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Memory Spells and how Angel Investigations remembers the past

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  • Memory Spells and how Angel Investigations remembers the past

    Unlike the memory spell that placed false memories of Dawn in Sunnydale, the spell that erases Connor actually alters events to the point of eradicating them.

    So when the memory spell takes away the memory of Connor, does it also wipe away the entire past three years of Angel? Assuming that their memories don’t even include Connor’s birth (much less his return), then does that mean their memories are also wiped clean concerning Darla and her pregnancy and Wesley’s betrayal? How much of Season Two, Three and Four can they actually remember? Do they remember Jasmine or the Beast at all?

  • #2
    It's a good question. There must be something that fills the gaps and has them understand why Cordelia is in a coma, but I can't remember there being anything that gives an indication how they spanned the gaps. I do think Wes in S5 behaves a lot more like his pre-Connor self in his dynamic with Angel. So there is some degree to which it seems like the eradication of the Connor years has affected him, possibly more than most. Whether he still remembers being ostracised and a different event caused it or if he never separated from the group, who knows. The history around Wes and for Wes would have to be the most extensively rewritten in his mind surely. I think there is just too much there to have simply extracted everything related to Connor. Although the mind does have a tendency to explain away issues and fill in missing details I think.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Stoney View Post
      It's a good question. There must be something that fills the gaps and has them understand why Cordelia is in a coma, but I can't remember there being anything that gives an indication how they spanned the gaps. I do think Wes in S5 behaves a lot more like his pre-Connor self in his dynamic with Angel. So there is some degree to which it seems like the eradication of the Connor years has affected him, possibly more than most. Whether he still remembers being ostracised and a different event caused it or if he never separated from the group, who knows. The history around Wes and for Wes would have to be the most extensively rewritten in his mind surely. I think there is just too much there to have simply extracted everything related to Connor. Although the mind does have a tendency to explain away issues and fill in missing details I think.
      I just find the whole thing to be rather terrifying.

      Yes, I know that Angel is trying to save Connor, but to allow W&H to screw with everyone’s past memories like that after all they’ve done is just - well, terrifying.
      And it isn’t even to save the world - it’s for Connor. Which actually reminds me of Buffy and her argument with Giles in The Gift.

      She and Angel are similar in that way and Buffy would probably have made the same choice to save Dawn. Just as she makes the same decision to spare Spike in Sleeper.

      I wonder if Buffy would have been as judgmental of Angel running W&H if she knew why it had all gone down that way? If she knew about Connor? Would she have instantly related Angel’s story with her feelings for her sister - and understood? Good idea for a fan fic.

      Comment


      • #4
        There's also that similarity of release too. I'm thinking of Buffy's feeling that for that moment when she gave up, she felt relieved. I think that being free of having to deal with Connor is part of why Angel makes the choice he does. So it's in part for himself too and I'm not sure how conscious that element is.

        Even focused on Connor, it's a very questionable choice though and is totally unfair to do that to the others without even speaking to them about it. It's an element that I think is too readily moved on from. While I can see Connor understanding and appreciating the grounding it gave him, how he benefited, and Wes' sense of responsibility and guilt (as well as his depression over Fred) leaving him able to move past it, it made it too easy in the reveal of it for me. I'd have loved it to have featured more in S5.

        I think Buffy would have been quite understanding of the feelings Angel had involved, but I'm not sure about the memory wipe of his friends. After all that went on in S6 I think she would have big issues with that choice, even if she did see why he wanted to make it.

        Comment


        • #5
          This piece of dialogue from Angel Season 5 episode 18 Origin has always interested me.
          Originally posted by Origin Script
          WESLEY
          That's a bit of an understatement. Last time you fought him, Sahjahn nearly killed you.
          Sounds like Wesley remembers being at Angel's fight with Sahjahn back in Season 3 episode 17 Forgiving. In reality Wesley was bleeding too death during Angel's fight with Sahjahn.

          My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

          Comment


          • bespangeled
            bespangeled commented
            Editing a comment
            I suspect Angel eventually told him the story - or someone else.

          • Lostsoul666
            Lostsoul666 commented
            Editing a comment
            Maybe, but I like the idea that Wesley remembers being there.

