Angel/I've Got You Under My Skin
I've Got You Under My Skin is the fourteenth episode of the first season of Angel. Angel discovers a demon possessing a boy and must attempt to remove the demon without harming its host.
Cordelia’s vision leads Angel to help a family who are sheltering a dark secret. Unbeknown to them, the source that’s caused them problems is that a demon has possessed their son. A demon so dangerous that the exorcists rarely survive, and further causes problems on Angel and Wesley by digging into their fears.
Monster of the Week
- Ethros Demon: The demon that inhabits the body of Ryan is an Ethros demon. Ethros demons possess a human host and excrete plakticine, a bright yellow goo. The demon has a penchant for mass murder, it once possessed Lizzie Bordon and forced her to kill her parents with an axe. The demon can only be removed through an exorcism. After the demon is removed, it is sent into a chaotic state where it attempts to possess the nearest human. To prevent this, an Ethros box is required, which the demon is drawn to. Alternatively, the demon, given the proper resources, can take corporeal form. The effects of the demon on the inhabited host are much like what happens with Pazuzu in The Exorcist, particularly the body disfiguration, the unnaturally deep voice and the telepathic abilities.
There is no licensed music in this episode.
- Wesley: Wesley apparently has a turmulous relationship with his father. This is evident in his line, "A father doesn't have to be possessed to terrorize his children." Additionally, the demon taunts Wesley, saying that he was never good enough for his father and also mentions something about being locked beneath the stairs. This is not expanded upon in the episode, but gives a brief glimpse into Wesley's past.
- 1x09 - Hero: Doyle gave his life to save the lives of a group of refugee Lister demons from the Scourge. One of his last lines ("The good fight, yeah?") is heard in the episode.
Behind the Scenes
- Ratings: On its first airing, this episode scored a 5.9/9 in the overnight Nielsen ratings. It was ranked 2nd out of the 15 WB shows which aired that week.
Allusions and References
- Lizzie Borden: Lizzie Borden was tried for the murder of her father and stepmother in the late 19th century in Fall River, Massachusetts. Despite the evidence proving her guilt, theatrics in the court room garnered enough sympathy to gain an acquittal. The rhyme that Cordelia refers to is: Lizzie Borden took an axe / And gave her mother forty whacks. / When she saw what she had done / She gave her father forty-one.
- Wesley: You've heard of Lizzie Borden? She killed her parents with an axe?
- The Exorcist: Many of the events in the episode parallel concepts used in The Exorcist, a 1973 horror movie starring Max von Sydow and Linda Blair. This includes the appearance and mannerisms of Ryan while possessed, the attempt to find a priest and Cordelia's comment about "big vomit." After the demon is expelled, Ryan takes on a persona closer to The Omen, a movie about the Antichrist.
- Cordelia: Angel, are you expecting any big vomiting here? Because I saw the movie.
- Although the wall behind him is a different colour, it's clear that the shot of Seth after he tells the children it's time for bed is the same shot later when Paige turns to him after putting Stephanie to bed.
- Angel: She's making brownies.
- Wesley: Oh, is that what I smell? I thought I'd tracked something in.
- Wesley: That is not appropriate! It's for killing extinct demons! Angel, make her stop.
- Angel: Cordelia.
- Wesley: That blade is very old. Who knows what kind of corrosive effect your cooking may have on it.
- Cordelia: Look, you don't have to be Joe Stoic about his dying. I mean, I know that you have this unflappable vibe working for you, but you don't have to do that for me.
- Angel: I'm not unflappable.
- Cordelia: Great, so flap.
- Cordelia: What is this stuff anyway? It's kind of pretty.
- Wesley: Uh, it's the bodily excretion of an Ethros demon.
- Cordelia: No one could have said "demon poo" *before* I touched it?
- Wesley: You're saying I can't do it.
- Angel: That's right.
- Wesley: So our only option is you do it.
- (picks up a cross and tosses it to Angel who catches and quickly drops it as it burns his hands)
- Angel: That was vulgar.
- Wesley: You great putrescent bully! Pick on an innocent child? You think you're impressive?
- Ethros: I am Ethros. I corrupted the spirits of men before they had speech to name me. The child was but the last among tens of thousands, one more pure heart to corrupt, one more soul to suck dry.
- Wesley: Well, chalk up one exciting failure. You didn't get that boy's soul.
- Ethros: What soul?
- Ethros: Do you know what the most frightening thing in the world is? Nothing. That's what I found in the boy. No conscience, no fear, no humanity. Just a black void. I couldn't control him. I couldn't get out. I never even manifested until you brought me forth. I just sat there and watched as he destroyed everything around him. Not from a belief in evil, not for any reason at all. That boy's mind was the blackest Hell I've ever known.
- Angel: The marbles. That was you.
- Ethros: (nods) When he slept, I could whisper in him. I tried to get him to end his life, even if it meant ending mine.
- Angel: You sleepwalked him in front of the car.
- Ethros: I had given up... hope. I know you bring death. I do not fear it. The only thing I've ever feared is in that house.
- Wesley: Angel, he's with his family. We have to hurry.
- Ethros: Yes, you do.