This episode opens with Buffy and Willow in the Bronze, discussing how Buffy doesn’t have A Guy to be discussing. Which is very funny because just last episode those two were in the Bronze, talking about Willow’s Guy and Buffy’s Guy (Xander and Angel, respectively). So that’s interesting. Maybe a lot of time passed between The Pack and Angel, within the show itself I mean? Hm.
Next is a scene where Buffy and Angel (who is
stalking nearby) get attacked by three warrior vampires, sent by the Master. They run back to Buffy’s house where the bad guy vampires can’t enter. I find it BIZARRE that Buffy says that she’s never put the “vampires can’t enter until you invite them” rule to the test. Really? You’ve been slaying for, like, almost two years and a vampire’s never tried to follow you into your house? That just seems…weird. Angel’s hurt so Buffy commands him to take his shirt off. I love how she does this without even confirming that Joyce isn’t home, but whatever. Joyce comes home while Buffy is bandaging her lover and coyly asking him about this stalking problem he has. Instead of like, staying in the goddamn kitchen, Angel feels the need to walk up and clear his throat while Buffy’s trying to get Joyce upstairs without seeing him. Thanks, Ang, really helpful.
I’m making a lot of jokes here but I think I’ve made it clear by now that I do like Angel, and this is an Angel-centric episode (duh, the title) and it’s really the first time we learn anything about him. B has commented here and there about how creepy Angel is, and I don’t disagree. However (and this is stemming from some of the conversations I’d had in the comments sections), I think there are several reasons for this:
- The writers probably didn’t really know the depths of Angel’s character yet or what to really do with him.
- He’s campy. The whole show is campy and over-the-top, and so it makes sense that Angel is, too.
- He hasn’t dated for awhile. Like, probably a hundred years.
- He’s nervous, in general. Partly because he hasn’t dated, but also partly because Buffy is young and pretty and he hasn’t interacted with a young, pretty girl since….who knows how long? Before he got his soul, he was mostly just torturing them to death. After he got his soul, he was pretty much hiding in alleyways and eating rats. (I vaguely remember that one Angel episode where he does…flirt or whatever with a girl after getting ensouled but I really remember NOTHING about it so I suppose I’ll talk about that when we get there.)
- He has feelings for Buffy and probably doesn’t know what to do with those feelings. Unlike Buffy, he already knows that this is a ‘forbidden love’ and so he’s trying to keep his distance, while at the same time helping her. Also remember, he already knows that his redemption depends on the very act of helping her. That’s a lot of pressure. I don’t blame him for being nervous.
Angel spends the night because The Three might still be out there. Despite this being super-secret so Joyce won’t find out, Buffy and Angel proceed to have a LOUD AS HELL conversation in Buffy’s room about why Angel fights vampires, and he reveals that his family was killed by them. Of course, we know (or we’re about to, anyway) that it was Angel who murdered his own family, so that’s fun hindsight. Then they settle down to go to sleep and Buffy asks Angel if he snores, and they’re both so flirty and cute and I DON’T CARE, B, I DON’T EVEN CARE, I love them.
Oh, and since The Three failed, they sacrifice their lives to the Master. HOW LAME, RIGHT. I’ll try to remember this when Buffy meets Faith, because she totally talks about The Three as some of the toughest vampires she’s fought but really? All she did was run away really fast and they took care of themselves. Laaaame.
Buffy goes home after school/training the next evening and doesn’t question why Angel is totally still in her bedroom. I mean, I know it was because he couldn’t leave during the day (sunlight) and couldn’t leave after sunset (The Three…apparently Buffy didn’t tell him everything was cool?) but Buffy has no reason to understand why he didn’t leave all. day. Even more puzzling, instead of telling him everything’s okay or commanding him to get out of her room and stop spying on her mom from the closet, she brings him dinner. Hahaha and then Angel tells Buffy he can’t see her anymore because he’s “older than her,” and Buffy gets like, entranced by his broodiness and goes “How much…older?” *KISS* And then they’re making out and I guess this is too much for Angel because he gets his vamp face on. Buffy freaks. He dives out of the window like a…creature I’ve never seen before.
