Season 3 Episode 1


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Sep 24, 2001 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
388 votes

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Episode Summary

On a routine patrol, Angel stakes a female vampire. Just before she crumbles to dust she calls him Angelus and he recognizes her from his soulless past. Now, her grief-stricken lover, Angel's old hunting companion, is out for revenge for both the present killing and for a betrayal Angelus committed over 200 years ago.moreless

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  • Should have gone to Vegas!


    The Good;

    Great stuff, once again you feel the Buffy writers are making fun of the whole endless vamp love concept (Twilight/True Blood). Also Lorne's version of 'I left my heart in San Francisco' is WONDERFUL, one of the top three Lorne songs.

    The Bad;

    How many times can we see the same courtyard even if it is redressed?

    Best line:

    Angel (after fighting the demon monks) "Should have gone to Vegas"

    Apocalypses: 5

    Angel Cliches

    In disguise; 8

    DB get's his shirt off; 12

    Cordy's tattoo; yep, when she bends over to pick up the fire extinguisher during the fight in the hotel lobby


    Cheap Angel; 7

    Fang Gang in bondage:

    Cordy: 5

    Angel: 10

    Wes: 6

    Gunn; 3

    Lorne; 2

    Fang gang knocked out:

    Cordy: 10

    Angel: 13

    Wes: 5

    Doyle; 1

    Gunn; 1

    Lorne; 1

    Kills: 2 vamps for Angel and one each for Wes and Gunn. Amazingly this is the first vamp Wes ever kills in four years in the Buffyverse. We don't know how many vamps/demons AI killed in the summer but I'll give them one each

    Cordy: 5 vamps, 3 demons

    Angel; 28 vamps, 38 and 1/2 demons, 3 humans

    Doyle; 1 vamp

    Wes; 7 demons+1 vamp

    Kate; 3 vamps

    Faith; 16 vamps, 6 demons, 3 humans.

    Gunn; 8 vamps+ 5 demons.

    Fang Gang go evil:

    Cordy: 2

    Angel: 2

    Alternate Fang Gang:

    Cordy: 2

    Angel: 6

    Characters killed: the dude Darla kills and a couple of people at the party


    Recurring characters killed;


    Total number of Angel Investigations: Fred not part of the gang yet, still hiding in her room

    4, Angel, Cordy, Wes and Gunn

    Angel Investigations shot: only Angelus by Holtz and he doesn't count

    Angel: 11

    Wes; 1

    Packing heat;

    Wes; 3

    Doyle; 1

    Angel; 1

    Notches on Fang Gang bedpost:

    Cordy: 3(?) ?+Wilson/Hacksaw Beast+Phantom Dennis(?)

    Angel: 2; Buffy and Darla

    Wes; 2; Virginia and the bleached blonde

    Kinky dinky:

    Gunn refers to 'doin it with the demons' but doesn't mean what we think (except for Cordy who regularly seems to 'do it' with various supernatural entities). Speaking of which she's close enough to Phantom Dennis to strip naked in front of him and get some loufa action in the bathtub with him. Cordy thinks her new necklace brings out her breasts, Gunn certainly seems to think so to judge by his expression. Nice 'screwed Darla' gag. Darla says Angelus made her pay for leaving him in an extreme S&M style. Wes says Angel doesn't need a lapdance.

    Captain Subtext;

    Hugs all around when Angel comes back, the events of season 2 well and truly forgotten. James and Elizabeth (both regal names) are obviously a proto Spike and Dru (maybe Darla and Angelus needed another couple to make a four at bridge?).

    Know the face, different character; 2

    Parking garages;


    Buffy characters on Angel; 16

    Wetherby, Collins and Smith. Angel, Cordy, Oz, Spike, Buffy, Wes, Faith, Darla, Dru, Master, Anne, Willow and Harmony

    Questions and observations;

    Love to see more of AI in the summer without Angel, they obviously kept busy. Also would have liked to have seen how Gunn coped with a solo case whilst everyone else was at Buffy's funeral. Can't they buy Fred a whiteboard so that she doesn't have to write on the wall? Does Fred really have to invite Angel into the room she occupies in his hotel? Or is Angel just bluffing to reassure her and make her feel at home? Note Angel takes the time to put his coat on before going vamp hunting. James says that Angelus knows no poetry, well he liked Spike's. Or Angel did? Holst is referred to as the foremost vamp hunter, what about the Slayer of the age? Vamps don't really seem to have love as much as twisted obsession but not having souls they can't appreciate that. Cordy's right of course, the human thing for Angel to do is mourn Buffy but continue his life. Surely James can be killed by fire or decapitation? Nice to know that when the chips are down you can rob the handicapped guy of his crutches and it's all ok.

    Marks out of 10; 8/10

  • My Heart Wasn't In It!

