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Season 1, Episode 11
Angel111 131.jpg
Air date January 18, 2000
Written by Tim Minear
Directed by Winrich Kolbe
Episode Guide
"Parting Gifts"
David Boreanaz Angel
Charisma Carpenter Cordelia
Alexis Denisof Wesley
Guest Starring
Elisabeth Röhm Kate
Jeremy Renner Penn
Co Starring
Nick McCallum Skateboard Kid
Kimberleigh Aarn Precinct Clerk
Paul Webster Uniform #1
Brien DiRito Task Force Member #1

"Somnambulist" is the eleventh episode of the first season of Angel and the eleventh episode overall. It was originally broadcast on January 18, 2000.

Angel worries that he might be sleep-killing when a string of murders turn out to be identical to his dreams.


A woman is running though the night, under a bridge. Splashing through a puddle reflecting the moon, and looking behind her in terror, she slides to a stop, eyes wide with terror, as someone steps in front of her, and grabs her throat. The figure uses a metal finger claw to cover her mouth in a shushing expression, then cuts her cheek with it before biting her and draining her blood.

When the figure looks up after dropping his dead victim, it is Angel in his vamp face.

Angel wakes up from this apparent dream shaken. Meanwhile, Kate is investigating the crime scene, which is real, and not just from Angel's dream. She comes across the woman and tilts her face to the side, revealing a cross has been scratched into the woman's face. She announces that this was done by the same "guy" -- this woman is his third victim -- before speculating that he's just getting started.

The next morning, Cordelia is practicing business-related lines to an empty chair, when Wesley interrupts her. He tells Cordelia he's brought the office's mail, but Cordelia remarks that the address is wrong--the mail actually belongs to the dentist's office next door. Suddenly, Wesley sees something on the front page of the paper that catches his interest. His expression turns from one of contentment to one of concern, and he leaves when he hears Angel coming up the elevator, claiming that he needs to return the mail to its proper owner.

Angel comes into the office in a bad mood, and Cordelia suggests having Kate help them run a license plate for their runaway case. Angel is so distracted he almost walks out the front door, during the day, and announces he'll take the tunnels to get to Kate.

Kate is having her own troubles, but agrees to help Angel. While there, Angel sees the victim from his dream in one of Kate's active cases. He instantly is unnerved by the revelation that his dream is more than just a figment of his imagination. Kate reveals that the tabloids are calling the killer "The Pope", but Angel disagrees; this isn't a religious man, this is a man mocking God.

Angel leaves and Kate gives a criminal profile to a room of police officers, and her profile of the murderer known as "The Pope" resembles Angel: he sees himself as subhuman, he is a loner, and he likely doesn't remember what he has done.

Back at the Angel Investigations office, Wesley quickly runs in, asking where Angel is. Cordelia states he isn't here, noting how rude it is to bring a stake into a vampire's office. Wesley shows her the newspaper article which depicts the mutilated victim from Angel's dream. He also shows her his extensive research, specifically on Angel; the way the victim has been killed is identical to Angelus' method in the 1800's. Cordelia is extremely defensive against Wesley's accusation, and tells him that Angel isn't Angelus anymore. Angel interrupts her and admits that Wesley is right and tells them of the dreams he has been having, mentioning that he enjoys the actions during the dreams. Wesley thinks that it is possible that Angel sleepwalks before dawn, the same time the murders take place. They decide that, for the night, Angel will be chained to his bed while Wesley makes sure that Angel doesn't escape.

As Angel sleeps, he dreams of a time in the 1800's where he is stalking a frightened girl who is trying to flee. A figure gets in front of her, cuts a cross into her cheek, then bites her, draining her blood. The next morning, Cordelia comes in and happily explains that Angel couldn't have killed the woman because there has been another murder. Both Wesley and Cordelia seem happy about this, but Angel interrupts their happy situation by insisting he is responsible.

In the office, Angel explains that he sired another vampire, Penn, and taught him to kill in the exact way these victims are being slaughtered. He says he has always had a connection to those he's sired, which explains why he sees the murders through Penn's eyes.

