Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 27

Thread: Memory Wipes

  1. #1
    Slayer Priceless's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    1,926
    Thanks
    3,554
    Thanked 3,200 Times in 1,626 Posts

    Default Memory Wipes

    Considering BtVS and AtS came from the same stable and came about from the same starting point, it's odd that their views on memory wipes are so different. On BtVS we are shown that wiping someone's memory is never a good thing, while on AtS it's seen, especially with Connor, to have a curative effect.

    Why do the two shows see things so differently and what are we meant to believe? Can both views be correct?
    Never much cared for picket fences, anyway. Bloody dangerous.

  2. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Priceless For This Useful Post:

    betta (09-01-18),Clavus (08-01-18),Stoney (08-01-18),TimeTravellingBunny (08-01-18),TriBel (13-01-18)

  3. #2
    Scooby Gang flow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    604
    Thanks
    863
    Thanked 1,380 Times in 551 Posts

    Default

    I think, that we see the world through Buffy`s eyes (mostly) on BtVS, whereas we see it from Angel`s eyes on AtS. That would explain the difference.

    Angel has played a role in a memory wipe more than once. He agreed to the memory wipe in I Will Remember You (of which Buffy was a victim).
    Then there was the Connor-memory wipe, of which everyone except Angel was a victim and I am not quite sure, if there also was a memory wipe within the time fold, after L.A. was returned from the hell dimension. Do People remember the time L.A. was in a hell dimension or not ? Does Angel remember it ?

    On AtS a memory wipe is just a device, to achieve something, you find important enough. To Angel, the question, if something is good or evil depends on the motiv you have. You are justified, to do something evil in order to achieve someting good. It is an utilitarian approach.

    Buffy has a very different approach on good and evil. She acts on very strict moral grounds and to her the life of one human is not less important, than the life of one hundred humans. She also values the freedon of will, the freedom to make choices.

    A memory wipe takes away your free will, because you make choices, you might not have made, had you known all the facts.

    If you look at the Connor memory wipe, Fred did not know, that W&H`s offer included this memory wipe. She decided to join W&H, but she made that decision without knowing all the facts about the offer.

    Would she have made a different decision, had she known, what W&H had offered Angel ? And if so, would she have been infected with an Old One while working at W&H`s Office ? Woukd she have died ?

    The answer is clearly, that a memory wipe is never a good thing and I think, taht even AtS tells us so, but it doesn`t tell us so from Angel`s perspective. Instead Fred`s death is what they use, to show us, that Angel acted utterly wrong.

    flow
    http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=34707&dateline=152518  8054

    Will you just hold me ?

  4. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to flow For This Useful Post:

    Clavus (08-01-18),GoSpuffy (09-02-18),Priceless (08-01-18),Stoney (09-01-18)

  5. #3
    Slayer Priceless's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    1,926
    Thanks
    3,554
    Thanked 3,200 Times in 1,626 Posts

    Default

    The answer is clearly, that a memory wipe is never a good thing and I think, taht even AtS tells us so, but it doesn`t tell us so from Angel`s perspective. Instead Fred`s death is what they use, to show us, that Angel acted utterly wrong
    I'd not thought of it in that exact way before flow and had just assumed that most people would consider a memory wipe a good thing because it 'cured' Connor of him madness, but of course you are right and it actually led to Fred's death.

    It's also perhaps an advantage to Angel that with every 'memory wipe' on AtS, he is the only one who remembers. Some would say that's because he carries the burden of guilt, but it also seems like he keeps his free will, while he makes decisions for everyone else.
    Never much cared for picket fences, anyway. Bloody dangerous.

  6. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Priceless For This Useful Post:

    betta (09-01-18),Clavus (08-01-18),flow (09-01-18),GoSpuffy (09-02-18),Stoney (09-01-18)

  7. #4
    Slayer TimeTravellingBunny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    5,513
    Thanks
    4,651
    Thanked 3,911 Times in 1,782 Posts

    Default

    The memory wipe on AtS was a subject of discussion a lot of times in the past. I remember that several forum members have made a point about the darkness of what Angel did to Connor, to his friends and earlier to Buffy. AtS ultimately portrays it as a good thing - they even have Connor retroactively say that what Angel did was the right thing for him, after having regained all his memories - but if you think about it, it is a major violation, as it was done without anyone's consent. I remember some of the members also saying that seeing Dollhouse has in particular made them reconsider the Connor mindwipe plot. Dollhouse is in large part based on the idea that our memories largely make up who we are, and people are basically turned into another person by having their minds wiped and given new memories and personalities. If we accept that premise, the prophecy that "father will kill the son" seems to have been made true on AtS, as Angel pretty much "killed" Connor and remade him as a new and improved Connor 2.0, a new person.

