PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE. If your diet requires you to dine on television spoiler-free ... good luck with that.

REVIEW ARCHIVES

Monday, October 12, 2020

Newborn Grandmummy

 Episode 2.10: Reunion. Original Airdate: 12.19.00. 









“Angel fights to stop Darla and Drusilla as they embark on a murderous rampage across the city.”
 





Zelda’s Thoughts:
  • So Gunn’s pulling a weak and limping Angel into the Hyperion. I guess Angel called Gunn and not Wes and Cordy?
  • Angel’s all ripped up, traumatized really, from having watched Drusilla turn Darla.
  • Wes and Cordy are properly spooked about Dru. Gunn: “Who’s Drusilla?”
  • Angel’s muttering that he’s gonna save Darla, as Gunn tries to calm him down, but oh – Angel wants to save her from having to be a vampire again. He’s got a stake ready.
  • Gunn’s trying to get the backstory. Darla sired Angel, who sired Dru. W&H revived Darla, then brought Dru to sire Darla anew. “That means the granddaughter remade the grandmother.”
  • Angel’s pulling away from his team, so we’re back to continuing that arc. He insists on seeing Lindsey alone. But hey when we finally get there, the place is emptied out. Sorry, Daniel. The swingers bar is gone. [One more Tom Collins for the road?- D]
  • Our helpful realtor gives us some exposition about Dru babbling about her pregnancy and giving birth under the stars. “I explained to her that you can live your whole life in Los Angeles and never even see a star.” but we cut to Dru looking up at them, “I can hear them singing to me.” Callback to when she was naming the stars, even though that was the ceiling and also it was day!
  • We’re in some kind of rooftop solarium and Dru murmurs about her grandmother/daughter and it’s very Chinatown. But when Lindsey asks if Darla can hear Dru, a moment of lucidity as she looks him point-blank in the eye. “She’s dead.”
  • Wes “Angel, I fear you may be looking for a logical pattern in the rantings of someone who doesn’t think logically.”
  • Hey, Gunn once again with our breakthrough analysis: he suggests nursery could mean plants.
  • Seriously, how did this team get anything done before him.
  • Random question: if you stake a body that’s not yet a vampire but leave the stake in, would they ash the moment they finished turning? Anyway, Angel found Darla’s body. And I guess he’s gonna try that plan of stake ‘n wait.
  • But Dru smacks him around with a shovel. “I saw you coming, my lovely. The moon showed me. It told me to come into the 20th century.” // “It’s the 21st century, Dru.”
  • Oop Darla’s awake. And not interested in being saved by Angel anymore.
  • I have trouble believing that Darla is able to throttle Angel and hold him in the air – not because of strength but because she is tiny and doesn’t have the arm span. Y’all know I’m right. 


  • Anyway, Darla’s throwing Dru away too, not just Angel, so I guess she’s just generally feral.
  • But hey, half-mad is how Dru likes ‘em so she doesn’t mind.
  • Tiny blondes in white dresses. A common motif in Angel’s life.
  • The team is desperate for Angel to have a plan, a hunch, or even an inkling. Another common motif: Angel and His Total Lack of a Plan.
  • He wants to storm W&H. Cordy: “Nice plan, General Custer.”
  • Oh right, Holland Manners is hosting a party. This is the blood bath, right? The “I can’t seem to care” moment?
  • Omg Dru’s got a ceramic doll. I wonder if Miss Edith knows about this.
  • She warns Holland and Lindsey that Angel’s on his way. They get a call that there’s an untagged vamp but TWIST it’s Darla!
  • She throws Lindsey across the room, grabs a gleeful Dru’s hand, and the two flee.
  • Cordy’s having a vision! It’s been a hot minute since we’ve had one of those.
  • Angel tries to “maybe it’s a false alarm” her vision when it’s in the other direction and Cordy’s got no patience for gaslighting.
  • Darla may have absconded with Dru, but she’s not exactly pleased with her. She’s wailing on her and finally asks “Why.” // “For you. All for you. I thought it was what you wanted, to be saved.” And Darla’s anger quiets. She even, more than she ever did in the past, seems to have affection and patience for Dru’s madness and grief, comforting her. 


