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Recap / Angel S 05 E 09 Harms Way

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In Wolfram & Hart's New Employee Orientation video, the newly hired employee is congratulated on making the decision to grab the brass ring, and join the proudest work force, the leaders of their field. The video explains how Wolfram & Hart is infamous for being evil. In fact, Wolfram & Hart may still be evil, but the current CEO, named Angel, is trying to change that. Employees, such as vampires, are no longer allowed to feed on humans, but must now feed on some other dead animal. There are also no more employee sacrifices; every employee's life is just as important to the new management as their own life. Wolfram & Hart is also now following a strict zero-tolerance rule, in which anyone found breaking the new rules will be punished, swiftly and severely.

In Harmony's bedroom, her alarm goes off at 7 in the morning. Harmony gets out of bed, exits the shower, and brushes both her human and vampiric sets of teeth. In her bedroom, she brushes her hair and chooses between two different-colored shirts. Harmony puts on one shoe then lifts a dresser over her head to take the other one. Harmony exits an elevator, into a garage. Harmony greets the elderly lady named Mrs. Jacobi. The lady ignores this, but her dog growls at Harmony.

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Harmony walks off the elevator at Wolfram & Hart and leaves several personal items on her desk, along with somebody's dry-cleaning. She leaves to the employee break room, where she walks into a woman by accident and maker her spill coffee all over herself. Harmony then tries to join in on the conversation of two other employees, but she's ignored. She takes Angel's thermos from the refrigerator and pours some blood into his "#1 Boss" coffee mug. She opens the microwave, replacing a bowl with the mug. A man walks up and tells Harmony that his bowl isn't done cooking yet, but Harmony tells him that Angel's microwave priority beats anyone's in the building. The man glares at Harmony as she leaves with the blood.

At Harmony's desk, she begins telling Angel about the current day's meetings, the catering preparations for the feuding demon clan negotiations, and that the dry cleaners couldn't get the slimy substance out of Angel's laundry. Angel starts clicking and speaking a strange tongue, then takes out his earpiece, revealing that he was listening instead to a language instruction tape. He asks if Harmony's done the catering yet. Gunn appears, and Angel and Gunn go into Angel's office. A man named Rudy then checks Harmony's blood for any human blood in her diet with the aid of a machine. The results are negative, and he leaves. A demon named Eli appears and tells Harmony that Angel has called him up for a meeting. He enters Angel's office and Harmony notices that Angel's mug of blood is sitting in her desk. She brings it into Angel's office, where she sees Angel beheading Eli with a sword. Eli's head rolls to Harmony's feet and Angel asks her to get the mess cleaned up.

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The coroners arrive and take Eli away in a body bag, while Angel and Gunn speak with Harmony at her desk. It is revealed that Eli dismembered virgins for his own amusement during his out-of-the-office hours. Angel explains that the "zero tolerance policy" means nobody gets away with murder. Fred, Lorne, and Wesley appear, and Eli's termination is briefly discussed. Spike arrives and announces that he's going to go looking for "somebody waiting for him." Wesley tells Spike that he should wait around until the Shanshu Prophecy is resolved, but Spike refuses, offering that Angel can take it. Spike asks for some money and Angel refuses, but Spike tells him that he's taking the Dodge Viper from Angel's motor pool. Spike thanks Fred for all her work trying to re-corporealize him. As he leaves, Harmony asks if he won't even give her a goodbye, but Spike only tells Harmony to stay simple. Spike asks Angel if he wants him to give Buffy a message, who replies: "Tell her you're a moron."

Angel, Fred, Gunn, Lorne, and Wesley are sitting in the conference room, with Harmony off to the side. Angel explains about the Vinji and Sahrvin clans, who have been fighting for five generations because of an incident involving a fork. The two demon tribes, who are very manners-oriented, are coming to Wolfram & Hart the next day, and Team Angel have to help them negotiate a truce. An activist named Tobias Dupree has contacts with both Vinji and Sahrvin, and wants Wolfram & Hart to help ensure the truce. Wesley suggests letting them just kill each other, but Gunn points out that solving their long-time war would look good on their résumé. The man from the break room, Danny, enters and tells them he has arranged a seating chart for the negotiation. Fred informs them that she has upgraded the weapons detector, and Gunn says he knows how to speak the language of the clans. Harmony reveals that she has done some research on the superstitious nature of the clans, but Wesley tells Harmony that Team Angel need lunch.

