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Thread: Angel rewatch : S1-5

  1. #641
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    Definitely Doyle is a big factor in how Cordy considers the visions, and it's hard to discount. However, it doesn't honour Doyle's memories to let the visions slowly eat her away. It's complicated though.

    On the season as a whole, I do think season two is very strong, especially the first half up to Reunion. Reprise is very, very good; Epiphany I have some issues with but is mostly strong; Dead End wraps things up with Lindsey fairly well. I do think the Pylea arc is an interesting experiment which only comes to full fruition in one episode (TTLG). The mid-season episodes between Reunion and Reprise are a bit of a weak patch, and Angel's return to the team is somewhat cheaply bought, with the focus on what he does in Reunion being rather lost in the shuffle. What the season is most notable for doing is, essentially, being *the* definitive Angel story in a lot of ways; the metacommentary on Buffy/Angel by bringing in Darla and the close examination of what makes Angel tick and function are really the thing that bring the series to the next level, and it's a process that had been started in season one but was mostly inconsistent until very late in s1 (i.e. once Faith showed up). This is a very good season for the major guest stars on the villainous side -- Darla especially; this is the key Wolfram & Hart season, at least until Angel takes them over, and Holland Manners is consistently great, Lindsey's story is a bit hard to track in spots but is interesting to me, and Lilah is developed enough to lay the groundwork for her being the main firm representative next year. I do think that while Gunn and Lorne add a lot to the cast, Gunn's arc is largely fumbled and Lorne doesn't yet have much depth (though the Pylea arc helps); Cordelia's story this season has mostly been unremarkable, with First Impressions kind of dumb and Disharmony a bit off. And Kate's presence kind of fizzles, though with a strong tragic potential ending in Reprise and an important role in Epiphany. Wesley is the supporting Angel ally who fares the best this year, IMO.

    I'd say that if season one is a decent C+/B-, season two is a good, very solid B+/A-.

    Next year: I think when season three is good, it's fantastic. The problem is that it's often not good.

    ETA: Dipstick, nice to have you back . Absolutely re: both Wesley and Cordelia (at least s2!finale!Cordelia) vs. Buffy.
    Last edited by Local Maximum; 25-06-13 at 12:57 PM.

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  3. #642
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    I fail to see why Cordelia should be compared to Buffy? Both as a person and as a character they are completely different despite Cordelia being created to show who Buffy once was. Cordelia is no leader or soldier and she never wanted to be one. Nor is she a leading character, she is there to balance Angel out. (And in my opinion her absence in season 5 is what made that season heartless. She is the gateway to Angel.)

    Cordelia being honored with the visions, now she is used by it, makes also perfectly sense IMO. She was always jealous of Buffy's purpose in life, that Buffy made a difference and mattered to other people and the world. Cordelia's visions is what makes her matter in her own eyes. (Let's not forget that Cordelia is rather insecure in her own way. Just like she can be shallow enough to whine about clothes and pretty things but not see any reason to value Angel less because he is a vampire.) I believed her when she was talking about how happy she was when she helped people. Cordelia is a servant, she lives to help people and make others shine. And she truly started to believe in that role, Cordelia gave up everything just to help. That's probably why she was so peaceful in You're Welcome. It's tragic, not so much because of the role (although it's a classic female role, it's not a bad one.... not everybody can be the leader and she was incredibly important.) but the way she is punished for it. Her death (and that what leaded to it) was gruesome, but it all happened because Cordelia believed too much in her role as a servant to the world.

    I do enjoy season 3 a lot because it's a season about maturity. Season 2 explained why Angel is who he is and season 3 is about finally leaving that state. (Sadly enough season 5 tried to rehash this theme, which makes Angel look like an idiot who never learns. Sure that could be an interesting take on a character (a bit like how Don Draper never learns), but it wasn't.) In almost every season 3 episode one of the main characters matures. I won't deny that some 'lessons' are absurd (Provider.... I'm looking at you!) and that not every episode is all that fantastic. And while I think Cordelia's arc gets too much hate (I think season 4 and 5 are also to blame for that... instead of going anywhere with her they killed her off.), it's not as good as Angel's or Wesley's arc. And the season isn't equally epic. But season 3 as a season about growing up I do love and in 'Benediction' something happens that I consider Angel's finest moment because of this theme. Interesting to note how that isn't the end of the season, the season doesn't glorify growing up (just see what happens to Wesley and Cordelia who both took their 'responsibility') despite valuing it.
    Last edited by Nina; 25-06-13 at 03:21 PM.

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  5. #643
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nina View Post
    I fail to see why Cordelia should be compared to Buffy? Both as a person and as a character they are completely different despite Cordelia being created to show who Buffy once was.
    IMO, Cordelia and Buffy are much more similar than that. Both were valley girls. Both posture their heroism and general demeanor as fierce, fashionable, uber-confident California girls. Both have romantic connections with Angel. Both are anointed by destiny with superpowers that have side-effects of pain and loneliness.

    Lots of fans compare and contrast Buffy and Cordelia to be uber-complimentary to one or both characters (and sometimes disparaging of other characters who aren't so leading lady burnished). I've seen sets of gifs and meta comparing and contrasting both characters all over the Interwebs.

    I also consider Cordelia a "leading character". If Angel is Sherlock, S1-3 Cordelia is his Watson but with comedy and increasing romantic tones.

    Although mostly, comparing characters to each other (particularly comparing other characters to Buffy) is kind of Buffyverse Fandom Practice. It can suck but it's usually a measuring stick.

    Cordelia is no leader or soldier and she never wanted to be one. Nor is she a leading character, she is there to balance Angel out. (And in my opinion her absence in season 5 is what made that season heartless. She is the gateway to Angel.)
    The thing is that I *do* think that Cordelia *is* a leader with strong managerial tendencies. She's Queen C! She led at SHS- the Cordettes, her squad, running for positions. She invited herself into Angel's mission and then decided that it was going to be a business and dictated how that was going to happen. She bickered with Wesley and Angel over realizing her ideas for Angel Investigations. She wanted the G/W/C enterprise to be called Chase Investigations.

    In BtVS S1-3 and AtS S1 and early S2, being a leader was a key part of who Cordelia was.

    In that sense, I don't think that Cordelia's "servant" role is one that Cordelia wants to inhabit and all she wants to inhabit. For instance, I'm cool with Joyce pretty much just being a mom and a civilian because that's what Joyce wanted from her life. However, Cordelia has all of these indications that she likes being a leader and has strong ideas of how she wants Angel Investigations to operate or indications that Cordelia wants to be a cool, independently successful operator in the world. And Cordelia/the writers squelch those other indications starting now. It's frustrated potential that makes me angry partly *on Cordelia's behalf*.

    Cordelia being honored with the visions, now she is used by it, makes also perfectly sense IMO. She was always jealous of Buffy's purpose in life, that Buffy made a difference and mattered to other people and the world. Cordelia's visions is what makes her matter in her own eyes. (Let's not forget that Cordelia is rather insecure in her own way. Just like she can be shallow enough to whine about clothes and pretty things but not see any reason to value Angel less because he is a vampire.) I believed her when she was talking about how happy she was when she helped people. Cordelia is a servant, she lives to help people and make others shine. And she truly started to believe in that role, Cordelia gave up everything just to help.
    Good point. I can definitely buy that Cordelia considers the visions an "honor" because they provide a way for Cordelia to be necessary. They give Cordelia her stripes.

    However, Max's point still remains. Are the visions such an honor by making Cordelia valuable or sentimental enough through Doyle's memory that Cordelia should insist on carrying them even though they're toxic to her human self instead of passing them on to a supernatural someone who can carry them with less pain and more safety?

    From where I'm standing, it was ideal when Doyle had the visions and the team/world got to benefit from that foresight and Doyle, through his demonness, was better able to handle those visions and Cordelia was safe from them and their effect on her body.

    In that conversation with Groo, the biggest most global objection to Groo taking the visions is that it would cost humans on earth. Cordelia never makes that global argument. Instead, Cordelia basically says that the honor of the vision outweigh the danger to her person. And that this visions are so honorable that Cordelia won't allow any superpowered good guy to alleviate Cordelia's vision burden. I question that decision of Cordelia's.

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  7. #644
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    Hi all. Longtime Buffy and Angel fan here. I've been lurking on this and other forums for a while, but have never contributed (much) to any discussions. Anyway, I thought now would be as good a time as any to dive in, seeing as I'm currently nearing the end of my own Ats rewatch: just finished "You're Welcome".

    Well, that episode has got me thinking about Cordelia - naturally - and her relationship with Angel: their whole dual Champions deal, which starts to become a major part of the show at the end of season 2.

    First off, I'll just state that I am a very big fan of Cordelia, although I hope it's not too spoilery to say that my fannishness tails off somewhat around the middle of season 3. Now, I've been thinking about Cordy's visions, which become a crux of the plot in the Pylea arc, after building in severity in the back half of the season.

    In this episode, Cordy gets the opportunity to com-shuck with Groo - something she badly wants to do - and thus be rid of her visions. So why doesn't she?

    Groo: "Your visions shall pass to me."
    Cordy turns away from him: "Ugh! I *knew* there was a catch! - You can't take my visions! I need them! I-I use them to help my friends fight evil back home!"
    Groo: "And I will use them here to fight evil, just as you have done."
    Cordy: "Groo - I can't give up my visions. - I *like* them. Okay, I don't like the searing pain and agony that is steadily getting worse."
    Groo: "You are pure human. - You are not meant to carry such a burden."
    Cordy: "Maybe not. - But I'm not ready to give them up either. - They're a part of who I am now. They're an honor."
    My somewhat cynical reading of Cordy is that what she "needs" is to feel speshul. Before she received the visions from Doyle, she was just a mediocre secretary, scraping by until her next paycheque. Her visions make her essential to Angel's mission - the only truly indispensible member of AI besides the man himself. "You can't fire me; I'm vision girl." Well, she was wrong about that at the time, but Angel has certainly learned his lesson. If it were really all about "helping people", then Cordy should recognise that Groo, who has proven himself as true a hero as exists in the Buffyverse - and one without Angel's many limitations, e.g., he can "hero" during daylight hours - would be a worthy recipient of the visions. After all, Pylea is at least as in need of a hero as LA; think what Groo could do for all those enslaved "cows" with the help of the visions! People would still be receiving help as a result of the visions, only Cordelia wouldn't be a part of it.

    Cordelia gets my total sympathy for the pain that she experiences from the visions up until this point; as far as she knows, she is stuck with them, and she admirably makes the best of it.
    Spoiler:
    But I get frustrated with her from here onwards, as this is just the first of the chances she will pass up to be rid of the visions, even as it becomes increasingly clear that, as Groo pointed out, a human literally cannot bear them. Her attachment to the visions becomes downright unhealthy. I share Angel’s anger over her concealment of her medication-dependency and brain scans ("Birthday"). She knew she was dying because of the visions, and she didn’t think that she ought to inform her friends...? Maybe she thought that they’d suggest trying to find a way to remove the visions, which would be, oh, the sensible thing to do! What was Cordy hoping to achieve by martyring herself for the visions? Forget the hypothetical “needy”, what about her family, or at least her friends, who loved and needed her? Her behaviour was pigheaded, and frankly selfish.