    Last year I started a thread about the memory wipes on Angel as well as on Agents of SHIELD (spoilers for the first 3 seasons - in the meantime, season 4 had more memory-manipulation related plots!) and Dollhouse, comparing the positive portrayal on AtS, very negative on Dollhouse, and ambiguous and possibly inconsistent on AoS. http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/sh...ELD&highlight=
    You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

  8. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to TimeTravellingBunny For This Useful Post:

    Clavus (08-01-18),GoSpuffy (09-02-18),Priceless (08-01-18),Stoney (09-01-18)

  9. #5
    Bronze Party-Goer Clavus's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    143
    Thanks
    1,599
    Thanked 527 Times in 130 Posts

    Default

    Considering BtVS and AtS came from the same stable and came about from the same starting point, it's odd that their views on memory wipes are so different. On BtVS we are shown that wiping someone's memory is never a good thing, while on AtS it's seen, especially with Connor, to have a curative effect.

    Why do the two shows see things so differently and what are we meant to believe? Can both views be correct?
    I think that's a great question, and in fact I'll spend quite a bit discussing it when we get to the Tabula Rasa rewatch.

    In my mind Angel's manipulation of everyone's memory in AtS is as reprehensible as Willow's memory wipe of Tara in All the Way and later to an even larger extent in Tabula Rasa.

    In both cases the instigators of the manipulation want to "fix" others to have things go their way, for example in Tabula Rasa Tara accuses Willow of trying to fix things to her liking, i.e. prevent Tara from remembering she is upset with her lover, and prevent Buffy from feeling depressed by making her forget heaven.

    Angel also intends to "fix" Connor and complains in Origins

    CONNOR Oh... no, I—I— (looks down, chuckling embarrassed) It's just that—it's the outfit. (whispers to Angel) I guess I've always had a thing for older women.
    ANGEL (under his breath) They were supposed to fix that.
    I think the one way the mind-wipes are different is that in BtVS the mindwipe is not very prolonged and afterwards the characters can/ must revert to their prior memories, i.e. Giles does not decide to date Anya because of their brief "engagement", but in AtS the characters have accrued so much of a parallel existence based on their new experiences that they decide to acknowledge both strands of memories but then elect to follow the one they can live with. As Wesley puts it when he talks with Illyria:

    ILLYRIA: You betrayed Angel. You stole his son. He tried to kill you.
    WESLEY: Yes.
    ILLYRIA: Are these the memories you needed back? Does this now make you Wesley?
    WESLEY: (nods) At least I know what happened.
    ILLYRIA: Do you? There are 2 sets of memories—those that happened and those that are fabricated. It's hard to tell which is which.
    WESLEY: (looks confused, shakes his head) Try to push reality out of your mind. Focus on the other memories. They were created for a reason.
    ILLYRIA: To hide from the truth?
    WESLEY: (looks pained, looks into Illyria's eyes) To endure it.
    Connor similarly acknowledges that Angel is his father, but then he elects to rejoin is "implanted" family and continue the memory-altered timeline.

    I think in his mind-wipe story arcs Joss actually explores questions of what makes us who we are: are we entirely made up of our memories as Illyria puts it?

    You are a summation of recollections. Each change is simply a point of experience... Fred changed the moment her memory did.
    or is there more to our personality as Wes insists to her - what is innate in us and what is acquired?
    Last edited by Clavus; 09-01-18 at 02:17 PM.
    Smile, listen, agree - and then do whatever the f**k you wanted to do anyway... (Robert Downey jr.)

  10. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Clavus For This Useful Post:

    betta (09-01-18),flow (08-01-18),GoSpuffy (09-02-18),Priceless (08-01-18),Stoney (09-01-18),TimeTravellingBunny (08-01-18)

  11. #6
    Slayer Priceless's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    1,926
    Thanks
    3,554
    Thanked 3,200 Times in 1,626 Posts

    Default

    From watchng the shows I say that Whedon is firmly in the 'wiping someone's memory is of the bad', or that's how I'm reading the situation. I do believe that Angel killed Connor when he wiped his memory, and although fans say Connor thanked him for that, as TimeTravellingBunny says, that was only after his full memories had been restored.

