The Trial

Episode Report Card
Strega: C- | 2 USERS: A
The Trial

And so, the flashback begins. It's France, 1765. Angel and Darla ride into a foggy, abandoned barn. "Don't these people know who we are?" Angel complains. Darla says, "I think they do. Which would explain the lynch mob." Darla says that it'll be dawn soon, and the horse can't carry them both any farther, so they should rest where they are. Angel begins barring the doors and windows while he complains, "I hate the French. We should go someplace like Romania." Oh. Look. Dramatic irony. Flapping about, wounded, on the floor of the barn. I hope someone puts it out of its misery. Darla sounds rather like a mother on a long family trip when she says, "In Italy, you said we should go someplace like France." I wait for Angel to say, "Someplace like France, sure. But not actual France. Someplace like France, but without so many annoying French people." And then Darla could tell him that they haven't invented Quebec yet. ["Actually, there were French people in Quebec in 1765. It may have been called Lower Canada then, though.'re right." -- Wing Chun] None of that happens, though. Instead, Angel says that "in Romania, they really know how to treat a creature of the night." Someone, please, shoot the dramatic irony. It's painful to watch it clawing about in agony that way. Angel pauses by the last open window to say that the valley seems quiet. Darla says, "I told you, we lost them back in Arles." Angel complains, "This man Holtz, how does he keep finding us?" Darla observes that they don't exactly keep a low profile: "We stay in the best hotels, order room service, eat the waiters. People talk." Whoa. "Order room service"? In 1765? Now, I'm not going to question the fact that you could probably get someone to bring food to your room. But the term "room service" strikes me as rather modern. Darla looks peculiarly...peculiar. Maybe it's the orange lipstick, maybe it's the crazy hair. Yeah, I know she's been riding a horse, but she's been riding a horse for miles and miles. In fog. Which is wet. It looks more like she was interrupted while trying out Buffy's crimping-iron-of-wackiness. Angel insists that this Holtz guy is "no mere mortal." Foreshadowing rushes in, stomps on the dying remains of dramatic irony, and bites its head off. I will be very surprised if Holtz doesn't turn up in future flashbacks, and eventually in modern-day Los Angeles. Darla smirks, "He's just a man, a 'vampire hunter.'" Angel complains that they've been driven into a barn like animals, and Darla tries to put a happy face on the situation by saying, "Then let's be animals!" She settles down on a pile of hay, but Angel worries that they should keep watch. Darla says they'll hear any approaching hoofbeats. Angel settles down next to her, Darla bites her lower lip, and then a flaming stake flies into the room.

Present-day Darla's in a sleazy bar, talking to a geeky vampire with a receding hairline. She's combed her hair, and put on some extraordinarily bright lipstick to highlight her extraordinarily dark eyeliner. The vampire is wearing a plaid shirt (is there a Gap "everyone in plaid" theme happening, or is it just me?) over a Metallica tee-shirt. Basically, Darla is trying to hide her loathing for this creature so that she can flirt with him. She says that he must have a lot of girlfriends, and the vampire says, "Mostly I just kill 'em, dump the bodies." Darla says, with great sincerity, "That must be very lonely for you." Heh. Darla finds out that this guy became a vampire in 1992. She overcomes her distaste at robbing the cradle, and asks, "And in all this time, you've never considered making yourself a mate?" The vampire is confused as Darla expounds on all the benefits of having a companion to "walk those lonely nights." After a moment, the bemused vampire laughs and says, "That'd be weird!" Darla snaps, "Weird? It's mythic!" The vampire says, "You've been reading too much Anne Rice, lady. You've got no idea how this thing works." He finally realizes that she really wants to be his "immortal babe." But then he worries that if he sired Darla, it might be too much of a commitment for him. Darla perkily -- not to mention desperately -- says, "Then use me for as long as you like, any way you like, then discard me." After a moment, the vampire says, "There's an alley out back." Darla jumps up and practically drags him outside.

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