The Bachelor Party
written by Tracey Stern
originally aired November 16, 1999

It's night: Angel's sitting at his desk, quietly reading a book, while Doyle's getting a little stir crazy with wanting to have some fun:

Doyle: I can't just sit around here while...
Cordelia: While I steal into the night with my incredibly more wealthy than you prince?  Makes your little life look a tad drab, doesn't it?
Yup, Cordy's got a date with some rich and handsome guy (Pierce), and she's all dressed up and ready to go:
Cordelia: If I'm not here in the morning, you can just clear out my desk. I'll be moving on up.
So Pierce, the rich guy who's into trading for his career, shows up to take Cordy out.  Cordelia tries to rush him out the door, but not before Angel and Doyle ask him a few questions first, such as where they're going, how late they're going to be, and what Pierce does for a living.  The fatherly kind of thing to do.

All this reminds Doyle about how little his chances are with Cordelia, especially if she knew he was a demon.  While he's flipping through Angel's book, a picture falls out of a beautiful blonde girl.  Doyle's immediately taken away, and asks if this was one of Angel's former hotties (Angel: "Yeah").  But then he realizes that it's Buffy, and that he really does need to shut up.  Buffy is still a sensitive subject for our brooding vamp.  Before they have time to talk about it, Doyle has a vision of a kid that's going to be the next meal for some cadre of vampires downtown.

So Cordelia and Pierce go out to dinner and Pierce manages to be so incredibly boring, talking about how weather patterns really change the way you look at soy bean among other things.  At the same time, Doyle and Angel go to save the guy in Doyle's vision in a violent fight with several punk vampires.  At one point Doyle changes into demon form, and afterwards Angel asks him why he doesn't always stay in demon form in fights since it makes him stronger.  Doyle replies that it just isn't him, and that's he not comfortable fighting that way.

The bad thing is is that one of the vampires follows Doyle back to the office, waiting for some revenge.  With perfect timing, Pierce and Cordelia pull up to the office building with the vampire waiting in the darkness.  Cordelia "wasn't feeling good" so Pierce had to take her home early and he insists on walking her out:

Pierce: I'm sorry you're not feeling well. I was hoping we could make a night of it.
Cordelia: Me, too. I really wanted to hear the end of the story about the pigs and beans.
Right when the vampire shows up, however, Pierce runs for his car and pulls away as fast as he can, leaving Cordelia under attack!!  Cordelia's really in danger here when Doyle turns up with a crossbow:
Doyle: Hey!  I'm the one you followed here, it's me you want.
Doyle then has a big fight with the vampire as Cordelia lies there and watches, stunned.  After he finally stakes him with an arrow, Doyle instantly asks how Cordelia is:
Doyle: Are you okay?
Cordelia: I'm fine...You were so . . . brave.
Doyle: You think you could say that again without so much shock in your voice? You're stepping on my moment of manliness here.
Cordelia: I'm sorry.  I'm just...
Doyle: Surprised?
Cordelia: Grateful.
We then see Cordelia talking to Angel the next day at his desk, telling him about the night's events:
Cordelia: So here I am at Le Petit Renard with Mr. Armani, who could keep me in blue boxes for the rest of my life . . .
Angel: Blue boxes?
Cordelia: Tiffany's! God!  [rolls eyes] And the whole night I was bored silly, all I could think about was if this wimp saw a monster he'd probably throw a shoe at it and run like a weasel.  Turns out the shoe part was giving him too much credit.
. . .
Cordelia: But all of a sudden, rich and handsome isn't enough for me.  Now I expect a guy to be brave and interesting, and it's your fault!  Both of you.
. . .
Cordelia: As if I wasn't confused enough, then Doyle comes along and rescues me like some...badly dressed super hero.
Cordelia starts to show some signs of realizing that Doyle has "potential", but she also remembers her painful experience with Xander, who was also another "fixer-upper", thus adding to her confusion.
Cordelia: You know, the first thing he asked? "Are you okay?" I mean, that's like . . . substance, right?
Angel: There's definitely more to Doyle than meets the eye.
Cordelia: So I've got to kill myself. I swore when I went down this road with Xander Harris, I'd rather be dead than date a fixer-upper again.
She figures that she at least owes Doyle a coffee for saving her life and it looks as if she is starting to develop some feelings for him.

