Angel 1×08: I Will Remember You

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: David Greenwalt and Jeannine Renshaw | Director: David Grossman | Aired: 11/23/1999]

In BtVS “Amends” , Buffy tells Angel that “Strong is fighting! It’s hard, and it’s painful, and it’s every day.” Unknowingly she gave him, that night, what would be the mission statement of his entire spin-off show. Having watched AtS through to its end a couple of times now, despite the fact that it’s just a TV show it’s given me a lot to think about, and one of the most relevant things to my life that it’s given me personally is how I look at people. As Buffy herself said: “The hardest thing in this world is to live in it.” If you make it to the age of 20 a decent human being, I’d consider you a survivor.

“I Will Remember You” is an episode of great importance and deep dramatic resonance that begs to be perfect and, well, very well could’ve been. Its focus is on the Buffy and Angel relationship, and visiting the ‘life in your early twenties’ metaphor again we see another staple experience: dealing with your ex. Oh, and what a pain it is. As recently as “The Bachelor Party” [1×07] Doyle told Angel about his breakup with his young wife, and how perfectly it paralleled his situation; “….when things go wrong and you’re young like that, you don’t just say ‘Hey, thanks for the blender, I wish you well’. You fight – You tear each other apart until one of you can’t take it.”

This episode falls under the category of AtS’ mission statement of sacrificing constantly for the sake of good (with no big win), the endlessness of which is brought out into the open in the character’s minds in the immeasurable “Epiphany” [2×16]. As his life will always be, Angel has to live without Buffy, and live alone, every single day. In this episode he will have to suffer through having the pain of losing her re-ignited again, and is once again going to have to take a long look into the sun, accept what he’s giving up and then let it go forever.

After Angel’s appearance in Sunnydale, and Buffy’s rather humorous discovery of the fact, she shows up in L.A. seeking answers (actually, visiting her father, which I always thought was just an excuse as he’s always been a deadbeat). The two go through the motions, with their epic drama at a full crescendo, and it’s here that the episode takes a wrong turn. There’s a lot done right, but what really keeps this episode from being perfect, and what I’ll go into first, is the Mohra demon.

It just so happens that there is a type of demon (sent to kill warriors who fight for good) whose blood burns out any demonic essence in other beings, and it also happens that Angel gets some of this blood into a cut on his hand when he decides to fight it own his own away from Buffy, perfectly setting them into place for a dramatic reunion. It’s far too convenient for my liking, and much like “Eternity” [1×17] or BtVS “Enemies” carelessly tosses around something that has, in the past, been made a huge deal of and rightly so.

My other problem is Angel’s foolishly out of character behaviour in his confrontation of the Mohra demon; perhaps he did again become Liam. There’s nothing in his personality to suggest he would suddenly forget the limitations of his strength and speed as a human, and knowing a demon’s strength, certainly wouldn’t be so foolish as to believe he could take it down on sheer force of will. This was done purely to force the confrontation with the demon, and while necessary, it’s a shame they couldn’t have done it more logically.

As for what is done right: everything else. This episode has the deepest, most heartfelt drama that the Whedonverse had seen up to this point since BtVS “Becoming, Part II” . David Boreanaz, who had become an exceptionally better actor since that time, is at the top of his game here as is Sarah Michelle Gellar, and they light up the screen in both their happiest and most tragic moments. The next-to-final scene where Angel confesses his deal with the Oracles is nothing short of masterfully played.

Development brought about by the events herein is also done well and is important to Angel’s character, even more so than the choice he faced in “In the Dark” [1×03]. Buffy’s edited memory of her visit allows her some ability to move past Angel and continue further with Riley back in Sunnydale. Angel’s memory of the grand day out leaves him with further and more deeply important conviction on what he’s really fighting for: souls, humanity and love. That he’s uncertain of his purpose as a human makes him only that much more committed to the mission when the day is erased.

His selfless commitment to Buffy is still present as always; he worries more about burdening her with his mortal weakness than he does about his inability to fight (oh, the romantic types. So priority-challenged). This is clear when he’s willing to fight the Mohra, but not willing to include Buffy (which is still, regrettably out of character). But what matters more than anything is the realization and acceptance of the horrible truth that, once again, they can’t be together. The comparison of tea and crackers to sex and peanut butter also reminds us why they need to stay away physically as well.

Angel’s mission and Buffy’s duty are too great a sacrifice to make, and Cordelia serves up a damn good point when she tells Buffy “you can’t have everything…you can’t have Angel, and save the world!” After facing the Mohra and nearly dying to the tune of putting his true love in danger, Angel realizes this too. This leads to the heartbreaking and flawless scene where the two count down the time to Buffy forgetting everything. This is one of the bold few scenes in the entire series that waters my eyes every time; few others, no matter how emotional, can match.

This episode is also important in how it puts a final sense of closure on Buffy and Angel’s relationship. Sure, the reasons for the split were listed and explained in BtVS “The Prom” and “Graduation Day, Part II” , but there was no real sense of resolution, just Angel walking off into the mist. Still having felt it his right to sneak around Buffy for her better ‘interests,’ (BtVS “Pangs” ), it was clear that Angel believed there was still an obligation for him to fulfill, despite his leaving Buffy; the ‘rules’ of the breakup weren’t clear enough. And, for Angel to carry on in his mission and Buffy to move on with Riley and her life, this episode had to happen.

And happen it did. The whole of the story here is about sacrifice, but take away the supernatural elements and it’s still every bit as powerful. It resonates because of what Angel has to experience and suffer through, and the sympathy he merits borders on empathy because every single one of us knows what it is to live every day with pain, especially those of us who have been in such high-strung relationships. It’s in all this that the episode gains all of its points (and doesn’t go low in score despite its contrivances), in how it has a heart unparalleled by any episode of this season, and overwhelms the episode’s weaknesses; you may not even catch them the first viewing.

That Angel couldn’t keep his heart is a true tragedy, as is the fact that this episode keeps itself from a perfect score, no matter its feats.


Minor Pros/Cons (+/-)

+ Doyle thinking Angel is going to stake himself with his desk leveler.
+ Angel getting the munchies.
+ Cordelia thinking the pile of dust was Angel.
+ The introduction of the Oracles. Their use in the season’s continuity makes their first appearance here appreciated.
+ Buffy and Cordelia. I never realized how much I missed their dynamic.
+ The use of the Buffy/Angel romance music.
+ Buffy swearing never to forget her time with Angel and then doing so.
+ Angel’s face in horrible pain as the temporal fold starts.

– The Mohra demon’s entrance.


* Buffy berates Angel for coming to her town, manipulating her life and trying to change the ‘rules.’ Angel chastises Buffy for this exact thing in “Sanctuary” [1×19].
* Angel gives Buffy up, burdening only himself with the painful memories of their day, so she can move on and be happier. He does the same for his son Connor in “Home” [4×22].



118 thoughts on “Angel 1×08: I Will Remember You”

  1. [Note: bookworm posted this comment on April 18, 2006.]

    The Mohra-demon: I think it was a cool plot-device. I didn’t mind him. There was no other way for Buffy and Angel to get there except turning human. And to get to the final conclusion, Angel had to not-earn-it. And he made it for a few cool fight scenes. He’s like “Surprise’s” Judge. (Oh, e’s so bad, we have to have sex!) And it didn’t burn the demonhood out of Angel, it regenerated the dead body.

    What I didn’t like, was that Angel was patronizing Buffy again. He didn’t make the decision with her AGAIN. Maybe he was right (as he always was), but I hate him for not talking with Buffy about it at first, always just presenting her the facts. But if he wouldn’t have done it this way, it would have been out of character.

    don’t like your conclusion: The way you say it, Buffy can’t have a human boyfriend at all, whom she wouldn’t get killed, or who wouldn’t get her killed.

    I would say, that Angel can’t be human, because he would take chances to protect her from things (example: Mohra demons) he can’t handle. He would get himself killed (and possibly her), because he doesn’t act considering anything (especially not his strengths and weaknesses). He acts too rash without doing any research, he nearly acts Riley-like. (Because if he would have thought for 2 seconds, even him as a human would have been able to kill the Mohra, because to hit the jewel with a mace, not that difficult.) It’s more important for him to protect Buffy (and to patronize her) (which she really doesn’t need anymore, as she told him), than to be with her.

    There are four male characters, who get the thing with Buffy and strength: Giles, Xander, Oz and Spike. Riley can’t deal with the fact that Buffy’s so strong, and Angel neve rgets, that she isn’t a little schoolgirl he has to protect, at least not until “Forever” (BtVS 5×17). (Or maybe something did sink in “I will remember you”). If you want to turn his giving up of humanity into a noble act, you have to stay with the “standard explanation”: he has to pay for what he has done, and this means giving up everything he wants. Redemption wouldn’t be as redemptive if it wouldn’t consume every corner of his life.

