Angel

Season 2 Episode 7

Darla

4
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Nov 14, 2000 on The WB
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (14)

9.3
out of 10
Average
417 votes
  • Angel desperately seeks to rescue Darla from Wolfram and Hart as her mental state deteriorates.

    9.7
    Oh. My. God. Darla was simply amazing. There wasn't a bad thing about it. It was simply excellent the entire way through. It's the kind of episode you wish every episode could be as good as. The story was epic. The dialogue was brilliant. The performances were out of this world. What isn't to love?

    This episode advances the Darla arc so much in the space of 42 minutes. I kind of wish they'd made it a two parter so we'd have more (I wouldn't miss The Shroud of Rahmon greatly). The teaser before the opening credits sets the tone of the entire episode. Angel's obsession with Darla is continuing to escalate to the point he does nothing but think about her. Darla is starting to feel the weight of her soul so much so that she destroys every mirror in her home so she doesn't have to look at herself. She's becoming more human and is starting to feel guilty for her murders-"so many terrible things". We can see she isn't in a good state of mind- she seems disorientated and even though she's talking to Lindsey, her conversation seems to be with herself. She refers to her and Angel as soulmates- highlighting their deep connection. This teaser has so much packed into it and it truly does deliver.

    The next scene takes us back to where it all really began for her- being sired by the master. We see Darla (the human) lying on her deathbed, asking for the shutters to close as she doesn't feel right dying in the sunlight. She's already accustomed to dark- prefers it over the light. The Master enters pretending to be a priest, barely able to contain the sarcasm in his voice. He pulls back his hood- and Darla doesn't even blink at his complete demonic appearance. Darla seems to want this embrace- she doesn't fight or scream in any case. This scene is so important- it's basically where the show all began- without Darla there would be no Angel. It's chilling and sends tingles down your back.

    Throughout this entire episode, Darla's mental state is getting so much worse. She refers to the vampiric Darla as the "other thing". She has no sense of person- is she human Darla or the vampire Darla? She wants to be the vampire but can't seem to shake off her guilt and be what she's not. She looks all over the place- pale and clammy (foreshadowing the fact that she has syphilis). She keeps asking who she is- but Lindsey is only interested in kissing her so she bites him. This tells us of her desire to be a vampire again. Julie Benz is so fantastic in these scenes- we can feel Darla's pain and angst and although she's technically the villain this season, we don't hate her. Her situation is a parallel to Angel's.

    The flashbacks show this parallel marvellously. They are basically one half of another episode ("Fool For Love" shows some of the same encounters from a different perspective). The Boxer Rebellion is also exactly like present times- Angel is desperate to be Angelus but can't be evil. His last encounter with Darla with the newborn baby as his test proves this- Angel is not an evil person. He's terrified of what he is and the only he can react is to be Angelus- he's been him for 150 years, but his natural instinct isn't to be evil. The last scene is incredibly hard to watch. Darla begging Angel to kill her is heartbreaking- she's so messed up. But she has an alternative where Angel didn't- she can be the soulless monster again easily. Angel doesn't want to let her lose her chance for redemption- if he kills her she'll be damned. Darla just wants to escape her guilt with the easy way out but in the long run, it isn't right. This scene is so magnificent. Darla was an amazing episode. It helped us get inside the mind of Darla, showing us events from her life and the present day scenes are completely fantastic also.
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