Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S01E07 – Angel

In the seventh episode of the first season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, I realize exactly why I should have hated the Twilight series all along: This show already did that whole plotline. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy.

There’s a few things I need to talk about regarding “Angel” over the course of this review, the first being the fact that I just typed “reagaurding” twice before I realized why my computer was telling me I am an awful speller. IT HAPPENS, OKAY? But I want to make this clear: I am going to make a concerted effort to avoid ever making any reference to Twilight, or at least as much as I can help it. I’m sure a lot of you don’t care to have me talk about it at all, and others are bored by me repeating myself. But I have thoughts and feelings and unfortunately they are tied to that abysmal series.

I feel I should get one thing out of the way, and it’s an example that demonstrates exactly why my spoiler policy is so ruthless and strict. Somehow, over the last fourteen years, I had not learned or internalized or even forgotten that Angel was a vampire. I yelped at the screen when he revealed himself, and that genuine surprise made this episode so much better than if I’d known all along. I’d entertained the notion that maybe he was a ghost or a spirit or some possessed lord of the vampires, but I can honestly say that the idea that he was an actual vampire never really crossed my mind. In a matter of minutes, not only does this show get more interesting to me, but now a character who had just been a slightly-irritating and not-shirtless-enough plot-bringer has…well, he has a history. Two hundred forty years of it, to be precise, and with that history comes a whole lot of baggage, violence, and emotional conflict. (PS: Could we get something like this for Cordelia? I NEED TO START STANNING FOR HER.)

But after this episode ended, it was pretty much impossible for my mind not to go to one place: I just watched the entire plot of all four Twilight books.

Yes, that’s an exaggeration, but after spending months and months reading that series (OMG BUY MY BOOKS OH MY GOD), it’s hard not to have references ready in my brain. I don’t want to draw any sort of conclusions about Meyer’s true inspiration, but this episode is THE EXACT SAME PREMISE. Not only is it remarkably similar, it is already done a thousand times better. There’s acknowledgment of the age difference in a much more significant way; there’s a very outright insistence on Buffy’s part that Angel has to keep his distance from her and her mother at one point. (Yes, it’s a bit misguided, but I still love that she firmly sets boundaries and demands that he obey them.) Other people in her life disapprove of the idea and she actually listens to them. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t ultimately make her own decision alone, but she actively engages with her friends to get their opinion on the situation.

My roommate (who’s a huge Buffy fan) said it was like Twilight existed solely in the set-up of “Angel” for four books. The books never progressed beyond this idea of falling in love with a vampire. With “Angel,” though, I feel like the show has set up the possibility for so many plotlines, and as someone who generally isn’t the biggest fan of romance, I’m actually excited to see what Buffy is going to do next. On the same note, I talked about what it’s like to be gay and watch storylines that hinge on heterosexuality in my post about “Teacher’s Pet” last week. I think “Angel” is a great example for me of a story that is between a heterosexual pairing that I can relate to and enjoy at the same time.

I suppose part of that comes from the fact that…well, let me first just get this out of the way. David Boreanaz has got his smolder down, and I think he smiled once in the entirety of this episode. I’m counting two half-smiles in the very end that occur during the final scene at The Bronze as one single smile, for the record.  Otherwise…wow, he’s not the best actor I’ve come across. Dare I say he seems rather inexperienced here? Which is fine, since I am not setting the bar high for season one of Buffy. Yet despite that, there’s an undeniable chemistry between Angel and Buffy, and it’s the writing that ultimately supports it. Well, I also don’t want to ignore that I think Gellar is actually getting much, much better as the episodes go on, and she gives a strong performance as someone torn between reason and emotion in regards to Angel.

I think I’m drawn to the idea that what Buffy and Angel are doing is essentially frowned upon. (Which does not mean I’m going to ignore that Buffy is still a minor here.) Again, being queer means that the society I live in can still view my sexuality in a very negative manner. I spoke briefly about the idea in a review for Looking For Alaska over on Mark Reads, but I remember that when I was finally able to kiss a guy, it was exhilarating because I felt that I was transgressing some forbidden rule, that I was doing exactly what I wasn’t ever supposed to do, and that excitement was a huge moment for me. Of course I’m projecting myself onto this story, but there seemed to be an element to Buffy’s kiss with Angel that reminded me of this.

“Angel” also navigates the extremely complicated grounds of sexuality in a high school setting, especially the “first” time you start to fall for someone. Unsurprisingly, Xander continues to be really gross and annoying about all of this. Oh my god, dude, we get it. You like Buffy. She does not reciprocate those feelings. PLEASE MOVE ON. Look, I really need him to…I don’t know. Become interested in someone else? Become interested in something besides girls? To be fair, I actually find his characterization so frightfully accurate to about a third of the guys I went to high school with that I’m starting to believe that’s not an actor playing him, but some random student pulled out of class for a few hours a day to just react to the things being acted out around him. Thankfully, I’m glad there are moments (albeit small ones) where the characters and the writing actively paints Xander’s actions as being ridiculous. I do desire some big, cathartic moment where someone tells him to knock it the fuck off, but for the time being, I’m glad there’s something here. (Have they all forgotten the events of “The Pack” so soon?)

I haven’t said much about her, but this is as good a time as any: Bless you, Joyce Summers. I’m beginning to truly enjoy Buffy’s mother as a character because she is so realistically portrayed as a source of conflict, but not some evil force in Buffy’s life. What’s so honest about her character is that the show doesn’t let us forget that she is genuinely trying to be a good parent. She’s never too pushy, but she knows when to be firm. Even if she doesn’t understand her daughter, that doesn’t mean she has to insult her or condescend to her. The truth is that she really doesn’t know her daughter is a slayer of vampires. How could she? Unlike “The Harvest,” I felt the “end” to the vampire confrontation and Joyce’s shaky memory was far more believable than the former’s resolution. What makes me happy, I guess, is that she’s not portrayed as a bumbling fool. She is clueless about her daughter’s true nature, sure. But that’s not something that a mother instantly goes to when her daughter is acting up, is it?

I mean, all Joyce knows is that Buffy misbehaved at her last school and burned down the gym in the process. She senses that if Buffy gets involved with the wrong crowd, she might relapse again. It’s why she’s so excited when Darla comes over, or when she sees Giles. It’s important to note that throughout this all, Joyce never doubts Buffy’s capacity for being spectacular, and it’s what I love about Joyce the most. She doesn’t think her daughter is a failure. She doesn’t think her daughter is a bad person. At heart, she believes in her. That’s a powerful thing to have from your parents, and it’s something I didn’t experience until after I was out of high school. When I did, though, that sort of inherent validation is a great feeling.

Oh, but let’s just take a moment to talk about Angel. It’s not enough for the show to just drop the revelation of his true nature on us; no, instead, through Giles’s research and from Darla and the Master, we learn that Angel has a history. Oh my god I WANT TO KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT HIM. The dude is a vampire who was one of the most ruthless killers in history, and then something happened 80 years prior that caused him to stop killing humans. HE KEEPS BLOOD IN HIS REFRIGERATOR. And he knows Darla, and he knows The Master, and OH MY GOD THIS IS ALL SO MUCH FOR ME TO HANDLE.

Even if the impetus for Buffy’s anger is a trick perpetrated by Darla, I still enjoy that it’s here. I was worried this episode would set up a really boring trope: since Buffy is a woman, her emotions would get in the way of her sense of reason. Which is not to say that the writers go the opposite direction and make her devoid of any emotional reaction, either, as she is clearly upset about Angel’s treatment of her mother. It’s a nice balance between the two, to show that a person like Buffy can be a veritable badass and an emotional human at the same time. The two aren’t mutually exclusive! Why can’t she be a girl and royally kick some vampire ass?

The trap against Buffy doesn’t work as Darla planned, and I think that’s because Buffy gets the sense that something’s not right with Angel. She chooses to follow her instincts, which is why she doesn’t kill him with the crossbow when she has the chance. It’s a risky move, sure, but I think she felt it was worth it to take the chance. The pieces really didn’t add up, and that’s when she finds out the real truth: a family put a curse on him for eating their daughter, and that curse gave him something vampires don’t experience.


I think in any other context, that idea might be ludicrous, but I really like its execution here; I think the possibilities are endless for where the show can take this character trait of Angel’s, and I’m also glad it supports everything we’ve seen from him in the past six episodes. Hell, it even explodes why he’s so mopey and quiet all of the time. Well, okay, not every time, but if you had murdered hundreds of thousands of people over the course of one hundred sixty years and then were forced to feel guilty for that after the fact, you might not be the same person anymore.

God, I can’t believe Meyer had vegetarian vampires in her goddamn books. LOOK HOW MUCH BETTER THIS IS. Okay, I swear, last time I’ll mention that.

