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Discussion of 4.15 "Orpheus" - Aired 3/19/2003 (WB-US)


Mar 7, 2009
Faith has tricked Angelus into feeding on her, thus imbibing a powerful narcotic along with her blood. Now both of them lay near death, observing the turmoil that is Angel's conscience as they fight against the mystical drug. Meanwhile, the gang brings an old friend from Sunnydale to help with the search for Angel's lost soul.

Source: TV.com

Discuss this episode here!


Jul 29, 2010
I am surprised there are no comments. This was to me truly the high point of Season 4, and one of the highlights of the Series. The internal battle between Angelus and Angel, with Faith along the rise, was epic. I also found the secret war between Willow and evil Cordie quite humorous.


Bite Me
Jun 18, 2003
Black Thorn
I'd like to think that if this hadnt been a set up Faith wouldnt have just let Angelus bite her, she would have put up more of a fight. Seeing how concerned Connor was over Faith makes me wish he'd met Buffy. That would have been interesting to watch. Also now Faith and Buffy have matching Angel bite marks :)

Cordy knows just the right buttons to press were Connor is concerned. Its a shame. I love the flash back scenes with Faith and Angelus watching over Angel. Angelus' reaction to Angel saving a puppy was hillarious. Willow showing up was perfect. The way she interacts with everyone is so refreshing, especially with Wes. Lorne looking after Faith was touching as well.

Cordy vs Willow was intense, seeing Dark Willow kick some evil butt was so good. I loved the fight scenes between Angel/Angelus/Faith and Faith/Connor. I also loved the good bye scenes, Willow and Angel's was my favorite, mainly because she hugged him.

I've listened to the commentary by Terrence O'Hara and Jeffrey Bell.

Alexis had a bad back, so carrying Eliza was difficult so they tried to do as few takes as possible. The scenes cut between the gentle treatment of Faith and the rough treatment of Angelus.

The previous scene with Connor and Cordy had Cordy being all sweet and nice, this scene was her being mean and manipulative and it was a way of keeping Connor unbalanced. It showed Connor never truely getting a break and they hoped that the audience would feel sympathetic towards him, even when he makes his wrong choices.

Alyson was not only filming Buffy at this time but she was also filming American Pie 3, so they only had her for 2 days because she was working 7 days a week. Alexis and Alyson are engaged at this time. They played it that Willow had a crush on Fred and Wes is oblivious to it. There was a scene before Willow meets Cordy that was cut of Angel and Faith in a 50's flashback.

The gun man is Eliza's brother Nate. Alyson hates latin.

Connor had a crush on Faith, he related to her strength and uniqueness.

They wanted to establish that Angel couldnt stand being around people, he'd seperated himself from them due to the temptation, which is similar to the theming of Faith were she just wants to quit and be done with it.

The Angel vs Angelus has been something they wanted to do for the past 4 years.

On the first day of shooting Eliza had laryngitis and couldnt speak.


Minuscule Redheaded One
Feb 8, 2011
Northern Minnesota
Alright, I'm curious to see how Willow plays into this. Love getting the insight of the crossover eps! I feel more enlightened...and I want to know what evil Cordelia is up to.

