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Recap / Angel S01E07 "Bachelor Party"

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Doyle's past is revealed when his wife asks him to sign the divorce papers so she can marry into another demon family.

Tropes in this episode:

  • Affably Evil: The Ano-movic, mainly because they've assimilated into human society. Specifically Richard Straley—a chipper, suburban-dwelling restauranteur who just happens to be a shapeshifting demon.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Loads of this, usually involving the stripper.
  • "Be Quiet!" Nudge: Angel gives one to Cordelia when Doyle and Harry meet.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Ano-Movic demons are a very peaceful race — formerly a violent race of nomadic demons, they blended into Western Society and gave up their more gruesome traditions. On the flip side, not all of their old customs have been abandoned — the family seen in the episode are shown discussing the wedding plans just as easily as they discuss the ritualistic eating of the former spouse's brains. While this sounds gruesome, to the Ano-Movics, it is a gesture of love — their belief is that by eating the brains of the old spouse of their wedded-to-be prior to the wedding, the new spouse will incorporate all of the love and affection from the previous relationship into their new marriage.
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  • Brain Food: Richard tries to eat Doyle's brain as part of a ceremony before said demon marries Doyle's ex-wife.
    "I'm sorry. I'd be honored to eat your brain."
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Doyle's ex-wife Harriet prepares to marry into a family of apparently humanized, peaceful demons who nonetheless make, um, unusual wedding preparations. Harriet's prospective father-in-law reads from the to-do list: "First we greet the man of the hour. Then we drink. We bring out the food. Then we drink. Then comes the stripper, darts, and then we have the ritual eating of the first husband's brains, and then charades." The demon family, of course, objects to the charades.
  • The Bride with a Past: Doyle's ex-wife visits with her new fiancé, who turns out to be a demon. The ex-wife is informed, but already knew. In this case, it's Played for Drama in a different way—Doyle is half-demon himself and assumed that this was why his ex-wife left him, but this proves that no, it was his reaction to the news that ultimately ruined their marriage. (Oh, and also, the new beau wants to eat Doyle as per his species' tradition, though the ex-wife doesn't know that part).
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  • Brutal Honesty: And sometimes not so brutal.
    Doyle: You think I'm a nice guy?
    Cordy: I think it, I say it. That's my way.
  • Call-Back:
    • When Cordelia says, "I think it, I say it." this was shown on Buffy when Buffy had telepathic abilities; everything Cordy said was just was she had just thought.
    • Another courtesy of Cordy, when she references her failed relationship with Xander in conversation with Angel.
  • Cannibal Clan: Doyle finds himself on the menu for a family of demons (quite Affably Evil) whose traditions state that it's proper to eat the bride's ex-husband's brain for dinner at the bachelor party.
  • Description Cut: Cordelia is being bored senseless by her date's tales of his financial wizardry. "I mean in November they were trading at 6 cents. So, you know what I did? I sold at 6 and 1/8 of a cent! 6 and 1/8. Can you imagine anything more exciting then that?" Cut to Doyle and Angel fighting a nest of vampires.
  • Destination Defenestration: Angel gets beaten up and thrown out of a window by the demons.
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: Doyle for Harriet. The demon family has their own way of getting around this problem.
    Dad: The accursed books tell us all very plainly that ingesting a priorly married prospective bride's former primary mate's fresh brains will insure a happy second marriage. This way, Richie can incorporate all the love you and Harry shared, making their union whole. It's an Ano-movic thing, don't ask.
  • A Fête Worse Than Death: Doyle attends Richard's bachelor party. He knows in advance that the man is a demon, but his family has assimilated into human society. Then he finds out that they have a custom whereby they eat the brains of the previous spouse to ensure a happy marriage.
  • Foot-Dragging Divorcee: Doyle's wife shows up with her new fiancé so that she can finalize their divorce. Doyle is naturally mopey, since the only reason she left him was because he found out he was half-demon. Except that it turns out the new guy is also a demon, forcing Doyle to confront the fact that no, it was his own angsty reaction to the news that drove her away. And then it's inverted as Doyle finally comes around to blessing the new union, only for Harry's fiancee to try to eat his brains.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Doyle finds a picture of Buffy hidden between the pages of the book Angel is reading.
