Angel/Recap/S02/E08 The Shroud of Rahmon

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Wesley is being interrogated by detectives about a robbery. We flash back to Angel talking with Gunn about a planned museum heist of some supernatural artifact. The group is bringing in a vampire from Vegas named Jay-Don. Angel tells Gunn that he is taking over the case because it is too dangerous. Angel meets Jay-Don at the bus station, acts like a moronic fan, and stakes him. Another demon named Menlow shows up looking for Jay-Don. Angel assumes the role of Jay-Don and behaves like an ass. Menlow and Angel meet up with the rest of the crew, which includes a human security guard, Bob, and some ugly demon. Gunn then shows up in his cousin's place. Menlow explains that they are going to steal the Shroud of Rahmon, an item worth 2 million on the black market. Meanwhile, a picture of Angel with Menlo somehow turns up at the police station. A cop shows it to Kate and tips her off to their operation.

Wesley finds out in a book that the shroud drives people insane. Wesley and Cordelia decide to go warn Angel at the museum in case the heist was taking place tonight. Wesley and Cordelia show up and start feeling weird as soon as they walk into the museum. Meanwhile, all of the thieves begin losing their minds, arguing over the big crate holding the shroud. Gunn challenges Angel and they fight, breaking the crate in the process. This releases some purple kind of gas from the crate. Wesley shows up and tries to remember the message to tell Angel. Kate shows up and points a gun at Angel. Angel manages to talk his way close to her. He grabs her, bites her, and then drops her to the floor, apparently leaving her dead. A SWAT team arrives at the scene. They find Wesley kneeling over Kate's body, and he is dragged away.

The crew makes it back to the hideout with the shroud. They take the shroud out of the crate and start to fight over it. The big demon gets shot in the head and Angel and Gunn fight over the shroud. Angel, in a moment of clarity, convinces Gunn to let him have it. He takes it outside and burns it.

Back in the present time, Wesley finishes telling his tale to the police who do not believe him. They start to arrest him when Kate shows up and makes them let him go. Kate is seen looking out of the window with a big bite mark on her neck. She thinks back to when Angel was biting her. It turns out that he had leaned close to her and whispered, "stay down or they'll kill you." Wesley and Cordelia are back at the office. They discuss their concerns about the possibility that since Angel drank human blood from a living person that his bloodlust may have been reawakened.

Tropes in this episode:

  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: An associate recommended Lester as a getaway driver to a gang of thieves, but Lester wants nothing to do with it. If he declines, however, the demons will likely kill him.
  • Artifact of Death: Rahmon is said to have had the power to make people go mad, and the shroud now has that power.
  • Artistic License Chemistry: Nitroglyceryn actually has no color. Moreover, it's so unstable that the air bubble inside the vial would have caused it to explode on Angel's foot.
  • Backseat Driver: Wesley coaches Cordy through navigating the museum website ("Click on recent acquisitions - Right there - There!"), causing her to grumble, "Jeez. Backseat surfer."
  • Bait and Switch: The man being interrogated appears to be either some nutter or an Angel who's lost it -- he turns out to be Wes.
  • Blatant Lies: When Cordy says she returned everything she stole from the museum, Cordelia is wearing the Native American necklace she was admiring earlier.
  • A Bloody Mess: By the time Cordelia and Wesley return from a film premeire, Cordy has a large red stain down the front of her blouse.Wesley is insisting that the stain is "hardly noticeable." Angel is startled, mistaking it for blood, and asks what happened; Cordy says that it's just cocktail sauce.
  • Blown Across the Room: Anyway, he sets the shroud on fire, the imprinted demon face unexpectedly leaps off the cloth in a cloud of green smoke, and blasts Angel into the air.
  • Brick Joke: After the Failed a Spot Check joke (see below) when Wes runs into Kate at the museum, he babbles that's he's here to warn Angel about...your hair!
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Our first sign that Angel is Not Himself -- his eyes glow yellow and he reverts to Angelus' Irish accent.
  • The Brute: Vyasa
  • Burn, Baby, Burn: A bottle of booze, a Bic lighter, and one seriously ugly shroud.
  • Call Back: Gunn hasn't forgotten about his sister, Alonna, being murdered by vampires. The shroud causes his subconscious enmity toward Angel to surface.
  • The Caper
    • Caper Crew: The mastermind of the heist is M. James Menlo, a world-weary explosives specialist. A spine-covered demon named Vyasa serves as the group's muscle. The security guard, Bob, functions as the inside man. Angel (or "Jay-Don") is relegated to the burglar, since his lack of body temp allows him to evade the thermal sensors within the vault. Lastly, Gunn (or "Lester") operates as the driver.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: For all intents and purposes, the Shroud causes Wes and Cordelia to become this.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When a stoned Wesley barges in to save Angel, he's caught off-guard by Gunn being present as well.

Wesley: [pleasantly surprised] "I never thought of him as the museum type!"

