Angel 3×17: Forgiving

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Jeffrey Bell | Director: Turi Meyer | Aired: 04/15/2002]

“Forgiving” is a gripping and memorable follow up to the major tragedy of Wesley Wyndam-Pryce and Angel Investigations in “Sleep Tight” [3×16]. It has a large burden on its shoulders: to pick up the pieces from the cliffhanger that the last episode left us on and move forward in a way that’s not only unpredictable and interesting, but does justice to everything that was set in motion before. On those two fronts it succeeds, and just to watch Angel’s descent is as unnerving as it was in the S2 episodes “Reunion” [2×10] and “Redefinition” [2×11]. But the real challenge for the writers here is seeing how well they use the lessons learned in those times past.

This episode, while not quite a spiritual successor to “Reunion” [2×10], shares some important similarities. It has a different set of players, but has the same basic setup of Angel having been betrayed and lost someone he dearly cares for. While this season’s arc isn’t nearly as well done as S2’s, the betrayal featured in it is greater than the one in S2, and the loss heavier and more personal. So now the question becomes: How is Angel going to deal with this? One presumes it certainly won’t be with hugs and puppies. Knowing what we know about his explosive personality and having seen the extent of his capability for vengeance and obsession, the question is an uneasy one.

The story’s search for an answer focuses directly on the theme of responsibility, but more intriguingly blends in ideas about irrationality and blame. Angel sets out at the start of act one with the intent of finding his son and then punishing those responsible for his capture. But we, the audience, know even before he does that the baby is gone, will not be coming back, and a happy ending will not be had; this is a Joss Whedon show after all, and since suffering forces growth for better or worse, the more painful route will always be more interesting. So the real focus is finding out who really is responsible.

There’s a list of names we could assign the blame to: Sahjahn, Holtz, Justine, Wesley, Lilah, Linwood, and even Angel himself. They all played a part in the demise of baby Connor somehow, but can any single one of them be given more blame than another? Angel begged Holtz to take Connor, Lilah’s interference exacerbated his need to do so, Justine slit Wesley’s throat, Wesley stole Connor in the first place and Sahjahn brought Holtz back for the very purpose of disposing of the child. And Linwood is the (however incompetent) puppet-master behind W&H’s goal to acquire the baby. Who is a vengeful vampire to kill first?

Everyone? Or no one? Angel sets out with the goal of finding his son but quickly abandons that as he learns the truth about the Quor’toth dimension and the improbable odds of finding Holtz in it. But that doesn’t stop him, because it’s not what he really wanted anyway. In a truly frightening scene he prepares to torture Linwood, and in no uncertain terms do we doubt that he would. That’s the power of a show with excellent development and character context. What Angel really wants, as the girl in the white room surmises, is someone he can ‘sink his teeth into.’ Connor is gone, he’s been betrayed and his world is in shambles. Someone has to pay.

While most of the people on the above list are deserving of some form of punishment, none of them are singularly responsible. Even the truly detestable Holtz is that way because of what Angelus did to his family. Which brings it all back to Angel. If it seems like I’m going in circles here, keep reading. The episode’s message is that we need accountability to be a factor in everything. Someone has to be held responsible for even the most complex and impossible of situations or our world becomes chaotic; the wicked cannot be punished, the righteous cannot be rewarded and worst of all, we have to recognize that the world is a place where random, horrible things can happen without any good reason or closure.

With Connor gone, Angel has to do something about his pain. And to admit the randomness of the world would be too horrible, so he begins to go down the list: Tying up Linwood, nearly killing Lilah….and so on. And underneath all of this is the belief that his past as Angelus is the single most likely thing that can be traced back to the origin of this horrendous pain he’s feeling. He basically hates everyone in this, including himself. But the truth as the episode purports it is that nothing is that simple, and Angel needs to let go of his hatred for people like Holtz, and learn to forgive himself and Wesley. One of these two things he manages to do.

During the climactic (and nicely shot) battle with Sahjahn we’re given a very accurate microcosm of his overall conflict: abandon his friends or accomplish his mission. He can kill Sahjahn at the expense of those he cares about or save them and pass up his one chance to satisfy his own want for vengeance. This is where the lessons learned in the past come in handy, because Angel makes the better choice and holds off to help his friends, knowing the pain his selfishness cost them during his pursuit of Darla. He moves on from his hatred, as there’s nothing else he can do with it, but he’s far from ready to forgive anyone yet.

In his last desperate act to find a rational order in the way of things, he attacks Wesley in what is another iconic moment for the series. Even knowing what he knows about Wesley’s noble intentions he tries to kill him anyway because of the deep extent of his pain; someone has to pay. And it may as well be Wesley, who made a serious and honest mistake, but was in an impossible situation. The difference between Wesley and Sahjahn/Holtz/Lilah is that Wesley’s still around to have the shit pinned on him. And since he’s the guy who actually tried to save Connor, it’s painful and deeply disturbing to watch. This is the scene that makes this episode.

What keeps it from a better score, something I would’ve definitely liked to offer it given the unwaveringly dark execution of its theme, is Sahjahn himself. Though we get a sense that he is a powerful physical threat to be feared, he’s little more. The answer to the great mystery that the writers have been dangling in front of us to keep us watching all along is not as interesting as the story arc had promised us (nor is the revelation about the prophecy, which I talked about in “Sleep Tight” [3×16]. This is often the case with “mystery” plot points, as evidenced by the show “Lost”, which has long crumbled under the weight of its questions. AtS never gets that bad, but this is still a disappointment.

If the arc had pertained specifically to the theme of survival or Sahjahn had been a more desperate, sympathetic, human(like) character, wanting to destroy baby Connor to save his own ass would’ve been a more powerful answer. As it is, it just sucks. Sahjahn’s developed no real depth and as such should’ve been only a side player. But neither he nor Holtz ever attained more complexity than their first couple episodes offered, and that’s a serious flaw considering they’re the main antagonists of the season. But again, this is almost always the case when you have an ongoing mystery: when it’s built up for so long, no answer will ever be good enough.

We should’ve either been told that this was Sahjahn’s motive from the get go in “Dad” [3×10], or not told at all, in keeping with the episode’s ideas about the random horror of the world. But then you would’ve had angry fans demanding answers, which they deserve after all this waiting. Nothing is good enough, unfortunately. Aside from this, the only other complaint I have is that the episode’s pacing sometimes feels a little off, usually during the Fred/Gunn scenes in which they search for Wesley. Granted, they’re important moments of both character and plot work, but given how excited we enter into the episode about the Angel/Holtz/Sahjahn story, it cuts in and slows things down too much.

But it doesn’t hurt the overall package all that much. And the theme is such an interesting, intellectual piece of work that had the story had the seamless execution and emotional power of “Sleep Tight” [3×16] that it could’ve seriously had a shot at a 100 score. These difficult moral dilemmas in which very human people do good and bad things, make mistakes, help each other and face impossible situations remain the best kinds of episodes. They show true humanity and human character, and when they’re willing to show the ugly side of that too, you know you’re watching something brave and extraordinary.


Minor Pros/Cons (+/-)

+ Gunn and Fred sticking up for Wesley.
+ Angel being completely aware of the score on W&H: “They’d kill you (Linwood) before they’d kill me.”
+ Needles.
+ Angel almost BREAKING Lilah’s neck.
+ The final scene in the hospital. Yikes. Poor Wesley.


[Score]

85/100

Advertisements

52 thoughts on “Angel 3×17: Forgiving”

  1. [Note: elim posted this comment on July 5, 2007.]

    The revelation of Sahjahn’s motives reminds me of Salo’s message in “The Sirens of Titan”. In fact, the whole Sahjahn plot and Season 3 in general is highly reminiscent of that book. Season 4 is where it starts being like “Lost” but, as you said, not to the same extent.

    I get the impression that, given the inability of the producers to do any Buffy/Angel crossovers that year that they decided to explore complementary themes in the two shows regarding carrying out your destiny vs. living a normal life. In Buffy Season 5, Buffy, after loosing her mother and comparatively normal boyfriend, gets to go out in a blaze of glory, but is forcibly brought back in Season 6 and has to deal with life. In Angel Season 2, Angel’s struggle against Wolfram and Hart isolated him from his friends, culminating in a completely failed attempt at going out in a blaze of glory. Thus in Season 3, he’s given up on his destiny and is perfectly content to be “going through the motions”.

    Keeping up with this skew symmetry, Connor in Season 3 is like the complement of Dawn in Season 6, something that becomes especially clear in “Benediction” and Sahjahn corresponds to the evil trio. The evil trio are a lame bunch of humans with no superpowers (normal life), who nonetheless make Buffy’s life miserable, and the fact that they’re so lame makes it hurt even more. Sahjahn is an ancient demon connected with a prophecy (destiny), who has a lame back story, but nonetheless makes Angel’s life miserable and the fact that his back story and motivations are so lame makes it hurt even more.

    Although the two seasons don’t always have exact episode by episode parallels, I’d say that this one corresponds to “Dead Things” in which our hero, upon loosing a chance at either destiny fulfillment or normal life completely gives up on everything. “The Price” would be “Normal Again”, in which our hero has to come to terms with the way he/she has behaved and realize that he/she hasn’t lost everything. Honorary Season 3 episode “Deep Down” would be “Grave” in which our hero finally sets aside his/her disenchantment with destiny/normal life once and for all, setting the stage for a new season that will look promising at first, but end in regulation disappointment.

    Like

  2. [Note: Ryan-R.B. posted this comment on July 15, 2007.]

    Very nice insights elim. Definitely buried below the surface, but it’s not grasping at straws to see what you do. I admit I’ve never really looked at the seasons in terms of direct parallels before.

    Nice comments. 🙂

    Like

  3. [Note: Dingdongalistic posted this comment on November 20, 2007.]

    For my money, this is easily the best episode of the season. Complex, emotionally challenging and with perfect character development.

    Like

  4. [Note: buffyholic posted this comment on March 11, 2008.]

    This is an example of what I love about Angel. Real people dealing with real emotions and dilemmas, making mistakes and learning from them and always looking for redemption.

    Like

  5. [Note: Sanjuro posted this comment on December 3, 2008.]

    I think this episode is a disturbing parallel to the end of “The Thin Dead Line.” In that episode, Wesley is wounded and lies in a hospital, and Angel comes to see his friend and is turned away (with a hint of a threat). Here, he comes to a wounded Wesley for vengeance, and it is Wesley who is thrown out, and the violence here is certainly bigger than a light threat.

