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"Parting Gifts" is the tenth episode of the first season of Angel and the tenth episode overall. It was written by David Fury with Jeannine Renshaw and directed by James A. Contner. It was originally broadcast on December 14, 1999, on The WB network.

Synopsis[]

THE EYES ARE THE WINDOWS TO THE SOULAngel and Cordelia, still reeling from the loss of their friend Doyle, join forces with an old acquaintance in the pursuit of a demonic bounty hunter. Meanwhile, without the guidance of Doyle's visions from The Powers That Be, Angel finds himself fighting blind.[1]

Summary[]

Angel goes to the Oracles to ask them to reverse time again so he can prevent Doyle's death. The Oracles will not help him, citing that Doyle sacrificed himself to save Angel's life, and bringing him back would make the gesture pointless. Angel protests that Doyle, aside from being his friend, was also his only link to the Powers That Be. The Oracles tell Angel that, when one door closes, another door opens. They imperiously wave him out of their realm.

Meanwhile, a demon runs frantically down an alley in broad daylight, trying to evade the pursuit of a black-clad motorcycle rider.

At the Angel Investigations offices, Cordelia seeks something tangible to keep in memory of Doyle. Angel tries to be understanding, but Cordy shies away from further discussion of her feelings. Her watch beeps a reminder that she is scheduled for an audition. When she opens the door to leave, the demon being chased by the motorcyclist is just coming in to ask Angel for help. Sending Cordelia on her way, Angel tries to ascertain whether he can help this demon, whose name is Barney, as well as whether he wants to.

Proclaiming himself an empath demon, Barney admits he uses his ability to read people's emotions to get the edge at cards or fights. Angel identifies Barney as a cheat and wonders whether the guy on the motorcycle might have good reason to be after him. Barney protests that, even though he's not perfect, he's not evil and can't imagine why this guy has tracked him across state after state.

At her audition, Cordelia breaks down sobbing in the middle of her reading. The three producers give her another try, but at that moment she suffers from her first visions.

The man on the motorcycle continues to track the demon, dismounting to examine more closely a viscous yellow fluid he finds on the corner of a building.

Returning from her audition, Cordelia marches to Angel and kisses him. He sputters for a second until Cordelia says she didn't feel anything, and asks if he did. He tells her no, and she gets frustrated. When Angel starts to try to discuss it with her, she groans and says she still has it. Cordelia explains Angel that she thought her kiss with Doyle meant something, but, instead, he used it to pass on his visions. Realizing that the kiss was the mechanism for passing his visions to her, Cordelia embarks on a kissing spree to rid herself of his unwanted gift. She kisses Barney, and Angel leaves the empath demon under her care, with instructions to also try to sketch what she saw in her visions.

As he checks out Barney's low-rent motel room, Angel is ambushed by the motorcycle man, revealed in the flickering light of the dark corridor to be armed with a crossbow. The man shoves Angel further into the room and levels his crossbow at the vampire's chest. He then reveals himself to be Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, Buffy's former Watcher.

Angel effortlessly disarms Wesley, who tells the vampire that he has quit the Watchers Council. Angel makes a quip about them firing Wesley, but he insists that, without a Slayer to watch over, he did quit and is now a self-styled "rogue demon hunter." As Angel and Wesley compare notes on their overlapping cases, an enormous demon, oozing viscous yellow fluid, drops on them with a roar. Slinging Wesley against the wall with ease, the demon lands a few good punches on Angel, until Wesley shoots it with the crossbow he retrieves from the floor. To their surprise, the demon screams and crashes out the second story window to run away, limping and moaning.

Meanwhile at Angel's apartment, Cordelia tries to sketch the "ugly, gray, blobby thing" she saw in her visions. Barney attempts to engage Cordelia in conversation by offering sympathy for her grief, and he finds himself the target of her anger and suspicion. Barney assures her he didn't mean to intrude, and Cordelia apologizes for her rudeness and, to make amends, opens up a little about Doyle. Just then, Angel comes downstairs, bringing Wesley with him. Barney runs and hides, and Angel follows to reassure him. Checking to see that Angel is out of sight, Cordelia accosts Wesley and kisses him. He kisses her back, and Cordelia only recognizes Wesley after exclaiming with disappointment that the visions are still with her.

As Angel and Barney reenter the room, Wesley snaps back on task and disappears in the direction of Angel's library, only to reappear moments later having identified their opponent as a Kungai, a demon of Asian origin. The "rogue demon hunter" claims that continuing to track the Kungai is his job, or their job, if Angel insists. Angel orders Wesley to stay behind. Wesley makes a sound of disappointment, and Cordelia asks him if he's okay. He starts to tell no because his leather pants are chafing, but he trails off when she realizes that wasn't what she was asking about.

