Buffyverse Wiki
Season 1, Episode 2
Air date October 12, 1999
Written by David Fury
Directed by James A. Contner
Episode Guide
City of
In the Dark
David Boreanaz Angel
Charisma Carpenter Cordelia
Glenn Quinn Doyle
Guest Starring
Elisabeth Röhm Kate
Lillian Birdsell Sharon
Obi Ndefo Bartender
Co Starring
Derek Hughes Neil
Johnny Messner Kevin
Jennifer Tung Neil Pick-Up Girl
Tracey Stone Pretty Girl
David Nisic Slick Guy
Ken Rush Guy
Connor Kelly Regular

"Lonely Heart" is second episode of the first season of Angel, and is the second episode overall. It originally broadcast on October 12, 1999.

Angel Investigations looks into a series of killings linked to an LA singles club. Doyle receives a vision that sends Angel Investigations to D'Oblique, a trendy bar for singles. There, Angel meets a young woman named Kate Lockley that turns out to be a detective with the LAPD. After a violent battle in the apartment of its latest victim, Angel discovers that the killer is actually a body hopping demon, but Kate believes Angel is behind the mysterious murders. While Cordelia Chase and Doyle grow closer while researching the demon, Angel combs the local bars and Kate breaks into Angel Investigations looking for more information on Angel. That night, Angel wants Kate to meet him at the club so that they can work together on the case. However, before he arrives, the bartender, now possessed by the eviscerating demon, hits Kate with a bottle. Angel shows up just in time, and the demon flees into the night. Kate and Angel are able to track down the demon. Angel throws him into a burning trash can, and when it rises again Kate shoots it with her gun. Kate admits that she never suspected the bartender as the killer, and Angel decides to let Kate believe what she will believe. He hands her his card and disappears into the night. Back at Angel Investigations, Angel suggests that the gang hit the bars for a night out to prove he wants to be friends with his employees. Cordy and Doyle, much to Angel's relief, turn him down, though obviously understanding the weight of Angel's gesture.


At the office, 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 just declining to arrange a date between his coworkers, when Cordelia arrives with a box of the calling cards she had printed up for Angel Investigations. Angel, clearly at a loss, guesses the little angel drawn on them is a butterfly, while Doyle, trying futilely to impress Cordelia, guesses the graphic depicts a night-hunting owl. Just as Cordelia whacks him on the arm in mock disgust, Doyle is seized by a vision of a night club, accompanied by an impending sense of calamity. Angel goes out clubbing with Doyle and Cordelia after all.


Meanwhile at D'Oblique, the club in Doyle's vision, a young woman named Sharon Reichler sits alone at the bar, unaware she is 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 real connection and leave the club together, just after the Angel Investigations team arrives. Cordelia immediately begins to pass 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 briefly talking with the bartender, Angel makes no progress with people near the bar until a woman named Kate asks if he's all right. Intrigued by this apparent reflection of his intentions, 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 guy mockingly speculates that the AI calling cards give Cordelia's number for sexual services, and Doyle tries to stand up for her. When Cordelia gets indignant, and the rude guy is backed up by his rude friend, Doyle stops negotiating and wades in. Having just declined Kate's invitation to go someplace quieter (making Kate suddenly very frosty), Angel charges into the fight and thrashes both guys, before the bartender ejects them as known trouble-makers. A stylishly turned out woman, impressed by Angel's heroic actions, coyly introduces herself. Angel gamely follows her lead, trying to ascertain whether she might be the person Doyle's vision didn't show. As he banters, Angel notices Kate watching, seeming hurt and angry, and, in turn, helplessly watches her leave the club.

The next morning, after spending the night with Kevin, Sharon calmly gets dressed, unperturbed by the bloody sheets and Kevin's dead body on the bed. At the office, the team spends the day researching any past incidents connected to D'Oblique. Their search turns up a badly mutilated woman and an eviscerated man, both known to have been at the club. Doyle and Cordelia research on demons that cause evisceration to their victims and find several suspects, including the Piasca and an unnamed demon. Meanwhile, Angel goes back to D'Oblique to see if he can spot the killer. On his way in, Angel literally bumps into Kate, who takes umbrage when he tries to warn her of a suspiciously 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, then runs straight to her place to try to prevent the next murder.

