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Angel: In The Dark

Spike: "And now I'm just a big, fluffy puppy with bad teeth... No! not the hair! Never the hair!"

Oz showed up in L.A. and gave the ring to Angel; Angel immediately realized the negative implications, which was quite perspicacious of him, and hid it in the Batcave. I realized almost immediately that Angel couldn't keep the ring after all, and that it would be gone by the end of the episode. Immortal, unkillable heroes are boring, and Angel is Batman, not Superman.

I liked this episode in spite of the torture scene. I'm really not a fan of torture scenes. They do tend to be easier to take when the characters are supernatural, though. I kept thinking about Saint Sebastian through this one. Yuck. Spike tends to play better off Angel than he does off Buffy, doesn't he? Maybe that's where the real Spike chemistry is. What The Buffy Powers That Be ought to do is move Spike to L.A.

Okay, Buffy fans, here's a question for you. Angel made Dru. Spike referred to Angel as his sire in this episode and it has happened before. Did Angel also make Spike? And when? And another question. Angel doesn't exactly blend in the first place, and a wide-eyed, supernaturally pale man in ripped black clothes on a beach could be considered conspicuous. Why weren't people on the beach staring at him?

And one last question. Why couldn't Angel wear the ring on his toe?

Bits of stuff:

— There was a lot of Doyle and Angel bonding going on. I'm not a person that sees slash everywhere but it was obvious even to me that they were made for each other. Does Doyle have pale green eyes? Wow.

— Why does Angel keep ending up in chains? I swear I should have kept count.


Spike: (high voice) "How can I thank you, you mysterious, black-clad hunk of a night thing? (low voice) No need, little lady, your tears of gratitude are enough for me. You see, I was once a badass vampire, but love and a pesky curse defanged me. Now I'm just a big, fluffy puppy with bad teeth. No, not the hair! Never the hair! (high voice) But there must be someway I can show my appreciation. (low voice) No, helping those in need's my job. And working up a load of sexual tension, and prancing away like a magnificent poof is truly thanks enough! (high voice) I understand. I have a nephew who is gay, so... (low voice) Say no more. Evil's still afoot! And I'm almost out of that nancy-boy hair-gel that I like so much. Quickly, to the Angel-mobile, away!"

Radio: "You are listening to LA's only alternative KLA-Rock. It's 11:05. Do you know what your karma is?" Loved this one.

Doyle: "All I'm saying is that if we're ever going to take that cruise to the Bahamas together, we're going to need a lot more clients of means."
Cordelia: "And an alternate reality in which you are Matthew McConaughey."

Cordelia: "Oh, this is Doyle. He – air quote – works here."

Doyle: "He's the detective."
Oz: "Does he have a hat and gun?"
Cordelia: "Just fangs."

Angel: "Oz."
Oz: "Hey."
Angel: "Nice surprise."
Oz: "Thanks."
Angel: "Staying long?"
Oz: "Few days."
Doyle: "Are they always like this?"
Oz: "No, we're usually laconic."

Cordelia: "I think the trick is laying off the ale before you start quoting Angela's Ashes and weeping like a baby man."
Doyle: "Hey, that's a good book."
Cordelia: "So I've heard. But I doubt that the main characters are Betty and Barney Rubble, as you so vehemently insisted last night. Also, I don't think Oz appreciated being called my little Bam-bam all night."

Angel: "Might as well go home, Spike. The gem of Amarra stays with me."
Spike: "Why? Because you're vampire detective now? What's next? Vampire cowboy? Vampire fireman? Vampire ballerina?"
Angel: "I do like to work with my legs."

Cordelia: "My apartment is nowhere near this yucky. It smells like bong water in here."

Marcus: "He's known love."
Spike: "Yeah, and with a Slayer no less. How is that for perversion?"

Let's say a two for this one,

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


  1. I totally had the thought about toe too!

  2. The torture scene kind of reminded me of Firefly (war stories(?)).. Mal had the same sarcastic answers to every question.. I waited for someone to say
    something about "getting to know somebody"

  3. I just noticed that Doyle is also wearing a Cladagh ring. Maybe that detail is there just because he is also Irish, but it was also be a reminder of the Cladagh ring that Angel gave Buffy.