    Somebody with average abilities, but a commitment to doing good till the end, like Xander, or Anne, is worth more to the forces of good than somebody who is highly useful for a couple of years, but then burns out, becomes comatose and dies as a result. Groo could have borne the visions until old age (not sure about half-demon lifespans....), which is another reason why Cordy would have been better off entrusting the visions to him. Skip cleverly plays on her ego by showing her Angel voicing her own deepest fears: “Cordelia is not a champion. She is a rich girl from Sunnydale who likes to play superhero. She doesn't have what it takes to do this!” Thus – her pride wounded – she is determined to prove herself strong enough to bear the visions – becoming a demon in order to do so, in spite of Skip’s clear warning: “And even after the pain subsides the effects of the transition will be numerous and unpredictable. You may never be able to lead a human life again." I would never say that she deserved what happened to her - no-one would ever deserve that - but I will say that her ego and martyr complex played a part in her fate.

    In a way, Jasmine, with her overwhelming desire to “help” people – albeit regardless of their wishes – and her faith in Angel as her Champion, is an exaggerated version of Cordelia herself. Cordelia’s possession by the PTB is just the final step in their use of her as a vessel - a process she complied with every step of the way. Jasmine is not entirely untruthful when she tells Connor that she is realising the world Cordelia dreamed of, although of course the real Cordelia would never have hand-waved the eating of people, nor the removal of free will. But Jasmine does use Cordelia’s body to help more people than the mere mortal Cordelia could ever have done – just at a price. Be careful what you wish for....?

    Angel’s realisation that he is lost without Cordelia in “Epiphany” happens to coincide with the increase in severity of the visions, with the result that she shoots to the top of his priorities list. This confluence of events is also the catalyst for Angel beginning to fall in love with Cordy. I agree with what Local Max said earlier about Cordelia enjoying this elevated status. Even though she’s now a nobody to the wider world, she gets to be leading lady of AI: an echo of her former social glory. She may pass up the chance to be a real princess in Pylea, but she gets to be Angel’s honorary princess as a consolation. I think that the visions are very closely associated with Angel in Cordy’s mind.
    Spoiler:
    Indeed, in “Birthday”, Skip presents Cordy’s options as “visions (which will kill her) + Angel” or “actress life minus visions and Angel”.


    Now, Angel is the centre of Cordelia's universe by this point: her saviour ( “City Of”), the nucleus of her small circle of friends/surrogate family, her employer and thus the source of her livelihood, her best friend and the one on whom, IMO, she is already, subconsciously , pinning her romantic hopes.
    Spoiler:
    She fears that without the visions, she would become extraneous to Angel: "...if I lose the visions, I wouldn't be able to help you anymore. You wouldn't need me." ("That Vision Thing") And despite Angel's reassurances to the contrary, "That's not why I need you. *You're* important. - And the visions are just after market extras, like Hurst shift or Krager wheels.", I don’t think Cordy overcomes that fear.


    I agree with Local Max: "Value is bestowed from without, rather than the value that she has within." Although Cordy has learned her lesson about judging a book by its cover with regard to other people, she still seems to measure her own worth by what extrinsic assets she possesses: the visions have replaced her wealth. It is sad that Cordy doesn’t seem to realise that she doesn’t need to be “speshul” to be special. Her big smile and big heart are enough – see her saving the life of Gunn’s mortally wounded friend in “First Impressions”.

    Spoiler:
    But is she right about Angel? Would he value her as much if she didn’t have the visions? As noted above, he did seem to fall for her just as the visions took a turn for the worse.....


    Furthermore, Cordy doesn't really have anything to fall back on. Because she was scooped up by Angel before she really had to make a go of standing on her own two feet, she missed out on a lot of opportunities to develop herself.
    Spoiler:
    "Birthday" illustrates this literally.
    The visions automatically gave her status and a purpose, while most twenty-somethings have to flounder about a lot to find their path, picking up numerous life skills along the way. In many ways, the visions were a lucky break for Cordy, but they have also rendered her unfit to do just about anything else: no college education, no formal training, etc. It is no wonder that after her acting humiliation in "Belonging", she clings ever more to the visions. Of course, she could always wait tables, but dare I say that, despite her complaints about icky demon fluids and vision-pain, Cordelia would much rather have the AI lifestyle, which, though not strictly “glamorous”, is at least exciting and out-of-the-ordinary. We did see that she would prefer to starve herself than get another “name-tag” job in “City Of”.

    All of which is to say that Cordelia gets a lot more out of being “Vision Girl” than the satisfaction of helping the needy. Mind, I am rather sceptical about altruism in general. I think that most people who help other people do so at least partly because it makes them feel good, which is understandable – even healthy. It’s just that I’ve seen so many fans praise Cordy for her growth into some sort of selfless saint – or complain about same – and that’s, uh, not how I see it.

    NB: I wrote this before I had caught up on the thread, and it seems Local Max and I had many similar thoughts!
    Last edited by McSilkson; 26-06-13 at 09:46 PM. Reason: omitted info

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  9. #645
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    Nina: McSilkson and Dipstick state this all beautifully. Anyway, the reason for the Buffy comparison wasn't meant exactly to disparage Cordelia, and I didn't set it up particularly well. What I should say is that I am not convinced it's a good idea for Cordelia to keep the visions. I do think that the comparison with Buffy is instructive, because the visions are kind of like Buffy's slayer powers, and I tend to maintain that, on the balance, as much as it hurts Buffy having the slayer powers are better for her than not. But I think the reason is that ultimately, there really is no option of just ... giving up those powers to someone else, who can continue to do good with them. It is not the case that if Cordelia loses the visions, there will no longer be good being done -- because the visions live on in another hero, Groo. From a purely altruistic perspective, then, the questions are: 1) does L.A. need the visions more than Pylea does -- or do they have a greater right to them than Pylea?; and 2) is Cordelia likely to use the visions better than Groo does? Cordelia neither articulates that L.A. is in greater danger than/is more important than Pylea/whatever, nor that she is more qualified than Groo to use the visions. And that suggests that she needs them partly for herself -- which is not selfish exactly, because what the visions help her do is not just feel special but, moreover, feel her own altruism, which she really likes.

    I think what is sad here is that Cordelia doesn't realize that she could continue holding onto her altruistic identity without the visions. She is a good person now. But I think she also associates her pre-vision self with, well, Harmony -- and doesn't really know how she can be useful to the Cause of Good (and, relatedly, Angel) without being Visions Girl.

    Now, if Cordelia (or someone else) presented an argument that L.A. needs the visions more than Pylea does, I would change my tune.

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  11. #646
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    I don't argue that Cordelia is right in doing what she does, or that she isn't selfish (I agree with McSilkson about that). But I do believe it's totally in character to keep the one thing that makes her important (in her own eyes). In season 1, before she had visions, she put all her cheerleader trophees on display in Angel's house while she was there for one day. Those were her only signs that she did something, that she mattered.

    And that's also why I don't think she wanted to be a leader, she just wanted to matter and the best position to matter in highschool (at least until Buffy showed up who saved the school) is being the Queen Bee. Don't forget that she gave a lot of that up to date Xander. Probably because mattering to a special person (you also care about) means a lot to her. She isn't obsessed with being the leader the way Buffy, Wesley and Angel are, she just wants to be seen and be important. Her wanting to name things after herself is the same urge. When she is with him alone in YW one of the first things she says to Angel is: "I knew you would be lost without me..." Like most Ats characters, Cordelia needs Angel to define (a part of) herself. Angel needs to need her. And this is why their relation is rather troublesome at times, nobody truly takes care of Angel... except Cordelia. Others save his life and all, but Cordelia truly takes care of Angel as a person. Without her he closes and without him she has no reason to think she matters all that much. The PTB even use her to influence Angel and she probably knows that, her role is linked to Angel's destiny.


    Season 3
    Spoiler:
    I don't believe that the writers truly wanted to give us a Saint Cordelia, I think they wanted to show us how she started to believe in herself as that saint. Another person who got the offer she got in 'Tomorrow' would probably not trust such an offer. It takes quite something to instantly accept you're picked by the gods to be a higher being.

    Or what about giving up her humanity like it's nothing, in season 7 Buffy refuses to make that sacrifice and it's portrayed as a good thing. [And now I'm comparing these two anyway.] Cordelia strips herself of that one thing that was once the reason Angel needed her so much; her humanity. You could argue that with Wesley, Gunn and Fred around Angel can 'miss' one human, but still it does show how she is blind for what things could make her important: her being Cordelia Chase, with or without powers. But in her opinion everything has to be sacrificed for that connection with the higher beings.

    And it's not like she is rewarded in any way, she would always be punished for that choice. In either the original plans or the ones we saw on the screen.



    About comparing her with Buffy at this stage (I understood comparing them in BtVS season 1), I'm not convinced. While I compared plenty of random characters in the past, I do believe it's rather pointless. Their personalities are rather different, their roles are different, the shows are different, the way their life went is different, the way they were written is different etc. And the shows let them go years ago, both went their own way and minus the very beginning where Cordy was the symbol of what Buffy once was, there is not much left. In a shipperwar you could pitch them against eachother, but their relations with Angel are also completely different. Cordelia is Angel's best friend first and it became more but they never got the chance to have a romance. Yes they have some things in common, but most characters have some things is common. It just doesn't add anything IMO.
    Last edited by Nina; 26-06-13 at 11:24 AM.

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    This may be a bit off-topic, but I´m planning to start my Angel rewatch mid-July.

    About Cordelia and Buffy, why do say they´re similar?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nina View Post
    And that's also why I don't think she wanted to be a leader, she just wanted to matter and the best position to matter in highschool (at least until Buffy showed up who saved the school) is being the Queen Bee. Don't forget that she gave a lot of that up to date Xander. Probably because mattering to a special person (you also care about) means a lot to her. She isn't obsessed with being the leader the way Buffy, Wesley and Angel are, she just wants to be seen and be important. Her wanting to name things after herself is the same urge.
    IMO, Cordelia's leadership aspirations were more than just status. Cordelia, when she's expressing her own opinions instead of hewing to TPTB or Angel, has a definite view of how she wants things to go. What's more Cordelia is an interconnected person and wants others to do what she feels is best.

    Through the early seasons, it sounds like Cordelia would like the Office of being Queen C and she also wants the power to enforce who and what is cool or not. Cordelia then wanted to turn Angel Investigations into a profitable business for her own purse but Cordelia wanted to handle it specifically on her terms and lead Doyle, Angel and Wesley into a twenty first century enterprise. Cordelia likes the status of being a Princess in Pylea but when it's just an empty status thing with no way to create policy or have Her People with her, Cordelia hates it. Sounds like leadership to me, even if it's not obsession.

    Also, Buffy is the only one of those three that I may call "obsessed" with being the leader from beginning to end. Angel (except for his Angelus bouts) didn't truly care about being a leader until AtS S3- but then Angel became more and more obsessed with being a leader through Twilight. Note that Angel was a lone ranger from when Darla expelled him from the Fang Gang. He was on the outskirts of the Scooby Gang, just visited by Buffy. In LA, he got rag tag followers that he didn't really want but ended up relating to and liking. He wasn't out for a leadership position per se- it just came to him. And then when Angel wanted to do stuff that the group didn't want in S1-2 (Faith, obsess over Darla), he pretty much just cut them out of the equation to go back to being a lone ranger.