-So, Angelus, how did you like that Slayer blood? Like I said, Slayers are trained to fight with more than just their bodies.
-Gotta love Faith. Still sassy even on the brink of passing out. :)
-"Angelus is in the hotel?! Oh, maybe we already knew that."
-Connor is really concerned about Faith. Hmmm.
-Sloooowww mooooo draaammmmaaaa
-Now, hopefully they hide the cage keys a little better this time.
-So, what exactly did Faith shoot herself up with?? And are her and Angelus in some sort of weird coma-existence together?
-Ok, Cordelia is acting completely off her rocker and Connor isn't even noticing this? Hel-LO?! Maybe he'll start thinking after noticing she can do violence even though she's not a demon. And wow, jealous of Faith much? Leftover from Xander feelings, maybe? ;)
-Mystical opiates. Oh, good.
-Interesting to see how/when Angel made it to America. And they ARE in a weird coma existence! Similar to the Buffy/Faith one? Hmmm.
-"Learned that in murder rehab." Hahahahaha.
-I enjoy the Faith/Angelus banter. It's like Angel/Lilah in reverse.
-Awwww, puppy saving!!
-Willow to the reeeesssccccuuuueee!!! I hope she give Connor a verbal beat down, too. I bet Cordelia is going to be super happy about this turn of events.
-LOVE the geeking out of Fred and Willow together! It's like old Willow is back!
-So...super witch Willow didn't notice Cordelia's aura or whatever was off?
-Love that Willow is so excited to get Angel back. :D
-Lorne is so tender with Faith. *warm fuzzies*
-Angel in the 70's. Not attractive. MANDY!!!!!!!
-"I love this episode. What is that buzzing?" I do find Angelus amusing.
-Willow and Wesley bonding. Nice to see. Makes me miss the good ol' days.
-I wonder if Willow will fill Wes in on the Big Bad in Sunnydale?
-Ooo, Willow and Cordy battle. I hope Willow wins big.
-Uh-oh, back through life of Faith...
-Flashbacks talk back now? Eep!
-Ooo, nice inadvertent move, Connor. You finally did something useful!
-Are we gonna see an Angel/Angelus battle?!?!? Be still my heart...
-So. Souled Spike had his revelation and now it's Angel's turn.
-Aaaand Connor gets duped by Cordelia again.
-Yes, Fred, their relationship is extremely icky.
-Ok, Cordelia telling Connor to kill Angelus should tip him off since she's all pro-Angel every other day.
-Angel pep talk to Faith! Love those!
-Well, I'm glad Connor got his butt kicked by someone anyway. Makes my life a little happier.
-"Like I did mushrooms and got eaten by a bear." Swell.
-OH, my gosh, Willow thought Fred was hitting on her?! HAHAHAHAHA. Ok, done.
-Glad she mentioned Buffy. And I love the "Next time you guys decide to resurrect Angelus, call me first, ok?"
-I'm guessing Cordelia is going to reveal her evilness now? And what on earth is she wearing?

That. Was an excellent. Episode. WIN!
yay! was so looking forward to you seeing this one!!
I liked so much of this post. Yet more Angel-episode-analysis karma

Ethan Reigns

Oct 14, 2012
The chemistry between Alexis and Alison was interesting because they had just gotten married to each other in real life.
I think they were engaged, actually, but yes, fun to see how they worked together!


Jun 27, 2003
Alyson hates latin.
I noticed Alyson pronounced some of the words of the restoration spell differently than she did in s2 of Buffy. Did anyone else notice this?


Member of the Church Of Faith
Dec 23, 2013
The Moot, England
Ah, the high point of Season 4- Willow acting like Willow, Faith being a wise-ass and a badass, one of my favourite Angel eps ever!

Highlights include-

- Pretty much every scene between Angelus/Faith.
-Lorne being tender with Faith. Aww...:)
-Willow and Wesley interactions. :D
-Angel/Angelus fight- cool!
-Faith bringing the smackdown to Connor, this boy needs to get his ass effortlessly kicked more often.
-The goodbyes. Faith/Angel, Faith/Wesley/Angel, Willow/Angel, Willow/Fred, all judged perfectly.
-'Like I did mushrooms and then got got eaten by a bear.' :)
This is such a great post and sums up the ep so well!


modulating between criticism and reconstruction
Feb 18, 2014
Denver, Colorado
-The Wesley and Willow interaction was great. Their natural chemistry (being engaged when they filmed this episode) compliments the friendship they are trying to convey.

-Willow demonstrates how valuable she could be, even without magic. Sure, her magic fight with Cordy attracts all of the attention, but her quick analysis of the problem when she arrived and the speed with which she identified the solution (resolving in moments what Wesley's research couldn't achieve in days of effort) caught my attention right away. Sometimes it gets lost how valuable a researcher as well as a magician Willow can be, but this episode was a great reminder of how useful she actually is.

