A New World

The second Connor jumps into this world, he attacks the stunned Angel, who is forced into a fight with his only son before he was even able to process his return being a fact. Though the boy, being his father's son, masters many fighting techniques and is incredibly strong, Angel eventually gains the upper hand and nails him to the floor, driving Connor's ax to his neck. But seeing his son in the boy's eyes, he can't to it and lets go, climbing to his feet. When he reaches his hand for Connor though, the boy, genuinely terrified, leaps up on his own and dashes outside into the daylight. Unaware of the repercussions of his own actions, Angel runs after him, but is restrained by Gunn and Groo in the last possible second before the sun becomes deadly.

Connor, lost and confused, ruled by emotions he had never felt before, and not only, emotions that he'd trained himself all his years following his 'father's' stories to fight, tries to make his way through the ever-moving city of Los Angeles. Having never seen a car, having never even seen a car, he adjusts relatively well to being thrown into a whole new world from his primitive (if to judge by his clothes and habits…such as cutting people's ears off…) Hell-dimension.

Being on earth for only one day, he manages to get himself in a fight with a gang of drug dealers, which involves also the 'discovery' of 'medicine', to meet to meet a girl and 'like' her, *and* later watch her die from drug overuse. There are several aspects of Connor seen in this episode: his strength, intelligence and self-confidence, but also we get a glimpse of his weaknesses, his repressed childlike naivety and boyish urges and needs. He needs someone to show him the world, to guide him by the hand through it, even in times when he's so confident he doesn't need anyone. He clearly had to grow up too fast, see too many things a 16 years-old should have never seen…all those things Angel hoped to protect him from when he comes of age. He never got to be a child, and now he's at a stage he no longer knows how.

When Angel finally finds him, they again, start fighting, after Angel asks him to give him a chance, a request after which Connor simply looks at him and says "too late". He tells Angel not to call him Connor, that his name is Steven. Though Angel appears to be thunderstruck, the true weight of that news hits him so much more than he shows. By giving his child the name 'Connor', he intended not only pass on his legacy through his son (the name is insignificant for that), but he intended to pass on his *Irish* legacy through his son. Angel is known to be very connected to his Irish roots, even though it's not frequently expressed in the show. Naming his son an Irish name held within it a principle similar to the one hidden in his dream back in 'The Prom', BtVS season 3, when he dreamt about him and Buffy getting married in an *Irish* church (note the Irish cross). Holtz did a lot more than depriving Connor from the name given to him by his father, as absurd as it is to refer to *that* as little.

Angel and Connor never manage to straighten out their differences, because they're being attacked by the same gang whose leader Connor 'left earless'. It naturally leads to cops, drugs being involved, and later on to a crossfire, in the middle of which Connor and Angel are trapped. As they try to escape through a window, a cop aims his gun at Connor and Angel takes the bullet for him, yelling him to run.

Seeing his father hit and falling to the ground, Connor freezes on the windowsill and is unable to move, staring wide-eyed at Angel. Finally, Angel sees that yelling at him to run leads nowhere and manages to push himself up from the floor, grab Connor and jump together out the window.

As they're running down the street, Connor constantly glances at Angel, and eventually asks him if he's alright. He's clearly worried about him and what's more, isn't trying to hide it. He's obviously too worried to bother to hide it. Angel assures him he's fine, though it's obvious he's in pain, he tries appear stronger for Connor. He basically tells him he understands he needs time, and makes his son understand that he'll always be there, whenever he decides he's ready to come, that he'll always have a home with him. He doesn't push him, and Connor's grateful for it. Angel tells his he's not alone, he says he knows, and they part.


Angel: I'm not gonna let you walk out that door and get into any more trouble. Hear me?
Connor: Fine.
Angel: I'm sorry. You just don't understand how this world works.
Connor: I understand. Sunny was nice. Now she's dead.
Angel: Connor...
Connor: Stop calling me that! My name is Steven.
Angel: Steven... Okay... Steven... It's a good name. Not Irish, but... Look I know we haven't gotten off to a great start here, but if we can just take a minute. That'd be good. Please, just... Don't run away from me, alright? I lost you once already. There's just... there's just so much I wanna know, so much I need to know. Okay? You been okay? I mean what was it like there? Did you have any friends? Okay, I mean, not friends. It's not like you were at summer camp. I mean, you were stuck in a Hell dimension. Connor...I'm so sorry. I tried to get you back. I did. I tried to come after you. I would have done anything. I just...I just...I couldn't find a way in.
Connor: I found a way out.