Synopsis of Heartthrob

Written by Brandee Mode

For those that don't know... most (if not all) of the episodes have been in letter-box format. And there is mention of the season 5 finale of Buffy. It's brief, but it's a big spoiler if you don't want to know.

The first scene is in the hotel, we see Fred nervously poke her head around a corner, and then pull back as we see Cordelia, Gunn, and Wesley entering the hotel while Cordelia talks about demon-worshippers. They gather in the lobby. They and talk about how they don't have much in the way of personal lives, then they end up talking about Fred. We learn that since they came back from Pylea a few months ago, she has spent almost all her time in her room. Cordelia misses Pylea. Wesley points out that of course she misses it; she was there for a week and they made her queen. Fred was there for 5 years and she was a slave. (For those of you that don't know what Pylea is, let me know, I will try to explain it to you.)

We learn that Angel went on a spiritual retreat to a monastery in Sri Lanka, trying to deal with his grief over Buffy's death. Gunn complains...

GUNN: "He should have gotten hammered and gone to Vegas like I told him." Wesley insists that Angel needs to work through his loss in *peace and quiet*

So the scene cuts to Angel and of course, he is getting anything but peace and quiet. He's in the middle of a big fight at the monastery. (He's not wearing black! He's dressed in all white, looks like pajamas to me.) There are a lot of bad guys he's fighting against. But suddenly, Angel is opening the monastery doors, we can see all the bad guys on the ground behind him. When he opens the doors, there are a couple of villagers who look startled. He speaks to them in a non-English language, so they show us captions to let us know what is being said. One of them asks Angel what happened...

ANGEL: "Demon monks. Shoulda gone to Vegas."

Back at the hotel, Cordelia is holding a couple of rat traps. Cordelia asks who's turn to set the traps, and Wesley and Gunn both say "his" at the same time. Apparently they are both afraid of rats. Gunn says that he hates "their little beady eyes." Cordelia makes fun of them and heads for the basement, but when she opens the door she screams and steps back. Then we see it's because Angel is standing there smiling. (I'm very surprised because he is wearing another non-black outfit) Cordelia gives Angel a big hug and pulls him toward the lobby where he gets hugs from Wesley and Gunn. Cordelia asks about Angel's retreat, and he says it was nice "until the monks turned out to be life-sucking Shur-od demons." Cordelia says, during his trip, Angel "worked on things" and so he certainly wouldn't have brought back any small momentos... Angel asks "Fishing for gifts?" Cordelia immediately says yes. Angel smiles and hands Cordelia a shrunken head, which she pretends to appreciate until Angel takes it back and tosses it to Gunn. Angel holds out a necklace to her and she gasps, obviously liking it. As she fastens it around her neck she comments...

CORDELIA: "Look how it brings out my breasts!" (I wish I hadn't heard that, and I don't think it's true anyway) "You know were all thinking it.)"

Wesley's gift is a dagger; it's some special kind of dagger that Wesley has always wanted. He swishes it back and forth in the air and says how he can't wait to kill something with it.

Angel asks about Fred, and Cordelia tries to insist that Fred has improved a lot.

"Hasn't come out of her room yet, huh?" Angel asks.

Cordelia admits that they've sent up a lot of tacos. Angel says he'll check on Fred, he turns around to look at them for a moment before saying, "It's really good to see you guys." As he heads upstairs, Wesley claims, "He seems better than when he left." Cordelia looks doubtful.

The sun sets, and we see a wall covered with all kinds of equations and formulas. Fred is writing "Listen, listen, listen," on one of the (very few) blank spots on the wall. There's a knock on the door, and Fred nervously answers...