  • Anyway, let’s kill this homophobic driver I guess.
  • And now that Darla’s had a meal, she’s less crabby. Dru: “You’re all new again.” // Darla: “Let’s go shopping.”
  • Random emo guy summoning a demon. Oh this was Cordy’s vision, okay.
  • Angel deals with it … not delicately. “You’ve got, you know, a million reasons to live … I bet.”
  • Gunn and Wes point out that this may have been a move from the PTB to stop Angel from going after Darla and Dru, but Angel’s beyond listening to reason.
  • “Why settle for a spree when you could have, say, a massacre?” That’s Holland Manners’s blessing on Darla and Dru painting the town red.
  • Holland: “We won’t have to worry about Angel anym—” // Angel: *crashes through the window*
  • Oh this is the first time Holland and Angel have met.
  • Holland clarifies that Darla isn’t the project, Angel is.
  • A: “People die. Innocent people.” // H: “And yet I just can’t seem to care. But you do.” Yep, this is the massacre episode. It’s funny how certain lines stick with you.
  • “You misunderstand us, Angel. We don’t want you dead … yet.”
  • Wow they’re arresting Angel for breaking in. Lindsey “The firm may not want you dead, but I’m cool with it.” And who’s in the squad car waiting for Angel? Why, it’s Detective Kate Lockley.
  • And she’s here to tell him Dru and Darla killed two women. “They’re not done, are they?”
  • A: “Why are you telling me this?” // K: “Because I don’t think I can stop them. Maybe you can.”
  • And I guess this is the moment Kate moves past her anger at Angel. They’re not friends anymore, but she’s no longer seeing him as the enemy.
  • Holland’s party is taking place in his wine cellar. I wonder if it has a cask of Amontillado? No reason. Just curious.
  • Darla and Dru join the party. Invited in by Holland’s wife. “Very sweet she was. Like clover … and honey.”
  • Darla’s there to offer Holland his massacre, and honestly it’s cute that he thought they would join up with him and do what he says like wind-up toys, especially when we’ve been warning Lindsey for ages that Darla won’t be loyal to him once her soul leaves the building.
  • It’s that meme about people being surprised that the face-eating wolves they voted for are now eating their faces.


  • “Pretty lawyers all in a row.” Dru can at times overstay her welcome but I’m enjoying her this episode.
  • Lindsey’s the only one smiling to see Darla, the only one who doesn’t seem scared.
  • Angel finds someone cowering in a dressing room in the store where Dru and Darla were shopping. They left her alive. I still wonder why (beyond the need for exposition). They would have been able to smell and hear her, and Dru would definitely be able to sense her.
  • She gives Angel what he needs to know, where they’re going next.
  • Holland reveals that the wine cellar used to be a bomb shelter. Nice and secure.
  • I gotta say, Darla has much better massacre follow-through than Angelus in Buffy S2 had.
  • Darla: “Do you know what I’m getting from you, Lindsey? Nothing. Why aren’t you afraid?” // Lindsey: “I don’t know.” // D: “You could die here. Chances are you will.” // L: “I know.” // D: “And you don’t care.” // L: “I care. I guess I just don’t mind.”  It’s such an interesting character moment but I’ll also admit that I don’t really know what it means.
  • “Dru honey, in our new digs, we have to put in a people cellar.”
  • Angel arrives and Holland’s wife isn’t completely dead yet. Just alive enough to invite Angel in.
  • Angel looks at Darla. “I’m sorry I didn’t get to you in time.” // “I’m not.”
  • And even though W&H’s Project: Angel has clearly this whole time been about trying to turn Angel evil, Holland, Lilah (not so much Lindsey, who still has a small smile), they still hope Angel will be good, good enough to save them.
  • Holland: “Angel. Please. People are going to die.” // Angel “And yet somehow I just can’t seem to care.”
  • And he closes the doors and locks them. And the massacre begins. 
TFW the leopard eats your face

  • Wes, Gunn, and Cordy are quietly horrified that Angel let them kill the W&H party. Wes: “You could have stopped them.” // Angel: “And I will.” // Cordy: “When? After they’ve finished off all the people you don’t like?”
  • “Right now the three of us are all that’s standing between you and real darkness.”
  • Angel agrees. And he fires the three of them. And leaves the room.
  • We have begun Dark Angel Arc for realz now. It’s upsetting but oof this episode’s beats are well made.
 
