In 1771 Rome, Angelus is trapped in the sewers by his nemesis, Holtz. Finally having caught up with the monster who murdered his entire family, Holtz tortures Angelus for a day, until Darla arrives and rescues him, despite the efforts of Holtz and several Inquisition priests.
In present day L.A., Darla arrives in town on a bus, having drained all of the other passengers first. Meanwhile, Angel trains with Cordelia on her hand to hand combat skills. They discuss the hinted prophecies that the apocalypse is coming. Angel is skeptical, as he's heard a lot of similar rumors in his long lifetime. Cordelia has decorated the dungeon with plastic flowers, and talks to Angel about plans for his birthday. Fred walks in on them sparring and, after Cordy has left, tells Angel that he and Cordy are attracted to one another, an idea that Angel greets with incredulity.
Gunn and Wesley break into a home to steal the lost Nyazian scroll, which has part of the apocalypse prophecy contained in it. They are caught by the owner and make a deal with him to see the prophecy. Back at the hotel, the crew talks about the prophecy of Angel being turned into a normal man. Fred does calculations to figure out when the prophecy will come to pass, and they all show that it has already begun, starting with some unspecified bad thing.
At that moment, a heavily pregnant Darla walks in and tells Angel he's knocked her up. Cordelia is very upset that Angel would sleep with Darla, especially because he swore he would never do anything like that. Angel and Wesley confirm that what they're seeing is impossible, as vampires can't fall pregnant. Cordelia acts very protective of Darla, as one does for a pregnant woman, and is very angry at Angel. Fred wonders if this is the prophesied bad event. Angel wonders if she's really pregnant, and Darla offers to let him feel the baby kicking inside of her.
The gang goes to visit the host at Caritas, which he is in the midst of rebuilding. He is currently being visited by the Transuding Furies, and their delight at seeing Angel further inflames Cordelia, who takes Darla to lie down in the back. They talk with the host about what the pregnancy means. They wonder if this child is an evil being from prophecy, and is destined to be bad. But Fred says "screw destiny," and that they can defeat anything.
Cordelia starts to bond with Darla over demonic pregnancies, until Darla attacks Cordelia and starts feeding off of her.The struggling Cordelia then has a vision, and Angel arrives and flings Darla across the room. Darla runs away and Angel tells Cordelia that he'll kill Darla for what she just did. Cordy apologizes for her treatment of Angel and the fact that she let herself forget what Darla was before she remembers her visionDarla has a never ending hunger now that she's pregnant, and she craves young blood. Angel prepares for battle as Cordy realizes she knows where Darla must have gone.
Angel catches up with Darla in an amusement park, about to feed off a toddler. The two struggle, and Angel strangles Darla, to no effect because she doesn't breathe. He grabs a stake and is about to strike her down, while she begs him to kill her and make her hunger stop. But Angel stays his hand; what Darla said has finally registered. He realizes that while they don't breathe, the baby has a heartbeat and breathes, and so the baby must have a soul. He takes her back to the hotel to take care of her, while taking precautions against her feeding off anyone there. Fred realizes that the thing from the prophecy is about to arise at any moment. In an underground cavern, there is chanting, and then out of a stone tomb emerges... Holtz!
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: In Rome, which is Truth in Television. The Ancient Romans built Cloaca Maxima way back when...
- Anachronism Stew: In the beginning sequence when Holtz corners Angel in the sewers, he is wearing sunglasses. The time was supposedly 1771 and Holtz is wearing modern styled glasses which were not made until the early 1900s.
- Bait-and-Switch Comment: After Darla knocks down Angel, Cordelia says "Stop that...you'll hurt her."
- Big Bad: Not Darla or her child, but a vengeance-seeking Holtz brought to the present day by the demon Sahjahn.
- Big Damn Heroes: Darla and several henchvamps armed with Arrows on Fire turn up to rescue Angelus. although they aren't exactly heroic characters.
- Blatant Lies: Later episodes cast doubt on Holtz's claim that he just wants to burn the evil out of Angel (although he does state that he expects it to kill him either way).
- Bus Full of Innocents: Darla arrives in Los Angeles in a bus she's commandeered. "And they say there's no public transportation in LA." As she steps off the terrified bus driver looks back over his shoulder — several passengers are dead in their seats while the survivors are cowering at the back. Good thing for them it was a short trip.
