Inside Out

Just as Cordelia's busted, Connor jumps in through the glass in the ceiling and literally blows the party. He fights against them all, Angel included, even after Angel tried to reason him into that she is not Cordelia. Connor shoots him with a tranquilizer gun and puts him quickly out of the picture. He takes Cordelia and runs off.

Later as they all assemble in the hotel and fill Gunn in on everything, Angel makes sure to keep Connor's name clean in this entire scenario. He says he had nothing to do with it, that he is just confused. Wes and Fred soon agree, realizing that Cordelia was the one who did this to him, as Wes puts it, she was making him her champion.

Connor and Cordelia are alone in something that looks like an abandoned factory. He asks her why they all wanted to kill her ad she says it's because they're afraid of her and her baby, they could kill them both if it weren't for him saving them. He doesn't understand how Angel could do that and Cordelia tells him it's because Angel hates him. She understands he doesn't want to believe that, but he does. He hates him because Connor won – he got *her*.

Connor looks like he pretty much stopped listening after the 'hate' word. He refuses to believe that though he doesn’t say anything. He can't accept that his father hates him, it's the biggest blow he could receive in a time he's trying to rebuild his own trust in him. Cordelia blows all his attempts off, she destroyed the *good* image Connor has obviously succeeded to create about his father. She says Angel is an animal, that Connor was right not trusting him (the problem is that Connor doesn't feel that way anymore and now she destroyed the only spark of trust he harbored). She says Angel turned everyone against them, and Connor promises her he'll kill them all before he'll let them hurt her.

Later on, Cordelia makes an observation about the place they're staying in and Connor wonders if she wants him to find something better. She says they'll be alright in here for now. She sees Connor is upset and tells him not to be, but he says he's not upset because of that, he still doesn't believe Angel tried to kill her. He hopefully suggests it could have been Angelus, that he just tricked them again, but Cordelia stresses it was Angel and he knows it. Connor remembers all the things Angel told him, how he'd make the world a better place, become a champion. We now know for the first time how much he really believed all that, that he really listened.

Cordelia tells him it was al lies, that Angel just wanted to keep Connor in his place, where he can keep an eye on him and control him. She definitely doesn't spare Angel in this one, and Connor though he gives up, appears to be hard to convince and she clearly is forced to push the line more and more. He says he thought they were all good, Wesley, Fred, Gunn, even Lorne. Cordelia tells him good and evil are just words, no one is the judge of what is good and what is evil, no one has the right. She says he doesn't have to be confined to these rules anymore now that he's with her. She asks him if he remembers why, and Connor, in a manner of someone who's obviously been brainwashed answers – "Because we're special."

Later, Cordelia, again, pushes Connor's buttons about Angel. She reminds him he knows Angel won't stop until he finds them. She clearly is impatient to get Angel out of their way. Connor calmly assures her he can take care of that, sending all the vibes necessary for her to get the message that he doesn't want to talk about it, nor does he want to go out against his father again, no matter what she tells him. He obviously learned from his mistake and isn't going to believe her again. Cordelia sees he's getting distant and asks him to come over and touch the baby, to remind him what he's fighting for. As he does, the baby moves and she tells Connor it's because it's happy. She wishes the others would let them be happy, too. Connor says he'll make them if they don't.

She suggests maybe things will change when they see the baby, but Angel would probably find them before that and harm it. She tries al the possible ways to make him go out openly against Angel again, but he seems to ignore each and every one repeatedly, I kinda wonder how come she's still keeping her cool;). Finally, she tells Connor there is a way to accelerate the arrival of their baby, but she would need him to get her something for that. He agrees.

In a dark alley, Connor rescues a girl from a vampire. He asks her if she's okay and as she thanks him, knocks her out with a single punch. He is obviously performing the act reluctantly, but something drives him through it nevertheless. He's also very careful as he looks around, checking if someone is watching him. We don't know if it's Angel he's watching out from or just casual observers, but there's clearly something.

Back in their hiding place, Cordelia looks at the unconscious girl and notes that she is perfect. Connor is looks at her as well land is obviously still in mild shock – he can't believe he really did what he did. He can't believe he really did that to a person, that he brought this innocent girl here to die. I wonder if he ponders over what his father told him, which Cordelia claimed to be a lie, that he was meant to do good in the world. He definitely understand that good is *not* what he's doing right now. Cordelia says she knows what his heart is telling him, but his heart is lying, *she* is the one he has to trust. She says he can mourn over her however much he wants, but never forget the girl is average, one of the 'little people', in other words, she's a lower being that Connor and she. She says to trade her blood for their baby is more than fair because it will give the girl's death meaning. Connor is just looking at the girl, his eyes are fathomless and there's no telling whom he's listening to – his heart or Cordelia.

