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  • Angel's Growth

    I'll keep this short.

    I recently started watching Buffy again and it reminded me of how emotionally weak Angel was compared to how he is in his own show. In Buffy he's afraid of the Master and warns Buffy to stay clear of him, then again in another episode he is weary of the vampire with a clawed hand too. The Angel we know later on would trash anyone but he only decides to grow a pair after leaving Sunnydale even though he's over 200+ years old? I think it's kinda lame to be honest, expecting us fans to forget how he was before and then afterwards.

    Anyway leave your opinions, I can't wait to see the flood of posts disagreeing with me lol
    I can't haz ze siggy pic?

  • #2
    It's a pretty big disparity to be sure. But keep in mind that when we see him in the beginning of Season 1 it's only been a few months since he stopped living in total isolation on the streets, where he had been since the mid or late-70s. It's only through his experiences in Sunnydale (falling in love for the first time, killing Darla, reconnecting with Spike and Dru, becoming Angelus again, 100 years in hell, and then finally making a mature decision concerning his relationship with Buffy, even something as simple as socializing with the Scoobs) that allowed him to synthesize his badass-ness of his Angelus days with his righteousness as Angel, so that he became the Angel we know and love of the show. Even in the beginning of Angel the Series he was slipping back into his old ways. If not for the mission given to him by Doyle, and Cordelia's humanizing force, he probably would have reverted back into the emotionally infantile state he'd been in for most of his existence as Angel.
    Last edited by XavierZane; 06-10-08, 04:10 PM.

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    • #3
      I think that BtVS!Angel suffered from two things;

      1. It was never planned to keep him on the show and when they decided to keep him, they had to create a whole personality for him without much time to do so. Season 1 is full of 'different Angels'. They were searching for the right combination of flaws and virtues, to find out who this guy was. The same was a problem for David who had no idea who the Angel was ... and David wasn't ready yet to create his own character.

      2. It was Buffy's show. If they made Angel like he was in his own show he would shine too much. He was a side-kick and he had to fit in that role. This was sometimes painful to watch, there was an episode when some random vampire was beating Angel with one single blow while Buffy was fighting 3 vampires at the same time.

      I'm also a bit confused why the BtVS writers took away his humor. Angelus was snarky (why did Angel lose that?) and Angel had some good lines ... but the most of the time he was really serious and laughing was almost out of the question.


      But I do think that the difference wasn't too big. Angel was still calm and a loner in season 1 of his own show. Yes, he showed some great fighting skills and there was some great comedy but he still loved to sit in the dark and Cordelia drove him crazy when she was in his house. Not a big difference from season 3, only now he had more of a purpose.

      I think that he didn't really change until after Epiphany when he found out that he fight to help and not because his guilt. He realized how much he missed his friends and his job. He became more open after that.
      Last edited by Nina; 06-10-08, 02:52 PM.

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      • #4
        There is a flashback sequence in Angel Season 2 (was it in "Darla" or in another spisode?) where Darla brings Angelus to the Master and Angelus is rather impertinent and mocks the Master's features - he clearly wasn't afraid at this point. Could this be a continuity issue?
        Sin is what I feast upon
        I'm forging my crematorium
        Your tomb is waiting here for you
        Welcome to my ritual

        -Judas Priest, Death

        Comment


        • #5
          Possible, but it can also be the difference between Angelus and Angel. Angelus wasn't afraid to be defeated, the Master was strong enough to kill him with one move. But he didn't because Angelus made a great impression as a evil soulless vampire. I think that Angelus knew that he was save.

          Angel wouldn't be save at all. If the Master got him in his hands, it would be Angel's last moment.
          Last edited by Nina; 06-10-08, 04:14 PM.

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          • #6
            Angel was insanely protective of Buffy in BtVS (half of season 2 excluded, lol), so of course he would warn her against the likes of Spike and The Master. He never wanted her getting harmed, and he always wanted to have her back covered, although as we all know Buffy isn't exactly a pushover.

