Angel S03 E07 – Awesome Lies & Random Skills

Previously: Shit got really, really misogynistic and murdery. This had major consequences for Wesley, who seemed like he was finally ready to make a move on Fred, and will instead be battling some major inner demons after attacking her.


Sweeney: I’ve been over here wondering when Darla’s going to turn in up in LA like she promised. I’m not necessarily a fan of all the things they’ve done in the interim, but I think I like that they took their sweet time with this. FINE, SHOW. FINE. But I think the suspense is over because we kick this episode off in Rome, 1771. TERRIBLE WIG FLASHBACK TIME! Angelus is running around in a sewer (the more things change, the more they stay the same). He’s being chased by some monk like dudes. Maybe they’re not monks, but they’re wearing big brown robes and I can’t be bothered to differentiate the kinds of people who wear big brown robes.

Lorraine: Basically, don’t wear a big brown robe if you don’t want the Snark Ladies to mistake you for a monk.

Sweeney: Precisely.

Angelus comes to a dead end, cornered by many of these monks. A door opens and he cowers away from the light. In rides Holtz. He thanks a religious man in red (Cardinal? IDK, man. Too many religious outfits.) who orders Angelus chained up. Holtz gets straight to the torture, rather than the kill. A little while later, Holtz is still torturing as Angel explains that he came to Rome because Darla loves the Sistene Chapel.

K: Holtz doesn’t seem to be particularly good at the torturing thing because Angelus doesn’t seem particularly phased it. Also, this flashback includes Angelus’ Terrible Accent of Doom. UGH.

Sweeney: Wait, who is supposed to be getting tortured here? It seems like it’s us…

Holtz gets up to resume torture and adds that he wants nothing, since he has no family. He’ll track Darla down himself, since Angelus isn’t likely to give her up. For now, though, he’s content to just see if there will be anything left after beating and torturing the demon from his human flesh. He thinks the answer is probably not.

While Holtz is doing his big dramatic monologue about how he can’t be saved without a soul (YOU KNOW, BECAUSE KNOW HE HAS ONE AND STUFF) Darla rolls up holding a flaming crossbow with several minion vamps behind her. They kill everyone but Holtz and ride off into the sunlight under cover of some blankets. Angelus asks why they spared Holtz, but Darla adds that she’s having so much fun ruining his life, since he’s basically family now.

In present day LA, Darla is telling a city bus driver to drop her off. She thanks him and he looks back, terrified, at his bus full of vampire victims. Darla walks off smirking as he tries to radio this hot mess in. Electric cello time.

After the credits, Cordelia is setting up some flowers down in the Fang Gang’s training room. They’re fake because nothing warm can actually live down there. Cordelia and Angel’s banter suggests that it is his birthday. He has a precious little smirk as he tells her that he’s never met anyone like her. “Well, duh,” she Cordelias.

K: I’m too distracted by her fringe, which seems to have gotten shorter and more awful overnight.

Lor: OMG, YES. I have very strong feelings about those little, bitty bangs that were popular at the time and that mostly look like hair caught in a paper shredder to me, but I mean, if you are reading this and you have those bangs, please don’t hate me. But also, stop it.

Sweeney: Preach. If you like it, that’s fine — you do you — but I think it looks stupid.

Cordelia wants more fight practice. He’s giving her tips as he’s deflecting some solid punches. When he looks down to ask her where her weight is, she takes an awesome swing at his face. She apologizes and he turns to her, smiling, insisting that she can’t hurt him because he’s a vampire, before turning away and adjusting his nose, visibly in pain. Cordelia says he’s off his game because he’s worried about the end being near. Angel swears it’s NBD, what with everyone always uncovering ancient scrolls and stuff. He’s seen this many times in his very long life. By “many times” he means three. So actual big deal, but shhhh, not really.

They mention Gunn and Wesley getting their B&E on, so we cut to that happening at a well-lit mansion. They end up needing to do none of the breaking and some very easy entering through a back door. Inside they immediately find the one room museum of creepy demonic shit they were looking for.

They’re trying to find something valuable, which Gunn suggest is in the vault. He then says that he has a very bad feeling about this — because there is a man holding a revolver standing behind Wesley. The revolver-toting man has a Mr. Rogers sweater, without the color. But the gun is pretty menacing. Anyway, Monochromatic Mr. Rogers grabs the phone to call the cops, but is saved by Wesley insisting that some random demonic powder that this guy has a large amount of is, under a microscope, indistinguishable from GHB. I’m going to assume this is ultra clever quick thinking and not epic contrivance, because Wesley.

