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01 September 2016 @ 04:44 pm
I Will Remember You (AKA, Angel eats a lot)  
It's not actually AKA that at all, of course, but since the Angel raiding the fridge scene is one of my favourites in the episode, I just decided to call it that. And Angel does eat an awful lot (you know, for someone who usually only drinks blood).

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Evidence



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More evidence.

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Yet more evidence.

In fact, it's a toss up what makes him happier about suddenly finding himself human - Buffy, or food.

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I guess it's Buffy really.

Okay, in a slightly more sensible mode, this episode is the last Buffy/Angel high romance episode in either show. It spawned a yearly ficathon that still takes place to this day (which reminds me, I'm supposed to write something for it by mid-October and I have no idea what, aargh!). It's also, IMO after years and years of thinking about all this stuff, rather irritating.

Not because of the romance.

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It's nice to see Buffy looking so happy, if only for a short while.

It's not even irritating because the romance is couched in such familiar terms.

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Hero and heroine are separated by cruel circumstances.

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Something changes and they are united at last.

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They live happily ever after.

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Except that they don't, because the hero has a destiny, and he has to be true to it.

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So he turns his back on his only chance of happiness,

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because the fight against evil is more important.

Actually, I don't know if these terms are that familiar, but anyway, I get it. I do. Angel has to reject his humanity and the chance of happiness with Buffy. He even has to do it in a way that takes the decision entirely out of Buffy's hands. He's the hero of the show. If he doesn't do it...well, there's no show, is there? Angel would be back to being the mission's boyfriend, the mission's true love (to paraphrase Graham's sneery comment to Riley from BtVS season 5) with his story an adjunct of Buffy's (you know, like the stories of nearly all female love interests in all TV shows ever are just adjuncts of the hero's?) and this is AtS, not BtVS, so that can't happen.

So why do the episode at all, you may well ask?

Well, AtS was at this point a new show. Doing a crossover with the show it sprang from is a sensible thing to do to try and boost ratings, especially when the crossover offers the prospect of more Buffy/Angel, the parent show's big (and very popular) romance.

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So that's one reason. The other, IMO, was to bang home in the nicest way possible (by ladling on the romance with a very large spoon first) that Buffy and Angel's relationship is doomed with a capital 'D', and they won't be getting back together any time soon. They have their own stories that no longer involve each other, and for the sake of those stories they have to move on and so do the audience.

Well, that's my take on it anyway.

So, if the romance and the whole Angel making-all-the-decisions-because-he's-the-hero thing aren't what makes me find the episode irritating, what does, you may (or may not) be asking yourselves?

Well, for a start, I find histrionic Buffy...

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...a bit cringe-inducing. I know she got like this about Angel in Amends too, but at least there she was trying to slap some sense into him (as it were). Here, she's all floppy and hopeless and it's just not like her to give in so easily (consequences of it being Angel's show, I know, but it's jarring, okay?)

Can the real Buffy please come back now?

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That's better.

The other thing that's really irritating is the Oracles, and all this Angel the vampire of destiny stuff.

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Okay, the Oracles are quite fun and cool looking.

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Also, it wasn't them that started the whole Angel as an agent of Powers That Be thing. That was Whistler way back in BtVS season 2, followed by Doyle and his visions at the beginning of AtS.

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But the Oracles don't half rub it home. And as someone who feels that dancing to the PTBs' tune all the time has been very bad for Angel and exacerbated certain aspects of his character that he ought to try and keep in check more (grandstanding, thinking he knows what's best for everyone), they irritate me, okay?

I realise this is a bit of a personal thing. ;)

Finally, I really don't get how Angel throwing away his humanity for Buffy's sake makes Buffy any safer. She's the Slayer. Monsters are always going to be after her.

So anything else worth mentioning?

Well, Cordelia is quite mean to Buffy in the scene where she lets slip that (human) Angel has gone hunting the Mohra demon without her. I know she's only hammering home the message of the episode (you can't have Buffy/Angel and save the world), but she just comes across as spiteful.

Best lines:

Cordy: (Picks up her purse) Come on."
Doyle: "Where are we going?"
Cordy: "Oh, they'll be into this for a while. We still have time for a cappuccino and probably the director's cut of 'Titanic'."

