Disharmony (Angel)

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"Disharmony"
Angel episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 17
Directed by Fred Keller
Written by David Fury
Production code 2ADH17
Original air date April 17, 2001
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Epiphany"
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"Dead End"
List of Angel episodes

"Disharmony" is episode 17 of season 2 in the television show Angel.

Plot synopsis[edit]

Angel has a difficult time adjusting to the new situation at the hotel where Wesley has taken over his old office and Angel is taking orders from his new employers. A young couple making out in a car is attacked by something wearing a hood. Angel encounters several obstacles when trying to earn back his friends and their trust. Cordelia makes it very clear that she is still very angry and not his friend anymore. She gets a vision that sends the guys after the couple attacked in their car. Cordelia follows Angel's advice to take the rest of the night off, but as she's leaving, an old friend from Sunnydale, Harmony, shows up.

The girls talk about their lives and how they've both changed, Harmony failing to mention that she's now a vampire. Harmony tells of her recent breakup, and Cordelia invites her to stay at her place while she's in town. Angel, Wesley and Gunn find the car with windows smashed, but run off in another direction when they hear a woman scream. The woman is rescued and the three fight the hooded creature, which is revealed to be a vampire, which is quickly staked by Angel. Upset that Cordy doesn't consider them friends, Angel asks Wesley about buying something like flowers for her, but Wesley responds sarcastically, making Angel feel even guiltier.

Cordelia and Harmony are enjoying themselves immensely as they chat over glasses of wine. Harmony is hungry and tempted by her friend's neck. Later that night, Harmony goes to Cordelia's room while she's sleeping, but when Cordelia wakes she mistakes Harmony's actions as sexual. A phone call to Willow in Sunnydale clears up all the confusion. Willow stresses that Harmony is a vampire, not a lesbian, and cannot be trusted, though Cordelia embarrasses herself by voicing a mild slur before she learns of Willow's new relationship.

Willow calls the hotel and informs Angel about Harmony. He and Wesley rush to Cordelia's rescue only to find that the ladies are getting along like friends, painting each other's toenails. Cordelia discourages them from any plans to kill Harmony as she intends to help her undead friend. Cordelia brings Harmony back to the hotel where she researches the symbol found on the robe. Angel, still attempting to get on Cordelia's good side, agrees that Cordy should be allowed to spend time with her friend. Back at the hotel, Harmony annoys Wesley, and Angel tries to find other clues from Cordelia's vision including a large bird figure she saw. To prevent Wesley from killing Harmony, Angel takes her back to the refrigerator for blood.

Gunn returns having found that there have been humans taken off the streets, and it is concluded that they are taken not for food, but to add to an army of vampires. A vampire speaks to a crowd of robed vampires about his plan, revealing a large cage filled with humans. Cordelia finds that the symbol represents a pyramid scheme started by a motivational speaker named Doug Sanders, and it is assumed that he's now continuing it as a vampire. Harmony accidentally spills her cup of blood onto the keyboard prompting Wesley to demand that she leave immediately. Cordelia takes her desperate friend to Caritas for advice on what path the vampire should take. After Harmony sings poorly on stage, the Host says that Cordelia will guide Harmony to her destiny.

The guys find Cordelia at the bar and request her help in locating the specific building where the vampire group is meeting. Harmony tags along, convinced that her mission is to be good and help people. Arriving at a theater, a bird statue is spotted but appears different than the vision that showed until Angel turns on some lights that illuminate the statue in red, making it recognizable to Cordelia. Before heading in, Angel (unable to not speak of the matter anymore) tries to tell Cordelia that Harmony is a danger and will betray her, but she reminds him that he betrayed her as well, even with his soul.

Harmony is selected to go inside and pretend that she wants to join the group. While she goes inside, everyone else waits at the back of the building for her to let them in. She arrives late and tells them of the cage filled with people, but when they get inside, the room is deserted, and Harmony betrayed them. She thanks them for guiding her to her destiny as Doug approaches and offers to promote Harmony to a blue robe. Doug threatens the team, but they're up to the challenge and are prepared to kill them all.

Cordelia fights with Harmony while Angel, Wesley, and Gunn take on the few members of the vampire cult that didn't flee, effectively slaying them all. Doug has his head chopped off by Angel. Cordelia pulls two crossbows on Harmony but instead of killing her, she lets her leave, telling her to get out of town. Back at the hotel, Wesley talks to Angel about his difficulties with Cordelia, but things take a sudden turn for the better as Cordelia finds a complete new wardrobe on her desk courtesy of Angel. She hugs him and praises his taste in clothes, making Angel smile and Wesley look unimpressed and annoyed.

Writing[edit]

Arc significance[edit]

  • Crossover with Buffy: Harmony has come to L.A. after the events of "Crush", her final Buffy appearance, and Cordelia calls Willow Rosenberg to get information on her. Furthermore, Angel visits Buffy in "Forever", aired immediately before, to comfort her after her mother's death.

Continuity[edit]

  • The "smothering relationship" that Harmony says she just got out of was her relationship with Spike, which ended in "Crush".
  • This episode marks when Cordelia belatedly learns that Willow is involved with another woman. At this point Cordelia and Willow, former high school classmates in Sunnydale, have not met (on screen) in almost two years, since the events of the Buffy Season Three finale "Graduation Day, Part Two".
  • Wesley reminds Cordelia (and the viewer) that Harmony, like any Buffyverse vampire, is literally not the person she was before being sired, but instead a demon inhabiting Harmony's body and possessing Harmony's memories. The only way to restore the actual pre-vampiric self is to return the dead human's soul to his/her body, as was done with Angel himself and, later, with Spike. This aspect of Buffyverse vampirism was established from the beginning in "Welcome to the Hellmouth" but revisited in only a handful of episodes (most notably "Lie to Me"); for the most part, Buffyverse vampires at least behave as if they are in fact the same people they were in life, and most others treat them as such, just as Cordelia treats Harmony here. Ironically, the episode's main villain, Doug Sanders, is one of the few vampires who realized his true nature as a demon with a human body and memories, upon which he based his program to help other vampires recognize their "inner vampire" and become even more dangerous to humanity than they were prior to achieving this realization.
  • Harmony repeatedly pops her chewing gum, despite having no breath to blow it. The consensus here is that the vampires in the Buffyverse/Angelverse do indeed breathe (a natural reflex left over from their being human) but they do not have the oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange that humans need to survive. How else would for example Spike (or Angelus) be able to smoke, and the vampires would not even be able to talk (breathing is needed for that as well).
  • Angel's buying of Cordelia's forgiveness using clothes is reminiscent of her and Xander's peacemaking in "The Prom" when he paid for her (otherwise unaffordable) prom dress, thus settling their hostile relationship.
  • This episode marks Harmony's first appearance on Angel. She will not return to the Buffyverse until the beginning of Season 5, when she becomes a recurring, and then eventually, a regular cast member.

External links[edit]