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"Redefinition" is the eleventh episode of the second season of Angel and the thirty-third episode in the series. Written by Mere Smith and directed by Michael Grossman, it was originally broadcast on January 16, 2001, on The WB network.


ON THE WARPATH — After firing his staff and cutting himself off from all help, Angel begins intense physical and mental training to become strong enough to stop Darla and Drusilla before they destroy the City of Angels. Meanwhile, Cordelia, Wesley and Gunn try to continue the fight for the innocent on their own now that Angel's gone commando. Off the deep end, his staff worries they are the only ones standing between Angel and real darkness.[1]


Still reeling from being fired, Cordelia, Wesley, and Gunn walk down the street clutching boxes of their possessions. They question their future and the reasons for Angel's actions. They agree to leave Angel alone for now, and all head to their respective homes.

In the Hyperion Hotel, Angel burns his many drawings of Darla in the furnace. Intent on building himself into a one-man killing machine, Angel works on his strength and fighting skills.

In Holland's cellar, dead bodies litter the floor. Lindsey suddenly awakens underneath a pile of corpses, a survivor of the massacre. As the paramedics check him and investigate the crime scene, Lindsey is displeased to find that Lilah has also survived.

Virginia can't understand why Angel fired Wesley and the others. Wesley tries to explain, and the two discuss Wesley's possible future.

Lindsey and Lilah worry about their jobs at Wolfram & Hart and whether they will be blamed for the massacre that killed their boss and co-workers. Darla and Drusilla are waiting for Lindsey and Lilah in Lindsey's office. Darla explains that they let them live so that they could be connections on the inside of Wolfram & Hart for the vampires.

At the karaoke bar, Wesley, Cordelia, and Gunn independently find themselves in search of the truth of their futures — and are so desperate to learn that they are willing to sing.

Angel holds Merl by his ankles over water in the sewers and repetitively dunks the demon until he gets answers about Darla and Dru's whereabouts. Darla and Drusilla arrive at a demon fight club intending to recruit demons and vampires for their new gang. Angel is hidden in the crowd, leaving after hearing the plans. Drusilla senses his presence and alerts Darla, which causes her to become agitated. Outside the building, Angel concludes that he's still too attached to Darla to defeat her.

Lilah talks to Lindsey about possibly leaving the firm, but Lindsey figures out her plan of secretly recording him and pulls her hidden microphone from her blouse.

Wesley, Cordelia, and Gunn get very drunk and yell at each other before ending up on stage singing "We Are the Champions." The Host lets the Powers That Be do the guiding, but offers protection for Cordelia's head as she gets visions about a dangerous demon attacking a young woman. The three head to the location that was shown in Cordelia's vision, but without weapons or Angel.

Darla is frustrated with all the focus others are putting on Angel and is eager to get to the factory and select members of her new army. Drusilla rants about fire and pain, but Darla brushes it off as they head for the factory. Armed with a bag full of weapons, Angel enters the factory where a group of demons have gathered.

Wesley and Gunn fight the kidnapping demon, finally killing him while Cordelia rescues the girl.

Darla and Drusilla find all of their prospective minions dead and Angel in the shadows, smoking a cigarette. As Darla flirtatiously asks Angel to come closer, he drops the cigarette into spilled gasoline and ignites both Darla and Drusilla. Before they can burn to death, Darla breaks open a fire hydrant and puts out the flames as Drusilla wails in pain. Covered in burns and drenched from the water, Darla holds Dru and questions what Angel has become.

Lilah and Lindsey find themselves sharing the job of Executive Vice-President of Special Projects until one of them can prove who is most qualified.

Wesley informs Angel that he and the others will continue to fight the good fight, even if Angel refuses. Slightly fazed by the news but remaining silent, Angel reasons to himself, "Let them 'fight the good fight. Someone has to fight the war."