Buffy: (re the Mohra demon)"Friend of yours?"
Angel: "Never saw it before."
Buffy: "It was rude. We should go kill it."
Angel: "I'm free."
 
 
 
readerjane on September 1st, 2016 05:33 pm (UTC)
I don't think Buffy gave in easily. Didn't Angel tell her that the clock was going to reset about a minute before it happened? She didn't have time to do anything, so why not weep about losing the thing she'd wanted for years, and thought she'd just been given?

I understand the Doylesian reasons for Angel making the call himself, but I will always be ticked at him on the Watsonian level for not consulting Buffy first.

Best Line In Show goes to Cordelia for "They get groiny together, the world as we know it falls apart."
Shapinglight: chocolateshapinglight on September 5th, 2016 02:01 pm (UTC)
I don't think Buffy gave in easily.

It's true Angel doesn't give her much time to react, but it's just something about her demeanour/body language in this instance that bugs me. It feels (possibly because it is) like she's just been waiting for this happen and just accepts it, and I don't think she would.

I agree that on a Watsonian level Angel's actions are pretty horrendous. He couches it to himself that he's doing it to protect Buffy, but you can't help thinking he just doesn't like the idea of not being the hero any more.
Rebcake: ats_angel_pinkrebcake on September 1st, 2016 05:42 pm (UTC)
It seems we agree again! I quite like the Oracles, but very much dislike the big "D" destiny thing whenever it comes up. "Amends" is my least favorite BtVS ep, as I've mentioned before, for this reason. Plus histrionic Buffy, as you say.

But everybody is quite cute in the happy center of this. Angel's thing about food is delightful, and understandable. I don't remember Cordelia being mean to Buffy, anymore than usual, but it's entirely possible that she might already be feeling territorial toward Angel.

Although I do find the "whole Angel making-all-the-decisions-because-he's-the-hero thing" irritating, myself. At some point you'd think he'd realize that he's crap at making the hard decisions.
Shapinglight: IWRYshapinglight on September 5th, 2016 02:08 pm (UTC)
I think the 'destiny' thing is a huge millstone around Angel's neck. It turns him into a puppet of the PTBs, who aren't always benevolent, as we see in AtS season 4.

Angel's thing about food is delightful, and understandable.

Yes, it's very endearing.

I don't remember Cordelia being mean to Buffy, anymore than usual, but it's entirely possible that she might already be feeling territorial toward Angel.

Well, Doyle actually suggests that Cordy is jealous, which she denies (and surely Cordy/Angel wasn't an idea anyone had back then, was it?), but to me she just comes across as more grumpy and spiteful because Angel turning human means she's out of a job (which is no small thing, I suppose).

Although I do find the "whole Angel making-all-the-decisions-because-he's-the-hero thing" irritating, myself. At some point you'd think he'd realize that he's crap at making the hard decisions.

Indeed. But I think the idea he keeps being given that he has this 'destiny' feeds into that. It's bound to. If the PTBs think you're so important, it's bound to give you an inflated sense of yourself in some ways.

Edited at 2016-09-05 02:09 pm (UTC)
Infinitewhaleinfinitewhale on September 1st, 2016 06:45 pm (UTC)
I know she got like this about Angel in Amends too,

Amends is the actual pilot Angel, to be sure.

That's why I'm never a fan of crossovers. When she's on there, Buffy only acts and is characterized by Angel's story. Same with Angel on Buffy.

According to Jane the whole point of this ep for Buffy was for people to see that she can't be happy with Angel and to root for Riley. For them to choose between Bangel and happiness for her. Which is one of those WTF things because that's not what you get, IMO. They *could* have accomplished this somewhat if Buffy knew about what he did and could remember it...but they obviously still wanted people rooting for Bangel, so they kept her in the dark. Buffy knowing Angel chose otherwise is a very big thing, if you ask me. Her knowing that it was Angel and not the PtB or some curse keeping them apart would have been emotionally freeing.

It always bothered me it was never picked on that Angel did all this to save her and she died anyway. Of course they retcon it that Jasmine was just pulling his strings, so I guess it was all BS.

