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View Full Version : Why didn't Angel kill his boys and his girl?



bespangled
12-04-18, 09:07 AM
I was watching Why we Fight and Lawson told Angel " Then I had this whole creature-of-the-night thing going for me—the joy of destruction and death—and I embraced it. I did all the terrible things a monster does—murdered women and children, tortured fathers and husbands just to hear 'em scream."

60 years of mass murder - tens of thousands I would assume - and Angel could have staked him right after Lawson fixed the sub. He could have also staked Spike - Spike trusted him. Angel know that - Angel had a soul. And he made a decision not to dust them. He let Spike go every time they met. He told Dru to take Spike and leave but made no attempt to either sic Buffy on them, or dust Dru.

I know that fanon is that Angel felt intense guilt - but what good is guilt if he never took action? I don't recall any canon times when he spoke about his responsibility and his guilt.

Ha had to have a powerful motive to decide repeatedly to let them live. So what was it? Any ideas?

flow
12-04-18, 10:00 AM
This puzzled me as well.

I think, he knew that Spike wouldfight him. They were still in a submarine. A fight could easily have damaged something. And Angel wasn`t in training, after he has spent the last 50 years or so brooding. Maybe he just decided it wasn`t worth taking the risk to fight Spike.

It is a different thing with Lawson, because Lawson was a fledgling and Angel could probably have dusted him easily. There is no explanation, why he did not do it. Except for the explanation, that if he had dusted Lawson on the submarine, Lawson couldn`t have visited Angel in L.A. and we would not have seen this episode.

flow

TriBel
12-04-18, 10:10 AM
I was watching Why we Fight and Lawson told Angel " Then I had this whole creature-of-the-night thing going for me—the joy of destruction and death—and I embraced it. I did all the terrible things a monster does—murdered women and children, tortured fathers and husbands just to hear 'em scream."

60 years of mass murder - tens of thousands I would assume - and Angel could have staked him right after Lawson fixed the sub. He could have also staked Spike - Spike trusted him. Angel know that - Angel had a soul. And he made a decision not to dust them. He let Spike go every time they met. He told Dru to take Spike and leave but made no attempt to either sic Buffy on them, or dust Dru.

I know that fanon is that Angel felt intense guilt - but what good is guilt if he never took action? I don't recall any canon times when he spoke about his responsibility and his guilt.

Ha had to have a powerful motive to decide repeatedly to let them live. So what was it? Any ideas?

Love. I'm guessing guilt and responsibility are all tied up with love. I've spent years studying/reading/thinking about love and desire (which sounds so more interesting than it actually is) and all I learned is - it's bloody complicated (which is why I try to avoid discussions about love and which is why I lean towards Spuffy. I'm obviously a masochist). I can't remember the episode well enough to comment with any certitude but I remember thinking Angel dusted Lawson out of love. Didn't Lawson have great love (for nation - for his platoon etc) before he was turned? Isn't that "why he fought"? Wasn't he suffering from his inability to feel love? I understood Angel dusted him was so Lawson wouldn't suffer more. Can guilt and responsibility ever be separated from love? IDK.

bespangled
13-04-18, 03:05 AM
This puzzled me as well.

I think, he knew that Spike wouldfight him. They were still in a submarine. A fight could easily have damaged something. And Angel wasn`t in training, after he has spent the last 50 years or so brooding. Maybe he just decided it wasn`t worth taking the risk to fight Spike.

It is a different thing with Lawson, because Lawson was a fledgling and Angel could probably have dusted him easily. There is no explanation, why he did not do it. Except for the explanation, that if he had dusted Lawson on the submarine, Lawson couldn`t have visited Angel in L.A. and we would not have seen this episode.

flow

The way he carted Spike around like samsonite luggage gave new meaning to the words I can handle Spike . I think he could have dusted Spike without Spike even realizing what happened.

