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"The Price" is the nineteenth episode of the third season of Angel and the sixty-third episode in the series. Written by David Fury and directed by Marita Grabiak, it was originally broadcast on April 29, 2002, on The WB network.


Angel must pay for using powerful dark magic in his failed attempt to bring back his son, and the hotel becomes infected with deadly slug-like creatures who invade Fred's body, leaving Wesley as Gunn's only hope to turn to save her. Meanwhile, Cordelia experiences a new and shocking power and they learn of the coming of The Destroyer determined to kill Angel.[1]


Fred plans to repaint the room once occupied by Connor. Groo suggests a change of color. Angel insists that everything in the room will remain the same. Cordelia adds that the cracks in the wall will stay unless they hire a contractor.

Angel examines a snow globe that he once bought for Connor. He doesn't know why he bought it. He looks up and suggests that everyone go back to work. Gunn says there is no work. Fred says there are no active cases, and the last call was more than a week ago. Angel goes downstairs to wait, in case a walk-in customer appears.

Downstairs, an actual walk-in customer enters the building. He finds no one, and is about to leave, saying "they probably couldn't find my dog anyway," when he is jumped by a translucent, slug-like creature that crawls into his mouth. Angel comes downstairs and introduces himself to the customer, who turns away saying: "We have to go."

Cordelia comes downstairs and asks Angel about the pentagram. She reminds him that dark magic will entail a "cosmic price" and unintended consequences. Angel admits he might not have been thinking clearly when he did the spell. She is unhappy that Angel did not call her back from her vacation to help when Wesley took Connor. Angel promises to call her "next time" and asks her to find another case for him to work on.

At a juice bar, the same man who walked into Angel Investigations now drinks two peach smoothies at once. He has been there for six hours and has consumed at least 100 of them. The manager asks him to leave. He shoves the manager aside and demands more water.

At Wolfram & Hart, Lilah and Gavin have a tense conversation about whether Lilah is making progress in bringing Angel over to the dark side.

Angel, once again CEO of Angel Investigations, is sitting at his old desk where Wesley was sitting a few days before. Fred and Gunn discuss the situation, and Gunn says they should never mention Wesley's name again.

Cordelia and Groo try to remove the pentagram from the hotel lobby. Cordelia gives up and suggests buying a throw rug to cover it up. While Groo empties their bucket, Fred tries to persuade Cordelia to intervene with Angel on Wesley's behalf, but Cordelia replies that she will not and cannot, only caring about Angel's feelings on the subject. Groo overhears her speak of all the things she has done for Angel, including becoming part demon. She mentions that, parenthetically, it is now sometimes unclear to her whether something she sees or hears is or is not part of visions. At that moment, she sees Angel thrown across the floor to the base of the stairs, then, an instant later, sees him standing behind his desk.

Lorne arrives at the Hyperion Hotel and describes what is happening at the juice bar. The AI team go there, and Angel recognizes the walk-in customer from earlier that day. Fred finds his wallet with his driver's license, and identifies him as Phillip Spivey. Angel knocks him out and smiles, happy to have a case.

Groo carries Spivey back to Angel Investigations. While Fred goes for water, Angel remembers that Spivey used the word "we" instead of "I," as when he complained that "we" were thirsty. While Cordelia tries to tell Angel about her most recent vision, Spivey wakes up, points his finger at Angel, and says: "This is all your fault!" He falls forward and breaks into powder. Lorne notices the transparent creature escaping from Spivey's neck. The AI team retreats to avoid it.

Angel details Fred to research the monster. He suggests she look into thaumogenesis, the creation of a demon as a byproduct of dark magic. Gunn stays with Fred. The rest pick up weapons and hunt for the monster.

Upstairs, Angel and Lorne find a slug drinking from a toilet. Angel spears it with a sword, but it slips off and runs away.

Downstairs, Fred complains to Gunn that she is having little success researching thaumogenesis. She doubts she will ever be as good as "some people," meaning Wesley. They fail to notice when a portal opens momentarily in the lobby and two slugs drop out.

At Wolfram & Hart, Lilah receives a confidential email describing the situation at Angel Investigations as a "bio-plasmic infection." The email says the exact nature of the infection is not known, but it seems to involve thaumogenesis. Gavin enters Lilah's office, having received the same email. He notes that Linwood is not around to handle the crisis, and Lilah will be in big trouble if Angel dies and the Senior Partners find out his death was caused by a spell Lilah helped him cast.

Upstairs at the hotel, Cordelia and Groo are hunting slugs. Groo reminds Cordelia of what she said about Angel's feelings being her only priority. Cordelia tries to explain what she meant, but she is interrupted by the appearance of another slug.

The AI team assembles in the lobby. Angel hands out flashlights. His plan is to shut off all the lights, which will make the slugs, which glow in the dark, easier to find and kill. Angel and Gunn go downstairs to shut off the power.

Upstairs, Fred is still doing research. A slug is hanging on the wall behind her. It leaps at her and dives into her mouth.

