Season 1 Episode 7

Bachelor Party

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Nov 16, 1999 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (15)

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  • "The Bachelor Party" starts, as so many episodes in this fictional universe wonderfully do, with some on-topic discussion.

    Doyle is unhappy with the current situation, being stuck around the office. As a marvelously gowned Cordelia leaves with a high class date, he laments his complete lack of a chance with the Sunnydale ditz, playing further into his self-pity over his much loathed half-demon side. This is Doyle's major problem as we've seen him so far, and as we find out, has plagued him for many years: He can't accept, let alone embrace his demon side, and it has caused far more trouble than simple Cordelia-related anxieties.

    The arrival of his ex-wife Harry sends him into a searing tailspin of emotion as we can see from the first moment they lock eyes. Glen Quinn, whose charisma makes his character so entertaining and fun to watch, significantly steps up his acting throughout this story. The depth and vulnerability brought to the table in the quiet scenes with Harry, as well as Doyle's inner conflict and finally his acceptance towards the end, would've been just been a consequence of the writing if not for the work of the talented Quinn.

    The whole meat of the episode is strictly about his character, and while we've only gotten shady hints about his life thus far we are at last given some real substance in exchange for the wait. Allen Francis Doyle, as he informs us is his full name, was an upright citizen; a young man of twenty who loved his wife madly, volunteered to help the needy and taught third grade at a school. It seems akin to an old-fashioned American parable: the poor man who has nothing, and yet everything.

    This is probably the best episode since "In the Dark" and it's easily the most important. It carries a simple morality tale, the moral of which is: Be true to yourself. Having discovered his half-demon heritage a little over a year after being married, Doyle claims through all his years that Harry had rejected him because of it, becoming angrier and harder to live with when she supposedly "pitied" him with her understanding. When he discovers that her new fiancee Richard is also a half-demon, he comes to the blinding revelation that it wasn't pity, and that all that's been done was truly his doing, hence he signs the divorce papers.

    Later, when Richard invites Doyle to his Bachelor Party, his thoughts are still swirling even to the zero hour, but he eventually decides that he now has a chance to forgive himself and finally make his wife happy the way he never could, and gives his blessing to the new marriage. This is an admirable act from a really good guy, who we can tell truly still loves Harry, and it represents an important first step towards accepting both his past and his present. Though, he still some issues to conquer, retracting his demon face quickly when Cordelia arrives on the scene.

    The plot itself is basic, but like so much of S1 has its charm in its execution. Cliche's are amply kicked out here when Richard turns out to be a demon, but Harry knows and appreciates it; she's an ethnodemonologist. And, the whole twist about demonic culture and the eating of Doyle's brains to bless the marriage made for some good comedy, and a decent fight sequence. This episode's plot is also important in helping to establish the mythology that makes AtS more than a differently-named show with the same kind of monsters as BtVS. We've seen that monsters in Angel's world are not just pure, mindless evil, but are capable of human fallacies such as inadequacy and desperation.

    Today's lesson is deceit, among other things. Like a human man can, Richard is already keeping secrets from his wife to be. But that's not even the most interesting thing about his family, as this episode is the first of many in the series to purport that not all demons are dangerous or evil, but are in fact assimilated into society, hold their differences as mere culture, and live just like the rest of us; distinction is important, lest one becomes a mindless killer themselves. But then again, is Richard's clan all that trustworthy? Apparently not, as their demonic side is seems more dominant than their human side, leaving them with no ethical quandaries over killing Doyle to gain their blessing.

    But, this does bring me to my only real problem with this episode, and it's a problem that hurts AtS' mythology as a whole: The unanswered question of a half-demon's soul. The Buffyverse has taught us that the soul gives an individual the ability to determine right from wrong. We also know that every demon that exists on Earth has to have some part of it that is human, as pure demons no longer exist in the human dimension. Finally, the lack of a soul tends to make someone amoral, completely selfish and otherwise a killing machine, or at least capable of feeling no guilt for any such sin.