I was shocked by Darla’s death, despite how inevitable it really is. I was just starting to like her as a character, and the reveal that she’s Angel’s maker gives them such an amazing dynamic. But really, how could she stay alive after all of that? I mean, SHE USES GUNS. First of all, THAT IS THE MOST AMAZING TROPE-KILLING PLOT TWIST EVER. When do vampires use guns? But Darla’s set up two people to despise her, and it’s Angel who stakes her in the back, a symbolic moment meant to represent that he still rejects her and her lifestyle and the Master. Now I can see why Angel always dropped little hints to Buffy: it was a way to assuage his guilt, if only for a brief moment.

But how is he going to act in the future? I feel like he and Buffy are on good terms in a way, even though they swear this is goodbye for them. (Did any of you who watched this in real time believe that Angel would never come back?) I think it’s a very telling sign that the cross Buffy wore branded Angel without him turning or making any indication that it had happened. Does Buffy enable him to control himself more than he thought? I WANT TO SEE MORE.

This is, like “Witch,” and “The Pack,” one fantastic episode of the show that I enjoyed a whole lot. Plus, we got to see Buffy knock Giles down on his ass for being a bit of a dick to her, so that was awesome. And…look, y’all, the Anointed One is a goddamn child. I can’t get over how amazing that is. OH GOD SO UNPREPARED AND I LOVE EVERY SECOND OF IT.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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742 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S01E07 – Angel

  1. karate0kat says:

    So late, nobody probably cares at this point, but….

    V thrff guvf vf gur cbvag ng juvpu V fubhyq nqzvg gung V fgvyy ybir Ohssl/Natry. Gurl jrer zl svefg fuvc. Jvgu ntr naq (fyvtugyl) zber xabjyrqtr naq jvfqbz nobhg eryngvbafuvcf, V pna npxabjyrqtr n ybg bs gur ceboyrzf gung V qvqa'g onpx gura, jura V jnf zlfrys n grrantre naq nyy fgneel rlrq yvxr Ohssl. V guvax gur snpg gung gurl qba'g raq hc gbtrgure vf jung nyybjf zr gb fgvyy ybir gurz. Vs gurl'q eha bss vagb gur fhafrg vg jbhyq unir orra fghcvq naq njshy naq Gjvyvtug. Ohg, gb chyy bhg gur pyvpurf, gurl'er fgne pebffrq ybiref. Gurl pna arire or gbtrgure. Vg qbrfa'g znggre vs gurl pbhyq be pbhyqa'g unir znqr gurve eryngvbafuvc jbex bhgfvqr bs uvtufpubby, jvgu Ohssl tebjvat hc. Gurl pbhyqa'g rire unir gung punapr. Naq V'z n fhpxre sbe pbhcyrf frcnengrq ol pvephzfgnaprf bhgfvqr bs gurve pbageby.

    V nqzvg, V unir n uneq gvzr fuvccvat rvgure bs gurz jvgu nalbar ryfr orpnhfr bs guvf. Ohssl/Fcvxr arire jbexrq sbe zr orpnhfr, jryy, Fcvxr jnf qbjauvyy nsgre frnfba 4 sbe zr – ol frnfba 6 gurer jrer bayl n unaqshy bs fprarf jurer V qvqa'g jnag gb fgnxr uvz, naq frnfba 7 jnfa'g nf onq ohg qvqa'g qb zhpu gb vzcebir zl bcvavba bs uvz fvapr nyy V pbhyq guvax gur jubyr gvzr jnf gung gur inzcver zlgubybtl gung unq orra frg gur jubyr frevrf jnf gung inzcverf jrer qrzbaf va n uhzna obql juvpu vf jul Natry naq Natryhf jrer nyjnlf qrcvpgrq nf gjb irel frcnengr ragvgvrf, naq lrg Fcvxr jvgu n fbhy naq Fcvxr jvgubhg n fbhy jnf cerggl zhpu rknpgyl gur fnzr naq vg jnf fb pyrneyl gur jevgref jnagvat gb unir gurve pnxr naq rng vg gbb.

    N jnf n ybg zber BX jvgu Natry/Pbeqryvn, ohg nebhaq gur gvzr gurl jrer fgnegvat gb snyy va ybir jnf nebhaq gur gvzr V fgnegrq trggvat fvpx bs znyr naq srznyr sevraqf/cnegaref ba GI nyjnlf univat gb or cnverq hc. Gurl jrer fb tbbq nf orfg sevraqf naq V jnf fb fvpx bs Zra naq Jbzra Pna Arire Or Whfg Sevraqf, naq nqq gb gung gur yvatrevat Ohssl/Natry fuvccre va zr….vg nqqrq hc gb zr jvfuvat V pbhyq fuvc gurz orpnhfr V ybirq gurz obgu, naq lrg arire orvat ernyyl noyr gb qb vg. V nz BX jvgu gurz, ohg arire npgviryl fhccbegrq vg.

    Naq jr jba'g fcrnx bs jung unccrarq gb Pbeqryvn.

    • notemily says:

      I'm still here! I care! And agree with the majority of your comment!

      V qb fuvc Ohssl/Fcvxr, ohg abg dhvgr gur fubj'f irefvba bs rvgure bs gurz. Vg'f zber gung V fuvc gurz sebz rneyvre va gur fubj, orsber gurer jnf rira n uvag bs fbzrguvat ebznagvp tbvat ba orgjrra gurz. Gurl nyjnlf unq terng purzvfgel.

      • karate0kat says:

        Bu lrnu, gur npgbef unq znq purzvfgel. V guvax obgu Ohssl/Fcvxr naq Natry/Pbeqryvn unq n ybg bs cbgragvny, obgu purzvfgel jvfr naq fgbelgryyvat jvfr, ohg gur jevgvat arire dhvgr jbexrq sbe zr crefbanyyl. Jvgu N/P vg vafcverq n erfbhaqvat zru sebz zr, ohg O/F…gur jnl gurl pubfr gb tb nobhg vg…synzrf…synzrf ba gur fvqr bs zl snpr.

        Guvf vf jurer Fcvxr'f ynpx bs n crefbanyvgl genafcynag va frnfba 7 ernyyl snvyrq sbe zr. Ur'f grpuavpnyyl abg gur fnzr crefba jub gevrq gb encr Ohssl, ohg bapr ur trgf bire uvf natfg srfg (va n znggre bs jrrxf/zbaguf engure guna qrpnqrf, V zvtug nqq) ur'f cerggl zhpu rknpgyl gur fnzr juvpu znxrf vg ernyyl uneq sbe zr gb abg guvax bs uvz nf gur thl gung GEVRQ GB ENCR OHSSL. Rira Natryhf arire jrag gurer.

        Ohg V'z snveyl pregnva V'ir ernq, yvxr, frnfba 2 be 3 ren O/F svp naq unir orra BX jvgu vg. Fb V pna haqrefgnaq gur birenyy pbaprcg bs fuvccvat gurz. Ohg zna gur fuvccref gung gel gb npg yvxr frnfba 6 jnf rcvp ebznapr…V pna'g…guvf vf gur ernfba V pna'g or va gur Inzcver Qvnevrf snaqbz. Nfvqr sebz jnavat vagrerfg/gbyrenapr sbe gung fubj naljnl, vs lbh'er tbvat gb fuvc n shpxrq hc pbhcyr ng yrnfg npxabjyrqtr gung gurl'er n shpxrq hc pbhcyr. Qba'g gel gb npg yvxr vg'f ebznagvp. Fbzrbar npghnyyl gevrq gb whfgvsl Fcvxr'f nggrzcgrq encr gb zr bapr, jvgu "jryy fur nyjnlf fnvq ab naq zrnag lrf fb ur unq ab jnl bs xabjvat fur jnf frevbhf gung gvzr." Gur gnxrnjnl gurer fubhyq bs pbhefr or gung gurl unq na haurnygul eryngvbafuvc naq fubhyq unir cvpxrq n fnsr jbeq, ohg…

        Nnnnaq abj gung V'ir tbggra *gung* enag bhg bs zl flfgrz…

        • SelphieFairy says:

          lrf lrf nterr. V'ir nyjnlf gubhtug Ohssl/Fcvxr jnf ubg… orpnhfr… pbzr ba. Yznb. Ohg V'z frevbhfyl fb pbashfrq ol crbcyr jub gerng gurve eryngvbafuvc yvxr vg'f "ebznagvp." Gubfr sna ivqrbf bs gurz ba lbhghor… oyrtu. Znxrf zr fuhqqre. Znlor evtug ng gur raq bs Frnfba 7 vg jnf xvaq bs phgr, ohg vg jnf ARIRE gur rcvp ebznapr gung Natry naq Ohssl jnf. Naq lrf, vg jnf ernyyl ernyyl shpxrq hc nyy bs frnfba 6. Ohg vg jnf cnffvbangr naq svrel. Naq Fcvxr jnf fhpu n tbqqnza onqnff. Gung'f jung znxrf vg njrfbzr! Znxr vg nyy ebznagvp, naq lbh'ir ehvarq vg sbe zr! Fb lrnu, nygubhtu V yvxr Ohssl/Fcvxr, V gerng vg sbe jung vg vf. Naq rira ng gur raq bs gur fubj, V fgvyy qba'g frr Ohssl naq Fcvxr rire trggvat gbtrgure sbe erny. Abg yvxr Ohssl/Natry, naq V fuvc Natry/Pbeqryvn rira zber.

