Thursday, May 24, 2012

Gone But Not Forgotten: Angel in Buffy Episode "Amends"

I. Love. This. Episode. So. Hard. Core.

David Boreanaz as Angel on Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Three Amends Snow Christmas Angel and Buffy
When it starts, Angel is having nightmares. Nightmares are one of the best angsty issues for a couple of reasons. One, there's not a lot one can do to stop them. Two, it tends to be kind of of embarrassing to admit you're being haunted by skawey dweams. Three, sleep deprivation is actually pretty tortuous. And four, it's your own mind doing the torturing. So it's like involuntary self harm. Yeah. I dig it.

David Boreanaz as Angel on Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Three Amends Snow Christmas Angel and Buffy
Angel goes wandering around to clear his head and who should he run in to? Dear Buffy. They're in the midst of the total avoidance plan, so it's a quick visit. Just enough to remind them both what they're missing.

David Boreanaz as Angel on Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Three Amends Snow Christmas Angel and Buffy
As the episode moves along, the dream progress to full on hauntings. Ghosties who don't just follow Angel around, but rather do their darndest to convince him to kill Buffy. And the best part is that he really wants to.

David Boreanaz as Angel on Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Three Amends Snow Christmas Angel and Buffy
So Angel goes, hat in hand, to visit Giles. It's probably more than 'hat in hand' when you've slaughtered the guy's girlfriend, but whenever you call it, Angel feels pretty bad about showing up. He asks for help while Giles aims a crossbow at him.

David Boreanaz as Angel on Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Three Amends Snow Christmas Angel and Buffy
Angel has to admit he's being psychologically tortured. He also wants to know why he got freed from Hell. Giles is pondering whether or not to help the guy when Jenny shows up all ghost-like. Of course, only Angel is able to see her. It freaks him out proper-like and he runs away.

David Boreanaz as Angel on Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Three Amends Snow Christmas Angel and Buffy
Back at the ranch, Jenny continues the taunting: "You killed me. I wanted to have grandchildren. You realy really suck." That sort of thing. Then, other ghosts of Christmas past come back. By which I mean a hit parade of all the people Angel's killed over the years. One right after another.

David Boreanaz as Angel on Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Three Amends Snow Christmas Angel and Buffy
He shakes, he pants, he begs them to go away.

David Boreanaz as Angel on Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Three Amends Snow Christmas Angel and Buffy
But he can't get rid of them. His frustration leads him to do The Head Grab of Angst.

David Boreanaz as Angel on Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Three Amends Snow Christmas Angel and Buffy
Then he does it again! (Because he really wants to eat Buffy)

David Boreanaz as Angel on Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Three Amends Snow Christmas Angel and Buffy
Finally, he makes the sensible choice. The only solution is suicide!

David Boreanaz Angel Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Three Amends Christmas Angel Buffy
The debate over Angel's existence is one of my favorite Buffy scenes. Angel wants Buffy. If he can't suck her dry, then he wants to hook up with her. He wants it even though it means he'd become an evil, murderous demon.  He figures it's only a matter of time before he loses the fight because he is weak. So he may as well end it now and spare some lives. "It's not the demon in me that needs killing, Buffy. It's the man."

David Boreanaz Angel Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Three Amends Christmas Angel Buffy
And Buffy counters thus: Angel has time now to make up for all the death and destruction he's caused. But if he dies now, he dies a monster. He hasn't made up for it yet. He hasn't balanced the scales yet. But he can if he just keeps on living. (Sounds like the premise of some wacky vampire detective angency show...)

David Boreanaz Angel Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Three Amends Christmas Angel Buffy
"Am I a thing worth saving? Am I a righteous man? The world wants me gone!"

David Boreanaz Angel Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Three Amends Christmas Angel Buffy
And Buffy basically resorts to begging him to live for her!

David Boreanaz Angel Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Three Amends Christmas Angel Buffy
But it's not enough. Angel truly believes some higher power thinks it's time for him to shuffle off this mortal coil. Or... you know, immortal coil... Can coils be immortal? Whatever. Angel thinks letting himself go is the right choice; the strong choice. Buffy disagrees. "If I can't convince you that you belong in this world, than I don't know what can."

David Boreanaz Angel Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Three Amends Christmas Angel Buffy
I do! Snow! The world itself weighs in. Not today, Angel. Today you live. We declare Buffy the winner of this debate and the prize is a white Christmas. You can't kill yourself even if you want to so suck on that, vamp boy.

David Boreanaz Angel Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Three Amends Christmas Angel Buffy
Sigh. Angel belongs. Angel matters. Angel is meant for bigger things. Like his own spinoff. Happy Christmas Angel, you get to live!

3 comments:

  1. Ha! This literally made me laugh out loud!

    ReplyDelete
  2. One of my fave Buffy episodes, too. The Head Grab of Angst, lol! You are the best, most entertaining writer I've stumbled across in awhile. Thank you for the Angst Report, and for all the Angel posts!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks so much guys! Glad I'm amusing someone other than myself :)

    ReplyDelete