FRED: "Hi! How are ya? I'm just fine, doing real good here! No need to worry about me, but thanks for checking!" Angel identifies himself; Fred pulls off her glasses and runs to open the door. She steps forward with her arms out, like she's going to hug Angel and then thinks better of it and steps back. She starts to ask about his trip, and then rushes back to clear away taco wrappers and other trash so that he can sit down. Angel says that he can't come in, and Fred gets even more flustered and embarrassed until he points out that she has to invite him, which she does. Angel stares around at all the writing and apologizes for leaving suddenly. Fred dismisses it, saying that she doesn't need a baby-sitter, but then the look on her face seems to say, *uh oh, I just told him it's ok to leave again* She quickly asks if he's *staying around now, though, right*? Angel says that he will, and then he looks around at all the writing again, reading the word listen, he asks what she's listening for. She says *click* when you hear the click in your brain and you understand things again. He asks what she'll do if she runs out of wall space before she hears the click. She doesn't know. He tried to tell her that she's home now, she's safe. But he knows it will take some time, that sets her off to go start writing on the wall again. He gently takes the marker away from her and tells her she doesn't need to write everything down.

Angel encourages Fred to come downstairs and be social. He backs out into the hall, insisting, "There's nothing to be scared of. You're safe here in the hotel!" That's when we hear Cordelia scream. He takes a couple steps to leave, then leans back into the doorway and tells Fred to *hold that thought*

Cordelia on the lobby floor, papers all around her. Angel, Gunn and Wesley all rush to her side, each from a different direction. Angel asks what she saw. She see her vision, blurry as usual, while Cordelia describes seeing a bunch of vampires attacking kids at a party in a college dorm. She sees a sign on the floor and identifies the location as "Wilson College...Bonner 918" Wesley and Gunn dash for the weapons cabinet. Cordelia adds, "They're gonna take hostages! Watch out for the blonde, she's the worst. " (During the vision, it focuses on a large heart-shaped locket, the blond vampire is wearing, you wouldn't think anything of it, but it's mentioned again later.) Angel asks whether Cordelia will be okay, and then takes off with the others. Cordelia cries and falls back to the floor.

At the dorm, Angel, Gunn, and Wesley look around at all the victims on the floor. Gunn picks up a flier, which we can assume was an invitation to the party and comments, "So much for inviting everyone." Angel says some of them are still alive. Wesley gets on the phone and calls for multiple ambulances, while Angel peers out the window. Angel announces that "they're heading east on Sixth Street" and tells the others to take the car. Gunn asks what Angel's going to do, and when Angel turns around, he's got the bumpy vampire forehead. Gunn says *oh*. Angel jumps out the window and goes leaping across rooftops.

The scene shifts to the convertible full of vampires driving down a street. To make things a little easier, I am going to tell you that later in the episode, we learn the name of the blonde female vampire, it's Elizabeth. Two people (a guy and a girl) are in the car also. We never hear their names, so I will just call them GUY and GIRL. Guy asks Elizabeth to *please don't hurt her*. She turns to look at Girl in the back seat, (who looks like she's in a trance caused by shock) and asks...

ELIZABETH: "You love her? You'd do anything for her?" Guy nods yes. "What if we just kill her and let you go?"

After a minute, Guy sniffs and says, "Take her."

ELIZABETH: "You call that love? We get home, I'll show you what love is."

That's when Angel suddenly crashes onto the car, (from where, I don't know.) Angel clobbers the driver and the car crashes into something (I couldn't see what). Gunn and Wesley pull up. Angel pulls the humans out of the car and tells them to run. Lots of fighting, of the 4 vampires, Wesley and Gunn each stake one. As Angel fights the 3rd Elizabeth attacks him from behind. Angel grabs her and pulls her around in front of him, pulling off the locket) he immediately stakes her, in the second before she turns to dust, Elizabeth, stares at him in shock saying, "Angelus?" then poof, she's dust. Angel looks down at the necklace and seems to be surprised at seeing someone he knew.

Somehow Cordelia has gotten home, she wearily stumbles into her bathroom. The door shuts behind her and a light is turned on, but then she whispers that it's too bright, the light is quickly turned off and a smaller lamp turns on. (I'm so glad Joss didn't forget about Phantom Dennis, I like him.) Cordelia tells him thank you and comments *how did I ever live without a ghost* She takes some pills, (I assume painkillers of some kind) while Dennis fills bathtub for her. Cordelia tells him "these visions are killing me." She takes off her clothes and gets into the tub; Dennis hangs up her clothes and scrubs her back with what looks like a sponge on a stick. A phone rings, but Cordelia just moans.

