Gunn brings a weak Angel home. Angel tells Gunn, Cordelia, and Wesley what has happened. He gets a stake to destroy Darla before she rises again. He goes to Lindsey's home, but finds he has moved. A woman there can't give him Lindsey's address, but does tell him that Dru was with him and talking about having a baby - meaning vampirizing Darla. Cut to Dru in a nursery (the kind with plants) with Darla laid out. Lindsey is with her and Lilah and Holland come in. Holland says they have a previous engagement. He makes Lindsey leave with them.
Cordelia is trying to find where Dru might have taken Darla. Gunn suggests a plant nursery. Cut to Angel entering the grounds of a nursery. He finds Darla, but is tackled by Dru as he tries to stake her. They fight and Darla rises. They all fight, Darla fights with Dru as well as Angel. She jumps off the roof and Angel is left alone, both women have disappeared. He returns home and gets the others to go with him to Wolfram & Hart, their only lead.
At Wolfram & Hart, Holland goes to Lindsey's office and asks if he is a bringing a date to Holland's party. Lindsey says no and Holland says he needs healthy attachments outside the office. He says he's opening a case of 1928 Chateau Latour that night. Dru appears. Holland is surprised to see her. They get a call that a vampire is in the building. Lindsey opens his door to find Darla there. She holds him, then tosses him aside, grabs Dru, and flees. Holland calls security and tells them to let them leave. He reminds Lindsey about healthy attachments.
In the car, Cordelia has a vision and they have to turn around. Darla is fighting with Dru in the street. A truck driver confronts them and Darla kills him. Then the women go shopping. Angel saves a young man from committing suicide, but he leaves unwilling to stay and help. Dru and Darla are in a dress shop having killed a clerk. Holland calls and talks to Darla. He suggests they go on a massacre. They agree and kill another clerk. The lawyers say that Darla and Dru will keep Angel busy. He bursts through their window. Holland introduces himself. Angel wants to know where Dru and Darla are. A gang of guards with stakes enter. But Holland lets Angel go. He says he doesn't want him dead, yet. Lindsey turns him over to the police and asks they give him a cell with a window. He says he's cool with Angel dead.
Kate is in the police car. She tells Angel about the killing at the store and lets him go. Lindsey arrives at the party and is let in by Holland's very attractive wife. In the wine cellar, Holland tells the assembled lawyers how pleased the senior partners are. Especially with Lilah and Lindsey. Darla and Dru arrive, Holland's wife invited them in. Dru implies she drank her. They say they have come for a massacre. Holland tries to talk lightly to Darla, but it doesn't come off so well.
Angel goes to the store and finds a woman hiding there. She tells him Darla and Dru spoke of going to a party and he realizes they are going to the party Holland mentioned. At the party, Dru senses the wine cellar was originally a bomb shelter. She also senses the lawyers are all afraid. Except for Lindsey, who knows he may die but doesn't mind. Angel arrives and Holland's bleeding wife lets him in. He finds the cellar. But while they plead with him to help, he just closes the door and walks away. Darla bites Holland and we hear screaming.
Back at his office, Angel tells the others what he did. They are shocked. They say he went too far and that he has to change the way he is doing things. Wesley says the three of them are all that is standing between Angel and darkness. He fires them.
I have to admit to a lot of confusion after seeing this episode and so I suspect this will be a confused and inchoate commentary. I just can't seem to gather my thoughts on this episode. While I like what it did, I'm not really sure if I've witnessed some real inconsistency or some brilliant misdirection.
I'm confused as to the ultimate goal of the senior partners and the role Holland plays in their plans. The episode ends with what may be the death of Holland (although Darla said she wouldn't drink him). I find it hard to accept a Holland so out of control and without any kind of back up plan. Holland always was several steps ahead of everyone else. He was always manipulating every one else. Now it looks as if he is a victim. And suddenly Lindsey, who seemed Holland's pawn, actually seems to be in the strongest position.
I'm not sure what Darla and Dru will do to the lawyers. It might all be a charade and they might all be ok. Or they may kill them all. Or turn them into vampires. And I can't think of anything scarier than Lindsey as a vampire. He obviously has Angelus material and I can see Darla and Dru both relating to him. And it almost seems as if that's what he wants. He clearly is obsessed with Darla, so much so that even Holland warns him against it. In fact, the most bizarre moment of the episode has to be Holland advising Lindsey to develop some healthy interests.
