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Season 3, Episode 11
Airdate January 14, 2002
Production Number 3ADH11
Writer(s) Mere Smith
Director(s) Michael Grossman
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AngelSeason Three

Birthday is the eleventh episode of the third season of Angel, and the fifty-fifth episode overall. Cordelia has an out-of-body experience when her vision knocks her into a coma.

Guest Stars: Andy Hallett (Lorne), Patrick Breen (Assistant), Max Baker (Hotel Desk Clerk), David Denman (Skip)

Co-Stars: Heather Weeks (Tammy), Aimee Garcia (Cynthia York)


Plot Overview


Monster of the Week

  • There is no monster of the week in this episode.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Demon Wesley Stabbed Cynthia's Home


Music is listed in order of appearance in the episode:

  • Marti Noxon - Baby Stay a While
  • First Come Music Library - Tears Down My Cheek

Arc Advancement


  • The Powers That Be: According to Skip, Cordelia was never meant to receive the visions. The Powers attempted to imbue a human with the sight before, but after a year a vision blew out the back of the girl's skull.


  • Cordelia: Cordelia is partially transformed into a demon in order to continue her life as normal, instead of her idealized life as an actress. Before this transformation, she was fated to be killed by the visions due to the severe neurological damage.


  • 3x02 - That Vision Thing: Skip is the same demon that Angel knocked unconscious when he was forced to rescue Billy Blim from his hellish jail cell. It appears that Skip has been reassigned after that mishap.
  • 1x09 - Hero: A clip from the final episode featuring Doyle is shown on the information booth's video screen. In the episode, Doyle sacrificed himself to save the lives of some refugee demons and passed on his gift of the sight to Cordelia in a kiss.
Skip: This is where it happened, big cosmic whoops. Doyle was never meant to give you those visions.
  • 1x01 - City Of: Skip recounts what happened in the first episode when Cordelia met Angel at the Hollywood party.
Skip: You'd been in LA for a few months, things had been kind of lean, and who should you run into?
  • 1x08 - I Will Remember You: The Powers That Be don't like to turn back time, but they have been known to do it occasionally. Angel asked them to turn back time so that he would not become mortal through contact with a regenerative demon.
Cordelia: They can do that? They can turn back time?
Skip: They don't go for that much.
  • 1x10 - Parting Gifts: Wesley mentions that his arm was torn off by a run-in with a Kungai demon. The Kungai was what Wesley was hunting in his first appearance on the series. It appears that without Angel's help, things would have taken a turn for the worst.
Wesley: Ah, Kungai demon a couple of years ago.
Cordelia: …humiliating kiss where he drooled all over my chin? Yeah.


The Show

  • Déjà Vu: What is it with Cordelia and these bleak alternate realities? In BtVS - 3x09 - The Wish she wished that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale and when this was granted, the town was transformed into a horrible version of itself, ruled by vampires, their opponents a mere shadow of their proper selves. In that alternate reality Angel had also been reduced to a helpless failure.

Behind the Scenes

  • Ratings: On its first airing, this episode scored a 3.6/5 in the overnight Nielsen ratings. It was ranked 6th out of the 18 WB shows which aired that week.
  • Filming Location: Cordelia's alternate reality sitcom, Cordy!, was shot on the set of Dharma & Greg.
  • Theme Song: The theme to Cordy! was written by David Greenwalt and sung by executive producer Marti Noxon.
  • Deleted Scene: On the DVD set for this season, there is a deleted scene from Cordelia's sitcom. The scene was removed both because of time and because the scene made Cordelia's alternate life seem like too much of a joke.

Allusions and References

  • The Matrix: The Matrix is a trilogy of films starring Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne about a dystopic reality where machines harvest humans for energy. These humans exist in a virtual reality world while their energy is siphoned, which is called "The Matrix." Many of the movie's themes deal with whether or not what we perceive to be true is really true at all. The scene which Skip refers to occurs towards the end of the movie, where Neo (Reeves) is dodging bullets shot by an agent of the machines. He is grazed by a shot but before the agent can move in for the kill, Trinity shoots him point blank in the head.
Skip: Actually, this is more a construct of a mall. You know, like in the Matrix.
  • Gladiator: Gladiator is a Ridley Scott movie starring Russell Crowe as a Roman general who is forced to become a gladiator in the Colosseum after being targeted by the new emperor. The movie was both praised for its style and criticized for its abundant historical inaccuracies.
Skip: I respect what you're trying to do. It's noble and heroic, and all that other Russell Crowe 'Gladiator' crap.

Memorable Moments



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