Angel/The House Always Wins

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The House Always Wins
The House Always Wins
Season 4, Episode 3
Airdate October 20, 2002
Production Number 4ADH03
Written by David Fury
Directed by Marita Grabiak
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AngelSeason Four

The House Always Wins is the third episode of the fourth season of Angel, and the sixty-ninth episode overall. Angel and the others decide to go on vacation in Las Vegas, but they wind up attempting to rescue Lorne from an evil casino owner.

Starring: David Boreanaz (Angel), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), J. August Richards (Charles Gunn), Amy Acker (Winifred "Fred" Burkle), Vincent Kartheiser (Connor)

and Alexis Denisof (Wesley Wyndam-Pryce)

Special Guest Star: Andy Hallett (Lorne)

Guest Starring: Clayton Rohner (Lee DeMarco)

Co-Starring: Morocco Omari (Spencer), Jennifer Autry (Lornette #2), Matt Bushell (Security Guard #3), Tom Schmid (Well Dressed Man), Sven Holmberg (Delivery Guy), Brittany Ishibashi (Vivian), Diana Saunders (Bejeweled Woman), Gloria Alexander (Lornette #1), John Colella (Croupier), Rod Tate (Bruiser)

Featured Dancers: Beyondka Fields, Tara Archuleta, Jill Landess, Olga Shalyganova, Kristine L. Lenmark, Marina Vantskous, Natalya Filatova, Suzanne Brasington, Nicole Covacevich, Krisanne Malloy, Kristin Hillier, Tiffany Deal


Plot Overview

Believing they’re due a vacation, and in need of guidance himself, Angel takes Fred and Gunn to Las Vegas to see Lorne. They soon discover that he’s reluctantly helping a casino owner take people’s destinies and sell them.


Monster of the Week

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

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Vampire Connor Staked Alley


Music is listed in order of appearance in the episode:

  • Elvis Presley - "Viva Las Vegas"
  • Kermit the Frog - "Bein' Green"
  • Labelle - "Lady Marmalade"

Arc Advancement



  • Lorne: Lorne hasn't just been singing in a demon club in Vegas, he's been having sold-out shows at the Tropicana. The billboard outside the casino said that it was his 17th week of performing exclusively. Of course, this is because he's being held captive in the casino by the owner. He moves back into the Hyperion at the end of the episode.
  • Cordelia: Cordelia has returned from her heavenly dimension, but with amnesia.


  • 3x01 - Heartthrob: Gunn likely refers to the monestary Angel went to in Sri Lanka after learning about Buffy's death. Although, Angel's visit there wasn't exactly spiritually cleansing because the monks turned out to be demons.
Gunn: Whoa, you mean like that monastery you went to in Tibet?


The Show

  • Meta-Reference: On the destinies board is "Deal with Disney to run new ABC series," which is a reference to David Greenwalt. Greenwalt left the show in order to work in Miracles for ABC.

Behind the Scenes

  • Ratings: On its first airing, this episode scored a 4.0/6 in the overnight Nielsen ratings.
  • Shooting Location: This episode was actually shot on location at the Tropicana with a real Lorne show at the Tropicana Casino & Resort. Many of the dancers used in this episode are dancers employed by the resort.

Allusions and References

  • Blue Man Group: The Blue Man Group is a trio of men who perform elaborate stage-shows in the guise of three mute blue men wearing bald caps and black clothing. The performances often employ percussion music (like Stomp) and in many cases use audience participation. A company of Blue Men performers have performed in varying hotels in Las Vegas since 2000.
Fred: They must think it's all makeup like the blue man group.
  • Tony Bennett: Tony Bennett is a jazz singer who gained popular acclaim during the 1950s and managed to hold his popularity, despite the British Invasion and other waves of rock music, through the 1970s. Towards the end of the decade, Bennett was known only as a Las Vegas lounge singer until he turned his career around in the 1980s.
Gunn: Why, you were living so large, belting out Tony Bennett so loud in that sweet suite of yours, you couldn't hear your conscience screaming at you!
  • Elvis & Pricilla: Priscilla Beaulieu and Elvis Presley were married on May 1, 1967 at the Aladdin Hotel. However, Angel insists that he was there when Elvis was married in the Tropicana. Either the writer of the episode didn't research this comment, or Angel was trying to impress his friends with namedropping.
Angel: Oh, now I remember that room! Elvis and Pricilla's wedding reception, 1967.

Memorable Moments


  • Angel: I know you're there.. watching me.
Cordelia: Oh my God! Angel! You can hear me? I so love you! You don't know what it's been like...
Fred: We weren't spying...
Cordelia: Oh, for crap's sake.
  • Angel: I just thought we all could use a little get-away to decompress. You know, I haven't had a vacation in a while, not counting my recent ocean cruise.
  • Cordelia: You're picking up on it, too, aren't you, Angel? Somethings wrong with those people. They could probably use your help. So that's got me wondering... where's that keen sense of perception as far as I'm concerned, huh? What, am I out of the range of your super vampire senses? Angel!
  • Angel: This place was so much friendlier when the mob ran it.
  • Gunn: No one seems to be bothered by the fact that he's a demon.
Fred: They must think it's all makeup, like the Blue Man Group. You don't think the Blue Man Group...?
Angel: Only two of them.
  • Gunn: Something's starting to feel a lot not right about this.
Fred: That's what I've been saying, only with better grammar.
  • Fred: Who's Fluffy?
Lorne: Fluffy. Fluffy the dog. The dog you don't have. The universally recognised code for "I'm being held prisoner, send help!"