        • notemily says:

          Bu ab, V qba'g guvax gurve eryngvbafuvc va f6 vf rcvp ebznapr be jungrire. Va snpg, V qba'g ernyyl yvxr gur jnl gur eryngvbafuvc cynlrq bhg, naq gur jnl vg cynlf bhg va zl urnq vf zhpu orggre 🙂 Gung'f jul V yvxr gurz orggre va svp (Anhgvovgm vf zl snibevgr Ohssl/Fcvxr jevgre), orpnhfr va gur fubj, Ohssl nyjnlf npgrq yvxr Fcvxr jnf guvf qrfgehpgvir sbepr va ure yvsr naq fbzrbar fur bayl ghearq gb bhg bs frys-ybnguvat, naq Fcvxr… gevrq gb encr Ohssl, naq va svp V pna cergraq abar bs gung unccrarq naq gurl pna npghnyyl or va ybir naq unir vg or urnygul naq abg njshy.

    • IsabelArcher2 says:

      Zna, guvf vf tbvat gb ernyyl fhpx sbe zr nf n Fcvxr/Ohssl fuvccre. Nygubhtu, V jvyy nqzvg, V'z abg fb zhpu n Fcvxr/Ohssl fuvccre nf V nz n Fcvxr/Zr fuvccre? V unir guvf fgenatr guvat nobhg fxvaal, ubg oybaq thlf. Naq frevbhfyl onq oblf. Yvxr, qrzba, znl xvyy lbh onq oblf. Ohg bayl va svpgvba! Va erny yvsr V qngr avpr erqurnqf. Nyjnlf.

      • karate0kat says:

        Urr! V pna haqrefgnaq gung. Obgu gur snagnfl naq gur erqurnq.

        Gur zber V guvax nobhg vg, gur zber V guvax n ybg bs zl fgebat srryvatf ntnvafg gur cnvevat pbzrf sebz gur frtzrag bs fuvccref gung ershfrq gb npxabjyrqtr ubj vaureragyl shpxrq hc gur jubyr guvat jnf. Juvpu, hasbeghangryl, ng gur gvzr jnf gur bayl frtzrag bs fuvccref V unq nal pbagnpg jvgu. V qba'g guvax gur aneengvir bs gur fubj rire gevrq gb cbegenl jung unccrarq va frnfba 6 nf ebznagvp be ybivat. Yngr frnfba 7 fher, ohg ur unq n fbhy gura ng yrnfg.

        V guvax gurer jvyy yvxryl or n tbbq nzbhag bs Ohssl/Fcvxr snaf nebhaq jura gur gvzr pbzrf. V ubarfgyl qba'g xabj ubj Znex jvyy srry nobhg vg. V qba'g frr uvz rire orvat n fuvccre arprffnevyl (nygubhtu V pbhyq or jebat), ohg V pna frr uvz nccerpvngvat gur cflpubybtvpny vzcyvpngvbaf bs gurve eryngvbafuvc? Ng yrnfg hagvy gur nggrzcgrq encr.

      • Kari18212 says:

        Rknpg fnzr guvat urer yby (rkprcg va erny yvsr V qngr n avpr oeharggr 🙂 Ohg ba GI, vg vf nyy nobhg gur onq oblf. Rfcrpvnyyl vs gurl'er oybaqr, naq rira zber rfcrpvnyyl vs gurl unir qnqql vffhrf. Ab vqrn jul, ohg V ernyvmrq whfg n zbagu be fb ntb gung qnqql vffhrf ner n cneg bs nyzbfg rirel onq obl punenpgre V'ir ybirq, npghnyyl jvgu gur rkprcgvba bs Fcvxr (jub boivbhfyl unq zbz vffhrf). Ohg lrnu, Qenpb Znysbl, Funja Uhagre ba Obl Zrrgf Jbeyq, Qnzba ba Inzcver Qvnevrf, Fnjlre ba Ybfg, naq boivbhfyl Fcvxr-nyy onq oblf jvgu ng yrnfg snzvyl vffhrf tbvat ba.

      • Karen says:

        Ab! V nz n Fcvxr/Ohssl fuvccre gbb! V jvyy or gy;qe-vat nyy bire gur cynpr sbe gurz orpnhfr V guvax gurl'er ernyyl snfpvangvat (nygubhtu qrsvavgryl vaperqvoyl shpxrq hc). V nyernql qvq gung n ovg n pbhcyr bs pbzzragf qbja.

    • Karen says:

      V qrsvavgryl guvax zl fuvccvat cersreraprf jvgu gur Ohsslirefr unf n YBG gb qb jvgu jura V jngpurq gur fubj. V jnf 22 naq jngpurq nyy frira frnfbaf bire gur pbhefr bs yvxr n zbagu. V jnf sne rabhtu njnl sebz uvtu fpubby gung V pbhyq erpbtavmr nyy gur Grra Ybir nfcrpgf bs Ohssl/Natry sbe jung vg jnf, ohg V jnf fgvyy pybfr rabhtu gung V qvqa'g unir rabhtu crefcrpgvir naq qvfgnapr gb abg or fyvtugyl naablrq ol gur xvaq bs fghss.

      Natry/Pbeql vf gur bayl fuvc gung V'z npghnyyl frevbhf nobhg va gung V jvfu gung gurl unq ernyyl tbggra n punapr gb unccra. V ybirq gung gurl jrer sevraqf svefg naq gura gurl jrer snzvyl naq Natry xvaq bs sryy va ybir jvgu guvf erznexnoyr jbzna jvgubhg rira ernyvmvat vg. Natry jnf whfg n unccvre naq zber angheny crefba nebhaq Pbeqryvn. Ohg fur nyfb urycrq uvz xrrc sbphfrq ba uvf checbfr. Ba gur bgure fvqr bs guvatf, vg jnf guebhtu Pbeqryvn'f rkcrevrapr jvgu Natry gung fur jnf noyr gb tebj naq orpbzr n erny ureb. Vqx. V whfg ybirq gung gurl punatrq rnpu bgure sbe gur orggre.

      V npghnyyl ernyyl yvxr Fcvxr/Ohssl gbb, OHG abg nf yvxr na BGC xvaq bs guvat. Vg jnf n fperjrq hc eryngvbafuvc guebhtubhg frnfbaf 5 naq 6 naq V yvxr gung gur fubj npxabjyrqtrq gung. Fcvxr jnf jrveqyl bofrffrq jvgu Ohssl naq vg jnf perrcl (naq lrg nyfb fbzrgvzrf ernyyl shaal). Gura va frnfba 6, V guvax gurve eryngvbafuvc jnf ernyyl vagrerfgvat (lrg vaperqvoyl jebat) ba n punenpgre yriry orpnhfr Ohssl jnf zrffrq hc nsgre ure erfheerpgvba naq gurer jnf n ybg bs qnexarff va ure, fb fur hfrq Fcvxr. Fcvxr, ba gur bgure unaq vf bofrffrq jvgu Ohssl naq gurer'f n ybg bs ivbyrapr va gurer naq ur jnagf gb znxr ure ybir uvz naq vg'f nyy ernyyl fperjrq hc. Naq V guvax guvf svgf gur qnexre gbar bs gur yngre frnfbaf. Gura V qb npghnyyl yvxr gurz va frnfba 7 orpnhfr V guvax gurl orpbzr shapgvbany cnegaref va fnivat gur jbeyq. V guvax Fcvxr'f erqrzcgvba jnf ehfurq, ohg vqx. Nf sne nf uvf nggrzcgrq encr bs Ohssl tbrf (JUVPU V GUVAX JNF GREEVOYR JEVGVAT orpnhfr vg jnf hygvzngryl nyy nobhg trggvat Fcvxr gb frr ur jnf fgvyy n zbafgre naq jnfa'g nobhg Ohssl ng nyy juvpu vf fb naablvat), V guvax vg vf jung vg vf. Vqx. Vs Ohssl vfa'g tbvat gb ubyq Zf. Pnyraqre'f zheqre ntnvafg Natry, gura pyrneyl fur pna pbzcnegzragnyvmr ab-fbhy if fbhy inzcverf, fb znlor gung'f ubj fur'f bx jvgu qrnyvat jvgu vg. Vqx.

