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Revisiting AOQ Review 1-7: "Angel"

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Apteryx

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Mar 21, 2007, 5:46:58 AM3/21/07
to
* For some reason the step I have taken with other AOQ season 1 reviews to
insert the > quotation marks on AOQ's comments (opening a box to "reply" to
the AOQ review that I have forwarded to myself from Google Groups, and then
cutting and pasting that, with quote marks, to a new newsgroup post box)
didn't work this time. So I will attempt to distinguish my comments from his
original review by putting an * at the start and end of every paragraph of
my comments.


From: "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com>
Date: Jan 16 2006, 3:19 pm
Subject: AOQ Review 1-7: "Angel"
To: alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer


A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
threads.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
Season One, Episode 7: "Angel"
(or "I am vampire, hear me unnecessarily roar")
Writer: David Greenwalt
Director: Scott Brazil

"Angel" is an episode that's hard to review as a viewer totally
unaware of what's in store. Despite my best efforts to come in
knowing nothing, I do have a vague idea of which characters will
survive to remain part of the main cast for many years, which ones are
liable to get their own spinoffs, and so on. So if I'd been watching
the show in first-run, there's a chance that "Angel" would have
been more suspenseful than it already was. (I may occasionally
mention
my fiancée's opinions [she watches with me] as a litmus test for
what someone completely unspoiled thinks. That, plus the thought of
referring to her as "Mrs. Quality" amuses me.)

This show sees Buffy crushing on a large withdrawn guy for the second
time in three episodes. I think it would've been nice to build up to
this without the rather useless interlude with Owen, going straight
from "I'll be around" at the end of "Teacher's Pet" into
more stuff between these two. The potential romance would feel more
natural, and the viewer might be more interested if it were Buffy's
first on-screen relationship.

* There is that. But OTOH we have seen Buffy fighting against her attraction
to Angel, because he is too old for (even before she knew quite how old he
is) and because she "really didn't like him". So its not necessarily silly
that she would try to pursue a more "suitable" relationship before going
with her feelings.*

As it is, there's still enough past
and present chemistry between them so that when the plot demands that
they end up in close proximity, things don't feel too forced. (The
idea that he's often on Buffy's mind also leads to the best line of
the show as she imagines what being with Angel would be like: "Honey,
you're in grave danger. See you in a month.") I generally don't
like romance on TV, and this had all the same stammering, characters
drifting physically close to each other, etc. that made "Never Kill A
Boy..." so much non-fun. But it's shorter this time around, and
like I just said, the attraction does come through better. Although
I'd call it a combination of lust and curiosity rather than Troo Wuv.

[What's funny is that, although I tried to hide it in the last
review, I got the order mixed up and actually watched "Angel"
before "The Pack," and was thinking that the best way to do things
would have been to have Angel be offscreen for a show or two and throw
in a few mentions of Buffy thinking about him. Great minds think
alike.]

[[By the way, while we're on "The Pack," given that Xander does
in fact remember almost raping one of his best friends, wouldn't it
have been nice to see some change in the way he acts? As it is, "The
Pack" becomes an aberration and poor Alex is back to being the
often-irritating cartoon character he's been since "Teacher's
Pet." Maybe I should send a petition back in time demanding the
return of the old Xander.]]

>From there, we move on to the big shock moment of the show, when

kissing Buffy makes Angel start growling. The reveal is done nicely,
although I haven't mentioned yet that it's silly to have vampires
growling like animals. Save it for the were-hyena episodes. Mrs.
Quality, who does tend to be in favor of characters hooking up, said
(at that point) that she hated seeing Buffy's new guy turn into a
vampire.


* I thought it was a pretty good surprise, as well as a good Romeo & Juliet
moment, "my greatest love spring from my greatest hate", perhaps
foreshadowing that B&A too will be star-crossed lovers.*

Myself, I thought it was a nice little surprise (I knew he
was ancient and supernatural, but not a bloodsucker), and the simple
fact that he has a chance to kill her and doesn't makes it clear that
we should keep watching, there's more to his story than that. And
sure enough, there's the curse thing. But the show is still playing
with expectations, since the natural inclination when we hear about a
"curse" is to think of being doomed to be a vampire, not getting a
conscience.

Buffy isn't the only magical creature lusting after the Salty One;
Darla, my favorite vampire from "Hellmouth" is back in all her
alternately demure and contemptuous glory. This was an especially
nice
surprise given that since the end of "The Harvest" was a mess, I
thought she'd been killed then.


* I think her ending then was just a matter of Exit, smoking. Because of
course, if she head died then, self evidently she could not be appearing
here now, could she? :) *

Instead, she gets to be Angel's
temptress, reminding the relative youngster that it's nice to follow
one's id. Both actors, particularly Boreanz, play their scenes with
the right amount of animalistic sexual tension.

* I guess, although they certainly got better at it with practice. *

Highlights include
Darla introducing herself as "a friend" (continuity!). My favorite
line from those sequences, though, is "you're hurting me... which
is fine," or whatever the exact wording is. Of course vampires would
like things rough; if we're going to deal with sex in a fun yet still
TV-PG manner, these little one-liners are the way to go, not
embarrassing crap like the killer mantis scenes.

The Master is in the background masterminding and stuff and continuing
the thread from NKABOTFD about Colin The Annointed One. Not much to
say here, except that the kid isn't much of an actor; I think
they're hoping it'll be creepy simply because, as _Cowboy
Bebop_'s Jet Black once pointed out, there's nothing as violent or
cruel as a child. But notice something I've been talking about for
awhile - the Master is fun now. He's still an homage to B-movie
villains or whatever, but Metcalf has loosened up his delivery and is
making it obvious that he's doing pure non-serious melodrama. This
leads to great moments like "I miss him." That wasn't so hard
now, was it?


