Episode # 53
Original Air Date: November 19, 2001
Review by: Anne
When Angel sees Holtz, he realizes that Holtz is what was brought from darkness to bring darkness. Before Angel can explain, he is restrained by Holtz' gang. A few minutes later, Lilah comes in. During a chat with Holtz, she tells him about Angel's curse. Angel uses the grenade from a dead soldier-guy to blow himself free of his restraints. In the alley, the others fight Holtz' gang. Darla drives the car into the monsters then away. Angel finds her on a roof looking at the city. She says that she can't let the baby out, because then she won't be able to love it. From Caritas, the others tell Angel they have a safe place for Darla to have the baby. Darla begins to have a different pain than contractions; she soon realizes that the baby is dying. At W&H a translator working to decipher the scroll that Lilah took from the Hyperion informs her that according to the scroll there will be no birth, only death. In a flashback, Holtz tells his men that they will do whatever they have to, as he takes his daughter (who has been turned into a vampire by Darla) and throws her outside into the sunlight. At Caritas, Holtz enters. Lorne tells him that they're closed, and Holtz leaves quietly singing an old lullaby. Lorne reads Holtz and tells the others to run. They do as a barrel of fuel and a grenade come down the stairs. As the others try to make an escape route, Darla learns that Holtz is back. She is sorry for the things they did to him. In the alley, the others minus Fred go to get the car. Darla lies in the alley, unable to go on. She says the baby is the only good thing she and Angel ever did. She tells him to tell the baby that, and she plunges a sharp piece of wood into her heart. She dusts, leaving the crying baby. Holtz has made it into the alley, but he lowers his crossbow and allows Angel, Fred, and the baby to leave. Sahjhan orders Holtz to do what he swore to do. Holtz says that he will show no mercy.
Sahjhan is really starting to get on my nerves; he's becoming quite a whiner. Why is he withholding important information from Holtz? Holtz wanted revenge badly enough to make a deal with him in the first place, and Sahjhan was suddenly afraid he would change his mind?
This episode gave us more background behind Holtz' quest for vengeance; as soon as I heard his daughter speak I knew she was a vampire. (That is *so* something the writers would do.) I felt so bad for him, because I knew he was going to have to destroy her. If that wouldn't drive a person to seek revenge, I don't know what would.
Angel told Holtz that he was being used in the service of evil, and I agree. I think Holtz believes he is fighting for good or, rather, for justice. Didn't Lilah perceive he was "a good guy"? He told her that the men she sent (the military unit from the previous episode) were good men, but if she sent more he would do the same to them. His hatred is driving him to terrible places: working with monsters, dealing with black magic, and killing those in his way. Perhaps he was singing the lullaby - the same one he sang to his daughter - to strengthen his resolve to attack Caritas and the innocent people standing between him and the vampires.
When Angel goes to help make an escape from the burning Caritas, he tells Fred and Cordy to go to Darla. I thought that was very significant, because he had previously directed them to stay away from her. He could tell that she was genuinely sorry and that she was no danger to them.
Thanks again, TV Guide, for spoiling this episode for me in a major way. Darla was never my favorite character, but I was sorry to learn that she was going to be staked. I thought I might even be sad when I watched the episode, but I wasn't because it was what I'd call a good death. For one thing she loved the baby enough to sacrifice herself for him, which is in itself simply fantastic. Plus she was afraid of what she'd be when the baby was gone and she didn't want to go back to being the way she was.
* So Holtz is still human. Interesting.
* Don't you have to squeeze the grip on a grenade to pull out the pin? Or would it stay squeezed if the dead guy had squeezed it before?
* It's ironic that Lilah calls Darla "free-range evil." Lilah has been called evil at least once this season herself. But she is definitely not free.
* Vampires can't love? What about James and Elizabeth? What about what Dru said, that they "can love quite well. If not wisely."?
* I didn't like the scene at the car where the A-team was discussing what to do about Darla's labor pains. I'm still trying to forget Gunn's line about "Vaseline and a catcher's mitt."