      Nyy bs gung gb fnl gung V qb nccerpvngr ubj Natry naq Ohssl shapgvba ng guvf fgntr va gur fubj. Ng guvf cbvag gur fubj fgvyy rkvfgf irel zhpu jvguva gur ernyz bs uvtu fpubby gryrivfvba qenzn (juvpu vf n xvaq bs haerny snagnfl jbeyq nyy vgf bja). Ohssl/Natry vf terng va gung havirefr, ohg bapr gur fubj oenapurq bhg naq orpnzr yrff uvtu fpubby snagnfl jbeyq jvgu zber pbzcyvpngrq eryngvbafuvcf naq gur punenpgref terj hc n ovg, gurl qvqa'g jbex sbe zr nf n cnve nalzber. Gur punenpgref terj naq punatrq ncneg sebz rnpu bgure, fb gurl qvqa'g ernyyl svg nalzber jura lbh gevrq gb chg gurz onpx gbtrgure. Ohg sbe jung gurl jrer va ren bs gur fubj gung gurl jrer, V guvax gurl'er urnegoernxvat naq ornhgvshy.

      Wow. That was really tl;dr, but I started typing and then couldn't stop, apparently. Ah well. I'm sure this will all come up again in the future seasons, but I just needed to get it out of my system.

      • karate0kat says:

        Gurl ner cflpubybtvpnyyl irel vagrerfgvat. V zrna, vs V pna xvaq bs fbeg bs znlor n yvggyr ovg fuvc Fgneohpx/Yrbora (ohg hfhnyyl bayl va n guerrfbzr jvgu Fnz), pyrneyl V pna rawbl shpxrq hc eryngvbafuvcf.

        Nf V fnvq nobir, V qb guvax, ba ersyrpgvba, n ybg bs zl thg ernpgvba qvfyvxr pnzr sebz snaf jub ershfrq gb npxabjyrqtr gung gurl jrer abg n urnygul eryngvbafuvc va frnfba 6, juvpu vfa'g nyy gung snve fvapr V qba'g guvax gur fubj rire gevrq gb fnl gurl jrer.

        V'z ernyyl ybbxvat sbejneq gb erjngpuvat frnfba 7. Vg'f gur bayl frnfba V unira'g erjngpurq fvapr vg nverq. V'z n ybg zber bcra zvaqrq va fuvccvat abj gura V jnf onpx gura, fb V'z phevbhf gb frr vs gurer'f n fuvsg va zl srryvatf. Zl erpbyyrpgvba vf gung, sbe zr, Fcvxr cbfg fbhy, nsgre gur vavgvny natfgvat, nccrnerq gb unir cerggl zhpu gur fnzr crefbanyvgl, whfg zvahf gur jnagvat gb xvyy crbcyr. Jurernf Natry naq Natryhf jrer nyjnlf irel, irel qvssrerag. Vg'f cbffvoyl zl artngvir srryvatf gbjneqf gur cnvevat naq gur punenpgre pnhfrq ol snaqbz fgnaf ner pbybevat zl zrzbevrf naq ur jnf fvtavsvpnagyl qvssrerag. Ohg ng gur gvzr, ur frrzrq irel zhpu gur fnzr, juvpu znqr vg uneq sbe zr gb guvax bs uvz nf fbzrbar bgure guna gur thl jub gevrq gb encr Ohssl, rira vs ybtvpnyyl V xarj ur jnf qvssrerag nppbeqvat gb gur fubj'f zlgubybtl ba inzcverf jvgu fbhyf irefhf inzcverf jvgubhg fbhyf.

        Va trareny V qvqa'g unir n ceboyrz jvgu Fcvxr orvat erqrrzrq, V whfg sryg yvxr gur jevgref jrag nobhg vg onqyl naq gevrq gb znxr uvz n tbbq thl jvgubhg jnagvat gb punatr nal bs gur guvatf gung crbcyr ybirq, juvpu znqr frafr, ohg fb znal bs gur guvatf crbcyr ybirq frrzrq gb or gvrq vagb uvf onq obl crefban, naq vg whfg raqrq hc srryvat bqq. V pbhyq arire funxr (naq fgvyy pna'g gb guvf qnl) gur srryvat gung gur jnl gurl jebgr uvz va frnfba 7, naq *rfcrpvnyyl* ba Natry frnfba 5, ivbyngrq gurve bja zlgubybtl. N inzcver jvgu n fbhy vf n qvssrerag crefba ragveryl gura gur fnzr inzcver jvgubhg uvf fbhy, orpnhfr n inzcver vf n qrzba va n uhzna obql. Jvgu Natry/Natryhf, vg jnf nyjnlf jevggra yvxr Natryhf jnf gur qrzba naq Natry jnf gur fbhy juvpu fhccerffrq gur qrzba. Jura Fcvxr, grpuavpnyyl n qrzba va n uhzna obql, tbg uvf fbhy onpx, ur'f abg ernyyl fvtavsvpnagyl qvssrerag (ntnva, nppbeqvat gb zl zrzbel). Vg cebonoyl qbrfa'g uryc gung V whfg erjngpurq gur Natry rc jurer Snvgu naq Natryhf unir gung funerq qernz jnyx naq Natryn naq Natryhf raq hc svtugvat rnpu bgure. Vg znxrf gur qrzba if fbhy guvat ernyyl pyrne.

        So basically, I may actually agree with you on most of these points? But maybe not? Because I really need to finish my rewatch because I haven't done a full one since high school. Lol.

        • notemily says:

          s7 is the only one I haven't rewatched, too. when I was first watching buffy on FX, season seven had just finished airing and they hadn't got the rights yet I guess, so they would get to six and then start over from the beginning again. then the library didn't have the s7 dvds for a long time, so I saw it kind of belatedly. now, of course, there is netflix!

          naq lrnu, vg'f vagrerfgvat jvgu Fcvxr orpnhfr ur boivbhfyl qbrf unir srryvatf sbe Ohssl, naq sbe Qehfvyyn, naq pnerf nobhg fbzr guvatf, naq fbzr crbcyr–V'z guvaxvat bs Qnja, jub ur'f boivbhfyl n ovt-oebgure svther gb. jurernf Natryhf bayl rire pnerf nobhg uhegvat crbcyr be qrfgeblvat gur jbeyq be jungrire uvf qrny vf. jung'f zbfg vagrerfgvat gb zr vf jura lbh jngpu gur synfuonpx rcvfbqrf naq frr Fcvxr orsber ur jnf n inzcver, jura ur fgvyy unq n fbhy–ur jnf n ful cbrg thl. V jvfu gurl unq sbhaq n jnl gb chg zber bs gung punenpgre vagb er-rafbhyrq Fcvxr.

          Also I just realized I use the word "interesting" too much.

        • Karen says:

          V guvax gur ab fbhy if fbhy inzcver zlgubybtl jnf ernyyl funxl. Fbzrgvzrf gur fubj nffregf gung n inzcver ergnvaf fvzvyne crefbanyvgl gb gurve uhzna cnegf. Ohg Jvyyvnz vf FHCRE qvssrerag crefbanyvgl jvfr sebz Fcvxr fb… Ohg gura inzcver ab-fbhy Fcvxr vf irel fvzvyne gb inzcver jvgu fbhy Fcvxr. Ohg gura lbh unir Natry naq Yvnz vf va fbzr jnlf fvzvyne gb Natryhf jub vf ABG fvzvyne gb Natry. Onfvpnyyl, vg vf fhcre pbashfvat naq qbrfa'g ernyyl unat gbtrgure vs lbh guvax nobhg vg gbb zhpu, fb V gel gb whfg tb jvgu gur sybj.

          V zrna gur snpg gung Fcvxr jbhyq rira JNAG n fbhy frrzf yvxr fbzrguvat gung jbhyq or bccbfrq gb orvat n inzcver. Yvxr jul jbhyq n qrzba jnag gb orpbzr n uhzna ntnva? Fb lrnu, Fcvxr frrzf yvxr n fcrpvny pnfr znlor? Ur rkuvovgf n ybg bs uhzna rzbgvbaf rira jura ur qbrfa'g unir n fbhy. Gur znva guvat gung frcnengrf ab fbhy Fcvxr if fbhy Fcvxr vf erterg naq erzbefr. Fcvxr qbrf srry gur jrvtug bs uvf pevzrf jurernf cer-fbhy Fcvxr jnf nyy nobhg gelvat gb svaq ybbcubyrf sbe gur puvc.

