Bachelor Party (Angel)

Infobox Television episode
Title = Bachelor Party
Series = Angel


Doyle's ex-wife's bland fiancé, Richard.
Caption = {Caption|}
Season = 1
Episode = 7
Airdate = November 16, 1999
Production = 1ADH07
Writer = Tracy Stern
Director = David Straiton
Guests = Kristin Dattilo
Carlos Jacott
Episode list = List of "Angel" episodes
Prev = Sense & Sensitivity
Next = I Will Remember You

"Bachelor Party" is episode 7 of season 1 in the television show "Angel", originally broadcast on the WB network. Doyle is caught off guard when his estranged wife, Harrie, asks for a divorce so she'll be free to marry her new love, Richard. Though quite surprised to learn this piece of Doyle's past, Angel and Cordelia do all they can to support their friend. With the wedding a few days away, Cordelia accepts Harrie's invitation to her bridal shower. That night, Angel shadows Richard and discovers that Harrie's affable fiancé is an Ano-movic demon. Since Doyle believes that Harrie's rejection of his own half-demon heritage caused their breakup, he must contend with a certain amount of rekindled pain and anger. Nevertheless, Doyle reluctantly accepts Richard's sincere invitation to the bachelor party. Apparently, the wedding cannot proceed without Doyle's express blessing on Harrie's second union. Little do either the bride-to-be or Team Angel know, a sacred Ano-movic tradition involves ritualistically eating the first husband's brain. See also List of "Angel" (series) episodes.

Plot

Doyle's attempt to get Angel to put down his book and go out drinking (to a sports bar featuring online trivia) gets sidetracked by the appearance of Cordelia, in elegant evening wear, who apparently arranged to meet her date, Pierce, here at the office. Cordelia enumerates Pierce's many attractive qualities, all of which seem to be material in nature. When Pierce arrives a little later, Angel interrogates the handsome young man until Cordelia manages to drag him out the door. In some distress at the hopelessness of his own case with Cordelia, Doyle sits on the sofa and idly leafs through Angel's book. When a photo of a lovely blond woman slips from between the pages, Doyle picks it up and whistles, asking Angel if his old squeeze would date a man with an Irish accent. Seeing Angel's stricken face, Doyle immediately deduces that this is Buffy and gets up to apologize. Before he's able to say anything else, however, Doyle is struck by another vision, and the conversation is sidetracked again. At Doyle's report of a young guy captured by a band of vampires downtown, the two of them race to the rescue. Meanwhile at a posh restaurant, Cordelia, finding herself "bored silly" by Pierce and his futures trading exploits, entertains herself by imagining what her fellow team members might be up to. In fact, Angel and Doyle are in the midst of a bracing battle in the vampire nest, where they arrived just in time to save the weakened but still breathing victim. After they dust all visible vamps, Angel elects to take their charge home, and sends Doyle back to the office. As they leave, the single surviving nest-member, a large, (extra)mean-looking male vampire emerges from hiding.

Unaware that he's being hunted, Doyle lets himself in at the office, while the hunting vampire also observes Cordelia's arrival only moments later. Dropping Cordelia off early because she claims to feel unwell, Pierce makes a couple of last-ditch tries to spend the night with her. When the vampire suddenly shows his face, however, Pierce screams and runs in terror, leaps into his Mercedes convertible and burns rubber backing away. Thus abandoned to her fate, Cordelia struggles with her captor in a futile attempt to break out of his grasp. Suddenly, Doyle reappears on the front steps with a crossbow and an attitude. Taking his only shot, Doyle sends a bolt into the vamp's foot, then engages hand-to-hand as the enraged vampire throws Cordelia rolling to the sidewalk, yanks free and roars to the attack. Overmatched, Doyle refuses to morph into demon mode (a reluctance Angel mentioned after the fight earlier), even though enhanced demon strength would be a distinct advantage at this moment of crisis. Even in human form, however, Doyle manages to retrieve the spent crossbow bolt and to dust the surprised vampire. Cordelia is impressed by his prowess and moved by his caring. The next day, she talks with Angel about her evolving attitude toward men in general, and toward Doyle in particular, coming to the conclusion that Doyle, who might actually have some potential, at least deserves to be treated to a mochachino as a thank-you-for-saving-my-life gesture. Finding Doyle in the outer office, Cordelia doesn't get the chance to extend the invitation. An attractive young woman, with masses of honey curls, opens the front door and just stands at the threshold smiling at Doyle. Stunned, Doyle introduces his wife, Harrie, to an equally stunned Cordelia. Angel has just emerged from the inner office to be introduced when another stranger pokes his head around the front door. Letting himself in, he goes straight to Angel and, introducing himself as Richard, enthusiastically shakes Angel's hand. After being set straight, Richard turns to Harriett and mentions the wedding, producing more stunned expressions all around. Angel firmly escorts Cordelia out of the room and Richard goes back outside to wait (according to the original plan). When they're finally alone together, Harrie gently presents divorce papers to Doyle. Stunned once more, Doyle says he'll have "his people" look the documents over, and Harrie quietly agrees to comes back in a few days.

