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"The Bachelor Party" is the seventh episode of the first season of Angel and the seventh episode in the series. Written by Tracey Stern and directed by David Straiton, it was originally broadcast on November 16, 1999, on The WB network.


THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES — Angel sees his new friend Doyle tortured when his estranged wife comes to town asking for a divorce so she can marry another man. With the wedding just a few days off, Angel agrees to follow her seemingly affable fiance to learn more about this man before Doyle gives his blessing to their union.[1]


Doyle's attempt to get Angel to put down his book and go out to a sports bar featuring online trivia gets sidetracked by the appearance of Cordelia in elegant evening wear. Apparently, she arranged to meet her date, Pierce, at Angel's office. Cordelia enumerates her date's many attractive qualities, all of which seem to be material in nature. Pierce arrives a little later, and Angel interrogates the handsome young man until Cordelia manages to drag him out the door.

In some distress at the hopelessness of his own chance with Cordelia, Doyle sits on the sofa and idly leafs through one of Angel's books. When a photo of a blond girl slips from between the pages, Doyle picks it up and whistles. He asks Angel if his old squeeze would date a man with an Irish accent. Seeing Angel's stricken face, Doyle immediately realizes that this is Buffy and gets up to apologize. At that moment, Doyle is struck by another vision. He reports of a guy captured by a band of vampires downtown, and two of them race to the rescue.

Meanwhile, at an upscale restaurant, Cordelia finds herself bored by Pierce and his futures trading exploits. She entertains herself by imagining what her fellow AI team members might be up to. In fact, Angel and Doyle are in the midst of a bracing battle in the vampire nest, where they arrived just in time to save the weakened but still breathing victim. Angel mentions Doyle's reluctance to morph into a demon even when he's fighting, which would enhance his strength. After they dust all visible vamps, Angel elects to take their charge home, and he sends Doyle back to the office. As they leave, a large, mean-looking vamp emerges from hiding.

Unaware that he's being followed, Doyle lets himself in at the office, while the hunting vampire also observes Cordelia's arrival moments later. Pierce drops Cordelia off early because she claims to feel unwell, and he makes a couple of last-ditch attempts to spend the night with her. When the vampire suddenly shows his face, Pierce screams and runs in terror, leaping into his Mercedes convertible and speeding off. Left alone, Cordelia struggles with her captor in an attempt to break away. Suddenly, Doyle reappears on the front steps with a crossbow and an attitude. Taking his only shot, Doyle sends a bolt into the vamp's foot, then engages hand-to-hand as the enraged vampire throws Cordelia rolling to the sidewalk, yanks it free, and roars to attack. Outmatched, Doyle refuses to morph into his demon face, but he manages to retrieve the spent crossbow bolt and dust the surprised vamp. Cordelia is impressed by his prowess and thoughtfulness.

The next day, Cordelia talks with Angel about her evolving attitude toward men in general. She concludes that Doyle, who might actually have some potential, at least deserves to be treated to a mochaccino as a thank-you-for-saving-my-life gesture. When Cordelia finds Doyle in the outer office, a young woman opens the front door and stands at the threshold. She smiles at Doyle, whom she calls Francis. Stunned, Doyle introduces his wife, Harriet, to an equally stunned Cordelia. Angel has just emerged from the inner office when another stranger pokes his head around the front door. Letting himself in, he approaches Angel and introduces himself as Richard. He enthusiastically shakes Angel's hand, believing him to be Doyle. After he is corrected, Richard turns to Harry and mentions the wedding. Angel firmly escorts Cordelia out of the room, and Richard goes back outside to wait. Alone with Doyle, Harry presents him with divorce papers. Doyle says he'll have "his people" look the documents over, and Harry agrees to come back in a few days.

Later, Doyle declines Angel's offer of a shot of scotch and explains that his demon side, genes he inherited from a father he'd never met, didn't manifest until he turned twenty-one. At this point, he and Harry were already married, and she eventually left him because he wasn't the man she married anymore. Doyle then speculates about the real story behind Richard's friendly facade. Doyle drinks Angel's untouched shot and asks him to watch over Harry.

Angel follows Harry's fiancé and spots him making a clandestine exchange, then slipping into Straley's Steakhouse with the package. Inside the restaurant's kitchen, Richard hides the package in the industrial-sized refrigerator. When Harry arrives soon after, bearing stacks of department store boxes tied together with twine, Richard goes into a storage area. There, he selects a bottle of sparkling wine, picks up a carving knife, and morphs into a demonic appearance. Just as Richard approaches Harry from behind, Angel crashes through a plate-glass window and tackles the demon, landing several punches before he realizes that Richard isn't fighting back and that Harry is shouting at him to stop.

