Sleep Tight

Aside from being a tear-jerker, this is the crucial and final episode in the Connor-arc, the episode of betrayal.

It opens with Wesley in his office, again studying the prophecy of 'the father will kill the son'. His eyes drift over to Connor, who begins to cry and fuss nearby in his crib. Wesley stands up and walks over to him, but then he just looks down at him and stops, freezes, he doesn't know what to do. The not knowing is actually a metaphor that's being expressed through several things in this episode, and even implied on directly - whether or not to betray Angel, whether or not stab his best in the back, whether or not steal his son. It's untrue to say Wesley sided the enemy because he never did side Holtz, he had plans of his own regarding Connor that had nothing to do with Holtz. When he wanted to take the baby away it was from both Holtz and Angel, each for a different reason.

After a while, angel comes up to him and asks him, doesn't he know what to do? While Angel means the question of 'what to do when a baby is crying, that is, pick him up, we can see that Wesley is thinking about another dilemma entirely. And we can also see he really doesn't know what to do.

Later on there is the girl that Lorne attempts to help, the *two-faced* human. She was infected by a demon that left a demonic trace in her that changes her appearance when she sings, Lorne tries to read her to help her, when she sings, when Lorne reads her, it gets her other face out, the evil, the negative, if you want, side of her. This is a yet another continuous metaphor for Wesley. He is too, two-faced in this episode, struggles between the negative and the positive. He hides the 'other' him from the group and it is only uncovered to them because of Lorne. Obviously, Lorne is also a part of it. He's the one that later on reads him, uncovers his 'other' face, his true intentions, when he hums a lullaby to Connor as he intends to take him away.

Another symbolism is the apple that Holtz offers Wesley when he comes to see him. An apple is a well-known symbol to one's confusion, when one is thrown, torn apart by two sides, two decisions that pull at him and he doesn't know which one to pick. That would unquestionably be Wesley. In one of my books about dreams the apple is plainly described like this, I'm quoting word to word - "If the apples were ripe and sweet, it's a sign that hard-earned rewards are on the way. But if they were green, be careful not to lose something precious through your own foolishness." I chose this definition because I thought it suited Wesley's situation the most. Also the act of eating means you're running out of time to do something, make a decision in that case. In other words, put the two together and you get Wesley.

Only that Wesley turns the apple down. It bluntly indicates on that the decision was already made, he even says so himself, he's going to stab someone in the back. And we know right away it's not Holtz, he couldn't care less about him, he feels no loyalty whatsoever towards him. We know he means Angel.

In the meantime, Angel is in the hotel, following the attack on the musicians-demons. He's going crazy, he's losing it, and surprisingly, what gets to him the most is Connor. He can't stand the sight of him, the presence of him, his very being seems to drive him mad.

In his madness, he's tossing his glass of blood (again, the blood has a centric part in this episode as well, we see Angel drinks blood almost in every scene, seemingly with growing hunger. At this episode, it is also pointed out by Lorne and…it is also being resolved). Just as he smashes the glass against the wall, he says something along the lines of Connor not being a baby any longer if he keeps that (fussing and crying) up. He mentions another time during his outburst that he's tired of Connor *needing* things and that what Connor needs is to *grow up* already. The irony and foreboding symbolism of these statements don't even come up to their full weight up until only later on. To be added up to this is the scene from that very morning, when Angel is worried about baby-proofing his weapons because Connor would start crawling in now time. It could be attributed to a simple fatherly concern, except for the fact that…Angel would never get to see Connor grow up.

Later Angel finally learns that his blood was mixed with a bit of Connor's, that's why he's been tasting like food lately, that's why Angel has been craving more and more blood. Angel is shown in one of his weakest states in that scene, his self sacrificial side surfaces at the knowledge he'd been drinking his son's blood and it's hard to determine what he'd have done if Wesley hadn't made the first step and kidnapped Connor. He refuses to even hold his own son when Gunn offers him the baby.

Later that evening Wesley returns to the hotel and that is when he takes Connor, it's funny how he uses the almost exact words Angel did earlier that day, 'It's your uncle Wes, you love your uncle Wes… He loves you… ' These are words of trust, the trust Angel gave him when he put Connor in his arms that morning, the trust Wesley betrayed that night. And Lorne is there, and Lorne reads him through his lullaby… and everything that happens happens. He knocks Lorne down and intends to disappear with Connor. Only that then Angel arrives. Wesley tells him he's only taking Connor overnight and given everything that happened that day, everything Angel learned, he lets him. He even says it's probably a good idea for Connor to not be with him that night. When he hugs Connor goodbye, he tells him to 'sleep tight' and 'daddy will see you real soon'. That is a broken promise, but Angel doesn't know that, nor does Connor. Sleep is innocence, and that what Connor is - he's innocent in all this. You say 'sleep tight' to your child when you tuck him in at night, you wish him sweet dreams. With everything that happens around him, with the place he's going to, Connor's gonna need that.

In this episode, the baby also stops being Connor. He's Steven now, Steven Franklin Thomas. Holt'z son. He is no longer Angel's son, no longer Connor. And all the while, he is shows looking at everything around him with innocent childlike gaze, doesn't begin to understand how his life flipped upside down within moments only.

When Angel learns of Wesley's true plans, he's almost verging a breaking point, when he literally attacks Gunn for merely suggesting reason, all he cares is that his son is missing, that *Wesley* took his son. He follows Holtz and Justine, through Lilah, no less, but he fails to get Connor. In the end, there only one choice for him, and he's not getting his son either way. It's Lilah, or Holtz, and the father in him chooses Holtz. Holtz tells him that if he tries to follow him, to take Connor away or to harm him, Connor dies. Angel is helpless and powerless against it. Just like the bible story of king Solomon, he is a father, who is willing to give his son away to another as long as he stays alive. And even though Holtz reveals the entire deal to him, Connor will grow up as his son, he wouldn't even know Angel ever existed (he already made sure of that but taking his birth-given name from him and replacing it with the other), Angel is set on this decision, he wants his son alive, even if not with him.

Sajhan, who is not at all pleased with this arrangement, threatens to swallow the world into Hell if that's what will kill the child that is destined to kill him. Using the opportunity, Holtz, together with Connor, jumps right through the portal to Quor-Toth, the Hell dimension, and escapes. Angel attempts to jump after him but a lighting bolt thrusts him away to the ground, as though he's for some reason not allowed in. As the portal closes on Holtz and his son, he's unable to even look that way anymore, he just curled up on the ground, crying, whispering his son's name. Connor is lost for him.


Lorne: He has been so good the whole time his daddy's been gone. Do you miss your daddy? He's right here. Hey, Angel, I think Connor needs some papa-love.
Angel: He needs a lot of things. All day, every day.
Lorne: Well, yeah. That's kind of how kids...
Angel: Connor needs a bath, Connor needs a bottle, what Connor needs is to grow up!
Lorne: Is something wrong?
Angel: Gosh, no, Lorne, everything's just great! I got a kid that cries, pees and moans, and never gives me a moment to myself.
Lorne: Oh, it's alright.
Angel: It's really not. Connor, shut up!
Fred: Don't yell at him. He's just a baby!
Angel: He keeps it up he's not gonna be a baby for long!
Gunn: You better get a grip right now!
Angel: What's wrong with me? Something's not right.