  • This marks the beginning of Cordelia, Wesley, and Gunn continuing the agency separate from Angel. This split will be reconciled in "Epiphany."
  • Wesley tells Angel that "someone has to fight the good fight," echoing a sentiment that Angel taught Doyle ("Hero").
  • This is the first episode in which Drusilla calls Darla by name, only followed by "Destiny."
  • When Drusilla senses Angel's presence at the demon fight club, she says: "Eyes like needles." She said the same about him in "Dear Boy" shortly before he turned her.
  • Cordelia says "it's always some little blonde driving him over the edge," referring to Buffy and Angel's change in "Surprise."
  • Drusilla leaves Los Angeles, to arrive in Sunnydale in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Crush."



Organizations and titles[]




Death count[]

  • Four vampires, dusted by Angel.
  • Unidentified fight club demon, killed by Drusilla.
  • Unidentified demon, stabbed in the head by Gunn.
  • Five demons, killed by Angel.

Behind the scenes[]



  • "Redefinition" had an audience of 2.7 million households upon its original airing.[2]

Pop culture references[]

  • Merl refers to Drusilla and Darla as "Godzilla, Darsilla."


  • As Angel was interrogating Merl, when Angel pulls him up, and the camera zooms in on Merl's face, one of Merl's red contact lenses on his left eye is missing. In the next shot, Merl has both his eyes with red contact lenses.
  • When Angel jumps down to the vampires to initiate the fight, he slows down and starts moving forward right before hitting the ground.


International titles[]

  • Czech: "Obnovení" (Renewal)
  • Finnish: "Irtisanomisien aika" (Layoffs Time)
  • French: "Déclaration de guerre" (Declaration of War)
  • German: "Neuanfänge" (Recommencement)
  • Hungarian: "Átértékelés" (Revaluation)
  • Italian: "Solo contro tutti" (Alone Against All)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): "Redefinição" (Redefinition)
  • Russian: "Переопределение" (Redefinition)
  • Spanish (Latin America): "Redefinición" (Redefinition)
  • Spanish (Spain): "Redefinición" (Redefinition)
  • Turkish: "Yeniden Tanımlamak" (Redefining)


Lilah: "I'm sitting in my office, and every time there's a noise, or the phone rings... One of us is gonna die, Lindsey."
Lindsey: "Everybody dies, Lilah."
Lilah: "But not everybody ends up in a dog food processing plant in San Pedro."
Cordelia: "One thing you can say about Angel, at least he's consistent. It's always some little blonde driving him over the edge."
Lilah: "Responsibility has nothing to do with it. They're looking for a scapegoat, we might as well grow horns and start eating garbage."
Drusilla: "My little bird is anxious."
Darla: "Yeah, well, recruiting a legion of demons is stressful."
Drusilla: "He won't leave, you know."
Darla: "I don't want to hear this."
Drusilla: "We could have a thousand soldiers and still he'll come. Galloping, galloping, still he'll come."
Darla: "Why is everybody trying to make this about Angel? For god's sake, can't a woman wreak a little havoc without a man being involved?"
Gunn: "I don't know, if I had to listen to you two day in, day out, snipe, snipe, snipe, bitch, bitch, bitch...I figure y'all got off easy 'cause I would have killed you."
Cordelia: "That's rich coming from Mr. I-Don't-Take-Orders-Now-Where-Do-I-Stick-My-Axe!"
Gunn: "What is that supposed to mean?"
Wesley: "Well, Gunn, you've never been very supportive of Angel's leadership role. I remember a certain Shroud."
Gunn: "Hold up, hold up. Are you trying to tell me this is my fault?"
Wesley: "Well how is he supposed to run a business if his employees won't follow directives?"
Gunn: "Was one of his directives 'hire pansy-ass British guy?'"
Wesley: "My ass is not pansy!"


  1. "EpisodeGuideSeason2." Geocities.ws. Retrieved on January 16, 2023.
  2. "Nielsen Ratings for Angel's Second Season." Nielsen Ratings for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, & Firefly. Archived from the original on July 19, 2008.