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Angel episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 17
Written by Sarah Fain
Elizabeth Craft
Directed by Skip Schoolnik
Production no. 5ADH17
Original airdate April 14, 2004
Guest stars

Christian Kane
Sarah Thompson
Adam Baldwin

Episode chronology
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"Shells" "Origin"
List of Angel episodes

"Underneath" is episode 17 of season 5 in the television show Angel. Co-written by Sarah Fain and Elizabeth Craft and directed by Skip Schoolnik, it was originally broadcast on April 14, 2004 on the WB television network.

In "Underneath", Angel, Spike and Gunn find the exiled Lindsey in a suburban hell dimension to bring him back to Earth to interrogate him on what he knows about the Senior Partners' plans for the upcoming apocalypse. Meanwhile, a well-dressed, deadly stranger named Marcus Hamilton infiltrates Wolfram & Hart looking for Eve, and a grief-stricken Wesley withdraws into drinking while trying to ‘domesticate’ the evil but confused Illyria to the ways of Earth.



Angel is alone in a conference room, impatient because he’s called a meeting and no one else is there. Spike enters with a briefcase, wanting to take part in his first meeting with the group. He and Angel discuss the impending apocalypse and Angel says that the Senior Partners are planning something. He doesn’t want to sit around and wait for them to do something, so Spike suggests finding a link to them. The two head to Eve’s apartment, but she won’t help them. Eve berates Angel for letting the Senior Partners take Lindsey. Angel notes that Eve is keeping herself hidden from the Senior Partners because she knows that if they find out where she is, they’ll take her. The building starts to shake, Eve blames Angel, thinking he told the Senior Partners. He didn't. All the protective symbols in the apartment dissolve, then Eve changes her mind. She says that she’ll tell him anything he wants to know if he takes her with him. As a man in a suit (Adam Baldwin) arrives, Angel, Spike, and Eve make their escape.

Angel and Spike take Eve to the firm, then update Gunn and ask if he has jurisdiction to protect Eve. Gunn is reluctant, but finally says Angel, as CEO of Wolfram & Hart, can invoke an order to protect Eve. In his apartment, Wesley has a dream about Fred. When he wakes up, Illyria is with him. They both confess they don’t like the world much and she wonders why he’s still in it. Back at the firm, Eve reveals that she's an immortal "child of the Senior Partners, created to do their bidding,” but is only on a need-to-know basis with them. Lindsey could have given them more info, but the Senior Partners imprisoned him to a hell dimension.

Lorne says Eve was being sincere when he read her - “No one can fake it through 'The Piña Colada Song', not once the chorus kicks in.” Angel wants to know what Lindsey knows about the Senior Partners, but Spike points out that they’ll have a hard time figuring out which hell dimension Lindsey is in. Gunn arrives, having shed his lawyer look for his old street-based appearance, and announces that he knows. Lindsey, it turns out, is living with a beautiful wife and child in the Senior Partners’ idea of Hell: suburbia. He goes out to get the morning paper, he picks up his son’s skateboard, he helps his son with his homework. His wife tells him that the oven light went out and she needs him to go to the basement to get a new bulb. Lindsey reluctantly heads downstairs, scared of something. Angel, Spike, and Gunn head to the garage and get in a Camaro that drives itself, prompting Spike to think of KITT from Knight Rider. Gunn tells them when they arrive, they have to find the Wrath, which they have to go through to get back to Wolfram & Hart.

After the group tells Lindsey the truth of who he is, he tells them to leave (after believing their story to be a neighbor-inspired joke). Angel breaks the spell Lindsey is under by removing his necklace; as they try to leave, Lindsey's wife arrives and opens fire with an uzi. They make a run for the Camaro, but its gone. An ice cream truck pulls up and its driver shoots at them, soon joined by a mailman. Spike, Gunn, and Lindsey run back to the house. Lindsey’s son joins in the gunfight as Gunn tries to figure out where the Wrath is. He suggests trying to get out through the basement, but Lindsey refuses.

Meanwhile, at Wolfram & Hart, Eve worries that the Senior Partners won’t honor the CEO-protection arrangement. Lorne assures Eve that no one can get into the building, but right-on-cue, the building alarm sounds and the man in the suit arrives, kills a guard, and heads for Angel’s office.