-Faith and Angelus interractions were terrific. The set-up of them being in hell of sorts was a great way to arrange the dynamic and conversation between the two, as well as the fact that for the majority of the time they couldn't hurt each other. All of this resulted in them being able to just talk candidly and react to each other candidly in a way that they usually cannot. The fighting and the deceiving and the jockeying with each other always establishes the nature of their conversation and interaction in every other meeting between Angelus and Faith in the Buffy-verse. This shared dream in hell allowed them to come at each other from an unusual and completely different angle.

-Now Faith is coming to Sunnydale. Great! And these crossovers in Season 4 of Angel/Season 7 of Buffy have so far been fewer but more significant than in other seasons. There is a real feeling that the world of Angel and Buffy exist together, in a way no other season established as well, not just because the evil threats are so grave but because the crossovers so far have been very significant and meaningful (Willow on Angel, Faith on Angel and now Buffy).

-Faith easily kicking Connor's butt was a great moment. What is it about Connor that just makes us love seeing him get put in his place so soundly? I don't even dislike him (in fact, I kind of like him as a character and the things he contributes to the character interaction and story) but even a small fan of Connor like me can't deny that watching him get beat up soundly just felt...good! Maybe it's because I think it is for his own good that he gets that treatment every once in awhile...

-Oh God, Fred swings both ways too? She didn't deny Willow's observation that Fred was hitting on her/liked her. So I guess maybe Fred found Willow attractive beyond a friendship kind of way. What is it with Buffy-verse women? There are more bi and lesbian women on this show than any comparable sample size from real life, at least from my life. I guess it seems like the writers and Joss were kind of over-zealous in hammering home the bi/gay thing. But anyway, it's not offensive to me or anything, I'm just making an observation.

-And Willow would turn down Fred for that brash child upstart Kennedy? I certainly wouldn't have if I had been Willow.


Jan 18, 2014
I loved the entire episode. Everything was so refreshing about it! Wesley and Willow, Lorne caring for Faith, Faith getting to see how Angelus has to sit there dormantly while Angel lives on rats---he really hit a low point, and it's nice to see the writers play that up by showing the different perspectives of how Angelus felt during those flashbacks. Also, it's comical as hell to see him yelling at Angel like a 6 year old :p
[No message]

Fuffy Baith

2017 (and 2016) Cutest BB member
Mar 14, 2014
This might be my favorite episode of Angel and yet it has very little Angel in it. But I agree with what every one has said. Willow is great, Faith is awesome, kicking Connors ass, the shared mind aspect, it's all just great, no bad moments.
Oh God, Fred swings both ways too? She didn't deny Willow's observation that Fred was hitting on her/liked her. So I guess maybe Fred found Willow attractive beyond a friendship kind of way.
I didn't see it like that. I think Fred is a bit naive and just thought Willow was being friendly. She looked kind of confused when Willow said she was seeing someone. Like "Oh, ok. What's that have to do with anything?". But I would totally ship Willow and Fred over Kennedy.
Willow and Fred rock!
Fred's an universal shipmate she's got chemistry with everyone. I'm glad they didn't put her with Angel though but it would be clichéd.


Jun 2, 2013
Have none of the others thought to check on Cordy or see what her wounds are like? It's so obvious that something's up with her. I'd heard people complain about Cordy in S4 and I can understand why- it was a bad move making her play a villain role.
I loved Willow's appearance in this! I wish she could've been in more Angel episodes- she really suits the show format and she gels well with Fred especially.
Kinda sad and scary that Angelus is never truly gone, just dormant. He's always conscious even when Angel has a soul.


Oct 17, 2015
Black Thorn
This might be my favorite episode of Angel and yet it has very little Angel in it.
However the literal separation of Angel and Angelus as if they are different things inside the same body seems like a retcon to me.
Same in A&F S9. This is the part I dislike the most. If Angel and Angelus are really separate identities, then Angel's guilt would be more artificial and less necessary. Angelus kidnapped your body to do evil and why are you responsible for all of that?