Lor: Agreed. I think a fast, “YOUR POWDERY SUBSTANCE WILL LOOK LIKE ROOFIES” lie is about the best thing ever, so I want give Wesley proper credit for that.

Sweeney: Speaking of people being on point, after Monochromatic Mr. Rogers hangs up the phone and says he’ll kill them anyway, Gunn grabs some little red glass orbs and starts juggling with them. Gunn asks how much they’re worth, and MMRs anxiety suggests that the answer is, as Gunn suspected, “a lot.” Gunn drops one on purpose for emphasis, but carries on juggling, insisting that they’re not thieves, but investigators and they just need to look at the man’s scrolls. Gunn is a very good juggler. I wonder if J. August Richards actually possessed this skill or needed to get juggling stunt training. I hope it’s the latter because it would be delightful if this were a thing that happened.

K: According to the internet, he actually possessed that skill. As do Patrick Dempsey, Tom Hanks, and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Thanks, internet! 

Sweeney: I’m equal parts impressed with this random skill and dismayed that they didn’t make him learn to juggle for the sake of this episode.

After MMR relents, we seizure cut to Fred coming down into the training room. We hear Cordelia and Angel talking about bending and unnatural things and it all sounds very sexual. It turns out that they’re just fight training. THAT’S ALL. FOR NOW. Fred stands at the bottom of the stairs and watches, smiling. As Cordelia leaves, Fred says a word I can’t quite make out, but adds that it’s the one nice word she remembers from Pylea.

After Cordelia’s gone, Fred explains to Angel that it’s a word that two heroes say when they meet each other in the field of battle and recognize their mutual fate. She always thinks of this word when she sees Angel and Cordelia sparring, adding how brave Cordelia is and that it’s only natural that she and Angel would be drawn to each other. I didn’t catch it initially, but this is where I paused when my battery died so it was only on a second past that I caught the rest of Fred’s translation — “recognize their mutual fate,” which adds a whole tragic dimension to all of it. Regardless, this is a sweet way of addressing and moving past Fred’s Angel crush. Though, as usual, I want to hug Fred. Fred and I could have a big uncomfortable hug session, because I’m sure her hugs are awkward too.

K: Mostly, I love that Fred – who’s been so book-smart but so oblivious about social stuff to date – notices the changing relationship between Angel and Cordy before they do.

Lor: She’s always looking at Angel anyways, you know? And now she sees him starting to look at Cordy the way he never looked at her. Sorry, I think I just accidentally gave myself more Fred feels.

Sweeney: Those Fred feels just keep coming. Ms. Feels For Days quickly changes the subject because plastic flowers are her favorite. (Presh.) Angel denies that anything is going on between himself and Cordelia, but Fred’s not having it, because they’re both heroes and totes in lurve. He gets frustrated and defensive, and raises his voice a tiny bit, just as Wesley is walking in. He asks what’s going on and adds that Fred’s been through quite enough without people yelling at her. Fred says Angel didn’t mean anything by it, which then makes everyone get sadpanda and awkward, on account of demonified Wesley having meant her harm. This definitely gave me Wesley feels, but I have to back up and say that I don’t like that brand of defensiveness of Fred. Turning her into a damsel in distress is not the way to counteract misogyny, bro.

K: A+ and 1430. And a fistbump, because of reasons.

Sweeney: You know what is a good way to set things on a better course? Asking Fred to do math to help the gang. Fred runs off excitedly to do that and Wesley adorably asks Angel who gave him all the flowers. “NOBODY!” Cute.

Seizure cut to upstairs. Fred, Wesley, and Gunn are talking about her fun Roman calendar math. Angel comes upstairs and the tinkly orchestra of feels swells as he watches Cordelia working at her desk. Back inside Wesley’s office Fred’s questioning her math, because she realizes that this can’t be right unless the world ended last March. LIKE WHEN CRANGEL GOT HIS SEX ON. (L: SEX-PIPHANY.) Wesley then explains that the prophecy talks about the rise of “the person or being that brings about the ruination of mankind.” Oh, I got this one! E. L. James was born on March 7, 1963.


Sweeney: Nah, but also maybe ruination is purification. So definitely not that. Wesley’s translations have it meaning ruination in one language, purification in another, and both in a third. Cordelia jokes that he doesn’t want to make the same mistake twice. Wesley explains the whole Angel’s-gonna-die-JK-he’ll-live kerfuffle to Fred. Angel listens outside the door as Fred clarifies that it means he’d get to have a normal life. Cordelia jokes about taking him to the beach. Fred checks her numbers again and is still pretty sure that if her numbers are right, the bad thing is already there in LA.

