"There are no absolutes. No right and wrong. Haven't you learned anything working for the Powers? There are only choices. I offered paradise; YOU chose this!"
Jasmine is a fictional character, a deity in the fourth season of the television series Angel. She is portrayed for much of the season by Charisma Carpenter (as the goddess is possessing the character of Cordelia Chase), but when she acquires her own body she is portrayed by Gina Torres, who also appeared in Joss Whedon's Firefly as Zoe Washburne. Jasmine is a morally ambiguous character whose goal is to gain a corporeal form on Earth in order to rule it and bring about world peace.
According to her servant, Skip (a demon in secret contact with Jasmine, but openly friends with Cordelia Chase), Jasmine arranged for many of the events seen in Angel Seasons One through Four all to align players as necessary in order to create the opportunity to come to Earth. These included Lorne's arrival on Earth, the passing of Doyle's visions to Cordelia, later Cordelia's transformation into a part demon and her ascension into the realm of the Powers, the birth of Connor, and the coming of the Beast.
Jasmine explains that long ago, the primeval forces now considered good and evil took shape; however, the malevolent grew in power and the era of demons began. Jasmine and some of her fellow beings left this world and made themselves content to watch from an alternate reality, only directing the remaining forces for good on Earth and not taking an active part in the battle against evil.
Jasmine was a renegade who decided to take matters into her own hands and impose peace on Earth through mind control. She conquered a dimension filled with a race of insectoid demons as a rehearsal before going to Earth. Jasmine, known to these demons as "The Blessed Devourer," tinkered with the demons' evolution and society, but eventually abandoned them and later spoke of them as a mistake. In the following centuries, many lost their faith in her, but others fanatically awaited for her return. Like in the case of mankind, Jasmine assumed a shape similar to that of her zealots.
In season two, Angel attempts to give Darla, dying at the time, a second chance at life by passing a series of trials. However, unbeknownst to Angel, Darla can't use the new second chance because she is already on her second life, and Jasmine claims she was able to use the life Angel earned to create Connor after he had sex with Darla (who had been re-sired by Drusilla at the behest of Wolfram & Hart). Following the birth of Connor, Jasmine is able to maneuver Cordelia with Skip's assistance into becoming part-demon and later ascending into the realm of the Powers. Once in the realm of the Powers, Cordelia finds herself consumed with boredom. Cordelia eventually elects to give up her godhood and return to Earth in her previous half-demon form, but Jasmine uses this interdimensional trip to "piggy-back" into our dimension by possessing Cordelia. However, the Powers had in place a safeguard for this type of travel.
Upon arrival back on Earth, Cordelia finds herself with a severe case of amnesia locking out her memories from her time as a human. Undaunted (and unaware of Jasmine's presence), the Angel Investigations team immediately set about restoring their friend's memory by way of a magic spell. Eventually, the team is able to restore her memory, thus unlocking Jasmine's personality instead of Cordelia's. The reason why Cordelia experienced amnesia was due to the safeguard set in place by The Powers That Be, so no enities could hitchhike off Cordelia. Unfortunately this safeguard was broken by Cordelia's friends.
Jasmine is able to take over Cordelia and manipulate all of Cordelia's friends, who do not know that she is possessed by Jasmine. Following her return to Earth, Jasmine works to keep Angel Investigations off-balance and distracted so they won't notice or prevent her birth. First, she summons her servant, the unstoppable Beast, and has him create a rain of fire and block out the Sun all over Los Angeles through a spell eventually covering the entire Earth. Then, having cast a powerful spell to erase all references to the Beast (and herself) in memory and literature in this reality, she uses the possessed Cordelia to convince the team to release Angelus, the only one who has memories of the Beast. Following that, she steals the Muo-Ping (a sacred glass jar that contained Angel's soul), fakes a replacement way of re-ensouling Angel, and casts a spell confusing Lorne's abilities so Angelus will be "accidentally" released by pretending to still be Angel. She also murders Lilah Morgan and has the Beast completely obliterate every employee of Wolfram & Hart in Los Angeles.
In the meantime and with the champions distracted, Jasmine remains inside of Cordelia and seduces Connor, whose primary purpose had been to be the father of her new body. She also magically battles Willow Rosenberg (and loses, as she is distracted) in order to attempt to stop the soul within the Muo-Ping from being returned (and Angelus being changed back to Angel). By the end of the crisis, Cordelia has already been impregnated with the fast-gestating new body of Jasmine.
Jasmine finally blows her cover during Lorne's attempt to regain his powers. During a secret ritual where Lorne is expected to be alone, "Cordelia" arrives with a large knife to kill him. It is really a trap set by the AI team who had realized Cordelia was possessed, but she is saved by Connor. With his further assistance (including the kidnapping of an innocent virgin for sacrifice), Jasmine is able to give birth (while possessing Cordelia) to her new body.
Upon being born, Jasmine drains the life-force out of Cordelia, leaving her in a comatose state, one from which she will never wake. Jasmine's tentacled and luminescent form assumes the shape of a woman. When Angel and Connor see her for the first time, they both fall to their knees, having quickly fallen under her thrall.