In the break room, Harmony listens to the two female employees from earlier talk about the love square between Fred, Gunn, Knox, and Wesley. Danny arrives, giving people muffins from one of Lorne's clients. Harmony pretends that a phone call from Angel is actually a sign of respect, when he actually just yells at her. In the lobby, Angel asks Harmony why a camel is standing there. Harmony explains that the caterers were supposed to deliver the creature the following day. Fred walks out of the elevator, and is surprised by the camel. Harmony reveals that her research led her to understand that the feuding demon clans enjoy camel-meat as a delicacy. Angel gets mad and tells Harmony to get rid of the camel. Fred comforts a crying Harmony, who convinces Fred to hang out together after work.

Late at night, in a bar, Fred and Harmony are talking and having drinks. Harmony confesses to Fred that she can't quit her job because she has no real skills. She asks about Fred's romantic square. Fred suggests that Harmony should try and make more friends at the office. Harmony decides to leave Fred, and go talk to a man at the bar. Harmony barrages the man with questions without leaving him time to answer any of them. The man offers to give Harmony something to drink.

In Harmony's bedroom, at 7 in the morning, her alarm goes off. Harmony wakes up, to find herself nude, lying next to the man from the bar. She is surprised to see the man there, and is even more surprised to see the two bloody fang marks in his neck. He's dead, and Harmony seals his body in a laundry bag. Harmony tries to shove the bag down the garbage chute, but it won't fit. She pauses to greet Mrs. Jacobi and her dog. Once the lady is gone, Harmony manages to shove the body down. It bounces off the lid of the dumpster and falls on the ground. Harmony runs down the stairs. She reaches the laundry bag, just as the elderly Mrs. Jacobi is coming off the elevator. After being hit by a bag of garbage, Harmony throws the laundry bag into the dumpster, as Mrs. Jacobi passes by. Harmony empties the other bag of garbage over-top of the body.

Once at work, Harmony goes to her desk quickly, and hides from Rudy, the blood-sampler. Angel arrives, asking for blood to drink, and warns Harmony that he doesn't want anything to go wrong today. Inside the employee break room, Harmony takes Angel's thermos out of the refrigerator and pours some blood into his coffee mug. She opens the microwave, replacing a bowl with the mug. Harmony begins talking to herself about the previous night. Danny walks up and tells Harmony that his bowl isn't done cooking again. Harmony starts guzzling from her own mug of blood, drawing the attention of her co-workers. Angel calls Harmony's cell phone, and she leaves.

At her desk, Harmony calls the catering company, confirming the new food for the summit is chips and dip. She stares thirstily at a co-workers neck, when a Detective Griffin calls for Angel. Harmony listens to the detective telling Angel that a body was found at the dump, killed by a vampire attack, before Angel tells Harmony to hang up. She gets worried as Gunn and Wesley talk to Angel, right outside his office. Angel reveals that the man was the liaison between the feuding clans, Tobey Dupree. Harmony, who had forgot the man's name, now recognizes it. Wesley assumes the dead negotiator could be interpreted by the demons as an omen, and was possibly somebody sending a sign to try to derail the summit.

In Angel's office, Angel, Gunn, and Wesley all speak with the demons through a speaker phone. The Vinji clan is disturbed by Tobey's murder, and demand the killer is found and punished. Angel tries to speak the demon language, but insults them, and Gunn ends the call. Harmony tells Angel to forgive and forget. In the science lab, Fred is examining the body of Tobey Dupree and recording her findings into a hand-held recorder. Harmony arrives, and Fred thinks Angel sent Harmony to hurry her up. She determines from the space between the bite marks, and the depth, that Tobey was killed by a female vampire. Fred asks Harmony what happened to the man at the bar the previous night. Harmony pretends that she ditched the man, and leaves.

