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Discussion of 5.21 "Power Play" - Aired 5/12/2004 (WB-US)


Mar 7, 2009
Drogyn arrives in L.A., badly wounded, to point the finger at his attacker. Wesley discovers a strange symbol in one of his books which turns out to be the mark for an evil, secret society. The circumstances of Fred's death come into question, and as Team Angel tries to figure out who is responsible they begin to fear that their leader has become corrupted by the power Wolfram & Hart have given him.
Source: TV.com

Discuss this episode here!


Bite Me
Jun 18, 2003
Black Thorn
I'm going to jump right to the end of this episode first. I think that Spike being the first to volunteer to join in the battle shows how much he's grown in this one season. In Buffy he, in my opinion, wasnt a true hero. He was always motivated by his feelings for Buffy. In Angel though his saving the world was purely selfless. Which I think is great for a characters development.

I really wanted to Illyria to kick that lawyers butt. Personally I think she'd be a lot stronger if she'd just stop feeling sorry for herself.

I really liked how this episode came together in the end. Its a great build up to the final episode. I just wish that they were have done this over more episodes so that they could have brought more characters into it.


Minuscule Redheaded One
Feb 8, 2011
Northern Minnesota
Well, the ep recap doesn't sound good, like maybe they think Angel killed Fred?! Also, learning lots in these eps about where things on BB got their names from...

-First thing we see is Angel vamping out?! If it turns out he was evil this whole time my head is going to blow up.
-Angel and Nina. Oh, my! No coherent thoughts. And he told Nina about Buffy. Hmm.
-Spike goading Illyria on. Heh. And telling her to go out.
-"He and I are no longer having intercourse." "What..the what, what?"
-Abandoned amusement park. Creepy.
-Angel calling dead people statistics? And small stuff? Odd...
-"Hey! You wanna go find something to hit?" Good for Spike to take Illyria out.
-Demon senators. I'm not surprised. :p
-Why is Angel being all crazy?!?!
-The books are talking to Wesley.
-Angel plays raquetball?
-Illyria talking about corrupted leaders. Eep. Interesting that Spike keeps defending him, though.
-Angel and Spike haven't been intimate...except that once?!
-Angel is going to murder one of them. Illyria gets straight to the point.
-It was Drogyn Angel bit? What on earth is going on here?
-And in cahoots with Hamilton, too. So...is this the start of how he goes all bonkers in the S8 comics?
-How far back do Angel and Drogyn go? That's never really explained. And is confronting Angel about all this right away that good of an idea?
-Illyria and Drogyn are going to play PlayStation? That oughta be a good time.
-I don't like mean Angel. :( "If I were Angelous half of you would already be dead. Just for the fun of it." Very true.
-Is he just turning into dark Angel from S2 times here or what? He doesn't think he can win, so he doesn't care? He gave upon Buffy so there's nothing? He's trying to fool the SP?
-Oh, hey, Lindsey's back!
-Angel is getting Nina and her family gone for the fight. So, he must care about something...
-So maybe Angel is trying to just push everyone away because he's afraid he'll be on the evil side of the apocalypse.
-"It is a task of some sort. You must collect those crystals. And fruit." That's just funny. And then Drogyn and Illyria having a serious, contemplative conversation.
-Um, was Eve infused with super strength as well, because I don't think Marcus should be able to do that.
-A secret society. Ooooo.
-"Now what if he's skipped too far down that evil brick road?" A scary thought.
-Many familiar faces in the Black Thorn...why do I have the feeling Angel is going to blow them all up or something?
-Yay, Angel has a plan!! And Cordelia helped! "...to make her death matter." Everyone loved Fred so much.
-"You need to decide - for yourselves - if that's worth dying for." Reminds me of Buffy's Chosen speeches. You can't beat the true Big Bad, but you can make their existence harder for at least a moment. The call to arms.
-But does Marcus know the truth?

I guess it's go time!


Jun 2, 2013
Nina offering to roleplay as a Slayer seems just as gross as when Harmony used to do it for Spike. :/
Harmony thinking Wes wanted a tattoo when he started drawing on the paper, lol!
Loved Illyria and Drogyn playing Crash Bandicoot!
Marcus is definitely more annoying than Eve! Don't get me wrong, I think he's a great antagonist, I just didn't think a character could get more annoying than Eve.
I liked the reference to the frat boys from "Reptile Boy" and the Trio when Lindsey brought up the secret society.
I didn't expect people we know to be in the secret society.. definitely makes them less intimidating based on the people that are involved in it.
I'm guessing that Marcus does know the truth, he just seems too smart. Nice cliffhanger though.


Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass.
Jun 9, 2013
This episode had me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end, from Angel's almost Angelus behavior right up to the Cordelia reveal which I feel like I should have seen coming, but it totally sucker punched me.

After Cordelia's absence went the entire season with little acknowledgement and the utter lack of weight her actual death had I really appreciate that her final act was made significant here. I'm wondering if she ended up on the other end of the vision hotline and was the one who transmitted the visions to Angel. It's a sensible theory if what I read is true that the comics reveal her to be serving (for real this time) as a higher power. The thought that in this way she was still very much an active member of the team is really clever and deeply meaningful.

If it's alright I'm going to go ahead and use this thread to give my analysis on the Illyria character as a whole. I wasn't as impressed by her as I was told to anticipate. The potential she had to be established as a developed character was ignored by her statis as an aimless 'woe is me' polterguiest (didn't we get enough of that with Spike?). For me, this caused her presence on screen to be merely a reminder that Fred's death was in vein because Illyria decided she had no reason to have returned. The significance, though false that Angel had given it (Fred's death) was somewhat a redemption of her destroyed soul for that reason.
Though I have to jump ahead of this episode here, I feel Illyria's finest moment was when she gave Wesley the comfort of a beautiful lie in his final moments.
Recently I read that had there been another season Whedon's intention was to have Illyria transform into Fred so often that it became an identity crisis. Now THAT is a unique and intriuging angle, I'd have liked to see that storyline.

In Buffy he, in my opinion, wasnt a true hero. He was always motivated by his feelings for Buffy. In Angel though his saving the world was purely selfless.
This is a mostly accurate statement, it seemed to me like AtS is where all the character growth was and Spike was not an exception, however, I would not call his motivation purely selfless. There was clearly some mere desire to take the glory from Angel driving him, that vibe was most prominently there when they beat each other to a bloody pulp over the fake destiny cup. Didn't he even point blank tell Angel at some point during that battle that he basically wanted the cup just so he couldn't have it?

Although I felt Spike's role in AtS brought nothing of substance to the storyline I enjoyed it quite a bit more than his role on BTVS. His character had more dimentions on AtS than on BTVS, his relationship with Fred was unique for him and attention grabbing and the humor was well done. Most of his exchanges with Angel did actually made me laugh out loud.

Give Us A Kiss

Fuffy Apologist
Feb 4, 2015
I liked Angel and Izzerial playing raquetball :)

Also liked Drog and Illyria trying to figure out how to play a video games.

Honestly, it seemed very 'Harmony' to me that she assumed Wes wanted a tattoo, she has always been a bit shallow :p


Jul 29, 2016
Just had a theory on what Spike could be referring to when he says that him and Angel have never been intimate "except that one time". What if either Spike or Angelus got very drunk one time and crawled into bed, thinking the person in it was either Drusilla or Darla respectively, then when getting a little handsy quickly realised their mistake which is why they never mention it at all to each other and act like such a thing never happened.

Give Us A Kiss

Fuffy Apologist
Feb 4, 2015
More beatings, ouch...

Angel fed on human blood :eek:

Angel and Nina are sleeping together :eek:

Angel making love to himself on a beach, isn't that breaking a few laws ??? o_O

Illyria never left the building :eek:

Hamilton, no exceptions...

Angel has a point, people die everyday all over...

Senator, being a female doesn't make you qualified...:mad:

Black Thorn:eek:

I don't like hearing too much talk about people's babies either...

Illyria's right, Angel has been corrupted...:(

Spike, please give details about that one time...

Drogyn :eek:

Harmony, why would Wes get a tattoo ??? o_O

Suicidal celebrities, there are bigger things to worry about...

So Angel killed Fred ??? :confused:

Illyria shouldn't watch people, she's too strong...

Angel has become very OOC lately...

Wes, Angel has changed, get over it...


Nina, they are for your entire family :)

Neither Drogyn or Illyria can hold a video game controller, sad.

Ouch :eek:

So Angel is in the elite now ??? o_O

Wes, how would you bring him back ??? o_O

Angel is officially part of the elite.

This Izzy demon looks like the late Chris Cornell if he were a demon...

What just happened ??? :confused:

It started when Cordy died :eek:

Random horrible world sums it up :p

Angel is a genius :)

Next time: Lots of fighting and death...pretty eventful.


"Why can't I stay"
Jul 31, 2018
Love that episode it is so tense, love the angel's speeches about power also funny line about Angel to deserve for his acting an Oscar or something else, it's one of my favorite episodes of S5.
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