"Harm's Way" is the ninth episode of the fifth season of Angel television show, and the ninety-seventh episode in the series. Written by Sarah Fain and Elizabeth Craft, and directed by Vern Gillum, it originally broadcast on January 14, 2004 on The WB network.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF HARMONY — Angel arranges an important truce meeting between two warring demon tribes through a Demon Rights Activist. Already feeling unappreciated at work, Harmony's life in the office gets worse when she finds the Demon Rights Activist dead in her bed one morning after a night of drinking. Knowing that Angel will kill her for causing the summit negotiations to break down, Harmony is desperate to find out who framed her for the murder.
In Wolfram & Hart's New Employee Orientation video, the newly hired employee is congratulated on making the decision to grab the brass ring, and join the proudest work force, the leaders of their field. The video explains how Wolfram & Hart is infamous for being evil. In fact, Wolfram & Hart may still be evil, but the current CEO, named Angel, is trying to change that. Employees, such as vampires, are no longer allowed to feed on humans, but must now feed on some other dead animal. There are also no more employee sacrifices; every employee's life is just as important to the new management as their own life. Wolfram & Hart is also now following a strict zero-tolerance rule, in which anyone found breaking the new rules will be punished, swiftly and severely.
In Harmony's bedroom, her alarm goes off at 7 in the morning. Harmony gets out of bed, exits the shower, and brushes both her human and vampiric sets of teeth. In her bedroom, she brushes her hair and chooses between two different-colored shirts. Harmony puts on one shoe then lifts a dresser over her head to take the other one. Harmony exits an elevator, into a garage. Harmony greets the elderly lady named Mrs. Jacobi. The lady ignores this, but her dog growls at Harmony.
Harmony walks off the elevator at Wolfram & Hart and leaves several personal items on her desk, along with somebody's dry-cleaning. She leaves to the employee break room, where she walks into a woman by accident and maker her spill coffee all over herself. Harmony then tries to join in on the conversation of two other employees, but she's ignored. She takes Angel's thermos from the refrigerator and pours some blood into his "#1 Boss" coffee mug. She opens the microwave, replacing a bowl with the mug. A man walks up and tells Harmony that his bowl isn't done cooking yet, but Harmony tells him that Angel's microwave priority beats anyone's in the building. The man glares at Harmony as she leaves with the blood.
At Harmony's desk, she begins telling Angel about the current day's meetings, the catering preparations for the feuding demon clan negotiations, and that the dry cleaners couldn't get the slimy substance out of Angel's laundry. Angel starts clicking and speaking a strange tongue, then takes out his earpiece, revealing that he was listening instead to a language instruction tape. He asks if Harmony's done the catering yet. Gunn appears, and Angel and Gunn go into Angel's office. A man named Rudy then checks Harmony's blood for any human blood in her diet with the aid of a machine. The results are negative, and he leaves. A demon named Eli appears and tells Harmony that Angel has called him up for a meeting. He enters Angel's office and Harmony notices that Angel's mug of blood is sitting in her desk. She brings it into Angel's office, where she sees Angel beheading Eli with a sword. Eli's head rolls to Harmony's feet and Angel asks her to get the mess cleaned up.
The coroners arrive and take Eli away in a body bag, while Angel and Gunn speak with Harmony at her desk. It is revealed that Eli dismembered virgins for his own amusement during his out-of-the-office hours. Angel explains that the "zero tolerance policy" means nobody gets away with murder. Fred, Lorne, and Wesley appear, and Eli's termination is briefly discussed. Spike arrives and announces that he's going to go looking for "somebody waiting for him." Wesley tells Spike that he should wait around until the Shanshu Prophecy is resolved, but Spike refuses, offering that Angel can take it. Spike asks for some money and Angel refuses, but Spike tells him that he's taking the Dodge Viper from Angel's motor pool. Spike thanks Fred for all her work trying to re-corporealize him. As he leaves, Harmony asks if he won't even give her a goodbye, but Spike only tells Harmony to stay simple. Spike asks Angel if he wants him to give Buffy a message, who replies: "Tell her you're a moron."
Angel, Fred, Gunn, Lorne, and Wesley are sitting in the conference room, with Harmony off to the side. Angel explains about the Vinji and Sahrvin clans, who have been fighting for five generations because of an incident involving a fork. The two demon tribes, who are very manners-oriented, are coming to Wolfram & Hart the next day, and Team Angel have to help them negotiate a truce. An activist named Tobias Dupree has contacts with both Vinji and Sahrvin, and wants Wolfram & Hart to help ensure the truce. Wesley suggests letting them just kill each other, but Gunn points out that solving their long-time war would look good on their résumé. The man from the break room, Danny, enters and tells them he has arranged a seating chart for the negotiation. Fred informs them that she has upgraded the weapons detector, and Gunn says he knows how to speak the language of the clans. Harmony reveals that she has done some research on the superstitious nature of the clans, but Wesley tells Harmony that Team Angel need lunch.