            We he hits LA in his own show he starts off with pretty much nothing to lose, so he doesn't have to use much caution.
            We ride with death tonight

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            • #7
              I think Angel was being more or less sarcastic when he says he fears the Master. We know from the Ats episode 'Darla' this isn't the case. It's Angel mocking himself and the entire situation. Angel fears what he'll do to Buffy more than the actual monster himself.

              As for Angel being scared of the vampire with the giant claw? I wouldn't say he was scared. He was slashed on the arm indicating he went out and fought the vampire himself which proves he wasn't scared. He was simply warning Buffy of the danger.

              Angel was showing to be weaker on Btvs, especially in season one and two though, there's no doubts about that. By season three however they'd pretty much shown him to be a very powerful fighter, remember he basically takes on a great deal of the Mayor's vamp henchmen in 'Graduation Day II' and kicks the crap outta them, and he doesn't do half bad against Faith in 'Enemies' when he's pretending to be Angelus. We also see him easily defeat vampires in 'Choices' and he snaps Pete's neck in 'Beauty and the Beasts.'

              ~ Banner by Nina ~

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              • #8
                Good but surprising responses.

                I definitely do prefer the Angel in Ats, he was a much more capable and stronger person. Obviously with him being the main protagonist his character could be developed much more than it ever could in Btvs, as mentioned already, he couldn't "outshine" Buffy in her own show.
                I can't haz ze siggy pic?

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                • #9
                  I disagree. He was weaker in BtVS and grew progressively stronger. Season 1 BtVS Angel was incredibly unsure of himself. His self-esteem was down at nada. Right around Surprise we saw a changing Angel--one who was actively helping.

                  Then, BAM. Angelus. Then you have 100 years in Acathla's hell dimension. He comes back weak, but completely different in personality. He's more serious; more focused.

                  Early Angel was very sweet, a bit lighter and even a touch sarcastic when he was around Buffy. He had a protective side (and was constantly warning her of dangers), but also one where he had regressed pretty much to the level of a teenager. Or worse. When Whistler pulled him out of the gutter, he was extremely weak and unsure of himself. He wasn't really sure of what his purpose was. He didn't know what he could or couldn't do. He didn't know how to deal with people and relationships. Buffy was the one who pulled him up. At this point in time, Buffy was fully in control of him, even while he was wiser. She led the relationship, while he was hesitant--probably drunk on feeling included, cared about and even loved. Nevertheless, his earliest appearances were a front of trying to hide how low he had really gone. His first changes in his appearance and demeanor were to appeal to Buffy.

                  Much of his early persona was still that extremely meek figure who gave himself a makeover and was trying to act in a way to make himself likable. He had no self-worth. He was putting on an image. He wanted Buffy to like him because he liked her. He wasn't comfortable in his own skin, though. This would explain his snarky and teasing first meetings with Buffy. He was afraid to let her know much about him--and this went all the way through their relationship.

                  Around season 3, Angel changes. He's been to Hell. He suddenly starts becoming focused on what is really meant for him; what his purpose is. Hell is the point where he changes from the meek, lost and subservient Angel to the one focused on his purpose. This is also the period where he pretty much morphs into one of the big daddy figures along with Giles and the Mayor. The big daddy figure is the one who eventually takes care of his 'family' at Angel Investigations.

                  In Consequences and Enemies, you see him trying out a new role--the investigator. In Consequences, he does his first independent work in helping people without the others. In Choices, the Mayor picks up on the fact that Angel knows his future can't be with Buffy. Angel wants to learn before Amends why he was brought back from Hell and after the magic snow (a sign from something other than the First Evil that he matters), he becomes focused on atonement. In order to achieve atonement, he has to find his place in the world.

                  Season 3 BtVS and season 1 AtS are NOT far off and lead seamlessly into each other. Angel was already becoming independent of Buffy in season 3 and focused on his own place in the world. Before Angelus, he was working to protect Buffy with no care for himself or what the PTBs wanted from him. That changed when he was brought back. Amends is the turning point where he becomes focused on his own destiny.

