While investigating some mysterious deaths, Angel switches bodies with a old guy named Marcus. Marcus immediately takes over Angel's life, while Angel is stuck in a retirement home. When ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Paul Benjamin ...
Fellow Resident
Misty Louwagie ...
Marc Brett ...
Health Club Phil
Lauren Reina ...
Escort #1
Escort #2 (as Magdalena Zielinska)


While investigating some mysterious deaths, Angel switches bodies with a old guy named Marcus. Marcus immediately takes over Angel's life, while Angel is stuck in a retirement home. When Marcus realizes that Angel's body gives him vampire powers, he decides that they only way to keep it is to get rid of Angel once and for all. Written by katieorse295

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Release Date:

15 October 2001 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


This episode is one of a very few that shows that vampires can sniff the air and smell their prey from a distance. See more »


When switching bodies with the old man, Angel's soul/aura is depicted as blue, but in a previous episode, Lorne (the host at Caritas) said that Angel's aura is beige. See more »


[first lines]
Charles Gunn: Hey, Fred.
Winifred 'Fred' Burkle: Sorry, did I startle you guys?
Wesley Wyndam-Pryce: No.
Cordelia Chase: Only in the sense of shocking and jolting us. What's up?
See more »


References Pretty Woman (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the show's funniest episodes
28 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I love body switch episodes. They're always fun and make for some really great scenes. Faith and Buffy's body switch over on season four of BTVS is all about exploring your own identity through some else's life. Faith confronts some deeper truths about herself by living as Buffy for a day. It's psychologically driven, with a hint of comedy. In "Carpe Noctem" things are a little lighter. It's about a guy named Marcus exploring Angel's life and doing all the things that Angel would never do. It's mostly comedic, although it does have a deeper psychological message about Angel's self control. He could do all the stuff that Marcus is planning, but Angel's too good a guy. Marcus is willing to hold on to youth at all costs and Angel is spending eternity trying to redeem himself. It's cool. Anyway, "Carpe Noctem" is a great episode and I really recommend that you see it.

This episode revolves around a old sleazy guy named Marcus who used to be in the magic business. Marcus has a little orb that lets him switch bodies with younger men, allowing him to take over their lives. Unfortunately, the bodies quickly wear out from the spell and turn into rubbery puddles of skin. Team Angel starts investigating the deaths. Angel soon finds himself at Marcus's retirement him and Marcus switches bodies with him. He knocks Angel (as Marcus) out and escapes. Inside Angel's body, Marcus assumes his identity. Meanwhile, Angel (as Marcus) tries to escape the retirement home.

Cordy is worried that Fred is developing a crush on Angel. She tells Marcus (as Angel) to talk to Fred about it. Marcus (as Angel) assumes that Fred is a guy and tries convince Wes that they can't see each other anymore. Marcus (as Angel) is pretty relieved to learn that Wesley isn't Fred and that she's really a girl. Instead of letting her down gently, he asks Fred out. Fred is very happy, but by the time she's ready to go, Marcus (as Angel) is already making out with Lilah. Fred is heartbroken. When Marcus (as Angel) tries to bite Lilah, he realizes that he must be a vampire. Thrilled that he'll never have to die, he heads for the retirement home to kill Angel (as Marcus) who is his last link to his old life. Meanwhile, Team Angel is beginning to piece together that "Angel" isn't Angel, after all. They arrive at the retirement home in time to save Angel (as Marcus) and the they switch the men back. The episode ends with Fred finally accepting that Angel can't be with her and Willow calling for Sunnydale to say they Buffy is alive.

There are some great parts to this episode. I especially love watching Marcus (as Angel.) He's just so funny and Un-Angel-like. His strutting walk, his leering smile, his outdated slang... It's all just great. He flirts with every woman he sees ("Have I ever told you that you're a BEE-UU-ti-ful woman?") and says some really hilarious stuff. His lecture to Wes and Gunn, designed to impress Cordy, is hilarious. "Women are more than just meat, ya know. Sorry that's just the way I feel." Everyone looks at him like he's crazy. And it's all even funnier because Lilah actually falls for his dubious charms. The two of them wind up making out on Wes's desk (and Wes's reaction to the mess is just priceless.) I also love Marcus' (as Angel) trip to the night club. He's not sure how hard to hit people, so all his movements are exaggerated and awkward. When the one guy goes flying, Marcus (as Angel) just looks down at his fist and chirps "ALLL-Riiiightt!" Then he hurries off to lecture Angel (as Marcus) about what a lousy vampire he'd been. "Vampires don't help people you, Moron. They eat them!" It all just really works.

On the down side, I wish that Angel had switched places with Spike instead of Marcus. Granted that's not "Carpe Noctem"'s fault, but every time I see this episode, I imagine how fun it would be to see Angel trying to be Spike and Spike trying to be Angel. Just a thought. Also, I'm not sure how Marcus switched bodies with all those other guys. He's not allowed to leave the retirement home, so did he somehow lure them up to his room? Or can he switch bodies from a distance?

My favorite part of the episode: Marcus (as Angel) trying to break up with Wes. Wesley looks so confused that it just cracks me up.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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