Angel: Season 3, Episode 1

Heartthrob (24 Sep. 2001)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Action, Drama, Fantasy
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Even as Angel mourns Buffy's death, he must do battle against a vampire he was friends with back in 18'th century Marseilles - and whose girlfriend he has just killed.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Young Man Hostage
Sandy (as Dalila Brown-Geiger)
Vamp #1 (as Christian Hastings)


Returning from his sojourn to mourn Buffy's death, Angel learns that business is thriving while the reclusive Fred is still reluctant to emerge from her room. Angel, Wesley, and Gunn act on a vision to stop a group of vampires from killing college kids. Defeating the group, Angel realizes that he knew the head vampire, Elisabeth, from his reign during the 18th century. James, a previous acquaintance of Angel's, sets out to avenge her death after a procedure renders him invincible. Once thwarting the foe, Angel reflects on his and Buffy's relationship together while being pressed by Cordelia to carry on. Written by Patrick "Puck" Gurney

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis






Release Date:

24 September 2001 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The word "Yeah" is written in red runic letters on the wall to the right of the door inside Fred's hotel room. See more »


When Angel is confronted by James at the hotel, James is wearing a leather coat. When Angel is thrown to the right, James' coat disappears. When James starts walking to Angel again, his coat is back. See more »


[first lines]
Cordelia: I understand people who drink too much. I understand people who put a little note on the parking meter that says it's broken when it's not. I don't understand people who worship demons.
Charles Gunn: Yeah, especially a Lurite demon. The stink on that thing. You're a prince of the underworld, bro, take a Jacuzzi once in a while
Wesley Wyndam-Pryce: It's sad. The only way some people can find a purpose in life is by becoming obsessed with demons.
[Cordelia yarns]
Wesley Wyndam-Pryce: By the way, Gunn, technically that wasn't a Lurite, it ...
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I Left My Heart In San Francisco
Performed by Andy Hallett
(Performed as karaoke in Caritas)
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User Reviews

The last five minutes of this episode sets up the whole third season
27 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Season three is not my favorite season of "Angel." (My favorite is season five and then, probably, season two.) Still, this is an incredibly important season for the show. Without understanding the Connor storyline this season, it would impossible to really understand Angel's motivations in seasons four and five. "Heartthrob" is really not the best episode of the show. It's about Angel's reactions to Buffy's death. But since we all know by now that she's not really dead, it doesn't really matter that much. Still you can't skip this episode if you're watching the show on DVD. The last five minutes of "Heartthrob" sets up the rest of the season.

The episode revolves around Angel trying to deal with Buffy's death. He's been in a Tibetian monastery for the last three months trying to deal with his grief. Cordy, Wes and Gunn have kept Angel Inc. going while he was away. Fred is also staying at the Hyperion, but she's spending all her time hiding in her room. After spending five years living in a cave in Pylea, she's afraid to come back out into the real world. When Angel comes back to LA, he and Team Angel go to fight a group of vampires. Angel stakes a female vamp and then realizes that he knew her. It seems that back in the 1700s, Angel and Darla roamed around Europe with a vampire couple named James and Elisabeth. A vampire hunter named Holtz was chasing after them for a lot of the time. James and Elisabeth were incredibly in love.

Now, Angel has staked Elisabeth. James vows revenge. James goes to a demon doctor to have his heart mystically removed, making him invincible. For a little while anyway. He chases Cordy and Angel around, finally cornering them in a subway car. He and Angel fight. James tells Angel that if Angel had really loved Buffy, he wouldn't be able to go on without her. James finally dies. Cordy tells Angel not to believe James's ideas about love. She says that fighting evil honors Buffy's memory, it doesn't mean that Angel didn't truly love her. Angel thanks Cordy. Meanwhile, in Mexico Darla is looking for a demon shaman. She has a small problem that she needs some help with... She's pregnant.

There are some good parts to this episode. I enjoy Angel coming back from his sabbatical and bring them all gifts. Gunn is especially cute tossing around his shrunken head. And I like Fred's crazy rambling in her room. She has writing all over the walls and she's so twitchy and weird that I just like watching her. And I think that Cordy's talk with Angel is really sweet. She tells him that it's okay to go on, even without Buffy. Cordy really has become Angel's rock. Also the end of the episode is great. Vampires aren't suppose to get pregnant. So having Darla back and carrying a baby is just really a cool twist.

On the down side, how can James be in love with Elisabeth? Vampires can't love. It's a basic rule of the Buffyverse. I'll accept that Spike can still feel love, because he's always been portrayed as "different." From his first episode, (BTVS season two's "School Hard") Spike's been able to experience emotions and has just acted more human than other vamps. In fact, Spike's very strangeness will play into "Angel" season five's story line. (See "Destiny.") But, James?! No way. I'm not buying that that guy can still feel emotions. I'm not even buying that Angelus hung out with him, considering how whiny James is. It just doesn't make any sense.

My favorite part of the episode: Fred finally coming out of her room, just in time to walk in on a vampire fight.

13 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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