Angel: Season 1, Episode 3

In the Dark (19 Oct. 1999)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Drama | Fantasy
8.3
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Oz comes to LA with a gift from Buffy. She has sent Angel the the Ring of Amara, which makes any vampire wearing it "unkill-able." Unfortunatly for Angel, Spike has also arrived in town and... See full summary »

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Title: In the Dark (19 Oct 1999)

In the Dark (19 Oct 1999) on IMDb 8.3/10

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Storyline

Oz comes to LA with a gift from Buffy. She has sent Angel the the Ring of Amara, which makes any vampire wearing it "unkill-able." Unfortunatly for Angel, Spike has also arrived in town and he's determined to get the ring for himself. Angel soon finds himself in deep trouble and it's up to Doyle, Oz and Cordy to save him. Written by katierose295

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19 October 1999 (USA)  »

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Trivia

This episode marks the only appearance of Seth Green (Daniel "Oz" Osbourne) on the series. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1 min) While Doyle and Cordelia are searching the dark, unlit sewers, lamps/lighting equipment are visible in the bottom right corner of the shot. See more »

Quotes

Cordelia: This is not a needle in a haystack, this is a needle in Kansas.
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References Deep Blue Sea (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Spike comes to town
14 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"In the Dark" corresponds with the BTVS episode "The Harsh Light of Day." In that episode, Spike finds the ring of Amara buried under Sunnydale. He and Buffy fight and she takes the ring from him. Oz then agrees to drive the ring to LA for Angel. It would probably help to see "The Harsh Light of Day," before "In the Dark," but it isn't completely necessary. You can follow along easily enough. "In the Dark" is an important episode. It reunites Spike and Angel, which is always fun. And it establishes Angel's real quest for redemption. He wants forgiveness, but he wants to earn it for himself. If you're watching on DVD, you shouldn't skip this episode.

"In the Dark" revolves around the ring of Amara. Basically, it's a magical ring that makes any vampire who wears it "unkillable." Oz brings it to town for Angel. Spike dug up the ring in Sunnydale and Buffy took it from him. Unfortunately, Spike wants the ring back. He comes LA looking for it. Angel knows that Spike will show up and hides the ring. Sure enough, Spike attacks Angel. In fact, in pretty short order, he's kidnapped his grandsire. Never one for the pre- show and easily bored with torture, he hires another vampire to try and make Angel talk. The torture demon is an expert at inflicting pain and has a thing for killing kids. Angel refuses to say where the ring is and Spike soon becomes frustrated. He heads to Angel's house and threatens Doyle and Cordy, telling them to get him the ring or he'll kill Angel.

Cordy and Doyle find the ring and bring it to Spike. But they have a plan. Just as Spike is about to get it, Oz drives his van right into the building. Cordy, Doyle and Angel escape. The torture demon steals the ring and Spike, annoyed with all of them, heads back to Sunnydale. The torture demon goes to the beach, looking for children to eat. Angel follows him there. He and the torture demon fight. Angel gets the ring and kills him. But Angel refuses to keep the ring. He says that wearing it is a false redemption and that he wants to help all the people who live in the dark. He destroys the ring.

There are some really great parts to this episode. I love Spike. And I REALLY love episodes where Spike and Angel are interacting. They're just so funny together. You just have to laugh as they fight, Angel complaining that Spike never makes plans and Spike taking a time-out to compliment Cordelia, "You look smashing. Have you lost weight?" Also, I like Spike kidnapping Angel. He just becomes more and more frustrated with his grandsire. Angel won't tell him where the ring is and the torture demon keeps playing Chopin, which Spike can't stand. Spike is not a patient guy. His shouting and pacing and taunts about Buffy are all pretty entertaining. I also enjoy Oz's reunion with Angel and Cordy. Cordy insists that they have so much to catch up on. But, she's pretty much done hearing about Sunnydale within 4 seconds. And Angel, ever the extrovert, greets Oz with a simple "Oz." Finally, I like the scene of Angel on the beach. He's so happy to be standing in the sun that you just have to smile.

I think that a lot of this episode ties into "Angel" season five. There's Spike and Angel's complicated love/hate sibling rivalry. The two of them do horrible things to each other, they fight and bicker and sleep with each others girlfriends. But, underneath it all, they're family. Angel never even brings up Spike torturing him. And, by season five, Spike fights on Angel's side, even when he doesn't agree with his grand-sire. The two of them are pretty much stuck with each other for the rest of their un-lives. Also, there's the scene with Cordy and the arrows. She threatens Spike with a crossbow and he tells her to go ahead and fire. He'll kill her with the arrows. It's the basically the same thing that Angelus says in a flashback in the season five episode "The Girl in Question." I think you could make an interesting argument that Spike's "tough guy" talk is just paraphrased from his grandsire. Angelus was his mentor and the strongest vampire, so Spike has spent the past 100+ years trying to act like him. Finally, there's the ring. Angel won't wear it because he thinks it will make him forget the ordinary battles that need to be fought. All the people who live in the dark, who need his help. By season five, Angel has (metaphorically) put on the ring. He's distanced himself from his mission and has to struggle to find himself again.

On the down side, how did Angel and Doyle know the ring of Amara by sight? In "The Harsh Light of Day" Spike had no idea what it looked like and he was the one who did all the research to find the ring. Also, how did Angel know where to find that torture vamp? There are a lot of spots in LA that have kids. Why did Angel automatically try that pier? Finally, did Angel HAVE to smash that ring? Couldn't he just not wear it? Maybe he could have used it later.

My favorite part of the episode: Spike standing on the roof top and watching Angel speak with a woman he's just saved. Spike is supplying his own dialog for both of them, switching his voice back and forth as he mocks Angel's heroics and hair. "To the Angel-mobile!" It's probably one of the funniest scenes of the season.


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