Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S02E14 – Innocence

In the fourteenth episode of the second season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, I was wrong. Now everything is destroyed. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy.

I wrote about five hundred words for this post, and I’ve scrapped them. I tried to talk about this chronologically, but I find that I’m just superficially discussing smaller plot points and avoiding what I really want to talk about:

Sex is a terrifying thing.

At the heart of “Innocence” is a fear that I know well, one that I am familiar with despite that I am not straight. More than ever before, I was able to apply the narrative of Buffy’s experience to my own life, and it broke my heart. Frankly, though, I’m flabbergasted that a show was dealing with the horrors and the pain of teenage sexuality in 1998. Do you know how much I could have used this back then?

I’ve mentioned it before, but sometimes I have difficulty with narratives about the experience of losing one’s virginity, especially in the context of high school, because I did not get to have that life. It’s an interesting aspect of homophobia and heterosexism that I think goes unaddressed: sometimes, those of us who are queer don’t get to have lives that resemble the ones that are unfolding around us. When we inevitably dealt with human sexuality in health class, I knew that not one second of what they were telling me applied to my life. All of it was strictly homosexual. I actually went to a school where our school district forcibly cut out pages with references and visuals of birth control. We weren’t allowed to see how to put on a condom, we could not learn how to use them, the benefits of birth control were not taught to us, and we were only told two things: Do not have sex until you’re married, and then when you do, here is how to raise a child in a marriage.

So you can imagine a few things just from this. I did not know how to have sex as a queer dude. I did not know what I was supposed to do. I did not know how to protect myself. I did not know anything about consent issues in the context of gay sex. I did not know anything at all. Which is not to say that all of the straight people around me suddenly knew everything there was to know about sex, either; they were pretty damn ignorant about it as well. Oh, the joy of abstinence-only education! You were the best thing ever.

Because of this, though, sex became a frightening thing for me, and one of those fears manifests itself in such a terrifying way here in “Innocence.” It’s important to also remember that on top of not getting any sort of education on sex as a gay man, I was raised to believe that any sort of sexual impulse or desire was deeply sinful, a detriment to my character, and a guarantee that I’d go to hell. Even though I was on my way out of Christianity by the time I finally did lose my virginity, it took years to eliminate the shame that came along with it. Like Buffy, I was glad the moment happened, but the ramifications of it scared me almost more than the act itself. What would other people think of me? Should I tell the friends I still have left what happened?

I used to have a personal blog many years ago when I was in college, and I wrote there about my first few sexual experiences as a freshman. To me, I was excited to finally come into my own and do what I wanted with my own body. Was the sex great those first few times? Not particularly, if I can be honest. Actually, some day I’ll share the story of the first time I had sex. In hindsight, it’s pretty hilarious, but that’s not the point. People I knew from high school found that blog I wrote, and, much like the conversation Buffy has with Angel in his apartment, the reaffirmed their hatred and disgust with me being sexual at all. There was a lot of slut-shaming, a lot of violent, vicious homophobia, and a pervasive sense that these people knew more about my own body than I did.

What made me cry (AND OH, HOW I CRIED DURING THAT SCENE) the most was this idea that Angel made Buffy feel like she’d fucked up. That is what happened to me. I felt like I’d given up a part of myself to the guys I had slept with. That’s what was so harmful about the slut-shaming that I got: I believed them. I believed they were right, that I’d done something so horrible that I was less of a person for having sex. That’s why this hurts Buffy so much. She believed that Angel loved her, that this moment was special, and he confirms the absolute worst of her fears: it meant nothing at all.

Seriously, Joss Whedon, where do you come up with these ideas?

It’s so distressing to watch both because of how of harsh and vicious it is, and because at this point, I’m starting to truly enjoy Buffy as a character. I’m at that moment in a fictional universe where I start wanting only good things for people, and now I know what a horrible thing that is to want on this show. It’s clear that Angel and Buffy were written so romantically over the course of this season specifically because they were going to be torn apart. Seriously, think about that: Angel is not “cured” by the episode’s end. He’s still Angelus. HE IS NOW A VILLAIN FOR AT LEAST A FEW MORE EPISODES SWEET SUMMER CHILD.

Before I talk about some of the other characters, though, I do want to discuss one thing this episode does that saves it from being gross. I was concerned that the story might make it seem like it’s Buffy’s fault that she inadvertently “created” her main antagonist, and I really didn’t want to have to watch a show that posits sex as something that makes evil dudes. Like, there are enough of those stories out in the world, and I’m sick of it. I enjoy that the final two scenes of “Innocence,” then, are with Giles and Joyce. It is such a beautiful thing to me that Whedon goes out of his way to have a male figure in Buffy’s life tell her that Angel is not her fault, that she is not irrational for choosing to have sex, and that he supports her. I just started sobbing into my tissue when Buffy teared up. THIS IS A GOOD MESSAGE AND IT MAKES ME FEEL SO MANY GOOD THINGS.