    Wesley cared about his leadership office in BtVS because his official position was Watcher. Still, he quickly gave up lots of leadership to Giles and Buffy. Some of that was weakness and inexperience compared to Giles's and Buffy's battle-honed confidence and aggressiveness. However, some of that is because Wesley primarily cares about his desired polices and plans coming to pass but not the office and status of Leader per se. Wesley wants his policies to happen and to be seen as an incredibly valuable, productive, strong, cool guy. Wesley will take positions of Boss, Lone Ranger, Consigliere, Guy In the Group But Off the Reservation, etc. to make that happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dipstick View Post
    IMO, Cordelia's leadership aspirations were more than just status. Cordelia, when she's expressing her own opinions instead of hewing to TPTB or Angel, has a definite view of how she wants things to go. What's more Cordelia is an interconnected person and wants others to do what she feels is best.

    Through the early seasons, it sounds like Cordelia would like the Office of being Queen C and she also wants the power to enforce who and what is cool or not. Cordelia then wanted to turn Angel Investigations into a profitable business for her own purse but Cordelia wanted to handle it specifically on her terms and lead Doyle, Angel and Wesley into a twenty first century enterprise. Cordelia likes the status of being a Princess in Pylea but when it's just an empty status thing with no way to create policy or have Her People with her, Cordelia hates it. Sounds like leadership to me, even if it's not obsession.
    I still think you can reduce most of this to her desire to matter. Only slowly she changed her idea about what matters. In the early years it was a more shallow vision on what matters; popularity, people following you, being the number 1. And later on it became about making a difference (hence her not liking the empty status in Pylea) and being unmissable.

    The reason why I don't think she cares all that much about leadership is because she isn't somebody who cares all that much about the people who follow her. She doesn't want to inspire them, just boss them around and watch them caring about her opinion. She never really stepped up during difficult times on Ats, she prefers to let Angel and Wes deal with that. She doesn't have the urge to be part of everything and keep an eye on everybody. Yes she knows (or thinks she knows) what she wants and will usually tell everybody about that opinion, but when another leads she has no trouble following.

    Also, Buffy is the only one of those three that I may call "obsessed" with being the leader from beginning to end. Angel (except for his Angelus bouts) didn't truly care about being a leader until AtS S3- but then Angel became more and more obsessed with being a leader through Twilight. Note that Angel was a lone ranger from when Darla expelled him from the Fang Gang. He was on the outskirts of the Scooby Gang, just visited by Buffy. In LA, he got rag tag followers that he didn't really want but ended up relating to and liking. He wasn't out for a leadership position per se- it just came to him. And then when Angel wanted to do stuff that the group didn't want in S1-2 (Faith, obsess over Darla), he pretty much just cut them out of the equation to go back to being a lone ranger.
    I agree that Angel is (or was) a loner, but the moment he is really part of a group he wants to be in charge. He has a lot of trouble following Wesley in season 3, not because he disrespects Wes but because it's not in his nature to follow. Perhaps I shouldn't say he is obsessed with leadership, but he is simply incapable of being a follower. Also he keeps an eye on the people who trust him as their leader, season 4 did a good job showing us that Angel knows what the others are up to even if he doesn't always show that. He is the sheppard of his team, even if he fails to make the best call at times. And he cares about inspiring people to believe in themselves and be better people. He has this idea that he should make these people better people, forgive them and keep them safe. He has no issues walking into somebody personal space to keep them from harm. That Angel thinks he has that right says something about how he views his role, almost father-like.

    Wesley cared about his leadership office in BtVS because his official position was Watcher. Still, he quickly gave up lots of leadership to Giles and Buffy. Some of that was weakness and inexperience compared to Giles's and Buffy's battle-honed confidence and aggressiveness. However, some of that is because Wesley primarily cares about his desired polices and plans coming to pass but not the office and status of Leader per se. Wesley wants his policies to happen and to be seen as an incredibly valuable, productive, strong, cool guy. Wesley will take positions of Boss, Lone Ranger, Consigliere, Guy In the Group But Off the Reservation, etc. to make that happen.
    I always had the feeling he cared quite a lot, the conversation with his father where he proudly says that he has been made leader, always comes to mind. It's certainly a status thing for Wesley, but I think it's more than just pride and glamour. With the exception of when he arrived in LA as the rough demon hunter, he never has been a true loner. He always has people around him who he tries to lead and/or protect. Wesley is to me a man who thinks he has a duty to take care of others and probably even the whole world. And if he has the chance he does that as the leader of an operation or a team.

    But you're right that 'obsessed' was perhaps not the right word for either Angel or Wesley. But I do see a huge difference between these two who try to lead and protect the group, take responsibility for the group and the city and who have trouble following the other.... and Cordelia who likes the idea of being a leader and who lets everybody hear her voice, but who isn't very serious about becoming a leader.
    Last edited by Nina; 28-06-13 at 01:58 PM.

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    Great points, Nina. I agree with pretty much everything in your last post but with some semantical differences.

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    Hey guys. I'm stressing on a deadline for tomorrow so it will be longer than normal before the next episode is watched. I'll start Season 3 off in a new thread, as I have discussed with Nikki in line with her plan to keep the threads smaller, but I will link it from here when I set it up with the review for 3.01. Not sure if it will be Sat or Sun but it will be this weekend.

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    Here is the link on to Season 3.

    Season 4
    Last edited by Stoney; 06-12-13 at 01:15 AM.

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    The value to be found in comparing Buffy and Cordy seems quite obvious to me: two roads diverged in a wood.

    Like putting twins in different environments to observe how they develop independently. Only instead of twins, Buffy and Cordy are sisters with really different hair!
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    ANGEL SEASON 1 REWATCH:

    All caught up


    I consider most ‘present day’ things in AtS s1-4 (other than after Jasmine dies) could be because of Jasmine. I choose to believe Buffy, Oz, Spike, Faith, and Drusilla weren’t affected by Jasmine as there’s no reason for them to be and they didn’t necessarily help Jasmine’s ‘cause’ (another powerful vampire could have sired Darla and it would have had a similar effect for Jasmine’s goals).

    Consequently, I’m unlikely to discuss anything that could be because of Jasmine. For BtVS stuff not directly related to AtS episodes, I’ll discuss those when the BtVS re-watch begins.




    * One of the problems with AtS is why didn’t Buffy and Co. have such useful gadgets that we see Angel and later Wesley have? And why did the Scoobies get the ‘Demons, Demons, and Demons’ software years after the Fang Gang got that?


    * I reason Angel got a permanent power boost after drinking Buffy in “Graduation Day Part II” (3.22).


    * I consider AtS s1 to be the best season of AtS. It was the only season to use ‘metaphor’ as BtVS did. AtS s2-4 had to be blamed on Jasmine. AtS s5 has Spike being treated like crap and doesn’t really get good until “A Hole in the World” (A 5.15) and after.


    * Angel never felt bad about being with Buffy. One of the most annoying things with Angel is that he clearly has his flirtations with ‘Raven’, that one demon princess, and Cordelia and yet he he’s always very upset when Buffy dates someone else. He’s the one who left town. He’s the one who turned the day back in “I Will Remember You” (A 1.08). He’s the one who told Buffy to stay out of Los Angeles.


    * My favorite TV AtS characters are (in order) Wesley, Fred, Illyria, and Gunn.


    * Spike is likely correct in that vampires likely do have circulation and blood flow. Otherwise, why would they bruise? Why would choking a vampire have any more effect than striking one or pinching an arm or leg? Without blood flow, that happy pill wouldn’t have worked on Angel; vampires wouldn’t be able to get drunk or high, etc.


    * I’ve never had a problem with the special effects on BtVS or AtS. The SFX were clearly simply done as part of the story and one accepts these shows don’t have giant effects budgets or months to do effects.


    * The problems with Buffy/Angel were directly addressed in BtVS. Nothing was added in AtS. Buffy is not “rebound” from Darla and Buffy is not ‘the good version’ of Darla.


    * I consider Angel didn’t fall for Buffy when he saw her at Hemery High School. I consider he fell for her when she saw her troubled home life. She’s essentially Drusilla 2.0 to him (Slayer-Seer, pretty-pretty, troubled home life-troubled home life, troubled psyche-troubled psyche).


    * The problems with “authorial intent” is Joss Whedon is the only arbiter of canon, later episodes inform earlier episodes, and oftentimes a person decides what he or she wants to believe about something and then decides that’s what the author intended.


    * Shooting scripts aren’t canon. This is similar to “authorial intent”. Posters will only bring up shooting scripts if what’s in a shooting script agrees with what the poster wants to believe.


    * Faith is not a ‘protégé’ of Angel. Penn is the only protégé of Angel.


    * There is no Cordy/Doyle and Buffy/Spike connection.


    * Angel’s being Irish and Catholic wasn’t really explored regarding Spike. Angel immediately becomes BFFs with a Victorian gentleman/likely courtesy titled ‘Lord’ (whose family is in the peerage).


    * Angel wasn’t the most notorious vampire on record. Giles didn’t even know of his existence until he researched him. The others who followed Giles perhaps only knew about Angel because the Council knew Buffy was dating Angel. Those like the Master and Kakiostos were known to Giles. Lothos was known.


    * Angel was an antihero in BtVS S1-3 and a champion in AtS only because the PTB were using him. BtVS S8 and A&F he’s clearly other things. Angel’s never a hero. Buffy was a hero pretty much right after being Called. I consider Spike was an antihero in BtVS S4-5, a champion by BtVS S7 and was a hero in AtS s5 and after.


    * Kate Lockley is not the AtS version of Buffy Summers.


    * If I remember correctly, Joss Whedon was the showrunner in AtS s1, Tim Minnear in AtS s2-s3, Jeffrey Bell & David Fury in AtS s4-AtS s5.


    * It’s ambiguous how much of a pupil Angel is of Darla’s. She tells him to pick out a townsperson to kill and he decides to wipe out the town of Galway. She wants him to stay with the Master and the Order of Aurielus and he shows no respect to the Master (other than not trying to physically fight the Master), derides the Order for living in the sewers, and gets Darla to leave with him so that they could enjoy ‘human luxuries’ and luxury housing. Darla points Drusilla out to Angel but everything after that that Angel does to Drusilla is Angel’s doing and not because of some teacher-student relationship. It also doesn’t seem Darla intended for him to kill his family.


    * Drusilla knows Angel better than Darla does. Spike possibly knows Angel better than Darla does.


    * The Powers That Be seem to be into ‘Balance’: they aren’t necessarily ‘Good’.


    * Angel’s ‘position’ in the Scooby Gang was that he was never really even a member. As-is, he was always below the Original 4, and was possibly even below Cordelia and Oz. He has no influence in the group and he is mainly contributing in knowledge and muscle.

    Angel is the leader in the Fang Gang only because he’s the one who has the money to pay the others. Wesley is actually the natural leader of the group.

    Back when it was Angel and Darla, Darla seems to be the leader of the 2. She continues to be the leader after Angel sires Drusilla. Things only change after Drusilla sires William Pratt. This is because William seems to have no respect for Darla or regard her as having any kind of authority over him. He’s there because he considers Dru his destiny and that their love is eternal and he’s BFFs with Angel. William’s actions have the Fanged 4 needing to flee places from London all the way to Yorkshire. Angel becomes the de facto leader because Spike ‘looks up’ Angel and can influence Angel.

    In BtVS S2, when Angel rejoins Spike and Dru, Dru pretty much plays the two off each other and Angel simply does whatever Dru wants him to do. All the leadership he has is based on Spike’s being wheelchair-bound and Dru’s preference to let others ‘lead’ as long as they are fulfilling her goals.