Edited at 2016-09-01 06:48 pm (UTC)
Shapinglight: chocolateshapinglight on September 5th, 2016 02:17 pm (UTC)
That's why I'm never a fan of crossovers. When she's on there, Buffy only acts and is characterized by Angel's story. Same with Angel on Buffy.

I agree, and I don't like crossovers either. Angel appearing in Pangs worked a lot better for him than Buffy appearing in this episode, though.

Buffy knowing Angel chose otherwise is a very big thing, if you ask me. Her knowing that it was Angel and not the PtB or some curse keeping them apart would have been emotionally freeing.

Again, I agree. So that very much suggests that no, they didn't want Buffy and Angel over forever, or at the very least they wanted to keep their options open (which possibly made sense when they didn't know whether or not AtS would last more than a season.

It always bothered me it was never picked on that Angel did all this to save her and she died anyway. Of course they retcon it that Jasmine was just pulling his strings, so I guess it was all BS.

I'd forgotten that. Yeah, you'd think that early AtS season 3 would have been a good point for Angel not only to express regret that he gave up a human life with Buffy for nothing, but to question the PTBs as entities. But no.
Infinitewhaleinfinitewhale on September 5th, 2016 10:18 pm (UTC)

Again, I agree. So that very much suggests that no, they didn't want Buffy and Angel over forever, or at the very least they wanted to keep their options open (which possibly made sense when they didn't know whether or not AtS would last more than a season.

Yeah, but they always go back to Bangel. See The Yoko Factor. Or Chosen. That's why I never give Bangels too much crap about not giving up on their ship. Why should they when Joss panders to them all the time?

Also if I ever have a chance to talk to one of the writers I want to ask why Buffy is too immature to make decisions at the end of S3, yet it's perfectly fine to make them just 5 months later. That's always bugged me.
Shapinglight: IWRYshapinglight on September 6th, 2016 02:31 pm (UTC)
Also if I ever have a chance to talk to one of the writers I want to ask why Buffy is too immature to make decisions at the end of S3, yet it's perfectly fine to make them just 5 months later. That's always bugged me.

They'll probably just say that it was for story-telling reasons - ie. because they needed to get Angel off BtVS and on to his own show.

That's why I never give Bangels too much crap about not giving up on their ship. Why should they when Joss panders to them all the time?

This is true, though some of them don't half feel entitled. One of the people who trolled Gage on Twitter after season 10 ended was angry about the fact that 'this wasn't what we were promised.'
Infinitewhaleinfinitewhale on September 6th, 2016 06:42 pm (UTC)

This is true, though some of them don't half feel entitled. One of the people who trolled Gage on Twitter after season 10 ended was angry about the fact that 'this wasn't what we were promised.'

Certainly can't argue there. It's one thing to root for something. Another to demand it.
Trepkostrepkos on September 1st, 2016 11:01 pm (UTC)
The Destiny thing is irritating. And even though I don't ship them, the bit where the clock goes back still brings a tear to my eye every time.
Shapinglight: IWRYshapinglight on September 5th, 2016 02:19 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid it's a long time since this episode made me cry. Maybe the first time I saw it?

I like my romance a little less romantic (which Joss managed perfectly with B/A in season 2).
Dannachasingdemons on September 2nd, 2016 01:32 am (UTC)
I wasn't planning on being negative about Angel (again) but for god's sake, he makes the worst decisions. And it's even more irritating because he acts like he has to do the wrong thing for the good of everyone else. When actually the opposite is true. He should take a lesson from that Seinfeld episode where George starts doing the exact opposite of his instincts - and wins.

Buffy sends him the ring of Amara, which he destroys. He goes to LA to "save her", but doesn't have the respect for her ability to deal with it so he doesn't tell her. He goes off to fight the demon after turning human which was STUPID, and would been a horrible outcome for Buffy if he had died. Then he makes the decision for both of them to reverse everything, and gives Buffy less than a minute to deal with it. And tells her even though she would completely forget, he would always know.

This was Buffy's only sexual experience besides the one where Angel lost his soul and Parker. She could have had this reference of sex with fun and ice cream to carry her forward into her other relationships. But no.

I realize this allows Angel to continue to be a tortured soul and martyr, which he obviously loves being, but why take Buffy down? You see, Angelus is still inside somewhere.

