Previously: Wolfram & Hart brought Darla back from the dead, and Angel bought a creepy old hotel with a bag full of money taken from a woman he screwed over in the 1950s.
Kirsti: We open with a hilarious scene between Lorne and Angel. Apparently Broody McBroodsalot has been singing karaoke again, this time clown themed. Lorne asks if Angel’s been practicing, and yes – in the shower. Personally, I sing while blowdrying my hair because then no one can hear me, but to each their own. Lorne tells Angel that he’s reached a bend in the road and needs to work out what to do now, then heads on stage for some singing. Angel, meanwhile, heads over to the bar where Darla is waiting for him. They’re schmoopy and Angel is grinning like an idiot, and it makes me very uncomfortable because that’s a trait I associate exclusively with Seeley Booth.
Sweeney: Oh my goodness all the teeth! All the smiles! He’s not even quite that happy looking at any point in this episode, in which he is supposed to be happy many times. I am overwhelmed by this sight. But yes, I can see why this would cause you great confusion.
K: Sweeney, I came across a Seeley Booth gif in which he was grinning like that but was also not wearing a shirt. I figured you might spontaneously combust as a result, so went for the suited version instead.
Sweeney: To be clear, Angel is one of my TV boyfriends, not David Boreanaz and his occasionally strange-looking forehead and mediocre acting abilities. Still, it’s better safe than sorry.
K: ANYWAY. The bar is suddenly empty as he leads her onto the dance floor. They slow dance, and Angel’s all “I can’t believe you’re here, on account of that one time four years ago when I killed you.” Darla asks if he’s told anyone about their “dates,” and he says no. They start kissing, and we jump cut across to Angel asleep in bed with hilariously spiky hair. He wakes with a start, and we cue up the Electric Cellos.
After the credits, Cordy’s dusting the hotel foyer while Wes unpacks behind the front desk. Cordy’s all “UGH, SO MUCH CLEANING,” and I don’t really blame her, because I don’t even want to think about how gross a 60-something room hotel that’s been abandoned for 50 years would be. Especially with only three people to do the cleaning…
Sweeney: Seriously. They couldn’t have invested some of that magic murder money in a little cleaning assistance?
Lorraine: Surely there is a de-dusting spell somewhere…
K: You would think. Gunn walks in and demands to know where Angel is on account of there’s a demon to kill. Cordy and Wes get a little snippy because Angel didn’t tell them, and also on account of Gunn doesn’t really understand the whole “vampires sleep during the day” thing. Cordy offers their help instead, and Gunn is all “LOL WHUT,” referring to them as C-3PO and Stick Figure Barbie. BEST.
Sweeney: It was my understanding from this conversation that they’ve yet to complete the contrivance by which they acquire this building. If that’s the case, STOP ALL THE CLEANING. “Hey, just thought we’d dazzle up the place for you so you can see how valuable it might be before you sell it to us!”
K: Right? I mean, I get that working in a super dusty building wouldn’t be fun. But don’t give them an incentive to jack up the price!
Gunn turns to Angel and asks him to hurry the fuck up because they have a demon to kill. Angel tells him to cool his jets and tosses Cordy the keys to his car, because apparently she’s driving. Gunn reiterates that Wes and Cordy will slow them down, but Angel insists that they need the whole team. Awww. Wes looks at Gunn smugly and calls shotgun. Can we talk about how much I love them? Because I really do.
Cut to Angel’s convertible – roof up so the boss doesn’t turn to dust – pulling into an undercover car park. Gunn’s pissed because there’s no one around, but Angel points to a dodgy looking van. A young guy – Gunn’s snitch on the demon – appears, and Angel tosses him an envelope full of money. But the guy tosses it back. He’s changed his mind, on account of he doesn’t want to become demon chow, and suspects the demon may have had him followed by vampires. Gunn gets all up in his face, and then starts to beat him, but Angel intervenes and says that he’s taking over the case. Just then, a bunch of vamps enter the car park. The snitch scarpers while the Fang Gang get their fight on.
Lor: Cordy running around with a stake is fantastic.
K: So much. Post fight, the gang lean against the car nursing their various wounds with several piles of dust at their feet. Because the vamps lined up to be staked? IDK. Angel says that they need to regroup, while Gunn whinges about them not being any closer to finding the demon. Wes says that they’re in no condition to take him on anyway, and Gunn’s all WHATEVER and says he’s going after the snitch. (Having just reread that last sentence several times, I feel the need to clarify that this episode involves no quidditch whatsoever.)
Cordy: “When you do find him, you may wanna be a little more Guy Pierce in L.A Confidential and less Michael Madsen in Reservoir Dogs?”
Gunn: “I haven’t bothered to see a movie since Denzel was robbed at the Oscars for Malcom X.”
LOL. Gunn leaves, and Wes agrees that Denzel was, indeed, robbed. Cordy and Angel agree too. Wes then asks why Angel had performance issues, seeing as how it was just a simple vampire staking, and he says he must be having an off day.
Lor: Wet dreams really tucker a vampire out, apparently.