Suddenly we are back in time. It's 1767 in Marseilles. We see Darla and Angelus, with another vampire couple walking behind them. The other couple is James and Elizabeth; they are all giggling, hugging and fawning over each other in general. Darla says, "Young love," and Angelus says he'll *give it a century* They continue with the love talk and James says something about needing 10,000 years just to name the color of Elizabeth's eyes. Angelus says...

ANGEULS: "They're green, but take your time. In fact don't. We've a ship to catch and Holtz may not be far behind."

There's more chit-chat, and Angelus tells James setting the fire was excessive. Elizabeth say it was *making a statement*

ANGELUS: "A statement as in - Here was are Holtz, please hunt us down."

JAMES: "Who cares about Holtz."

DARLA: "You would if you knew him. He's killed scores of us, hunted Angelus and me across half of Europe. God, if he follows us to Morocco, what then? The New World?"

James wants to do battle with Holtz. (I don't know why Angel and Darla don't just leave the two and let them do whatever they want.)

ELIZABETH (speaking to Darla): "I heard Holtz trapped you both in a barn and you fled, leaving Angelus to die."

Angelus looks at Darla affectionately as he remembers; "She hit me with a shovel, wished me luck, and rode off on our only horse." Darla adds, "When he finally caught up to me in Vienna, I had to pay for my sins, again and again," but she doesn't seem too unhappy about it.

As Angelus and Darla head down the street again, Elizabeth is lingering to gaze at a heart-shaped locket in a store window. James smashes the window, grabs the locket, and puts it around Elizabeth's neck. More hugs and kisses, then soldiers finally arrive. James tells Elizabeth to go with Darla to the ship; he and Angelus will join them. James shouts at the soldiers, who stop and look concerned. James shouts at them, asking what are they afraid of. As we hear horses galloping up, Angelus mutters *not us* The soldiers back off as a group of men on horseback arrive and begin aiming their crossbows. At the sight of the troop approaching, Angelus tells James, "Hope she treasures that locket."

Suddenly we are back in the present, everything we just saw in the past was Angel telling the story to the others. Gunn wants to know how Angel escaped Holtz, but Cordelia is focused on the current problem.

CORDELIA: "James and Elisabeth had the big forever love. If he's still around and he finds out who killed her...?"

WESLEY: "He's going to want revenge."

ANGEL: "If he's still around, if they're still in love. It was along time ago"

CORDELIA: "250+ years and the girl is still wearing the locket."

Wesley and Gunn leave to talk to their *sources*. Angel tells Cordelia that James really lived for that girl.

The scene changes to the crashed vampire convertible, which is being towed away. It's daytime. We see James standing in what looks to me like a covered parking lot, only there are no cars.) He is standing next to the vampire that got away when Angel staked Elizabeth. James is visibly heartbroken and wonders out loud how his old friend Angelus could kill Elizabeth. The other vampire explains...

NO-NAME VAMPIRE: "He's not the same. Gypsies cursed him with a soul a hundred years ago or so. He's got a business here in L.A. -- he kills us for money!" He continues how it was too much for them and makes excuses for his own escape. James accuses him of running; he says he fought til he realized it was hopeless. He thought James would want to know how it happened, who did it.

James finally says, "I want to die," and then pushes the no-name vampire into the sunlight causing him to burst into flames and go poof.

At the hotel, Angel is looking at pictures of James and Elizabeth inside the locket. Cordelia is *working* in the background. Angel finally asks her what she wants to say. She starts with "it's really none of my business..." then gets to the point, "I don't think you should blame yourself or feel guilty for her death." Angel says that he doesn't, since he didn't even know who Elizabeth was when he killed her. Cordelia says, "Not her." Angel sighs, "Oh, you want to talk about..." and closes the locket.

CORDELIA: "She was the love of your life and she died. (pause) And you weren't there when it happened. (pause) You couldn't help her fight. (pause) You couldn't save her. (pause) You couldn't die with her. (pause) This is going to be one of those talks where I do all the talking, isn't it. I'm not going to pry, it's not my style. OK, it's totally my style, but I can tell I'm not getting anywhere right now. But you have to tell me one thing. You owe me this much - What the hell happened with Holtz?"

