Slouching Towards Bethlehem
A family is stuck on the side of the road, the father is trying to fix the car while waiting for the tow truck to arrive. Suddenly Connor pops up out of the blue, telling them they are in trouble. While we know his alert sense of danger was what was probably moved him to say this and that if he says that, he's right, that's not how the family takes it at all (they maybe even think at some point he worked together with the vampires). They don't only get defensive (not literally though, just the impression you get from their attitude, and a little scared, but they clearly *don't* want that stranger around. You can probably tell that the way Connor just appears there and then, cryptically warning strangers they're in danger reminds us of another cryptic guy from long ago - you guessed it - Angel. Remember Angel from the early "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" days (and when his character moved to its own show, and away from the shelter of his lover)? The tall dark and handsome, all cryptic stranger always popping up in the exact right second to reach a helping hand and then vanish into the night without a trace? Now can you say like-father-like-son (only without the vanishing, though he has that part too down to perfection, we'll get to that later). I don't know what TPTB were thinking when they wrote this scene, but I sure as hell glad they wrote it, and more importantly *how* they wrote it:).
Note also that though Connor *seems* as though he appeared out of the blue, my guess would be that he didn't exactly. First, the car was stuck in the middle of nowhere, unless our boy decided to take a walk out of town to the nearest… wherever, what the hell was he doing there? Second, Connor, following daddy's footsteps isn't big on approaching humans (he proves that more than enough in the clumsy way he attempts to communicate) so I find it really hard to believe he'd bluntly *offer* himself as help. My guess is that whatever he was doing there, Connor had been watching this family for a while, way *before* they were attacked. He didn't come there looking for adventure, someone to help or to save, he came there looking for closure, for warmth… for family. He is a boy and after finally after so many years in a hell dimension, gaining a family, he lost the only thing he knew as home. True, it was his fault more than anyone else's, but is it really the point?
Anyway, just as Connor predicted, when the tow truck finally arrives, who jumps out of it if not… vampires. They attack the family, but definitely aren't ready for that strange outsider to help the humans and what's more - kick their undead asses down to dust *g*.
I have to point out how much I liked his creativity. If you remember Connor from when he first arrived back on earth, he was all work and no play. Clean kill, using the basics. Having been around humans, around Angel, even for a little while has obviously changed him into more… human. His character, that had a rather dry outer shell in the 'days before' now possesses imagination, cunning, and even humor. I like that. I liked it when he caught the axe n "Deep Down" and I *loved* it when he lit that vampire (Connor knows what that… little-glowy-button-in-that-thing-I-used-to-ride-on-top-of-when-I-first-came-here is meant for, color me impressed:)) after skillfully spilling a whole of fuel on him during the fight. Seems like he did learn a trick or two by himself.
After the fight is over, Connor tries again, to reach out, but isn't welcome. He can only watch, after the car's doors close on him, as the family's father anxiously hugs his wife and son. His eyes are sad as he watches them, although it's a somewhat composed sadness as if he doesn't want to really let it show.
The next thing we see is Connor breaking into the Hyperion hotel, he skillfully and easily unlocks the window, in a way that teaches us he's been there and done that a few dozen times already. As he moves through the corridor, his motions resemble more an animal on the hunt, watching from every sign of danger (is he afraid of getting caught?) than a human being. Some things never change no matter hat dimension you are, I guess…
Finally, he reaches his goal, it is to simply watch - watch everyone, watch Angel, which he does. Apparently daddy's not the only side that's doing the nightly skulking.
On his next visit, Connor moved from strictly-watching to watching-then-acting as he saves a more than slightly confused and terrified Cordelia from one of Lorne's less cuddly clients as he literally tries to 'snack' at her. He swiftly kills the demon by driving a stake through his heart and informs Cordelia she's not safe her. Seeing Connor for the first time and knowing him far less than any member of the AI, she leaves the hotel - with him.
Connor brings Cordy to what he calls home. We can see he's grown and evolved a lot ever since the boy last seem snuggling under an old blanket out on the street. Whatever that place he's found for himself is (coming to think of it really, what is this place? Looks like a warehouse, stuffed with all kinds of taxidermy animals, one of which Connor wishes *he* had killed;)), at least it's home. Well, it is more of a home than the street anyway…
When he tells her his name, Cordy very quickly puts the pieces together and learns her knight in the shining armor is no other than Angel's son (though he straightforwardly tells her he didn't choose that. Funny, he does call himself Connor now:)) and starts grilling him with questions. He is honest with her, *completely* honest. They say life is your best teacher and in Connor's case it must have been true because… he's obviously had more than enough lying for himself. He only speaks the truth with Cordelia, and this overly-honesty is can also be a sign of change. He admits he sank his father to the bottom of the ocean, to punish him, as he says that, the concealed regret is speaking volumes in his eyes, he also says he tried to kill her when he first got to this dimension, he even apologizes. Apologizing (even if it's just Cordelia, not Angel) is clearly not easy for Connor, it means he finally acknowledges what he's done was *truly* wrong, this is in a sense, too, a step. Cordelia says it means a lot that he's been straight with her. Check this out, Connor, honestly pays up, too:).
