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Discussion of 5.10 "Soul Purpose" - Aired 1/21/2004 (WB-US)


Mar 7, 2009
A mysterious stranger approaches Spike claiming responsibility for recorporealizing him in a mission to guide Spike in supplanting Angel as the new vampire champion. Meanwhile, Angel is racked by intense fever dreams and hallucinations of his worst fears intensifying his worries that he will lose authority to Spike.

Source: TV.com

Discuss this episode here!


Bite Me
Jun 18, 2003
Black Thorn
Did anyone else think that those monster things looked a little like those things from BtVS season 2 episode Bad Eggs? I'm not sure how I feel about this episode. Its all very surreal, which I'm sure was the point because it was an episode focusing on dreams. I liked that ''Buffy'' is in it, even if it is only her voice, and even if she is having sex with Spike!!

I've watched the commentary by David Boreanaz, Brent Fletcher and Christian Kane.

This was David's first time directing. David talks a lot about camera angles/movements, steady shots and lighting and how many times they had to shoot certain takes eg the Spike and Angel opening shot took 4 takes. He goes on to say how he wanted the camera angles to reflect the tone of the episode and bring the audience along for the ride the same way Angel was; like was this part of the dream or not and how much tension is between Lindsey and Spike. The episode was 10 minutes over so they had to cut scenes, there was a longer shot of the striper dancing in the strip club, Spike and Lindsey talk for longer the first time they meet.

The opening shot is meant to lead the audience into thinking that its a follow on from episode 8 and we're meant to be surprised when Angel wakes up and you find it was a dream.

In the scripts and for a short time during shooting Christian was being reffered to as Shaun and some of the extra's leaked the information saying Christian was back but as a different character. Then Joss changed it to Doyle.

There are very few shots of Angel walking around because David had recently had a knee operation. This is the first time Christian and James had worked together and they really enjoyed it. A few of their scenes were cut, there's one after Spike stakes those 2 vampires the same way Angel did in Season 1, where Spike asks Lindsey to go for a drink with him.

Christian talks about filming with David in season 1 and 2 and he says that when the two of them had a scene together if the camera was on them they were deadly serious but when the camera was pointing towards the other actor they were laughing so hard you can sometimes see their shoulders shaking.

The scene were Fred is taking things out of Angel's stomach was just a whaky dream sequence, there's no real hidden metaphor.

The majority of furniture in Spike's new apartment was from Angel's apartment in season 1.

The big parasite cost $80,000. They only used it twice due to the cost. They had a ''stunt'' one that they used more.


Minuscule Redheaded One
Feb 8, 2011
Northern Minnesota
This is going to be another episode that Spike ticks me off in, I can already tell. Alright, here we go...

-Does anyone else feel like Spike shouldn't have beaten Angel in a fight?
-Lindsey and Spike, eh? Huh. And, ugh.
-So why was Lindsey hanging out in Sunnydale to be able to retrieve the amulet?
-"Well, in my plan he still wakes up dead by Thursday!" Sounds like a plan.
-He's lying, Spike. Eat him. Lindsey should be smacked up just for pretending to be Doyle. :(
-"Well, get a cab, you moron." Thank you Spike, for telling the idiot women dressing trashy and dark alleys off! Heh.
-I feel so bad for Angel. :( He's trying hard to play the hand he's been given and play in on the right side, but it gets harder and harder to juggle.
-More than a little creepy seeing Wesley stake Angel.
-Spike getting his tussle on. Angel-style, even.
-Oh, what are Eve and Lindsey up to..? My guess is to just ruin Angel's life as much as possible.
-This scene with Fred operating on Angel is hilarious. His faces. Her reaction to finding things. His soul is a dead goldfish?? Hahaha.
-Billy Idol is a vigilante! Hahahaha
-Another basement. Heh.
-Aww, sad!! Worse. Nightmare. Ever. Wake up to a guy you hate doing the girl you love in your bed. Icky. And The Prom references. Meh. That just all made me very sad.
-WHat the frak is that thing?! Bad Egg's cousin??
-Everyone listening to Spike's heart beating. Love the overblown cheesiness.
-But now Angel is Ocho Cinco. :(
-I don't get how trying to get Spike to work with the Fang Gang is hedging their bets. Buffy wanted him on her team because he's a fighter. Why wouldn't the new W&H want him to fight evil? Odd.
-"Act like we care? Great idea!" Harmony is still learning about being nice. :)
-Someone should go check on Angel. Jeepers.
-Lorne is very creepy with the mustache.
-Eeewww, bigger creepy crawly thing!
-Ooo, the gang is onto Eve. Excellent.
-I'm a little confused about the plan to have Spike save Angel, but ok...

