Angel/Recap/S04/E03 The House Always Wins
The Fang Gang go to visit Lorne in Las Vegas, only to find he's being held prisoner in the casino.
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- Aloof Ally: Angel watches his son fight a vampire and intervenes to help him. Wesley takes over Angel Investigations clients while they are away. Cordelia pulls a Deus Ex Machina from heaven.
- Anatomy of the Soul: The Million Dollar Spin To Win game steals people's fates ("futures trading", taken literally). People who would otherwise have had successful lives are rendered mindless drones, endlessly pouring money into slot machines that never pay out.
- And Your Little Dog, Too: Lee DeMarco shot a chorus girl in front of Lorne when he refused to help his Evil Plan, and makes it clear he'll do it again if Lorne wavers.
- Attack Hello / Grievous Bottley Harm: Lorne just misses clobbering Fred with a vodka bottle when she turns up in disguise.
- Bad Bad Acting / Blatant Lies: Fred trying to act like a hysterical chorus girl -- apparently Amy Acker kept joking to Andy Hallett, "I have to overact and act bad -- can you give me any tips?"
- Bait and Switch Comment: Cordelia is snarking away at Angel from Fluffy Cloud Heaven.
Angel: I know you're there, watching me.
Cordelia: Oh my God! Angel, you can hear me? I so love you. You don't know what it's been like--
Fred: (walking up to Angel with Gunn) We weren't spying...
Cordelia: Oh, for crap's sake!
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Lorne's prescence on the Vegas stage makes Fred wonder if maybe the Blue Man Group are also demons.
Angel: Only two of them.
- Bizarre Demon Biology: Assuming that Fred has been sent to diddle Lorne, the guards assure her that Lorne doesn't bite. Not with his mouth, anyway.
- Breather Episode
- Busman's Holiday: Figuring he needs a reading and the gang need time off, Angel takes them to Vegas to see Lorne's act.
- Call Back: The Fang Gang entering the Hyperion after an adventure elsewhere to find an unexpected guest, which happened at the end of Season 2.
- Chekhov's Gun: Wesley ordering the construction of his wrist-launched weapons.
- Chorus Girls: The Lornettes, played by actual Vegas showgirls worked out their own performance for Lorne's act.
- Cliff Hanger: The gang enter the Hyperion to find Cordelia. Who can't remember any of them.
- Creator Cameo: During the first shot into the audience when Lorne is on stage singing, David Fury and Angel script supervisor Petra Jorgensen are sitting in the first row.
- Creator In-Joke: One of the scrolling banners in the soul-trading room reads DEAL WITH DISNEY TO RUN NEW ABC SERIES, referring to co-creator David Greenwalt, who left Angel earlier that year to produce Miracles.
- Description Cut: Gunn saying that Angel is having a whole lot better luck than him, to Angel getting beaten up by goons.
- Deus Ex Machina: Cordy influences a slot machine so Angel wins. As Angel has had his destiny taken from him, this panics DeMarco into having Angel brought to him to find out if he's still zonked.
- Diving Save: A zonked Vivian wanders out in front of a taxi, only to be saved by Angel.
- Dressing as the Enemy: Fred as a Lornette to get into Lorne's room.
- Evilly Affable: Lee DeMarco
- Exposition of Immortality: Angel name-drops shamelessly -- he played tennis with Bugsy Siegel, drank with the Rat Pack, and gate-crashed Elvis and Priscilla Presley's wedding.
- Fan Service: Amy Acker disguised as a chorus girl -- Of Corsets Sexy, Stocking Filler, Opera Gloves, pumps, red panties, green skin and giggly. Oh yeah!
- Fantastic Aesop: People gamble away their futures in the casino.
- Flashback Echo: Lorne being Mr. Exposition.
- Friend or Foe: Spenser gets shot by one of his own mooks during a struggle.
- Funny Background Event: Angel being hustled off by casino security behind Fred and Gunn.
- Game Face: Angel gets beaten up by casino goons after trying to contact Lorne.
Goon: We don't cotton to stalkers around here, freak. Don't even think about coming back to this casino, 'cause we're gonna remember your-- (Angel vamps out) face?
Angel: Hey, lemme give you a few more things to remember me by.
- Geographic Flexibility: The gang run out of the Tropicana and end up in Fremont Street.
- Gilded Cage: Lorne's room, though a literal cage is also involved.
- Going Commando: Wesley is on the phone to Lilah, who tells him what type of panties she's wearing. Wesley tells her to take them off.
No, not after your meeting. Now. Pretend you dropped your pencil. (listens) Very good.
- Hey, Wait!: As Fred tries to enter Lorne's room disguised as a chorus girl, she gets stopped by the guards -- who tell her she's missed a spot with her green makeup.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Lorne sings "It's Not Easy Being Green", and "Code Green" is used by casino security when he escapes. Also "future trading".
- Make Me Wanna Shout / Glass-Shattering Sound: Lorne, Fred and Gunn are blocked off by DeMarco's goons on Fremont Street. Lorne sees some buskers, grabs their microphone and does his thing, blowing out a whole bunch of light bulbs.
- Mandatory Line / Padding: The scene where Wes has phone-sex with Lilah was written by Joss Whedon when the episode came in short.
- Mook Horror Show: Connor and the vampire in the Cold Open.
Vampire: Nothing human can move that fast. What are you?
- Not Himself: Angel and Vivian after they've had their destinies taken from them.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Lorne escapes in an overcoat and a trilby.
- Precision F-Strike: Really Cordelia -- you're supposed to be a higher being.
Cordy: Oh, for crap's sake!
- Relative Button: Angel snaps out of his funk when he sees a gun pointed at Fred.
- Something They Would Never Say: Averted -- the gang had no idea that Lorne asking for the non-existent Fluffy was him saying he was in trouble (hardly surprising given Lorne's habit of being The Nicknamer).
"Fluffy. Fluffy the dog. The dog you don't have. The universally recognized code for I'm being held prisoner. Send help!"
- Squee: Fred squeals in delight when Lorne starts singing "Creole Lady Marmalade".
- Tall Tale / We Need a Distraction: Fred tells the guards that Lorne escaped by shooting Frickin' Laser Beams from his horns. The guards point out there's no way out of his room, so she then claims he vomited up his skeleton and slithered away down the sink. They are needless to say skeptical, but enter the room to investigate -- Lorne promptly slips out the door and locks them in.
- Terms of Endangerment: DeMarco to Lorne.
- Villain Ball: Literally -- a glowing easily-smashed Crystal Ball containing all those valuable stolen futures, kept in the same room you've just brought those prisoners you've caught, who you know like throwing punches around...
- Viva Las Vegas
- Walk in Chime In: Gunn tries to drag Angel away from his slot machine.
Gunn: Game's over. We're going now.
(They turn and see Fred and Lorne being held by goons.)
Spenser: As a matter of fact, you're not.
- Weirdness Censor: Lorne's fans assume his green skin and horns are just make-up. It is Las Vegas, after all.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Angel snaps a guard's wrist when he tries to stop Angel from entering the Million-A-Spin game.
- You Fight Like a Cow: Lampshaded by Angel, who complains that Connor should concentrate on fighting the vampire instead of talking.
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