    What I didn't fully understand is why Angel wiped everyone's memories. Was this a clause built into the spell by W&H, that if they performed the magic on Connor they wanted to do it to all the other characters too? Did Angel agree to that because he wanted them to move to W&H or because it was the only way he believed he could help Connor? There is so much that is left unanswered or ambiguous, so if anyone had. Did Wesley actually have a valid point when he accused Angel of somehow being involved in Fred's death, because without the mindswipe she may never have gone to work for W&H?
    Never much cared for picket fences, anyway. Bloody dangerous.

  12. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Priceless For This Useful Post:

    Clavus (08-01-18),GoSpuffy (09-02-18),TimeTravellingBunny (08-01-18)

  13. #7
    Well Spiked Stoney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Blighty
    Posts
    6,739
    Thanks
    7,312
    Thanked 9,092 Times in 3,794 Posts

    Default

    I'm looking forward to your TR review immensely Clavus.

    I think that ultimately for Connor the memory wipe worked out beneficially as it gave him memories of a stable childhood that helped to ground him and counter the appalling experiences and mental manipulation that Holtz did. But if he had remained trapped in a totally fabricated truth and hadn't regained his original memories it wouldn't have been okay. I still don't think it is right because it is a manipulation without consent, but I accept that it had positive fallout for a situation that was looking pretty hopeless for Connor. To counter his experiences and provide balance alongside his truth wasn't the aim though, it wasn't supposed to be temporary and I can't help but think what it actually provided that worked could probably have been achieved other ways. So I still don't think it is a good thing to have decided to do that to someone, even if it worked for Connor in a way that meant he was at peace with the decision.

    I think that Angel's argument for wiping everyone else's memory was to protect Connor still. If others didn't know about him then the risk of attention being brought to him and the truth unravelling are reduced. In actual fact the wipe didn't protect him completely and Connor and the family he lived with (other people whose lives had been affected, possibly without their consent) were arguably at greater risk for not understanding at all why he was being targeted. And I personally think it is fair to assume it affected Fred's choice and was probably a final deciding factor for Wes too in joining W&H, and they both paid the price (Lorne and Gunn had been drawn in already I think). We also don't know how much of Wes memories of the time around Holtz and his estrangement from the group were altered and how. His dynamic with Angel in S5 must to some degree be discounting all of this from his point of view but not Angel's. I could also see it being something W&H stated had to be a part of the wipe, they must have seen how it could benefit them in getting the others to agree to coming on board if they didn't know Angel was only doing it because he'd struck a deal rather than because he truly thought they should fight from the inside as he presented it.

    I think you are right flow that the differing perspectives are why the two shows respond differently. BtVS is about people realising their own strengths and facing life. Angel is focused on him putting things right and trying to save people and it means he is often acting in a very paternalistic way. It's a shame Buffy was involved in one of the times this happened to be honest when it sits badly against the ethos of her show. It frustrates me that Angel keeps his memories when he chooses to wipe other peoples. I don't think there is any justification for it really and it bothered me with IWRY that Angel didn't actually keep it to himself as his own burden even for any time but told Doyle straight away who also told Cordy! Part of Buffy's life/memories are stripped away but then get discussed as a romantic tragedy by Angel and his friends, but still aren't disclosed to her, why?

  14. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Stoney For This Useful Post:

    Clavus (09-01-18),flow (09-01-18),GoSpuffy (09-02-18),MikeB (08-02-18),Priceless (09-01-18)

  15. #8
    Slayer Priceless's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    1,926
    Thanks
    3,554
    Thanked 3,200 Times in 1,626 Posts

    Default

    Part of Buffy's life/memories are stripped away but then get discussed as a romantic tragedy by Angel and his friends, but still aren't disclosed to her, why?
    I think I can understand Angel's reasoning, that he wanted to protect her. But the reason he still hasn't told her is that he feels some underlining guilt about making another decision about her life without her consent. He walked away from her only a few months before, a decision she accepted but didn't want, and now he's made another decision he knows ultimately she wouldn't agree with. He saw how badly she took their break-up and I do think he's trying to emotionally protect her by not telling her about this. He's wrong of course, and Buffy is a grown woman, not a child for him to coddle.