* Best Master scene was his "with power comes responsibility" speech. And
the way Darla gets where he's going with that before he makes it obvious.
Although it is lucky for the Forces of Evil that that idea of killing the
henchmen if they fail at their first attempt didn't altogether catch on.*


The main Buffy/Angel plot plays out in a mostly predictable manner
(i.e. it quickly becomes clear what Darla's plan is, etc.), but
it's fun enough to watch. Although it's pretty clear he won't go
evil, there really is a distinct possibility (to a 1997 viewer) that
Buffy might end up killing him. The moment where Angel makes his
final
choice and kills Darla


*Ah yes, she'll be missed. It is odd though that two weapons innovations are
employed by vampires here that are completely forgotten afterwards.
Previously vampires have been too tradition bound (or too sporting?) to use
guns against the Slayer. But Darla came close enough to suggest a similar
attempt might succeed. And The Three used plate armour over there torsos,
which was kind of conspicuous the way they wore it, but you would think that
for a creature whose leading form of death is a wooden stake through the
heart, that there is an idea worth developing.*

is telegraphed, but it's still effective. I
seem to be using a lot of compound sentences with "but" and
"yet" in them, because that's the kind of show "Angel" is.
It's trying for real emotional character work without much winking
and nodding, and the fact that it's a little predictable and a little
overplayed doesn't stop it from mostly working. The characters have
been drawn strongly enough, both in this episode and in the previous
six, that they can handle the dramatic weight.

One more thing I thought was interesting is that Buffy comes across as
a bit young and naïve here (and looks physically very young once she
ditches some of the makeup in the last scene too). Cruel as it is to
say, her reluctance to take action against someone she's attracted to
isn't becoming to a Slayer. Even though it was obviously going to
end up being the right thing to do, I was cringing a bit during the
scene where she presents her neck to Angel. Not smart. Don't be so
trusting, Buffy. I'm being critical of the character here, not the
scenes; this is consistent with how she's been portrayed up until
now, and is exactly how a superhero who's also a lonely
sixteen-year-old might be expected to behave.

*Yep. As well as being very sexy.*

One conceit that's really starting to wear thin is the way everyone
manages to "black out" or "forget" the constant influx of
supernatural stuff (unless the plot arbitrarily decides they
shouldn't), as we talked about at length in the "The Harvest"
thread. The scenes with Joyce in the hosptal... c'mon.

*Aw, forget about it.*


Now that it's been a couple months' worth of show, I'd like to
get back to mentioning periodically that I'm baffled as to why
Cordelia is considered a main character. Now rather than inexplicably
giving her assloads of screentime, they're giving her about five
lines per show, and I don't believe she was in "The Pack" at all.
Which is about the right amount (a little bit of the character goes a
long way), so I'm happy with this arrangement, but I'm just getting
increasingly less convinced that Joss knew where he was going when he
pitched the show with Carpenter as one of the alleged stars. Let her
trade a few barbs with Xander (his only good scene here) once in
awhile
when their subcultures overlap, then keep her in the background.

Overthinking things: So Angel uses blood bags for sustenance instead
of live victims. Okay, but where does he get them? Are they stolen
from hospitals? Because each pint of blood can save up to three
people
[reminder to all: give blood!], so indirectly, he's still a killer.
In fact, depending on how quickly he goes through them, he might be
doing more harm than if he just attacked the patients in their beds.
Maybe he should get the drink recipe from _Fevre Dream_ by George R.R.
Martin [a great little vampire book with historical flavor,
recommended].

Things that amused me even though they should have made me groan:
1) The Stock Romantic "Comedy" gag with the diary
2) Cordelia's "oh my god" scene

So....

One-sentence summary: Solid both as an individual show and in terms of
direction for the series.

AOQ rating: Good

*Excellent for me. To me, the main story is a forerunner of the big twist in
season, as sort of Lite version of Surprise/Innocence, where the idea of the
boyfriend turning bad as soon as the girl gets too close is played with, but
this time only as a tease. It's my 14th favourite BtVS episode, 2nd best in
season 1*


--
Apteryx


chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu

unread,
Mar 21, 2007, 4:30:48 PM3/21/07
to
Apteryx <apt...@xtra.co.nz> wrote:
> From: "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com>
> Date: Jan 16 2006, 3:19 pm
> Subject: AOQ Review 1-7: "Angel"
> To: alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer

.


> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season One, Episode 7: "Angel"
> (or "I am vampire, hear me unnecessarily roar")
> Writer: David Greenwalt
> Director: Scott Brazil

.


> This show sees Buffy crushing on a large withdrawn guy for the second
> time in three episodes. I think it would've been nice to build up to
> this without the rather useless interlude with Owen, going straight
> from "I'll be around" at the end of "Teacher's Pet" into
> more stuff between these two. The potential romance would feel more
> natural, and the viewer might be more interested if it were Buffy's
> first on-screen relationship.

I doubt that making it her first on-screen relationship would have made
much difference one way or the other, at least to me. I actually like the
idea that Buffy first tried dating a guy from outside of "work." But
ideally there should have been more buildup of the Buffy/Angel attraction.
There was *some* -- the exaggerated hostility to the "cute in an annoying
way" Angel in WTTH, for example -- but I would've liked more.

> you're in grave danger. See you in a month.") I generally don't
> like romance on TV, and this had all the same stammering, characters
> drifting physically close to each other, etc. that made "Never Kill A
> Boy..." so much non-fun. But it's shorter this time around, and
> like I just said, the attraction does come through better. Although
> I'd call it a combination of lust and curiosity rather than Troo Wuv.

And facing death together, which is always all sexy and stuff.

