1st Anniversary Character Posting Party - Darla
Slayrunt - September 12, 2001

First, let me start with a note about names. Wisewoman has provided the name Jane Stride for the human prevamped Darla (thanks Wisewoman). Second, Darla and Angel/us are so intertwined that I must give comments about him/them.


Temperamental-Mr. Big

Darla: I, I, I, I don't wanna go up there.
Boy: Aw, you can't wait, huh?
Darla: We're just gonna get in trouble.
Boy: Yeah, you can count on it.
They almost kiss when Darla startles, draws a quick breath and turns her head around to look down the hall.
Darla: What was that?
Boy: What was what?
Darla: I heard a noise.
Boy: It's nothing!
Darla: Uh, uh, maybe it's something.
Boy: Or maybe it's some *thing*!
Darla: That's not funny.
He looks down the other hall.
Boy: Hellooooo! (to Darla) There's nobody here.
Darla: Are you sure? (looks away)
Boy: Yes, I'm sure.
Darla: Okay.
She turns back to him all vamped out. She growls and bites him. He grunts in pain as they sink to the floor.

Welcome to the Hellmouth

Mr. Big, a mislabeled hair band of the late 80's still going strong today, is my favorite band. The singer has stated that this song is about "a psycho b***h from hell. I think it fits Darla perfectly. She has a split personality and as such, let's take a look at both.

A psychological and philosophical view of Jane Stride.

Jane is a self-loathing creature who views herself as something to be used and abused. Jane thinks that she is worthless and deserves everything that has happen to her in her short life. Something in her past has led her to a life of prostitution and to a life where she has turned her back on God. Perhaps she was molested or abused by a priest and no one, even her family, would believe her. Whatever it was, something terrible happened to baby Jane (sorry, I couldn't resist). When we met her, she is on her deathbed and seems resigned to her death, but death is not what the Fates have in store for her.

All of these thought come from this very short view of Jane's life from the A:tS ep "Darla".

1609, the Virginia Colony.
The sun is shining on Darla as she is lying in bed. There are two veiled sisters standing at the foot of her bed watching as a doctor takes a leech from her arm.
Darla: "Someone close the shutters. (One of the sisters does so) Seems wrong that I should die while the sun is still so bright."
A hooded priest enters the room.
Priest: "You'll not see it again. Before it sets, you will have left this life."
Darla: "I didn't ask for a priest. Who invited him here?"
Priest: "You did. You cried out for me last night in your delirium."
Darla: "I don't remember. Do you even *know* what I am?"
Man walks into the room: "A woman of some property. No husband, no inheritance. Yes. I know what you are."
Darla: "I'm a whore."
Priest: "Well, yes, that too. You should have asked for a priest long ago, child. Your life may have been the better for it."
Darla: "And you should have paid me a visit before today, father. Your life may have been more interesting because of it."
Priest: "Are you prepared now to renounce Satan and beg God his forgiveness?"
Darla: "God never did anything for me."
Priest to the others: "Leave us."
The two sisters leave.
Priest to the doctor still sitting at her bedside: "You can't save her life - perhaps I can still save her soul."
The doctor gets up and leaves.
Darla: "My soul is well past saving. Let the devil take me if he'll have me. Either way - I die."
Priest: "No (The priest steps closer and pulls his hood back to reveal - the Master) you will not die. (Darla looks up at his inhuman face without flinching) You will be reborn."
Darla: "I know you."
The Master leans down and takes one of Darla's hands in his.
Master: "I came to you last night. I sang to you from that window."
Darla: "Hmm, I remember now. You're death?"
Master: "No."
Darla: "What then?"
Master: "I'm your savior. God never did anything for you - but I will."
With that he leans down and sinks his fangs into her neck.

A psychological and philosophical view of Darla

The new vampire eventually to be called Darla of course knew everything about Jane. I think Darla's unlife might have started much like Jane's in that she was a usee, a follower, but she got something else from the Master, approval. When she became a vampire, she was changed and changing. She learned to be the user, the hunter, and the manipulator. She learned that she had strength and she learned about power. Her greatest conquest was an Irish rogue named Liam. When Liam, soon to be Angelus, killed his family, she was intrigued and perhaps saw an opportunity to manipulate Angelus to serve her.

Darla: "This contest is ended, is it?"
Liam: "Now I've won."
Darla: "You're sure?"
Liam: "Of course. I proved who had the power here."
Darla: "You think?"
Liam: "What?"
Darla: "Your victory over him took but moments"..."But his defeat of you will last life times."
Liam: "What are you talking about? He can't defeat me now."
Darla: "Nor can he ever approve of you - in this world or any other."