    And it will take him until the fourth season to see, that he will have never paid enough, that he won’t ever be done with paying (I think 4×15 Orpheus).


  2. [Note: fryrish posted this comment on April 18, 2006.]

    “And it will take him until the fourth season to see, that he will have never paid enough, that he won’t ever be done with paying (I think 4×15 Orpheus).”

    It doesn’t take him anywhere near that long to figure out.


  3. [Note: Fallen posted this comment on April 18, 2006.]

    First off I’ll start with this…if any episode in the entire series deserves a 100 it has to be this one. It seems like the only thing holding you back from seeing it as a perfect episode is what you perceive as “out-of-character” behavior and the mythology of the demon. I’m not sure why you’re having such trouble accepting either of those things, to me they are perfectly played out. Here you have a demon sent to kill Angel with the power in his blood to regenerate himself…bring himself back to life. Angel gets that blood mixed in with his and it brings him back to life instead. I think it works perfectly, I don’t see this huge problem that you seem to have with that.

    “It just so happens that there is a type of demon (sent to kill warriors who fight for good) whose blood burns out any demonic essence in other beings, and it also happens that Angel gets some of this blood into a cut on his hand when he decides to fight it own his own away from Buffy, perfectly setting them into place for a dramatic reunion. It’s far too convenient for my liking, and much like 1×17: Eternity or BtVS [3×17] “Enemies,” carelessly tosses around something that has, in the past, been made a huge deal of and rightly so.”

    First off you have this mistaken view of the demon’s blood going into it…it doesn’t burn out any demonic essence, it simply reanimates the dead. Angel already has the soul, all he’s getting now is to restore his body to the point right before he died (when Darla sired him). It would be interesting to see what would happen to a normal vampire who had this mixing of blood. I think the person would become a normal human only without a soul, much like the kid in IGYUMS. Anyway, you say that it’s too conveniant and that it isn’t kept sacred but honestly I can’t think of ANY episode that respects the idea of Angel becoming human more than this one. They don’t carelessly toss it about like they tossed about Angel becoming Angelus in Eternity, they make a very huge deal of Angel becoming human and explore absolutely every aspect of it in this episode and that’s what makes it special.

    From the ability to appreciate food again to his reflection in the glass to the wonderful kiss between Buffy and Angel in the sunlight with their music (Close Your Eyes) being played in a wonderfully different key.Then you mention that you think it’s out of character for Angel to go off and kill the demon, but that IS Angel. That is so much his character that it almost defines exactly what he is and how he lives.

    Angel is a hero. He is unable to stand back and let evil happen, he’s unable to sit by idly…and when he hears that this demon is out there killing he doesn’t think about himself, he doesn’t worry that he might be killed or that he’s weaker now as a human. He’s a hero and all he thinks about is killing the demon and protecting the people, and to a large extent protecting Buffy. When Doyle mentions bringing Buffy along and Angel looks over at her sleeping it is one of the best scenes in either series. He lets Buffy have her perfect dreams and goes off to face the evil without her, to show that he can still be in this fight.

    “This leads to the heartbreaking and flawless scene where the two count down the time to Buffy forgetting everything. This is one of the bold few scenes in the entire series that waters my eyes every time; few others, no matter how emotional, can match.”

    Completely agree there. It’s almost too painful to watch. It’s acting at it’s finest with a flawless script and an epic story. Angel giving up the only thing he ever wanted in his life to protect the world and taking on the burden of knowing perfect happiness and knowing that he let it go. Holding onto that pain every day, remembering his perfect day while no one else will. It’s just like he says in Pangs:

    “Giles: It’s not fair. You know that’s what she’d say. You can see her, but she can’t see you?”
    “Angel: Believe me, I’m not getting the good half of this deal. To be on the outside looking in at what I can’t… Well, I’d forgotten how bad it feels.”

    You have Angel getting the only thing he wants, becoming human and being with the only person he’s ever loved, and he gives it all up to be a Hero and protect the world and protect his true love even though he’ll have to bear the burden of knowing what he lost for the rest of his (eternal) life. Bump this ep 5 points. There are very few episodes of television ever aired that are as good as this one. It deserves a perfect score.


  4. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on April 18, 2006.]

    My opinion of IWRY is that yes, the Mora demon was on the hokey side, but in all honesty he was hardly in any of the episode. The Judge was even hokier and that didn’t touch my love of “Innocence.” I don’t really buy the convenience argument myself though. Yes it happened to be convenient for Angel, but how many heros are vampires? The regenerative blood allows the demon to regenerate itself as well, and if used on a human would have no effect. I’d have given this one a 100, simply because of it’s insanely powerful emotional scenes (in the sweet, passionate, comedic, and sad) that occupy the vast majority of the episode. What Angel does to keep in the fight is extremely telling about his character. Also, I agree with Fallen that him leaving Buffy all happy and snuggled in his bed while he fights the demon was completely in character.


  5. [Note: Grounded posted this comment on April 18, 2006.]

    Hokier than the Judge? What now? At least the Judge doesn’t do the old flailing arms ninja posture.


  6. [Note: bookworm posted this comment on April 18, 2006.]

    Wasn’t Acathla the hokiest? no the shark. or the praying mantis? It’s hard to decide. But the thing is: Mohra and Judge have a lot of similarities as plot devices.

    And the guest, that’s me. don’t know how I managed to be guest. Had a few problems with my firefox-settings, and I turned out guest.


  7. [Note: Ryan-R.B. posted this comment on April 18, 2006.]

    Good lord, i knew i’d be staked for not giving this a 100, but…damn!

    Unfortunately, though, it does boil down to opinion and i’ve given my reasons for the score i gave it. I stick to them, especially about Angel’s actions. He’s always been been more hindsighted and less impetous than Buffy, and while i agree he would definitely let her sleep, i don’t agree that he would, for a second, think he had a shot. Hero complex or not, he would know exactly the human limitations he would be bringing into a fight.

    As for the Perfect score, iit isn’t something i like to toss around (nor will i get to use it often). For me to give something a 100 it has to be absolutely flawless (which IWRY was not), be very powerful (which it was) and have an impact on the series that transcends other episodes.

    And while this is probably the most important episode of the season besides “City of” and “Shanshu,” it doesn’t hold as great a lasting impact as either. The former begins establishing Angel’s ties to the human world and brings him to grips with his mission of saving souls. That’s extremely important. “Shanshu,” aside from its dramatic power, is a set up that affects, heavily, the entire series in a way no other episode can claim to. IWRY doesn’t match up to either of those. Close, but not quite. And once again, i can’t simply pass by its flaws because i like it. If it’s any consolation i really really really really really wanted to give a 100 to this, but with the problems that i had with it i’d just be making excuses to serve personal preference. What i consider high quality and what i consider my favorite are two different things entirely.


  8. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on April 18, 2006.]

    The thing that irked me a bit was just seeing it given a score equal to “The Bachelor Party,” an episode I think has some good qualities but isn’t fantastic. But that’s just me. Just to let people know, a couple Buffy episodes I almost didn’t give 100’s to are “The Wish” and “Graduation Day Pt. 2.” Sometimes I still think I should have gave the both of them a 95.


  9. [Note: Ryan-R.B. posted this comment on April 18, 2006.]

    Well, no doubt IWRY is a hell of a lot better, but they get the same score for different reasons. A 95 is the standard score capper for really good stuff, but stuff that doesn’t necessarily merit a 100. Sort of like all the 95’s on the Top 20, right? Some are better than others, but you can’t toss out 97.2’s


  10. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on April 18, 2006.]

    I generally think of a 95 as ‘fantastic’ material, but not quite perfect or possibly just missing the ‘lasting impact’ requirement. I’m incredibly passionate and wildy in love with all the 95s I’ve given out, which is something there’s no way ‘I’ can say about “The Bachelor Party.” But once again, this is all opinion.

    The one episode I wanted to give a 100 more than any other was “I Only Have Eyes For You.” I had no problems with it at all, it just didn’t meet the lasting importance req. for a 100. It helps make sure that the score of 100 means something special, even though I find IOHEFY mesmorizing (and it may show up on my Top 20 list someday).


  11. [Note: Slayer 4915 posted this comment on April 18, 2006.]

    I Only Have Eyes For You is probably my all time favorite episode of Buffy ever. It is amazing all the way through and I never get tired of watching it. Not necessarily the best episode ever, but one that has always stuck out for me. Besides providing great entertainment there’s actually a wonderful underlying theme. I love the tie-in of “forgiveness” with James and Grace and Buffy and Angel. And the whole emotional fight scene that gets replayed…oh man, purely brilliant, and for me, worthy of a 100.


  12. [Note: Fallen posted this comment on April 18, 2006.]