    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “CITY OF” (A 1.01)

    * The new vampire makeup didn’t actually make sense unless we’re supposed to believe being on the Hellmouth makes ‘vamp face’ look different than being in Los Angeles makes ‘vamp face’ look.


    * We don’t know when Cordy lost her virginity. It seems to be implied that she was sleeping around in order to get ‘acting’ jobs or that photographer creep is the first person with whom she had sex. Then she dated around Los Angeles. Then she was with Groo. Then she died.


    * Cordelia solidly became a Scooby in BtVS S2-3 and she was presented as being very smart. It’s not shocking that she’d notice Russell Winters doesn’t have any mirrors around and the room she’s in allows no sunlight (“City of” (A 1.01)).


    * Perhaps the biggest problem with AtS s1-4 is Angel didn’t get his offices, apartment, his Fang Gang’s apartment and all their vehicles necro-tinted. The necro-tinting doesn’t seem to be magic, so it seems Angel could have necro-tinted everything that would be useful to be necro-tinted.


    * Its’ interesting both Angel and Spike commented on how nice Buffy’s hair is. I always assumed it was done partly to try to get the idea out there that SMG should be a shampoo model. It’s interesting that later on Alyson Hannigan became a Head and Shoulders model and SMG never became a shampoo model.


    * It seems Russell Winters and Wolfram & Hart were Joss Whedon’s commentary on corporate titans (Winters) and big business (WR&H).


    * Probably the most ridiculous thing about “City of” (A 1.01) and very early AtS episodes (perhaps before “Eternity” (A 1.17)), is Angel somehow didn’t know he’s super good-looking.

    He’s all, “Why would a random woman want to talk to me?” “An agent thinks I’m good-looking.” He’s lived 247 years and he doesn’t know he’s very good-looking? The way he interacts with Buffy early on completely relies on the fact that he’s very good-looking.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “IN THE DARK” (A 1.03)

    * First off, James Marsters filmed this episode before filming “The Harsh Light of Day” (A 1.03).


    * The Angel-Spike stuff has been discussed in other threads. Spike’s plan was to lure Angel into a false sense of security and then have him tortured until he gives up the location of the Ring of Amarra. In addition, Spike wanted to tell Angel about Buffy’s sleeping with “the first lunkhead” she saw.


    * Spike’s hiring a vampire torturer only backfired against him because he underestimated Cordelia and Doyle’s bravery and Spike probably assumed Oz already left town and/or Oz wasn’t brave enough to go against him. Although, I think the episode would have been more interesting if Spike tortured Angel instead of hiring someone. It is presented as Spike has a history with that torturer vamp and he would assume the torturer vamp feared him enough that he wouldn’t betray him.


    * Spike’s not knowing the exact details of the Gem of Amarra while Doyle and Angel do is a continuance of his knowing that the Judge burns people with humanity but his not knowing the Judge would try to kill everyone in the world with humanity. Angel knew about Acathla but Spike needed a history lesson.


    * I consider Buffy sent the Ring of Amarra to Angel knowing Spike would go to Los Angeles and fight Angel for it.


    * Angel smashed the Ring of Amarra – and hid it before then – because he knew the Ring would make him a target. Angel instantly knew Spike would come to get it. Angel knew Spike was likely to continue trying to get it. Angel knew other vampires would try to get it.

    Spike after getting the Gem of Amarra was going to kill or sire Buffy. He’d have Buffy, Drusilla, or both and therefore wouldn’t be much concerned with other vampires being able to challenge him for the Gem. Angel only has himself.


    * Angel hadn’t experienced a moment of perfect happiness in over 100 years. All the Scoobies assumed only sex with Buffy would result in Angel’s reverting to Angelus. We didn’t know until “Eternity” (A 1.17) that Angel could have synthetic perfect happiness. Besides, Angel wearing the Ring wouldn’t make him unstoppable or unkillable. A pissed off Buffy easily got the Ring from Spike.

    Angel was sleeping and possibly dreaming, he was awoken by lighting, and then his curse is lifted.


    * Spike would kill Angel if that were needed to cure Drusilla. Spike would kill Angel and Buffy because Spike’s currently handicapped because of Buffy and Angel and Buffy are currently threats. Spike doesn’t dust Angel in “Becoming Part II” (2.22). Spike simply wanted the Ring back and he wanted to inform Angel that Buffy’s ‘already’ slept with someone else.


    * If Angel had the Ring of Amarra on and Spike had a sword, Angel is likely going to die. All the Ring did was make the wearer unstakeable, immune to sunlight and likely garlic, Holy Water, etc. Given Buffy could still hurt Spike when he was wearing the Ring, nothing suggests the Ring couldn’t be sliced off or that the wearer couldn’t be decapitated.


    * The most interesting and telling thing about this episode is when Buffy first knows the Gem of Amarra is destroyed. It’s likely when Spike shows up in a smoking blanket in “Pangs” (B 4.08).


    * I assume the Ring of Amarra must be worn on a finger in order to work; otherwise, there’s no good excuse for why Spike wouldn’t use it as a toe ring.


    * There is no Buffy/Angel ‘subtext’ with Rachel/Lenny. Buffy wasn’t dating uncursed Angel. Far from being physically abusive to Buffy, ‘Angel’ helps save Buffy a few times. Angel doesn’t consider himself an abusive boyfriend to Buffy (not even in BtVS S8 or A&F).

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “I FALL TO PIECES” (A 1.04)

    * There’s nothing wrong with killing that eye surgeon guy.


    * I consider the idea of getting paid is because of Jasmine. It all led toward Angel’s being able to afford the Hyperion Hotel and thus daily provide Jasmine with dozens of people to eat.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “RM W/A VU” (A 1.05)

    * I consider Cordelia’s situation is because of Jasmine.

    Cordelia could have easily gone to college. She would have gotten the Cal Grant, the Pell Grant, the Perkins loan, Stafford loans, and perhaps even money from the university. There’s zero reason she couldn’t have gone to UC Sunnydale, or to most of the schools that accepted her.


    * The “I’m not a sniveling little cry Buffy” is likely because of Jasmine. It all leads to Cordelia’s eventually thinking she’s worthy to be a higher being.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “SENSE AND SENSITIVITY” (A 1.06)

    * Kate Lockley has daddy issues. Winifred Burkle is the only character in the Buffyverse who we know didn’t have daddy issues (Dru probably had no problem with her human father, but she does have problems with her sire).

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “THE BACHELOR PARTY” (A 1.07)

    * Where did Angel get that picture of Buffy? It seems Buffy would have given him a color photo. It’s interesting if he stole it from her room.


    * Harry/Doyle isn’t a commentary on Buffy/Angel and they are not comparable.

    Harry/Richard isn’t a commentary on Buffy/Spike and they are not comparable.


    * The vision Doyle gets is not one in which Buffy is fighting Chumash. It’s actually a vision of her fighting two vampires that in “Pangs” (B 4.08) she kills on her own.


    * Angel did not save Buffy in “Pangs” (B 4.08). Spike clearly would have informed her of the Chumash guy creeping up behind her. Plus, that guy was around 8 feet away from Buffy and would have taken multiple seconds to even get near enough to her to strike a blow.

    At-most, one can say Angel helped in the fight and he did – maybe – kill one of the Chumash.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “I WILL REMEMBER YOU” (A 1.08)

    Side note: I purposefully didn’t watch this episode when it first aired because I reasoned it was going to be a Buffy/Angel lovefest, they were going to have sex, and it was going to have zero consequences in BtVS.


    * From a ‘production’ standpoint, this episode was simply to show Buffy/Angel. What I find the most interesting is how “Pangs” (B 4.08), “I Will Remember You” (A 1.08), and “Something Blue” (B 4.09) affect how the viewers view Buffy/Riley (which begins in “The Initiative” (B 4.07) and really ramps up in “Hush” (B 4.10)). Essentially, we get to further see the dynamics and chemistry with Buffy & Spike and we see Buffy and the Scoobies are so comfortable with Spike that he’s not dusted, and he actually gets to sit at the Thanksgiving table and next to Buffy at that. “I Will Remember You” (A 1.08) reminds the audience of the Buffy/Angel dynamic and their chemistry. And then we get “Something Blue” (B 4.09) in which other than their being lovey dovey with each other and other than their being engaged – two things that can still happen – everything in that episode regarding Buffy/Spike becomes a reality and/or is acknowledged to be a reality. Plus, seeing Buffy making out with Spike and their being a couple resulted in James Marsters being a sex symbol (and his name became known to the wider public) the day this episode aired and that sex symbol status continued until a few years after AtS s5. Then we get Buffy/Riley. The hottest scene in BtVS S4 and AtS s1 is the ‘Buffy’/Spike scene in “Who Are You?” (B 4.16).


    * My personal canon is nothing Buffy doesn’t remember from this episode actually happened and that it was all in Angel’s head. The PTB were testing Angel to see if he would stay with Buffy or if he would continue being their Los Angeles champion.

    Anyway, if it did happen, this was not positive for Buffy/Angel. After Buffy finds out he’s human, it seems – after the kiss – there was awkward silence between them for hours because they didn’t know how they wanted to proceed with their relationship. They have sex and she’s pleasantly numb, but it seems she was more ‘happy’ with the sex with Parker Abrams. Angel gives up being able to be with Buffy essentially because he got beat up during the ‘slaying’.

    What’s most damning though is Angel takes back the day without even asking Buffy’s opinion on the subject – which is clearly not okay. Then he goes to her with minutes left before the ‘take back’. As-is, Buffy was wondering where he was. There was no need to see her anyway given the day wasn’t even going to exist for her. Essentially, he came back to her simply to see her reaction to his decision but also making sure there wasn’t enough time for her to do anything but react to that decision.

    For Buffy, she doesn’t get pissed. She simply accepts it. She tears up and kisses him telling him she’ll never forget. Then obviously the very next day or so, she’s having heavy sexual tension with Spike and Spike and she become happily engaged merely because of Willow’s querying, “Why doesn’t she just marry him?”

    Back to Angel, the reasons he tells her in “The Prom” (B 3.20) that he’s breaking up with her are he can’t have sex with her, he can’t be in sunlight, he can’t give her children. Well, he was made human and yet he decided he was better off being a vampire again.


    * Buffy’s licking the ice cream off Angel’s chest wasn’t “cliché and awkward” – it was playful and suggestive.


    * Buffy in “What’s My Line Part I” (2.09) told Angel she “wished they were normal kids”. So, of course she’d be happy that Angel was now normal and express this to him.


    * Buffy/Angel has never been portrayed as an “ideal romance”.


    * There’s no indication Angel could have gone back to 1753 and stopped Darla from siring him.


    * Buffy doesn’t state or imply this was the best day of her life.


    * The Slayer line goes through Faith now. Buffy is an extra Slayer in the world. She’s needed to protect the Hellmouth. Someone else could be the PTB’s champion in Los Angeles given Los Angeles was doing fine before Angel arrived.


    * Cursed Vampire Angel isn’t needed. For “Happy Anniversary” (A 2.13), authorities could have been called and a SWAT team could have easily taken care of those demons and the math genius (if he needed to be killed). The FBI could have quarantined the math genius’ equipment.


    * Angel did not save Buffy in “End of Days” (B 7.21). She could have easily rolled to the side. Even without Angel, WR&H would have still sent the amulet to Sunnydale. As-is, about nothing suggests Angel’s wearing the amulet would have been as effective as Spike’s wearing the amulet.