But the one thing that truly comforts Buffy, even for a moment, is her mother. It’s the best possible way for this episode to end, given the circumstances, because Buffy feels safe with her. Look, I just love Joyce Summers a lot, okay? I eagerly await the episode when Buffy can just tell her mom what’s going on. I NEED IT.

Here are other things that are fantastic in “Innocence”:

  • Oh, I totally noticed it: When Buffy returns to the library in the beginning of the episode, pay attention to both Xander and Cordelia. Both of them insult one another, and each time, the other person doesn’t smile or joke back. Oh my god, they totally have feelings for each other and this is beautiful.
  • OH MY GOD ANGEL KILLS A WOMAN AND SUCKS THE SMOKE OUT OF HER THROAT JOSS WHEDON WHAT IS YOUR BRAIN.
  • I know they’re all bad guys, but the dynamic between Angel, Drusilla, and Spike when Angel returns to them the first time is just fascinating. I can’t say I ever expected this in a million years.
  • Angel kisses Spike on the head. WHERE ARE THE FICS. WHERE ARE THEY.
  • OH MY GOD WILLOW CAUGHT XANDER AND CORDELIA. oh my god my heart.
  • oh my god Willow is yelling at Xander about her feelings PLEASE HELP ME.
  • oh my god Buffy is having a breakdown on her bed I CAN’T STOP MY EYES FROM WATERING. Seriously, Joss Whedon, I don’t know how you do this. I don’t.
  • Okay, I do like that Jenny continues to fight her uncle about what to do with Angel. I think that the show never really goes deep into the issue of the Romani culture; that’s probably problematic in and of itself, but at least we aren’t bombarded with a ton of gross cultural stereotypes. Instead, it becomes an issue of morality and vengeance, albeit justified vengeance. Yes, Angel deserves to lose his soul, but in the process, Jenny recognizes that they’ve created an even bigger problem by setting Angel free from his humanity right when The Judge is about to annihilate Sunnydale.
  • Oz’s entire make-out scene/speech. Oh my god, I don’t care, I ship Willow/Oz so fucking hard now. I love the way he talks. I love the way she looks at him. JUST BE MY EVERYTHING ALREADY.
  • Buffy’s birthday present.
  • Her birthday present is a rocket launcher.
  • You’re not excited enough.
  • THERE IS A ROCKET LAUNCHER IN THIS EPISODE AND BUFFY BLOWS THE JUDGE INTO HUNDREDS OF TINY PIECES I LOVE THIS SO MUCH
  • Okay, I must admit that it’s a tiny bit hot to see Angel and Buffy fight under those sprinklers. Just a little bit.
  • Joyce Summers made her daughter a birthday cupcake. JUST LET ME DIE.

oh god my heart still hurts SEND HELP.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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538 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S02E14 – Innocence

  1. Ryan Lohner says:

    So, now we're free to bring up Whedon's original plan for this season. He had intended to kill Spike in What's My Line, making the way clear for Angelus to become the season's true Big Bad. But the fans responded so well to him that he decided to just put him in a wheelchair instead, which everyone is pretty grateful for, since it lets us see a whole new dynamic to the villain scenes with three major players, rather than the Master pontificating to his minions or even Spike and Dru together. Plus, putting Spike in a position of no power is a very intriguing new use of him, that I was already very excited for by the end of this one.

    • sporkaganza93 says:

      V'z fgvyy bayl yvxr guerr frnfbaf vagb gur frevrf, ohg Fcvxr vf nyernql bar bs zl snibevgr punenpgref. V ernyyl pna'g vzntvar uvz orvat xvyyrq bss fb rneyl. Gung jbhyq or n uhtr jnfgr!

    • settlingforhistory says:

      Cyhf, chggvat Fcvxr va n cbfvgvba bs ab cbjre vf n irel vagevthvat arj hfr bs uvz, gung V jnf nyernql irel rkpvgrq sbe ol gur raq bs guvf bar.

      Vg'f nyfb n terng jnl sbe Fcvxr gb fybjyl ohvyg hc uvf erfragzrag sbe Natryhf.
      Ur orgenlny jbhyq unir orra bayl unys nf pbaivapvat, vs ur unq gnxra na npgvir ebyr va Natryhf' pevzrf naq jbhyq abg unir unq gb raqher nyy gurfr avpr bsrafvir wbxrf nobhg uvf pbaqvgvba.

    • LadyPeyton says:

      V jbhyq guvax vg'f n fcbvyre gb fnl gung Natry vf gur frnfba'f Ovt onq!

    • spikesjojo says:

      Drusilla and Angelus together were going to be the two big bads.

      If I can add to your comments on sexuality, I have a daughter who is straight and a daughter who is bi.Both have had bad sexual experiences, but only one has had to live her life with a drumbeat of carefully cultivated vile hatred aimed at her from those who see this as a cheap political wedge issue. I don't think there is time or space to describe the fury and contempt I have for those people who preach hatred.