K: So it would seem! Seizure cut to Cordy dropping Angel off at the hotel. She asks if he’s okay, and he says that he just needs some sleep. She seems unconvinced, and we head over to Cordy’s apartment. She settles down to do some reading, then gets a two part vision of Gunn fighting something we can’t see. Phantom Dennis, best roommate ever, puts the phone in her hand, and she rings Angel.
Over at the hotel, his phone rings but Angel doesn’t wake up. We head into another Darla dream sequence. This time, the two of them are dressed in swimsuits and are “moonbathing” on banana lounges.
Angel asks what the ringing is, and Darla tells him to ignore it as she trails an ice cube down his chest. The ringing stops, and they kiss again. Back at Cordy’s, she’s now leaving a panicky message on Wes’ answering machine. She decides that it’s up to her to save Gunn, grabs an axe and heads out the door saying, “I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die” over and over.
Sweeney: But how awesome to have a giant ax just hanging out in your coat closet, in the apartment you share with an amazing ghost roommate? I love this, because she’s having this seemingly normal panic-tastic reaction, without recognizing what a certified badass she is for deciding to go save Gunn in the first place. Cordelia’s already got such a great character arc, when combined with her Buffy days.
K: Seriously. BtVS Cordelia was very much a “research and standing around waiting to be saved” character, while AtS Cordelia is more of a self-rescuing princess. At Gunn’s, she rushes down a dark corridor, axe in hand. Hearing fighting noises, she bursts in to see him and another guy fighting with quarterstaffs. She hits the other guy over the head, and Gunn’s all “Dude, WTF?” because the guy he was fighting is less demon and more one of his gang. Whoops.
Back in Angel’s dream, there’s now a banging noise in the background as Darla tells him that she has to go away. He’s bummed and wants to go with her. But apparently she’s in dangert. He says he’ll protect her, and she replies “You’re too busy protecting everybody else.” Just as they’re about to kiss again, the banging gets louder. Angel looks over to see Wes hammering at a coffin. Angel’s all “Dude, knock it off”, and looks back to see that Darla’s vanished. He grabs Wes by the throat and we cut into reality with Angel yelling “YOU MADE HER GO AWAY” at Wes, who he’s got pinned to the floor. Wes is all “Uh, dying here? Also, Gunn needs our help.” Angel releases him and then offers him a hand up, but Wes is all “You’re naked, so I’m good on my own, thanks.”
Lor: Considering the nature of his dreams, it was a wise choice, friend.
K: Exactly. Gunn, meanwhile, is telling Cordy to GTFO because he doesn’t need her help. She says she knows what she’s talking about, and that he was fight-for-his-life terrified in her vision, and that she’s not leaving his side. He’s all “I don’t get scared, now drive safe,” before realising that Angel’s car is gone. Double whoops. Cut to Gunn driving Cordy home in his ute. (S: …pickup truck) (K: As I said back in Sunnydale, you ask the Australian to write blog posts, you get Australian English. I’m educating you all, okay??)
Back at the hotel, Angel is staring reluctantly at Wes’ motorbike. Why? Because he has to wear the girl helmet, and it’s metallic hot pink. It’s hilarious, so I’m gonna go ahead and give you the entire scene:
This will never not be completely hilarious to me.
Sweeney: This scene was pointless, except that it was so entirely perfect that it absolutely had to happen. Delightful. As is them riding down the street together.
Lor: I like to think Wesley was keeping that helmet around specifically for a time like this.
K: Head canon accepted.
Seizure cut to a car yard. Gunn grills the guy running the place about Angel’s car, and he’s told to try a dude called Desmond, because he can’t resist vintage convertibles. Car Yard Guy says that they can find Desmond at a party, and Gunn gives him a lecture about not stealing neighbourhood cars before he and Cordy head off in search of Desmond. We stay with Car Yard Guy as a huge demon and a couple of vampires walk up behind him. Car Yard Guy’s all “That’s Gunn. He’s an asshat, and thinks he runs this town.” The demon, which is named Deevak and is the one Gunn’s looking for, is all “Imma take care of that.”
After the Not Commercial Break, Gunn’s confronting a young guy outside the party. Said guy is one of Gunn’s crew, and is meant to be on duty. Gunn tells him off for disobeying orders and makes him leave. Cordy’s all “Wow. Military dictator much?” and says that she doesn’t take orders – except from Angel – and that she doesn’t need his help to be cool at a party because she knows how to blend in. This is hilarious for several reasons:
1. We head into the party and Cordy’s the only white person there;
2. She has an axe sticking out of her bag; and
3. She’s wearing sweatpants, a baggy white jumper, and a leopard print bandanna thing. Sure, Cordy. You blend riiiiiiiiight in.
Things get worse when a girl who knows Gunn comes up to talk to him and asks who Cordy is, and Cordy inadvertently implies that she’s a hooker and then word vomits when she realises her mistake. Gunn is not impressed. He makes their apologies to the girl and then fist bumps his way through the party until he spots Desmond. There’s a confrontation and Desmond’s all “Whoa, didn’t know it was your car.” But his confession is interrupted by a bunch of vampires joining the party. They go straight for Gunn and start beating the crap out of him. Cordy tries to help, but gets knocked down. The girl from earlier gets shoved into a set of glass shelves and ends up with a shard of glass in her neck. Cordy goes to help her as the fight continues around them.