In the break room, Harmony listens to the two female employees from earlier talk about the love square between Fred, Gunn, Knox, and Wesley. Danny arrives, giving people muffins from one of Lorne's clients. Harmony pretends that a phone call from Angel is actually a sign of respect, when he actually just yells at her. In the lobby, Angel asks Harmony why a camel is standing there. Harmony explains that the caterers were supposed to deliver the creature the following day. Fred walks out of the elevator, and is surprised by the camel. Harmony reveals that her research led her to understand that the feuding demon clans enjoy camel-meat as a delicacy. Angel gets mad and tells Harmony to get rid of the camel. Fred comforts a crying Harmony, who convinces Fred to hang out together after work.
Late at night, in a bar, Fred and Harmony are talking and having drinks. Harmony confesses to Fred that she can't quit her job because she has no real skills. She asks about Fred's romantic square. Fred suggests that Harmony should try and make more friends at the office. Harmony decides to leave Fred, and go talk to a man at the bar. Harmony barrages the man with questions without leaving him time to answer any of them. The man offers to give Harmony something to drink.
In Harmony's bedroom, at 7 in the morning, her alarm goes off. Harmony wakes up, to find herself nude, lying next to the man from the bar. She is surprised to see the man there, and is even more surprised to see the two bloody fang marks in his neck. He's dead, and Harmony seals his body in a laundry bag. Harmony tries to shove the bag down the garbage chute, but it won't fit. She pauses to greet Mrs. Jacobi and her dog. Once the lady is gone, Harmony manages to shove the body down. It bounces off the lid of the dumpster and falls on the ground. Harmony runs down the stairs. She reaches the laundry bag, just as the elderly Mrs. Jacobi is coming off the elevator. After being hit by a bag of garbage, Harmony throws the laundry bag into the dumpster, as Mrs. Jacobi passes by. Harmony empties the other bag of garbage over-top of the body.
Once at work, Harmony goes to her desk quickly, and hides from Rudy, the blood-sampler. Angel arrives, asking for blood to drink, and warns Harmony that he doesn't want anything to go wrong today. Inside the employee break room, Harmony takes Angel's thermos out of the refrigerator and pours some blood into his coffee mug. She opens the microwave, replacing a bowl with the mug. Harmony begins talking to herself about the previous night. Danny walks up and tells Harmony that his bowl isn't done cooking again. Harmony starts guzzling from her own mug of blood, drawing the attention of her co-workers. Angel calls Harmony's cell phone, and she leaves.
At her desk, Harmony calls the catering company, confirming the new food for the summit is chips and dip. She stares thirstily at a co-workers neck, when a Detective Griffin calls for Angel. Harmony listens to the detective telling Angel that a body was found at the dump, killed by a vampire attack, before Angel tells Harmony to hang up. She gets worried as Gunn and Wesley talk to Angel, right outside his office. Angel reveals that the man was the liaison between the feuding clans, Tobey Dupree. Harmony, who had forgot the man's name, now recognizes it. Wesley assumes the dead negotiator could be interpreted by the demons as an omen, and was possibly somebody sending a sign to try to derail the summit.
In Angel's office, Angel, Gunn, and Wesley all speak with the demons through a speaker phone. The Vinji clan is disturbed by Tobey's murder, and demand the killer is found and punished. Angel tries to speak the demon language, but insults them, and Gunn ends the call. Harmony tells Angel to forgive and forget. In the science lab, Fred is examining the body of Tobey Dupree and recording her findings into a hand-held recorder. Harmony arrives, and Fred thinks Angel sent Harmony to hurry her up. She determines from the space between the bite marks, and the depth, that Tobey was killed by a female vampire. Fred asks Harmony what happened to the man at the bar the previous night. Harmony pretends that she ditched the man, and leaves.
In the hallway, Harmony realizes that she didn't bite Tobey, because he was bitten on the right side, and she bites on the left. Excited, Harmony kisses a nearby Rudy, who pricks Harmony's finger with his blood-testing device, and the results are positive. Harmony punches Rudy and catches him. Harmony throws Rudy into a utility closet and shuts the door. Harmony is walking away, when Lorne approaches her. Harmony asks where the results from the blood tests go, and Lorne reveals that they are transmitted to the science lab. Rudy groans from inside the closet, and Lorne asks Harmony what the noise is. Harmony pretends that she doesn't hear anything. She pushes Lorne's unconscious body into the utility closet, beside Rudy.