> [[By the way, while we're on "The Pack," given that Xander does
> in fact remember almost raping one of his best friends, wouldn't it
> have been nice to see some change in the way he acts? As it is, "The
> Pack" becomes an aberration and poor Alex is back to being the
> often-irritating cartoon character he's been since "Teacher's
> Pet." Maybe I should send a petition back in time demanding the
> return of the old Xander.]]

Yes, this is a problem for me too. After The Pack he should have shown
*some* lingering emotional effect, whether it was a change in his attitude
towards Buffy and Willow, or just a generally more subdued and gloomier
mood. Or he could have acted *desperately* chipper, in an attempt to
forget. Maybe that was happening on the dance floor, but they don't
really play it that way. And speaking of Xander, throughout the episode,
his jealousy was a bit overdone (though not as much as in the weakest
scenes in NKABOTFD). I guess when you're playing up a character's foolish
or pathetic side, it's hard to know when to pull back before you've gone
too far.

> From there, we move on to the big shock moment of the show, when
> kissing Buffy makes Angel start growling. The reveal is done nicely,
> although I haven't mentioned yet that it's silly to have vampires
> growling like animals. Save it for the were-hyena episodes. Mrs.
> Quality, who does tend to be in favor of characters hooking up, said
> (at that point) that she hated seeing Buffy's new guy turn into a
> vampire.
>
> * I thought it was a pretty good surprise, as well as a good Romeo & Juliet
> moment, "my greatest love spring from my greatest hate", perhaps
> foreshadowing that B&A too will be star-crossed lovers.*

The first episode I saw was Prophecy Girl, and I didn't know it was only
the twelfth episode. When it was explained to me who Angel was, I thought
that this "vampire in love with the Slayer" thing was the kind of weird
development that they'd have made in the second or third season, when the
show was mature and confident, to spice things up after Buffy just killing
vampires got old.

Angel's feelings about Buffy must have been *really* intense, if kissing
her made him go vamp-face involuntarily. Usually that only happens when a
vampire suffers a painful surprise attack.

> Highlights include
> Darla introducing herself as "a friend" (continuity!).

"I didn't say I was hers." There's also a nice little continuity bit with
a future episode. Darla asks Angel "What did you think? Did you think she
would understand? That she would look at your face... your true face...
and give you a kiss?" In WML part 1, that's just what Buffy does.

> Buffy might end up killing him. The moment where Angel makes his
> final
> choice and kills Darla
>
> *Ah yes, she'll be missed.

Well, maybe she can reappear in a brief flashback sometime.

> is telegraphed, but it's still effective. I
> seem to be using a lot of compound sentences with "but" and
> "yet" in them,

One-clause sentences are for wimps.

> One more thing I thought was interesting is that Buffy comes across as
> a bit young and naïve here (and looks physically very young once she
> ditches some of the makeup in the last scene too). Cruel as it is to
> say, her reluctance to take action against someone she's attracted to
> isn't becoming to a Slayer. Even though it was obviously going to
> end up being the right thing to do, I was cringing a bit during the
> scene where she presents her neck to Angel. Not smart. Don't be so
> trusting, Buffy. I'm being critical of the character here, not the
> scenes; this is consistent with how she's been portrayed up until
> now, and is exactly how a superhero who's also a lonely
> sixteen-year-old might be expected to behave.

Yes, it is. In general Buffy is not just someone with a double life --
her two sides frequently blend together, for better or worse. And if
there's a conflict between what she thinks she knows and her instincts,
she'll usually go with the latter.

Angel staked Darla a little too fast, at least from the point of view of
someone who's seen all the way through both Buffyverse series. That was a
big moment for Angel, and deserved a closer look. But one part that
really worked was the aftermath, when Angel just looks at Buffy and then
walks away. In hindsight we can say that Angel had to assimilate what he
did before he could deal with Buffy again.

> Things that amused me even though they should have made me groan:

Was this the origin of the TIRSBILA section?

More TTAMETTSHMMG: Willow asking Xander "Want a free drink?"

Some assorted details:

-This episode set up the long tradition of counting Angel's age from when
he was turned, not when Liam was born. Giles says that Angel(us) has
been around for 240 years or so. The flashback to his turning in Becoming
part 1 will be dated 1753, when Liam was already 28 I think. Yet from
now on, Angel will usually be referred to as about 240 or 250 years old.

-The rule that vampires can't enter a home unless invited is first
mentioned here. However, they screw up a little right at the beginning,
as one of the Three sticks his arm through the door as Buffy shuts it.

-Oh, some other firsts: First Buffy-Angel kiss; first hospital scene;
first attack on Buffy's family; and if I'm not mistaken, the first
extended Willow babbling scenes.

-I didn't really like The Three (owners of the lamest villain name to be
heard until Amends). But I was amused by the TIRSBILA moment when they're
introduced: first we see three tough skinhead types outside the Bronze,
then they scurry away when the *real* Three come into view.

-Giles tells Joyce that "Buffy lives very much in the now, and history is
very much of the then." Angel-the-episode shows us what a false dichotomy
that is. The now is inextricably bound to the then. (Especially for
those who have a century and a half of mass murder to remember.)

-The use of strobe lights in the final fight scene was totally gratuitous,
but I liked it anyway.

-Given Buffy and Angel's respective heights, Angel must have bent over
*really* far to get that cross burn on his chest.

> AOQ rating: Good

I'd give it a high Good, though not an Excellent. It's a little like
WTTH and The Harvest in that I love it for what it started more than for
what it actually contains. AtE is more consistently high-quality than
either of those episodes, but there are still weak moments, mostly
involving comic-relief Xander.


--Chris

______________________________________________________________________
chrisg [at] gwu.edu On the Internet, nobody knows I'm a dog.

