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"Lonely Heart" is the second episode of the first season of Angel and is the second episode in the series. Written by David Fury and directed by James A. Contner, it was originally broadcast on October 12, 1999, on The WB network.


DATING IS HELL — Angel brushes up his pick-up lines while tracking a monstrous serial killer that is hunting at a happening Los Angeles singles bar. Meanwhile, Doyle is developing a serious crush on Cordelia and asks Angel to put in a good word for him.[1]


At the Angel Investigations offices, Angel sits in the dark, alone. He blinks when the lights come on, and Doyle arrives with a Friday night plan for the three of them to go out together. Besides trying to get Angel to break his isolation, Doyle also has a personal agenda — he wants Angel to put in a good word with Cordelia for him without letting her know about his demon heritage. Angel is declining to arrange a date with his coworkers when Cordelia arrives with a box of the business cards she had printed up for Angel Investigations. Angel guesses the little angel drawn on them is a butterfly, while Doyle thinks the graphic depicts a night-hunting owl. Just as Cordelia whacks him on the arm, Doyle is seized by visions of a nightclub. Angel goes out clubbing with Doyle and Cordelia after all.

Meanwhile, at D'Oblique, the club in Doyle's visions, a young woman named Sharon Reichler sits alone at the bar. Sharon is unaware that she is being observed by a man named Kevin. He approaches her, and they move to a table to get acquainted. Lonely and desperate, Sharon and Kevin soon make a connection and leave the club together, just after the Angel Investigations team arrives. Cordelia passes around Angel's business cards until Doyle stops her, cautioning her to stay "under the radar," since some people might label Angel the "v-word." Cordelia guesses "vampire," but Doyle means "vigilante." After talking with the bartender, Angel makes no progress with people near the bar until a woman named Kate asks if he's all right. Angel awkwardly strikes up a conversation with Kate, who also seems inept at the social scene. Despite a slow start, Angel and Kate find enough in common to make what they both consider to be a true connection.

Across the room, a rude man speculates that the AI calling cards are providing Cordelia's number for sexual services. As Doyle tries to stand up for her, Cordelia gets indignant, and the man is backed up by his friend. Doyle stops negotiating with the men and wades in. Having declined Kate's invitation to go someplace quieter, Angel charges into the fight and thrashes both men before the bartender ejects them as known troublemakers. A woman introduces herself to Angel, and he follows her lead, trying to ascertain whether she might be the person Doyle's visions didn't show. As they talk, Angel notices Kate watching them before she leaves the club.

The next morning, after spending the night with Kevin, Sharon gets dressed while Kevin's dead body lies on the bloody sheets on the bed.

At the AI offices, the team spends the day researching any past incidents connected to D'Oblique. Their search turns up a mutilated woman and an eviscerated man, both known to have been at the club. Doyle and Cordelia research demons that cause evisceration and find several suspects. Meanwhile, Angel goes back to D'Oblique to see if he can spot the killer. On his way in, Angel bumps into Kate, who takes umbrage when he tries to warn her of a non-specific danger. Inside, Angel talks to the bartender and another patron and finds out that Kevin disappeared after going home with Sharon. After asking a few more questions, Angel tracks Sharon down to her place to try and prevent another murder.

Angel arrives at the apartment just in time to see that Sharon is dead. On the other hand, Neil, a man she took home, is alive and hosting a demon. Angel and the demon fight, but it gets away. As Kate arrives, she finds Angel leaving the crime scene. Pulling a gun on Angel, Kate reveals she's a detective with the LAPD, and she arrests him. When Angel sees that Kate won't be convinced he's not the killer, he breaks out of her grasp and dives out the third-floor window. Meanwhile, the demon goes back to D'Oblique to find another host body.

As dawn approaches, Angel makes his way to Cordelia's apartment, not knowing that Kate has gone to illegally search his apartment. Waking Cordelia and Doyle, Angel asks them to research eviscerating burrowers — demons that move from body to body, endlessly seeking the perfect one to live in forever. They discover their burrower is vulnerable to fire. Seeking help to destroy the powerful demon, Angel calls Kate and requests a meeting, asking for five minutes to explain himself and prove that he isn't the killer.

