"I've killed a lot of vampires. I've never hated one before."
A trio of vampire assassins ambush Buffy on her way home from a Pre-Fumigation Party at the Bronze. Angel shows up at a critical moment, but is wounded. Buffy abandons the fight and helps Angel run to her house, where Angel exposits that a vampire can't enter someone's home unless it's invited in. Remember that, kids.Buffy bandages Angel's wound, and they flirt a bit. Joyce suddenly drops in, and Buffy quickly improvises that the visibly-older Angel is her "tutor". Joyce sternly suggests that it's a bit late for 'tutoring.' Buffy pretends to pack Angel off, but instead sneaks him up to her bedroom to wait out the vamps. There's some of awkwardness about sleeping arrangements before they settle in for the evening.The next day, Angel camps out until nightfall while Buffy heads to school. Returning home, Buffy brings some supper for Angel. Angel mutters miserably that he's older than she is and that he should go. They take that last half-step toward each other and start kissing. Suddenly, Angel pulls back, and Buffy lets out a terrified scream; Angel's face is twisted into the guise of the vampire. With Joyce alerted, Angel haphazardly escapes out the window and returns to his dank apartment. He's a little surprised to see Darla sashaying from the shadows. They talk, and we learn that the two used to be an item. As a parting shot, she challenges him to tell Buffy about "the curse," and if it blows up in his face, he always has a home with The Master — and her. Angel stands there looking Real Troubled.In the library, Giles scans over the Watcher Diaries for any mention of Angel and pulls up Angelus, "the one with the angelic face", who wreaked havoc all over Ireland and Europe. He later migrated to America, where he shunned vampire life; after that, the record runs dry. Buffy argues that Angel has had ample opportunity to feed off people in Sunnydale but resisted. Xander, delighted by this news, reminds Buffy that it's her duty to slay Angel. Thanks.Meanwhile in the Master's lair, Darla takes another stab at volunteering to kill Buffy. She cooks up a plan to have Angel kill Buffy, thereby returning to the Master's fold. Darla drops in on the Summers Home, where she cons Joyce into inviting her in by claiming to be Buffy's "study buddy". Prowling around Buffy's house , Angel hears Joyce's cry and rushes in just as Darla begins to bite. Daring Angel to drink too, Darla thrusts Joyce's limp body into his arms and flees out the back door. Tempted by Joyce's warm blood, Angel momentarily vamps out, but is discovered — in flagranté, so to speak — by a newly-arrived Buffy. Horrified, Buffy throws him out of the house (literally), then phones for an ambulance.At the hospital, Buffy, Giles, Willow and Xander try to help "anemic" Joyce reconstruct events, and she says her last memory is of inviting Buffy's "friend" inside. Buffy misunderstands, thinking Joyce means Angel. Leaving her mother in the care of friends, she sets out to kill Angel. At Angel's apartment, Darla works him into a fury, telling him how easy it was to poison Buffy against him, exhorting him to kill or be killed.Buffy tracks Angel to the deserted Bronze. After some impersonal and witty banter, Angel is ready to rumble. Eventually Buffy gets Angel in her crossbow sights; he morphs back to his human face and tells her to kill him. Buffy intentionally shoots wide and her bolt thunks into the wall beside his head. When Buffy demands to know why Angel toyed with her affections, Angel laments that he was cursed by the Romani, a gypsy tribe, for eating one of their daughters. The Gypsies restored his soul as a means to wrack him with guilt, eternally tormenting him. Suddenly, Darla jumps out from the shadows, packing two pistols. She hisses that she and Angel were lovers for two centuries and that she is Angel's sire. Having now written Angel off as a lost cause, Darla advances on the duo, guns blazing. Angel yanks the crossbow bolt out of the wall and stakes Darla through the heart, dusting his maker.At the Bronze's Post-Fumigation Party, Buffy and Angel convince each other that their romance can never happen. With a final goodbye, they kiss. Angel's open shirt reveals his chest is branded by the impression of Buffy's cross.
After Action Patch Up: Buffy tending to Angel's shoulder. This is where we get our first look at his trademark tattoo.
Ahem: The Watcher's Diaries mention a two-hundred-forty-year-old vampire named Angelus, "the one with the angelic face," which causes Xander to cough stagily.
Buffy: What, saving my life? Getting slashed in the ribs? Xander:Duh!
Annoying Arrows: Buffy fires the crossbow squarely at Darla, but misses her heart. Darla nonchalantly grabs the bolt, pulls it out, and tosses it aside.