Cordelia looks up and asks Angel why he’s creepily staring at her. She gets up and pours some coffee as a means to interact rather than be stared at. Angel then awkward some stuff about fate and different kinds of people, the highlight of which is when he calls himself a “man…pire.” He laughs too hard at her joke about putting vodka in the blood.

K: As a general rule, any Angel laughter is laughing too hard. He’s not being with the laughter.

Sweeney: She asks if he’s trying to tell her that he loves her. She then says she loves him and he looks like he’s about to burst. It’s precious, except for his happiness being scary on account of shitty soul plot. Cordelia then says loudly that they all love each other and the rest of the gang chime in, “We love you Angel” from Wesley’s office. CUTE CUTE CUTE. I love that.

Lor: Too cute. I’ll be over here expecting the sky to fall soon.

Sweeney: Cordelia goes on to say that they’ve all been saying it, just in case the latest End Times prophecy is legit. She then discourages him from going in for the hug.

Angel awkwards that he was just trying to say that they’ve been through a lot together as friends, bringing out the best in each other. Cordelia adds that the good she’s seen far outweighs the bad. As they wrap this up, noting that this is what friends are for, we hear Darla chime in, “If you ask me, they’re for knocking you up and leaving you high and dry. Hello lover. Long time, no see.

After a Not Commercial Break, everyone but Fred takes turns saying, “Darla!” Gunn then explains to Fred that this is Angels OTHER ex who died and came back to life. The vampire one. (K: I love that they still avoid saying Buffy’s name, intentionally or otherwise) Hmm, if you’re willing to accept the STDs and emotional trauma, dating Angel does seem to correlate to being supernaturally brought back to life. They’re never all that happy about it, though, so nevermind. Maybe we’ll file that under “cons” as well.

Lor: I loved Fred asking for a chart of Angel’s conquests, and Gunn admitting they have one, probably complete with birth dates, deceased dates and resurrection dates.

Sweeney: Definitely a handy thing to keep around this office.

Angel asks when this happens and Darla’s all, “You know exactly when this happened.” Cordelia’s horrified, asking if Angel slept with her and Angel awkwardly tries to avoid answering her, but insisting that vampires can’t have children and turning to Wesley for confirmation, which he offers. Fred suggests that this is probably the bad thing they were expecting.

Darla asks what Angel did to her and punches him. Cordelia says stop that, and Angel says he’s all right, but she wasn’t talking about him. She says he’ll hurt her, adding, “Haven’t you done enough?” Well, that’s interesting. Cordelia then tells Angel that he looked her in the eye and said he’d never do a thing like that. Darla says that she hasn’t been to a doctor, but she’s been to every shaman in the Western hemisphere, and also it kicks and yes, for fucking serious, there’s a baby. Cordelia sassily asks Angel if he’s going to take responsibility for this.

Cordelia’s rage is weird. Is this a slightly jealous rage? It seems a little much for him having lied about sleeping with Darla and all of the actual anger over him impregnating her is total nonsense because it’s not like he had any more idea that this was going to happen than she did and just learned about it 60 seconds ago. I’m hoping we’re going to address this rage and I’m going to be all, “Right, stupid comments are stupid,” but I’m pointing it out now because it’s a feeling I’m having right now.

K: I like to think of it as Cordy having leftover issues trusting men after last week’s total nightmare of an episode, plus a little dose of “Demons keep magically knocking me up and it really sucks.”

Lor: I have issues with this sort response-sexism. Misogyny sucks, but being all, “ALL MEN SUCK,” is stupid as well. I don’t know. This definitely feels like a strange, and flipped switch response.

Sweeney: YES! Exactly. Anyway, Angel wants Wesley to look in books and figure shit out, but Wesley points out the stupidity of that plan and suggests that they go to Lorne for answers.

Segue Magic to Lorne saying something is all wrong, but it’s him overseeing renovations on the amazing karaoke bar. The three Angel fangirls who cast the protection spell are also there – the new spell will be sure to include humans. The Fang Gang arrives and Lorne gushes about reopening the club, before finally settling down to address the Darla situation when he sees how few fucks they give about his news. Rude, guys. (But, fine, legit, bigger fish to fry, yadayada.)