Bribing the desk clerk to let him in at the Korean Lotus Spa, Angel finds the Kungai demon, but it is dying because the Tak horn on its forehead has been ripped off. Angel speaks Korean but can't understand what the Kungai is urgently telling him.

At Angel's apartment, Cordelia continues to sketch the object from her visions and complains about Doyle's gift. Barney gently chastens Cordelia, guessing that Doyle must have honored her with both his trust and his most valuable possession. While Cordelia makes coffee, Barney makes a call to his associate, Hank, and mentions that he stole the horn from the Kungai demon. But, Barney tells Hank, he now has a line on something better: a seer.

Wesley shows up at the spa, now wearing a suit, and helps Angel by translating the Kungai's last words, which identify Barney as his murderer.

At Angel's place, Barney starts to insult Cordelia. She gets upset and starts to fight with him. She tries to run from him, but he blocks her and ties her wrists behind her. Barney savors her fear, asking her to keep it up. Cordelia pretends to get visions about him. He asks her if he's in danger; she replies he's in pain then kicks him between his legs. Barney tells her to go with him quietly because bruises bring down the cost of the merchandise. Cordelia screams for help, and he punches her, saying that it doesn't bring down the cost that much though.

Returning to the empty apartment, Angel and Wesley feel responsible for Cordelia's fate. As Angel hunts for clues, Wesley collapses in despair over losing yet another young woman from his care, admitting that he didn't quit the Watcher's Council but was fired for his failure to control either of the Slayers placed under his care. When Angel finds the crumpled drawing Cordelia made from her visions, he rotates the paper ninety degrees and recognizes it as the gray, blobby sculpture Maiden with Urn.

Angel queries the web and finds that the sculpture is currently owned by a hotel chain with many establishments in the L.A. area. Wesley, having looked up the one Kungai phrase he hadn't been able to translate, finds out that it means "caller sale." After a few moments rolling it over his tongue, he realizes the Kungai meant "auction." Angel starts calling to find out where the statue is currently located.

Cordelia awakes, bound and gagged, in a room with the gray blobby sculpture from her visions — which she is looking at sideways because she's lying on her side on a settee. As she tries to get her bearings, Cordelia notices a long cloth-draped table covered with various grisly body parts and organs, including by a still-beating heart in a pedestaled bell jar. Hearing Barney talking with someone and approaching from the other room, she closes her eyes and lays her head back down. They seem to be discussing whether to remove her eyes before or after the auction, as Hank continuously clicks the extractor device.

The auction begins. The item for sale immediately before Cordelia's lot number comes up is the Tak horn from the Kungai. Hank brings Cordelia to the podium, where she first tries to claim that she might not be a seer since she only had one vision, but no one listens. Barney opens the bidding for her seer's eyes at $2,000. The bidding slows down to $11,000, and Cordelia gets a little offended.

Angel and Wesley find out the hotel she's at and arm themselves to go rescue her. Meanwhile, Cordelia buys time by inciting a bidding war between two patrons. The contest proves lethal for one bidder, and the matter seems settled at a substantial $20,000, which has Barney excited. The representative from Wolfram & Hart suddenly bids $30,000. Barney instantly bangs his gavel and closes the deal.

The auction is over. Cordelia is in the back room listening to Barney negotiate with Mac, the lawyer from Wolfram & Hart, about the additional fee for removing her eyes, while Hank still clack the three-pronged extractor. Mac agrees to the extra thousand dollars, and Barney, taking the extractor away from Hank, holds Cordelia down to do the job himself. A body comes flying through the curtained doorway, and Angel and Wesley follow immediately after. A fight begins, and Mac, having already made a strategic exit, uses her cellphone to give a situation report as. Angel shouts to Wesley to get Cordelia.

Just as Wes and Cordy head for the nearest exit, Barney attacks Wesley. In the ensuing struggle, Barney quickly gets the upper hand and starts to throttle Wesley. Cordelia grabs the Tak horn and stabs the Barney in the back. They watch as the Tak horn's power drains his life force, and his body shrivels and blackens and sinks away. Angel dispatches the last of his foes. Cordelia hugs Angel, who acknowledges Wesley's assistance.

Back at Angel's apartment, Cordelia sits at the kitchen table and irons out her drawing. She frames it as a memento for saving her life and as a reminder that something of Doyle's will always be with them. Angel continues to scramble eggs, while Wesley finishes packing up his things. Wesley makes his farewells, wistfully drawing out his departure. Angel, who already has a plate out for Wesley, offers him breakfast. Wesley accepts with alacrity, and the three enjoy each other's company.