"Close, but no heart."
Assassin Outclassin': The Three return to the Master's lair and offer their lives in penance for their failure, as is dictated by their code.
Bait-and-Switch Comment: The Master taking Colin aside for another lesson in leadership. "With power comes responsibility. True, they did fail, but also true, we who walk at night share a common bond." Colin asks if the Master is going to spare them, and one of the Three looks up hopefully. The Master considers it as he rises and says, "I am weary, and their deaths will bring me little joy." He starts to walk off with Colin, and behind them Darla raises her spear and stakes the first of the Three. The Master turns to Colin and finishes, "Of course, sometimes a little is enough." Oh, that wacky Master!
Buffy: I know I didn't. (She kicks the crossbow up into her hands)
Darla: Hmm, scary. (produces two pistols from behind her back) Scarier!
Blade on a Stick: Darla plays joyous executioner to The Three, staking them one-by-one, with a spear. That'll teach them for gunning for her job.
Blatant Lies: As Xander weakly insists he's not threatened, Angel and Buffy approach each other on the dance floor and stand close together. And just to show he's not threatened, Xander's gonna turn in the opposite direction. Ha! ...Psst. "What's going on?," he asks Willow over his shoulder. Willow beams as she sees the pair kissing.
Willow: Nuthin'. Xander: Well, as long as they're not kissing.
Angel takes a tumble out the window just as Joyce barges in to see what all the noise is about. "Nothing," Buffy composes herself. "I saw a shadow."
Continuity Drift: Angel tells Buffy that he has not fed on another living human since his soul was restored, but this is contradicted by a flashback in Angel that showed in 1943 he sired a mortally-wounded engineer to save a submarine. As the kid would have died anyway Angel may not have thought it a big deal to omit this case. About 1975, he fed on an unnamed gunshot victim in a café, though that person was already dead when Angel fed. He fed on many humans after his soul was restored, when he was still trying to be with Darla but they were all evil humans.
Conveniently Timed Attack From Behind: Things aren't going so well between Buffy and her fan club. As the leader of the Three is coming in close, Angel suddenly yanks his hair from behind and punches him in the face.
Cool Guns: The pistol in Darla's right hand is a Glock 17. The one in her left hand is a Sig Sauer 226.
The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: Buffy hurriedly calling 911, telling the operator that her mother "cut herself." Later, at the hospital, a bewildered Joyce reports that she must have cut herself on a barbecue fork. Which is unusual, since they don't own one. Outside her room, Giles confides that a thwarted vamp attack presents itself as "mild anemia".
Damned by Faint Praise: Giles reports that Angel came to our fair shores about eighty years ago, and since then there are no reports of him hunting. Willow is excited, thinking it's proof that Angel is a good vampire. "I mean, on a scale of one to ten, 10 being someone who's killing and maiming every night, and 1 being someone who's... not."
Dresses the Same: Cordelia spots a girl wearing a dress identical to her own, and accuses her of wearing a cheap knockoff of her designer original. The girl scurries off with Cordelia in hot pursuit, haranguing her. "This is exactly what happens when you sign these free trade agreements!"
Early-Installment Weirdness: Later episodes would have vampires rebound off an invisible barrier at the doorway; this one has one put his hand into the house.
Elite Mooks: As Giles puts it, Buffy is really starting to irritate the Master. "He wouldn't send the Three for just anyone."
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The Master is weary that the Slayer is eliminating his "family" and openly mourns Darla's death.
Evil Plan: Darla pitches one to The Master; frame Angel for biting Joyce and then Breaking Speech him into killing Buffy. Then he will return to the fold. The Master approves.
Exact Eavesdropping: Darla lurks behind the library stacks while Buffy tells Willow how great it was to kiss Angel (cue evil scowl) and that she'll be going home in half an hour (cue evil smile from Darla as she leaves to get there first).
Face-Revealing Turn: Angel breaks off the kiss and backs away, hiding his face. Buffy wonders what's wrong, and Angel turns towards her with his Game Face on and growls. Buffy screams and Angel takes off through the window.
Famous Last Words: Darla is surprised when Angel plunges the bolt into her back. "Angel?" breathes Darla, right before she poofs into a pile of dust.
Darla derisively observes that Angel's tying to live like a one of 'them' — a human. Angel notes that he doesn't fit in with vampires, either.
