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Recap / Angel S 03 E 08 Quickening

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In York, England, 1764, vampire hunter Daniel Holtz rides with a posse to trap Darla and Angelus. But the two vampires have evaded his trap and are instead at his own house, killing his wife and two children. They taunt him with a note in their supposed hiding place: "How do you expect to stop us if you can't even protect your own."

In present day Los Angeles, Angel shares a tender moment with the very pregnant Darla, who tells him that their baby is protected by some kind of powerful forces, because she has tried to get rid of it and can't. Darla goes into labor and the crew take her to the hospital, where they commandeer a labor and delivery room and equipment in order to deliver her baby.

And in an underground lair, the being that brought Daniel Holtz back to life catches him up on the history of the world. They made an agreement 227 years earlier, when the creature visited Holtz in 1773 and told him he would never see Angel or Darla again, but that if he promised to kill them both, he would transport Holtz into the future to do the deed and finally get the vengeance he wants. Holtz agrees.

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At Wolfram & Hart, Gavin Park engages in some machinations against Lilah. The exterminators he sent to the Hyperion planted bugs throughout the hotel, and he has footage of Angel (being possessed by the old man from Carpe Noctem) making out with Lilah on a desk. Lilah looks through Gavin's notes and footage and discovers that Darla is pregnant and staying at the hotel. The two lawyers join forces and alert one of the partners, Linwood Morrow, to the pregnancy, and the firm gets to work figuring out what is happening. They gather together psychics and telepaths. Their plan is to grab Darla and the baby and then dissect them to find out what it means.

At the hospital, the Angel Investigations team use an ultrasound machine to view Darla's unborn child. Wesley discovers that the child is human and a boy. A vampire cult that worships "The Miracle Child" interrupts the proceedings. Their leader says their goal is to protect Darla's child. At this point an assassin in Ninja costume leaps from the balcony, apparently intending to kill Darla and the child. The vampires make short work of him.

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The vampire cult leader then says he intends to kill all of the humans and feed their blood to Darla to nourish the Miracle Child. This pleases Darla, who is very hungry.

At Wolfram & Hart, Gavin Park briefs a paramilitary team on the firm's plan to capture Darla, whom they believe is at the Hyperion Hotel. The question of how to take the child from Darla's body arises. Lilah introduces Dr. Fetvanovich, from Wolfram & Hart's Balkan office, who is an expert in paranormal obstetrics. He looks forward to dissecting both Darla and her child.

At the hospital, Darla says she intends to sit out the coming fight between the AI team and the vampire cult. She changes her mind when the leader of the vampire cult explains that his group intends to rip her apart as well. The AI team, with Darla, fight their way out of the hospital.

At the Hyperion Hotel, the Wolfram & Hart paramilitary team prepares for action, and Dr. Fetvanovich prepares for dissection. He has cages for both Darla and her child.

Angel drives away with the AI team and Darla. He thinks they should leave Los Angeles, but he is not sure where to go. Wesley says they should return to the Hyperion Hotel long enough to retrieve the Nyazian Scrolls.

Also at the hotel is Daniel Holtz, who manages to kill of the entirety of Wolfram & Hart's team. Angel arrives at the hotel to get the scrolls with the prophecy, and barely has he taken in the carnage and dead bodies around him before Holtz appears, ready for battle. The rest of the team waits in the car for Angel to return, but before he does, Darla's water breaks.