Daniel’s Thoughts:
  • We start this episode soon after the last one.  Gunn is helping a beleaguered Angel back into the Hyperion.
  • He’s delirious and mumbling. Gunn says he managed to get him home without him bursting into flames (nice throwaway explanation there) but Gunn’s still not sure what happened.
  • Wesley & Cordy ask lots of questions.
  • But finally Angel tells them about Darla & Drusilla.  
  • Wes & Cordy know Dru. Gunn does not: “Who’s Drusilla?” Whedonverse fans: “WELL-“
  • Angel rifles through drawers mumbling about Darla.  He finally pulls out a stake.  Oooh.
  • When we come back from the credits, Gunn has been given the cliff’s notes version of Angel/Darla/Dru.
  • “The Granddaughter remade the Grandmother,” Gunn says with confusion. If you’re confused by that, I do not recommend an ingenious little Netflix show called Dark. But seriously, everyone please watch Dark.
  • Angel’s plan is to go to Lindsey’s.  He explains to the gang that he can already enter since he was already invited once.
  • When he gets there, though, it appears he would have been able to come in because no one currently lives there. 
  • The real estate agent reminds me from Alison Brie.
  • “That sweet but very odd English Woman that was visiting him.”
  • She gives Angel a clue of where Darla & Dru might be. Something about giving birth and a nursery.
  • And here we are in a greenhouse….with Darla, Dru & Lindsey.  Joined by Lilah & Holland.
  • Holland: “Can she hear you?” Drusilla: “She’s dead.”
  • Dru, talks about Darla’s resurrection as a birth – as if she’s going to “be a mommy.”  I love it.
  • Back at the Hyperion, the gang is looking for where Darla & Dru might be.
  • Angel: “Stick with cemeteries then.  Something with a night sky.” Cordelia: “So Just outside cemeteries then?” Cordelia, master of the sass.
  • They figure out Nursery means plant kind and not baby kind.  But what nurseries do W&H own? TO THE INTERNETS.  I very much doubt they’d be able to find that info.  They need a Willow-type-computer-geek. 
  • But of course, they do.  Angel finds dead Darla, laying in dirt.  He takes out his stake but….he’s interrupted by a shovel-wielding Drusilla.
  • They fight. Darla wakes up.
  • And then Darla is suddenly strong and holds Angel by the neck.
  • More vampire strength fighting!
  • Darla goes all vamp face and fights with Dru.  Angel stops her for some reason. He goes to stake Darla but he can’t.  And then they escape.
  • Cordelia: “How’d it go?”  Not great.  Your boss froze a few times and let them escape.
  • Angel’s in plan mode which we all know is never good. They weapon up. And Angel wants to go to W&H.  
  • Back at the W&H offices Holland & Lindsey have a heart to heart.  He seems genuinely concerned about Lindsey having a work/life balance & to have healthy attachments - of course he just wants him to stop obsessing over Darla. He doesn’t realize Drusilla is there.
  • She’s holding a doll all creepy like. She’s worried about Darla.
  • She also informs him that Angel was there.
  • “Security alert”: There’s a vampire in the building.
  • But it’s not Angel, it’s Darla.
  • Darla hugs Lindsay and then throws him across the room. She grabs Dru and runs.
  • Healthy attachments, Lindsey.” Hah!
  • Oh no!  Cordelia is having her first vision in ages.
  • She tells them her vision is from another direction.
  • Darla’s not saving Dru, though.  She’s fighting her.  
  • Dru even gets hit by a car and gets up scaring the shit out of the driver.
  • Darla wants to know why Dru did it.
  • Dru is extremely genuine when she says she thought it was what Darla wanted.  It’s actually sort of sweet.
  • Interesting note, this (well, last episode) was the first time we've seen these two in the present.  Darla died before Drusilla & Spike made an entrance on Buffy. Up to this point, we've only seen them together in flashbacks.
  • The LA crowd just assume these are just two crazy drunk women having a fight/cry.
  • Some homophobic, misogynist asshole comes out of a truck and hurls some insults.  Darla makes her first kill. Ah, well.
  • Angel and his crew stumble in on some kid who wants to kill himself because of a demon.
  • Angel has no time for this shit.  So he just throws a stereo at the kid, grabs the kid’s gun & throws it in a tub of oil.
  • Mission done, according to Angel.  But the rest of the gang want to stay.  So Angel leaves them there.
  • Meanwhile the WOMEN BE SHOPPING.  


