Rain of Fire
Cordelia and Connor are in his 'home', she's watching a horror movie, he's just walked in, bringing her some snacks so she could eat. He says he got "chocodiles and some other stuff" but is willing to go and get something else if she wants to, she says it's okay and they continue talking. One thing I gotta point out (yes, aside from the general and *major* ick factor that is even the possibility of Cordelia/Connor) is the TV. Connor has a TV?? Drop that, he has electricity? Ok, he might, but…money? Does anyone else *not* seeing too much logic in that? I mean, come on, the kid left his dad's with nothing but a shirt on, we see him living in the streets with an old blanket to wrap himself up in as his only possession, it's believable and even expected. Connor being… Connor, quickly climbing back up to his feet, finding a decent place to live, in this case - an abandoned warehouse, gets himself a bad from someplace, some other furniture, okay, I'm on board with that. Still, believable. But a TV?
What next, a DVD player? I dunno, I could be way off my mark here and completely alone in this, but it just really doesn't sound right.
Anyway, back to it. Connor is without a doubt, the guy who got the girl. She was his dad's girl, granted, but still - he got her. Or so he thinks. Whatever Cordy's motives are, I'm not even remotely getting into that, but Connor is being Angel as always - aside from the fact he, the teenage him, got the girl, he feels obligations towards her. He feels an obligation to take care of her, to provide for her, to be there for her, as much as he can. We later learn this scene is a dream, which means this is the way Cordelia sees Connor, this is him in her eyes. But these sort of dreams are always affected by the reality the person's living in. My not-so wild guess would be that this really is Connor, the way he is with her. Let's face it, he's not your typical teenage guy. He's responsible, he can hold his own and remain standing, he's caring. Is it his innocence that's the cause of all that, is it because he's so desperately trying to hold onto something to spread his affection upon even though he doesn't really know how to expose his feelings? This season has been building up Connor's character, the one that is not the Destroyer. In this episode, we'll face both. And Cordy's dream is foreshadowing just that.
She tells him she doesn't know what she'd do without him, he promises her she'll be safe with him (that is also mentioned towards the end of the episode where the Beast asks Angel if he's sure Cordelia's safe with Connor, interesting). Cordy says that it (the Beast) is coming and no one can stop it. Connor rises up above her and in a voice not his own answers "I know". When Cordelia looks up, she sees the Beast instead of Connor. Is that another hint to what's coming up? It sure as hell is if to consider the fact the Beast emerges from the exact spot Connor was born. Again… interesting:). In her dream, up to that point, Connor was portrayed as human, if we didn't know anything about him, we'd suspect he's your average Joe. And suddenly he's linked to the Beast. Is it coming to show there are two sides in him, of him? Two sides that… may be battling each other? They say Angel is a major player in the Apocalypse, no matter on which side. What if this stands for Connor, too? The guy's always been on the border, he never did quite put his finger on where exactly he belonged…
Next, Connor arrives at the hotel. Angel spots him as he walks in and they exchange cautious greetings. Two things at this point: 1) Connor walks in through the door, remember a few episodes ago hen Angel pointed out the door was always open for him and he didn't have to sneak in? I guess Connor picked up on that:). 2) Connor is a lot more at ease with his dad, especially after Angel tells him the spell wore off. It's interesting actually, seeing as I'd expect him to relate more to Liam's character than Angel's, but apparently opening up to Liam (or Liam opening up to him, you decide) opened the doors to the right direction after all.
Connor even smiles. It's *very* rare to see Connor smile, we've learned that by now. The last time he smiled at Angel, it resulted in deadly consequences to say the least. This smile is different though. This visit to the hotel to get Angel to talk to Cordy begins the 'Connor dealing with his past and who he is' saga this episode partly (kinda large and central part, I might say) revolves around.
They talk, Connor brings up the fact Cordy is living with him now and Angel says he knows but he knows she'd come back to the hotel eventually, to the way things were, when everything will calm down. Somehow I'm not sure that's what Connor had in mind to hear, but he doesn't let his reaction to that show off. Instead, he asks Angel to come and see Cordy and talk to her (guess the self-sacrificial attitude stays in the family after all *g*). When Angel refuses, Connor looks at him and asks "Dad, please". Well, that does it for Angel. Hell, that does it for me! Why did Connor refer to him as dad? The popular belief probably is that he did it to gain Angel's attention, he just knew which card to play, and frankly, I know where that theory is coming from, I'd embrace it myself, really, only… it's not it. Connor later refers to Darla as his 'mother' and he has nothing to gain by that because hell, the woman's dead. Still, he acknowledges that vicious soulless vampire (he knows very well what she is, he knows she's much *much* worse than Angel) as the being that gave him life, he calls her 'mother'. No, he certainly didn't refer to Angel as 'dad' to achieve anything. That's a fact:).