      Oh, and when the time comes, yes there are masses of Spike/Angel fic out there! You are definitely correct there. I am a grandmother who proudly tells friends that my hobby is reading homoerotic vampire porn.

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        and you are a beautiful grandmother for that.

        thank you for this comment!

        • spikesjojo says:

          When my younger daughter was still pretty young, I made sure she had good role models of all sexualities. I did everything I could to build her up – let her know that she is everything she is meant to be. It's horrific what so many of her friends have gone through at home, and in school. We've had more than one come live with us when they got kicked out. This is a subject i am passionate on!

          {{hug}}

  2. Imo says:

    That slo-mo shot at the end when Dru and Angel leap away from the explosion is probably in my top 5 favorite Buffy moments ever.

  3. Mark, I have been patiently waiting for your head to explode all day.

    • MMT says:

      I've been waiting for this sequence of episodes since Mark started the blog. It's like watching a child open the best Christmas presents ever.

    • Dru says:

      I'm still amazed Mark knew so little about the show to begin with, especially this episode. Like, was your classroom not all abuzz about it the next day? And how did your friends not chatter your ear off about this show? (or was that because – horrors – they were watching Seventh Heaven instead?)

  4. Michael says:

    “Yes, Angel deserves to lose his soul, but in the process, Jenny recognizes that theyโ€™ve created an even bigger problem by setting Angel free from his humanity right when The Judge is about to annihilate Sunnydale.”

    But the thing is, though…he really doesn’t. That’s the thing that has always, always bothered me here. Angel didn’t do the things that he is being punished for. We’ve already established that vampires aren’t the people they once were, they are demons inhabiting the bodies. I don’t think Angel is really responsible for what Angelus has done. I understand completely why he feels guilty–who wouldn’t?–but I think he deserves the chance to try for some happiness.

    • Buffinator says:

      Glad I saw this before I posted the same thing.

      "Yes, Angel deserves to lose his soul …"

      Why? Because he had a moment of true happiness? Angel the man has been punished for hundreds of years for what a demon in his body did, and now that demon is back. "Deserving" punishment has nothing to do with it.

      • Kickpuncher says:

        And, really, Soulless Angel is, by all indications, fucking thrilled that he ain't got no soul baggage holding him back.

        • That's what I don't understand about this punishment … losing his soul doesn't punish ANGEL, it punishes everyone around him!

          • RoseFyre says:

            This. THIS THIS THIS.

            (Unless it was also meant to punish the person who made him happy enough to lose the soul? Which, if it was, that's…really very cruel.)

            • Sean Murphy says:

              The way I've always seen it was that the soul loss was an unavoidable consequence with the way the curse worked, the immense guilt from having a soul was the punishment, Angel moving past all the guilt and misery broke the spell. Like stretching a rubber band too far, then it suddenly snaps.

    • Nos says:

      We've already established that vampires aren't the people they once were, they are demons inhabiting the bodies. I don't think Angel is really responsible for what Angelus has done. I understand completely why he feels guilty–who wouldn't?–but I think he deserves the chance to try for some happiness.

      Nccneragyl guvf bayl nccyvrf vs lbh anzr vf abg Fcvxr.

    • irwmo says:

      The human who died to make Angelus didn't do those things, but it's not really my impression that that's who Angel is- Angel is some sort of combination of that human and Angelus.

      • Michael says:

        Even if that's the case, the person they are punishing for the crime is not the one who committed it. And even if they /were/ punishing the right person, there's still the whole 'unleashing a mass murderer' thing to be worried about. It just isn't a very well thought out punishment in general.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Okay, am I missing something? Are we getting into a super spoilery zone with all of this talk? Because I am really unsure it was established to ME that Angel ≠ Angelus in every context. Is there some detail about the curse that he was given that is revealed later? Because I know it's been said in the show that a demon takes over a person's body as a vampire, but I am 100% shaky on the specific details of how Angelus became Angel and what that means for him, as well as the timeline.

      • Michael says:

        I don't /think/ we're being spoilery–I thought it said in 'Lie To Me' that a vampire was not the same person as the original victim. I thought that was because of the replacement of the soul with a demon.

        • @liliaeth says:

          Actually, as many of us have said before. That was Buffy's opinion, based on what she heard from her watcher who is very much a biased source.

          zbfg inzcverf cerggl zhpu fnl gur bccbfvgr.

          • sixth_queen says:

            I thought it was pretty well established in the Season 1 "Angel" episode. Angel himself says that "when you become a vampire, the demon takes your body but it doesn't get your soul. That's gone…" One could make the point that Angel has no cause for guilt at all, because the real Angel has been GONE since the eighteenth century. I don't know if that was ever truly figured out.