  • Dru & Darla are in a shop trying on clothes. And oops, the shoplady is dead.
  • W&H gave Dru a cellphone, weirdly enough.
  • Holland calls & says, “why have a spree when you could have - a -say- massacre” and knowing the end of this episode, I assumed he was inviting them to the party and was setting up his colleagues for some unknown reason.  But I guess he was speaking of some hypothetical future because he ends up signing his own death warrant by planting the idea into Darla’s head.
  • And…Darla kills the other shoplady, complaining about customer service.  What a Karen, amirite?
  • Lindsay, Lilah & Holland are in an office. Holland, “At least we don’t have to worry about Angel anymore.” *Angel swings through a window.*  HA! Holland is really forking things up this episode, isn’t he?
  • “You don’t kill humans.” “You don’t qualify.”  This, dear readers, is foreshadowing.  But I guess kinda misleading foreshadowing?
  • Angel is almost immediately surrounded by stake wielding security guards.
  • Instead, the cops arrest him.  He’s put in the back seat of a cop car with Kate.  Her neck looks ok, so I guess she’s healed?  She is wearing a collar, to be fair, but it still would have been nice to see evidence of what happened to her. 
  • Maybe she's hiding it with her collar?

  • Kate fills Angel in about the shopladies.
  • Kate’s not her usual brooding self.  She shows her thankfulness to Angel by letting him go. She also knows she can’t stop Drusilla & Darla on her own.
  • Meanwhile, Lindsey arrives at the party and is greeted by Holland’s wife.
  • Later, Dru & Darla interrupt the festivities in the wine cellar. There’s blood on their mouths so they’ve apparently killed Holland’s wife.  They both vamp face and remind Holland they were promised a massacre.  Also Darla got her hair did somewhere along the way, I guess.
I guess she killed a hair dresser after the shopladies.


  • Back at the shop, one of the cops is collecting evidence in front of a mirror, he has an eerie feeling but sees nothing.  Angel, of course, is behind him and it’s a nice moment.
  • Lilah actually looks scared as Darla talks to her.
  • There’s another scared lady in a changing room.  The actress is really good and she looks familiar.  She gives Angel the clue he needs.  Darla & Dru are headed to a party.
  • The wine cellar that everyone is huddled in used to be a shelter….a great place to lock people in.
  • Darla continues to taunt everyone but the only reactions we really see are Lindsey, Lilah & Holland’s.  Everyone else is just background & it’s weird how we don’t really see any of their reactions.
  • “In our new digs, we have to put in a people cellar.”
  • Angel arrives. Oh!  Holland’s wife isn’t dead….she’s just been bitten.  She may die later, though.
  • “Here for the tasting?” So many double entendres.
  • “I’m sorry I didn’t get to you in time.” Darla: “I’m not.” 
  • And here’s the darker side of Angel.  He locks everyone in.  He’s just so tired of W&H’s bullshit.  And he lets everyone die.
  • Wes, Gunn & Cordelia are floored after Angel tells them what happened.
  • Angel’s reasoning is that he didn’t bring Darla back.  That it’s W&H’s own fault.
  • Wesley: "You could have stopped them." Angel: "And I will." Cordy: "When? After they've finished off all the people you don't like?"
  • They are seriously worried about Angel.  That he’s turning to real darkness.
  • And so…he fires them all.  And this isn’t out of nowhere.  The groundwork was laid out in this episode and a little in past episodes, too.  His gang has been arguing with him (and rightfully so) at every turn.  Angel has had enough.  It’s dark, it’s chilling & it’s an interesting path for the show to go on.  Let’s see how it turns out. 




Crossfire!
Z: Angel locking them in the cellar … was that an evil reveal?
D: No … I’m not angry at him, I’m just disappointed.
 
Favorite Lines:
Zelda: Angel: “I’m sorry I didn’t get to you in time.” // Darla: “I’m not.”
Daniel: 
Wes: “You could have stopped them.” // Angel: “And I will.” // Cordy: “When? After they’ve finished off all the people you don’t like?”
 