    * Buffy did not “barely” beat the Mohra demon. If anything, the fight with the Mohra further proves what an excellent Slayer and fighter Buffy is. She would have eventually killed it even without having Angel tell her to hit the HUGE gem.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “PARTING GIFTS” (A 1.10)

    * First Wesley in “Bad Girls” (B 3.14) assumes Cordelia is a teacher and here we have a demon assuming Cordy is in mid-20s or whatever.


    * I remember this episode being the first time we prominently see Charisma Carpenter’s back tattoo. I really didn’t like this. Cordy doesn’t have tattoos and BtVS S6 is the first Season of BtVS in which I remember seeing SMG’s back tattoos (“Once More With Feeling” (B 6.07)) and Alyson Hannigan’s back tattoo (“Tabula Rasa” (B 6.08)). Yet with Charisma, they don’t bother covering her back tattoo other than when she’s doing that suntan lotion commercial and then for the Pylea stuff.


    * I assume Alexis Denisof’s name was in the titles sequence because Joss wanted to better ‘ease’ the audience into accpecting Wesley’s taking over the 3rd lead spot.

    While Wesley’s being in AtS was an excellent addition and makes perfect sense (more sense than Cordy), I have always wondered how much influence Alyson Hannigan – Alexis and she were dating at this time – had in bringing Wesley over.


    * I actually liked the ending scene. These people essentially don’t have families (Cordy’s parents are in prison, Wesley is obviously ‘cut off’ from his parents). Of course, given Jasmine, that ending scene is actually extremely dark.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “SOMNABULIST” (A 1.11)

    * Wesley studied Angel. All that’s ambiguous is whether Wesley knew before he arrived in “Bad Girls” (B 3.14) that Buffy had a relationship with Angel.


    * Penn is shown using super-speed when he’s fighting the cops. I remember this as the first time we see a big ‘super jump’ from a vampire. He bests Angel in their fight.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “EXPECTING” (A 1.12)

    * Cordy’s friends assuming Angel and Wesley are gay: This is something true-to-life. Angel and Wesley are both very good-looking, both dresses really well, and are ‘neat’. Until proven otherwise, some girls see that and assume the guy might be gay. Plus, this is Los Angeles and Angel and Wesley seemed to be really good buddies.

    Angel is correct those girls could consider the ‘axe-thing’ charming and their considering Wesley being gay simply adds mystery.


    * Wesley wasn’t ‘put-off’ by Cordy’s going partying with those girls. He was mostly covering for the fact that those girls ‘rejected him’.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “SHE (A 1.13)

    * I assume Angel and Wesley don’t fall into the category of “bad at dancing means bad at sex”.


    * The female aliens’ Ko did literally affect the males. We see how Angel reacts to the Princess being attracted to him. It’s not as if Darla needed a “Ko” to lure Liam to her. All she needed was to be pretty, dress well, and perhaps show her décolletage. I’ll use the comics as an example. If in the BtVS S9: Spike miniseries if Morgan had a “Ko”, Spike would have been with her. So, while the men of the Princess’s world were wrong to cut off the Ko, they wouldn’t be wrong to want try to ‘suppress’ that part of the Ko so that male attraction to females is ‘normal’ and not tainted by the Ko.

    It’s certainly not a straight equivalent of female genital mutilation even if the episode wants to present it as such.


    * I consider the main thing with this episode is it has Angel being attracted to a woman – albeit it could be because of the Ko – a mere 5 episodes after “I Will Remember You” (A 1.08). I mention this because I’m not sure how or why Jasmine would have been responsible for this “She” stuff.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “I’VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN” (A 1.14)

    * The only interesting thing is we get some information on Wesley’s childhood.


    * Angel was ‘fearful’ and anxious when he moves to introduce himself to the nun. She clearly had nothing to fear from him.


    * If the child literally didn’t have a soul – which I don’t think is the case –, it’s possible his soul was taken away and given to someone or something else. For instance, Connor’s soul had to come from somewhere. Dawn’s soul had to come from somewhere. And there’s Long Night’s Journey (if it’s still canon) for where Angel’s soul came from.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “THE PRODICAL” (A 1.15)

    * Darla decided her mate is a great looking boozing whoring lout. She hadn’t seen one before she saw Liam of Galway?

    The main thing here is how Darla’s choice is in complete contrast to Drusilla’s choice of mate (which I’ll get into with “Darla” (A 2.07) and “Fool For Love” (B 5.07)).


    * Angel is sadistic. That’s why he uses the name “Angelus”. His sister thought he’d come back to them an angel and so invited him in. He killed her and his mother and then taunted his father and killed him.


    * We see the flashbacks from Angel’s POV and so the father generally comes off as ‘looking bad’. Clearly, Liam was a disappointing child. Liam was likely supposed to go into the family business. Instead he acts like a super spoiled ‘trust fund kid’ who simply wastes his family’s money on his own pleasures. We see Liam use his position as her ‘master’ to try to get the servant to have sex with him. It’s ironic that Liam has to die in order for him to ‘shape up’ and ‘become someone’.

    Liam wanted his father’s approval but seemed to do nothing to earn it; in fact, he does the exact opposite and then blames his father for that.


    * Joss says Angel was sired at 27, so I assume the tombstone is simply incorrect.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “THE RING” (A 1.16)

    * The introduction to Lilah Morgan. (Generally, I don’t consider Jasmine affected Wolfram & Hart before obvious events in AtS s4.) Immediately Lilah Morgan is more delightful than Lindsey MacDonald.


    * It’s interesting that the two main stars of Wolfram & Hart are two very bright former poor kids. It seems Lindsey and Lilah joined WR&H simply because they could get rich and have power by joining the firm.


    * This episode seems to be the first one in which it’s implied Wolfram & Hart have a strong interest in Angel. Given slavery is illegal, WR&H didn’t literally own Angel, so it seems Lilah bought the contract so that Angel wouldn’t be in danger of dying.


    * The ‘arena’ was pitting evil demons against each other. Is that so bad? Angel – and the town of Los Angeles – would have probably been better off had Angel taken Lilah’s deal.


    * The Ring is not tied to Wolfram & Hart. Lilah is merely a ‘sports fan’.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “ETERNITY” (A 1.17)

    * The main important thing is discussed in this thread: http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=18786


    * I actually do consider the show was showing Cordelia Chase being a bad actor as a commentary on Charisma Carpenter being a bad actor. It’s brutal.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “FIVE BY FIVE (A 1.18)

    * The biggest problem is Faith was already changed into a good person by being Buffy in “Who Are You?” (B 4.16) and yet it’s decided that she’s to go on AtS so that Angel can help her change into a good person (which she already became). I consider this is a forced attempt to make Angel “important”. It seems clear had Faith stayed in Sunnydale that Buffy and Giles would have helped her and that she’d likely be better helped and more useful had she stayed in BtVS.

    As-is, she goes to Los Angeles ultimately go get Angel to help her. But she decides to have some fun and vent some frustration (especially on Wesley) before then. While she perhaps would have accepted death – which would mean another Slayer would take her place and therefore be a kind of redemption for Faith – she was also likely trying to garner sympathy from Angel.


    * The Angel Gypsy curse stuff I remember as one big sequence from 1898-1900 (and then the later stuff of us learning how Angel lived). So, I’ll probably discuss them when “Darla” (A 2.07) is being discussed.


    * It’s interesting the Gypsy was Darla’s birthday present for Angel.


    * It seems to be implied that Angel/Darla and Spike/Dru are living in separate houses.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “SANCTUARY” (A 1.19)

    * The most important stuff is discussed in this thread: http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=18872


    * Machine guns are “inaccurate”. Buffy and Faith simply ran ahead of the bullet fire. It was entirely realistic.


    * Cordy stood zero chance against Faith physically and Faith had just decked her to the ground. It makes perfect sense that Cordy and Wesley left the building.


    * Buffy was being rational and Angel wasn’t being rational.


    * Buffy’s trying to kill Faith (in order to cure Angel) isn’t comparable to all of Angel’s murders (and other stuff he’s done) and it isn’t comparable to Faith’s murders (and the other stuff she’s done). Buffy had more than every right to point out to Angel that he’s a murderer. There is zero hypocrisy here.


    * Angel is not heroic with Faith. Not caring what she did to Buffy, Sunnydale, Wesley, and Cordy and instead focusing on his need to help Faith does not equate to heroism. It equates to selfishness.

    Buffy in fact is the heroic one in “Sanctuary” (A 1.19). Second to her is Wesley. There is no third.


    * It’s beyond unreasonable to suggest Buffy should have apologized to Angel; if anything, she was beyond magnanimous with him.


    * Buffy is the most wronged ‘party’: that’s canon.


    * There are no religious undertones for why Faith decides to go to jail or for why she wants Buffy’s forgiveness and acceptance.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “WAR ZONE” (A 1.20)

    * I don’t have a problem with the way Gunn is presented and the way he’s introduced.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “BLIND DATE” (A 1.21)

    * I consider the implication is that those like Lindsey MacDonald and Lilah Morgan likely stay with Wolfram & Hart – and signed on in the first place – because they couldn’t do better elsewhere. We later see in Lilah’s profile that she went to a ‘no-name’ law school. Lindsey’s in his 20s or whatever and he’s already essentially a junior partner in the firm. He’s essentially a very smart and very capable guy who was ‘held back’ by his background. The same is true of Lilah Morgan.


    * I consider WR&H made up the Shanshu in order to try to ‘control’ and use Angel.


    * There’s nothing wrong with killing the blind assassin.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “TO SHANSHU IN LA” (A 1.22)

    * Holland Manners, Lindsey MacDonald, and Lilah Morgan are the top three people in the Special Projects Division of WR&H Los Angeles.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    VERY GENERAL ATS S1 OVERVIEW:

    * Given Jasmine ‘taints’ everything before from “City of” (A 1.01) to before she dies, “In the Dark” (A 1.03) is the only solidly good episode of AtS s1. Faith is dynamic and compelling, but her redemption should have happened in Sunnydale. I do say though that Eliza Dushku should have been the second lead in AtS. It would make far more sense than for Charisma Carpenter to be second lead. In ways, Cordelia wasn’t needed as a permanent cast member after BtVS S1. AtS would have been a lot better with Eliza as second lead.

    I also like “Blind Date” (A 1.21) because of the Lindsey stuff.

    Best character of AtS s1: Lilah Morgan (other than Buffy, Spike, and Faith).

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________

    ANGEL SEASON 2 REWATCH:

    All caught up


    REGARDING ATS S2:

    I consider all present-day Angel/Darla stuff – including how the Fang Gang reacts to all of it – in AtS is because of Jasmine including WR&H bringing Darla back.


    * It’s canon that Angel loves Buffy more than he loves Darla and is in love with Buffy while he isn’t – in present day – in love with Darla.

    Buffy isn’t a “rebound” girl to Angel and she’s not “the good version of Darla” to Angel. It’s canon that Buffy is the love of Angel’s life (because Joss Whedon’s assertions certainly trump Tim Minnear’s).


    * I consider Juliet Benz has more chemistry with Christian Kane than she does with David Boreanaz.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “JUDGMENT” (A 2.01)

    * Angel likes Barry Manilow.


    * I’m not sure why it was decided to make Angel a very bad singer. I assume it is because of the eventual reveal that Lindsey MacDonald is a great singer given the producers already knew Christian Kane is a great singer.