Gunn and some others fight the vampires off, and Cordy tells Gunn that the girl needs a doctor like YESTERDAY because her neck is bleeding like whoa.
Lor: I’m going to assume no one called an ambulance because those bitches are expensive.
K: Also because of contrivance.
Cut to the emergency room. Cordy fills the doctor in on the first aid that she’s done, and the doctor tells Gunn that Cordy probably saved the girl’s life. Sometimes later, Cordy – her white jumper now covered in blood – finds Gunn in a hospital room blaming himself for letting his guard down. He accidentally calls the girl by his sister’s name and excuse me while I have Gunn feels. Based on Cordy’s face, she’s having feels too. Behind her, Desmond tries to sneak into the lift. Without turning around, Cordy tells him to stop and demands to know where her car is. Best.
Sweeney: Saving the girl’s life! And this! This isn’t an inherently Cordelia-centric episode, but it’s a great episode for her all the same.
K: With that, we head back to the outside of the party house, where Wes and Angel have just pulled up. There are police and paramedics everywhere. Wes asks a girl who’s just leaving if she knows Gunn, and she says that maybe he was one of the ones who got hurt. She walks away from the house as she talks, and the guys follow her. Wes asks if she’s hurt, and she says that maybe she just needs to lie down. Angel grabs her shoulders and gives her a Glasgow kiss, which forces her to vamp out. He demands information, and we head over to a garage of some description where Cordy and Gunn have just located Angel’s car. Gunn says that he’ll follow Cordy home, and she says that she needs to find the keys first, on account of she left them in the ignition when she went to save Gunn. Gunn is all “DUDE, WHAT THE FUCK,” which is pretty fair.
Sweeney: This is a less great moment for her.
Lor: I’ve left the keys in the ignition while heading off to do something a lot less important than save someone’s life, so I’ll give Cordy a pass. Mostly to make myself feel better.
K: My mum once locked herself in our house by forgetting to take the keys out of the lock before she closed the front door. The deadlock was on, and she spent 20 minutes attempting sign language with our next door neighbour from the upstairs window.
They start searching for the keys, but are interrupted by Deevak who waves the keys at them and asks if this is what they’re after. Gunn tells Cordy to leave, but she won’t. Deevak grabs Gunn by the neck and hoists him into the air. Cordy tries to hit Deevak with her axe, but he grabs her hand instead. As they struggle, Deevak morphs into the snitch from earlier. This is apparently enough to bring Cordy to her senses. She grabs some mace from her handbag and sprays it in Deevak’s eyes. He lets them both go, and turns back into a demon. Just then, Wes’ motorbike slides under the garage door. Angel and Wes pull off their helmets and attack Deevak’s vampire minions. One grins at Angel’s pink helmet, so obviously, he smashes the guy in the head with it.
Lor: First a fertility goddess in Buffy and now a pink helmet. It’s a good day for non-weapon weapons.
K: Cordy grabs her axe and runs to the side as Gunn starts fighting Deevak. One of the vampires pins Cordy against a car, but Wes stakes it before dragging Cordy out of the path of a second vampire. Deevak has now pulled out a short sword, and Gunn is fighting for his life. Cordy tosses Angel her axe as he runs across the garage, then somersaults and slams the axe into Deevak’s forehead. The demon drops dead, and Angel helps Gunn up.
Sometime later, Angel’s wheeling his car out of the garage. Wes comes running out with the keys before mentioning that they’re covered in demon slime that won’t come off. Angel’s all “Yeah, I’ll just go ahead and hot wire it…” Gunn, meanwhile, is thanking Cordy for saving his life. But she tells him that it wasn’t the demon he was in danger from. It’s himself, on account of he creates danger as well as fighting it. She says that she’s got her work cut out for her, and that he’d better get used to her being around. They smile at each other before Gunn drives off.
K: Which is good, because apart from that serious case of bitchface when he put on the pink helmet, I pretty much hate Angel in this episode.
Back at the Hyperion, Darla’s all “How was saving the world today, honey?” He says that he saved a few lives, but that no one thanked him for it. “Always the protector, never the protected,” she says, before saying that she’s there to take care of him. Apparently care = sexytimes, because she straddles him and pulls off his jumper. With that, we cut to Angel in bed, smiling in his sleep. A very real and very naked Darla comes into frame next to him. “I could just eat you up,” she says, as she starts sucking on his neck. Angel sleeps on, oblivious, and we fade to black.
Sweeney: I was amused by the smiling times in the beginning, but mostly, this crap is weird and I don’t like it and I hope it doesn’t last much longer.
Lor: And remember: it doesn’t count as consent if the other person is sleeping.
K: Given that she was born in like 1600, does Darla count as a rape-osaurus? Either way, I think we’d all prefer it if she’d GTFO.
Next time on Angel: Darla’s visits continue as Angel befriends a young girl who’s wanted by Wolfram & Hart. Find out all the gossip in S02 E04 – Untouched.