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Season 4, Episode 16
Airdate March 26, 2003
Production Number 4ADH16
Written by Jeffrey Bell &
Sarah Fain &
Elizabeth Craft
Directed by Michael Grossman
← 4x15
4x17 →
Inside Out
AngelSeason Four

Players is the sixteenth episode of the fourth season of Angel, and the eighty-second episode overall. While the gang researches what is behind the Beast and recent destruction, Gwen recruits Gunn to help her rescue a girl named Lisa.

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)

Guest Starring: Alexa Davalos (Gwen Raiden)

Co-Starring: Dana Lee (Takeshi Morimoto), David Monahan (Garrett), Hope Shin (Little Asian Girl), Wendy Haines (Over-Jeweled Woman), Michael Patrick McGill (Checkpoint Guard), John Fremont (Security Guy)


Plot Overview

Gwen Raiden reappears in need of Gunn’s services to help her crash a party to rescue a girl being held captive by a wealthy businessman.

Meanwhile, Angel tries to recover memories of what Angelus found out about the Beast’s master as Fred and Wesley search for something concerning the circumstances of Cordelia’s surprise pregnancy.


Monster of the Week

There was no monster of the week in this episode.

Body Count

There were no deaths in this episode, unless the guards and Morimoto were killed by Gwen's electricity.


There is no licensed music in this episode.

Arc Advancement



  • Lorne: Lorne apparently hasn't been emphatic since Wolfram & Hart stole information about the Beast and the apocalypse out of his brain. He claims to be performing a ceremony that will give him back his abilities in this episode, but it turns out to be a ruse.
  • Cordelia: The gang figures out that Cordelia is the one who was pulling the Beast's strings all this time. Although, it isn't revealed why she's evil yet.


  • 1x12 - Expecting: Cordelia was impregnated with a demon's litter of children when she was seduced by a man who was imbued with the demon's spirit. She, and several of her friends, found themselves eight months pregnant the day after they slept with the agents of the demon.
Wesley: The last time Cordelia was impregnated, she came to term overnight.
  • 4x12 - Calvary: In actuality, Lilah was killed by Cordelia using a spike made out of the Beast's hide. The Beast presented it to her (although she was offscreen) in the episode and allowed Angelus to drink from Lilah to cover her tracks.
Angel: Angelus didn't kill Lilah. She was already dead, killed by the Beast.
  • 3x22 - Tomorrow: Connor and Justine knocked Angel out, welded him into a metal box and sunk it to the bottom of the ocean. Connor did this because he believed that Angel had killed Holtz, Justine was just following Holtz's last orders.
Cordelia: You sinking Angel to the bottom of the ocean...
  • 4x09 - Long Day's Journey: Manny was killed in the safehouse by either the Beast or Cordelia. It isn't clear what happened, but Cordelia did spike Angel's drink before their shift guarding him.
Angel: Killing Manny, stealing my soul, murdering Lilah... those are surgical strikes.
  • 4x02 - Ground State: Gwen accidentally stopped Gunn's heart with a bolt of electricity while she was stealing the Axis. She restarted his heart using another electrical bolt.
Gunn: Well... you already killed me once. If it happens again, you know where my battery is.


The Show

  • Final Appearance: This episode marks the final appearance of Gwen Raiden in the series.

Behind the Scenes

  • Ratings: On its first airing, this episode scored a 3.3/5 in the overnight Nielsen ratings.

Allusions and References

  • Clash of the Titans: Clash of the Titans is a 1981 fantasy film based on the Greek myth of Perseus. The film starred Harry Hamlin as Perseus and featured stop-motion special effects by Ray Harryhausen.
Cordelia: Everything's been so Clash of the Titans around here.
  • Fortress of Solitude: The Fortress of Solitude is Superman's private hideaway. In most instances, the fortress is a large building creates out of Kryptonian crystals on the Arctic circle. In the silver age comic books, the fortress was only accessible by a gigantic key that only Superman would be able to lift and maneuver.
Cordelia: Is that why you retreated to the Fortress of Solitude?
  • James Bond: James Bond is the protagonist of the Agent 007 series of books and films. Initially played by Sean Connery, James Bond is a spy for the British investigation agency MI-6. Equipped with a variety of secret gadgets, Bond foils the world domination plots of villains like Goldfinger.
Gunn: I'm thinking James Bond never looked this fine.
  • A Clockwork Orange: A Clockwork Orange is a novel written by Anthony Burgess about a young man named Alex in a dystopic England where he and his "droogs" cause mayhem and "ultraviolence." After Alex is caught by the police and sent to prison, he volunteers for a psychiatric study that will get him out of prison early. The study involves playing classical music while he is forced to watch violent images in order to instill pain whenever classical music is played. In the movie adaptation, his eyes are held open by clamps.
Fred: It's like being stuck in a really bad movie with those Clockwork Orange clampy things on my eyeballs.
  • The Body Snatchers: Gunn confuses two different stories about aliens taking over humans. He name-drops Invasion of the Body Snatchers, a 1956 movie by Don Siegel adapted from Jack Finney's novel The Body Snatchers and remade twice. However, the device on Gwen's back is actually reminiscent of the alien slugs in Robert A. Heinlein's The Puppet Masters, also made into a film, who attach to people's spines and take control of their bodies and minds.
Gunn: You've ever seen one of those Body Snatcher movies?

Memorable Moments


  • Gunn: (to Angel) Well, congratulations. You're gonna have a grand-spawn.
  • Gwen: You're gonna have to stop grinning like that and share the joke with the entire class. You think this is impossible?
Gunn: No, I think it's fantastic. Listen, I've spent most of this year trapped in what I can only describe as a turgid supernatural soap opera. The fact that I have the chance to go out and really help somebody - well, you know, it feels good to be doing good.
  • Gunn: I'm thinking James Bond never looked this fine.
  • Checkpoint Guard: The electronic imprint on your invitation's been altered.
Gwen: I can explain that. I was struck by lightning.
  • Angel: You don't understand. This thing was in my head. I've heard him and he's insane enough to pull those kinds of stunts.
Cordelia: When you say "insane," you mean, like, diabolical?
Angel: (chuckles) No, I mean like deluded and demented. He spoke to me in this cheesy, self-important voice.
  • Gunn: Now you did it. I'm gonna have to get your lame-ass blood all over my sweet new suit.
  • Gunn: You know, I can't believe I actually took time out of the apocalypse for this.
Gwen: Even the Pres takes vacations.
  • Angel: Try this one.
Wesley: (reads) Something about strangling poultry.
  • Gunn: Hey, I'm just the muscle.
Gwen: Don't knock the muscles, buddy. It makes the girls go all knocky in the knees.
  • Gwen: (to Gunn) Thanks for turning me... off.