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Damage

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Angel
Season 5, Episode 11
DamageMain
Air date January 28, 2004
Written by Steven S. DeKnight
Drew Goddard
Directed by Jefferson Kibbee
Episode Guide
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"Soul Purpose"
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"You're Welcome"
Cast
Starring
David Boreanaz Angel
James Marsters Spike
J. August Richards Gunn
Amy Acker Fred
Andy Hallett Lorne
Alexis Denisof Wesley
Guest Starring
Tom Lenk Andrew
Mercedes McNab Harmony
Navi Rawat Dana
Co Starring
Jasmine Di Angelo Young Dana
David Brouwer Stock Boy
Kevin Quigley Dr. Rabinaw
Alex S. Alexander Carol
Rebecca Metz Young Nurse
Michael Krawic Vernon the Creepy Psychic
Mesan Anderson SWAT Team #1
William Stanford Davis Security Guard
Mike Hungerford Dock Worker
Debbie McLeod Real Estate Agent
Uncredited
Carlton Enoch Paramedic
Stan Klimecko Walter
Lecy Goranson Michelle

"Damage" is the eleventh episode of the fifth season of Angel and the ninety-ninth episode overall. Written by Steven S. DeKnight and Drew Goddard and directed by Jefferson Kibbee.

Angel calls on the Watchers Council for help in tracking down a psychotic vampire slayer named Dana, who was tortured by a serial killer as a child.

Synopsis

At Wolfram & Hart, Harmony tells Angel that there was a mix-up with a girl named Dana's medication at a psychiatric hospital, and no longer sedated, she broke down her door, killed several people, and escaped. At the hospital, Dr. Rabinaw tells Angel and Spike that Dana had been kidnapped and tortured for months when she was ten, by the man who killed her family. Recently, she gained incredible strength. Angel realizes Dana - like Buffy - is a vampire Slayer, activated by the events in the Buffy series finale.

Wesley asks Giles to send "his top guy" to take care of Dana, which turns out to be Andrew Wells. He updates the group on how Willow activated every potential "Slayer of the Vampyrs"; when Wesley wonders how the Slayers will be trained now that the Watchers Council is gone, Andrew explains that Giles and some "Sunnydale alums" have resuscitated the Council.

As Spike heads off to look for Dana, Angel follows Lorne's suggestion to visit Dana's childhood home with a psychic. The psychic flashes back to Dana's abduction and her family's murder; the smell of molasses and a basement is "where her pain lives," he says. Meanwhile, Dana goes to the basement of the building where she was held captive, flashing back to her torturer injecting her with various drugs. When she looks up at his face, it's Spike.

Andrew catches up with Spike, and updates him on the Scoobies' activities - Xander is in Africa, Willow and Kennedy are in Brazil, Buffy and Dawn are in Rome, and everyone else is in England. Andrew guesses that Buffy doesn't know Spike is alive and wonders why he didn't tell her. When Spike follows the scent of blood into Dana's trap, Andrew tries unsuccessfully to shoot Dana with a tranquilizer gun. Spike chases Dana to the basement, where she starts repeating what her torturer once said to her. Dana, channeling Nikki, recognizes Spike as William the Bloody. Before he can explain that she's dreaming of other Slayers, she injects him with a sedative. At Wolfram & Hart, Angel and Gunn realize the smell of molasses indicates Dana was held in a distillery, and send a tactical team to search abandoned distilleries.

Back in the basement, Spike awakens to discover that Dana has cut off his hands. She tells Spike he can't hurt her anymore, but when he insists she's thinking of someone else she finally remembers who her torturer really was. Angel arrives, tells Dana her real torturer is dead, and knocks her out with a tranquilizer dart. Spike is taken to the hospital to have his hands reattached. Later, Andrew tells Angel that because Dana is a Slayer, she belongs in the care of the new Council. Andrew says none of the Scoobies trust Angel now that he works at Wolfram & Hart, and that they aren't on the same side. This makes him hurt and upset, Angel now knowing that Buffy doesn't trust him anymore.

Angel visits Spike at the hospital, where Spike admits he's never thought much about what being evil means. He and Angel note that they were innocent victims once, too. Spike says Dana is like them - someone turned her into a monster.