    One of my favorite episodes of the season; I can’t believe where they took Wesley from here.

    Like

  6. [Note: Arouet posted this comment on January 25, 2009.]

    It would have been so much better for Sahjahn’s real motive to kill Connor to be an attempt to stop Jasmine’s birth. His motives would have remained a secret until season 4 when Cordelia would either manipulate the gang or Angelus to kill him before he could come to their aid.

    Like

  7. [Note: Emily posted this comment on June 21, 2009.]

    I don’t understand why people keep on saying, “Poor Wesley”, or “This is Wesley, so he acted in a Wesley-way.” The past 2 episodes are where I discover my intense hatred for Wesley. Objectively, yes, they did a great job with his character arc. However, when you’re talking about just the character himself- I *HATE* him from this point on, and don’t understand why Angel forgives him. Prophecy or not, he should’ve spoken to Angel about his concerns- and even if he didn’t want to tell Angel, he could’ve told the gang! He could’ve spoken to Cordelia- after all, they’re the Core 3, just like Buffy, Giles, Willow, and Xander are the Core 4 in Buffy. Wesley is an ass- an arrogant ass who thinks he knows best.

    Okay. Rant over. Like I said, objectively, I love what they did with his character- very complex, and a long road back. But I would never forgive him.

    Like

  8. [Note: Nathan.Taurus posted this comment on February 4, 2010.]

    Connor as a baby had to go. The series could not of had him throughout the rest of its run so Holtz taking him is in a way karma. Angel takes his child so Holtz takes Connor, only Connor survives where as Daniels baby did not.

    Angelus’ ghosts are coming back to bite him and Angel has to blame someone, so it falls on Wesley, the guy who is sure the end justifys the means.

    Angel hates Wes more as he sees him as a traitor which is worse than Holtz out for revenge.

    “You’re a dead man, Pryce, dead!”

    Like

  9. [Note: Elizabeth posted this comment on September 9, 2010.]

    I am totally with you Emily. I will not be hopping onto the “Poor Wesly” train either. Yes, he was sad about losing Fred. DEAL WITH IT!! Geez, Angel lost Cordy. Did he totally freak out and steal a baby? I think not. I know the Connor as a baby thing had to go, but I wish the writers hadn’t ruined wesly for me forever. What he did was unforgivable and I can never like him again.

    Like

  10. [Note: Alice posted this comment on November 7, 2010.]

    “He was sad about losing Fred. DEAL WITH IT!! Geez, Angel lost Cordy. Did he totally freak out and steal a baby? I think not”

    Angel losing Cordelia didn’t make him go nuts because he realised he wasn’t alone- he still had Connor. Wesley, on the other hand, was the only one in the group that was left completely alone.

    “He could’ve spoken to Cordelia- after all, they’re the Core 3, just like Buffy, Giles, Willow, and Xander are the Core 4 in Buffy”

    Just because they were close, doesn’t mean they would confide in each other about everything. On Buffy, Giles, like Wes, believed in doing things for “the greater good”. He didn’t confide in anyone before killing Ben because they would have stopped him.

    One of the factors for Wesley not telling anyone was that he was worried that anyone close to Connor and/or Angel would not be able to focus on the big picture and act rationally.

    Another factor was that Wesley had fooled himself into believing that Holtz would have enough humanity left to allow him the opportunity to keep Connor safe, before attacking Angel Investigations.

    In my view, Wesley’s betrayal lies not in kidnapping Connor, but in not telling anyone about Holtz’ whereabouts and plan to attack them.

    Like

  11. [Note: Wveth posted this comment on April 14, 2011.]

    The Wesley haters have to learn to think from his point of view. The solution would hardly be as simple as you both present it, not given what he knew.

    What if he had told Angel? You know how much Angel had lost his sense of rationality concerning Connor. It would have just been “no I won’t” and that would’ve been it. And who knows if he would have even been able to stop himself from killing his son? You can bash him knowing it’s a false prophecy and knowing everything we, the viewers, know.

    I’m not saying Wesley’s actions were right, but saying he’s horrible and should be hated is just ridiculous. There was nothing else he could have done to ENSURE the safety of the baby. Not from what he knew. That’s all there is to it.

    I agree with the review, whole-heartedly, about how this is tragedy extremely well conceived and executed, being very understandable and straddling the line between good and bad. Wesley has the best character arc in the Whedonverse and this episode is the crux of it.

    Like

  12. [Note: Leo posted this comment on May 2, 2011.]

    I kinda liked the “this is not about Angel” revelation. I saw it as a posibility. It was not that much of a surprise but it made sense. I never felt disappointed by it.

    Like

  13. [Note: Keaton posted this comment on October 4, 2011.]

    Boy, am I disappointed. ^^

    So that whole prophecy was just bogus made up by Sahjahn to hide another prophecy?

    That is far less complex than I expected and the whole self-fulfilling prophecy discussion becomes obsolete. Please ignore my speculations below the last episodes, I guess I should just stop thinking that much about this show. 😦

    I would even hate this episode if it wasn’t for the last scene where Angel tried to kill Wesley. Though I don’t wish Wesley any harm, Angel forgiving him that fast wouldn’t make any sense. But then again Angel’s coldblooded attempt to kill Wesley (he planed that attack, it wasn’t just momentary rage) seems OOC to me too so I still don’t like the scene or this episode as a whole.

    Characters doing something dramatic that doesn’t make sense or changing in a way that isn’t plausible seems to be a constant problem with this show, huh?

    Sad, hope they don’t screw this up any more and I wished they wouldn’t have brought that useless Sahjahn guy into the equation, he really killed the suspense for me.

    Like

  14. [Note: Keaton posted this comment on October 5, 2011.]

    Hi, it’s me correcting myself again^^

    “So that whole prophecy was just bogus made up by Sahjahn to hide another prophecy?”

    not hide, avert

    Like

  15. [Note: Anne posted this comment on September 21, 2012.]

    I don’t even remember what Sahjahn’s real reason for faking the prophecy was. What I do remember was my one moment of plot-delusion when, as Sahjahn stood before the portal, I suddenly thought — “OMG it’s THAT father!!! *Angel’s* father will kill *Angel’s* son!” The long version of my thought process being that Sahjahn was somehow a reincarnation of Angel’s father, that his spirit clearly wouldn’t have been at peace after what Angel did to him, and maybe he was able to cut some kind of deal-with-a-demon to come back to stop or punish his son; killing Connor as revenge on Angel, or more likely because Connor seems like the most dangerous possible abomination of all: a child of two vampires. I was really bummed out that the prophecy didn’t come to fruition (unless you count the end of Season 4, but I don’t really, as the prophecy was apparently a total fake, and they don’t make it exactly clear if Connor is every fully truly dead).

    Like

  16. [Note: FlyingPenguin posted this comment on April 18, 2015.]

    I’m not saying Wesley’s actions were right, but saying he’s horrible and should be hated is just ridiculous. There was nothing else he could have done to ENSURE the safety of the baby. Not from what he knew. That’s all there is to it.

    Okay, I know this comment is from years ago, but: Um…”ensure” Connor’s safety? How did Wesley’s actions “ensure” Connor’s safety? Didn’t they result in him going to a hell dimension? I mean, I’m not saying that that was foreseeable, but the point is that all possible courses of action entailed risks and had uncertain outcomes–so to say that Wesley had to take the incredibly reckless and extreme course that he took to “ensure” anything is way off. To my way of thinking, after all, kidnapping Angel’s baby was far riskier than talking to Angel & the others about the prophecy…

    Like

  17. [Note: Rain posted this comment on June 22, 2015.]

    At first I really loved Angel, I had a small crush on him when I was younger but this episode killed it for me. I spent the rest of the show’s run hoping he would die.

    I just find his actions stupid and way over the top. It just doesn’t make sense at all. He tries to kill his best friend even after learning that Wes was trying to protect the baby. He of all people should of been more understanding since Angel is suppose to be the king of redemption. I get he was upset about his baby, most people would get pissed in his position, but he knew that Wes was only trying to help and wasn’t entirely responsible. I could accept it if Angel fired Wes and not talk for a while..but kill?

    Also I’m not convinced it was the heat of the moment kind of thing. He asked Fred and Gunn before going in if Wes could speak , seemingly out of concern, until what happens next….then you realize he just wanted to make sure Wes couldn’t call for help. Plus he chose to smother him as appose to say snapping his neck, so that there would be no evidence.

    Wesley’s biggest mistake in all of this was trying to protect everyone and taking the fall himself….and he got his throat cut and loses his friends for his trouble. Wes didn’t tell the others because he likely thought it would draw too much attention and he didn’t want the others involve.

    Also he didn’t think it would help. After the whole thing with W&H spiking Angel’s blood with Conners and Angels reaction to it, would you feel comfortable bringing it up?

    The thing that bugs me the most about all of this though, is that Angel was willing to forgive someone like Faith but not one of his best friends who was trying to save his son. For those who don’t remember Faith was the psycho slayer who killed no less then three people, tried to kill angel and buffy more then once, joined the big bad of season 3 buffy, tried to rape and kill Xander and lord knows what else.

    How the heck Angel decided Wes should die but crazy slayer lives is just mind boggling. He should of stayed in hell because frankly even with a soul he is a murderous temperamental bastard.

    Like

  18. [Note: Spike posted this comment on March 16, 2016.]

    I think you’re missing the point. The scene is perfectly realistic. If you were betrayed by your best friend and it resulted in the loss of your child you wouldn’t be thinking completely rationally about them either.

    Basically it doesn’t matter what Wesley’s intent was, all angel saw was the shitty end result which crushed his spirit within 2 days. There are very few parents who could think objectively at that point. Wesley at least deserved an ass kicking.

    Also here’s the difference with faith, angel is no stranger to death, he just doesn’t want people he cares about being hurt. Faith didn’t kill anyone he cared about. Angel never actually liked most of the Buffy crew. Especially Xander. Xander hated him just because he happened to be a man that Buffy was attracted to since season 1. Xander then kept using the fact that Angelus came out as an reason to hate angel more. Why would angel care anything about Xander when Xander got hurt?

    The least Wesley could have done was talked to the group and made sure the prophecy wasn’t bullshit from and older source, not just other prophecies and a talking burger.

    Like

  19. [Note: DarkWill posted this comment on June 14, 2016.]

    Getting an ass kicking is a lot different from being killed. What Angel tried to do was a cowardly cold blooded murder, and he has no excuses or justifications for it.

