"Darla"
Written and directed by Tim Minear

Angel is in his room at the Hyperion, sketching a picture of Darla. Wesley arrives to check on him and sees that the room is full of drafts of Angel’s sketch. Lindsey finds Darla in her apartment after she’s smashed a bunch of mirrors. He think that they shouldn’t have sent her to talk to Angel (see “Dear Boy”). She notes that Lindsey never talks about himself and asks if he has anyone special in his life; he says that he doesn’t. She tells him that she was with Angelus for decades but doesn’t know him anymore. She laughs, saying that they’re soul mates now. How about some flashbacks? Do we have to? Oh, okay. It’s 1609 and we’re in the Virginia colony, where Darla is on her deathbed. A priest comes to see her and confirms that she’s a whore. (Well, what were you expecting?) The priest reveals that he’s the Master (Mark Metcalf), who was last seen in “Prophecy Girl.” He tells Darla that he can save her, then bites her neck. In the present, the MoG have gathered at the Hyperion, where Angel is determined to stop waiting for Wolfram & Hart to do something. He wants to find Darla; Cordelia isn’t thrilled with this idea, since she could be anywhere. Angel reminds her and Wesley that they run a detective agency, so they should be able to find her. Gunn suggests that Wolfram & Hart put Darla up somewhere, so Cordelia heads off to look into the firm’s real estate holdings. Angel tells her that Darla would want someplace with a view. (Apparently that was supposed to be some sort of theme, but it never actually goes anywhere, so just forget about it.)

It’s 1760 in London, and the Master has just met Angelus for the first time. Angelus is learning all about the Order of Aurelius (see “Never Kill a Boy on the First Date”) and complaining that they don’t live at the social status he prefers. He insults the Master’s appearance, then tells Darla that he wants to take her to Naples. The Master starts fighting Angelus, who ignores him and wins Darla over to his side. The Master lets them go, believing that Darla won’t stay with Angelus for very long. In the present, Angel looks up Darla’s name and realizes that the Master must have given it to her. Wesley tells him to be patient about finding Darla; Angel just wants to know why Wolfram & Hart brought her back. Wesley wonders if they did it to distract Angel, in which case, they’re succeeding. Lindsey takes Darla to his office and is pulled aside by Holland. Holland doesn’t want Darla in the building but Lindsey didn’t want to leave her alone, since she’s exhibiting signs of being traumatized. Holland says that that’s exactly why he doesn’t want her there. Then he changes his mind, telling Lindsey that he did a good job and that he wants to accelerate their plans. Time for another flashback! We’re back in London, this time in 1880, and Angelus, Darla, and Drusilla are hanging out together. Angelus tells Drusilla that if she’s lonely, she should sire someone to be with her. The group bumps into William, who’s just been rejected by Cecily (see “Fool for Love”), and Drusilla becomes strangely interested in him.

In the present, the MoG have narrowed down Darla’s possible location to one building. Cordelia reveals that she’s already stopped by, pretending to be Darla’s sister, and got some information from the property manager. Angel wants to head over, but Wesley thinks that it would be better if he and Gunn went instead. (Plus, it’s one o’clock in the afternoon.) Darla is still in Lindsey’s office, ruminating over her name and who she is now. She asks Lindsey why he hasn’t kissed her when he obviously wants to. He kisses her, but she tells him that he doesn’t want to be with her - he wants to use her to get to Angel. They kiss again and Darla bites Lindsey’s neck, telling him that that’s how vampires get what they want. She isn’t sure that she’s the same person (or vampire) she used to be. She thinks that her body is shutting down because her soul is destroying her. In 1898 in Romania, Darla blasts the gypsy whose clan cursed Angelus with a soul, complaining that he’ll have to suffer forever for something that happened in a minute. Darla sends Drusilla to do some massacring, telling her that Angelus will rejoin them soon. She tells the gypsy that his family is inside a wagon and that she’ll let them go if he does what she wants. Unfortunately for her, Spike has already killed them. Darla kills the gypsy, then tells Drusilla not to show any of the others mercy. In the present, Cordelia and Angel view video footage from Darla’s apartment, noting that the place was trashed when Wesley and Gunn got there. Angel sees that Darla smashed all of the mirrors so that she wouldn’t have to look at herself in them. Cordelia answers the phone and tries to get Angel’s attention while he and Wesley try to figure out if Darla’s in trouble. Cordelia finally lets him know that Darla’s on the phone.

