"Quickening"
Written by Jeffrey Bell; directed by Skip Schoolnik

More flashbacks! How exciting! It’s 1764, and Holtz is riding a horse through the York, England countryside. One of his men tells him, “We found them” and they head off together. Angelus and Darla go to Holtz’s house and greet his daughter, Sarah, getting her to invite them in. Holtz and one of his men ride through the countryside, meeting up with some other men who tell them, “They’re trapped inside.” At Holtz’s house, Angelus and Darla greet his wife, Caroline. As Holtz and his men head towards a house with torches, Angelus asks Caroline to give Holtz a message. Angelus and Darla vamp out, biting Caroline and Sarah, as Holtz and his men break down the door of…a different house. Holtz finds a note reading, “How do you hope to save others when you cannot save your own?” and realizes that Angelus and Darla are at his house. Angelus and Darla hear a baby crying in the house and decide that he would make a nice dessert. “Do you wanna do it, or should I?” Angelus asks. Holtz finally makes it home and finds his wife dead in the kitchen. In the present, Darla is in bed at the Hyperion (see “Offspring”) when Angel puts a hand on her pregnant stomach. “Are you going to do it or am I?” Darla asks. In the chamber where he was “awakened” (again, see “Offspring”), Holtz watches scenes from world history on a bunch of TVs, catching up on 227 years’ worth. Sahjhan brings up an agreement they apparently made 227 years ago, mentioning that it probably feels like just a moment ago to Holtz. Holtz asks how Angel and Darla can still be alive after so many wars. Sahjhan says that he’s brought Holtz there to finish them off: “Because your fate and their fate are entwined.” Holtz is ready to go after Angel (whom he still calls Angelus), but Sahjhan wants to be careful and make sure everything goes perfectly.

The MoG join Angel and Darla upstairs and tell them that the Tro-clan isn’t a person, but “a confluence of events.” These events involve Angel, Darla, and other things they don’t know about yet. Angel thinks this is good, since it means the baby isn’t evil, but Wesley isn’t completely sure yet. Darla says that something is protecting the baby, since she hasn’t been able to get rid of it. The MoG discuss ways to kill the possibly evil baby, but Angel tells them that they can’t do anything until they’re completely sure what’s going on. Cordelia hits Darla, then agrees to go along with his plan. Unfortunately for the MoG, Darla begins having contractions. At Wolfram & Hart, Lilah is signing something with her own blood when a mail clerk named Cyril brings her a CD that he thinks she might want to see - it contains surveillance footage of her making out with MIA (see “Carpe Noctem”). Lilah thinks that Cyril is trying to blackmail her, but he says that he has to choose a side and is allying with her against Gavin. Cyril explains that the exterminators Gavin sent to the Hyperion (see “That Vision Thing”) actually planted surveillance bugs. Elsewhere in the building, Gavin watches surveillance of Angel and Cordelia training in the Hyperion basement. Lilah finds him and blasts him for trying to blackmail her; he tells her that Cyril is actually on his side. He says that she’s been taunting him for nothing doing enough to go up against Angel, but now he’s doing something useful. Lilah sees Darla on the surveillance footage and wonders who she is. They figure out that she’s Darla and Lilah places a call to a guy named Linwood Murrow (John Rubinstein) to tell him what’s going on.

Darla suffers through contractions at the Hyperion, angry that she might be in labor for as long as 18 hours. Fred and Wesley suggest taking her to a hospital to get access to medical equipment (though they won’t have her admitted and, of course, won’t tell anyone that she’s a vampire). At Wolfram & Hart, Linwood worries that the Senior Partner will find out about Darla’s mysterious pregnancy and blame them for not knowing about it earlier. Cyril secretly calls an underlord to tell him that his prophecy has come true. Back in York in 1773, Holtz is visited by Sahjhan, who says that he might want help to kill Angelus and Darla. Holtz says that he doesn’t need help, but Sahjhan tells him that he won’t succeed. He offers to transport Holtz into the future so that he can finish off the vamps. In exchange, he only has to promise not to show them any mercy. Sahjhan says that Holtz only has a brief amount of time to make his choice, so Holtz starts thinking. The MoG take Darla to the hospital, where Wesley determines that Darla may have been having Braxton Hicks contractions. Sahjhan tells a disappointed Holtz that he has to wait a little while before he can go after Angel and Darla. At Wolfram & Hart, psychics are questioned, as well as criticized for not foreseeing Darla’s pregnancy. Lilah brings up the fact that there might be a prophecy about a vampire birth, and Linwood says that a lot of cults and other groups will want to get their hands on the baby. He wants Wolfram & Hart to get to the baby first so that they can dissect it and find out what it is. He tells Lilah that if the Senior Partners find out what’s going on, he’s going to blame her. This makes Gavin happy, but Lilah refuses to take the risk, choosing to call a guy in a turban for help.

