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Season 2, Episode 1
Angel 2x01.jpg
Air date September 26, 2000
Written by David Greenwalt
Directed by Michael Lange
Episode Guide
"To Shanshu in L.A."
"Are You Now or Have You Ever Been"
David Boreanaz Angel
Charisma Carpenter Cordelia
Alexis Denisof Wesley
J. August Richards Gunn
Guest Starring
Christian Kane Lindsey
Stephanie Romanov Lilah
Andy Hallett The Host
Justina Machado Jo
Julie Benz Darla
Eliza Dushku Faith
Co Starring
Rob Boltin Johnny Fontaine
Iris Fields Acting Teacher
Keith Campbell Club Manager
Jason Frasca White Guy
Andy Kreiss Lizard Demon
Matthew James Merl Demon
Glenn David Calloway Judge
Edward James Gage Mordar the Bentback

"Judgment" is the season premiere of the second season of Angel and the twenty-third episode overall. Written by David Greenwalt and directed by Michael Lange, it was originally broadcast on September 26, 2000 on the WB network.

A vision from Cordelia sends Angel on another mission where he erroneously kills the demonic protector of a pregnant woman named Jo, who is being hunted by evil bounty hunters, and also must face a mysterious Tribunal in order to live through the night. Street gang member and amateur vampire slayer Charles Gunn helps Angel to retrieve a talisman needed for the trial while Angel himself faces his innermost fears: in order to get the information he needs, he must sing in a demon karaoke bar named Caritas, where the kindly demon Host has the ability to look into each singer's feelings. Meanwhile, the evil lawyers Lindsey and Lilah from Wolfram & Hart are revealed to have brought back from the Raising the long dead vampire Darla, whom they plan to use to seek revenge against Angel. At the end, Angel visits Faith, now serving a long prison term, where they talk about salvation for each other.


On just another day in Los Angeles, Cordelia is in the middle of an acting class while Wesley is making money off people using his skill at darts. However, both get a message on their beepers saying '911'. The two meet up with Angel at a gym, and the gang march through as one of the staff attempts to stop them while Angel and Wesley discuss the Carnyss demon that will be making a sacrifice there. The gym attendant is stopped when he notices Angel has no reflection in the wall mirror, which Angel fixes by kicking it in to reveal the demon about to sacrifice two people. Making quick work of the demon and his human accomplices, the gang leave claiming that the demon's appearance was due to steroids.

Later, back at Cordelia's apartment (which has been acting as temporary headquarters for Angel Investigations since their office was blown up), the gang have set up a big whiteboard with the details of their recent, current, and upcoming cases. As Wesley continues to guess what Wolfram & Hart raised months earlier and if they could have already faced it, Angel considers the idea that he could join a gym one day, until Cordelia notes that the men shower together. Suddenly Cordelia has a vision about a nasty looking demon that she doesn't recognize, and Wesley begins to research it based on her vague description.

At Wolfram & Hart, Lilah visits Lindsey, who is struggling with his new prosthetic hand while attempting to put on a CD for Darla, who has spent her time recovering since being raised from hell. She senses Angel's presence in the city, and remembers how he killed her. The three look forward to the prospect of messing with Angel's head.

Angel attempts to sketch the demon Cordelia saw in her vision, while Wesley contends with Dennis being a little over-eager to help. Suddenly Cordelia recognizes the demon in one of the books Wesley is using, and Wes identifies it as a Prio Motu, which is known for being a vicious killer. Although the team now know what they're dealing with, they have no idea where to find it. Wes informs everyone that he's been expanding their contact list and knows a parasite demon named Merl who should be able to help... however the place he likes to meet is unusual.

The gang arrives at Merl's preferred hangout, a karaoke bar in which a lizard demon is singing the song I'm So Excited. The team arrives, as Wesley explains that the bar is a sanctuary for demons. The lizard demon finishes up as the Host, a green demon with small red horns, goes to talk with him while Mordar the Bentback takes the stage. Finding Merl, the gang bribe him for information. After initially being unwilling, Merl agrees and tells Angel that the Prio Motu, which is a stone-cold killer, likes to travel underground and informs him of its probable location. Suddenly the Host approaches and introduces himself to Angel, asking him if he fancies singing. Angel refuses, even after Wesley explains that the Host's powers allow him to see into the souls of people while singing which enables him to read their aura and answer questions about their destiny. Even though this could give them some much needed information, Angel still refuses, as the Host notes that Angel seems to be feeling pretty prideful warning that pride typically comes before a fall.