    Re: Ryan. There is no such thing as a flawless episode. Every episode in every Joss series could be better, something could be done to improve it. And because of that none of them will ever reach perfection. That doesn’t mean that an episode shouldn’t get a 100. An episode like City Of has its flaws but it certainly deserves a 100. As far as “Lasting impact on the series” again, I Will Remember You has a lasting impact on everything from that point on. Just because it isn’t something that is used as a plot device doesn’t mean that it doesn’t change the character of Angel from that point in the series on. As far as “making excuses based on personal preference” I thought we covered this before. That’s all your reviews are is personal preference. It almost sounds to me like you’re saying “Okay, this episode was awesome and deserves a 100…but I’m going to dissect it until I find something wrong and then use those flaws as justification to drop the score.”


  13. [Note: Ryan-R.B. posted this comment on April 18, 2006.]

    You don’t need to take such offense. As you said, they are just opinion. And as for the reviews: The point of this entire site, of MikeJer’s reviews and mine, is to dissect it as microscopically as possible. I made it very clear in the review i wanted to give the episode a perfect score, but could not as i didn’t believe it was perfect. There were problems i saw with it, and it’s not as though they were tiny or had no effect on the actions or consequences of/in the episode.

    It’s the same way for movies with me. Serenity was easily my favorite movie of last year, but can i say it was the absolute best? Of course not. Movies far superior were made.That’s my point here: that there’s a difference, and since i’m at least trying to play critic here, i do make the distinction when handing out a score. You’re of course, welcome to disagree, but it’s not as though i have no rationale for my opinion.


  14. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on April 18, 2006.]

    No episode is flawless, that’s true. The 100s should simply have very few small flaws and NO large flaws, along with the other requirements. But I think Ryan’s complaints about the episode aren’t necessarily that small to him, so while we may not agree with him on those complaints, he’s valid to have them.


  15. [Note: Fallen posted this comment on April 18, 2006.]

    lol I’m certainly taking no offense, it’s obvious that not every review that someone else will make is the same as how I would do it…that’s the point of reviews. The reviewer gives his personal feelings on something and then you watch it and see if you agree…if your opinions coincide enough times then you start to trust that reviewer’s opinion and then when he says something is good you feel like you should check it out, and when he says something isn’t you pass on it. But obviously there is no perfect episode, so what you’re saying by not giving this one a 100 is that the flaws you saw were so big in the episode that it detracted from the quality.And that’s why I posted, because I can’t imagine those things detracting from the episode at all. And of the two things you pointed out, one of them I had honestly never even blinked twice at in 9 viewings of the episode (the demon) and the other I think actually ADDS a lot to the episode (Angel going off to fight the demon on his own).


  16. [Note: Grounded posted this comment on April 19, 2006.]

    I like to think of it the other way around: an ep deserves a perfect score if it’s so good that it’s flaws don’t matter. IWRY doesn’t do that for me.


  17. [Note: fryrish posted this comment on April 19, 2006.]

    I have to say this episode is not one of my favourites. It’s never really had much of an emotional impact on me. Can’t explain it really, I don’t think it’s bad, it’s just never grabbed me in the way some others have.


  18. [Note: bookworm posted this comment on April 19, 2006.]

    Maybe because it’s clear from the first moment on that they won’t come back together (because both of them have their own show now!!! And maybe you’ve seen Buffy S.4 before and it never came up there, and maybe because this ep. has exactly an impact for the next ep. (because all the other important love stuff happened in the other show, which is named exactly as the little blonde girl), and maybe because it was a cheesy re-run of all the cheesy stuff which happened in the other show (which we loved so much). and to be sure we got at least four heart-breaking gut-wrenching and making-us-sap-break-ups before, and the fifth is just only the fifth, and they are real pros about it (as us). (and I just read a recap of “the prom” (3×20) and even reading it got me more upset than watching this ep. yesterday at night, after reading all the remarks.)


  19. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on April 19, 2006.]

    Yeah, we do know the outcome, but a couple things really change what would have been more of a throwaway. First is the amazing acting by both SMG and DB. I’m sorry, but I never get tired of watching them pour it all out like that. Second is the fact Angel remembers what happened. That makes all the difference, and I did not expect that when I started watching it. It’s one of my very favorite eps in all of Angel.


  20. [Note: bookworm posted this comment on April 20, 2006.]

    my problem is, that him remembering what happened had some impact for more or less the next ep. I remember in s.5, when he signs away the shanshu-prophecy, he asks Harmony how it feels like to be human, that he doesn’t remember because it’s been so long. He was human five years ago (if only a day), that’s even less time than Harmony. I got the feeling that it didn’t have enough impact. That’s my problem with this ep


  21. [Note: Fallen posted this comment on April 20, 2006.]

    Heh, the point of the line wasn’t “What does it physically feel like to be human?” The line is a very important one in the episode, it almost perfectly sums up exactly what Angel’s been going through since coming to Wolfram and Hart. He wants to remember what it’s like to feel human again, to have that human compassion of caring about other people rather than looking at the big pictures or the numbers. That kind of gets lost in the scene because of Harmony’s follow-up line about her heart beating and kissing boys and whatnot.


  22. [Note: bookworm posted this comment on April 20, 2006.]

    Your interpretation makes no sense concerning the point that Angel signed away the Shanshu-Prophecy. It’s not (only) about caring or looking at big pictures, he’s able to do that as a soulfool being; his inability in the end of season five to care is circumstancial not essential. In his conversation with Harmony talks about being a human with the lust for food, going out into the sun, and not having to worry about losing his soul, the whole package.


  23. [Note: Fallen posted this comment on April 20, 2006.]

    Well yes, there’s also obviously that as like ten minutes ago he just signed away what he thinks is his only chance at becoming human. But that’s far too obvious a line to just be referring to signing the prophecy away in my opinion. Of course I always try to look as deeply as I can into the subtext of every line. And of course looking back at what I wrote I didn’t do a very good job of describing what I was seeing in the subtext either. At the time he was looking out one of the highrise windows staring at the people below. I think he was more wondering what it felt like to be in the thick of it again, down in the city rather than calling all the shots from above. I think at that point it wasn’t so much him not knowing what his heartbeat felt like (he experienced as late as S4) but as knowing what it was like to be back in the fray.


  24. [Note: Dingdong posted this comment on July 31, 2006.]

    I must confess I never really liked IWRY as much as most people. It reminded me of a lot of episodes of ST:TNG, where there were good performances all round, but they couldn’t cover up the predictibility of the outcome. Angel remembering was a nice touch though, even if it didn’t last long.


  25. [Note: fryrish posted this comment on July 31, 2006.]

    I may have already mentioned this here, but I feel the same way Dingdong. The episode has just never really clicked with me and it doesn’t make me feel much of anything at all. I doubt it would make my top 25. It’s not a particularly bad episode, but it didn’t really have the same impact as it seems like it should have. I wasn’t particularly fond of SMG’s appearance in Sanctuary either.


  26. [Note: dingdong posted this comment on July 31, 2006.]

    I actually like SMGs presence in Sanctuary, not least because her character is portrayed as for the most part in the wrong, and is completely at odds with Angel. This makes a nice change from the normal scenes between them that focus on their relationship a lot, and works tremendously. Of course this is ruined by Angel’s appearance in “THe Yoko Factor”. I haven’t got to S5 of Angel as of yet, but as long as I don’t have to see the Potentials again I don’t mind what people claim about them.


  27. [Note: Grounded posted this comment on July 31, 2006.]

    “Of course this is ruined by Angel’s appearance in “THe Yoko Factor”.”

    Hehe, yeah but that was worth it for the big fight 😉

    I haven’t got to S5 of Angel as of yet, but as long as I don’t have to see the Potentials again I don’t mind what people claim about them.”

    Technically after Chosen they’re no longer ‘potentials’ 😉


  28. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on July 31, 2006.]

    What can I say? Emotionally, IWRY *fully* clicked for me. Hence why I, at least, love it so much. I also love SMG in “Sanctuary.” I very much understand and sympathize with her motives. I mean, think about it, Faith steals her body, screws around with it (while Buffy’s getting spat on by guys from the Watcher’s Council), and then she goes to LA and starts beating up on Angel and his friends. Of course Buffy’s going to take off and be thinking “enough!” Buffy went there to take Faith down, and violentally at that. Heck, she kind of has the right to. It’s only because Faith is actually genuinely wanting to change now that makes what Buffy should do different, although much more difficult for her than it is for Angel. People seem to be joyous that “Buffy’s wrong for once!” but I don’t see it that black/white. Buffy’s not outright wrong here, and it irks me when people think she is. You have the right to defend yourself and punish those who have committed serious crimes. Faith qualifies.


  29. [Note: bookworm posted this comment on August 1, 2006.]