In the science lab, Harmony approaches Fred, who is reading the results from Harmony's blood test. Harmony explains that she might have been drugged, because she has no memory of biting the man from the bar, who is Tobey Dupree, and who is now dead and lying on Fred's lab table. Harmony explains that she always bites the victim on their left side and Tobey is bitten on the right. Harmony realizes that somebody could have spiked her thermos in the community refrigerator with human blood, and that would make her blood test come back positive. Fred tries to call Angel, but Harmony won't let her, because she realizes Angel will kill Harmony. In the hallway, Harmony pushes Fred's body into the utility closet. Now, Fred, Lorne, and Rudy are bound and gagged with duct tape. Harmony apologizes for kidnapping them, and explains that she will first clear her name then buy them all dinner.
In the lobby, Harmony listens as the female Vinji leader explains to Angel and Gunn that if Tobey's murderer walks free, the summit is cursed, and they want to leave. The Vinji however will accept anyone sacrificed, it doesn't necessarily have to be Tobey's murderer. Angel instructs Harmony to make Fred hurry up with her analysis of the body. In the break room, Harmony catches Dan moving her thermos to get to Lorne's food. Harmony vamps out, and all other employees run away. Harmony accuses him of putting human blood in her thermos, drugging her and killing Tobey Dupree, and leaving the two of them in Harmony's bed. Dan is attacked from the side with a glass container, and falls over, unconscious. The attacker reveals that she wanted it to look like Harmony who attacked Dan. Harmony realizes that the woman is the one framing her, but she doesn't know who the woman is.
Tamika reveals herself to be from Harmony's stenographer pool. She explains that she's been there for 5 years, while the highly under-qualified Harmony has been promoted, and gets to be involved in all of Wolfram & Hart's important meetings. Tamika is also the one who spilled coffee on herself when Harmony bumped into her. Tamika hopes that Angel will see that Harmony attacked Dan, and she can take Harmony's job. She kicks a table at Harmony, who avoids it by jumping in the air. Both women vamp out and begin fighting. Tamika explains that she drugged Harmony's drink, followed Harmony and Tobey, and then drank from him. They continue fighting, both trying to stake the other with chopsticks. Harmony demands that Tamika tell Angel the truth, and Tamika tells Harmony that she's going to smash all of Harmony's desk-unicorns. Harmony puts Tamika in a headlock, and drags her down the hallway. She wants Tamika to tell Angel how she stole Harmony's thermos and spiked the blood. Tamika breaks free of the headlock, and the two continue fighting.
Inside the conference room, the Sahrvin and Vinji demons are clicking, growling, hissing, and screeching at each other, with wildly aggressive body motion. Angel and Gunn watch helplessly, as the demons use their foreign tongue to call Angel a man-whore and to demand a sacrifice. Harmony and Tamika break through the window of the room. Harmony picks Tamika off the floor and stakes her in the conference table. The two demon leaders accept this, and calmly sit down, now ready to negotiate. Harmony claims that she can explain, and Angel looks angry.
Inside Angel's office, Fred, Lorne, and Rudy are sitting there with ice packs on their heads. Wesley also watches as Angel grills Harmony. Gunn enters, explaining the demons are now quietly arranging an agreement. Everyone is annoyed with how Harmony handled things, especially as they all told her to go to Angel who would've helped her. Rudy tells her she'll be clean of human blood in two days, but he's watching her. Harmony offers to quit, but Angel tells her just to get everybody coffee.
Late at night, in the same bar, Harmony is alone, explaining the whole ordeal to the bartender, when Spike arrives. He explains that he was going to boat it to Europe and track down Buffy, but then realized he'll never be able to top an exit that involved dying in a blaze of glory saving the world. He also feels his sacrifice would be cheapened if Buffy was to find out he wasn't actually dead. Harmony laments that she doesn't matter to people, but Spike explains that she did matter Tamika, otherwise she never would have tried to frame her. Harmony takes solace in this, and the two share a toast.
- The orientation video includes scenes of a vampire in episode "Conviction"; Fred in "Hell Bound"; and Sebassis, Lorne, and the Halloween party in "Life of the Party".
- Angel and Spike still display injuries from their fight in the previous episode ("Destiny").
- Harmony mentions that she was sired at her high school graduation, referring to the events of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Graduation Day, Part Two."
- Harmony says that she is a "right-biter." Indeed, she bit Willow on the right in episode "The Harsh Light of Day". In "Destiny", she exceptionally bit Spike on the left while acting under a spell that was altering people's behavior.
- The Sahrvin Clan returns as members of the Circle of the Black Thorn, the main players in Wolfram & Hart's apocalypse. The clan is later slaughtered by Lindsey McDonald and Lorne in "Not Fade Away" as part of Team Angel's attack on the Circle.
- Spike gives up on letting Buffy know he's alive, but she'll eventually discover it on her own (Give and Take).
