Another one of Angel’s great season 2 episodes that’s fully involved with the seasonal arc.
With Angel failing to save Darla, and the gang failing to save Angel, this is a fast paced episode-bursting full of action and consequences.
The first consequence is obviously Drusilla’s siring of Darla. Through most of the first half of the episode, Darla lies dead as Dru along with her allies at W&H make preparations for Darla’s re-arrival. It seems a little strange that at this crucial time in their plan that Holland manners sees it fit to throw a party. While they may be celebrating Angel tipping over to evil, it won’t be until the end of the episode that he actually does.
While this is all going on Angel rushes to try and save Darla, knowing that he has failed to save her. This is a major factor in Angel’s crazy quest to stake his love. The links the team made as to where Darla might be were a little tenuous. I highly doubt that they were able to pinpoint these vampires in this huge city, but at least it made for a brilliant confrontational scene between the vampires especially once Darla awoke.
Darla’s awakening was wonderfully played by Julie Benz. She takes the character to whole new levels as she tries to deal with being a vampire again. Lashing out at Drusilla, eventually Darla comes around and they go on their highly entertaining killing spree. The two actresses work well together. In all their collective time in the Buffy verse they have spent very little onscreen time together and this may the first without their male counterparts.
Returning back to the team who are racing around LA trying to find the vamps, we see Angel hell-bent on his mission and forgetting the mission that he should be ultimately concerned about, so much so that he is inclined to forget about Cordy’s vision and when he is convinced to go to the vision, he barely takes time to sort the problem out. To see Angel like this is not really a surprise but it is interesting to see how far he is going. Also what is surprising is that the team seem so reluctant to find Dru and Darla. Now while I understand they have to answer the visions, they don’t seem to want aid Angel. Although perhaps given the end of the episode maybe they had good reason. The best part of the episode is undoubtedly Darla and Drusilla’s arrival at Holland’s party. The lawyers play the fear excellently and Darla and Drusilla’s tormenting of them is so brilliant to watch. Lindsey’s lack of fear is really fascinating to see. His love of Darla is misguided, but it allows him to feel absolutely no fear of this woman, despite her showing very little feeling for him or indication that she wouldn’t hurt him. Its this quality in Lindsey that makes him such a wonderful character to watch. The climax of the episode (or so we think) comes when Angel tips over the edge and locks the W&H lawyers in the wine cellar. His actions here while not in line with his mission are understandable. These lawyers have tormented him since he came to LA and ruined his ex-lovers only chance of salvation. This is an extrmeley thrilling scene but in true Angel style its not quite the end of the episode. The Angel Investigations team let Angel know what they think of his actions and in a shocking end he fires them. His reasoning behind this slowly leaks out over the next few episodes but in this episode it makes for some great drama.
Overall a strong episode that proves pivotal to the rest of the season.