    I love SMG’s appearance in Sanctuary as well. But I don’t think that Buffy is particularily right either:

    She claimed wanting to help Angel. Two downsides:
    a. he isn’t exactly helpless
    b. she came looking for vengeance; and claims a right to it

    generally speaking, Faith is Buffy’s responsibility (supernatural threat), and she should get her and make her go to prison. But she should ask Angel before she does that. if he wants her to come, or if he’s capable of handling it by himself,


  30. [Note: Dingdong posted this comment on August 1, 2006.]

    I personally think that Buffy was for the most part in the wrong there, even though it was understandable. But that’s why I love her appearance in Sanctuary, the episode knows this, and doesn’t paint her all that well, despite her being 100% in character. It made a nice change from the overdone B/A angst in IWRY.


  31. [Note: Tranquillity posted this comment on March 5, 2007.]

    I have very mixed feelings about this episode. on one level it is very romantic and gorgeous and tragic and heartbreaking. but on the other, i can’t help but see the events of this episode as our first example of Angel ‘fixing’ something for someone’s own good without running it by them first. It becomes a little bit of a pattern for him as the series progresses – making decisions without communicating with the people around him. he says he loves Buffy but won’t discuss something that effects them BOTH. My problem is that he says he won’t be able to save Buffy, that she’ll die sooner if he remains a human but, hey, she’s the slayer and it’s her job and its not his to guard against her untimely demise. She could get hit by a bus the next day for all he knows, yet he gives up the chance for them at being together ‘for her own good’. i think its telling that he always says he can’t give her what a ‘real girl’ wnats/needs. He always tries to seperates the girl from the slayer, when if he accepted that she comes as a package deal he wouldn’t have to torture himself with all these thoughts of needing to save her…. i don’t know if what i’m saying makes sense it just reflects the mixed emotions that this episode produces in me chris


  32. [Note: chris posted this comment on April 24, 2007.]

    Personally, I’d have given this episode less than 95 – probably 80 to 85 or so. I’ve read your review and I can’t find any particular detail where I would disagree – it’s just that I didn’t buy the episode at all in its entirety.

    It’s a mid-season episode of a series that just started where a huge change occurs that would actually have ended the entire series (if not reversed as it was in this episode). Sorry, I just don’t buy it – and I didn’t buy it when I first watched the episode.

    So while I agree with you on the statements the episode makes about Angel and his relationship with Buffy and that the episode is vital for the developement of Angel both as a character and as a show I would have preferred if the writers had found a different way of conveing that message – something more plausible (to me, at least ;-)).

    It could be that I would have bought the concept of this episode (Angel becomes human) if it had been positioned near the end of season or in a later season – because then the show would have already been set up. But as a part of the setup of the show itself, it just doesn’t work for me.

    On the other hand, the huge problem with repositioning the episode is that it wouldn’t have fit there – neither plot- nor developement-wise. Buffy would have already been together with Riley, Angel would have already gained a separate identity, etc. Which is why I come the conclusion that for me the concept of Angel becoming human for an epsiode hasn’t and would never have worked at all (for me, of course ;-)).

    And now go on and stake me for me not being all that fond of this fan-favourite episode. 😉


  33. [Note: shanshuprophecy posted this comment on June 21, 2007.]

    I’m not a huge fan of this ep either. I liked it more viewing for the first time than I did on subsequent viewings. In fact, I have very little time for Buffy outside of Sunnydale ..
    31. I love SMG’s appearance in Sanctuary as well. But I don’t think that Buffy is particularily right either:
    She claimed wanting to help Angel. Two downsides:
    a. he isn’t exactly helpless
    b. she came looking for vengeance; and claims a right to it
    generally speaking, Faith is Buffy’s responsibility (supernatural threat), and she should get her and make her go to prison. But she should ask Angel before she does that. if he wants her to come, or if he’s capable of handling it by himself,
    posted by: bookworm, Aug 01 2006

    I think the contrast between BTVS & Angel is highlighted here very well – in Sunnydale, everything is very black & white- good/evil whereas in LA, with Angel, everything gets kinda grey .. so buffy comes off as over assertive/dominant etc ..

    I agree that the Mohra demon seemed a little contrived (conveniently, Buffy was in town) .. but I have wondered if perhaps it was a test for Angel by the PTB ? (it’s a way I explained it to myself anyway)

    The final scene still brinds a tear to the eye (& the way the countdown is shot is fabulous!). But I am grateful when Buffy leaves – Angel reverts to his boring, whiny, ‘in love’ self with her there & I prefer him struggling & brooding.

    Personally I feel the ep was written to emphasise the parting of the 2 series’ as well as their respective differences (see my black/grey comment above) .. the Buffy/Angel thing also needed closure so that Angel could be seen to be open to new romantic possibilities and/or emotional entanglements.

    If this ep hadn’t screened, if he was still pining for Buffy 100%, the Darla arc would have seemed out of character ..


  34. [Note: buffyholic posted this comment on January 29, 2008.]

    I´m also crazy about this episode. the emotion of it and both actors do an amazing job. I really don´t mind the demon, imo it´s a plot device. Everyone has their own opinions but I still think this episode should have gotten a perfect score.


  35. [Note: Karen posted this comment on February 18, 2008.]

    It’s basically just the fangirl inside me that idolizes this episode. I mean, it’s good and heart-wrenching, but looking back on it…a little melodramatic and if you’re not down with the Buffy/Angel, you might just die of boredom.

    Good, but not great.


  36. [Note: shilpa posted this comment on May 7, 2008.]

    I haven’t re-watched all the old Angel episodes yet, and I’m just now starting, so I had a question about this episode. Does Buffy ever find out about Angel’s sacrifice? I know it never comes up in Buffy, but does it in the crossovers?


  37. [Note: Rosie posted this comment on January 14, 2009.]

    This episode nauseated to no end. It also proved why I detested the Buffy/Angel relationship so much. Why? Angel’s decision to have Buffy’s memories of their day together . . . erased. It smacked of psychic rape and I disgusted that the media tends to view Angel’s decision as a “sacrifice”. All he did was assume control over someone else’s life for what he viewed as “the greater good”.

    I never understood his decision to resume being a vampire in the first place. He doesn’t need to be strong to save Buffy. Buffy could take care of herself and Angel was never around during the crisis she ended up facing in the future – except to deliver the medallion that Spike ended up using.

    I’m sorry, but this episode really disgusted me. I don’t know how else to say it.


  38. [Note: Derisann posted this comment on February 1, 2009.]

    Rosie, Please. Buffy was the slayer, but she never had the slayer ‘mentality’. She was always looking for the knight in shining armor. Angel fit the bill, it’s why she loved him and the behavior that some would call chivalrous and others would call chauvinistic.

    As for the psychic rape, it wasn’t Angel’s choice to have the day erased, it was a side effect of regaining the demon without going soulless again. You’ll also notice that Buffy didn’t argue too much with him either at the end there. She did say “it’s not enough time” but she didn’t argue that it wasn’t necessary. You might be disgusted, but that’s proof of your issues, not at all to be confused with the quality of this episode.

    His sacrifice was in giving up his humanity in order to save Buffy’s life in the future, even if that future was one he wouldn’t be able to share with her. That’s not about control. That’s about love.


  39. [Note: Emily posted this comment on May 3, 2009.]

    “…it also happens that Angel gets some of this blood into a cut on his hand when he decides to fight it on his own away from Buffy, perfectly setting them into place for a dramatic reunion.”

    Ryan, he doesn’t decide to fight it on his own. They split up because they don’t know which way the demon went. It could’ve just as easily been Buffy who’d caught the Mohra. They both decided to split up, and Angel was the one who went the right way.


  40. [Note: wytchcroft posted this comment on August 1, 2009.]

    Like this episode a lot, but some of the flaws mentioned in the review are true – although these only really grate after repeat viewings.

    The weird thing for me, and being purely subjective, is SMG. I’ve defended her on so many forums and am a huge BTVS fan but… here… nothing, her VOICE (post synch?) is fine but her face and body are void of feeling and reaction (untill the emotional end) and there is NO chemistry anymore between her and Angel (perhaps deliberately?). So i prefer Sanctuary i think.

    But, that said, this was a necessary and successful crossover, well scripted with some great hints for the future and a nice intro to the Oracles etc. And Doyle rocks. And y’know, time, always cool.


  41. [Note: wytchcroft posted this comment on August 1, 2009.]

    Oh i should say as well, that if Buffy feels like something of an intruder here (Great reversal scene with Cordy) then that is a testament to just how quickly and completely ATVS established its own world and series identity, which is very impressive.

    Also, it’s intersting to see Angel wrestle with some of the issues Riley faces – and, arguably, in some respects more selfishly and weakly.