  2. notemily says:

    Ahahaha, and to think we were worried that you would hate this episode BECAUSE it was too much like Twilight! I can't believe you had no idea Angel was a vampire. We were all rolling around laughing at you on the spoiler blog when you said "Is he another slayer?" 😀

    I anticipated that this episode would get compared to Twilight, especially from those who haven't seen this show before, but to me the big difference is that Buffy COULD kill him if she wanted to. And when she thinks he bit her mom, she actually sees him as a threat, unlike Bella who is just like "I don't care if you kill me because I love you soooo much I'm not scared!" *eyeroll*

    Thoughts while re-watching:

    ALL RIGHT! This is the episode we've all been waiting for! This is where shit gets real!

    "Hi, honey, you're in grave danger! I'll see you next month."

    "Take your jacket and your shirt off." Hott!

    Weird tattoo of… something! Hott!

    Bandaging of wounds! Hott!

    Mom coming home! Not so hott. She doesn't freak out too badly, though.

    Two of them, one bed! HOTT. I'd never try to hide a strange dude in my bedroom, though. My mom would totally come in to check on me.

    Unlike Xander, Angel would never try to spy on Buffy in a mirror while she changes.

    "Was it vampires?" One of them in particular…

    I love the little "perfect gentleman" look between Buffy and Willow. LOVE it.

    "With power, comes responsibility." Thanks Spider-Master.

    I love when Buffy and Giles are training and Buffy totally kicks Giles's ass. "I'm… not going to need pads to fight you."


    "How could you love an umpire?" I'm a sucker for Vampire/Umpire jokes. Ever since Bugs Bunny did one.

    Cordelia's "this is exactly what happens when you sign these free trade agreements" cracks me up.

    I will always remember Buffy's "after the construction, which was shoddy…" answer whenever reconstruction is mentioned. I didn't have junior or senior years of high school, so my history knowledge is severely lacking because apparently that's when you get to the good stuff. I've had to learn most of my history after college, through, you know, books, and cultural osmosis, and Wikipedia. I'm way more interested in history now than I ever was in school. Probably because nobody is forcing me to learn about it. I HAVE ISSUES WITH SCHOOL CAN YOU TELL

    "It's very nice of you to invite me in to your home." NOOO JOYCE

    Angel's flarey nostrils when he smells the blood are hilarious. I mean, not as hilarious as Robert Pattinson's face when he smells Bella in Twilight, but still pretty great.

    "The librarian from your school. What's he doing here?" Kristine Sutherland's face here is priceless. "Wow, the teachers really do care at this school!"

    I find Darla really annoying in this episode. "Kill! Feed! Live!" Shut up!

    "That school is amazing!" Seriously, she should be getting comedy awards, not horrible Healthy Choice commercials.

    "…and I did it with a song in my heart." Which song was that, exactly?

    ~mysterious Gypsy magic~ whatever, he has a soul is the point.

    "We kill them all." Sorry, I don't believe that you'll kill anyone. You suck.

    Slayer and vampire-with-a-soul! ~Star-crossed love~! Even though they BARELY KNOW EACH OTHER, it's still sweet. And Angel burns Buffy's cross into his chest. HE SUFFERS FOR HIS LOVE. SO ANGSTY! I love it. I love this episode. MOAR PLEASE.

  3. threerings13 says:

    I think I'm just going to have to break down and do for Buffy what I did for BSG and watch at my pace (i.e. really fast) and then circle back and rewatch again in time with Mark. It doesn't seem to matter how many times I've seen a show, I still want to zoom through it.

    I've never really been a Buffy/Angel fan. I think partly because it was a cliched romance and I'd already been through my vampire romance phase (Vampire Diaries books, Anne Rice, then Forever Knight). And partly because David Boreanaz just isn't my type.

    Finally, I have to say something about all the hating on Xander in the comments: it really bothers me. Not because I have any particular love for Xander, or because I don't think people should criticize a characters actions, but because it's becoming so frequent and pervasive. And often the tone is just so ANGRY and hateful and unpleasant to read. Plus, there's a lot of aggressive commenting anytime someone expresses a conflicting opinion. I don't want to argue about Xander. I just don't want to have to think carefully about whether I want to read any thread or not because I'm afraid of the negativity that it might contain.

    I've been in fandom for a long time, since 1997 actually. And if a particular fanspace becomes too negative, cliquey and argumentative, I will leave for my own peace of mind. One of the things I've enjoyed about Mark's sites is the lack of a certain kind of fan bickering. There tends to be a respect for others opinions, even when there is disagreement. But because this is an issue of "oppression" it seems people aren't allowed to disagree.

    • arctic_hare says:

      Yeah, god forbid we call out a character on their shitty behavior.

      You have some fucking nerve putting the word oppression in quotes. What, are we too politically correct for you or something because we dare to call a character's sexist actions what they are? And this after pulling out the tone argument bullshit. Fuck that nonsense.

      • BuffyFan says:

        Wow. Just wow. I'm really not that fond of such language. You may think that you are emphasizing your point, but all I see is someone who can't control themselves and behave like an adult. It's fine that you disagree passionately, but what does your post really say besides 'Fuck you/that!'? Xander has issues, but come on…

        • arctic_hare says:

          I don't care if you don't like that kind of language. The objections raised against Xander's actions and dialogue have been that they are incredibly sexist, and this person is not only derailing by using the tone argument, but actively mocking and dismissing the concerns we have by putting the word oppression in scare quotes. That is not okay.

          • BuffyFan says:

            Eh, whatever you say, but you've lost all my respect. I think you are reading too much into the comment. The person just wants an environment where they can voice their opinion without being cursed at. I agree and you proved his point quite well.

            Personally Xander is one of my least favorite characters (arkg gb jneera).

            • arctic_hare says:

              No, I'm really really not. There's no other way to read a comment where the person brings up the tone argument and then puts a word in scare quotes.

              What's been going on here is simple: people like myself have voiced our displeasure with the character's sexist behavior in our own comment threads, and now we're being complained about for not being nicer to the sexist character and our concerns are being dismissed and mocked.

              • BuffyFan says:

                Ah, now see if you had replied this way in the first place I wouldn't have said anything. I'm a female and I totally understand sexist behaviour and find it repulsive. The quotes in the OP are quite bad. Sexism certainly is a problem in society which makes Xander and all men in the show interesting to look at. I just don't want to read a comment like your first one because the tone/content bothers me. Refer me again to your link if you want. I just came her to read some about my favorite show. I didn't want to see angry, hateful rants. I really want to be on your side. I really do.

                • arctic_hare says:

                  You are not getting it. *headdesk* Bringing up my "tone" is DERAILING THE CONVERSATION. That is against the site rules. STOP IT. I am not obligated to moderate my "tone" when I become angry at someone over issues like sexism.

                  • BuffyFan says:

                    You are not getting it. I am not trying to derail the conversation. Talk all you want about how sexist certain characters are. I'll probably agree with you. All I ask is minimal cursing when it comes to the negative. There are many forceful and emphatic ways you can express your anger without that. Your post terribly offended me despite the fact that I agree with you for the most part.

                    • arctic_hare says:

                      You do not have the right to ask me to alter my tone when discussing sexism or calling out others on their dismissive attitudes towards it. Do you even know what derailing actually is? Hint: IT IS WHAT YOU ARE DOING BY MAKING THIS ABOUT MY TONE. I suggest you review the site rules, and take a good look at Derailing for Dummies, particularly this entry.

                    • BuffyFan says:

                      I think I have the right to ask, just as you have the right to ignore me completely. I just thought I'd voice my opinion and let you know that I did not appreciate it. Previously I have found some of your comments quite interesting. I FUCKING KNOW WHAT DERAILING IS. XANDER IS AN ASSHOLE! Are you happy now?

                      I AGREE WITH YOU. What is your problem? I just really don't like profanity. It may not bother you but it bothers me. Just as sexist comments may not bother those that speak them, but may harm those around them.

                    • arctic_hare says:

                      Are you seriously equating use of profanity with sexist comments? Because AHAHAHAHAHA NO. Not remotely comparable. Also, given how often Mark curses in his reviews, I suggest the following course of action:

                      <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

                      And no, you really really don't have the right to ask me to change my tone when discussing issues like sexism. Because that is the tone argument, and the tone argument is a bullshit derailing tactic THAT IS AGAINST SITE RULES. How many times must I say it?

                    • BuffyFan says:

                      *sigh* And you are why I never tell anyone I consider myself feminist. I'm sorry that someone clearly harmed you terribly at some point in your life. I hope that you find the strength to move on and realize that most people agree with you. The world is not against you.

                      I'm not saying you are a bad person OR that you need to change your tone. I suppose I used the wrong word earlier and you seem to be stuck on it. I want to ask you to please use less profanity directed negatively. Keep the angry tone.

