Angel finds himself attracted to an actress who wants to remain forever young. Unfortunately, her efforts to achieve this cause Angel's evil alter ego to resurface.
Tropes in this episode:
- Acronym Confusion: Cordelia pointing out the arrival of "ET" (Entertainment Tonight).Wesley: [glancing around hopefully] Emma Thompson?
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Angel in a tux, posing as Rebecca's bodyguard.
- Bad "Bad Acting":
- Cordelia's screechingly awful performance in A Doll's House.Angel: And I thought I knew eternity.
- She also attempts to fake a vision:Cordelia: Oh no! Not now! God! What's this I see in my vision? Oh. It's a figure—a woman. Its Rebecca. She's in danger. Teeerrible danger.
- Subverted when we find Cordelia can put on a good performance when her life is on the line. Because Angelus knows Cordy is a lousy actor, she fools him.
- Cordelia's screechingly awful performance in A Doll's House.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: As Rebecca's drug takes effect on Angel, he realizes she's trying to make him turn into Angelus so he'll turn around and sire her. Furious, Angel grabs a blood pack from his fridge and sprays it into her mouth to give her "a taste" of what she's in for. Naturally, once Angelus is in control, Rebecca flees in terror from the murderous nutcase she just let loose.
- The Beautiful Elite: Rebecca is among them, and wants to remain so.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: An alarmed Cordelia confides to Wesley that Rebecca has been "real gabby, asking questions about Angel". Wesley asks what sort of questions.Cordy: Oh, you know, where does Angel hail from, whats his favorite color, what kind of aftershave he wears, the exact specific details on how someone could make themselves into a vampire.
- Big Damn Heroes: Angel smashes his way through Rebecca's plate-glass window to fight off a masked man in her house.
- Break Them by Talking: Angel does this to Rebecca, and Angelus does this to Wes and Cordy.
- Brutal Honesty: Angelus as always; lampshaded by Cordelia at the end, who points out that she deserves such honesty from her friends too.
- Cordelia bluffing a vampire also happened in the BtVS episode "Homecoming."
- Angel ends the episode chained to his bed to prevent him from doing any damage while still under the effects of the drug. Wesley and Cordelia had previously resorted to this so that they could prove he wasn't killing anyone while sleepwalking in "Somnambulist".
- Chekhov's Gunman: Oliver Simon, the talent agent who gave Angel his card in the premiere episode "City of" in the belief that he was an aspiring actor, reappears representing Rebecca.
- Couldn't Find a Pen: Averted; Angel can tell instantly that the stalker's letter isn't written in blood.
- Crazy-Prepared: Cordelia for Angelus's return; she has the water in her drink bottle blessed by a local priest at regular intervals. Turns out she's bluffing, but it sounds good.
- Curse Escape Clause: Wesley reasons that as Angel's "happiness" was induced by a drug, he'll be back to normal once it wears off. He's proven correct.
- Darkness = Death: Angelus kills the lights like he did in BtVS "Innocence" before making his appearance before Cordy and Wes.
- Decapitation Presentation: Angelus worries that no-one will believe he's killed anyone famous; he suggests cutting off Rebecca's head and putting it on a pike like in the olden days.
- Diving Save: Angel introduces herself to Rebecca by taking the hit when a car nearly runs her over.
- Dramatic Shattering: Angelus exuberantly breaks the wineglass on an overhead beam.Angelus: Oh, God. I love this stuff! Wow! Remind me to get the name of your dealer—before I kill you.
- Evil Costume Switch: Worried that Angel might have slept with Rebecca, Cordelia turns up at her house the following morning wielding lattes and a huge cross.Cordy: Well, judging by the outfit, I guess its safe to come in. Evil Angel never would have worn those pants.
- False Reassurance: Wes and Angel try to avoid mentioning that Cordy's acting sucks.Wesley: You took the role and made it your own.Cordelia: Really? Thanks. Angel, was I good?Angel: I wouldnt say it if I didnt think so.Cordelia: Thanks... you didnt say it.
- Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: Which causes problems when your soul is artificial.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Cordy wears tight red leather pants, but unfortunately Angelus doesn't have a chance to change into his famous Leather Pants of Evil.
- Horrible Hollywood: Rebecca is facing the end of her career in her mid-20s, and is being pressured to take drastic measures to turn things around. Becoming a soulless creature of the night starts to look like an acceptable price to pay.
- "How Did You Know?" "I Didn't."
- Hypocritical Humor:
- Angel plays down the news article reporting on his rescue of Rebecca Lowell. "We ran into an actor. It's Hollywood. It happens." When Wesley remarks that there's no mention of Angel, however, the high-minded vampire suddenly does a double-take. "What?!"
