To Shanshu in L.A.

To Shanshu in L.A.

Infobox Television episode

Title=To Shanshu in L.A.
Airdate=May 23, 2000
Writer=David Greenwalt
Director=David Greenwalt
Guests=Todd Stashwick
Christian Kane
Sam Anderson
Stephanie Romanov
Elisabeth Röhm
J. August Richards
Julie Benz
Episode list = List of "Angel" episodes
Prev=Blind Date

"To Shanshu in L.A." is episode 22 of season 1 of the television show "Angel". Written and directed by David Greenwalt, it was the Season One finale, and originally broadcast on May 23, 2000 on the WB network. In this episode, Wolfram & Hart lawyers send a demon named Vocah to reclaim the mystical scroll Angel stole from them, which is needed to raise Darla from Hell. Angel eventually takes back the scroll (by severing Lindsey's hand) but fails to prevent Darla from being resurrected.


Wesley continues to try to decipher the text of The Prophecies of Aberjian (part of which is the Shanshu Prophecy). When he deciphers the crucial word "shanshu" as "death", he surmises that means Angel will die. The lawyers at Wolfram & Hart call forth a warrior of the underworld named Vocah to perform a Raising. Cordelia has a vision that sends Angel on his way to help a homeless woman fighting a slime demon. Kate arrives on the scene after Angel has defeated it, and she is determined to rid the city of vampires.

Wesley and Cordelia discuss how Angel is cut off from life, and decide he needs a hobby. Vocah follows Cordelia, and inundates her with hundreds upon hundreds of visions; she collapses to the ground in agony. Angel reads up on the scrolls while the cloaked figure makes his way into the apartment. Angel locks the scroll away, and then leaves after getting a call about Cordelia. At the hospital, Cordelia is suffering, and the doctors are unable to save her and Angel is horrified by what is happening to his friend. Wesley returns to the apartment just in time to see a bomb was left in place of the scroll. Angel approaches the office building just as it explodes into a fiery blaze. Angel searches through the wreckage and finds that Wesley is still alive but badly hurt. Kate confronts Angel, but with his friends in serious conditions, he's not in the mood to take any of her hostile attitude toward him and after telling her that he's more than happy to oblige if she wants to be enemies, goes with Wesley to the hospital.

Angel goes to see Cordelia, now in a catatonic state. He promises her that he's going to help her, and then finds a symbol on Cordelia's hand, and goes to the Oracles of Powers That Be for help. He finds them dead, but the spirit of the female Oracle gives him instruction. He needs the scrolls, specifically the words of Anatole that will save Cordelia and points him in the direction of Wolfram & Hart. Angel is now on a mission, but won't make the mistake of leaving his friends unprotected again and asks Gunn to stand guard at the hospital while he goes to hunt down Vocah. Vocah reads from the scrolls while sacrificing five vampires that are chained to a large cage. Angel watches as the Wolfram & Hart lawyers leave to attend the Raising ritual.

Angel crashes the party and goes into a battle with Vocah. Lindsey picks up where Vocah left off and continues the ritual. His chanting kills the five vampires chained to the cage and then Holland orders the cage removed. In the end, Angel kills Vocah, and then faces Lindsey for the scroll. Lindsey tells Angel that the key to defeating the vampire with a soul is to cut off his connections to the Powers That Be and starts to burn the scroll. However rather than let Cordelia's only hope burn, Angel cuts off Lindsey's right hand and takes the scroll.

Wesley reads the word of Anatole and Cordelia is unbound from Vocah's evil doings. After seeing so many visions, Cordelia realizes how many people out there need their help. At her apartment (and the temporary headquarters for Angel Investigations), Cordelia feeds Wesley and Angel, showing them her new, kinder side. Wesley discovers that the prophecy means that Angel will become human once he has fulfilled his duties. The lawyers go check on the cage, and Lilah looks inside, revealing a terrified Darla.


Main cast

* David Boreanaz as Angel
* Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
* Alexis Denisof as Wesley Wyndam-Pryce

pecial guest star

*Julie Benz as Darla

Guest stars

*Elisabeth Röhm as Kate Lockley
*Christian Kane as Lindsey McDonald
*Stephanie Romanov as Lilah Morgan
*Sam Anderson as Holland Manners
*Todd Stashwick as Vocah Demon
*Carey Cannon as Female Oracle
*Randall Slavin as Male Oracle
*David Herman as David Nabbit
*J. August Richards as Charles Gunn


*Louise Claps as Homeless Woman
*Daren Rice as Uniform #1
*Jon Ecklund as Uniform #2
*Lia Johnson as Vendor
*Robyn Cohen as Nurse
*Susan Savage as Doctor
*John Eddins as Monk #1
*Gerard O'Donnell as Monk #2
*Brahman Turner as Young Tough Guy

Production details

Producer David Greenwalt says they decided to blow up the Angel Investigations at the end of this episode because the sets were uncomfortably cramped when filming. [Citation |url= |title=To Shanshu in L.A. |publisher=BBC ]


Arc significance

* This episode sets the stage for the Shanshu plotline that will follow the show until the final episode. Angel learns of the Shanshu Prophecy, detailing the foretelling of a vampire with a soul playing a pivotal role in the Apocalypse, and in doing so, earning the right to live as human again.

* Lindsey loses his hand, which only serves to fuel his antipathy and vitriol towards Angel. This will come into play in Season 2.

* Darla is resurrected by Wolfram and Hart, which will also play heavily into the entirety of the series.


Cultural references

* To Live and Die in L.A.: The title of this episode refers to the 1985 William Friedkin movie starring William Petersen. Wesley has translated the ancient term "shanshu" as meaning "to live and to die."


*Grant Langston - "Time Of Day"


* French title: "Le manuscrit" ("The manuscript", "this title for the last episode of Angel season 1 echoes the last episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer season 1, called exactly the same")
* German title: "Duell mit dem Bösen" ("Duel with the evil")
* Italian title: "Shanshu a L.A." ("To shanshu in L.A.")
* Spanish title: "Shanshu en Los Angeles" ("Shanshu in L.A.")


External links


ee also

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