    If each subsequent season is a year, then it's been 7 years in-verse since IWRY and I'd really like to see how Buffy would handle finding out the truth now.
    Never much cared for picket fences, anyway. Bloody dangerous.

  16. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Priceless For This Useful Post:

    Clavus (09-01-18),flow (09-01-18),GoSpuffy (09-02-18),Stoney (09-01-18)

  17. #9
    Well Spiked Stoney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Blighty
    Posts
    6,739
    Thanks
    7,312
    Thanked 9,092 Times in 3,794 Posts

    Default

    Yes, that was really my point of view. I can see that he doesn't let her know to stop her feeling upset, but it is patronising and it means he is operating on an understanding of their relationship that she doesn't have. Sharing the truth of the reversed day with others but still keeping it from Buffy I just find really frustrating. It really bugs me, this aspect of the inequality in the interactions he continues to have with people after wiping their memories of things he retains, especially with Buffy and Wes.

  18. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Stoney For This Useful Post:

    Clavus (09-01-18),flow (09-01-18),Priceless (09-01-18)

  19. #10
    Slayer Priceless's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    1,926
    Thanks
    3,554
    Thanked 3,200 Times in 1,626 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    Yes, that was really my point of view. I can see that he doesn't let her know to stop her feeling upset, but it is patronising and it means he is operating on an understanding of their relationship that she doesn't have. Sharing the truth of the reversed day with others but still keeping it from Buffy I just find really frustrating. It really bugs me, this aspect of the inequality in the interactions he continues to have with people after wiping their memories of things he retains, especially with Buffy and Wes.
    This comes from a conversation with TriBel, but do you think there is any similarity between Angel not telling Buffy the truth about their own day together, and Buffy not telling the Scoobies in S6 that she'd been in heaven?

    Of course there was no mind wipe in BtVS regarding this, but Buffy hides the truth from the Scoobies because she doesn't want to hurt them, yet she tells Spike the truth. The scoobies are grown ups and Buffy should have been honest with them, so could she be accused of patronising them. Of course the truth came out in that instance and I really hope it eventually does in the comics so we can have some closure there
    Never much cared for picket fences, anyway. Bloody dangerous.

  20. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Priceless For This Useful Post:

    Clavus (09-01-18),flow (09-01-18)

  21. #11
    Well Spiked Stoney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Blighty
    Posts
    6,739
    Thanks
    7,312
    Thanked 9,092 Times in 3,794 Posts

    Default

    I've never thought about this and so this is me thinking out loud. Consequently, I might change my mind or something else might occur to me soon after I've said this (or as often happens I read something insightful someone else says) and then my thoughts could shift.

    I don't think it is the same because in S6 Buffy is struggling to process something that they have done to her, not something that she chose to do to herself/them and is avoiding facing. I'm sure there is the aspect of not wanting them to learn that what they did has traumatised her and deeply upset her, but it is also at first in great part I believe mostly about self-preservation in not having to open the wound and have the pain exposed and it all made harder to deal with. I think she feels some distance from them and possibly some resentment because of the fact they did this to her. Even though it wasn't intended to hurt her it creates a barrier that is understandable. Generally I think that she should have a great deal of slack at first even if her choices aren't totally fair or the best way of handling things in the long term because I put a lot of weight on how horrifying the experience she has just had is and how deeply affecting it was.

    This aspect does make me consider/appreciate that Angel is finding the situation of the IWRY reversal difficult too. But it isn't on the level of psychological trauma Buffy was experiencing from being torn from heaven and having clawed herself out of her grave. Plus, it was his choice and so effectively something he did to himself and entered knowingly. So the situation isn't enough of a mirror for me to view their choices in the same light.

    It could probably seem better if Angel had tried to consider any other way he could reverse becoming human (which he has every right to choose for himself I want to add), some way that wouldn't have affected Buffy's timeline too. But once that choice is made, in avoiding facing the truth by letting Buffy know because it would hurt her (he knows that, he saw it did) he is also protecting himself in not having to face her response. But there is also the aspect that bothers me most in that it stops his choice being a part of their relationship like it is/should be if she has no knowledge of the choice that he made. And this is kept from her even despite her showing understanding towards him at the time. I would definitely feel less bugged about the choice to not tell Buffy if he hadn't told someone else who then gossiped about it. Like Buffy I understand that there is a need to release even though he isn't going to share it widely. But keeping it to himself was part of what he agreed to and he didn't do it at all. Plus, Buffy's support group are the ones that talking to about it will hurt her possibly more and the big difference for me keeps coming back then to the fact that it is all about a choice that he made rather than trying to deal with an incredibly traumatising situation that he was put into by others.
    Last edited by Stoney; 09-01-18 at 03:07 PM.