        • #6
          Originally posted by American Aurora View Post

          I just find the whole thing to be rather terrifying.

          Yes, I know that Angel is trying to save Connor, but to allow W&H to screw with everyone’s past memories like that after all they’ve done is just - well, terrifying.
          And it isn’t even to save the world - it’s for Connor. Which actually reminds me of Buffy and her argument with Giles in The Gift.

          She and Angel are similar in that way and Buffy would probably have made the same choice to save Dawn. Just as she makes the same decision to spare Spike in Sleeper.

          I wonder if Buffy would have been as judgmental of Angel running W&H if she knew why it had all gone down that way? If she knew about Connor? Would she have instantly related Angel’s story with her feelings for her sister - and understood? Good idea for a fan fic.
          I disagree. Buffy gave up her one advantage to save Willow. Her friends mean too much for her to sacrifice them by having an evil law firm take away memories. She would have jumped - found a way. to sacrifice herself.

          I think that Buffy was able to sympathize with Wood, but she also held the line on what was right. Buffy might empathize with Connor desperately needing to be healed. But she wouldn't have allowed for his decision to sign up everyone without their permission, and have their memories wiped in the process.

          FRED
          (looks at Wesley) I can't believe it. Are—are you saying we should take the deal?

          ANGEL
          I already took it.

          FRED
          Angel, what—what?

          WESLEY
          You took the deal?

          ANGEL
          Executive decision.

          WESLEY
          I didn't think you'd—

          *****

          LILAH
          You're the boss. (hands Angel the file and amulet) There'll be a limo waiting outside. It'll take you to see Connor.

          ANGEL
          (softly) Thank you. (walks out the door)

          FRED
          (watches Angel leave) Who's Connor?

          When Fred, Wes and Gunn were still discussing the idea, Angel had signed them up and had their memories replaced. So was their any free will to be found in the decision to take over W&H? We can't know if W&H altered their feelings about coming, and they very probably did.

          Can we agree that the writers made everyone do and say everything with a thought to getting good ratings and being renewed. This includes everything we love as well as everything we hate.

          Comment


          • American Aurora
            American Aurora commented
            Editing a comment
            Great point - Buffy was far more morally high-minded than Angel and would have tried to find another way. But I agree that she would have been sympathetic to Angel.

        • #7
          I find it hard to judge Angel for the mind wipe of his friends since the deal happens off-screen.

          Was the idea to erase their memories Angel's idea, or did Wolfram & Hart force the mind wipe on Angel as part of the deal to give Connor a new happy life?
          My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

          Comment


          • bespangeled
            bespangeled commented
            Editing a comment
            According to Angel it was his idea. That's what he tells Cordy.

        • #8
          My feeling is that the rest of Angel's team wanted to take the deal, and the ones holding out were doing so from a "What would Angel do?" stance. We see their interest before the memory spell takes effect.

          I have to wonder if the specifics of the spell weren't just to save Connor, but to also help Wesley. That's certainly how Wesley reads it when he gets his memories back.

          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.

          Comment


          • #9
            I'm not sure. I think Wes benefited, but it was an escapism and without knowing anything of what his false memories were (as we have an idea with Connor), it is hard to see how it helped/benefited him. I can completely accept that he did, but he may have at that moment been considering the pain he was feeling with Fred's death and the idea of hiding from the truth of that rather than the Connor memory suck. Wes is pretty broken by this point.

            Also, do we know exactly when the memory wipe took effect? I do think some interest was being shown by the group but Fred, who ends up losing her life by going to W&H was pretty much only going because it was what everyone else was doing and Angel was presenting a false reason why he was going to the gang. So if they were all waiting to see what he did and he shields his reasons from them, then they are being influenced by a decision they don't even understand.

            Comment


            • #10
              I think that some characters, Gunn in particular, would have taken the deal reguardless of the mind wipe. Gunn was kind of feeling worthless like he was just the muscle in Season 4 so the Wolfram & Hart deal would look way more tempting to him than to the other members of Team Angel.
              My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

              Comment


              • #11
                I suppose if Angel were not acting in the arbitrary way that TV heroes so often do, he could have told them why he was taking the deal, the gang would all agree that it was best. And then the mindwipe would happen, and he'd have to tell them again that he took the deal with a non-Connor reason.

