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


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.  
  • 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



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”



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

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

I Am Pleasant

 Episode 2.08: The Shroud of Rahmon. Original Airdate: 11.21.00

“Posing as a hip Vegas vampire, Angel infiltrates a gang of thieves bent on stealing a supernatural shroud housed in a museum vault.”

Zelda’s Thoughts:
  • Ominous detectives acting ominously, mentioning a dead body and a she who might die and it’s all very ominous and what could it meeeeeeeeeeeeeean.
  • Ah yes, Wesley is in the interrogation room, all emotionally tortured. “She shouldn’t have been there. She didn’t know. I had to warn him. He didn’t know what he was getting into. None of them did … You didn’t bring it here did you?” Yes yes, very ominous.
  • But then we have Wes doing a classic Whedon Writes Crazy move and saying, apropos of very little, “I’m quite good with the ladies myself, you know.” Knowing the future, I guess this is somehow still the after effects of the Shroud? But … ugh fine.
  • And we get a flashback shot of a body falling to the ground, a scene we’ll end up seeing four times this episode, each time with a different context.
  • “He should never have been there! Of all people he should never – You don’t tell him what to do, he’s the boss … he helps people, you know? When he’s not in trouble himself.”
  • And as Wes remembers Cordelia, we flashback to Before It All Went Wrong.
  • I do enjoy some non-linear narrative with my TV.
  • Anyway WHAT have they done to Cordy’s hair WHAT. It’s shorter, it’s much darker, it looks like a wig but I think it’s just a bumpit giving it body on top (since she doesn’t have the same lift to it later). Poor Charisma.
  • Oh but for a nice change of pace, Angel is out helping Gunn on a mission. Nice to see Gunn’s still got his own thing going on.
  • Apparently there’s a heist job Gunn’s cousin Lester is the driver for, and they’re expecting a “psycho vampire from Vegas,” and I like the touch that as Lester stumbles over the name, Angel recognizes and names him: Jay-Don. We can even pretend this is a nod to the fact that Angel!In!History! has spent some time in Vegas, though I don’t think we know that yet.
  • Oops, so much for Angel “helping” Gunn; he’s now taking over the case and pushing Gunn out. “Since when do I take orders from you?” // “Since I’m paying you.” // “This ain’t no paying gig. I brought it to you.” Ugh stop just stop. Then he even tells Gunn to knit him a sweater.
  • Oh look Kate is back, still looking for Darla, and threatening Angel with a cross carved into a stake. Ooh, a multitool!
  • “You get stuck between me and Darla, it’ll be the last thing you ever do.” Well then.
  • We don’t get to count it since it happened off-camera, but apparently Wes had a prat-fall at the premiere and spilled cocktail sauce all over Cordy’s blouse. Oops.
  • Okay you know what, no, this is a dumb joke. I know they’re trying to make a joke about how guys don’t notice things and so it’s taken both Wes and Angel ten days to notice Cordy’s new wig hair, but no, they wouldn’t suddenly both notice on the same day, this is very stupid and I am calling a shenanigan.
  • So in case anyone was curious of the degree of douche with this Jay-Don vamp, he wears sunglasses. A vampire. Who can’t go out in the day. Wearing sunglasses. Which Angel, after pretending to be a fanboy and ascertaining that there’s no password, swipes as he stakes the dude.
  • I do enjoy seeing DB have fun as these sillier characters, both the fanboy and Jay-Don himself.
  • But uh … according to the captions he’s doing a “New York” accent, and well 

  • Gah-gasp! When “Lester” shows up, it’s Gunn! Who saw this coming? Seriously Angel why did you not see this coming? Do you even watch TV? “I told you I’d handle this.” // “I told you I don’t take orders.”
  • Oh, it’s pronounced Rah-MON, not RAH-men. Well, our crossfire below is about to make less sense.
  • Ah, they need a vamp because the vault has a thermal sensor and there’s that whole body heat thing. Okay, sure.
  • Angel is trying to pick enough of a fight with Gunn that they can take it outside and have it out, but ta-wist the heist is tonight and bossman doesn’t want anyone opening up any Zoom breakout rooms. Welp.
  • It’s funny because I know two of our heist boys are well known faces but they are both covered in demon makeup! So how are two bloggers to tell?

Tony Todd                                      Demon Todd
W. Earl Brown                       W. Earl Demon  