                  Angel's personality was consistent between the shows. I disagree that he got a new personality. His earliest personality had a purpose in his progression. It also means something. It showed how far Angel had fallen. Season 3 BtVS was the start of the focused, atoning Angel who starts thinking about helping the helpless.

                  Then again, I think Angel was the character who overshadowed the others even in early BtVS. His story became the 'A' storyline because of it. He was the plot catalyst. His character progression was the driving force of most of the early seasons. He brought the show depth rather than the monster-of-the-week format it had prior to the focus switching to discovering who he is and the budding relationship. He was where the show actually found its footing as a serial.

                  The break between BtVS and AtS was cleaner and more fluid, IMO, than the one between BtVS season 3 and BtVS season 4. Season 4 floundered longer trying to discover its new direction off of the Angel and Faith storylines. Angel took his own major plot catalyst with him. Buffy always kind of takes on the flavors of the characters around her. Her story largely follows the stories of others. Angel has never had to rely on other characters to direct his storyline.
                  Last edited by NileQT87; 08-10-08, 10:59 AM.

                  "If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do."
                  "Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It's harsh and cruel. But that's why there's us. Champions."

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                  • #10
                    I'm just going to pick on the last post for time's sake (sorry Nile lol)

                    Originally posted by NileQT87 View Post
                    I disagree. He was weaker in BtVS and grew progressively stronger. Season 1 BtVS Angel was incredibly unsure of himself. His self-esteem was down at nada. Right around Surprise we saw a changing Angel--one who was actively helping.
                    I agree. Love definitely changed him. However I wouldn't say he was much weaker in Season 1, he just didn't do that much. He went from cryptic to romantic hero to champion.

                    Then, BAM. Angelus. Then you have 100 years in Acathla's hell dimension. He comes back weak, but completely different in personality. He's more serious; more focused.
                    Yep.

                    Early Angel was very sweet, a bit lighter and even a touch sarcastic when he was around Buffy. He had a protective side (and was constantly warning her of dangers), but also one where he had regressed pretty much to the level of a teenager.
                    I'm not sure about that last sentence but it makes sense that he wouldn't know how to act around humans. Angel used the cocky stalker guy as a defense mechanism.

                    When Whistler pulled him out of the gutter, he was extremely weak and unsure of himself. He wasn't really sure of what his purpose was. He didn't know what he could or couldn't do. He didn't know how to deal with people and relationships. Buffy was the one who pulled him up. At this point in time, Buffy was fully in control of him, even while he was wiser. She led the relationship, while he was hesitant--probably drunk on feeling included, cared about and even loved. Nevertheless, his earliest appearances were a front of trying to hide how low he had really gone. His first changes in his appearance and demeanor were to appeal to Buffy.
                    I actually wouldn't say that Buffy was in control. He deferred to Buffy but he actually seemed to dictate how fast the relationship went and of course when it ended.

                    Much of his early persona was still that extremely meek figure who gave himself a makeover and was trying to act in a way to make himself likable. He had no self-worth. He was putting on an image. He wanted Buffy to like him because he liked her. He wasn't comfortable in his own skin, though. This would explain his snarky and teasing first meetings with Buffy. He was afraid to let her know much about him--and this went all the way through their relationship.
                    Ah yes, I see you already covered Angel's 'front'. He did become 'softer' in their relationship as he allowed himself to be more vulnerable. The first real instance of his vulnerabilty was displayed when Buffy asked if he had any friends.

                    Around season 3, Angel changes. He's been to Hell. He suddenly starts becoming focused on what is really meant for him; what his purpose is. Hell is the point where he changes from the meek, lost and subservient Angel to the one focused on his purpose. This is also the period where he pretty much morphs into one of the big daddy figures along with Giles and the Mayor. The big daddy figure is the one who eventually takes care of his 'family' at Angel Investigations.
                    You're right, definitely grew in confidence. He wanted to become someone when he first saw Buffy (well actually when he was still Liam), but his journey to become a champion was gradual, he was starting to see proof that mankind is worth saving and indeed that he was too.