    And about Faith? you must be kidding. Faith tried to kill Buffy, are you saying Angel didn’t care for Buffy? And she tortured Wesley and tried to kill Angel himself. And she did all these on purpose, for evil reasons, while Wesley killed no one and his motivations were good. So yeah there a lot of differences between Faith and Wesley but those differences should have made Angel make the opposite choice: forgive Wesley and NOT Faith. But of course Wesley isn’t a pretty girl 😉

    Like

  20. [Note: Iguana-on-a-stick posted this comment on June 14, 2016.]

    In general I agree with you: the things Faith did were far worse than the ones Wesley did.

    But it’s not just that Faith is a young and pretty girl. I’d say it’s even more about the fact that Faith failed to kill those people Angel cared about. Sure, she killed some other innocent people, but he (and the viewers) didn’t know them. That makes it much easier to forgive her.

    You’ll note that Buffy, who was impacted much more severely by Faith’s actions, had a much harder time forgiving her.

    Wesley, meanwhile, succeeded (inadvertently) in damning Angel’s son. At this time, Angel thought Wesley had essentially gotten Connor killed. Considering all that happened after, the path Wesley set Connor on that eventually ended with the boy strapping a bomb to his chest, it’s not that far from the truth either.

    I don’t blame Angel for being irrationally angry, nor for being unable and unwilling to forgive Wesley at this time.

    I do blame him for attempted murder, though. Angel is and remains something of a bastard.

    Like

  21. [Note: DarkWill posted this comment on June 14, 2016.]

    In general I agree with you: the things Faith did were far worse than the ones Wesley did.

    But it’s not just that Faith is a young and pretty girl.

    well, I get this feeling given that Angel was very forgiving towards pretty girls such as Faith, Dana, Harmony and let’s not forget Justine, while he doesn’t give men the same treatment: Wesley (who he tried personally to kill) Lindsay (who he ordered to kill) and Spike (who he was ready to kill destroying the amulet).
    But I’m not really talking of forgiveness, it’s ok to me that Angel didn’t forgive Wesley. What’s not ok is that he tooks upon himself to decide who deserves to live and to have a second chance.

    I’d say it’s even more about the fact that Faith failed to kill those people Angel cared about. Sure, she killed some other innocent people, but he (and the viewers) didn’t know them. That makes it much easier to forgive her.

    I don’t know. Lack of success in killing Buffy, Angel and I can’t remember who else, doesn’t make her more forgivable (=deserving to live) than Wesley, who actually didn’t kill or try to kill no one.

    You’ll note that Buffy, who was impacted much more severely by Faith’s actions, had a much harder time forgiving her.

    that for sure, but it doesn’t imply that Angel’s motivations to let Faith live are different

    Wesley, meanwhile, succeeded (inadvertently) in damning Angel’s son.

    everything had just happened, wasn’t it too soon for Angel to give up on his son and to condemn Wesley? But it looks like Angel was more interested in getting revenge than in saving his son. When he kidnaps Linwood first thing he does is ask for a way to find Sahjhan and the same when he talks to the girl in the white room. only after he faces him, does he bother to ask about Connor

    At this time, Angel thought Wesley had essentially gotten Connor killed. Considering all that happened after, the path Wesley set Connor on that eventually ended with the boy strapping a bomb to his chest, it’s not that far from the truth either.

    I think that the one to set Connor on his path was Angel. If he hadn’t killed Holtz’s family nothing would have happened to Connor in the first place. Or at least not the way it happened. Sahjhan would have still tried to avert the prophecy but not using Holtz or Wesley.

    I don’t blame Angel for being irrationally angry, nor for being unable and unwilling to forgive Wesley at this time.

    I do blame him for attempted murder, though. Angel is and remains something of a bastard.

    it seems we share the same opinion then

    Like

  22. [Note: Iguana-on-a-stick posted this comment on June 14, 2016.]

    I don’t know. Lack of success in killing Buffy, Angel and I can’t remember who else, doesn’t make her more forgivable (=deserving to live) than Wesley, who actually didn’t kill or try to kill no one.

    Logically, no.

    Emotionally, yes.

    Angel isn’t reasoning his way through his actions here. He’s acting on instinct. And on that level it makes sense. He’s wrong, but his actions do make sense.

    everything had just happened, wasn’t it too soon for Angel to give up on his son and to condemn Wesley? But it looks like Angel was more interested in getting revenge than in saving his son. When he kidnaps Linwood first thing he does is ask for a way to find Sahjhan and the same when he talks to the girl in the white room. only after he faces him, does he bother to ask about Connor

    This is a very good point, though, and it says a lot about Angel that he acts this way. Ultimately, he’s rather fatalistic.

    Like

  23. [Note: DarkWill posted this comment on June 14, 2016.]

    Logically, no.

    Emotionally, yes.

    Angel isn’t reasoning his way through his actions here. He’s acting on instinct. And on that level it makes sense. He’s wrong, but his actions do make sense.

    I am a bit conflicted about this. I mean, I understand the instinctive reaction of a parent and I also understand the desire for revenge, even if I believe that it’s the ability to reason and understand right from wrong to distinguish us from animals. The problem in this situation is that for me Angel’s behavior and actions do not reflect those of a father distraught and moved by instinct.

    First, I believe that anyone in his position would focus on trying to save his son. Only later, once resigned, he would seek revenge. Angel instead does the opposite.

    I’m not saying that he doesn’t care about Connor, mind you, only that his priorities are different and that he is not motivated by despair. Angel is lucid, rational. He does what he does not because he is upset and crazy for pain, otherwise he would have killed Justine, Linwood and Lilah, but because he doesn’t tolerate that Wesley, who works for him and it’s basically his subject, has dared to take action against him.

    It’s personal and, as I see it, it has nothing to do with what Wesley has done or why.

    Ultimately, he’s rather fatalistic.

    I don’t think it’s about being fatalistic. Angel works very hard to change things when it suits his agenda and he can be very patient and determined imo

    Like

  24. [Note: Pathbeyondthedark posted this comment on June 14, 2016.]

    If I may bud in, intervene, stick my nose where it doesn’t belong.

    I feel Angel’s reaction to the loss of his son is more about the universe continuing to say “screw you” no matter how much good he does. What’s the first reaction to something you can’t control? To lash out at which you can.

    Wesley was an easy target, there’s a good chance a confrontation with Lilah and the others could be fatal. He had his wits about him as you can see by the calm before the storm.

    It’s not easy feeling like you finally deserved some happiness after sacrificing for so long, only for that happiness to be stripped from you. In this way Angel is mourning the loss of his happiness more then the loss of his son, and at that time what made him temporarily happy was to take it out on Wesley.

    Does Angel love his son? Yes. But is he the most important thing in his (after)life? I’d say no. He does the right thing after resurfacing in “Deep Down” by banishing him from the hotel, an act of love and discipline imo. But as soon he finds that Connor has stolen the other object of his affection he condemns him emotionally. And was “killing” Connor in order to alter reality really an act of selfless love? I’m inclined to the negative. I feel that after all the confusion and turmoil with what to do with his suffering child that, at least in part, Angel did it to relieve the stress of having to help him over time because he was obviously unsure how to go about it.

    But, with perhaps the most convincing evidence, Angel never experienced a moment of “true happiness” with Connor. It’s been heavily suggested that this moment of bliss is not necessarily restricted to sexual contact by the use of the drug in “Eternity” and the use of the Shaman(an unnatural stimulation of pleasure in other words). His happiness seems to come more from passion then love. Connor obviously can’t do that for him so he could never love him as much as he perhaps wishes he could.

    Like

  25. [Note: Pathbeyondthedark posted this comment on June 14, 2016.]

    One last thing, but Angel begins to become more and more bitter as the seasons wane on. The only plausible explanation for this is his ever growing resentment towards the figurative “Powers That Be” or world in other word that I mention in regards to losing Connor.

    This is the crux of my issue and displeasure with “I will Remember You.” If disregarded, Angel’s journey becomes a lot more empathetic in nature knowing he’s sacrificed a lot in the quest for redemption only to be spat on at every turn. But with its inclusion we already know he had earned his right to a new life and forgiveness through the literal “Powers That Be” but instead gave it up. This makes all his hardships from then on seem pointless, and just a case of “well, you had your chance so now stop whining and reap what you sow.”

    Like

  26. [Note: Iguana-on-a-stick posted this comment on June 14, 2016.]

    I don’t think it’s about being fatalistic. Angel works very hard to change things when it suits his agenda and he can be very patient and determined imo

    Indeed he can. But he is STILL fatalistic, because for the most part, he doesn’t really believe he can actually make a change.

    Most of the time, I don’t think that, deep down, Angel believes he will ever really be forgiven and find redemption.
    I don’t think he believes he will truly defeat Wolfram & Hart or make a long-term difference in Los Angeles.

    There are certainly times when he has hope. When he’s first getting to know Buffy, after learning about the Shanshu prophecy, after his epiphany.

    But ultimately, Angel ends up choosing the self-destructive path again and again. Ultimately, Angel gives up in Amends, between Reunion and Reprise, and of course in Not Fade Away.

    Even on a smaller scale, we see Angel push things away and give them up time and again. His relationship with Buffy in season 3 of that show, the ring of invulnerability in “In the dark,” his humanity in IWRY, Connor in these episodes, the search for Cordelia at the start of season 4, etc.

    Angel doesn’t always believe he is doomed, but I do think he always believes he shouldbe.

    Like

  27. [Note: DarkWill posted this comment on June 14, 2016.]

    If I may bud in, intervene, stick my nose where it doesn’t belong.

    of course 🙂

    I feel Angel’s reaction to the loss of his son is more about the universe continuing to say “screw you” no matter how much good he does.

    yes, it’s possible but in this case his motivations would be just as wrong to me, because it would be a severe case of undeserved self-indulgence and self-pity. Because compared to the bad he has done both when soulless and souled (and a bit also when human) the good he does just weights… nothing. If he were truly repented for his sins he wouldn’t feel that the universe is screwing him but that he is just getting the punishment he deserves and he would embrace it imo

    What’s the first reaction to something you can’t control? To lash out at which you can.

    Wesley was an easy target, there’s a good chance a confrontation with Lilah and the others could be fatal. He had his wits about him as you can see by the calm before the storm.

    It’s not easy feeling like you finally deserved some happiness after sacrificing for so long, only for that happiness to be stripped from you.
    In this way Angel is mourning the loss of his happiness more then the loss of his son, and at that time what made him temporarily happy was to take it out on Wesley.