Jasmine appears before the rest of Angel's crew, turning them into her followers and announcing, despite the great evil done in her name, her plan is to bring world peace and the elimination of evil, starting with Los Angeles. However, peace comes at a high price. One drawback is that Jasmine secretly needs to devour a certain amount of humans to maintain her force. For this, she usually chooses people both beautiful and fit, but also people that had been lost and in pain, sparing those proving useful for the society she plans on creating.
The real problem, however, is Jasmine's mind control virtually eliminates free will from the world, with everyone being unable to do much of anything except praise and serve Jasmine all day. The AI team is able to shake off her control after being exposed to her and Cordelia's blood, starting with Fred (who scrubs a damaged blouse so hard her fingers literally bleed), and progressing to Angel (who is hit with a bullet Fred shot through Jasmine's shoulder, effectively covering it with her blood, and into Angel's shoulder as he was standing behind her). The two of them then acquire samples of Cordelia's blood and 'infect' Lorne, Wesley, and Gunn with it. Accusing them of being dissidents bent on spreading their hatred, Jasmine directs her followers against them, and as her powers grow, she is capable of projecting her will and voice through each of them. She begins to refer to those under her control as "The Body Jasmine," as they are veritable extensions of her own body.
While Fred, Wesley, Lorne, and Gunn fight against Jasmine's forces under Connor's command, Angel is able to undo her control over the world by revealing her true name. This second and more powerful weakness of Jasmine's is hidden in the demon dimension she had formerly ruled, which is revealed to Wesley when one of the zealots there travels to Earth in the hope of reminding Jasmine of his world's existence. As the other world's atmosphere is poisonous to humans, Angel (who, as a vampire, doesn't need to breathe) travels to the other dimension, obtains Jasmine's true name, and shatters her mind control and power by revealing her name during a worldwide news broadcast.
When her name is revealed, her appearance is also altered. Though she keeps her human appearance, she is covered in boils and her eyes turn purple. Her followers run horrified as the sensation of inner peace and bliss they experienced as part of Jasmine's collective is obliterated. Many cause riots and chaos, while others even contemplate suicide. With her name revealed, Jasmine's mind control powers are destroyed, though she keeps her inhuman strength and can easily withstand electricity. Her unique psychic link with Connor also remains, as their connection is of a different nature. Through this link, Connor tracks down Jasmine.
With her agenda ruined by Angel, Jasmine initially finds herself lost and purposeless, until Angel tries to reach out to her. Jasmine is upset with Angel and tries to impart to him there is no absolute good, no absolute evil—everything is a gray area. Angel tries to sway her to his point of view, to recruit her to his side, but Jasmine prefers to slaughter humanity herself before giving free will a chance, as she had seen for millennia what this precious free will would bring about. Jasmine says without her help, the world is doomed to drown in its own blood; Angel protests it should be humanity's choice to bring about a perfect world, rather than having it forced on them.
Soon after, Jasmine is killed by an increasingly unstable Connor, the only person aside from Cordelia capable of harming her and the only one who had given himself to Jasmine despite knowing Jasmine's true nature.
Jasmine's good or evil status is somewhat debatable; she argued she was a force for good, she could have ended all the suffering in the world within a few years and bring about a Golden Age, but Angel argues her methods are not right, and only through suffering can humanity grow, and without free will, life would not be worth living. The fact one of the last things Jasmine did before dying was pledge to use her remaining power to destroy the world shows she at least has a very bad temper, and there's nothing to say she wouldn't abandon Earth like she did to one of the previous dimensions she ruled. Angel and his friends do feel somewhat uncertain about whether they had done a good thing or a bad thing in defeating her, especially when Wolfram & Hart congratulates them for ending world peace. All her malevolent deeds in the course of the show were for a greater benevolent purpose, but whether or not her ends justified the means is open to debate.
"In the beginning, before the time of man, great beings walked the earth. Untold power emanated from all quarters—the seeds of what would come to be known as good and evil. But the shadows stretched and became darkness, and the malevolent among us grew stronger. The earth became a demon realm. Those of us who had the will to resist left this place, but we remained ever-watchful. But then something new emerged from deep inside the earth—neither demon, nor god. And it seemed, for a time, that through this new race, a balance might be restored."
"And how many will die because of you? I could've stopped it, Angel. All of it. War, disease, poverty. How many precious, beautiful lives would've been saved in a handful of years? Yes, I murdered thousands to save billions. This world is doomed to drown in its own blood now."
"I was forged in the inferno of creation, vampire. Do you really think a little electricity would destroy me?"
"...although, a temple would be nice."
Not counting the episodes she was possessing Cordelia, Jasmine has made 5 canonical Buffyverse appearances.
- Jasmine has appeared as a guest in 5 episodes.
- Season 4 (2002, 2003) - "Inside Out"; "Shiny Happy People"; "The Magic Bullet"; "Sacrifice"; "Peace Out"