Angel/Conviction (1)

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Season 5, Episode 1
Airdate October 1, 2003
Production Number 5ADH01
Written by Joss Whedon
Directed by Joss Whedon
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Just Rewards (2)
AngelSeason Five

Conviction is the first episode of the fifth season of Angel, and the eighty-ninth episode overall. Angel and the others have their first day at Wolfram & Hart, forcing them to clash with current employees.

Starring: David Boreanaz (Angel), James Marsters (Spike), J. August Richards (Charles Gunn), Amy Acker (Winifred "Fred" Burkle), Andy Hallett (Lorne)

and Alexis Denisof (Wesley Wyndam-Pryce)

Guest Starring: Sarah Thompson (Eve), Mercedes McNab (Harmony Kendall), Jonathan Woodward (Knox), Dane Northcutt (Hauser), Jacqueline Hahn (Judge), Marc Vann (Doctor Sparrow), Michael Shamus Wiles (Spanky), Rod Rowland (Corbin Fries)

Co-Starring: Peter Breitmayer (Desmond Keel), TJ Thyne (Lawyer), Keli'i (Sam), Jordan Garrett (Matthew), Marissa Tait (Woman), Daniella Kuhn (Notary), Chris Eckles (Special Ops Guy), Susan Slome (Cindy Rabinowitz)


Plot Overview

Angel and co. begin getting used to their new environment. Angel finds there’s a moral line he must straddle due to Wolfram & Hart’s clientele. Their first troublesome case is a man who threatens to devastate L.A. if Wolfram & Hart can’t get him off.


Monster of the Week

There was no monster of the week in this episode.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Vampire Angel Staked Alley
2/3 Commandos Angel Snapped Neck Classroom
4 Hauser Angel/Himself Head blown off School Hallway


There is no licensed music in this episode.

Arc Advancement


  • Shanshu: Lilah once commented that it was prophesied that Wolfram & Hart would destroy Angel's connection to the Powers That Be. Technically, this happened because his connection is in a coma and he's now playing for the other team.
  • Someone recovered the amulet Spike used in the final battle of the Hellmouth, the one Angel gave to Buffy, from the ruins of Sunnydale and delivered it back to Angel at Wolfram & Hart.


  • Gunn: It appears that the black panther from the white room gave Gunn the idea to have a procedure done that would fill his brain with a comprehensive knowledge of the law, including case studies and precedents. This, effectively, makes him a very good lawyer, albeit one that isn't licensed.
  • Spike: Despite being burned up by using the amulet, it reconstructs him after being delivered to Wolfram & Hart.


  • 2x17 - Disharmony: When Harmony came to Los Angeles to see Cordelia, she attempted to join forces with Angel's crew. However, when they were tracking down a vampire cult, Harmony sold them out to gain a level in the cult. Although the heroes saved the day, Cordelia told Harmony to leave and never come back.
Harmony: I know she was mad at me for trying to kill you all.
  • 4x22 - Home: Gunn "spoke to the conduit" in the white room, where he was circled by a large black panther. Although no words were exchanged, the ambiguity of the situation was meant to give way to the realization that the cat was the little girl's replacement and something big was in store for Gunn.
Doctor: I understand you were in the white room. Spoke with the conduit himself.


The Show

  • First Appearance: This episode marks the first appearance of the recurring liaison to the firm, Eve. Also appearing for the first time in an expanded capacity is Harmony Kendall as Angel's secretary.

Behind the Scenes

  • Ratings: On its first airing, this episode scored a 3.4/5 in the overnight Nielsen ratings.
  • Billing Changes: With the departure of two major characters last season, this episode adds James Marsters to the main cast, an unexpected move considering that Spike was vaporized in the series finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • Paralysis: For most of the episode, Wesley is shot from his right side, with his left away from the camera. This is because during the majority of shooting, the left side of his face was mildly paralyzed.