Tropes

  • Bad Boss: Linwood asks a Wolfram & Hart psychic why he didn't see this vampire child business coming.
    Psychic: "I can't apologize enough, sir."
    Linwood: "You're right. You can't. (Laughs) But I'm not without compassion. I'm gonna give you a chance to save your job - and your skin."
    (Psychic smiles relieved, then frowns and leans in a bit closer to Linwood)
    Psychic: "No, you're not. You're gonna have me killed."
    Linwood: "Now, why couldn't you have had that kind of foresight when we needed it?"
    (Someone puts a plastic bag over the psychic's head and smothers him)
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment:
    • Darla appears to be going to tell Angel to be careful, but then she tells him to "Just get out of here."
    • Linwood states that if the senior partners look to assign blame, he will step forward. To blame Lilah and Gavin.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: Overlaps with Sound-Only Death, presumably to avoid the Fridge Logic of a single Badass Normal with a sword killing a dozen men with automatic weapons who have him surrounded.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Lampshaded by Cordelia when Fred borrows a knife off Gunn, grabs Darla and threatens to kill her baby if the vampire cult doesn't back off.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick
    • "A man works hard...builds something...waters it...grows rich and powerful...leaves his wife for a younger beauty. These are the reasons we take certain blood oaths."
    • "It is I who feel fortunate. A vampire birth is unprecedented. I look forward to dissecting both the mother and the child."
  • British Teeth: Holtz asks if England has changed over the centuries.
    Sahjhan: "It went through a rough patch about sixty years ago, but it's mostly unchanged. Warm beer, boiled meat, bad teeth. That's why I moved to LA."
  • The Chosen One: A group of vampires naturally assume this would be the case of any child born of a vampire. Wolfram & Hart are scrambling to secure Darla before any other crazies or magical powerbrokers find out.
  • Cliffhanger: Angel meets Holtz, while back in the convertible Darla is having her baby.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: Lilah Morgan is shown pricking her finger in order to sign a legal document in blood.
  • Cut Apart: Holtz and his men surround a house. They appear to be Just in Time to stop Angelus and Darla killing the women and children within. It turns out the house is empty and Holtz realises after reading a note that the two vampires are at his house.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Lilah threatens to "have your skin peeled off and stapled back on inside out." And there's the vampire cult's way of honoring Darla. They promise to kill the humans and use their blood to nourish her, then "slice you open, wear your entrails as a belt and consume your eyeballs before we worship the miracle child."
  • Deal with the Devil: Sahjhan tells Holtz he'll die a bitter old man who missed his chance to get revenge on Angelus and Darla.
    Holtz: "And is this the part of the tale where the demon offers the broken man the chance to change all that?"
  • Description Cut: Holtz saying, "Any other surprises I should know about?" to pregnant Darla.
  • Distant Prologue: The murder of Holtz's family in York, England 1764. His deal with Sahjahn nine years later.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: A Wolfram & Hart employee has a demon strapped to a Lie Detector.
  • Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: Cyril from the Mail Room says he wants to work for Lilah, is actually working for Gavin, then turns out to be a mole for a third party.
  • Eats Babies: Darla does this in the Holtz massacre, and is more than willing to abort her child if she could.
  • Feet-First Introduction: Lilah Morgan walking in with Dr. Fetvanovic.
  • Fetus Terrible: Averted — The Fang Gang assume Darla's child will be some sort of horrible skittering thing that needs killing with flamethrowers, but when they look at the ultrasound...it's a boy!
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: The first thing Holtz does is study the history he had missed until he thinks he's ready to step out into the world, questioning how with all the war and conflict Angelus and Darla were not killed by it.
  • For Inconvenience, Press "1": On overhearing the talk about Darla, Cyril makes a call on his mobile.
    Recording: "Hi, you've reached the Tittles. We can't come to the phone right now. If you wanna leave a message for Christine, press one. For Bentley, press two. OR TO SPEAK TO OR WORSHIP MASTER TARFALL, UNDERLORD OF PAIN, PRESS THREE."
  • Foreshadowing: One of the most prominent videos Holtz is watching to catch up on history is of Chairman Mao waving to an adoring crowd, foreshadowing Jasmine's utopian ascension and his adopted son Connor's turn into the archetypical "teenage Maoist with daddy issues" at the end of season four.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: A smirking Darla refuses to help when the vampire cult says they'll kill the humans to nourish her, until they mention cutting Darla up. Darla quickly jumps off the table to stand next to Angel. "OK, I'm in."
  • Human Sacrifice: A vampire cult wants to worship Darla's baby, and intend sacrificing everyone in the room to it, including Darla. Fred holds a knife to Darla's stomach and threatens to kill the child even though it's protected by a spell that prevents harm, as Fred whispers in Darla's ear. It's a good thing those vampires don't know that, eh?
    Darla: They do now. Vampires have great hearing.
  • Hypocritical Humor
    Angel: "Nobody's gonna do anything until we know exactly what's going on. Now, if anybody has a problem with that they should leave now. (Darla goes to leave — Angel pulls her back) Not you."