They realize that Kate is hunting Penn and getting too close. However, this could be good, Angel decides, as they can use Kate and her resources to track down Penn. He visits Kate and gives her a drawing of what he assumes Penn will look like now. While he is there, he sees crime scene photos from "The Pope's" murders. Angel realizes Penn has been killing people in this same way over and over, re-living murdering his family; he's killing people that remind him of his mother, brother, sister, and father. He tells her the next victim will be a white male adolescent in a low-rent neighborhood, probably by a liquor store. He steals a police radio to make sure Kate's team is safe, and so Wesley can intervene if necessary.

Penn proves Angel correct by preying on a white male teen, who is begging for alcohol "for his mother". Penn lures him in by offering to buy the alcohol he needs. The police interrupt just as Penn starts to drink the teen's blood, and he flees into a nearby warehouse window.

Angel and Wesley arrive, realizing Penn must still be in the building. Angel throws the car in reverse and stops by a drainage pipe, which he climbs into. Alone, Kate creeps into the warehouse, searching for Penn, who fearlessly comes down the stairs. She orders him not to move, but he continues, so she shoots him three times. Penn falls and Kate approaches, checking for a pulse and, of course, not finding one. Penn reaches up and grabs her, says "Ouch," and throws Kate across the room. As he makes his way toward her, Angel breaks in from the higher floor and confronts Penn. While Penn and Angel catch up, Kate radios in for extra help. She watches from afar as Angel changes into his vampire face, promising to kill Penn, and the two fight. Angel orders Kate to flee to safety, although she ignores his request. Penn throws Angel into Kate and escapes, and Angel realizes that this is the first time Kate has seen him as a vampire. Kate is stunned at the sight.

Later, Kate asks Angel what he is, and he says she already knows the answer. He tells Kate that she won't stop him without decapitation, a stake, or direct sunlight. She insists he is wrong, but he argues back that she is just in denial as there are some things in this world she just doesn't want to face.

Angel leaves and Kate goes back to the station. She starts researching murder cases that match "The Pope's" profile beginning at the first records they kept.

Back at Angel Investigations, Cordelia is repeating her speech and we see she is talking to Penn, whom she thinks is a potential customer. She soon realizes that he is pumping her for information and figures out who he is. Penn tells her she'll never make it to the exit, but she opens the curtains behind her just as Angel arrives, asking her for a stake. Penn and Angel argue with one another before Cordy returns and hands Angel the weapon. Wesley walks in and Penn grabs him, shoving him to Angel as a distraction before fleeing.

Kate has taken the time to study everything she can on vampires, as well as Angelus, who she has figured must be Angel. When Angel goes to her house, she remarks that he has to be invited in, but that she certainly won't be inviting him, because she knows what type of person he was in the past. She blames him for everything Penn is doing, and tells Angel she no longer needs his help, as she now knows what to do. She tells him that she next time she sees Angel, she'll kill him.

Cordy finds reports from murders related to "The Pope", and, with Wesley and Angel's help, figures out where Penn is hiding; he is a rather predictable vampire and kills in the same place every time he begins this reenactment. They go to Penn's hiding spot, a hotel, and search for him, coming across the newspaper clippings Penn has kept as trophies. They come across information on a school bus and its route, but Angel realizes this is just a distraction, and runs to find Kate who is being assaulted by Penn at the police station.

Penn drags Kate into the sewer and tells her he's not going to kill her, he's going to make her wish he had by making her one of them, because then Angel will kill her. Kate throws Holy Water into Penn's face and runs away from him, as Penn tells Angel that he is correct: he has spent the past 200 years sticking it to his father, although notes Angel is his real father, as he has improved him in so many ways his mortal father never could. Angel accepts the role as father and tells Penn he's grounded. The two vampires fight, and Penn gets Angel pinned so that if Kate is going to stake him, she'll have to go through Angel. Kate, however, shoves the spear through Angel's stomach and up into Penn's heart, killing him. Angel says she missed, but Kate says she didn't. The two sit in the tunnel together in silence, their relationship permanently strained. While Kate is able to see that Angel isn't evil, she still cannot forgive him for forcing her to see the supernatural underside that lurks throughout L.A. and making her realize that the world is far more unusual and deadly than she imagined.

Later, Angel sits alone watching the city from the balcony of his apartment. Cordy tells him she has had a new vision, and Angel tells her he's wondering if the world really does change. Cordy assures him the world does change, and that he has changed. She assures him that the message she got in her vision wasn't for Angelus, it was for Angel, and that the Powers That Be know the difference.