Later that night, Kate is at D'Oblique and asks the bartender to notify her when Angel arrives. A few minutes later, as she fends someone off, the bartender tells Kate he thinks Angel is out back. When they get there, the bartender smashes a wine bottle into the back of Kate's head. Angel arrives just in time to keep the burrower demon from transferring to Kate's body, forcing it back inside the bartender. Though weakening, the bartender host is still strong enough to fight Angel until Kate recovers. The demon then tosses Kate and Angel down into the basement and locks them in.

While the demon cruises for a fresh, undamaged body — having little luck "making a connection," given the bartender's blood-soaked shirt and peeling skin — Kate and Angel finally escape D'Oblique's basement and split up to search. Angel locates the bartender first, and they fight again. The demon is strong enough to injure Angel, who barely manages to throw the demon into a nearby burn barrel before collapsing to the pavement. Ignited by the fire in the barrel, the bartender host is immediately engulfed in flames. Howling, the demon lurches purposefully toward Angel, who is unable to move. Circling back, Kate arrives just in time to shoot the bartender, knocking him to the ground and halting the attack on Angel.

After more police and emergency services arrive on the scene, Kate gets a moment alone with Angel. She admits that she never would have guessed the bartender was the killer, thanks Angel for saving her life earlier, and confesses to searching his apartment. After thanking Kate for saving his life as well, Angel asks why she chose to tell him of her illegal search. She says she wants the two of them to start over from the beginning, with no secrets between them. Angel pauses, then agrees.

At the office, Angel attempts to suggest that the three of them go out together. He is relieved when Cordelia and Doyle instead leave him to brood in the dark, alone.


  • This episode introduces the character of Kate Lockley, who plays a recurring role until the end of season two. Kate and Angel will meet several more times before she learns in "Somnambulist" that he is a vampire, after which their tentative relationship grows extremely strained until their final encounter in "Epiphany."
  • Cordelia says she does not want Angel to become evil again, which will happen in the episode "Eternity."



Organizations and titles[]




Death count[]

  • Kevin, killed by Talamour.
  • Sharon Reichler, killed by Talamour.
  • Neil, killed by Talamour.
  • An unidentified woman, killed by Talamour.
  • Danny, killed and possessed by Talamour.
  • Talamour, set on fire by Angel.

Behind the scenes[]


  • David Fury wrote this episode to replace his original script, titled "Corrupt," which also introduced the character of Kate. However, in Fury's first script, Kate had a crack cocaine addiction and worked undercover as a prostitute. Producer Tim Minear says the episode was "a little bit too hopeless, a little too grim"; after The WB rejected the episode, it was completely rewritten.[2]
  • Several sources, including various DVD releases, conflict on whether the title of the episode is "Lonely Heart" or "Lonely Hearts." However, David Fury confirmed that the episode is in fact called "Lonely Heart."[3]
  • Special effects supervisor Loni Peristere explains that to get the effect of the demon burrowing through the characters' bodies, Dave Miller built a prosthetic back to identically match the actor. Peristere says: "We shot the actor doing his action with tracking points, little marks on his back, and I just soft edged, matted and tracked in a locked-off version of the actors back with the burrowing demon and stuck it on there."[4]
  • David Boreanaz's stunt double, Mike Massa, says the scene in which he is tossed across the room upside down is his favorite stunt of this season. To get the effect, he was shot across the room using an air ram. He says: "The reason I like it so much is because it really knocked the heck out of me. It was 900 pounds of thrust on the air-ram. I had to hit the corner just right. If I was off, if I hit dead center of the corner with my shoulders spread it could have broken a collarbone. I had to hit it sideways, my back flat to the wall and kind of skip into it, but it just pile drove me right to the ground." Director James A. Contner "was jumping up and down... He thought that was the best stunt he'd ever seen."[5]
  • Angel pulls out a grappling hook gun and fires it over a wood beam, causing Kate to ask: "Who are you?" This is a direct reference to a scene in the 1989 Batman film.
  • The plot is similar to the 1987 movie The Hidden, in which an LAPD detective is allied with an alien disguised as an FBI agent to find and eliminate a parasitic alien, serial killer, and sex maniac. The monster is finally killed with a flamethrower.


