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Note: This article is about the episode. For the comic miniseries, see The Origin.

"Origin" is the eighteenth episode of the fifth season of Angel and the 106th episode in the series. Written by Drew Goddard and directed by Terrence O'Hara, it was originally broadcast on April 21, 2004, on The WB network.


Angel resists the appeal of parents seeking help from Wolfram & Hart regarding their son's supernatural abilities after he discovers that the boy is his son, Connor. Despite his reservations, Angel is forced to bring Connor into conflict with an old adversary to prevent his son's memories from being restored. Meanwhile Wesley uncovers a mysterious deal struck by Wolfram & Hart that threatens the secret Angel desperately wants to protect.[1]


Wesley has returned to Wolfram & Hart with Illyria, and Angel tells him that while she's there they have a responsibility to study her and that Wesley doesn't have to care for him by himself. He also pledges to rescue Gunn from the hell dimension in which he is trapped. The two know that anyone working with Illyria is at risk of serious harm, so decide to have Spike do it. Angel tells Wesley that while Fred is dead he is still alive and needs to start acting like it as the team needs him.

A troubled couple comes to Wolfram & Hart seeking help. They explain to Wesley that their son was hit by a truck, but was completely undamaged by the experience, and they are sure that there is something supernatural going on. As he goes down to the lobby, Angel is shocked when his son Connor arrives. It transpires that he is the one who was unharmed by the truck, and still has no memories of his life with Angel or the fact he is his son. Angel refuses to investigate and asks the family to leave. Wesley is puzzled why Angel won't take the case. Angel simply tells him what they've seen what the firm does to good people.

Angel talks with Hamilton who assures him the Senior Partners are not behind this. However he also tells Angel that this is not a coincidence; someone is trying to get Angel's attention and is doing so through his son.

Turned away, Connor and his parents go home in their car, but they are attacked by demons. Connor begins to fight them off and is astonished at his strength. Angel arrives and rescues them, then says that he and Connor need to talk. Angel has his team investigate where the demons came from.

Angel and Connor go back to Wolfram & Hart, where Connor meets some of Angel's colleagues. Wesley learns that the demons that attacked Connor were working for Cyvus Vail, a powerful demon warlock. He concludes that Vail must not have wanted it to be a secret, because he specifically sent demons that would be recognized as his. Angel decides to pay him a visit, however Wesley is surprised when Angel adamantly refuses to have anyone accompany him and begins to think that something else might be going on.

Angel easily kills Vail's demon guards learns that Vail is the one responsible for Connor's new life. At Wolfram & Hart, the team find evidence that Vail's special brand of magic is temporal shifts and memory reconstruction and that the firm paid for him to do a massive job on the same day they agreed to take over Wolfram & Hart. Vail confirms to Angel that he erased everyone's memories of the boy and created new ones for him so that he could live a normal life. Angel asks what it is that Vail wants, and Vail explains that he simply wants someone dead: Sahjhan. He has the urn that Sahjhan is trapped inside but wants him dead as he likes "finality" to his affairs. Vail conjures a box and explains that it is an Orlon Window — through it, one who has changed reality can see things as they once were. If it is smashed, anyone in the vicinity whose memory has been altered would get their old memories back. Angel offers to kill Sahjhan himself, but Vail tells him it isn't that simple; Connor is the person prophesied to kill Sahjhan so is the only one that can do it. Angel, having no choice, agrees.

Angel tells Connor about Sahjhan and that he'll have to fight and kill him. Wesley is shocked that Angel is even considering this and tells him that records show that a large spell was performed by Vail the day they took over Wolfram & Hart. Angel tells Wesley it needs to be done and that Connor is special and can do this. Connor and Angel go off to practice some fighting techniques before going to Vail's home. Connor is not very good at fighting, stumbling awkwardly when he tries to hold some of the weapons he used to be so adept at using before. He is willing to kill Sahjhan, but seems rather naïve about the realities of killing.

Meanwhile, Gunn is being tortured — he has his heart torn out every day — and Marcus Hamilton pays him a visit. He tries to offer him a deal in exchange for escaping the demon dimension, however before he can even begin Gunn refuses and resumes the torture.

Wesley and Illyria go to the archives searching for the nature of the spell cast by Vail. Wesley realizes that reality had been changed and Illyria states that some of Fred's memories have been altered. He then finds the contract, signed by Angel, and becomes suspicious that Angel engaged in some kind of contract that caused Fred's death, just as Gunn had done. He concludes that the reason Angel doesn't want Wesley to research this further is because he doesn't want Wesley to find out about Angel's guilt.