  22. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Stoney For This Useful Post:

    Clavus (09-01-18),flow (09-01-18),Priceless (09-01-18)

  23. #12
    Slayer Supporter vampmogs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    11,953
    Thanks
    1,447
    Thanked 6,472 Times in 1,983 Posts

    Default

    I'd point that Angel didn't actually wipe Buffy's memories in IWRY. What he did was reverse time which if we're looking for a closer parallel, IMO, it would be most similar to Giles unilaterally deciding to end the Wishverse by smashing Anya’s pendant. It’s not a perfect comparison but I feel there are more similarities between both men wiping away a timeline than there is Angel’s mind wipe of Connor or Willow’s mind wipes of Buffy and Tara in S6.

    I somewhat understand people’s issues with the paternalistic way in which Angel conveyed his decision to Buffy and that they’d have preferred if he had went to her first before making the decision. But that’s a different issue, IMO, to any consent issues in regarding to “robbing” her of her memories. He didn’t. He reversed time before those memories could even take place.

    Now, obviously a stark difference between Giles reversing the Wishverse timeline and Angel reversing his timeline was that Angel held onto his memories whereas Giles wiped away his own along with everybody else’s. That could make Giles’ actions more sympathetic (that and Giles had been told repeatedly that the world wasn’t “meant” to be this way and that it had “changed” due to a stupid flippant wish – though he still decided based on his own personal feelings that everybody was unhappy with their life in the Wishverse and would prefer it to be different) but there’s practical reasons why Angel had to hold onto his memories. If he hadn’t, the timeline would have simply repeated itself over and over again so I’m ok with Angel remembering the alternate version of events because it was out of necessity.

    And I don’t really feel that Angel was under an obligation to inform Buffy of what now essentially was one possible timeline out of infinite timelines that did/could have taken place had they acted differently. I mean, he could have, but what good would it do? It didn’t happen anymore and one of the last things Alt!timeline Buffy sobbed to him was “how was [she] meant to go on knowing what they had” so why cause that unnecessary pain? Why go there? I get that that kind of thinking could be seen as paternalistic but since it wasn’t Angel’s choice to have only his memories of the alternative timeline intact, it doesn’t greatly bother me.
    "You've got ... a world of strength in your heart. I know you do. You just have to find it again. Believe in yourself."

  24. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to vampmogs For This Useful Post:

    Clavus (13-01-18),Stoney (10-01-18)

  25. #13
    Well Spiked Stoney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Blighty
    Posts
    6,739
    Thanks
    7,312
    Thanked 9,092 Times in 3,794 Posts

    Default

    You're right though that the issue that stops it being just a reversal of time is that Angel keeps the memories so it did exist/happen. The last thing Buffy is saying is actually chanting that she'll never forget I think, which implies that despite the upset of losing it, it's a memory she feels has worth that she'd like to hold on to. It might be satisfying to her to know that in an alternate timeline they actually were together (and so in another one to that perhaps Angel didn't reverse it too). And of course his need to remember is only necessary because that is how the story wrote it to be. The powers could have left him with the memories but had them fade for him too as soon as the Mohra was killed, or left him with some certainty/knowledge of what the Mohra could do and then it could never be an accidental choice. He doesn't automatically shun the idea of the Shanshu after all. I do take your point that it wasn't him that decided that he alone would keep the memories, but he didn't have to not tell her and then tell someone else.

    One of the biggest flaws in IWRY for me is of course the reason for returning to being a vampire was presented as his want to protect Buffy in a theoretical upcoming battle, which he decides he can't do as a man. The other 'normals' that successfully fight alongside him/Buffy and the fact that he doesn't then turn up and protect her in major battles just makes the whole reasoning not about Buffy but the other 'anyones' he feels he can't protect as he is. So really it is a wish to return to his life before he became human and it feels that this is why he is doing it and perhaps also why he is keeping the choice to himself. He's choosing to help the helpless and his path to redemption over the human life he could have with her. I find it frustrating in the same way that it is when he leaves Sunnydale and it is presented as being a choice made for Buffy rather than openly saying he feels it won't work and he wants to walk his own path instead. Both times Angel totally has the right to choose important things for himself, why present it always as being for Buffy's best interests whilst it is simultaneously presented as not being what she wants. It's just a bit of a frustrating problematic aspect.