Later, Cordelia is surrounded by candles, chanting as Connor is watching her from a distance, the same look of skepticism is haunting his gaze as it has been ever since they had that talk in the hotel. He uses the opportunity of her being occupied and approaches the girl he's kidnapped earlier, in a faraway dark corner. The girl wakes up and is scared, but he assures her he won't hurt her. He offers her a bottle of water as she cries and pleads with him to let her go home. He looks down, saying he's sorry. Clearly, he's too confused to find anything else to say, the emotional battle going on inside of him is getting the better of him. He's at loss as to what he should do.

A voice tells his to listen. The girl doesn't hear the voice, but Connor does and he stands up, asking if someone is there. Darla emerges from nothing. The girl doesn't se her, only he does. She says she's always been there, close to his heart, where a mother belongs. Connor stares, thunderstruck, and insists she can't be his mother though inside he already knows she is. Darla says the Powers sent her to give him a message. She kneels next to the sobbing girl, noting she knows that sound, that smell of fear, in all the thousands she's murdered. Darla says it pointedly, she indicates on that she knows very well what her son is about to do.

Connor can't listen to that and brushes it off saying his mother is dead. She smiles as she walks over to him, telling him she's always with him. He shared his soul with her when she lost her own, when he was growing inside of her. He brought light to her shadow, she basically stresses again and again how important he was to her, what a beautiful gift he was, that she was never close to anyone as she was to him.

Connor asks her why she left him, he's not trying to pretend he doesn't believe it's her anymore, he just wants answers. Was it because she hated him? He points out he wasn't even born yet when she killed herself. The leaving issue comes up here again, so does the hating issue. Connor feels abandoned by all who are supposed to love him – mainly, his father, now that Cordelia told him his father hated him, he wants to know is the case is similar with his mother. One of the two people he should be the closest to, to whom he should mean the world has already walked out of his life and as told, hates him. What about the other?

Darla touches his cheek gently, softly assuring him she wanted to be with him more than anything, she didn't want to leave, but she had no choice – it was her life for his. Here it comes up again – one life for another. Connor realizes he wouldn't have been born if his mother hadn't died, he was a blood sacrifice himself. Is there a reason why his child shouldn't be?…

Darla tells him that she's done so many horrible things in her life, so much destruction and pain (she repeats the exact words she told Angel before she killed herself), and Connor was the one good thing she ever did, the only good thing. With all the possible motherly love in her eyes and voice, she says she would die for the rest of eternity for him if she has to.

Connor is almost teary-eyed now as he listens to her speak, he can't turn away from her, it looks as though he's swallowing each and every word that leaves her lips. He's enchanted by her presence, she's the only thing that exists for him at the moment. The sacrifice she's made for him to live is drowning upon him and some things become clearer to him as a result. He is a product of an enormous sacrifice – the epitome of a mother's love, her sacrifice was the purest of things. His will be not. Moreover, he has no right to do what he wants to an innocent person. But Cordelia's grasp is too strong on him as he tells Darla she doesn't understand to her question if this (the captured girl) is how he repays her.

Darla says that evil cannot produce good, this girl is innocent and should not be a victim for his baby, nothing good can come out of it, he has no right. Repeating Cordelia's words, he says that good and evil are nothing but words. Darla pleads with him not to let it happen, to not her death be meaningless.

Meanwhile, in the hotel, Skip tells the gang of Connor's part in the big scheme of things, that his only purpose in the world was to bring forth the evil being growing inside Cordelia Angel can't accept it.

Back to Connor and Darla, Connor tells her they all hate him because he (and Cordelia) is special, again, like a brainwashed, reiterating Cordelia's words. Darla argues that it's not because of what he is that they hate him, but because of what he does. He reminds her they wanted to kill him while he was still inside of her. Darla tells him it all changed when they saw him, when they held him.

Connor picks up her lead and tells her it will change like that for his child as well. Darla says he has a choice, and it is something more precious than he can ever understand. By 'choice', she means the choice to kill, something that as a soulless vampire, she never had. He says they're hunting them down like animals, and she retorts it's because they're acting like that. She tells him her excuse for murder was a lack of soul, but she'd like to know what his is.