    Doyle clearly has a soul, though we're not sure about Richard's Ano Movic clan. They're capable of murder, and clearly feel no guilt, but humans can be too. We're led to assume that the clan is leaning towards soulless evil, but killing in the name of revered culture is something humans have done for thousands of years with no hesitation or remorse. Do they lack souls? Or are they just dogmatic? Could they be both? Some demons are hung up on their heritage, and kill for ritualistic purposes. Unanswered questions such as these bug me here, as well as in several other episodes and the distinctions, to my knowledge, are never fully explained. I'll go more in depth on the subject in my review of "Hero" where it's more relevant, and actually wounds the episode; in this episode it's just a nagging misfortune, since the writers do at least try to give us an answer.

    Angel's and Cordelia's roles in this episode are that of side players while their friend at last takes the stage, but there is one scene with Angel that rounds out his part: the conversation about breakups. Just as Doyle and Harry knew not the demon inside him, Angel and Buffy couldn't have predicted his. It's a really good comparison, and I liked exactly how Doyle described the pain and power of young love. There's also some important development for Cordy. Her fancy, upscale date not only bores her with his shallowness, but is a complete coward, thoughtlessly abandoning her with no second thought when a vampire attacks them walking back to the office. Doyle manages to save her, and it causes a conflict in her mind. Of course she's Cordelia Chase, 'Blue Box' champion and the Bitch Queen of Sunnydale, but that doesn't stop her from recognizing what she calls substance; she's moved by Doyle's sole concern for her well-being, even after he takes a tough beating himself.

    It's the same reason her relationship with Xander Harris was a natural fit: She's still a decent human being with needs that transcend the materialistic, and she's beginning to see that Doyle can fulfill some of those needs. That she takes an interest in him, and genuinely tries to make him feel better after the party shows the turn their relationship has taken; substance.

    And, aside from the questions surrounding the demon clan, this episode fails to fail in any way, in terms of both entertainment value and impact. I particularly liked how Richard counter pointed Doyle, and the dialogue for all the characters was sharp and pointed.
  • Mrs Doyle?

    The Bachelor Party

    The Good; a lovely ep for Doyle adding a lot more depth to his character whilst providing some pretty gruesome comedy. Also like Doyle and Angel vetting CC's date, really gives them a sense of family.

    The Bad; SUCH a shame we never see Harry again, that would have been terrific. Does she even know Doyle died?

    Best line:

    Cordy; "Doyle taught 3rd grade. The kind with children. Are you sure he wasn't just held back and that was his cover story?"

    I also like Harry's aghast "Stripper! There was a stripper?"

    Jeez, how did they get away with that?

    Eating brains? Yuck! Would anyone really like Quails' tongues?

    Apocalypses: 4

    Angel Cliches

    Damsel in distress; nope, 2.

    Inverting the Hollywood cliche; friendly demons for the first time

    In disguise; 2.

    DB get's his shirt off; 2

    Cordy's tatto;2

    Cheap Angel; the first sign of Angel's notorious meaness as he refers to the resteraunt's suprisingly expensive windows

    Fang Gang in bondage: Doyle in the box

    Cordy: 5

    Angel: 4

    Wes: 1

    Doyle; 1

    Fang gang knocked out: Angel

    Cordy: 8

    Angel: 8

    Wes: 1

    Doyle; 1


    Cordy: none this ep. 3 vamps, a demon from her time in Sunnydale

    Angel: 2 vamps for Angel. So that gives Angel 10 vamps, 3 demons, 2 humans.

    Doyle; 1 vamp

    What happens to the female vamp at the nest? Does she just run away? Note Cordy actually bites the vamp who attacks her?

    Fang Gang go evil:

    Cordy: 1

    Angel: 1

    Alternate Fang Gang:

    Cordy: 2

    Angel: 4

    Characters killed:


    Total number of Angel Investigations:

    3, Angel, Doyle and Cordy

    Angel Investigations shot:

    Angel: 5,

    Packing Heat

    Doyle; 1

    Notches on Fang Gang bedpost: Cordy has a date with Mr Armani but he doesn't even get a kiss

    Cordy: 1?

    Angel: 1;Buffy

    Kinky dinky:

    The stripper. Is she human or demon? Either way she wears WAAAYYYY too much eyeshadow. Also Harry has bought herself a a nightie for her honeymoon small enough to fit into a matchbox. The girls meanwhile play pornographic pictionary. Doyle asks if Buffy likes men with an Irish accent (has she ever met one?). Apparently the demon women have legs that can bend multipile ways and this is an aid in the sack?