In the hallway, Harmony realizes that she didn't bite Tobey, because he was bitten on the right side, and she bites on the left. Excited, Harmony kisses a nearby Rudy, who pricks Harmony's finger with his blood-testing device, and the results are positive. Harmony punches Rudy and catches him. Harmony throws Rudy into a utility closet and shuts the door. Harmony is walking away, when Lorne approaches her. Harmony asks where the results from the blood tests go, and Lorne reveals that they are transmitted to the science lab. Rudy groans from inside the closet, and Lorne asks Harmony what the noise is. Harmony pretends that she doesn't hear anything. She pushes Lorne's unconscious body into the utility closet, beside Rudy.

In the science lab, Harmony approaches Fred, who is reading the results from Harmony's blood test. Harmony explains that she might have been drugged, because she has no memory of biting the man from the bar, who is Tobey Dupree, and who is now dead and lying on Fred's lab table. Harmony explains that she always bites the victim on their left side and Tobey is bitten on the right. Harmony realizes that somebody could have spiked her thermos in the community refrigerator with human blood, and that would make her blood test come back positive. Fred tries to call Angel, but Harmony won't let her, because she realizes Angel will kill Harmony. In the hallway, Harmony pushes Fred's body into the utility closet. Now, Fred, Lorne, and Rudy are bound and gagged with duct tape. Harmony apologizes for kidnapping them, and explains that she will first clear her name then buy them all dinner.

In the lobby, Harmony listens as the female Vinji leader explains to Angel and Gunn that if Tobey's murderer walks free, the summit is cursed, and they want to leave. The Vinji however will accept anyone sacrificed, it doesn't necessarily have to be Tobey's murderer. Angel instructs Harmony to make Fred hurry up with her analysis of the body. In the break room, Harmony catches Dan moving her thermos to get to Lorne's food. Harmony vamps out, and all other employees run away. Harmony accuses him of putting human blood in her thermos, drugging her and killing Tobey Dupree, and leaving the two of them in Harmony's bed. Dan is attacked from the side with a glass container, and falls over, unconscious. The attacker reveals that she wanted it to look like Harmony who attacked Dan. Harmony realizes that the woman is the one framing her, but she doesn't know who the woman is.

Tamika reveals herself to be from Harmony's stenographer pool. She explains that she's been there for 5 years, while the highly under-qualified Harmony has been promoted, and gets to be involved in all of Wolfram & Hart's important meetings. Tamika is also the one who spilled coffee on herself when Harmony bumped into her. Tamika hopes that Angel will see that Harmony attacked Dan, and she can take Harmony's job. She kicks a table at Harmony, who avoids it by jumping in the air. Both women vamp out and begin fighting. Tamika explains that she drugged Harmony's drink, followed Harmony and Tobey, and then drank from him. They continue fighting, both trying to stake the other with chopsticks. Harmony demands that Tamika tell Angel the truth, and Tamika tells Harmony that she's going to smash all of Harmony's desk-unicorns. Harmony puts Tamika in a headlock, and drags her down the hallway. She wants Tamika to tell Angel how she stole Harmony's thermos and spiked the blood. Tamika breaks free of the headlock, and the two continue fighting.

Inside the conference room, the Sahrvin and Vinji demons are clicking, growling, hissing, and screeching at each other, with wildly aggressive body motion. Angel and Gunn watch helplessly, as the demons use their foreign tongue to call Angel a man-whore and to demand a sacrifice. Harmony and Tamika break through the window of the room. Harmony picks Tamika off the floor and stakes her in the conference table. The two demon leaders accept this, and calmly sit down, now ready to negotiate. Harmony claims that she can explain, and Angel looks angry.

Inside Angel's office, Fred, Lorne, and Rudy are sitting there with ice packs on their heads. Wesley also watches as Angel grills Harmony. Gunn enters, explaining the demons are now quietly arranging an agreement. Everyone is annoyed with how Harmony handled things, especially as they all told her to go to Angel who would've helped her. Rudy tells her she'll be clean of human blood in two days, but he's watching her. Harmony offers to quit, but Angel tells her just to get everybody coffee.