    Q: The fight scene at the end, is that the same set from the Gift and the Uber-vamp S7 smack down?


  42. [Note: Rosie posted this comment on August 4, 2009.]

    “Rosie, Please. Buffy was the slayer, but she never had the slayer ‘mentality’. She was always looking for the knight in shining armor. Angel fit the bill, it’s why she loved him and the behavior that some would call chivalrous and others would call chauvinistic.

    As for the psychic rape, it wasn’t Angel’s choice to have the day erased, it was a side effect of regaining the demon without going soulless again. You’ll also notice that Buffy didn’t argue too much with him either at the end there.”

    I find your arguments unconvincing.

    Angel couldn’t deal having human strength. It’s amazing that many fans have castigated Riley Finn for being unable to deal with Buffy being stronger than him, yet Angel seemed to be suffering from the same problem. Then he does something even worse by making that deal with the Powers to resume being a vampire . . . after being told that Buffy would have no memories of their day together. As far as I’m concerned, he committed psychic rape via the Powers to Be. Even worse, he only told Buffy about his decision . . . seconds before she lost her memories.

    And please explain how Buffy’s desire for a “knight in shinning armor” is supposed to condone or excuse Angel’s decision to becoming a vampire again, knowing she would lose her memories? I find that idea appalling.
    This is the fans’ idea of true romance?

    And please do not address me as “Rosie, please”. It sounds condescending to me.


  43. [Note: guest posted this comment on December 29, 2009.]

    Just to say Angel didn’t really struggle with the idea of being weaker than buffy(the vampire slayer is actually stronger than vampires, so turning himself back…not really gonna solve that problem is it.)

    Plus he asked what would happen when the soldiers of darkness came and honestly he probably did prolong her life in the finale of BTVS by just playing delivery boy, it’s not like he would have become CEO of WolfRam and Hart as a human, spike did do the noble sacrificing but angel played a vital part he would have missed as a human.

    It was never about how much strength he had in comparrison to buffy but how much he could help, her and anyone else who needed it


  44. [Note: Nathan.Taurus posted this comment on January 13, 2010.]

    I agree that this episode doesn’t deserve a 100 score as it just isn’t as good as it could of been with some of the Buffy/Angel sewer conversation and the demon. It is an episode rated in the early 90’s for me. ‘Becoming Part 2’ is my favourite episode of ‘BtVS’ and I rate it around 98.

    The ending really makes the episode for me, as does David whispering, “Sarah, please”, when he is trying to comfort her. And I think that Angel leaving Buffy asleep was completely in character and sweet.

    How did Angel get peanut butter on his bet sheets in ‘Rm wa Vu’? I had initially thought that the bed scene in this episode must of been shot before the aforementioned episode to explain it, but I would say Cordy may of done it.

    Good episode, but when I watch it I think how much better it could of been.


  45. [Note: Rosie posted this comment on January 25, 2010.]

    “Plus he asked what would happen when the soldiers of darkness came and honestly he probably did prolong her life in the finale of BTVS by just playing delivery boy, it’s not like he would have become CEO of WolfRam and Hart as a human, spike did do the noble sacrificing but angel played a vital part he would have missed as a human.”

    You don’t get it, do you? He never told Buffy that he had sanctioned TPTB to go ahead with the spell that would lead to the loss of her memories. He never told her. All he had to do was tell her and explain why they couldn’t stay together. Granted, she would have been pissed, but there is a chance that she would have forgiven him.

    But no. Angel doesn’t say a damn word and maintains control over the situation and Buffy’s memories. The fans go all gooey over his “sacrifice” and I end up sick to my stomach.


  46. [Note: Joe posted this comment on January 28, 2010.]

    Well, he only had a few minutes, so I suspect he wanted to cover the important things, not the details so much.

    Angel’s decision was to regain his vampirism to be a hero, despite the fact that he wanted to be human and be with Buffy–that’s what made it a sacrifice, choosing a difficult life as a warrior instead of living with the woman he loved. It wasn’t about maintaining control, it was doing what was necessary.

    A major theme of both shows has been the idea of the greater good. Buffy learns that by the end of season seven–that people are, and must be, expendable. For Angel to play a role in saving the world, he had to do to Buffy what he did–regardless as to whether it is, as you describe it, “psychic rape.” And Angel starts learning that here, and it is echoed in “A Hole in the World.” (Does what he let’s happen to Fred in that episode also make you sick to your stomach? Should he have consulted and tried to explain to her what was happening?)

    I can understand some discomfort about him not consulting her, but you also have to remember that he didn’t know exactly what they were going to say or offer him to retake his vampirism. It’s not like he went there, asked, and they said, okay, talk to Buffy and decide. It was a pretty immediate action that they required. So I think you have to give him a little bit of leeway.

    And technically, the day never happened, so it’s not as though her memory was altered to hide the truth, the experience was literally undone; only Angel retained any memory so that it wouldn’t happen again.


  47. [Note: Max posted this comment on April 22, 2010.]

    “Psychic rape”? I don’t buy that.

    I don’t see it as controlling her mind. Since, time was “compressed” (i think the oracles use that term), it never happened for Buffy (or Doyle or Cordelia or the Mohra demon). Technically no-one forgets anything, it’s just that only Angel experiences it.

    Also, he does tell her what’s going to happen, albeit only just before it does. But her reaction is rather telling. She doesn’t become all indignant and argue that what he did was wrong rather her “I’ll never forget” shows her submission that it’s probably the right thing, but she just longs to remember.

    I love this episode and think a 95 is fair. Wouldn’t have argued over a perfect score either, though.


  48. [Note: John Roberts posted this comment on October 23, 2010.]

    Wow. This might be my favorite episode of Buffyverse so far. (Seen Angel to this point and early in S4 with BtVS.) Wow. Shattered.


  49. [Note: Rosie posted this comment on January 25, 2011.]

    The fact that so many people saw nothing wrong with Angel’s actions really disgusted me. Is it that human beings see nothing wrong with enforcing one’s will upon another? Is there some part of the human psyche that advocates rape in any form? Or are some fans willing to condone his actions, because he’s “ANGEL”, he’s the star of the show and it’s all about “Bangel Forever”?

    By the way, Angel could have told her the truth about the erasure of her memories after the deed was done. He told Doyle.


  50. [Note: huhahuha posted this comment on May 13, 2011.]


    What is your problem?

    This is work of fiction. As splendid as both BtVS and ATS are, there got to be flaws in every episode, things like inconsistencies and out-of-character behavior. But you do not have to use them as reason for character assassination.

    You may be a spuffy fan and you are entitled to your opinions, but please respect other people’s opinions and feelings as well! For a significant portion of fans, this is probably the most heart-wrenching and emotionally shattering episode in the whole ATS, even more than A Hole in the World. do you have to vent your poisonous rants here?


  51. [Note: Rick posted this comment on June 10, 2011.]

    Getting tired of this drama. I just started re watching this series after 5 or 6 years. Here’s my thought so far:

    This guy (Angel) needs to make up his mind on what he wants. First he gets the magic ring of Amarah that will basically mean he can be with Buffy in daylight, and still protect her at night. A ring which she sent to him to help him with his fight. They can live a pretty normal life sans his orgasms. Then he smashes it for no good reason. Sighting he needs the guilt and can’t take the easy way. He knows his job is to save humanity based on the Shanshu prophesy but rather than helping humanity, the selfish fellow smashes an incredibly valuable and useful weapon. On a side note, why did the torture vampire wear the ring on his finger? Wouldn’t it have been immensely beneficial to have slipped it on his big toe, under his socks and shoes?

    He turns into a human only to go and ask to be returned to his vampire with a soul state. He’s struggling since we first see him in Buffy to become human, then he wants nothing more than to be with buffy as a human and give her a normal life, then he wants to dump it all and continue in his quest. Buffy is going to fight on regardless whether he’s fighting with her. She goes back to Sunnydale and fights and he’s not there. Makes perfect sense.

    It is modern times. Why are they still fighting with swords and axes and maces? A single bullet from a distance would shatter the crystal in the demons forehead way easier than hitting it with a desk clock or morningstar.

    Why couldn’t they save some of the demons blood in some sort of cryo freeze and he could turn into a human when “he’s ready”?

    Now that they know how to “cure” him, why aren’t they together?

    Why is Buffy such a whiney brat at the beginning, when he tries to explain, and she figures out that he was in Sunnydale to help her?

    There’s my thoughts. Feel free to rip them apart


  52. [Note: Rosie posted this comment on November 5, 2011.]

    After reading the comments that criticized my comments, I’m beginning to wonder if Western society has yet to lift itself out of the Stone Age. I’m pretty disgusted at how a good number of people are so willing to justify Angel’s actions, accuse Buffy of being a whiny brat and express negative comments about my emotional state. Wow! I didn’t realize that enforcing one’s will upon another will and regard it as an expression of love is STILL so popular in this society. God, I weep for humanity.


