Previously on Angel...oh good grief, we're back to explaining who Cary is, now? Cordelia suggested we imagine what might have happened if Angel had sex with Darla. If you imagined he'd break some more doors, you're right. Angel said he'd have to kill Darla the next time he saw her. A shaman told Darla that "this is not meant to be," which just shows the kind of nasty bigotry some people have against unwed vampires having babies. And Darla decided to "visit Daddy," forcing thousands of viewers to rush headlong into denial.
It's 1771 in Rome. A rat scurries about in a sewer system that bears a startling resemblance to the one under Los Angeles. Angel runs past, and then stops as he sees robed figures carrying torches. He tries a different way, is trapped again, and finally pulls a grating open. His hair is pulled back tidily, instantly making this the best flashback ever. Once in the new tunnel, Angel neatly puts the grating back to discourage pursuit, and promptly trips and tumbles down the inclined tunnel, crashing out into a room of some kind. Ha! Definitely the best flashback ever. Several men aim crossbows at Angel, and he backs away. Then doors are opened and light blazes in, so I guess we're not underground at all. This is just a building that's been built with round hallways. And gratings instead of doors. Maybe it's in the side of a hill? Holtz gallops inside. Well, the horse he's riding gallops inside. It also rears dramatically to show the high ceiling, before Holtz dismounts. He's wearing tinted glasses, because he's cool like that. The horse is then led back outside, so Holtz really was just determined to make a dramatic entrance. Holtz walks over to the part of the room Angel and his captors are in, which has a much lower ceiling. Ancient Roman architects were clearly demented. That'll teach them to use lead cooking utensils. Holtz and a red-robed Monsignor have a subtitled chat for the purpose of reminding us that Darla and Angel murdered Holtz's family. Then Holtz reminds Angel of the same thing in English. Oh, fun trivia fact: Mrs. Holtz's first name was Caroline. Meanwhile, minions have wrapped a chain around Angel, binding his arms to his torso. And leaving his legs free, because it's not like he might run or kick. Holtz tells Angel that the Monsignor was excommunicated, adding, "the order he belongs to, Inquistori, adheres to the old beliefs." You know times are tough when they start laying off monks. Or is that laity-ing off? Sorry. Holtz cheerfully notes that the ex-monks still enjoy a good torturing, and says, "Let's get started, shall we?" He picks up a big poker-looking thing with a curved tip, and moves it toward Angel's neck. Angel screams as the camera discreetly turns away.
Time passes, Angel screams some more, and I decide that I really like Holtz. He tortured Angel! Plus, Keith Szarabajka is cool, and I love his delivery. He's kind of like Gunn that way, actually. And they get almost the same amount of screen time! Anyway, Angel gasps and moans off-screen while Holtz takes a break. The Monsignor is chanting in the background, which may or may not be the cause of Angel's screams. Holtz finishes his drink and says, "You lost me in North Africa. I knew you'd come back to Europe, but Rome, Angelus? Why in God's name would you come to the seat of all that's holy?" I'm not sure it's wise to take the lord's name like that when there are sadistic ex-monks around. Holtz walks over to Angel, whose hands are bound to something unseen on the ceiling. He's looking a bit scruffier. Actually, they both are. Angel explains that Darla came to see Botticelli's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. He adds, "The Temptation of Christ is her favorite, probably because of the leper." Or maybe because of the idea that sin is cleansed with blood. If you'd like to see the leper, you can check the fresco out here, although be warned, it's kind of like playing the Reformation version of Where's Waldo?. Holtz picks up a new torture implement, and Angel asks what Holtz wants. Holtz says that he wants to find Darla, but wouldn't believe any information he got from Angel. He says, "The only thing I want to discover is if a thing such as yourself can be made to pay for its sins." He punctuates his words with a nasty off-screen jab, and continues, "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?"