With their old office now a pile of driftwood, the gang is operating out of Cordelia's apartment - Hence the spiffy whiteboard listing all the cases they're working on. Wesley says he's been "broadening the contact base", and knows an informant named Merl who hangs out at a popular demon hot spot, Caritas. Cut to a demon singing "I'm So Excited" by the Pointer Sisters to an audience of both demons and humans. Kumbaya, indeed. On the way out, the green-skinned MC asks Angel to sing. Angel is put off by him. Wesley explains to Cordelia that "The Host" is anagogic — when you sing, you bare your soul, and The Host can then read it. The Host gives Angel a warning: There's always that feeling of smooth sailing right before a fall.
Angel rushes to the scene and sees a pregnant woman walking about. She is startled by Angel, who is equally-startled by the Prio demon appearing. A fight ensues and Angel breaks the demon's neck. Angel gallantly reassures the woman that's it's dead - and is stunned when she starts to cry and kneels by the dead Prio's body. Whoops. Angel realizes his mistake. She mentions a tribunal, but when Angel tries to help her, the woman storms off. Angel tracks down Merl, whom he suspects was being less than forthcoming. Merl sings like a canary: There's a price on the woman's head -- or, more specifically, the baby she's carrying. The baby girl is prophesied to be a big deal, and the dark ones want her dead. Merl tells Angel the Prio lived in the L.A. subtunnels. Once there, Angel finds an odd metal disc hidden in a secret compartment of a wooden box. Angel tells Gunn to deliver it to Cordy and Wes. He hears a noise and pulls out a samurai sword... on the pregnant woman. She explains that she needs to find the coat of arms and present it to an other-worldly court known as The Tribunal -- maybe she'll have a chance and The Tribunal will protect her unborn baby. A cloud casts over Angel's face as he listens to the woman's description of the talisman: a metal disc. Foiled again! Having lost her temper with Angel, the woman tries to leave but is waylaid by a mob of bounty hunters. Angel tells her to go to the address on his business card. She runs out and Angel stays to fight off the demons.
When Angel returns to Cordelia's, he expects the pregnant woman to be there already, and becomes distraught when she's not there. Angel admits that he let the Shanshu Prophecy goes to his head. Wes comes in with the background information. It's a medieval coat of arms to be presented before a court that settles grievances with a fight to the death. Wesley points out that this court is mystical, and can materialize anywhere. Have gavel, will travel.
And at Caritas, presenting: Angel, the Vampire With Soul! Angel looks as pained as those watching him belt out an off-key version of "Mandy". The Host pulls him aside and starts to read him: Angel made an honest mistake, he says, but things don't look too good for the expectant mother, who is waddling down the street when The Tribunal rises from out of nowhere. A knight rides up before the tribunal and throws the coat of arms on the ground as a challenge. The woman asks for asylum and is refused by the tribunal; she's got no coat of arms, and no champion, so she's out of luck. Just then, the other metal badge is thrown on the ground. Angel declares himself her champion. He mounts the horse and arms himself with a shield and a lance. Both champions joust with each other until Angel is thrown off his horse. Angel uses his sword to pull the knight onto the ground, where they duel. A sword plunges into Angel and he falls on his knees. The tribunal declares the knight the victor. The knight is about to kill her when Angel removes the sword and cuts off the knight's head. The Tribunal overlook this poor bit of sportsmanship and declare that both she and her daughter are now under their protection.
At Cordy's apartment, the whiteboard is being mothballed by Angel. Wes realizes that it's about doing the job, not keeping score. Angel says he has somewhere to go: the women's penitentiary. In the visitor's room, Angel picks up the phone and on the other side of the glass, Faith picks up hers. Both Angel and Faith reflect on their rocky road to redemption, and whether or not they'll ever make up for their previous indiscretions.
- Avengers Assemble: This season opens with the individual members of Angel Investigations being called into action. Angel rendezvous with Wesley and Cordelia at an athletic gym, where they walk in despite the manager's protests to stop some demons trying to commit a human sacrifice.
- The Big Board: Between last season's finale and the Season Two premiere, Angel and co. have set up a whiteboard to track their cases. It is promptly discarded.
- Big Damn Heroes: The useless gym employee stops in the middle of threatening to call the police when he notices that Angel's reflection is absent from the mirror in front of them. Angel says, "I'll fix that," and kicks through the mirror.
- Bond One-Liner: Quip of the week? "Steroids. Not good for you."
- "I move to amend that ruling!"
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: The Host to his audience, between sets.
