awaits)
  • Finnish: "Matkalla helvettiin" (On the Way to Hell)
  • French: "Au bord du gouffre" (On the Edge of the Abyss)
  • German: "Nachschub für die Hölle" (Supply for Hell)
  • Hungarian: "Pokoli támadás" (Hellish Attack)
  • Italian: "I Confini dell'Inferno" (The Borders of Hell)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): "Caminho para o Inferno" (Pathway to Hell)
  • Russian: "Адское место" (Hellish Place)
  • Spanish (Latin America): "Atado al Infierno" (Bound to Hell)
  • Spanish (Spain): "Camino al Infierno" (Pathway to Hell)
  • Turkish: "Cehennem Sınırı" (Hell's Edge)


Promotional stills[]

Behind the scenes[]



  1. "angel: Hellbound." TheWB.com. Archived from the original on October 19, 2004.
  2. "Nielsen Ratings for Angel's Fifth Season." Nielsen Ratings for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, & Firefly. Archived from the original on February 16, 2008.