Our story begins with Cordelia talking about all the utility and rent bills they need to pay. Cordy again mentions that Angel needs to start charging for his help. Doyle agrees. First of all, if paying the bills is a problem, maybe they should ask Angel how he's handled them in the past, since he seemed to manage okay in Sunnydale and here in Los Angeles before they showed up. Second, when did Doyle go from being Jiminy Cricket to Jacob Marley? Doyle says Angel hates asking his clients for money, and prefers "playing the hero, walking off into the dark, his long coat flying behind him in a mysterious and attractive way..." We join Cordy in marveling at a new record for working some homoeroticism into an episode of the show, but Doyle denies he is personally attracted to the great poof (tm Spike). While Angel clunks his way upstairs, and Cordy suggests that they take a stand on charging a fee with Angel, "just as soon as he's had his coffee." (For those tracking inconsistencies, Fox1013 notes that Angel said coffee made him jittery back on BtVS.) Angel comes in, fills his mug, takes a sip and is disgusted by the week-old sludge, in a bit of comedic business as stale as the coffee. Another dreary argument about money starts up, but this time Doyle gets the headache before I do. Plus, he has a blipverty vision. As Doyle recovers, he demands a pen, paper, and a single-malt scotch. Doyle introduces the victim of the week: Melissa Burns, employed at Pardell Paper Products. Then he chugs the drink Angel hands him, only to discover it's actually polymalt. Angel goes off in search of the guest star, walking off in slow motion with his coat billowing behind him, and Doyle confesses, "Maybe I'm a little attracted."
The score as we go to credits is Attempted Jokes: 4, Actual Jokes: 0.
Melissa at work. Birthday cake for co-worker has the wrong name. Good-natured office joshing. Flowers arrive for Melissa with a card signed "My undying love, Ronald." Melissa nervously pops into the bathroom, where she gulps down three pills at once, washing them down with a splash of water from the sink. Yum. Next, she enters the parking garage, where she is menaced by a shadowy figure who turns out to be Angel. Angel offers her one of his cards, saying that he thinks she may need his help. She says she can't afford him; he says he doesn't charge. Melissa winds up suspicious and nervous and so she gets into her car and leaves.
Back at the office, Angel asks if he's intimidating. Cordy offers, "As vampires go, you're pretty cuddly. Maybe you should think about mixing up the black-on-black look." Doyle has apparently spent the interval thinking up new rationales for charging clients: "People get attached to a mysterious savior, and can you blame them? But as long as you're just a man who's doing a job, and getting paid, they can feel like they've paid their debt to you and they can move on." Cordy says Doyle is smarter than he looks, "of course, you look like a retard." A blipvert gives us a chance to release our pent-up gales of laughter.