Season 2 Episode 9

The Trial

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Nov 28, 2000 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
420 votes

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Episode Summary

Angel is still haunted by memories of his 150-year relationship with Darla and asks Gunn to help him track her down. He soon discovers, however, that he is faced with an impossible choice: watch her die from a terminal illness or "save" her by turning her once again into a soulless monster.moreless

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  • Angel at the top of it's game

    The Trial

    The Good;

    Love the valet and the trials, they're both excellent, the suprise ending is a killer, thankfully they left Juliet Landau's name out of the credits this time so it's a genuine shock.

    The Bad;

    Very little, terrific ep but Angel seems to be overwhelmed by the WR&H thugs very easily

    Best line:

    Lindsey; "How did you think this was going to end?"

    Jeez, how did they get away with that?

    The trials are almost akin to gorno, especially the key in the vat of Holy Water.

    Apocalypses: 4

    Angel Cliches

    Damsel in distress; oh yeah!


    In disguise; 7

    DB get's his shirt off; oh yeah!


    Cordy's tattoo;3

    Cheap Angel;


    Fang Gang in bondage: Angel chained up by the valet

    Cordy: 5

    Angel: 9

    Wes: 3

    Fang gang knocked out:

    Cordy: 10

    Angel: 12

    Wes: 5

    Doyle; 1

    Gunn; 1


    Cordy: 5 vamps, 1 demons

    Angel; 1 vamp and 1 demon, 18 vamps, 19 and 1/2 demons, 3 humans

    Doyle; 1 vamp

    Wes; 1/2 a demon

    Kate; 3 vamps

    Faith; 16 vamps, 6 demons, 3 humans.

    Gunn; 5 vamps+ 1 demon.

    Fang Gang go evil:

    Cordy: 2

    Angel: 2

    Alternate Fang Gang:

    Cordy: 2

    Angel: 6

    Characters killed:


    Recurring characters killed; Darla dies for the 3rd time


    Total number of Angel Investigations:

    4, Angel, Cordy, Wes and Gunn

    Angel Investigations shot;

    Angel: 10

    Packing heat;

    Wes; 2

    Doyle; 1

    Angel; 1

    Notches on Fang Gang bedpost:

    Cordy: 2 ?+Wilson/Hacksaw Beast

    Angel: 1;Buffy

    Wes; 2; Virginia and the bleached blonde

    Kinky dinky:

    Darla has once more turned to prostitution to support herself.

    Captain Subtext;

    The eps so full he really doesn't have time to appear. Although Darla/Dru I suppose at the end.

    Know the face, different character; 2

    Parking garages;


    Buffy characters on Angel; 13

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

    Questions and observations;

    Oddly Holland believes in god whilst Darla wears a cross whilst tricking (she takes it off when she goes to find a vamp to sire her). Angelus comments that in Romania they know how to treat a creature of the night (Dracula?). Holtz mentioned for the first time. The dumb vamp Darla propositions says he was sired in 1992, by Lothos and co in the Buffy movie? Anne Rice mocked again. Why doesn't Angel sire Darla and then resoul her? He wonders what would happen if he sired someone when he had a soul, in 'Why we fight?' we find out. Jasmine referenced once more. Does JB really sing or is she voiced over? The valet is great, you really could see him as Jeeves, his little 'Use it wisely' speech at the end is reminiscent of Highlander. The actor recurs in a Dollhouse ep where he plays Beyonce's manager.

    One thing, Angel is owed a life restored by magical means. So why does he never call in that marker and try to bring back Doyle, Cordy, Fred etc?

    Marks out of 10; 9/10, Angel at the top of it's game.

  • The Trial

    The Trial was a perfect and very classic episode of Angel. The episode was perfect because Angel went through Trials, like any Hero would, on a Hero's Quest. I also thought Darla or Julie Benz played human really well, and I see where she got her role for Rita in the tv show Dexter which was not on air until well after the series Angel was run and in syndication. I really enjoyed watching this episode which had lots of character development, action, intriuge, and surprise. I really enjoyed the ending, and it seemed very fitting. I can't wait to see what will happen next!!!!!!!moreless
  • Angel goes on a quest for Darla's life.