    The issue here is that we clearly have a very different view of Angel as a character. I don’t think that he sacrificed anything nor that he deserves any happiness and the fact that he feels he does and is resentful because he doesn’t have it, makes him even worse in my eyes, because it means that he clearly doesn’t do good to amend the bad he has done but because he expects a reward. Which, by the way he already has, judging by the kind of life that he leads since he starts to do good: luxury cars, friends, a job, a nice home, power and people who respect him and consider him a ‘champion’. I really think that he has a lot more than other more deserving buffyverse characters have and that he has no right to feel sorry for himself.

    Does Angel love his son? Yes. But is he the most important thing in his (after)life? I’d say no. He does the right thing after resurfacing in “Deep Down” by banishing him from the hotel, an act of love and discipline imo. But as soon he finds that Connor has stolen the other object of his affection he condemns him emotionally. And was “killing” Connor in order to alter reality really an act of selfless love? I’m inclined to the negative. I feel that after all the confusion and turmoil with what to do with his suffering child that, at least in part, Angel did it to relieve the stress of having to help him over time because he was obviously unsure how to go about it.

    Agreed.

    But, with perhaps the most convincing evidence, Angel never experienced a moment of “true happiness” with Connor. It’s been heavily suggested that this moment of bliss is not necessarily restricted to sexual contact by the use of the drug in “Eternity” and the use of the Shaman(an unnatural stimulation of pleasure in other words). His happiness seems to come more from passion then love. Connor obviously can’t do that for him so he could never love him as much as he perhaps wishes he could.

    Agreed again.

    One last thing, but Angel begins to become more and more bitter as the seasons wane on. The only plausible explanation for this is his ever growing resentment towards the figurative “Powers That Be” or world in other word that I mention in regards to losing Connor.

    I honestly never noticed this growing bitterness you mention

    This is the crux of my issue and displeasure with “I will Remember You.” If disregarded, Angel’s journey becomes a lot more empathetic in nature knowing he’s sacrificed a lot in the quest for redemption only to be spat on at every turn. But with its inclusion we already know he had earned his right to a new life and forgiveness through the literal “Powers That Be” but instead gave it up. This makes all his hardships from then on seem pointless, and just a case of “well, you had your chance so now stop whining and reap what you sow.”

    But again… what exactly has Angel sacrificed? And how was he spat on?
    In regards of his becoming human in IWR I don’t see it as a new life and forgiveness and neither it was something he earned. He was casually made human by coming in contact with some demon blood, he wasn’t awarded by the PTB. And not a new life because it’s actually the opposite: as a vampire he has the chance to live forever, not aging, not getting ill plus the vampire powers, as a human… not. Where is the gain? About the forgiveness, who and how was forgiving him? If he felt sorry for the evil he had done, surely it wasn’t his becoming human that would stop that feeling?

    Like

  28. [Note: DarkWill posted this comment on June 14, 2016.]

    Indeed he can. But he is STILL fatalistic, because for the most part, he doesn’t really believe he can actually make a change.

    Most of the time, I don’t think that, deep down, Angel believes he will ever really be forgiven and find redemption.
    I don’t think he believes he will truly defeat Wolfram & Hart or make a long-term difference in Los Angeles.

    There are certainly times when he has hope. When he’s first getting to know Buffy, after learning about the Shanshu prophecy, after his epiphany.

    But ultimately, Angel ends up choosing the self-destructive path again and again. Ultimately, Angel gives up in Amends, between Reunion and Reprise, and of course in Not Fade Away.

    Even on a smaller scale, we see Angel push things away and give them up time and again. His relationship with Buffy in season 3 of that show, the ring of invulnerability in “In the dark,” his humanity in IWRY, Connor in these episodes, the search for Cordelia at the start of season 4, etc.

    Angel doesn’t always believe he is doomed, but I do think he always believes he shouldbe.

    I was considering this topic about Angel being fatalistic more from a practical point of view than… philosophical. I mean, ok maybe Angel is fatalistic, but I don’t think it has nothing to do with how quickly he gives up in his looking for Connor. Because however he felt in other situations, when he really wanted to achieve something (saving Fred in that other dimension, the agreement with W & H about Connor, trying to save Darla and, in this same case, chasing Sahjhan, just to make a few examples) he did it. He didn’t give up to his fatalism saying Fred is doomed, Connor is lost, Sahjhan is gone, Darla is as dead already. So I can’t impute his easy surrender with Connor to an alleged fatalism.

    About his giving things up, I don’t know… I don’t want to sound as I’m dismissing everything good Angel has done but when I look at the big picture I just see a guy whose life just keeps getting better and better. He goes from eating rats in the sewers to be the slayer’s boyfriend to own a private agency of investigation to live in a hotel and finally to be the head of the biggest evil organization. He has power, money, friends and everyone looks at him as a hero. What are the things he gave up?

    Like

  29. [Note: Pathbeyondthedark posted this comment on June 14, 2016.]

    I honestly never noticed this growing bitterness you mention

    It’s directly on his face after each, what he interprets as, big “middle finger” (he thought “staying away” from society was a form of penance when he slummed it in the past, being sucked into a Hell dimension for 100 years, having to leave Buffy, Darla’s resurrection, coming to terms with evil being eternal, losing his son, being sunk to the bottom of the ocean, losing the (2nd) woman he loved to Connor, then coma, then death, losing Fred…, putting up with Spike… you know stuff like that xD). He clearly becomes much more cynical as the series progresses. He was always a loner, but never a dick like he is by the series conclusion.

    But again… what exactly has Angel sacrificed? And how was he spat on?
    In regards of his becoming human in IWR I don’t see it as a new life and forgiveness and neither it was something he earned. He was casually made human by coming in contact with some demon blood, he wasn’t awarded by the PTB. And not a new life because it’s actually the opposite: as a vampire he has the chance to live forever, not aging, not getting ill plus the vampire powers, as a human… not. Where is the gain? About the forgiveness, who and how was forgiving him? If he felt sorry for the evil he had done, surely it wasn’t his becoming human that would stop that feeling?

    First, the gain is in his immortal soul. It not being automatically damned is a pretty big one if I do say so myself.

    Next, the funny twins in makeup explain that it was his gift that they leave it be for doing the PTB’s bidding (or something along those lines) in regards to “IWRY.” They told him to embrace it, which he didn’t, and that’s why I have a problem with him complaining later and not because I didn’t think he deserved it.

    Last, I agree if we take the amount of time he was “evil” in addition to the amount of time he sat on the sidelines, in a literal sense, that he’s amassed relatively nothing comparatively. However, BtVS and its expanded universe has always been more about how the characters grow in the present. It’s not outfitted to take tales of past misfortunes much into consideration (although admittedly Angel more so then any other but not near enough according to how the narrative wants us to view him). If the series wanted to make Angel irredeemable to the viewers perception they’d showcase his most horrific acts in glorified, pixelated detail.

    Angel, the series, is framed so that you are supposed to feel empathy for the main character regardless of the fact you know he’s committed unspeakable horrors. As such, I speak within the context of how the series frames Angel’s character. Realistically, does he deserve the ability to complain? Absolutely not. But within the series the narrative suggests otherwise and thus that’s I how interpret it.

    Plus, I personally don’t feel he’s responsible for anything he’s done as a soulless vampire. Number one, he was forced into it (well… sort of) but mostly because the narrative suggests that those without a soul cannot control themselves outside what they desire in the moment.

    If the vampire is a separate entity (which I don’t believe it is) then he definitely is not responsible. If the “monster’s” desires are his own deep dark obsessions, then I still sympathize (yes, sympathize) because what you desire out of life, even if despicable in nature, you do not get to choose. Who you are is who you are. And Liam, with a soul aka the capacity, is able to control his urges both vampiric and human in nature.

    So yeah, I do believe he deserves a bone every once in a while. I could be wrong though.

    Like

  30. [Note: Iguana-on-a-stick posted this comment on June 14, 2016.]

    About his giving things up, I don’t know… I don’t want to sound as I’m dismissing everything good Angel has done but when I look at the big picture I just see a guy whose life just keeps getting better and better. He goes from eating rats in the sewers to be the slayer’s boyfriend to own a private agency of investigation to live in a hotel and finally to be the head of the biggest evil organization. He has power, money, friends and everyone looks at him as a hero. What are the things he gave up?

    By the end of season 5, the first woman he loves has moved on and come to distrust him. The second woman he loved got killed, in part because of his actions, and certainly because she got involved with his life and his causes. His first close male friend got killed by nazi-demons, the second betrayed him, got his son stolen, and experienced an insurmountable spiral of depression ultimately leading him to his death. (I deem Wes’ death suicide-by-blackthorn) The third betrayed his own principles and his friends, getting Fred (his fifth friend) killed. The fourth (Lorne) lost everything he cared about and was disillusioned to the point where he betrayed his own principles in Angel’s name, at which point he abandoned the group. The fifth (Fred) as I mentioned also died.

    He failed to save Darla, who he may or may not have loved but who certainly was incredibly important to him. When she finally regained some part of her humanity, she sacrificed her own life to give birth to their son.

    Said son then was abducted by his worst enemy, an enemy who as you pointed out was of his own making, and grew up to be a troubled and broken individual. He eventually killed his own son, and used an extremely dubious magical ritual to re-create some very different version of him who could live, violating the minds of all his friends and his son in the process.

    And finally, he led all his friends on a suicide mission against an unbeatable foe that certainly got some of them and (depending on how you read the ending) possibly all of them, including himself, killed.

    I do not see Angel’s life as getting better, not at all. His life gets better over the course of the first season. He nearly sabotages and destroys it all in the second, but thanks to the help and support of those around him and a timely epiphany he manages to salvage that and continue on the positive path. Afterwards he even finds a new kind of happiness (if not a perfect kind) through getting a son.

    But from mid-season 3 until the end, everything starts going from bad to worse, until by the end of the series the former group of friends has devolved into a depressed collective of acquaintance who barely tolerate one another at best, and distrust or even hate one another at worst, several of whom have tried to kill eachother for bad reasons, and they all end up going on a suicide mission to top the series.

    Like

  31. [Note: DarkWill posted this comment on June 14, 2016.]

    Again the big issue is our opposite view of Angel’s character so I don’t think it’s ever possible to agree (but I’m enjoying this discussion just the same)

    It’s directly on his face after each, what he interprets as, big “middle finger” (he thought “staying away” from society was a form of penance when he slummed it in the past, being sucked into a Hell dimension for 100 years, having to leave Buffy, Darla’s resurrection, coming to terms with evil being eternal, losing his son, being sunk to the bottom of the ocean, losing the (2nd) woman he loved to Connor, then coma, then death, losing Fred…, putting up with Spike… you know stuff like that xD). He clearly becomes much more cynical as the series progresses.