Connor and Angel go to Vail's to fight Sahjhan, but Vail traps Connor in a room with Sahjhan. Angel can watch the duel, but neither of the combatants can see Angel or Vail on the other side of the mystic partition, so Angel cannot interfere. Vail ignores Angel's pleas to let him help. The fight between Sahjhan and Connor goes poorly — Connor is not really trained in this type of combat. At that point, Wesley and Illyria show up to confront Angel. Wesley seizes the memory box from Cyvus Vail — who was frozen in time by Illyria — and demands to know what is going on. Angel tells them he can't explain but Connor is his son and Wesley must trust him. Wesley accuses him of selling out Fred to her death to save his son, but Angel denies that charge and tells him he did what he did because it was for the best. He asks Wesley to not smash the box and to trust him. Wesley says that he can't and then, believing it may undo the last year and restore Fred, he smashes the memory box.

In a split second, all of the memories related to Connor return to Wesley, including his own regrettable role in kidnapping the baby — he realizes that Angel wasn't trying to protect himself, but rather trying to protect Wesley. Angel anxiously watches Connor to see how he will react to his returned memories. Connor suddenly begins fighting back well, ultimately beheading Sahjhan. When the mystical partition dissolves, Connor acts just like he was before the duel; it appears that the mystic partition saved Connor from the effects of the Orlon Window.

Back at Wolfram & Hart, a humbled Wesley begins to adjust to his newly reacquired memories. Illyria asks him if the memories of betraying Angel are the ones he needed back. Although they are painful, Wesley take solace in that he now knows what really happened. Connor says that he is taking his parents home, as this is not their world and you do what you need to do when it comes to family. As he is leaving he turns to Angel and says: "I learned that from my father." Connor proceeds toward the elevator and takes one last look at Angel before the doors close.


  • Connor returns, having been absent from the series since Wolfram & Hart altered reality to have everyone forget him and give him a "normal life." Wesley breaks the spell, restoring his, Illyria's, and Connor's memories of the events of the past two years and Connor's entire life. Connor does not directly reveal to Angel that he also regained his memories (which "melded" with his own), but it is heavily implied. When Connor returns for the finale episode, "Not Fade Away," this is fully explained.
  • Spike and Illyria interact, sparring so that he can test her strength. Their dynamic is further explored in the rest of the season, After the Fall and Spike: After the Fall.
  • Angel critiques Connor's fighting style and communication with Sahjhan, which is reminiscent of him critiquing Connor in "The House Always Wins."
  • The reasoning behind Sahjahn's grudge against Angel and motives towards killing his son are explored; he and Connor fight, and Sahjahn is killed. Knowing that Sahjahn, not Angel, is directly responsible for his plight in Quor'Toth and other related events gives Connor the strength to reconcile with his father in "Not Fade Away." Angel & Faith sees that the pair finally acknowledge each other as father and son.
  • Hamilton makes references to Angel and Eve's sexual encounter in "Life of the Party."
  • When Connor meets Illyria, he mentions he always had a thing for older women, to which Angel mutters under his breath "They were supposed to fix that." Connor's older women preference is referencing most of season 4 in which he had an infatuation with Cordelia.
  • This episode marks the only time Connor and Spike appear in the same scene together. In After the Fall, Spike's knowledge of Connor's parentage is established, indicating that Spike had learned about Connor at some point off-screen after this episode.
  • Cyvus Vail makes his first appearance, eventually to return in "Power Play."
  • Hamilton claims to Angel the Senior Partners have nothing to do with Connor's resurfacing. Angel discovers Cyvus Vail was the culprit. In "Power Play," Vail is revealed to be a part of the Circle of the Black Thorn. In that same episode, Lindsey states: "To be a Black Thorn is to be the Senior Partners' instrument on Earth."



Organizations and titles[]





Death count[]

  • Two Kith'harn demons assassins, killed by Angel.
  • Unknown number of Kith'harn demons bodyguards, killed by Angel.
  • Sahjhan, beheaded by Connor.

Behind the scenes[]

Pop culture references[]

  • When Wesley says Cyvus Vail supervised some of the most powerful sorcerers on the west coast, Lorne replies, "I'm guessing he wasn't doing card tricks." This is a reference to Wizards of the Coast, the publisher of the Magic the Gathering card game.
  • When Connor opens the urn to unleash Sahjhan from inside, he says: "open sesame," a magical phrase in the story of "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves." It opens the mouth of a cave in which forty thieves have hidden a treasure.
  • Connor says he figured he'd be going to Tony Romas with his family instead of fighting Sahjhan. Tony Roma's is a popular chain restaurant established in 1972.


International titles[]

  • Czech: "Milosrdná lež lepší než vražedná pravda" (Better a Merciful Lie than a Murderous Truth)
  • Finnish: "Vettä sakeampaa" (Thicker than Water)
  • French: "Une autre réalité" (Another Reality)
  • German: "Mein Sohn und Ich" (My Son and Me)
  • Hungarian: "Apa és fia" (Father and Son)
  • Italian: "Origine" (Origin)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): "Origem" (Origin)
  • Russian: "Исток" (Source)
  • Spanish (Latin America): "Origen" (Origin)
  • Spanish (Spain): "Origen" (Origin)
  • Turkish: "Köken" (Origin)


Promotional stills[]


  1. "angel: Origin." TheWB.com. Archived from the original on November 1, 2004.