Angel/The Trial

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The Trial
The Trial
Season 2, Episode 9
Airdate November 28, 2000
Production Number 2ADH09
Teleplay by Douglas Petrie &
Tim Minear
Story by David Greenwalt
Directed by Bruce Seth Green
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AngelSeason Two

The Trial is the ninth episode of the second season of Angel, and the thirty-first episode overall. Angel discovers that Darla is not long for this world and attempts to save her life, even if it costs him his.

Starring: David Boreanaz (Angel), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), Alexis Denisof (Wesley Wyndam-Pryce), J. August Richards (Charles Gunn)

Guest Starring: Christian Kane (Lindsey McDonald), Andy Hallett (Caritas Host), Sam Anderson (Holland Manners), Jim Piddock (Trial Overseer), Julie Benz (Darla),

Guest Starring (end credits): Juliet Landau (Drusilla)

Co-Starring: Evan Arnold (Vampire)


Plot Overview

Angel learns that Darla has resumed dying from the syphilis she had before she was originally made into a vampire. Wanting to find a way to help her, Angel is sent by the Host to engage in a trial that will hopefully save Darla’s life.


Monster of the Week

  • With the exception of the yellow demon from the first trial who could reattach severed body parts, there was no "monster of the week" in this episode.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Vampire Angel Staked Bar Alley
2 Darla Drusilla Turned into Vampire Hotel Room


Music is listed in order of appearance in the episode:

  • Ella Fitzgerald - "Ill Wind (You're Blowing Me No Good)"

Arc Advancement


  • Wolfram & Hart: Lindsey has Darla turned back into a vampire. Although it is unknown whether or not the firm itself was complicit in his actions, he was carrying a fair amount of muscle.


  • Darla: Because she was brought back as a human, Darla was also brought back with the syphilis that was killing her prior to being turned into a vampire by the Master. She ultimately forgives Angel for not turning her again after seeing how he felt during the Trials, but is turned anyway by Drusilla.


  • 2x07 - Darla: During one of the flashbacks, Drusilla made a comment to Darla that she "could be her mummy." This is likely foreshadowing to this episode where Drusilla becomes her sire, which is a little odd considering that in vampire terms she's technically Drusilla's grandmother.


The Show

  • Previously On: J. August Richards does the voice-over for the "previously on" recap for the first time.
  • Crazy Credits: In order to keep her cameo a surprise, Juliet Landau is credited with her guest appearance at the end of the episode rather than the beginning.

Behind the Scenes

  • Ratings: On its first airing, this episode scored a 4.1/6 in the overnight Nielsen ratings. It was ranked 4th out of the 17 WB shows which aired that week.

Allusions and References

  • Survivor: The reality show is centered around a group of people that have been stranded on a desert island. Every few days, the contestants assemble in a so-called tribal council and vote one member off the island. The first season of Survivor became a surprise summer hit and had finished airing just three months before this episode of Angel.
Cordelia: I'm sorry, but after four hundred years of death and destruction it seems to me you get voted off the island.
  • Space Oddity: Lorne quotes a line from "Space Oddity," a song off the album of the same name by David Bowie. The song tells the story of Major Tom, a fictional astronaut who becomes lost in space after something malfunctions in his space ship. The full lyric is: "Ground Control to Major Tom / Your circuit's dead, there's something wrong / Can you hear me, Major Tom?"
Host: It means "ooh, ground control to major Tom" we may not be able to save this bird.

Memorable Moments


  • As Drusilla walks up to Darla in her human face, in one particular angle, you can see from the side of her face that she has already vamped out.


  • Darla: It wasn't my will to be here in the first place. I never asked for this life.
Holland Manners: Well, no one ever does. God doesn't give us a say in these matters.
Darla: God wasn't the one who brought me back.
  • Darla: (to Angel) I wasn't in any danger, Angelus. Believe me, I picked a stupid one. I always pick the stupid ones. Didn't you know that?
  • Darla: I don't trust them, but I know a thing or two about mind games. (to Angel) So do you. We played them together for over a century.
Cordelia: Yes, but you were just soulless bloodsucking demons. They're lawyers.
Angel: She's right. We were amateurs.
  • The Host: There is one way. It's a bit of a quest. It will probably kill you.
Angel: I'll take it.
  • Angel: (about to leap into the empty pool) I'm either coming back with a cure or you're about to see something kinda funny.