|“||It took me a while to figure out how the world was put together and where I belonged in it. Actually, the world isn't that complicated. It's designed for those that know how to use it.||„|
|~ Holland Manners "Blind Date"|
|“||See the world doesn't work in spite of evil, Angel. It worlds with us. It works because of us.||„|
|~ Holland Manners "Reprise"|
Holland Manners was the project head of the special projects division in Wolfram and Hart on the TV show Angel. He was mentor to both Lindsey McDonald and Lilah Morgan while the two were still straddling the line between rising talent and "deadweight".
He was portrayed by Sam Anderson.
Season One Blind Date
Holland first showed up in season one's episode "Blind Date" as Lindsey's boss. Holland was arranging a hit with an assassin who the firm was defending and entrusted Lindsey to represent her in court. While the firm viewed her as a valuable resource Holland was more concerned with Lindsey who he had been keeping an eye on for some time. Holland had hand-picked Lindsey to work in Wolfram and Hart when he was still a sophomore but with the assassin about to kill three children, a line Lindsey did not wish to cross, Lindsey began to have doubts about working at Wolfram and Hart. Though Lindsey did not tell anyone of his doubts Holland picked up on it and encouraged Lindsey to be a model employee, which would mean committing various evils not the least of which was letting the children die and getting the assassin off afterwards. In the end Lindsey helped Angel rescue the children and steal information from Wolfram and Hart, while Angel was able to get away with it all employees were called in for screening with Holland and his employee reviewers, who were mind-readers. Holland found out about Lindsey's betrayal, but rather than act on it he was far more upset at Lindsey's co-worker Lee Mercer, who was approached by a competing law-firm and was planning on joining them and leaving with several clients. Holland had Lee killed and dismissed everyone, except Lindsey. Holland confronted Lindsey on what the mind-readers had picked up about him in the screening and voiced his disappointment, however in the end Holland did not have Lindsey killed, he believed Lindsey was just going through a crisis of faith. Holland assured Lindsey he had not recruited him because he was smart, or out of some since of pity for Lindsey growing up as poor kid, it was because Lindsey had a drive to forge his own destiny, something Holland saw as an immeasurably precious trait to have in an employee and gave him a few days off to think over his priorities. Once Lindsey came back he found Holland leaving his office, though at first it seemed Holland had been fired as it turned out Holland was clearing out because he was being promoted. Linsey had come to return the files Angel had stolen and make a grand-stand against Wolfram and Hart, but a few well placed words from Holland and the offer of a promotion to his former position quickly helped Lindsey move passed his moral dilemma.
Throughout the second season of the show Wolfram and Hart took several strides towards breaking Angel, with the grand goal being reconstituting him as an asset to Wolfram and Hart once his morals were broken; For this purpose was Wolfram and Hart's Special Projects division formed, of which Holland was the head. Holland had Darla brought back from the dead. Darla was resurrected as a mere human but could still provided Wolfram and Hart with invaluable help towards their goals with Angel. Darla psychologically toyed with Angel for some time at Holland's request. As Darla was brought back human instead of her previous incarceration as a vampire she began to go through a slight identity crisis which culminated once Holland gave her the news that she was dying, of syphilis, which she was suffering of before being reborn as a vampire. Lindsey, who had become enamored with Darla while working with her, ran his own tests and confirmed it, he went to Angel to get help for her.
Angel completed a series of mystical trials to get Darla a second chance, in the end he won but both he and trial's arbiter were surprised to find that nothing could be done for her since she had already been brought back once. At the end of the episode Wolfram and Hart came for Darla with Drusilla, a vampire Angelus had sired. Drusilla bit Darla and killed her then brought her off to await her rebirth as a vampire. Holland had arranged for Drusilla's arrival and upon her rebirth looked forward to the chaos Darla and Drusilla would unleash and the damage it would do to Angel. When Holland heard Darla and Drusilla had gone on a killing spree he called Darla and told her she and Drusilla had the full weight and support of Wolfram and Hart behind them and encouraged them to go from a simple killing-spree to a massacre.