Allusions and References

  • Punisher: The Punisher is a Marvel anti-hero created by Gerry Conway and John Romita Sr. in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man. After his family was gunned down by gangsters, Frank Castle donned the guise of the Punisher, a ruthless vigilante who dedicated himself to killing those who he sees as doing evil. At the time this episode aired, Punisher had a solo series written by Garth Ennis. It was aimed at older audiences, which would explain why the father wouldn't want his young son reading it.
Kid: They didn't have a lot. I got Punisher.
  • X-Men: The X-Men is a team of Marvel mutants created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the 1960s. The team remains one of Marvel's most profitable cornerstones and has spawned many titles outside of its core books. At the time this episode aired, there were five X-Men titles: New X-Men, Ultimate X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, X-Men: Unlimited and X-Treme X-Men. Incidentally, Joss Whedon started writing Astonishing X-Men a year later.
Matt: Do you have X-Men?
  • Joanie Loves Chachi: Due to the wild popularity of Happy Days, several spin-off series were created to jump on the bandwagon. One of these series, Joanie Loves Chachi, followed the lives of Joanie Cunningham and Chachi Arcola as they attempted to start their lives in the music business after moving to Chicago. The series lasted for one season on ABC before being reinserted into the main series.
Lorne: It's the project you've been waiting for. Yeah, it's "Joanie Loves Chachi" meets "The Sorrow and the Pity."
  • Mary Kate and Ashley: Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen are a pair of famous twin child actors who are most famous for their dual role of Michele from the family sitcom, Full House. Later, they would go on to star together in several children's movies. Many years later, they attempted to shed their images of being child stars with the movie New York Minute.
Lorne: But lunch with Mary-Kate... She was gonna tell me about Ashley's new piercing.
  • Towering Inferno: O.J. Simpson played the role of Harry Jernigan in The Towering Inferno, a disaster movie about a skyscraper that is caught on fire, forcing the residents in the higher floors to attempt to escape to a helicopter on the roof.
Lorne: Now the jury's looking at Fries like he's O.J... without the commanding performance in "Towering Inferno."
  • Pirates of Penzance: The Pirates of Penzance is a two-act comic opera by Gilbert & Sullivan about a man named Frederic, the apprentice to a group of orphan pirates. He falls in love with a women named Mabel, but is forced back into the life of piracy due to a loophole in his apprenticeship contract. The duo's most famous song, referred to as simply "Major-General's Song," comes from this play.
Gunn: You want me to sing for Lorne? I could give him a little "Pirates of Penzance." All of it, actually.

Memorable Moments


  • Woman: You did this for publicity?
Angel: No! I help... the helpless.
  • Wesley: Well, I'm still stuck back at, "Why on earth are we here?"
Fred: What, because we're crusaders against evil and now the law firm that represents most of the evil in the world has given us its L.A. branch to run however we want, probably in an attempt to corrupt, divide, or destroy us, and we all said yes in, like, 3 minutes?
Wesley: Your run-on sentences have got a lot less pointless.
Fred: That's so sweet! And a tad condescending.
  • Wesley: So, Knox, how long have you been, um... evil?
  • Wesley: Don't you think it's a bit unseemly adding "Y"s to the end of people's names?
Gunn: Does that mean I have to call you "Wessle"?
  • Wesley: Feng Shui.
Gunn: Right. What's that mean again?
Wesley: That people will believe anything.
  • Gunn: You lost, boss?
Angel: On a lot of levels. Did you hear what happened to me last night?
Gunn: You got lucky?
Angel: They put a tracer on me. I was working the town, helping the helpless, which is a thing I like to do and all of a sudden, the entire firm shows up in the alley.
  • Wesley: Still, pretty powerful position for a young woman.
Eve: How exactly can you be sure I'm either of those things?
  • Phone recording: To sacrifice a loved one or pet, press the pound key.
  • Angel: You're my secretary?
Harmony: Hello! Assistant!
Angel: Explain why I shouldn't kill you.
Harmony: "Secretary" is fine.
  • Harmony: Creatures of the night... unite?
  • Corbin Fries: I say the magic word, the only people left standin' are gonna be the ones that are already dead.
Harmony: That's a relief. I mean, hey!
  • Angel: He said "drop the bomb." We don't know what that means.
Wesley: We very nearly found out.
Angel: What? I'm not allowed to hit people?
Wesley: Not people capable of genocide.
Angel: Those are exactly the types of people I should be allowed to hit!
  • Spanky: I don't spank men. It's not a judgement; men have fine firm asses. If you've been to the website you'll know how much I work on mine.
  • Spanky: You know what I'm doing now? I'm applying pressure to your windpipe. You'll pass out. And then I'll let Mr Fries decide if he wants you to wake up again.
Angel: Do you know what I'm doing now? Not using my windpipe.
Spanky: Vampire.
Angel: Capital "V." And there's something else you should know about me. I have no problem spanking men.
  • Angel: That's not a name I want passing through your lips.
Eve: And what would you like passing through my lips?
Angel: News flash. You're not cute when I'm angry.
  • Wesley: Spike?
Angel: Spike.
Harmony: Blondie bear?