Angel: Season 2, Episode 9

The Trial (28 Nov. 2000)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Drama | Fantasy
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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 539 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

Darla is informed from Lindsey and Holland that there was an unfortunate side effect to her rebirth. Angel, learning of Darla's terminal condition, embarks on a mission to save her. Lorne ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
The Valet


Darla is informed from Lindsey and Holland that there was an unfortunate side effect to her rebirth. Angel, learning of Darla's terminal condition, embarks on a mission to save her. Lorne directs Angel to a challenge which might restore Darla's health but at the cost of his life. Angel completes the challenge but Darla cannot be saved again because of her previous resurrection. Feeling broken, Angel tries to comfort Darla in her final stage until Lindsey shows up with an unexpected visitor. Written by Patrick "The G" Gurney

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Release Date:

28 November 2000 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Julie Benz suffered agonizing stage fright when she was called on to sing. See more »


Drusilla draws her razor sharp fingernail across her chest for Darla to drink. The bloody cut on Drusilla's chest already exists as Drusilla draws her finger below the cut. See more »


[first lines]
Cordelia Chase: [about Angel] Don't you think we should check on him? He's been in that cellar a long time.
Wesley Wyndam-Pryce: I keep hearing a "chucka-chucka" sound. What's he doing down there?
Cordelia Chase: How should I know? He barely says "Good morning and get me a glass of blood" anymore.
Wesley Wyndam-Pryce: I know.
See more »


References Survivor (2000) See more »


Ill Wind (You're Blowin' Me No Good)
Written by Ted Koehler and Harold Arlen
Performed by Julie Benz
(Sung by Darla in Caritas)
See more »

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Don't skip this episode
23 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is an incredibly important episode for the story arc this season. In fact, what happens here will --in some ways-- drive the entire rest of the series. "The Trial" is the episode where Darla becomes a vampire again, a story line which will play into next season and beyond. Angel's inability to save Darla nearly destroys him and sends him down a dark path that will drive the second half of the season. Really, if you're watching the season on DVD you HAVE to see this episode.

Basically "The Trial" revolves around the news that Darla's dying. The human disease that was killing her back in 1609 was resurrected with her. She only has a few months to live. Desperate to stay alive, she redoubles her efforts to become a vampire again. Lindsey and Angel are both horrified by the prospect of losing Darla. Angel takes her to Karitos, where she sings for Lorne. Lorne tells Angel that he knows of a place that might be able to help. Basically, it's a mystical gladiator-trial deal, hidden inside a swimming pool. If you pass three deadly tests, you get a wish granted. Angel agrees. He battles demons, is burned by crosses and holy water and is nearly impaled. He completes all the tests, but there's a problem. Darla already GOT a second chance at life when Wolfram and Hart brought her back. She can't be saved again. Angel is distraught. He takes Darla back to her hotel room and offers to turn her into a vampire so she can "survive." Darla refuses. She finally realizes how much Angel cares for her and what it really means to be human. She decides to die as a mortal, like she was suppose to 400 years before. Just then, Lindsey bursts into the room with some Wolfram and Hart goons. They tazer Angel and capture Darla. While Angel looks on helplessly, Drusilla comes sweeping into the room. Darla struggles, but Dru bites her and once again turns Darla into a vampire.

There are some great parts to this episode. I really like Angel jumping into that empty pool. He tells Darla, "I'm either coming back with a cure, or you're about to see something kind of funny." Then, he leaps head first off the diving board. I actually winced the first time I saw this episode, imagining Angel's pretty face all smashed into the cement. (I know, I'm shallow. I can't help it. He's gorgeous.) I also like Darla trying to convince that other vampire to sire her. She argues that vampires often make themselves "mates" who they can rampage across the countryside with. "Woah," says the other vamp, "That kinna sounds like commitment." Then, he's not sure how to sire someone properly and he keeps talking and talking... Poor Darla's just so annoyed with him. Also, Cordy and Wes are really funny in this episode. Angel leaves Darla with them, telling her that she isn't a prisoner and that he'll handle everything. Then he goes out. Cordy and Wes look at Darla and immediately start the conversation with, "You're our prisoner." Then they go back and forth threatening her. It just cracks me up. Really though the pay off for the episode is the last 10 minutes. Angel is just destroyed that the trial didn't work out. In the end, Darla ends up comforting him. Telling Angel that she'll stay a human and die with him at her side. Then Lindsey and his guys bursts in, captures Angel and grab Darla... And in walks Dru, beautifully evil and ready to turn Darla herself. It's just a jump-off-the-sofa cheering moment.

On the down side, why doesn't Angel ever try that swimming pool place again? It wasn't that hard to get through the trials. Maybe he could have solved some of his problems in season five... With people who'd only died the once. Also, I think that this is the first episode to mention Holtz and I just hate that creep. Finally, Angel should know that siring vampires with a soul still makes evil vampires. He turned that kid during WWII, something that will be established in season five's "Why We Fight." So, his offer to Darla is sweet, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. Maybe he's just too upset to think logically.

My favorite part of the episode: DRU!!! I just love her and I'm thrilled that she's in LA.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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