"In this city you better learn to get along. Because LA's got it all: The glamor and the grit, the big breaks and the heartaches, the sweet young lovers and the nasty, ugly, hairy fiends that suck out your brain through your face. It's all part of the big wacky variety show we call - Los Angeles!"
- Brick Joke: The blonde at the bar is a setup for a joke in "Dear Boy". For the record: yes, Wesley got lucky.
- Call Back: Darla reiterates that Angel killed her - it didn't take. Actually, he staked her all the way back in Episode 7 of Buffy Season One (entitled "Angel"). She continued to appear in flashbacks, however.
- Carry a Big Stick
- Cat Scare: Cordelia pauses, and Angel and Wesley lunge to catch her, greedily anticipating a vision. ACHOO! So much for that. Zig Zagged when she feels another sneeze coming on - this one triggering a real vision.
- Character Development: Cordelia is doing really well in her acting classes for a change. No sooner does her instructor pay her a compliment, however, then Cordelia's pager goes off. "Duty calls.", she says, and leaves. Plainly, Season Two Coredlia is a far cry from the previous year's.
- Closeup on Head: The episode begins with a horned demon glaring off-camera with blood red eyes - right before he starts singing "I Will Survive" into a microphone.
- Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Played for Drama in case of the mother-to-be. Angel has just spotted the pregnant woman from Cordelia's vision when, out of nowhere, a crazed Prio demon appears. A fight ensues and Angel breaks the demon’s neck. He reassures the woman that's it's dead. She starts to cry and kneels by the dead Prio's body. Whoops.
- Gunn and his posse approach a yuppie who's about to get into his parked car. The guy immediately takes off running, shrieking, "Just take the car!", but runs head-first into a vampire. Gunn and his stake come to the rescue. Poof. Terrified, the yuppie scampers away, with Gunn shouting, "Uh, you're welcome?" after him.
- Continuity Nod
- Distracted by the Sexy: Wesley is winning a game of darts, with a comely blonde lady looking on admiringly. Wesley casts a smiles in her direction, throws one last dart at the board without looking, and hits somebody offsceen.
- Damsel in Distress: The preggo lady.
- Duel to the Death
- False Reassurance: Lilah is talking to someone on her cellphone about signing a contract.
"Of course if you don't sign we'll sue your ass off and kill your children. Just kidding; nobody wants a lawsuit."
- Foreshadowing: When Lilah greets Darla in the darkened office, she remarks on the "beautiful day" before being interrupted by Lindsey. You will note that Lilah was about to invite Darla outside in the daytime.
- While being pursed by the bounty hunters, Angel and the pregnant woman briefly find refuge in a derelict hotel. Enthralled by what he sees, Angel takes a gander at the lobby, and his companion notes he's been there before. The hotel (Hyperion) comes into play in the following episode.
- Hands Off My Fluffy
- Hanging Judge: The Tribunal is not in the business of passing verdicts, per se. But they are awfully keen to let somebody else skewer the defendant if their demands aren't met.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: Wesley thinks an athletic gym is a tad public for a ritual sacrifice, but Angel reminds him that the demons they're looking for (Carnyss) are known for their love of two things: muscles, and mirrors.
- Hilarious Outtakes: Boreanaz hamming it up while singing "Mandy" over the credits.
- Holy Child
- I'm Standing Right Here: Wesley has trouble believing that a Prio Motu, a species renowned for its bloodlust, would be playing bodyguard to a pregnant human. "What, we're supposed to think a creature like that can suddenly change its modus operandi overnight, turn into some noble protector and defender of--" [weary look by Angel] Oh.
- Improvised Weapon: During the gym fight, Cordelia smashes one of the weights on a demon's head.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Sadly averted; Angel briefly examines a katana in Kamal's old lair, but quickly replaces it as a sign of respect. It is notable how Gunn made a beeline for the katana, though.
- Kill It with Fire: One of the old cases listed on Angel's whiteboards reads, "Beheaded - reborn - torched."
- MacGuffin Escort Mission: Subverted; Angel picks up the Coat of Arms required to seek audience with the Tribunal -- and promptly gives it to Gunn. It's not until the next scene that Angel realizes he just mailed his urgently-needed MacGuffin to the opposite side of town.
- Meaningful Echo: When Wesley asks Cordelia if she's feeling alright following a painful vision, she mutters, "I will survive."
- Nameless Narrative: Justina Machado plays the hapless "Pregnant Woman". Her character's name is not mentioned in the script.
- Neck Snap: Sorry, Kamal.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero
- Not Named in Opening Credits: Faith
- Obligatory Joke: Gunn commiserates with Angel for the first time since as season. "Look at you, dawg! You haven't aged a bit."