I also don't see why the senior partners would want Dru and Darla to go on a rampage. In City of, Russell tells Angel that they can get away with anything if they just keep a reasonably low profile. Wolfram & Hart seems keen on keeping that low profile and a massacre just doesn't seem to fit with that. Of course, if the concept is to turn Angel evil, maybe make him a warrior for the forces of the apocalypse, then it does start to make some sense. It really depends on who and what the senior partners are. Are they demons seeking the end of the world or humans seeking power?
As confused as I am about Holland, I'm just as confused about Kate. She's very conveniently there when Lindsey has Angel arrested. And in the past she was used by Wolfram & Hart. Is she their tool - either knowingly or unknowingly. Or does she have her own agenda. Was her statement to Angel, about not being able to stop Darla and Dru herself, the truth. And how did Angel get such easy access to the crime scene and why was that man at the scene staring at him? It really looks as if the whole situation was crafted to get Angel to respond in a certain way.
Which leads me to Angel's surprise move of abandoning the lawyers and then firing his friends. Both of these are really out of character. We know Angel realizes that his job is to save souls, any souls. We know even the souls of the lawyers have value to him. When Angel does abandon the lawyers, he echoes Holland's words about not caring. Earlier Holland had said Angel wouldn't kill him because he doesn't kill humans, Angel said Holland didn't qualify. Are we to believe that was more than rhetoric. Has Angel become like Holland? We also know that he values and appreciates what Cordelia, Wesley, and Gunn do for and mean to him. And he understands that they are friends even more than employees. But if Angel feels he is being manipulated, if he feels everything that has happened has been carefully scripted by the senior partners (and Lindsey's quick move and the fact that Dru had been there for some time indicates they planned far in advance) then acting in a bizarre and unexpected manner might be the only hope he has.
Holland says the special project wasn't about Darla, that she was a tool. Was her purpose to make Angel evil, delay him, or confuse him. Is Angel really the project at all or is this all a complex diversion? Are the killings, the random violence created by Dru and Darla a way of diverting attention from something bigger and much more terrible.
It's also not clear how much of her second human existence Darla remembers and how much it influences her. She seems angry with Dru at one point for vampirizing her. But she seems to get over this after they fight and Dru tells her she did it because she thought Darla wanted this. Of course, it's possible she's merely performing for Dru and Angel's benefit and her real motives are still hidden. In the scene where she first arises and says 'Angel' you get the impression it is the ensouled Darla talking. But perhaps after feeding she becomes purely vampire again. As with almost everything in this episode, we just don't have enough information to understand what is really happening.
There is an incredible amount of coincidence here. Holland mentions the party he is holding to Angel. Angel finds the woman hiding in the store (although the police are already there and apparently didn't find her). She overhears Darla and Dru talking about the party. He puts two and two together. Holland's wife is just alive enough to invite him into the house. The script here is so creaky I find it hard to believe it's the product of the show's writers and prefer to believe the senior partners or Holland penned it. And the man looking at Angel at the crime scene just reinforces that opinion. Something funny was definitely happening there.
Some quick final thoughts. Ok, maybe I'm just picking nits here, but I've got to do it. How does Gunn just happen to be there when Angel gets out of the motel? How does Kate happen to be there when Angel is arrested? And how does Angel know Holland's address? This is a guy who definitely is not going to make his home address easily available. After seeing Holland's wife, I understand the whole healthy interests thing. I do like the fact Holland's wine cellar was a converted bomb shelter. It was ironic that a place people intended as a safe refuge from the apocalypse would become the scene of an apocalypse. Did something happen to Angel in the motel room that we didn't see? Something that might have changed him.
Lines of the week:
"Think maybe now you've got a shot with her." - Lilah trying to irritate Lindsey.
"And yet I just can't seem to care." - Holland on all the evil he does.
"I moisturize." - Lilah with a beauty tip.
"And yet somehow I just can't seem to care." - Angel leaving Holland and the others to the mercies of Dru and Darla.
"You're all fired." - Angel getting rid of everything standing between him and darkness.
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