    * I consider Faith should have been upset that this was Angel’s first visit. She’s been in there for months by now.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “ARE YOU NOW OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN?” (A 2.02)

    * Obviously, this is the first major ‘retroactive continuity’ AtS does. Angel wasn’t a bum for 100 years. Here he’s in a luxury hotel in Los Angeles in the 1950s. Where’d he get the money for this? This is something that’s never explained in AtS. Sometimes, Angel seems to have money for no apparent reason.


    * I consider Angel was able to afford the Hyperion and Angel got the Hyperion because of Jasmine. Jasmine could have easily had David Nabbit give Angel $10s of MMs or even 9-figures so that Angel could mortgage that place.

    Although, I must point out the optics of Angel’s living in essentially a palace while Spike over in BtVS was living in a crypt, then a guest room in Xander’s apartment, and then in Buffy’s basement.


    * Angel’s being hanged doesn’t excuse his being largely responsible for the deaths of a hotel full of people – albeit this only matters if Angel could have beaten the demon.

    It’s worth noting that Angel, Cordy, Wesley, and Gunn all help in the fight against the Thesulac demon. Even if Angel assumed Judy was still being ‘used’ by the Thesulac, before he has this Fang Gang the situation isn’t changed beforehand in terms of his ability to kill the demon.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “UNTOUCHED” (A 2.04)

    * Bethany Chaulk stopping her father’s fall would have resulted in simply her father experiencing some ‘g force’ or whatever. It’s not comparable to if he had gone splat on the pavement.


    * It’d be fine for Bethany to kill her father other than how WR&H might retaliate.


    * I never found Angel/Darla sex scenes ‘hot’.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “DEAR BOY” (A 2.05)

    * Drusilla had two sisters and seems to be from – at least – an upper middle class English family. They are dressed well and they are walking around in the nice part of London. Perhaps their being Catholic resulted in their having to live in the East End (although we see in A&F that they lived in a nice townhouse).


    * After Angel murdered all the nuns and such, Darla and he had sex in front of Drusilla. Angel likely raped Dru before siring her.


    * Buffy being ‘dismissed’ as a “cheerleader” doesn’t make too much sense coming from Darla (regardless of the Jasmine thing) given Darla was a whore.


    * Darla’s clearly incorrect in her assertion of, “Buffy wasn’t happiness. She was just new.” http://buffyworld.com/angel/transcripts/027_tran.html He first sees Buffy 96 years after 1900.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “GUISE WILL BE GUISE” (A 2.06)

    * The Angel’s being a eunuch joke!


    * (Of course, this stuff could be because of Jasmine)

    This episode seems to the AtS version of “The Replacement” (B 5.03)). Here, Wesley has to act as if he’s Angel and he becomes more ‘leader like’.

    The episode foreshadows Wesley’s becoming the leader of the Fang Gang, which essentially is only taken away when Angel signs them up to work for Wolfram & Hart.


    * Reputations matter. People would be naturally intimidated by Wesley simply because people think he’s Angel. It’s the only reason why anyone was scared of Cordelia in “Homecoming” (B 3.05).


    * Angel and Wesley could never deal with their fathers the way Virginia was able to deal with hers. Virginia has a giant trust fund that will forever be hers and now that she’s still alive, she’s likely going to inherit all the rest of her father’s estate. The only way Liam could escape his father was to run off with someone who has enough money in which he can live off. Wesley became poor after his father cut him off. Virginia clearly didn’t need her father in any way. She’s rich and such a big celebrity that Wesley becomes a celebrity merely by dating her.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “DARLA” (A 2.07)

    * Probably the only reason why this was a two-partner is because a scene could be done to add information regarding why Drusilla chose Spike and because James Marsters – like Sarah Michelle Gellar and Eliza Dushku – signed a contract to appear in 2 episodes of AtS s1 and James had – until now – only guest starred in 1-episode of AtS.


    FLASHBACKS:

    * The most important thing to note about the flashbacks is the flashbacks in this episode are Darla’s memories and therefore from her perspective and the ones in “Fool For Love” (B 5.07) are what Spike tells Buffy.

    The ‘device’ that connects these flashbacks is the scene of Spike and Drusilla’s ‘bumping into’ Angel and Darla, which happened after Spike killed Xin Rong (the Chinese Slayer) and had sex with Drusilla.

    In this, it’s interesting to note what is important to Darla and what Spike wanted to tell Buffy.


    * “Fool For Love” (B 5.07) is the first time we learn of the Fanged Four.


    * 1880: I consider Drusilla at some point informed Spike that one of the main reasons she sired him is because Angel was paying less attention to her than before. She probably told him the, “I could pick the wisest and bravest knight in all the land and make him mine forever with a kiss.” But this wasn’t told to Buffy because 1) it’s not a memory of his and 2) he didn’t want Buffy knowing that part of the reason Dru sired him is because she ‘couldn’t be with Angel’. He clearly wouldn’t want Buffy thinking that of him given he wants to be with her and given she couldn’t be with Angel.

    We see these flashbacks in Darla’s story because what eventually happens in the dynamics between Darla, Angel, and Drusilla is related to this scene. Darla is happy that Angel is focused on her and that Drusilla is the ‘odd one out’. Darla’s initially very dismissive of Drusilla. She mocks Dru by laughing off, “Or you could just take the first drooling idiot that comes along.” Darla clearly considers its impossible Dru is going to find someone superior to Angel. But, we also see Drusilla isn’t deferential to Darla. She calls Darla “Grandmother” knowing it irks Darla. She tells Darla, “Don’t be cross. I could be your mummy.’


    * 1898: Angel gets cursed and is not around. Dru essentially is upset that Angel is not around and tells Darla he’ll be upset that they’ve been mass slaughtering before he rejoined them.

    Sometime in 1896 or prior, Angel & Darla and Spike & Drusilla were already ‘paired off’. So, in this 1898 scene, it reads as Drusilla is still happily with Spike while Darla is now boyfriend-less (or husband-less).

    Darla tells Drusilla to go and kill things, and then says, “Do as you’re told.” She’s treating Dru as if Dru were a child. Dru instead of going off and killing things decides to dance and sing and pointedly dances with Spike.

    We learn that apparently Darla has zero authority over Spike. We learn that Spike is the reason Angel’s curse wasn’t lifted in 1898 (assuming the Gypsies would have lifted the curse.) In addition, Darla didn’t want to show weakness to Drusilla and Spike by informing them why they can’t eat the people in the wagon and she couldn’t order them not to eat the people in the wagon.

    * 1900: Angel’s again trying to be with Darla (she rejected him in 1898 because he had a soul and was bemoaning all the death he’s caused). It’s implied Spike found out the Slayer is in China during the Boxer Rebellion and that’s why Darla is in China during the Boxer Rebellion. Darla knows Spike doesn’t respect her authority and now Drusilla is probably more loyal to Spike than she is to Darla. So, essentially Darla probably followed them. Spike’s the one who likes chaos. Drusilla in 1898 found the chaos and cries for mercy to be “pretty pretty music”. Darla wouldn’t prefer to be in such chaos. Anyway, a major reason why Darla decides to take Angel back it seems is because if Angel can play the alpha male again, Darla will again be able to be the leader of the Fanged Four instead of technically being below Spike and Dru.

    Angel again dresses like a “vulgarian” and so by appearances he’s the alpha male again. But when Angel and Darla see Spike and Drusilla, Spike and Dru are very lovey dovey and post-coital. In some sense, they’d perhaps remind Darla and Angel of James and Elizabeth (“Heartthrob” (A 3.01)). Now comes the point when the dynamics are forever changed. Drusilla wants to tell Darla and Angel what Spike’s done. “My little Spike’s just killed himself a Slayer.”

    Spike tells this part of the story to Buffy for the contrast to Angel’s telling him, “Congratulations. I guess that makes you one of us.” to how Angel regards him in that Yorkshire mineshaft in 1880. He’s also informing Buffy that in 1900, Spike still considered that if he could kill a Slayer, Angel probably could as well. Spike didn’t tell Buffy that apparently Spike and Dru essentially left Angel and Darla within days of Spike’s killing the Slayer.

    What Darla remembers is her wondering how Angel is going to take the news of Spike’s killing the Slayer given he now has a soul and given this essentially makes Spike the alpha male. Also, Darla is immediately concerned again about her position within the Fanged Four.

    Unless things played out somewhat as they do in Spike vs. Dracula , the next flashback likely happens after Spike and Dru have left town. Now Darla’s stuck with this pathetic excuse for a vampire who saves missionaries from her and who only eats rapists, murderers, and other ‘evildoers’. Spike’s now a Vampire Slayer Slayer and Angel’s someone who feeds on rats.

    I consider it’s telling that Darla tries to get him to eat a baby instead of telling Angel that he needs to kill a Slayer. Darla wants him to be evil but it seems she knows he can’t beat a Slayer.

    And it’s not shown in this episode but unless she joined up with Spike and Dru – which all canonical scenes show not to be the case – Darla likely went back to the Order of Aurielus and was therefore alone for the next 97 years before Angel dusted her while she probably assumes Spike and Dru are probably still happily together.


    * 1609: Darla’ a whore in the Virginia Colony and was dying of syphilis. It’s interesting that the Master chose this woman to be his ‘mate’. What does that say about him?

    Darla was probably in an Anglican (Church of England) church or whatever and was probably Anglican herself. Or she was Catholic, but were there Catholic churches in the Virginia colony in 1609?

    The Master named Darla “Darla”. Angel never knew her real name. It’s possible the demon ‘wiped out’ the memories Darla had before meeting the Master.


    PRESENT DAY STUFF:

    * Lindsey’s attraction to Darla is beyond creepy and it does seem to largely be about ‘taking something of Angel’s’.

    ________

    * Angel’s always been afraid of the Master; it’s not as if Angel actually tried to fight the Master. Angel certainly didn’t think the Master would dust him in front of Darla.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “THE TRIAL” (A 2.09)

    * Drusilla sires Darla. The Special Projects Division of Wolfram & Hart seems to have no idea how deadly and dangerous Dru is. Did Lindsey contact Dru somehow or did Dru know Darla was going to be sired and confronted Lindsey and used her mind powers to convince him to let her sire Darla?


    * There’s also the symbolism of Drusilla siring probably the oldest living person in the Master’s bloodline. Darla’s a pathetic human. Angel has a soul and he has never killed a Slayer. Spike’s got a chip. Drusilla’s still fully evil.


    * Aside from if Jasmine helped Angel out during the Trial, a very small percentage of beings would have been able to kill that demon that was the first trial. Other than one having to commit suicide, the Trials only look easy compared to what Spike went through to get his soul back and because Spike isn’t as affected by the sight of crosses and is able to endure more pain than Angel is.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “REUNION” (A 2.10)

    * Holland, Lindsey, and Lilah are extremely comfortable around Drusilla. It seems very odd.


    * It’s also very odd that WR&H didn’t have any security at the nursery. They could have assumed Dru could ‘handle’ Angel, but what if Angel brought the entire Fang Gang?


    * How much of Darla’s strength and power is because Drusilla sired her and how much is because of Jasmine?

    The only other just-born vampire I remember with comparable strength and power is Holden Webster, although Holden was easily beaten after informing Buffy that Spike sired him.

    I consider Drusilla wasn’t affected by Jasmine and therefore assume – given Dru doesn’t find it odd that Darla’s so powerful – Darla’s strength and power at this time are because Dru sired her.


    * This has been discussed elsewhere, but in the Angel-Dru fight, neither actually wanted to kill the other and it’s implied that Dru’s stronger than Angel is (only important given Angel got stronger and more powerful after drinking Buffy’s blood).


