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Discussion of 3.09 "Lullaby" - Aired 11/19/2001 (WB-US)


Mar 7, 2009
With Darla's contractions getting closer together, the Angel Investigations gang is surprised when she flies into a frenzy and runs away from them. Now Angel must track her down in time to safely deliver their baby. However, their old nemesis -- the vampire hunter, Holtz -- is now in present day L.A., and after hundreds of years he is finally closing in on his quarry.

Source: TV.com

Discuss this episode here!


Minuscule Redheaded One
Feb 8, 2011
Northern Minnesota
-Love HOltz' and Angel's little reunion. I'm curious to see how it plays out.
-If Darla is just in active labor, you guys should probably take her somewhere a little safer and more comfortable to deliver!!
-Gunn, vaseline and a catcher's mitt? Hooo, boy...
-Sarah didn't feel like eating her dad? Huh.
-"They don't crucify here. It's too Christian." Haha.
-Poor Darla. Her feelings all hurt when no one wanted to sit by her. :(
-Nice grenade move, Angel. Very Riley-esque.
-"What are we looking at?" Oh, Angel.
-Darla loving the baby. Profound. I totally understand the thoughts of "Why would anyone bring a baby into this horrible world". Her wanting to remember loving the baby...so sad.
-fred smacking Gunn to test the security spell. HAHAHAHA.
-"How? By killing my kid?" Meh...
-Poor Caritas.
-HOLY CRAP!!! DARLA?!?!?! And someone pick up the baby! Sheesh.
-Ok, I don't like Holtz at all now. It's bad enough when vamps kill kids; anything with a soul shouldn't even think of killing babies. :(

I liked this episode a lot, except now Darla is gone. (Well, for now, anyways. Who knows?) Brought out a lot of maternal feelings in me. Feeling slightly sad now.


Sep 25, 2011
I loved this episode. Darla sacrificing herself for the baby, I friggin LOVED that! And I'll admit it I cried cause I really got to like the Darla character...a lot! I'm liking the Holtz storyline, though I thought he was going to give up after he let em go.


Bite Me
Jun 18, 2003
Black Thorn
I loved crazy Darla and Fred. Fred is so cute when she goes on her rants. I also liked the fact that Holtz could tell the difference between Angelus' weakness and Angel's. He's a very good hunter. The scenes between Angel and Darla were heartbreaking. I love that Fred and Cordy kept slapping Gunn to test the spell. Poor Lorne having the club ruined again.

The commentary by Tim Minear and Mere Smith. Its quite interesting, they talk about camera shots, angles, speeds, lighting and how good the actors are.

There is a lot of Christ like images and references used, when Angel is captured by Holtz he's held with his arms stretched to the side, like Jesus on the cross. Lilah's comment about crusifying not being done because it was too Christian, then it cuts back to the shot of Angel. Also the scene were Fred stays with Angel and Darla for the birth is so Fred can represent the Virgin Mary, also the coat over her head helps with the imagary (I dont get that bit, but anyway :))

The alley they shot in stunk of urine and they had to shoot there for 2 days. There were also lots of rats.

They were originally going to kill Darla in season 2 after she slept with Angel.

In the final scene they didnt want Darla or Angel to cry so they had Fred there to relay the emotion of what was happening.

Give Us A Kiss

Fuffy Apologist
Feb 4, 2015
Holtz, OMG is an expression, not proof that one believes in god...:rolleyes:

Poor Angel :(

Wes, Darla doesn't breath...

Another flashback :)

Holtz, don't kill Angel :mad:

4 people in the front seat :eek:

Why did they bring Lilah in ??? o_O

Fred calls him Charles ??? o_O Gunn fits him better...

Fred, I want to listen to your rambles but you go on and on like the Energizer Bunny...

It's common knowledge that Angel uses some hair products :p

Poor Darla :(

Darla, I wonder the same thing sometimes (especially now that Donald Trump is POTUS).

Was the purpose of this storyline to break Darla ??? o_O

Lorne, it's hard...

Obituary for who ??? Darla ??? o_O

Another flashback...

Lorne lives in his club ??? o_O

Angel, I'm sorry :(

RIP Lorne's club :(

At least they escaped :D

Darla, you can go.

Darla has died.

It's a cute baby, and it has a micro penis.

Next time: Angel is a dad.
Mr Trick
Mr Trick
Maybe a sign that Fred was starting to get closer to Gunn personally?


Jul 29, 2016
Would Darla have been unable to love Connor without a soul?

Darla assumes she wouldn't be able to love him, however a child born from two vampires has never happened before. Vampires can love to varying degrees and in nature most animals are protective of their young. What would vampire Darla been like as a mother?

Mrs Gordo

Bangel extremist...
Jul 11, 2017
Black Thorn
Darla assumes she wouldn't be able to love him, however a child born from two vampires has never happened before. Vampires can love to varying degrees and in nature most animals are protective of their young. What would vampire Darla been like as a mother?

I think they are capable of selfish love obsession. Extremes. I don't think without a soul she would have had the ability to love Connor like a parent should, in a healthy, caring and nurturing way.

Darla's most significant relationship as a Vamp was with Angelus and she left him to die at the hands of Holtz so she probably isn't winning mom of the year without her soul.
I would add to this that all of the re-ensouled vamps in the verse have said they were not capable of love without souls: Angel says it to Darla, Darla says it when she kills herself for Connor, Spike says it in comics. For what it's worth the soul has given them that perspective.