Angel asks her what she'd do if the day ever comes that he reverts back to being Angelus. Cordelia doesn't hesitate in assuring him that she'll kill him dead, and for this he is genuinely grateful.


  • Kate learns that Angel is a vampire, permanently altering their relationship.
  • Angel comments that he maintains a link between himself and those he sired, explaining the dreams he has of Penn's kills.
  • Despite the two centuries prior to 2000, Penn has never known that his sire Angel has a soul. This implies that Penn has never had knowledge of or a link with "his sister" Drusilla, or even with "his family" The Master, Darla and Spike.
  • Angel will later suffer of visions of his time as Angelus, the first seen in "Old Habits", under the influence of the demon lord Archaeus.

Body Count

  • Penn's family (sister, father, brother), drained by Penn, centuries before the episode's events
  • Jessica Halpren, drained by Penn
  • Jinny Markem, drained by Penn
  • Reggie Sparks, drained by Penn
  • Unidentified female victim, drained by Penn
  • Penn, dusted by Kate Lockley


  • 7 Humans (3 before episode's events)
  • 1 Vampire



Behind the Scenes


  • The script was originally called "The Killer I Created", until a detailed summary appeared online, prompting Tim Minear to alter the title. "I went on to the Buffy message board... changed the title and said it was about dreams and about horrible things that you do in your sleep, which completely fooled the fans," says Minear.
  • After writing the first draft, Tim Minear had to rewrite parts of the script to accommodate Wesley's arrival and Doyle's departure; the final scene on the rooftop was originally between Angel and Doyle.

Deleted scene

  • When Cordelia tries to persuade Angel to take a license plate number to Kate, the following line was cut due to length: "Just remind her that if it wasn’t for you she’d be the curdled gooey leftovers of a proto-Babylonian Burrower demon. Or words to that effect. You’ll pretty it up".

Pop Culture References

  • Obi-wan Kenobi: Cordelia refers to Angelus's training of Penn by calling him Psycho-Wan Kenobi after the Star Wars character.
  • Gallagher: Cordelia comments that the comedian has changed his act more times than Penn has in two centuries of performing.
  • Apt Pupil: Cordy refers to this film when she recognizes Penn.
  • Up with People: Penn mocks Angel with the name of the upbeat singing group.
  • Lady Hamilton: Wesley says, "You'd be locked up faster than Lady Hamilton's virtue." Lady Hamilton, wife of Sir William Hamilton, was born Emma Hart (1765-1815), a woman of great beauty and charm who rose from humble origins to international fame. Emma attracted the attention of Lord Horatio Nelson, with whom she had a notorious romantic liaison until his death at the Battle of Trafalgar. Although she inherited money from both Hamilton and Nelson, her extravagance led her into debt, and she died in poverty.

International titles

  • German: Schatten der Vergangenheit (Shadow of the Past)
  • French: Rêves prémonitoires (Premonitory dreams)



  • Jeremy Renner would later go on to play Clint Barton / Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including the Whedon-directed The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
  • Despite this episode being broadcast in 2000, the date in the copyright credit reads '1999' as it was produced in that year.


Angel: Give me a stake.
Cordelia: (confused) It's like, eight in the morning. (pause) Oh, you mean like (Cordelia mimes staking a vampire).
Cordelia: Okay, you get to leave now. - You're not gonna come in here and accuse Angel like this.
Wesley: Cordelia...
Cordelia: No! I don't care how many files you have on all the horrible things he did back in the powdered wig days! - He is good now. And he's my friend. And nothing you or anyone else can say will make me turn on a friend!
Angel: Cordelia. He's right.
Cordelia: You stake him and I'll cut his head off.
Cordelia: Great news, sports fans. There's been another killing. Okay, well, maybe not so great news for the, you know, dead person...
Wesley: Nothing on the streets about a new vampire in town... Which is maybe because he's here - and has me by the throat.
Penn: Angelus? We were supposed to meet in Italy. Do you remember?
Angel: I remember.
Penn: Well, I waited. Hell, I waited until the 19th century. What happened?
Angel: Got held up in Romania.
Penn: Romania. What's in Romania?
Angel: Gypsies.