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How well does the theme of being a champion tie AtS S2 together?

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  • How well does the theme of being a champion tie AtS S2 together?

    S2 is often criticised for its final episodes with the Pylea arc often being seen as a distinct and weak part of the season. Judgement though starts the season off with a clear focus on the notion of being a champion with Angel having to step in to protect a woman and her daughter, after unwittingly killing the demon who was going to be their champion. But being a champion, a successful leader and warrior, is a large part of the Pylea arc too. Obviously, the theme of champions is one that threads through a lot of the series, what it takes to be heroic. Different members of the Angel Investigations team often are facing this challenge as well as Angel and this regularly has an emphasis on fighting for those who can't fight for themselves and helping those in need. Again, something that is very much a part of the start and end of the season.

    On my first rewatch of the show I found revisiting the Pylea arc and thinking of it in terms of the paths that the individual members have been walking in the season and how it continues for them, made the arc make a lot more sense to me and I enjoyed it a lot more. Now, in also thinking about it with this season focus on being a champion, and in considering AYNOHYEB the second episode too, also viewing times when you falter, I think those final episodes are probably more tightly tied to the season overall generally than I originally considered.

    All of which made me wonder if others have found their reaction to that last group of episodes in S2 has changed through rewatches at all? How they are viewed within the overall season and against the series as a whole. Do you see them as having strong ties or struggle to connect them in a way you find satisfying? Does the Darla arc ending abruptly before the Pylea one just cause too jarring a break that distracts from how the season fits together overall?

  • #2
    I'm not really sure, I don't think it was meant to be a theme for Ats s2 but for the whole series. As in champion being their new concept of heroism instead of the classic hero. But it's hard to tell since Ats is all over the place. A theme Minear used over and over again, could be completely ignored by the showrunners after him. And even Minear redefined Angel and Ats several times.


    Personally I'm not considering Pylea really part of the s2 arc. IMO it's a short intermezzo between two big arcs. Which doesn't mean it's not important. The Pylea episodes are important for the growth of several characters and the way it's dealing with the "man vs demon" theme is interesting as well. So I do appreciate this small arc.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Nina View Post
      I'm not really sure, I don't think it was meant to be a theme for Ats s2 but for the whole series. As in champion being their new concept of heroism instead of the classic hero. But it's hard to tell since Ats is all over the place. A theme Minear used over and over again, could be completely ignored by the showrunners after him. And even Minear redefined Angel and Ats several times.


      Personally I'm not considering Pylea really part of the s2 arc. IMO it's a short intermezzo between two big arcs. Which doesn't mean it's not important. The Pylea episodes are important for the growth of several characters and the way it's dealing with the "man vs demon" theme is interesting as well. So I do appreciate this small arc.
      Yep I agree with this. Even Joss Whedon admitted Angel changed season to season as they were working out what type of show it was.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Nina View Post
        I'm not really sure, I don't think it was meant to be a theme for Ats s2 but for the whole series. As in champion being their new concept of heroism instead of the classic hero. But it's hard to tell since Ats is all over the place. A theme Minear used over and over again, could be completely ignored by the showrunners after him. And even Minear redefined Angel and Ats several times.
        Oh I do agree that it is a theme of the series, but I think it works for S2 itself as Angel's new outlook and consideration after hearing about the Shanshu. It just makes sense that an exploration of what he can be and how he feels he might fail/struggle follows. The others too, as the group has reformed post Doyle and is trying to work out their work ethos and goals at the start of S2 together.

        Personally I'm not considering Pylea really part of the s2 arc. IMO it's a short intermezzo between two big arcs. Which doesn't mean it's not important. The Pylea episodes are important for the growth of several characters and the way it's dealing with the "man vs demon" theme is interesting as well. So I do appreciate this small arc.
        Most definitely, there is growth for several characters in the Pylea arc, which is what I like most about it. I just think that those points of development work well against the idea of what it takes to be a champion and what insecurities hold them back. That the season starts with these considerations then is just neat. Even if the Pylea arc still feels somewhat distinct.

        Do you feel there are other themes across S2 which don't work against the Pylea arc and help to hold it distinct?

        BtVS fan , I'm not sure how much the show changed season to season that didn't work considered inverse with Angel's shifting priorities and his focus depending on the current narratives. I mean in the sense of it working in a typical way from people adapting to external shifts in work/family etc.

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