When Angel does go to see Cordelia, Connor accompanies him there, only now we have big Angel and little Angel, both equally self-sacrificial, in the same room, with Cordelia. Imagine the possibilities… actually, there's just one - who's gonna be the better gentleman and give the lady on a silver plate what she wants. I dunno, I don't think we'll ever get to see this particular knights' battle resolved…
Anyhow, while Connor keeps away and allows Angel to have his privacy with Cordelia, no matter how much he craves to do the exact opposite (jus look into his eyes), he's not half that eager to stay away when Cordelia gets a vision attack. He's sitting on her bed, by her side, holding her hand. Now the roles flip, now Connor is in charge while Angel is the one watching from the side. I just have to wonder how much longer can these two pull off with the piling up tension, going head in head all the while. Can you say father and son. No, really…
While Angel goes to pay a friendly visit to Lilah, Connor and Cordy are alone in the warehouse. We see Cordelia, pacing the room, suddenly grabbing her coat and intending to go when… Connor pops up in her way out of the blue. She points out the fact he got it from Angel, the sneaking up on people, that is. Connor's reaction - a little, hidden, half smile (not just the sneaking up on people is genetic, after all;)). Last time it was pointed out to him he was like his father… let's just say if looks and attitude could kill… Now, he just smiles. Major progress, again, something this episode deals quite a lot with. Later during the conversation, Cordelia also observes that Connor's usage of words (saying the perfectly right thing at the perfectly right time) is also genetic and just like his father's, when she says she's not important to anything, but he says she's important to him. Connor's reaction resembles the former one, another small smile. Looks like being Angel's clone in way too many things doesn't bother him that much anymore…:). However, it's clear Connor, just like his father before Buffy worked his way back into the world of humans (again, I just point out how much Connor resembles Angel from BtVS seasons 1 and 2), isn't too big on using words, as he point out he's been practicing 'complete sentences'. He's shy, keeping low profile, only expresses when he has to, always seems to be unsure whether he did or said the right thing...
Following the mutual decision to go outside and search for 'whatever's coming', Cordelia and Connor walk themselves into the alley behind what formerly used to be the late Caritas. Cordelia says she recognizes this place, and after a quick search in her memory, points out this was the place where Darla died (this is where Connor first refers to her as his mother, and the way he says it couldn't be more natural, by the way). She tells Connor this is where he was born. As he looks on at the spot in discussion, the ground splits open in a blast of lava and fire and thew Beast bursts out of the opening, in the exact place where he was looking at, the exact place where he was born…
Working on mainly impulse (the perfect Connor-thing to do), he attacks it, trying to battle it off. But to say it in a nutshell - the Beast beats the living crap out of him. It really beats Connor up pretty bad, he may be the Destroyer, and nothing really ever managed to get to him that much, but in that fight Connor is unrecognizable, he is incapable of even harming the Beast. As a result, he's battered, bleeding and later we learn, also broken, in the ribs (that's what we know of, but I bet on more). I wonder what his role is in this scheme of things because after this fight it's getting foggier by the second…
Later back in his home, Connor, still bruised from head to toe, intends to go back after the Beast and stop it, but Cordelia wouldn't let him. She regards the redness on his chest and suspects he's broken some ribs. Connor says he never did, not even in Quor-Toth, he never thought he *could* break anything. It definitely shows the loss Connor feels at the moment, he is breakable, that's not only physically, clearly. That confusion and despair that he feels are a hint to what's coming, I'm sure of that much, I just wish I knew the right way to interpret that…
In the end, we see Connor and Cordelia watch the rain of fire from the window of the warehouse, as Connor wonders what's going on, he guesses it's the demon. Connor says the demon and everything that's happening, everything it did and is going to do - it's all his fault. He says he was never supposed to exist, to be born - the child of two vampires, that *he* brought all that death and destruction in one way or another, not for no reason did the Beast emerged from the place he had been born at. Smart boy. However, Cordelia reassures him it's not his fault, it's not him. They kiss, things heat up (and I wanna gag even as I write this). Cordelia says he never had a childhood, or family or friends, and since nothing matters anymore (what the fuck is this, the-world's-gonna-end-tomorrow sex??), she wants him to have something that's real. The irony is that for a while now, a long while, in this or that way, Connor has been searching, on some quest to find something *real*. He even wanted it with Cordelia (though he clearly never connected sex with something real, to his this concept reflected closure, comfort, not sex, to him these were 2 separate things). Well, he did get… something.
While Cordelia gives him 'something real', though… Angel, still bleeding and beaten from the fight with the Beast, is watching them from a nearby roof…
Connor: What's happening?
Cordelia: I don't know.
Connor: It's him, isn't it? It's that thing.
Cordelia: We don't know that.
Connor: I should've tried harder. I should've stopped it.
Cordelia: It was too strong. This isn't your fault.
Connor: What if it is? What if that thing is... It chose the place where I was born. Is that why it's here, because of me?
Connor: I was never supposed to happen. The child of two vampires. What if-
Cordelia: Connor, it's not you.
Connor: You don't know that.