    In IWRY I have to say Angel's choice generally (disclosure or not put aside) actually works quite positively for me in terms of his overall journey. That's because he is reiterating his choice to be doing what he does when he had another life and other possibilities open to him, he could have walked away. He may have been cursed with his soul but there is some significance here for me that he chooses to return to fighting to protect others for the greater good in what he sees as the best way he can be the most effective, despite how much he struggles at times, and give up the alternate possibilities he had.

  26. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Stoney For This Useful Post:

    Clavus (13-01-18),TimeTravellingBunny (10-01-18),vampmogs (10-01-18)

  27. #14
    Slayer Supporter vampmogs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    11,953
    Thanks
    1,447
    Thanked 6,472 Times in 1,983 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    And of course his need to remember is only necessary because that is how the story wrote it to be. The powers could have left him with the memories but had them fade for him too as soon as the Mohra was killed, or left him with some certainty/knowledge of what the Mohra could do and then it could never be an accidental choice.
    That's not Angel's fault though because he wasn't presented with these alternative options. I'd be inclined to think that if The Oracles had offered him the option of having those memories fade over time that he'd probably have taken it. It would have been incredibly painful to hold onto those memories (and we see how it's weighing on him in the following episode, as you say) so it would have been more ideal for Angel to lose to those memories after destroying the Morah demon.

    But as you say, that's not how the story was written. The writers didn't come up with those options because they wanted to go with the more painful storyline were Angel had to harbour those memories and they wanted him to be stuck with the knowledge of what he had given up because it makes for more dramatic storytelling. So his need to remember was only necessary because that's how the story was wrote to be but that goes for every decision characters are forced to make in the Buffyverse. The writers are always pulling the puppet strings after all.

    I do take your point that it wasn't him that decided that he alone would keep the memories, but he didn't have to not tell her and then tell someone else.
    I see nothing wrong with him confiding in Doyle. It wasn't going to hurt Buffy in any way and Doyle was his confidant the same way Willow was for Buffy after she returned from LA and discussed her issues in Something Blue. Telling Doyle was healthy for Angel and it wouldn't cause Doyle any unnecessary pain the way it would have if he had told Buffy.

    One of the biggest flaws in IWRY for me is of course the reason for returning to being a vampire was presented as his want to protect Buffy in a theoretical upcoming battle, which he decides he can't do as a man.
    Only in part. When he tells Buffy about his decision he also says that he believes it is better for the people that they're meant to protect so he doesn't present it entirely as being about Buffy.

    The other 'normals' that successfully fight alongside him/Buffy and the fact that he doesn't then turn up and protect her in major battles just makes the whole reasoning not about Buffy but the other 'anyones' he feels he can't protect as he is.
    I mean, I think the writing fails Angel here, because it puts him a position that the writing simply can't live up to with both characters now being on different shows. For practical reasons it was never going to be possible for Angel to show up and save Buffy or continuously fight by her side so it's a pretty glaring insight that hurts the character rather unfairly. But in-verse, if you really want to strain it, you could argue that Angel saved Buffy (and the rest of the world) by stopping the demons from freezing time in AtS S2. He barley managed to fend off the demons as a vampire so there's little chance he'd have succeeded as a normal human. You could also say that he did save Buffy from Caleb in End of Days and that as a human he couldn't have snuck up and sucker-punched Caleb as stealthily as he did as a vampire. It's a stretch but it's technically true so, eh....

    I find it frustrating in the same way that it is when he leaves Sunnydale and it is presented as being a choice made for Buffy rather than openly saying he feels it won't work and he wants to walk his own path instead.
    See I think it's both and I don't agree when people paint it as either one or the other. I agree with you that it's frustrating how condescending he comes across in Prom and Buffy's right to be pissed off about it ("No, I'm just some swoony little schoolgirl, right!?") but I don't think Angel was being dishonest when he thought he was doing it "for her own good" no matter how patronising that is. For instance, the Mayor's words about how "selfish" Angel was for denying Buffy things in life did cut Angel deep and make him feel guilty. Joyce coming to Angel's mansion and basically guilt-tripping him with an ultimatum that if Angel didn't leave Buffy for her own good meant that he didn't truly care about her enough also really impacted him. Likewise, the Mayor questioning Angel's purpose and if he was truly fulfilling it ("is that what you came back from Hell for? Is that your greater purpose") also weighed on Angel's mind and the side of him that wanted to leave Sunnydale and Buffy to go on his own path. So it's definitely both IMO.