  • Continuity Nod: When she arrives at the hotel to grill Angel about Darla's whereabouts, Kate recalls "that little thing" about a guy getting "his throat ripped out."
  • Death Faked for You / Once More, with Clarity: Cue the flashback. In blur-motion, Angel grabs Kate as she fires her gun, chomps down, and turns so his gun-toting compatriots can't see his face. The vamped Angel whispers, "Stay down or they'll kill you," into Kate's ear, and drops her to the floor.
  • Despite the Plan: Merlo asks where Lester is, . A car door closes outside, and Merlo opens the to door and greets...Gunn. Gunn says, "Looks like I'm the last one at the party," and he and Angel exchange knowing (and in Angel's case, furious) stares.
  • Did I Say That Out Loud: Wesley says, "It's not the shroud's effects on him that worry me as much as..." Cordy asks, "As what? My stealing? I returned everything, I swear!"
  • Disco Dan: Angel describes Jay-Don as having "ran with the whole Sinatra, Rat Pack thing", and "never got over it."
  • Dramatic Gun Cock / Villainous Demotivator: Angel tries muscling Gunn out of the robbery under the guise of an outdoor brawl, but Menlo isn't having it. He cocks both of his pistols and warns that anyone who tries to leave "gets a bullet from me, [gestures at Vyasa] or a stake from him."
  • Drives Like Crazy: Literally; Gunn parks the heist truck by crashing it into another vehicle.
  • The Evil Genius: Menlo
  • Explosive Stupidity: Narrowly averted. As Merlo sets the nitrogylcerin in place, he hands shake with nervousness. Gunn explains to the impatient Vyasa that the vial contains nitroglycerin. Oh. Vyasa keeps complaining, Merlo shouts at Kelp to SHUT UP, and in doing so drops the vial. Which Angel catches on his shoe.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Cordelia has a new look in this episode.

Wesley: Your hair. It's new -- It's great! When did this happen?
Cordy: Ten days ago.
Wesley: [backpedaling] Of course!! I didn't want to embarrass you by--
Cordy: --noticing?

    • And again two scenes later:

Angel: When did this happen?
Wesley: [censorious] Ten days ago! Pay attention.

  • Fighting From the Inside: As Angel and Gunn continue tugging at the shroud, Angel finally grunts, "Gunn, I remember. You have to -- trust me! I know what to do with this."
  • Freudian Slip: Gunn and Angel continue to snipe at each other as they haul the case down the hallway. Gunn starts complaining about how vampires think the world is theirs. "Nothing but take, take, take. Take your blood, take your sister."
  • Get a Room: As Angel and Gun bicker back and forth over the box, Vyasa snarls, "Are you two gonna get married or what?"
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Angel's irises turn yellow when he's in the presnce of the Shroud. Ordinarily, his eyes only look like when he vamps out.
  • Guns Akimbo: Menlo.
  • Hate Plague
  • How We Got Here: The show begins in a police interrogation room. Two cops are talking about a guy with mental problems and how he is covering up information. The go into the room with where there is an unknown man sitting with his head against the table. The men question and threaten the man, who raises his head, revealing himself to be Wesley. Wesley begins babbling about warnings and how "he" should have never have been there. Wesley talks about "him" grabbing someone hard and how "it all went horribly wrong." In his mind, he sees Angel dropping a woman to the ground with blood on his lips.
  • I Resemble That Remark: Cordy snipes at Wesley for being shallow because he's running off to a Hollywood premiere. Wes tells her he's got an extra ticket, whereupon Cordy gleefully goes off with him. "Who does shallow better than me!"
  • I Surrender, Suckers: When faced down by Kate's pistol, Angel sarcastically raises his hands in the air. His life of crime is over!

Angel: Look at you! Rushing in here all by yourself -- you're the best cop ever."

  • In the Back: Gunn attempting to stake Angel when his back is turned.
  • Insistent Terminology: The cops aren't terribly receptive to Wesley's account of the night's events.

Det. Broomfield:: "You want us to believe that a magic sheet--"
Wesley: "A SHROUD!

  • Joe Sent Me: A Defied Trope. At the bus depot, a giggling Angel approaches Jay-Don and introduces himself as "a big fan" before asking for the password. Jay-Don says there isn't one, and Angel immediately stakes Jay-Don with one of his handy sleeve-stakes. He pulls Jay-Don's sunglasses off before the body disintegrates, and puts them on, adding, "Just checking."
  • Just Eat Gilligan: Merlo says that the box weighs about a ton, so it'll take all of them to move it. Simply removing the Shroud is apparently not on the menu. Possibly justified, since the Shroud's effects immediately ramp up once the box is breached.

Angel: Good thing we didn't think about that back at the museum, and miss out on all this SWELL heavy lifting!!

