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It took me a while to realize how the world is put together and where I belonged in it. Actually, the world isn't that complicated: it's designed for those who know how to use it.
―Holland Manners[src]

Holland Manners was a high-ranking lawyer and executive at Wolfram & Hart, one of the top servants of the Senior Partners.[citation needed]

Biography[]

Early life[]

It's not about good or evil, it's about who wields the power — we wield a lot of it here and you know what? I think the world is better for it.
―Holland[src]

Holland as a young man.

Holland Manners was born in 1951 and one of the oldest and most experienced lawyers in Wolfram & Hart.[citation needed] During his first years in the firm, Holland also recruited personnel, among them fallen champion Número Cinco.[1] Eventually, he would marry Catherine, a woman many years younger than him.[citation needed]

By the year 2000, he was the supervisor of Lindsey McDonald, Lilah Morgan, Lee Mercer, and a number of other lawyers. His job consisted of assigning cases to and enforcing loyalty among those under his watch, carrying out latter task by employing mind readers and having disloyal staff "terminated." He was also responsible for arranging the murder of all outside parties who were seen as a threat to the interests of the firm.[citation needed]

Plotting against Angel[]

In early 2000, Holland was supervising the legal team defending assassin Vanessa Brewer, while at the same time rooting out the best among the lawyers under his supervision. He used a pair of mind readers and discovered that Lee Mercer had chosen to move to Klein & Gabler, a rival firm, and take his client list with him. Manners immediately had Mercer shot by Phil, a security guard. The mind readers also detected that Lindsey had agreed to help the vampire Angel save the three children of the Holy Triumvirate, putting Holland in the difficult decision of whether to terminate Lindsey, who had become Holland's favorite in the company, or not.[2]

Lindsey, however, had prepared incriminating evidence against his employer. In recognition of Lindsey's savvy and aware of his potential, Manners allowed him to go through what he referred as a "crisis of faith." After Brewer was eliminated, Holland welcomed Lindsey back and offered him a promotion to junior partner and a new office, Holland's very own. Manners had been given a promotion to Vice President of Special Projects.[2]

Holland alongside Lindsey and Lilah.

After his promotion Manners, oversaw the firm's operations regarding Angel, as the firm planned not on killing him or having him lose his soul, but corrupting him to their side. In particular, he supervised the resurrection of Angel's sire Darla by the demon Vocah, then having Lindsey handle all affairs concerning Darla.[3]

Meanwhile, he also oversaw Lilah's pet project regarding Bethany Chaulk, a telekinetic Lilah sought to groom into an assassin to replace Vanessa Brewer. However, when Angel became involved, Holland ordered Lilah to cancel the project, as Bethany's presence at the Hyperion Hotel threatened Lindsey's project involving Darla.[4]

Holland kept close tabs on Lindsey's handling of the Angel project, as the young lawyer not been given complete information. Lindsey believed that Darla was meant to give Angel a moment of happiness. However, Holland had in mind a more devious plan; he had Darla go through a nervous breakdown and then arranged for a pair of the firm's agents try to kill her so Angel would save her life and then obsess with the notion of saving her soul, meanwhile neglecting his duties to The Powers That Be.[citation needed]

Afterward, Holland and Lindsey arranged for Drusilla to be brought to Los Angeles in order to sire Darla. After the latter was reborn as a vampire once again, Holland offered the two women the firm's full support for them to engage in any activity they might desire, all with the intent of furthering Angel's increasing bitterness and taking him to his decent into darkness. Darla asked Holland what she and Drusilla could possibly do in return, so Holland requested that he have a massacre.[5]

Death[]

Angel, please. People are going to die. [...] Angel? Please, we can negotiate. We—
―Holland Manner's final words.[src]

Holland's meddling in Angel's life leads to his undoing.