So Cordelia goes to see Doyle, who's re-enacting the glory of saving Cordelia the night before.  In this embarassing moment, Cordelia starts to tell Doyle what she's been telling Angel, with her patented lack-o-tact:

Cordelia: I was thinking that maybe I haven't been entirely fair to you.  Maybe you don't actually have *zero* potential.
Doyle: Wow, Cordelia. Thanks.
Cordelia: That's not...what I'm trying to say is that I really appreciate what you did last night...and um, I was thinking, maybe we could...
But right before she has a chance to say anything, a woman walks in the door.  This woman, Harry, calls Doyle "Francis" (we learn that Doyle's name is actually Alan Francis Doyle), and they act like they go way back.  When Doyle finally introduces her to Cordelia, he introduces her as Harriet, his wife!

Cordelia wasn't prepared for this at all and is understandably surprised:

Cordelia: You two were really married?
Harry: Were and still, according to the paperwork.
Cordelia: So it was a green card thing?
Harry: Nope. It was a madly in love, couldn't live without each other kind of thing.
This is when her bland fiance, Richard, walks in.  Basically, Harry and Richard are getting married in a few days which means that she needs Doyle to sign some divorce papers first.  This is all a little hard on Doyle and he says that he'll get back to Harry.

Later, Doyle talks to Angel about the history behind him and Harriet.  They hadn't talked to each other since their rough breakup and they weren't even 20 when they got married.  We get the impression that Harry left him because of his demon-side, which he didn't even know he had until he was 21 when it started showing itself in his sneezes.  Apparently, his mother had never told him about his demon father since she didn't see a reason to unless he showed an inheritance of some of his demon aspects.  A lot of painful memories have come up for Doyle, and it looks as if Richard can make Harry happy.  But that's not to say that Doyle doesn't trust him - he asks Angel to watch out for him to see who Harry is really marrying.

So Angel follows Richard that night into a restuarant, where he meets up with Harry in the kitchen.  While in another room, Richard morphs into a demon face and picks up a knife.  At this point, Angel comes bursting in through the window and starts punching Richard.  Harry comes rushing in, screaming for him to stop, and explains that Richard is part of a group of peaceful demons (who are "totally assimilated into our culture") who was getting a knife to cut some boxes open.  This is when we learn that Harry is an "ethno-demonologist" and she and Richard met while she was studying North American clans.  This brings up the question: if she loves studying demons, then how come she left Doyle because he was a demon?  Well, at first, she was a little shocked, but then she realized how many doors his demon-sides opened.  She tried convincing Doyle that his demon half was a good thing, but he wouldn't listen.  When Doyle hears about all of this later, he realizes how wrong he was in thinking that Harry was just pitying him.

The next day Doyle gives Harry the divorce papers, and this is when Richard asks Doyle to go to his bachelor party.  Harry explains to Cordelia that there's some sweet tradition among his type of demon where they like to have the ex-husband present at the party.  While they're talking, Harry asks Cordelia to go to her bridal shower since she doesn't really have any friends in town.  Both Doyle and Cordelia accept the invitations.

Then we see Richard sitting around a table with his family in a nice suburbian home.  His two brothers are there, his mother, and his uncle and aunt.  They go over the plan for Richard's bachelor party: lots of beer, a stripper, a ritual eating of the ex-husband's brains, and charades.

Doyle brings Angel with him to Richard's bachelor party, which surprises Richard a little bit.  All the guys there are related to Richard and his brothers look at Angel in an especially suspicious way.  Meanwhile, at Harry's bridal shower, Harry explains to Cordelia how much she hated how Doyle treated her like one of his third grade students.  That's right, he taught third grade!  They also met in a food kitchen where he was volunteering.  This new information on Doyle leaves Cordelia stunned.

At the party, Richard explains to Doyle that he needs to have his blessing for the marriage - without it, there won't be any marriage.  Doyle's a little surprised by all of this, but before he has a chance to say anything, Richard is dragged off for the stripper.

While everyone else is preoccupied with the stripper, Angel follows Richard's brothers as they leave the party.  He comes across Richard's Uncle John chanting in a dead demonic language while he takes a long knife, cuts his hand, and pours his blood into a cauldron of sorts.

Seeing all of this troubles Angel, to say the least, and he calls Cordy up on her cell phone.  He talks to Harry and asks her to translate the chant because he thinks that something's up.  Harry says she'll try to figure out what it means, but right when Angel gets off the phone, Richard's brothers and a few other guys pick a fight with Angel.  Outnumbered, Angel is in a bad situation and eventually they throw him out a window onto the pavement, assuming that he is either dead or close to it.

Meanwhile, Richard goes back to talk to Doyle about a blessing.  Doyle tells him that he's had a lot to regret in his life, but none so much as how things turned out with him and Harry.  He wants Richard to make her happy while he gets out of her life...and what he's trying to say is that Richard has his blessing.  At hearing this, Richard gets very excited and he tells everyone that Doyle consents.  Immediately after, everyone grabs Doyle, pushes him in this kind of box thing, and locks him up.