                Comment


                • #12

                  When a child is running in front of a car, one doesn’t decide to hold a discussion for “why” it is dangerous to be in the middle of the street. You grab them and yank them out of the way. They will not thank you for their terror. They will not thank you for their lives. You did what is right. “The difference?” Parents do the choosing for children because children cannot and should not. It is the “job” of being a parent. Keep them alive is job one. To fail to do so is the biggest horror and “need to blame” to bear it there is.

                  Angel had gone to Sunnydale, with the full intent of dying, so * he * wouldn’t have to exercise that agreement. He would save Connor and “abort” the agreement that held the “Fang Gang” liable. Would they have taken the others * without * Angel to run it? Or was it already clear, these broken people would never have been able to “hold together” to actually “keep that contract” alive. I’m no attorney and I don’t know if the power of one signatory is enough to * endenture * everyone else * without consent *. I don’t think so!

                  I think the complete thinking in Angel’s head has to be considered, he was the “sacrifice” to complete the journey with Buffy. It was his redemption. But Spike got it instead. Period. So, they have the ugly necklace to “explain” the spiritual and physical deivion of Spike, which makes no sense * whatsoever *. Spike would have been * a human being* to be returned, as that was * the point * of what he did and how he did it over on BTVS. NOT a vampire (with the soul, of course). Period. This idea was “tried” when he came back from hell as a “vampire with a soul” and “as I was” being co-mingled when he had *never * been a vampire with a soul. He had been a human and a soulless vampire. Installing the soul, under these terms, as the “polar opposite” to the ecstasy moment of Angel “losing his soul” at least had existed before. Just sayin’

                  Yes, there are rules when you mess around in magic and try to make it “Christian” while doing it within the “rules” one has set down as floor on which all of these characters have to dwell. Behold why these shows “fall apart “ within their own narrative, IMO.

                  And!

                  Yes, these ATS people were all (mortal) humans and adults. Yes, they had been broken. Yes, they did often try to find solace with each other, or even in ways we can’t imagine. We don’t get “magic bullets” like spells to “fix” broken lives. But “the law” is the Law in this world and in the “magical” world, what ever “deux ex machina” drops from the sky in some fury of plot that hand waves it away to just “do it” for a finale. Hence, the ever present ‘flash back’ to “fix the plot.”

                  What adults have, in the most dire of the dire is “will” and “intent” that is “choice.” F*ck Angel’s deal. Make up your own mind. Reach for the hand handed you, but don’t hand over your entire life *forever * as payment. None of these people had to *stay * and “create a justice system for demons” that wasn’t singularly the ‘death penalty. They had access to “worlds” and to Angel, who knows the difference to “short cuts.” Which is why his ‘sekrit’ “I know better” about everything kind of character (pride, of course) is completely off the rails for someone who a. wants redemption; b. gets it in his (tanist) self, aka Connor. (Yes, it is a hero’s name, of course).

                  Humans have hands * to help, * both themselves and others. Go pray on a mountain if you think it helps later. Get the kid out of the road.

                  Hugs!
                  sybil

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    Spike was a souled being before and he was returned to being that, someone able to draw the lines, and that was what he'd wanted and went for. But we've discussed this before and clearly are both set in our feelings upon it (and it is a tangent that should probably be in a separate thread if it's going to be revisited. ).

                    It's a really interesting point, that I can't remember considering before, that Angel made the deal and then went over to Sunnydale prepared to risk sacrificing himself in that battle. I think that really does just underline again how despondent he was and how low emotionally he had gotten by the end of S4. But also still have the idea of stepping up to a heroic path is a natural desire within him, even if he consciously feels broken from that at this point. To return to Sunnydale and go down with those that played such a big part in his journey, but were part of it before he went away and things that were built then fell down, I can understand the comfort of wanting to return. Maybe he did think that W&H wouldn't hold the others to the deal, but then why would he assume that they would not undo the spell on Connor?