So now we are back in the past again, as Holtz marches up Angelus and asks, "Where is she?" Angelus starts bragging about how he and Darla killed Holtz's family. Holtz punches Angelus and pulls out a stake. Holtz says killing Angelus is not the worst thing he can do to him. He could keep Angelus alive for months, even years. Angelus quickly confesses that Darla is with James's girlfriend. James gets mad. Angelus offers James and both the women, *Down at the docks.* James yells "I'll kill you!" and leaps to attack Angelus.

James's attack causes everyone to start fighting, some using crossbows. Angelus gets a few arrows in the back (missing his heart of course), but manages to climb onto one of the horses. James climbs onto the horse behind Angelus, and they gallop off with Holtz and friends in hot pursuit.

Next we see Angelus and James ride into an alley, apparently they have escaped those chasing them. James shoves Angelus off the horse and says he would kill Angelus, but right now it's more important to get to Elizabeth. Angelus says he just saved James's life, but James snaps...

JAMES: "I'll be sure and tell Darla about the utter lack of concern you had for her."

He rides away, and Angelus picks himself up and starts pulling arrows out as he wonders, "Why are people always riding off and leaving me? Am I a bad bloke? I don't think so. Not once you get to know me. I may need a doctor..." Then he falls down with a thump.

Back in the present, James bursts into the office of Dr. Gregson. The receptionist protests, "You can't go in there, he's sloughing!" In the office, we see the doctor, who is in the middle of pulling some kind of goo off his face. Gregson explains, "I go through this every month, just like a woman." (I didn't need to know that.) He asks what James wants. James wants *the cure*. Gregson asks whether he's aware of the price, and James says he's already paid it. The scene changes to James lying on an operating table (no shirt) as Gregson bends over him with a scalpel. He begins an incision as he insists, "This shouldn't hurt... too much."

Back from commercial, we're at Caritas, where a sign says it's Happy Hour. Lorne is on stage, singing "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." Wesley and Gunn are standing at the bar, talking about when will *he*get there. A demon tells Gunn and Wesley to be quiet so he can listen to the music. He refers them to as youngsters. "That's real music. As the song ends, Merle finally shows up. He doesn't want to do business if Angel is around. He complains that Angel is...

MERLE: "... always beatin' me up or hangin' me upside down -- and he never pays up like he's supposed to." Wesley puts a pile of money on the bar (not sure where he got all the money) Merle says that he had to work hard for his information, so "the price is gonna change." Wesley starts removing bills from the pile until Merle gives up. He tells them that James "is alive, in town and he knows what Angel did to his heartthrob. And he's out for blood." Gunn immediately pulls out a cell phone and starts dialing.

Scene shifts back to the hotel, where Angel hangs up the phone after receiving the call from Gunn. He shares the news with Cordelia as he heads for the weapons. Cordelia immediately worries that James will be headed for the hotel. Angel tells her, "I want you to go home while it's still light out, and stay there." Then he gets confused because some of his weapons are gone. Cordelia says she moved to the basement while he was gone because they were dust-catchers.

Cordelia refuses to leave, and Angel says that he appreciates her courage, but that he doesn't want her to get hurt. As he heads for the basement, Cordelia says she knows he'll come after her if she goes home because "that's what they do -- they come after you when you're alone." (She's forgetting about that invitation rule, I guess). Angel argues with her a little more but Cordelia says she thinks she's safer at his side. Angel opens the door to the basement, which is where James is waiting. James immediately throws Angel into a wall while Cordelia runs away. James asks...

JAMES: "Why'd you do it?" James tosses Angel out into the lobby. "Because I had something you could never have?"

Angel tells Cordelia to get back. James looks at her then moves forward to attack Angel. More fighting, and upstairs Fred wanders out .

FRED: "Angel? I thought I heard company. I came out of my room. Small steps, like you said." Angel stops his attempt to strangle James (I guess Angel forgot they don't breathe.) and hops out into view just long enough to yell out that she should go back to her room and stay there. Angel rejoins the fight. Fred is obviously confused and just says, "Okay, then" and heads off. (Fred can't see that he's fighting someone.)

At Caritas, Merle tells Wesley and Gunn that James visited Dr. Gregson earlier today. Gunn asks what kind of doctor Gregson is, and from behind the bar Lorne answers, "A demon kind. Slod demon." Wesley asks for more information, and Lorne says, "He's a collector."

