Angel: Season 3, Episode 6

Billy (29 Oct. 2001)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Action, Drama, Fantasy
8.5
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 561 users  
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A guy named Billy is infecting men with primal misogynistic impulses. When he touches men, they attack any women that they come across. Lilah is beaten and several other women wind up dead.... See full summary »

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Title: Billy (29 Oct 2001)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Richard Livingston ...
Congressman
Jeniffer Brooke ...
Clerk
Cheri Rae Russell ...
Female Officer
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Detective
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Dylan
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Sanchez (as Rey Gallegos)
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Guy
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Storyline

A guy named Billy is infecting men with primal misogynistic impulses. When he touches men, they attack any women that they come across. Lilah is beaten and several other women wind up dead. Cordy and Angel try to track Billy down. But, when Billy's blood infects Wes and Gunn, it might be too late for Fred. And when Billy touches Angel, Cordelia could be in trouble, too. Written by katierose295

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29 October 2001 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joss Whedon wrote the two conversations in Lilah's apartment (first with Angel and then with Cordelia). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Angel: Just trust me.
Cordelia: I do.
Angel: Don't stiffen up.
Cordelia: Yeah, you either.
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Connections

References The Shining (1980) See more »

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Clint Eastwood
Performed by The Gorilaz
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User Reviews

 
Excellent, Revelatory Episode

This was a fantastic episode. The villain was truly one of the most terrifying in the Buffyverse, due to his extreme hatred of women and the sheer joy he took in watching men tear women they love to pieces. Obviously, his power was supernatural, but the feelings he spouted about women being whores who sell themselves for power, who exist to tempt men and have since the Garden of Eden, etc. are very real and have been expressed by many men in the real world. It was truly chilling.

The effect his presence has on our characters is the best thing about this episode. Cordy, seen at the beginning of the episode learning to sword fight with Angel so she can have a chance to do something more than wait to be saved, takes Billy's attacks on women through other men personally, as the reason he's free is because Angel got him out of hell in order to save her. Seeing her attempt to go after Billy herself makes you worry for her, but feel really proud at the same time. The dialogue between them at the end is hilarious, because much like in the scene with Dennis' mom in "Rm with a Vu" it shows Cordy being completely kick ass, but in her very Cordelia-ish way. She's not some women's studies major who has thousands of facts and debate points to show Billy how sick and disturbed and wrong he is. She's just Cordy, and because of that she's able to boil down his problem really simply and confidently. Her phallic weapon joke is quite cutting.

Another interesting effect Billy's presence has is on Lilah. After he causes Gavin to beat her senseless, Cordy, while seeking information, chastises her for not staying true to her 'vicious bitch' nature by protecting an evil misogynist. She gets through to her, fortunately, and in the end, it's not Angel or Cordy who finishes Billy off, but Lilah. It's one of those moments where you can't help but love her for being a layered villain who is often surprising.

The best change brought on by this episode is definitely the effect Billy has on Wesley. I don't mean the violence it brings out in him, although Alexis Denisof shows his talent off amazingly as he stalks Fred through the hotel, wielding an ax and spewing hateful, predatory words. It's quite a chilling performance, and it's great to see Fred fighting him and Gunn creatively and bravely after they get infected.

But the best of it comes at the end of the episode, when we see Wesley sitting alone in his dark apartment, consumed by guilt for what he tried to do to the woman he's starting to love. It's really heartbreaking to see how he beats himself up over it, despite Fred's efforts to convey to him that his attack wasn't something he did, but something that was done to him. We know from comments he's let slip out, and from what we see later in the series, that Wesley's upbringing was filled with a lot of degradation and verbal abuse and we know it's caused in him a slight desperation for approval. In his face, eyes and body Denisof shows us all the things that are going on inside Wesley, the fear, self-hatred, shame and sense of failure, and his ache reaches us completely as viewers and although he's been much more than comic relief for a while now, it gives Wes even more depth than before and perhaps by this episode he's already the most complex character on the show.

Overall, a completely excellent episode. The villain was really scary, Wolfram and Hart were featured in the right amount, with their employees being fleshed out a good bit more, and the character development was perfect. 10/10


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