"Damage" is episode 11 of season five in the television show Angel, originally broadcast on the WB network. In this episode, Angel calls on the Watchers' Council for help in tracking down a psychotic vampire slayer named Dana, who was tortured by a serial killer as a child.
|Episode no.||Season 5|
|Directed by||Jefferson Kibbee|
|Written by||Steven S. DeKnight|
|Original air date||January 28, 2004|
At Wolfram & Hart, Harmony tells Angel that there was a mix-up with a girl named Dana's medication at a psychiatric hospital, and no longer sedated, she broke down her door, killed several people, and escaped. At the hospital, Dr. Rabinaw tells Angel and Spike that Dana had been kidnapped and tortured for months when she was 10, by the man who killed her family. Recently, she gained incredible strength. Angel realizes Dana — like Buffy — is a vampire slayer, activated by the events in the Buffy series finale.
Wesley asks Giles to send “his top guy” to take care of Dana, who turns out to be Andrew Wells. He updates the group on how Willow activated every potential "Slayer of the Vampyrs"; when Wesley wonders how the Slayers will be trained now that the Watcher’s Council is gone, Andrew explains that Giles and some “Sunnydale alum” have been taking care of it.
As Spike heads off to look for Dana, Angel follows Lorne's suggestion to visit Dana's childhood home with a psychic. The psychic flashes back to Dana’s abduction and her family’s murder; the smell of molasses and a basement is “where her pain lives,” he says. Meanwhile, Dana goes to the basement of the building where she was held captive, flashing back to her torturer injecting her with various drugs. When she looks up at his face, he is Spike.
Andrew catches up with Spike, and updates him on the Scoobies’ activities - Xander is in Africa, Willow and Kennedy are in Brazil, Buffy and Dawn are in Rome, and everyone else is in England. Andrew guesses that Buffy does not know Spike is alive and wonders why he did not tell her. When Spike follows the scent of blood into Dana's trap, Andrew tries unsuccessfully to shoot Dana with a tranquilizer gun. Spike chases Dana to the basement, where she starts repeating what her torturer once said to her. Dana, channeling Nikki, recognizes Spike as William the Bloody. Before he can explain that she is dreaming of other slayers, she injects him with a sedative. At Wolfram and Hart, Fred and the team realize the smell of molasses indicates Dana was held in a distillery, and they send a tactical team to search abandoned distilleries.
Back in the basement, Spike awakens to discover that Dana has cut off his hands. She tells Spike he cannot hurt her anymore, but when he insists she is thinking of someone else, she finally remembers who her torturer really was. Angel arrives, tells Dana her real torturer is dead, and knocks her out with a tranquilizer dart. Spike is taken to the hospital to have his hands reattached. Later, Andrew tells Angel because Dana is a slayer, she belongs in the care of the new council. This goes against Angel's intentions to have her treated in his own W&H facilities. Andrew says none of the Scoobies—implicitly emphasizing Buffy, whom he points out, gives him his orders—trust Angel now that he works at Wolfram and Hart. “Don’t fool yourself… we’re not on the same side.” When Angel presses the issue, a group of slayers comes out of hiding and Andrew makes it clear that they will take Dana by force, if necessary. In the end, Dana is taken away with Andrew.
Angel visits Spike at the hospital, where Spike admits he has never thought much about what being evil means, he only ever killed for the rush and enjoyment of the act, and he then states that he never once looked his victims in the eye. At this, Angel replies that Angelus could never stop staring into his victims; for him, it was always about the evil of the act. Angel and he note that they were innocent victims once, too. Spike says Dana is like them; someone turned her into a monster.
- It has been six months since the events of the Buffy episode "Chosen".
- The events of this episode are a result of the actions in the Buffy series finale, in which Willow turned every Potential on Earth into a Slayer.
- When Dana and Spike fight, she channels the Chinese Slayer; his line "Sorry love, I don't speak Chinese," is a repeat of the line he said just before killing the Chinese Slayer during the flashbacks to the Boxer Rebellion in "Fool for Love". Dana's memories of Nikki Wood and Spike's killing of her were also first seen in "Fool for Love", though further memories of Nikki's death were explored in the Buffy season seven episode "Lies My Parents Told Me".
- Andrew's storytelling persona resurfaces in this episode. It was previously seen in "Storyteller", including his pronunciation of the word "vampyre".
- When Andrew is describing the effects of Willow's spell, Angel, Wesley, Gunn, Lorne, and Fred apparently were all unaware of the spell's vast effects, and even of its existence in the first place; none of them knew that all of the Potentials were activated as Slayers.
- The Scoobies are known to be collecting and organizing the Slayers. Giles is training new Slayers, Willow and Kennedy are still a couple and are in South America, Xander is in Africa, and Buffy is in Rome, with Dawn in "Italian School".
- Because of their newfound affiliation with Wolfram and Hart, the Scooby Gang is revealed to be no longer deeming the Angel Investigations team trustworthy. Knowing that Buffy and the others did not trust him may have contributed to Angel's attitude in "You're Welcome".
- Parasite Eve: Lorne invokes this novel/movie/video game franchise when speaking about Eve.
- The Lord of the Rings: Andrew is shocked to see Spike alive, and draws parallels between what happened to Gandalf.
- Star Trek: The Original Series: Andrew calls Angel "Uhura" and tells him to "check the viewscreen," in reference to the communications officer on the Enterprise.
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: In describing Dana's escape, Harmony says "A girl over in the nuthouse went all cuckoo's nest."
- Star Wars: In one scene, Andrew says, "Yoda knows who" instead of "God knows who."
- X-Men: In one scene, Andrew mentions that Buffy is in Europe training Slayers and giving them "...the full X-Men minus the crappy third act."
- White Zombie: The scene where Dana steps out of the convenience store after the security guard pulls a gun on her has the music of White Zombie is playing in the background. The song is called "Blood, Milk, and Sky".