Darla understands a defeat that can last a lifetime.

Angelus and the Master did not get off on the right foot. Angelus made Darla choose between him and the Master, but the choice was not about which face Darla wanted to look at for eternity. The choice for Darla was does she want to stay with the Master as a usee, a follower, or does she want to go with Angelus and be the power, the manipulator.

Their unlife together was full of people and they were full of people if you get my meaning. They went to Naples and ate. They went to France and ate. When they are chased into a barn the shooting script states "They both check out various corners of the barn for safety. Seems like a drill they've been through before." Maybe they were chased out of Italy as well. I think that Angelus' lifestyle was leading them to a bad end. Why was it Angelus', you ask? Angelus started by killing his village and Darla approved. In Italy they killed and may have been chased out to France. In France, they were staying at fine hotels and killing the waiters, thus bringing suspicion upon them. Angelus was trying to keep Darla happy, to get her approval. Now when Darla realizes that this might be the end, she realized it was time for a change. First things first, she must chose to fight to the death with Angelus or sacrifice her dear boy. She chooses to survive.

Angelus definitely changes between France in 1765 and London in 1860 and I think Darla was the cause. In the Angelus posting party, I referred to Darla as the Col. Parker of the vampire world and now I will explain. Pre-France Angelus killed anyone and everyone and did it pretty much openly. Nothing has ever been stated that there was any style to the kills, but in London, Angelus starts the Drusilla quest and the Angelus we all know and love is created (ok, well I love that Angelus). Angelus asked Darla what's next and Darla pointed out Dru. Darla brings the gypsy girl to Angelus. It seems that Darla is in charge. Of course because of the times the man was seen as the leader and Darla was ok with that. She and Angelus knew who was really in charge.

I found two scenes that I thought were connected. The first was in "The Trials" and the second from "Fool for Love"

France 1765, night. A horse carrying two riders trots into a barn. Angelus and Darla dismount.
Angelus: "This is outrageous! Don't these people know who we are?"
Darla: "I think they do. Which would explain the lynch mob. Look, we should all rest. It'll be dawn in a few hours and she won't last another mile, not carrying us both."
Angelus closing the barn door: "Right. I hate the French. We should go some place like Romania."
Darla: "In Italy you said we should go some place like France."
Angelus: "At least in Romania they really know how to treat a creature of the night."
Darla: "You were craving rich food, that's what you said, something - French."
Darla lights a lantern while Angelus looks out at the dark countryside.
Angelus: "The valley seems quiet."
Darla: "I told you we lost them back in Arles. I'm sure of it."
Angelus: "This man, Holtz, how does he keep finding us?"
Darla: "Well, we stay in the best hotels, order room service, eat the waiters - people talk."


ANGELUS has Spike by the throat, choking him.
ANGELUS "Perhaps it's my advancing years that makes me so forgetful, William. Remind me. Why don't we kill you?"
SPIKE (chokes)..."ike."
ANGELUS "What's that?"
TITLE CARD: Yorkshire, 1880
Angelus releases Spike in disgust.
SPIKE "It's Spike now."
Reveal Drusilla and DARLA standing to either side of Angelus.
SPIKE "You'd do well to remember it, mate."
ANGELUS "I'm not your mate. And when did you start talking like that?"
DARLA (to Spike) "Look, we barely got out of London alive because of you. Everywhere we go, it's the same story and now-"
ANGELUS "You've got me and my women hiding in the luxury of a mine shaft, all because William the Bloody likes the attention. This is not a reputation we need."
Spike takes a deep swig from a wine bottle.
SPIKE "Oh, I'm sorry. Did I sully our good name? We're vampires."
ANGELUS "The more reason to use a certain amount of finesse."
SPIKE "Bollocks! That stuff's for the frilly cuffs-and-collars crowd. I'll take a good brawl any day."
Angelus approaches Spike menacingly.
ANGELUS "And every time you do, we become the hunted."
DARLA (sing-song; to Drusilla) "I think our boys are going to fight."
Drusilla claps her hands giddily.
DRUSILLA "The King of Cups expects a picnic! But this is not his birthday."
Darla looks at Drusilla like she's crazy.
DARLA "Good point..."
SPIKE (to Angelus) "Yeah, you know what I prefer to being hunted? Getting caught."
ANGELUS "That's a brilliant strategy really... pure cunning."
SPIKE "Sod off!" (laughs) "Come on. When was the last time you unleashed it? All out fight in a mob, back against the wall, nothing but fists and fangs? Don't you ever get tired of fights you know you're going to win?"
ANGELUS "No. A real kill. A good kill. It takes pure artistry. Without that, we're just animals."
SPIKE "Poofter!"
Angelus shoves Spike and the fight is on. Angelus snaps a metal rod in half, lifts Spike up and slams him down on his back, raising the makeshift stake. Spike stops it inches from his heart and smiles up at Angelus.
SPIKE "Now you're gettin' it!"
Angelus drops the rod and backs off.
ANGELUS "You can't keep this up forever. If I can't teach you, maybe someday an angry crowd will. That... or the Slayer."
Spike sits up, suddenly interested.
SPIKE "What's a Slayer?"