                    In Consequences and Enemies, you see him trying out a new role--the investigator. In Consequences, he does his first independent work in helping people without the others. In Choices, the Mayor picks up on the fact that Angel knows his future can't be with Buffy. Angel wants to learn before Amends why he was brought back from Hell and after the magic snow (a sign from something other than the First Evil that he matters), he becomes focused on atonement. In order to achieve atonement, he has to find his place in the world.
                    I think Angel always had skills as investigator. Someone who knows how to psychologically manipulate people and stalks victims has a insight into how to save others from his kind or investigate the supernatural.

                    Season 3 BtVS and season 1 AtS are NOT far off and lead seamlessly into each other. Angel was already becoming independent of Buffy in season 3 and focused on his own place in the world. Before Angelus, he was working to protect Buffy with no care for himself or what the PTBs wanted from him. That changed when he was brought back. Amends is the turning point where he becomes focused on his own destiny.
                    Yep.

                    Angel's personality was consistent between the shows. I disagree that he got a new personality. His earliest personality had a purpose in his progression. It also means something. It showed how far Angel had fallen. Season 3 BtVS was the start of the focused, atoning Angel who starts thinking about helping the helpless.
                    Agreed. Most of the so called inconsistencies can easily be explained.

                    Then again, I think Angel was the character who overshadowed the others even in early BtVS. His story became the 'A' storyline because of it. He was the plot catalyst. His character progression was the driving force of most of the early seasons. He brought the show depth rather than the monster-of-the-week format it had prior to the focus switching to discovering who he is and the budding relationship. He was where the show actually found its footing as a serial.

                    The break between BtVS and AtS was cleaner and more fluid, IMO, than the one between BtVS season 3 and BtVS season 4. Season 4 floundered longer trying to discover its new direction off of the Angel and Faith storylines. Angel took his own major plot catalyst with him. Buffy always kind of takes on the flavors of the characters around her. Her story largely follows the stories of others. Angel has never had to rely on other characters to direct his storyline.
                    Agreed.

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                    • #11
                      I think Angel's greatest growth came when he was around Buffy.





                      *rimshot*

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                      • #12
                        I think we can all agree that the writers took Angel in season 3 somewhere they wouldn't have imagined back during production of season 1. Angel was a recurring character, no? As opposed to a regular. Season 1 seems to present Angel as a weaker, both emotionally and physically, individual than Buffy. Of course, we can say this is to make Buffy's Vampire Slayer-ness shine even more; if a vampire is terrified of a clawed vampire, you know a sixteen-year-old high school girl has mega-balls for going after it.
                        Now it seems that that worked for the first season, however as the series progressed and Angel fans grew, the writers had to promote Angel from Buffy's subordinate vampire boyfriend to Buffy's equally opposing lover/enemy.

                        Does that destroy continuity established in season 1? I wouldn't say so. We could easily fan-wank why Angel went from "I wouldn't go down there if I were you..." to "Let's go!":

                        - As Buffy and Angel grew closer, so did his motivation to kick ass. In "Welcome to Hellmouth", Angel doesn't follow her in the sewers during their second meeting. In "Reptile Boy," he charges for the frat house, knowing Buffy is endangered.
                        - Remember the speech he gave to Buffy in "Gingerbread" about why they fight? Clearly, his desire to fight evil was inspired by Buffy. Pre-1997, he was indifferent about either side. He felt like he belonged to neither good nor evil. Buffy made him realise good is worth fighting for, slowly but surely.
                        - And my ultimate fanwank: Angel has been kicking bigger and badder asses in his TV series because he drank the blood of the Slayer in 1999 (season 3). As The Master says: "The power!" Works, no?
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NileQT87 View Post
                          Then you have 100 years in Acathla's hell dimension. He comes back weak, but completely different in personality. He's more serious; more focused.
                          Changes/growth in his personality and fighting abilities aside, this is the bit that always bugs me. He's 240-something when Buffy sends him to the hell dimension, it's generally assumed that he spent 100 years or so there (I don't recall him ever saying exactly how much, just that figure being bandied about - but it was clearly a long time since he came back essentially feral - so it was certainly decades), yet he's still 240-something every time the subject comes up after (i.e., "Couplet", AtS S3: "I've been a solo-act most of my two hundred forty-plus years.")