    • Doyle laments that he and his ex-wife were too young to break things off amicably, instead fighting each other non-stop until one of them broke; in doing so, he inadvertently forecasts what will happen to Angel and Buffy later on.
  • Game Face: It's confirmed that showing your demon face makes you stronger, but Doyle refuses to do so (when he finally does so, Cordy attacks him with a silver tray). After the initial bar fight Angel's clearly says, "Toss me out a window will you?" and he heads back less as a Big Damn Heroes moment and more that he wants payback.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Harry = Harriet.
  • Given Name Reveal: As some of Doyle's past is finally revealed, so is his full name: Allen Francis Doyle.
  • Half Truth: Richard Straley neglects to tell Doyle that his 'consent' to their marriage meant agreeing to have his brains eaten.
    Harry: I'm only going to ask you this once, Richard, and I expect a straight answer: were you or were you not intending to eat my ex-husband's brains?
    Richard: [sheepishly] In a way.
    Harry: And when were you planning on telling me?
    Richard: I thought maybe I wouldn't have to.
    Harry: You were going to start out our life together with deceit?
    Doyle: [to Angel] Sort of missing the point, isn't she?
  • Hidden Depths: Doyle worked as a teacher and a volunteer in a soup kitchen.
  • I'm Standing Right Here:
    Cordelia: Hi Doyle. Are you gonna become Loser Pining Guy like, full time? 'Cause we already have one of those around the office.
    Angel and Doyle: Hey!
  • Last-Name Basis:
    Harry: It's good to see you again, Francis.
    Doyle: It's Doyle, now. It's just Doyle.
  • Man Hug
  • Moment Killer: "Cordelia, this is Harry—my wife."
  • Nasty Party: One in which ritual brain-eating is slotted in right between darts and charades.
  • Oops! I Forgot I Was Married: Doyle was married to some woman, which he neglected to tell Cordelia because they had seperated due to Doyle's issues with his half-demon status. Said woman came looking for a divorce as she found a new husband. She called off her new engagement though, because her demon fiancé's family would only approve of their marriage if he performed an obscure ritual that involved eating Doyle's brain. Presumably the divorce stuck since she's never seen again.
  • "Open!" Says Me: Angel busts the double doors off their hinges taking half the frame with it.
    Angel: The party is over.
    Nick: You brought a vampire to my brother's bachelor party?
  • Parrot Expo What:
    Cordelia: That's funny, for a moment I thought you said one of Doyle's students?
    Harry: It wasn't fun being treated like a third grader, believe me.
    Cordelia: Grade third taught Doyle?!? ... Doyle taught third grade? The kind with children?
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: When Harrie calls out Richard's family for attempting to cannibalize Doyle's brain, his siblings indignantly shout "Racist!" She then calls them out on the hypocrisy of picking and choosing the 'sacred rituals' they want to keep doing and then acting pious when called on it.
  • Required Spinoff Cross Over: At the end of the episode Doyle has a vision of Buffy in danger, leading Angel to go back to Sunnydale for the episode "Pangs".
  • Rescue Romance: Cordy warms to Doyle after her rich but boring date flees and leaves her at the mercy of a vampire, which Doyle polishes off.
  • Right Behind Me: The morning after Doyle's rescue of Cordelia from a pack of vampires, she catches him reenacting his gallantry in front of a mirror.
    Doyle: Fangs for the memories, vamp-man!
  • Sour Grapes: When Harry gives back the ring and leaves, one of the demons at the party comforts him.
    "Who needs a wife whose knees bend only one way."
  • Stab the Salad: Angel is spying on Doyle's ex-wife's fiance and sees him taking on a demon aspect and drawing out a knife. One Super Window Jump later, it's revealed that she knew about him being a (harmless) demon, and that the knife was to cut the strings on a parcel.
  • Stages of Monster Grief: Doyle coped poorly with the revelation of his demon side, and his marriage to Harriet soon crumbled. However, the point is made that is demonic heritage probably wasn't the only reason their marriage broke up. Upon learning about demons, Harriet found the thought of studying an entirely new set of cultures and pastimes intriguing, whereas Doyle just wanted to pretend his demonic side didn't exist.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    • Regarding Cordy's reasons for dating a rich businessman:
      Cordelia: I'll have you know that Pierce has a lot more than money. He has a house in Montecito, he has a Mercedes CLK 320 and a place in the hills with a lap pool.
    • And later...
      Aunt Martha: Well, they're certainly not going to eat your ex-husband's brains... for instance.
  • Super Window Jump: "Now they own a number of restaurants with pretty expensive windows."
  • That Man Is Dead: "It's Doyle now. Just Doyle."
  • Twerp Sweating: Angel giving the third degree to Pierce, a day trader and Cordelia's date.


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