The Magic Bullet

In this particular episode there are not many moments worth mentioning about Connor, but all that are worth mentioning actually come to bring his character backward rather than forward. All probably to prepare us for the end where he is… uncovered.

For instance, the scene in the office, where they try to think how to bring Fred back and Connor's suggestion is that he will go after her and "bring back her scalp." This is what things used to be like in Quortoth, what *he* used to be like in Quortoth, and if we think back to when he first returned, also after it. It is a savage and animalistic way and it pops back at us just as we thought this phase was over for him. Apparently, some remnants of it are still there.

Also, he wonders why Fred would not accept love. It points on his character, on his own addiction to Jasmine's magical power. He *accepted* it, he wasn't enchanted, he took it on himself out of *choice*, now he asks why would Fred choose to reject it (especially given the fact he knows *she* should be under the spell).

The next glimpse into Connor's past is when he and Angel are tracking Fred and descend into the sewers since Connor says she went down there. Angel asks him how he learned to track like this and Connor says it's when he was five or six, Holtz taught him how to track by tying him up to a tree and leaving him there. He was supposed to free and find him. Sometimes it only took him five days.

Connor speaks casually about it, he's not bothered by either Holtz' cruelty or the absurd of the situation and his actions. He just tells it as a story, nothing more, he doesn't give his own words the weight they deserve. Angel on the other hand, is more than upset and angry though he might not show it completely. He learns through this little tale a part of his son's life back in the hell dimension and what's more – he learns how Holtz behaved to him. As a father, he must have had certain amount of comfort thinking Holtz could have protected his son from at least some of the evil and horrors in Quortoth, that he could supply him some resemblance to love and family warmth. Now he's disillusioned, more than that, he'd probably be able to kill Holtz now if only he had the chance. Connor, on his side, doesn't seem to be concerned with his father's reaction. He treats it casually, he doesn't want his pity, because he doesn't want to appear weak. He doesn't tell it to him for that. But I think deep inside he is glad to receive Angel's reaction to this tale, especially this kind.

Now another thing that brings up a question and therefore is worth mentioning. When they were doing the seance thing to 'find' Fred, and jasmine's hand started smoking, it was the hand Connor was holding, how is that and why? And why did she have scalds allover her palm while Connor obviously remained unharmed? I certainly hope this is going to be explained eventually because I sure as hell don't have a clue.

Also, when Connor completes Lorne's line, "You know what they say about people who need people," with "they're the luckiest people in the world." And Lorne attributes that to Connor checking out his Streisand collection. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't, we don't know. What we do know is that *Connor* needed people, for a very long time – he needed friends, family, needed a father. But he was never allowed to express all that or to have that. And now he is. So does he mean he considers himself lucky?

Another worth mentioning moment is when Connor and Angel sing "Mandy" for Jasmine in the open mic night. They both equally suck, even though it's nice seeing them do that together. But one thing is sure, like father like son – the lack of any remote singing talent certainly stays in the family.

In the bookstore, where Fred finally releases Angel from Jasmine's magic, Connor at first is reluctant to believe the magic really has been lifted and that his father is back to normal. We see that when he asks him what's going on, refusing to believe he's really 'gone' for him now. We see the disillusionment in his eyes as he looks at Angel, and as Jasmine confirms Angel is dead for him. For Connor, that moment, his perfect world shatters into pieces. He fights off Fred and Angel, yelling at Angel that he ruins everything. Now, that is another glimpse of the old Connor, the one who blames his father for all the bad things happening in his life. But now Angel 'ruined' something Connor could trust, something Connor gained in spite of thinking he could never have that. Connor doesn't have a family now, he doesn't have a father, all is back to what it used to be before because Angel is released from Jasmine's spell. What Angel 'ruined' for Connor is what Connor always wanted. But what Connor needs to understand and obviously still doesn't is that things like a father's love are *not* gained through magic.

Another important note – when Jasmine uses the three people to heal herself, Connor *knows* what she's doing to them, he knows she killed those people. Nevertheless, he keeps watch by her door, allows her to do the deed, and when she comes out and tells him she "ate" them, his response is, "Cool." So what happened to him? Is he maybe really under at least some of her spell or does he 'choose' to *let* her kill? The blood of these people are on *his* hands, assuming he's not under the spell, but he already got a taste of the blood of an innocent once. Has it corrupted him? Maybe Cordelia need *him* to help her perform the kill so that he would be 'prepared' to afterwards kill more and more.

When finally Angel and Fred bring Wes, Gunn and Lorne to their side, too, by giving them a 'taste' of Cordelia's blood, Angel says he's not leaving the hotel without Connor, he wants him with them, too. Wesley brings Connor into the room, where he is attacked by Angel, who's only trying to restrain him, while Connor hisses he'll kill him for that. Angel says he'll get over it, like he hasn't tried that before. Now, if they were all a bit more attentive, they should have realized already then something was wrong, that it was the 'old' Connor speaking and not the new-and-improved-under-magic-influence Connor they're trying to save.

So Connor dropped his guard, or it seemed that way, and allowed that slip. But *they* didn't notice. It will be a while before they understand the real why. Wes cuts Connor's chest and smears Cordelia's blood over the wound so that it will mix with Connor's. It does and after a moment Connor 'wakes up'. He fakes himself back-to-old for a little while, and the fact alone he knows how he should react to the blood means he was never affected by Jasmine's spell. But the show goes on only for a moment, before they all realize he wasn't nearly as cure as they though.


Connor: She's been down here.
Angel: How old were you when you realized you could track like this?
Connor: I don't know. Five, six, I didn't exactly celebrate birthdays in Quortoth. Holtz made up a game so I could practice.
Angel: What do you mean, his things for you to find?
Connor: Kinda. He'd tie me to a tree and then run away.
Angel: What?!
Connor: You know, I'd have to escape and then find him. Sometimes it only took me five days.
Angel: Five days. He abandoned you... Connor, it's terrible, that's…
Connor: Why I'm so good at tracking.