                          I mean, yes, by Earth dates, his age didn't change. But he lived those decades in the hell dimension regardless of how much time passed here. So he's really that much older.
                          Cordially,
                          Amuk

                          I didn't jump. I took a tiny step, and there conclusions were.
                          Addicted to Buffy

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                          • #14
                            In "Deep Down", when he's kicking Connor out of the hotel, he confirms how long he was in the hell dimension:

                            Angel: "What you did to me - was unbelievable, Connor. - But then I got stuck in a hell dimension by my girlfriend one time for a hundred years, so three months under the ocean actually gave me perspective.

                            But, yeah. I agree with you on all your other points. He was in hell for as long as he's been Angel, basically, and he got over it in like three weeks. Maybe he's still in denial about it, and has some serious PTSD stored up on the subject?

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                            • #15
                              It'd actually explain the boost in power as well. Vampires get stronger with age, so if we add another 100 years onto Angel's life, he's a stronger vampire, once he gets all his strength back that is.

                              ~ Banner by Nina ~

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                              • #16
                                But before hell and the slayer blood drinking ... we had Angelus who was everything but a weak random vampire. Angelus had the same power as we saw Angel have in his own show. Angel was and is weaker than Buffy ... but Angelus came already very close in season 2.

                                Besides, if drinking slayerblood would give a vampire such a boost ... Spike should've kicked Angel's ass because we saw Spike drink slayerblood in China. Age does play a role indeed, but I think that a vampire needs more than 100 years for a change like that.


                                About his age, Angel seems to ignore those 100 years ... maybe because he isn't sure how old he is (I doubt that there was a calendar), the 100 years is a guess? Or he doesn't really care about his age and wants to keep in simple? I'm not sure.

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                                • #17
                                  He probably just counts from his birth date onwards, which naturally excludes the hell time.
                                  Besides, I doubt he likes being reminded of that time, so he has a good reason to "ignore" it.
                                  Sin is what I feast upon
                                  I'm forging my crematorium
                                  Your tomb is waiting here for you
                                  Welcome to my ritual

                                  -Judas Priest, Death

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Nina View Post
                                    But before hell and the slayer blood drinking ... we had Angelus who was everything but a weak random vampire. Angelus had the same power as we saw Angel have in his own show. Angel was and is weaker than Buffy ... but Angelus came already very close in season 2.
                                    I think Angelus came close to killing Buffy, not because of strength, but because of the emotional pain Buffy was in at the time. He was able to best her at times because he wore the face of her boyfriend.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by XavierZane View Post
                                      In "Deep Down", when he's kicking Connor out of the hotel, he confirms how long he was in the hell dimension:

                                      Angel: "What you did to me - was unbelievable, Connor. - But then I got stuck in a hell dimension by my girlfriend one time for a hundred years, so three months under the ocean actually gave me perspective.
                                      Ah, yes. I had forgotten that one. Thanks for the edification.

                                      In short, Angel is 340-something. Just not in Earth years.
                                      Cordially,
                                      Amuk

                                      I didn't jump. I took a tiny step, and there conclusions were.
                                      Addicted to Buffy

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                                      • #20
                                        In BTVS S1, he was just barely learning to "live" again. Before Sunnydale, he was a shadow, he lived isolated and BTVS S1 shows how much he missed out of the real world. In the later seasons, he showed more self-confidence in himself and between being Angelus again, being sent to hell and back, and biting Buffy, he grew much stronger for that. And that fear for the Master is that he was Angel, not Angelus. Angelus does not fear him, but Angel does. I believe Angel is very immersed in guilt and self-pity. He is weaker than Angelus.

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