    What you call cinism is self pity to me and I see what you call middle finger as just life… and in some cases life charging him for his evil deeds.
    – Staying away from society? I guess you mean in those last few years before meeting Whistler and if that so I fail to see how anyone would consider that as a fair penance for 150 years of pure evil plus other 75 of selfishness and some… let’s call them amoral choices.
    – Having to leave Buffy? He didn’t really. No one told him he had to, it was his choice and I doubt that we would agree on his motivations as well 😀
    – Darla’s resurrection? I don’t think he saw that has a bad thing. If memory serves me well he was quite happy to see her again, so much that he became obsessed with her.
    – coming to terms with evil being eternal? uh… didn’t he know already?
    – losing his son. This I can agree that it’s a hard blow, but we can’t forget 1. that he shouldn’t have had a son in the first place, 2. that he is responsible, albeit indirectly, for what happened 3. that he didn’t actually lose him because he came back not much later 4. that in the end it was his choice to separate from Connor and 5. that bad things happen to everybody
    – being sunk to the bottom of the ocean? Life charging him some!
    – losing Cordelia to Connor? oh well…
    – then coma, then death (Cordelia, right?). Bad things happen
    – losing Fred. That’s something he is personally responsible for, so I wouldn’t count it as something bad that happens to HIM
    – putting up with Spike… what??? those were the funniest years of his unlife! he shouldn’t complain, the ungrateful Drama Queen 😀

    All in all, these disgraces aren’t surely more than what every other Buffyverse character has suffered. Just an example: Buffy. Feeling responsible for her parents’ divorce, having to give up her adolescence and private life in favor of the mission, getting killed once and almost killed several times, losing her mother, losing Tara, seeing her boyfriend become a sadistic killer, having to send her boyfriend to a hell dimension, sacrificing her life to save the world, being dumped by her boyfriend, being torn from heaven, being sexually assaulted 3-4 times, being betrayed over and over again by her friends…. putting up with Spike… you know stuff like that 😛

    And I’m stopping here but Buffy’s list could go on a lot more and I could do the same for all other characters. Big difference is that (with a few exceptions) they didn’t deserve the bad things that happened to them, while Angel did. So I don’t see why Angel should get a special treatment

    He was always a loner, but never a dick like he is by the series conclusion.

    He was never a loner. Not as a human, not when soulless and not after being cursed. It was only in the last years before meeting Whistler (and Buffy) that he isolated himself. A few years out of 200 or more. Hardly enough to define him a loner. And I wouldn’t call him a dick either. Parker was a dick. Angel’s actions make him something very different (and worse) from a dick.

    First, the gain is in his immortal soul. It not being automatically damned is a pretty big one if I do say so myself.

    I’m not sure I understand your point. What do you mean with not being ‘automatically damned’? that if he had stayed human in IWRY, Angel’s soul would have been wiped of all his sins? I really don’t think so.

    Next, the funny twins in makeup explain that it was his gift that they leave it be for doing the PTB’s bidding (or something along those lines) in regards to “IWRY.” They told him to embrace it, which he didn’t, and that’s why I have a problem with him complaining later and not because I didn’t think he deserved it.

    This is what the PTB told Angel:

    Angel: “It was the demon’s blood. It wasn’t the Powers-That-Be that did this?”
    Man: “The Powers-That-Be? Did you save humanity? Avert the Apocalypse?”
    Woman: “You faced a Mohra demon. Life goes on.”

    which means that what happened to Angel could have happened to any other vampire, deserving or not, who came in contact with a Mohra demon. So, no prize, no reward, nothing to do with Angel being deserving…just a fortuitous event. And the reasons he complains have nothing to do with him not being human imo

    Last, I agree if we take the amount of time he was “evil” in addition to the amount of time he sat on the sidelines, in a literal sense, that he’s amassed relatively nothing comparatively. However, BtVS and its expanded universe has always been more about how the characters grow in the present. It’s not outfitted to take tales of past misfortunes much into consideration (although admittedly Angel more so then any other but not near enough according to how the narrative wants us to view him). If the series wanted to make Angel irredeemable to the viewers perception they’d showcase his most horrific acts in glorified, pixelated detail.

    Angel, the series, is framed so that you are supposed to feel empathy for the main character regardless of the fact you know he’s committed unspeakable horrors. As such, I speak within the context of how the series frames Angel’s character. Realistically, does he deserve the ability to complain? Absolutely not. But within the series the narrative suggests otherwise and thus that’s I how interpret it.

    I agree that the ‘verse is about how the characters grow in the present but I just don’t see this growth in Angel. For every step he takes forward he makes another back and in my view at the end of ATS he is the same, if not worse, he was at the beginning of BTVS (you yourself said that he is a ‘dick’ at the end of the series). And I think that how each one of us views things is subjective, there isn’t a unique or set way to judge characters or interpret events and there is no obligation to feel empathy for the main character. The series does show his horrific acts and even if I disagree that it’s not fitted to consider past ‘misfortunes’ (wouldn’t use this word to define killing and other crimes though) I will avoid mentioning the oldest and stick to the latest: letting Darla and Drusilla kill all those people at W&H, trying to kill Wesley, killing Drogyn, ordering Lorne to execute Lindsay, slitting his son’s throat. These are no ‘misfortunes’ imo, these are bad, wrong, amoral actions.

    Plus, I personally don’t feel he’s responsible for anything he’s done as a soulless vampire. Number one, he was forced into it (well… sort of) but mostly because the narrative suggests that those without a soul cannot control themselves outside what they desire in the moment.

    If the vampire is a separate entity (which I don’t believe it is) then he definitely is not responsible. If the “monster’s” desires are his own deep dark obsessions, then I still sympathize (yes, sympathize) because what you desire out of life, even if despicable in nature, you do not get to choose. Who you are is who you are. And Liam, with a soul aka the capacity, is able to control his urges both vampiric and human in nature.

    I don’t believe vampires are separate entities either but at the same time I also don’t think that their souled or human versions are responsible for what they did when soulless, that’s why I didn’t mention for example Angel killing Jenny and I mentioned (some of) the bad things Angel did when souled. But I disagree with you about Liam (Angel) being able to control his urges. Angel himself admits to Buffy (in Amends) that it’s the human in him that needs killing and all the bad things I mentioned just a few lines above, among which there is the subject of our discussion, are imo a clear evidence of this.

    That’s my POV as a viewer and then there is Angel’s point of view to consider. The narrative is contradictory in this regards. It wants us to believe that Angel feels the burden of what he has done when soulless and that it’s this burden the drive for his quest for redemption. But at the same time it portrays him as a victim of ill fate, as someone who resents the world for all the bad things that happen to him. And I don’t see how these two views can go together. If Angel believes he is responsible for his evil deeds and is truly looking for redemption, then he should accept all the bad things that happen to him as a form of penance. If he resents them then it seems to me that he thinks he doesn’t deserve punishment and that means imo that the repentance he shows throughout the series is not sincere.

    So yeah, I do believe he deserves a bone every once in a while. I could be wrong though.

    but see, as I said to Iguana, he has had a lot of ‘bones’ XD. Money, power, friends, respect… a lot more than other characters, far more deserving, ever had.

    Like

  32. [Note: DarkWill posted this comment on June 14, 2016.]

    I feel that while I’m talking of Angel’s life you are talking of Angel himself.
    I asked you what are the things that you say Angel gave up or sacrificed but the things you mention here are merely things that happen to him, and many are bad things he is the one to blame for, as you yourself point out. So they are not sacrifices, they are not things he gave up. They are mistakes he makes, willingly, purposefully. Which doesn’t mean that his life is worse (especially not from his pov that could be different from yours), it just means that HE is worse.

    p.s. who’s the close friend who got killed by nazi-demons?

    Like

  33. [Note: Pathbeyondthedark posted this comment on June 14, 2016.]

    The problem here is we are interpreting events, Angel himself, the other characters, and even the whole Buffyverse vastly differently. Obviously what you see as “fortuitous” I don’t, as well as vice versa. BtVS and Angel, to me, paint what many believe to be minor or exaggerated problems. This means in reality, they are not quite so terrible comparatively. But within the narrative they are HUGE problems for the characters and characters alone.

    Buffy has high school issues/has to grow up too fast, Xander maturity issues, Willow insecurity issues, Angel fucked up issues, Giles British issues (I’m cool with British people, don’t worry), Spike is a sucker for passion along with mommy issues, Cordelia is similar to Xander, Wesley daddy issues, Gunn assimilation issues (not in a “race” sort of way, although some read it that way which is fine), and Fred… umm, “girly” issues…?

    Most of these seem like whiny issues to the majority of people, and the ones that don’t (such as fucked up issues) almost no one can relate to. But to some, and to the characters, these are real problems they face. I don’t think it’s reasonably fair to judge how someone is affected by any one thing no matter how trivial. But, that’s just me. Now if their feelings and actions towards stimuli begin to affect others then it’s a different story, but that’s a completely different subject.

    I think it’s just a difference of opinion so it’s probably best we agree to disagree.

    Like

  34. [Note: DarkWill posted this comment on June 15, 2016.]

    The problem here is we are interpreting events, Angel himself, the other characters, and even the whole Buffyverse vastly differently.

    yeah, that’s one problem as I said myself previously. Another one is IMO you assuming how I interpret the other characters and even the whole Buffyverse, given that neither have been the subjects of our discussion. And yet another is you deciding what’s ‘reasonable fair’ and if and how I should judge anything.

    Obviously what you see as “fortuitous” I don’t, as well as vice versa.

    obviously. But my use of this word was related specifically to the event of Angel facing the Mohra demon and his consequent becoming human and I quoted the PTB from the transcript to prove that it was indeed fortuitous, so it’s not exactly an opinion, something “I see”. It’s a fact. And your argument is that… you don’t see it? ok

    BtVS and Angel, to me, paint what many believe to be minor or exaggerated problems. This means in reality, they are not quite so terrible comparatively. But within the narrative they are HUGE problems for the characters and characters alone.