Continuity

  • This is the last episode in both series to focus on Slayers and the last episode to feature them largely onscreen. A Slayer posing as Buffy would briefly appear onscreen later in the "The Girl in Question".
  • It has been six months since the events of the Buffy episode "Chosen".
  • The events of this episode are a result of the actions in the Buffy series finale, in which Willow turned every Potential on Earth into a Slayer.
  • It is revealed that, because of their newfound affiliation with Wolfram & Hart, the Scooby Gang no longer deems the Angel Investigations team trustworthy. Knowing that Buffy and the others didn't trust him may have contributed to Angel's attitude in "You're Welcome."
  • When Dana and Spike fight, she channels the Chinese Slayer; his line "Sorry love, I don't speak Chinese," is a repeat of the line he said just before killing the Chinese Slayer during the flashbacks to the Boxer Rebellion in "Fool for Love". Dana's memories of Nikki Wood and Spike's killing of her were also first seen in "Fool for Love", though further memories of Nikki's death were explored in the Buffy season seven episode "Lies My Parents Told Me". Here we discover that Nikki did beg Spike to spare her so she could return to her son, at least in her mind, confirming what Spike stated in "School Hard."
  • Andrew's storytelling persona resurfaces in this episode. It was previously seen in "Storyteller", including his pronunciation of the word "vampyr".
  • When Andrew is describing the effects of Willow's spell, it appears that Angel, Wesley, Gunn, Lorne, and Fred were all unaware of the spell's vast effects, and even of its existence in the first place; none of them knew that all of the Potentials were activated as Slayers.
  • It is revealed in the canonical Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight comic books that the effects of Willow's spell caused some Potentials-turned-Slayers other than Dana to use their newfound powers in violent and illegal ways.
  • Spike's comment that Angel is looking "old" is an in-joke reference to David Boreanaz's inevitable visible signs of aging, despite the fact that Angel, as a vampire, is immortal and unaging.
  • It is known that the Scoobies are collecting and organizing the Slayers. Giles is training new Slayers, Willow and Kennedy are still a couple and are in South America, Xander is in Africa, and Buffy is in Rome with Dawn.
  • Spike's statement about his pre-soul self not caring much for the nature of evil, that he was in it more for the party, reflects his attitude in the Buffy Season 2 episode "Becoming, Part II," where he admits to betraying Angelus because he likes the world.
  • Some of the pictures Dana draws are off the Shadowmen from "Get It Done". She also marks herself in the same way as we witness the First Slayer do.
  • Sarcastically, Andrew reminds Wesley of his dismissal from the Watchers Council. This fact was partially provoked by his Slayer-in-training Faith Lehane becoming a dangerous criminal. Ironically, Andrew will later be confronted to a similar problem with the Slayer terrorist Simone Doffler.

Body Count

  • two psychiatric male nurses, killed by Dana with a saw
  • Dana's parents, killed by Walter Kindel (in flashback)
  • one policeman, killed by Dana with a saw
  • a dock worker, killed by Dana with a saw
  • Walter Kindel, shot while attempting to rob a liquor store (only mentioned)

Behind the Scenes

Music

Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors

  • The statement that "Chosen" occurred six months prior doesn't reconcile with the timeline that was presented during Angel's fourth season and Buffy's seventh season, which featured serialized storylines that didn't play out over a prolonged period of time. Given the characters' statements about the passage of time on Angel, the defeat of Jasmine took place about four months after Angel was freed from the bottom of the ocean. This would put the episode "Home" as taking place in February 2003. "Chosen" takes place within a few days of "Home." Angel's first official day as CEO of Wolfram & Hart was 19 days later, according to "Just Rewards," which would be March 2003 at the latest. Yet the fifth episode of season five, "Life of the Party" takes place on Halloween, which would mean Angel would have been at Wolfram & Hart for seven months at that time, going against other dialogue that indicated he had only been there for a month. So while "six months" makes sense from the standpoint of where the episodes aired, within the context of the show it would be closer to 10 months. The six month figure could, of course, be a generalization.
  • During the meeting with Andrew where he explains the Potentials becoming Slayers, Lorne acted surprised at hearing there was only supposed to be one Slayer and asked that if there's only supposed to be one Slayer, why is there Dana. Lorne was aware that there was already more than one Slayer in season 4 where he sat at Faith's bedside after her battle with Angelus that put them both under a drug-induced coma.

References

  • When everyone is trying to figure out where Dana is, Fred suddenly stands up and says "Whiskey". While unknown at the time of production, Amy Acker would go on to play a character by the name of Whiskey in a later Joss Wheldon show, Dollhouse.

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