Previously: Buffy came to town and things got feelsy.
Kirsti: Oh, Whedon. You really do like to deliver us ALL THE FEELS at once, don’t you? Sigh.
Lorraine: Thanks for the upfront warning. We should consider giving our own version of TV Parental Guidelines. This episode is rated F for feels. Viewer Discretion is advised.
K: Other ratings? B for Boring, R for Rage Inducing, and and S for SPIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIKE!!! We open with the standard shot of LA at night, accompanied by a narration from Cordy. Basically, she’s decided that Angel Investigations needs to shoot a TV advert starring her as the woman in danger, and featuring Angel saying “You can count on me, because I’m the Dark Avenger.” You guys, I feel like we should start a count for how many times Whedon fits the word ‘avenger’ into his stuff. He’s such a fanboy.
Anyway, we cut to reality, and Angel making an “EW” face over his new nickname. He heads off to the elevator to do some quality brooding while Cordy bitches about the fact that they’re broke and this advert could totally help them. (L: Except they have to pay for the commercial…?) Doyle tells her that maybe it’s not the best idea on account of people might get suspicious when Angel can’t go outside during the day. Plus, they don’t actually have an investigator’s license. Then Cordy decides that Angel’s too handsome (SHOTS!!) to star in the advert and they need someone more ordinary. Like Doyle. He’s all “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”, but she says that it’s their duty to drum up some evil for Angel to fight so that he feels better. “I don’t know what we need evil for when we’ve got you right here…” Doyle says under his breath. But Cordy heard him, and the credits roll.
After the Awesome Cellos are done Awesoming, we’ve got that stupid “REC”-flashing-in-the-top-left-hand-corner-of-the-screen-so-that-we-know-it’s-a-video-camera thing going on. Doyle’s playing Angel and he’s pretty awkward. Although to be fair, he’s reading Cordy script off manila folders taped up around the room, and doesn’t know what to do with his hands.
Lor: I often don’t know what to do with my hands during normal, social interactions and it flairs up my social anxieties. This Is Why I Blog Reason #487.
K: Right there with you, Lor. Right there with you. Cordy’s disappointed. He offers to do another take, but she tells him she’s getting a weasel vibe, so nope. Doyle’s hurt by the weasel comment, but says he’ll talk to Angel about the brooding thing. Cordy suggests getting a superhero costume for Angel. Doyle’s reply? “I don’t see Angel putting on some tights… Oh, now I do, and it’s really disturbing.”
Down in the Brooding Basement, Angel is taking out his feelings on a punching bag. When Doyle’s all “Dude, seriously. Cordy’s freaking about the brooding,” Angel tells him about the whole wibbly wobbly timey wimey day getting reset thing, and how he’s the only one who remembers it. Doyle is shocked, because he would have thrown away the saving the world thing for the girl in a heartbeat. Angel tells him that “You never know your strength ’til you’re tested.” There’s a bromance-y moment where Angel says that the apocalypse is coming, and Doyle declares it unfair that Angel has to help the helpless AND avert apocalypses. It’s kind of great, considering the Scoobies weren’t exactly what Angel could call friends.
Sweeney: Agreed. I love the awkward bromance these two have. It’s such a great dynamic.
K: Seizure cut to Doyle filling Cordy in on the missing day deal. She’s briefly pissed because clearly Angel should have checked the lottery numbers before time got reset, but then says that they can’t keep secrets from each other. Doyle gets all “Yeeeeeeeeah. About that…”, but just as he’s about to tell her about being half demon, he gets a vision. DAMN YOU, POWERS THAT BE (CONTRIVING)!! The vision is of an apartment block, boarded up, and a bunch of demon-y people crowded together.
Cut across town to a demon girl running down the street carrying a box of stuff. She trips, spilling the contents, and we hear boots in the background, like a whole platoon of soldiers marching along. It’s been forever since I saw this episode. I really REALLY hope the Initiative haven’t decided to pay a visit to LA…
Lor: OHGOD. WORST CROSSOVER EVER.