  • If I Do Not Return: Angel tells the others to wait five minutes while he retrieves the prophecy. If he's not back they're to leave. Six minutes later Cordy is preparing to leave, with only Fred objecting, when Darla has her Screaming Birth.
  • Insecurity Camera: Goes to a Snowy Screen of Death just when Holtz is confronting the Spec Ops team. Also the audio cut out when Darla's name was mentioned, so Wolfram & Hart only know who the pregnant lady is when Lilah recognises her from the footage.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: The Teaser shows Darla and Angelus killing Holtz's family. On hearing a baby cry Darla asks, "Are you going to do it [kill the baby], or shall I?" Cut to Darla in the present day asking Angel the same question regarding her own child.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: A Running Gag with Sahjahn.
    "The buildings [in the 21st century] are taller, machines more powerful, and you can get really great Thai food at two in the morning."
  • Layman's Terms
    Commander: "I'm confident my men will be able to capture and retrieve the target. The larger question revolves around subsequent extraction of the target's cargo."
    (Linwood looks blank)
    Gavin: (quietly) "Getting the baby from Darla."
  • Mad Doctor: Dr. Fetvanovich
  • Magical Security Cam: Averted
  • Married to the Job: Gavin doesn't hesitate to snark at Lilah for trying to boff Marcus!Angel in "Carpe Noctem".
    Gavin: From what I hear, bumping uglies with an old man that body-jumped into a vampire is the closest thing you've had to a meaningful relationship in years.
  • Mook: Grappler demons are recruited by Sahjhan to aid Holtz. The Wolfram & Hart Spec Ops team is seen for the first time.
  • MacGuffin Melee
  • Mêlée à Trois
  • Must Be Invited: Angelus and Darla get around this by greeting Holtz's daughter by name, claiming to be friends and asking if they can come in; when Sarah nods Angelus says, "Is that a yes, then?" causing her to state it verbally.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Lilah Morgan makes a phone call to a shirtless Professional Killer whom we see meditating in a Lotus Position. He grabs his katana using Psychic Powers and later does a Super Window Jump into the middle of the operating theatre while screaming "DIE!", only to get swarmed and killed in seconds by the vampire cult members.
  • Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight: Holtz makes his big entrance at the Hyperion by wiping out an entire team of Wolfram & Hart soldiers, all of them armed to the teeth with assault rifles and grenades, with nothing but a sword.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Fred's Human Shield tactic appears to be working. Fred whispers in Darla's ear that they don't know her knife can't hurt the baby. Darla says dryly, "They do now. Vampires have great hearing."
  • Oh, Crap!:
    Angel: "Me. A father. To a son. You know what that means?"
    Fred: "We're surrounded by vampires?"
    Angel: "No, it's a human bo..." (looks up and sees the vampire cult) Oh. We are surrounded by vampires."
    • Subverted when the vampires drop to their knees and start worshipping the baby. Double Subverted when they announce they'll sacrifice the humans present to nourish the child.
  • Ominous Multiple Screens
  • Protective Charm: The baby cannot be physically harmed, so abortion is out of the question.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Despite hating demons and knowing they couldn't be trusted, Holtz jumps at the chance to travel over 200 years into the future to kill Angelus and Darla, knowing he's making a deal with a demon who isn't sharing his own motives for wanting them killed.
  • Sarcasm Mode
    Sahjhan: "I'll take you to them. Two centuries into the future."
    Holtz: (contemptuous) "Through black magic and sorcery."
    Sahjhan: "No. On a mule cart. Of course through black magic and sorcery. I'm a demon."
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: A W&H minion is transcribing the surveillance recordings of last week's episode.
    Gavin: "Keee-yi-ha ow. Someone doing an incantation?"
    Transcriber: "No. Angel started training the female in martial arts. I think she got in a lucky punch."
  • The Scapegoat: Linwood says that if Wolfram & Hart can't fix this fiasco the buck stops with him. Lilah can't hide her smirk as she gives her sycophantic praise, only for Linwood to inform Lilah that he means he'll name her as the scapegoat.
  • Screaming Birth:
    Darla: "Something's wrong. The pain..."
    Angel: "You like pain."
    Darla: "This is different. I want it out — now!"
  • Shout-Out:
    • When the Ultrasound reveals that the baby is human, Gunn asks, "Humanoid? As in, cannibalistic humanoid underground dweller?"
    • The term 'quickening' refers to the first time an expectant mother feels her child move inside her. It is also a reference to Highlander.
  • Sinister Surveillance: Gavin Park has placed hidden cameras in Angel Investigations.
  • Sound-Only Death: Linwood decides to avert the Why Don't You Just Shoot Him? trope and orders the Spec Ops team to shoot the mysterious sword-wielding figure who's turned up looking for 'Angelus'. The cameras choose that moment to go on the fritz, but everyone smirks at the sound of fighting, gunshots and then a loud scream. Linwood picks up the radio and calls the Spec Ops team. No-one answers.
  • Tempting Fate:
    Fred: "It probably wouldn't hurt to wait another minute, right? I mean, what's the worst thing that could happen in another minute? (Darla goes into labor) Ask a Stupid Question......"
  • They Would Cut You Up: Everyone is eager to dissect Darla — either for religious reasons or just to find out how she could give birth in the first place.
  • To the Pain: The meta-version with Dr. Fetvanovich's sinister-looking surgical implements.
  • Wild Card: Why the Senior Partners are upset over Darla's birth — it's completely unpredicted, so they don't know how it fits in with their plans for the apocalypse.

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