They all worry that Angel is going to have to sing (K: Gunn’s “OH GOD PLEASE NO” reaction is hilarious), and Cordelia notes that Darla’s got the baby. She gets up and grabs Lorne by the tie before grunting out, “Oh Danny boy,” and demanding to know what’s inside of her. Darla’s debilitated state seems like pure nonsense, given the massacre and casual strolling we witnessed in the opening scene. Definitely a smart move if it is an act. (And I hope it is, because otherwise contrivance and bullshit.) This is way beyond singing, though, so he sends everyone else away to address the crisis.

Lorne says this is way beyond his depth too. Wesley fills him in on the “ruination of humanity” prophecy. Angel laments that his child will be “the scourge of mankind,” which is a fun throwback to the “scourge of Europe.” Meanwhile, Cordelia is distressed that everyone is upsetting Darla. I’m not the only one who thinks this is weird, right? Cordelia and Lorne help her into his room to lie down and she tells Angel that they can handle it.

Lor: It is weird. I don’t like it. This is DARLA, not some innocent girl off the streets. STOP DEFENDING DARLA.

Sweeney: RIGHT? Cordelia’s driving me nuts with this shit. It’s proof of how far we are from Sunnydale that I’m genuinely upset with this episode for making me mad at Cordelia, because even though every episode’s not a winner for her, it’s rare that she’s someone who makes me go, “SRSLY?” Yet here we are.

Back in the bar, the guys are discussing what all of this means. Lorne says it seems a little unfair for all Angel’s do-goodering to result in evil spawn, but Angel doesn’t see how any kid of his and Darla’s can be good. They ponder the prophecies some more, and Wesley suggests that perhaps the Shanshu prophecy was really about this kid and Angel’s destiny was just to help bring it into the world. Fred interjects and it’s fucking amazing:

“Can I say something about destiny? Screw destiny. If this evil thing comes, we’ll fight it, and we’ll keep fighting it until we whoop it, ’cause destiny is just another word for inevitable and nothing’s inevitable as long as you stand up, look it in the eye and say, ‘You’re evitable!’ [long pause] Well, you catch my drift.”

Lorne is awestruck. “Oh, I like her so much.” US TOO, LORNE. US TOO. Angel wants to see the prophecy and the math and all the things. Fred heads back to the hotel for that. Lorne tells Angel that Darla’s doing terribly and that Cordelia’s mega pissed and he should probably stay out of her way.

In the bedroom, Darla moans that she doesn’t get why anyone would willingly do this crap. Cordelia talks about her mystical overnight pregnancy. She says it was real miserable while it lasted, and starts to ask Darla about her current hunger status, which is her cue to go, “Oh wait, I’m hanging out alone in a room with a horrible vampire!” She slowly goes to leave, but Darla vampire jumps out of bed and pins Cordelia to the door she was just about to leave through. Cordelia punches her and pulls a cross on her, but Darla knocks that arm out of the way and covers Cordy’s mouth before going in for the bite.

K: I was legit cheering when Cordy punched Darla. Shame it had to take that turn for the worse.

Lor: And this is why we don’t go rushing to Darla’s side, Cordelia.

Sweeney: After a Not Commercial Break, Cordelia is getting bit while having migraine visions of kids playing somewhere that looks like a Chuck E Cheese. This is interrupted when Angel pulls Darla off and chucks the pregnant lady across the room. Angel is tending to Cordelia and promising Darla will pay for this, but Cordelia says he’ll have to find her first. In the bar, Gunn says they tried to stop her by hitting her fists and feet with their faces, but, you know…

Seizure cut to Angel’s room at The Hyperion, where Cordelia’s laying down. Cordelia says this was her fault because she felt sorry for her — Darla looking like a helpless mother made Cordelia forget what she really was.

I guess this is somewhere in the neighborhood of legit. I still fall more on the side of “general annoyance” with her, though.

Angel sets off and Gunn is left standing watch with a crossbow. Cordelia stops Angel before he goes, because she forgot to mention the vision. She says Darla is so hungry and doesn’t know how to make it stop, but Cordelia thinks she knows where Darla’s headed.

Downstairs Angel is, once again, heading off alone, in spite of Darla being super strong with her mystical pregnancy. Wesley asks why he does this and Fred wisely offers that Angel probably can’t stand to have them see him do it. In spite of being a vampire who tried to kill Cordelia, she is carrying his child — “the one thing he can never have, even if he lives forever.