Arc/Continuity:
First Appearance: Dru’s thing for ceramic dolls
Recurring: Detective Kate Lockley, Lindsey McDonald, Lilah Morgan, Holland Manners, Darla, Drusilla

Stats:
Cordelia’s Hair – dark, shoulder bob with a flip, partially clipped back
Dead Humans – 19
Dead Undeads – 0
Dead Flashbacks – 0
Dead Lawyers – 15
Cordelia Has a Vision – 1
Wesley Prat-falls – 0
Lawyered Ex Machina – 0
Evil Reveal – 0
Unevil Reveal – 0
Shenanigans Called – 0
Apocalypse Called – 0
Prophecy Called – 0

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Hunk of Hero Sandwich

 Episode 2.09: The Trial. Original Airdate: 11.28.00.



 “In an attempt to save Darla’s life, Angel must undergo three separate challenges that no one has ever survived.”

Daniel’s Thoughts:

  • Cordelia still has her hair…it’s slightly better?
  • She and Wesley are talking about Angel, who is in the cellar, I guess.
  • Wesley is wearing some weird cardigan that I actually like but it seems very casual for him.
  • Angel comes up and he’s all in a weirdly good mood. Everything is weird.
  • I’m mostly distracted by Angel’s neck hair.



  • Gunn runs in.  He’s found Darla. Angel abandons everything to go with Gunn.
  • “WE HAD TEA.”
  • Darla is at a motel. I’m not going to shenanigan how she has the money to afford it.  She’s Darla.  I’m sure she found a way. 
  • Anyway, before Angel & Gunn can get to the motel, Lindsey’s already found her.
  • After the credits, Lindsey has brought Darla in to W&H.
  • Holland shows her some documents but we don’t know what they are yet – but Darla seems upset by them.
  • Meanwhile, Gunn – at the motel – states the obvious: “She ain’t here, bro.”
  • Flashback! 1765! France! Angel’s terrible wig and accent are back.
  • Angel & Darla are being hunted by someone named Holtz. THIS WILL BE IMPORTANT LATER BUT NOT JUST YET.
  • In the present….Darla’s at a bar chatting with a vamp in vampface so this must be a demon-friendly bar.
  • This vampire is called “Shempire” in the IMDB credits – I’m assuming it’s a riff of Shemp from the three stooges.

I can see it.

  • Darla is acting like she’s a human…and has always been a human.  She wants Shempire to turn her back into a vamp.  She teases this guy with eternal couplehood but she’s probably planning on staking him once it’s done.
  • Shempire agrees and takes her into an alley.
  • Angel “saves” her, staking the vamp.  But He’s Saving Her From Herself.
  • You were made in an alley as I recall.” Ooh.
  • Darla reveals what the documents that Holland showed her revealed: She’s dying.  We don’t know of what.  Maybe when they brought her back it was under the condition that it was a limited time. [Nope - 10 minutes later Daniel]
  • Back in 1765, Angel & Darla are trapped in a burning farmhouse.
  • Darla knocks Angel out to get away.  Cold, man.
  • Back in the present - Angel brings Darla back to the Hyperion.
  • “Are you planning on sleeping over?” “I’m dying.” “Just for the one night then.”
  • Angel thinks W&H are lying about Darla dying.
  • Angel tells Darla she’s not a prisoner.  But Cordelia & Wesley tells her she most certainly is.
  • Angel breaks down Lindsey’s door. 
  • He’s got this small apartment but it’s got a full bar and it’s awesome.
  • Lindsey, who obviously cares about Darla, invites Angel in.
  • And omg with the track lighting - this place is right out of a 1960’s bachelor pad.

Hey baby, do you swing?

