Angel (1999–2004)
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Power Play 

The Team have reason to believe that Angel has been utterly corrupted with power when they find evidence that he has joined the Circle of the Black Thorn, the most evil of secret societies.... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Senator Helen Brucker


The Team have reason to believe that Angel has been utterly corrupted with power when they find evidence that he has joined the Circle of the Black Thorn, the most evil of secret societies. Wesley, Gunn, Spike, and even Illyria discover some surprises when they urge Angel to side with the forces of Good again. Written by

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Release Date:

12 May 2004 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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The flashback scene takes place in Los Angeles in 2004. See more »


Angel: This isn't a "keep fighting the good fight" kind of deal. Let's be clear. I'm talking about killing every... single... member... of the Black Thorn. We don't walk away from that.
Lorne the Host: Do we crawl away at least?
Angel: We do this, the Senior Partners will rain their full wrath. They'll make an example of us. I'm talkin' full-on hell, not the basic fire-and-brimstone kind that we're used to.
Gunn: We know the drill.
Angel: No, you don't! Ten to one, we're gone when the smoke clears. They will do everything in their power...
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User Reviews

Powerfully penultimate
27 April 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Good; Drogan and Illyria play Crash Bandicoot. Angel reveals his devious side and Illyria starts to embrace her humanity.

The Bad; When Angel arrives at WR&H's offices it's night but when he walks into his office it's day. Angel threatens Lorne with a neck hold but we know Lorne can be decapitated and survive? But maybe that's the point?

Best line; Lindsey; "They're a secret society" Gunn; "Never heard of them" Lindsey; "That's because they're SECRET!"

Jeez, how did they get away with that? Drogan tortured and killed is horrible. Also nasty to see Marcus pounding Illyria.

Apocalypses: 5

Angel Clichés Subverting the Hollywood cliché; Angel kills Drogan!

In disguise; 8

DB/JM get's his shirt off; 20

Cheap Angel; 8

Fang Gang in bondage: Cordy: 5 Angel: 15 Wes: 8 Gunn; 8 Lorne; 6 Fred; 5 Spike; 6

Fang gang knocked out: Cordy: 15 Angel: 20 Wes: 10 Doyle; 1 Gunn; 4 Lorne; 8 Groo; 1 Connor; 1 Faith; 1 Fred; 7 Spike; 5

Kills; Illyria kills the demon, Angel kills Drogan Cordy: 5 vamps, 3 demons Angel; 48 vamps, 72 and 1/2 demons, 5 zombies, 13 humans, one werewolf and one cyborg Doyle; 1 vamp Wes; 16 demons+5 vamps, 5 zombies, 4 humans, 2 cyborgs Kate; 3 vamps Faith; 18 vamps, 6 demons, 3 humans. Gunn; 11 vamps+ 15 demons, 5 zombies, 1 human. Groo; 1 demon Fred; 3 vamps+ 14 demons, 5 zombies Connor; 16 vamps, 5 zombies, 4 demons, Jasmine Spike; 21 vamps, 12 demons+1 human+one parasite

Fang Gang go evil: we almost think Angel does Cordy: 3 Angel: 3 Gunn; 1 Wes; 1

Alternate Fang Gang; Cordy: 4 Angel: 12 Fred; 3 Wes; 1 Gunn; 2 Connor; 1 Lorne; 1

Characters killed: 4 civilians plus Drogan 2269

Recurring characters killed; Drogan 13

Total number of Angel Investigations; 5, Illyria goes hunting with Spike, starting to become one of the gang Angel, Gunn, Lorne, Wes, Spike

Angel Investigations shot: Angel: 15 Wes; 2 Spike; 1

Packing heat; Wes confronts Angel with a shotgun but Angel takes it off him Wes; 14 Doyle; 1 Angel; 5 Gunn; 3 Fred; 5

Notches on the Scooby bedpost; Angel beds Nina, possibly the healthiest relationship he ever actually has? Cordy: 5 ?+Wilson/Hacksaw Beast+Phantom Dennis+Groo+Connor plus possibly the Beast Angel: 7; Buffy, Darla, The Transcending Furies, Eve, Nina Wes; 3 definite; Virginia, the bleached blonde and Lilah, 2 possible, Justine, Fred Gunn; 2 Fred and Gwen. Fred; 1 Gunn, 1 possible Wes Groo; 1Cordy Spike; 3-Buffy, Anya, Harmony

Kinky dinky: Nina rummages in her bedside drawer for her stake. She finds something similar in shape and size but declares 'That's not a stake'? (does it take batteries, perhaps?). She refers to Angel's Rome friend and worries he was thinking of her (another petite blonde with supernatural abilities). Angel has obviously rocked her world to judge by her remarks, she agrees with the Furies. Oddly she suggests that Angel makes love on the beach 'by himself'? Illyria states that she and Wes are no longer having intercourse which Spike misunderstands.

Captain Subtext; Spike empathises with Illyria and they develop quite a nice relationship so late in the day. Is the demonic female senator aiming to be president in 2008 a parody of Hilary Clinton? Angel refers to him and Spike being intimate once but he may be referring to the events of 'Just Rewards'. Spike refers to frat boys paddling each other's behinds to prove their manhood.

Know the face, different character; 7

Parking garages; 10,

Guantanamo Bay; Drogan tortures the demon assassin whilst Angel sacrifices him for the greater good. Angel says that Lorne was amoral in his running of Caritas, he has a point. The gang want to torture Lindsey again but don't have to.

Buffy characters on Angel; 17 Wetherby, Collins and Smith. Angel, Cordy, Oz, Spike, Buffy, Wes, Faith, Darla, Dru, The Master, Anne, Willow and Harmony. POSSIBLY The First Evil, Andrew.

Questions and observations; Stacey Travis who plays the Senator was in a great old low budget Brit sci-fi movie called Hardware along with a pre-Hamburger Hill/The Practice Dylan McDermmott. Did Marcus Hainsley install her in that body? Drogan is apparently over 1000 years old and linked to the Watcher's Council. According to the comics Nina does stay in LA for the apocalypse. Nina says that Angel is a bad liar but as events prove he's actually brilliant. Illyria wishes she was still in the Deeper Well. Marcus and Drogan are old acquaintances. Flashback to CC the last we'll see of her. Did you notice the Senator's election rival is Joss Whedon?

The Circle of the Black Thorn very Halloween 6. They're an obvious convenient story twist to give the series some closure in just a few eps but it's a fascinating invention. Do they represent the executive board of the WB? Does Marcus buy Angel's act or is he always suspicious?

Marks out of 10; 7/10

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