    Buffy has high school issues/has to grow up too fast, Xander maturity issues, Willow insecurity issues, Angel fucked up issues, Giles British issues (I’m cool with British people, don’t worry), Spike is a sucker for passion along with mommy issues, Cordelia is similar to Xander, Wesley daddy issues, Gunn assimilation issues (not in a “race” sort of way, although some read it that way which is fine), and Fred… umm, “girly” issues…?

    you know, I made several specific examples, mentioned facts, quoted the transcript and offered you a broad reasoning, while this reply of yours is just a very generic and very vague argument about everyone and no one, about the ‘Buffyverse’ narrative (as you see it, may I add) and I find very difficult to reason on it or to reply to it. I could agree, I could disagree… hard to say as things stands.

    Most of these seem like whiny issues to the majority of people, and the ones that don’t (such as fucked up issues) almost no one can relate to. But to some, and to the characters, these are real problems they face. I don’t think it’s reasonably fair to judge how someone is affected by any one thing no matter how trivial. But, that’s just me. Now if their feelings and actions towards stimuli begin to affect others then it’s a different story, but that’s a completely different subject.

    wherever I said that what you call Angel’s ‘misfortunes’ are whiny issues or trivial? Please don’t put words in my mouth. My argument has always been and still is that whatever happened to Angel isn’t even remotely worse than what happened to each of the other characters, that contrary to most of them he deserved a lot of that, that contrary to them he is actually to blame for most of that and that because of all this he doesn’t have In My Opinion the right to feel sorry for himself and blame the ‘universe’ for screwing with him. You want to whitewash his multiple sins, dismiss them as ‘misfortunes’ and feel sorry for the poor guy? Go on, but let’s do that you don’t tell me what’s reasonable ‘fair’ to you and I won’t tell you what’s reasonable amoral.

    I think it’s just a difference of opinion so it’s probably best we agree to disagree.

    definitely

    Like

  35. [Note: Iguana-on-a-stick posted this comment on June 15, 2016.]

    p.s. who’s the close friend who got killed by nazi-demons?

    Doyle, of course.

    As for the rest: some of the stuff that happens to Angel indeed doesn’t have anything to do with him. And some of it is mistakes he makes.

    But some of the very biggest things do involve him making a choice. He chooses to give up his chances at happiness with Buffy, several times over. He chooses to mind-wipe all his friends and join Wolfram & Hart, which essentially dooms them all and ruins his chances of rebuilding those friendships.

    He chooses to lead them all in that final suicide mission, giving up on the idea of changing Wolfram & Hart and the idea of doing good for good’s sake, instead staking it all on one big final gesture, going out in one big blaze of glory.

    For a different character you could indeed see, say, being given control over W&H as a kind of reward. Character makes a lot of mistakes, is a dick to a lot of people, but also saves a lot of people, ends up being very rich with lots of people serving him and puts his friends in charge of all the important stuff. Happy ending, right?

    Well, not if it’s Angel.

    I don’t think these actions are mistakes he makes. Just like destroying the ring wasn’t a mistake, or giving up on his humanity and giving up on his chance to be with Buffy wasn’t a mistake. They’re choices he makes. And he makes them because of the fatalistic mindset he has. His penance is more important than his ability to effectively fight evil, more importantly than his happiness or even that of the woman he purportedly loves. The possibility of giving his son a second chance (and thus the chance of something of himself living on that is untainted by his past sins. As he tells Connor in the finale: “As long as you’re okay, they can’t [destroy me.]”) is more important than his own life, or the lives or identities of his friends.

    In other words, I think Angel is just pretty bad at being happy. He kind of manages for a bit in season 3, but…

    Well, let’s just say that if another vampire had been cursed the same way Angel was, he probably wouldn’t have lasted 100+ years before experiencing that moment of pure happiness that sent it “poof” again.

    Like

  36. [Note: DarkWill posted this comment on June 16, 2016.]

    Doyle, of course.

    ah, ok. The nazi reference made me think of Lawson.

    as for the rest… I have to say Iguana that I’m having huge issues following you and your line of reasoning. You said before that you think Angel is a bastard and that his trying to kill Wesley was wrong. And now it seems to me that you are painting him as a victim, a martyr who can never be happy and whose bad choices (you’re right: the word mistakes is very inappropriate) are to blame on the bad universe who made him cinical and fatalist. Am I misunderstanding your point?

    He chooses to give up his chances at happiness with Buffy, several times over.

    Angel left Buffy because he didn’t want to share his life with her. He told her so himself and he already had decided to not follow her when at first she was going to leave Sunnydale. His wasn’t a sacrifice, he wasn’t giving up anything, especially a happiness that didn’t and couldn’t exist. He made a choice, just like chipped Spike choose to refuse Drusilla’s offer to follow her and go back to his evil life. Or do you view that as a sacrifice as well?

    He chooses to mind-wipe all his friends and join Wolfram & Hart, which essentially dooms them all and ruins his chances of rebuilding those friendships.

    yes, he does and I consider this as a bad thing because it wasn’t necessary and had the only purpose of erasing from his friends’ minds the memories of other bad things he had done (his trying to kill Wesley being one). That’s why I believe that it had exactly the opposite effect to his relationship with them. In fact up to that point Angel and Wesley were almost enemies, after the mind wiping they are back were they were before the Connor mess… as for the others, I’m confused, how were they doomed and why do you say that their relationship was ruined? They showed their loyalty and friendship to him until the end of the show…

    He chooses to lead them all in that final suicide mission, giving up on the idea of changing Wolfram & Hart and the idea of doing good for good’s sake, instead staking it all on one big final gesture, going out in one big blaze of glory.

    yes he does and again I see this as a bad thing he does (bad and dumb imo). He’s tired of being W&H’s puppet and he realizes that he is at a point where he is neither good nor bad, so he decides on behalf of everyone else in LA to send the whole city to hell. But how does this fit in this debate?

    For a different character you could indeed see, say, being given control over W&H as a kind of reward. Character makes a lot of mistakes, is a dick to a lot of people, but also saves a lot of people, ends up being very rich with lots of people serving him and puts his friends in charge of all the important stuff. Happy ending, right?

    Well, not if it’s Angel.

    no, not a happy ending but this doesn’t mean that he didn’t want all that, and I believe he did exactly because he isn’t a different character. No one else in both shows (no one of the ‘good’ guys, of course) has ever shown a thirst for power, a yearning to command and be important, he is the only one who has this personality trait. Why wouldn’t I think that he doesn’t at least like to be the ‘Boss’?

    I don’t think these actions are mistakes he makes. Just like destroying the ring wasn’t a mistake, or giving up on his humanity and giving up on his chance to be with Buffy wasn’t a mistake. They’re choices he makes. And he makes them because of the fatalistic mindset he has.

    ok, just to clarify: I used the word mistakes but I didn’t mean it in the sense of ‘things done by accident’. The meaning was ‘bad things Angel has purposefully done’, so yeah bad choices. Not the case of these you mentioned in the quote above, of course. Those are choices but not bad. That said I don’t see these choices as something to praise him for because contrary to you they are not sacrifices to me, they are not things he ‘gave up’. They are choices made for specific reasons.

    The ring, yes, it gave him the opportunity to go out in the sun but at the same time it made him a target. In fact, he was tortured and almost killed for it. So nothing to do with a fatalistic mindset there, just a clever and pragmatic choice made by assessing the pros and cons of the situation.

    Same for his decision in IWRY. As a human he was almost killed and would have been a useless nobody, what were the pros? Having sex with Buffy?

    His penance is more important than his ability to effectively fight evil, more importantly than his happiness or even that of the woman he purportedly loves.

    I disagree. What I see on the show is a vampire who has lived a lifetime and a half showing not an ounce of remorse for the evil he had done in the previous 150 years and no intention whatsoever to amend. Then he sees a vapid 15 yo girl with a lollypop and he suddenly sees the light and penance becomes the only important thing to him? I have really a hard time buying that.

    The possibility of giving his son a second chance (and thus the chance of something of himself living on that is untainted by his past sins. As he tells Connor in the finale: “As long as you’re okay, they can’t [destroy me.]”) is more important than his own life, or the lives or identities of his friends.

    Does he die to give that second chance to his son? No, he doesn’t. So I fail to see how can you say that that ‘second chance is more important than his life’. Where does this thought come from…

    What he does is to become the boss of the most important and powerful organization with all that came with it (power, money, cars, a personal jet, etc) while making his so-called friends forget some bad things he had done to them. Hardly a ‘sacrifice’. And, while we are discussing this, why was it necessary to kill his son with his own hands? Or why did he have to give away his son in the first place? Couldn’t he mind wipe Connor to forget everything that had happened in that demon dimension? Create fake memories with him instead of with a fake family?

    In other words, I think Angel is just pretty bad at being happy. He kind of manages for a bit in season 3, but…

    Well, let’s just say that if another vampire had been cursed the same way Angel was, he probably wouldn’t have lasted 100+ years before experiencing that moment of pure happiness that sent it “poof” again.

    I agree but for different reasons. We are all different and the things that make each one of us happy are different as well. The idea of happiness for a normal human being is a family, someone to love, children, a good job, a puppy… but Angel is not a normal human being. I take into account all that I know of him, starting from his days as a human, and what I see is someone who regrets not being what he used to be, someone who thinks that what has happened to him is not fair, someone too busy to feel sorry for himself. That’s why imo it’s so difficult for Angel to be happy.

    Like

  37. [Note: Iguana-on-a-stick posted this comment on June 17, 2016.]

    You said before that you think Angel is a bastard and that his trying to kill Wesley was wrong. And now it seems to me that you are painting him as a victim, a martyr who can never be happy and whose bad choices (you’re right: the word mistakes is very inappropriate) are to blame on the bad universe who made him cinical and fatalist. Am I misunderstanding your point?

    You rather are misunderstanding me, yes. The universe isn’t to blame, Angel is. He’s the one making these choices. And they are the wrong choices.

    You seem to think I am praising Angel for these things. I mean quite the opposite. I’m blaming him for them. If he is a martyr, it’s only because he makes himself into one. No one is asking him to be. And he sacrifices the lives of all his friends and probably his own to do so.

    (Incidentally, I’m saying he’s sacrificing his friends because that’s what ends up happening due to the deal he signs with Wolfram & Hart. It causes Fred’s death, Wesley’s death, Gunn’s betrayal and probable death, Lorne’s final disillusionment and flight, and that final fight might even have ended up killing Angel and Spike, though that’s ambiguous. It all results from Angel’s mind-wipe and that contract he signed. He could not know what would happen in detail, but he certainly did know that he was making a deal with the devil.)

    That said, although I agree with you that Angel is the one to blame I do think you are judging Angel a bit too harshly in some places.