    Captain Subtext;

    Doyle and Angel's charm seems to be gradually working on CC.

    Know the face, different character;

    2 Carlos Jacott who plays Richard was Ken in the Buffy ep Anne.

    Parking garages;


    Guantanamo Bay;

    Questions and observations;

    A good episode, fun and fleshing out the characters. Cordy refers to Xander as a fixer-upper. Our first set of friendly demons but not THAT friendly. It seems very much that demons in the Buffyverse are slowly being won over to the ways of humanity (ESPN). Some great heroism from Doyle and a very nice double act from Cordy and Harry. Despite Doyle's relating Angel's lifestory to him in City of Angels it seems he's never actually seen Buffy.

    Marks out of 10; 6/10, good ep

  • My Best Friend's Brain-Eating Wedding

    We already know a lot about our two main protagonists on Angel, but we hardly know anything about are beloved Doyle. In this episode, we discover his past and the human life he had tried to carve out for himself. We even find out his full name!

    In The Bachelor Party, Doyle's ex-wife Harry turns up, asking for his blessing to get married to her fiancée, Richard. Angel and Doyle soon discover that Richard is actually a demon and that the "blessing" isn't just to accept their marriage but in fact to let Richard's demon family eat Doyle's brains!

    Although this episode has a lot of brilliant characterization and there's some impressive comedy sequences, it's quite a thin plotline and the revelation that Harry's new fiancée is a demon is hardly surprising.

    Glenn Quinn is excellent throughout and shows various different emotions as Doyle, who beforehand was mainly a one-note character who was appeared to only be in the show for his visions and some light comic relief.

    David Boreanaz and Charisma Carpenter, even with their limited screentime, are also excellent and Cordelia has a hilarious scene in which she breaks into the bachelor party wielding a silver plate, eager to hit any demon in her way.

    The Bachelor Party is hardly anything special but succeeds in it's main mission: to let the audience find out more about Doyle. Simple.

    Director: David Straiton
    Writer: Tracey Stern
    Rating: C
  • 'All of a sudden rich and handsome isn't enough for me. Now I expect a guy to be all brave and interesting.'

    ‘The Bachelor Party’ is the first Doyle-centric episode, the episode any Doyle fan was waiting for.
    Doyle is a character that anyone loved at first sight, an episode about him should and could have been better. But still, it wasn’t bad, not at all.

    In this episode Cordy finally begins to figure out that there is more about Doyle than meets the eye. She finds out after going out on a date with a guy and realised that he’s too boring for her and now she wants a guy to be more than just rich and pretty. On her way home a vampire is waiting to kill Doyle but attacks her instead, her boytoy flees away like a coward but Doyle comes in the rescue and kills the vampire and saves her and the first thing he asks her is ‘You Ok’?

    Cordelia is completely fascinated by that and tells it to Angel, but now she realised that she may have to kill herself for it. But then she decides to asks Doyle out anyway. Then walks a woman into the office, her name is Harry and Doyle introduced her to Cordy as his wife.

    I really adored Cordy’s reactions to everything. Angel didn’t really mind Doyle being married and when Harry ‘s new husband walks in Angel takes Cordy out of the room. Harry wants Doyle to sign the divorce papers.

    I felt bad for Doyle but it was great to learn more about him. His insecurities with being a half demon which drove him and Harry apart. Doyle makes Angel spy on the guy and finds out that Harry’s new husband is a demon but his kind is ‘peaceful’, yea right. So anyway, Harry says that the reason she left Doyle was because he changed after he found out he was a demon and it became impossible to live with him. So she left because of the human and not the demon.

    Both Doyle and Cordy are invited to the bachelor party’s, Doyle takes Angel to Richard’s but the cousins don’t seem to like Angel and when Angel discovers what they are up to they knock him out and throw him out of a window.

    The problem with this episode was the bachelor party, the stripper was just a bad addition to the episode and so were those terribly irritating demons. Then Doyle gives away his blessing and is put into a box, Richard is going to cannibalise his brain which will make his marriage with Harry turn out for the best.
    Meanwhile Harry and Cordelia know what is going to happen and they leave for the party. When Harry sees everything she asks Richard and explanation but he can’t marry unless he eats Doyle so she gives him back the ring and walks away.