Later, declining Angel's offer of a shot of scotch, Doyle explains that his demon side, genes he inherited from a father he'd never met, didn't manifest until he turned twenty-one, "after" he and Harrie were already married. Stating that Harrie left because she couldn't handle the fact that her husband was half demon, Doyle quickly segues into speculation about the real story behind Richard's bland, friendly façade. Worked up and perhaps unaware of his actions, Doyle drinks off Angel's untouched shot. At his friend's request, Angel follows Harrie's fiancé and spots him making a clandestine exchange, then slipping into Straley's Steak House with the package. Inside his family's restaurant's kitchen, Richard hides the small brown-wrapped package in the industrial-sized refrigerator. When Harrie arrives soon after, bearing stacks of department store boxes tied together with twine, Richard goes into a storage area, selects and samples a bottle of sparkling wine, picks up a carving knife, and morphs into a demon. Just as Richard approaches an unsuspecting Harrie, Angel crashes through a plate-glass window and tackles the demon, landing several hard punches before it registers that Richard isn't fighting back and that Harrie is shouting at him to stop. To Angel's extreme confusion and chagrin, it seems Harrie knows about and is okay with Richard being a demon, to the point of having obtained a degree in ethnodemonology. Richard is a benevolent demon, and the knife was for the box ribbons. Harrie further explains that, while she did freak initially, she quickly adjusted to the idea of Doyle's demon heritage—more quickly than Doyle did himself. When Harrie encouraged Doyle to explore that side of himself, however, Doyle refused. Harrie tells Angel that her first husband just shut down and withdrew, and became "pretty much a bitch to live with."

Doyle finally understands that it wasn't his demon half that broke him up with Harrie, it was his own personality flaws. In a rush of regret and resignation, Doyle signs the divorce papers, then hands them over to Harrie as Richard looks on. When she excuses herself to go make photocopies, Richard takes the opportunity to invite Doyle to his bachelor party. He explains that his clan has a tradition of asking the first husband of a remarrying divorcée to give his blessing on the new union. In Angel's office meanwhile, Harrie invites Cordelia to her shower, explaining that Richard's family is very sweet and "into good vibes." At the Straley home later, the family assembles at the dining table for dinner where, passing around a bucket of chicken, they finalize plans for Richard's party. Although the beverage choices literally go without saying, there is some discussion about what food (Buffalo wings vs fois gras) and activities (stripper vs stripper "and" charades) to provide that would best complement the Ritual of Eating the Ex-husband's Brains.

Doyle brings Angel along to the bachelor party. Richard begins softening Doyle up, hoping to eventually elicit his "blessing," Doyle's symbolic consent to become a ritual sacrifice. Meanwhile, Harrie fills Cordelia in a little more about Doyle's past, alluding, during her post mortem of their relationship, to the qualities that first attracted her. Cordelia is astounded to learn that Doyle got his teaching credentials at a young age and taught third grade while married to Harrie. She is less surprised to hear that Harrie met Doyle when both were volunteers at a homeless shelter. Back at the bachelor party, Angel leaves Doyle unattended to investigate the mysterious withdrawal into the back room of Richard's clansmen, Ben and Nick. He overhears Uncle John performing some kind of blood rite upstairs, and phones Cordelia to ask Harrie for a translation of the Aratuscan incantation. As Angel hangs up and turns aways from the phone, Nick deliberately incites a brawl. Four demon kin thrash Angel and toss him out a second story window, where he lies unconscious in the alley below.

After the dancer finishes her routine, Richard rejoins Doyle at the bar and asks him whether he's given any thought to blessing the proposed union. Doyle generously finds it in his heart to not stand in the way of Harrie's new chance for love and happiness, and gives Richard his blessing. Hearing the announcement that "consent" has been given, the rest of the guys swarm Doyle and lock him in a wheeled box, shaped like a squat armoire, with doors that enclose his body from the neck down. The hole in the top of the box allows just Doyle's head to be exposed. Uncle John quickly gives Doyle an injection to numb his head and then draws a dotted line across his forehead about halfway between his hairline and his eyebrows. Doyle shouts for Angel, but the proceedings continue uninterrupted. Meanwhile, Harrie and Cordelia discover what could possibly be a very disturbing translation of Uncle John's ceremonial knife-purifying incantation, only to have it confirmed by Aunt Martha. The girls leave the bridal shower with all haste. Out in the alley, Angel regains consciousness and, furious, immediately vamps up. He crashes into the restaurant through another window and Richard's relatives mob him en masse. Richard, just about to cut Doyle's skull open, turns to attack Angel with the ceremonial knife, but Angel kicks it out of his hand and punches the guest of honor hard in the face. Doyle finally morphs into his own demon form, breaks out of the box and joins the fray. At that moment, Harrie and Cordelia arrive and Harrie shouts at the boys to stop. When she confronts Richard about his intention to eat her ex-husband's brains, Richard admits that his family won't allow the marriage unless he performs the ritual, tacitly admitting as well that he'll abide by his clan's wishes. Harrie looks into Richard's eyes and takes his hands in her own for a few moments, then deftly returns her engagement ring, turns, and leaves. With a small smile, Doyle turns away as well.

