"You're Welcome" is episode twelve of season five of the television show Angel. Written and directed by David Fury, it is the 100th episode of the series, and originally broadcast on February 4, 2004 on the WB network. In "You're Welcome", former series regular Charisma Carpenter returns as a guest star, when the character of Cordelia Chase miraculously awakens from her coma. It is her duty to put Angel — who has recently been feeling ineffective at fighting the powers of darkness — back on the right path. Meanwhile, Angel's old enemy Lindsey McDonald has resurfaced and is plotting revenge. The episode features the death and final appearance of Cordelia.
The episode was written to reinforce the show's earlier themes, and examine the evolution of the characters in the show's one hundred episodes. Sarah Michelle Gellar was originally scripted to return as Buffy Summers, but when she could not appear, it instead focused on rounding off the character of Cordelia. The episode proved generally popular with critics, who praised Charisma Capenter's final performance as Cordelia and the sense of resolution for the character.
Back at Wolfram & Hart, Cordelia reveals the vision that woke her from the coma showed Angel in grave danger. Eve enters, despite being banned, saying Angel has no control over the liaison for the Senior Partners. Meanwhile, Spike (James Marsters) complains to Lindsey (whom he believes is called 'Doyle') that the deranged slayer 'Doyle' sent him after ended up chopping off his hands. 'Doyle' reveals he also had one of his hands cut off.
Angel finds Cordelia watching an Angel Investigations commercial Doyle (Glen Quinn) recorded several years earlier, and she notes Doyle gave his life to guarantee that Angel kept fighting. Cordelia accuses Angel of letting Wolfram & Hart seduce him with glamor and power, but Angel says he took the job only so his son Connor could have a happy, stable life. Later, Cordelia apologizes to Wesley (Alexis Denisof) for killing Lilah while under Jasmine's control. She finds the strange symbols from her vision in a book, and Wesley recognizes them as runes to protect and conceal, effective against modern surveillance. In the basement of W&H, Lindsey - invisible to the guards monitoring the video screens - passes into a restricted area. He uses a crystal as a key, allowing an underground tank to rise.
Spike bites Cordelia until Angel fights him off. Spike explains he was tasting whether she was evil, as his source claimed. Angel questions the source, and Spike says it was 'Doyle', the tattooed man who gets visions from the Powers That Be. Angel confronts Eve, suggesting she is working with the Doyle impersonator who has been manipulating Spike. Harmony (Mercedes McNab) says - being 'technically evil' - she doesn't mind torturing Eve, after which Eve quickly confesses 'Doyle' is activating a fail-safe left by the Senior Partners specifically designed to destroy Angel. When Spike unwittingly mentions 'Doyle' had a hand chopped off, Angel deduces that 'Doyle' is in fact former W&H crony Lindsey McDonald. Wesley says he and Fred will perform a spell to counter-act Lindsey's tattoos, while the others attempt to disable the fail-safe.
In the rooms below, Angel battles Lindsey, who is wreathed in protective strength from his tattooed runes. Cordelia throws Angel a katana; while Angel and Lindsey sword-fight she removes the crystal from the control panel, causing the fail-safe to descend into the floor. Wesley and Fred perform a spell that causes Lindsey's tattoos to float off of his body, leaving him unprotected from detection by the Senior Partners. Lindsey is sucked upwards into a portal.
Upstairs, Angel is left alone with Cordelia, who confesses her return - a favor from the Powers That Be - is only temporary. She leaves, but rushes back to give Angel a passionate kiss. A ringing telephone interrupts, and as Angel picks up the receiver, Cordelia says, "Oh, and you're welcome." The voice on the phone says that Cordelia has died. Angel's office is suddenly empty; Cordelia has vanished. Angel realizes Cordelia never awoke from her coma. He hangs up the telephone, and says "Thank you."
David Boreanaz had just had knee surgery prior to filming, so writer David Fury did his best to keep Angel sitting down as much as possible. Fury used tight camera angles during Spike's apartment scene with Lindsey to disguise the fact that the same set was used earlier for the opening teaser. "Everything is a bit contained; the reason is if I turn around, this is where they found the dead nuns," Fury explains.
Christian Kane was genuinely upset when an addition by Joss Whedon in the script called for Angel to refer to Lindsey as a "tiny Texan." Although born in Texas, Kane identifies as a "Sooner" and "I'm stronger than David, bigger than David, I'm just shorter." Kane says Joss "likes to take shots at me. He's like, 'I can't build this character up too much without cutting his nuts just a little bit.'"
Carpenter says she was satisfied with the way her character left the show, as she feels Cordelia's story has been fully resolved. Creator Joss Whedon agreed, saying, "In seven years, we'd sort of run through our course of [the] character and didn't want to start just doing hollow riffs on what we'd done." Since Whedon suspected this season would be the last, Carpenter says, "we didn't want to just leave Cordelia in a coma..this would be a very big story left untold. Carpenter says the 100th episode was a momentous time to have her character die, calling it "bittersweet...a love letter to Cordelia." David Fury agrees: "It's a beautiful farewell to Charisma for the series."
Actor Christian Kane says he had a difficult time calling himself 'Doyle' because he felt on some level he was masquerading as deceased Glenn Quinn. "It was a very awkward situation for me and David because we were close to Glenn," says Kane. "I didn't know how the fans were going to react to it." Kane says the memory of Quinn upset Boreanaz: "I could see it in his eyes... it’s got to be a tough deal for him." However, Kane thinks that "Joss is brilliant because he used that. How do you turn me and David against each other? You really can’t because we’re such close friends. So to use that for Angel and Lindsey, I think has a little bit of brilliance to it. It’s kind of sick...but it did the job. David Fury adds, "I think [the fans] appreciated it from the standpoint that we were honoring him. That Doyle's not a forgotten piece of this world."
Reaction to the death of long-time character Cordelia was generally positive. After being disgusted by Cordelia's fourth season arc, which she claims "destroyed Cordy's character and viewer trust", Jennifer Crusie applauds this episode. "The writers play fair," she says, "foreshadowing the Gotcha to come" - Cordelia is in a private room, yet hastily draws the curtains around a bed-ridden roommate, and remarks to Angel that she understands why Doyle used his "last breath to make sure [Angel] kept fighting." Rather than undercutting the emotional impact of the story, the twist of Cordelia's tragic ending reinforces and honors her character. "She is...our Cordy again," Crusie says. Cordelia exits the series "needed, loved, and wanted"; her final words are "You're welcome", Janine R. Harrison argues, because "she knows her worth.
However, Laura Diehl was disturbed by the selflessness of Cordelia's death: "Only when she’s satisfied that Angel is 'back on track' and that his soul is 'safe,' can she, safely, die. Here, Cordelia produces meaning for Angel; she doesn’t produce her own meaning. Doesn’t Cordelia deserve more than this?