    * Not only are Holland and Lindsey not at all afraid of Dru, but they offer to protect her.

    By the way, it doesn’t seem Darla and Dru could have been prevented from leaving WR&H. All WR&H seem to have are human security guards with stakes.


    * Dru let Darla beat on her a bit in order for Darla to be able to vent some frustration.


    * Did Dru actually think Darla wanted to be saved? Part of the reason she sired Darla is punishment for Angel. While Dru may have ultimately wanted the Fanged Four back together, Dru was happy during the 100 years she was with Spike sans Darla and Angel. Dru didn’t seem to care – if she knew – that Darla died.

    I consider Dru’s ultimate goal was to get Spike’s chip removed. She needed Darla because of Lindsey’s attachment to Darla and because of Darla’s importance to the Special Projects Division of WR&H. She didn’t think Angel would actually try to stop Darla and her from killing Holland Manners and Co. She knew Angel wouldn’t try to kill her (albeit she also assumed he wouldn’t do anything like set her afire). She delivers Darla to Lindsey because Dru still needs Lindsey. The next thing was to go get Spike, get him to feed, get him to kill Buffy (or sire Buffy?), then tell him about her plan to use Lindsey and Lilah to get his chip removed. However, since Spike literally tossed her aside in favor of being of Buffy, she decided to leave Spike (probably until enough years had passed that Buffy would likely be dead).


    * Something interesting is that Darla seems to know what Drusilla’s talking about when Dru cries, “All alone. All alone in the dirt. - We've lost our way and the little worm won't dance if he's told to. (Starts to sob) No. No." http://buffyworld.com/angel/transcripts/032_tran.html

    Translation: I’m a vampire/immortal and I was lonely. Angel no longer wants Darla and Spike no longer wants Dru. Angel used to be Darla’s puppy and Spike used to be Dru’s puppy.

    Dru doesn’t tell Darla or Angel that Spike’s in love with Buffy. When Harmony arrives, she doesn’t tell anyone she was with Spike, that she literally was thrown aside in favor of his being with Dru, and that Spike seems to be – at least – attracted to Buffy.


    * The first hint in the Buffyverse that Drusilla and Darla have been “intimate” in the past.


    * I’m not sure how much Dru’s responsible for Darla’s rather immediate change from being irate at Dru for siring her to being motherly and best friends with Dru and how much Jasmine is responsible.


    * Angel’s locking the wine cellar doors: Angel couldn’t fight off or beat both Darla and Dru; I don’t consider it’s wrong for Angel to not care or actively want those people to die. Angel himself obviously couldn’t kill these people given how Kate currently felt about him, but Angel likely wanted those people dead anyway.

    The only possible badness is that Angel locked the doors (though those people were ‘enemy combatants’ and so not even that was realistically bad). But most of the objections to what Angel did – even from Kate Lockley – stem from a flawed idea that Angel could have stopped Dru and Darla. Angel couldn’t fight them off alone.

    Angel’s locking the doors isn’t comparable to what he did in BtVS S8.


    * Although I assume Angel’s firing the Fang Gang is because of Jasmine, there was nothing actually wrong with Angel’s firing them. He’s their boss and they were no longer fitting his goals. I also consider – although, again, I assume it’s because of Jasmine – the Fang Gang was very rude and mean to Angel regarding his firing of them.

    Let’s remember that before Angel hired her, Cordy was willing to give sexual favors in order to gain jobs in the acting field.

    Wesley was broke and starving.

    Gunn was homeless.

    None of these people had job prospects even close to the compensation Angel was giving them.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “REDEFINITION” (A 2.11)

    * How much is Lilah Morgan’s being alive because of Drusilla’s liking her (“I like the girl. She’s wicked.”), Dru’s prescience and likely knowing Lilah ends up leading the Special Projects Division of WR&H LA, and how much is because of Jasmine?


    * Did none of the demons actually know of Darla and Drusilla? Their knowing about Angel later on is probably largely due to Angel’s killing demons and vampires for over 3 years while in Los Angeles.


    * First hint that Darla is the ‘boss’ in name only while Drusilla is actually the real power. Darla is talking but Dru rips the ‘head’ demon’s ears off and thus makes the other demons afraid of them and want to join up with them.


    * Dru ‘mocks’ Darla for missing Angel, for missing her heartbeat – more hint that Dru didn’t sire Darla for Darla’s sake and instead did it for her own purposes – and mocks that Angel only felt for Darla when Darla was dying of syphilis.


    * Dru calls Darla things like, “my sweet”, “my little bird”.


    * Dru has a vision of the Reign of Fire that happens in AtS s4.

    It’s interesting that this vision apparently completely trumps the information that Angel killed all their prospective soldiers and was about to set Darla and her afire.


    * More hints Dru is doing this all for Spike: she’s wearing a black shawl thing – as she wore in BtVS S2 – and her wanting to buy that abandoned factory is interesting. First, it would remind of the BtVS S2 factory. But, also Dru mentions BUYING it. I’ve always assumed somehow Spike bought the factory, that somehow Angel bought the mansion – perhaps with insurance money from the factory fire or simply Angel has money given he was able to afford things like hotel rooms, apartments, luxury goods, renting of office space, etc. Dru herself was obviously living somewhere after leaving Spike and in A&F she mentions that she’s thinking of buying the home she grew up in, which would probably be worth millions (even though it is a little run down).


    * The Angel of BtVS it seems wouldn’t have been able to kill all those demons as he does here.


    * Angel didn’t want to actually kill Dru but he had to make his point clear that he wasn’t interested in ‘joining’ them. So, he set them afire but there was an axe on the path to a nearby fire hydrant and therefore Dru wasn’t actually at risk of dying. Darla’s remaining alive is probably more due to Jasmine.


    * What did Dru mean when she was pleading with Darla to help her? Dru healed sooner than Darla did. Perhaps Dru fed on Darla? Or was Dru merely pleading for Darla to help her emotionally?


    * Some companies have co-CEOs, so it makes perfect sense that Lindsey and Lilah would be named co-VPs of Special Projects. They both have strengths, weaknesses, and liabilities, and so WR&H decided to see which one worked out better and to discard of the other.


    * I found some of Angel’s ‘working out’ to be beyond ridiculous. Angel’s body weight should be almost nothing to him. Although, David Boreanaz’s relative ‘fat-ness’ in AtS s5 makes somewhat sense given how much he was sitting behind a desk instead of fighting. Spike’s gaining muscle and having more defined abs in BtVS S6 versus how he is in BtVS S4 and such could be due to his having all that super-sex with Buffy. Spike’s body not being as defined in BtVS S7 could be because of his recent lack of strenuous exercise. I guess the bug ship could have provided Spike means of working out and that’s why he’s so ripped in A&F. Anyway, things like push ups and pull-ups should be meaningless to Angel. We never see Buffy work out and we never see Faith work out. Although, it might be cute to see Buffy bench-pressing thousands of pounds.


    * Drusilla’s insane, that doesn’t mean she’s not “lucid” and whatever else.


    * Drusilla and Darla survived being set afire because they are more powerful and resilient than other vampires. I honestly don’t know why there is such a problem with anyone accepting that a vampire can be more sun resistant and fire resistant than other vampires. Everyone readily accepts some vampires are stronger than others are, so there should be no problem. And, BTW, I don’t recall a single poster saying Angel should have been dusted in “In the Dark” (A 1.03) – He was in sunlight long enough that other vampires would have been dusted.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “HAPPY ANNIVERSARY” (A 2.13)

    *A SWAT team, the FBI etc. could have ‘taken care of’ that science guy.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “REPRISE” (A 2.15)

    * What made Angel think he could kill all of the Senior Partners?


    * BTW, the Senior Partners don’t live on Earth, so all “Home Office” means is that Earth is Wolfram & Hart’s “headquarters”, just as Wolfram & Hart Los Angeles is the “flagship branch” of WR&H.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “EPIPHANY” (A 2.16)

    * In BtVS the Scoobies reasoned that only sex with Buffy would result in Angel getting a moment of perfect happiness. None of them seemed to think that Angel didn’t have sex for 100 years.


    * In AtS – of course it could all be because of Jasmine –, but the Fang Gang’s worry with “Raven” (“Eternity” (A 1.17)) is that Angel liked her.


    * The thing with AtS s2 Angel/Darla is that it was presented – at the time (meaning before the audience knew of the Jasmine stuff) – as Angel’s loving Darla or at least having very strong feelings for her. Angel himself believes he loves Darla and therefore believes having sex with her would result in his curse being lifted. But this is all ‘audience stuff’. Angel’s feelings for Darla in AtS s2 & AtS s3 are likely all because of Jasmine.


    * It’s reasonable for Lindsey to be upset with Darla for her having sex with Angel; and Darla’s reaction to Lindsey is reasonable. Darla is staying at his place free, he’s buying her clothes and blood, and they are in some kind of ‘relationship’; at least Lindsey considers they are.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “DISHARMONY” (A 2.17)

    * Harmony doesn’t tell any of the Fang Gang – or anyone else in Los Angeles – that she was with Spike and that Spike is a quasi member of the Scooby Gang. She tells no one that Drusilla was back in Sunnydale and that Spike was apparently with Dru again.


    * I consider the reasons why Harmony wasn’t dusted in this episode are because of her possible future usefulness regarding Spike, Buffy didn’t dust Harmony, and Spike didn’t dust Harmony. It’s pretty much a lesser example of some of the reasons Drusilla wasn’t killed in AtS.


    * How did Angel know what kind of clothing Cordelia liked?


    * A lot of Cordelia’s interaction with Harmony post finding out Harmony’s a vampire is likely because of Jasmine.


    * Cordy and Harmony have always been different. Cordy has a high IQ while Harmony lived off her parents’ money and her looks. Still, relatively Harmony’s done better after high school than Cordy has. What Harmony’s done she’s done on her own. Cordy was willing to give sexual favors to score acting roles. Everything Cordy has post meeting Angel is because of Angel and Jasmine.

    To this point, Cordy is not “better” than Harmony is in terms of “awesomeness” or whatever. After becoming a vampire, Harmony is completely “self-made” and eventually – in BtVS S8 and after – becomes one of the most important figures in the world. Cordy’s importance and ‘success’ post-Sunnydale is because of Jasmine.


    * Cordy’s preferring Harmony’s being a vampire to the idea that Harmony was a lesbian is completely homophobic.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “BELONGING” (A 2.19)

    * Cordelia’s swimsuit thing was pretty much a blatant reference to why Charisma Carpenter was hired for BtVS. Obviously, it’s much ‘meaner’ than “City of” (A 1.01) in which an agent gets one look at Angel and tells him he’s an actor (David Boreanaz was also hired for BtVS because of his looks.).


    * There’s zero indication Buffy ever even thought of calling Angel and trying to get his help with the Glory situation. Anyway, the situation is largely the same as it is in “Chosen” (B 7.22). She has Spike there and Spike has more of a connection with the Scoobies than Angel does (barring Giles).

    Regarding whether the Fang Gang would know what was going on in Sunnydale if they hadn’t left for Pylea: unless one of the Scoobies told them, they wouldn’t know. This wasn’t like the sun no longer shining in Los Angeles.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    “THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS” (A 2.21)

    * Groo becomes a problem when one realizes he’s a much better force for good than Angel is. Even for the Circle of the Black Thorn. Simply give that vision to the Scoobies. The Scoobies would have simply killed the entire Circle, Drogyn would still be alive, and Illyria wouldn’t be needed. TwilightAngel would have never happened. Kill Angel either here or in AtS s3 and Connor would have been killed which means Jasmine would have never been a threat.