To Angel's confusion, it seems Harry knows about and is okay with Richard being a demon, to the point of having obtained a degree in ethnodemonology. Richard is a benevolent demon; the knife was for the box ribbons, and the box he hid was actually for an illegal food item that they serve at the restaurant. Harry further explains that, while she did freak initially, she quickly adjusted to the idea of Doyle's demon heritage — quicker than Doyle did himself. When Harry encouraged Doyle to explore that side of himself, he refused. Harry tells Angel that her first husband just shut down and withdrew and became "pretty much a bitch to live with."

Back in the office, Doyle rants about the type of demon Richard is and how their rituals must be dangerous. However, Angel reads about how the Ano-Movic demons gave up all the rituals and now only own a chain of restaurants. Doyle finally accepts that it wasn't his demon half that broke him up with Harry; it was his own personality flaws. Later, Doyle signs the divorce papers, then hands them over to Harry as Richard looks on. When she excuses herself to go make photocopies, Richard takes the opportunity to invite Doyle to his bachelor party so he can give his blessing to the new union. Meanwhile, in Angel's office, Harry invites Cordelia to her bachelorette party, explaining that Richard's family is very sweet and "into good vibes,' but Cordelia is the first woman she's met under the age of 300.

At the Straley home, the family assembles at the dining table for dinner, where, passing around a bucket of chicken, they finalize plans for Richard's party. Although the beverage choices go without saying, there is some discussion about what food (Buffalo wings or foie gras) and activities (stripper vs. stripper and charades) to provide that would best complement the ritual of eating the ex-husband's brains.

Richard's family is surprised and troubled when Doyle brings Angel along to the bachelor party at the restaurant. Richard begins softening Doyle up, hoping to eventually elicit his blessing. At the Straley residence, Harry informs Cordelia about Doyle's past, mentioning the qualities that first attracted her to Doyle prior to their relationship. Cordelia is astounded to learn that Doyle got his teaching credentials at a young age and taught third grade while married to Harry. She is less surprised to hear that Harry met Doyle at a food bank. Cordelia points out that he is more like the Doyle she knows, and then suddenly backtracks and realizes that Harry meant he was volunteering there. In the living room, Richard's mother calls out to them that it's time to play pornographic Pictionary.

At the bachelor party, Angel leaves Doyle unattended to investigate why Richard's relatives, Ben and Nick, have retreated into the back room. He overhears Uncle John performing some kind of blood rite and calls Cordelia to ask Harry for a translation of the Aratuscan incantation. As Angel hangs up and turns away from the phone, Nick incites a brawl. Four demons thrash Angel and toss him out a second-story window, where he lies unconscious in the alley below.

After the dancer finishes her routine, Richard rejoins Doyle at the bar and asks him whether he's given any thought to blessing the proposed union. Doyle decides not to stand in the way of Harry's new chance for happiness and gives Richard his blessing. Hearing the announcement that "consent" has been given, the rest of the guys swarm Doyle and lock him in a wheeled box with doors that enclose his body from the neck down. The hole in the top of the box allows just Doyle's head to be exposed. Uncle John gives Doyle an injection to numb his head and then draws a dotted line across his forehead. Doyle tries to take back his blessing, but Richard's uncle tells him that the blessing can't be rescinded. Doyle shouts for Angel, but the ritual proceedings continue uninterrupted.

Meanwhile, Harry and Cordelia discover that the translation of Uncle John's ceremonial knife-purifying incantation means ingesting past love. When Harry questions the women in the living room, Aunt Martha casually says that they're certainly not going to eat Doyle's brains. The girls worriedly rush out to the restaurant.

Out in the alley, Angel regains consciousness and vamps. Just as Richard is about to cut Doyle's skull open, Angel crashes into the restaurant, destroying the front door in the process. Richard's brother questions why Doyle brought a vampire to the bachelor party. Doyle smiles and nods while Richard's relatives mob Angel en masse. Richard turns to attack Angel with the ceremonial knife, but Angel kicks it out of his hand and punches him in the face. Doyle, after being pushed and rolled around in the box, finally morphs into his own demon form when the front latch pops open. He breaks out of the box and jumps in to join the fray.

Harry and Cordelia arrive, and Harry shouts at the boys to stop. They all come to a standstill, and Harry confronts Richard about his intention to eat her ex-husband's brains. Richard admits that he was just trying to follow the old ways. Uncle John says those rituals are still important to them, and she mockingly asks when was the last time he tore himself away from TV long enough to spill the blood of a she-goat. Harry tells Richard that he knows how she feels about the old barbaric customs, but Richard tells her that his family won't allow the marriage unless he performs the ritual. Harry turns around to look at Doyle before turning back to look into Richard's eyes. She takes his hands into her own for a few moments, then pulls her hands away, leaving her engagement ring in his palm. Harry turns, snapping at Doyle that she'll eat his brains herself if he says anything, and she storms out. With a small smile, Doyle turns away as well. Richard's family crowds around him and tells him he doesn't need her, especially since her knees only bend one way.

