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Buffyverse Wiki
Note: This article is about the episode. For the novel, see Sanctuary (novel).

"Sanctuary" is the nineteenth episode of the first season of Angel and the nineteenth episode in the series. Written by Tim Minear with Joss Whedon and directed by Michael Lange, it originally broadcast on May 2, 2000, on The WB network.


SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR GUEST-STARS — Buffy comes to Los Angeles seeking vengeance under the guise of protecting Angel from Faith's violent nature, but Buffy is shocked and hurt to discover her former love siding with her nemesis. Meanwhile, Wesley is faced with a crisis of loyalties when the Watcher's Council offers a chance at reinstatement if he gives up Faith.[1]


Angel takes Faith to his apartment, tucking her into bed. As Angel retreats, Faith has a brief, violent vision where she charges at him with a knife and cuts up his face. When Angel comes up to get Faith food, Wesley argues about giving Faith another chance, and Cordelia gets Angel to sign several checks to fund her vacation, so she can be gone for as long as Faith is around.

After Faith starts reliving her past crimes, she attempts to leave Angel's. However, he extends another invitation to help her and she returns. Downstairs, Faith confesses to Angel that she is haunted by visions of her violent past in Sunnydale and inadvertently reveals that Buffy is dating someone else. Angel talks to Faith about redemption, saying she has to make amends for her crimes, no matter how hard it is. Meanwhile, Wesley plays darts at a bar, and encounters Weatherby, a member of the Watchers Council Special Operations Team, on the hunt for Faith. The council members give Wesley an opportunity to come back to the Watchers Council if he's willing to turn in Faith. They give him a syringe that, if injected, will sedate Faith and let them take her back to England. Wesley agrees to the plan on the condition that Angel remains unharmed, and Weatherby reluctantly agrees.

Lindsey McDonald, Lilah Morgan, and Lee Mercer, upset that Faith has teamed up with Angel, hire a demon to have her killed. In Angel's apartment, Angel comforts Faith after she hears a warrant for her arrest on the news. Suddenly, the demon sneaks into Angel's apartment and attacks. Faith kills it with a knife, and then is frightened by the sight of the demon's blood on her hands. Without warning, Buffy arrives at Angel's place and is shocked to find Angel hugging Faith.

Buffy is determined to turn Faith in to the police as revenge for all the trouble she recently caused in Sunnydale, and is eager to dole out some physical payback in particular for what Faith did to Riley, but Angel refuses to allow this. Buffy hits Angel and when he hits her back, both she and Angel are in utter shock and Buffy is offended that he would punch her for Faith. He immediately apologizes to her, but notes it was out of self defense since she hit him first. Wesley arrives with the news that the Council is looking for Faith, and Buffy confirms that they'll kill her if they get their hands on her. The two Slayers escape to the roof, where they argue about everything that has happened. Though Faith is genuinely sorry for what she has done and asks for another chance, Buffy is unwilling to forgive her for what happened. She claims that all Faith has ever done is screw up her life by targeting Angel and then Riley, bitterly stating that, while she's lost fights before, Faith is the only person who ever made her feel so helpless. Faith asks her what can she do to make up for it, until all of a sudden Collins attacks Buffy and Faith as Smith hovers above the roof in a helicopter. Inside the apartment, Wesley stabs Weatherby with the syringe while Angel runs upstairs and as the two Slayers seek cover against their attackers. Angel bursts through the roof skylight and gets inside the helicopter, throwing Smith out on the roof and ordering the pilot to take the helicopter down. As Angel takes off in the helicopter, Buffy notices Faith has vanished, believing she has once again escaped justice.

Detective Kate Lockley — guided by Lindsey's information — tracks down Angel and arrests him for harboring the fugitive Faith. When Angel and Kate, with Wesley and Buffy in tow, arrive at the police station, Kate threatens to put Angel in a cell with a view of the sunrise if he doesn't tell her where Faith is. Buffy demands Angel to tell them until they are surprised to see Faith is voluntarily confessing to her crimes. Later, Buffy is mad at Angel for not notifying her of Faith's presence in Los Angeles, but Angel explains that he didn't think it was her business and that he was getting a breakthrough with Faith. She admits to Angel how hard it was for her to see Faith with him. Angel counters by saying it was not about Buffy — it was about saving Faith's soul and that it's what he does, letting Buffy know she is not a part of that as well as reminding her of their last meet that it was her idea that they stay away from each other. Buffy claims that she had come because he was in danger, but Angel is not fooled and accuses her of only looking to get revenge on Faith. She does not deny his accusation, and Buffy lashes out by telling Angel she has someone else in her life. Unlike her relationship with Angel, she can actually trust her new boyfriend.

