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Angel: Darla

Darla: "Do you know what we've become?"
Lindsey: "Enemies?"
Darla: "Oh, no. Much worse. Now we're soulmates."

I guess it's hard to just dismiss a 150 year relationship, no matter what it's based upon.

We learned a lot about Darla in this episode (which was probably why it was called "Darla") and it was fascinating. The flashbacks continued from the Buffy episode "Fool for Love" and this time, we saw more – as well as some of the same scenes from another viewpoint. What a great plot idea. Plus it saved money spent shooting on location.

1609 Virginia Colony: Darla, a dying prostitute, thought the Master was Death; the Master said to her, "I'm your savior. God never did anything for you... but I will." This line reminded me of Lestat and Louis in Interview with the Vampire. Except that Darla was more like Lestat, and Angel like Louis.


1760 London: Darla brought Angel home to meet the Master. Lots of interesting backstory there. Vampires have Orders? The Master commanded the Order of Aurelius, the select, the elite? Of course Darla would choose Angel over the Master. "I'm not going to get a bat nose like that, now am I?" Who could resist?

1880 London: I loved seeing the other side of Drusilla choosing Spike. So was he the "wisest and brightest knight of all the land," or indeed "the first drooling idiot to come along"? I think that Drusilla read Spike's mind and saw the man she wanted in there. Spike is special, and no common moron would do for Drusilla.

1900 China, Boxer Rebellion: In "Fool for Love," Angel seemed to be one of the gang. But here, we learned that Angel was suffering from the weight of his soul and he went to Darla for help. He thought he could take it but he couldn't even watch the killing any more, much less participate.

The episode ended with the same wonderful blend of scenes like we had at the end of "Fool for Love," but instead of Buffy and Spike, we had Angel and Darla – Darla not able to accept Angel with a soul in 1900, while Angel was unable to either kill or bite Darla to ease her pain in 2000. Angel has always reminded me of Louis in Interview with the Vampire, and now we know that in 1900, Angel was killing only evildoers – like the later Lestat. A lot of the elements I really liked about Rice's books – the link between sex and death, the references to God, the attachment vamps form for each other, and so on – are creeping into Buffy and Angel. I love it.

So what game is Holland playing? She's cracking up ahead of schedule? If there's no prospect of physical intimacy, how can they turn Angel? How can Wolfram & Hart benefit if Angel saves Darla's soul? Whatever is going on, Lindsey isn't part of it. Emotional, conflicted, lonely, in desperate need of mousse, you gotta feel for poor Lindsey. The Lindsey/Darla love scene was priceless:

Lindsey: "Do you like it?"
Darla: "It's nice. (pause) It's not me you want to screw."
Lindsey: (startled) "What?"
Darla: "It's him."

I'm really starting to love Julie Benz's Darla. She says the raunchiest things in such a sweet voice.

Bits and pieces:

— Great location shots, especially the Boxer Rebellion. Wonderful costumes, especially Darla's.

— Good for Gunn; he figured out how to find Darla. In fact, of the four of them, Gunn seems to be the only one with the smarts to work in a detective agency. I've also noticed how Gunn is often standing apart from the rest of them in group scenes, a physical demonstration of his emotional distance.

— Lindsey needs to do something with his hair. Longer, shorter, mousse, barrettes, anything.

Quotes:

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: "Come on, guys. 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 dot oh-by-the-way-we-have-Darla-stashed-here dot com, we're pretty much out of luck."

Master: "We stalk the surface to feed and grow our ranks. We do not live amongst the human pestilence."
Angelus: "I'll be honest. You really couldn't with that face, now could you?"

Darla: "The Master has grown past the curse of human features."
Angelus: "I'm not going to get a bat-nose like that, huh? Am I?"

Drusilla: "I could pick the wisest and bravest knight in all the land and make him mine forever with a kiss."
William: "You – watch where you're going!"
Darla: (looking after him) "Or you could just take the first drooling idiot that comes along."

Wesley: "We could do the reconnaissance, give you a full report and we can all decide how to proceed as a team."
Cordelia: "Probably a good idea since it's one o'clock in the afternoon and that address is in Sun Valley."
Angel: "Right. (Laughs) Sun."
Cordelia: "Actually I was thinking valley. I mean, why go there if you don't have to?"

Not quite as powerful as the beginning of this crossover arc, "Fool for Love," but still outstanding. Four out of four stakes,

Billie
---
Billie Doux reviewed all of Buffy and Angel, so she knows the plural of apocalypse.

8 comments:

  1. ANGEL RE-WATCH comments begin here! Remember, no spoilers for future episodes. Want to talk spoilers and foreshadowing? Season two spoilers are posted here.

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  2. I love the repeat of the power walk, with completely different emotions, in both this and the Buffy episode. Is this the best two-parter they ever did? (Impressive since it's across two shows as well!). Hard to say, as Graduation Day and Becoming take some beating, but it's up there.

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  3. I think this is the best two-parter, definitely.

    In fact, the flashbacks on Buffy and Angel have rendered most other distant flashbacks (I'm think of The Vampire Diaries) impotent, in my mind. The Buffyverse flashbacks are just too good.

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  4. This is the first time i've watched both together. Very enjoyable, and great episode. I like getting a glimpse of 1609 Darla who had clearly had a very hard life, it gives some perspective on how cold she is. I have to say the 1609 set was pretty rubbish and far too modern looking but hey, you can't have everything.

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  5. One of the problems I always had with Darla, and this is pretty minor but it always annoyed me, is that Darla has always struck me as a really modern name, so I never believed she was super old.

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  6. Great second part, but I am not as invested in Darla as I am in Spike so it's the weaker of the two for me. Having said that, I love seeing the flashbacks from two different points of view.

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  7. After years--more than a decade!--of wondering, I finally went to http://www.oh-by-the-way-we-have-darla-stashed-here.com/

    It's a real website. And they've got a poll at the bottom of the page: Who would win, astronauts or cavemen?

    I'd like to thank whoever created and maintains that site.

    ReplyDelete
  8. ^It's still up lol, I just voted (for Astronaut), thanks for sharing.

    Great episode, but I think Foor for Love was better. I loved the revised power walk to show Darla giving 'Angelus' the side eye, though. And it was a great moment at the end, Angel's reaction to human Darla telling him she did him a favor vamping him. He wasn't even outraged, just hurt. "You damned me."

    Becoming is still the best two-parter if you ask me, even though Spike talking directly to Buffy in that flashback sequence in the subway train is probably my favourite moment ever.

    ReplyDelete

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