The phone rings at the hotel, (I'm guessing it's Gunn calling to share the newest news) Cordelia is pulling out weapons while Angel and hit each other. Cordelia picks up a fire extinguisher and throws it at James. It hits him in the head. James falls down; Cordelia returns to the cabinet and pulls a stake out of a drawer. Cordelia tosses the stake across the room to Angel, but James suddenly pops up and catches it. Cordelia says *oops*. James knocks Angel to the floor and, while Angel struggles to push the stake away and mutters how Angel never loved anyone or anything and tells Angel to go to hell. (I was expecting Angel to make some kind of "been there, done that" comment, but it didn't happen.) Cordelia tries to pull James away, but he throws her across the lobby. That gives Angel the chance he needed; he flips James and stakes him. Angel hurries over to pick up Cordelia telling her *it's over*. They look over at James, who is now standing, as he pulls the stake out. James' wound heals over and he rushes toward Angel.

James and Angel are still fighting. This time it ends pretty quickly when Angel kicks James out into the sunny courtyard. Cordelia points outside and asks, "Shouldn't he be on fire?" Angel says they should *get out of here* and they run for the basement. We see James stand up in the sunlight.

As Cordelia climbs down into the giant sewers, her coat gets caught on something. Angel tells her to leave it. They go running down the sewer tunnels; James goes after them. Angel pushes Cordelia toward one of the tunnels, he steps over to a different tunnel entrance and purposely cuts his hand on something and flicks blood down that tunnel. Then he follows Cordelia, he finds a door and calls her back. (Do sewers have doors? Maybe I was wrong and they aren't actually in a *sewer*). James appears, sniffs the blood, and hurries down the wrong tunnel. Angel and Cordelia stop to catch their breath in the little room they're hiding in.

They have a whispered conversation:

CORDELIA: "OK, I've been doing this awhile, don't stakes through the heart and sunshine kill you guys?"

ANGEL: "He seems to have become --"

CORDELIA: "Invincible?"

Angel tells her not to exaggerate. Cordelia asks about the Ring of Amara, if James is wearing a ring. Angel says no, so she asks...

CORDELIA: "Did the Amarra people make cufflinks or belt buckles?"

Angel tells her that there was only the one ring.

CORDELIA: "And you had to smash it!"

ANGEL: "Why don't we recriminate later, okay?"

He tells her to be quiet, he thinks James took the bait. There's a loud rumbling and everything shakes. Cordelia panics and clings to Angel, thinking it's an earthquake. Angel looks irritated and pushes her away, telling her it's just the subway. Cordelia's cell phone rings, which causes her to yelp in surprise, which startles Angel.

It's Wesley who called and Cordelia is having trouble hearing him. Wesley tells her there's something she needs to know about James.

Then we mostly hear just Cordelia's side of the conversation, which is just a lot of her repeateding what Wesley says...

CORDELIA (on the phone): "Oh, he's invincible, is he? (She gives Angel and *I told you so* look) Snod Demon, what's that? Some kind of doctor demon that collects rare organs... (pause) Cut out his heart? (pause) Absolutely can not be killed. Wait, what? (pause) How long? Six what? ... "

But the connection is lost. She tells Angel that James's invincibility is only temporary, and then he'll die. Unfortunately, all she heard was the number six, it could be minutes, hours, weeks... Angel says that all they have to do is wait. So of course that is when James smashes through the wall behind them. Angel and Cordelia run down another tunnel and uend up in the subway station. They push their way through the crowd and jump onto a train with the doors closing right behind them. As train pulls away as Cordelia sticks out her tongue at James. James stands at the platform, watching the train leave, then as the last car passes him, he grabs onto it.

Inside the train, Angel looks distracted as Cordelia starts babbling, about whether they should double back or ride to the end of the line. He finally tells her, "Shh," and as she starts with, "He couldn't possibly --" and that's when James smashes through a window. Angel shoves Cordelia back towards the other people on the train, and James wonders...

JAMES: "Well, this is a new twist in an old snake. Is it possible you care about someone who isn't you?" Angel tells James not to worry about her. "If you're not the same man who screwed Darla and couldn't care less what happened to her..."