Sweeney: That was my first thought when I saw this and I was horrified.
K: Even thinking it made me cringe. Anyway, the girl gets panicky, but then a demon boy grabs her and pulls her into a stairwell. They watch from the darkness as a bunch of army boots jog past.
Angel and Doyle are investigating the vision-y apartment block with torches. It seems abandoned, but then Angel smells something – fear. He uncovers a trapdoor in the floor, and finds a whole group of demon people huddled down there. He tells them that he’s here to help, and we seizure cut to the head(?) demon guy filling them in and it’s basically a people smuggling situation: they gave all their money to a guy who promised to get them passports and a ship. Neither turned up. Angel asks what they’re trying to escape from, but the reply is interrupted by the arrival of demon girl and demon boy, who says that “They’re close.” Head Demon Guy points out that they have a guest – The Promised One. (L: Chosen One rip-off.) Angel’s all “Uuuuuuuuuuuuh, the WHUT??” Apparently there’s a prophecy that in the last days of the 20th century, the Promised One will appear and save them from The Scourge. Angel’s all “The huh?” and Demon Boy (I really suck at coming up with names, you guys) is all “Seriously? UGH. We’re all going to die.”
Doyle, on the other hand, has SRS BSNSS face. He knows about The Scourge, and fills Angel in: they’re death. HELPFUL. With that, we head into a flashback. Younger!Doyle walks into his apartment to find someone waiting in the shadows. It’s another Brachen demon, who I can’t help but call Kirk, because he’s played by Kirk from Gilmore Girls. Kirk tells Younger!Doyle that his clan are being killed off by The Scourge and they need Doyle’s help. Cut back to the present where Doyle is clarifying: the Scourge is actually an army of pure-blood demons, and I’m just gonna go ahead and call them Deatheaters.
Lor: We’re at least consistent in our dorkiness because my notes say, “MUDBLOODS.”
Sweeney: I mean, this reference had to be made. Also, WHY THAT GIF? THIS POST WILL NOT BE LACKING IN FEELS. SO THANKS FOR THAT, LOR.
K: Snark Squad mindmeld. We has it. I’m also going to go ahead and be super confused, because didn’t we establish at the end of Buffy season 3 that all demons on earth are human hybrids?! YAY CONTINUITY!! Anyway, apparently there’s no point in fighting the Deatheaters because they’re loyal-to-the-cause-fanatics.
Sweeney: THANK YOU. I had that same, “Sense: this doesn’t make any” reaction.
K: Clearly, the Snark Squad have reached the stage of mindmelding where we’re about to end up as an Abzorbaloff… Back to the flashback. Kirk asks Younger!Doyle to hide him and his clan until they can get out of town. Younger!Doyle – who’s basically just found out he’s half demon – refuses. Kirk tells him to believe that they have a common enemy, and leaves. Montage of Younger!Doyle trying to sleep, until there’s a knock at the door. He stands to answer it and has a vision – his first. It’s of Kirk and his clan being killed. Cut to Younger!Doyle walking into a room filled with dead Brachen demons while some feelsy music very reminiscent of the Doomsday theme (*passes the tissues to fellow Whovians*) plays in the background.
The present: Doyle tells Angel there’s no way to fight the Deatheaters. Angel says they’re going to get everyone out of town instead. Cut to outside, where a moving truck is pulling up in front of the building. Cordy walks into the building, and is confronted by the demon people. She pretends that her breath freshener spray is mace, and sprays it at them. Head Demon Guy sniffs and says “Wintergreen,” which I find oddly amusing before Doyle intervenes and tells her that they’re the Helpless of the Week. Angel’s off trying to get documents sorted, and Cordy’s all “WAIT. Demons = bad. Why aren’t we killing them?” Doyle tells her to go to the docks and talk to the captain of a ship.
Cordy: “So we’re booking them on a cruise?!”
Doyle: “…Basically, yeah.”