  4. How is Angel getting around during the day if he's not wearing the ring?

  5. Caitlin, it's the sewers, just like on Buffy. :)

  6. I liked this episode but I think that was mostly just because we got guest appearances by Spike and Oz. It's still really cool to see Buffy characters over in this "new" LA Ange world. I feel like few spin-off shows really take advantage of cross-over opportunities as Joss did over the two seasons Buffy and Angel were on the same network.

    Damn, I didn't think I was going to be rewatching Angel also but it was just too difficult to stay away once I got to the season four part of this Buffy rewatch. There goes the rest of my free time, haha.

  7. Where does all the LA poop, go, if not to the sewers?

    I love Spike’s monologue from this episode, which totally earned its status as lead quote. Spike and Angel have such great...tension. Ahem.

  8. Sewers aren't actually just for poop. There are two types of sewers. One for stormwater management and one for sanitary waste disposal. Stormwater drainage pipes are often pretty darn big to deal with the large volumes of water that might be expected in a high-intensity storm event. So, it is probably safe to assume that most of the time Angel, Buffy, and crew are using the stormwater tunnels and not the sanitary sewers. :)

    I love how many of the questions Billie poses in this review bear fruit down the line.

  9. Jess - But this is LA. "Storm" for us is like an inch of rain. Whatever. TVland is magic or something.

    I have the same problem with this ep as I do with the vast majority of crossover episodes. The Angel half feels largely unnecessary and kind of forced. It seems a pretty obvious plea for ratings to me. I understand that some of this was necessary in Angel's first season, but I do wish the show had been allowed to stand more on its own. Then again, if it had, maybe it never would've been picked up and we wouldn't have gotten "Smile Time."

    I love love love Oz and Angel. It's a pairing we rarely saw on Buffy, but they're hilarious together. "No, we're usually laconic." Oh, Oz. The one thing that bugged me about Angel destroying the ring was his reasoning. I'm not meant to help people during the day seemed like weak justification compared to the obvious issue: what if Angel turns into Angelus again and now has possession of the ring? Recipe for BAD.

  10. Jess, thanks for that info! I'd always thought that all sewers were, at least in part, poop sewers.

    Sunbunny, I think we do have stormwater sewers like Jess describes. They must be the ones attached to the drains embedded in sidewalks, that are labeled "No dumping. Drains to ocean" with the picture of the dolphin. (At least in my 'hood.)

    And they'd also be the ones that outflow to Long Beach (in the south) and the big drain on the beach near Sunset and PCH (in the more northerly area). I'd always wondered how it was legal and/or safe to send poop into the Pacific Palisades.

  11. ...how do you know so much about sewers? Are you a vampire? You totally are, aren't you. Yes, the ones near me also have the dolphin. :)

  12. I am a vampire. That's why I'm so unhappy about being awake (and wearing shoes!) at 9:19am.

    I realized after I wrote that comment that I have--without realizing it--been observing sewer-related stuff quite well. How weird.

    I think it's because I spend a lot of time stuck in traffic, and I get sick of looking at the bumper of the car in front of me.

  13. Yes, Josie, those would be the ones attached to the storm drains along the sidewalk.

    Sunbunny, it's not necessarily a TV Land magic thing. Code often requires that the storm sewers be sized for specific potential future storm events. Even if a typical storm is only 1" of rain over a given period, the system has to be sized to accommodate the atypical storm event (which would be expected to result in a much higher volume of surface runoff). But, it all works out for our heroes, because it just means they don't usually have to worry about dealing with water in those big-ass tunnels they are traipsing around in.

    (This may be the first time I've been able to apply engineering knowledge to address a question on this site. It's making me strangely giddy.)

  14. Okay, so if I ever get shot at a barricade and need someone to drag me through the sewers to save my life I'm calling one of you because clearly you'll both do a better job than Jean Valjean.