Continuity[]

  • Angel seeks the Oracles to perform another temporal fold, having granted him one in their first encounter in "I Will Remember You."
  • Barney attempts to quote the Angel Investigation slogan by saying "help the helpless" instead of "help the hopeless" ("I Fall to Pieces"). In "Tabula Rasa," when an amnesiac Spike finds out he is a vampire, he will describe: "I'm a vampire with a soul. I fight evil. I help the helpless." They will change the slogan to "We help the helpless" in "Provider."
  • Cordelia receives her first visions from the Powers That Be. When she tries to follow through with her avowal to Doyle in "Lonely Heart" to "give it back," she discovers that there's some trick besides just kissing to passing the gift along. Ultimately, she learns the "trick" of passing the gift to another in her last appearance in "You're Welcome," which she uses to pass a single vision to Angel.
  • Initially an unwilling recipient, Cordelia will actively choose to keep the visions in "Birthday."
  • Cordelia and Wesley kiss, which he says it "went considerably better than last time," referring to their kiss in "Graduation Day, Part Two."
  • In his moment of self-realization, Wesley mentions having failed two Slayers during his tenure, referring to Faith turning evil and being in a coma and Buffy quitting the Council ("Graduation Day, Part One"). This subject will come up between Angel and Wesley again in "Five by Five."
  • Wesley announces that he was fired from the Watchers Council following the events of "Graduation Day, Part One." He will show fear of also being fired by Angel in "She."
  • In "Birthday," the Wesley in the alternate reality says he lost his arm fighting a Kungai demon, whose only appearance is in this episode.
  • This episode marks Cordelia's first demon kill: Barney. She staked a vampire before in "Graduation Day, Part Two" but never killed a non-vampiric demon before.
  • Cordelia hangs the sketch of her first vision on the wall in tribute to Doyle. It will eventually be destroyed along with everything else in the office in "To Shanshu in L.A."

Appearances[]

Individuals[]

Organizations and titles[]

Species[]

Locations[]

Objects[]

Death count[]

  • One Kungai demon, killed by Barney.
  • Auction bidder #780, killed by bidder #112.
  • Barney, killed by Cordelia.

Behind the scenes[]

Production[]

  • Glenn Quinn appears for the last time in the main titles, despite his character having died in the previous episode.
  • Only two main characters appear in this episode, the lowest count in either Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Angel. This ends with the next episode, when Wesley becomes a main character.
  • This is Wesley's debut on Angel. From this time onward, he appears in every episode except "Destiny" in season five.
  • One of Charisma Carpenter's tattoos is visible when Cordelia is serving Barney coffee.

Broadcast[]

  • "Parting Gifts" had an audience of 3.6 million households upon its original airing.[2]

Pop culture references[]

  • Cordelia makes a statement to kiss every "frog" in the city to get rid of the visions, a reference to the fairy tale The Frog Prince.
  • Wesley drives a Big Dog brand motorcycle.
  • Barney says he doesn't think the demon hunter is after him to inform him he won Publishers Clearing House, a company of merchandise and magazine subscriptions with sweepstakes and prize-based games.

Goofs[]

  • The mysterious demon hunter takes off his glove to touch the yellow demon blood, revealing the black skin of his hand. Later, the episode reveals that the demon hunter is Wesley, who is white.

Music[]

International titles[]

  • Czech: "Dary na rozloučenou" (Farewell Present)
  • Finnish: "Paholaisenmetsästäjä" (Devil Hunter)
  • French: "Cadeaux d'adieu" (Farewell Present)
  • German: "Das Abschiedsgeschenk" (The Farewell Present)
  • Hungarian: "Doyle hagyatéka" (Doyle's Legacy)
  • Italian: "L'asta diabolica" (The Diabolical Auction)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): "Distribuindo os Dons" (Sharing the Talents)
  • Russian: "Прощальный подарок" (Farewell Presents)
  • Spanish (Latin America): "Partiendo los dones" (Sharing the Talents)
  • Spanish (Spain): "Regalos de despedida" (Farewell Presents)
  • Turkish: "Yetenekleri Ayırmak" (Separating Talents)

Adaptations[]

Gallery[]

Promotional stills[]

Behind the scenes[]

Quotes[]

Barney: "First off, you should know, right away, before there's any misunderstanding: I'm a demon."
Angel: "I appreciate your candor."
Cordelia: "Damn! I can't believe he did this to me."
Angel: "Who did what?"
Cordelia: "Doyle! I thought our kiss meant something. And instead, he used that moment to pass it on to me. Why couldn't it have been mono or herpes?"
Wesley: "I'm useless. A fool. A sniveling great, big..."
Angel: "Ugly, grey blobby thing."
Wesley: "Yes, I'm an ugly, grey, blobby thing. What?"
Wesley: "I'm gonna thrash you within an inch of your life. And then I'm gonna take that inch!"

References[]

  1. "EpisodeGuideSeason1." Geocities.ws. Retrieved on March 14, 2023.
  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.
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