            • Sean Murphy says:

              I've always viewed it as Giles being essentially right in that a person dies but there persona is taken on by a demon BUT when Angel was given A soul it did not turn him back into who he was pre-vampire with the vampire memories, it just patched/shoved human morality, empathy and conscience down the demons throat. Also I don't think it was ever stated that it was angels previous human soul that he was cursed with or rather a generic one. They may have, but they may also have been inconsistent with it

      • Wenelmada says:

        Basically, and I really don't think this is a spoiler it's just not coming across clearly, when humans become vampires they lose their souls. Meaning, in the show, their humanity, their conscience. The demon takes over. The curse caused Angel to regain his soul. Having a moment of pure happiness caused him to lose it.

        So, with a soul/cursed = Angel

        Without a soul/uncursed =Angelus

      • Dru says:

        No, not really – I personally felt like Angel=/= Angelus, but using that to answer the question of whether Angel should suffer for Angelus's actions…..outright saying NO has rather troubling implications IMO, for the present narrative. It depends on what you think the point of the curse was, really. But on my part, the implication that "oh he has a soul and he's a different person now" just feels like a really blithe dismissal of the evil he did commit while unsouled.

        Naq ol gung fnzr ybtvp, Fbhyrq Fcvxr fubhyq abg or whqtrq be chavfurq sbe uvf nggrzcgrq encr bs Ohssl juvpu unccrarq juvyr ur jnf fgvyy hafbhyrq. These things do not sit well with me.

        And honestly, I do not think the Romani cursing Angel was out of proportion for his crime, especially considering that they were a grieving, very likely ENRAGED family at the time, and mindful of the danger he posed to people in the future.

        • Buffinator says:

          If they were that worried about the danger he posed to other people, they would have killed him. Giving him this curse that can be removed without their knowledge and release the killer back on the world isn't very efficient ….

          • Dru says:

            Oh, I'm sure they wanted him to suffer, too. But honestly, I think the line of thought might have been that death was too easy an end to inflict on Angel/us, and revenge is a powerful motivator.

            • ajaxbreaker says:

              Yes, I think they just wanted to make him miserable, and they knew the soul would cause him to feel crushing guilt. However their plan seems kind of stupid because they didn't actually inform him that being happy would cause him to lose his soul. Souled Angel wouldn't want to go back to being a murdering bastard, therefore he would try to avoid being happy at all costs. Isn't it better if he knows this? Isn't it an even better revenge if Angel is AWARE that he is doomed to live an unhappy life if he wants to avoid hurting people? Of course, if Angel was aware of this detail of the curse, that would invalidate all of this season, but I find it kind of weird that the people who cursed him didn't inform him of it.

              • Gwen says:

                Creuncf gur bevtvany phefre jnf tbvat gb gryy uvz, ohg gura Jvyyvnz be Qehfvyyn ngr ure/uvz, naq jubrire raqrq hc cnffvat gur xabjyrqtr bs gur rkvg pynhfr qbja qvqa’g nterr gung gryyvat uvz jnf n tbbq cyna.

        • stormwreath says:

          It's clear that Angel himself remembers all the things he did as Angelus, and feels guilty for them. HE doesn't think those deeds were done by someone else.

      • echinodermata says:

        I'd say it's a rather debatable subject, so people are simply coming off strongly with their opinions and you're only seeing one side of the debate in this thread.

        I wouldn't necessarily call this discussion spoilery yet, but it would be better saved for later dates, I think, when there's more canon to discuss.

      • robin_comments says:

        It's not really a spoilery zone. It's a… fandom meta zone? Everything people are discussing includes worldbuilding statements that have previously been set up in the series.

        We've been told by Giles (and then repeated by the Scooby Gang) that a vampire is just a demon who has the memories of the human. [Think of statements about Jesse and in "Lie to Me", for instance.] However, some fans feel like they're being shown a much more grey area than that. Plus, the characters' actions don't always reflect this assumption — Dru seeming to bothered by her human family's death; Jenny's people feeling souled!Angel deserves to be miserable. That doesn't seem to make sense if we take what we have been told about vampires – if those things are 100% true, then why would Angel's human soul be at all culpable in any way?

        I think you're unsure because some fans are unsure. A lot of people feel 100% shaky on how much human!self = vampire!self. I wouldn't worry about being "spoiled" for the answer. It's fanwank, you know? ๐Ÿ™‚ It's whatever you end up being convinced of. In my opinion, there's no concrete answers to be found here. It comes down to personal interpretation. The only way to get spoiled in this discussion is if people start bringing up incidents from future episodes to support their point.

      • Nos says:

        I would say that if we take into account things we've learned over the course of the show, yes, it's spoilery, which is why I am rot13ing most of my comments. But since someone said on the show that 'the demon takes over, nothing of the human is left' that is canon at this point.

      • Mez says:

        Mark, this argument has been going in fandom for over a decade now, and still shows no sign of letting up. It's only emerging on your blog now because we've started getting to the first of the bits that fandom argues over.

        But it's really not settled fact. Which is why everyone's getting so adamant about it: we're all choosing sides.