- Call-Back: Angel mentions three previous scrolls predicting some sort of disaster. Presumably these are the Pergamum Codex (predicting Buffy's death and the Master rising in "Prophecy Girl"), "The Writings of Aurelius" (the rise of The Anointed One) and the Scrolls of Aberjian (foretelling Darla's arrival and the role of the vampire with a soul in the apocalypse).
- Cell Phones Are Useless: The gang try to page Angel to let him know about Cordy's latest vision. The pager goes off in Angel's jacket...which is hanging on a nearby coat rack.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The demon Sahjahn is introduced.
- Church Militant / In the Hood: The Inquisitore, who capture Angelus for Holtz in Rome. When Darla and her people attacks, the monks are seen fighting back and managing to stake some of her men.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Holz isn't interested in information; he quite cheerfully tortures Angelus for revenge.
- Couldn't Find a Lighter / Establishing Character Moment: Sahjahn is conducting the usual overblown Magical Incantation; when nothing happens he casually lights a cigarette from one of his flaming braziers and then checks his wristwatch to make sure he's got the time right.
- Distant Prologue
- Distinction Without a Difference: Angel refuses to call what they're doing "breaking and entering", not that he offers a legal method of retrieving the Plot Coupon.Angel: "Breaking and entering is such a negative term. They are simply retrieving some missing pieces from the Nyazian Scroll.
- Dynamic Entry: After cornering Angelus, the Inquisitore throw open the double doors to the outside. As Angelus cringes from the bright sunlight, Holtz rides though on a horse which rears dramatically.
- The End of the World as We Know It
- Innocent Innuendo: Angel positioning Cordy in self defense training — we don't see what they're doing because the camera is on Fred sneaking down into the basement.Cordy: "Ow. That doesn't feel right."
Angel: "Just relax. You have to bend."
Cordy: "I don't bend there... Okay. Now that's downright unnatural."
- Interrogation by Vandalism: Gunn gets The Collector to put down his gun and let them look at his scroll by juggling a set of priceless orbs.
- False ReassuranceDarla: I love children. I could just eat them up.
- The Farmer and the Viper: Darla shows up at the hotel, visibly pregnant. Seeing Darla's pain over her pregnancy, Cordelia throws Angel out of her room and tries to comfort her, to which Darla responds by covering Cordelia's mouth so she can't scream and biting her neck. Cordelia is only saved by Angel making a Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind. After Darla's escape, Cordelia apologizes to Angel, remarking that she let Darla's condition cloud her better judgment and forgot that pregnant or not, Darla is still a dangerous vampire.
- Foreshadowing: That prophecies can be unreliable is important not only re Darla's birth, but also regarding events later on in the season.
- Good Hurts Evil: The baby's soul is driving Darla insane.
- Horrible Judge of Character: When Darla shows up pregnant with Angel's child, Cordelia readily defends her from Angel and tries to keep her comfortable, which comes back to bite her (literally) when Darla attacks her. After Angel comes in and saves her, Cordelia even acknowledges that she blew it.
- Horror Hunger: Darla isn't only 'eating for two', she's driven to consume blood that is more pure — e.g. children. Angel finally realises that it's because the baby has a soul.
- Hypocritical Humor: Cordy bops Angel on the nose during training. Angel just smiles and says that he's a vampire. "You can't hurt me." Then he turns away and rubs his nose in pain.
- Innocent Innuendo: Fred goes downstairs to the sound of Cordelia saying some suggestive things, but it turns out Angel was positioning her for self-defense training.Cordy: "Ow. That doesn't feel right."Angel: "Just relax. You have to bend."Cordy: "I don't bend there... Okay. Now that's downright unnatural."
- Interrogation by Vandalism: Gunn tortures a guy into handing over a priceless scroll... by juggling a set of priceless orbs.
- Love You and Everybody:
- Cordelia telling Angel "I love you." When a shocked Angel responds "What?", she says "Of course I love you." Then she calls out to where the others are working "Angel loves me and I love him. Don't you guys love Angel?" and Wesley, Fred, and Gunn all chime simultaneously "We love you, Angel!" Due to the skill of the actors involved, an absolute knee-slapper.
