"Lonely Hearts"
Written by David Fury; directed by James A. Contner

Angel, who is sitting alone in his dark office, is joined by Doyle, who encourages him to go out and do something rather than spend a Friday night by himself. Angel thinks that he’s just looking for an excuse to ask Cordelia out. Doyle asks Angel to put in a good word for him, requesting that he not mention that Doyle is part demon. Cordelia arrives with calling cards, which bear a picture of a not easily-recognizable angel. Doyle suddenly has a vision and relays info from the Powers that Be - something’s going to happen in a nearby bar. In a nightclub called D’Oblique, a man named Kevin introduces himself to a woman named Sharon and they start to chat. They discuss finding their perfect matches and Kevin wonders if he could have missed the perfect woman. Angel, Cordelia, and Doyle arrive and decide to split up. Angel asks a bartender if he’s noticed anything strange and the bartender tells him that it’s still early. Cordelia hands out calling cards with little discernment until Doyle suggests that she try to be more casual. She tells him that, since she’s an “actress,” she can read people well and can especially tell the rich people from the not-so-rich. Angel meets a woman named Kate Lockley (Elisabeth Rohm) and tries to nonchalantly ask her if she needs rescuing. She says that she “gave up on the knight in shining armor concept awhile ago” and mentions that she comes to the club a lot. “It’s either this, or sit at home alone in the dark,” she says. Kate asks what Angel does for a living and he tells her that he’s a veterinarian.

Doyle asks Cordelia if she really has everyone “figured out,” and she says that she can’t quite get a good read on him, especially with regard to his visions. He thinks that they’re a gift, but she’s not so sure. A guy comes over and asks Cordelia if the number on the cards she’s been handing out is hers. Doyle tries to chase off the guy, who seems to think that Cordelia’s a hooker, and Cordelia attempts to stand up for herself. Kate admits to Angel that she has a hard time trusting guys and that, in a bar, men don’t often present themselves honestly. He asks her what she’s looking for; she replies that she wants to “make a connection” with a guy. She asks him the same question, but he isn’t sure what he wants. She starts to ask him if he wants to go somewhere “more quiet,” but he has to stay in case something happens. Doyle faces off with Cordelia’s potential suitor as well as one of the guy’s friends. Their fight attracts a bartender and Angel comes over to help Doyle. Doyle’s attackers get thrown out and Angel becomes the object of affection of a girl named Marcie. Kate doesn’t seem thrilled to see him talking to her. Elsewhere, Kevin and Sharon chat awkwardly post-coitus. Sharon starts to leave, but Kevin asks if he can hold her instead. Back at the bar, which is now empty, Angel tells Doyle and Cordelia that he’s not sure anyone at the bar needed his help. The three lament the difficulties of socialization and how things used to be easier. Cordelia thinks that it’s hardest for Angel, who can’t have sex without losing his soul and turning evil (see “Surprise”). Back in whoever’s apartment they’re in, Sharon sits on the edge of the bed next to a seemingly dead Kevin.

Cordelia, Doyle, and Angel search the Internet for events that may have taken place in or near D’Oblique. They find information on a missing girl named Heather Nolan, who was last seen at the club, as well as a dead man named Martin Haber, who was last seen with a woman at the club. Angel sends Cordelia and Doyle to get information on eviscerating demons, then heads back to D’Oblique. There, he runs into Kate again and apologizes for blowing her off the night before. She offers to buy him a drink but he warns that she shouldn’t go back into the club. Angry that he won’t explain himself and that he’s going inside anyway, she tells him off and goes in. Kate encounters Sharon, who has made herself up overnight and is with a new guy. This one is a self-proclaimed geek who has nevertheless captured Sharon’s attention. A guy asks the bartender where Kevin is, revealing that he never showed up for work and has been unreachable. The bartender mentions that Kevin met up with a girl the night before and Angel suddenly becomes interested. Cordelia and Doyle do demon research and Cordelia expresses her distaste for the creatures. He tries to convince her that some demons might be nice, but she says she’s met enough to know that they probably aren’t. (She must not be including Angel in that analysis.)