    The best thing about this episode was Doyle and ofcourse Cordy beating him when thinking he was one of the bad guys. But the party really brings down an episode that could have been much better.
    The other storyline is Doyle finally seeing a picture of Buffy, at the end of the episode he has a vision of her in trouble which goes on in ‘Pangs’.

  • The unfortunate scheduling of being aired right before the best episode of the series.

    Don't get me wrong, Angel is one of my favorite shows all-time, but this was an episode I just really didn't get into. Of course, even the worst episode of Angel is better than a alot of episodes from other series, but this episode still is ranked last in my book. Of course, I think it is due to the fact that it is right before the best episode of the series "I Will Remember You."

    In this episode we learn a lot about Doyle and his past, and I feel that Cordelia starts to mature a bit as she begins to see Doyle in a different way. Of course the only real bright spot, is Doyle's vision at the end of Buffy in danger, which sets up the crossover to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 4 episode "Pangs."

  • doyle has a wife

    a cute episode that tells about doyle butfails to do better so and is one of season 1 worst but is still cute and good

    i love cordelia and doyle they should have been together but what i hated about this episode were the demons and doyle's wife bah! why did he have to be married? now he ruined his chance with cordy and never got to be with her! why! why!?
  • Cordy and Doyle

    We really get some good character development in this episode. Cordelia realizes some stuff about her romantic feelings towards Doyle, and in general. And we finally get some real insight into Doyle's past and who he was before he came to Angel Investigations. Not to mention a little back story on his discovery of his demon side. It all plugged in nicely with the cameo of Doyle's ex-wife, Harry.
  • Just when you think Cordy and Doyle will get closer...

    A woman shows up asking for "Francis" and it turns out to be Doyles wife; Harry. I wanted to hate her, but she is a nice person. She came back to deliver divorce papers to Doyle because she is getting married to possibly the most boring person/demon on the planet; Richard. (Yeah, that was my opinion only!) Angel follows Richard for Doyle and finds out he is a demon. But thats ok, he is a nice demon, lol. Richard makes nice with Doyle and it looks like all is ok with him. Richard invites Doyle to his bachelor party. Doyle takes Angel with him and Angel finds out that part of the ritual for this particular type of demon is that the groom to be ingests the ex-hubbys brain. Uh, yeah..ok. Fortunately the plan is thwarted and Doyle gets to keep his brain.
  • Doyle’s wife blows into town and it’s not long before he’s in danger of having his head eaten -- no, not like that, gutter brain.

    Fun words to learn and know: Cordelia: I was thinking that maybe I haven't been entirely fair to you. Maybe you don't actually have zero potential.

    Dialogue to lose inside the sofa in Hell: Doyle: “Fangs for the memories!” (Although Doyle is awfully adorable in this scene, there’s just no excusing bad puns.)

    Well, we finally learn Doyle’s back story. The only problem being I’m not sure how believable it is. Apparently, before his current incarnation as a drinking, gambling, strip club visiting, debt-defaulting, but lovable loser, Doyle was just about perfect. Call me crazy, but I don’t see learning of his demon heritage followed by the dissolution of his marriage precipitating quite such a tremendous spiral into loserdom. Granted, those are fairly big blows, but people don't just wake up one morning and say "That's it. I'm not even going to try anymore. From here on in I'll get drunk and gamble -- no need to continue working or anything. Don’t want to be disappointed again.”

    What’s up with the repeated references to Doyle being more than meets the eye?” What is he? Some sort of Transformer? Well, yeah… I guess he is, but nonetheless, it’s an odd thing to say. Did they intend to go somewhere with this and just never got around to it?

    And why does Angel fight so badly in the scrum against Richard’s family? Is he just pretending to be a wimpire so he can get in a surprise attack later on? Inquiring minds want to know…

    What I really liked about this episode was the continued character development we saw in Cordy. She's becoming a real woman, one who realizes there's more to life than blue boxes and handsome men.
  • Remember that backstory Angel was asking Doyle for in "Rm w/A Vu"? Well ... meet Francis. :)

    The question of whether they are good or evil to the side for a moment, the Powers very much intended for Cordelia to end up with the Visions.