Darla talks to Angel about hell and being afraid. Lindsey arrives and Darla tells Angel to help her before Lindsey tries to get her to hang up. A security guard arrives, having been tipped off by Holland that Lindsey might need his help, but Lindsey tries to chase him off. Darla says that she needs to go to Angel as Angel, still listening on the phone, hears their fight, as well as Darla’s heartbeat. Lindsey tries to convince Darla that he can help her, but she says that he can’t. Lindsey tries to chase the guard off again and the guard reminds him that Holland doesn’t want Darla to leave the building. Darla hits Lindsey with the phone and takes off. On the other end of the line, Angel hears a gunshot. Later, Lindsey’s in his office, watching a surveillance tape of the fight - Darla turns on the guard, hitting him with his own gun, and Lindsey helps Darla escape. Holland blasts Lindsey for letting his feelings for Darla control him and tells him that he’s off of Darla’s case. Lindsey learns that Darla is safe and that the entire “project” has been cancelled. Angel starts to leave the Hyperion as Wesley warns him that he could be walking into a trap. Angel says that he knows what Darla is going through and doesn’t want her to go through it alone. It’s 1900, and Darla and Angel have just met up again in China during the Boxer Rebellion (again, see “Fool for Love”). Darla tells him that Spike and Drusilla are there as well. She says that she should kill Angel and he doesn’t disagree. She asks him what he wants and he replies, “A second chance.” He wants to be with her again, an idea which Darla sees as impossible, since he has a soul. He manages to convince her that they can make things work.

Angel tracks Lindsey down in a parking lot, wrapping a cable around his neck and demanding to know where Darla is. He realizes that Lindsey was calling Angel Investigations because he wants Angel to stop Wolfram & Hart from killing Darla. He sends Angel to an abandoned bank and Angel warns that if Lindsey is playing a trick on him, he’ll get his revenge. We’re back in China, where Angel has just spared a missionary family. Darla finds them and decides that they’ll feed on them. The two catch up with Drusilla and Spike, who’s just killed the Chinese Slayer. (Note: Spike doesn’t know that Angel has a soul; he doesn’t find out until “School Hard.”) Angel is somewhat disappointed that Spike has now proven himself to the group. Spike promises to give Angel the first shot at the next Slayer. The four head through the wreckage of the riots (most of it probably caused by them) as, in the present, Darla asks Angel if he’s with her and is thrown into a van. Back in China, Angel goes to Darla’s house and tries to convince her that he’s still up to his evil ways. She says that he only kills immoral people, reminding him that he said he’d prove himself if she took him back. She reveals the missionaries’ baby, telling Angel that while Spike was killing the Chinese Slayer, he was saving missionaries from her. Darla orders him to prove himself by feeding on the baby. In the present, Angel finds Darla and fights the guys who grabbed her. At Wolfram & Hart, Lindsey sees Holland with the supposedly dead security guard who tried to check on him and Darla.

Lindsey heads to his office, followed by Holland, and blasts the latter for tricking him. Holland says that they needed Angel to believe that Darla was in danger. Lindsey wonders if Holland believes that they’ve driven Angel and Darla back together, which will make Angel happy and cost him his soul again. Holland replies that Angel will do what he needs to - he’ll “save her soul.” Angel takes Darla to the Hyperion; she calls Angel “Angelus” and tells him that she thought she was dead. She says that she was brought back to get to him, but now she knows that she needs him. She asks him to take away her pain and turn her back into a vampire. Angel says that he does want to help her, but not that way. She points out that she did him a favor by siring him and giving him immortality; he disagrees that it was a favor and he doesn’t want to repay it. Back in China, Angel tells Darla that he can’t kill the baby, then grabs it and runs. In the present, Darla runs away from Angel, telling him not to come after her again.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Humanity is annoying. But not as annoying as Darla!

GRADE: B- Gah! Enough flashbacks!

WELCOME TO L.A.: the Master

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Angel: “All we’re gonna do is find her.”
Cordelia: “And this would be the same woman you didn’t notice was in your bedroom every night for, like, three weeks straight?”
Angel: “That was different.”
Cordelia: “Different in the sitting right on top of you sense, yeah.”
Wesley: “Cordelia has a point.”
Cordelia: “Finally!”
Wesley: “The last time Darla emerged she wanted to be found. Now she is out there among six million other people.”
Cordelia: “She could be sitting on top of anybody.”

Angel: “We are a detective agency. We investigate things. That’s what we’re good at.”
Cordelia: “That’s what we suck at. Let’s face it, unless there’s a website called www.oh-by-the-way-we-have-Darla-stashed-here.com, we’re pretty much out of luck.”


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