Later Darla and Drusilla arrived at Holland's house during a wine tasting party with his friends and employees, including Lilah and Lindsey. Darla stated that she disliked being used and that she had figured out Holland had brought her back as a human intentionally to mess with Angel, the only thing that annoyed Darla more than being used was being reduced to a human and made to put up with a
having a soul during her brief reconstitution as a human. Darla and Drusilla were indeed planning to create a massacre as Holland said, and told him so as they eyed the party guests and Holland himself. Angel had arrived just in time to stop them...but Angel had been personally wounded by seeing Darla die and brought back as her former soulless-self and met Holland Manners long enough to know it had all been part of his plan to turn him as a Wolfram and Hart asset and so when the time came to save them, Angel far from stopping Darla and Drusilla locked them in the room with Holland and his guest to ensure none of them escaped. Holland was the first to be killed.
During the episode "Reprise" Wolfram and Hart is going through their 75 year review. During the review one of the Senior Partners themselves would be reviewing the firm. All employees were on edge as the Senior Partners rewarded the best and completely annihilated any and all wastes of resources and it was not unheard of them to 'liquidate' (literally) entire divisions at once. To appear before them, the Senior Partner would conjure a demonic body to manifest within, which meant, as powerful as he would be, a Senior Partner would appear as a mortal during the review. Angel got wind of the review and decided to take advantage of the event, for to return to his "home office" (in essence hell) the Senior Partner would be carrying a ring that allowed his return. Angel managed to break in and kill the Senior Partner with a holy gauntlet he had acquired. Once the Senior Partner was dead Angel put on the ring and waited for the gateway to the home office to appear. No sooner did Angel put on the ring than an elevator appeared and inside it was Holland smiling. Holland assured Angel he was not a ghost or a vampire, he was just dead and told him that his contract with Wolfram and Hart extended well after his own death.
Holland was not there to stop Angel, just escort him to the home office. As they road down the elevator Holland calmly explained to Angel that he would kill himself trying to stop the Senior Partners and that the firm had been around in one form or another since the first cave-man hit his neighbor in the head with a rock, that the Senior Partners could not be stopped and the world actually worked the way it did because of them, Angel shook-off Hollands' words until they arrived at the home office...and Angel saw they were right back where they started. Holland told Angel that earth -was- the home office, that the Senior Partners lived in the hearts and minds of every single human-being. Angel would become emotionally broken from the revelation for some time, though he would eventually re-prioritize his morals he never was able to completely recover once Holland had shown him that the Senior Partners weren't just demons but manifestations of humanity's worst traits.
Personality and Talents
Numerous employees, clients and CEOs have referred to Holland by name as the model employee of the firm. Holland is the reason Lindsey and Lilah survived as long as they did while they were still getting their feet wet. His intellect, talent and judgment are constantly praised messianically among the forces of evil that had dealings with him, such as Helen Brucker. Lindsey eventually left Wolfram and Hart despite being groomed for success by Holland which left Lilah as the head of Special Projects. Though Lilah is self-serving to the point where she is willing to sacrifice her superiors to get ahead in the company even she refers to Holland with the same level of respect she refers to the Conduit and the Senior Partners themselves. Holland himself plays the part of reasonable authority-figure to the firm's lower level employees and clients. Holland's pleasant smile and positive outlook on life belie his calculating and sinister nature. He is never seen mad and always appears to be able to plan out entire operations months if not years ahead of time, as ultimately his plans to make Angel an employee of Wolfram and Hart did pay off because of the events he set in motion with Darla. Though he probably did not foresee his death it still served the company in the long run, which is likely why he was promoted after death. Prior to Holland's arrival Wolfram and Hart were portrayed as a corrupt corporate law-firm used to justify how demons and evil humans thrived in human society, Holland's appearance though and sum up of the Senior Partners put a far more significant and deplorable face on Wolfram and Hart shifting it to the series' default antagonist.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Big Bads