Angel - Offspring

Summary

It's Rome in the year 1771 and Angel is captured by vampire hunters led by Holtz. Holtz intends to torture Angel and see if he can beat the demon out of him. Darla arrives with a rescue party. They escape; she leaves Holtz alive because she enjoys ruining his life. In present day LA, Darla arrives on a bus. We see she has attacked all the passengers.

Cordelia is brightening up Angel's training room with plastic flowers since real ones would die. They start training and she hits him in the nose. He says he's okay, but it clearly hurts. She says he's off his game worried about the prophecy Wesley and Gunn are researching. Wesley and Gunn are breaking into a house where a scroll they want is kept. Wesley has an elaborate burglar kit, but Gunn notices the door is open and walks in. They are caught, but Wesley says if the owner calls the police he'll have a hard time explaining some of the stuff he has including a powder which is chemically similar to rohypnal. The man is going to kill them, but Gunn threatens to destroy some of the relics. He gives in.

Fred comes in and watches Angel and Cordelia train. Cordelia leaves and Fred says kye-rumption. It's a Pylean word meaning two heroes meeting and recognizing their fate. Fred thinks it applies to Angel and Cordelia. She thinks they are drawn to one another. Angel denies this and is angry when Fred doesn't believe him. Wesley comes in, saying Angel shouldn't shout at Fred. He asks her to help him with some math relating to the prophecy.

Fred is trying to calculate dates from the prophecy. Her first calculation has the world ending last March. Wesley says the prophecy is either about purification or ruination, the words are ambiguous. He doesn't want to make the mistake he made in To Shanshu in LA. He explains about the Shanshu prophecy to Fred. She runs her calculations again and thinks the bad thing should already be in LA. Angel talks to Cordelia who says she loves him. They all do. They've been saying this to each other because they fear the prophecy may be true and they may die. She tells Angel that she's seen the good and bad in him and the good is greater. Darla walks in - pregnant.

Angel confesses he had sex with Darla. Cordelia is angry with him and sides with Darla. Darla explains she has gone to shamans and seers and none can explain what has happened. Wesley is at a loss. They go to the club where Lorne is redecorating. The Furies are there casting a spell of nonviolence which covers humans and demons. Lorne sends them all home so he can look at Darla. But he says it's beyond him. Darla is not well and they take her to Lorne's room where Cordelia stays with her. Wesley wonders whether the Shanshu destiny isn't about the child rather than Angel. Angel wonders whether he is supposed to father the child or destroy it. Fred says they shouldn't accept destiny. Angel says he wants to see the prophecy and calculations. Fred goes to the hotel to get them. Lorne tells Angel that he should stay out of Cordelia's way.

Cordelia is talking to Darla who is hungry. She attacks Cordelia. Cordelia has a vision. Angel saves her, but Darla escapes. They take Cordelia home and Gunn stays with her. She tells Angel about the vision. He goes to confront Darla alone. Wesley is against this. Fred thinks he wants to go alone because he doesn't want them to see him kill Darla who is carrying his child. The one thing he can never have.

We see children at an arcade. Darla is there and finds a child who is lost. She says she will help him. Cordelia has a dream which she thinks tells her about what is in Darla, the tro-clon of the prophecy. She asks about whether it will be born or arise and Wesley says the prophecy says both. Fred tries to phone Angel, but he doesn't answer. She tries to page him, but they find he left his pager at the hotel. Cordelia thinks she knows why Darla is craving children.

Darla attacks the little boy and Angel stops her. They fight, clearing the arcade. Angel realizes the child has a heartbeat and is human. It has a soul and this has been driving Darla crazy, making her crave purer and purer blood. She breaks down in tears, she wants him to kill her. But he takes her to the hotel. He leaves Gunn to guard her. He tells Cordelia and Fred not to go near her. Wesley says even with a soul the baby may be the tro-clon, the thing come to burn and kill them. Angel says he knows, but it is also his child. Fred says she was off in her calculations, that the thing is awakening right now.

Cut to a priest standing before a statue. He performs a ritual and the statue breaks open and Holtz appears. He wants to know where Angelus is.

Analysis

The line between good and evil is a very thin one. And a show where the hero is a vampire and the villain a vampire hunter is a really good example of that. And last week we saw the evil Lilah destroy the evil Billy (or at least we think so, it's possible bullets don't kill Billy's kind of demon and she was actually saving him from Angel). Meanwhile, this week we see the evil Darla cast as a helpless victim - used by Angel and then by the powers that be. Interestingly, Cordelia has made overtures of friendship to both of them and been rebuffed by both and yet the possibility has not been entirely eliminated.

One absolute of the Buffyverse is that lies inevitably get revealed. It happened to Buffy this week in Once More, With Feeling and it happens to Angel in this episode. He kept the secret of having sex with Darla. He lied about it. And now his friends know. And not only did he risk his soul, a betrayal of all he and the gang fight for, but he impregnated her. He was thoughtless of the repercussions at every level. I have to assume that the pregnancy is the consequence of his having sex (that sounds silly when you put it that way but it's not the natural consequence of vampire sex). That since the consequence of losing his soul was waived, another took its place. The unnatural consequence was avoided and the natural (yet impossible) consequence took its place.

Fred sees kye-rumption in Angel and Cordelia. But it could also apply to Darla and Angel and Holtz and Angel. In each case, two great warriors meet and recognize a shared destiny. Angel has threatened to kill Darla several times and actually did it once. In Epiphany, he said he would kill her if she returned. In this episode, he promises to kill her after her attack on Cordelia. But he doesn't live up to his promise. The shared destiny, the child they created, stops him. Holtz has promised a similar vengeance against Angel. We learnt of this in Heartthrob and again in this episode. Holtz hates Angel and Darla because they destroyed his family. Darla lets him live because she calls him part of their family now. Certainly, he will want to take his revenge by destroying the family Angel suddenly finds himself with.

I was disappointed in the sudden revival of Lorne. I expected more from his depression. Also, the Furies don't seem to have done a very good job. I don't understand why Lorne sent them out before they finished their spell. Both demons and humans were fighting, so clearly they completed none of it. They seemed present merely to emphasize Angel's promiscuous past.

Some quick final thoughts. You've got to love the combination of the supernatural and the modern in the final scene where the monk cast the spell to awaken Holtz while smoking and looking at his watch. I like Fred asking for a chart about Angel's complex personal life and Gunn admitting they have one. It is interesting that both of Angel's lovers have died and been brought back from the dead. Cordelia better keep her distance.

Line of the week:

"The good I've seen far outweighs the bad." - Cordelia cheering up Angel.

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