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18 June 2014
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Angel - Season Five Episode Guide
The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco

PictureAngel wrestles with a demonic problem.

Written by: Jeffrey Bell
Directed by: Jeffrey Bell

Wolfram and Hart's postman, the oddly-named Number Cinco, reveals an unexpected past. The former Mexican wrestler, who still wears his mask to work, was once a superhero.

Many years ago, he and his four brothers vanquished an Aztec demon, Tezcatcatl, although Number Five was the only survivor. But somehow the demon has resurrected itself, and is killing heroes by ripping out their hearts.

A spell reunites the brothers for one last battle, in which Angel kills the demon.

Quiz: - ten quick questions.

Fight club: The episode was originally titled Night of the Luchadors. The English translation of 'Luchadore' is 'fighter'.

They're just acting!: The inspiration for the episode is partly El Santo, an actual masked wrestler who played himself in several action films. Think of him as Hulk Hogan, south of the border style.

Bad Manners: In the flashback to Numero Cinco being offered a job at Wolfram and Hart, the business card of the lawyer shows that he's none other than Holland Manners, head of the Los Angeles branch until an unfortunate lock-in drinking session with Dru and Darla cost him his life.

Maybe it's because Mexican wrestling is something I've got about as much familiarity with as snail biology, but to me this was season five's first miss. Quirky and uplifting it may have been, in a saccharine sort of way, but The Cautionary Tale didn't hang together for me.

I know I was meant to care about Number Five, but the stagey superhero trappings of his glory days just made me slightly embarrassed. They came over more like a cut-price Dick Tracey, complete with dodgy acting, than the Marvel-style effect the producers were probably going for.

This was monster-of-the-week Angel, more suited to season one than the sophisticated beast the series has become since then. Here we got see monster, understand monster's weakpoint, kill monster, and that just isn't good enough when we know this show is capable of so much more.

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Angel is broadcast on Sky One and Five in the UK, and is © Twentieth Century Fox Television. Some images copyright Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. All rights reserved.

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