    The Trial is without a doubt, in the top 10 all time Angel episodes. Every single scene screamed with excellence and there is no single fault with it whatsoever. The twist at the end is still shocking no matter how many times I've seen it. The whole episode is built around Darla dying but when she does at the end, it's entirely unexpected and takes a while to sink in. Darla hits rock bottom in this episode: the evil law firm that brought her back from the dead and have been most of the reason why her mental state is deteriorating fast tell her she's dying of a syphilitic heart condition. She's so desperate to live and to be free of her humanity, she goes to a vampire bar and picks the biggest loser there to sire her. This really gives us insight to how scared she is of dying- to have this disease is the worst thing imaginable for her as she hasn't had to fear disease for 400 years. But as the episode goes on she begins to accept her fate- evident when Angel is told he has to die to save her and she screams "No!" suggesting she'd prefer to die than watch him die. At the end of the episode, she's finally accepted it and decided to let death take her when her time is up. Darla has evolved so much since her first appearance as a human- to face death and accept it when you've been living for 400 years is a tough thing to do but she does.

    Angel's quest to save her proves he does care about her on a deep level. Their connection is so deep that he sacrifices himself to save her- he doesn't die of coure but he's willing to. He feels that if Darla can achieve redemption, then maybe there's a chance he can too and by saving her, he's saving himself. Darla recognizes his feelings for her saying "No one's ever cared about like you have". Angel's anger when the man at the Trials refuses to heal Darla even though he passed is shocking. He's so broken that she's going to die- their relationship is so powerful. The Trials were a very unique way for Angel to win Darla's life. The first stage was a rather generic fight but the second stage is awesome. Watching Angel run across a floor of crucifixes and have to place his hand in holy water to get the key was intense. The set used was magnificent, giving off a holy, eerie vibe. The last stage was good also- the wall of stakes was a nice idea. Cordy, Wesley and Gunn weren't really central to this episode- a good thing as they don't really fit in to the Darla arc much and their role is sort of the same every episode: nag Angel about Darla. It does get tiresome after a while. The final scene is one of my favourite scenes of any TV show ever. Darla had finally accepted her death and at that pivotal moment, Lindsey burst in with armed guards who knock Angel out and Drusilla enters, turning Darla into a vampire. It's so shocking and gripping; it's near impossible to look away from the screen. Lindsey was annoying in this episode- I was glad Angel mocked him for loving Darla as he's blind to not see she has no interest in him. Drusilla was a welcome addition and the perfect vampire to kill Darla- it was an excellent idea to have her do it. Angel's face is so full of pain as he watches her die. It's an amazing twist. Also, the music in this scene is truly epic and flawless- it made that entire scene feel so much more intense and scary- especially when Drusilla bites Darla. It was standout.

    The Trial is an episode that will leave you stunned. It's without a doubt the best so far and it's virtually flawless. A true gem.moreless
  • Angel undergoes a Trial to save Darla's life.

    This episode is really well done and it makes you want for Darla to become a vampire again. The scene in the bar with the vampire she tries to get to turn her is hilarious. Angel's reaction to the news is really touching and watching him and Angel bond over caring for Darla was sweet. During the trial Angel was prepared to die for her, but her life just couldn't be saved. Then the end when Lindsey brought Drusilla in to 'save' Darla and Angel is forced to watch, this part is amazing.

    In addition to what goes on in this episode, a lot of different story lines are set up that don't come up for another season because Joss Whedon is a genius. Darla is given another chance at life that turns out to be Connor and Holtz is mentioned for the first time.moreless
  • Trial By Death!

    The Trial-Angel is still haunted by memories of his 150-year relationship with Darla and asks Gunn to help him track her down. He soon discovers, however, that he is faced with an impossible choice: watch her die from a terminal illness or "save" her by turning her once again into a soulless monster.

    Such a great episode that puts us back into the Darla Arc full force. You can't help but feel Darla this hour, she as a human she got killed by syphilis at an early age, then was forced to become a soulless creature for 400 years, to get killed and brought back as a human only to die again. It makes Angel's suffering seem stable in comparison. David and Julie continue to act so compassionately together, while rest of the main cast has some fun bashing Darla. Like Cordelia and Wesley delievering some funny lines like:

    Darla: "I played mind games...we both palyed mindgames."

    Cordelia: "Yeah, but you were a souless blood sucking demon, they're lawyers."


    Wesley: "We well hit you on the head

    Cordelia: "With large objects."

    The ancient trial part of the episode was the best part with a great setting and some elaborate fighting. There are also some disturbing parts like the long hall with crosses on the floor and walls! Let's just say watching Angel going through that obstacle was brutal to watch and the holy water to top it all...OUCH! But it was so sad scene where the trial Overseer couldn't save Darla. Just Angel's reaction was so heartbreaking and David played it perfectly. The episode ends shockingly with Lindsey bringing in Drusilla to bite Darla and make her into a vampire again. It's an intense scene watching the Drusilla sire Darla and the denseless look Angel gives as he watches Darla die! You just can't wait to see what happens next! All and All, a top-notch episode which sets up greatly of probably the best episode of Angel's run.moreless
Jim Piddock

Jim Piddock

Trial Overseer

Guest Star

Evan Arnold

Evan Arnold


Guest Star

Juliet Landau

Juliet Landau


Recurring Role

Christian Kane

Christian Kane

Lindsey McDonald

Recurring Role

Andy Hallett

Andy Hallett

Caritas Host

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

    • In the final trial, when Angel is chained, there are manacles around his wrists. In some shots, it appears that the manacles are no longer on his left wrist, and Angel is just holding his arm up.

