''Driven by the woman who cursed him with immortality, to spare her life will he sacrifice his soul?''

Angel The Trial - 2ADH09

Written by Douglas Petrie, Tim Minear & David Greenwalt - Directed by Bruce Seth Green - First Aired on November 28th, 2000

Synopsis - Creature Feature - Cool Quotes - References - Continuity - Goofs - Trivia - The Morgue - Cast - Famous Faces - Points Of View


The Short: Angel must choose between watching his former lover Darla die from a terminal illness or giving her eternal life by turning her into a vampire. Unable to live with either choice he goes to Cataras and has Darla sing. The host demon advises him to go where he can perform three deadly trials in order to win a new life for her. He accepts and defeats the three trials, but they say they are unable to heal her because she was already brought back to life once by supernatural means. Darla learns how much Angel really cares for her and accepts her fate. As they decide to live out the remainder of her days together Lindsey bursts in on them with Drusilla, who drains and sires Darla as a vampire!

Group The Long: After a ''Previously on Angel'' segment (see
Continuity #1) we open on Cordelia and Wesley standing in front of a door at Angel Investigations. They say Angel has been in there a long time and they hear a strange noise from inside. Cordelia complains about his Darla brooding and says she doesn't want to hear about her. The noise stops and they run off pretending not to have been listening. Angel emerges with his laundry and seems quite chipper. They comment on how nice he seems and he apologizes about his recent actions. Angel says he's come to terms that Darla will come to him if she needs him and he's let go. Gunn then bursts in saying he's found Darla, which Angel asked him to do. Angel immediately drops what he's doing and looks at the pictures Gunn has of Darla staying at a motel (see Reference #1). Cordelia accuses him of lying, and he admits he just didn't want them to nag him about continuing to look for her. Angel and Gunn rush off to find Darla, but Cordelia and Wesley refuse to go. In the motel Darla puts on makeup and seems distraught. Lindsey knocks, then walks in, saying she's a hard one to find.

Vampire At Wolfram & Hart Darla and Lindsey meet with Holland. Darla wants to know if they want her to go back to Angel, even though she insists there is nothing between them any more. Holland says it's not about Angel. He says she is their moral responsibility and hands her a folder. She reads it and seems hurt by what she reads. At the motel Angel and Gunn look around. Angel says she was here recently. In 1765 France we see Angel and Darla riding into a barn on horseback, having escaped a lynch mob (see Continuity #2). Angel advises they go to Romania (see Reference #2). They mention they are being chased by a vampire hunter named Holtz. As the two settle down in a haystack to have a romp a flaming spear hits a post nearby, they've been found! In the present at a bar Darla is making time with vampire dweeb. She tries to convince him to make her his a vampire companion, but he's never done that, he isn't interested in commitment (see Reference #3). She talks him into it and they rush to the alley out back to sire her. He's not even sure how to sire someone, but she says she'll walk him through it. As the vampire is about to bite her Angel stakes him in the back. Darla is pissed. He says if she becomes a vampire he will have to stake her, which is doesn't want to do again (see Continuity #3). She says she won't let him. He says being sired in an alley by a creep isn't like her, but she reminds him he was sired in an alley (see Continuity #4). Angel insists she should give life as a human some time, but she says she has no time, she's dying. Her medical records say she has two or three months to live, so she's in a bit of a hurry.

Darla Back in 1765 a mob has surrounded the barn Angel and Darla are hiding in and have set it on fire. They say they can't get to the hills on foot before sunrise and the horse can't take the two of them that fast. Angel plans to go out fighting, but Darla knocks him on the head and takes takes the horse. In the present at Angel Investigations Angel walks in with Darla. Cordelia and Wesley learn Darla is dying, but Angel doubts Wolfram & Hart could be telling the truth. Angel leaves Darla with Cordelia and Wesley who immediately make sure to lay down the law with her. Angel shows up at Lindsey's place and knocks in the door. He starts to make a speech about not being able to get in to get him, but then Lindsey invites him in immediately. Although Angel wants to beat information out of Lindsey, who is a little drunk, Lindsey says he doesn't need to. Lindsey says she is dying of a syphillitic heart condition. She was dying of syphillus when she was human, and now that she's human again it's finishing it (see Reference #4). Angel realizes Lindsey has feelings for Darla. Lindsey says there is only one cure for her, and Angel can do it but he can't. Angel refuses and says he will find another way. Back at Angel Investigations Cordelia is ranting about letting Darla go (see Reference #5). Angel returns and wants to talk to Darla. Darla and Angel argue about how there is no other solution, and Angel has an idea on how they could get some help (see Reference #6). At Caritas Darla sings a song as Angel talks to the host demon about their problem (see Reference #7-9 & Continuity #5). He eventually gives Angel an address and asks if he's ready to take a leap of faith. Angel and Darla arrive at a large empty swimming pool, where Angel jumps off the diving board, despite Darla's advice not to (see Reference #10). As Angel leaps off he is transported into a stone room where he meets a valet who greets him. Darla is suddenly there too. The valet moves Darla into a waiting room and informs Angel that if he wins they will save Darla's life, if not then they will take it and Angels.

