Angel: Season 1, Episode 4

I Fall to Pieces (26 Oct. 1999)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Drama | Fantasy
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 522 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

The gang at Angel Inc. helps a stalking victim. A creepy doctor is obsessed with a former patient, somehow, he knows everything that she does. Angel begins to suspect that something ... See full summary »



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Title: I Fall to Pieces (26 Oct 1999)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Detective Kate Lockley (as Elisabeth Rohm)
Melissa Burns
Dr. Ronald Meltzer
Dr. Vinpur Narpudan
Beat Cop
Kent Davis ...
Jan Bartlett ...
Patricia Gillum ...
Woman Patient
The Hands


The gang at Angel Inc. helps a stalking victim. A creepy doctor is obsessed with a former patient, somehow, he knows everything that she does. Angel begins to suspect that something supernatural is going on and investigates the doctor's past. Soon Angel, Doyle and Cordy are all in danger as they realize that the doctor is more than he seems. Written by katierose295

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

26 October 1999 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


There are scenes where the evil doctor is prowling around an apartment complex. This location is actually the historic Los Altos Apartments of Los Angeles, and later becomes the exterior model for Angel's Hyperion Hotel where Angel takes up residence in seasons 2 through 4. See more »


Towards the end of the episode the mad doctor shoots Angel with an animal tranquilizer that slows down and eventually stops the heart. Angel falls to the floor, breaks out in sweat, has tremors, and lets the bad guy get away. As a vampire, Angel's heart doesn't beat so this scene makes no sense. But, Angel wasn't actually dying. He was pretending to die, so the bad guy would think he got away with it. Once he thought he was free to kill the woman, Angel showed up and surprised him. See more »


Melissa: Oh, no. I like it. As long as you're not bored.
Allen Francis Doyle: No, no, no, I'm good. I have a word jumble right here. That should keep me occupied, sadly, for most of the day.
See more »


References Funny Girl (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the weakest episodes of the show
15 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This isn't my favorite "Angel" episode. It kind of heavy handed and really it doesn't contribute a lot to the over all story arc or the development of the characters. If you're watching the season on DVD, you could probably skip "I Fall to Pieces" and not miss much.

Stalking is the theme of this episode. Only, it's done without the show's usual subtly. Instead, it's literally about a crazy stalker. Doyle gets a vision that sends Angel off to help a woman named Melissa. She's being stalked by her crazy ex-boyfriend. (They only had one date, actually.) He's a doctor and he somehow knows every move Melissa makes. She's becoming more and more panicked and she agrees to hire Angel Inc. to help her. Angel begins to suspect that there's something supernatural going on with the doctor.

Angel asks Kate to have a police officer watch Melissa's apartment. Then he goes to the doctor's office for a little re-con. While there, Angel steals a book about "mind over matter" new age philosophy. Getting in touch with the author, he discovers that the doctor has developed a way to control all the nerve ending in his body. Basically, the doctor can disconnect all his parts then reconnect them again. Back at Melissa's apartment, the doctor's arms have strangled a police officer. His eyes float around spying at her. And now, with Angel hot on his tail, he goes after Angel. Tricking Angel into coming to his office, he the drugs Angel and goes after Melissa. Melissa is hiding at Angel's house with Cordy and Doyle. All his creepy little parts slide into Angel's house and attack Melissa. Angel gets there just in time to knock his head off once and for all.

There are some good parts to this episode. I like that the show drew some comparisons between the creepy doctor and Angelus. Angelus always stalked his victims. For instance, Drusilla, who he drove insane back in the 1860s, and Buffy, who he taunted through out the second season of BTVS. Angels' memories and guilt play a big part in his disgust for stalking. Also, I like that this episode dealt with the subject of money. Angel is uncomfortable asking for payment. He wants to be heroic and mysterious, and like most vampires, he doesn't worry a lot about bills. It's up to Cordy and Doyle to remind him of the financial realities of life (or unlife.) Plus, they make a good point. By saving someone Angel is putting them in a position of "victim." They need someone else to solve their problems. By paying for Angel's help, though, they become proactive. They have to power to reclaim control of their lives. It's a nice message.

On the down side, this episode can sometimes seem like a public service announcement. It's constantly stopping the story so it can give, "Stalking is bad" speeches. It gets old. Also, the doctor's body parts popping off is kind of cheese-y.

My favorite part of the episode: Melissa getting her co-worker a birthday cake. The bakery's spelled the other woman's name wrong, so Melissa tries to rearrange the icing without much success. It's just a cute little moment.

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

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