The Ring is the sixteenth episode of the first season of Angel. Angel is hired to find a man's missing brother, but winds up being enslaved and forced to fight in a demon arena deathmatch.
Co-Starring: Anthony Guidera (Ernie Nellins), Chris Flanders (Mr. Winslow), Marc Rose (Mellish), David Kallaway (Doorman), Juan A. Riojas (Val Trepkos), Michael Philip (Announcer), Mark Ginther (Lasovic)
Hired to investigate a kidnapping, Angel is instead lured into capture with assorted other demons. Enslaved, they are pitted against one another for the entertainment of a paying audience.
Monster of the Week
- Although there are many demons that appear in this episode, none of them are developed long enough to be considered monsters of the week.
|1||Pink Demon||Tom Cribb||Slit Throat||Arena|
|3||Malish||Trepkos||Heart Pulled Out||Arena|
|4||Jack MacNamera||Darin MacNamera||Shot||Arena Basement|
|5||Darin MacNamera||Trepkos||Thrown into Barrier||Arena|
There is no licensed music in this episode.
- Wolfram & Hart: Cordelia mentions Wolfram & Hart while searching the demons database, saying that they may as well be demons. Later on, an employee of Wolfram & Hart, Lilah Morgan, places a bet on Angel to win in the arena. She explains that she's an associate after buying Angel's contract away from MacNamera, in hopes of convincing him to look the other way when Wolfram & Hart is involved.
- 1x13 - She: Angel encountered the Vigories of Oden Tal when he was caught in the middle of an "underground railroad" of enslaved women from the Oden Tal dimension being moved onto the Earthly plane of reality.
- Wesley: Do they have the Vigories of Oden Tal?
- First Appearance: Lilah Morgan makes her first appearance in the series in this episode. She is a lawyer for Wolfram & Hart and is part of the core of the Wolfram employees who live to make Angel miserable.
- Meta-Reference: "Firewalker", an episode of The X-Files, also has a character named "Daniel Trepkos" in it. Both that episode and this episode were written by the same person, Howard Gordon.
- No Relation? This isn't the first time a MacNamara has appeared in a Joss Whedon series. Colonel MacNamara appeared in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode entitled "New Moon Rising" from the fourth season.
Behind the Scenes
- Ratings: On its first airing, this episode scored a 5.4/8 in the overnight Nielsen ratings. It was ranked 2nd out of the 15 WB shows which aired that week.
- Rating: This is the first and only episode to be given an "18" rating certificate in the UK. This is presumably because of the increased violent nature of the episode.
Allusions and References
- Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune: Jeopardy is a popular quiz show hosted by Alex Trebek where the contestants are given an answer in a category which they must give the question for. Wheel of Fortune, however is a game show created by Merv Griffen where contestants spin a wheel and guess letters in a phrase to accumulate money and prizes.
- Cordelia: Oh, I know. Every night it's Jeopardy, followed by Wheel of Fortune and a cup of hot cocoa.
- Beetlejuice: Beetlejuice is a movie made by Tim Burton starring Michael Keaton and Alec Baldwin about a bio-exorcist hired by two recently deceased ghosts to rid their former home of a human family who moved in. The film later spawned a cartoon series, also called Beetlejuice.
- Cordelia: You make a small wager one day, a bigger one the next, and before you know it — Beetlejuicy albino comes a knocking.
- Captain America: Captain America is a Marvel superhero created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby in 1941. The most recognizable version of the character is Steve Rogers, a World War II "super soldier" who was frozen in a block of ice until he was discovered and thawed out in the modern era.
- Jack: How about Captain America here?
- West Side Story: West Side Story is a modern musical adaptation of Romeo & Juliet. The Broadway musical tells the story of two rival gangs, the Sharks and Jets, and the impossible relationship of a man and woman from opposing sides.
- Cordelia: Couldn't they have just done West Side Story?
- Jerry Springer: Jerry Springer is the host of a syndicated talk show called The Jerry Springer Show. The television series was originally a serious-minded political roundtable but a new producer transformed it into a "freak show" where the dregs of America attempt to seek their 15 minutes of fame on shows with titles like "Daddy, Will You Marry Me?" Because of the absurdity of his guests, the show's popularity is unwavering.
- Cordelia: You'd think people get enough gratuitous violence watching Jerry Springer.
- Cordelia: Someone ought to create an intra-demon dating base. You know like Archfiend.org, "Where the lonely and the slimy connect".
- Cordelia: I was just joking, Mr. Grouchy Pants. When was the last time you had a dating base?
- Wesley: For your information, I lead a rich and varied social life.
- Cordelia: Oh, I know. Every night it's Jeopardy! followed by Wheel of Fortune and a cup of hot cocoa. Look out, girls, this one can't be tamed.
- Wesley: I'll admit, it may not be as intoxicating as a life erected on high-fashioned pumps and a push-up bra...
- Cordelia: Hey, if anyone is wearing a push-up bra around here, it's... (Angel enters) Angel.
- Angel: Do you two need to see a counsellor?
- Cordelia: No, I'm way too single entendre to benefit from therapy.
- (discussing a demon)
- Wesley: He wrote "claw-like hands."
- Cordelia: Could be a mixed breed. Smell?
- Wesley: Sulphuric.
- Cordelia: Add a Porsche and hair plugs and I've dated this guy. A lot.
- Wesley: These Octavian matches date back to the Roman Empire. I'd heard rumours of a revival.
- Cordelia: Couldn't they have just done West Side Story?
- Cribb: One lucky kill don't make you an expert.
- Angel: That wasn't the first life I've taken. Or the twenty-first.
- Cordelia: You'd think people would get enough gratuitous violence watching Jerry Springer.
- Angel: You both did great. And I think we did a... a good thing here tonight.
- Wesley: Yes. We set the captives free.
- Cordelia: Well, actually, didn't we set a bunch of demons free?
- Wesley:: Oh. Well. Technically, yes.