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Season 4, Episode 15
Airdate March 19, 2003
Production Number 4ADH15
Written by Mere Smith
Directed by Terrence O'Hara
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AngelSeason Four

Orpheus is the fifteenth episode of the fourth season of Angel, and the eighty-first episode overall. Fred calls in the big guns to help return Angel's soul to his body. While Willow casts her spell, Faith fights for her life in the hallucinations of Angelus.

Starring: David Boreanaz (Angel), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), J. August Richards (Charles Gunn), Amy Acker (Winifred "Fred" Burkle), Vincent Kartheiser (Connor), Andy Hallett (Lorne)

and Alexis Denisof (Wesley Wyndam-Pryce)

Special Guest Star: Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg)

and Eliza Dushku (Faith)

Co-Starring: E.J. Callahan (Old Craps Man), Jeremy Guskin (Cashier), Peter Renaday (Master's Voice)

Uncredited: Nate Dushku (Armed Robber), Adrienne Wilkinson (Flapper)


Plot Overview

Having been bitten with the mystical drug in her system, Faith is believed to be on her deathbed. However, she finds herself with Angelus as they share the memories of Angel’s early rocky years with a soul. With Angelus also unconscious in the real world, Willow Rosenberg, who restored Angel’s soul years earlier, is called in with the task of doing it again.


Monster of the Week

There is no monster of the week in this episode.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Cashier Robber Shot Donut Shop


Music is listed in order of appearance in the episode:

  • Donna Summer - "MacArthur Park"
  • Barry Manilow - "Mandy"

Arc Advancement


  • Angel is re-ensoulled.
  • Willow leaves to return to Sunnydale with Faith.
  • Cordelia reveals to everyone that she's pregnant.


  • Angel: In 1902, immigrated to the United States by way of Ellis Island. Up until the 1920s, he did everything he could to avoid human contact. He ventured more and more into human life until the 1970s when he fed off a dead shopkeeper. Due to the guilt, he fed off of rats until the 1990s when he was tapped by Whistler to go into service for good.


  • BtVS - 3x22 - Graduation Day: Faith went into a coma from blood loss in the third season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer due to a fight with Buffy. She later awoke from her coma and possessed Buffy's body.
Cordelia: Like she hasn’t pulled that one before.
  • BtVS - 2x22 - Becoming: The first spell Willow ever learned was to re-ensoul Angel in the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The spell that was cast then is the exact same spell cast in this episode, with the exception of having the aid of a book.
Wesley: Of course. Bring in the only living person to ever re-ensoul Angel.
  • BtVS - 6x20 - Villains: After her love Tara was shot by Warren, Willow sought to extract revenge from the Trio and skinned and incinerated Warren.
Willow: I flayed a guy alive…
  • BtVS - 6x22 - Grave: Unable to bear the grief of the world she was perceiving, Willow decided to end it. The world, that is. Fortunately Xander managed to talk her out of it.
Willow: …and tried to destroy the world.
  • 4x01 - Deep Down: Wesley kept Justine chained in his closet during the time when he forced her to help him find the spot in the ocean where she had sunk Angel.
Wesley: I had a woman chained in a closet.
  • 1x19 - Sanctuary: Faith says that they can't be hugging because the last time they did, Buffy walked in on them mid-embrace and took things in such a wrong way that she got violent.
Faith: Don't even start. It's only gonna lead to hugging and...
Angel: No, we can't have that.


The Show

  • Crossover: The Faith storyline continues from this episode into "Dirty Girls" in the main Buffy series.

Behind the Scenes

  • Rerun: Due to a presidential address in the United States, many viewers missed the conclusion of this episode. WB later rebroadcast the episode on Sunday, March 23, at 9:00 PM. The episode took the place of a previously scheduled screening of Blade.
  • Ratings: On its first airing, this episode scored a 3.5/5 in the overnight Nielsen ratings.