I didn't see it like that. I think Fred is a bit naive and just thought Willow was being friendly. She looked kind of confused when Willow said she was seeing someone. Like "Oh, ok. What's that have to do with anything?". But I would totally ship Willow and Fred over Kennedy.
Yeah. The writers hate Kennedy as well. They wouldn't make Willow flirting with Fred if Oz/Tara was still there. But Kennedy... the hell with her.

Out for a walk

5 Words Or Less...
Jun 1, 2017
-Willow! I knew they would need her.

-Angel...you and your Mandy song. I wonder if they ever made a joke on Bones and had him listen to Mandy on there. Lol

-I love seeing Alyson and Alexis on the show together. They seem like they have a great relationship in real life. I would ship Dark Willow and Dark Wes.

-Cordy has had those white eyes before. Remember when she lost her vision at the high school...the cheerleading episode right?

-I love Lorne comforting Faith..he is always there for everyone.

-Yay Faith...kick Connor's butt. He needs to be knocked upside the head a few more times.

-Haha Willow thinking that Fred is hitting on her. Fred is so much better than Kennedy. Ugh she was annoying. But honestly...can Willow stay?

Carrie Hopewell

Little girl lost in the woods
Jun 5, 2016
Lisbon, Portugal
So, Orpheus, that episode in which Willow is actually a badass instead of the scared sidekick she’s in Buffy. And Orpheus, the episode in which the Fangel BROTP (or ship for some) is particularly strong. Orpheus, the drug that takes down Angelus and Faith..

I’ll start right away with the negatives and say that Cordelia is the worst part of this episode (and season 4 in general). However, even she’s written with a bit more humor that usual (”I bit my tongue.”).

On to the good stuff! This episode can be split up in two.

There’s the outside world stuff: Willow being absolutely amazing, Willow and Wesley connecting, Willow and Fred sort of flirting, Lorne being a sweetheart with Faith, Connor being concerned with Faith, Connor trying to kill Angelus, Cordelia telling Connor about their baby while a chilling piece plays in the background, Angel and Faith thanking each other and almost hugging (they really, really wanted to, but it would hurt their imagine).

Then, there’s the best part, that goes on inside Angelus and Faith’s minds, which are connected. Orpheus is one of the best Angel centric episodes of the series even if Angel is mostly absent. We see Angel come to the USA for the first time, rescue a puppy, listen to Barry Manilow with a particularly bad haircut, drink from a man, retreat into an alley for 20 years with another terrible haircut… And we learned all of this while listening to Faith and Angelus’ hilarious and informative commentary. (”Then, I’m whatever… dust in the wind. Candle in the wind. There’ll be a general wind theme.”, ”Dude! You rescued a puppy!”, “Mandy, huh? Must kill you he’s got a jones for the power-ballads.”, “Angel, it’s good to see you. Hate the hair.”). Have I mentioned I love Faith?

Angelus takes pride in being inside Angel’s head, forcing him to drink. This episode implies that Angelus exists inside Angel. I, however, disagree, and interpret this episode as Angelus being forced to live through memories of Angel’s humanity and the feelings associate with them because Angelus and Angel shares minds and know what each feels and thinks.

It is my opinion that Angelus doesn’t exist inside Angel. Angelus is created when the demon possesses Liam’s body and mind and rules it in the absence of the soul. Angelus is created by the demon’s essence which creates a new persona based on Liam/Angelus/Angel’s memories, feelings, personality, etc. Angel is created when the soul rules the body and mind, and the demon (which isn’t Angelus) takes the backseat. Angelus is a different person from Angel so they don’t inhabit the same body. After all, if Angelus is the lack of soul, then how can Angelus exist within in an ensouled being (Angel)? Doesn’t make sense. What Angelus, the pure demon, is taking credit for, is how the demon’s bloodlust (present in Angel and Angelus) influences and torments Angel.