With talk of children, we cut to the Chuck E Cheese type place from Cordelia’s vision. A little blonde boy is wandering around looking for his mommy. Darla appears and offers to help him find her. (K: STRANGER DANGER) A random woman comments on Darla’s bravery as nonsense set up for Darla to get to say, “Oh, I love children; I could just eat them up” before the Not Commercial Break.

Cordelia is having nightmares about her vision from earlier. She tells Gunn she needs to go talk to Wesley. She says that this vision-dream is partially about what’s inside Darla, though she doesn’t quite get it. There’s some “Angel doesn’t get technology” jokes in here as they try to reach him, which are a suitable enough subcategory of Angel-is-old jokes, which equal shots. Cordelia says she thinks the Powers That Be Contriving are trying to tell her why Darla’s craving younger victims. But, not yet, because we still have 8 more minutes of episode left.

Back at the Not!Chuck E. Cheese, Darla’s alone with the little boy, looking for his mommy. She vamps out and then Angel appears and stops her. The little boy runs off to his actual mommy. Everyone sees the vampires fighting and runs off screaming. (L: This episode is a strong case against Chuck E Cheese.) They fight and banter. Darla says he doesn’t know how the hunger pounds and Angel says he’ll make it stop. Angel finally gets her in staking position and she screams at him to do it. He hesitates and she gets hysterical, telling him to do it. Then she sobs in his arms and the spinny cameraman pans around them while Angel explains that she’s been craving purer and purer blood because whatever is inside of her has a soul. This logic does not resemble our human logic, but OK, sure.

K: RIGHT???? This logic made precisely zero sense to me. “The thing inside you has a soul, so you should go kill the most innocent of innocents and drink their blood because the totally pure soul-having thing inside you demands it.” Um. What.

Sweeney: Brooding Hotel. Angel is assuring Darla that she’s not alone, as she’s chucking the mug of pig’s blood at the wall. On his way out he tells a crossbow-wielding Gunn to keep an eye on her. Given what a fight she gave Angel and that Wesley said she’s now stronger than him, this plan seems majorly unwise.

Downstairs, Angel is telling the ladies that they can’t go near Darla without Gunn and Angel and lots and lots of crossbows. That extra annoys me after the last episode. STFU. (K: *applause*)

Cordelia says that this means Angel’s going to be a father. She adds that she felt it in her vision – the same thing that he felt when he was with her earlier. I liked this little bit. Not that it wasn’t clear in the scene with Darla, but I got distracted by that weird explanation for Darla’s cravings, and I like this idea that it was just a ~feeling. The mythology doesn’t always need big epic explanations, but I’m a proponent of them being clearer on the notion that sometimes it can just be this feeling in your gut.

Fred has a big uh-oh moment. She babbles about all the translation/math woes they’ve been having all episode, until the others cut her off. She pulls out a stopwatch and says the thing is arriving, “in about 3 – 2 – now.

We cut to a park, of sorts, so that we pan go underground to a weird sanctuary, of sorts, with lots of fire. A demon in a brown-hooded robe starts chanting about rising a prophesied one as he tosses dust at a statue in the middle of the sanctuary.

K: Because, you know, chanting at a stone statue in the middle of a sanctuary worked out SO WELL last time… 

Sweeney: Then he starts smoking, because EVIL. He checks his watch while he waits, because gags. The Terrible Special Effects Team cues some lighting and stuff before the statue cracks. Left behind is a dude on all fours. The demon goes to him and welcomes him to the 21st century, adding that Angelus is here, but it’ll be a while before he’s strong enough. With that, the man cuts him off and stands up to reveal that it’s Holtz.

Well, that was fucking random and unexpected. I mean, I should have expected it, what with that opening making no practical sense with the rest of the episode besides, maybe, “Hey, one time Darla saved Angelus!” but still. Curve ball successful, show.

K: I don’t know how to feel about this episode. On the one hand, it has so many moments of fabulousness – Fred, and Gunn juggling, and Cordy being a BAMF. But on the other hand, it was pretty much like none of the shit from the previous episode ever happened, and that pisses me off like whoa.

Lor: It’s kind of weird that after seven episodes, I’m now getting the, “now we’re getting somewhere!” feeling. Mostly I’m glad that things are building up.

Sweeney: Agreed — I’m glad things are building up. I’m not sure how to feel about this episode because it made me frustrated with characters who seldom frustrate me. There were some really great moments though — I loved the whole Gunn/Wesley break-in scene, every single thing Fred said and did, and a few other bits, but it wasn’t a standout episode either. It seems like a big set-up episode, though, so hopefully exciting stuff is on the horizon.