Doyle's more than a little shocked to learn that in blessing Richard's and Harry's wedding, he has consented for Richard to eat his brains!  Harry and Cordelia figure out what's going on by translating the chant and rush over to the restuarant.  Doyle is pretty scared, and unfortunately, Angel is still knocked out from the fight.  Richard and Uncle John explain to Doyle that ingesting the ex-husband's brains is an ancient ritual for them which ensures the perfect union of the new husband and wife.  Harry won't mind, they say, because she accepts and embraces demon cultures.

But right when Richard is about to make the first cut, Angel bursts in to save the day.  A big fight ensues while Doyle is kept in the box trying to avoid getting hit.  Eventually, he changes into his demon form to break out and defend himself.  This is when Harry runs in with Cordelia, yelling for the fighting to stop.  She walks up to Richard and demands an explanation.  Doyle is lying on the floor in his demon form, and Cordy is disgusted by what they were about to do:

Cordelia: Well you shouldn't be trying to eat my friend's brains, you horrible ugly demon people!
Just then, Doyle tries to get up, but as Cordelia doesn't know that the demon lying there is actually Doyle, she takes a platter and starts beating him on the head.  Angel rushes to stop her, and while she's not looking, Doyle changes back to his human form.  Meanwhile, Harry's questioning Richard on what exactly he was planning to do:
Harry: Were you or were you not intending to eat my ex-husband's brains?
Richard: In a way . . . .
Harry: And when were you planning on telling me?
Richard: I thought maybe I wouldn't have to.
Harry: You were going to start our life out together with deceit?
Doyle: Sort of missing the point, isn't she?
Harry argues that Richard's family is being very hypocritical in following the "ancient teachings" as they never had in the past, but Richard tells her that he must eat Doyle's brains or there will be no marriage.  Sadly, Harry gives Richard her engagement ring and they leave the party.

Later, Doyle is having a hard time getting over the reality of what went on with him and Harry.  He really can't get over Harry now, and Cordelia goes to try and cheer him up:

Cordelia: Hi Doyle. Are you gonna become loser pining guy, like, full time? 'Cuz we already have one of those around the office.
Angel: Hey!
Doyle: Hey!
Cordelia: He can get away with it. He's tall, and look at the way clothes hang on him. But you...
Angel: Okay. I think you've cheered us up enough.
Cordelia: You can't live in the past. You gotta move on. Let it go. Forget it. Tomorrow's another day. Did I mention letting it go?
Doyle: Twice.
Cordelia: You'll get through this Doyle. Nice guys don't always finish last.
Doyle: You think I'm a nice guy?
Cordelia: I think it; I say it. It's my way.
This makes Doyle feel better, but right then he has a blurred vision.  At the end of the vision, there is a girl, and he recognizes that this girl is Buffy.

Most memorable line

Cordelia: I think it; I say it. It's my way.
Cordelia sums herself up very nicely. :)

Most memorable scene

For me, the most memorable scene was when Cordelia was talking about her feelings for Doyle with Angel.  She obviously resents the fact that she's growing as a person which is a reason I love Cordelia so much. :) She has that same black and white way of seeing things that has been all blurred by what Doyle did for her the other night.  Very nice to see her finally start to appreciate him.

Other Characters

Doyle:Wow, we learn so much about Doyle in this ep: who he was, what he used to do, how his demon half has affected him, and that he was married!  They really crammed in a lot of Doyle facts in this ep and I applaud that because it's nice to finally learn some more about our favorite demon-human hybrid.  Doyle also took things pretty hard in this ep, which is understandable.

Angel:Pretty much of a functional role this week, which is fine with me.  Not much new on the Angel scene other than talking to and supporting Doyle and Cordelia.

Harry:Doyle's ex-wife enters the Angel-verse!  It's weird to think that she was once married to Doyle and it'll be interesting to see if she'll ever pop up again...


Mesuvius:I really liked this ep: great characterization with both Doyle and Cordelia (loved how Cordy blamed Doyle and Angel on her character growth) with a simple yet creepy plotline.  Sure, this episode wasn't perfect - the climax could have been a little bit better and some other things could have been done a little bit better, but I'm a sucker for character backstories, and I loved hearing Doyles.  I also liked seeing a non-violent family of demons that seem to be so much like us yet they have some completely different cultural ethics.  All in all, an intriguing ep that I found myself really enjoying.
My Rating: 7/10

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