Later, Connor is watching Cordy sleep, he's not in bed with her, he's sitting a few feet away on the windowsill, just watching. He gets up, just to close the door, according to him (while we see all he does is tie a later very useful string to the doorknob), and she pleads with him not to leave her. She tells him how confused she is with her memory loss, how empty she feels. Connor is at first hesitant to supply comfort, but finally sits down on the bed next to her, getting closer. All he knows about her seems to sum as her like of shoes and doughnuts and her being a brave person. That comes to show how little he really knows about her, and still… she says he's the only one she trusts. He gives her a few random half-smiles, his dad's trademark, he can try to suppress *that* as long as he wants…
He tells her she's brave because she lost everything and is standing anyway. Who's he talking about here, her or him? Because that sure as hell could be interpreted both ways. Maybe that's what he sees in her, other than a woman (say hello, 16-years-old hormones), someone he can relate to, someone who's a little… like him. Cordelia hints at that saying he, too, lost everything. At that, Connor turns his eyes, that's been on hers their entire conversation, away from her - putting an end to the honesty. As he walks away, his entire demeanor screams just how much he's lost and deep down knows that. He returns to his guarding place at the window.
Meanwhile in the hotel, as Angel and co. anxiously search for Cordelia, Wesley walks in and pinpoints her exact location. Angel is instantly relieved and with utmost confidence (and pride) in his eyes, informs Wesley she's safe because she's with Connor. Being *his son*, he'll take excellent care of her.
A while later, they're in bed, fully clothes while sleeping, his hand draped across her breast (for *Christ's sake, just before in that ep it was implied she used to be a *motherly* character t him! Thanks *God* TPTB aren't taking that path as we'll see in "Supersymmetry"). Suddenly they both wake up, but before Cordelia can comment regarding the position of his arm, he shushes her, saying someone's here. Moments later, they're attacked by the first of Wolfram&Hart's assassins sent after Cordelia and Connor knocks him out cold (or dead:)). Again, his creativity in battle is shown, I like where they're going with that. He tosses Cordy a sword, urging her to get ready for battle. Soon, they're attacked again and fight side by side. We see Lilah watching the whole thing through a camera the entire time…
Soon the AI crew joins the fight, just in time when (after Cordy is way past useless) Connor is unable to hold his own anymore (which he splendidly did until now, by the way). They save the day… but even they had some help from Lilah who called her crew off…
After the fight, and a few 'I like what you've done with the place' kinda comments from Angel to Connor (a *very* dull attempt at a not-so-wanted conversation), Angel, offers Cordy to take her home, but she prefers to stay with Connor, since he's the only one who's been honest with her. The disappointment is evident in Angel's eyes, but he has no choice and it's obvious he trusts his son. Quietly, he asks him to keep her safe, as he, Fred and Gunn return to the Hyperion, leaving Cordelia behind. Connor's feelings at the evolvement of the situation aren't exactly clear due to his father's well-known skill of never showing his true feelings when he doesn't want people to see. We can tell he's not exactly proud of his so-called victory though even that he is, in a sense. He does return Angel a weak nod when he requests him to keep Cordelia safe though, and it's even possible to catch a glimpse of a truthful smile.
Later that night, Connor is in his old place by the window as he silently watches Cordy sleep. In Cordelia's room in the Hyperion, Angel is by the window, silently watching her empty bed. Angel's loss is Connor's gain, the son's got daddy's girl.
And by God, if TPTB had gone down that lane, I'd kill them myself.
Cordelia: How cool is that!
Connor: I love that one. I wish I'd kill it.
Cordelia: You kinda have a funny way to express your affection, 'I love you', bang, you're dead. I gotta ask, why were you at the hotel? You live there?
Cordelia: Just decided to drop by?
Connor: I saw you were back.
Cordelia: So, we know each other? We're friends?
Connor: You were nice to me once.
Cordelia: What about the others? You're friends with them?
Connor: This way.
Cordelia: If we're gonna be climbing ladders together, maybe, I don't know, you could throw a name at me?
Cordelia: Connor? That's funny, Angel has a baby named Connor, did he name him aft- Oh my God... you're him, you're Angel's son!
Connor: It's nothing I got to choose.
Cordelia: What is this place?
Cordelia: This is home? If you're Angel's son, why don't you live with him?
Connor: He didn't tell you? I sank him to the bottom of the ocean. To punish him.
Cordelia: Ha! You're serious.
Connor: I tried to kill you, too. I was new to this world. Didn't understand. Put a knife to your throat. I'm sorry.
Cordelia: Thank you. You're the first person who's been straight with me, that's told me the truth. It means a lot.