Angel and Cordelia watch Doyle mope in the darkened outer office. Cordelia points out that Doyle's still hung up on Harry. Angel agrees, saying that Doyle didn't even know how much. Cordelia says someone needs to go out and cheer him up. Angel attempts to go to Doyle, but Cordelia stops him, saying it needs to be someone with a heartbeat. Cordy goes to Doyle and asks if he's going to become a loser-pining guy, pointing out that they don't need another one of those in the office. Both Doyle and Angel take offense to her words, but Cordelia continues, saying Angel can actually pull the attitude off. She sits down and tells Doyle that he'll get through it because he's a nice guy. He asks if she really thinks he's a nice guy, and she confirms.

Suddenly, Doyle has another painful vision. This time, he recognizes the blond woman from Angel's photo fighting against a vampire. Angel asks what he saw, and Doyle hesitates.


  • Cordelia's attempt to break free of the stalker vamp by biting his arm is reminiscent of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Prophecy Girl," when Cordelia, trying to barricade the library door from a horde of attacking vampires, bites a vamp's reaching arm and says, "See how you like it!"
  • Doyle refuses to allow Cordelia to see his demon face, to show her only in his final moments in "Hero."
  • Cordelia's statement, "I think it, I say it," was illustrated when Buffy overheard her thoughts in "Earshot."
  • This episode reveals Doyle's full name to be Allen Francis Doyle. This episode aired just after "The Initiative," which also revealed a main character's full name: Daniel "Oz" Osbourne.
  • Doyle fulfills the first half of the promise he made in "Rm w/a Vu," telling Angel the story of his life by talking about his failed relationship with Harriet.
  • Doyle has a vision of Buffy fighting a vampire in Sunnydale, which Angel will witness in the Buffy episode "Pangs."



Organizations and titles[]




Death count[]

  • Two vampires, staked by Angel.
  • Russ, staked by Doyle.

Behind the scenes[]


  • Carlos Jacott, the actor who plays Richard Straley in this episode, portrayed Ken in the Buffy episode "Anne."


  • "The Bachelor Party" had an audience of 3.2 million households upon its original airing.[2]

Pop culture references[]

  • Pierce wears a suit of the luxury brand Giorgio Armani.
  • Cordelia says Pierce drives a luxury coupe Mercedes-Benz CLK320.
  • Cordelia mentions blue boxes in reference to the packaging of the jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co..
  • Cordelia wonders if the marriage of the Ireland-born Doyle was related to obtaining a green card, allowing his permanent residency in the United States.
  • Harry refers to the concept of yin and yang, believing that she and Richard are different yet complementary.
  • Harry teases Cordelia by telling her that Doyle came up with the charity song "We Are the World" (1985).
  • The women at Harry's bachelorette party play a pornographic version of the game Pictionary.
  • Richard's uncle is a fan of the cable TV sports channel ESPN.


International titles[]

  • Czech: "Loučení se svobodou" (Bachelor Party)
  • Finnish: "Poikamiesilta" (Bachelor's Day)
  • French: "Enterrement de vie de démon" (Demon Bachelor Party)
  • German: "Party mit Biss" (Party with Bite)
  • Hungarian: "Legénybúcsú" (Bachelor Party)
  • Italian: "Addio al celibato" (Bachelor Party)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): "A Despedida de Solteiro" (The Bachelor Party)
  • Russian: "Мальчишник" (Bachelor Party)
  • Spanish (Latin America): "Despedida de soltero" (Bachelor Party)
  • Spanish (Spain): "Despedida de soltero" (Bachelor Party)
  • Turkish: "Bekarlığa Veda Partisi" (Bachelor Party)


Promotional stills[]

Behind the scenes[]


Cordelia: "You were so... brave."
Doyle: "You think you could say that again without so much shock in your voice? You're steppin' on my moment of manliness here."
Cordelia: "I'm sorry, I'm just, uh..."
Doyle: "Surprised?"
Cordelia: "Grateful."
Cordelia: "Doyle taught third grade? The kind with children?"
Harry: "Well, yeah."
Cordelia: "Are you sure he wasn't just held back and used that as a cover story?"
Brother Straley: "You don't need her anyway."
Partygoer: "Yeah, who wants a wife whose knees only bend the one way?"
Cordelia: "Hi, Doyle. Are you gonna become loser pining guy, like, full time now? 'Cuz, you know, we already have one of those around the office."
Angel: "Hey."
Doyle: "Hey."
Cordelia: "He can get away with it. He's tall, and look at the way clothes hang on him. But you..."
Angel: "Okay. I think you've cheered us up enough."
Cordelia: "You'll get through this, Doyle. Nice guys don't always finish last."
Doyle: "You think I'm a nice guy?"
Cordelia: "I think it, I say it. It's my way."


  1. "Angel- Season 1 Episode Guide." Lol's Site. Retrieved on April 23, 2022.
  2. "Nielsen Ratings for Angel's First Season." Nielsen Ratings for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, & Firefly. Archived from the original on July 18, 2008.