  • Kill and Replace: "Jay-Don."
  • Let Me At Him: Don the security guard insists that he can hold up his end of the box. Gunn snarks, "Yeah, maybe with a forklift", provoking a satisfying set of hysterics.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: As soon as Wesley and Crodelia enter the museum, they start feeling the effects of the Shroud. Cordy, already giddy with laughter, suggests they split up. "No," Wesley surmises, pulling himself together, '"too dangerous." ..And they obliviously keep walking in two opposite directions.
  • Mugged for Disguise / Sunglasses at Night: True to his reputation, Jay-Don arrives at the bus station wearing a garish shirt and shades. Angel pulls Jay-Don's sunglasses off before his body disintegrates, then puts them on himself.
  • My Fist Forgives You: Angel hits Gunn when he disagrees (partially to maintain their cover, and partially because he wanted Gunn out of there). Later, when they're alone and keeping a watchful eye for the bad guys, Angel apologises. Gunn says "That's okay." and * WHAM* decks him without looking. "Don't do it again."
  • Nameless Narrative: The police detectives aren't referred to by name in the actual episode, though their names are in the script. Likewise, Vyasa (Tony Todd) might as well just be named "Spiny".
  • Neck Lift: Gunn gets a little too worked up and lunges at Angel in the hallway. Angel grabs his throat and pushes him up against the wall.

Angel: Y'know, I'm getting pretty sick of this 'vampires killed my sister, so now I'm all entitled!' song. Don't you know anything else, like, say, "MacArthur Park?"

  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: As the box is damaged, and later the shroud removed, it's effects become more pronounced.
  • No Except Yes: Wesley finally stumbles upon the group. Wesley says, "Thank God I found you in time," but upon noticing Angel's appearance, he asks, "Is it in time?" Wesley struggles to remember why he's there, and finally manages to tell Angel that the shroud makes people bad, "although it's amazing how good I feel!"
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Back at base, Menlo thinks it's time to open the case, and Vyasa solves the problem by smashing his fist through the remains of the lid. They all stare down at the evil, spooky-voice-emitting cloth. After a moment, Menlo declares, "I got it!" and grabs the shroud by a corner. Vyasa insists, "It belongs to my people!" Angel tries to keep the peace by saying, "There's plenty here for all" Uh oh, they're all going a little Treasure of Sierra Madre on us. Everyone takes a corner and starts yanking.
  • Not What It Looks Like: A SWAT team fans out inside the museum,, guns at the ready, and find Wesley crouched over a motionless Kate. As Wesley frantically tries to revive her, he gets blood on his hand. One of the cops leans in closer and sees the gaping wound on Kate's neck.
  • Perp Sweating: Wesley is busy getting the third degree in this episode's Cold Open.
  • Properly Paranoid
  • Punched Across the Room
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Wesley spilling sauce on Cordy in front of "Mister Fat Chow Chow."

Cordelia: CHOW....YUN....FAT!!

    • Cordy is staring at her reflection in a glass case, and observing dreamily, "My teeth are sooooo big!" She watches her mouth as she enunciates, "I.....AM.....PLEASANT." Alrighty.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Menlo's gang infiltrates the museum thanks to the machinations of Bob, a corrupt security guard. Though they leave Bob's partner alive, Vyasa decapitates Bob when his turn comes to be 'tied up'.
  • Sanity Slippage
  • Sealed Evil in a Can
  • Shooting Superman: Kate is proficient at many things, but pattern recognition isn't one of them.
  • Slow Motion Drop: Angel dropping his lighter on the Shroud.
  • Soul Jar: Menlo says that the box containing the Shroud is made of consecrated wood, and the edges are sealed in gold.
  • Stealth Hi Bye: Wesley gains Batman-like disappearing skills inside the museum, freaking Kate out a bit.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Gunn is beginning to chafe under Angel's leadership, accustomed as he is to running his own crew.
  • This Is the Part Where: "Is it the part where I kill you, 'cause I gotta tell you, I LOVE that in a woman!"
  • Too Much Information: Wesley is unhappy to read that in 1803, the Shroud was removed from its casing, and as a result "the entire population of El Encanto went insane, mothers and children hacking one another to pieces, men roaming the streets like rabid dogs..." Cordelia interrupts, saying she gets the picture.
  • Two Words: Obvious Trope: Cordy offers a moral.

Cordelia: OK, two words I don't like right off the bat: "tomb" and "unearthed." People, you've gotta leave your tombs earthed!

  • Unwanted Rescue: Gunn stops and tells Angel, "Don't hit me again." Angel says he was trying to protect Gunn. "I appreciate that," says Gunn, before slamming his elbow into Angel's face.
  • Virgin Sacrifice: The Shroud of Rahmon is the death shroud a powerful demon. It was dyed with the blood of seven virgin women sacrificed on the first full moon, then placed over the demon, preventing it from returning from the dead.

Cordelia: This is all about dominance, buddy. You can bet if someone ordered a male body part for religious sacrifice, the world would be atheist [snaps fingers] like that.

  • Weirdness Censor: The police have a complete file and surveillance photos on Menlo, but don't seem to notice that he's a blotched-skin demon.
    • That's because he looks like having undergone bad plastic surgery, or having suffered from severe burns. The script indicates that his demon features have been hidden via plastic surgery and makeup.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Lampshaded by Wes and Cordy at the end -- encouraging Angel to take on a case that reawakended his blood lust and made him even more crazy was not the smartest thing to do.
  • You Talk Too Much: "This is Jay-Don. He talks too much."