Forgotten Fallen Friend: The Master tells the Annoying One that Darla was his favorite "for 400 years," but the Anointed One counsels that Darla was "weak." The Master is sad that he lost Darla to Angel, whom he'd planned to have right beside him come the day he took over the Earth. The Anointed One reassures the Master than when he rises, they'll kill 'em all. This cheers up the Master, and two stroll off hand-in-hand together. Aw.
Frameup: Darla leaving a big red hickey on Joyce, then tossing her into Angel's arms.
Fully-Embraced Fiend: When Angel protests that he no longer rolls with the Master's groupies, Darla walks to the fridge and opens it to reveal bags of blood hanging from the shelves. "You're not exactly living off of quiche." She exhorts him to return to the dark side etc.
While alone in her room with Angel, Buffy asks him him why he's in the vampire hunting business, and he struggles to avoid telling the whole truth. Luckily for him, Buffy asks him if his family was killed by vampires, to which he replies that they were.
Angel's "older" than Buffy.....By 224 years.
Darla claims to be a friend of Buffy's who has arrived for a study date. This is news to Joyce, who thought Buffy was studying with Willow at the library. Darla recovers by claiming that Willow's weak on the subject of The American Revolution, which is Darla's forte. "My family kinda goes back to those days."
Hey, Wait!: Cordelia appears to have overheard Xander talking about vampires when she screams, "What?!" Her comment was apparently directed at another girl who is wearing the same dress as she.
Right off the heels of lambasting Buffy for letting Angel sleep over, Xander offers to her crash at his house while those "samurai guys" are after her.
The Master does not take the deaths of fellow vampires lightly. Oh wait, he does.
Willow, exasperated with Buffy's lack of focus, wonders if they're going to discuss boys or help Buffy to pass history class. Willow then shuts her book smartly and shares a fantasy about Xander.
I Hate You, Vampire Mom: Angel has a minor case of this towards Darla. Understandable because he has a soul. Then we see their backstory in the spin-off Angel, and discover Darla drove Angel out after he got his soul.
I'll Kill You!: After he's discovered with Joyce, we cut to Angel being tossed out through a large window and landing on the lawn. Buffy stands in the broken window and tells him he's no longer welcome; if he comes near them again, she'll kill him.
While Buffy struggles with the other two, The Leader of the Three breaks off an iron bar from a nearby window and swings it at Angel.
Darla fires at Buffy inside the club, then smugly walks the length of the pool table. Buffy pops up and pulls the table forward, knocking Darla down.
Insistent Terminology: Xander's aghast at Angel spending the night in Buffy's room. In her bed. ""BY my bed," Buffy clarifies.
Insult to Rocks: In the abandoned Bronze, Buffy calls out that she knows Angel's there, and she knows what he is. From the balcony, Angel, in game face, sneers, "I'm just an animal, right?"
Buffy: You're not an animal. Animals I like.
It's All My Fault: Buffy castigates herself for inviting Angel into the house and allowing herself to care about him.
It's Probably Nothing / Scare Chord: At home, Joyce s drinking coffee when she hears a noise outside. She peers out a window to check, but finds nothing. As she walks away from the kitchen door, we see Darla's vamped face outside.
Darla: So many body parts, so few bullets. Let's begin with the kneecaps. No fun dancing without them.
Last-Second Word Swap: Outside the school, Buffy just sits on the steps morosely as Xander says, "I know you have feelings for this guy, but it's not like you're in love with him, right?" When Buffy doesn't answer and instead just looks away, Xander exclaims, "You're IN LOVE with a VAMPIRE? What are you, outta your mind?!" Suddenly spotting Cordelia, Xander quickly amends this to, "How could you love an umpire? Everyone hates 'em!"
Lets Wait Awhile: Willow asks in her shy way if Angel got fresh with Buffy, but Buffy smiles and says that he was a "perfect gentleman."
Lock and Load Montage: Giles tries to discourage Buffy from going on a rampage, stressing that Angel is dangerous and will "take more than a simple stake." Buffy agrees, because we see her loading the crossbow from Giles's weapons stash.
Mandatory Line: Cordelia's spat with Xander at the Bronze ("I don't know what everyone's talking about. That outfit doesn't make you look like a hooker!"). She turns up later in the quad, haranguing some girl for wearing an identical outfit.
Mid-Season Twist: Angel is a vampire. Not only that, he's a refugee from The Master's order. What's more, he and Darla have a long history together.
Murder the Hypotenuse: Xander is eager for Buffy to kill Angel, while Darla is trying to get Angel to kill Buffy. As it turns out, it's Darla who gets offed.
