Episode Report Card
Strega: B- | 1 USERS: B

Holtz goes on like that, and is finally interrupted when a flaming arrow flies into one of the monks. Darla and a gang of hench-vamps are standing by one of the mysterious tunnels. Darla apologizes to Angel for taking so long, and for a nightmarish second I worry that she's going to explain, "Traffic was a bitch." Luckily, she just tells the hench-vamps to kill everyone. Holtz takes a flaming arrow to the chest, and the vamps make merry with the monks. In the beating and killing sense, mostly. There are even a couple of female vampires trading blows, which is nice. The Monsignor starts making with the Latin, and Darla casually tosses him into a wall as she goes to unchain Angel. The door is pulled open, and a horse-drawn cart is driven in by a vampire under a blanket. They toss Angel onto the cart as Holtz struggles toward a weapon. Just as he picks it up, Darla clubs him, and then hops into the cart herself. Angel asks whether maybe they should kill Holtz. Darla cheerfully explains, "It's just so much fun ruining his life. He's like family now." They kiss, and the hench-vamps mercifully throw a blanket over the pair as the cart is driven back outside. I'm not sure I like Darla coming to rescue Angel. Yeah, it's just so we get all of the relationships established at once, but six years earlier she did hit Angel over the head with a shovel rather than face Holtz with him. Oh well.

We travel by blipvert to modern L.A. A bus pulls up on a deserted street. I can't spot the "Baby from Hell on board" sign, but I'm sure it's there somewhere. Darla tells the driver to let her out, and thanks him for the ride. After she gets off the bus, we pan back and see that the bus contains at least three dead passengers, and a few frightened living ones cowering in the back. The driver pulls out his radio and announces a "code 12" as Darla calmly walks away down the street. I didn't know there was a special code for getting hijacked by a pregnant vampire. Really nice music during this bit, by the way. Plus, I appreciate the fact that we've just been given a nice reminder that Darla is...y'know, evil. Insert credits here.

Cordelia is arranging fake flowers in various spots of the basement. Or now, I guess, the "training room." She explains to Angel that she wanted to brighten the place up. Then she starts nattering about foregoing the two hundred-odd candles on his birthday cake. Meanwhile, Angel tells her, "I've been around a long time, and I've never met anyone like you." I can't describe his expression except to say that it reminds me of William Shatner for some reason. Bleah. Then there's innuendo, bleah again, and finally Angel starts giving Cordy a lesson in fisticuffs. They spar a bit, and Cordy accidentally whaps Angel in the nose when he's advising her on her footwork. Cordy apologizes, and Angel insists that she can't hurt him. Then he turns his back to her for a second and winces in pain. Not the funniest bit I've ever seen, but it wasn't misdirection, so I really can't complain. Cordy expositions that Angel is distracted because of the latest apocalyptic prophecy. No, you didn't miss an episode; we're just getting dropped into the story already in progress. And I'm not complaining about that, either. I like that. I don't like Cordy's t-shirt, but that's because I can't figure out what the logo on it is meant to be. Angel sums up the series by noting, "Someone is always uncovering some ancient scroll, and they're always saying that something terrible is coming." He assures her that there's nothing to worry about. Cordy asks why Gunn and Wesley have gone to commit burglary. Angel insists, "They're simply retrieving some missing pieces from the Nyazian Scroll, just to make sure --" "That the end is coming," Cordy finishes. Angel wonders, "Am I swelling?" and he means his nose, but I still shudder.

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