I'm guessing that Lawson was about fair play of some sort. The guy save everyone's life after he was turned, so it wouldn't be right to dust him. He has sympathy for vampires - even when he knows that his new boy is gonna be a killer and humans will die. He's reacting in the now rather than worrying about the possible future

- - - Updated - - -


Love. I'm guessing guilt and responsibility are all tied up with love. I've spent years studying/reading/thinking about love and desire (which sounds so more interesting than it actually is) and all I learned is - it's bloody complicated (which is why I try to avoid discussions about love and which is why I lean towards Spuffy. I'm obviously a masochist). I can't remember the episode well enough to comment with any certitude but I remember thinking Angel dusted Lawson out of love. Didn't Lawson have great love (for nation - for his platoon etc) before he was turned? Isn't that "why he fought"? Wasn't he suffering from his inability to feel love? I understood Angel dusted him was so Lawson wouldn't suffer more. Can guilt and responsibility ever be separated from love? IDK.

Yeah - Lawson told Angel to give him a mission.



LAWSON
(searching Angel's eyes)
Come on, chief. Give me a mission.

Angel rears back with his other hand, pounding the stake into Lawson's chest, turning him to dust instantly. Angel stares at what used to be Lawson.

But then there is Penn, who Angel was delighted to dust. So guilt, responsibility, love - and an awareness of what vampires are. That they are killers but more than killers?

vampmogs
15-04-18, 12:37 PM
Well, the Angel in Why We Fight is not the same Angel in Somnambulist. Angel is eager to kill Penn because Angel has committed to helping the helpless and has a genuine desire to do good and atone for his sins. The Angel in Why We Fight has no interest in helping humanity and had to be forced into rescuing the soldiers trapped in the submarine. Once Angel was in the submarine, despite how much he didn't want to get involved, I do think Angel ended up caring about the fate of Lawson and his crew in spite of himself (it's similar to how initially he had no interest in helping Judy in Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been but couldn't help but get involved) but he's still not a hero at this point or concerned about humanity at large. If Angel saw Lawson attack a human right in front of him, sure, I think he'd step in, and I think this is why he warns Lawson that if he ever sees him again he would kill him, but Angel wasn't interested in protecting innocents if they're out of mind and out of sight. Angel just wanted to be left alone and I think being forced to sire Lawson probably only made him more resolved to stay away, which we'll see when we find him in the Hyperion a decade later.

I think guilt is what stopped Angel from dusting Lawson on the spot. He's already damned him (we know this is how Angel perceives vampirism as he states this in Darla) so he probably felt the least he could do is let him go and fend for himself in the world. As for Spike, you could ask the very same thing about why would Buffy and Angel let him go in Lovers Walk when he no doubt went on to murder a lot of innocent people. It's plot armour more than anything. But in Why We Fight, as I said, I do think letting both Spike and Lawson go is perfectly in character for Angel at this point in his life. Angel isn't a hero and Angel isn't interested in protecting humanity so as long as Spike is far away from him Angel really doesn't lose much sleep over all the people he could have prevented Spike from killing. But even in S2 when Angel was on a much better path, Angel offered Drusilla the opportunity to "take Spike and get out" in Lie to Me before they wound up dead (or Buffy and Angel did). Drusilla perceived this as being because of Angel's guilt and claimed that he couldn't hurt her ("not anymore") because with a soul Angel now felt too guilt-ridden to hurt Drusilla after all the pain he'd inflicted on her as Angelus. I think this is true and I also think there's a bit of a familial bond that Angel has for Spike and Dru, even with a soul, that makes him hesitate to kill them as he normally would any other vampire.

When Angel dusts Lawson in LA I don't think he just did that to be merciful towards Lawson because Lawson was clearly unhappy and adrift as a vampire. I think that's in the mix, sure, but Angel was simply keeping his promise to Lawson that if he ever saw him again he would have to kill him and Angel in 2004 is also a very different Angel to 1940's Angel. Angel now actually feels a responsibility to protect people and slay vampires and Angel also cares about his team (who Lawson had threatened and currently had tied up only meters from them) so even if Lawson had been extremely satisfied as a vampire, Angel still would have staked him. But I do there was an element to it of Angel "putting Lawson out of his misery" and Angel feeling that this was both the merciful thing to do and something he felt responsible for given that he was the one who had sired him.