                    • Raenef says:

                      …Wat… Way to condescend.

                    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

                      god i hope you are banned for being an awful person

                    • notemily says:

                      wouldn't that be up to you, Mark? 😛

                    • BuffyFan says:

                      Don't worry, I don't intend to post again. I've read the vast majority of Mark reads and Mark watches without commenting at all. It just particularly upset me that a mod was so rude.

                      I really do agree with almost everything they are saying. The quotes around oppression were horrible. Xander has flaws. I'm sorry if my last few posts were rude. .

                    • Karen says:


                      It’s OK to have dissenting opinions. I don’t know if you participate in Doctor Who posts, but I have some Unpopular Opinions about Doctor Who. I’m not a fan of the current show runner, and I don’t really hide that fact in my comments. Back when Mark was going through the older episodes, I got into some debates because my favorite character is one that other people really don’t care for. I get what it’s like to enjoy a character that other people don’t. I have trouble keeping my mouth shut, so I tend to respond to comments that are negative about characters that I like, but this isn’t a requirement. I could just scroll on by if I wanted to and make positive statements in my own comment. Xander lovers are free to the same in these posts.

                      The issue here, however, is that people are not just hating Xander for the sake of hating Xander. That might require mod intervention. Commenters are merely calling Xander out on his problematic behavior as well as discussing his role in the show thus far. This doesn’t mean that people think that all Xander lovers should be burned at the stake. But trying to dismiss the very real concerns that people are bringing up with regards to Xander’s character by claiming people are being too negative is just ridiculous.

                      If someone was writing and posting fanfic of various horrific ways for Xander to die that would be one thing and I would put a stop to it. But this is just people (using strong language, but that doesn’t really matter) expressing their dislike for a character who exhibits sexist tendencies and behaviors that many of us have had to face from people in the real world. By complaining about the tone that some commenters are taking, the real issue is being side stepped, and these are issues that SHOULD be discussed. I’m sorry if a character you like is sexist. That doesn’t make you a terrible person. However, denying and excusing his bad behavior does. It’s fine if you like Xander. Accept that he has some pretty bad attributes, especially at this stage in the game, and move on to enjoy his positive attributes in your own comments if you want. That’s is the appropriate response, not to complain about people being too mean when they call attention to misogyny and sexism.

                      When the original commenter of this thread put oppression in scare quotes, arctic_hare was understandably angry (I was too, for the record). That is incredibly dismissive of the real problems that commenters are having with the way Xander is being written. Could arctic_hare have been nicer when expressing herself? SURE. But why does it matter that she wasn’t? The kind of attitude that puts oppression in quotes, as if it isn’t a real thing and those who want to discuss Xander’s sexism are overreacting, is completely unacceptable which is why arctic_hare reacted in the way that she did.

                    • arctic_hare says:

                      I need more upvotes for this comment.

                    • etherealclarity says:

                      "I’m sorry if a character you like is sexist. That doesn’t make you a terrible person. However, denying and excusing his bad behavior does. It’s fine if you like Xander. Accept that he has some pretty bad attributes, especially at this stage in the game, and move on to enjoy his positive attributes in your own comments if you want. That’s is the appropriate response, not to complain about people being too mean when they call attention to misogyny and sexism."

                      Wait, what? I must be misunderstanding this. Are you saying that it's okay to like a character who is sexist, but not to disagree with whether or not an action that a character does is sexist in the first place? That if a person thinks the action is up for debate at all that it makes them a bad person? Please tell me I am misunderstanding this. 🙁

                    • Karen says:

                      I'm saying that you need to be very careful when defending sexist behaviors. If you think there are legitimate reasons why a behavior isn't sexist, then bring up those points. But if your points are anything along the lines of "well, he's a 16 year old boy" or "a lot of other people have said the same thing" or "you wouldn't be complaining if Xander were a girl" (pro-tip: reverse racism doesn't exist and neither does misandry) then it's time to rethink your points, step back, and seriously the consider what the other person is saying. OR if your dismiss complaints about Xander's sexism by saying "well he has X, Y, and Z positive attributes, so his bad behavior here doesn't matter!", then that's a problem.

                      Does that clarify things?

                    • I wonder if Orson Welles is aware of how much he is applauding these days.

                    • notemily says:

                      He is applauding us all. From heaven.

      • Jess says:

        You're a mod, right? Where the hell do you get off swearing at members? Even if you're frustrated I'd expect better restraint. You're in of a position of authority and are supposed to set an example for others here.

        BuffyFan was obviously unbelievably idiotic further down this thread. This does not, however, excuse the shockingly rude way you adressed threerings. I've been reading Mark for almost two years now but if the negativity in the comments section doesn't fade any time soon I simply don't want to participate or read these dicussions anymore, as it's exhausting, and as a mod you're combatativeness just makes things worse. Combativeness not in a daring-to-challenge opinions way, either (others make your same points without the vitriol and condescension), but in an "attempting to shut down discussion through insults" manner.

        • vermillioncity says:

          I'm reluctant to get back into this argument because I got the same 'shut down discussion' response earlier today when I said something similar. But once again I want to show support for this comment.

          I've been reading Mark for almost two years now but if the negativity in the comments section doesn't fade any time soon I simply don't want to participate or read these dicussions anymore, as it's exhausting, and as a mod you're combatativeness just makes things worse. Combativeness not in a daring-to-challenge opinions way, either (others make your same points without the vitriol and condescension), but in an "attempting to shut down discussion through insults" manner.

          The response I got earlier (to a reasonable comment/query! at least in my opinion) was 'If you don't like it, don't read. Simple'. To me that's pushing someone out of a comm which is supposed to emphasis inclusiveness, because someone in a position of authority didn't agree with my opinion and didn't want to engage with it. I didn't respond then because I couldn't think of a way to that wouldn't get the 'tone argument' accusation thrown at me, or at least become childish. But yes, that bothered me.

          • etherealclarity says:

            A tone argument, if I understand correctly, is one that uses an angry tone to discount an otherwise valid argument. Am I misunderstanding this?

            I don't think that's what is going on here (with a few exceptions). It feels like people are getting angry, and when others are commenting on that anger and how it is taking them aback, they are getting accused of using a tone argument.

            I think everyone has a right to their anger, whether it is directed towards Xander as a character or it is directed at a commenter who is defending Xander or whether it is directed at a commenter who is insulting another commenter.

            I do think it is worth pointing out (and is in no way a tone argument) to say that expressing that anger in a comment tends to escalate debates into arguments, and tends to make people on both sides feel as though anything they say will be attacked. Unfortunately what the angry discussions seem to become is a "last person standing wins the argument", which has the effect of shutting down anyone who doesn't like being personally attacked. Arguments that are stated with anger can still be perfectly valid, but right or wrong, they tend to discourage meaningful debate.

            So I'm not sure how this should be resolved. I don't want to tell anyone they don't have a right to their anger, but I don't want to be personally attacked or yelled at for having a dissenting position, either. What are my options? To shut up about anything controversial, leave entirely, or end up constantly feeling like my own person is being attacked? Or to just not ever disagree with people on any feminist issues whatsoever?

            I genuinely don't know how to proceed, and I am also genuinely concerned that I am going to get attacked more because of this comment.


    • Justaperson says:

      I was never a huge Buffy/Angel fan either.
      Natry gerngf ure yvxr gbb zhpu bs n puvyq. V qvqa'g ernyyl yvxr uvf punenpgre hayrff ur jnf 'Natryhf' be va uvf bja frevrf.

      I'm not a huge fan of Xander, but I agree. Wayyyy to much hate going on here. Yeah, he has flaws, but his character is generally well meaning. I'm a girl, I understand that some of his comments are sexist or otherwise problematic. Feel free to discuss that, but that doesn't make him a bad character. Have you seen the movie Gran Torino? The main character is terribly racist, yet many of his actions seem to contradict that and are undeniably good.

    • Pseudonymph says:

      And often the tone is just so ANGRY and hateful and unpleasant to read.
      Then don't read it.

      I don't want to argue about Xander.

      Then don't. When a person expresses an opinion you disagree with, you're not obligated to respond.

      You know what really bothers me? All the Xander love. All the people who are completely willing to ignore or defend his sexist behavior because "boys will be boys". Your tone really bothers me. Your condescending, dismissive tone makes me feel uncomfortable. The idea that so many people on Mark Watches don't care about sexism makes me think really carefully about whether I want to read a thread because I'm afraid of the negativity it might contain. The fact that you put the word oppression in scare quotes ruins my peace of mind.

      But for some reason you think your feelings should prioritized? If those of us who have issues with Xander or his behavior should shut up in order to make you more comfortable, then everyone going on and on about how much they love Xander should have to shut up as well.

      • Jay says:

        "Then don't read it."