Angel arrives at the apartment just in time to see that Sharon is dead while Neil, the geeky guy she took home, is alive and hosting a parasitic demon. Angel and the demon fight, but it gets away just as Kate arrives and finds Angel leaving the crime scene. Pulling a gun on Angel, Kate reveals she's a detective with the LAPD, and 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 dingy apartment, not knowing that Kate has gone to illegally search his own place. 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, to prove that he isn't the killer. Later that night at the club, Kate 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 but, 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 somewhat. Then, not wanting to deal with them both at once, the demon 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 again battles the demon in its bartender host, which is still strong enough to injure Angel. Still waiting for Kate to back him up, Angel 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 helplessly watches, 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 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. Agreeing that the bartender had ample opportunity, Angel makes no mention of a body-hopping, parasitic demon being the real killer. Then, after thanking Kate for saving his life as well, Angel asks why she chose to tell him of her illegal search. When she says she wants the two of them to start over from the beginning, with no secrets between them, Angel pauses almost imperceptibly, then agrees.

At the office, Angel generously and very awkwardly suggests that the three of them go out together, but is deeply relieved and gratified when Cordelia and Doyle instead take pity on him and 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".
  • This is the first episode of either series to not feature Buffy Summers. Buffy's voice is heard on the phone at the end of the previous episode "City of."



Organizations and titles[]



Death count[]


  • 5 Humans
  • 1 Demon

Behind the Scenes[]


  • David Fury wrote this episode to replace his original script, titled "Corrupt", which also introduces 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 Network rejected the episode it was completely rewritten.
  • 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. "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," Peristere says.
  • 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. "The reason I like it so much is because it really knocked the heck out of me," he says. "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."

Deleted Scene[]

  • The following scene was cut from the original script:

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[]

  • Batman: Doyle says to Angel, "It's not like you have a signal folks can shine in the sky whenever you need help, right?" Elsewhere in the episode, 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.
  • Ken and Barbie: When Sharon mentions her childhood dreams, Kevin looks around at all the plastic people in the crowded noisy room and says, "Ken and Barbie had it easy. They didn't have to come to places like this."
  • Peter Pan complex: Cordelia demonstrates her strange mixture of insight and obliviousness when she singles out D'Oblique patrons for her pop psychology lesson to Doyle. In fact, many people in the room could have issues with social (im)maturity and loneliness and abandonment (Angel perhaps most of all). What Cordelia doesn't seem to grasp is that people (including herself) connect with other people, not with abstracts such as relative wealth or a model's good looks. Unlike the Talamour they're tracking, she still confuses initial attractiveness with substance.
  • The bartender says Sharon was talking to "some Screech," comparing her companion to the nerdy character from "Saved by the Bell."
  • Naked City: When Angel asserts that he'll be able to recognize the eviscerating Talamour demon in whatever body it inhabits, Doyle quips, "That only leaves about five million suspects in The Naked City." This could be one of the clearer mission statements for the entire series, which incorporates elements of mystery, drama and noir within the context of a big city intended to function as a character in its own right. Cordelia explicitly makes the noir connection again in the first episode of season two, "Judgment".

International Titles[]

  • German: Einsame Herzen (Lonely Hearts)
  • French: Angel fait équipe (Angel teams up)


  • The plot is similar to the movie "The Hidden", directed by Jack Sholder in 1987, where a LAPD detective is allied with an alien disguised like a FBI agent to find and eliminate a parasitic alien, serial killer and sex maniac. The monster is finally killed with a flamethrower.
  • This episode title was possibly the inspiration for "Miss Lonelyhearts", an alias used by Adelle DeWitt in Joss Whedon's Dollhouse.
  • Several sources, including various DVD releases, conflict on whether the title of the episode is "Lonely Heart" or "Lonely Hearts". However, David Fury confirmed on Twitter that the episode is in fact called "Lonely Heart".


  • 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" (Live Fast, Die Never)
  • Ian Fletcher - "Deadside"
  • Sapien - "Neo-Climatic"
  • Christophe Beck and Robert J. Kral- original score


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."