Cordy: “I hope it’s not Carnival!”
LOL. Apparently Carnival’s reputation was somewhat different in the late 90s… (S: I love moments like this, though, where we’re all, “OH. THIS IS A DIFFERENT TIME.”) Doyle begs her to go, and she’s all “Shit’s getting serious, huh?” before heading off to the docks. Cut to the docks where Angel’s basically blackmailing the harbourmaster into letting the ship leave LA without being inspected. After a few “I might get…hungry” threats, the guy agrees. Documents acquired! Back at the apartment block, Demon Boy has done a runner because he doesn’t believe in promised ones. Doyle says he’ll go after Demon Boy and bring him to the docks before asking Demon Girl if she knows where he’s gone.
Seizure cut to Doyle chasing after Demon Boy. Demon Boy says he’s sick of having to choose who he’d rather be hated by – humans or Deatheaters – because he (unlike Doyle) can’t pass for human. The only time he was allowed out of the house was Halloween. Doyle is understandably awkward, but tells Demon Boy that the one place he really belongs is with his family. Demon Boy is all “I’m not listening to you, you’re friends with the so-called Promised One.” Doyle says that people have to believe in something, and that running away doesn’t help. He also says the word “myths” as “mitts” and it’s kind of adorable. Demon Boy agrees to stop running, and they head off to find his family.
Sweeney: I love Doyle’s accent. IT WOULD BE A MAJOR TRAGEDY IF IT STOPPED BEING A PART OF THE SHOW. -_-
K: Over at the docks, Cordy’s inspecting the ship and filling in the captain. Once it’s sorted, she goes to make the call to move the demon people to the ship. Cut to Doyle and Demon Boy heading back towards the apartment. They hear marching feet, and see shadows. The Deatheaters are coming. They run for it, but are spotted. They hide in a building, and the Deatheaters split up to search for them. The Deatheaters, incidentally, are all in uniform and look quite a lot like Hugo Weaving’s version of Red Skull:
My God, I’m REALLY getting my nerd on today…
Lor: We love you for it.
Sweeney: Agreed. <3
K: Thank you. Anyway, Doyle tells Demon Boy to stay put, demons out, and runs into the street. The Deatheaters chase after him. As he passes a building, a hand reaches out and grabs him. It’s Angel. “They’re coming,” Doyle tells him. “Good,” Angel replies.
At the apartment block, the Deatheaters open the trapdoor in the floor to find all the demon people gone. “Keep looking!” yells Senior Red Skull, and then a vamped out Angel drags a demoned out Doyle into the room. It’s basically the same trick he pulled on Spike back in School Hard, except with added “I hate how much humanity is in me and wish I could be a Deatheater too.” Doyle begs Angel to stop. Angel snaps Doyle’s neck and drop his body to the floor. He wants to join the Deatheaters, and Senior Red Skull is intrigued by the idea. He has some Junior Red Skulls drag Angel away. Demon Boy watches from a nearby building as the Deatheaters leave with Angel.
Cut to Demon Boy finding Doyle’s body. The Doomsday music starts up again, but then Doyle blinks. Apparently Brachen demons can have their necks broken and not die? (L: Nifty! But not as cool as the cross-dimensional TV demon from earlier today, but useful.) Someone should probably tell Buffy that just in case. Doyle snaps his neck back into place, and shakes off his demon face. Demon Boy asks where everyone is, and we cut across to the ship where the captain is demanding that things hurry the hell up because he has a schedule to keep. Cordy begs for a few more minutes, and he agrees. Head Demon Guy tells Cordy that Doyle understands their suffering on account of being half demon. “DEMON???” Cordy says in horror.
