That Vision Thing

Infobox Television episode
Title = That Vision Thing
Series = Angel

Caption = {Caption|}
Season = 3
Episode = 2
Airdate = October 1, 2001
Production = 3ADH03
Writer = Jeffrey Bell
Director = Bill L. Norton
Guests = Julie Benz
Andy Hallett
Stephanie Romanov
Daniel Dae Kim
David Denman
Frank Salsedo
Kal Penn
Episode list = List of "Angel" episodes
Prev = Heartthrob
Next = That Old Gang of Mine

"That Vision Thing" is the second episode of season 3 in the television show "Angel". Written by Jeffrey Bell and directed by Bill L Norton, it was originally broadcast on October 1, 2001 on the WB network. In "That Vision Thing", Cordelia's vision gift grows dangerous when it begins physically affecting her. She is on the verge of death when Angel discovers Wolfram & Hart lawyer Lilah Morgan is sending the painful visions to force Angel to free a man imprisoned in an alternate dimension.


Wesley and Gunn eat take-out in the lobby and Fred eats her food under the table while Cordelia waits for her next vision. Wolfram & Hart lawyer Gavin Park visits to inform them of the Hyperion Hotel's building code violations. After Gavin leaves, Cordelia gets a vision about a coin with a hole in it and clawed beast. In the bathroom where she recovers, Cordelia informs Wesley through the door that there are five claws, but leaves out that there are claw marks across her stomach. Angel makes arrangements for Cordelia to be taken home by Fred. He knows Cordelia's visions are getting worse, but she refuses to acknowledge how bad they are. Wesley, Angel, and Gunn leave to find the coin, ending up at a herb shop owned by an elderly couple who turn demonic when they ask about the coin. The gang knock out the couple and Angel finds the coin around the neck of the elderly man.

Gavin informs Lilah that he's been moved into her department, and the two share bitter words about their approaches to dealing with Angel. At her apartment, Cordelia tries to force Fred to leave, but another violent vision leaves her with boils on her face. The whole gang meets at her place and she tries to describe her vision, but Angel is more interested in what's happening to her. They question why The Powers That Be would inflict pain on their messenger. Wesley sends Angel to find the key that goes with the coin while the Host tries to question the Powers That Be about their actions. Cordelia fears losing her visions, but is persuaded to try anyway.

Lilah has a young man wearing a fez sign some papers before meditating on a table. Removing his hat, the man reveals a split skull and exposed brain. As a result of the man's mental efforts, Cordelia gets hit with a massive vision about fire that flings the Host across the room and burns her face and limbs. From his contact with Cordelia, the Host realizes the visions originate from Wolfram & Hart. Angel visits Lilah, who informs him that unless he uses the key and coin to free an "unfairly imprisoned" man from a hell dimension, the physical effects of Cordy's visions will worsen.

Back at the hotel, Wesley tells Angel the coin and key are items of good nature, so those holding and associated with the objects are likely good as well. Wesley points out that rescuing this man is going against Angel's mission. Angel inserts the key into the coin's hole, which transports him to a hell dimension where he encounters a demon guard protecting a large fiery cube surrounding the prisoner. The guard, Skip, is holding the prisoner in the fire with his will. He and Angel have a friendly conversation before they break into battle, where Skip is knocked out and the man is freed. Angel and the rest of the gang transport the prisoner to Lilah for the exchange. Lilah has Brain Man in the back of a limo work his magic to end Cordelia's suffering. A phone call to Fred at Cordelia's place confirms its success. The captive man is handed over to Wolfram & Hart, then Angel kills Brain Man by throwing a piece of re-bar through the limo's window and the man's skull. Lilah turns around to find Angel right in her face, threatening to kill her if she goes after Cordelia again. At the hotel, Cordelia makes food and coffee for Angel as thanks for his work and Angel convinces her the guilt she feels for what happened is unnecessary. He'll deal with Wolfram & Hart and the man he set free when it becomes necessary.