        Easier said than done. It's in nearly every comment, and in order to not read it I'd have to pretty much stop visiting the site.

        Look, I don't want anyone to have to "shut up". HOWEVER. One of the things which was fantastic about Mark was the joy and enthusiasm and overall niceness that comes out of the comments and community in general. It's fucking awesome. And in absolutely no other show, and no other character, was there anywhere near the sheer amount of negativity. It's understandable but frustrating for those of us that come here to get away from the combatative nature of other fandom sites, and it's becoming meme-like to include "ps Xander sucks" in some posts. It's makes the site depressing to read, and this hasn't happened with any other series I can think of, and I've been here since the original MRHP.

        Posting this anonymously because I don't want to be seen as a sexist hate mongerer for not agreeing with the negativity and bad-faith in which many enter discussions on this subject, or the fact that I simply miss being able to come here and avoid the fuck fan-wankery and hatred constantly on display on all other corners of the internet.

        • xpanasonicyouthx says:

          I would like you to provide evidence that there is anything even CLOSE to a meme about hating Xander around here.


        • Genny_ says:

          Okay, but it's actually pretty damn dismissive to reduce discussions about the problematic sexist elements of a character to 'fan wank', though, and also to basically say 'it'd be more fun if people weren't negative about those things!'. That… just isn't what is happening here, at all.

          The way I see it, this site has always been one which encouraged the criticism of problematic elements of what it reviews, *even when* the overall tone is positive. Mark Reads/Watches is awesome and unusual for being a review site which isn't crushingly negative, but it's also great because it doesn't see doing stuff like criticising sexism as being crushingly negative in the first place.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      PS: I ignored your whole comment because you think "oppression" is some dismissive thing worthy of air quotes.

      Can people seriously please complain or criticize things without doing this whole snobby, nose-in-the-air at oppression thing?

      • threerings13 says:

        I'll admit I should have left the quotes off. What I mean by putting them there is that whether any particular act by a character IS an act of oppression should be open to reasonable debate, not that oppression doesn't exist.

        But I don't think two punctuation marks are a good reason for dismissing the concerns of quite a few of this communities members. I'm a feminist in every sense of the word. I don't object to the content of any of the anti-Xander comments. I have a problem with the way people are responding to any attempt to disagree with them. I have a problem with mods who are being angry and hurtful and shutting down discussions.

        Whatever. I'm not going to be reading the comments of the Buffy posts anymore. This fandom is famous for its ship wars and nastiness. I just didn't expect it to come out so soon.

        • arctic_hare says:

          Except that it's the other way around – the people expressing their concerns about the Xander hate are the ones doing the dismissing. They are dismissing people's very valid and legitimate issues with the character's sexist and fucked up behavior. That is why I and others are becoming angry, and we have every right to be. Commenting about our "tones" is derailing and I remind you that that is against the site rules. I have not shut down discussions, I have reacted angrily to those who would like to see my opinions about Xander's behavior shut down and silenced. There's a big difference.

      • threerings13 says:

        Ok, one more attempt at expressing my problem. What are the majority of the comments on this post about? The answer is not Angel or vampires or anything. Over and over people have been told if they have a problem with someone's comments, to just not read them. And I had decided to do just that. I decided I wouldn't read certain people's posts. Then I decided I wouldn't read any threads about Xander.

        But I was faced with a problem: when someone makes a comment mentioning like 15 different things in an episode and one of them mentions Xander and I see there are responses, I have to decide whether I want to click to read the thread. Maybe I'm really interested in one part of their comment that has nothing to do with Xander, so I click. And the thread is all about Xander and how he sucks.

        And then in this post, someone makes a comment about Angel. No mention of Xander at all. And the responses to her comment are immediately about how horrible Xander is.

        I just want to make some kind of statement like, "We the undersigned agree that Xander is sexist" and have us all sign it and then CAN WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE? Because I do agree he is sexist and says and does wrong things.

        • Karen says:

          The majority of the comments are not about Xander. There are plenty of conversations about other things happening in this episode. However, these debates about Xander have been going on throughout the past several reviews and they just kind of came to a head in this post. Also, it's mostly just the same 5 or so people talking and the conversations happened several hours after most of the other readers had read the post and made their own comments about the episode. So yeah, it's not completely dominating all discussion on the site, even if it might feel like it at this precise moment.

        • arctic_hare says:

          If people want to continue to talk about how this or that action/line of Xander's is sexist, that is their/our right. The idea of us all agreeing that he is sexist and then never talking about it again is absurd. This after you accuse me of trying to shut down discussion? YOU ARE TRYING TO SILENCE FUTURE CRITICISM OF XANDER'S BEHAVIOR. That is so disingenuous it hurts. If you don't like seeing him get criticized… deal with it. But stop acting like we're in the wrong to want to talk critically about behavior that IRL gets brushed off and excused all the damn time.

          • Nick says:

            But how much of it really IS criticism of Xander — i.e. something that can kick off an actual discussion of the episode and what Xander does, as well as how he behaves in the series as a whole? (e.g. "xander is really creepy in this episode with the a, b and c")

            And how much of it is just Xander-bashing for the sake of Xander-bashing — i.e. lots of people chiming in on how they hate the character because hating fictional characters is fun? (e.g. "gah i hate xander sooooo much he should totally DIE IN A FIRE")

            But by your logic, finding the LATTER type of commenting disturbing, disconcerting or weird means that of course you LOVE Xander and you're totally fine with how he acts and you're probably sexist to boot.

  4. Rina says:

    And I'm gonna talk about Twilight for a second. Don't kill me. 😉

    I love the vampire-with-a-soul bit for Angel. It's a solid justification for him to NOT kill people. With a soul, he's not just an animal that lives to feed. He recognizes humans as sentient beings that, for the most part, are not evil. He recognizes that to kill a human is destroying a sentient creature like himself, and is wrong. He doesn't kill people because KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE IS WRONG.

    Now there's the Cullens. Carlisle is the only one who actually seems to abstain from killing because he believes that it is morally wrong. The rest of them just seem to not kill people because Dad does it. I mean, Rosalie has already shown that she's not opposed to murder. She killed the men who raped her. She had so many resources available (hell, the Cullens keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in petty cash around the house) she had so many options, yet she chose to personally hunt them down and murder them. Even her ex-fiance's bodyguards who were, as far as we know, innocent. And then I get the feeling that the only reason Edward and Jasper don't kill people anymore is not because they actually CARE if killing is wrong, but out of personal comfort. Edward has to hear the last thoughts of the people he kills, and Jasper feels their fear and pain. They don't kill because it hurts THEM, they don't care about the people they're killing. The Cullens are supposed to be so pious and good for not killing people, but none of them really cares… so it's not really that they're doing good so much as they're just not doing bad.

    TL;DR: Vegetarian vampires = bullshit.

  5. James says:

    Gur zber V guvax nobhg vg, gur zber V guvax n ybg bs zl fgebat srryvatf ntnvafg gur cnvevat pbzrf sebz gur frtzrag bs fuvccref gung ershfrq gb npxabjyrqtr ubj vaureragyl shpxrq hc gur jubyr guvat jnf.

    GUVF BZT N GUBHFNAQ GVZRF GUVF. Gur npgbef nyjnlf unq frkhny purzvfgel gung jnf sha, ohg jung znqr gurz rira erzbgryl vagrerfgvat gb zr va f6 jnf gur shpxrq hc, zhghnyyl qrfgehpgvir angher bs vg. V ernyyl qba'g yvxr jurer gurl gbbx Fcvxr'f punenpgrevfngvba be gurve eryngvbafuvc. Crbcyr pna svaq vg ebznagvp naq V'yy fdhvag ng gurz ohg nterr gb qvfnterr. Vg'f jura gur encr ncbybtvfz pbzrf bhg gurl pna shpx bss, gubhtu.

    • Karen says:

      Bu lrnu, V pnaabg jvgu yvxr 75% bs Fcvxr/Ohssl fuvccref rira gubhtu V fuvc Fcvxr/Ohssl zlfrys. Fb znal crbcyr ebznagvpvmr gurz naq V'z whfg yvxr "hhhuu….".

  6. karate0kat says:

    Guvf vf abg npghnyyl eryngrq gb guvf rcvfbqr ng ohg V jnf fb rkpvgrq V whfg unq gb cbfg. Fb V'z ng frnfba 5 bs zl ernjngpu, naq V jngpurq Snzvyl, naq Evyrl vf ng Jvyyvr'f naq trgf uvg ba ol n cerggl inzcver anzrq Fnaql. Naq V'z fvggvat gurer guvaxvat, fur ybbxf snzvyvne. Jnvg, gung anzr fbhaq snzvyvne.