Room The valet tells Angel that the trials consists of three challenges. He takes Angel's shirt and shoes. Angel tries to get the valet to tell him about the challenges. He says the first is child's play. Once the gate across the room opens he merely has to go though it. He doesn't know about the other two tests because no one has ever survived the first. The valet wishes him luck and disappears. The gate opens and a large green demon walks through it with weapons. It attacks Angel with chains. The valet and Darla wait in a room as Angel fights. She wants it called off. When he says it can't be done she wants to see what's happening. He touches her forehead and suddenly she can see and feel everything that is happening to Angel. Angel and the demon fight until Angel is able to get a sword from it and slices it in half at the waist. Angel tries to get through the gate, but it has already closed. As he yells the demon pulls itself back together. Angel fights and cuts it in half again, this time chaining up the halves separately. The gate opens and Angel goes through. Angel arrives in a room with an open skylight high above, where the moon shines down. The walls and floors in front of him are covered in crosses, a bowl sits on a pedestal in the middle of the room and there is a door on the far end. Angel makes a run for the door at the far end, burning his feet at he runs. When he gets to the other side he finds the door locked. He quickly runs to the bowl and sees a key at the bottom, inside holy water. He reaches inside screaming as the water boils. He pulls out the key and unlocks the door. Angel arrives in a room where chains suddenly hold him in place in the middle of the room. The valet walks in applauding him and says there is one final challenge. A wall in covered with stakes moves towards Angel. Death is the final challenge. The valet says for Darla to live Angel must die.

Drink The valet makes it clear that the trade is Darla's life for Angel. Angel gets the choice to accept his death and save Darla or walk away and let Darla die. Angel refuses to live while Darla has to die. The valet implores him to give in choose to live, telling him of all the people he can save if he lives. Angel says for him to do it and the valet pulls the lever causing the stakes to fire at Angel. Angel wakes up standing next to Darla fully clothed and alive. The valet congratulates him. The valet puts his hands on Darla's head and tries to cure her, but then is shocked. He says this is quite unprecedented, she's been given new life before, by supernatural means, so he can't help Darla. A stairway appears and the valet disappears. Angel throws a fit tossing furniture and beating his hand into the wall until it's broken. Angel and Darla end up at her motel where Angel is considering turning her into a vampire, hoping it would be different because he has a soul. She says no, she saw everything he went through, felt how much he cares. She thinks this is her second chance to die the way she was supposed to in the first place. Angel vows that for every second she has left he will be with her. She cries on his shoulder when suddenly men break into the room and hit Angel with a stunner. The men grab and Darla. Lindsey walks in followed by Drusilla. Without a word she approaches Darla, changes to vampire face and bites her neck. Darla falls to the bed as Drusilla makes a cut on her own chest. Drusilla pulls Darla to her and feeds her blood to Darla, siring her as a vampire.

Creature Feature

Tor The big green demon Angel fought was a garden variety muscular brute with the ability to pull himself back together after a fight. The script called him Tor. Angel wasn't able to kill it but was able to cut it in two and chain up the pieces.

The Trial itself seems similar to the tribunal from Judgement. After leaping from the diving board into the empty pool the subject goes before three challenges and if they win they save the life of the person who they wish to save. If they fail the challenger and the person they wish to save dies. The valet is a dispassionate observer who gives the challenger instructions. It would seem that the nature of the challenges change for each person who tries, but the first is usually fighting a large demon, the second a test of pain and the third facing death itself.

The plot of The Trial reminds me of the episode of Bablyon 5 where Delen and Sheridan were tested by the Vorlons. It also ended with them willing to sacrafice themselves for each other rather then survive, despite how much good they could do for the world.

Angel enters a motel room Darla was staying at without an invitation, saying it is public accommodations and she doesn't live there. This is consistent with Kakistos entering Faith's motel room uninvited in Faith, Hope and Trick and Angel entering it uninvited in Consequences.

Angel mentions a vampire hunter named Holtz who chased Angel and Darla in 1765 France. Angel insisted Holtz was more then a mere mortal.