      • MichelleZB says:

        Some people on the show have said that once you're a vampire, you've lost the person you once were. But who knows if those people are right?

      • ladysugarquill says:

        I think Angel explained than in the episode with Buffy's old friend who wanted to be a vamire – Lie to Me, I think it was.

    • Bennie says:

      WELL, that's a bit debatable!!

      V oryvrir vg'f uvagrq va n srj yngre rcvfbqrf gung gung'f abg RAGVERYL gehr. V'z cerggl fher Natry npghnyyl pbagenqvpgf gung gurbel va Qbccrytäatynaq, nygubhtu V'q unir gb purpx gung ntnva gb or fher. Naq gura gurer'f gur jubyr qrnyvb jvgu Fcvxr, jub pna srry ybir, npgf cerggl qnat fvzvyne gb uvf fbhy-univa' frys, rgp.

      Onfvpnyyl, V guvax orpbzvat n inzcver gnxrf lbhe fbhy, ohg cerggl zhpu yrnirf lbhe trareny crefbanyvgl.

    • Mez says:

      I'd say it's very debatable. It's never really firmly established how much of the person is still in the vampire.

      (Frr, sbe rknzcyr, inzc!Jvyybj/qnex!Jvyybj, naq gurve erfcrpgvir "oberq abj"f.)

    • Flowerry Pott says:

      Creuncf gur Ebznav phefr unf n sngny synj; na Npuvyyrf urry. Naq gur "zbzrag bs unccvarff" vf vg. Vg'f yvxr ubj va bgure rcvfbqrf (gurer ner frireny) jurer vg'f rkcynvarq gung gur havirefr zhfg onynapr. Gur Ebznav pna pnfg gur phefr, ohg gurer vf hasbeghangryl n jnl gb haqb vg, juvpu vf ubj gur havirefr onynaprf gur pnfgvat bs gur phefr va gur svefg cynpr.

      (V xabj guvf vfa'g pnaba; vg'f whfg fcrphyngvba naq n cbffvoyr rkcynangvba gung znxrf frafr, gb zr ng yrnfg.)

      Nf sne nf V pna frr, Natry/Natryhf ner fgvyy cerggl zhpu gur fnzr qrzba, fbhy be abg. Natry vf erfcbafvoyr sbe gur rivy gung Natryhf qvq naq ivpr irefn. Gur bayl crefba ABG erfcbafvoyr sbe nal bs gung vf Yvnz.

      • wanderernotlost says:

        I agree 100% with you. V guvax gur phefr qbrf unir guvf Npuvyyrf' Urry pbzcbarag, ohg vg'f bar gung unccraf gb jbex bhg irel jryy va gur Ebznav'f snibe–abj gung Natry xabjf guvf vf cneg bs gur phefr, ur jba'g YRG uvzfrys orpbzr gbb unccl orpnhfr ur xabjf gung vg'f jebat (juvpu jnf n oevyyvnag punenpgre zbzrag sbe uvz va N-F2 jura ur QBRF qrpvqr gb yrg uvf fbhy tb…). Nyfb, V guvax Wbff cynaarq vg guvf jnl orpnhfr gung VF jung Natry'f punenpgre vf nyy nobhg–abg orvat nyybjrq gb svaq unccvarff. Vg'f gentvp, ohg n ybg bs crbcyr srry yvxr gurl'er va n fvzvyne fvghngvba gb Natry'f: gur havirefr vf jbexvat ntnvafg gurz rire svaqvat unccvarff.

        I also think that Angel should be held accountable for what Angelus has done, whfg nf Natryhf srryf nppbhagnoyr sbe jung Natry unf qbar ("Qhqr, lbh whfg fnirq n CHCCL"). My perception on this whole thing is that having a soul means you have a conscience, not an added personality. Angel's so broody and taciturn because he realized that what he did in the past was wrong, not because the soul imparted an extra broody-tendencies component. I don't think that either Angel OR Angelus think of the other as a separate person–I think they see each other as the same, and when they refer to the other in the third person it's only because it's easier to classify which state of mind they're in and makes people more comfortable. They may hate each other, but who here doesn't have inner conflict with themselves? Part of the brilliance of Angel's character is that he personifies this conflict for all of us.

    • LadyPeyton says:

      “e’ve already established that vampires aren’t the people they once were, they are demons inhabiting the bodies.”

      Ab. Jung jr’ir rfgnoyvfurq vf gung gur Jngpure’f Pbhapvy, guebhtu gurve ercerfragngvir Tvyrf, pynvzf gung gb or gur gehgu. Gung’f nyy jr’ir rfgnoyvfurq.