Infuriated and hurt, Angel launches a tirade against Buffy, reminding her that, while it's great that she has moved on, he himself cannot and has no one to share his pain when he is hurt from having to see her every time, finishing when he informs Buffy that she doesn't know him anymore and that she has no right to just show up with her "great new life" and tell him how to do things before harshly demanding that she go back to Sunnydale immediately. Buffy complies after a slight hesitation, complaining that "Faith wins again." As soon as she is gone, Angel regrets his harsh words and decides to head to Sunnydale to make his own amends. Wesley assures him that he thinks Angel was right in believing Faith could still be rehabilitated. Meanwhile, Faith manages to find peace in her jail cell.


  • This is the first time that Angel sees Buffy after the events of "I Will Remember You."
  • This also marks the first time that Angel learns that Buffy has a new boyfriend, Riley, with whom she began a relationship in "Hush."
  • This marks the only time in either Angel or Buffy that Buffy says she loves Riley. His first declaration to her was when Faith was in her body ("Who Are You?"), and he will eventually affirm that Buffy doesn't love him ("The Replacement").
  • Buffy and Wesley had last seen each other in "Graduation Day, Part Two." They won't meet again after this episode.
  • This is also the last episode in which both Buffy and Cordelia appear, although they do not actually meet in the episode. The last time that they had interacted was in "I Will Remember You."
  • When having a confrontation with Buffy, Faith asks Buffy, "You gonna throw me off a roof? Again?" This is a reference to when Faith threw herself from a roof to escape Buffy in "Graduation Day, Part One."
  • Faith briefly visualizes hurting Angel in much the same way that she visualized hurting Willow in the episode "Who Are You?"
  • This is the last time Buffy will appear on the show, except as a decoy ("The Girl in Question"), archive footage ("Just Rewards"), and visions ("Soul Purpose").
  • Faith behaves with Angel in the same way she had with Buffy in "Revelations," in which Faith seemed ready to talk to Buffy, called her name, and then said instead: "Nothing."
  • Wesley and Angel's argument about protecting Faith mirrors elements of Giles and Buffy's conversation regarding Angel in "Revelations": Buffy was attempting to shield Angel from harm, just as Angel is now attempting to protect Faith. In both cases, the person opposed to the action issues a reminder that they were tortured by the person being protected — Angel tortured Giles, and Faith tortured Wesley.
  • Angel tells Buffy that it was her idea that they stay away from each other; in reality, in "I Will Remember You," Buffy had pointed out that he shouldn't have broken the plan as he did in "Pangs" to allow her to forget him, but it was ultimately his idea that they shouldn't have a relationship ("The Prom").
  • Buffy's belief that Faith is merely playing Angel calls back to the events of "Enemies," in which Faith went to Angel for help as a ploy to seduce him in order to make him lose his soul.
  • Angel references his attempt to rehabilitate Faith in "Consequences," reminding her that he told her she didn't have to go into the darkness.
  • The Watchers Council special ops team sent to retrieve Faith is the same team that tried to capture her in "This Year's Girl" and "Who Are You?" Wesley correctly surmises that Faith defeated an earlier attempt to capture her, but he is not aware that at that time it was actually Buffy in Faith's body who escaped.
  • After this episode, Angel visits Sunnydale in "The Yoko Factor" to sort things out with Buffy.



Organizations and titles[]




Death count[]

  • Angel, killed by Faith (only in visions).
  • Demon assassin, killed by Faith with a knife.