Next time: Angel tries to figure out what exactly Baby Brood will be in Angel S03 E08 – Quickening.

Sweeney (all posts)

I collect elaborate false eyelashes, panda gifs, and passport stamps. I spend too much time on YouTube. Reconciling my aversion to leaving the house/wearing pants with my deep desire to explore everything is my life's great struggle.

Marines (all posts)

I'm a 20-something south Floridan who loves the beach but cannot swim. Such is my life, full of small contradictions and little trivialities. My main life goals are never to take life too seriously, but to do everything I attempt seriously well. After that, my life goals devolve into things like not wearing pants and eating all of the Zebra Cakes in the world. THE WORLD.

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  • behind blueiz

    This episode was always a #meh for me. I think Joss had saved all his brilliance for Once More with Feeling that aired a day later. I think that’s a good of guess as any for why it was just blah.

    • Clearly. I’m backing this theory.

    • I had this feeling about the Halloween episode that aired right before OMWF too. I’m blanking on the name. IDK if someone pointed that out already in those comments ’cause I’m so behind, but OMWF certainly hoarded a lot of awesome. It’s a legit theory.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      It’s a pretty great theory. Just like how we can blame the suckitude of Angel season 4 on Joss being distracted with wrapping up Buffy, and Firefly getting cancelled.

      • Rosalie M Town

        When I rewatch Angel, or show it to friends for the first time, I just skip Season 4.

  • behind blueiz

    I just looked up the episodes that David Greenwalt had written for both Buffy and Angel. Asides from a few really good ones, not this one included, he’s responsible for many of the #meh and even NOPE episodes from each.

    It seemed like he was either big hit or really, really miss.

    • Struggles. I’ll keep an eye out for his episodes in the future.

  • Clément Polge

    I think I actually get Cordelia’s reaction, because it’s not just that Angel lied to her, it’s that by having sex he could lose his soul, and actually go kill all of them. And now that he learns he’s a dad, he’s ready to pick up a fight, where Cordelia really just see some lost and tired pregnant woman. I don’t think Cordelia had that much interaction with Darla either, so there’s that too.

    Also, that sequence in the bus was just perfect to remind us how Darla is evil, without that we might have reacted more like Cordelia. But this way, we’re actually wary of Darla despite the relative trust the gang seem to put in her.

    Also also, if Darla wants purer blood, she should ask Willow if she have any of that Bambi blood left. And yes, Angel’s logic does not ressemble our earth logic, but that might just be wishful thinking from his part too.

    And I get Wesley defending Fred, he probably wants to atone for going all Shining on her by going all “SEE ? I TOTALLY WOULDN’T KILL YOU WITH AN AXE. I’M DEFENDING YOU.” It’s definitely misguided, but I’m not sure I would know how to behave any better than he does, so I get it.

    • Well, yeah, the soul thing was kind of part of the point, but we’ve already addressed how shitty he was then. I guess I’m just not feeling her joint ANGEL RAGE / DARLA DEFENSE.

      As for Wesley, yes, I get WHY he’s doing it. I’m just saying he’s being misguided. He’s trying to atone for what he did under the influence of a misogyny demon with what is, quite frankly, an exponentially more subtle but misogynistic reaction. I feel for him and want him to be able to make things right with Fred — I’m just saying that, regardless of his intent, that’s a stupid way to go about it. (Same goes for Angel’s GIRLS STAY AWAY! reaction; I get it, but it’s still bullshit and annoying.)

    • I get Wesley too. And I even get Angel when he tells the girls to stay away from Cordelia. I got less of a, “YOU GUYS ARE GIRLS AND WEAK. STAY AWAY VIBE,” and more of a “you both seemed to sympathize with her. Do not be fooled. Stay away,” vibe.

      • Re: Angel — Gunn is left in the room alone with Darla, whereas he makes a point to tell both Cordelia and Fred that they, specifically, cannot be alone with Darla. I’m not arguing to persuade, because it’s not that big of a deal and I agree with what you’re saying here. I’m just saying that after the last episode I’m hyper sensitive and this singling out of the girls (whatever his reason) was irritating.

        • Word, I get what you are saying. The difference to me is that you and K saw, “singling out of the girls,” and I saw, “singling out of the person who wanted to tuck Darla into bed and the person who happily offered her water, blood or whatever else.”