Returning to the hell dimension, the team discovers that the basement is a torture chamber. Spike finds a pile of hearts, which Lindsey says are his - which were carved out by the Wrath, after inflicting torture. Angel finds a huge flaming furnace and thinks it might be the Wrath. Lindsey notes that “he” is coming, and the guys see a demon approaching. After Spike and Angel fight the Wrath, Gunn sees they are losing badly. So he puts on Lindsey’s necklace, saying, “If one leaves, one has to stay. A void is impossible.” Angel realizes that Gunn came along because he knew about this and wanted to atone for Fred’s death. Gunn argues with Angel and Spike; and then tells them they must leave before he forgets as the door will close. Angel, Spike and Lindsey head through the furnace, and once the gate closes, Gunn's memory is erased and he believes that he is "where I belong". "Honey, what are you doing down there?" the wife asks. "I don't know, I must be losing my mind," replies the husband (Gunn).

At the Wolfram & Hart offices, Harmony tries to kill the guy in the suit by breaking his neck, but the man easily throws Harmony off. Eve and Lorne dash for the elevator, and the door closes just in time. Lorne and Eve arrive in Angel’s car garage and try to drive off, but the portal opens above them and Angel, Spike, and Lindsey land on the car. Eve is thrilled to see Lindsey. Lorne starts to warn Angel about the guy in the suit, but he realizes that Gunn hasn’t returned. Angel tells him that they left him behind, despite their past agreement to never leave someone behind. The man in the suit arrives, pulls out Eve's contract, and has her sign it. He introduces himself as Marcus Hamilton, their new liaison to the Senior Partners. Eve has just signed over her immortality and her duties to him. Hamilton tells Angel that the Senior Partners are 100% behind him, and welcomes Spike to the team.

In Angel’s apartment, Lorne pulls bullets out of Spike (quipping that he doesn't have the same soft touch as "Fredikins") as Lindsey and Eve cuddle, happy to be back together. Angel tells Lindsey he will go into the holding facilities of Wolfram & Hart, after he tells Angel and the group what he knows about the Senior Partners' plans. Lindsey talks about Earth being Hell which is how Wolfram & Hart works and thrives. Angel says he’s already heard that speech three years ago from Holland Manners. “Did you ever prove him wrong?” Lindsey asks. He tells Angel the apocalypse has been around them even before Angel and his friends came to work at Wolfram & Hart, and Angel hasn’t seen it. “Heroes don’t accept the world the way it is,” Lindsey says. “Heroes fight.” Angel realizes everything they’ve been doing at Wolfram & Hart has been a distraction by the Senior Partners to keep them from looking under the surface and seeing what’s been happening all around them. “The war’s already here, Angel,” Lindsey tells him. “And you’re already two soldiers down.” Meanwhile, in the suburbia dimension, Gunn helps his son with his homework, discussing the layers of the Earth. His wife sends him to the basement for an oven bulb, but he’s reluctant to go.


After guest starring as Harmony in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" for over eight years, Mercedes McNab joins the regular cast and is finally added to the opening credits. The credits are also edited to show Amy Acker's character more prominently as Illyria.

Adam Baldwin had previously appeared as Jayne Cobb in Joss Whedon's series Firefly.


Main cast

Special guest star

Guest stars


  • Nicholl Hiren as Trish
  • Christian Boewe as Zach
  • Jared Poe as Carlos


In an essay exploring Illyria's postmodern identity, Jennifer A. Hudson feels that Wesley's dream suggests that Fred still exists through her connection with Illyria. The dream - in which Fred says "This is only the first layer. Don’t you wanna see how deep I go?" - may be intended to reveal that Fred's "subliminal energy" has been consumed and deposited deep in Illyria’s unconscious as "potential energy, ready to be activated and unleashed at any given time."[1]

The scene in the beginning with Lorne sitting in a bar reading a client was added, because the episode would have been too short otherwise. [2]


There is another reference to the "shrimp dimension" that Anya mentioned on several occasions in Buffy. In this episode, Illyria says she's been to the world with nothing but shrimp. The reference was first made in "Superstar", when Anya explains the concept of alternate reality to Buffy, specifically mentioning "a world without shrimp" or "a world with nothing but shrimp." It was later mentioned in "Triangle", after Willow sent Anya's ex-boyfriend Olaf to an alternate dimension. Willow and Anya explained that Willow tried to send him to the Troll dimension, but that alternate universes change positions frequently, and she could possibly have sent him to other places, such as the dimension without shrimp.

Spike asks Angel what their team are called, saying "What are we? Tell me we're not Scoobies". This is a reference to the main characters on Buffy who referred to themselves as Scoobies or the Scooby Gang.



  • Italian title: "Sotto la superficie" ("Under the surface")


  1. ^ Hudson, Jennifer A. (March 2005), "She’s Unpredictable": Illyria and the Liberating Potential of Chaotic Postmodern Identity, Americana: The Institute for the Study of American Popular Culture,  
  2. ^ DVD commentary

External links

See also


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