- Off with His Head
- Politically-Incorrect Villain: At Wolfram & Hart, Lilah enters Lindsey's darkened office to find him fumbling with a CD case, no thanks to his prosthetic hand. He's not handicapped, he's handi-capable! Much snickering at Lindsey's expense.
- Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner: Subverted when Angel just gives a curt "Stop that" to the demons in the gym.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Give a big hand to Mr. J. August Richards, now appearing in the Season Two credits! He doesn't formally join Angel Investigations until later, however.
- Prophecy Twist: Courtesy of yet another opaque vision from the PTB.
- Refusal of the Call: The mother tells Angel she was once a stock clerk at a Costco, and shows her frustration at her daughter's predicted future as a seer -- a situation that she doesn't really understand. She repeatedly tries to skip town rather than face The Tribunal.
- Rule of Three:
Angel: There's three things I don't do: tan, date, and sing in public.
- Cordy has two sneeze scares, "followed by vision".
- Secret Path: Gunn escorts Angel to the L.A. sub-tunnels where he and his crew previously cleared out a vampire nest. Once there, Gunn notices a vent which wasn't there before. The grating conceals Kamal's old hangout.
- Seeking Sanctuary: The Tribunal has been summoned to determine whether the unborn baby is eligible for asylum. If its mother passes the trial, they will take the child under their protection until it "comes of age".
- Smash Cut: From Angel dramatically vowing there's only one thing he can do to find the Tribunal... to Angel on stage, crooning "Mandy".
- Stop Helping Me!: Phantom Dennis makes his triumphant return in this episode, lobbing textbooks at high velocity toward Wesley.
- Quoted by Angel's unwilling client, after he admits that he misplaced the item she desperately needs to save her life. He's a professional, really! (Also, Angel probably shouldn't have mentioned his old office blowing up.)
- Suspect Is Hatless: Cordelia's description of the demon in her vision boils down to, "Nasty Demon, Unknown Origin". No shortage of those. Wesley unhelpfully jots down "NDUO" on the whiteboard.
- Suspiciously Cracked Wall: While wandering through the tunnels, Angel and Gunn spot a large, airless vent. Gunn is certain the vent wasn't there before. It opens into a living place, which belonged to the Prio warrior.
- Take Up My Sword: Back at the apartment, Angel gives Cordy and Wes the 411 on what happened. The demon had a change of heart and became a soldier, like Angel. Angel is determined to find the woman and help her, and declares the Prio's mission is now his.
- That Came Out Wrong: Cordelia consoles Angel about his mistake. "You're just a vampire, like everyone else! --That didn't come out right."
- Throw It In: During her readthrough, Cordelia assumes an alternate view of her character and smacks her acting partner in the face, to the instructor's delight (and her co-star's annoyance).
- Truce Zone: Cordy questions why a stool pigeon would ever feel safe in a Karaoke bar, and Wesley explains that it is a violence-free zone.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Angel and some sort of demon in full armor have a jousting duel to the death on horseback in an LA street with cars and people in the street. Nobody is shown to notice.
- You see a couple of figures watching at one stage, but you'd think a few cars would stop.
- Unwitting Pawn: Merl intentionally led Angel to believe that Kamal was a threat, thereby removing the obstacle preventing other demons from collecting the bounty on the unborn baby. Keeping this in mind, Angel's mistreatment of Merl throughout the season seems justified.
- Villain Team-Up: Wolfram & Hart and Darla.
- Unholy Matrimony: In particular, Lindsey and Darla seem headed in this direction.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Heinous?: Angel visits Faith in the clink, and the pair swap war stories. The Slayer talks about fighting off an inmate with a shiv, then getting pummeled by the guards. Angel talks of singing Barry Manilow. No one ever said redemption was easy!
Faith: [Trying not to laugh] And here I am talking about my petty little problems!
Angel: Just wanted to give you a little perspective.
- Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Cordy pauses in mid-sentence and wrinkles her forehead. Angel drops a glass figurine to the ground as he and Wesley, shouting "Vision!" in unison, rush to her side. Cordy sneezes. Angel apologizes for the figurine, and Cordy grumbles, "Why can't we work out of Wes's?"
- Wicked Cultured: Lindsey soothes Darla by playing Chopin's "No. 20 in c-minor", and the pair of them shoot the breeze about classical music. Lindsey tells Lilah that she's nuts about Chopin and Brahms, but isn't "too fond of the Russians".
- You Remind Me of X:
Angel: Kamal's mission is mine now.
Woman: [scoffs] You sound just like him. You guys with your missions, and ancient laws, and medieval codes of honor! Well, I'm not interested. I'm just trying to protect my baby.