  53. [Note: Alex posted this comment on November 7, 2011.]

    Rosie, others are entitled to their opinions just as you are, and I think ‘weeping for humanity’ as a result of those opinions is a little over the top. However, I do get where you’re coming from. I don’t think it’s appropriate to throw the word ‘rape’ around, but I agree that it seems unfair that Angel makes this decision all by himself. It makes for a beautiful, emotional scene, but when I think about it too much, something just doesn’t sit quite right with me. I don’t see it as ‘mind rape’ but I do think there’s something uncomfortable about Angel having had such a perfect time with Buffy, only to have Buffy remember absolutely none of it.

    I don’t think Angel is ‘enforcing his will’ on Buffy, exactly, but he does have to make a very difficult decision here, and he doesn’t have time to consult her about it. And, Angel being Angel, he can’t do the thing which would actually make him happy – he just ends up sacrificing his happiness for the ‘greater good’ once again. I don’t think his intentions are completely noble – I think there’s a part of him which misses being the ‘Dark Avenger’ and can’t imagine a world where he isn’t a champion any more. But I think he genuinely feels that he doesn’t have a choice, and Buffy being unable to remember their encounter is an unavoidable side-effect of that. Now, if he’d gone actually to the oracles and said ‘I want you to erase Buffy’s memories, please’ then I might be more inclined to agree with you on the whole ‘mind rape’ thing. But that’s not what happens.

    As for the episode itself, I find it very moving but it’s not one of my favourites. It’s obvious from the beginning of the episode that Angel isn’t going to stay human and a part of me wishes they’d never gone down this route at all, because it just opens up a HUGE can of worms which this episode isn’t quite equipped to deal with. The same with the whole ‘gem of Amara’ thing. Angel smashing the ring made very little sense to me, but of course it was going to have to get smashed at some point otherwise the show wouldn’t have been what it was.


  54. [Note: smallprint84 posted this comment on January 21, 2012.]

    Also a interesting trivia:

    When Buffy says it’s not enough time, you can hear Angel say very quietly:

    Sarah Shh, please. Please…please, please.

    One of the best Angel eps.

    Also the song I’ll Remember You from Sophie Zelmani, it’s lyrics recall very much the story of this ep.

    You can hear the song in BVS S1 episode “Angel” when Buffy kisses him for the first time.


    Buffy…(looks at the clock) the minute is almost up.


    (crying) No! Oh God. It’s not enough time.


    (crying) Shh, please. Please…please, please.


    No. I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget.


  55. [Note: smallprint84 posted this comment on February 13, 2012.]

    Also the plot of this episode reminds me of the song I’ll Remember You from Sophie Zelmani (heard in the Buffy S1 ep. “Angel”).

    The lyrics of the song have a lot in common with this ep.


  56. [Note: Helen posted this comment on May 23, 2012.]

    I’m no fan of the Bangel ship, but I feel like I have to defend Angel for choosing to have the day erased. Yes, he did not consult Buffy before he made his decision, but it wasn’t about controlling her- it was about saving her life. Buffy has a poor track record when it comes to rationally thinking about Angel, so had he given her the option, chances are she would have made the choice to be with him and have a shorter life. What else was the guy supposed to do?

    Watching this episode makes me wonder how much Angel would actually enjoy being human if he were Shanshued. Its his goal and what he strives for, but he is ultimately disconnected from the human world. His heroics are the greatest part of his identity- without the perks of being a vampire, I feel he would lose himself. Evil will always exists, and people will always require his help, so he would never be fully content as a human. We see that even the promise of Buffy is not enough to dissuade him from his mission. A substantial part of their relationship was built on the fact that he was strong enough to fight by her side, so if he did not have his powers anymore, I see them as quickly deteriorating as a couple.


  57. [Note: smallprint84 posted this comment on June 9, 2012.]

    Lyrics Sophie Zelmani – I’ll Remember You (Buffy S1 “Angel” [1×7]:

    It’s daybreak

    And you are asleep

    I can hear you breathe now

    Your breath is deep

    But before I go

    I look at you one last time

    I can hear a heartbeat

    Is it yours or is it mine?

    I look at your lips

    I know how soft they can be

    Did they know what they wanted

    The times they kissed me?

    And your hands

    That I held in mine

    Now they’re reposing on the pillow

    Will they ever miss me sometime?

    I’ll remember you

    You will be there in my heart

    I’ll remember you

    And that is all that I can do

    But I’ll remember

    Your eyes

    That always make me shiver

    Now they are closed

    They just sometimes twitch a little

    And your body

    I could hold for an hour

    It sent me to Heaven

    With its heat and power

    I’ll remember you

    You will be there in my heart

    I’ll remember you

    And that is all that I can do

    But I’ll remember


  58. [Note: George posted this comment on July 9, 2012.]

    If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that SMG was amazing in the scene where Angel confesses.


  59. [Note: SMGbuff posted this comment on August 1, 2012.]

    I like your trivia smallprint84 regarding the song “I’ll Remember You” from Sophie Zelmani and how it’s lyrics recall very much the story of this ep in describing the heartfelt love of another. I don’t think its a coincidence.

    David Greenwalt wrote both this ep which has the same title as the song and the ep “Angel” in BtVS where it was played the first time they kissed. I believe these episodes are the only ones where Buffy kisses Angel as a human being. In “Angel” she doesn’t know he isn’t and in this ep he is.


  60. [Note: MrPrez posted this comment on August 23, 2012.]

    I have to say this first, I hated Bangel! Detested them! Buffy has always annoyed me endlessly and David Boreanaz was just such a shitty actor on BtVS that it was hard to take him as anything but eye candy. But I admit, I still cried at the end. If for nothing more than the beautiful work SMG does. Buffy always annoyed me, yes, but SMG is a damn fine actress and always managed to make me feel sorry for Buffy even when I didn’t want to. Notice I only mentioned SMG. She acted circles around DB during that final scene that I just can’t give him any credit whatsoever. Thank god he grew leaps and bounds throughout the rest of the season to finally have the chops to make him worthy of starring in his own spin-off come season 2.

    Anyways, I’d of given this episode a score of 85. Great acting from SMG. Loved seeing Cordelia and Buffy interact again. Wish they could have interacted one more time after this episode. Sigh.


  61. [Note: Nina posted this comment on December 30, 2012.]

    I don’t believe what Cordelia said to Buffy “You can’t be with Angel and save the world.” Because Cordy eventually ends up having feelings for Angel. (Hated the Cordy and Angel love arc)


  62. [Note: Nina posted this comment on December 30, 2012.]

    Buffy and Angel still had chemistry, but obviously they both had to play it down a bit before they got ‘back together.’ Also it’s good to note that in real life SMG and DB were dating around this time.


  63. [Note: Ben posted this comment on February 10, 2013.]

    I agree with you about the Morah Demon. The fact is that, for me, this just slightly cheapen the Sanshu Prophecy storyline that lasts for the entire series. Angel strives to be human again, yet we’ve seen him as a human… and he gave it up. So for his ultimate goal to be human again to really work, this episode simply shouldn’t have happened. It is an issue I have with this episode, though in all honesty there really isn’t a way to correct this.
    The rest of the episode, however, is stellar. I can’t get through that final scene of Buffy and Angel without tearing up, especially when “Close Your Eyes” plays for the first time since 3×03.
    I disagree about Angel acting out of character. To be honest, I think him going to fight Morah by himself is very much in character. He has just given Buffy the perfect day he’s always wanted to give her, the denial of which had caused her 3 years of misery. Hell, his ability not to give her the day she so desperately needed and wanted with him is the reason he left Sunnydale in the first place. There is no way Angel would then wake her up, after her sleeping in utter contentment, and get her out fighting Morah, especially with how dangerous he is. And as there is nobody else to fight him, and as he’s killing people, Angel still feels it is his duty to kill him. It’s this that leads to him going back to being a vampire, and for me anyway it makes sense.


  64. [Note: Ryan ONeil posted this comment on February 10, 2013.]

    Well, if it helps, the popular theory is that Angel doesn’t believe he deserves to be given anything, rather he feels he has to earn it in blood, sweat and tears, so maybe “become human by stopping the Apocalypses” sounds better to him than “let Buffy die because he became human before he deserved to.”


  65. [Note: Iguana-on-a-stick posted this comment on February 10, 2013.]

    Or to rephrase it: it’s not humanity Angel craves, it’s redemption. First he thought Buffy would be that, then the Sanshu.


  66. [Note: Janne posted this comment on March 23, 2013.]

    I know. I… I understand.
    (with dread)
    What happens now?