Wesley studies the baby via ultrasound and determines that it’s a human boy. Darla isn’t thrilled, but Angel is proud that he’s going to have a son. Fred suddenly sees that vampires have gathered in the teaching gallery above the room; the vamps are after “the miracle child.” Holtz and Sahjhan head downtown, talking about how the world is in the present. They meet up with some demons Sahjhan has put together to help Holtz, but Holtz is dissatisfied. As the vamps at the hospital tell the MoG that they want to protect the baby, the guy Lilah called earlier appears with a sword; the vamps quickly attack him and finish him off. Angel is proud that the vamps want to protect his “special” kid, but not so happy that they want to kill the other MoG. At Wolfram & Hart, Gavin gives blueprints of the Hyperion to a commander who’s supposed to get the baby. Lilah has called in a doctor named Fetvanovich to dissect both Darla and the baby. Back at the hospital, Darla is happy that she’ll get to drink some human blood if the vamps kill the MoG. She changes her mind when she learns that the vampires want to kill her as well. Angel tells the MoG that Gunn should stay with him to fight the vamps while the others get Darla to the car. Darla announces that she wants to stay with Angel and fight. Fred borrows a dagger from Gunn and, as the MoG are about to attack the vamps, announces to them that if they come near the MoG, she’ll “slice the miracle kid into triplets.” “It’s always the quiet ones,” Cordelia remarks. Fred whispers to Darla that the vamps don’t know that the knife won’t hurt the baby. Darla points out that they do now, since vamps have very good hearing. The fighting begins and the MoG heads out of the hospital. Commandos arrive at the hotel, rappelling in and letting Fetvanovich in with his matching mother-and-baby cages.

The MoG make it to Angel’s convertible and drive off unharmed. Angel asks Darla if she’s okay, thinking that seeing the baby on the ultrasound shook her up. She tells him that she’s just sorry none of the MoG died in the battle. The MoG try to figure out where to go, believing that the hotel might not be safe but deciding to go there anyway in order to get the scrolls they need. Holtz beats them to the Hyperion, fighting some commandos and demanding to know where Angel is. From Wolfram & Hart, Linwood sees him on surveillance and wonders who he is. Linwood tells the commandos to take Holtz out; they attack as the surveillance screen goes out. The MoG arrive in an alley a couple of blocks from the Hyperion and Angel heads inside to get Wesley’s scrolls. He tells them that if he’s not back in five minutes, they should leave without him. Inside the hotel, Angel finds the commandos and the doctor dead. Holtz appears and tells Angel, “I’ve been looking for you.” Outside, Cordelia starts the convertible, announcing that it’s been six and a half minutes and Angel isn’t back. Fred wonders why they shouldn’t wait another minute. Suddenly, Darla screams and Wesley realizes that her water has broken. The MoG note that they need to go somewhere else instead of delivering the baby in the car, and Fred wonders why Angel isn’t back yet.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Sometimes cults like bundles of joy.

GRADE: B A lot of build-up for a couple of very brief scenes.

WELCOME TO L.A.: Linwood

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Wesley: “We’ll wait for it to be born, then we’ll chop its head off.”
Fred: “What if it doesn’t have a head?”
Cordelia: “We’re gonna need a really big mallet.”
Gunn: “If it skitters, we should have a net or something. Maybe a flame thrower.”
Angel: “Flame thrower? No, no. There’ll be no throwing of flames. Nobody’s gonna do anything until we know exactly what’s going on. Now, if anybody has a problem with that, they should leave - now.”
(Darla shrugs and gets up to leave)
Angel: “Not you.”

Woman: “Hi, you’ve reached the Tittles. We can’t come to the phone right now. If you wanna leave a message for Christine, press one.”
Man: “For Bentley, press two.”
Demon: “Or to speak to or worship Master Tarfall, underlord of pain, press three.”

Cordelia: “Ahem. So, who has a plan?”
Gunn: “Don't let ‘em kill us sounds like a good first step.”


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