Necessary Weasel: Joss Whedon hadn't originally intended for Angel to be a vampire because he thought the idea was too cliche.
Buffy: Well, when I wake up it's an entirely different story.
Not Herself: Buffy yanks Joyce inside the house, then tries to hustle her upstairs into her room as quickly as possible with the promise of hot tea. Joyce is suspicious at the gesture. "That's sweet. What'd you do?"
At the Bronze, Willow and Buffy are sitting at a table, and Buffy is lost in her thoughts. Willow guess that she's dreamily thinking of Angel, but Buffy nixes that idea. "I can just see him in a relationship. 'Hi, honey, you're in grave danger. See you next month."
Later when Willow struggles with getting Buffy to focus on studying.
Not What It Looks Like: Angel bursts into the kitchen to find Darla with her fangs poised over the swooning Joyce's neck. Darla tries to taunt him into feeding on Joyce and tosses him her limp body. Angel cradles Joyce and, tempted by the smell of blood, vamps out. Seconds later Buffy enters, horrified to see the Angel seemingly in the process of drinking her mother's blood.
When Darla announces her intention to kill Buffy in front of her old beau, Buffy kicks her crossbow up off the ground and claims she didn't come alone. "Hm. Scary," Darla remarks. But again, Darla has a better hand and pulls two big pistols. "Scary. Scarier."
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: When Angel proves unwilling to off the Slayer, Darla taunts him and says he's sick for loving someone who hates vampires.
Rescue Sex: Averted, which wins Angel some points with Buffy.
Stupid Evil: Master killing The Three for a single failure while there were pretty much among the strongest units he was shown to possess by that point.
The Reveal: Darla emerging from the shadows in Angel's apartment. Turns out they used to be an item.
Rule of Symbolism: After the kiss, Buffy says she'll see him around, and leaves. The camera pans down from Angel's face and reveals the crucifix that he gave her earlier in the season has burned an impression into his chest.
To Willow's question about when the Reconstruction began, Buffy tries to focus and replies, " Um, Reconstruction...uh, Reconstruction began after the...construction, which was shoddy so they had to reconstruct."
At the hospital, Giles sits at Joyce's bedside and chats about Buffy. Giles confesses that Buffy is having trouble in history class because she "lives very much in the now. And, um... history, of course, is very much about the, uh... the then."
Sheathe Your Sword: Angel denies biting Joyce, yet confesses wanting to, as well as wanting to kill Buffy herself. At this, Buffy lays aside her crossbow and offers her neck to Angel. He doesn't stir.
Shooting Gallery: In the library as preparation for Angel, Buffy shoots a quarrel straight into the heart of a guy on a "No Smoking" poster.
Simple Staff: Buffy checks out Giles' cache of weapons, and seems particular enamored with the crossbow. A heavily-padded Giles insists on training Buffy on the quarterstaff before moving on to crossbows, and warns her that it will "require countless hours of vigorous training." They face off and Buffy makes short work of Giles, knocking him flat on the ground.
Giles: [croaks] Good. Let's move on to the crossbow.
Buffy curls up on her bed after handing Angel a spare blanket, and they both go to sleep. Cut to the next day in the library: Xander is aghast to hear that Angel slept over, but Willow wants to hear all the juicy details.
Giles reassures everyone that The Three are no longer a threat, since they must offer their lives to the Master in penance for failing their mission. Cut to the Master's Lair where the Three are kneeling in a row.
Too Kinky to Torture: Angel loses his temper at Darla and slams her against the wall. She purrs, "You're hurting me. I like it."
Trouble Entendre: Like a good mom, Joyce ushers Darla into the kitchen, asking if she would like something to eat. Behind her, Darla is now wearing her Game Face and replies that she's peckish.
Villainous Breakdown: The Master, upon hearing news of Darla's death roars and breaks things and slouches.
Walk In Chime In: Buffy drops her crossbow and approaches Angel, daring him to kill her, but he can't. "Not as easy as it looks," observes Buffy, but Darla steps from the shadows and replies, "Sure it is."
We Can Rule Together: Darla growls that Angel had a chance to "rule with [her] in the Master's court for a thousand years."
Wham Episode: Angel is a vampire and he hooks up with Buffy after killing Darla.
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Buffy is agitated at the thought of killing Angel, who has never done her any harm. She hopefully asks Giles if a vampire is capable of being a good person. Giles shatters her hopes by saying that a vampire "isn't a person at all. It may have the movements, the the memories, even the personality of the person that it took over, but it's still a demon at the core, there is no halfway."