Late at night, in the same bar, Harmony is alone, explaining the whole ordeal to the bartender, when Spike arrives. He explains that he was going to boat it to Europe and track down Buffy, but then realized he'll never be able to top an exit that involved dying in a blaze of glory saving the world. He also feels his sacrifice would be cheapened if Buffy was to find out he wasn't actually dead. Harmony laments that she doesn't matter to people, but Spike explains that she did matter Tamika, otherwise she never would have tried to frame her. Harmony takes solace in this, and the two share a toast.


Tropes

  • Accidental Hero: Harmony averts a demon war when she stakes her rival in front of the two clans, providing the necessary blood sacrifice of a Wolfram & Hart employee. Unfortunately Angel is too angry at Harmony knocking out his friends and shoving them in a closet to appreciate this, but the boss does allow Harm to keep her job, because he realises that she's at least trying to be good despite her lack of a soul.
  • A-Cup Angst: Fred's face falls when Harmony says that she'd like to be just like Fred, "except with more up front".
  • Damn With Faint Praise: Harmony wangsts that everyone hates her. Fred hastens to say that she doesn't, but then admits it's actually because she doesn't know Harmony — who quickly seizes on this as an opportunity to get to know Fred better.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Harmony gets her most important role yet.
  • Apologetic Attacker / Bound and Gagged
  • Animal Reaction Shot: The camel appears to snort indignantly when Harmony says they can't return it.
  • Backhanded Compliment: Harmony trying to bond with Fred. "We're like gal pals! This is awesome! You can teach me about life, and I can teach you how to dress better."
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Angel is less than threatening in the opening video when he tells his employees not to kill or (they will) be killed.
  • Bad Boss: Angel decapitates an accountant just because he dismembered a few virgins for fun. On his own time! No wonder a vampire gal doesn't want to risk coming clean to the boss.
  • Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: Team Angel ask why LAPD have kindly informed the CEO of Wolfram & Hart about a vampire killing.
    Angel: Turns out we own them.
  • Breather Episode
  • Comically Missing the Point: In an episode about Harmony? Totally!
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Sahrvin clan will turn out to be involved with the Circle of the Black Thorn via their leader.
  • Continuity Nod: Harmony's liking for unicorns. Angel and Spike still looking bruised from their fight in "Destiny".
  • A Day in the Limelight: We follow a couple of days in the life of Harmony. They suck.
  • Disposing of a Body: Harmony tries to get rid of the corpse by throwing it down the laundry chute. The body hits the lid of the laundry bin and rolls out onto the ground, so Harmony has to go down and do it properly. After the body is found at the city dump and Harmony's blood test comes up positive for human blood, she keeps knocking people out and hiding them in the closet.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The Vinji and the Sahrvin clans — looking at ankles leads to eye gouging. Using the wrong fork led to centuries of warfare.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Harmony wakes up after a one-night stand to find the guy dead, and though she doesn't quite remember what happened, she eventually realizes that she was set up for the murder. It turns out the real killer was...some random other vampire chick named Tamika working in the Wolfram and Hart secretarial pool, whom Harmony had literally bumped into earlier. It turns out that Tamika was upset that Harmony was on "the fast track" just from knowing Angel and his friends, and framed her so that she could take her job.
  • Dumb Blonde
    Spike: Keep it simple, Harm. It suits you.
  • Eating Lunch Alone: Harmony is ostracized from her human co-workers because she's a vampire, and other vampires aren't much for socialising.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: The poodle barks at Harmony every time she walks past it.
  • Evil Is Petty
    Tamika: You want to know the first thing I'm gonna do when I get your desk? Smash all of those stupid, ugly-ass unicorns!
  • Fork Fencing: Harmony and another vampire both grab chopsticks in a fight in the cafeteria (with accompanying Kung-Foley sounds). Harmony eventually stakes the other vamp with her chopsticks.
