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Recap / Angel S01E02 "Lonely Hearts"

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At the office, Angel sits in the dark, alone. He blinks when the lights come on and Doyle arrives, with a Friday-night plan for the three of them to go out together. Besides trying to get Angel to break his isolation, Doyle also has a personal agenda—he wants Angel to put in a good word with Cordelia for him, without letting her know about his demon heritage. Angel is just declining to arrange a date between his coworkers, when Cordelia arrives with a box of the calling cards she had printed up for Angel Investigations. Angel, clearly at a loss, guesses the little angel drawn on them is a butterfly, while Doyle, trying futilely to impress Cordelia, guesses the graphic depicts a night-hunting owl. Just as Cordelia whacks him on the arm in mock disgust, Doyle is seized by a vision of a night club, accompanied by an impending sense of calamity. Angel goes out clubbing with Doyle and Cordelia after all.

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Meanwhile at D'Oblique, the club in Doyle's vision, a young woman named Sharon Reichler sits alone at the bar, unaware she is observed by a man named Kevin. He approaches her and they move to a table to get acquainted. Lonely and desperate, Sharon and Kevin soon make a real connection and leave the club together, just after the Angel Investigations team arrives. Cordelia immediately begins to pass around Angel's business cards, until Doyle stops her, cautioning her to stay "under the radar", since some people might label Angel the "v-word". Cordelia guesses "vampire", but Doyle means "vigilante". After briefly talking with the bartender, Angel makes no progress with people near the bar until a woman named Kate asks if he's all right. Intrigued by this apparent reflection of his intentions, Angel awkwardly strikes up a conversation with Kate, who also seems inept at the social scene. Despite a slow start, Angel and Kate find enough in common to make what they both consider to be a true connection.

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Across the room, a rude guy mockingly speculates that the AI calling cards give Cordelia's number for sexual services, and Doyle tries to stand up for her. When Cordelia gets indignant, and the rude guy is backed up by his rude friend, Doyle stops negotiating and wades in. Having just declined Kate's invitation to go someplace quieter (making Kate suddenly very frosty), Angel charges into the fight and thrashes both guys, before the bartender ejects them as known trouble-makers. A stylishly turned out woman, impressed by Angel's heroic actions, coyly introduces herself. Angel gamely follows her lead, trying to ascertain whether she might be the person Doyle's vision didn't show. As he banters, Angel notices Kate watching, seeming hurt and angry, and, in turn, helplessly watches her leave the club.

The next morning, after spending the night with Kevin, Sharon calmly gets dressed, unperturbed by the bloody sheets and Kevin's dead body on the bed. At the office, the team spends the day researching any past incidents connected to D'Oblique. Their search turns up a badly mutilated woman and an eviscerated man, both known to have been at the club. Doyle and Cordelia research on demons that cause evisceration to their victims and find several suspects, including the Piasca and an unnamed demon. Meanwhile, Angel goes back to D'Oblique to see if he can spot the killer. On his way in, Angel literally bumps into Kate, who takes umbrage when he tries to warn her of a suspiciously non-specific danger. Inside, Angel talks to the bartender and another patron and finds out that Kevin disappeared after going home with Sharon. After asking a few more questions, Angel tracks Sharon down, then runs straight to her place to try to prevent the next murder.

Angel arrives at the apartment just in time to see that Sharon is dead while Neil, the geeky guy she took home, is alive and hosting a parasitic demon. Angel and the demon fight, but it gets away just as Kate arrives and finds Angel leaving the crime scene. Pulling a gun on Angel, Kate reveals she's a detective with the LAPD, and arrests him. When Angel sees that Kate won't be convinced he's not the killer, he breaks out of her grasp and dives out the third floor window. Meanwhile, the demon goes back to D'Oblique to find another host body. As dawn approaches, Angel makes his way to Cordelia's dingy apartment, not knowing that Kate has gone to illegally search his own place. Waking Cordelia and Doyle, Angel asks them to research eviscerating burrowers—demons that move from body to body, endlessly seeking the perfect one to live in forever. They discover their burrower is vulnerable to fire. Seeking help to destroy the powerful demon, Angel calls Kate and requests a meeting, asking for five minutes to explain himself, to prove that he isn't the killer. Later that night at the club, Kate asks the bartender to notify her when Angel arrives. A few minutes later as she fends someone off, the bartender tells Kate he thinks Angel is out back but, when they get there, the bartender smashes a wine bottle into the back of Kate's head. Angel arrives just in time to keep the burrower demon from transferring to Kate's body, forcing it back inside the bartender. Though weakening, the bartender host is still strong enough to fight Angel until Kate recovers somewhat. Then, not wanting to deal with them both at once, the demon tosses Kate and Angel down into the basement and locks them in.