    It’s not just about Buffy. Angel-“it’s bad for the people we were meant to help.”
    “How can we be together if the cost is your life?Or the lives of others?”
    I get it it’s sad what Angel did Buffy Loves Angel More then ANYTHIG in this life.
    You’re not a Spuffy fan right because loving the sweet love story that is season 6 Buffy and this statement “This is the fans’ idea of true romance?” do not go together.


  67. [Note: Niko posted this comment on March 30, 2013.]

    Janne, Alex, and Hannah, agree.
    Rosie, sorry you feel that way. Yes, Angel has always been a lone wolf and makes decisions that affect everyone around him. Is that always morally right? Maybe not. But as others have said, he had to make a split second decision. Choose happiness that could never last, since she would die, or have them both have a chance at decently happy existence apart.
    Definitely no winners there, based on their love. But what would you have had him do?

    (Though it’s interesting to me that Buffy went on to die anyway, so maybe they could’ve made it work)

    If he had chosen to stay human, he could no longer be Angel. Countless lives lost, apocalypses not averted. He would’ve surely died trying, as would everyone around him. Sort of like the alternate universe in The Wish.
    And as for the term “rape”, you are completely misusing it. I find that offensive; the woman I love most has experienced that, and it is nowhere near the same thing.
    Besides the fact that Buffy, when informed, said she understood and accepted what would happen and why, the events were taken back, not memories. Not the same as a roofie drug.
    Please be more informed in the future, don’t spew vitriol just because you feel like it.
    At least know what words you’re saying, rape is nothing to be causally thrown around.


  68. [Note: EdwardH posted this comment on January 24, 2014.]

    About the point some made that time was reversed so the day never really happened. Once a timeline, alternate or not, is created it can’t simply be erased. The timeline is simply taken back to the starting point and diverted into a subsidiary time line, and a new time line inserted in place of the old one. Angel and Buffy’s time together still exists although whether it continued beyond the end scene is unknown.


  69. [Note: FaithFanatic posted this comment on February 7, 2014.]

    Am I the only one who found this episode to be incredibly melodramatic? Not that it’s particularly out-of-character given the situation, but everything seems so over-the-top that I can’t really enjoy it. Contrast the final scene here to the one where Fred dies in AHITW (an episode regularly accused of melodrama) and I think you’ll find that IWRY is far more overblown. I just can’t enjoy it because of how angsty it is.

    (As a side note, I like Passion, The Body, A Hole in the World, Becoming Pt.2, Innocence and pretty much every other angsty episode in the Buffyverse. But this one just seems too much.)


  70. [Note: Kyle posted this comment on February 7, 2014.]

    I don’t have a problem with it… Yes it’s quite melodramatic, but hey, so was Angel’s and Buffy’s relationship, and I think that on that note one can’t really call it out as a flaw. Buffy and Angel were acting well within the dramatic boundaries of their relationship; more specifically, they acted in character. On the side of the episode “A Hole in the World”, the dialogue between the characters, while maybe less dramatic than the dialogue in this episode, resulted in many of the characters acting, well… out of character (although, no offense to Iguana, I think the episode was scored a bit too harshly). In my opinion, that doesn’t happen in this episode, so you really can’t fault this episode based off of melodrama. In fact, if it were up to me, I would have gone ahead and given this episode a perfect score, as I don’t really think Ryan’s criticisms were valid enough.


  71. [Note: FaithFanatic posted this comment on February 8, 2014.]

    I don’t think it’s necessarily a flaw, but I just can’t enjoy it because of the melodrama. Objectively I’d be giving it about a 90 or so, but based on how much I liked it I would probably score it 70 at most.


  72. [Note: Chloe posted this comment on June 16, 2014.]

    Watched Buffy growing up and only just started watching it again and loved the character Angel so thought I would watch the show.
    And I have to say this episode made me cry so much,
    I will remember you and Becoming Pt 2 are the most heartbreaking episodes I have ever seen. The most tragic and pure love story I think ever been created, better than even titanic and thats amazing when you think about it because we are talking about Vampires.
    I just wish that Angel hadn’t of changed as a character so much in Angel season 5. It really annoyed me, the whole season annoyed me. Angel went from a mysterious, sexy focused man standing in the shadows doing good to a loud, angry guy in a suit. I know he had to grow but cumon.
    The only think I liked was Spike coming back into it because hes funny. And the whole Angel and Cordy really ticked me off. I felt like I was being teased with the idea of Angel finding love. If you ask me Buffy should have been in the last season of Angel. You cant keep the two shows separate, its just not fair.
    But amazing episode, ever time I watch it my heart breaks:-)


  73. [Note: Rosie posted this comment on September 20, 2014.]

    It’s really disturbing that so many want to give Angel a pass for Buffy losing her memories that day. It’s a sad reflection of this society. Very sad.


  74. [Note: B posted this comment on October 23, 2014.]

    Does this episode having a lasting effect on the series. Yes, it does. It’s the first time Angel mind wipes his friends for the greater good or at least some selfish purpose . His intentions are noble but a little selfish both times.


  75. [Note: unkinhead posted this comment on May 1, 2015.]

    Jeez this episode is so ridiculously melodramatic (and flawed), and yet, admittedly so affecting.


  76. [Note: Pathbeyondthedark posted this comment on May 1, 2015.]

    This episode exasperates the BtVS/Ats relation in terms of how their quality is compared.

    Sure, it’s great for both Buffy and Angel’s characters. Sure, it’s great for the relationship and finalizing its end. This is not in dispute.

    But does this episode work as purely an Ats outing? In this regard, it’s highly uneven. And I believe it should be analyzed more heavily on its ability to work as an episode in its own series rather then one as a part of a crossover or greater universe.

    The biggest issue I have is that it undermines Angel’s arc and the series long theme in general: redemption. Angel becomes 100% human in this episode by arbitrary and contrived means without having to earn it. Must I go into more detail then that as far as how problematic this is? Well, I will anyway. It makes everything we come to know and appreciate about the series seem inconsequential. Angel had his humanity back, the ultimate prize has been won already and given up. It makes the Shanshu Prophecy seem less effective and Angel’s fight to reclaim something he gave up willingly feel pointless.

    As Unkinhead said, much too melodramatic and the pacing is slow. It feels more like a bad romantic novel (or adaptation of said novel) then anything resembling something adequate. If you weren’t a BtVS fan, this episode would come across extremely cheesy and forced.

    So, it doesn’t work much as an episode of Ats. But because it’s a part of the BtVS universe, it’s given a huge pass as far as its obvious flaws go. I think that’s not a fair way to assess it or anything that stems from a parent, like children (but that’s a completely different argument all together).


  77. [Note: Pathbeyondthedark posted this comment on May 1, 2015.]

    Speaking of parent and child, could Wesley’s comparison to his father be an exploration of the comparisons of BtVS to Ats and how unfair it comes across? Hmm. Food for though at least.


  78. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on May 1, 2015.]

    While I have mentioned how surprisingly easy it is to become human in the Buffyverse (here’s looking at you Anya) I think the Shanshu Prophecy at least implies that the world and Angel will be at peace when he turns human which is clearly not the case in this episode as their is still fighting to be done.

    I suppose looking at the episode logically it doesn’t make that much sense but if we were to look at it emotionally and representative of the fact that Angel can sadly never truly be with Buffy again it works alright.


  79. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on May 1, 2015.]

    As additional point I’m willing to cut them a little slack since the whole Shanshu thing hadn’t been thought up yet. The retrospect thing unfortunately effects DS9’s The Visitor in a similar fashion when later events in the show affect that episode. It’s a bit annoying but the episode is still pretty good so you learn to look past it.


  80. [Note: Beth posted this comment on May 3, 2015.]

    Rosie, I am highly disgusted by you so casually throwing the word rape around. I work as a sexual assault counsellor and I have no words for how wrong you are. According to you, Angel deciding to turn back time (not wipe her mind) to save their lives and potentially the world is the exact same thing as raping Buffy. Go away and re-evaluate your life.

    Plus, when exactly would Angel have consulted Buffy? He went to the Oracles to become a vampire again, something that concerns his life and his body, and they told him the only way to do that was to turn back time. Do you really think he could have gone “Hey, give me an hour to talk this over and I’ll get back to ya”? No. He had to make a decision on the spot. He wasn’t given the chance to ask Buffy. If anything, be mad at the Oracles for making Angel make that choice. (Also, you’ll notice that even though Buffy is shocked and cries, she tells Angel she understands. She’s not even against it.)

    Angel was forced to make a tough decision in the face of potential danger. He later decides not to save Fred because saving Fred would result in the death of thousands. Did he ask her if she was okay with that? No, because he never got the chance. In the BTVS finale, Buffy activates thousands of slayers around the world. She didn’t ask a single one of them, and yet she put all of them in incredible danger and forced them to have superpowers, which seems pretty violating to me. And yet, we recognize that she didn’t have time to consult them and that she had to make tough decisions quickly in order to save the world.