Behind the scenes[]


  • Production designer Stuart Blatt says that filming this episode was challenging due to scheduling problems with Sarah Michelle Gellar. Just a few days before shooting, they learned that Gellar would not be available to work outside on the night the scene was supposed to be filmed. "We had to take our rooftop setting and split it into two and shoot everything on the rooftop looking out towards the city in one direction with the real helicopter on the rooftop. Then on the stage, recreate the exact rooftop looking the other direction, shoot everything there, and marry them seamlessly," he explains. "It was one of the more impressive things we ever pulled off."[2]
  • Writer Tim Minear says that the script for this episode was difficult, because "it was Faith as we had never seen her before. It was sort of easy when it was evil Faith, which was a lot of fun. The problem was trying to make her turn realistic." He admitted to being nervous about writing Buffy's scenes because of the challenge of writing to her character and tone. He convinced Whedon to come in and write all of Buffy's scenes.[3]
  • Joss Whedon made this comment on the confrontation between Buffy and Angel: "The last scene between Buffy and Angel in the crossover where she comes to Angel, that stumped us for a long time. And I finally realized when I was working on it that it's because they need to fight now. They can't be just like, 'Oh, we're swell pals and we get along.' They really are at very different places in their lives and it's very difficult for them to see each other. So it really helped define how the shows are different and it ends up with Angel laying into Buffy a little bit and saying, 'I've got my own show now, and it's different from your show, so get off my show!' That's basically what he's saying. And the moment I wrote that scene, I got very excited and I said, 'I get it now. I understand what Angel is and it's not Buffy,' and I felt like the training wheels came off."[4]


  • "Sanctuary" had an audience of 3.6 million households upon its original airing.[5]

Pop culture references[]

  • Detective Kendrick accuses Kate of being like Scully from The X-Files, and she corrects him, explaining that Scully is the skeptic, whereas Mulder is the believer.
  • The film The Lost Weekend (1945) and the Superman 1940s cartoons appear on the TV in Angel's apartment.


International titles[]

  • Czech: "Svatyně" (Sanctuary)
  • Finnish: "Turvapaikka" (Sanctuary)
  • French: "Sanctuaire" (Sanctuary)
  • German: "Gehetzt" (Haunted)
  • Hungarian: "A figyelő" (The Listener)
  • Italian: "Vendetta" (Vengeance)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): "O Santuário" (The Sanctuary)
  • Russian: "Убежище" (Sanctuary)
  • Spanish (Latin America): "Santuario" (Sanctuary)
  • Spanish (Spain): "Santuario" (Sanctuary)
  • Turkish: "Mabet" (Sanctuary)



Promotional stills[]


Faith: "Are you saying I got to apologize?"
Angel: "Think you can?"
Faith: "I don't know. How do you say, 'Gee, really sorry that I tortured you nearly to death'?"
Angel: "Well, first off I think I'd leave off the 'Gee'..."
Faith: "God, it hurts. I hate that it hurts like this."
Angel: "Oh well, it's supposed to hurt. All that pain, all that suffering you caused is coming back on you. Feel it! Deal with it! Then maybe you've got a shot at being free."
Faith: "I've got to be the first Slayer in history sponsored by a vampire."
Faith: "All my life there was only one person that tried to be my friend, went out of her way when I had no right or reason to expect her to — and I screwed her. Not to mention her boyfriend, only him literally."
Angel: "Faith, you and I never actually..."
Faith: "No, not you. The new one. "Oh, my god. Angel, I'm so sorry I..."
Angel: "No, there. You can say it. That's good. Good."
Faith: "Angel said there was no way you were gonna give me a chance."
Buffy: "I gave you every chance! I tried so hard to help you, and you spat on me! My life was just something for you to play with. Angel, Riley... anything that you could take from me, you took! I've lost battles before, but nobody else has ever made me a victim."
Buffy: "Do you have any idea what it was like for me to see you with her? That you went behind my back..."
Angel: "Buffy, this wasn't about you! This was about saving somebody's soul. That's what I do here, and you're not a part of it. That was your idea, remember? We stay away from each other."
Buffy: "I came here because you were in danger!"
Angel: "I'm in danger every day. You came here because of Faith. You were looking for vengeance."
Buffy: "I have a right to it!"
Angel: "Not in my city."


  1. "Angel- Season 1 Episode Guide." Lol's Site. Retrieved on August 21, 2021.
  2. "Angelic Designs for the Undead." CityofAngel.com, February 6, 2004. Archived from the original on February 6, 2012.
  3. Edward Gross, "ANGEL: Season One, Episode By Episode with Tim Minear - Part 4." TimMinear.net 5.0, September 26, 2000. Archived from the original on July 30, 2018.
  4. David Bassom, "Meet the Master." Buffy the Vampire Slayer Magazine #11 (UK, August 2000), page 7-8.
  5. "Nielsen Ratings for Angel's First Season." Nielsen Ratings for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, & Firefly. Archived from the original on July 18, 2008.