While the demon cruises for a fresh, undamaged body—having little luck "making a connection", given the bartender's blood-soaked shirt and peeling skin—Kate and Angel finally escape D'Oblique's basement and split up to search. Angel locates the bartender first, and again battles the demon in its bartender host, which is still strong enough to injure Angel. Still waiting for Kate to back him up, Angel barely manages to throw the demon into a nearby burn barrel before collapsing to the pavement. Ignited by the fire in the barrel, the bartender host is immediately engulfed in flames. Howling, the demon lurches purposefully toward Angel, who helplessly watches, unable to move. Circling back, Kate arrives just in time to shoot the bartender, knocking him to the ground and halting the attack on Angel. After more police and emergency services arrive on scene, Kate gets a moment alone with Angel. She admits that she never would have guessed the bartender was the killer, thanks Angel for saving her life earlier, and confesses to searching his apartment. Agreeing that the bartender had ample opportunity, Angel makes no mention of a body-hopping, parasitic demon being the real killer. Then, after thanking Kate for saving his life as well, Angel asks why she chose to tell him of her illegal search. When she says she wants the two of them to start over from the beginning, with no secrets between them, Angel pauses almost imperceptibly, then agrees.

At the office, Angel generously and very awkwardly suggests that the three of them go out together, but is deeply relieved and gratified when Cordelia and Doyle instead take pity on him and leave him to brood in the dark, alone.


Tropes in this episode:

