''Driven by the woman who cursed him with
immortality, to spare her life will he sacrifice his soul?''
The Trial - 2ADH09
Written by Douglas Petrie, Tim Minear & David Greenwalt - Directed by Bruce Seth Green - First Aired on November 28th, 2000
Creature Feature -
Cool Quotes -
The Morgue -
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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,
Angel: ''She's right. We were amateurs.''
The deadly duo bow to the masters.
- 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)
(Thanks to Marsia from the Watcher's Diary for helping find this information.)
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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
- 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.
- Darla: ''Jasmine, it blooms at night. I remember what that
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.
- Darla: ''Blow ill wind, blow away, Let me rest today. You're
blowing me no good, no good...''
Darla sings the song Wind.
- 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.
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Angel - Angel staked Darla with a crossbow bolt in the
back to save Buffy from her.
- Darla: ''So I do what I have to do. Anyway, you were made
in an alley, if I recall.''
Part 1 & The Prodigal - Darla sired Angel
in an alley in 1753 Galway, Ireland.
- 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.
- Anonymous vampire: In the alley, staked by Angel.
- Darla: In her hotel room, drained and sired by Drusilla.
David Boreanaz as Angel
Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
Alexis Denisof as Wesley Wyndham-Pryce
J. August Richards as Charles Gunn
Christian Kane as Lindsey McDonald
Andy Hallett as the Host Demon (Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan)
Sam Anderson as Holland Manners
Jim Piddock as the Valet
Julie Benz as Darla
Juliet Landau as Drusilla
Evan Arnold as the Shempire (Uncredited)
Andy Kreiss as the Lizard Demon (Liz, uncredited, appeared in flashback to Judgement.)
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.
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.