    Rosie, you can hate Bangel and hate this episode. But calling what Angel did “psychic rape” is entirely inappropriate and you should be ashamed. Whether you like what Angel did or not, can you please for the love of God at least acknowledge that it is in now way comparable to rape and that Angel is at least somewhat justified?


  81. [Note: unkinhead posted this comment on May 4, 2015.]

    Well, while I’m not sure she should be “ashamed” for throwing the word rape around (I mean come on, it’s her viewpoint/opinion of it). I obviously disagree.

    Whether it’s “psychic rape” or not is not very relevant imo (I don’t think it is btw). Angel had a decision involving the state of the planet. I don’t think “Oh I may be violating Buffy’s memories” was on the top of his concerns.

    I find Angel justified in his actions, and to be honest, he didn’t really mess with her memories, he turned back time…So like, everyone’s memories of that day is gone. So technically, he mind raped everyone if you want to see it that way…But really what was the alternative? Without Angel the world would have been destroyed as demonstrated by the apocalypses he averts during the show, and presumably, after the show.


  82. [Note: Freudian Vampire posted this comment on May 4, 2015.]

    To be honest, I think a lot of people’s exasperation with Rosie is that she has made the same point over and over in this comments section and repeatedly said those who disagree with her are condoning rape. Which is majorly out of line.


  83. [Note: Pathbeyondthedark posted this comment on May 4, 2015.]

    This instance isn’t an example of violating someone. It’s turning back time. It may seem trivial, butthere is a difference. It’s not altering or changing them without consent, just making it so that the events they remember never actually happened. Can’t violate something that would otherwise not exist.

    Now, what Angel does in 4×22 is a violation. Comparing it to “rape” is unjustified, since victims remember their pain and continue to cope with it. But it doesn’t make it okay. You’re altering ones perception without their consent. You’re changing a part of them that they may not want changed. I don’t see how you can condone that, yet so many fans do.


  84. [Note: Random posted this comment on May 4, 2015.]

    You can argue it’s a violation of free will on a certain level, at the very least. I wouldn’t argue that, but the argument itself would isn’t indefensible. He made a choice that affected Buffy. The weakness of that argument is that it’s not fundamentally different from any other choice that affects others. Emotionally some people might react badly to it for whatever reason, as Rosie demonstrates here, but you can just as easily say his choice to kill the demon before it killed Buffy “affected Buffy” and her freedom to choose. Every choice we make, however innocuous, has an effect on the world around us, and turning back the clock is only different from the rest of our choices in that it’s not actually possible in the real world. No more, no less.

    In final analysis, I’d say that not only were Angel’s intentions good, had it been feasible (i.e. would it not have made the entire thing pointless since he needed to remember in order to prevent the entire affair from happening again) I have little doubt Angel would gladly have had his memory wiped as well. It wasn’t a gift, remembering something like that but knowing the other person literally does not share the same fond memory.


  85. [Note: Beth posted this comment on May 14, 2015.]

    Random, you make a good point. Either way, he would have been deciding for Buffy. If he had chosen to reject the Oracles offer and walked away, he’s still choosing for Buffy. In this case, he’s choosing for her to die, since he’s been told that’s what will happen if Angel stays human. (Or at least I’m pretty sure of this. It’s been awhile since I watched this one.) If he had chosen not to turn back time and simply continued on as a human, he would still be deeply affecting Buffy’s life as well as the lives of others.

    Angel was forced to make a choice and he was forced to make it on the spot. Part of both of their lives is making hard choices with sacrifices and no easy answer. Angel did what he had to do, and ultimately Buffy understood.


  86. [Note: Pathbeyondthedark posted this comment on May 15, 2015.]

    His decision was to either do something or allow the natural order to progress. I don’t consider allowing natural progression to go unhindered as being a “true” decision. It’s the lack of making a decisive decision as a matter of fact. It’s turning around and pretending there is no decision to be made.

    Even if you do consider it a “true” decision, it’s not Angel’s to make. When regarding morality, it all comes down to personal values. In universe it is too ambiguous to consider moral or immoral, therefore we look to personal opinion on the matter. I am a religious man. I believe it’s up to God to make decisions of that magnitude and if not, then the person directly affected (Buffy in this case). Thus, i believe it is a violation of Buffy. It’s not comparable with rape – which is how this conversation came up originally – but it’s still taking something from someone without their consent. I don’t understand how just because they don’t remember the event it justifies it.

    I know it’s not rape, so don’t take this the wrong way, but does drugging someone then doing said act make it okay because they don’t remember? Of course not. Why is this any different under those terms?


  87. [Note: Pathbeyondthedark posted this comment on May 15, 2015.]

    Choosing to kill the demon may or may not affect Buffy in some way, but choosing to turn back time and altering her memory as a result will affect her. Therefore, it’s immoral in my eyes to do it without her consent. Those two scenarios you present aren’t alike enough to be compared. Again, one has the chance of affecting her while the other will 100% affect her.

    Now, if you mean going when she herself wanted to do it, then yes Angel is wrong there too. Taking it upon yourself to dictate what’s best for another individual should be frowned upon. If Buffy feels it’s best to be included, then she should be. Same goes for Angel. If Buffy goes behind his back knowing he wants to fight alongside her, then she is wrong.

    People have the right to choose for themselves and making that decision for them is immoral in my eyes. You’re undermining their free will and insulting their ability to make decisions for themselves.


  88. [Note: QueenB posted this comment on August 25, 2015.]

    SMG is so talented. She breaks my heart every time I watch this episode especially when she says no, I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget.


  89. [Note: Maria posted this comment on June 25, 2016.]

    Angel didn’t decide for Buffy. He decided for himself. Only his decision affected Buffy’s life just like anyone’s decision about anything in life will have an effect on someone else’s life. We unfortunately (or fortunately) live in a world where our actions affect people around us. Should we all stop making decisions because of it?

    The way I see it. The person this decision concerned the most was Angel. It affected Buffy but also didn’t at the same time. That day didn’t happen. It was literally erased. Should we ask other people’s permissions everytime we make a decision over an event that might not happen because of said decision? That’s just ridiculous.


  90. [Note: Samm posted this comment on June 26, 2016.]

    I understand where you are coming from, but this is no different to what Willow did to Tara. Wiping her memory for her own benefit, in this case Angel’s benefit. It is a massive violation.


  91. [Note: TheDoThatGirl posted this comment on June 26, 2016.]

    I love how Cordy told Buffy that she couldn’t have everything, that she couldn’t have Angel and save the world. Which was true, Buffy was always irrational when it came to Angel. Case and point being the BtVS episode “Revelations.” Yes, Xander was being a complete tool in that episode, but Cordy and Giles made great points and I still clap like a goon whenever Giles tells Buffy about herself after the intervention.

    She can’t have Angel and save the world. Human Angel would have a massive target on his back from all of the evil things he’s managed to piss off, WR&H being the main ones. Angel would be pretty ill equipped to protect himself, and Buffy would try to pick up the slack and either get killed, or a bunch of innocent people that she was supposed to be protecting would die because her gut reaction would be save Angel.

    So, yeah, go Cordy.


  92. [Note: Maria posted this comment on August 11, 2016.]

    The difference is Willow did it to control Tara. Angel agreed with the Oracles to have the day erased so he could maybe prevent them from dying and have vampire strenght again. I’m repeating myself but it was the consequence of it, his intention was never to have any control on her memories.

    I think all is in the intention here. Is what Angel did 100% morally ok? No. ATS always worked in grey areas so this is not surprising. But Angel’s intentions were good.


  93. [Note: Luvtennis posted this comment on August 16, 2016.]

    I just don’t get the he violated her thing. He made a choice about his path. Did that decision affect Buffy? Yes. Did he do it to hurt her? No. Was he selfish? Yes, but he was selfless in intent. Angel was not ready to leave his path. Not even close. He may never be ready. But that is not the point. The point is that he continues to fight.

    Angelus was perhaps the most monstrous character in the Whedonverse. His killing and torture of Drusilla was a terrible sin. Made worse because she was intended to be an agent of good. How could a man bearing the burden of that sin settle down for snuggles with his honey? Angel is not Spike – a great character with a wonderful arc who is still a marginal character in the scheme of the Buffyverse – Angel is a mythic figure like the Captain of the Flying Dutchman, or the wondering Jew.

    Spike raped Buffy repeatedly because all sex with soulless Spike was rape. Buffy was just too sick to see. Angel made a choice about his own life that affected the woman he loved. And he made that choice in a way that spared her the pain that he took upon himself. That is not rape – physical, psychological or emotional.

    You are applying soap opera morality to a great work of art. Doesn’t work.


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