Angel/Why We Fight

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Why We Fight
Why We Fight
Season 5, Episode 13
Airdate February 11, 2004
Production Number 5ADH13
Written by Drew Goddard &
Steven S. DeKnight
Directed by Terrence O'Hara
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AngelSeason Five

Why We Fight is the thirteenth episode of the fifth season of Angel, and the one-hundred and first episode overall. A man from Angel's past comes back into his life and recounts the time he spent with Angel on a submarine in World War II.

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: Eyal Podell (Lawson), Lindsey Ginter (Commander Petrie), Scott Klace (Initiative Man)

Co-Starring: Roy Werner (Heinreich), Bradley Snedeker (Tyler), Mikey Day (O'Shea), Matt Goodwin (Hodge), Camden Toy (Prince of Lies), Bart McCarthy (Nostroyev), Nick Spano (Spinelli)


Plot Overview

In 1943, Angel was made to help the U.S. government retrieve a German submarine. This led him to force to sire one of the crew to carry out the mission. Now, he's come back to confront Angel.


Monster of the Week

There is no monster of the week in this episode.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Nostroyev Angel Staked Engine Room
2 Prince of Lies Angel Staked U-Boat
3 Lawson Angel Staked Wolfram & Hart


No licensed music was used in this episode.

Arc Advancement


  • The Initiative: The Initiative briefly makes an appearance in the 1943 flashback. The "Demon Research Initiative" was founded shortly before the beginning of World War II and was the reason why Angel was so easily captured by the military. In the episode, the technology to control a vampire's impulses is brought up. Although the papers for this project were burned, it seems likely that the Initiative got their designs from this failed Nazi proposition.


  • Eve: After being caught red handed by Angel as a saboteur, Eve has disappeared completely.
  • Angel: In the 1940s, Angel was forced to join the war effort when a captured U-Boat was lost in enemy waters due to a vampire that stowed away onto the boat. On the U-Boat, he sired his first and only vampire while ensouled, the result of this created a vampire without a soul but with all the guilt associated.
  • Spike: Angel wasn't the only vampire that was forced into attempting to bring back the captured U-Boat. Spike fell into a trap in Madrid, where the Nazis forced him into service on their side along with two other vampires. Incidentally, at this time, he had dark black hair instead of the normal blond.
  • Gunn appears to struggle with some legalese, but attributes it to being tired.


  • 5x08 - Destiny: The senior partners abandoned ship when the universe began to unravel due to the presence of two vampires with souls. Although they eventually stepped in to stabilize the world, they pulled the black panther (their link to the terrestrial Wolfram & Hart) out of the white room and never put him back.
Gunn: Well, the white room's empty. Our liaison to the senior partners has vanished.


The Show

  • Factual Error: In the submarine, the SS officer is wearing a black uniform. However, beginning in September 1939, the Nazis switched to a grey uniform with the black only to be used in military ceremonies like funerals. They were not used in regular service in 1943, when the episode was set.
  • Nostroyev is one of the very rare vampires never to have shown their vamp face.
  • Nostroyev claims to have been Rasputin's lover. This goes towards Buffy's suspicion that Rasputin was a vampire in "Checkpoint".
  • Camden Toy previously appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer in several other make-up laden roles such as a Gentleman in "Hush", Gnarl in "Same Time, Same Place", and the recurring role of the Ubervamp in Season Seven.

Behind the Scenes

  • Salvaged: The name "Prince of Lies" originated in "Lies My Parents Told Me", an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer from the seventh season. In a cut scene from the episode, Drusilla suggested several names for the newly sired William, including "Lucien, Prince of Lies."
  • Promotional: This episode was titled "1943" by WB while promoting it.

Allusions and References

  • Why We Fight: The title of this episode refers to a series of propaganda newsreels commissioned by the United States government to demonstrate to soldiers the reason why they were getting involved in the war, despite the US policy of noninvolvement until the Pearl Harbor attacks. The newsreels had their own titles, but were unified under the "Why We Fight" label. This was also the name of an episode of Band of Brothers, a popular World War II set miniseries.
  • Jenga: Jenga is a game of skill marketed by Hasbro in which 54 rectangular blocks of wood are stacked into a tower. Players of the game must take out one block and place it at the top of the tower, until the tower collapses.
Wesley: I seem to recall lots and lots of Jenga.
  • Captain America: Captain America is a superhero created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby in 1941 for Timely Comics. Steve Rogers was a fine-arts student who was not allowed to enlist into the military due to his poor constitution. Instead, he volunteered for the military's secret "Super Soldier" program, which transformed him into the military's secret weapon; a man at nearly perfect levels of human strength, agility, speed and endurance.
Hodge: I'm telling you, he's some sort of super soldier, like Steve Rogers or Captain America.
  • Popeye: Popeye the Sailor is a popular comic strip and cartoon character most well known for his affinity for spinach, which turns him into a superhuman fighting machine. The character was later adapted into a short film series and, eventually, a television series of his own.
Spike: Let me know how that works out for you, Popeye.

Memorable Moments


  • Angel: You're a Nazi?
Spike: What? Oh, no. I just ate one.
  • Lawson: Aren't you going to ask how I got in here?
Angel: Nah. You'd be amazed how many people break into this building on a regular basis.
  • Angel: Spike's not in the SS. He just likes wearing the jacket.
  • Angel: We need them, okay? I'm not getting trapped at the bottom of the sea!
Spike: And I'm not getting experimented on by his government.
  • Spike: Bloody brilliant. Turn the poor sod to save the ship, then make him dash for dry land before Mr Sunlight scorches him a new one. You're still a dick.
Angel: Yeah. I am.
(Angel steps aside to show Spike the ladder)
Spike: Bollocks!
  • Spike: So sailor boy finally came back for a yo-ho-ho, did he?
Angel: Finally came back.
Spike: Took him long enough. I know revenge is best served cold and all, but his must've been frozen solid.
Angel: I don't think that's what he was after.
Spike: No? Then what was he looking for?
Angel: A reason.