    What I see on the show is a vampire who has lived a lifetime and a half showing not an ounce of remorse for the evil he had done in the previous 150 years and no intention whatsoever to amend. Then he sees a vapid 15 yo girl with a lollypop and he suddenly sees the light and penance becomes the only important thing to him? I have really a hard time buying that.

    Here, for example. Don’t get me wrong: Angel’s very creepy and the relationship he pursues with Buffy isn’t healthy. But I do think you’re severely underselling Angel’s motivation.

    He was a vampire who lived a lifetime and a half without any hope, believing himself to be a complete monster. He tried, at various times, to help people, but when he didn’t meet with success he gave up again. After feeding on that guy in that diner, he finally ended up in an alley eating rats for years.

    That’s not the action of someone who doesn’t give a damn. That’s the behaviour of someone who loathes himself but doesn’t believe he can change. (i.e. fatalism)

    Seeing Buffy gives him hope. Being told that he has a role to play, that he has a destiny, that he can help the Slayer gives him hope. He never believed that he could redeem himself, and now he does. That the Slayer happens to be an innocent 15 year old he can lust after… well, that muddles the water a bit, but does give him some extra motivation.

    Of course, it eventually all goes to hell (Almost literally) and he loses his soul again, and when he gets it back he believes he’s too dangerous and too evil to live, eventually going so far (with the First’s prompting) to try and kill himself. But fate intervenes again, and he’s saved by the magic snow in “Amends.” This strengthens his belief in his purpose and destiny even further.

    I do not think he left Buffy because he didn’t want to share his life with her, but rather because he was afraid to lose his soul again. That, incidentally, is why giving up his humanity in “IWRY” is a sacrifice: he’s not just getting a nifty package of superpowers back, he’s also getting the curse back that literally says he cannot be happy without dooming everyone around him. Condemning yourself to a life without true happiness is a sacrifice.

    I still don’t like Angel. Much of the time, he’s still a dick. I don’t even think he’s a particularly good man. The way he treats his friends is terrible. Still, he’s a complicated man, who can be genuinely heroic, or the complete opposite, depending on the circumstances at the time.

    Like

  38. [Note: Pathbeyondthedark posted this comment on June 17, 2016.]

    Idk why you got defensive. I’m half way of the thought process this is a bout for attention, i.e. a troll. You said plenty enough for me to assume how you view Angel and his world, and every time you rebuttal you seem to retract and/or reword your argument.

    So instead of trying to just end this civilly by agreeing to disagree, I’m going to leave this with a bitter taste in my mouth. I’m inclined to address you much more “harshly” but that would be insensitive to this review and to this site of which I have great respect for.

    Like

  39. [Note: Pathbeyondthedark posted this comment on June 17, 2016.]

    And for the record, both myself and Iguana have listed dozens of events that Angel is deserving of “crying” over. You just dismiss them, your excuse being he caused them himself. Most characters, people in real life, etc. create their own problems. In Angel’s case and for many people, most of those “created” problems are a direct cause of actions that he/they had no reasonable way of foretelling would go awry. You just seem to be fixated on this conception that Angel doesn’t deserve any empathy despite all the evidence to the contrary.

    So my assumption that you believed his troubles not “large enough” is reasonable because it’s either that or you just refuse to admit that “maybe,” just maybe, Angel can be empathized with by some people.

    Like

  40. [Note: DarkWill posted this comment on June 17, 2016.]

    I didn’t got defensive. It just happens that I’ve been enough in the fandom to understand when I’m wasting my time with someone who doesn’t accept others’ opinions… and you insulting me now confirms this.

    Your previous comment was pointless and conceited, obviously only meant to lecture me on how the narrative works and what’s fair and what’s not while ignoring the detailed explanation I offered of my point of view, and in doing so you made clear to me that you are not really interested in hearing others’ opinions, you just want to impose yours. And I didn’t like it *shrugs*

    Now while I would have much preferred that you completed that thought process instead of stopping it half way, and I wish you had extended to me the respect you claim to have for this site, I’m not willing to waste other time with someone whose only argument is to say you are a troll, you are fixaded etc. So, whatever floats your boat, k?

    Like

  41. [Note: DarkWill posted this comment on June 17, 2016.]

    You rather are misunderstanding me, yes.

    ok, sorry for the misunderstanding and thanks for clarifying

    You seem to think I am praising Angel for these things.

    It was more about what it looked like a contradiction to me but now I understand your point

    That said, although I agree with you that Angel is the one to blame I do think you are judging Angel a bit too harshly in some places.

    Keep in mind that we went from discussing about a single event (Angel trying to kill Wesley) to make a generic debate about Angel, his choices, his mindset. It’s a very broad argument and I try to be short so my comment may come out a bit more blunt than I would like them to be. I’ll elaborate more… you are warned 😀

    Here, for example. Don’t get me wrong: Angel’s very creepy and the relationship he pursues with Buffy isn’t healthy. But I do think you’re severely underselling Angel’s motivation.

    He was a vampire who lived a lifetime and a half without any hope, believing himself to be a complete monster. He tried, at various times, to help people, but when he didn’t meet with success he gave up again. After feeding on that guy in that diner, he finally ended up in an alley eating rats for years.

    It’s not about his creepy relationship with Buffy, it’s about how he acts before and after their meeting.

    BB (Before Buffy XD): you say that he tried various times to help people but I remember only one, in that hotel with that girl (isn’t it a curious coincidence that almost every time it’s about a girl?). You say he gave up because he didn’t meet with success, I say that he let all those people die because he didn’t get validation for his actions. He could have saved them but he didn’t, he chose not to and that doesn’t mean that he didn’t meet with success, that’s a whole different thing. He let people die because they weren’t showing him the gratitude he thought he deserved. That’s proof to me that his motivations weren’t good, that he wasn’t searching for redemption. He was doing good, yes, but for selfish reasons.

    That’s not the action of someone who doesn’t give a damn. That’s the behaviour of someone who loathes himself but doesn’t believe he can change. (i.e. fatalism)

    as I already said I can’t see Angel as being fatalist, not when in many istances where he had something to gain or had to protect himself he actively changed the course of said ‘fate’.

    In Why we fight that Demon Initiative goes to him and treathens him. Did he let them kill him? no, he didn’t. He did what they wanted to save himself. How come he wasn’t fatalist then? How come his alleged fatalism turns up only when it comes to doing something good? And there are other examples I could make, but the point is: or Angel is fatalist or he isn’t. It’s too convenient to blame his failures (to be good) on fatalism. He didn’t change until after Buffy because he had no self-interest in doing it.

    I may be too harsh but I think that some close an eye on too many evidences, on 98 years wasted feeling sorry for himself, not once thinking that he could use his vampire powers and eternal existence to do good, to redeem himself. I mean, seriously? 98 years, not ten or twenty. Can you think of someone in rl living for so long, carrying such a burden on their soul and not using their powers to do good? the only explanation to me is that he wan’t really carrying that burden, that he didn’t truly feel remorse and the need to redeem himself. Oh, yes he felt sorry… but only for himself, not for the lives he had taken.

    Quoting Jenna/the First in Amends: “If you wanna feel sorry for someone, you
    should feel sorry for yourself. Oh, but I guess you’ve already got that
    covered.”

    Seeing Buffy gives him hope. Being told that he has a role to play, that he has a destiny, that he can help the Slayer gives him hope. He never believed that he could redeem himself, and now he does. That the Slayer happens to be an innocent 15 year old he can lust after… well, that muddles the water a bit, but does give him some extra motivation.

    AB (after Buffy): I could agree with you, I could, because despite what I think of him BB I could have been convinced that being given a purpose by Whistler was enough to change him, to have him have an ephiphany. It could have worked. But it didnt imo and not becuse Buffy is a pretty innocent girl. You are right, it muddles the water, but that’s not the main issue. It’s how he acts after.

    See, the writers have been sly. Everything related to Angel lends itself to a double interpretation. When he accepts Whistler’s offer he says two things: “I want to help her” and “I want to become someone” (or important, I can’t remember). These are two very different motivations: one is very selfless and the other very selfish. Which one is the true motivation? Going only by his past I would say the second. Everything in Angel’s history leads to that. As a human he wanted to show his father that he could become someone (though he wasn’t willing to work for that, didn’t accept his own faults and blamed his father for his failures), that’s the first thing he tells him when he goes to kill him “you were wrong, I’ve made something of myself after all” and then he ‘works’ to be known as the most vicious vampire of history. Until he goes back being a nobody because of the soul.

    So what’s more believable? that he finally thinks “hey, I can help people!” or that he thinks “yeah! I can be important once more!”?
    It’s definitely the second to me and only his following actions could have made me change my mind. If Angel had acted as someone whose purpose was to help people and make penance. But he didn’t. All s1 and most of s2 is about seducing Buffy and worming in her life. He is basically a more refined and farsighted Parker, giving her “the puppy dog ‘I’m all tortured’ act” (quoting him from school hard). Except that contrary to Parker his goal isn’t just to bed Buffy.

    Of course, it eventually all goes to hell (Almost literally) and he loses his soul again, and when he gets it back he believes he’s too dangerous and too evil to live, eventually going so far (with the First’s prompting) to try and kill himself. But fate intervenes again, and he’s saved by the magic snow in “Amends.” This strengthens his belief in his purpose and destiny even further.

    I do not think he left Buffy because he didn’t want to share his life with her, but rather because he was afraid to lose his soul again. That, incidentally, is why giving up his humanity in “IWRY” is a sacrifice: he’s not just getting a nifty package of superpowers back, he’s also getting the curse back that literally says he cannot be happy without dooming everyone around him. Condemning yourself to a life without true happiness is a sacrifice.

    He was afraid to lose his soul? Really? 1-2 days after returning (and discovering that Buffy is involved with someone) he waits for Buffy shirtless while practicing some martial art, gets touchy and stays shirtless during the whole conversation (Bang Candy). Next meeting and episode they are practicing together and he is shirtless. Again. And again he gets touchy and almost groiny. They almost kiss but she stops and when she wants to leave he stops her and prompts her to talk about them. She is the one being wise and careful while he gives her the puppy eyes.
    Next meeting, same episode and they are kissing and once more she is the one to stop and her accusing “What are *you* doing? shame on you!” implies that he is the one who started it.

    In Lovers walk she tells him that they can’t see each other anymore and he tries to make her change idea.