Angel, Lorne, Cordelia, and Groo are in the south wing hunting for slugs. They find a double door that is chained shut. A sound like the chirping of birds is coming from behind it. Angel kicks it open.

Gunn joins Fred at her desk. Fred says she is scared, and Gunn tries to reassure her. Fred tells Gunn he should get out of there, but Gunn misunderstands her. She breaks the glass on the snow globe and drinks the water inside, saying: "we're thirsty."

Upstairs, Angel and the other three find a ballroom behind the door that Angel kicked open. Gunn appears supporting Fred. Gunn wants to take Fred to a hospital. Fred says that going to a hospital is just what the slug wants, but Gunn insists on taking her anyway. Groo determines that the sounds are coming from underneath the floor, so he and Angel chop up the floor with axes. They find a swimming pool full of slugs. Some of the slugs escape through the floor and the AI team runs.

They escape into a large kitchen. When Fred, with the slug inside her body, complains of the heat, Angel has an idea. He turns on all the stoves and ovens to make the kitchen so hot and dry that the slugs will not want in. Fred suddenly asks where Gunn is, noting he is not in the kitchen.

At Wolfram & Hart, Lilah assembled an operations team to clean out the Hyperion Hotel before Linwood returns. Gavin enters and says she is "a little late." Lilah dismisses the operations team and questions Gavin, who says he has spoken with Linwood on a special cellphone. Linwood wants to "let them all die" and threatens to take the cost out of Lilah's salary if she orders a special operation to rescue Angel Investigations.

Gunn knocks on Wesley's door and asks for his help.

In the kitchen, Angel pins Fred against the wall and interrogates the slug inside her. The slug says it wants to live and is running from something it calls "the Destroyer." It says the Destroyer is not after it, but after Angel.

Gunn explains the problem to Wesley. Wesley says he cannot help, explaining that the only reason he lived after his throat was cut was to tell his friends his side of the story, but Gunn isn't interested in Wesley's side. When he hears that Fred is the one in most immediate danger, Wes tosses a bottle of vodka to Gunn and agrees to help, but warns Gunn that neither he nor any other person at Angel Investigations must ever come to him again.

When Fred's skin begins to crack and Angel fears she may be near death, he orders the stoves and ovens turned off and tells Lorne and Groo to take her to a hospital. He turns on all the water faucets in the kitchen to distract the slugs.

As Lorne and Groo are about to leave the hotel with Fred, Gunn enters and tells them to put Fred down. He gives her a drink of vodka, which causes the slug to burst out of her body through her mouth. Groo kills it.

In the kitchen, Cordelia and Angel fight the slugs. Several slugs land on Cordelia's arm. She seems to become full of light. The glow from her body fills the hotel, and all the slugs are dead, killed by her demon power.

In the lobby, Gunn says that he did what he had to do to save Fred, but he doesn't mention that he went to Wesley. Lorne reminds the team that the Destroyer still hasn't arrived. Fred says the Destroyer is coming right at that moment, just as the portal starts to crackle. The gang prepare themselves for a fight, and a large demon emerges ready for a fight. A second portal then opens and a young man emerges, killing the demon with one blow. The young man then aims a weapon at Angel and says: "Hi, Dad."




Organizations and titles[]




Death count[]

  • Philip Spivey, water drained by a Sluk demon.
  • Sluk demons, destroyed by Cordelia.
  • Unidentified demon, killed by Connor.

Behind the scenes[]


  • The kitchen scenes in this episode were shot in the Ambassador Hotel in the kitchen area that Robert F. Kennedy passed through right before he was shot. The series had the distinction of being the last crew to film in the hotel before it was demolished.
  • The name of guest star Vincent Kartheiser is reserved to appear only in the end credits, making sure the audience is surprised when Connor shows up at the end of the episode.


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

Pop culture references[]

  • When Cordelia is scrubbing out the pentacle on the floor, she says: "We definitely have a ring around the lobby and it will not rub out." This is a reference to the commercials for the laundry detergent Wisk, which featured the phrase: "Ring around the collar."


International titles[]

  • Czech: "Cena" (Price)
  • Finnish: "Kaikella on hintansa" (Everything Has a Price)
  • French: "Le prix à payer" (The Price to Pay)
  • German: "Preis der Magie" (Price of Magic)
  • Hungarian: "A számla" (The Bill)
  • Italian: "Il prezzo" (The Price)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): "O Preço" (The Price)
  • Russian: "Цена" (Price)
  • Spanish (Latin America): "El precio" (The Price)
  • Spanish (Spain): "El precio" (The Price)
  • Turkish: "Bedel" (Price)


Behind the scenes[]


Angel: "Was it worth it? Would I do it again? In a heartbeat, because he was my son."


  1. "angel: The Price." TheWB.com. Archived from the original on February 11, 2004.
  2. "Nielsen Ratings for Angel's Third Season." Nielsen Ratings for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, & Firefly. Archived from the original on July 5, 2008.