- He's trying to work up to telling her he thinks he's developed romantic feelings for her and she interrupts him with "Angel, are you trying to tell me you love me? It's ok, I love you too". He's surprised she was able to just come right out with it, but she just wants to reassure him that she knows he cares about her, turns out that five minutes earlier everyone else was saying they loved each just in case they all die in the coming apocalypse.
- Magical Abortion: Averted
- Monster Is a Mommy: Subverted; Cordelia is sympathetic to Darla over her pregnancy... until Darla pins her down and nearly sucks her dry.
- Never My Fault: Darla blames Angel for bonking her, then walking off leaving her with a bun in the oven. Well she had been trying to turn him evil...
- Not Helping Your Case: The Fang Gang aren't happy that Angel has violated his Celibate Hero status. Then they run into the Furies.
- Pregnant Badass: Darla is now stronger than the entire Fang Gang.
- Prophecy Twist: The fact that they can't trust what's written in these prophecies, even without the problem of translation errors, is lampshaded constantly.
- PunLorne: "This is way beyond my ken — and my Barbie and all my action figures."
- Screw Destiny: Fred too can give a Rousing Speech.Can I say something about destiny? Screw destiny! If this evil thing comes we'll fight it, and we'll keep fighting it until we whoop it. 'Cause destiny is just another word for inevitable and nothing's inevitable as long as you stand up, look it in the eye, and say "Youre evitable!" Well, you...you catch my drift.
- Series Continuity Error: Cordelia appears to be hurt and betrayed by the fact that Angel slept with Darla even though she knew about it in "Disharmony".
- Shipper on Deck: Fred recognises the Moira between Angel and Cordelia — Pylean for the instinctive attraction between two larger-than-life souls (e.g The Champion and the Fainting Seer). Angel protests that they're Just Friends, but the conversation clearly makes him rethink their relationship. He makes an awkward attempt to discuss the issue with Cordy, but it ends up being spoiled by the ill-timed entrance of a pregnant Darla.
- Supernatural Soap Opera: Note that in interviews before the show's premiere, Joss Whedon said the spin-off Angel would be a "case of the week"-type show, and not a soap opera like Buffy.
- Stock Phrases: Wesley and Gunn are breaking into The Collector's room, only to be confronted by a massive vault their snitch hadn't told them about.Gunn: "I got a bad feeling about this."
Wes: "We'll figure something out. It's just a vault."
Gunn: "Actually my bad feeling is more about the man standing behind you with the large revolver."
- Taken for Granite
- There Was a Door: Wesley and Gunn break into a house to steal a MacGuffin. Wesley makes a big deal of cutting a perfect hole in a window. Gunn simply opens the unlocked door.
- To the PainHoltz: "I don't want anything. My family is gone. I don't trust you to give me Darla, although I will find her, you know that. My only desire here - is to discover if a thing such as yourself can be made to pay for its sins. (Holtz digs the claw-thingy in somewhere below Angelus' waist (off screen) and Angelus groans in pain) You're a demon. It is your nature to maim and kill. But you were also once a man. If we beat and burn the demon out of your living flesh, will there be anything left? (Holtz digs the claw in again) Anything at all? I doubt it. But I'm willing to spend the next fortnight of my life finding out."
- This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Angel goes to fight pregnant Darla because he doesn't want the others to be present when he kills his own child.
- Vagueness Is Coming: The prophecy about the child is fairly ambiguous.
- Villainous Valor: A couple of the vampires who help Darla rescue Angel stay behind to Hold the Line against Holtz and the Inquisitors while their leaders escape.
- Wham Episode: Vampire hunter Holtz has traveled through time to the 21st century to get his revenge on Angelus and Darla.
- Walk-In Chime-InCordy: "Hey, what are friends for?"
Darla: (from the door) "If you ask me, they're for knocking you up and leaving you high and dry."
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Holtz is crawling towards a weapon, easy prey for Darla who just knocks him out.Angelus: Shouldnt we be killing Holtz?
Darla: I know, but it's just so much fun ruining his life. He's like family now.
- Would Hurt a Child: Darla is perfectly willing to drain young kids for her hunger.