                    The idea of the hold W&H have on them being absolute is definitely not something that I support anyway. I don't think they should have gone for the all out kamikaze plan at the end but should have just walked out. So I definitely would have supported any of them changing their minds at an earlier point. But it is very hard to gauge exactly when the memory spell happens and what impact it has on their perceptions. That W&H are making a deal that suits/serves them is surely not in doubt. It makes sense though to me that distorted memories would work better the closer to the actual events they sit. Connor's presence and the ripples from that are just so big though, it really is hard to picture how they extracted him and whether that included inserting replacement memories or just ones that were warped versions of the original truth.

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      @ Stoney!
                      HI!
                      Short on time. This is why we need King or a lawyer.

                      Angel had a company, a partnership, made of members of the "Fang Gang." With Angel being killed in Sunnydale, that 'partnership' was legally broken, to my understanding. He was *unable * to comply in keeping with the agreement regarding Connor's "spell" which is absolutely not the same as the * intent * to do so, when "Monday morning rolled around." That he required Wolfram and Hart produce their miracle first, is no different than selling a house if the buyer produces financing to do so, first to buy it.

                      That is why contracts are so difficult in a life/death arena, but still do have legal procedures to deal with them. Angel Investigations, as an entity would "cease to exist" as the founding partner cannot perform his duty within it. (Not that he wouldn't want to, or have the intent to hold "Angel Investigations" the partnership as his term to produce "on Monday morning," but he himself would have to exist to do it.

                      That is the agreement between these people under that 'legal umbrella' of operating a partnership. How do I know if they had licenses issued by the state of California to do their investigations; or to file their partnership papers as a legal entity for even tax purposes. Investigators usually do.

                      Therefore, Angel Investigations could not hold the remaining partners to his * unfulfilled * agreement with Wolfram and Hart when he made the intent of his entire Angel Investigations company as part of the agreement they had to fulfill first to even complete. Therefore, he could not fulfill or even legally bind his own team to "future acts" past his death in a company that is itself was a legally broken partnership and thus, doesn't legally even exist.

                      That would give the individuals of the 'Fang Gang' their own 'voice' and, perhaps, reforming themselves in a new "legal entity' or not. The fact that Wofram and Hart had to produce their miracle first, as the agreement to Angel Investigations, they might sue, but who? Angel was dead, Angel Investigations doesn't exist, and Connor was of no interest to them--to "bother" with the matter any further. They didn't bother themselves to sue the remaining partners even personally on some sort of grounds.
                      HUGS!
                      sybil

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        sybil It's an interesting point. I'm not sure though if everyone individually signing up would form different contracts though. And I'm not sure Angel would trust W&H to not mess around with Connor in his absence. He kept an eye on Connor after the spell and although I think being free of the pain of it all played a part in going for the deal to give Connor an alternate childhood memory/self, I never got the impression Angel wanted to fully/totally abandon Connor. Although it's hard to say as he got to the end of S4 how deeply despairing he was and I do think he was in a lot of emotional pain. In those initial weeks the possibility of dying a heroic death and believing he had fixed things for Connor, I can see would appeal and feel simpler.

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                        • #16

                          The person I would think is the gravest danger is Spike. I mean in trying to "make sense" of the "immortal" human and demon, aspects in "one being."

                          Recall the prophecy speaking to a vampire with a soul 'didn't see Spike coming' regarding the Shanshu, either. Also, it really didn't matter "which one" when the idea of the apocalype was "cooked up." This also supports my reasoning why Spike was indeed * human * in his transformation during Chosen. That leaves Angel; and if HE is dead, we still have fully human Connor, which "doesn't work"--why? welllllllll....
                          Without (MY permission, regarding avatars and titular characters in journey myths used), the Shanshu is * supposed * to be now *understood * to be Connor--he is indeed 'fully human'--just as Angel actually has desired for himself "all along" from BTVS days, but is also how 'normal' human beings "die to live" in just having children. I say this whatever gave Connor, this * supposed * "alter reality" demonic type strength "growing up." *( aka rage, other 'insecurities' that a good shrink should have been used after Connor tried to drown Angel).

                          Therefore the "prophecy" that is suddenly in place, surrounding Angel, * still * also "makes no sense" in the response to "pull the world down" as if all things Wolfram and Hart were some "bubble or 'blanket" of evil 'overlaying' the human planet of earth. Which, anyone who has actually had to confront the legal system, even with a lawyer, knows you are most certainly engaging some "alter" reality. hee
                          HUGS!
                          sybil

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