Cordelia decides that Angel Investigations needs to advertise. The opening scene is her running towards her car at night when suddenly she is attacked, only to be saved by the Dark Avenger (Angel of course). Needless to say Angel doesn't agree. Cordy decides that perhaps he is too high-profile and perhaps someone less so should be in the commercial. Of course Doyle becomes her choice and she films him misreading the lines, and becomes disheartened, believing there's no hope. Angel confides to Doyle that he spent more than 5 minutes with Buffy, saw the Oracles and decided to go back the 24 hours. Doyle states that he would never have that courage and Angel replies that sometimes you don't know what you've got in you until you're tested. He also tells Doyle of the End of Days.
Doyle is about to tell Cordy he's a half-demon when he gets a frightening vision of troops of demons marching chasing a small girl…. Doyle tells Angel and Cordelia of the vision. Doyle and Angel find the abandoned area in Doyle's vision and find a group of half-demons who have fled from place to place from a group of hunters known as The Scourge, a purist faction of demons whom mass exterminate the half-breeds, of which Doyle is one of course. They move from place to place killing the unpure and instilling fear into the hearts of those left. Comparisons can obviously be drawn between them and the Nazi storm-troopers and that's obviously the point….The similarities are frightening; their militant organisation, armed troops and racist agenda. The leader of the group in hiding explains that there is a prophecy telling of the 'promised one' who will protect them from the Scourge. The group believes Angel is the 'one'.
Doyle has heard of The Scourge before and remembers (whilst telling Angel) that he didn't believe another Bracken demon who approached him for help. That's when he started to get the visions and after the Bracken demon and his group were killed, Doyle believed but it was too late. Angel realises that Doyle himself is at a terrible risk and decides that he must infiltrate the group. Meanwhile a younger member of the group in hiding runs away not believing that Angel and Doyle can help.
Angel infiltrates the Scourge by pretending to hate impure breeds such as Doyle and 'kills' Doyle in front of them by appearing to snap his neck. Doyle is fine though and meanwhile Angel attends a Scourge meeting where the leader reveals the Power of the Beacon, a machine that will wipe out all impure races by disintegrating anyone with a drop of human blood in their body.
Cordelia organises a ship to transport the half-demons to safety by cashing in a favour with a captain whom owes Angel a favour. The group are moved on board and await Angel and Doyle's return to know that it is safe to leave. They arrive, after finding the runaway, with the Scourge in hot pursuit, bringing the weapon with them.
Cordy slaps Doyle for not telling her he was a half-demon and Angel tells them about the Power of the Beacon. It is loaded onto the ship and set off by the Scourge. Angel, Doyle and Cordy all realise that one of them will have to die to save the others and Doyle realises it's his time. He punches Angel, kisses Cordelia and leaps onto the machine, attempting to unplug it and bearing the brunt of the machine's power when it erupts and dies.
The final scene is of Angel and Cordelia watching the video of Doyle stuffing up the commercial with him saying, "Is that it?Am I done"?
I for one certainly hope not. It was a shock episode as Doyle was a main character. But that's what makes this show so great and Joss the genius he is…the uncertainty and threat of a main character being killed off as we saw with Jenny Calendar in the Buffy series. I loved this episode for all it's frightening comparisons with real life, the interaction between Doyle and Cordy before he died and seeing the true hero emerge in a person who wouldn't have thought he amounted to much.
One of the best episodes so far and very memorable…..
Regular characters: Cordelia, Doyle, Angel
Villain: The Scourge (pure demons)
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