  • Cordy: “Okay, two words I don’t like right off the bat: tomb and unearthed. People, you’ve got to leave your tombs earthed.” Oh my god did y’all read about all the new mummies they discovered? Can we please make them leave them alone? 2020 DOESN’T NEED AN EXTRA CURSE.
  • Angel tries to get them to leave Gunn, as the driver, with the truck, but no dice. Oh well. Also, again, Gunn isn’t looking for Angel to protect him. He asked for an assist, not a takeover.
  • Cordelia, speaking truth: “Why is it always virgin women who have to do the sacrificing?” // Wes: “For purity, I suppose.” // C: “This has nothing to do with purity. This is all about dominance, buddy. You can bet if someone ordered a male body part for religious sacrifice, the world would be atheist like that.”
  • A nice touch—when Angel gets near the casket with the Shroud and hears the whisperwhisper, his eyes flash vampire yellow but his bumpy forehead and fangs don’t come out.
  • Oh never mind, his forehead went vampface for a minute.
  • Gunn: “When they gonna start making some pretty demons.” // Me, on behalf of Lorne: Hey!
  • Aaaaaaaaaand now I’m angry because Shroud or no Shroud (and we find out later that Angel’s only sort of under its influence), it is crossing a major line to throw Gunn’s trauma of losing his sister back in his face as if it didn’t happen less than a year ago.
  • Anyway, spiny Tony Todd demon beheaded the human guard member of the heist boys, so that’s the dead body our prologue detectives warned us of.
  • So okay I am CONFUSED. Wes told us the Shroud makes people go all ragey, and we saw that it raised Angel’s vampface. And now that the vault is open, those vibes are flowing out through the museum (I guess???), but then why is it just making Cordy and Wes act very very stoned? That’s … the opposite of ragey? I AM CONFUSED.
  • But sure, let’s have Wesley put on his best absent minded professor routine while Cordelia stares at her reflection in a display case and announce her teeth are big.
  • Oh and now she’s stealing a beaded necklace off a mannequin in Indigenous regalia and if this isn’t a fucking microcosm.
  • And now Angel, two for two on the What the Hell Man game, taunts Kate about her dead father.
  • Though I guess biting her neck and drinking her blood is also kind of bad.
  • But when the budget SWAT team show up, all they find is a bewildered Wes kneeling over an unconscious Kate. The shroud, the heist boys, they’re all gone.
  • But at heist lair, they’re finally opening the casket and the whisperwhispers get more intense, and now it’s in a four-way tug of war. Nope, make that three, Spiny got shot.
  • But somewhere in there, Angel sobers enough to say “Gunn, I remember. You have to trust me. I know what to do with this.” And Gunn sobers enough to hear him and let go of the Shroud, so Angel can destroy it.
  • And now we’ve caught up in the timeline with Wesley in the interrogation room and I guess this wasn’t as nonlinear as I had hoped it would be. But anyway before they can finish arresting Wesley, a waxy-skinned red-eyed Kate stops them and releases Wes.
  • And then we get our third iteration of the bite, where Kate remembers Angel whispering “Stay down or they’ll kill you.” Which tells us he had at least some self-control but still felt like it was a good move to needle two of his friends’ biggest open wounds.
  • And back at the Hyperion, Cordelia is insisting—while still wearing her appropriated necklace—that she returned everything she stole. Meanwhile, Wes is worried that Angel drinking from Kate will reignite his bloodlust because he thinks Angel hasn’t had human blood “in a very long time,” so are we ignoring that he drank from Buffy two seasons ago? That’s not that long in Vampire Time.
  • And see here’s my stink. I get that they were trying for a whole recovering addict metaphor for Angel in S1, and that that is somehow connected with his tipping into possible Angelus territory, and if they had actually done anything with that idea in the past twenty episodes, I’d be willing to consider it, but they haven’t. Far more effective to lean into the whole “Angel needs to be invested in the world he’s saving” element, which does feel earned and exercised, and connects much better to his current Darla Problem, because she’s trying to pull him out of that investment.
  • But sure, let’s end the episode with Angel remembering drinking Kate’s blood, his expression ambiguously blank. 

Daniel’s Thoughts:
  • Ok we got two suits talking cryptically about someone.  Ah, they’re cops.  I guess.  Yeah, the way they were talking and the way they’re dressed, I shoulda guessed that.
  • They’re interrogating someone and we’re not supposed to know who he is but it’s obviously Wesley. 
  • They mention a body without a head.
  • Wesley mysteriously says, “You didn’t bring it here, did you?” 
  • We flash to Angel with blood on his mouth and a woman falling to the ground.  A blond woman.  Darla? 
  • I don’t remember this episode at all.
  • Wes continues to narrate after the credits. He describes what we saw…before the credits.
  • He mumbles something about trying to stop him and he shouldn’t have been there.  All weird vagueness.
  • We flashback to Wes & Cordelia.  There’s no 24 hours earlier tag or anything and -

Even Cordelia has no idea

  • Cordy exposits that Wes is still dating Virginia – and Angel is helping Gunn with something.
  • Angel & Gunn are talking to a friend of Gunn’s. The guy is nervous about a job regarding another vamp.
  • Angel recognizes the name of the big bad vamp. And he wants to take on the job himself and leaves Gunn. Okay.
  • Detective Kate surprises Angel at the Hyperion in his room.  She’s silent the whole time but the chip on her shoulder gabs a lot.  She’s looking for Darla.  Also, search warrant much?
  • They’re really playing Kate up to be an enemy for Angel.  She even holds up a cross with a chiseled wooden stake at the bottom end.
It looks cool, anyway