          Gunn would stake probably Angel right now. If you want to put someone on Staking Pregnant Vampire duty, he’s probably going to be the one most likely to commit to doing it.


          Wanna (awkward) hug it out?

          • That is a fair point about Gunn. I’m also annoyed that Gunn was left to watch her alone. One minute Wesley is telling us that she’s extra strong now (and she was always supposedly a little stronger than Angel) and the next we’re deciding it’s wise to leave a non-super powered human guarding her. It’s all irksome. You’re right, though — Gunn is absolutely the last one to have any Darla sympathy whatsoever. He might even just stake her anyway because VAMPIRE, but never mind. Not the point.


          • Jojo

            Group hug?

          • Clément Polge


            (sorry, couldn’t help myself, i’m super-hyped, plus I’ll have to avoid every spoilers for like A DAY before I can see the actual episode)

    • Alex

      Cordelia’s reaction only annoys me a little, and only due to the slight ‘ooh, babies, I’m a woman and I therefore love all things baby-related’ vibe that I get from it. But I think it does make a lot of sense for her character. She’s got to have a lot of empathy for Darla’s situation after her own mystical pregnancy, and I think her reaction to Harmony last season shows that she’s not great at the whole automatic ‘vampire=evil’ thing, especially when there are other emotional factors at play. I also think she’s a little disillusioned with the whole souled/soulless distinction: as she said back when Harmony showed up, Angel did some awful things even when he had a soul, so why should she immediately assume that a vampire without one is evil and must be insta-dusted?

      That said, after everything she’s been through (and how that whole Harmony thing worked out for her) I can’t quite buy that Cordelia wouldn’t take *some* measures to protect herself in Darla’s company. Surely she’d think to keep a handy cross and a bottle of holy water nearby, just in case? But in general, I do think the reaction is pretty in-character for her.

      On Wesley… I said it in the comments on the last recap and I’ll say it again: I HATE that the writers did this to him. It feels like they were trying to find some way to ruin his budding crush on Fred, and it certainly worked, but I so wish that they could have come up with something less horrific. I totally understand his misguided attempts at chivalry, but they just make it so much worse. If Fred can stop an axe-wielding maniac with a fire extinguisher, she can most definitely handle someone raising their voice at her without needing anyone to come to her rescue!

  • darkalter2000

    I forgot this episode was now. Once More With Feeling blinded me to Angel stuff.

    I don’t find Cordelia’s reaction too offputting honestly. Some people get weird around babies. I can accept Cordy being one of those people. Add in the lie Angel told, and I can see temporarily forgetting to treat Darla as a threat. Cordeila’s got layers. You don’t know.

    Lorne is of course correct in liking Fred. Absolutly correct.

  • Jojo

    Okay – just look at it this way – the blood of children is like organic honey, sweet and delicious with no pesticides and minimal cholesterol. It’s not just that their souls are pure, although terrorizing innocents and then killing them has it’s own pleasure. They are fun and nutritious snacks for pregnant vamps with delicate digestion.

    Ah, Wesley – I will let him off the hook because if he had been terrorizing Gunn he would also be protective of Gunn. Though Wesley did apologize for mentioning ‘Lady Hamilton’s Virtue’ in front of Cordy which kinda makes his weird chivalrous streak already canon anyway. I do take the warning scene as more of a ‘bring many big fighters because hungry pregnant vamp must be restrained and not dusted if possible and beside she is a real bitca and may kill you cuz she is pissed at the world”. So, if they needed a weapon designed it would still be Fred they go to, and if they need street muscle, that’s Gunn. Not sexist as much as knowing vamps, Darla, and the strengths of the team.

    Yes, this is definitely a set-up episode. Pulls a few strings together – that rapey sex scene which gave Angel his epiphany….and then he got back together with his crew and swore he didn’t sleep with Darla in the flesh. So if you have a boss likely to CrAngelus and then find out he is sleeping with women and lying about it – is a big deal. And Holz – he has great reason to hate Angel and Darla. More about why in the next episode. Trust me – payoff in next episode is huge.

    As for Darla – Angel used her to work through his own issues but never once thought about her beyond that. Kinda like Buffy kissing Spike and singing ‘This isn’t real but I just….have issues’ which is a common theme I never noticed until watching them for this review.