So, to me, it doesn’t make much sense when Angelus and Angel fight each other. Are we to believe that part of Angel is being controlled by the soul and part isn’t because the soul isn’t yet completely inside the body (Willow was still battling Cordelia.)? I guess I can believe that? In Becoming, Angel didn’t get a soul instantly…

I enjoyed seeing Faith lose hope and nearly give up. She was in a similar state in Five by Five except this time she wants to acquit herself by dying for Angel. However, as Angel tells her: “Our time is never up, Faith. We pay for everything.”.

Also, before you ask, I love Connor so seeing him be beat down by Faith wasn’t the best part of the episode! However, I did like how Faith shrugged Connor’s actions off easily. (”All right. I get it. I messed up.”/”Hey, cheer up, punk. That just makes you one of us.”).

So, 9/10? Or perhaps 8.5/10 because of Cordelia?

Give Us A Kiss

Fuffy Apologist
Feb 4, 2015
Faith :eek:

No, she's not alright... :(

That must have been painful...:eek:

Lorne, he's in a coma...

Wes looks like a wounded superhero in the slow motion scene :)

Faith gets good care while Angelus is in chains... I don't blame them...

It's not Wesley's fault :mad:

Can someone check on Cordy please ??? o_O

Orpheus ??? o_O

Lots and lots of immigrants, I wonder how many of them are illegal...

Faith, it was the old age where people didn't bathe too often and didn't have deodorant...

Angelus, you can't stop this...

Faith gets all happy about Angel saving a puppy, I remember that she wanted a dog growing up...

Willow :eek:

Why couldn't Fred and Willow have more scenes throughout the Buffyverse ??? :(

Cordy :mad:

Cordy, Willow can't be killed :p

Angel has a thing for Barry Manilow...

Angelus, you can't stop it...

Fetal pigs ??? o_O

Willow and Wes have both been in that place...

Angel :mad:

Angels, hell is not exactly public domain...

Poor Willow :(

That drug does things to people...

Angelus, your friends in higher places can't helped you...

Cordy :mad:

True Hollywood sob story, starring Angel :p

Fred, it is icky...

So Faith can wake up on command ??? o_O

Ouch :eek:

Busted :p

Hugging doesn't suit Fangel...:p

Good thing Willow kept this a secret from Buffy...

What did she give birth to ??? :eek:

Next time: Gwen's last appearance.


Feb 24, 2018
On rewatches, I think that Willow's magical fight with Cordelia is kind of lame. Most of it due to the fact that they are separated from each other, basically just making gestures into empty spaces. I guess, it was a necessity due to Charisma's pregnancy and lightened work load as well as scheduling issues with Alyson's guest appearance. I mean, it also makes sense storywise, since Cordy is not an out and proud evil yet, but their showdown is still kind of lame.

Also, I wish Cordelia wasn't possessed in the episode, since we've had no Scoobie interaction since season one of Angel. It would have been really cool to have these characters share a moment based on their Sunnydale history and acknowledge how much things have changed, but instead the scene between Cordy and Willow is only plot-driven and there is not a character moment between these former Frenemies.


Dec 15, 2018
Ahh, Orpheus. I rather liked this episode when I got round to first watching it.

However, looking back with the series overall - it does seem to look like an attempt to get more viewers with the chance of "NOT only do we have FAITH, but we have WILLOW in this episode!", but hey ho... they'd already brought Angelus back with the chance that the show would become different because now the star was 'going' to perhaps become the Big Bad of Season 4 like he did with Buffy S2 - [in hindsight, that might have probably been a better plot for the last half of the season instead of using Cordy.].

Also weird to see that the Cordy is evil reveal ending was cut off by The WB.

Mr Trick

Jan 9, 2015
London, UK
Ah the irony that maybe my favourite episode in all of Angel is in one of my least favourite seasons. This was like a breath of fresh air to liven the show up. Even the Cordy-Connor bollocks was better in this episode (because it actually worked with the rest of the plot rather than distracting from it). Willow's appearance was great and fitted into the Angel the show very nicely. Her remark to Fred before leaving was the only thing I wasn't so keen on.
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