Meanwhile, in Central America, Darla visits a Shaman, asking for help to get rid of her baby. She reveals that the father is a vampire. Using some of her blood and herbs, he tries to determine the baby's form and how it could exist in a vampire's body. Unfortunately, what she is carrying is something no one can rid her of, and resolves that her last option is to seek help from the baby's daddy.



"That Vision Thing" was the first "Angel" script written by Jeffrey Bell, who went on to both write and direct many subsequent episodes. Bell, who was recruited from "The X-Files", included a reference to a creature he created for "The X-Files" episode "Alpha" called a "Wanshang Dhole"Fact|date=August 2007 and came up with the demon jailer Skip,Citation |url= |title=Jeff Bell - Cult Times Magazine Interview |first=Deborah |last=M. |date=2003-12-17 |publisher=Cult Times Magazine Special Edition |issue=28 ] although he was originally called Bob. Played by actor David Denman, Skip was renamed as a tribute to producer Skip SchoolnikCitation |url=,1002,274 |title=Skip Tracer |first=Kate |last=O'Hare |date=March 27, 2003 |accessdate=2007-12-18 |format=dead link|date=September 2008 – [ Scholar search] |unused_data=|80790|1|,00.html ] and quickly became a fan favorite. Executive producer David Greenwalt says, "People are insane for Skip. Not since Angel appeared on "Buffy" have I seen people go wild for a character like this." Greenwalt theorizes that their new special-effects shop Almost Human was partly responsible for the positive fan reaction.Citation |url=,1002,271%7C71339%7C1%7C,00.html |title=Skip the Demon to Return to 'Angel' |first=Kate |last=O'Hare |date=October 18, 2001 |accessdate=2007-12-18 ] [Citation |url=,1002,271%7C79168%7C1%7C,00.html |title=Almost Human: From Beneath They Devour |first=Kate |last=O'Hare |date=November 29, 2002 |accessdate=2007-12-18 ] Makeup artist Robert Hall explains that Bell "described Skip enough for us to get a cool feeling about what he could look like, but he wasn't really restrictive." Hall and the rest of Almost Human created the character in less than a week. "It was a series of cool, happy accidents," Hall says. "We went so totally extreme with the design, and David went so deadpan with the dialogue, and Jeff went so out there with the scene, that it all came together, accidentally."

This episode was due to be the third episode of the season, but was switched with "That Old Gang of Mine" to become the second episode.Fact|date=August 2007


Actress Charisma Carpenter says that although the visions aren't usually difficult to portray, the physical manifestation of the visions in this episode were "a little bit more challenging than I had anticipated." [Citation |url= |title=Interview with Charisma Carpenter: Visionary acting |publisher=BBC ]

This marks David Boreanaz's and Charisma Carpenter's 100th episode as "Angel" and "Cordelia Chase," respectively.

Main Cast

*David Boreanaz as Angel
*Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
*Alexis Denisof as Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
*J. August Richards as Charles Gunn
*Amy Acker as Winifred Burkle

pecial guest star

*Julie Benz as Darla

Guest stars

*Andy Hallett as Lorne
*Stephanie Romanov as Lilah Morgan
*Frank "Sotonoma" Salsedo as Shaman
*Daniel Dae Kim as Gavin Park
*David Denman as Skip


*Justin Shilton as Young Man
*Ken Takemoto as Old Chinese Man
*Alice Lo as Old Chinese Woman
*Mitchell Gibney as Innocuous Man
*Bob Sattler as Masked Man
*Kal Penn as Young Man in Fez

Arc significance

* This episode introduces Skip, who plays a significant role in season four.


*German title: "Tödliche Visionen" ("Deadly visions")
*Italian title: "Visioni" ("Visions")
*Spanish title: "Visiones, agresiones" ("Visions, aggressions")
*French title: "Le martyre de Cordelia" ("Cordelia's martyr")

External links

* [ Television Without Pity recap]


ee also

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