Episode # 51
Original Air Date: November 5, 2001
Review by: Anne
In 1771 Rome, Angelus is caught and tortured by Holtz until Darla and some other vampires save him. (They don't kill Holtz because he is "like family.") In present day LA, Wes and Fred are checking prophecies in a scroll to learn more about a being that will bring either the ruination or purification of mankind; Wes isn't sure of the correct translation. Darla arrives at the hotel demanding to know what Angel did to her. The A-team takes her to see the Host who is redecorating and preparing to reopen Caritas. As the others discuss the meaning of the prophecies, a sympathetic Cordy sits with Darla who is resting in Lorne's room. Darla vamps out. As she bites Cordy, Cordy has a vision and pushes Darla away. As Darla attacks again, Angel charges in and flings her across the room. She gets away. Later, when Cordy recalls the vision, she knows where Darla is going. Angel finds her at a carnival**. They fight. Angel prepares to stake Darla; she orders him to do it. He can't. He realizes that the child has a soul. Angel takes Darla back to the hotel to rest. Downstairs, Fred tells the others that she was a bit off on the time of arrival of the evil thing: it's arriving now. Underground elsewhere in the city some demon performs a ritual and resurrects Holtz who immediately wants to know where Angelus is.
I was right. I don't like this pregnant Darla storyline. Despite that this was a pretty good episode. What's not to like about a show that begins with Angel in chains?
I especially liked Gunn's role in this ep. The expression on his face when he saw that monster head was *great.* Then he used that clever put-the-valuable-objects-in-danger defense -- by juggling no less -- to coerce the cooperation of the man who had the scrolls. Then Angel trusted Gunn to protect Cordy, and he later assigned Gunn to watch Darla while she was resting at the hotel.
I've wondered before if Holtz is supernatural. I think he pretty much has to be, at least a little. I mean, have we ever seen Angelus run from anyone? Nope, only from this guy.
I knew as soon as Cordy started talking to Darla about food that she was going to get bitten. I wasn't worried about her for a moment because I had no doubt that Angel would save her. Cordy said that she forgot what Darla really is. I thought that was a realistic scene; Darla did look pathetic and anyone else could have easily made the same mistake. I wonder if Cordy will remember this incident and what Angel "really is" if he tries to share any romantic feelings he has about her.
One of my big problems with this baby storyline - besides the fact that it's a bit too soap-opera-esque - is that there are major inconsistencies with what we've previously learned on this show. For example, if vampires don't age, how is the baby growing? Plus, I'm still unclear about how they know the baby has a soul. Did I miss some critical dialogue? From what I heard, they came to that conclusion because the baby wanted "pure" blood. (Is Cordy's blood pure? Did the people on the bus have pure blood? Has Angel ever craved pure blood?) It seems to me that if the baby had a soul, perhaps Darla would feel guilty about killing people.
As I mentioned, despite my misgivings about the plot, I was not disappointed by the episode. Because of that I have faith that the writers are going to make it work.
**I have seen the place where Darla went described elsewhere as a carnival: to me it looked like one of those pizza restaurants that has games and rides for children.
* When Gunn and Wesley were trying to break into that place to get the scrolls, did you see the green, sunny landscape behind them? How rare is that on this show?
* Darla and her hair were fine when she got off the bus, but when she arrived at the hotel her hair was disheveled and she had to support herself to sit down.
* The scene with Cordy holding a cross up to Darla reminded me of the similar scene with Angel and Kate.
* The scene where Angel threw Darla into those doors is reminiscent of the one where he threw her through the doors to his bedroom.