    • whedonzombie says:

      My take on it IS a little spoilery, so I'll rot13 it. The way I've always understood it best is va pne grezf. Vg znl fbhaq fvyyl ohg… V rdhngr gur fbhy if. qrzba vffhr gb na ratvar. Lbh gnxr na byq pne naq ercynpr gur ratvar. Vg abj ehaf pbzcyrgryl qvssreragyl guna vg cerivbhfyl qvq, OHG vg vfa'g n pbzcyrgryl qvssrerag pne. Vg vf n arj pber. Vg abj unf n qvssrerag cbjre fbhepr gung nssrpgf ubj vg orunirf. Fnzr jvgu orpbzvat n inzcver. Arj ratvar. Gung orvat fnvq, gur pne fgvyy unf gur erfg bs vgf byq cnegf, juvpu pna vasyhrapr ubj gur ratvar vgfrys orunirf. Nf jvgu Fcvxr: Uvf byq cnegf (zrzbevrf, srryvatf) pyrneyl vasyhraprq gur qrzba (ratvar), naq ur birepnzr vg gb svtug sbe uvf byq ratvar onpx. Znlor vg vf n jrveq nanybtl, ohg vg znxrf frafr va zl urnq!

      • hazelwillow says:

        This makes sense to me. If i can try and repeat what you've said in different terms… (and without the spoilers ), In Buffy it appears to me each person is made up of a number of elements: say a mind, a "life essence/life force", and a body. In this show, it seems to me each part has a different function:

        -The mind is your consciousness. It contains your memories, which shape your personality. This is what you think with, but it is not necccessarily "you," because what makes you you is when your mind is combined with body and soul. It is part of what makes you you.
        -The body is physical appearance.
        -The life force is, as you say, what makes you "go". It is also the essence of what you are –that is, the essence of your humanity. We usually say that what makes us human is our conscience, so the soul is a conscience-filled life force. Its presence inhabiting your body is what makes you alive, and human. It can also be considered the part of you that is immortal, but is not your consciousness or personality. It could be seen as the person's heart (as opposed to mind).

        When someone becomes a vampire, the life essence is switched from a human essence to a demon essence. The person has lost their conscience and what made them fundamentally human, but they retain the mind. Their body keeps the same appearance but is transformed physically to have the vampire traits. so they have their memories/consciousness, and some of their tastes, but they are a fundamentally different kind of *being*. Instead of having a good human heart, they have a demon ?anti-heart…

        I don't think any of the three components can be described as the true you –you are what they make when they are put together. Liam had a human body, life essence, amd mind. Angelus had Liam's consciousness (mind, memories), but he had a demon essence and he transformed Liam's body into a vampire body. Angel inherited the vampire body and the consciousness that had once been Liam's, but that had more recently been thinking for and as part of Angelus for the past hundreds (?)of years. So it's fair to say Liam, Angelus, and Angel are all different incarnations of the same consciousness.

        So instead of saying that Angel is partly guilty for Angelus's crimes, I would say that part of Angel is guilty. His consciousness (his mind) did those things, but when he was something (not someone, but something) else.

  5. Mary Sue says:

    Angel kisses Spike on the head. WHERE ARE THE FICS. WHERE ARE THEY.

    EVERYWHERE.

    But, um, a lot are spoilery. And I'm at work so I can't go find the ones I wrote in 1998 the contemporary ones. Someone 'mind me to do that when I get home.

    Crap, I think some of them were on my Angelfire page. Did I ever get around to archiving that?

    (p.s., this whole Mark Watches Buffy thing seems to have restarted my dormant fanfic writer in my brain. Or at least let loose the plotbunnies. HELP THEY ARE CHASING ME.)

  6. Seriously, Joss Whedon, where do you come up with these ideas?

    Raise your hand if a dude has ever treated you in two radically different ways before and after you had sex with him.

    *raises hand*

    • Mary Sue says:

      So, if a chick has treated me in two radically different ways before and after we'd had sex, do I raise the other hand?

      'Cause, if so, *raises both hands*

      • You can and you may. I left out chicks mostly because all the women I've dated have been conspicuously lacking in this behavior and it seems to be a *lot* more common for dudes, especially teenage dudes.

        • Mary Sue says:

          Teenagers are teenagers, and the emotional inability to deal with the change in a relationship signified by our society's intense focus on sex is standard issue without regard to gender expression.

          • Yeah, but straight dudes' investment in the virgin/whore trope and their resultant perception of themselves as studs or losers is also standard issue and has a whole lot of regard to gender expression.

          • And no, teenagers are not a monolithic group all incapable of dealing with the change in a relationship after sex. Some of them do just fine.

    • Jenny_M says:

      LOL hellooooo high school. *waves hand in the air as though I just do not care*

    • Dru says:

      In my case, it was a girl who treated me in two radically different ways after some kissing.

      (in hindsight, probably because she was completely and thoroughly freaked out about it, but she still made one entire term of high school pure hell for me)

    • Ginsue says:

      *raises hand*

      How about before and after he or she realizes he isn't getting sex from you?

    • DavidZAarons says:

      Been through the gender-swapped version of this. It's not a memory I recall fondly.