Arbitrar Of Quality

unread,
Mar 22, 2007, 2:30:48 AM3/22/07
to
On Mar 21, 3:30 pm, chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu wrote:

> Apteryx <apte...@xtra.co.nz> wrote:
> > From: "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com>

> Angel's feelings about Buffy must have been *really* intense, if kissing


> her made him go vamp-face involuntarily. Usually that only happens when a
> vampire suffers a painful surprise attack.

As you say, the whole B/A relationship happens so quickly and
(initially) superficially that one has to chalk it up to hormones and
wacky emotionally-charged kids. (Angel's still pretty immature at
this point too.)

> > Buffy might end up killing him. The moment where Angel makes his
> > final
> > choice and kills Darla
>
> > *Ah yes, she'll be missed.
>
> Well, maybe she can reappear in a brief flashback sometime.

Or two (if one confines oneself to BTVS alone. She's really an ATS
character).

> Angel staked Darla a little too fast, at least from the point of view of
> someone who's seen all the way through both Buffyverse series. That was a
> big moment for Angel, and deserved a closer look. But one part that
> really worked was the aftermath, when Angel just looks at Buffy and then
> walks away. In hindsight we can say that Angel had to assimilate what he
> did before he could deal with Buffy again.

I can't really blame the writers for the fact that they were making up
Darla's part in Angel's past as they went along. Seen in light of
_Angel_ (the series), the events of early episodes like "Angel"
generally go by too fast and seriously lack the life-changing
resonance that they should. Fortunately there's three years of TV
between the parts that clash, and the fan can always wank stuff that's
going on beneath the surface that Buffy (and remember that it's her
show, depicted from her perspective) doesn't know about yet.

> > Things that amused me even though they should have made me groan:
>
> Was this the origin of the TIRSBILA section?

No, actually. It wasn't until late in S2 that I decided I should have
a section devoted to things that just struck me as dumbly funny
without having to explain or justify them. The first review (I don't
know if we'll want to keep re-reading old reviews or not on this
rewatch) to have a specific TIRSBILA portion was "Killed By Death,"
and it was in at least half of the BTVS reviews thereafter (and some
ATS ones too, although after I started sometimes doing Quotes Worth
Quoting instead during ATS3, I found that to often be more appropriate
for that show).

> -Giles tells Joyce that "Buffy lives very much in the now, and history is
> very much of the then." Angel-the-episode shows us what a false dichotomy
> that is. The now is inextricably bound to the then. (Especially for
> those who have a century and a half of mass murder to remember.)

Good pickup - that's clever writing.

> -Given Buffy and Angel's respective heights, Angel must have bent over
> *really* far to get that cross burn on his chest.

Heh. Didn't think about that, but you're right.

> > AOQ rating: Good
>
> I'd give it a high Good, though not an Excellent. It's a little like
> WTTH and The Harvest in that I love it for what it started more than for
> what it actually contains. AtE is more consistently high-quality than
> either of those episodes, but there are still weak moments, mostly
> involving comic-relief Xander.

Pretty much agreed. "Angel" actually goes down in my estimation on re-
watching. It does some important things, but it's so talky.
Sometimes to the point of clunkiness, and sometimes to the point of
taking itself too seriously. Still, I definitely appreciate what it
does for the show - it makes the Buffyverse a more complicated place
and is one of the best representations of the direction the show will
take post-S1. I'm sticking with Good.

-AOQ

cry...@panix.com

unread,
Mar 22, 2007, 7:32:45 AM3/22/07
to
Arbitrar Of Quality <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:
> On Mar 21, 3:30 pm, chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu wrote:

>> Angel's feelings about Buffy must have been *really* intense, if kissing
>> her made him go vamp-face involuntarily. Usually that only happens when a
>> vampire suffers a painful surprise attack.

> As you say, the whole B/A relationship happens so quickly and
> (initially) superficially that one has to chalk it up to hormones and
> wacky emotionally-charged kids. (Angel's still pretty immature at
> this point too.)

I haven't watched this episode since your review, so maybe my
memory's not so good--I thought Angel vamped out because of
Buffy's dangling cross necklace? (Which is, of course,
symbolic in more ways than holy for the two of them.)

BTW, thanks for all the reviews! I usually lurk and don't
contribute much to the group, but the AOQ threads have made it
fun to read :-D

--
-Crystal

Arnold Kim

unread,
Mar 22, 2007, 12:07:53 PM3/22/07
to

<chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu> wrote in message
news:13035fo...@corp.supernews.com...

> Apteryx <apt...@xtra.co.nz> wrote:
>> [[By the way, while we're on "The Pack," given that Xander does
>> in fact remember almost raping one of his best friends, wouldn't it
>> have been nice to see some change in the way he acts? As it is, "The
>> Pack" becomes an aberration and poor Alex is back to being the
>> often-irritating cartoon character he's been since "Teacher's
>> Pet." Maybe I should send a petition back in time demanding the
>> return of the old Xander.]]
>
> Yes, this is a problem for me too. After The Pack he should have shown
> *some* lingering emotional effect, whether it was a change in his attitude
> towards Buffy and Willow, or just a generally more subdued and gloomier
> mood. Or he could have acted *desperately* chipper, in an attempt to
> forget. Maybe that was happening on the dance floor, but they don't
> really play it that way. And speaking of Xander, throughout the episode,
> his jealousy was a bit overdone (though not as much as in the weakest
> scenes in NKABOTFD). I guess when you're playing up a character's foolish
> or pathetic side, it's hard to know when to pull back before you've gone
> too far.

I dunno, I think his jealousy was appropriate here, and is consistent with
how he viewed Owen and Angel in the past, and how he generally doesn't like
vampires. He didn't like the guy anyway, and in his mind was a bloodsucking
fiend...