    Jr qvqa'g frr Jvyybj srrq ure oybbq, ohg vg jbhyq znxr frafr gung fur jbhyq unir qbar vg, be unq fbzrbar ryfr qb vg. Vs ure tbny jnf gb znxr guvf jbeyq yvxr ure jbeyq, jvgu n ohapu bs inzcverf pbagebyyvat rirelguvat, fur'q arrq n ohapu bs inzcverf!

    Naq V abgvprq nyy ba zl bja! Gung *arire* unccraf!

    • misterbernie says:

      Ohg vg qbrfa'g znxr frafr. Fur fcrpvsvpnyyl hfrf Fnaql gb cbvag bhg jung unccraf gb oblf naq tveyf jub qba'g orunir. Gurl trg xvyyrq hagvy gurl qvr sebz vg 🙁

      • karate0kat says:

        Fb znlor fur unq n zvavba gnxr ure bhgfvqr gb "qvfcbfr" bs ure naq gung'f jura fur jnf ghearq? Fpnevat gur uhznaf vagb fhozvffvba, cyhf fgvyy trggvat bar zber arj inzc sbe ure nezl? VQX, qb jr npghnyyl rire frr gur obql va nal fubgf bapr Jvyybj qebcf ure?

        I'm thinking way too hard about this now.

        • misterbernie says:

          V qba'g xabj, ohg gurer'f n yratgul gnyx nsgrejneqf orgjrra Inzc!Jvyybj naq Bm naq Naln, vvep, naq trarenyyl qenvavat frrzf gb or nyzbfg vafgnag-qrngu. Gb zr, vg'f zber be yrff n jevgre tbbshc. V srry fvzvyneyl nobhg Unezbal'f inzcvat, gurer'f whfg ab jnl V ohl n inzc gnxvat gur gvzr qhevat gur onggyr gb fver ure.

          I'm thinking way too hard about this now.
          Well, we're fen, that's what we do 😉

  7. Avery says:

    Gur zber V guvax nobhg vg, gur zber V guvax n ybg bs zl fgebat srryvatf ntnvafg gur cnvevat pbzrf sebz gur frtzrag bs fuvccref gung ershfrq gb npxabjyrqtr ubj vaureragyl shpxrq hc gur jubyr guvat jnf.

    Sbe jung vg’f jbegu, V ‘fuvc Ohssl/Fcvxr gb onfvpnyyl gur znkvzhz rkgrag vg vf cbffvoyr gb fuvc fbzrguvat, naq guvf vf uvynevbhf orpnhfr gur frtzrag bs snaqbz V unir nyjnlf fcrag gvzr va srryf whfg nf fgebatyl nobhg fvqr-rlrvat gur crbcyr jub guvax frnfba 6 vf ebznagvp. Fb vg’f abg whfg lbh. V guvax lbh’yy trg gung xvaq bs tybffvat bire va nal snaqbz, hasbeghangryl—ohg gurer ner whfg nf znal crbcyr jub ner vagrerfgrq va gnyxvat nobhg gur tbbq naq gur onq naq jung gurl oevat bhg va rnpu bgure juvyr ubyqvat gurz nppbhagnoyr, naq orvat gbgnyyl svar jvgu nterrvat gb qvfnterr. V ubcr gubfr crbcyr fubj hc urer jura gur gvzr pbzrf fb vg vf abg whfg zr orvat yvxr gy;qe funqbj fryirf zbeny nzovthvgl qrzbyvgvba zrgncubef nyy bire gur cynpr.

    Nyfb, lbhe cbvagf orybj nobhg F7 ner jryy-gnxra—V guvax gur fubj’f zlgubybtl jnf fhcre-vapbafvfgrag nobhg gur angher bs gur fbhy, naq gur qvssreraprf va fbhyyrff naq fbhyrq Natry naq Fcvxr qba’g ernyyl vyyhfgengr zhpu bgure guna gur snpg gung Fcvxr vf abg Natry. Guvf vfa’g zrnag gb or n xabpx ntnvafg Natry—whfg gung vg jnf boivbhf gung Natryhf jnf qribvq bs uhzna rzbgvba, ohg ur frrzrq gb or bar rkgerzr bs n pbagvahhz gung pnzr vagb cynl bapr Qneyn fnpevsvprq urefrys ba Natry naq Fcvxr jnf fubja gb or pncnoyr bs pbzcnffvba naq fb ba. Bapr gurfr guvatf unccrarq vg jnfa’g pyrne nalzber gb jung rkgrag inzcverf jrer pbagebyyrq ol gurve qrzbaf, gubhtu gur jevgref gevrq gb vyyhfgengr gung tnc va F6 (naq whfg znqr vg zber pbashfvat). Gb zr fbhyrq Fcvxr vf irel qvssrerag va grezf bs uvf pbafpvrapr naq arj naq vzcebirq vzchyfr pbageby, naq tvira gung ur fgnegrq sebz n qvssrerag cynpr V trg jul vg jbhyqa’g or na Natry-fglyr 180. Ohg V nterr gung gur rkrphgvba jnf xvaq bs n zrff: gurl fubhyq unir orra jnl zber rkcyvpvg nobhg jung gur fbhy zrnaf engure guna univat Ohssl vafvfg vgf rkvfgrapr nybar znxrf gur qvssrerapr.

  8. JOYCE

    Joyce is great. I love her. I love how she loves Buffy. It's all a big ball of love there.


    With the cross thing… I reckon partly, he's a vampire so he's got to have some amped up tolerances right? The other part I reckon comes with his giant guilt smackdown – he's in pain from that all the time anyway so what's a little more burnination?

  9. The other thing – Was this Boreanaz' first role? Is this the role he got while out walking his dog? So he kind of got cast because he "looked" right?

    ALSO goddamn foreign keyboards with your letters in the wrong places.

    • misterbernie says:

      He had one appearance as a boyfriend of Kelly's on Married With Children, but I think Angel was his first part where he had to, like, speak.

      Foreign keyboards are awful. I need my qwertz and my äöü and I wither and die if I'm somewhere where I can't have them *feels with you*

  10. Ashes says:

    This is my fav episode of season 1. The buffy and Angel kiss in her room is one of the few scenes i remember from it's first run. ( i recently started watching this series again last yr) BTW, David Boreanaz does get better, i still laugh at these earlier episodes, don't worry about that! LOL

    mY FAV part of this episode is the last scene in the Bronze with Darla, i love Darla. Julie Benz is awesome.

  11. RobotNinja says:

    Mark, I this episode (along with several Airbender episodes) is why your spoiler policy is awesome. I was already spoiled going into this episode when I watched it for the first time, so know I get to vicariously find out what it's like to not know! Awesome!

    Also, you wrote: "I’m sure a lot of you don’t care to have me talk about it at all, and others are bored by me repeating myself." I'm not! I've never read the Twilight books, but my SO and I were dragged into watching the movie (by a friend who was morbidly curious and also hated it.) and I need to know why I didn't like it. I sit there and say: "Buffy was better than this…why is that?" and we talked about it, but your perspective is different than mine and I love to read about it.

    My biggest complaint thus far about Twilight in comparison to Buffy/Angel is that Sparkle-Guy was never in any danger from What's-Her-Name, so it was very one-sided relationship. What in the world is Angel doing going near Buffy, a known vampire slayer? He's a vampire! So, it's dangerous for both of them.

  12. Oh, Mark.

    Mark, I want to SAY ALL THE THINGS.

    But. Spoilers.


    David Boreanaz was meant to be a three episode guest spot. And then. SHIT, YOU ARE ONLY ON THE FIRST SEASON. WHY ARE YOU ONLY ON THE FIRST SEASON, MARK? At least this means I will have time to send you the hot cocoa and tissues you're gonna eventually need.

  13. tactless says:

    This story puts a whole new spin on Angels actions in the first two episodes

  14. flootzavut says:

    "slightly-irritating and not-shirtless-enough"


    I believe this was David Boreanaz's first ever acting job, or close to it? Something like that.

    And Giles getting knocked on his ass was fantastic 😀

  15. sesinkhorn says:

    Yeeeessss I <3 dynamic character backstory. It is my favorite.

    Also, I love heroines who actually do things and have strong wills. Those are nice.

  16. Sarah says:

    I've been very, very lucky. I've never read nor watched Twilight. So besides the very basic things I've heard about it from other people, I know very little about it. I count myself blessed. So when I was watching this episode, I didn't think of Twilight at all. (I watched this show almost 2 years ago). Besides that, yes I agree. I didn't like Xander. sometimes I actually hated him.

  17. Mia says:

    I don’t know if someone has already posted this, here or on another review (I am soooo late to this party), and it might count as spoilery as stuff from all seasons is used (but nothing major or giving away plot points), I just thought this seemed like a good place.

    Buffy vs Edward

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