In celebration of W&H's supposed success with Angel, Holland organized a wine tasting at his mansion, inviting all members of the Special Projects Division. However, Darla and Drusilla crashed the gathering after being invited in by the oblivious Catherine Manners. The two vampires decided this was the perfect chance to fulfil Holland's wishes and massacre the team for using Darla as a pawn.[5]

Even though the Powers That Be did not want Angel involved in Darla's revenge, he nevertheless appeared at Holland's wine cellar, having been allowed entrance by Catherine. Darla closed in to his neck, Holland begged Angel to save his life and that of his employees. However, Holland had succeeded in corrupting Angel so thoroughly that the vampire instead locked the attorneys in the cellar, giving Darla and Drusilla free reign to do what they wanted with them. Holland was the first to die, having been bitten by Darla.[5] Lilah and Lindsey were the only ones spared.[6]

Undeath[]

See, for us, there is no fight. Which is why winning doesn't enter into it. We go on, no matter what. Our firm has always been here on Earth... in one form or another. The Inquisition. The Khmer Rouge. We were there when the very first cave man clubbed his neighbor on the head with a rock for stealing his dinner. See, we're in the hearts and minds of every single living being. And that, friend, is what's making things so difficult for you. You see, the world doesn't work in spite of evil, Angel. It works with us. It works because of us.
―Holland Manners[src]

However, Holland's death, while serving the firm's agenda in corrupting Angel, was not planned by the Senior Partners, so his contract extended beyond his death due to the firm's Standard Perpetuity Clause. Even though he was dead, Holland's corpse was reanimated, keeping his memories and personality intact, though the bite marks caused by Darla remained.[7]

Holland takes Angel to hell.

When Angel stole a Band of Blacknill in order to teleport to the Senior Partners' realm to wipe them out, Holland appeared to offer him an elevator ride to the firm's Home Office, which Angel believed to be where the Senior Partners' dwelled.[7]

During the ride, Holland informed Angel that the power of Wolfram & Hart came not from a demonic source, but from the evil within humanity itself; thus, none of Angel's heroic deeds would ever amount to anything. Angel understood Holland's point when the elevator ride came to an end and the two were back on the same spot the ride had began. Holland watched as Angel observed everyday evil committed by regular people, the humanity Angel so desperately wanted to be a part of. As the firm's then broken enemy stepped out of the elevator, Holland wished him a nice day and closed the elevator's door, himself still inside, returning to his new role as an eternal servant of the Senior Partners.[7]

Legacy[]

We will never be able to replace Holland Manners. He was a man of extraordinary talents.
Hunt Acrey[src]

This encounter with Holland completely broke Angel's spirit, causing him to turn to Darla to help him "not care," having sex with her in an attempt to shed his soul. Instead of perfect happiness, however, Angel found perfect despair, and, in a moment of clarity, realized that his purpose was still to do all of the good he could, if not all of the good he wanted, and rejoined Angel Investigations.[citation needed]

Holland appears in the Wolfram & Hart promotional video.

Holland's death left an opening at the Special Projects Division, and with half of the firm's contracts department dead at Darla and Dru's hands, the Senior Partners decided to appoint both Lindsey and Lilah, sole survivors of the wine cellar massacre, as joint acting Co-Vice Presidents of Special Projects.[6] Meanwhile, Holland's position supervising the firm's activities was given to the cold and ruthless Nathan Reed.[8] Months later, Holland's favorite protégé, Lindsey, would quit the firm, while Lilah would be promoted to sole Vice President of Special Projects.[9]

Holland was also given a homage during the Highway Robbery Ball, where he was featured in a video to promote East Hills Teen Center. In it, Holland was depicted as a kind, fatherly figure concerned with the future of Los Angeles youth.[8]

During his years overseeing Wolfram & Hart, Holland Manners proved himself to be one of the greatest assets of the firm due to his wisdom and ruthlessness, as his administration was remembered by clients such as Corbin Fries[10] and Senator Helen Brucker.[11]

Personality and traits[]

You set things in motion, play your little games up here in your glass and chrome tower, and people die. Innocent people.
―Angel[src]

In contrast to his charming personality, Manners proved himself to be one of the most cold-hearted agents in Wolfram & Hart's employ. He showed no hesitation or remorse when liquidating any and all threats to the interests of the firm. Respected and feared by those around him, he concealed his incredibly calculating mind behind the guise of a caring father figure. He used power's allure to control those below him and keep their interests in line with Wolfram & Hart's agenda.[citation needed]

However, Manners' manipulative ways eventually turned on him and caused his death: while he succeeded in corrupting Angel by using Darla and Drusilla as pawns, that same corruption led to Angel indirectly assisting Darla and Drusilla in the wine cellar massacre.[5]

Powers and abilities[]

  • Superb knowledge of the law.[citation needed]
  • Skilled manipulator.[citation needed]
  • The standard perpetuity clause in his contract granted him immortality through undeath.[7]

Behind the scenes[]

Appearances[]

References[]

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