    I think my point it’s quite obvious: nothing in Angel’s actions when he comes back shows that “he believes he’s too dangerous and too evil to live”, he should have left ASAP and he didn’t and he didn’t try to kill himself until Amend (I will elaborate about that later). And absolutely nothing shows that he is afraid of losing his soul, actually the contrary. It looks like he would very much like to repeat the experience. So he surely didn’t dump Buffy because he was afraid of losing his soul. And you didn’t reply to my previous comment about Buffy having in agenda to leave Sunnydale and Angel not going to follow her. I’m curious to know what do you think of that. And also what do you think of the fact that in s7 he basically asks Buffy to go back with him even if all the reasons for which he had supposedly left her still existed.

    Now Amends, that’s interesting. Angel is tortured by some of his victims and to one he says he’s sorry, to another that ‘it wasn’t him’. Again, two different interpretations: does he or doesn’t he feel responsible? then he dreams of having sex with Buffy and of killing her and is prompted by the First to follow his wishes. He doesn’t want to, that I believe. So he goes to her, acting desperate and tortured… to tell her to leave him alone O.o

    Then he tells the First that he’s going to kill himself. Where? does he run away where Buffy can’t find him? Nope. He goes just near his mansion where obviously Buffy finds him before sunrise and he soon makes clear what his intentions are (well, Buffy already knows thatnks to the First but Angel ignores it). And just as obviously Buffy tries to stop him. A few slaps, a lot of tears and he puts the responsability in her hands: “am I worth saving?” then the snow and just like that he changes idea and everything is ok.

    You say it’s because he believes it to be a sign of destiny? well this is another thing I find hard to believe myself, given that the First had just told him that it was responsible for his coming back. In his shoes wouldn’t you at least doubt that that magic snow is its work?

    IWRY. You come to this conclusion with the assumption that Angel prefers to be a mortal and weak human being with no risk of losing his soul instead of a powerful and immortal being with a ‘weak’ soul, you take for granted that as a human Angel would be happy but imo you forget three things:

    the first is that people can be content and satisfied of their life even without ever experiencing a moment of true happiness.

    The second that even away from Buffy the risk of losing his soul is always and still there, because after all just like us Angel doesn’t know much on this clause of the curse. He could have lost his soul for the happiness of having a child, right?

    The third is that ‘presumably’ what prevents him from being happy is not so much the curse as the guilt that accompanies the soul, and if that guilt is there in the first place, it would surely remain even if he were human. He would be mortal plus weak plus useless to Buffy plus unimportant plus still remorseful AND therefore still unhappy. So to me it’s obvious that Angel had more advantages in returning a vampire and that from his pov it’s the choice to remain human that would have been a true condemnation. That’s why I remain convinced that for him it was no sacrifice.

    Like

  42. [Note: Pathbeyondthedark posted this comment on June 17, 2016.]

    I know what it feels like being remorseful, unable to break free, wanting to torture yourself mentally and emotionally, keeping away from people and the temptation that could turn you into the monster you believe you are.

    Staying away from people was not Angel being indifferent, it was his way of repenting via self-torture, an eternity without the satisfaction that comes from feeding on another human soul.

    How can you say that’s not him feeling remorseful? Would you keep yourself from your keyboard for that long? Your favorite food? A loved one? The thing that makes you feel like life is worth living?

    If you can’t believe Angel, the writers, then believe me. All you want to do is hate yourself in that situation. All you do is question what the right thing to do is. And in my situation, I chose to live in the darkness for a while until I could find who I’m supposed to be and how to handle what I could potentially become, because I did not want to be that man.

    Trust this. I don’t talk about this time in my life often, but I want you to realize that this form of coping does exist and that it is in every way remorseful by nature.

    Like

  43. [Note: DarkWill posted this comment on June 18, 2016.]

    I know what it feels like being remorseful, unable to break free, wanting to torture yourself mentally and emotionally, keeping away from people and the temptation that could turn you into the monster you believe you are.

    Staying away from people was not Angel being indifferent, it was his way of repenting via self-torture, an eternity without the satisfaction that comes from feeding on another human soul.

    How can you say that’s not him feeling remorseful? Would you keep yourself from your keyboard for that long? Your favorite food? A loved one? The thing that makes you feel like life is worth living?

    If you can’t believe Angel, the writers, then believe me. All you want to do is hate yourself in that situation. All you do is question what the right thing to do is. And in my situation, I chose to live in the darkness for a while until I could find who I’m supposed to be and how to handle what I could potentially become, because I did not want to be that man.

    Trust this. I don’t talk about this time in my life often, but I want you to realize that this form of coping does exist and that it is in every way remorseful by nature.

    Look, I don’t want to seem insensitive but this feels kind of manipulative, like saying that if I don’t agree with you then it means that I don’t believe or trust you, which makes me… insensitive. But honestly? This isn’t about you. This is about a fictional character and my opinion of him is based solely on what I see on the show.

    And now I may have to repeat myself:

    1. Angel didn’t stay away from people (see my anser #35 about him being a loner). Actually the opposite, in fact in all the flashbacks he is always surrounded by people and living in big crowded cities (http://buffy.wikia.com/wiki/Chronology)

    2. Angel didn’t avoid temptation (see point 1), not even when the risk to surrender to it was losing his soul (see my answer to Iguana about his action around Buffy in s3)

    3. I never said that Angel never feels remorse. He does from time to time, but it’s quite obvious to me that he can easily get over it finding justifications and blaming the world, the fate and everyone else except himself

    4. I never said that Angel was indifferent either, his facial expression whenever he had contacts with human beings wasn’t one of indifference but this doesn’t automatically mean that he cared. I see on his face boredom and anger, against those he blamed for being a temptation. In fact he acted rudely to them (the girl with the puppy, the one at the hotel, the same Whistler at the beginning…). And his face when Drusilla tells him that Spike has killed a slayer (in China) isn’t one of horror, of remorse, of regret. There is anger and jealousy there, because he can’t be anymore what he wants to be, what Spike is.

    5. I know that in rl there are people capable of understanding their wrongs and to become better people, but firstly they don’t ususally need 98 years to do that and secondly they STOP committing wrong actions. That’s imo the one proof that their remorse is true. Otherwise it means that they belong to a second category, that of those who declame their remorse, while at the same time persisting in their errors. I could make a case of those husbands that keep beating and abusing their wives and kids while saying that they are sorry and swearing they will never do it again. But let’s keep this about Angel. He doesn’t go on being evil like he did without a soul, that’s true, but I see in him a regret for that life, he believes that being cursed with a soul isn’t ‘fair’ (Just rewards) thus he feels sorry for himself. He thinks himself to be the victim not the perpetrator and with this mindset of course he doesn’t think he needs to make penance. Of course he can easily fall back into making ‘mistakes’. And to make things worse, he is made to believe that he is special, a champion, a hero. He thinks he is above morals and laws, that he has the right to decide who deserves to live and who is redeemable (comment #24). That’s my biggets issue with this character and that’s why I loathe his action against Wesley (which was the subject of my original comment)

    6. so, no, I don’t believe Angel. As for believing the writers? I don’t know what’s your point here, except to try once more to tell me what I have to believe through the writers… and except that you are wrong. The writers aren’t ‘telling’ me that I have to believe Angel, they actually give more evidence that my opinion is well-founded than the opposite. Throughout the show they slyly throw at the viewers hints (if you want examples and quotes just tell me) that Angel is a liar, that he puts up acts to make others believe the best of him, that he cares more about getting validation and power than about doing good and making amend. And for almost every good action he does they make him do something horrible (see my comments #24 e #35) until the very end, when he does en plein, managing in just one single episode to: kill an ally, execute another, send an old friend to certain death, destroy the loyalty of another and send a whole city to hell.

    Like

  44. [Note: Laura posted this comment on July 22, 2016.]

    Hey, everyone? I feel like something really ought to be clarified.

    Angel did NOT try to kill Wesley.

    Everything he did there was to terrify, to vent all that frustrated rage, to make his point, but it wasn’t to kill him.

    First, the pillow. That’s not how a vampire kills people, that’s not how Angel has ever killed someone that we’ve seen. He used it for two reasons – one, it takes forever, and Angel didn’t want to stop, but he did want to BE stopped. Two, it is incredibly mundane, completely removed from the supernatural, and therefore, extra terrifying. It was part of his ‘not Angelus’ point.

    Second, the yelling. If he actually wanted to smother Wesley with a pillow, there wouldn’t have been any yelling for other people to hear. Angel is perfectly capable of talking calmly in this situation, but he wants to vent, and he doesn’t actually want to kill him, so attracting an audience isn’t a bad thing.

    Third, he lets himself get dragged out by a bunch of humans. Again, he wanted to BE stopped. He let it happen. And of course, the entire effect of Angel acting completely human here is nearly as jarring and horrifying as “The Body”.

    Which is fascinating and subversive in a meta sense – A vampire wants to terrify someone, and wildly succeeds, by acting like a human.

    But anyway, the thing that kicked off this poststorm? Angel never tried to murder Wesley. He was just really… Shakespearean rage.

    Like

  45. [Note: NightLady posted this comment on July 23, 2016.]

    oh, Angel definitely tried to murder Wesley. what you are saying is just your way to justify him, an excuse to let him come clean of a very bad and evil action but there is no evidence, nothing in the text, that confirms this. All we see and hear is Angel trying to kill Wesley and there is no way to twist it. His choice of a pillow as a weapon just makes his action even more ugly. And no, he wasn’t yelling. People ran in the room and stopped him because the alarm went off not because they heard him yelling.

    Like

  46. [Note: TheDoThatGirl posted this comment on August 7, 2016.]

    Yeah, sorry Angel did try to kill Wesley.

    And honestly, considering Angel, a vampire, used a pillow (human method) vs fangs or neck breakage or any of the standard quick ways vamps normally kill people just shows that Angel wanted to let Wesley know exactly how he felt while executing the much slower for of suffocation (mouth and nose are covered, but not the ears so Wes can hear every vitriolic shot fired)

    Like

  47. [Note: NightLady posted this comment on August 7, 2016.]

    Right. And I also believe he used a pillow to conceal the offence. Given how badly injured Wesley was, for Angel it’s safe to think that everyone would jump to the conclusion that he had died because of that. He would get his coldblooded revenge and still come out clean and be the ‘helping the helpless’ guy… and helpless Wesley wouldn’t be able to refute it.

    Like

  48. Well, I definitely don’t believe that three normal humans should be able to drag Angel out of the room. I do believe he was trying to kill Wesley. I have to rationalize it by thinking that while he was trying to kill Wes, some part of him didn’t want to and so he allowed himself to be removed before he could finish.

    Angel goes to break Lilah’s neck. I’m thinking he must remember Angelus’s technique from Passions.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s