Recap: Angel S 01 E 15 The Prodigal

Angel discovers that Kate Lockley's father may be involved in the sale of a demon drug. We discover more about Angel's past before he became a vampire.

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Justified in the case of Darla, who's more evil than Liam ever could be.
  • Bait and Switch: Angel in 1753 coaxing a pretty female servant into the shadows...only to be pushed into the sunlight by his father. He doesn't burst into flame because he's not a vampire, just hungover.
  • Bar Brawl: Liam when he first catches Darla's eye.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Liam became a vampire as a result of a noisy confrontation with his father, which resulted in him getting kicked out. As Angelus, he later "triumphed" by killing his family, saving his father for last.
  • Captain Obvious: Kate is interrogating a delivery guy attacked by a demon on the subway.
    Kate: “Why did you pull the emergency brake?”
    Delivery guy: “It was an emergency?”
    • Also Cordelia's high-tech alarm system.
    Kwaini demon bursts in the door
    Security system: “Door is open.”
    Cordy: “Yeah, thanks!”
  • Destination Defenestration
    Security system: “The window is open.”
  • Dirty Cop
  • Double Entendre: Liam's father is throwing him out of the house.
    Father: “Who’ll take you in, huh? No one!”
    Liam: “I’ll not lack for a place to sleep, I can tell you that.”
  • Dressed To Kill: The henchvamps.
  • Fantastic Drug
    Wesley: “Well, it’s difficult to say under these primitive conditions, - but what I can tell you is it’s synthetic. It seems to contain properties not unlike street PCP, though more metaphysical in nature of course. I did identify Eye of Newt as one of the ingredients, but one suspects added chiefly for taste, rather than kick.”
  • Freudian Excuse: What Liam/Angelus thinks he has.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: He was just a jobless, drunken, 18th-century Eurotrash lout before Darla sired him.
  • Get Out: Kate crying over her father's body rejects Angel's attempts to explain what happened.
  • Have You Told Anyone Else?: His crooked cohorts ask Trevor if he's told his daughter about his dealings with them. Trevor is smart enough to realise where this conversation is going and reaches for a hidden gun, not realising he's dealing with two vampires.
  • The Hedonist: Liam
  • He Knows Too Much: Trevor Lockley's fate, after he starts asking a few too many questions about his associates.
  • Hobos: The Kwaini are a peaceful species of demons who dress up in wool clothes and hats, causing several passerby to mistake them for hobos.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Wesley pompously saying that women are even less prepared to deal with the dark demon underbelly of society, only to see Cordelia enthusiastically preparing to hacksaw apart a dead Kwaini demon.
  • Immune to Bullets: The vampires are hurt by Kate's bullets, which she uses to set one up for staking, but their demon leader barely flinches.
  • Ironic Echo: Angel warns Kate never to trust an evil thing. She doesn't.
  • Juggle Fu: Angel throws his fighting axe up in the air, stakes two vampires who come at him from opposite sides, then catches the axe which he uses to decapitate the head demon.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Inverted — a theme of the episode is that people can suffer terrible consequences from a wrong decision.
  • Meaningful Echo: The inscription on Liam's gravestone reads BELOVED SON, that on Trevor Lockley's reads BELOVED FATHER.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner
    Demon: “You’re dead!”
    Angel: “I’m already dead. (beheads the demon) Welcome to the club.”
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Kate and Angel.
  • Rockstar Parking: Lampshaded by Cordelia when she mentions the difficulty of trying to find a parking space while tailing someone.
  • Self-Made Orphan
  • Ship Sinking: The death of Kate's father at the fangs of vampires kills off what little romantic potential she has with Angel after discovering his vampire nature in "Somnabulist".
  • Talk About That Thing: Kate doesn't like using the word "demon" inside the police station, and tells Angel to call it an "evil thing". Hilarity Ensues.
    Angel: “It’s just that the ah, Evil Thing — turns out it wasn’t an evil Thing.”
    Kate: “The evil thing wasn’t an Evil Thing?”
    Angel: “Well, it was an Evil Thing in terms of that word. It just wasn’t an evil Evil Thing.”
    Kate: “There are Not Evil Evil Things?”
    Angel:Well – yeah.”
  • Time for Plan B
    Angel is arming himself to the teeth — throwing star, knife at his waist, knife at his ankle, arm sheath stakes.
    Wesley: “What happened to calmly, cautiously, and deliberately investigating before rushing in?”
    Angel: “That was Plan A. We’ve since moved on to Plan B.”
    Wesley: “And Plan B is?”
    Angel: (Axe Twirling) “Do I really have to explain it to you, Wesley?”
  • Trade Snark: As Wesley is reading aloud from the owner's manual for Cordy's new security system, he actually recites the "TM" at the end.
  • Suspect Is Hatless: When interviewing witnesses to a demon assault on the subway, the best Kate can glean from them is suspect is of 'average' height, 'average' build, and 'average' weight. Well, that was helpful.
  • Tough Love: What Liam's father seems to have been going for; he spends all his time telling his son he's useless and not a real man, and that if he leaves now he can never come back... And only realises when Liam tells him to get out of the way that, well, it didn't really work the way it was supposed to.
  • Unusual Euphemism: When Kate says she's not dating Angel, her father asks if it's because he's from "West Hollywood" (the term for LA's famous gay district).
  • Vampire Invitation: After he was first made a vampire, Angelus tricked his own baby sister into inviting him in on the pretense that he was an angel taking the form of her beloved dead brother. Cue aversion of Infant Immortality. In the present day Angel watches helplessly as two vampires murder Trevor Lockley, who had invited them in earlier but refused to invite Angel in because he knew violence was about to ensue and assumed Angel was an Innocent Bystander. Angel unsuccessfully tries to deter the vampires by saying he'll kill them the moment Trevor dies and he can enter.
  • Vertical Kidnapping: Off-screen; Angel pulls a Kwaini demon out of the top vent of the subway train.
  • Wall of Weapons / Lock and Load Montage
  • Weirdness Censor: It's not just in Sunnydale; with the passengers all giving deliberately vague descriptions of the demon.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: To Liam's confrontations with his father in 1753 Ireland, and the murder of his family as Angelus.
  • Welcome to My World: Darla's first words to Angel following his 'rebirth' as a vamp.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Lampshaded by Darla when Angelus thinks he's 'won' by killing his father.
    Darla: “Your victory over him took but moments. But his defeat of you will last lifetimes.”
    Angel: “What are you talking about? He can’t defeat me now.”
    Darla: “Nor can he ever approve of you –- in this world or any other.”
  • Where I Was Born and Razed: Darla asks a newly-risen Angelus who in his village he intends to kill first. Angelus replies, "I thought I'd take the village."
  • You Have No Idea Who You're Dealing With
    Head demon: “Do you know what walks this city? (Kate shoots him four times; he barely flinches) You have no comprehension! You do not understand what stands before you!”
    Angel: (Axe Twirling Walk In Chime In) “A big, ugly drug-running demon, who thinks he is a lot scarier than he is, maybe? Yeah. She knows.”
  • You Keep Using That Word: Wesley calls what he is doing to the pieces of dead demon a "vivisection". Really hope not.
  • You Remind Me of X: Angel watching Kate Lockley with her Buffy-like hairstyle in the cemetery.
  • "You're Not My Type": Kate's father suggests the possibility of Kate and Angel getting together. Kate responded, "He's not my type. Or I'm not his. There's definitely a type involved, and it's the wrong one."