    PS. Josie, remind me not to be in front of you in traffic.

  15. Sunbunny, it's risk-free. If I'm in traffic, chances are it's not moving. :-)

  16. If anyone is interested in learning more about the L.A. sewer system, check out this book. I haven't read it, but I saw it mentioned somewhere recently as an interesting read.

    Anna Sklar, Brown Acres: An Intimate History of the Los Angeles Sewers.

    Here's the blurb: "The complex and often alarming history of the Los Angeles city sewer system is captured for the first time in Anna Sklar's Brown Acres: An Intimate History of the Los Angeles Sewers. With more than fifty photographs, diagrams and maps, Brown Acres is the first historical narrative to detail any world-class city's sewer system-complete with the relationship between headstrong politicians and the reformers who sought to "heal the bay" after a century of pollution and contamination. Brown Acres provides a unique look at the underground history of Los Angeles."

  17. The sewer discussion is strangely interesting to me - you guys rock.

    I'm realizing that I was so wordy on my Buffy notes, yet my Angel notes are oddly laconic - perhaps the power of Oz and Angel together. Here's what I wrote as I watched:

    I forgot how I liked Oz & Angel’s exchanges.
    How deserted are the streets of LA at night?
    Spike is so not a long term planner or maybe just not good at reading motivations.
    Angel is so impossibly heroic – why do I like it?

  18. Spike's opening monologue is one of my favorite moments ever, in either series. It always makes me laugh out loud.

    Though I usually sneer at all things slash, I do agree that Angel and Spike have great chemistry. But then, Spike seems to have good chemistry with just about everybody.

  19. I got the feeling that this whole episode was expository - to establish that Angel is Batman, save the helpless then disappear into the night. Spike sort of did the narration in case we were missing the point.

    A few observations:

    The title was "In the Dark" but it was all about bringing a vampire into the light. I thought crushing the ring was a bit harsh, though. It might have come in handy some day.

    When did Cordelia learn how to type? Last episode, she was trying to figure out where the apostrophe was on the keyboard and this week she's typing up invoices like a champ?

    I liked seeing Oz and Spike, but it seemed a bit of the character version of stunt-casting. Were the producers afraid that Buffy fans weren't going to watch a spin-off?

    Sunnydale can't be too far from Los Angeles. It is apparently in Southern California somewhere, and all freeways lead to LA. People should be able to flow freely between the cities. If this were real life, that is.

  20. I also love Spike's monologue, guaranteed lol from me everytime.

    Why did Angel go and destroy the ring? he's such a stick in the mud.

  21. This is why I love this site... you guys can make even sewer talk interesting :P But thanks a ton for the info... I always wondered that...

    Poor Spike... he is like that sibling who does all the work and then the mother comes and just hands the candy to the other sibling!
    "Not the hair! Never the hair" ROFL

  22. I was surprised by the 2/4 rating and then I realized...I've always watched Angel after Buffy, so this episode comes, in my mind, only three episodes after 'Chosen.' With all of the Buffy knowledge fresh in mind, watching this episode is always so enjoyable with some of the Buffy characters interacting again! Oz, Cordelia, Spike, and Angel all together, I always see this as the episode that convinced me to commit to Angel...like Buffy-hindsight-goggle-vision. It's always been a 4/4 to me, I wonder what I would have thought if I saw it originally the way it was aired!

  23. Georgia -- enjoying all of your Buffy comments, BTW -- it really might have made a difference if I'd seen these episodes later, instead of when they originally aired. Although even with rewatches, I still think Angel season one could have been a lot better.

  24. "(sigh) I understand, I have a nephew who's gay, so.."
    lol that still plays in my head randomly sometimes.
    And I agree with ChrisB on Spike having chemistry with just about everyone. There isn't anything special about Spangel in that regard, to me.
    The "stunt-casting" gimmick was fine with me although in the end it didn't make the episode any more special than the first two. But I mean what's the point of expanding the universe if you don't get to take advantage of having established characters pop in and out lol? I'm surprised they even waited this long, I'd be doing it all the time.


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