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 Angel's Secrets

Angel the Series Episode Guide

"Harm's Way"

Episode # 97
Original Air Date: January 14, 2004
Review by: Anne

Episode Summary

Angel appears in a promotional video for Wolfram and Hart warning vampires that, "If you don't kill, we won't kill you." Harmony arrives at work and heads to the break room to get Angel a mug of blood; she tries to join into the conversation, but the other workers ignore her. Returning to her desk, she tells Angel about the day's agenda but he ignores her too, as he prepares for a meeting where two feuding demon clans will talk peace. After Harmony's attempt to obtain a special meal for the feuding clans fails, Harmony cries, upset that she's in trouble although she did everything right. Trying to console her, Fred winds up going out for a drink after lunch. At the bar, Harmony tells how she tried to be "all independent and evil" but it just didn't work; now she can't quit her job because she has nowhere to go. Harmony laments that she's had trouble connecting with people, and Fred encourages her to talk to the guy at the bar that is checking her out. Harmony does, but she wakes the next morning to find the man dead in her bed, with bite marks on his neck. Harmony puts the body in a dumpster and goes to work, fearful that she'll be found out, although she doesn't remember the evening, after the man offered to buy her a drink. Angel learns from the police about the discovery of a body at the dump: the dead man was the liaison between the feuding demon clans, and the clans want revenge. Harmony goes to the lab to see the body, and she's relieved that she didn't kill him because he was bitten on the right - she bites on the left. However, a random W&H test discovers human blood in Harmony's system. Harmony knocks out the man doing the testing, then Lorne, then Fred, as she pieces together that someone is trying to frame her. Harmony confronts Lorne's assistant, but he's knocked unconscious by the real culprit: a young woman named Tameka. Tameka was jealous that Harmony was promoted out of the steno pool after only five weeks, and when she saw Harmony at the bar she realized this was her chance to get Harmony's job. They fight. Meanwhile, the meeting between the feuding clans is not going well: they demand the sacrifice of one of Angel's employees in return for the dead man's murder. Suddenly Harmony and Tameka burst in and Harmony stakes the other vamp on the conference table. The clans are satisfied and agree to talk peace. Later, Angel tells Harmony that she should have just come to him. Harmony confesses that she's made bad choices, but she points out that she doesn't have a soul, so she has to work a lot harder. Tearfully she turns to go clean out her desk, but Angel just tells her to bring them some coffee. Later, Spike joins her at a bar, saying that he was going to see Buffy but that would've made his grand exit - i.e. sacrificing himself for the world - seem unimportant. Harmony relates that she knows what it's like to not matter; she feels better when Spike points out that she mattered to the girl who tried to frame her.

Episode Review

In a review that I read years ago, the writer praised Buffy and Angel for showing development of the so-called secondary characters. In Harmony's case, I'm not sure how many of us have wondered how life is for her, but we were shown a glimpse of it here. Despite being somewhat of a ditz, she really is good at her job; she knows her co-workers' names and she even does research to contribute to the peace talks. However, for some reason, she is un-noticed or ignored, the same way she is by the people in the break room. She pointed out to Angel that she has to try harder because she doesn't have a soul, but she also lacks the support he has in his friends. I had forgotten that she was popular in high school; that must make her current situation even more painful.

Just when we start to sympathize with Harmony, in walks a lesson on perspective named Tameka. At first, I wondered why this stranger had suddenly appeared out of nowhere, but when I watched the episode again, I saw that Tameka was the one Harmony bumped into in the break room. Tameka was also seated near Harmony and Fred as one of them commented that several people from work were at the bar. Tameka went on to say that she sat next to Harmony in the steno pool . . . what do you know: other people get over-looked and passed by as well.

Plot-wise, this episode seemed rather discontinuous with the rest of the season. After the shocking ending of the previous ep, I was expecting to see at least a brief appearance by Lindsey - and I was *really* hoping he'd be shirtless again. Alas, there was no such spectacle. On the bright side, we were also Eve-free; that fact alone is enough to make this episode a good one, IMHO.

Miscellaneous Thoughts

* What was the point of that promotional video for W&H? Are they going to show it on Vamp TV? Or will they bring every vampire in and make them watch it?

* Harmony should've noticed that her thermos was spiked.

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