This is all super weird, by the way. Like, I’ve never paid that much attention to the pre-make-out conversation but what?
Then Xander is a skater again for a second and acts like a jealous child. Nothing new there. This will probably be the start of many debates–does Xander hate Angel because he’s a vampire or because Buffy is interested in him? (Personally, I think it’s the latter, and that he uses the former as a more reasonable excuse. However, probably due to my desperation not to write Jesse off without another mention, I like to think it has something to do with Jesse’s untimely vamping. Who knows.)
Darla is lurking in Angel’s apartment when he finally goes home. We find out a little bit about Darla and Angel’s past. AND ANGEL TOTALLY HAS HUMAN BLOOD IN HIS FRIDGE. Not okay, dude, not okay. I’ve always enjoyed the dynamic between Darla/Angel. I’m typically interested in the relationship vampires have with their sires, actually.
The Scoobies research Angelus, “the one with the angel face,” and well, it’s kind of precious. I also love how Willow’s like, completely ignoring the fact that Angel is a vampire and is still trying to gush about him with Buffy like they do sometimes. Willow is perfect. While this is going on, Darla and the Master are discussing how to get Angel to kill Buffy and come back to “the fold” and this is weird to me. Surely in the past 100 years, they’ve figured out what happened to him? Maybe they didn’t. Maybe one of their kind having a soul is just beyond their understanding and so they just…ignore it. I don’t know!
It’s Willow who voices the real crux of Buffy and Angel’s relationship woes: “It is novel how he’ll stay young and handsome forever…although you’ll still get wrinkly and die and…oh, what about the children?” It’s Angel’s immortality, not his vampirism, that will eventually break them apart.
ANYWAY. Darla bites Joyce and frames Angel. Buffy throws him out. Joyce goes to the hospital where she immediately loses all memory of what really happened. How, I have no idea. THERE ARE A LOT OF MYSTERIES HERE OKAY. Also, Giles comes to the hospital for some reason!!! That’s creepy, Giles. Maybe things were different in the 90s but these days you can’t buy a student a cheeseburger without people freaking out.
Buffy hunts Angel with a crossbow; Giles figures out that it was Darla, not Angel, who bit Joyce; Angel has a creepy conversation with Buffy at the empty Bronze….wait, why the fuck are they there? Anyway, they fight, etc etc. I don’t really get why Angel is being so…douchey here? Instead of saying, “Hey, talk to your mom again. Totes didn’t do it,” he’s like…annoying Buffy on purpose. Only thing I can think of is that Darla’s persuasion really got under his skin and now he’s hoping Buffy will just kill him. Angel’s pretty emo like that sometimes. Still, he should probably let Buffy know that another, much more dangerous vampire has access to her house? And he does eventually but not without totally irritating her first. Whatever.
Angel admits to Buffy that he wanted to kill her tonight, which is getting a bit Twilighty for my tastes, and Buffy puts down her weapon, exposes her neck and says, “Go ahead.” She’s either testing him, or she’s Bella Swan. Let’s say she’s testing him. She needs to know if he’s truly changed and well, serving him a Slayer with no waiting seems like a pretty good way to find out, yeah? Then Darla appears and an awkward conversation ensues and oh my god, Angel’s expressions are priceless. He’s clearly mortified that his ex is talking to his new love interest. THEN DARLA HAS GUNS and there’s something incredibly, deeply unnerving about a vampire using guns. Ugh. Aside from that creep factor, this scene is pretty lame.
Angel stakes Darla which is SO WEIRD because Darla’s, like, a main character and I always sort of forget she dies in episode #7.
Later on, Buffy and Angel kiss at the Bronze (where they both look smashing, by the way) and he doesn’t even bitch when her cross necklace burns a cross into his chest BECAUSE HE’S HARDCORE and also….emo. Yes. Still. I have a good feeling about this couple. No pain ahead, nope, no way.