Connor, Cordelia and Wes (is that just me or are they gonna stick long and hard to the trio thing? Because it's becoming a pattern and frankly getting disturbing…) arrive at the shaman's to get answers concerning the whereabouts of Angel's soul. The shaman cannot help them, all he can say is that the soul is still safe in its container. Again, it's one of the scenes that don't carry much meaning Connor-wise except for maybe a couple of things:
1) Connor doesn't seem to be all too eager to retrieve daddy's soul, wonder why that must be…:)
2) Connor can't pronounce the mystical name of the bottle holding Angel's soul? I'm sorry, are we talking about the same Connor here, the one with Holtz' given vocabulary, the one who is supposed to be catching these sort of stuff left and right as if he's known them his entire life? I mean, come on, I welcome change like the next person, but it's a little… not very believable.
The next interesting angle in that episode is when they dash into the basement just as Lilah is about to free Angelus out of his cell. Note that while Wes runs after her and Connor intends to follow him for the chance he might need help, Gunn holds him back. *Gunn*, of all people, suddenly trusts Connor enough to ask him to *stay* to see if it's not an ambush? I'm pretty interested as to why he chose that approach, I really am. Is it because he finally realized his muscles would do him no good against Angelus and that Connor is the strongest person here given his father's absence? Is it because he finally trusts Connor? I'd say it's a little sharp a turn, wouldn't you? Interesting how a couple of days earlier he was willing to condemn him, while now he's siding him and *wants* his help (mind that he trusts him to *check the cage's locks!* now, that's gotta be some trust. Not that I ever supported Gunn's behavior towards Connor in the least, but what exactly did I boy did to deserve that and where was I when he did that? I still don't quite know what to make of that.
Connor himself is quick to toss blame around, as I figure from this little incident. He's not hesitant to suggest Lilah took Angel's soul, *or* that she might be the one with the connection to the Beast. I don't know… I guess I kind of understand him, even though I'm disappointed hearing Connor throwing blame carelessly like that without any (sufficient) proof. With everything he's been through, *he* of all people should learn *not* to do that. But again, in a way, I understand him. I guess it is hard on him to carry the burden of everyone blaming *him* (not mentioning here his slight paranoia might have something to do with that…), so naturally, he'd want to pass it on as quick as possible. So I get that, I really do. But still, I expect *Connor* to give a little more thought to it before blaming someone else.
The part where I really did like Connor, as little as it was, came a little while later:). When they were discussing that it's very possible the Beast has someone doing its dirty work for it, Connor suggested the particular incident he encountered at the Svea family home as an example. It revealed again, a softer side of him, when I really needed to see one especially after my dislike of his behavior regarding Lilah. It's obvious that sight of the butchered family touched him very deep, and it's just as obvious he still cares and it still haunts him. I only wish they would reveal us a bit more of his impression from that experience. If what they wanna do is shroud it with mystery, be my guest, but that only brings up another question – why do they insist being so mysterious about it?? Since when has it become such a problem to reveal a character's emotions? I guess Connor's emotions really are difficult to play out, then:).
Another very new to me Gunn/Connor bonding moment coming up as they dig out the "Soul Eater" Cordelia saw in her vision. They're just the best buddies in that ep, aren't they? Am I the only one not completely liking the idea?… the funny thing is that they really seem to have bonded. Connor has no one, Cordelia left him for Angel, in a sense, anyway, his dad is gone and no one else in particularly cares about him, so… he is alone. As for Gunn, his only true link to the group was Fred, who is not together with him anymore. His friend betrayed him, and as far as Angel does, he never really did accept him, judging by what he said back in "That Old Gang of Mine" (yeah, things might have changed since then). So now he is, too, alone. Are they doing the 'alone-together' thing now? Again, I don't see that working too well in the future, especially not for Connor.
Did you notice how that demon attacked him, practically punched through him, sucking his soul out? Now that means a certain part of Connor's soul is missing, how will that resolve in the future? I'm curious to find out:). What kind of affect will it have on the wonder-relationship between him and Gunn? And most importantly, how will it connect eventually to Angel's soul lossage?… Because something tells me it's about to:). I liked that cliffhanger, I liked it not being discussed… for *now*.
When Gunn and Connor bring the demon's head to the Hyperion to show Cordelia they got it, she informs them she doesn't see a head in her vision, just a skull, which drives Wes to send them to the kitchen, together with the head, and remove all the organs and soft tissue from it. personally, I loved that tiny scene. First, Connor laughing, Connor being an almost ordinary teen (that is, if you consider someone who refers to cleaning flesh from a skull the same as one might refer to cleaning his room 'ordinary;)). I liked that, he was just so… natural in that scene. Yeah, again, the Gunn/Connor bonding being shoved down our throats, but even that was sort of… cute this time:). Connor wasn't as burdened, as serious, he looked like a guy having fun, enjoying himself, doing what he likes most with a friend at his side. I don't think we ever saw him in that situation before and it was a fresh kinda new:).
After Angel's soul is (temporarily) restored, Connor is the first (and only) one to be hesitant about the success of the spell. Even after it's "proven" to him it really is Angel, he still maintains the same grim expression. Unlike everyone else, he's not in the least excited to have his father back, in fact, he prefers to have Angelus there instead. I guess he really did mean it when he said Angelus was his real father. When Angel tells him it's him, in attempt to ease his tension, all Connor says is, "I know." But the way he says it is just… he's disappointed. He's disappointed to have Angel back, and it's even worse than simply not wanting him back. It really is strengthens my theory of him having stolen Angel's soul in the first place, but more than that, it again coats Connor with mystery, it's hard to determine exactly what he's thinking or feeling at the moment. Yes, he did look like someone whose plan turned out to be a big flop, but… there is more to it.
As Gunn, Wes, Fred and Connor trail Angelus throughout the city, Connor is more than just eager to make the kill. I personally think there is a bit more talk than acting to it than it seems, but you can disagree. He sure means to keep the promise he gave to his father, but that has nothing to do with nobility, he simply wants to kill Angel, Angelus, it doesn't matter to him anymore. Actually, you know something, it does matter. He *knows* it's Angelus out there, not Angel. He knows he's tracking the demon he wants to kill, the source to all his trouble (or so he seems to think), the monster that murdered Holtz' family. He's tracking *Angelus*. If he really did was the one who stole Angel's soul in the first place, he's resolute to get the job done soul or no soul, no matter what. It's also interesting how he trails Angelus, by his scent (as he learned in Quortoth, reminds us of the Connor as we first met him back in the end of season 3). Also, he can pick up his father's scent, his intentions, I think aside from Connor's overly developed hunting skills, there must be some sort of bond between those two beings, regardless to Angel's body hosting a soul or not. I'd like to see that being explored further, of course. Also another thing that has a reference to said bond – Connor is the fist one to suggest Angelus would go to the place where he can do most damage. He *knows* him, he knows the demon, he knows Angelus, because there *is* a bond. Remember what I said back while reviewing "Soulless", that Angelus founds a worthy rival in Connor? Well, I guess that's being stressed a bit more now… I want to see how that unfolds, too.
Connor: We got the skull of the Soul Eater.
Cordelia: I'm just saying...
Wesley: It looks... rather fresh.
Gunn: Well, we moved up its expiration date.
Cordelia: I just see the skull. It doesn't have any... you know, parts.
Wesley: Right. Take it to the kitchen, remove the flesh and soft tissue.