  • So it turns out Darla is dying of Syphilis which is what she was dying from before the Master made her.
  • Angel asks Lindsey if he loves Darla.  
  • “I was with her for 150 years.” “But you didn’t love her.” Ouch.  Truthful, but ouch.
  • Cordy & Wesley are gossiping about Darla when they see Angel.
  • The thing is, I really like this storyline with Darla & Angel.  Unfortunately what it does is relegates Cordelia & Wesley to background players – they’re there only to help the main storyline along instead of having their own respective character & plot developments.
  • Angel takes Darla to Caritas!  She’s a better singer than Angel, definitely – but she sings like she talks – in a weird Betty Boopish type voice.
  • “Hunk of Hero Sandwich”. What even.
  • Lorne is reading both Darla & Angel watching Darla which is interesting.
  • “it’s a bit of a quest, it’ll probably kill ya.” Lorne gives Angel a mysterious address and tells him “we’ll see if you’re really ready to take the plunge.”
  • Angel takes it literally. He thinks it’s a leap of faith.  Darla disagrees.  
  • She asks him why he’s doing this.  He doesn’t answer.
  • Angel dives into the empty swimming pool and ends up in some underground something, so he was right. It was a leap of faith.
  • There’s a “man”, identified as “The Valet” on IMDb. He describes the trials: There are three and if he completes it, Darla will “become whole”.  If he fails, she’ll die instantly.  All these challenges, treks, etc that our heroes in the Whedonverse have to do are always so damn vague & no one asks any questions.
  • To complete the challenges, Angel needs to take his shoes and….shirt off.   Of course he does.
  • OK Trial #1 – Angel has to fight a demon who looks like an ogre in order to go through a gate.
  • The Valet lets Darla psychically see what’s happening.
  • OMG! The demon gets sliced in half.  Angel thinks he’s defeated it but he wakes up…and puts himself back together!
  • Angel slices him in half again but this time chains him up in two separate areas so that he can’t be put back together.  Trial #1: done!
  • Next, Angel runs through a hallway of crosses.  Of course every cross he steps on burns him.  So this is a trial only for vampires?
  • The key is in an urn of holy water.  Lots o’ burns for Angel, but he gets through.
  • Final trial, Angel is now strapped into cuffs with a wall of stakes coming towards him.   The third test is apparently about death.  The Valet explains that in order for Darla to live, Angel has to die.  
  • Again, with the wall of stakes, these trials seem to be tailored towards vampires in particular.  I’d call a shenanigan on this but maybe they change the trials slightly depending on who takes it… [That's my headcanon and I'm sticking to it. - Z]
  • Angel considers it and chooses death, like the martyr that he is.
  • But all he had to do was choose death….not actually die.  Angel is back in the room with Darla and fully clothed for some reason.
  • The Valet only then realizes he can’t give Darla a second chance for life because she’s already been given one.  Wish they knew that before the trials.  Woulda saved a need for lots of aloe.
  • Angel gets pissed and trashes the room, and beats up a couple of guard demons in the process.
  • Angel & Darla are back at her motel which is apparently from the 1960s with that d├ęcor.
  • Angel considers biting Darla.  He thinks maybe if he turns her while having a soul, she’ll retain hers, too.
  • It’s an interesting theory, but Darla dismisses the idea even though it’s originally what she wanted.
  • Angel tells her he’ll take care of her but oops, Lindsey arrives with some meatheads who tase Angel and keep him down.  
  • AND OOH DRUISILLA IS HERE.  SHE VAMPFACES AND BITES DARLA.  She’s gonna turn Darla!
  • It’s a nice use of Lawyer-Ex-Machina here. Darla becomes a vampire again, but Angel doesn’t have to feel guilty of turning her.