    Groo has all of Angel’s strengths (expect Angel is smarter) and none of his weaknesses. With Groo having the visions, suddenly Cordy is about completely useless.


    * Angel deserves zero “credit” in regards to his not wanting to decapitate Fred. It’s clear he shouldn’t do that. It’s clear his Fang Gang wouldn’t be okay with Angel’s murdering Fred, etc.


    * I’m still not sure the ‘Angel demon’ makes any sense. Vampires have demon spirits inside them, not actual demons.


    * Regarding Winifred Burkle, she was a grad student 5 years prior and was a PhD candidate. Unless she skipped some grades or finished her BA very early, she’d at least be around 27-28. Cordelia by this time would be around 19-20 and yet she looks at least several years older than Fred does.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    GENERAL THOUGHTS ON ATS S2:

    * I was very unhappy with how little Drusilla was used and very unhappy with how Dru is portrayed as being second fiddle to Darla. Dru is a popular character. Supposedly, Spike and Dru were going to return for BtVS S3, but Juliet Landau wasn’t available. Dru was supposed to in what became “Lovers Walk” (B 3.08), but, again, Juliet was unavailable. So, the episode was largely rewritten. Juliet didn’t become available again until after BtVS S4. James Marsters lobbied hard for Juliet to be in BtVS instead of AtS, but it was decided that Dru would be in AtS to boost AtS’s ratings. And effectively all Dru does in AtS is sire Darla. BtVS S5 could have been more interesting had Dru been in it more. Frankly, had Dru been in “Out of My Mind” (B 5.04), the chip would have been taken out. Had Dru been in BtVS S5, Riley likely would have been killed. Buffy/Spike would be even more complicated and compelling. Instead, she’s largely wasted in AtS s2. When she finally shows up in BtVS S5, Spike’s already attached to Dawn and is at a point that he needs Harmony to pretend to be Buffy in order to have sex with Harmony.


    * Before we learn about Jasmine (and in BtVS S8 learn of Giles’ wealth), AtS s2 is extremely offensive and it just gets worse in AtS s3. Angel knows Buffy’s mother died. He offers zero financial assistance. Angel is essentially living in a 68-room palace in West Los Angeles. Angel buys Cordy 5-figures worth of clothing. All the Angel/Darla stuff is completely and extremely offensive to Buffy/Angel.


    * Obviously, Angel has not helped Buffy once since “I Will Remember You” (A 1.08) other than his showing up in “Forever” (B 5.17). This, frankly, perhaps wasn’t even necessary. She could have been comforted by Giles. She could have been comforted by Willow. There could have been a repeat of the ending of “Fool For Love” (B 5.07). Anyway, Buffy died and therefore Angel’s taking back the day didn’t save her. And, yes, that math geek wouldn’t have been a problem had Lorne simply called the FBI on him or whatever. His lab equipment could have been quarantined: problem solved.


    * In ways, the only good episodes are “Darla” (A 2.07) – because of the flashbacks –, “Reunion” (A 2.09) and “Redefinition” (A 2.10) – because Drusilla is delightful in them.



    Dipstick

    Joss Whedon seems to think that how you *look* doing something is just as important as what you *do*. Sometimes, looking good is more important than being good.
    No. Even Buffy sacrificing herself in “The Gift” (5.22) is shown to be a bad thing given what happens when some demons discover the Slayer is not in Sunnydale anymore.

    Generally, the pretty actors are the heroes while the ugly actors are the villains.
    Only if you consider “vamp face” or “demon” to be “ugly actors”.



    Local Maximum

    But moral decisions within the Buffyverse are never really meant to be...moral decisions within the Buffyverse
    Yes, they are.

    ________________________________________________

    Liam and Darla were hedonists, sinners -- Liam for drinking and sex
    We don’t know about Darla’s human life other than she was a whore and was relatively poor. Liam was a drunken whoring lout – I’m not sure that qualifies as hedonism.

    ________________________________________________

    Darla is in some ways the vamp who is able to set the tone for the others. Angelus is sort of an extension of Darla's philosophy, and Dru of Angelus', and Spike of Angelus' and Dru's
    Darla wanted Angel to kill one townsperson. He wiped out the town of Galway. Darla wanted Angel to stay with the Order of Aurielus. He gets her to live in the world. Darla was more attached to Angel than he was to her given he sired Drusilla and therefore created his own mistress/paramour. Other than Angel’s responsibility for Dru’s mental state, her ‘philosophy’ was her own. Angel was Spike’s “Yoda”, but Spike was a different vampire than Angel.



    Maggie

    To this day, for all his sacrifice and heroics, casual fans see Spike as the bad boy anti-hero. Meanwhile, Angel has done all he has done and is still the narrated "hero" who is Buffy's counterpart.
    Mostly, this is only true for people who haven’t actually seen the shows, or haven’t seen the comics, or who heavily prefer Buffy/Angel to Buffy/Spike.



    Emmie

    “Angel's absolutely evolved, but in the way where a genetic mutation results in his having a soul.” “Angel evolving a soul due to unique environmental circumstances” “Angel was naturally selected by the environment”
    Angel was cursed because the Romani wanted to punish him for killing their “favorite daughter”. The curse is not a “genetic mutation”. “Environmental circumstances”: unless you’re referring to Darla’s showing him the girl and wanting him to kill her, I don’t see how this at all applies. “Naturally selected by the environment”: there’s no natural selection at work here.



    Nina

    Darla gave Liam the chance to show his full potential. Liam was limited by several factors; his father, his religion but also the state.
    Liam was born into an upper middle class family – and in today’s world, he’d be considered lower upper class or something. His father wanted him to be successful. Yes, his religion was a problem and so was his being Irish. Still, he was living a very comfortable life.

    Can you imagine how much better his life would've been if he was allowed to go to the university and travel (he was born in time for the enlightenment period in Europe).
    That drunken whoring lout would have been accepted to a university?

    When he was allowed to do what he truly wanted to do and be. Liam loves information, learning, arts, other cultures etc.
    Angel loves those things. All we saw of Liam is that he was a drunken whoring lout who’s a disappointment to his father.

    One of the reasons why it probably went wrong in the first place was because he was an open-minded (for that time) guy who was too bright to accept religion as the only answer, follow his father blindly and be stuck in a small town on the west-coast of Ireland.
    What in the flashbacks demonstrates that Liam was bright? Is being the son of a successful ‘small time’ linen and silk merchant who was going to inherit that business such an awful thing? Galway’s a beautiful place. If anything, Liam was extremely ungrateful to his father.

    There was no easy way to escape his father. A catholic boy on his own... not going to be easy in 18th century Ireland. Darla got him out and let him bloom, but the price was very high.
    Darla appeared to be a rich Englishwoman and Liam wanted her to take him away from Galway.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    Season 4 suffered from a complete rewrite due Charisma's pregnancy, the staff being mad at her and Minear and Greenwalt leaving. (While Whedon was also busy with two other shows.)
    “Suffered” in what sense? AtS s4 had the best ratings of AtS up to that point. AtS s4’s ratings eventually surpassed BtVS’s ratings (albeit the UPN is a smaller network than the WB). AtS s4 was by far the most entertaining season of AtS. And, yeah Minnear and Greenwalt left but David Fury and Jeffrey Bell replaced them. David Fury’s a better writer than those 2 and Jeff Bell is a better showrunner.

    And season 5 had also some problems: The WB forced Spike in for 22 episodes despite the writers not wanting him for a whole season ,
    Um, no. First off, there’d be no AtS s5 without Spike. Secondly, the most important writers for AtS s5 were David Fury and Joss Whedon, and both wanted Spike for the whole season. Drew Goddard largely only joined AtS s5 because Spike was in it. And I don’t recall Jeff Bell being at-all against Spike.

    the PTB also wanted a different set up for the season (lighter, more stand-alones),
    They were working for WR&H and Angel had been trying to keep Spike non-corporeal. The episodes are only ‘stand-alone’ in comparison to AtS s4. The season was about as ‘stand-alone’ as BtVS S7.

    SMG couldn't show up for the 100th episode (thank god)
    Originally, it was thought she’d be in 5 episodes of AtS S5. Clearly, the ambiguity of “Chosen” (B 7.22) is largely due to this. If Joss knew SMG wasn’t going to be in AtS s5, “Chosen” would almost certainly be fully Buffy/Spike (which it pretty much is) and there’d be no ‘shipper wars.

    And a smaller budget, despite already having less than BtVS always got. (I must say, Ats always did a great job hiding that they had less money to work with... it often looked better than BtVS.)
    Well, the actors on BtVS were paid more.

    Also recently I read somewhere that Charisma Carpenter mentioned Whedon wanting to leave Cordelia in Pylea. It was Greenwalt (of course, who else?) who stopped that. I guess Cordelia was already a lost case the moment Greenwalt left the show.
    I never heard of that. Anyway, as with Xander over in BtVS, it’s clear how relatively useless Cordy is. In-verse, Groo clearly would have been a better choice to have the visions. As-is, the writers had to REALLY force Cordy’s importance. Give her the visions. Give her more powers. Make her the villain. At least Xander had organic usefulness with his carpentry skills allowing him to make Slayer stuff for Buffy and to fix her house and his forever friendship with Willow and his occasional emotional ‘pick me up’ of Buffy. Plus, he’s the reason Anya stayed with the Scoobies and she ends up being extremely important in the fight against evil.

    Charisma Carpenter was second lead pretty much just because she was made so. With BtVS moving to the UPN, new contracts were made and therefore the actual draws and stars of the show (SMG, James Marsters, and Alyson Hannigan) were all paid accordingly and James was made 2 (really 1A) to SMG’s 1 (and this is clearly seen in the dailies). Nic Brendan was no longer male lead and Tony Head was made into a special guest star. Would it have been okay for James to remain paid less and be 5 instead of 1A? Would it be okay for Aly to still be paid less than Nic and Tony and be 4?

    Charisma was in AtS because she’s eye candy and because David Greenwalt created the character of Angel and he wanted Charisma on the show.



    Stoney

    The assumptions on demons in the verse, that unless known non evil evil things demons deserve preemptive punishment, I find difficult.
    Most demons are threats to humans and therefore need to be killed. Generally, the Scoobies and the Fang Gang only attack and kill demons that are clearly threats to humans.



    KingofCretins

    Season 2 of "Angel" is, if not by consensus, certainly widely considered the best top to bottom season of the show. I think the most argument you'd get are from Season 5 people.
    AtS s5 and AtS s4 are more overall liked (the latter because it was actually very entertaining until the ‘Jasmine arc’).



    TimeTravellingBunny

    It's not like the writer's words can be dismissed as easily as those of fans.
    Yes, they can. Joss Whedon is the only arbiter of canon. Tim Minnear is simply wrong about some things, including that Angel raped Darla in “Reprise” (A 2.15).
    Last edited by MikeB; 23-01-14 at 09:17 AM. Reason: I had done a re-edit.

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    Links to seasons 3-5 threads...

    Season 3.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emmie View Post
    The value to be found in comparing Buffy and Cordy seems quite obvious to me: two roads diverged in a wood.

    Like putting twins in different environments to observe how they develop independently. Only instead of twins, Buffy and Cordy are sisters with really different hair!
    They are nothing alike. Though Joss tried to make something happen in the first season but that fell flat fast.

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