Spuffy Forever
Oct 2, 2017
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
One of the most heartbreaking episode but one of the best episodes of not only Season 3 but the series.
Darla is such a fantastic character & to see her go out that way was so powerful and amazing.
Julie Benz acted the hell out of this episode & she should be forever proud of herself for this masterpiece! RIP Darla

Mrs Gordo

Bangel extremist...
Jul 11, 2017
Black Thorn
I just re-watched this episode to do some research for a fic and I have to say, I am always amazed by how amazing it is.

Darla is such an amazing character. There is never a dull moment with her. Her journey through this pregnancy, I find believable and even though I am not a mother, I can relate to the anxiety of whether I will make a good mother and can only imagine that is amplified when you are actually carrying your baby.

I love the scene with Holtz and Angel at the beginning of this episode/leading in from the end of the last (these episodes really are more like a two-parter). But as Holtz literally has Angel in a torture device preparing to kill him - to exact vengeance on him (what Holtz here calls exacting Justice) Angel is still trying to save Holtz's soul:

Holtz: "What do you know of a soul."
Angel: "I know yours will be destroyed if you allow yourself to be used in the service of evil. - You're a good man, Holtz. A righteous man - and you're being used - for some purpose - other than justice."

Angel knows, very well, and more so now that he is on the verge of becoming a father, that the things he and Darla did to Holtz and his family are unforgivable. He makes no effort to tell Holtz that he has a soul and that things are now different - that information comes from Lilah. Because the soul would just feel like an excuse at this point - given all that Holtz has been through. All he can tell Holtz is that if he goes down this road with demons and black magic he is risking his own morals. Angel never attacks Holtz when he gets free. He doesn't attack him when he sees him later in the alley even though Holtz wants to exact revenge on him. Like Angel tells Darla later "We can't make up for any of it."

The magnitude of Darla's sacrifice of giving her own life for the baby cannot be understated. This is Darla who has always feared death. Who allowed the Master to turn her before she could die of Syphilis. Who sought out any vampire to turn her for fear of dying of Syphilis when she was a human. Who told Angel that from her perspective she had given him eternal life - not damnation. And here she gives up her life for her son its the greatest sacrifice she can make particularly for her specific character.

Darla's story in this episode and it's contribution to soul canon in the verse is also significant. Darla is petrified of delivering this baby and then be devoid of a soul. She believes so strongly that she will not be able to love it and will be able to offer it nothing. And Angel has nothing to tell her in return because he knows she is right.

Darla talks about not wanting to deliver the child because she knows that once she does she will lose this feeling of love that she feels for the child:

Darla: "Angel, I can't have this baby."
Darla: "I can't let it out. I-I can't."
Darla: "Look, I know. It wants to come out. I can feel it. It's ready. It's just - I can't let it. I can't let because... because..."
Angel: "You love it."
Darla: "Completely. I love it completely. I-I-I don't think I've ever loved anything as much as this life that's inside of me."
Angel: "Well - you've never *loved* anything, Darla."
Darla: "That's true. Four hundred years and I never did - till now. - I don't know what to do."

And this is telling because Darla in BtVS s1 says she loves Angel and he doesn't love her back. But for the first time, she knows what love really is now that she feels this love for the baby she carries and now that she is influenced by Connor's soul. She understands that when she goes back to being soulless, when Connor is delivered, she won't be able to feel that love.

Darla: These feelings that I'm having, they're not mine. They're coming from it."
Angel: "You don't know that."
Darla: "Of course I do! We both do. Angel, I don't have a soul. It does. And right now that soul is inside of me, but soon, it won't be and then..."
Angel: "Darla..."
Darla: "I won't be able to love it. I won't even be able to remember that I loved it. (Starts to cry) I want to remember."

Again, I'm not a mom, so I'm probably not even fully grasping all of the feelings involved but I feel like this fear would be so palpable. To know that once your child will be born you won't be able to love it the way it deserves to be loved. That is a very relatable fear. And it offers us some perspective on the difference that a soul makes in the buffyverse:

Darla: Once he's gone, I won't be okay. I won't be okay at all. - I don't know what I'll be.

Mr Trick

Jan 9, 2015
London, UK
One thing I was thinking about when watching this episode today at the bit when Gunn was talking about the possibility of the unborn children being the evil the prophecy predicts was "no shit, its CONNOR! What could be more evil"?:D

This was a really powerful one just for the Darla-Angel scenes. It was a fitting end to Darla's arc and another great performance from Benz.

Stake fodder

Feb 6, 2021
Caught on a root
Wow, Darla sacrificing herself for the baby, very dramatic. I don't think it's the reason why Darla couldn't give birth, but the baby was breech. From his position after Darla dusts, it's clear he was not upside-down in the birthing position. I wonder if they did that deliberately, or if it didn't occur to them.

I thought there should have been a little more build-up of Darla recognizing that she has come to feel love for the baby. Instead, it seems very sudden. Is that why she acting odd in the car, talking to herself?

I like that Holtz was made more sympathetic, showing him singing gently to his daughter. But we also see that he is ruthless, when he tosses her into the sun, so I'm sure he's got bigger plans for Angel.

If I were Lorne, I would never let any of these people in Caritas again. Sheesh, this is the third time the place has been destroyed! And poor Gunn, everyone using him to test if the non-violence spell was working.

Good episode, and good end for Darla's character (if it is the end).
I'll always wonder just how much Lorne got as he looks up in fear at Holtz exiting Caritas. Holtz was singing the same song he sung to his daughter turned vampire. Surely he got the gist of what Angelus & Darla did to his family.
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