Over at Deatheater HQ, Senior Red Skull is giving a pep talk about how half breeds need to be exterminated. Angel, who’s slicked down his hair, looks very Nazi-like. Senior Red Skull continues: they know how to find the demon people because the ship’s first mate spilled the beans. WHOOPS. First mate is on hand to claim his reward, but instead of money the Deatheaters decide to try out their magic beacon on him. Apparently said beacon destroys anything with any amount of human blood, and when it’s at full power, it has a quarter mile range. Angel looks horrified (well, as horrified as a vampire CAN look, anyway) as the first mate poofs into smoke. The Deatheaters cheer as we fade to black.
After the Not Ad Break, the Deatheaters are marching out. Angel knocks one out and grabs his motorbike, and I’m suddenly reminded of Let’s Kill Hitler:
Back at the ship, Cordy’s waiting anxiously. Doyle and Demon Boy run up, and she’s relieved to see Doyle alive. And then she slaps him for not telling her he was half demon on account of secrets are bad. He says he was afraid that she’d hate him, and she’s all “DUDE. I work for a freaking vampire. Just ask me out already!” There’s some adorable grinning on both sides, and then Angel rudely interrupts by turning up on his stolen motorbike. (S: SO RUDE.) He tells the captain to set sail, and Cordy and Doyle to get below decks and lock everything behind them. The Deatheaters turn up in a series of trucks, bringing their doom beacon with them.
Doyle and Cordy warn the demon people while Angel waits on deck for the Deatheaters. Senior Red Skull orders the Junior Red Skulls to kill Angel, and the fighting starts. Angel quickly knocks all the Junior Red Skulls out, and starts fighting Senior Red Skull. They fall into the hold, and all the demon people freak out. What they SHOULD be freaking out about is the doom beacon, which is being lowered into the hold and is about to go off. Angel tells them all to get out, and Doyle runs to the door, but it’s sealed from the outside. They’re all trapped.
Angel kills Senior Red Skull with a surprising amount of ease, considering he’s a dirty Mudblood, and then runs towards the beacon. Doyle and Cordy get there at the same time. Angel says that he thinks he can disarm it before it goes off, but Cordy’s all “Death wish much?” and Doyle asks how he’s going to do it without touching the light. Apparently Angel hadn’t thought that far ahead. He tears up as things get farewell-y. Doyle says that he understands now what Angel meant about how you never know your strength until you’re tested. He punches Angel, knocking him into the hold.
Lor: OH MY GOD, WHAT HAPPENING? WHAT IS THIS?
Sweeney: A HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE THING IS WHAT IS HAPPENING.
K: DO NOT WANT. ABORT. ABORT. (Or at least pause until there’s more booze around) He turns to Cordy, and kisses her. A weird blue light passes between them, and he pulls back. “Too bad we’ll never know if this is a face you could learn to love,” he says as he demons out.
Angel realises Doyle’s plan, and starts rushing up the ladder. But he’s too late. Doyle’s jumped onto the doom beacon. The demon people look on in horror and Cordy cries as Doyle struggles to pull the key cable out. The Doomsday music strikes up, and GODDAMMIT WHEDON, THIS IS TOO MANY FEELS-Y EPISODES IN A ROW.
K: Exactly. Doyle’s hands and face start to melt, but he pulls the cable apart before turning to smoke. Cordy sobs and Angel hugs her, all teary eyed, as the demon people look up at the doom beacon in shock. Cut to the Angel Investigations office. Cordy and Angel sit together, watching the footage Cordy shot of Doyle doing the advert. “Is that it? Am I done?” he says, and we fade to black.
Welp. That was depressing. I’m off to the Corner of Endless Tears with a detour via the liquor cabinet.
Lor: I had NO FREAKING IDEA. I am seriously in shock right now. That bit at the end with the footage of Doyle was nicely done and THEY KILLED DOYLE.
Sweeney: I am spoiled for a random list of things, so I actually did know this was coming BUT IT STILL MANAGED TO FUCKING RUIN MY NIGHT. SO THANK YOU FOR THAT, ASSHOLE.
K: RUDE, WHEDON. RUDE.
Next time on Angel: An old friend comes to visit, and Cordy discovers a new gift. Find out all the details in S01 E10 – Parting Gifts.