Not a bad ep, just not seeing the point of the plot yet.

Give Us A Kiss

Fuffy Apologist
Feb 4, 2015
Poor Angel :(

So Spike is a higher being now ??? o_O

Angel should sleep in his own bed...

Lindsay :eek:

Spike, that's Lindsay...

Spike, Lindsay is not a butch lesbian...:rolleyes:

Wes, Gunn, explain...

Why was Spike brought back anyways ??? o_O

So TPTB are back ??? o_O

Spike, not the place...:mad:

Does women=Buffy ??? o_O

Angel isn't himself these days...

It's not as bad as that one time where Angel was sleeping all day because Darla was controlling his mind...

Harmony, talk to them...

Eve... :rolleyes:

Fred... :mad:

Fred seems to be enjoying this...

His heart is so small :eek:

Angel ate a license plate :eek:

Bear ??? o_O

Sounds like Spike to me...

Spike has his own place, or not...

Spike, say yes...

Spuffy :eek:

Angel is barefoot :eek:

Angel is very much out of the loop of things...

It's a parasite :eek:

This is not the world I want to see, too happy...

Spike has his own place :D

Spike, come back...

Lindsay, Eve, stop... :mad:

Fred has a point, time to check on Angel...

Angel has defeated the parasite :D

You can do it Angel...:D

Lindsay :eek:

Must be a vision...

Angel can't let freedom ring...

Banshee :eek:

Angel is catching on...

Eve, he knows...

Next time: Andrew comes to town.


"Hi honey, I'm home"
Staff member
Jul 31, 2018
Nice foreshadowing to what's to come to Fred in AHITW, "It's just a shell" and the scene when she looks at through the empty hole in the Angel's stomach makes me think about Spike's speech and the hole in the world title of AHITW.


Jul 8, 2020
Loved this episode. Surreal and at times hilarious. The darkness of Angel (the series) in many episodes needs to be offset by offbeat and eccentric comedy. Up there as one of my favourite AtS episodes. Thought David as director did a great job too!
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Stake fodder

Feb 6, 2021
Caught on a root
I loved all the symbolism of this episode, and yet it confused me somewhat. Angel certainly feels he is losing himself working at W&H, and all the dreams are metaphors for different things being taken from him: his heroism, his destiny/prophecy, Buffy, and even his motto of "helping the helpless." I can see why Spike might be present as a personification of Angel's loss of meaning (and Buffy), and yet W&H is the real villain of Angel's loss of self. There hasn't been a theme of Angel feeling that Spike is becoming what he himself once was, until this episode. I thought it might have worked better therefore to have Spike's new heroism in a previous episode. However, there's a good meta-theme, too, of how Spike is kind of taking over Angel's show, if the writers meant that.

I also would have liked a little background for Lindsey. Last we saw him, he was leaving because he didn't want to be evil, but otherwise had no grudge against W&H, and seemed to have settled things with Angel. Now he's scheming against both of them. Lindsey's choice of Doyle as a pseudonym is risky, as Spike may have heard of the original Doyle, or he might have mentioned him to one of Angel's group.

Meanwhile, we see how much Spike cannot replace Angel. He can "help the helpless" and use the switchblade stakes, but he seems rather bored and cranky with it all. It's also a mystery how Lindsey knows so much about Spike and what his motivations are. Even Eve would not have that much information. But it was a good twist to have Spike truly save Angel in the end, which was also a twist of the knife in Angel's psyche to have to be saved by Spike, so it shows his issues are not solved just by removal of the parasite.

Two quibbles: one, who notices earrings? If they wanted Eve's earrings to be a giveaway, they should have been flashier. Two, twice now the Cup of Torment has been drunk from, and yet it never has liquid in it when it falls!
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