>> Buffy might end up killing him. The moment where Angel makes his
>> final
>> choice and kills Darla
>>
>> *Ah yes, she'll be missed.
>
> Well, maybe she can reappear in a brief flashback sometime.

And, in the future, die again. And die again after that.

>> is telegraphed, but it's still effective. I
>> seem to be using a lot of compound sentences with "but" and
>> "yet" in them,
>
> One-clause sentences are for wimps.
>
>> One more thing I thought was interesting is that Buffy comes across as
>> a bit young and naïve here (and looks physically very young once she
>> ditches some of the makeup in the last scene too). Cruel as it is to
>> say, her reluctance to take action against someone she's attracted to
>> isn't becoming to a Slayer. Even though it was obviously going to
>> end up being the right thing to do, I was cringing a bit during the
>> scene where she presents her neck to Angel. Not smart. Don't be so
>> trusting, Buffy. I'm being critical of the character here, not the
>> scenes; this is consistent with how she's been portrayed up until
>> now, and is exactly how a superhero who's also a lonely
>> sixteen-year-old might be expected to behave.
>
> Yes, it is. In general Buffy is not just someone with a double life --
> her two sides frequently blend together, for better or worse. And if
> there's a conflict between what she thinks she knows and her instincts,
> she'll usually go with the latter.

Joss has described Buffy as having been inspired by Marvel Comics
characters, particularly Kitty Pryde, but I really see her as more of a
female version of Peter Parker, a person whose private life and superhero
life are constantly intersecting and at odds with each other, often, like
Buffy, intersecting in the same characters.

> More TTAMETTSHMMG: Willow asking Xander "Want a free drink?"
>
> Some assorted details:
>
> -This episode set up the long tradition of counting Angel's age from when
> he was turned, not when Liam was born. Giles says that Angel(us) has
> been around for 240 years or so. The flashback to his turning in Becoming
> part 1 will be dated 1753, when Liam was already 28 I think. Yet from
> now on, Angel will usually be referred to as about 240 or 250 years old.
>
> -The rule that vampires can't enter a home unless invited is first
> mentioned here. However, they screw up a little right at the beginning,
> as one of the Three sticks his arm through the door as Buffy shuts it.

Also, Angels' pretty much halfway through the door when Buffy says "Get in".

> -Oh, some other firsts: First Buffy-Angel kiss; first hospital scene;
> first attack on Buffy's family; and if I'm not mistaken, the first
> extended Willow babbling scenes.
>
> -I didn't really like The Three (owners of the lamest villain name to be
> heard until Amends). But I was amused by the TIRSBILA moment when they're
> introduced: first we see three tough skinhead types outside the Bronze,
> then they scurry away when the *real* Three come into view.
>
> -Giles tells Joyce that "Buffy lives very much in the now, and history is
> very much of the then." Angel-the-episode shows us what a false dichotomy
> that is. The now is inextricably bound to the then. (Especially for
> those who have a century and a half of mass murder to remember.)
>
> -The use of strobe lights in the final fight scene was totally gratuitous,
> but I liked it anyway.

Speaking of which, the director must have really been a big fan of John Woo.
Buffy diving for the crossbow and then spinning around, and Darla sliding
backwards while firing two handguns were straight out of Hong Kong action
movies.

Not necessarily a bad thing, mind you...

Arnold Kim


chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu

unread,
Mar 22, 2007, 1:51:35 PM3/22/07
to
Arnold Kim <arno...@optonline.net> wrote:

>> really play it that way. And speaking of Xander, throughout the episode,
>> his jealousy was a bit overdone (though not as much as in the weakest
>> scenes in NKABOTFD). I guess when you're playing up a character's foolish
>> or pathetic side, it's hard to know when to pull back before you've gone
>> too far.
>
> I dunno, I think his jealousy was appropriate here, and is consistent with
> how he viewed Owen and Angel in the past, and how he generally doesn't like
> vampires. He didn't like the guy anyway, and in his mind was a bloodsucking
> fiend...

Just to be clear, I agree that Xander's jealousy makes sense. I just
think the way it's expressed is a little too over the top, crossing the
line from characterization to caricature. (Though there's nothing here
quite as OTT as the scene in NKABOTFD where Xander tries to convince Owen
that Buffy doesn't like to be touched.)

William George Ferguson

unread,
Mar 22, 2007, 2:51:54 PM3/22/07
to
"Arnold Kim" <arno...@optonline.net> wrote:

><chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu> wrote in message
>news:13035fo...@corp.supernews.com...

>> Yes, it is. In general Buffy is not just someone with a double life --

>> her two sides frequently blend together, for better or worse. And if
>> there's a conflict between what she thinks she knows and her instincts,
>> she'll usually go with the latter.
>
>Joss has described Buffy as having been inspired by Marvel Comics
>characters, particularly Kitty Pryde, but I really see her as more of a
>female version of Peter Parker, a person whose private life and superhero
>life are constantly intersecting and at odds with each other, often, like
>Buffy, intersecting in the same characters.

Exactly. Willow is Kitty Pryde :)


--
... and my sister is a vampire slayer, her best friend is a witch who
went bonkers and tried to destroy the world, um, I actually used to be
a little ball of energy until about two years ago when some monks
changed the past and made me Buffy's sister and for some reason, a big
klepto. My best friends are Leticia Jones, who moved to San Diego
because this town is evil, and a floppy eared demon named Clem.
(Dawn's fantasy of her intro speech in "Lessons", from the shooting script)

Arnold Kim

unread,
Mar 22, 2007, 4:15:15 PM3/22/07
to

"William George Ferguson" <wmgf...@newsguy.com> wrote in message
news:huj5039jrse376mlc...@4ax.com...