  • Adorkable: Kate sums up Angel's appeal.
    Kate: How do you get them to trust you, Angel? Give them the big dark eyes, the ‘I’m not good with talk’ speech?
  • All There in the Manual: The bartender's name (Danny) is revealed in the script.
  • Ambiguously Brown: The bartender.
  • Attempted Rape: Invoked when Talamour ties down Kate and prepares to jump into her body.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Twice. Suave Kevin chats up the shy Sharon at the bar, so she's obviously the Victim of the Week. No wait, his eviscerated body ends up lying on the bed while she puts on a maneater magenta dress — SHE must be the killer! But no, the killer is a body-snatcher; the corpse is just the cast-off.
  • Bar Brawl: Angel and Doyle end up on the winning side of this one.
  • Body Surf: Talamour jumps from body to body in search of the one it could live in permanently. It's a metaphor for searching for the perfect mate and, indeed, most of the episode takes place in a nightclub.
  • Book-Ends: Begins and ends with Angel sitting alone in the dark.
  • Bullethole Door: What works when your fancy James Bond grapple gun doesn't.
  • Chest Burster: How Talamour jumps from one body to the other.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Doyle and Angel are trying to work out what the design on the Angel Investigations card is.
    Angel: Hey, look at that, there's our number. It’s right next to a… a um — a – a butterfly?
    Doyle: It’s obviously not a butterfly, you idiot. It’s a – a bird. No, no, wait, it’s an owl. A – a bird that hunts at night. Brilliant! It’s a— a...
    Cordelia: It’s an angel!
    • Becomes a Brick Joke at the end of the episode, when Angel leaves Kate his card and she asks if it's a lobster.
  • Come Alone: Averted; Angel tells Kate to bring as much backup as she wants. She comes alone anyway.
  • Coolest Club Ever: D'Oblique. Subverted by Doyle, who describes it as "one of those 'terminally stuck in The '80s' places."
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Yes, Talamour does have a phallic shape. Yes, how it jumps from a host body to the next after sex is reminiscent of an STD. And, yes, its need to find a permanent host body - specially when its time within Danny is running out and his body is rotting away -is a clear metaphor of how repulsive can someone made desperate by loneliness become.
  • Facial Horror: Makes it difficult to get a date when half your face is coming off. It's a result of Talamour's presence within the body, seemingly causing necrosis.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Spoofed; Angel tries to use a hand-held grappling hook to get himself and Kate (prompting the response "Who Are You?") out of a room they are trapped in, but the wooden beam the wire attaches to crumbles under their weight.
  • Half-Truth
    Kate: You’re telling me you’re an investigator?
    Angel: More or less.
    Kate: Where's your license?
    Angel: That’s the less part.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Neil
  • Hypocritical Humor: Doyle again.
    Doyle: Violence isn’t going to solve a thing here. [headbutts man] On the other hand it is kind of festive.
  • Frame-Up: Sort of. Angel allows the murders to be pinned on Danny the bartender, the last victim of Talamour.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: Doyle developed his computer skills downloading porn.
  • I Resemble That Remark!
    Kate: How else are you gonna meet somebody outside of work? It's either this or sit at home alone in the dark.
    Angel: Wouldn't want that.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: Angel asks how Doyle got to be so good with computers. Cordelia snarks that he learned by downloading pictures of naked women. Doyle doesn't deny this.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Angel's introduction to Kate, who inquires about what he does for a living.
    Angel: I, uh... well, basically I'm... uh, I help— I'm a veterinarian.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Team Angel in the bar.
  • Man on Fire/Kill It with Fire: The demon's rather convenient weakness.
  • Meaningful Echo: Anything to do with trust, loneliness or making a connection.
  • Mistaken for Gay: While the group are questioning people at the D'Oblique, we see Angel anxiously telling a guy "No, really, I wasn't hitting on you!"
  • Mistaken for Murderer: Kate believes Angel to be the killer when she finds him in Neil's apartment, along with the body of Sharon.
  • Must Be Invited: Averted. Angel can enter the killer's place uninvited because the invitation rule doesn't apply to demon lairs and the legal owner (the host body) is dead.
  • My Card: Cordelia has some cards done up for Angel Investigations.
  • Nameless Narrative: The episode doesn't mention that the bartender's name is Danny.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Angel is caught in the room with the latest victim by a gun-toting police officer.
  • Oblivious Mockery: Cordelia telling Doyle how gross demons are.
  • Preemptive Apology: Kate is cuffing Angel after finding him with the latest victim.
    Angel: I’m sorry.
    Kate: Is that a confession?
    Angel: I didn’t do that. I’m sorry for this! [hits her and dives out the window]
  • Puppeteer Parasite: The demon possesses human bodies and took over their mind, however it had to go from body to body on a regular basis, because once it's been in a body for too long, the body started to deteriorate...sensibly enough, as the initial immolation action would logically kill the victim, with the possessed body then being little more than a still-warm corpse. The third season also had the "sluks", transparent crustacean-like demons who entered their hosts through their mouths, the downside being that these creatures required lots of water to survive, causing their hosts to dry down and die.
  • Running Gag: Noone can tell the logo in the Angel Investigations card is shaped like an angel. Angel thinks its a butterfly, Doyle is sure its an owl and Kate asks if its a lobster.
  • See You in Hell:
    Kate: Well, I'll tell you what. I can go wherever I want, and you can go to Hell.
  • Self-Deprecation: Doyle and Kate.
    Doyle: Tell [Cordelia] what a great guy I am.
    Angel: I barely know you.
    Doyle: Well, perfect, that should make it easier for ya.

    Kate: Way to come off like a drunken slut. Slut's better than a hypocrite, right? I'm moving up?
    Angel: You're kind of hard on yourself.
    Kate: Well, I'm a self-flagellating hypocrite slut.
  • Serial Killer: The demon wants to find the perfect body to inhabit, but until then it has to keep killing to find a new one when its latest acquisition has been worn out.
  • Sleep Cute: Cordelia and Doyle after a hard night's research.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: I'd get used to it, Kate. We actually see Angel move off when Kate's back is turned, but a second later when she turns back he's all the way down the alley.
  • Super Strength: Within a host body, Talamour has strength that rivals that of Angel.
  • Super Senses: Talamour can also sense Angel isn't human but vampire.
  • Tap on the Head: The demon knocks Kate out with a bottle.
  • Trashcan Bonfire: Talamour (in the bartender's body) tries to stick Angel's head in it, but ends up getting set on fire himself.
  • Trash of the Titans: Cordy's apartment.
    Doyle: I think it's refreshing to see a woman living like this, you know. It means you're not so uptight, you live for the moment— [steps in a bowl of oatmeal] You're disgusting.
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: Kate shows her badge (and her gun) to Angel at a mid-episode cliffhanger.

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