Cool Quotes

  1. Darla: ''I don't trust them, but I know a thing or two about mind games, we played them together for over a century.''
    Cordelia: ''Yes, but you were just soulless bloodsucking demons, they're lawyers.''
    Angel: ''She's right. We were amateurs.''
    The deadly duo bow to the masters.


  1. Angel: ''Royal Viking Motel.''
    The Royal Viking Motel is a real motel in Los Angeles. It's located at 2025 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles, California 90057. Their phone number is (213) 353-0619. (Thanks to Marsia from the Watcher's Diary for helping find this information.)

  2. Darla: ''I hope you survive this, Angelus. If you do, maybe we meet again in Vienna.''
    Vienna is a city and Bundesland, the capital of Austria. Of the country's nine states, Vienna is the smallest in area but the largest in population. In Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Angel #1 we saw how Angelus, Spike and Drusilla visited Vienna in 1892, where Angel sired Catherine and fought the Hollower.

    Anne Rice
  3. Shempire: ''No, you've been reading too much Anne Rice lady. You have no idea how this thing works.''
    Novelist Anne Rice single-handedly rejuvenated the popularity of vampires with her Vampire Chronicles, including Interview With The Vampire (1976) and The Vampire Lestat (1985), which portrayed vampires as tortured, romantic and sensual souls. Also referenced by Spike in School Hard. (Thanks to the BuffyGuide for this entry.)

  4. Lindsey: ''Yes, she's dying. Yes, those medical reports she saw are real. You want a second opinion? Here. How about a third? Hmm? How about a thenth? I used every connection Wolfram and Hart had. That's my own personal doctor. They all say the same thing: syphillitic heart condition, terminal. Looks like our Darla was a working girl in the New World. Syphillis was what she was dying from when she was human. Now she's human again. Kind of picking up where she left off. Of course, today something like that could be cleared up with a few antibiotics, if you catch it in time. We're about a month and, what? 400 years too late?''
    Syphillus is a sexually transmitted disease that has many different symptoms. It often goes undetected because the symptoms vary so widely and medical professionals don't think to test for it. Untreated it is terminal but can be treated easily with antibiotics. Xander had magical syphillis in Pangs.

  5. Cordelia: ''I mean, not only is she putting his life at stake, but ours! I'm sorry, but after 400 hundred years of death and destruction, seems to me, you get voted off the island. Am I right?''
    Cordelia is making reference to the televisions series Survivor. Plot: Sixteen contestants are placed in a remote location with little more than the clothes on their back, a huge sack of rice, one luxury item each, and a bevy of camera crews. Every episode, a contestant is voted off; the lone survivor of this process takes home a million dollars. The contestants start off divided into two teams that compete against each other, with the losing team forced to vote a member off; when the numbers are reduced to 10 contestants, the teams merge and it's everyone for himself.

  6. Darla: ''Jasmine, it blooms at night. I remember what that was like.''
    Jasmine is any member of the genus Jasminum of the olive family (Oleaceae), which contains about 300 tropical and subtropical species of fragrant, flowering, woody shrubs. The plants are native to all continents except North America. Night or day jasmine are of the species Cestrum.

  7. Darla: ''Blow ill wind, blow away, Let me rest today. You're blowing me no good, no good...''
    Darla sings the song Wind.

    Space Oddity
  8. Host demon: ''Ground control to Major Tom, we may not be able to save this bird.''
    The host quotes from the song Space Oddity by David Bowie. You can download a clip of the song here.

    Sea Breeze
  9. Host demon: ''People try to kill you everyday. I'm talking about Ramone. Over heard us, betrayed me. The man was a world-class bartender. He made a sea breeze that took you to Tahiti. He's off the menu now.''
    A sea breeze is a mixed drink made up of 2 measures vodka, 3 measures Cranberry juice and 3 measures Grapefruit juice. Get 4 or 5 ice cubes and crush them by placing them in a plastic bag and hit them with a rolling pin. Pour the ice in a tall glass, add the above ingredients and stir. Add a straw and a slice of lime to decorate. Also mentioned by the host in Darla.

    Tahiti Tahiti is the largest island of the Windward Group of the Society Islands, French Polynesia, in the central South Pacific. Its nearest neighbor is Moorea, 12 miles to the northwest. The island of Tahiti consists of two ancient eroded volcanic cones, Tahiti Nui and Tahiti Iti, connected by the Isthmus of Taravao. Its total area is 402 square miles. Papeete is the capital and administrative centre of the island and of French Polynesia.