  • Foreshadowing: The distance between Angel and Harmony no doubt adds to her willingness to betray him to Hamilton in the Grand Finale.
  • Frameup
  • Friendless Background
  • Game Face: Makes cleaning your teeth easier.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: I guess Cordelia was right about Harmony swinging that way...
    Fred: (to her recorder) The size and depth of the wound indicate a female vampire.
    Harmony: Or gay!
    Fred: Um...it doesn't really work like that.
  • Global Ignorance: Harmony wonders if she should run away to either Mexico or Cancún. For those of you who don't get it, Cancún is in Mexico.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Spike is going to take off for Europe.
    Spike: Any message for Buffy?
    Angel: Tell her you're a moron.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm
  • Hypocritical Humor: Harmony is lonely, yet can't emphasize with those who share her position. Becomes a bit less funny when you realise that unlike Cordelia, Harmony is trapped in her shallow high school persona thanks to her lack of a soul.
  • In a Single Bound
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain:
    Harmony: I tried being out on my own, all independent and evil. I'm just no good at it.
  • In with the In Crowd
    Tamika: I have been here for five years! I type 80 words a minute. I have an exceptionally pleasant phone voice. But you're the one who sits at the best desk in the building. You're the one in the in-crowd.
    Harmony: (chuckles) You think I'm in the in-crowd?
    Tamika: Oh, I see you in all the important meetings. You're on the fast track.
  • Jabba Table Manners: Harmony gulps greedily from her thermos, attracting stares from her co-workers — it's because Harmony's pigs blood has been spiked with human blood.
  • Just Between You and Me: Tamika decides to lay out her Evil Plan when it’s almost successfully completed.
  • The Killer Was Left-Handed: While attempting to prove she didn't kill someone, Harmony uses the possibly-true fact that vampires tend to always bite on one or the other sides of their victim's neck.
    • Makes sense. When kissing, people have a preferred side they tilt their head to, vampires are usually human-based, so it might carry over. However, the first person to tilt his/her head sort of forces the other party to counter-tilt, so in case of a deliberate exposing of the neck...
  • The Living Dead: The eyelids of the 'corpse' on Fred's autopsy table give a noticeable twitch. Then again, he had been bitten by a vampire...
  • Love Triangle: Fred knows that Wesley and Knox are attracted to her, and thinks they're both hot. After dating Knox for a short time, Fred will eventually choose Wesley in "Smile Time".
  • Made of Plasticine: Harmony stakes Tamika with a chopstick.
  • Mistaken for Gay: A group of Wolfram & Hart employees are discussing who they think has a crush on Fred. Harmony suggests Wesley but is dismissed by the others.
    Office Girl: Mr. Wyndam-Pryce? Everyone knows he's— Oooh! Muffins!
  • Meet the New Boss: Wolfram & Hart under Angel as opposed to Holland Manners and the like. Both have the killing of employees and even make the same termination jokes. It's hardly surprising the lower ranks regard the whole 'not being evil' thing as just another policy of the boss they've got to play along with to get promoted.
  • Mood Dissonance: The employee promo video in The Teaser.
  • Morning Routine: With a unique vampire twist.
  • The Murder After: Harmony finds herself in a bit of a predicament.
  • Murphy's Law: Angel asks if the weapons scanner is foolproof.
    Fred: I'd say yes, but then some fool would just come along and sneak something past us.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Angel tries to communicate with a demon species that speaks in tongue-clicks, and ends up saying, "Be disemboweled."
  • Necessary Weasel: As to why Spike doesn't leave Team Angel for Buffy. Spike's reasons are less than convincing, but given the complexity of the Spuffy relationship that can easily be put down to Spike not being completely honest with himself.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Gunn is also an omniglot thanks to his brain upgrade. Why not just have Wesley translate?
    • FridgeBrilliance kicks in when you factor that Wes is the go to guy on how to track down various demons, and how to kill them. Gunn, as a upgraded lawyer equipped with knowledge of demon laws and customs, is better equipped to assist Angel with something he's not used to. Negotiating with demons instead of just kill them on the spot.