    Heartthrob-On a routine patrol, Angel stakes a female vampire. Just before she crumbles to dust she calls him Angelus and he recognizes her from his soulless past. Now, her grief-stricken lover, Angel's old hunting companion, is out for revenge for both the present killing and for a betrayal Angelus committed over 200 years ago.

    A mediocre season premiere which has an unexciting plot and very few moments that are actually interesting. First off, the way they handled Angel's supposed grief over Buffy was poorly played. I mean what was the point of Angel leaving to go grieve over Buffy when he dealt with it already? They could have played it more dramatically or not have played it out at all! It just seemed pretty irrelevant how they played it out. Also, the plot with James and Elizabeth just wasn't interesting, especially the love sick puppy James is. All his forced dialogue of being in love and betrayl just dragged. I also the having no heart makes invincible vampire is an nice concept but it just not as good once on screen and the way James just dies at the end is laughable. It was nice to see Fred and her gettting use to living back in the modern world. The ending is the only saving grace as we see Darla is in New Mexico, and not to mention looking about 8 months pregnant! All and All, probably the weakest season premeire of Angel with a dull plot and unimportant story developments.moreless
  • Heartthrob

    Heartthrob was a really great episode of Angel. I really enjoyed watching this episode as Angel had to deal with his past. It was cool to get to know more about Angel's past through flash backs. I think this episode had a lot of character development for both Cordelia and Angel. This episode had a great story and made for a good opening episode of the third season of Angel. I think it was interesting that Angel was dealing with the death of Buffy, linking both shows together. This episode is the begining of where Angel and Cordelia start feeling for one another. I can't wait to watch what happens next!!!!!!!moreless
  • After staking Elizabeth, a vampire who knew angelus, Angel is hunted by her broken hearted lover James.

    I thought this episode was quite good. It had enough twists and turns to keep it exciting and the final bombshell was awesome. This episode was a worthy season three opener, the season that changes Angel forever.

    Being the tragic romantic that i am, i was totally sucked in by Elizabeth and James' tragic Romeo and Juliet romance. I thought his love for her and wanting to protect her was beautiful and i only wish that i will find that some day. The locket was also a beautiful sentiment. I thought the whole heart removal thing was quite clever by the writers. It really amped up the storyline. Although i was a bit confused about how removing James' heart meant he could go out into sunlight. I thought James and Angel's fight scenes were good.

    Its always nice to have flashbacks into Angelus' past. Considering how much Angel loved Buffy, i was so surprised at how unloving Angelus was.

    I thought that the writers were quite good with Angel dealing with Buffy's death. It was right that he was to go on fighting, and as Cordelia says, that would be the way to honour Buffy.

    The real kicker of this episode is the revelation of Darla's pregnancy. A storyline that will no doubt keep season three interesting.

    Overall a great episode, it won't dissappoint Angel fans. Watch for how sweet Angel is with Fred.moreless
  • Angel stakes an old friend on patrol.

    Heartthrob is a great episode and a worthy start to an amazing Season 3. It is basically filler with some good character development but the flashbacks and the ending make it great rather than good.

    The series opens with a frightened looking Fred poking her head out of her room to check if the coast is clear. Is there a demon? But as she hears Cordy, Wes and Gunn come in, she runs away back to her room. She's still obviously frightened of human interaction and is still bearing the mental scars from Pylea. As Cordy says "She's traded one cave for another". She's so accustomed to being alone and in the dark that she can't face other humans as they obviously scare her. Fred was endearing in this episode and her scene with Angel was nice; his encouraging of her to take small steps is important but we have to wait another 4 episodes before the real Fred comes out of her shell.

    Angel's grief over Buffy's death is well played; instead of being a wreck, he admits he can deal with it, which I thought was good- him and Buffy are over and although he'll always love her, he's moved on. Cordelia is excellent in this episode. A lot of people complained about Cordy this season saying she became "Saint Cordelia" and said it wasn't right. I disagree. I love the way her character evolves this season into such a mature, caring woman and Cangel IMO is the best romance in the entire series. She can read Angel very well, she's the only one who realizes he's still pretty cut up over Buffy while Wes and Gunn think he's fine. Her speech at the end is nice as she makes Angel realize that there's nothing wrong that he's OK without Buffy and that it's a good thing. Is it obvious I love Cordelia? :P

    The story this week, I thought, was interesting and rather unique. James and Elisabeth may be cliched but the whole heart doctor thing was good and the flashbacks were great (although new viewers may find them confusing). I loved seeing Darla back as she always excellent and I thought it was great they included her before her present day comeback in Nicaragua. Julie Benz as always is amazing, and I feel that all the cast are better this season than they've been so far.