Allusions and References

  • Jacob Marley: In A Christmas Story by Charles Dickens, Jacob Marley was Ebeneezer Scrooge's business partner until his death. He appears to Scrooge on Christmas Eve to tell him that he'll be visited by three ghosts that night:The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future.
Angelus: And why do you get to be Marley's ghost?
  • Glinda: Cordelia refers to Glinda, the good witch of the North in the Wizard of Oz novel and film. Glinda is the good counterpart to the wicked witch of the West who set Dorothy on her way down the yellow brick road to meet the Wizard of Oz, who would find a way to send her home to Kansas.
Cordelia: You want to go, Glinda? We'll go.
  • Dylan Thomas: Angelus quotes from a poem by Dylan Thomas called "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night." The 1951 villanelle is considered to be one of Thomas' most famous and defining works. The poem was written by Thomas for his dying father.
Angelus: And now for a poem: Faith goes gently into that good night.

Memorable Moments

  • In one last flashback, Angel and Angelus can see one another and are corporeal. The two fight each other in an abandoned alley during the 1990s, before Angel was brought out of his fear of closeness to humans by Whistler.


  • Cordelia: A coma.
Connor: Yeah. That's what it looked like when Wesley brought her in.
Cordelia: Like she hasn't pulled that one before.
  • Faith: (to Angelus) Dude! You just rescued a puppy.
  • Connor: You're lying to yourselves. You all that think I'm taking this personally so you don't have to. But inside you know I'm right. We need to put Angelus down.
Willow: I don't think so. I think you need a witch.
  • Willow: You must be Angel's handsome yet androgynous son.
Connor: It's Connor.
Willow: And the sneer's genetic. Who knew?
  • Wesley: Are there forces gathering? Did the call of magic draw you here?
Willow: Oh, no. More like the call of Fred.
  • Willow: How have you been?
Cordelia: Higher power. You?
Willow: Ultimate evil. But I got better.
  • Willow: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Cordelia: I doubt it.
  • Faith: "Mandy", huh? It must kill you he's got a jones for the power ballads.
Angelus: The worst were the concerts.
  • Willow: Good things come in jars: peanut butter, jelly, those two-headed fetal pigs at the natural history museum.
  • Wesley: A lot's happened; not just Angelus. I've been... I've changed. I've seen a darkness in myself. I'm not sure you would even begin to understand.
Willow: I flayed a guy alive and tried to destroy the world.
Wesley: Oh. So...
Willow: Darkness - been there.
Wesley: Yeah. Well, I never flayed. I had a woman chained in a closet.
Willow: Oh, well, hey.
Wesley: No, it doesn't compare.
Willow: No - dark. That's... dark. You've been to a place.
  • Willow: Okay, now all I gotta do is contact the spirit world, harness the Delothrian ebb, focus it through my little marble-o-doom here, and we'll restore the Muo-Ping's entropic equilibrium.
Gunn: The jar go smash?
Willow: Smash-o-crash.
Gunn: All I need to know.
  • Faith: You kiss your mama with that mouth?
Angelus: No, but I ate her with it.
  • Angel: I'm not perfect, Faith. Even with a soul I've done things I've wished a thousands times I could take back.
Angelus: Yeah, like those Manilow concerts!
  • Fred: Connor shouldn'ta run off like that.
Wesley: I'm sure he's just worried about Cordelia.
Fred: Do you ever think their relationship is maybe a little bit... icky?
  • Angelus: Anybody notice a battle with your alter ego going on here?!
  • Angel: Faith, listen to me. You saw me drink. Doesn't get much lower than that. And I thought I could make up for it by disappearing.
Faith: I did... my time.
Angel: Our time is never up, Faith. We pay for everything.
Faith: It hurts.
Angel: I know. I know.
  • Faith: (to Connor) Break me off a switch, son. There's about to be a whuppin'.
  • Connor: All right, I get it. I messed up.
Faith: Hey, cheer up, punk. That just makes you one of us.
  • Gunn: I just wish I could have seen you kickin' the crap outta junior here.
Faith: It was pretty funny.
  • Faith: Wes.
Wesley: Faith.
Faith: See? Brits know how to say goodbye. Angel here wanted to hug.
Angel: No, I didn't.
  • Fred: I have to say, some day I'd love to bend your ear about the Pergamum Codex. I think some of the really obscure passages are actually Latin translated from a demonic tongue. And they're kind of a hoot. All this stuff about bacchanals and spells and - Actually, I think it's probably funnier in Latin. You know how that is sometimes.
Willow: I'm seeing someone.