Readers, just a little note: This recap might be less snarky than usual because, well, this episode is an extremely good forty-four minutes of television and I'm a big sap who can't think of too many snide things to say while I'm sniffling over teen angst and groping for the Kleenex.
We begin at the warehouse. The Judge is chillin' in the corner. Spike rolls onto the scene and says that he's unhappy that Angel and Buffy are still alive. He thinks they should split, because the other side now knows the location of the Batcave. Dru walks up to him and reassures Spike that Angel won't bother him because he'll be afraid to face the Judge. Spike wants to know, "What's Big Blue up to anyway? He just sits there." The Judge informs Spike that he is "preparing," and Spike retorts that "preparing looks a great bit like sitting in your ass. When do we destroy the world already?" Well, that's a change. I thought Spike liked living in the world because of all the "Happy Meals with legs"? The Judge tells Spike that he needs to kill a whole bunch more people before he's at full strength. Suddenly, their spat is interrupted by Dru moaning. She drops to the floor in one of her patented crazy-person seizures. Spike asks Dru what the matter is, but all she says is, "Angel." Finally an evil smile replaces her cries.
Back at Angel's abode. In bed, Buffy reaches for Angel but awakens when she finds his side of the bed empty. Which is such a TV cliché thing to do. I've never ever woken up like that, and if I did I'd likely be thrilled with the aspect of more covers. The room is lit up in a flash of lightening, and the Foley artist really went overboard with the rain sound effects here. It sounds like Angel lives in some sort of lean-to in Shanty Town with three sides exposed to the elements. Buffy sits up and calls out, "Angel," in a quavering voice.
Outside in the alley, Angel falls on the pavement. He calls for Buffy before collapsing to the ground. A woman standing in a doorway sees him and walks over. Is she a prostitute? Just out for a midnight stroll? Whatever. These questions are not important. All you need to know is that she's smoking and therefore falls into one of two categories: "evil" or "not long for this world." The woman asks Angel if he wants her to call an ambulance, and Angel gets to his feet, saying, "No. The pain is gone." The woman takes a drag off her cig and asks if Angel is "sure." In response, he spins to face her in full game face and grabs her in a feeding frenzy. When he's finished, he drops her and exhales her last smoke-filled breath for her. I remember the first time I saw this I thought it was incredibly cool -- and it still is, as long as you don't spend too much time on the logistics.