    The last scene- wow! Darla in a bar 8 months pregnant and killing people? That's always gonna be great. She looked quite the worse for wear and not her usual glamourous self. It sets up the entire season arc so early and excellently and gives us a taste of what's going on before things really get going in Offspring. Heartthrob was probably one of the better season openers and set up some important points, had great character development and a good plot.moreless
Kate Norby

Kate Norby


Guest Star

Ron Melendez

Ron Melendez


Guest Star

Koji Kataoka

Koji Kataoka


Guest Star

Andy Hallett

Andy Hallett


Recurring Role

Keith Szarabajka

Keith Szarabajka


Recurring Role

Matthew James

Matthew James


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (15)

    • When James enters the hotel to go after Angel, he has on a brown coat. But when he tosses Angel to the side his coat is suddenly gone, yet it is back when the shot changes again.

    • When chasing Angel and Cordelia in the subway, James casts a reflection on the train as it goes past.

    • When Angel and Cordelia are on the run from James, Angel casts a reflection on the side of the subway.

    • When James pushes the flannel clad vampire into the sun, he bursts into flame immediately. The time it takes a vampire to immolate on this series and on Buffy the Vampire Slayer seems to be very inconsistant. Both Angel and Spike have been able to scramble out of the sun with only a bit of smoke, Russell Winters in "City Of" (1x01) takes at least a few seconds to burst into flames. There does not seem to be any clear reason for this other than what is convenient to the plot.

    • When Dennis is washing Cordy's back, the loofa is not wet, so it would probably not feel good, but in fact scratch.

    • Holtz is supposed to be English, yet his accent is clearly American and his clothes are also American Colonial rather that Georgian English.

    • Cordy was wearing the necklace that Angel bought her when she had her vision, but when she arrives home and undresses in the bathroom it's missing.

    • The bloodstains on Angel's white shirt during the monastery fight change position a couple of times throughout it.

    • The episode indicated that Angel was in a monastery in Sri Lanka. The "demon" monks he was fighting were Chinese and were wearing the wrong color/type of robes for Theravadin monks that reside in Sri Lanka.

    • At the end of Season 2, when the team returns from Lorne's dimension, they drive Angel's car through the portal and into Caritas. But Caritas appears to be in a basement (the characters have to walk downstairs to get into Caritas). So how did they get Angel's car out? Even if they completely disassembled it, the frame would still be too large to fit up the stairs. But during the 1st episode of Season 3, Angel is driving his car out on the street as if nothing ever happened to it.

    • In the scene when Angel, Wes, and Gunn are fighting the vampires, the vamps that Gunn and Wes fight don't go poof when they are staked. They just roll to the side.

    • Angel tells Fred he can't enter her room in the hotel until she invites him in. In Buffy episode 3-15, Angel enters Faith's hotel room without an invitation. However, this situation is different. It is not public accommodation, since Angel owns the hotel, and this is Fred's personal room on a permanent, not a temporary basis.

    • In L.A. it would be impossible for someone to drive down 6th St. heading east and pass Felix Chevrolet as we see the vampires do. They'd have to be heading south.

    • When Cordy puts on Angel's gift of a necklace, there is an awkward edit: she lifts up her arms, makes her comment about her breasts, brings her arms down, then the editor cuts to the next shot and her arms are up again.

    • Angel brings Wesley a 16th century Chinese dagger which Wes says is from the "Murshan dynasty." There is no "Murshan" dynasty, and the better known "Ming dynasty" covered the entire 16th century (and some or all of the 14th, 15th, and 17th century as well).

  • QUOTES (17)

    • Angel: "Listen. Listen." What are you listening for?
      Fred: The click. When it all comes together and makes sense, there's like a click in your brain and you understand things again.
      Angel: Well, what happens if you run out of wall space before you get the click?
      Fred: I don't know.
      Angel: Fred. You know, you spend...five years in a place where humans could only be slaves or fugitives. I know that wasn't a picnic for you, but you're home now. You're safe. You can come out of your room.

    • Angel: This your idea of love, James? It's not real unless it kills you?
      James: Yeah, what's yours? "It's fun as long as it doesn't cost me anything?" You don't know what love is. You think you won because you're still alive? I lived; you just existed.

    • Wesley: I realize we sacrifice a great deal of our social lives, but we have to. Work demands it.
      Gunn: True. I mean who's got time for love when you're out there doing it with the demons? Didn't that come out sad and wrong?
      Cordelia: Yeah.
      Gunn: I need to get out more.

    • Darla: (on abandoning Angelus) Of course, when he finally did catch up with me in Vienna, I had to pay for my sins, again and again.
      Angelus: Can you even begin to fathom the things we did? (disgustedly) Of course not, you're in love.

    • Angelus: Why are people always riding off and leaving me? Am I a bad bloke…?