That causes Angel to pause, he thinks James means literally.

ANGEL: "Where did you hear --? Oh. You mean back in the day. Right."

Cordelia insists that Angel HAS changed. She tells James that Angel has a soul now and he cares about people, which leads James to wonder whether Angel will feel something if he kills Cordelia.

CORDELIA: "Well, it's not like he's losing sleep with the caring."

JAMES: "Lucky me, now I can kill the woman you love."

ANGEL: "No, you can't."

JAMES: "Are you forgetting who's the invincible one here."

ANGEL: "The woman I love... is dead."

James is confused. Cordelia explains that it happened three months ago and they try not to say her name.

James doesn't believe it. If Angel had really been in love *with all his heart* --

"You wouldn't be standing here playing games with me. You wouldn't be able to, because when she died, or when some bastard killed her, it would have killed everything in you."

James rips out a subway seat and hit Angel with it. Angel falls back and lands at the feet of one of the passengers, (a man on crutches). Angel tells Cordelia to *catch him!* then yanks the crutches away as Cordelia helps support the injured passenger. Angel uses the crutches to knock James's legs out from under him, and then somehow he uses the crutches to pin James' arms behind him, hard to tell how he does it, it happens so fast, (and I'm glad it happened fast because you could hear the bones break. Eew.) Then Angel pushes James against the wall, and asks...

ANGEL: "This your idea of love, James? It's not real unless it kills you?"

JAMES: "What's yours? It's fun as long as it doesn't cost me anything? You don't know what love is." Angel lets James fall to the floor. Suddenly James looks pale and sick. He is breathing heavily now. "You think you've won because you're still alive? I lived. You just existed." Then James turns to dust.

Scene switches to the hotel... As Angel comes down the stairs, Cordelia asks how Fred is doing. He says they talked over what happened and she'll be coming out of her room any decade now. Cordelia asks Angel how is, but cuts him off before he can answer...

CORDELIA: "And don't say OK. Angel, please. I know you, and ever since you came back from your grief trip, I can tell, something's not right. And obviously, it's not. Buffy's dead. And I don't mean to diminish that; I miss her, too. I just want to say, that James with all his Romeo and Juliet madness opened up a lot of wounds for you, but you'll be okay."

ANGEL (quietly): "I am okay."

CORDELIA (compassionately): "Then what is the problem."

ANGEL: "That I'm okay. That losing Buffy didn't kill me. That I can deal with it. (pause) In all those years, no one ever mattered. Not like she did. And now she's gone. Forever."

CORDELIA: "And you're still here."

Angel says it feels like he's betraying her. Cordelia points out that he's still fighting and trying to help peopl and that's not betraying her; that's honoring her. Angel kind of agrees. Cordelia asks whether they can get back to work. Angel didn't realize there was work to do. The perfect moment for Wesley and Gunn to march out of the office. On the way to the weapons cabinet, Wesley asks what Angel knows about Nester demons. Angel says, "They like to live in the walls of peoples' homes. They hatch several times a year. Don't you have to kill the Queen or something?" Cordelia explains that they killed a bunch of them in Hancock Park a couple of months ago. Wesley thinks they missed the Queen. By now, they each have a weapon and they walk straight toward the camera.

Scene switches to Puerto Cabazas, Nicaragua. A man enters a bar, saying, "Sorry it took so long. He's a very difficult Shaman to find." As he sits down at the bar, he hands a piece of paper over to Darla, who slides the paper into her cleavage. She tells him to leave. The guy pours her a drink. She says no, but says something about getting to know each other and *how much can one little drink hurt*. Darla says it depends on who's doing the drinking. The guy says that he thought Darla might have some surprises in her.

DARLA: "You know what they say..."

She puts on the vamp face and attacks. When she's done, she throws the guy to the floor. She leans back, (no longer in vamp face). Now she has a trickle of blood in the corner of her mouth. She sucks on a lime.

DARLA: "Life's full of surprises."

Then we see her from the back and as she turns around to get up, we see her very large stomach. Darla is pregnant!! She gets up and walks out of the bar. (Are you as surprised as I was?)

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