  10. Angel: ''Something in a koi pond? They're very Zen.''
    Koi are a variety of carp, related to goldfish. They are commonly kept in outdoor ponds, first in Japan, and have become popular all over the world. They come in a variety of colors and patterns.
    Zen, from Sanskrit for meditation, is an important school of Buddhism in Japan that claims to transmit the spirit or essence of Buddhism, which consists in experiencing the enlightenment (bodhi) achieved by Gautama the Buddha. The school arose in the 6th century in China as Ch'an, a form of Mahayana Buddhism; though introduced centuries earlier, Zen did not fully develop in Japan until the 12th century. In its secondary developments of mental tranquillity, fearlessness, and spontaneity, all faculties of the enlightened mind, the school of Zen has had lasting influence on the cultural life of Japan. Also referenced by Lilah in Untouched and Gunn in Guise Will Be Guise.


    The Box
  1. Gunn: ''Previously on Angel.''
    Judgement - The host demon welcomes them to Caritas. The Lizard demon sings I'm So Excited.
    Guise Will Be Guise - Cordelia and Wesley explain about the powers the host has.
    Dear Boy - Angel spots Darla in a hotel. Darla says she remembers everything. Angel says she has a soul now and her memories are going to start eating away at her.
    To Shanshu In L.A. - Wolfram & Hart raise Darla in a box.
    Darla - Darla asks Lindsey what she is. Holland says Lindsey helped Darla escape. Wesley reminds Angel what Darla was. Darla pleads for Angel to sire her, but her refuses. Darla runs out on Angel.

  2. France 1765
    The flashbacks in this episode takes place after Angel and Darla met the Master in London in 1760, which was depicted in Darla. The next known event in Angel's past is his siring of Penn around 1800, shown in Somnambulist.

  3. Angel: ''You do this thing and I won't be able to leave you alone, don't you get that? I'll never be able to leave you alone. Next time it'll be you on the end of this stake. I'm sorry, but I don't want that, not again.''
    Angel - Angel staked Darla with a crossbow bolt in the back to save Buffy from her.

  4. Darla: ''So I do what I have to do. Anyway, you were made in an alley, if I recall.''
    Becoming Part 1 & The Prodigal - Darla sired Angel in an alley in 1753 Galway, Ireland.

  5. Angel: ''When you sent me to that swami who was dead, and his imposter tried to kill me? Why would I be testy about that?''
    Guise Will Be Guise - Angel was sent to T'ish Magev, but soon found out her had been had by a phony.


  1. Unfinished.


  • In the previously on Angel segment Liz the demon sings The Pointer Sister's hit I'm So Excited. You can download a clip of the real song here.

  • Angel gets invited into Lindsey's home.

  • Darla sings Ill Wind. You can listen to him sing it here.

  • New name for Angel: A big hunk of hero sandwich (by the host demon).

  • The Morgue

    1. Anonymous vampire: In the alley, staked by Angel.
    2. Darla: In her hotel room, drained and sired by Drusilla.


    Angel David Boreanaz as Angel
    Cordelia Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
    Wesley Alexis Denisof as Wesley Wyndham-Pryce
    Gunn J. August Richards as Charles Gunn

    Guest Starring:
    Lindsey Christian Kane as Lindsey McDonald
    Host Andy Hallett as the Host Demon (Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan)
    Holland Sam Anderson as Holland Manners
    Man Jim Piddock as the Valet
    Darla Darla Julie Benz as Darla

    Drusilla Drusilla Juliet Landau as Drusilla
    Vampire Evan Arnold as the Shempire (Uncredited)
    Liz Andy Kreiss as the Lizard Demon (Liz, uncredited, appeared in flashback to Judgement.)

    Famous Faces

    Martyn Man Jim Piddock, who played valet, has his own web site at http://home.earthlink.net/~jimpiddock/. I contacted him though e-mail and he was very helpful in putting actors to character names and had some interesting trivia about his episode. You can read what he had to say here. Jim's other works include the part as a villain on the 1987 television series Max Headroom and as both writer and actor in the 1992 murder mystery Traces of Red, seen on the far right.

    Points Of View


    Not a bad little twist. Angel thought he was there to save her life, but he was really there to save her soul. Just as he is successful Drusilla shows up like we all knew she would and vamps her! I'm actually looking forward to the devilish duo of Darla and Dru.

    8 out of 10

    Page by Webmaster Mathew - November, 2002

    Special thanks to The Complete Buffy Episode Guide for inspiration and technical help, as well as Buffy episode links and all the readers of the Watcher's Diary for their feedback in making this page what it is.

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