Back at the bar, the bartender tells Angel that Kevin left with Sharon, who’s back at the club without him. The guy who was inquiring after Kevin supplies Angel with Sharon’s last name; he looks up her address in a phone book as Kate looks on. At her apartment, Sharon cuddles up with her new guy post-coitus, as Kevin cuddled up with her the night before. Suddenly, some kind of creature emerges from Sharon’s chest and digs itself into her guy’s back. Understandably, he screams. Angel arrives not long after, surprised that he can enter the apartment without being invited. He finds Sharon dead (and looking like she’s been dead for longer than a few minutes) and her guy putting himself together, the creature finishing up its entrance into his body. The guy tells Angel that he’ll stop killing people when he finds “the right one.” Angel realizes that the creature is looking for the perfect body, and that it won’t stay put because human bodies don’t last. Angel and the guy fight, but the guy gets the upper hand and runs off. Before Angel can go after him, Kate arrives, gun in hand, and announces that she’s with the LAPD. She starts to arrest Angel and tells him that she’s been tracking him since the previous night because she thinks he’s connected to the murders committed by the creature. He replies that he’s sort of an investigator and tries to convince her that they’re working on the same side. She wonders how Angel gets people to trust him. He says that the “killer” gives people what they’re looking for - hope. Kate starts to cuff him, but he apologizes and knocks her down, making his escape through a window.

Doyle and Cordelia head to her apartment to meet Angel and banter back and forth a little. Cordelia invites Angel in (after jokingly making him promise to behave) and he tells them that Kate is a cop. He tells them about the creature he encountered and assigns them to find out if it has any weaknesses while he returns to D’Oblique. He thinks that it’ll keep trying to make a connection, because “that’s what lonely people do.” (Do you get it? DO YOU?) During a music montage, we see the creature guy talking to a woman at D’Oblique, Kate going to Angel’s apartment and office, Angel looking for the creature guy, the creature guy in bed with his new friend, Kate seeing Angel’s weapons, the creature guy’s new friend getting a visit from the creature, and Angel heading back to Cordelia’s apartment. There, Doyle and Cordelia have fallen asleep doing research. Angel tells them that he thinks he can recognize the creature even if it’s in another body, but Doyle points out that there are an awful lot of possible new hosts. He reveals that the creature is called a Tahlmer and doesn’t seem to have many weaknesses, though it, like Angel, doesn’t like fire. Angel decides that he needs help to find the Tahlmer and decides to call Kate, since she’s been on its trail longer than they have.

Kate goes back to D’Oblique and asks the bartender to tell her if Angel comes back. A guy approaches Kate and tries to make small talk. Before he can get too far, the bartender tells her that Angel is out in the alley. She follows him out and tells him to call her sergeant. Instead, he picks up a bottle of wine and knocks her out with it. The Tahlmer starts to move from him to her, but before it can complete its journey, Angel arrives to save the day. He fights the bartender, who heads back inside, locking Angel and Kate out. Angel tells Kate that he thinks the bartender will try to kill again. Indeed, the bartender tries to pick up a couple of girls, but he’s too disheveled to be too appealing. Angel and Kate try to get back into the bar, finally reverting to shooting the lock off of the door. Inside, they split up to find the bartender, who’s starting to literally fall apart. He grabs a girl in an alley, but Angel saves her and fights the bartender again. There’s a barrel and some fire and Kate’s gun, but eventually the bartender winds up dead. After it’s all over, Angel lets Kate believe that the bartender was a serial killer (which she thinks makes sense, because he was connected to all of the victims). She admits that she went to his place and notes that he had some strange things that a veterinarian normally wouldn’t have. He gives her his card (which she thinks has a picture of a lobster) and tells her to call him if she ever needs help. Back at his office, Angel tells Cordelia and Doyle that they should go out and have a good time. They realize that he’d rather be alone, and he gratefully thanks them for catching on.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Don’t have sex with strangers you meet in bars, especially if there’s a chance they’re hosts to burrowing, eviscerating demons.

GRADE: B- Thanks for hitting us over the head with the theme.


MEMORABLE QUOTES: Doyle: “I don’t even know if she likes me, man… unless you put a word in for me, you know, just tell her what a great guy I am!”
Angel: “I barely know you.”
Doyle: “Perfect. That should make it easier for you, then.”

“You look troubled. Are you troubled, or is that just your lazy eye?” - Cordelia

“Violence isn’t going to solve a thing here. On the other hand, it is kind of festive.” - Doyle

“Yeah, like high school. It was easy to date there. We all had so much in common. Being monster food every other week, for instance.” - Cordelia

“That is so high school! ‘Cordelia wears bras. Oh, she has girlie parts!’” - Cordelia

Angel: “I know you guys have been working hard. I mean, you’ve been cooped up inside a lot. And to show my appreciation, I was thinking, the night being, you know, young and all - that the three of us could - well, should - you know, maybe, go out, you know, for fun.”
Cordelia: “Or we can go home.”
Doyle: “And you can sit in the dark alone.”
Angel: “…Yes! Thank you.”

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