A disturbed Slayer makes sure Spike keeps his hands off her.
Written by: Steven S DeKnight and Drew Goddard
Directed by: Jefferson Kibbe
Angel and the gang are alerted after Dana, a severely disturbed girl, makes a violent escape from a high-security mental institution. Fearing that she may be possessed, they investigate - as does Spike, still on his hero kick.
When Angel's research reveals the frightening fact that Dana is actually a slayer driven mad by being tortured as a child, they ask Rupert Giles for help. He sends Andrew, now with the Watchers' Council, who explains how Buffy created slayers from all the world's Potentials - one of whom was Dana. Spike goes after her, trailed by Andrew.
Angel and the gang manage to locate Dana in a grimy basement. There they also discover Spike - chained up and with his hands severed.
Wesley and Angel tranquilise Dana, and both she and Spike are rushed out into ambulances. Dana's removal, though, is blocked by Andrew. As a slayer, he explains, she is the responsibility of the Watchers' Council, who no longer trust Angel. When dozens of slayers back him up, Angel has no choice but to let him take her.
Quiz: - ten quick questions.
Play the game: After the shenanigans of last episode, Lorne dubs Eve "Parasite Eve" - after the 1998 survival horror videogame perhaps?
Here's Harmony: Harmony, rather un-politically correctly, tells Angel a girl has gone "all Cuckoo's Nest" when describing Dana's escape from the asylum. She's referring, of course, to the 1975 Oscar-winning film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, starring Jack Nicholson as an inmate at a mental hospital presided over by the malevolent Nurse Ratchet.
Boxer tricks: Spike's comment to Dana when she starts speaking Chinese to him is exactly the same thing he told the Chinese slayer he killed back in 1900, as seen in the episode Fool For Love. Dana also
taps into the memory of Nikki Wood, the other slayer Spike killed, in 1970s New York.
Andrew, we still love you!: Still the geekiest of them all, Andrew makes nerdy references to The Lord of the Rings (comparing Spike's return to that of Gandalf, and his abs to Aragorn actor Viggo Mortensen's), The X Men and Star Trek (telling Angel, "Check the view screen, Uhura").
Meanwhile, over on Buffy: Andrew's explanation of how Buffy had Willow create slayers out of all the Potentials refers to the last ever Buffy episode, Chosen. He also brings us up-to-date on what's been going on since then - Buffy and Dawn are in Europe, and Giles is heading up a new Watchers' Council.
Angel's back in bloodthirsty mode this week - is it just me, or has this season featured a higher-than-normal gore quotient? Spike's mutilation in this episode was one of the darkest moments I can remember from this series - and the damaged Slayer was a chilling creation, with her bone saw and horrendous past.
Despite the very disturbing themes, there was still plenty of humour in this episode, and it's to the production team's credit that the two never jarred. It would have been horribly easy for jokes set next to discussion of child abduction and torture to come over as highly tasteless; instead their lightening of the tone cast the horror of these events into even starker relief.
It was wonderful to see Andrew again, even with the floppiest hair this side of Hugh Grant. Oh, I've missed his nerdy references and inappropriate touching. Please, please give him his own spin-off show - Andrew: Watcher Extraordinaire.