    • Angel: I'm okay.
      Cordy: Then - what's the problem?
      Angel: That I'm okay. That losing Buffy didn't kill me. That I could deal with it. In all those years, no one ever mattered. Not like she did. And now she's gone... forever.
      Cordy: And you're still here.
      Angel: Yeah. I just feel like I'm betraying her somehow.
      Cordy: No! If you were a loser, if you were some sick obsessed vampire, you'd go to a Snod demon, or whatever, and get your heart cut out. But you're not! You're a living, breathing... Well, living, anyway - good guy, who's still fighting and trying to help people, and that's not betraying her, that's honoring her.
      Angel: You think?
      Cordy: I'm Cordelia. I don't think. I know. Okay?

    • (Angel comes out of a room that is strewn with demon bodies)
      Monk: What happened?
      Angel: (in Tibetan) Demon Monks. Shoulda gone to Vegas.

    • Cordelia: I understand people who drink. I understand people who leave a note on the parking meter that says it's broken when it's not. I don't understand people who worship demons.
      Gunn: Especially a Lurite demon. The stink on that thing, you wanna be prince of the underworld, take a Jacuzzi once in a while.

    • Fred: I came out of my room. Small steps, just like you said.
      Angel: Go to your room and stay there!
      Fred: Okay.

    • Gunn: Hmm. Angel and a bunch of monks in the middle of nowhere. There's a party! He should have got hammered and went to Vegas just like I told him.

    • Wes: Gunn and I'll hit the streets; see what our sources can tell us.
      Cordy: Uh-huh. See? We have sources now.
      Angel: Oh, you're almost like real detectives now.

    • Cordy: (putting the necklace Angel gave her around her neck) And look how it brings out my breasts! You know you were all thinking it!

    • Cordelia: (about Buffy) Angel, she was the love of your life and she died, and you weren't there when that happened, you couldn't help her fight, you couldn't save her, you couldn't die with her.

    • Gunn: (about Angel)The "B" word was the love of his life, and he's what? 250? That isn't a short life. That grief work is gonna take more than a vacation in Sri Lanka.

    • Cordy: The Ring of Amarra, when you had that, you were invincible. Does he have a ring?
      Angel: No.
      Cordy: Did the Amarra people make cuff links or belt buckles?

    • Wesley: It's sad. The only way some people can find a purpose in life is by becoming obsessed with demons. By the way, Gunn... technically, that wasn't a Lurite demon, it was a Murite, a subspecies of the Lurite. The male sports a small telltale fin just behind the third shoulder.
      Gunn: So glad to know we're not the sad people obsessed with demons.

    • Elizabeth: You know neither poetry, nor love, Angelus.
      Darla: He knows other things - marvelously vile and ripping things.

  • NOTES (10)

    • Music:
      Lorne sings this at Caritas -- "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" by Douglas Cross and George Cory

      Plays at Caritas -- "Blackjack" by Morphic Field

      In the vampires' car -- "The Winner" by Crystal Method

    • These lines were cut from the episode due to length. Cordy explains the significance of the necklace worn by Elisabeth.
      Cordelia: You see me wearing Curt Eisenthorpe's football ring or Xander's meet medallion? (All three men look at her. Gunn turns to the guys.)
      Gunn: I'd like to take this one. (To Cordy) So...what kind of meat did he have that earned him a medallion?
      Cordelia: Not that kind of meat - swim meet, he was on the swim team. Get your mind out of the gutter. All of you!

    • David Greenwalt, the co-creator of the show along with Whedon, wrote and directed the episode. His assistant on the show is Elisabeth James, obviously the two vampires from Angel's past (Elisabeth and James) were named for her.

    • Cordy references the first Buffy/Angel crossover ("The Harsh Light of Day"/"In The Dark") from season one when asking Angel if "the Amarra people [made] cufflinks or belt buckles" in addition to the Gem of Amarra (a ring) that made vampires invincible. Angel destroyed the ring at the end of "In the Dark."

    • According to Tim Minear's DVD commentary, the reason they went wide-screen was to show the separation between both series and both networks.

    • Julie Benz is now credited as a Special Guest Star.

    • First onscreen appearance of Holtz who has been mentioned and had some influence in various flashbacks between Angelus and Darla on season 2.

    • Most likely as a nod to the fact its sister show moved to UPN while Angel remained on WB, the characters are written so as to go to great lengths to awkwardly not mention "Buffy" by name, until the very end.

    • Amy Acker joins the regular cast and is now credited in the opening.

    • Starting with this episode, Angel now airs in a widescreen format.


    • Cordelia: ...with his Romeo and Juliet madness...

      "Romeo and Juliet" is the famous play by William Shakespeare. Two teenagers from warring families fall in love and risk everything to be together. The story ends tragically when things go wrong and both characters end up committing suicide in order to be together in the afterlife.