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Noble Intentions & Tragic Decisions

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  • Noble Intentions & Tragic Decisions

    Looking back over the tumultuous past of Angel and Team, I can't help but note that some very noble intentions and sincere desires to protect loved ones have led to tragic decisions and tragic results. Wesley stole Conner, purely to protect his family and sent Conner to hell and fractured his family. Angel signed a deal with Wolfram and Hart to save Conner and sent Conner and his friends to hell. The Wesley of Season 4 spurned Lilah's attempts to win him over to Wolfram and Hart although he had no problem sleeping with her. The Wesley of Season 5 without the harsh lessons of Season 3 signed a contract with Wolfram and Hart that gave them the right to force him to serve them in hell. Angel spurned the direct enticements of Wolfram and Hart but used their help when he was desperate. Cordelia chose to ascend thinking she was going to help the Powers That Be and wound up incubating her own destruction-Jasmine. If there was more trust between the members of Angel's family could these tragedies have been avoided? and do people who make these kind of decisions deserve the horrible results that come from them?

  • #2
    I think that this is one of the strong points of Ats. They show that good people with good intentions are not always doing the right thing. Humans are flawed and are not capable of doing everything right, good intentions or not. It's a nice grey area in the series, there is not a real good or bad choice. And good people don't always do the right thing.

    The best example is probably when the team had to choose between peace and free choice. What is the right choice? The lack of free choice is only a bad thing when you are noticing that you have no choice, the shiny happy people had no problem with their lack of choice. And these 5 people made this choice for the whole world ... ironically to give the people their free choice back. There is no good and bad, black and white ... there are opinions and you can pick a side but you can't say that the other side is wrong.

    And about people with good intentions making bad choices, this can sometimes be helped when the team is closer, if Wesley shared the prophecy and talked about it ... he would probably never have kidnapped Connor. But this is not always the case. When Angel sells his team to W&H to save Connor, he would've done it anway ... maybe he would've told Wesley afterwards, but I doubt it. Wesley was so much calmer and happier after the mindwipe that I doubt that Angel would've told it. Also Cordelia didn't leave the earth because she didn't love her friends enough ...

    In some cases; better communication could've changed something ... but in the most cases, it didn't play a role at all. But in every case, we see flaws and human weaknesses ... and I think that Ats is very unique in this. BtVS is more black/white, the good guys are right at the end of the day and the bad guys aren't (because they are dead or defeated). The good people turn bad arcs are less complicated than the Ats arcs ... just compare Willow's season 6 arc with Wesley's season 3 arc, Wesley's arc is about a man who makes mistakes because of who he is and what happened to him in the past. We did understood Wesley and we never called him bad ... but it was still a hero falling, where Willow's fall was because of evil magic and she was clearly protrayed as something evil ... incl. black eyes and hair.

    Or just compare the leads, Angel is way more questionable than Buffy. We saw him killing evil lawyers, leaving helpless people behind, selling his team out, trying to kill Wesley, stopping worldpeace, taking W&H over, killing a SWAT guy, being not impressed by Wesley killing people and we saw him ignoring his mission/work just to do something epic. If we look at those grey area crimes, only Buffy trying to kill Faith, fits in that picture. The others were afterwards good choices like letting Spike live (thanks to the writers) or are no real questionable decisions.

    About Angel and all the mistakes I just wrote; those are understandable and not clear as mistakes but they are no good things either. For every of those 'crimes' you can make a poll with the question for the fandom, if they would've done the same. And in every case there will be a lot of people who would do it as well, sometimes because we get where Angel is coming from and sometimes because it's picking between to bad things and it's for everybody different what the worst choice is.

    And why Angel's team makes more mistakes than Buffy's team? It's not because the scoobies are better people or because the characters don't love eachother as much ... but because the Ats writers decided that they were not scared to show their heroes making mistakes where the BtVS writers are more carefull with this aspect. Besides, Angel is an anti-hero where Buffy is a hero. It's easier to let an anti-hero fall than to let a hero fall. On the end of the season, Buffy has to shine ... she has to beat the bad guy and walking in the sun. Angel's season can end with him making a big mistake.

    Like how they left their tv-series. Buffy and Angel had both plans that would probably turn out very bad if you think about it long enough ... and in the comics; Buffy has some problems but the chance that her plan worked is still there. Where they are really clear about Angel's plan, it made it worse and the team has to do everything to fix the mess ... there is no glory at all, only guilt. Also Angel went fighting in the dark and rain waiting for his whole team to fall, where Buffy was smiling in the sun with all her friends. But that had nothing to do with Buffy having a better team or plan ... or being a better person.
    Last edited by Nina; 15-07-08, 06:16 PM.

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    • #3
      Really, the wish to do the right thing seems to be one of the biggest contributors to most of AtS's major tragedies. Really, the entire theme of the series basically hinges on that.


      -S1

      -Angel hires a ship to smuggle the half-demons out of the city, inadvertently leading The Scourge right to them, loses Doyle in the process.
      -Gunn leads his group into a street war with the vampires, loses his own sister.

      -S2

      -Angel fails in his attempt to save Darla. Loses sight of his mission among a personal vendetta against W&H.
      -Angel Investigations helps to cure the girl's Skilosh infection, entire family ends up dead anyway.

      -S3

      -Wesley betrays the group to supposedly protect Connor, ends him losing him to Holtz.
      -Angel's own nobility could arguably be a contributing factor as well, as he probably would have saved Connor if he had taken out Holtz in the beginning.

      -S4

      -Cordelia ascends to a higher plane in an attempt to do good for humanity. Ends up bringing the apocalypse back with her.

      -S5

      -Angel takes the W&H job to protect Connor and attempt to do good with the resources of the company, ends up with Fred murdered by his own employees.
      -Team Angel declares war on the Senior Partners, all of LA ends up in hell.

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