  • "Lonely Heart" had an audience of 3.9 million households upon its original airing.[6]

Deleted scenes[]

  • The following scene was cut from the original script:[7]
    Doyle: "Good. The two of you working separately. Better the odds. "
    Angel: "Not of her surviving if she finds this thing before I do."


  • At around minute 27:00 of the episode, when Angel gets thrown across the room, there is a cameraman in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Pop culture references[]

  • Doyle refers to the Bat-Signal when he asks Angel: "It's not like you have a signal folks can shine in the sky whenever you need help, right?"
  • When Sharon mentions her childhood dreams, she mentions the character dolls Ken and Barbie.
  • The bartender says Sharon was talking to "some Screech," comparing her companion to the nerdy character from Saved by the Bell.
  • Doyle mentions the police procedural series Naked City.


  • Adam Hamilton — "For You"
  • Chainsuck — "Emily Says (Gloryhole Mix)"
  • Cucho Merchan (Extreme music library) — "Ballad of Amave"
  • Helix — "Quango"
  • Kathy Soce — "Do You Want Me"
  • Mark Cherrie and Ian McKenzie (JW music library) — "Lazy Daze"
  • T.H.C. — "Girlflesh"
  • Ultra-Electronic — "Dissonance"
  • VAST — "Touched"
  • Ian Fletcher — "Deadside"
  • Sapien — "Neo-Climatic"
  • Christophe Beck and Robert J. Kral — original score

International titles[]

  • Czech: "Osamělá srdce" (Lonely Hearts)
  • Finnish: "Yksinäisiä sydämiä" (Lonely Hearts)
  • French: "Angel fait équipe" (Angel Teams Up)
  • German: "Einsame Herzen" (Lonely Hearts)
  • Hungarian: "Magányos szívek klubja" (Lonely Hearts Club)
  • Italian: "Cuori solitari" (Lonely Hearts)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): "Coração Solitário" (Lonely Heart)
  • Russian: "Одинокие сердца" (Lonely Hearts)
  • Spanish (Latin America): "Corazón solitario" (Lonely Heart)
  • Spanish (Spain): "Corazones solitarios" (Lonely Hearts)
  • Turkish: "Yalnız Kalpler" (Lonely Hearts)


Promotional stills[]


Doyle: "Tell her what a great guy I am."
Angel: "I barely know you."
Doyle: "Well, perfect, that should make it easier for you then."
Cordelia: "Hey, you look troubled. Or is that just your lazy eye? Anyway, call us, we're very discreet."
Angel: "I'm just asking you not to go in there."
Kate: "Where are you going?"
Angel: "In there."
Kate: "Well, I'll tell you what, I can go wherever I want. Oh, and you can ah go to hell."
Angel: "Been there, done that."
Cordelia: "Demons. Is there anything more disgusting?"
Doyle: "You think so?"
Cordelia: "Come on. Okay, look at this one. This demon wears a wreath of intestines around its head. I mean, honestly, what kind of statement is this thing trying to make?"
Angel: "I know you guys have been working hard, I mean, cooped up inside a lot, and, uh, to show my appreciation, I was thinking. The night being, you know, young and all, that the three of us... could... or should, you know, maybe, uh... go out? You know. For fun."
Cordelia: "Or... we can go home."
Doyle: "And you could sit in the dark, alone."
Angel: "God, yes. Thank you."


  1. "Angel- Season 1 Episode Guide." Lol's Site. Retrieved on June 16, 2022.
  2. Edward Gross, "ANGEL: Season One, Episode By Episode with Tim Minear." TimMiner.net 5.0, August 14, 2000. Archived from the original on August 16, 2016.
  3. David Fury, "And the correct answer is "Lonely Heart." Which can refer to any one of the central characters. Thanks for playing!" Twitter, January 9, 2017.
  4. Behind the Scenes Featuring... Special FX." CityofAngel.com, June 26, 2000. Archived from the original on February 6, 2012.
  5. "Behind the Scenes Featuring... Mike Massa." CityofAngel.com, August 1, 2000. Archived from the original on February 6, 2012.
  6. "Nielsen Ratings for Angel's First Season." Nielsen Ratings for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, & Firefly. Archived from the original on July 18, 2008.
  7. Nancy Holder, Jeff Mariotte, and Maryelizabeth Hart. The Casefiles, Volume 1. Simon Pulse, June 2002.