Don't get me wrong. I love Angel as a character. But he is VERY flawed and I don't know why Buffy responds to him the way she does.

On a more positive note, I loved seeing his old office and apartment, and I loved seeing Cordelia and Doyle.
Shapinglight: buffy and angelshapinglight on September 5th, 2016 02:27 pm (UTC)
I wasn't planning on being negative about Angel (again) but for god's sake, he makes the worst decisions. And it's even more irritating because he acts like he has to do the wrong thing for the good of everyone else. When actually the opposite is true. He should take a lesson from that Seinfeld episode where George starts doing the exact opposite of his instincts - and wins.

I've never seen Seinfeld so I couldn't comment on that, but I completely agree that on a Watsonian level, Angel makes some truly awful (and very egocentric) decisions. He doesn't mean to be selfish, I don't think. He doesn't think he is being selfish. But he is. And deluded. That's why I think all this 'you have a destiny' stuff is so bad for him.

He goes off to fight the demon after turning human which was STUPID, and would been a horrible outcome for Buffy if he had died.

Yes, that is absolutely indefensible. And yes also, if he was determined to go back to being a vampire, he should never have told Buffy what was about to happen. It would have spared her terrible anguish, even if it was only for a minute.

This was Buffy's only sexual experience besides the one where Angel lost his soul and Parker. She could have had this reference of sex with fun and ice cream to carry her forward into her other relationships. But no.

Not to mention, he left her to wake up by herself, as happened in Surprise/Innocence, which must have been horrible for her.

Don't get me wrong. I love Angel as a character. But he is VERY flawed and I don't know why Buffy responds to him the way she does.

Same here. I think it's because she was so young when she fell in love with him.
Hobbit uk: Spike face by spikeshunnyhobbituk on September 2nd, 2016 10:13 am (UTC)
I tried re watching this to see what all the fuss about Bungel was. Still don't get it. It's annoying!

Angel did that same "taking the decisions because you are a weak woman and I know what's best for you" thing that irritated me the first time I saw it. And Buffy makes me positively dislike her when she's with him. I know this was AtS not BtVS, but he just weakens her every time they are together.

Nope. Still prefer the other non sparkly vampire.
Shapinglight: chocolateshapinglight on September 5th, 2016 02:29 pm (UTC)
I know this was AtS not BtVS, but he just weakens her every time they are together.

Ironically, this is Angel's stated reason for doing what he does - that having a human version of him around could distract Buffy into wanting to protect him and getting herself killed in the process.
Butterflysnogged on September 2nd, 2016 11:56 am (UTC)
Bangel was my ship when I first got into the show (but that quickly changed to Willow/Spike.) This episode gave me a lot of feelings, but also left me content knowing they could sorta-kinda move on from each other.
Shapinglight: IWRYshapinglight on September 5th, 2016 04:32 pm (UTC)
but also left me content knowing they could sorta-kinda move on from each other.

Well, I think that's what it's meant to convey, but it's a very muddled message. Someone above points out that, given Buffy was going to forget everything anyway, it would have been far kinder of Angel not to tell her at all what was about to happen. I don't know what he was thinking really. Mulling it over, it's made me quite cross with him.
Double Dutchess: Angel alleydouble_dutchess on September 2nd, 2016 10:10 pm (UTC)
It's been ages since I saw this one, but I do remember that Angel's decision didn't make much sense to me.
Restfield Placerbfvid on September 3rd, 2016 04:40 pm (UTC)
Imo, the only way to make it work is to perceiive it not as "Angel wants to keep Buffy safe, therefore he leaves her and wipes her memory", but "Angel is a bit masochistic and doesn't think he deserves to be happy, therefore he panics, leaves Buffy and wipes her memory".
Double Dutchess: Angel alleydouble_dutchess on September 4th, 2016 12:52 am (UTC)
I agree that is the most logical explanation.
Shapinglight: chocolateshapinglight on September 5th, 2016 04:33 pm (UTC)
Well, I certainly think rbfvid is on to something about Angel feeling undeserving, I just wish he'd thought about whether that also applied to Buffy. And realising it didn't, he'd thought about it all a bit more.

On the other hand, for Doylist reasons (the two separate shows) it had to end how it did, I suppose.