Investigating the area Merl sent him, Angel finds the Prio Motu near a pregnant woman. The two engage in a fierce battle, which Angel ends by snapping the demon's neck killing it. Angel informs the woman, Jo, that she's safe only to have her start to cry and mourn the demon, telling Angel that he was her protector. Angel is filled with horror as he realizes that the Prio Motu was actually fighting on the side of good. The woman isn't interested in Angel's explanation as she tells him that the Prio Motu was protecting her from 'the Tribunal' before she flees and Angel, too shocked by what's happened, doesn't follow.

Angel reports to Wes and Cordelia what happened, leading them to realize that Cordelia's vision was meant to send Angel to help the Prio Motu instead of killing it. Angel is upset that he killed a fellow soldier, another who had overcome his evil nature and was fighting for good like himself. He then decides that the Prio Motu's mission is now his, and leaves. Wesley assures Angel that he had no way of knowing, but Angel realizes that someone did. Angel is then seen interrogating Merl, getting the demon to admit that he knew the Prio Motu wasn't deadly but wanted him out of the picture as there's a bounty on Jo, or rather her unborn daughter who is destined to become a powerful force for good. Now that her protector is dead, it's open season on them both. Angel learns the area where the Prio Motu was living, and heads there hoping to find Jo.

In another part of town, Gunn saves a man from an attacking vampire. As the man runs off in fear without so much as a thanks, Angel arrives and the two exchange pleasantries. Angel then asks Gunn for help with scouting the local area, and the two set out to find the Prio Motu's home. Angel explains what the Prio Motu was doing before admitting that he accidentally killed it. Finally finding the lair, Angel and Gunn scout the demon's home. Angel feels even more guilty as he surveys the demon's belonging and learns the Prio Motu's name was Kamal, he finds a talisman and sends Gunn to deliver it to Cordelia and Wesley while he, as Gunn puts it, 'soaks up the guilt'. Gunn leaves, and as Angel reflects on his past actions Jo arrives. The two discuss what happened, with Jo still very angry at Angel for killing her protector and only friend. She tells him that six months earlier she was just a regular woman, and now just wants to protect her daughter while the rest of the demon world wants to either worship or kill her. She explains that Kamal was meant to present a coat of arms to the Tribunal, and Angel realizes that this is the talisman they found. Jo is relived until Angel explains that he doesn't have the talisman on him. Jo angrily tries to leave only for a demon assassin to attack. After ensuring this demon is okay to kill, Angel takes care of it only for several more to appear. The two flee.

At Cordelia's apartment the two continue their research on the tribunal when Gunn arrives with the talisman. This is the first time they've met him, and their attempts to appear cool in front of him backfire and he is left very unimpressed.

Fleeing from the demons pursuing them, Angel and Jo take refuge in an abandoned hotel. Jo realizes he personally knows the hotel, and then tells Angel that the Tribunal is supposed to be able to offer protection for Jo and her daughter, and Kamal was meant to present the talisman and be her champion. Without either, Jo now intends to get out of town and make a run for it, as Angel tells her that she'll be found wherever she goes. The demons arrive, and Angel sends Jo to Cordelia's apartment and stays to fight.

Arriving back at the apartment himself after a tough battle, Angel is dismayed to learn that Jo never turned up and, frustrated that she doesn't trust him and has no reason to, hits the whiteboard in anger. Cordelia tries talking to him and he admits that since learning that he was destined to become human one day, the fact that there was a light at the end of the tunnel had caused him to act like their battles were nearly over. Cordelia admits that they all allowed themselves to get cocky but assures him that although it may be a long time before he becomes human she'll be with him all the way.

Suddenly Wesley finds that the talisman is meant to be presented before what is known as a 'Chair of Judgment', an ancient court that is meant to settle grievances with a battle to the death. Angel realizes that this is why Kamal was with Jo, as Wes tells him the tribunal could be anywhere. Angel knows he needs to find Jo quickly, but can think of only one way to get the information...