    In IWRY I have to say Angel's choice generally (disclosure or not put aside) actually works quite positively for me in terms of his overall journey. That's because he is reiterating his choice to be doing what he does when he had another life and other possibilities open to him, he could have walked away. He may have been cursed with his soul but there is some significance here for me that he chooses to return to fighting to protect others for the greater good in what he sees as the best way he can be the most effective, despite how much he struggles at times, and give up the alternate possibilities he had.
    I agree. For me, IWRY is an episode that hits all the right emotional and thematic beats but is really letdown by plot holes. The threats to Buffy's future (talk of upcoming "soldiers of darkness" etc) are too vague and the corner they back Angel into ultimately hurts his character through no real fault of his own because it's not something the story can possibly fulfil with the characters no longer being on the same show. I can never judge the character too harshly for that because I think he's a victim of poor writing more so that this is anyway meant to be deliberate.
    "You've got ... a world of strength in your heart. I know you do. You just have to find it again. Believe in yourself."

  28. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to vampmogs For This Useful Post:

    Clavus (13-01-18),Stoney (10-01-18)

  29. #15
    Well Spiked Stoney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Blighty
    Posts
    6,739
    Thanks
    7,312
    Thanked 9,092 Times in 3,794 Posts

    Default

    Yes the writing is what is creating these difficulties and not offering the opening of seeing alternatives. I'd just have loved to hear Angel ask for his memories to be taken too once the threat passed and be denied it or some such.

    I just think that in this and the exit from Sunnydale the writing looks to emphasise the romance tragedy and doesn't give Angel's choices enough emphasis on forging his own path because of that. I do really like the character so I'll always look for that angle to understand his wishes as they feature for himself and I do agree that it is there (like you say in how The Mayor would have made him question what he was doing and in the 'other people' he mentions being better able to help as he was in IWRY). So yes, in actuality it is both but it gets reduced by the writing imo, the spotlight is taken off what he is doing for himself and so how it ignores Buffy's wishes becomes more pronounced than it should be. He has a right to make choices that affect his own life and those aspects shouldn't be getting pushed to the side for how he feels it is better for someone else too.

    I don't disagree that Angel's wish to turn to Doyle was understandable. I suppose I'd always taken The Oracles telling him that only he would remember and it would be his burden as a condition of being willing to do the reversal for him and he presumably agreed but then seemingly soon broke it to tell Doyle. But they could have just meant the burden for changing the events between him and Buffy in that moment would be on him alone. I'm still uncomfortable with Buffy not knowing about it when others do, especially as Doyle then tells Cordelia. It just doesn't feel right to me, but I see that it wasn't all in Angel's hands and the writing sets him up somewhat, especially with the saving Buffy's life part. I can't credit him with S7 just because Buffy died two seasons before without him stopping it.

    Quote Originally Posted by vampmogs View Post
    I agree. For me, IWRY is an episode that hits all the right emotional and thematic beats but is really letdown by plot holes. The threats to Buffy's future (talk of upcoming "soldiers of darkness" etc) are too vague and the corner they back Angel into ultimately hurts his character through no real fault of his own because it's not something the story can possibly fulfil with the characters no longer being on the same show. I can never judge the character too harshly for that because I think he's a victim of poor writing more so that this is anyway meant to be deliberate.
    It was a very strange writing inclusion because, as you say, they are on separate shows now and were unlikely to be planning to openly fulfil thwarting the threat to Buffy. I do see the ways around it, the focus on his path without that factoring in. But it does affect how I view the Buffy/Angel relationship somewhat when his choices that involved her are kept from her. But it isn't straightforward for sure.

