Angel (1999–2004)
9.0/10
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The Trial 

In an attempt to save Darla's life, Angel must undergo three separate challenges that no one has ever survived.

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(created by), (created by) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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The Valet
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Shempire
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Storyline

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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Certificate:

TV-14
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Release Date:

28 November 2000 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The flashback scenes take place in France in 1765. See more »

Goofs

When Angel bisects the demon during the trial, the stunt harness used can be clearly seen. See more »

Quotes

[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.
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Connections

References Survivor (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Angel's greatest sin comes back to haunt him
7 September 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The thing that gets me about this episode is the subtext.

Darla tries to put on lipstick but soon wipes it off because it reminds her of having blood on her lips. But even more important is the significance Drusillia has to Angel.

As he said in an early episode of Buffy, what he did to Dru was the worst thing he ever did as a vampire - the thing he is most ashamed of. He killed everyone she ever loved, and because she was prescient she knew if not exactly what he was going to do then at least it would be a nightmare for her. She was already very religious and full of shame about her "gift" and Angelus (after killing the Priest at her confessional and taking his place) told her she was a devil child. So after losing everyone to a monster she fled to a convent, hoping for refuge by becoming a nun. And what did Angelus do? Followed her to the convent, killed all the nun's and after finally driving her mad with grief and fear - he forcibly made her a vampire. Trapping her in her nightmare world forever. All of this occurs in flashbacks of earlier episodes of this season and it is all building to the final scene of this episode.

Angel is desperate to save Darla, she is finally someone he can love, and to say he has history with her is a massive understatement. But not only that, his mission of saving souls may as well have been all leading up to this - as if he was practising. She is the reason he was such a monster and he feels that if he can save her then he will be saving himself. When he finds out that she is dying of a syphilitic heart condition he pulls out all the stops to find her. He takes part in a 3 part trial to win her a second chance by supernatural means, and as you would expect he passes all 3 tests. He kills a formidable foe, he braves extreme pain and injury by running over crosses and putting his hand in holy water and finally he agrees to give his life for hers.

The twist is that Darla is already living her second chance, and all of Angel's trials and pain are for nothing. He goes crazy, smashing furniture, beating two guards unconscious and finally punching a wall until Darla is able to calm him down.

They go back to Darla's motel room and Angel is physically and emotionally broken, he is barely able to move and is considering granting Darla's request to sire her himself, but now she is the one who refuses, having learnt from him that being turned into a vampire is not living but dying. She is prepared to keep her soul and try and find some happiness with the time that she has left.

And THAT is when Wolfram and Hart thugs burst in the room, taze an already barely conscious Angel to the floor and force him to watch as two other thugs hold Darla still, and who enters? Drusillia.

The worst thing that Angel has ever done, the thing he is most ashamed of, and now she is here to snatch away what little happiness he may have found. As Angel is forced to watch Dru sires Darla before his eyes and he is powerless to prevent it. And you just know he feels it is all his fault. Just as everything Dru has ever done is his fault.

Outstanding.


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