Angel is then seen on the stage at the karaoke bar, mangling Barry Manilow's hit 'Mandy' before an unenthusiastic crowd. The Host names Angel as 'the vampire with soul' then takes him aside for a chat and assures him he shouldn't feel as much guilt as he does for killing Kamal, telling him most people would have done the same. Before giving any further information, the Host asks Angel why he picked 'Mandy' and tells him to be truthful. In a low voice, Angel admits that he thinks it's 'pretty'. The Host gives him credit for confessing, and then tells Angel the information he needs. Jo can't escape the Tribunal, they'll appear wherever she is and without a champion or the talisman things are pretty grim for her and the baby. He tells Angel where Jo and the Tribunal will be, but can't say if he'll manage to save her ... simply that he has to try.

Attempting to flee, Jo is suddenly faced with the Tribunal when it appears in the street along with a demon knight on horseback. Without her champion or the talisman, Jo is immediately denied her request for asylum and the demon knight is allowed to kill her. Suddenly Angel arrives, throws down Jo's talisman and declares himself her champion. And so, the fight to the death begins with a joust on horseback. Angel assures Jo he grew up around horses (although he hasn't rode for a while) and the joust starts. After a couple of passes, Angel is knocked off his horse and he engages in a swordfight with the demon knight which appears to end with Angel getting a sword in the gut. The Tribunal announces that the demon knight may do what he wants with Jo, and the knight proceeds to pull a knife when Angel suddenly rises and beheads him with a single sweep. With Angel having won, the Tribunal places Jo and her child under their protection until the unborn girl comes of age.

With his mission over, Angel removes the whiteboard with all their missions having realized that fighting the good fight doesn't include keeping count of his victories. He then leaves to visit Faith in prison, and the two discuss the hardships involved with redemption, if they be serving hard time or singing Barry Manilow in a karaoke bar...


  • This is one of the first episodes on Angel in which demons are shown of being capable of doing good. Angel experiences guilt after killing Jo's demon protector because he killed "an innocent being" and "a soldier like [him]self", and because it never occurred to him that a demon could be either of those things.
  • This episode introduces the character of Lorne, known only as "The Host" until the last few episodes of the second season, at first a recurring friend and ally of Angel's team and then later a member of it. Lorne is the first truly good demon on the show and unlike the rest of the team, does very little fighting on the series. The only time Lorne takes an active role in the fight is during the Destruction of the Circle of the Black Thorn when he helps Lindsey destroy the Sahvrin Clan and then kills Lindsey himself on Angel's orders.
  • One of the demons seen in Caritas belongs to the mouthless telepathic demon species previously seen in "Earshot", though this one wears a robe while the ones in "Earshot" were naked. Another demon, sitting alongside Mordar the Bentback, looks quite like the reptile-headed demon trapped in the Initiative in "New Moon Rising."
  • This episode marks the first appearance of the Hyperion Hotel, which would later become Angel Investigations' base of operations.

Body Count[]

  • a Carnyss demon, killed by Angel
  • Kamal, killed by Angel
  • a vampire, dusted by Gunn
  • a demon knight, killed by Angel



Behind the Scenes[]


  • Starting with this episode, Angel appears in widescreen (16:9) on the DVDs in the United States. The second season is still designed for standard definition televisions (4:3) and some syndicated airings show the 4:3 versions.
  • The DVD and Disney+ [1] lists the episode as "Judgement."
  • Eliza Dushku is credited in the closing credits of this episode instead of the opening ones. Although closing credits cast listings are usually reserved only for background characters with unimportant parts, or those with minimal or no speaking role, Dushku was placed here to keep Angel's visit to prison a surprise for the viewers. This same trick is used several other times in the series for the same effect.
  • J. August Richards joins the regular cast and is billed in the opening credits as of this episode. This is also Andy Hallett's first appearance as The Host, later known as Lorne. Hallett is a regular guest star from this episode on, and eventually joins the regular cast during the fourth season.

Pop Culture References[]

  • Lindsey mentions that Darla likes the composers Chopin and Brahms, but not very fond of the Russian composers.
  • Lorne says, "Well. Who's a little curt? Who's a little Curt Jurgens in The Enemy Below?"
  • After singing "I'm So Excited", The Host jokes about the demon giving The Pointer Sisters -- the song's original artist -- a run for their money.
  • While visiting Faith, Angel confesses that he sang Barry Manilow. She asks if it was "Copacabana", one of Manilow's hits, but he admits that it was "Mandy".

Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors[]

  • The widescreen DVD and Disney+ release and the of this episode creates a couple of visible goofs that had not previously been apparent on the standard format TV broadcast or on the VHS release.
  • When Angel is jousting in the street, some of the wide shots reveal the road has been cordoned off, and cars getting too close are signaled away by crew members/police.
  • As Angel climbs onto the horse, the camera from the previous shot can be clearly seen in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  • In the beginning of the episode, when the group goes to the gym to defeat a demon, you can see the team walking along a wall of mirrors and the camera is filming everyone's reflection in the mirrors. Since Angel has no reflection, actor David Boreanaz is not walking with the group; however, if you watch the far right of the screen, you can see David's reflection waiting for the group to catch up to his mark and then you see him proceed to walk with the group. The camera then films the group head on walking towards it.
  • Moments later, in the staff member's POV shot of the group standing in front of the mirror, Cordelia's reflection is absent. Though perhaps implied to be blocked by her head her reflection should be just in front of the staff member and a bit to his right. The machine on the left is also missing a reflection, indicating that the shot could not possibly have been done in front of an actual mirror and is simply framed against the background of the gym.
  • Upon leaving the demon's hideout, Angel's reflection can again be seen in the mirror just outside of it.
  • When Angel is snapping Prio Motu's neck, you can see a microphone at the top of the screen.
  • In Caritas, When Wesley and Cordelia are discussing the Host, the scene is actually flipped. This is made obvious by the fact that Charisma Carpenter's mole is on the wrong side of her face.
  • Gun finds the entrance to the pregnant woman's hideout by noticing a new vent that he says had not been there before. However, inside the room the light passing through a large powered fan can be seen, and there is no other clear way out other than the entrance they came in. Since ventilation fans are not built to blow into perpetually unoccupied and closed rooms, the vent would have had to always be there, so it would have made more sense if Gun noticed a lack of ventilation or noise from the vent due to the new door, not the vent itself.
  • After reading Angel, Lorne is able to tell where the pregnant woman is going to be even though Angel barely knew her. This ability, for obvious reasons, is limited in future episodes as Angel Investigations would be able to see the future of its members and anyone (and possibly anything) they had interacted with just by singing to Lorne, which would render most plot complications a small inconvenience at best.

International titles[]

  • German: Das Tribunal (The Tribunal)
  • French: Le jugement (The judgment)



  • The end credits feature outtakes from Angel's performance of "Mandy", and the very end, after the "Grrr, Argh," features a voiceover from David Boreanaz saying, "Thank you very much" while impersonating Elvis.


Gym's Owner: That guy has horns.
Angel: Steroids. Not good for ya.
Cordelia: Gun. It really let's them know you mean business.
Gunn: It's my name. Charles Gunn. Two n's.
Wesley: Uh, I'm Wesley Wyndam... Pryce, and this is Cordelia Chase.
Cordelia: It's nice to finally meet.
Gunn: I've seen you before.
Cordelia: Really? The Tan 'n' Screen commercials?
Gunn: I saw you in bed.
Cordelia: What?
Wesley: Oh, I-I can see this is none of my business.
Gunn: You too.
Wesley: Now, just a moment!
Gunn: In the hospital - after Angel's building blew? He sent me there to keep an eye on you two.
Cordelia: Right.
Gunn: I'm just messing with y'all. I was hoping for some demon fighting tonight, but I wound up with a delivery job instead.
Angel: "There are three things I don't do: tan, date, or sing in public."
Cordelia: (watching Angel mangle "Mandy" in horror) "That man will do anything to save a life!"
Angel: "Where is she?"
The Host: "My question first and answer true, cause you know I'll know: Why "Mandy?""
Angel: "Well, I know the words... and I kinda think it's pretty."
The Host: "And it is, you great big sap. There is not a destroyer of worlds that can argue with Manilow and good for you for fessing up."
Angel: (rising suddenly after being "killed") "I move to appeal that ruling!" (decapitates the knight)