    A vision herself on her date with the Armani-clad cardboard cutout, she leaves Angel and Doyle with a suggestion that her home-apartment-apartment-wife plan articulated a couple episodes back might indeed be coming to fruition. I don't know where she met this boy or how big the dollar signs in her eyes were when she did, but it turns out that [i]having[/i] money and position is a lot more interesting to Cordy than how it is [i]acquired[/i].

    Relationships form a constant theme for this episode. Along with Doyle's estranged wife turning up (does Angel Investigations have a web presence now? I didn't think they did until Fred showed up [beyond Angel being on the chattyboards], so how Harry tracked Francis to that little office suite is ... an open question), a photo of Buffy pops out of the book Angel's reading (Buffy gave him an 8x10 monochrome photo? When did she have a black-and-white photo of herself made? It's clearly a portrait, and every other photo of Buffy is in color. I wonder if that's a photo that appears in Spike's Buffy shrine later, which includes the red-background senior class photo Buffy never sat for and some of Angel's drawings of Buffy and other stuff he has no good reason to have) and Doyle doesn't recognize her right away, even though she figures prominently in the vision that drew him to Angel in the first place. Interesting.

    Anyway, after Cordy leaves for her snoozefest of a date -- in which she realizes that she has unwittingly grown as a person and is upset by this -- Doyle has a vision that leads them to a nest. They dispatch the vamps -- all but one, who Angel somehow doesn't smell because Angel's nose is only as good as the script needs it to be -- and save the kid and it's wonderfully heroic, but as epic battles go, this isn't one.

    Angel goes ... someplace else, while Doyle heads back to the office (somewhat out of character, since he could be expected to repair to any bar in L.A. rather than [i]that[/i] boring place -- really, what was he going to do there? Sit around in one office, and then sit around in the other one?) -- just in time to rescue Cordelia from the one that got away.

    A vamp that wouldn't be in his life at all if he hadn't had a vision.

    Captain Courageous hops in his Beemer and hightails it out of there, leaving Cordy do deal with the vamp -- attacking it perhaps with her high-pitched screams -- and in another one of those [i]Joss ex machina[/i] things, Cordy bites the [i]vamp[/i] rather than the other way around, which is wild, given how grab-bite-sire Harmony's rather more instantaneous transformation was.

    Doyle shoots it in the foot and then dusts it, becoming Cordy's hero.

    Never mind the bravery. Now Cordy has to deal with the fact that this schlep was once a husband to a beautiful woman and a third-grade teacher. Talk about hidden depths.

    But I'd argue that if Doyle had never saved Cordy, he'd never have really been on her radar, and it basically set the stage for the kiss that happens in "Hero."

    Harry sure know how to pick them. I love that in the Jossverse, there are ethnodemonologists, and that they get as involved as they do in their work. And as with most things, the problem isn't the fiance so much as the in-laws. Turns out they're way more traditional than Harry bargained for, but it's pretty wild, given that they operate restaurants with expensive doors ...

    Doyle was one thing. Apart from Giles' first-season suggestion in "Buffy" that demons are beings of pure evil, the writing on Doyle would suggest ... not so much. Demons are as multivaried as they need to be, and the way is completely paved for Lorne's appearance in S2.

    But Harry's new clan is [i]mostly[/i] acculturated, to the point where it's just bizarre that they would hold onto the tradition of eating the first husband's brains -- [i]especially[/i] since the betrothed is human and the ex-husband is from a different species and a half-breed to boot.

    I loved Harry going off on them about all the other traditions they ignore. It's nice that they found Capt. Pike's hoveround from "Star Trek" for the ceremony itself. That's gotta be a pretty spendy noun on eBay. Never mind the right shrimp fork, [i]that's[/i] the accessory you need when you're gonna pop the lid on the entree. :P

    Mostly I thought the writing in this one was really well done. And revealed a lot of excellent development on Doyle. While there's reason for us to wish that we could've just continued this joyous exploration, in "Bachelor Party," Angel gets the lion's share of his request in "Rm" that Doyle share his backstory. There's more to come, but not much more, given that we're coming up on the end of his character arc.

    I mean ... wow! Imagine how much more we're going to learn about Doyle, and how great his and Cordy's kids are going to be.


    Ah, Joss, you bastage.

    If none of us saw it coming, it seems that The Powers That Be did, and are making the appropriate arrangements.