    • This is the first episode to mention the character of Holtz, who was a constant burden to Darla and Angelus in the 18th century.

    • On the first line of this episode, when Cordelia says, "Don't you think we should check on him?" her lips don't move.

    • Angel burns his right arm to fetch the key in the holy water--he uses the same hand to unlock the door, but the closeup shows him unlocking the door with his left hand.

    • When Gunn is showing Angel Darla's necklace, the way his hand's holding it is different in the two shots.

    • Drusilla cuts her chest with a fingernail to feed blood to Darla, but the cut appears a little bit above her fingernail.

    • As the third trial begins and Angel is chained, there is blood all over his mouth. In the next shot, it's gone.

    • When Angel bisects the demon during the trial, the stunt harness used is pretty obvious.

    • In the scene between Angel and The Host/Lorne, the Host gets handed the same drink twice in consecutive scenes.

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Darla: Is this how a guy like you gets his rocks off?
      Jeeves: Oh, I have no feelings about this contest one way or another, miss. Do you?

    • Lindsey: Does it really look like you need to throttle me for information?
      Angel: Need to?
      Lindsey: Yes, she's dying. Yes, those medical reports you saw are real. You want a second opinion, here. How about a third, hmm? How about a tenth?

    • (while Darla is singing)
      Angel: Aren't you supposed to be reading her?
      Lorne: I'm a channel surfer. Look, you're a big hunk of hero sandwich. You want to save the girl and I can see why. But you're missing the crucial point here. Things fall apart. Not everything can be put back together again, no matter how much you want it.

    • Darla: (to Angel) Just because we had a thing for 150 years don't presume you know me!

    • Cordelia: (Angel) barely says "Good morning and get me a glass of blood" anymore.

    • (talking to Darla)
      Cordelia: So, sorry about the dying. But, if you try to escape, we will hit you.
      Wesley: On the head.
      Cordelia: With very large and heavy objects, 'kay?

    • Angel: (about to jump into an empty pool) I'm either coming back with a cure.. or you're gonna see something kinda funny.

    • Jeeves: My apologies for any discomfort this may be causing. I really can't imagine the pain.
      Angel: (facing a wall of stakes) How about we switch places and you won't have to, huh?

    • Angel: I may not be able to come in, Lindsey...
      Lindsey: Wipe your feet.
      Angel: What?
      Lindsey: Wipe your feet. You can come in.

    • Cordelia: Hi. You're planning on sleeping over?
      Darla: I'm dying.
      Cordelia: So just for the one night then?

    • Cordelia: You lied to us.
      Angel: I did, I know.
      Wesley: Why?
      Angel: I figured you'd nag.

    • The Host/Lorne: You still testy from the last time?
      Angel: I don't know, when you sent me to that Swami who was dead and his imposter tried to kill me? Why would I be testy about that?

    • Angelus: This man Holtz, how does he keep finding us?
      Darla: Well, we stay in the best hotels, order room service, eat the waiters. People talk.

    • Angelus: This is outrageous. Don't these people know who we are?
      Darla: I think they do, which would explain the lynch mob.

    • Cordelia: And, I thought you were going to be a man and talk to him about this.
      Wesley: I was a man. I said...things.
      Cordelia: Like what?
      Wesley: Like did he prefer milk or sugar in his tea. It's how men talk about things in England!

    • Cordelia: (about Wolfram & Hart) Yes, but you were just soulless bloodsucking demons. They're lawyers.
      Angel: (to Darla) She's right. We were amateurs.

  • NOTES (1)


    • Lorne (The Host): Ground control to Major Tom, we may not be able to save this bird.
      "Ground control to Major Tom" was a line from the David Bowie song "Space Oddity."

    • Cordelia: It seems to me that after 400 years of death and destruction you get voted off the island.
      "Voted off the island" is an expression given birth by the CBS show Survivor. In this game show, contestants must live in the wild, often on an island, for an extended period of time, with the winner being the last person left on the island. Every episode someone is chosen to leave the game (and, thus, the island), and the contestants vote for which person should be removed.

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