Zelda’s Thoughts:
  • Hyperion: Cordy and Wes are worried Angel’s hiding in the cellar for too long.
  • Oh lord, he was doing laundry. And he’s oddly chipper. Cordelia, suspicious, “You seem all calm and homey. Are you on drugs?”
  • Cordelia’s hair, still dark and shorter, less alarmingly big.
  • Angel’s reached some emotional peace about the whole Darla thing, or so he says, but then Gunn comes in with Darla’s location.
  • C: “You lied to us!” // A: “I did. I know.” // W: “Why?” // A: “I figured you’d nag.”
  • As Angel leaves, ignoring their objections, Wes: “Didn’t we learn anything from the tea?”
  • Darla, troubled by her own reflection.
  • And Lindsey found her, slightly ahead of Gunn and Angel. Not surprised. He may not be as obsessive as Angel (though he’s pretty obsessive) but he can afford an expensive investigator.
  • They’re telegraphing what we’re about to find out – that Darla’s terminal – by having her face look chalky, her eyes shadowed.
  • Holland Manners says Darla is their “moral responsibility” and wow I’m amazed he could say those words without flinching.
  • Darla, seeing her diagnosis, looks to Lindsey asking if he knew about this. He doesn’t reply.
  • Oooh flashback triggered by Angel saying “when you’re desperate, you do what you have to do,” so we then see Darla and Angelus hiding in a barn, somewhere in France.
  • Angelus “I hate the French. We should go someplace like Romania.”
  • I wonder where Dru and Spike are.
  • Ohhhhhhhh this is when they plant Holtz the Vampire Hunter.
  • Back to the present: Darla, chatting up a random vamp (credited as Shempire, snort), hoping to be sired because she knows Angel won’t do it.
  • We still don’t officially know Darla is terminal, but we will in a bit, and anyway I know the future blah blah.
  • Wow, rando vamp doesn’t want to turn her because he’s afraid of commitment.
  • And then he admits he’s never turned anyone and it’s kinda an interesting twist on the virgin trope. Darla “I’ll walk you through it.”
  • But Angel stakes him before he can do it.
  • “Just because we had a thing for a hundred and fifty years, don’t presume you know me.”
  • And here it is. As Angel tries to persuade her to give being human more time, she tells him “I’m dying.” She’s got only a few months left.
  • It’s interesting. She was on the edge of death when she was turned by the Master. Which means they resurrected her not precisely as she was in her last moments of humanity, but close to.
  • Welp, Flashback Darla conks Angelus on the head and rides the horse away, leaving him in the burning barn with the offscreen Holtz.
  • Anyway, Angel doesn’t believe Darla’s dying and thinks it’s another trick by W&H, which, fair.
  • D: “I don’t trust them, but I know a thing or two about mind games. So do you. We played them together for over a century.” // C: “Yes, but you were just soulless bloodsucking demons. They’re lawyers.” // A: “She’s right. We were amateurs.” Yeah but that’s just because you’ve literally always been bad at planning Angel. How much time did you randomly kick around not killing Buffy after you turned evil three season ago?
  • Angel, like Holland, tells Darla she’s not a prisoner at the Hyperion. But once he’s out the door, Cordelia says “So first up: You’re a prisoner.”
  • Oh hey Angel’s visiting our buddy Lindsey and he invites him right in.
  •  Lindsey’s sitting in the dark, depressed and drinking. “Yes, she’s dying. Yes, those medical reports she saw are real. You want a second opinion? Here. How about a third? Hmm? How about a tenth?”
  • Syphilitic heart condition. Welp.
  • Oh. I just noticed Lindsey got his hair cut.
Maybe he and Cordelia had a salon date!

  • Lindsey wants Angel to save Darla’s life by turning her.
  • Angel points out that once Darla turns she’ll probably kill Lindsey. It’s kinda funny that he ends up being wrong about that.
  • Darla’s out in the garden. “Jasmine. It blooms at night. I remember what that was like.” Aww a premonition of her granddaughter.
  • *snort* And off to Caritas for Darla to sing! Hey she actually sounds all right, and they even give her a concert-y treatment. This isn’t meant to be a funny gag like when Angel tries to sing.