- Alice (Only mentioned)
- Winifred Burkle
- Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan
- Tobias Dupree
- Dave Griffin (Only voice)
- Charles Gunn
- Harmony Kendall
- Knox (Only mentioned)
- Lorraine (Only mentioned)
- Matthias Pavayne (Only mentioned)
- Cindy Rabinowitz (Only in video)
- Sebassis (Only in video)
- Shaq (Only mentioned)
- Shriva (Only mentioned)
- Buffy Summers (Only mentioned)
- Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
- Powerful One
- Sahrvin Clan leader
- Unidentified lawyer (Conviction) (Only in video)
- Unidentified vampire (Conviction) (Only in video)
- Unidentified woman (Conviction) (Only in video)
Organizations and titles
- Angel Investigations
- Sahrvin Clan
- Slayer (Only mentioned)
- Vinji Clan
- Weyland-Yutani (Only mentioned)
- Wolfram & Hart
- Yoyodyne (Only mentioned)
- Europe (Only mentioned)
Weapons and objects
- Eli, beheaded by Angel.
- Tobias Dupree, drained by Tamika.
- Tamika, staked by Harmony.
Behind the scenes
- This is the second episode named after Harmony, the first being "Disharmony". She is the only character to have a second episode named after her. This trend continues with the stories Harmonic Divergence, Harmony Bites, Harmony Comes to the Nation, In Perfect Harmony, and Day Off (or Harmony in My Head).
- The video displays Los Angeles landmarks such as the Hollywood Sign and the entrance to Santa Monica Pier.
- This episode has the longest cold opening in the whole series at 6 minutes and 49 seconds. The record was previously held by "The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco".
- Wolfram & Hart has ties to the fictional corporation Yoyodyne, which first appeared in the novel "V." (1963) and has been referenced in many other works, as well as the corporation Weyland-Yutani from the Alien and Predator franchises.
Pop culture references
- One of the corporations listed as partner of Wolfram & Hart is News Corp, the parent company of Twentieth Century Fox Television, the studio that produces Angel.
- Fred asks Harmony is she wants to "grab some wine, jam to the Dixie Chicks," mentioning the female country music trio, popular in Fred's native Texas.
Goofs, bloopers & continuity errors
- Fred says that the "bite marks are 17 millimeters apart", or .67 inch, which is too small for an adult jaw.
- The "To Do" list which Harmony writes for the demon summit changes. In the first shot, the header text is centered and in bubble letters, the list items are in all capital letters, and there are items on the list to "P/U Angel's Drycleaning" and "Check on Danny". In the second shot, those two items have disappeared, the list items are in sentence case, and the header text is left-justified and underlined.
- In the first close up shot of Toby's body on the table in the lab, he can clearly be seen blinking.
- When Wesley turns to tell Spike he shouldn't leave Wolfram & Hart because of the Shanshu prophecy, he calls him Angel by mistake.
- Czech: "Svět podle Harmony" (The World According to Harmony)
- Finnish: "Ojasta allikkoon" (Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire)
- French: "Harmony ne compte pas pour du beurre" (Harmony Does Matter)
- German: "Jeder ist wichtig" (Everyone Is Important)
- Hungarian: "A tilósban" (The Forbidden)
- Italian: "La Vita Secondo Harmony" (The Life According to Harmony)
- Portuguese (Brazil): "Harmony"
- Russian: "Путь гармонии" (Path of Harmony)
- Spanish (Latin America): "A la Manera de Harmony" (In the Manner of Harmony)
- Spanish (Spain): "Una Rubia Peligrosa" (A Dangerous Blonde)
Behind the scenes
|Announcer - "Welcome to the Los Angeles branch of Wolfram & Hart. We're the oldest and most powerful law firm in the city. Founded in 1791 on ground de-consecrated by the blood of mass murderer Matthias Pavayne, Wolfram & Hart has put roots down in this glamorous city that grow deep, and branches that reach right into the heart of every major corporation, including Yoyodyne, Weyland-Yutani, and Newscorp. That captain of industry? We own his soul. That fabulous movie queen? She owes us her first born. But times change, and Wolfram & Hart is changing right along with them. Under our new C.E.O., Angel, we're focusing less on power and more on using that power for good. We have a zero tolerance policy for killing, and that includes you, vampires. That better be pig's blood, mister. Yes, our esteemed president has made it clear that this is a new company for the new millennium, and he wants to work with you."|
|Angel - "If you don't kill, we won't kill you."|
|Announcer - "That's right, no more employee sacrifices. At Wolfram & Hart, you're part of a family now. You can work your way up the ladder, and there will always be a hand to help you up it. Every life and unlife is as important to our new management as their own. So go ahead, relax, and enjoy your new Wolfram & Hart family. Because at our firm, everyone matters. You matter. Buddy, you're going places."|