- At the end of the episode, Angel wakes up to find himself chained to a bed, being stared at by Wes and Cordy, who inform Angel they don't hold the comments made by Angelus against him. They are in fact willing to move on. And they do—by walking off and leaving him there.
- Immortality Immorality: Rebecca Lowell, an actress who hopes to revive her flagging career by becoming an ageless vampire. Only in Hollywood...
- Lonely at the Top: Rebecca Lowell engenders sympathy in the first half of the episode, which explores the darker side of celebrity. To Angel's disappointment, she later turns out to be just as self-absorbed and superficial as everyone else.
- Missing Reflection: Rebecca realizes Angel is a vampire when he doesn't appear in a wall mirror.Rebecca: When I looked into the mirror and you werent there, I didnt scream. I didnt run. I understood.
Angel: No. You werent afraid. You looked into that mirror and all you saw was yourself. Thats all you ever see, Rebecca, and thats what really frightens you.
- Must Be Invited: Angel is able to window-crash into Rebecca's house because she invited him over when they were in his office.
- Not So Dire: Wesley and Angel are panicked that there's no escape from the horror. The "horror" in question being Cordelia's acting.
- Oblivious Mockery: Wesley expresses doubt that the Angelus curse could be invoked in a relationship with a mere actress—to Cordelia.Wesley: Angels moment of true happiness occurred because he was with Buffy. You realize how rare that is—true happiness? And what are the odds hes find that with an actress?
Cordy: Whats that supposed to mean?
Wesley: I was— I meant TV-actress.
Cordy: Save it.
- Playing Possum: Wes after being knocked down by Angelus; he just waits for Cordy to distract him before pushing Angelus into the elevator shaft.
- The Power of Acting: Angelus tries to get under Cordelia's skin by ridiculing her total lack of acting ability. Cordy gets the last laugh when she bluffs Angelus into believing her thermos is full of holy water, resulting in his defeat.Cordelia: And the Oscar goes to...
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Angelus to both Wesley and Cordelia.Wesley: I dont wish to resort to drastic measures, but unless you listen, I warn you..Angelus: You warning me? What happened, Wes? - Did you suddenly grow a pair? Well, thats it, isnt it? I mean, thats the whole root of your inferiority complex. Well, good news, Wes, old boy! You dont really have an inferiority complex. Youre just simply inferior.Angel picks Wesley up and tosses him into a corner, knocking him out.Cordelia: Wesley, no! (Swallows, turns to Angel) Well, oh, why dont you juss-ss..Angelus: Juss-s? Line? 'Of course a time will come when Torvald is not as devoted to me. - You were really, let me tell you, bad.Cordelia: Stop it.Angelus: Why? You didnt. I mean, Ive been to hell but *that* was so much worse! (To Rebecca) You had to be there. I mean, there wasnt a dry eye in the house, everybody was just laughing so hard. (To Cordy) Heres a thought. Maybe you can get Raven here to coach you, then youd actually suck!
- Rescue Romance: Angel and Rebecca; he saves from a car, and continues to show up when bad things happen around her.
- Right Behind Me: Cordelia is griping at Angel for missing his chance for some free publicity. She says that Rebecca's star is on the wane and so they need to exploit it while she's still famous; Rebecca has just entered their office.
- Single Tear: David Boreanaz squeezes one out during Angel's "date rape" at the hands of Rebecca.
- Shout-Out: When Rebecca says, "Listen to me. Poor little rich girl," she is quoting Rose from Titanic (1997).
- Slipping a Mickey: Rebecca slips Angel a tranquilizer drug to make him lose his inhibitions; unfortunately this allows Angelus to resurface.
- Squee!: Cordy keeps giggling like a madwoman after being invited out shopping with TV actress Rebecca Lowell.
- Stalking Is Love: Angel turns down Rebecca's request to investigate her stalker, but we later discover he has already reverted to his Mysterious Protector act.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: "He does that."
- Tabloid Melodrama: According to The Inquirer, Rebecca Lowell once slept with Ernest Borgnine, and is bulimic.Angel: [supportively] I hear Borgnine is a very skilled lover.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension
- Vampire Vannabe: Rebecca Lowell sees vampirism as a means to keep her movie-star looks for eternity. The "demon takes over your body" aspect is not adequately explained to her.
- You Got Spunk: Rebecca hits Angelus with a heavy candlestick.Angelus: Now that I respect!
- You're Insane!Rebecca: Youre crazy.
Angelus: Oh, no. Im a vampire.
- Your Vampires Suck: After Angel confesses to being a vampire, Rebecca reacts in true Hollywood fashion: by listing off famous actors who have played vampires (Bela Lugosi and Gary Oldman). Angel remarks under his breath that "Frank Langella was the only performance I believed..."