  • No Respect Guy: Harmony really is trying her best to be Angel's perfect secretary, but no-one takes her seriously.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Harmony fails a blood screening and dumps half the company in a maintenance closet as she tries to clear her name.
  • Not Listening to Me, Are You?: Angel nods as Harmony fills him in on his appointments, only to reveal he's listening to a language tape.
    • Also Harmony herself when trying to start a conversation with Toby.
  • Oblivious Mockery: Harmony says the guy she met at the bar told her she was an astronaut. Fred replies, "Like anyone would believe that!"
  • Oh Crap-ola!:
    • Fred's expression when Harmony asks to go out for drinks with her.
    • Harmony waking up next to a body with fang marks. Harmony when she bumps into the blood-testing guy. Harmony thinking she can kick Tamika's ass, until Tamika morphs into Game Face.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Physics student Fred is now doing autopsies.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: The demons insist that if the murderer of the demon rights activist is not found, a member of Wolfram & Hart must be sacrificed in his place. Harmony accidentally satisfies them on both counts.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: Harmony proves to be extremely accepting of cultural differences, arguing in defense of a religious imperative to dismember virgins, and bringing a live camel into the office so Angel could slaughter it and offer pieces of it to their clients.
    • Also "Your 1:00 [appointment] with Mistress Shriva from Human—I'm sorry— Non-Human Resources got moved to 2:00."
  • Professional Buttkisser: Harmony to Angel, for all the good it does.
  • Pun: Harmony gets a wrong number on the internal phone.
    Harmony: I'm sorry. Wrong extension. You need 529 for Curses. Foiled again, huh? (chuckles) Hello?
  • Red Herring: The lady walking her poodle — there's even a reference to the demon clans hating poodles.
  • Reveal Shot: Harmony enters the lobby to find Angel glowering at her.
    Angel: Harmony! Do you wanna explain this?
    Harmony: OK, this is totally my fault. I specifically told the caterers the delivery was for tomorrow.
    (pan over to show a huge camel standing in the middle of the lobby)
  • Running Gag: Harmony being ignored and unappreciated, and knocking out anyone who finds out about her positive blood test.
  • Series Continuity Error: Harmony says that she is a "right-biter." But in the previous episode, "Destiny", she bites Spike on the left.
  • Sexy Walk: We get a nice look at Mercedes McNab's ass wriggling as she carries a mug of blood to the #1 Boss.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Turns out Harm got a spiked drink as part of the framing
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Spike debates whether to reunite with Buffy again, but resigns himself to the knowledge that the show wrapped months ago. Actually, Spike doesn't want to spoil the poignancy of his Heroic Sacrifice on Buffy.
  • Spoof Aesop: Harmony takes comfort knowing that at least someone cared about her enough to kill her.
  • Stranger Behind the Mask
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: Done from the point of view of Angel's Plucky Comic Relief vampire secretary Harmony, and though she continues to be the Butt-Monkey of the episode, also shows why she can't bring herself to trust the more or less reasonable protagonists; from her point of view they're seeking an excuse to terminate any employee of demonic persuasion with extreme prejudice.
  • Super Strength: Good for lifting dressers to get your shoes or disposing of bodies.
  • Take That!: Starts off with a video apparently made to introduce new Wolfram & Hart employees to the firm. It lists off three companies that are clients of Wolfram & Hart: Yoyodyne, Weyland-Yutani... and News Corp, parent corporation of FOX, the network that screwed Firefly a year earlier.
  • Tempting Fate: Eli walks into Angel's office, smugly assuming he's about to be promoted. Angel cuts his head off.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Harmony saying her co-workers are straight, i.e. not vampires.
  • Unknown Rival: Tamika for Harmony.
  • Verbal Backspace
    Harmony: I'm not a killer! Well, I am, but...
  • We Care: The Wolfram & Hart video.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Angel makes it clear that nothing can go wrong during the tense demon negotiations. Having already woken up with a corpse, Harmony whimpers, "What could go wrong?"

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