    • misterbernie says:

      *raises hand*

      …thankfully, that happened all over one night.

    • whedonzombie says:

      WHILE these episodes were airing, there was a guy who pursued me rather intensely. Worked himself into my social circles, professed feelings for me, bought me presents (uncomfortable), and generally tried to paint himself as the hero who would make my life amazing…Then, dropped me once he got what he wanted, and started the same exact process with someone else I knew, leaving me confused, hurt, and seriously damaged my opinion of myself. He became a completely different person.

      Joss Whedon and his characters got me through a pretty gross time! The timing could not have been more perfect, for me!

    • threerings13 says:

      So, probably not of interest to anyone but me, but in trying to answer this question (the answer is no, although I had a boyfriend who treated me a lot differently after about 3 months…) I remembered the day after I slept with my now husband-of-ten-years-in-March. He said he would call me that night, but he didn't and I called him over and over, because he didn't have an answering machine. But then he got home and saw on his caller ID that I'd called like, 36 times, and called me and was SO APOLOGETIC, but he just forgot he had these tickets to see Smashing Pumpkins and had to go so he couldn't call me. So, like, for a couple of hours I thought I HAD been blown off, but obviously, things worked out.

  7. VoldieBeth says:

    Yeah, this episode….THIS EPISODE!!!! I love all of your points and absolutely loved what Joss did to Angel, GUH!! Give him more depth and more character!!

    I can't wait for more!

  8. Seventh_Star says:

    let's just go ahead and assume that i love every scene in this episode. "surprise" and "innocence" as one (cos i'm greedy like that) is (are?) my favorite episode of btvs.

    SO MANY FEELINGS and SO MUCH LOVE.

    "what's big blue up to anyway?"
    spike takes the mickey out of everything. thank god.

    i know it's pretty cheesy, but i think angelus biting that woman and blowing out her cigarette smoke is AWESOMESAUCE.

    drusilla: "i'm naming all the stars."
    spike: "you can't see the stars, love. that's the ceiling. also, it's day."

    it's convenient to have a monster of the week that can confirm for the disbelieving audience that angel really has lost his soul.

    "say hi for me."

    ALY'S BIG SAD EYES. PLEASE STOP. YOU'RE KILLING ME.

    i find it funny that xander is the treasurer of the we hate cordelia club since it seems to have only been comprised of xander and willow…heh.

    BRUTAL SCENE IS BRUTAL. so intimate. beyond cruel. david and sarah really shine.

    this "sex scene" is beautifully filmed and lit, but buffy's nail polish distracts me (she wasn't wearing any in "surprise"), and i wish i didn't know that the breaths and moans were made by joss and the sound editor…that's what i get for being a devourer of commentaries.

    you know, as awful as it is for buffy that angel has turned, it's also a massive compliment to her, that it was having sex with her that triggered it. it just proved, once again, how much angel loved her. (i have thoughts that i shouldn't have sometimes. i know.)

    "it's like, freeze frame- willow kissage."
    best scene between willow and oz, in my humble opinion. the way she looks at him…she's falling for him and so are we.

    BUFFY.WITH.A.ROCKET.LAUNCHER.

    "uh…arm!"

    angelus says disgusting, demeaning things to buffy. BUFFY KICKS HIM IN THE BALLS. GREATNESS.

    buffy has the best mom and giles in the world. my heart is just aching by this point.

    "good night, my love/ goodnight, my love/ remember that you're mine, sweetheart."

    AND I AM LEFT IN A GLASS CASE OF EMOTION.

    • Luke says:


      i find it funny that xander is the treasurer of the we hate cordelia club since it seems to have only been comprised of xander and willow…heh.

      I don't think it's ever mentioned, but I always assumed Jesse was Vice President.

      -L

    • cait0716 says:

      i find it funny that xander is the treasurer of the we hate cordelia club since it seems to have only been comprised of xander and willow…heh.

      I bet Jesse was in it, too. ๐Ÿ™

      There's a really fine line between punishing the girl for having sex and portraying a horror that a lot of people really face. I think Joss comes down on the right side of this line, especially with the inclusion of Giles' speech at the end. It's just unfortunate that it plays into the existing trope so well (and if you listen to the commentary, Joss was aware of all the baggage that came with this plot point)

    • Seventh_Star says:

      i was editing a bit and somehow my last paragraph went POOF!
      so here:

      i don't think joss was punishing buffy, and he has said that he wasn't. this storyline was just TOO DELICIOUS to not pursue it. joss isn't wrong when he says that characters are more interesting when they're in pain. we're all here on this blog, aren't we?

      • RoseFyre says:

        "joss isn't wrong when he says that characters are more interesting when they're in pain."

        It's true. When you write a story, if everyone is happy…it gets boring, and, really, there's no reason for the story – well, for anything longer than a picture book, and even those often have conflict. On the other hand, I don't think there's anything wrong with people always being happy in, say, one aspect of their lives, or everyone being happy sometimes. All angst all the time is wearing.

