The Ring

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The Ring

Angel enters. He throws down a few pictures of Darin's brother and says, "I think my Jacks beat your pair." He made a little pun there. Ernie starts to pull out a gun, but Angel non-chalantly grabs it. Ernie stands, and he and Angel step out into the -- what the hell is that? I mean, I know it's the warehouse/alley set they use in every episode, but what is it meant to be this time? Anyway, Angel says that Darin will pay off Jack's debts, but Ernie says "It's not about the money anymore; it's about making Jack an example." Ernie pulls out a cigarette, and Angel makes as if he's pulling out a lighter and instead flips up some folded bills. Oooo, suave. Ernie carefully glances from side to side, in case there might be a random passer-by in this abandoned warehouse, and takes the money. He says, "There's a place... in Beachwood Canyon. Well, not exactly in Beachwood Canyon. Under it, actually." Angel drives along a deserted mountainside road, finds a manhole in a ravine, and opens it.

Wesley and Cordy are feeding Darin's description of the creatures into the demon database. Did I mention that it's nighttime, now? So it's taken them at least eight hours to get around to doing this. Wesley reads the description: "Bald, ultra-white skin, slime." Cordy asks if they had claws or hands, and Wesley says, "Claw-like hands." He adds that they smelled "sulfuric." Cordy says, "Add a Porsche and hair-plugs and I've dated this guy. A lot." The abductors also emitted "an eerie high-pitched howl or wail." Maybe Darin spent eight hours finding adjectives for his description. Cordelia clicks on "Search" and Wesley heads for his reference books, saying that "By the time you finish entering all this in your fancy-shmancy database, I could have located--" "Got it," Cordy interrupts. According to the database, Jack was taken by Howler demons. Incidentally, Cordy seems to be wearing Faith's leftover blue eye shadow. I know they still haven't taken me up on my "The Perils of Cordy" suggestion, but while I was desperately trying to stay awake during this episode, I had another idea. Angel's a private investigator in Los Angeles, for goodness' sake. Why haven't they done a little film noir detective story? Cordy could dress decently for once, Angel could wear a fedora and talk out of the side of his mouth about dames, and Wesley could act like Peter Lorre.

Angel descends into the sewer system. Shining his flashlight around, he discovers a grate on the floor has been pulled up, and under it there appears to be a body encased in cement, with only the face and bloody hand-stumps visible. Then he's attacked by the Howlers, who are in fact blue, not ultra-white. They also wail like a car alarm at random intervals. They fight for a bit, and Angel pins one of them against a wall and demands to know where Jack MacNamera is. The Howler says, "We sold him," and Angel asks who the buyer was. Suddenly, Angel is watching a snazzy sports car pull up to the valet parking in front of a building. While the bouncer checks everyone's tickets, Angel ambles over and starts tugging on the bars over one of the building's windows.

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