  • Yay Lorne! “you’re a big hunk of hero sandwich.”
  • Lorne evokes one of the best lines of poetry, “Things fall apart. Not everything can be put back together, no matter how much you want it.” Angel’s angrily desperate to give her a real second chance. And Lorne tells him there’s one way he might be able to save her. “It’s a bit of a quest. It’ll probably kill ya.” // “I’ll take it.”
  • “You’re about to face the hell and the high water.” I just … I love the way Lorne phrases things. He’s my favorite.
  • The challenge starts with Angel diving into a drained pool—a leap of faith. “I’m either comin’ back with a cure, or you’re about to see something kinda funny.”
  • Darla’s here in the trial land too, as the collateral. If Angel completes the three trials, he saves her life. If he fails (which would kill him), it will kill her too.
  • The trial emcee says he needs Angel’s shirt and shoes and that’s gratuitous but who’s gonna complain? He looks good.
  • Emcee  says he can’t tell Angel about the last two tests because he’s never seen anyone survive the first one. Really? I mean fine, but really? And then he says Angel’s already lasted twice as long as anyone else, at only 17 seconds.
  • Anyway big ol lime green demon is beating on Angel but I ain’t worried.
  • Angel slices him in twain!
  • Aaaaand that’s insufficient, as limey reassembles himself. Well then. I’d forgotten about that.
  • Angel, not dicking around, slices him again and chains the two halves away from each other so he can’t do that again and it’s kind of hilarious.
  • And so trial one is completed.
  • Trial two? A corridor lined with crucifixes, including the floor. Angel, shoeless, must run across it like a bed of coals. Emcee: “In this place, the journey is all.”
  • Oh damn and the key is in a bowl of holy water.
  • Well, that was painful but he got through it.
  • Angel, limping, covered in red rashes from burning, walks toward the third trial: and his arms are magically shackled and raised over his head. He’s facing a wall of stakes—even with his tiny tiny Angel heart, one of them is bound to hit his heart.
  • Emcee: “This third test has no catch, as you put it. Death is the final challenge. We can’t restore one life without taking another. You see? In order for Darla to live, you must die.”
  • Y’all Angel waxes his pits.
  • Either that or they tried to photoshop blur the hair out.
  • Emcee gives him an out: Angel can walk away now, he can leave. Darla will die, but Angel will live.
  • “No deal.” // “I expected as much. A pity. I’m beginning to like you.” // “Spare me.” // “I’d very much like to. Do you mind if I ask you a question? Isn’t the world a better place with you in it? You can save so many people. It seems she can barely save herself.”
  • “How long will it be before she stumbles, before she falls?” But Angel, showing why (even if I don’t like him a lot of the time) he is our hero, won’t be swayed. He’s here to save innocent lives, even at the cost of his own.
  • And hey … it didn’t kill him after all. It was accepting the death that was passing it, not the death itself at all.
  • Emcee puts his hands on Darla’s head to save her and then … stops. “She’s been given new life once before, by supernatural means … I can’t help you.”
  • “We had a bargain. She’s earned her second chance.” // “She’s living her second chance.”
  • We could say then this episode was a waste of time, since the meat of it is Angel undergoing these three trials, all for naught. But I think it’s actually pretty emotionally important. We’re going through the stages of grief here, grieving the life that Darla could have but will never live, that Angel never could and never will. We had denial (assuming W&H lied), we had bargaining (Darla seeking a vamp to turn her; Lorne and the trials), and now as Angel smashes the temple, we have anger. We had to go through this so we can get to this: Darla’s acceptance of her fate.
  • Now, sitting quietly, she doesn’t want Angel to turn her anymore. “I’ve seen it now … I’ve felt how you care. The way no one’s ever cared before. Not for me. That’s all I need from you.”
  • Darla finally sees this is her second chance, to die as she was supposed to, but dying knowing someone cares.
  • Angel promises to stay with her, so she won’t be alone when she goes, and she cries on his shoulder, and fuck now I’m crying.
  • So of course it’s time to ruin it all. Goons crash the room, tase and bind Angel, and Lindsey strides in – with Drusilla, all in red. “How did you think this would end?”

  • Angel can only watch, helpless and heartbroken, as a terrified Darla is turned once more.
  • Fuck this is good TV.
  • Dru even turns Darla the same way Angel was turned, slicing herself above the breast. We won’t even mention (much) that her nail is nowhere near the line of red.
  • Fuck fuck fuck. That was really good. Heartbreaking, upsetting, perfect. Fuck.

 

Favorite Lines:
Daniel: "Yes, but you were just soulless bloodsucking demons, they're lawyers.” - Cordelia
Zelda: “Things fall apart. Not everything can be put back together, no matter how much you want it.” – Lorne

 

Arc/Continuity:

First Mention: Holtz
Recurring: Lindsey McDonald, Lorne, Holland Manners, Darla, Drusilla, Angel’s “Irish” “accent” and stupid wig
Generally Known TV Face: Jim Piddock, Evan Arnold
Whedonverse Hat Trick: Jim Piddock (The Valet here, Biz in Dollhouse)
Lorne’s Nicknames: Hunk of Hero Sandwich (Angel)

 

Angel! In! History!

In 1765 Darla and Angelus were on the run from Holtz in France (Spike and Dru presumably elsewhere), though Angelus wants to go to Romania next (le gasp!). And when he was in Italy he wanted to go to France. [Note to self: Angelus is Rum Tum Tugger. – Z] Also Darla leaves him in a burning barn to face the horde alone, but promising to meet him in Vienna if he survives.


Caritas Song List

“Ill Wind”

 

Stats:

Cordelia’s Hair – shoulder length, dark, no bumpit
Dead Humans – 1 (Darla! *weeping*)
Dead Undeads – 1
Dead Flashbacks – 0
Dead Lawyers – 0
Cordelia Has a Vision – 0
Wesley Prat-falls – 0
Lawyered Ex Machina – 1 (Lindsey bringing Dru to kill Darla; he didn’t wield the law, but he’s still a Lawyer who’s Ex Machinaing shit)
Evil Reveal – 0
Unevil Reveal – 0
Shenanigans Called – 0
Apocalypse Called – 0
Prophecy Called – 0