> "Arnold Kim" <arno...@optonline.net> wrote:
>
>><chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu> wrote in message
>>news:13035fo...@corp.supernews.com...
>
>>> Yes, it is. In general Buffy is not just someone with a double life --
>>> her two sides frequently blend together, for better or worse. And if
>>> there's a conflict between what she thinks she knows and her instincts,
>>> she'll usually go with the latter.
>>
>>Joss has described Buffy as having been inspired by Marvel Comics
>>characters, particularly Kitty Pryde, but I really see her as more of a
>>female version of Peter Parker, a person whose private life and superhero
>>life are constantly intersecting and at odds with each other, often, like
>>Buffy, intersecting in the same characters.
>
> Exactly. Willow is Kitty Pryde :)

Does that mean Colossus is just really, really butch?

Arnold Kim


William George Ferguson

unread,
Mar 22, 2007, 4:35:54 PM3/22/07
to
On Thu, 22 Mar 2007 16:15:15 -0400, "Arnold Kim" <arno...@optonline.net>
wrote:

Lessee, Piotr Rasputin, sensitive artist (painter), peace-loving, in touch
with his feelings...

And Xian Coy Manh would be Kennedy

One Bit Shy

unread,
Mar 22, 2007, 5:57:27 PM3/22/07
to
"Apteryx" <apt...@xtra.co.nz> wrote in message
news:etquuj$go1$1...@aioe.org...

> From: "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com>

> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER


> Season One, Episode 7: "Angel"

> This show sees Buffy crushing on a large withdrawn guy for the second


> time in three episodes. I think it would've been nice to build up to
> this without the rather useless interlude with Owen, going straight
> from "I'll be around" at the end of "Teacher's Pet" into
> more stuff between these two. The potential romance would feel more
> natural, and the viewer might be more interested if it were Buffy's
> first on-screen relationship.

AOQ - do you still feel this way?


> * There is that. But OTOH we have seen Buffy fighting against her
> attraction to Angel, because he is too old for (even before she knew quite
> how old he is) and because she "really didn't like him". So its not
> necessarily silly that she would try to pursue a more "suitable"
> relationship before going with her feelings.*

I think there's more than that. It strikes me as part of the season's story
structure showing Buffy's growing identity with being a Slayer and being
pulled away from her normal life. She "really didn't like him" specifically
because he reminded her of her Slayer calling, which at the time she was
trying to resist. Since re-accepting her calling by attempting to be The
Slayer while simultaneously living a normal life Buffy first has to attempt
normal dating - and fail at it. (NKABOTFD) That's essential so that she
consequently looks to her Slayer side for that companionship, drawing her
further into it. Then, in The Pack, an additional thought is thrown into
the mix when Xander suggests that Buffy is drawn to dangerous men.

Buffy and Angel's love isn't supposed to build naturally in the usual
romantic sense. It's supposed to be interwoven with Buffy's Slayer
identity - something that arises from that every bit as much as from hearts
and flowers romance.

In terms of the season theme, this is a really big deal. In NKABOTFD, being
a Slayer interferes with Buffy's normal life. But here, the draw away from
normality is Buffy's true self asserting itself rather than circumstances
forcing her. There's a hint of a suggestion now that maybe Buffy really
doesn't belong in the normal world - something that Spike will hammer on
years in the future. It sure is a different perspective on the issue than
Buffy offered in WTTH.


> Although
> I'd call it a combination of lust and curiosity rather than Troo Wuv.

Or just 16 year old innocence. I think it's still too early for true Troo
Wuv, but I do believe this episode is suggesting a foundation for it that
Buffy already senses.


>>From there, we move on to the big shock moment of the show, when
>
> kissing Buffy makes Angel start growling. The reveal is done nicely,
> although I haven't mentioned yet that it's silly to have vampires
> growling like animals. Save it for the were-hyena episodes. Mrs.
> Quality, who does tend to be in favor of characters hooking up, said
> (at that point) that she hated seeing Buffy's new guy turn into a
> vampire.
>
>
> * I thought it was a pretty good surprise, as well as a good Romeo &
> Juliet moment, "my greatest love spring from my greatest hate", perhaps
> foreshadowing that B&A too will be star-crossed lovers.*

Compared to some of the emotional places the series will take us to in the
future, this seems really tame now. But it needs to be. This is the early
tentative contact of a couple of kids. (Assuming we take Angel as being
emotionally immature right now.) In the context of where Buffy was at the
time, it's shocking. And very much a surprise within the story line. (I
assume so anyway. When this was originally aired, did people expect Angel
to be revealed as a vampire?)

It's also what I consider to be the second magic moment of the series as the
implications arising from it last forever, redefining Buffy's character.
The Slayer attracted to what she hunts - in the form of innocent love
irresistibly consuming her. Nothing about being the Slayer can be so black
and white anymore. In retrospect, The Pack mildly foreshadowed this by
creating the ambiguity of good and bad within Xander. That could be seen as
aberrant and temporary. The mere fact of Angel challenges the whole idea of
being a Slayer.


> Myself, I thought it was a nice little surprise (I knew he
> was ancient and supernatural, but not a bloodsucker), and the simple
> fact that he has a chance to kill her and doesn't makes it clear that
> we should keep watching, there's more to his story than that. And
> sure enough, there's the curse thing. But the show is still playing
> with expectations, since the natural inclination when we hear about a
> "curse" is to think of being doomed to be a vampire, not getting a
> conscience.

What a neat concept. Of course we know how much will be done with the idea
in the future, but even here it adds a lot of color and depth to the idea of
Buffy and Angel being drawn together.


> Instead, she gets to be Angel's
> temptress, reminding the relative youngster that it's nice to follow
> one's id. Both actors, particularly Boreanz, play their scenes with
> the right amount of animalistic sexual tension.
>
>
>
> * I guess, although they certainly got better at it with practice. *

Darla is still a lot better than she was in The Harvest. I think she gets
the baseline for her future character down pretty well here. Her breathless
panting sexuality sure is brought forth. Angel, on the other hand still has
a ways to go. Boreanaz's performance is way ahead of where he was just a
few episodes ago, but he's still smirking too much and borderline annoying.


> I
> seem to be using a lot of compound sentences with "but" and
> "yet" in them, because that's the kind of show "Angel" is.

The bane of my existence. I seem physically incapable of not overusing
them.


> One more thing I thought was interesting is that Buffy comes across as
> a bit young and naïve here (and looks physically very young once she
> ditches some of the makeup in the last scene too). Cruel as it is to
> say, her reluctance to take action against someone she's attracted to
> isn't becoming to a Slayer. Even though it was obviously going to
> end up being the right thing to do, I was cringing a bit during the
> scene where she presents her neck to Angel. Not smart. Don't be so
> trusting, Buffy. I'm being critical of the character here, not the
> scenes; this is consistent with how she's been portrayed up until
> now, and is exactly how a superhero who's also a lonely
> sixteen-year-old might be expected to behave.

Ah, the first big example of the debate between Buffy doing the "smart"
thing and going with her heart. Such will often be argued both within the
show and among the fans. I'm curious if this looks any different to AOQ
now.

My take is that this is *not* lonely 16 year old innocent superhero being
trusting. I think the idea is that Buffy - The Slayer - genuinely senses
something in Angel (probably the soul) that is holding him back and setting
him apart from the other vampires. As she lies on the ground holding the
crossbow aimed at him she genuinely sees the good in him that nobody else
can. I think Buffy knew she was taking a risk baring her neck to him, but
it was a statement she believed she needed to make. I imagine that is a
pretty profound moment for Angel, having a knowing Buffy express that kind
of faith in him. We'll also return to very much the same idea and the same
sixth sense in S7 when Buffy expresses her faith in Spike.

On a lower level, Buffy also sensed Angel at the Bronze earlier on. This is
one of the main episodes that convinces me that Buffy really does have some
kind of special Slayer instinct. Though perhaps focused through Buffy's
heart.

Small side note. Angel stands there and encourages Buffy to kill him. Does
he really know that she won't - that she can't? Or is this a little bit of
a death wish to end the agony of his soul? (And why doesn't anybody ever
say how dumb it was for Angel to trust Buffy?)

And a curiosity - boy, I had forgotten just how much Willow was rooting for
Angel/Buffy love - even after finding out he's a vampire. Maybe even more
then. Is this to keep her away from Xander? Is she just a romantic? Or is
she herself fascinated with the dark match of Slayer and vampire?


> So....
>
> One-sentence summary: Solid both as an individual show and in terms of
> direction for the series.
>
> AOQ rating: Good
>
> *Excellent for me. To me, the main story is a forerunner of the big twist
> in season, as sort of Lite version of Surprise/Innocence, where the idea
> of the boyfriend turning bad as soon as the girl gets too close is played
> with, but this time only as a tease. It's my 14th favourite BtVS episode,
> 2nd best in season 1*

Excellent for me too. It's just such a big foundation for the series. But
even without the future effects, it's a big deal right now for Buffy to be
drawn to a vampire for love. A bunch of layers were just added to the
series. It's also the episode that has most kept me on edge so far. I find
it quite tense.

OBS


Arbitrar Of Quality

unread,
Mar 23, 2007, 1:25:45 AM3/23/07
to
On Mar 22, 4:57 pm, "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
> "Apteryx" <apte...@xtra.co.nz> wrote in message

>
> news:etquuj$go1$1...@aioe.org...
>
> > From: "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com>
> > BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> > Season One, Episode 7: "Angel"
> > This show sees Buffy crushing on a large withdrawn guy for the second
> > time in three episodes. I think it would've been nice to build up to
> > this without the rather useless interlude with Owen, going straight
> > from "I'll be around" at the end of "Teacher's Pet" into
> > more stuff between these two. The potential romance would feel more
> > natural, and the viewer might be more interested if it were Buffy's
> > first on-screen relationship.
>
> AOQ - do you still feel this way?

Not really. "Never Kill..." makes more sense having seen the whole
season, although I don't think I appreciated how much more sense until
rewatching it with the whole series behind me

> I think there's more than that. It strikes me as part of the season's story
> structure showing Buffy's growing identity with being a Slayer and being
> pulled away from her normal life. She "really didn't like him" specifically
> because he reminded her of her Slayer calling, which at the time she was
> trying to resist. Since re-accepting her calling by attempting to be The
> Slayer while simultaneously living a normal life Buffy first has to attempt
> normal dating - and fail at it. (NKABOTFD) That's essential so that she
> consequently looks to her Slayer side for that companionship, drawing her
> further into it. Then, in The Pack, an additional thought is thrown into
> the mix when Xander suggests that Buffy is drawn to dangerous men.
>
> Buffy and Angel's love isn't supposed to build naturally in the usual
> romantic sense. It's supposed to be interwoven with Buffy's Slayer
> identity - something that arises from that every bit as much as from hearts
> and flowers romance.
>
> In terms of the season theme, this is a really big deal. In NKABOTFD, being
> a Slayer interferes with Buffy's normal life. But here, the draw away from
> normality is Buffy's true self asserting itself rather than circumstances
> forcing her. There's a hint of a suggestion now that maybe Buffy really
> doesn't belong in the normal world - something that Spike will hammer on
> years in the future. It sure is a different perspective on the issue than
> Buffy offered in WTTH.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and Buffy decided she didn't quite like
the look of either and took a totally different route.

> In the context of where Buffy was at the
> time, it's shocking. And very much a surprise within the story line. (I
> assume so anyway. When this was originally aired, did people expect Angel
> to be revealed as a vampire?)

It's hard to step back to that time and appreciate this as a shock,
knowing what we do now. My guess would be that a fair number of
people figured he wasn't human, but maybe not a vampire in particular,
since they'd been portrayed as so unambiguously monstrous in the
previous 4.5 episodes with vampire content. Any first-generation
viewers want to chime in?

Interesting thought, and I think you're at least partly right.

> Small side note. Angel stands there and encourages Buffy to kill him. Does
> he really know that she won't - that she can't? Or is this a little bit of
> a death wish to end the agony of his soul? (And why doesn't anybody ever
> say how dumb it was for Angel to trust Buffy?)

Well, on first viewing, we at this point neither know as much about
nor care about Angel to the extent that we do Buffy, so it's less
likely to jump out at the average viewer. I wouldn't put a bit of
death-wish past him at this point. Give me acceptance from someone
who knows what I am, or give me death.

-AOQ

Michael Ikeda

unread,
Mar 23, 2007, 7:16:35 AM3/23/07
to
"One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote in
news:1305uua...@news.supernews.com:

> "Apteryx" <apt...@xtra.co.nz> wrote in message
> news:etquuj$go1$1...@aioe.org...
>> From: "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com>
>
>> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>> Season One, Episode 7: "Angel"
>

> And a curiosity - boy, I had forgotten just how much Willow was


> rooting for Angel/Buffy love - even after finding out he's a
> vampire. Maybe even more then. Is this to keep her away from
> Xander? Is she just a romantic? Or is she herself fascinated
> with the dark match of Slayer and vampire?

Yes.

Although more the second than the first and third, I think.

--
Michael Ikeda mmi...@erols.com
"Telling a statistician not to use sampling is like telling an
astronomer they can't say there is a moon and stars"
Lynne Billard, past president American Statistical Association

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Mar 23, 2007, 2:24:43 PM3/23/07
to
In article <kIKdnemTEM2OKp7b...@rcn.net>,
Michael Ikeda <mmi...@erols.com> wrote:

> "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote in
> news:1305uua...@news.supernews.com:
>
> > "Apteryx" <apt...@xtra.co.nz> wrote in message
> > news:etquuj$go1$1...@aioe.org...
> >> From: "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com>
> >
> >> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> >> Season One, Episode 7: "Angel"
> >
>
> > And a curiosity - boy, I had forgotten just how much Willow was
> > rooting for Angel/Buffy love - even after finding out he's a
> > vampire. Maybe even more then. Is this to keep her away from
> > Xander? Is she just a romantic? Or is she herself fascinated
> > with the dark match of Slayer and vampire?
>
> Yes.
>
> Although more the second than the first and third, I think.

i wonder if willow was a secret anne rice fan
and was enchanted with fictional fictional vampires
before meeting fictional real vampires

meow arf meow - they are performing horrible experiments in space
major grubert is watching you - beware the bakalite
impeach the bastard - the airtight garage has you neo

One Bit Shy

unread,
Mar 23, 2007, 3:44:57 PM3/23/07
to
"Michael Ikeda" <mmi...@erols.com> wrote in message
news:kIKdnemTEM2OKp7b...@rcn.net...

> "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote in
> news:1305uua...@news.supernews.com:
>
>> "Apteryx" <apt...@xtra.co.nz> wrote in message
>> news:etquuj$go1$1...@aioe.org...
>>> From: "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com>
>>
>>> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>>> Season One, Episode 7: "Angel"
>>
>
>> And a curiosity - boy, I had forgotten just how much Willow was
>> rooting for Angel/Buffy love - even after finding out he's a
>> vampire. Maybe even more then. Is this to keep her away from
>> Xander? Is she just a romantic? Or is she herself fascinated
>> with the dark match of Slayer and vampire?
>
> Yes.
>
> Although more the second than the first and third, I think.

Upon more reflection I think it's most of all Willow experiencing romance
vicariously through Buffy, which I guess ties to the second. Especially
since she's not getting it through Xander. But I think the danger of the
dark match titillates her too. Perhaps an early sign of her periodic
tendency towards reckless thrill.

OBS


Arbitrar Of Quality

unread,
Mar 24, 2007, 11:22:40 AM3/24/07
to
On Mar 23, 2:44 pm, "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
> "Michael Ikeda" <mmik...@erols.com> wrote in message

>
> news:kIKdnemTEM2OKp7b...@rcn.net...
>
>
>
> > "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote in
> >news:1305uua...@news.supernews.com:
>
> >> "Apteryx" <apte...@xtra.co.nz> wrote in message

> >>news:etquuj$go1$1...@aioe.org...
> >>> From: "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com>
>
> >>> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> >>> Season One, Episode 7: "Angel"
>
> >> And a curiosity - boy, I had forgotten just how much Willow was
> >> rooting for Angel/Buffy love - even after finding out he's a
> >> vampire. Maybe even more then. Is this to keep her away from
> >> Xander? Is she just a romantic? Or is she herself fascinated
> >> with the dark match of Slayer and vampire?
>
> > Yes.
>
> > Although more the second than the first and third, I think.
>
> Upon more reflection I think it's most of all Willow experiencing romance
> vicariously through Buffy, which I guess ties to the second. Especially
> since she's not getting it through Xander. But I think the danger of the
> dark match titillates her too. Perhaps an early sign of her periodic
> tendency towards reckless thrill.

Willow has a history of liking things because they're cool, not
because they're best.

-AOQ

Maysha Gupta Nidhi (Pirate King)

unread,
Jan 22, 2024, 12:35:55 AMJan 22
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