The first scene is Darla subtlety trying to teach Angelus how she thinks things work as a vampire. The second is Angelus not so subtlety trying to teach Spike how she thinks things work as a vampire. I really enjoyed the "me and my women" line, especially after the scene where Dru tells Darla that Angelus is full of her. Even Dru knew the chain of command.

After Angelus is cursed, Darla definitely has a problem with his disgusting soul and the remorse he shows. Darla does not want any weakness around her to remind her of Jane's weakness. Darla even tries to get the gypsies to remove the curse; she wants her dear boy back. Why? She wants the control, she knows that she has no control over Dru or Spike, only Angelus. Sadly, Spike puts an end to that plan (burp).

The Darla we first met in Sunnydale is a different Darla. She has come back to the Master as to not be alone. Perhaps she was unable to locate another person to create a second Angelus. While with the Master, she gets away with murder. Not the killing kind (ok, that kind too), but the things she can do as the Master's favorite. Like eating from the Master's meal or the way she demands that he allows her to kill the Slayer.

On to Angel the series. Wolfram & Hart want Angel to join their team or at least, stop interfering with their plans, so they decide to bring Darla back. It is unclear if the had to bring her back as human or if they wanted or needed a human Darla for their plans. Either way, Darla is back and she is human.

So, who is it, Darla or Jane, or is it someone new? Darla/Jane isn't even sure. The person we first see is vicious and calculating like Darla, but when Angel informs her about her soul, things change rather quickly.

Comments about souls. It has been discussed on this board whether Angel has Liam's soul or a soul. The question can be extended to Jane. Does Jane have Jane's soul or a soul? Another question is what is Joss' world does a soul mean or do. The answer to both questions seems to be that we don't know. Until Joss and company definitively states how it all works, we can only speculate. So I speculate.

Angel is convinced that Jane will remember what Darla did and will feel guilt and pain as he did. Angel thinks this because that's what happened to Angel, and he wants to help Jane on the long slow road to redemption. Jane on the other hand, feels differently. Jane stated that this soul in her is a cancer that is eating away at her, a disgusting thing that needs to be removed. She asked Angel for help and he is certainly willing to, but not in the way that she wants. Then she is told that she is dying and she is even more intent to be vamped then ever.

Why the need to be vamped? Why is it a cancer eating away at her? Does she feel guilt about the things that Darla did? Here's my take on the subject. Jane presumably was born in England and came to the colonies. England, at the time, was a Christian country (no implication that they aren't now) and the colonies were founded by people looking for religious freedoms. Jane certainly knew about God and Satan and Heaven and Hell in the Christian sense. She must believe that the soul is immortal. When she died as Darla, there was nothing. She questioned whether Hell existed, but Angel tells her that there is Hell, a few of them. Jane and her soul can not be blamed for what the soulless Darla did.

Jane, before she knew about the syphilitic heart condition, wanted to be vamped because she didn't want to be the person she once was. After she knew that she truly was dying, she didn't want to spend eternity as the person she once was. As the soulless vampire, she has nothing to fear, as she knows that when and if she dies, she dies without a soul. She goes to the void, no pain, and no torment.

Finally, Angel in his quest to save Jane, so that he might save himself, shows Jane that she has value. She states that no one has ever shown her that before. She is now ready to face eternity with her human soul. Again, the Fates are not with her and Dru vamps her.

Darla has returned and she is not happy. At first it seems that she is angry with Dru and wants to know why she did it. Soon, though, her anger turns to Wolfram & Hart. Darla does not like to be used and sends a big message to them in the form of dead lawyers. She wants power; she has always sought power.

When Angel stops her plans, she goes to kill him, as she has been unsuccessful in turning him into her dear boy again. Angel has a different idea and freely gives himself to her, but alas, even though she has been alive for 400 years and used to do that professionally and I'm sure it was perfect, her dear boy will not come back to her.

So ends the story of Darla so far. At first, I was only intrigued by the beauty and voice of Julie Benz, but she has showed that there is really talent there as well. I can only hope we have not seen the last of a wonder character.

All scenes from Psyches transcripts site. So ends my character analysis as well. I hope you have found it interesting and I wait for your insight and comments. Thank you.

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