  30. The Following User Says Thank You to Stoney For This Useful Post:

    Clavus (13-01-18)

  31. #16
    Scooby Gang TriBel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Manchester, UK.
    Posts
    611
    Thanks
    1,510
    Thanked 1,619 Times in 672 Posts

    Default

    I haven't read all the thread (sorry) just because I'm actually procrastinating by being here. However, what I would like to say is, I think we have to consider the active "memory-wipes" (ie. spell driven) in the context of passive "memory wipes" (ie. unconscious repression). The latter then evokes the return of the repressed / counter memory etc. and has a bearing on just how much "free will" characters actually have. Thus, I don't think it's always a case that characters are not presented with an option. I think it's more a case of them unconsciously refusing an option because to do otherwise would open the floodgate to memories their psyche couldn't withstand.

    Once you add this extra level, what was complex in the first instance becomes a knot that's almost impossible to untangle. I'll just add that I think Angel S11 has added tremendously to the choices available to Angel. I'd want to map IWRY directly onto S11 (Angel under a mandate from Kathy not to forget). I'm sure this season will have far more impact than people think.

  32. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to TriBel For This Useful Post:

    Clavus (13-01-18),GoSpuffy (09-02-18),Priceless (13-01-18),Stoney (13-01-18)

  33. #17
    Slayer Priceless's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    1,926
    Thanks
    3,554
    Thanked 3,200 Times in 1,626 Posts

    Default

    I think we have to consider the active "memory-wipes" (ie. spell driven) in the context of passive "memory wipes" (ie. unconscious repression). The latter then evokes the return of the repressed / counter memory etc. and has a bearing on just how much "free will" characters actually have. Thus, I don't think it's always a case that characters are not presented with an option. I think it's more a case of them unconsciously refusing an option because to do otherwise would open the floodgate to memories their psyche couldn't withstand
    Do you think that in some circumstances the person having their memories wiped wanted it to happen and that it possibly could only happen with their consent? I could see that playing a part in Connor's case.
    Never much cared for picket fences, anyway. Bloody dangerous.

  34. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Priceless For This Useful Post:

    Clavus (13-01-18),TriBel (13-01-18)

  35. #18
    Scooby Gang TriBel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Manchester, UK.
    Posts
    611
    Thanks
    1,510
    Thanked 1,619 Times in 672 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Priceless View Post
    Do you think that in some circumstances the person having their memories wiped wanted it to happen and that it possibly could only happen with their consent? I could see that playing a part in Connor's case.
    I'm not sure that it's as voluntary as that. I think it's more likely that the person "ordering" the memory wipe (ie Angel) has ulterior motives he's not aware of. I also think the memory wipe has different metaphoric value in each series. I might want to compare the "young Irish lad" in Angel (Connor) to the "young Irish lad" in S11 (Liam). Unfortunately my own memory is so bad I can't remember much of AtS!

  36. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to TriBel For This Useful Post:

    Clavus (13-01-18),Priceless (13-01-18)

  37. #19
    Slayer Priceless's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    1,926
    Thanks
    3,554
    Thanked 3,200 Times in 1,626 Posts

    Default

    I have thought that Angel subconsciously wanted the 'problem' of Connor out of the way, and a memory wipe was the easiest option, rather than sacrificing his life to look after his son. It also removes a lot of other problems if everyone else has a memory wipe, and S5 can begin with a clean slate (for Angel and the writers )
    Never much cared for picket fences, anyway. Bloody dangerous.

  38. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Priceless For This Useful Post:

    MikeB (08-02-18),Stoney (13-01-18),TimeTravellingBunny (10-02-18),TriBel (13-01-18)

  39. #20
    Scooby Gang TriBel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Manchester, UK.
    Posts
    611
    Thanks
    1,510
    Thanked 1,619 Times in 672 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Priceless View Post
    I have thought that Angel subconsciously wanted the 'problem' of Connor out of the way, and a memory wipe was the easiest option, rather than sacrificing his life to look after his son. It also removes a lot of other problems if everyone else has a memory wipe, and S5 can begin with a clean slate (for Angel and the writers )
    As I said, I can't remember much of AtS. However, I'd anticipate a mirroring or parallel between Angel's r/s with his father and Angel's r/s with Connor. In fact, hasn't Angel discovered his father did love him after thinking he didn't (S11). Didn't Angel find a new "family" with The Whirlwind? It's not a one-on-one match but there are similarities. In effect, does Ilyria telling Angel he "must forget" constitute a memory wipe of sorts? LOL! I've already talked about Angel's "clean slate".

  40. The Following User Says Thank You to TriBel For This Useful Post:

    Priceless (13-01-18)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •