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AOQ Review 1-7: "Angel"

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Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jan 15, 2006, 10:19:40 PM1/15/06
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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This show sees Buffy crushing on a large withdrawn guy for the second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. 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. 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 dosn'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. 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. 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?

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 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.

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.

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

[Season One ratings so far:
1) "Welcome To The Hellmouth" - Good
2) "The Harvest" - Decent
3) "Witch" - Excellent
4) "Teacher's Pet" - Decent
5) "Never Kill A Boy On The First Date" - Decent
6) "The Pack" - Excellent
7) "Angel" - Good]

kenm47

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Jan 15, 2006, 11:08:55 PM1/15/06
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>>>>My favorite line from those sequences, though, is "you're hurting me... which
is fine," or whatever the exact wording is.<<<<

"Darla: What do you want?
Angel: I want it finished!
Darla: That's good. You're hurting me. <smiles> That's
good, too."

Yes, a terrific moment that said a lot and also at 8:30 p.m. was a
surprise in a "kids' show." And Julie Benz was terrific. It was sadder
to say goodbye to her then than to Flutie the week before, one of the
reasons I thought the show would not go on to a season 2 with so many
characters just up and dying, or in Darla's case re-dying.

If you risk the spoilage you will find an endless debate on the
Buffy/Angel romance, including his being 224 years or so older than 16
year old Buffy and just what was that they were communicating.

Joyce in the hospital was the least of the Sunnydale denial problems
IMO, plus there was that hint of chemistry between Joyce and Giles
leaving open a question if that was going to go anywhwre, what with
Joyce's admiration of Giles' interest in his students.

Cordelia - all I'll say now is that SMG auditioned for and was Cordelia
until the suits and Joss thought to have her try for Buffy. Cordelia at
this point in the show is mainly comic relief.

You're the first poster I've seen that suggested Angel was still
responsible for people dying b/c he's misusing those blood bags. I
thought it enough he could not bring himself to feed off living folks.
The curse was interesting, and, youknow, veryiportant in the
Buffy-verse, what with:

'"Buffy: I can't believe this is happening. One minute we
were kissing, and the next minute. . . <to Giles> Can a vampire
ever be a good person? Couldn't it happen?
Giles: A vampire isn't a person at all. <clears his throat> It
may have the movements, the, the memories, even the
personality of the person that it took over, but i-it's still
a demon at the core, there is no halfway.
Willow: So that'd be a no, huh?"

And Angel's:

"When you become a vampire the demon takes
your body, but it doesn't get your soul. That's gone! No
conscience, no remorse. . . It's an easy way to live. You
have no idea what it's like to have done the things I've
done. . .and to care. I haven't fed on a living human being
since that day."

This has triggered countless posts arguing what this all means in the
Buffy-verse

Other important moments was the ease with which Buffy can master a new
weapon, and Xander genuinely or jealously trying to get Buffy to dust
Angel.

>>>>Overthinking things<<<<

Nah. You hardly did. You've got years to ponder this stuff if you are
hooked and stay hooked.

Did you have a rating between Good and Excellent, because "Angel" is
somewhere between IMO. Good, but with enough excellent moments to give
it at least a Good+.

Ken (Brooklyn)

Don Sample

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Jan 15, 2006, 11:27:34 PM1/15/06
to
In article <1137381580....@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,

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

> 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.

We never find out where he gets his human blood. It's possible that
it's "expired" whole blood, (what's the shelf life for that stuff?) or
maybe blood that was rejected after the donation was made for one reason
or another. (Tests showed the donor had hepatitis, or something.)

Ummm, I'm not sure how spoiler-phobic you are, and there is some
information given about his blood sources in future episodes that aren't
really plot points, just filling in background, so I'm going to ROT-13
it:

Natry qbrfa'g whfg rng uhzna oybbq. Uhzna oybbq gnfgrf "orfg" ohg nal
znzzny'f oybbq jvyy qb. Vg'f cvt'f oybbq gung vf zragvbarq zbfg bsgra,
(naq cvt'f oybbq zvkrq jvgu n ovg bs bggre vf fhccbfrq gb or cerggl
pybfr gb uhzna va gnfgr.) Fhaalqnyr ohgpuref qb n urnygul genqr va
oybbq. Gurer ner nyfb onef gung pngre gb inzcverf naq bgure qrzbaf gung
freir uhzna oybbq, naq bgure fcrpvnyvmrq qevaxf, fhpu nf srezragrq lnx
hevar.

--
Quando omni flunkus moritati
Visit the Buffy Body Count at <http://homepage.mac.com/dsample/>

John Briggs

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Jan 16, 2006, 8:42:10 AM1/16/06
to
kenm47 wrote:
>>>>> My favorite line from those sequences, though, is "you're hurting
>>>>> me... which
> is fine," or whatever the exact wording is.<<<<
>
> "Darla: What do you want?
> Angel: I want it finished!
> Darla: That's good. You're hurting me. <smiles> That's
> good, too."
>
> Yes, a terrific moment that said a lot and also at 8:30 p.m. was a
> surprise in a "kids' show." And Julie Benz was terrific. It was sadder
> to say goodbye to her then than to Flutie the week before, one of the
> reasons I thought the show would not go on to a season 2 with so many
> characters just up and dying, or in Darla's case re-dying.
>
> If you risk the spoilage you will find an endless debate on the
> Buffy/Angel romance, including his being 224 years or so older than 16
> year old Buffy and just what was that they were communicating.
>
> Joyce in the hospital was the least of the Sunnydale denial problems
> IMO, plus there was that hint of chemistry between Joyce and Giles
> leaving open a question if that was going to go anywhwre, what with
> Joyce's admiration of Giles' interest in his students.
>
> Cordelia - all I'll say now is that SMG auditioned for and was
> Cordelia until the suits and Joss thought to have her try for Buffy.
> Cordelia at this point in the show is mainly comic relief.

And Charisma Carpenter auditioned for Buffy...
--
John Briggs


mze...@yahoo.com

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Jan 16, 2006, 6:19:25 PM1/16/06
to
Mr Quality, I just discovered your S1 reviews, and have really enjoyed
reading them. It's fun going through the season again for the "first"
time through someone else's eyes. I always try to watch S1 as if I'm
seeing it for the first time. Helps keep it fresh, and the
low-budgetyness doesn't bug so much. I also keep finding new things to
notice, after all these years.

"Angel" is one of the S1 eps that holds up the best, I think. It has a
very fast-moving script -- the teaser has several scenes all by itself,
and things start happening right away. I used to cry a lot about my
poor Darla, but I got over it. Mostly.

By the way, you WILL buy season 2. Trust me.

Oh, um, hi Don. Hi George. Hi Ken. Gabba gabba hey and all that.

Mike Zeares

MBan...@gmail.com

unread,
Jan 16, 2006, 6:55:32 PM1/16/06
to
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.

In Sunnydale, I think the residents choose to ignore the things they
cannot explain (until of course, it's staring them in the face). Don't
worry too much about this conceit because mentions will be made in
future episodes and that's all I'm saying 'bout that.

"Angel" is a very important episode and I'm glad you liked it. :)

drifter

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Jan 16, 2006, 8:04:34 PM1/16/06
to
Don Sample wrote:
> In article <1137381580....@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:
>
>> 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.
>
> We never find out where he gets his human blood. It's possible that
> it's "expired" whole blood, (what's the shelf life for that stuff?)

a.. 42 days: the shelf life of donated red blood cells.

a.. Five days: the shelf life of donated platelets.

a.. One year: the shelf life of frozen plasma.

--

Kel
"I reject your reality, and substitute my own."


kenm47

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Jan 16, 2006, 10:33:18 PM1/16/06
to
Hi Mike,

Happy New Year

Ken (Brooklyn)

kenm47

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Jan 16, 2006, 10:34:39 PM1/16/06
to
And who says it's human blood in Angel's fridge anyway?

Ken (Brooklyn)

William George Ferguson

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Jan 16, 2006, 10:49:41 PM1/16/06
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When I saw the first post, about Amber Benson, I said 'wait a minute...'!
Welcome back for however long it is. Try to stay away from the current
version of 'Is SMG Christian...' ('OT? Book of Daniel', I see Don's let
himself be sucked in to it), it probably won't be good for your
circulation.


--
HERBERT
1996 - 1997
Beloved Mascot
Delightful Meal
He fed the Pack
A little

Mike Zeares

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Jan 16, 2006, 11:26:23 PM1/16/06
to
I'm just happy (and, I have to admit, a bit surprised) to see any kind
of quality Buffy discussion still going on in this group. The topic of
internet reaction to the Angel reveal came up on
televisionwithoutpity.com (where there's a person doing the same thing
as the Arbitrar) and I mentioned that there wasn't a whole lot of
internet Buffy chatter back in S1, at least compared to later. Which
led me to actually reading the S1 Buffy chatter in the Google archive.
Which led me to, "hm, wonder what's going on these days?" So here I
am. Again.

-- Mike Zeares

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jan 17, 2006, 8:43:02 AM1/17/06
to
kenm47 wrote:
> Did you have a rating between Good and Excellent, because "Angel" is
> somewhere between IMO. Good, but with enough excellent moments to give
> it at least a Good+.

Nothing between them; it's a five-point scale. For me a rating is just
a simple subjective statement -- how much did I like the dpisode. Once
you move to a ten-point scale, you start agonizing over what exactly
the distinction is between a 3.0 and a 3.5, trying to be objective
about it, and the rating is no longer pure gut feeling.

-AOQ

Arbitrar Of Quality

unread,
Jan 17, 2006, 8:47:47 AM1/17/06
to

Don Sample wrote:
> In article <1137381580....@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:
>
> > 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.
>
> We never find out where he gets his human blood. It's possible that
> it's "expired" whole blood, (what's the shelf life for that stuff?) or
> maybe blood that was rejected after the donation was made for one reason
> or another. (Tests showed the donor had hepatitis, or something.)

Clever; that's about the best way of explaining that issue away I can
imagine. I don't think it'd be expired (hospitals really don't let
blood expire, since there's always a shortage), but it could very well
be rejected. Could vampires be immune to blood-borne viruses like Hep
B/C and HIV? Then from there Angel could ration his supplies
carefully...

-AOQ

Don Sample

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Jan 17, 2006, 2:55:50 PM1/17/06
to
In article <1137505667.2...@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,

In order to ensure that there is always blood on hand for emergencies,
all hospitals are going to keep some stockpiled. Since no allocation
system is perfect, and you can't really predict where there's going to
be an emergency, that means that some will have more than they need,
while others have less. While there will be an effort to keep the
wastage down to a minimum, there is always going to be *some*.

reld...@usa.net

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Jan 17, 2006, 4:17:02 PM1/17/06
to

mze...@yahoo.com wrote:
> Mr Quality, I just discovered your S1 reviews, and have really enjoyed
> reading them. It's fun going through the season again for the "first"
> time through someone else's eyes. I always try to watch S1 as if I'm
> seeing it for the first time. Helps keep it fresh, and the
> low-budgetyness doesn't bug so much. I also keep finding new things to
> notice, after all these years.
>
> "Angel" is one of the S1 eps that holds up the best, I think. It has a
> very fast-moving script

--Well, I'm not a big fan of this episode, for several reasons. One,
the climactic scene in which Angel forces himself to dust Darla despite
their long past together seemed rushed to me: not enough of a dramatic
build-up. It even is hard, visually, to see what is happening (for me
anyway). Because of this, what should be the dramatic climax of the
episode is actually anticlimactic for me. It falls really flat.

Another problem I had is with plot mechanics. 1) How could Darla know
that just after she bit Joyce, Angel would come along and she could
frame him for the biting crime? It seemed awfully fortuitous, and not
something that Darla could really count on. 2) Though everybody knows
by the end of the episode that Angel can't go outside in daylight
because he's a vampire, why on earth would Buffy -- at a time when she
didn't yet know that about Angel -- expect him to hide in her bedroom
all day long, instead of just slipping out behind Joyce's back and
going on his merry way? Remember, when she returned home after school
and brought some food for Angel up to her bedroom, Buffy still thought
Angel was human. Her expectation that he would hide in her bedroom all
day thus makes no sense. AOQ, did you notice those plotholes upon
first viewing? Or was the episode so "fast-moving" that it obfuscated
those details for you? (I don't think they occurred to me upon first
viewing. They occurred to me upon a second viewing, once I had the
DVDs. But I never did like the episode much anyway.)

One other thing, AOQ: "alternately demure and contemptuous" is a great
description of Schoolgirl/Vamp Darla!

Clairel

KenM47

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Jan 17, 2006, 6:19:44 PM1/17/06
to
reld...@usa.net wrote:

<SNIP>

>Another problem I had is with plot mechanics. 1) How could Darla know
>that just after she bit Joyce, Angel would come along and she could
>frame him for the biting crime? It seemed awfully fortuitous, and not
>something that Darla could really count on. 2) Though everybody knows
>by the end of the episode that Angel can't go outside in daylight
>because he's a vampire, why on earth would Buffy -- at a time when she
>didn't yet know that about Angel -- expect him to hide in her bedroom
>all day long, instead of just slipping out behind Joyce's back and
>going on his merry way? Remember, when she returned home after school
>and brought some food for Angel up to her bedroom, Buffy still thought
>Angel was human. Her expectation that he would hide in her bedroom all
>day thus makes no sense. AOQ, did you notice those plotholes upon
>first viewing? Or was the episode so "fast-moving" that it obfuscated
>those details for you? (I don't think they occurred to me upon first
>viewing. They occurred to me upon a second viewing, once I had the
>DVDs. But I never did like the episode much anyway.)
>
>One other thing, AOQ: "alternately demure and contemptuous" is a great
>description of Schoolgirl/Vamp Darla!
>
>Clairel


Clairel,

First: congrats on no spoilers.

Second, I don't think Darla's plan was Angel will happen by. I think
it was the awareness (I'm not clear how) that Angel had been invited
in (I guess one of The Three might have mentioned it). Therefore Joyce
dead by vampire in the house would still point to Angel as the only
vamp Buffy would know had been invited in.

Third: Upon my latest rewatching, I agree completely that it made
little sense for Buffy to expect Angel to just say in her room when
she still thought Angel was human. One slim possibility is she thought
him too weak to travel from the injuries suffered from The Three the
night before.

Ken (Brooklyn)

Daniel Damouth

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Jan 17, 2006, 7:49:05 PM1/17/06
to
KenM47 <Ken...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in
news:7duqs1pe518810oa7...@4ax.com:

> Third: Upon my latest rewatching, I agree completely that it made
> little sense for Buffy to expect Angel to just say in her room
> when she still thought Angel was human. One slim possibility is
> she thought him too weak to travel from the injuries suffered from
> The Three the night before.

Didn't she say something about it being too dangerous for him to go
out, because the Three might be waiting?

-Dan Damouth

--
Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all
other countries because you were born in it. -- George Bernard Shaw

John Briggs

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Jan 17, 2006, 8:05:48 PM1/17/06
to
kenm47 wrote:
> And who says it's human blood in Angel's fridge anyway?

It's pig's blood.
--
John Briggs


John Briggs

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Jan 17, 2006, 8:06:55 PM1/17/06
to
Daniel Damouth wrote:
> KenM47 <Ken...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in
> news:7duqs1pe518810oa7...@4ax.com:
>
>> Third: Upon my latest rewatching, I agree completely that it made
>> little sense for Buffy to expect Angel to just say in her room
>> when she still thought Angel was human. One slim possibility is
>> she thought him too weak to travel from the injuries suffered from
>> The Three the night before.
>
> Didn't she say something about it being too dangerous for him to go
> out, because the Three might be waiting?

She did - but there seems to be a flaw in that: they're vampires, so
logically he should be safe in daylight...
--
John Briggs


Don Sample

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Jan 17, 2006, 8:56:45 PM1/17/06
to
In article <Mvgzf.40086$q4.2...@newsfe2-gui.ntli.net>,
"John Briggs" <john.b...@ntlworld.com> wrote:

> kenm47 wrote:
> > And who says it's human blood in Angel's fridge anyway?
>
> It's pig's blood.

In _Angel_ there are blood donor type bags in his fridge. Now I'm sure
that veterinary blood probably comes in similar bags, but it's much
easier to come by animal blood in other containers.

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jan 17, 2006, 9:42:49 PM1/17/06
to
reld...@usa.net wrote:

> --Well, I'm not a big fan of this episode, for several reasons. One,
> the climactic scene in which Angel forces himself to dust Darla despite
> their long past together seemed rushed to me: not enough of a dramatic
> build-up. It even is hard, visually, to see what is happening (for me
> anyway). Because of this, what should be the dramatic climax of the
> episode is actually anticlimactic for me. It falls really flat.

I had no problem with the buildup (except that it was clear where the
scene was going about thirty seconds before the stabbing), but agree
about the lighting, or lack thereof, for the entire final series of
fight scenes at and near The Bronze.

> Another problem I had is with plot mechanics. 1) How could Darla know
> that just after she bit Joyce, Angel would come along and she could
> frame him for the biting crime? It seemed awfully fortuitous, and not
> something that Darla could really count on.

I think Ken explained this one pretty well.

2) Though everybody knows
> by the end of the episode that Angel can't go outside in daylight
> because he's a vampire, why on earth would Buffy -- at a time when she
> didn't yet know that about Angel -- expect him to hide in her bedroom
> all day long, instead of just slipping out behind Joyce's back and
> going on his merry way? Remember, when she returned home after school
> and brought some food for Angel up to her bedroom, Buffy still thought
> Angel was human. Her expectation that he would hide in her bedroom all
> day thus makes no sense. AOQ, did you notice those plotholes upon
> first viewing? Or was the episode so "fast-moving" that it obfuscated
> those details for you?

I think I assumed that he was recovering from the attack, but didn't
think about it too hard. It seemed a little weird, but considering the
scene that leads directly into, it didn't seem too important at the
time.

-AOQ

KenM47

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Jan 17, 2006, 9:45:05 PM1/17/06
to
Daniel Damouth <dam...@san.rr.com> wrote:

>KenM47 <Ken...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in
>news:7duqs1pe518810oa7...@4ax.com:
>
>> Third: Upon my latest rewatching, I agree completely that it made
>> little sense for Buffy to expect Angel to just say in her room
>> when she still thought Angel was human. One slim possibility is
>> she thought him too weak to travel from the injuries suffered from
>> The Three the night before.
>
>Didn't she say something about it being too dangerous for him to go
>out, because the Three might be waiting?
>
>-Dan Damouth


The Three were vamps. She d/n/k Angel was a vamp. As far as she knew,
he could go out in daytime.

Ken (Brooklyn)

reld...@usa.net

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Jan 18, 2006, 8:30:14 PM1/18/06
to

--Exactly what I was going to write. Thank you.

Clairel

Daniel Damouth

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Jan 19, 2006, 1:13:27 AM1/19/06
to
"John Briggs" <john.b...@ntlworld.com> wrote in news:Pwgzf.40087
$q4....@newsfe2-gui.ntli.net:

Well, it was nighttime when she said it. I guess she was looking for a
reason to keep him around. She made a logical error in her desire to
keep him around, and he didn't want to bring her attention to it,
because he needed to stay indoors anyway.

I didn't read enough of the backthread to realize everyone was talking
about the next day, but thanks for reminding me that vampires don't
like sunlight.

-Dan Damouth

shuggie

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Jan 19, 2006, 7:40:40 AM1/19/06
to

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> "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.

Actually I had the same problem. I first got hooked on Buffy towards
the end of S2 and Angel's status confused me - he was clearly a vamp
but there was something different about him. When I became a 'fan' and
went back and watched on video I knew quite a lot of what was coming,
or it clicked into place as I watched before the actual reveal.

<snip>

> 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.
>

I don't mind romance per se but I have to feel the chemistry and like
both characters and I never really got Angel up to the point. This ep
didn't help me much.

<snip>

>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 had a problem with the aparent involuntariness of it. It seemed a
clumsy way to introduce the surprise that Angel was in fact a vamp. But
vamps generally seem to have control over when they go 'vamp-face'
(e.g. Darla in WttH) so it felt a little too convenient that he should
just vamp out at random.

<snip>

> 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. 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.

Yeah, Julie Benz (Darla) is good here and I like the character.

<snip>

> 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?

Nope, and as much as I defended the 'homage' thing I do like this. But
I couldn't tell you that because it would have been a spoiler ;)

<snip>

> 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.
>

Without spoiling it's hard to comment. Let's just say that I think Joss
did know exactly what he was doing and I think future episodes will
bear that out.

> 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.

Good point. Even with the curse there's a certain moral amibiguity
about Angel. He says he hasn't fed on a *living* human since the curse
but he's still a vamp and the nature of what he is poses some
interesting morall dilemmas for him.

(You have no idea how hard that paragraph was to write spoiler-free!
But it's a fun challenge to try.)

<snip>


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

Perhaps because I didn't entirely get on board with the romance, or
perhaps because of other small niggles, Angel has always been a bit of
a blah episode for me. It's ok. It's not bad but I struggle to call it
good. It also has guns which is kind of weird. We're in this mythic
world of vampires and stakes and curses and witches and cauldrons and
... and Darla shows up with guns. That, more than plot holes and
inconsistencies pulls me out of the story.

kenm47

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Jan 19, 2006, 10:18:46 AM1/19/06
to
One comment.

"I had a problem with the aparent involuntariness of it. It seemed a
clumsy way to introduce the surprise that Angel was in fact a vamp. But

vamps generally seem to have control over when they go 'vamp-face'
(e.g. Darla in WttH) so it felt a little too convenient that he should
just vamp out at random."

I agree generally, BUT we did not know what triggered "vamp-face," and
it seemed reasonable for it to be triggered by heightened hormonal
moments, such as sexual arousal or whatever you might wish to call the
impact of the Buffy kiss.

Ken (Brooklyn)

John Briggs

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Jan 19, 2006, 12:21:48 PM1/19/06
to

It's triggered by the script :-)
--
John Briggs


Shuggie

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Jan 19, 2006, 12:39:42 PM1/19/06
to

kenm47 wrote:

Indeed and that's how I rationalize it. But I dunno, it still feels
like a rationalization.

exquisite witch peachy

unread,
Jan 19, 2006, 12:50:05 PM1/19/06
to

I don't think it is. It's just an indicator.
Vamps can voluntarily go vamp face, but heightened adrenalin can
trigger it involuntarily. Easy peasy!

kenm47

unread,
Jan 19, 2006, 1:18:01 PM1/19/06
to
"Indeed and that's how I rationalize it. But I dunno, it still feels
like a rationalization."

Well there's hunger, and then there's hunger. :-)

Ken (Brooklyn)

Don Sample

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Jan 19, 2006, 2:36:06 PM1/19/06
to
In article <1137683926.7...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
"kenm47" <ken...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

Over the three years he was on Buffy, and then five with his own show, I
think that is the *only* time we ever saw Angel go involuntarily into
vamp face.

Clairel

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Jan 19, 2006, 2:53:36 PM1/19/06
to

--I never felt any chemistry between Angel and Buffy either, and I
always thought that the ME (that's "Mutant Enemy," AOQ) production
people were insane when they would talk about what a great find David
Boreanaz was when they did screen tests with him and Sarah Michelle
Gellar together, and how the two of them really clicked in romantic
scenes. (That's not a spoiler because the interviews with the ME
showrunners were harking back to the very beginning of the series.)
Whatever chemistry they may have thought they perceived, and whatever
certain fans may perceive, it doesn't exist for this viewer, i.e., me.

I'm all for romance in general, but not being able to appreciate this
particular romance makes the existence of it detrimental to one's --
well, to my -- appreciation of BtVS, especially episodes like "Angel."

Clairel

Clairel

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Jan 19, 2006, 2:57:25 PM1/19/06
to

Don Sample wrote:
> In article <1137683926.7...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
> "kenm47" <ken...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>
> > One comment.
> >
> > "I had a problem with the aparent involuntariness of it. It seemed a
> > clumsy way to introduce the surprise that Angel was in fact a vamp. But
> >
> > vamps generally seem to have control over when they go 'vamp-face'
> > (e.g. Darla in WttH) so it felt a little too convenient that he should
> > just vamp out at random."
> >
> > I agree generally, BUT we did not know what triggered "vamp-face," and
> > it seemed reasonable for it to be triggered by heightened hormonal
> > moments, such as sexual arousal or whatever you might wish to call the
> > impact of the Buffy kiss.
>
> Over the three years he was on Buffy, and then five with his own show, I
> think that is the *only* time we ever saw Angel go involuntarily into
> vamp face.

--Yes. And it never seems to happen with other vamps in other love
scenes, either. So however reasonable it might have seemed in 1997,
that isn't backed up by what ME showed later. It seems more strange in
retrospect than it seemed then.

Clairel

MBan...@gmail.com

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Jan 19, 2006, 3:21:36 PM1/19/06
to
Over the three years he was on Buffy, and then five with his own show,
I
think that is the *only* time we ever saw Angel go involuntarily into
vamp face.

--


Quando omni flunkus moritati
Visit the Buffy Body Count at <http://homepage.mac.com/dsample/>

Reply

32. Clairel
Jan 19, 2:57 pm show options
Newsgroups: alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer
From: "Clairel" <relde...@usa.net> - Find messages by this author
Date: 19 Jan 2006 11:57:25 -0800
Local: Thurs, Jan 19 2006 2:57 pm
Subject: Re: AOQ Review 1-7: "Angel"
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- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
Don Sample wrote:
> In article <1137683926.761928.223...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
> "kenm47" <ken...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

> > One comment.

Clairel

Lets let AOQ discover (or not) this kind of thing on his own....

Sorry, but we're getting very close to spoiler territory. :)

Clairel

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Jan 19, 2006, 3:47:09 PM1/19/06
to

--You're right; I was forgetting again.

Clairel

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jan 19, 2006, 3:54:22 PM1/19/06
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Clairel wrote:
> MBan...@gmail.com wrote:
> > Over the three years he was on Buffy, and then five with his own show,
> > I
> > think that is the *only* time we ever saw Angel go involuntarily into
> > vamp face.
> > Lets let AOQ discover (or not) this kind of thing on his own....
> >
> > Sorry, but we're getting very close to spoiler territory. :)
>
> --You're right; I was forgetting again.

Okay, while we're in a psudeo-spoiler realm and we know exactly how
long Angel will be on BTVS, let me raise a question I have now so I
won't have to later:

Assuming I'm still watching once we get to 1999 and there are two
Buffyverse shows running, do they interact to the point where it's
worth watching them concurrently? I mean, without any specifics or
anything, are there ever storylines or characters (other than Angel
himself, of course) that start on one show and cross over to the other,
or are the series completely independent?

-AOQ

Clairel

unread,
Jan 19, 2006, 4:00:31 PM1/19/06
to
There are some crossovers where it's important to watch the two shows
together.

They used to run on the WB one after the other--i.e., BtVS at 8 p.m.
Eastern and Angel at 9 p.m. Eastern--and the writers would sometimes
take advantage of that fact to tell a story that would begin on BtVS
and continue on Angel the very next hour.

The two examples that occur to me are the pair consisting of the season
5 BtVS episode "Harsh Light of Day" together with the season 1 Angel
episode "In the Dark," and then the pair consisting of the season 5
BtVS episode "Fool For Love" together with an Angel episode the very
same night -- I don't want to say the title of that Angel episode
because the title itself is kind of spoilery for you right now.

But there are other examples that I'm sure other people here can add
in.

Clairel

MBan...@gmail.com

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Jan 19, 2006, 4:01:13 PM1/19/06
to
You could technically watch ALL of Buffy w/o ever having to tune into
Angel and it will not have any real noticeable bumps in the road.
However, there are a few crossover episodes in S4 and S5 of Buffy that
are really cool if you are watching the corresponding Angel episodes.

If you decide to watch Angel, it's much better to know the characters
of Buffy. No one from the Angelverse needs to be known to enjoy the
Buffyverse.

Don Sample

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Jan 19, 2006, 4:35:49 PM1/19/06
to
In article <1137704062.1...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,

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

There are some crossovers where events from Buffy influence what's going
on on Angel, and vice-versa. Without going into specifics about what
order to watch things in, I believe that WGF pointed out once that
things work out pretty well if you alternate watching the Buffy season 4
DVDs with the Angel season 1 DVDs. First Buffy, then Angel, then
Buffy...

KenM47

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Jan 19, 2006, 5:23:33 PM1/19/06
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:

Some, yes IMO. Not necessarily all. Two in particular come to mind' In
the Dark and I Will Remember You should be watched after The Harsh
Light of Day and Pangs.

Angel S1 was decent. So was most of S2 IMO. If you're still doing
Buffy at that point you may want to do Angel as well.


Ken (Brooklyn)

Shuggie

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Jan 19, 2006, 6:02:00 PM1/19/06
to
Don Sample <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote:
> In article <1137683926.7...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
> "kenm47" <ken...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>
>> One comment.
>>
>> "I had a problem with the aparent involuntariness of it. It seemed a
>> clumsy way to introduce the surprise that Angel was in fact a vamp. But
>>
>> vamps generally seem to have control over when they go 'vamp-face'
>> (e.g. Darla in WttH) so it felt a little too convenient that he should
>> just vamp out at random."
>>
>> I agree generally, BUT we did not know what triggered "vamp-face," and
>> it seemed reasonable for it to be triggered by heightened hormonal
>> moments, such as sexual arousal or whatever you might wish to call the
>> impact of the Buffy kiss.
>
<snip something I might have mentioned if I wasn't trying desperately
not to spoil - but yes I agree! ;) >

--
Shuggie

blog: http://www.livejournal.com/users/shuggie/

Mike Zeares

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Jan 19, 2006, 6:12:14 PM1/19/06
to

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>
> Assuming I'm still watching once we get to 1999 and there are two
> Buffyverse shows running, do they interact to the point where it's
> worth watching them concurrently? I mean, without any specifics or
> anything, are there ever storylines or characters (other than Angel
> himself, of course) that start on one show and cross over to the other,
> or are the series completely independent?

Others have mentioned the crossover episodes. But were you serious
about characters? There are Buffy characters who appear on Angel, but
it could be pretty spoilery to tell you who they are. Anyway, the
series were never really connected, other than the few crossover eps.
Their timelines matched up at first (i.e. new eps on the same nights
that occurred at the same point in each show's internal timeline), but
once Buffy switched to UPN that was no longer true. You could watch
all of Angel without ever seeing Buffy and not miss the latter,
although it might not have as much resonance.

-- Mike Zeares

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jan 19, 2006, 6:24:26 PM1/19/06
to
Mike Zeares wrote:
> Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> >
> > Assuming I'm still watching once we get to 1999 and there are two
> > Buffyverse shows running, do they interact to the point where it's
> > worth watching them concurrently? I mean, without any specifics or
> > anything, are there ever storylines or characters (other than Angel
> > himself, of course) that start on one show and cross over to the other,
> > or are the series completely independent?
>
> Others have mentioned the crossover episodes. But were you serious
> about characters? There are Buffy characters who appear on Angel, but
> it could be pretty spoilery to tell you who they are. Anyway, the
> series were never really connected, other than the few crossover eps.
> Their timelines matched up at first (i.e. new eps on the same nights
> that occurred at the same point in each show's internal timeline), but
> once Buffy switched to UPN that was no longer true.

No, I don't actually want to know who or what cross over, just whether
it happens.

Thanks to everyone who've responded, you told me what I needed to know;
I'll watch the two series together when the time comes.

-AOQ

Clairel

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Jan 19, 2006, 7:47:27 PM1/19/06
to

--Just one thing, though: I accidentally said that the BtVS "Harsh
Light of Day" was a season 5 episode. It's actually season 4 of BtVS.

Also, the Angel episode that pairs up with the BtVS season 5 episode
"Fool For Love" naturally has to be an Angel season 2 episode.

Sorry about the season numbering problems. I should know better than
that.

Clairel

vague disclaimer

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Jan 19, 2006, 8:06:09 PM1/19/06
to
In article <1137704062.1...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,

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

> Clairel wrote:
> > MBan...@gmail.com wrote:
> > > Over the three years he was on Buffy, and then five with his own show,
> > > I
> > > think that is the *only* time we ever saw Angel go involuntarily into
> > > vamp face.
> > > Lets let AOQ discover (or not) this kind of thing on his own....
> > >
> > > Sorry, but we're getting very close to spoiler territory. :)
> >
> > --You're right; I was forgetting again.
>
> Okay, while we're in a psudeo-spoiler realm and we know exactly how
> long Angel will be on BTVS, let me raise a question I have now so I
> won't have to later:
>
> Assuming I'm still watching once we get to 1999 and there are two
> Buffyverse shows running, do they interact to the point where it's
> worth watching them concurrently?

I would say that, yes it is worth watching concurrently (an option I
never had), and there are certain rewards for doing so, but no it is not
in any way essential.
--
A vague disclaimer is nobody's friend

Mel

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Jan 19, 2006, 8:55:12 PM1/19/06
to
AOQ-

Would you mind reposting your review of this episode? My newsreader is being difficult and won't let me download it.

Been enjoying the reviews, btw.  Please keep them coming.

Thanks!

Mel

Stephen Tempest

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Jan 20, 2006, 6:19:20 AM1/20/06