  • Angel catches Wes & Cordy up with what’s happening with Gunn’s case.
  • Jay-Don, the vampire that’s coming in to LA is apparently loud, flashy – and ran with the Rat Pack.
  • Cordy and Wes look at Angel like it’s make-over time.
  • Angel is actually good at undercover – pretends that he’s excited to see this Jay-Don – and dusts him – but not before stealing his sunglasses….and then does a quick change!
  • A demon lurks around. Angel acts like Jay-Don and gets in a car with him.
  • Jay-Don meets with two demons and a security guard human.  They’re waiting for the driver, Lester.
  • Gunn takes a page out of Angel’s book and goes to the meeting in Lester’s place.
  • And I love that.  Because he’s using Angels methods while also kinda using it against him.
  • It’s also convenient that none of these people have met and/or know what they look like.
  • Angel fabricates animosity between him and Gunn for some reason – I guess so they don’t suspect them as working together?
  • Cordelia, on a museum website: “Don’t they have a section of like, things you want to steal?”
  • Ok, Angel says he hit Gunn to protect him. Gunn reciprocates by punching him back when they’re alone and tells him not to do it again.  Good for him.
  • Two Demons, Two Humans and Vampire Break Into a Museum.
  • Angel stops the demon from killing another security guard.
  • Kate and her detectives have security cam pictures of some of our heist members. And of course Kate recognizes Angel.
  • Cordy makes good points about why religions always need virgin women for sacrifices.  It’s a nice moment but it’s not like it’ll change anything.
  • Cordy & Wes find out that this shroud is something that makes you crazy, so that’s fun. 
  • And indeed it does.  As soon as they open the vault, you can see the affect it has on Angel.
  • Gunn sees Angel’s eyes turn and is concerned.  
  • Wes & Cordelia show up and they’re not even near the shroud but they’re all of a sudden acting like they’re drunk. As if the shroud is doing something to them.
  • And Detective Kate has arrived as well.
  • Glass in the box cracks which makes their emotions run even higher.
  • This is the part of the heist where the security guard who is in on the con gets tied up to deter suspicion. But he yells about getting someone to hit him so it looks like he’s a victim. One of the demons obliges…by twisting his head off.

  • So the shroud changes peoples’ behavior I guess?  Angel is getting angry, Wesley is getting stupid, Cordy just seems drunk…  Gunn kinda stays the same? For some, it looks like it heightens their emotions. Gunn becomes more angry about his sister.  Kate gets more angry about her dad.  It’s kinda like the the types of drunks they are.  Wes is a stupid drunk. Cordy is a happy drunk and the rest are angry/sad drunks.
  • Angel gives another speech to Kate about how she uses her father’s death to be angry with the world.  And it would be powerful if it was the first time we’ve heard it, but it’s not.
  • And then Angel bites Kate! Oh, I guess it wasn't Darla.  Remember when I thought that?
  • Next everyone’s gone but Kate and Wesley while the fuzz surround them and I guess arrest Wesley is the assumption.
  • The four remaining robbers are back in the warehouse fighting over the shroud.
  • And it gets violent.  Demon #1 shoots Demon #2.  It’s really interesting that a demon uses guns.
  • And then there’s the moment where Angel ‘sobers up’ for lack of a better term.  He knows what to do with the shroud and he asks Gunn to trust him which he does.  Which is why they make good teammates.
  • Angel burns up the shroud. 
  • We’re back in the interrogation room. They’re about to arrest Wesley when Kate, looking drained [literally - Z], opens the door and tells them to let Wes go.
  • She flashes back to the moment where Angel bites Kate – but as we know from the past, Angel knows just enough to drink.  We see that he whispered to her to stay down or they’ll kill her.  She does so.
  • So once again, Angel saves Kate’s life.  She seems to appreciate it this time by letting Wes go.  But will it last?
  • As she’s wearing the stolen necklace, Cordy tells Wesley she returned everything she stole.  Oops.
  • And Angel sits and remembers feeding off of Kate. 

NY Times Crossword:
Guys, look at the Times Xword today:

Z: “The Shroud of Rahmon.”
D: *giggles* Rahmon.
Z: I love ramen!
Favorite Lines:
Zelda: “This has nothing to do with purity. This is all about dominance, buddy. You can bet if someone ordered a male body part for religious sacrifice, the world would be atheist like that.” – Cordelia
Cordelia, on a museum website: “Don’t they have a section of like, things you want to steal?”
Recurring: Detective Kate Lockley
Already Famous Person: Tony Todd
Generally Known TV Face: W. Earl Brown, Dwayne Barnes, Tom Kiesche
Whedonverse Hat Trick: Michael Nagy (Jay-Don on Angel, Alfonse on Buffy, Particularly Dressed Man on Firefly)
Angel’s Alias: Jay-Don fanboy; Jay-Don
Gunn’s Alias: Lester
Cordelia’s Hair – We don’t even know. It’s much darker, it’s bobbed to just above her shoulders, there’s a bumpit in there giving the bob a very Mod look (1960s/70s?)
Dead Humans – 1
Dead Undeads – 2
Dead Flashbacks – 0
Dead Lawyers – 0
Cordelia Has a Vision – 0
Wesley Prat-falls – 0
Lawyered Ex Machina – 0
Evil Reveal – 0
Unevil Reveal – 0
Shenanigans Called – 1
Apocalypse Called – 0
Prophecy Called – 0