Angel and Cordelia watch Doyle mope in the darkened outer office until Cordelia goes out and cheers him up in her straight-forward way. All of a sudden, Doyle has yet another painful vision. This time, he recognizes the blond woman from Angel's bookmark photo, apparently fighting for her life against multiple foes. When Angel asks, wide-eyed, what he saw, Doyle hesitates to speak Buffy's name.

Acting

Guest star Carlos Jacott also appeared in two other Mutant Enemy produced television shows: he played Ken in "Anne", the first episode of the third season of "Buffy", and Lawrence Dobson on the first two episodes of "Firefly".

Main cast

*David Boreanaz as Angel
*Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
*Glenn Quinn as Allen Francis Doyle

Guest stars

*Kristin Dattilo as Harriet "Harry" Doyle
*Carlos Jacott as Richard Straley

Co-stars

*Ted Kairys as Ben
*Chris Tallman as Nick
*Brad Blaisdell as Uncle John
*Robert Hillis as Pierce
*Lauri Johnson as Aunt Martha
*Kristen Lowman as Mother Rachel
*David Polcyn as Russ

Cultural references

* Giorgio Armani: Cordelia's date, Pierce, wears an Armani suit.

*Mercedes: Cordelia further says Pierce drives a Mercedes CLK 320.

* Blue boxes: Cordelia believes Pierce could buy her expensive jewelry for the rest of her life.

* Green card: Cordelia wonders if Doyle's marriage was related to an immigration loophole.

* Frogs' legs: Straley's Steak House probably has reasonable access to this common French or Chinese dish.

*Yin and yang: Harrie believes Richard is different, yet complementary, to her.

* Pictionary: The women at the party play Pornographic Pictionary.

* ESPN: Richard's uncle is a fan of the cable sports channel.

Continuity

* Crossover with "Buffy": In the last scene, Doyle has a vision of Buffy in danger. Angel goes to Sunnydale in "Pangs".

* Despite noting Angel's expression of pain, Doyle can't know how deeply his remark about "a man with an Irish accent" cuts. In addition to being a general reminder of Angel's recent loss, Doyle's unfortunate comment recalls the fact that though Liam is born in Ireland, the only time Buffy might have heard his Irish accent is during the dream she shares with Angel ("Amends") when he flashes back to his Dublin days as evil Angelus.

* Cordy's attempt to break free of the stalker vamp by biting his arm is reminiscent of the final battle in the season one finale of "Buffy", "Prophecy Girl". Cordelia, trying to barricade the library door from a horde of attacking vampires, bites a vamp's reaching arm and shouts, "See how you like it!"

*Doyle fulfills the first half of his promise ("Rm w/a Vu") to tell Angel the story of his life by confessing salient points of his failed relationship with Harrie.

Arc significance

Doyle has at least two significant opportunities to show Cordelia his demon face, neither of which he takes. The first is when he fights the stalker vamp and chooses to struggle unaugmented rather than reveal his mixed heritage. The second comes when Harrie and Cordelia walk in on the boys' mêlée. Doyle has just been knocked flying and is lying out of sight under the table in one of the restaurant booths. He groggily sits up during Harrie's tirade—still in demon form. Cordelia, in an excess of concern for her friend, Doyle, vents some of her anger and anxiety by grabbing a handy serving tray and repeatedly bashing the blue-green, spiny thing she believes to be one of the evil, brain-eating demons. Angel hastily comes to Doyle's rescue, both pulling Cordy off and distracting her so she won't see him morph back to human form. It remains unclear whether Cordelia recognizes him as the same person when Doyle deliberately shows her his demon face in "Hero".

Production

Translations

* Italian title: "Addio al celibato" ("Bachelor party", literally "Farewell to bachelorhood")
* Spanish title: "Despedida de soltero" ("Bachelor party")
* French title: "Enterrement de vie de démon" ("Bachelor party" literally "Demon party")
* German title: "Party mit Biss"

External links

*

ee also


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