Angel/Carpe Noctem

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Carpe Noctem
Carpe Noctem
Season 3, Episode 4
Airdate October 15, 2001
Production Number 3ADH04
Written by Scott Murphy
Directed by James A. Contner
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AngelSeason Three

Carpe Noctem is the fourth episode of the third season of Angel, and the forty-eighth episode overall. Angel's body is taken over by a spell-casting old man and while he's trapped in a nursing home, the possessed Angel wrecks havoc.

Starring: David Boreanaz (Angel), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), Alexis Denisof (Wesley Wyndam-Pryce), J. August Richards (Charles Gunn), Amy Acker (Winifred "Fred" Burkle)

Guest Starring: Stephanie Romanov (Lilah Morgan), Daniel Dae Kim (Gavin Park), Rance Howard (Marcus), Paul Benjamin (Retirement Home Resident)

Co-Starring: Misty Louwagie (Christina), Marc Brett (Health Club Phil), Paul Logan (Woody), Lauren Reina (Escort #1), Magdalena Zielinska (Escort #2), Steven W. Bailey (Ryan)


Plot Overview

While investigating a string deaths, Angel happens upon an old man in a retirement home. Responsible for the deaths via body-swapping, Marcus takes possession of Angel’s body, leaving Angel trapped in his. While Angel tries to sneak out of the retirement home, the old man takes full advantage of the vampiric body he now has.


Monster of the Week

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

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Man Melted Hotel Room
2 Marcus Heart Attack Marcus' Room


Music is listed in order of appearance in the episode:

  • The Chemical Brothers - "Galaxy Bounce"

Arc Advancement


  • Wolfram & Hart: Lilah clears the Hyperion of all its codes violations in an attempt to stick it to Gavin. Gavin also mentions looking into Angel's history and whether or not he actually exists in a legal sense of the word.




The Show

  • Buffy Crossover: At the end of the episode, Angel finds out that Buffy is alive. Willow helped raise her from the dead, convinced that she was stuck in a hell dimension, in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer 6th season premiere.

Behind the Scenes

  • Ratings: On its first airing, this episode scored a 4.0/5 in the overnight Nielsen ratings. It was ranked 6th out of the 17 WB shows which aired that week.
  • Cut Subplot: Originally, there was a subplot with many more "Angel as Marcus" scenes in which Marcus' estranged daughter attempts to reconcile her relationship with her father, only for Angel to realize that she's better off without him. He basically tells her exactly that in this cut dialogue:
Angel: (as Marcus) ...You need a family and you'll make one, I know. I'm not a part of that. I don't wanna be.
(She starts to tear up and laugh a little at the same time.)
Angel: What?
Madeline: It's just, I've been trying so hard all these years to forget you and now you're saying...
Angel: You should.

Allusions and References

  • Charlton Heston Movies: Angel makes reference to two movies starring Charlton Heston. The first, Soylant Green, is about a man investigating a mysterious government food supply only to find out that it's made out of people. The second, The Omega Man, is a post-apocalyptic story about a man who survives the nuclear holocaust.
Angel: Charlton Heston. Double feature! At the Nu-art. "Soylent Green" and "The Omega Man!"
  • Pretty Woman: In Pretty Woman, Julia Roberts plays a prostitute with a "heart of gold." When Richard Gere pays her to escort him to several social events, he winds up falling in love with her. Cordelia's comment refers to the fact that no hooker looks like Julia Roberts.
Cordelia: If Julia Roberts ever makes a realistic movie about being an escort, I think it should be called pretty skanky woman.
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald: A running theme throughout F. Scott Fitzgerald's novels is the inordinately wealthy man who can buy anything he likes, but can't seem to deal with love and romance. In The Great Gatsby, the main character was in love with an unattainable woman, for instance.
Fred: It's like something out of Fitzgerald. The man who can have everything but love.

Memorable Moments


  • Angel: You may not know this, Fred, but certain friends and co-workers have been known to accuse me of being the quiet, stay at home, sulky one.
  • Fred: And even though he didn't talk a lot, it was still okay. It was comfortable. It wasn't that awkward kind of quiet. You know that awkward kind of quiet?
(awkward beat)
Wesley: No. That's never happened to me.
  • Cordelia: She's got the big puppy love. I mean, who wouldn't? You're handsome and brave and heroic, emotionally stunted, erratic, prone to turning evil, and let's face it, a eunuch.
Angel: Hey! How can you - I'm not a eunuch.
Cordelia: Angel, it's just a figure of speech.
Angel: Find a better one.
Cordelia: I just mean that sex is a no-no for you because of this whole "if you know perfect bliss you'll turn evil" curse. Really, no cure for that, is there, huh?
  • Angel: Talk with Fred?
Cordelia: Yes! Just keep it simple. One: you're not like other men. Two: there’s no room in the workplace for romance.
Angel: Romance with Fred. So I'm a... (looks down at his clothes) Obviously.
  • (Cordelia watches Angel eat a burrito)
Cordelia: Why are you eating?
Marcus: (as Angel) I'm hungry.
  • Wesley: I don’t believe it. On my desk?
Gunn: Well, it did used to be his. Maybe he was just kinda... reclaiming it.
Wesley: How? By marking it? This isn't like him.
Cordelia: What? This is totally like him. Doing the mystery dance with some cheap blonde?
Fred: Brunette. She was a cheap brunette.
Cordelia: You’re right. This isn’t like him.
  • Marcus: You - You don't deserve that body!
Angel: Funny. I was gonna say the same thing to you. I’ll tell you why you have a weak heart, Marcus. You never use it.