  • Anagnorisis

    ‘We love you, Angel’ in a perfectly synchronized boring tone. Hilarious XD
    I see you kind of addressed it but about Cordelia’s attitude what really annoyed me was the line: ‘you just went all male’. Meaning that is a male thing to what, have sex? Have sex without thinking about the consequences Have hate sex with someone? I hate that line because it gives the ‘boys will be boys’ excuse. Like, everybody can do any of that, it’s not a male thing.
    In reverse of Angel and Darla, if Buffy were to have sex with a souless vampire (imagine that!), no one would say she went ‘all female’ on him, right?
    But yes, Cordelia bothers me here. Darla is not only a vampire but also pregnant not sick. Pregnancy is not a disease, you don’t have to treat pregnant women like they are weak or fragile. I mean yeah, you are not going to punch her in the stomach but come on!
    Holtz is here!.

  • SnazzyO

    Yes we are starting something and I F*cking LOVE this arc. So there.

    +1 on the “we love you” love with the NoHug option.

    I like how desperate Darla is and how Angel hugs her because the child has a soul.

    “Beyond my Ken ….and my Barbie” …is reason #209874350987345 Lorne should be in all episodes. And Fred’s speech is just awesomesauce to me.

    So… I’m buzzing with anticipation and thus like this episode more than some others do. Besides I like evil smoking dude..A LOT.

  • Miba Stierman

    Fun fact: I met Amy Acker (Fred) and Alexis Denisof (Wesley) on the street a couple of months ago!

    • Danna

      That IS a fun fact! Any interesting observations?

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  • Meagan Malachite

    I thought that when Angel was pressed against Darla about to stake her that he felt a heartbeat. There was a dub of a heartbreak for a moment and he said something like, “it’s got a heartbeat, it’s got a soul.” which I then saw as an anti-abortion PSA, which I wouldn’t expect from Whedon.

    I have a Baaaad feeling about Holtz being here. I do not like him :(. Im glad I have a reason not to like him, because at the beginning of the episode I was rooting for Angelus to escape, and then felt guilty since he was evil back then and had killed Holtz family.

    Not sure what to expect from this baby thing but I am nervous. Is it going to be. King Arthur thing where Angel’s son is his downfall? I really hope not. Is Holtz going to kidnap and brainwash the kid? I kinda wished he just staked Darla. Shits getting serious now in season 3.

  • Brandi1leigh

    This is the point in the series where I don’t remember specifics anymore. I have some vague memories of general plot points but that’s it. So as I read the recaps, I’m like, “oh yeah I remember that!” But I can’t predict it.
    Anyway I have some general thoughts:
    1) Darla does not make Chuck E. Cheese a place to avoid. The singing rats, terrible pizza and hoards of children with negligent parents make it a place to avoid AT ALL COSTS. I’m a really great aunt to a lot of really cute kids, but NOPE, not gonna go there.
    2) Because Charisma Carpenter looks older, I tend to forget that Cordy is only 20? 21? That’s not an excuse for her behavior with Darla, but her occasional immaturity is to be expected.
    3) I think Cordy’s initial reaction to Angel sleeping with Darla is complicated. First, Cordy’s mystical pregnancy was hard so there are feels. Second, I think Cordy has avoided looking at Angel as available because she was around after he slept with Buffy. So she knows what can happen. Seeing proof he slept with Darla is visible proof that he is a man, but one she can NEVER have because she knows the consequences.

    Side note: I never understood why when the Scoobies returned Angel’s soul, they included the whole “and if he has one second of true happiness, he loses his soul.” I mean I get why the gypsies did that, curse and all, but it seems like Williw could have left that caveat out…but I guess then Buffy and Angel would have had happily ever after and no shows?

  • SonicRulez

    I crack up laughing when Fred asks if there’s a diagram for Angel’s love life and Gunn says “It’s in the filing cabinet, I’ll get it for you later” completely seriously.

    I think Cordelia’s rage makes sense on two fronts. The obvious first is that she immediately over-identified with a mystical pregnancy. The second is that she realizes what went on in Reprise/Epiphany. To the gang, Angel just stopped being a dick and came back to earn their respect. Now Cordy (and everyone else) realizes that he at one point go so low that he tried to lose his soul ON PURPOSE. Cordelia was there for Angelus proper. She knows how horrifying that thought is. To think that he would get so bummed out that he would intentionally try to become that guy again had to make her go nuts. You start looking at a person differently when they do something like that. Just imagine if it had worked and he got to work killing all of them before setting off to Sunnydale to eat Dawn or something.

    • Arian_foe

      I agree with you. I also saw Cordy’s reaction as mystical pregnancy feels+horror at Angel having sex thing (and having witnessed what Angel-having-sex brought to Sunnydale).