Connor is crying, as he says he doesn't want to do this but he has to. Darla asks him to forget everything Cordelia says, it's meaningless. It has to be *his* choice. Connor repeats Cordelia's words again, saying it's all a "far trade". He yells at the girl to shut up as she's starting to sob again, he's clearly losing all grasp of himself. The confusion is taking over him, now he's fighting the right thing to do. Darla tells him it isn't him, he mentions she hasn't been around to tell that, pointing out again the 'leaving him' issue. She says she used to share his soul, she feels his pain as if it were her own, she feels the good in him, no matter how much harm was done to him, it's still in his heart. Connor is looking at her and a tear slips down his cheek as she lays her hand on his heart.

As Connor gives in and goes to free the girl, Cordelia walks in and tells him it's time, to bring her to the other room. Connor is confused and suddenly weakens before her, but still tries to hold his own, he insists the girl is innocent, she shouldn't die, they have to let her go. Cordelia sees Darla and tells Connor she is not his mother, it's a magic trick his father is pulling on him, showing him the image of his dead mother to confuse him. Darla, on hr part, is still fighting on him, trying to convince him to listen to his heart and do the right thing, she tells him that Cordelia lies to him and he shouldn't listen to her. Cordelia says Darla hates him, while Darla says she loves him, Connor is getting more and more confused with both of them at the same time, he's bordering on running out of the room. Cordelia is pressing harder and harder, fastening her grip on him and Darla remains powerless, finally, Connor blocks her off and shouting "You are not my mother," grabs the girl and drags her to the other room. He is crying as he does that, but nevertheless, he never lets go of the girl, never as much as turns back, as Darla is watching him sadly.

When he finally lets go of the girl, she looks up at him, and it's Darla's face as she's again pleading with him not to do it. He's still crying, and his eyes widen in shock when he sees his mother's face, but before he can say or do anything, Cordelia throws a meat cleaver and slashes her throat. Connor looks on stunned at his dead mother.

Cordelia is lying on the floor, the baby is coming and she urges Connor to "do it now." He is still in shock of everything that happened, that he did and can't move. Only when he looks down at the girl and his mother's face is no longer there, he kneels beside her and dips his hand in her blood. He places his palm over Cordelia's stomach and the bloody imprint vanishes at once. The 'birth' begins.

Only that then Angel drops in.


Darla: Listen.
Connor: Somebody there?
Darla: I've always been here... close to your heart. After all... isn't that where a mother belongs? The Powers have sent me to give you a message.
Connor: You can't be my mother.
Darla: I have her memories, her feelings. Isn't that what makes a person who they are?
Girl: Let me go, please...
Darla: I know that sound, the look in her eyes, the smell of fear. I've nurtured it a thousand times. In all the people that I've murdered.
Connor: My mother's dead.
Darla: And I'll always be a part of you. You shared your soul with me once when you were growing inside of me when I'd lost my own. You brought light to my shadow, filled my heart with joy and love. I'd never felt so close to any living thing as I did to my beautiful boy.
Connor: Why'd you leave me? Did you hate me that much?
Darla: Baby, no. I wanted to be with you more than anything.
Connor: You killed yourself. I wasn't even born yet. And you -
Darla: Did what I had to. My life for yours. I did so many terrible things, Connor, so much destruction, so much pain. You were the one good thing I ever did. The only good thing. I'd die every day for the rest of eternity for you. And this... is how you repay me?
Connor: You don't understand. We need her for our baby to keep it safe.
Darla: By anointing it in the blood of an innocent? You really think that safety can be plucked from the arms of an evil deed?
Connor: Good, evil. They're just words.
Darla: Don't let this happen, Connor. Don't let my death mean nothing.
Connor: They hate us... because we're special.
Girl: I don't hate you. Please.
Darla: They're scared because of what you've done not because of what you are.
Connor: They wanted to kill me when I was still inside of you.
Darla: But that changed when they saw you, held you in their arms, felt the warmth of your skin, the goodness in your heart.
Connor: And it will happen again when they hold my child. It's the only way.
Darla: You have a choice, Connor. That is something more precious then you'll ever know.
Connor: What choice? They're hunting us like animals!
Darla: Because you're acting like one. As a vampire I killed without mercy or remorse because I didn't have a soul. What's your excuse?
Connor: You think I wanna do this?
Darla: Then don't.
Connor: I have to.
Darla: Why? Because she told you? There are things happening,
Connor, things that I can't - It has to be your choice. You can stop this.
Connor: Her blood for our baby's. It's fair, isn't it?
Girl: Please, I wanna go home.
Connor: Shut up!
Darla: This isn't you, Connor.
Connor: You've been gone a long time, mom. How would you know?