    Damn' fine eppy. :)
  • Learned something more about Doyle, but for what?

    This story could have been so great if at the end Cordelia and Doyle would have been a couple, but then the writers decided to end his live.

    Unbelievable! There were so many opportunities to have great stories with Doyle and Cordelia having a relationship, but he has to be a hero!

    The Cordelia - Doyle part was the best part of this episode. All the demons eat demon stuff doesn't really fit in.

    Maybe they needed this episode to make us like Doyle a bit more, before he should die!

    Cordelia was so great cheering him up afterwards and I like the three together in the office at the end. That's one scene I have missed in further episodes!
  • My Ex, The Demon Lover

    The Bachelor Party-Just as Doyle is inches away from finally making a connection with Cordy, his estranged wife shows up at Angel Investigations begging for a divorce so that she can marry the new love of her life. After the initial shock, he consents to the divorce.Doyle agrees to attend the new groom's bachelor party, but soon finds out that the groom's family have some very unusual customs where ex-husbands are concerned. Doyle has pretty much been Mr. Mysterious since the pilot episode. All we know is his half-demon, his irish, has a major crush on Cordelia, and gets visions from the Powers That Be to guide Angel to his next innocent. But little is known about his past but this episode changes that as we meet Harry, his wife who comes into town and wanting a divorce to get married no less. I just love Cordelia reaction as she's obviously jealous and immediately starts asking questions. Glenn Quinn plays Doyle's situation very well and you can't help but feel his pain and regret at the life he lost. Guest stars Kristin Dattilo is good as Harry as well as Carlos Jacott as Richard, Harry's fiancee. His revelation as a demon is a nice twist as well as his planning to eat Doyle's brains. The bachelor party setting is pretty cliche and boring until Angel saves Doyle and they both fight against the family of demons. I especailly love when Harry and Cordelia show up then Cordelia unknowingly beats the crap out of Doyle with the silver plate. All and All, an good episode that gives us a look into Doyle's past with hilarious scenes and Glenn Quinn gives a great performance.
  • Doyle's wife appears in town asking for a divorce... she's marrying a demon.

    Bachelor Party is a good episode in terms of character development but bad in terms of plot. I like that we see more of Doyle's backstory and I like his wife Harriet but to be honest, I don't like any of her fiances family or him. I'm not a fan of the man who played him. He was in BtVS 3.01 "Anne" and even though their characters are similar, he plays them exactly the same. I liked how Cordelia and Doyle's relationship progressed alot in the first 10 minutes. That guy running off and leaving her to fend a vampire was a coward though. Cordy finally opened up to him and just as she was about to tell him she likes him BOOM! Harriet. I liked Harriet, she was hot and seemed like a nice person. Then enter: Richard. he dragged it down. I found the scenes with Cordelia and Harriet at the hen party more interesting- "Pornographic Pictionary Time!" always makes me laugh. Also, the whole "I need your blessing Doyle" thing was crapola. He couldn't have just killed him and ate them first? Demons.

    Bachelor Party was an OK episode but quite weak in terms of plot and acting. Not Angel's best.

    Line of the episode:

    Aunt: Come on girls, it's Pornographic Pictionary Time!
    Harriet: Their ways.. are not our ways.
  • Bachelor Party

    Bachelor Party was a really great episode of Angel. In this episode we learned a big part of Doyle's past. It was very interesting to learn more about him and his wife who was looking to remarry. This episode had a great story and came together really well. This was a classic episode of Angel which really had the tone of the series. In the end Doyle ends up getting between his wife and her new husband, but only because he was about to be sacraficed. Cordelia still doesn't know about Doyle's other side. I can't wait to see what will happen next!!!!!
  • not a good episode.


    Mainly Doyle centered and we learn a little, though not much, about his background. Why does he get visions for instance? Not explained.

    The demons are a little more creepy than usual in that they think they are normal and nice but... they do have some odd traditions.

    Our boy Angel doesn't do too well when he fights them - mind you he was somewhat outnumbered but why didn' t he vamp out?

    In the end though all comes right but only because Doyle's former wife - the bride to be - yells at them and stops the bar brawl.

    Best thing is Doyle's vision at the end of Buffy who he has recognised from a photo which fell out of Angel's book.

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