    • robin_comments says:

      it's convenient to have a monster of the week that can confirm for the disbelieving audience that angel really has lost his soul.
      LOL, yes Drusilla's Psychic Powers of Convenience.

      drusilla: "i'm naming all the stars."
      spike: "you can't see the stars, love. that's the ceiling. also, it's day."

      Favorite Spike&Dru exchange ever. It's the "also, it's day" that sells it for me.

      • Seventh_Star says:

        marsters has great comic delivery.

      • spikesjojo says:

        I love the adoration in Spike's eyes as he listens to and replies to Dru. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        I think it's Big Blue who is the monster of the week who confirms Angel is free of humanity. So now we have three vampires – two that Blue said are tainted with humanity and one who not only has no humanity but who has a reputation as one of the worst vampires who ever walked the earth.

    • @liliaeth says:

      V qba'g ernyyl frr gung nf n fvta bs Natry ybivat Ohssl, ohg gura V'ir arire gehyl oryvrirq gung Natry ybirq ure be nalbar bgure guna Pbaabe va gur svefg cynpr.

      Uvf zbzrag bs cresrpg unccvarff jnf cerggl zhpu srryvat sbetvira naq npprcgrq, naq orvat noyr gb sbetrg uvf fvaf, gubhtu nqzvggrqyl n ybg bs crbcyr whfg pbashfr gung jvgu uvz univat frk va trareny.

      • ajaxbreaker says:

        Jul qb lbh guvax ur arire ybirq Ohssl?
        Uvz pnyyvat bhg ure anzr jura ur ybfrf uvf fbhy va Njnxravat jbhyq nyfb vaqvpngr gung ur ybirq ure.

        • @liliaeth says:

          jryy V'yy nqzvg V'z ovnfrq, Ohssl/Fcvxr fuvccre urer*t*

          Ohg ubarfgyl gur rc gung ghearq zr ntnvafg Ohssl/Natry sbe nyy gvzr jnf 'V jvyy erzrzore lbh'

          Natry pubbfvat gb erznva n inzcver, bire orvat jvgu Ohssl.

          V arire obhtug uvf pynvz gung vg jnf gb cebgrpg ure, orpnhfr vs gung ernyyl unq orra gur ernfba, ur jbhyq unir erghearq gb Fhaalqnyr jvgu ure gb qb fb.

          Nyfb uvf ynpx bs erfcrpg sbe ure va gung fnzr rc.

          Ur jnf uhzna, xabjvat fur jnf fgebatre guna uvz, xabjvat ur unq ab genvavat be fxvyyf lrg, naq vafgrnq bs nfxvat ure sbe ure uryc gb gnxr bhg gur Zbuen qrzba, ur qrpvqrq gb tb nsgre vg ba uvf bja. Naq jura ur haqrefgnaqnoyl snvyrq, ur vafgnagyl jrag orttvat gb or n inzcver ntnva…

          Nsgre gung rc, V sbhaq vg vzcbffvoyr gb oryvrir gung ur ernyyl ybirq ure.

          • PheasantPlucker says:

            Ernyyl? Ur fnpevsvprq orvat uhzna (juvpu jnf jung UR jnagrq) orpnhfr ur jnf fcrpvsvpnyyl gbyq gung vs ur erznvarq uhzna fur jbhyq qvr. Fbhaqf yvxr ybir gb zr. V qba'g guvax gurl jrer tbbq gbtrgure ybat grez, ohg gura, V qba'g guvax Ohssl/Fcvxr vf nal orggre va gung erfcrpg.

            • LadyPeyton says:

              Rknpgyl fur jbhyq qvr vs ur erznvarq n inzcver, juvpu cerfhzrf gung uvf orvat n inzcver unf fbzrguvat gb qb jvgu ure fheiviny, juvpu cerfhzrf gung ur arrqf gb npghnyyl, nf n inzcver, gel gb qb fbzrguvat gb cebybat ure yvsr. Juvpu ur qvqa'g qb naq fur raqrq hc qlvat.

              Ur qvq gur nofbyhgr zvavzhz gb cebybat ure yvsr. Ur orpnzr n inzcver ntnva. Fbzrguvat V'z abg pbaivaprq ur qvqa'g jnag nyy nybat.

              • PheasantPlucker says:

                Uhu? Gur ragver cybg bs NgF jnf Natry gelvat gb orpbzr uhzna. Jurgure be abg uvf orvat n inzcver npghnyyl raqrq hc fnivat ure ur oryvrirq, jura ur znqr gur qrpvfvba gb tb onpx gb orvat n inzcver, gung vg jnf gur bayl jnl gb fnir ure. Juvpu vf jung gur CGO gbyq uvz jnf gur pnfr. Ol gur gvzr Ohssl npghnyyl qvrq (n pbhcyr bs frnfbaf yngre), ur jnf ab ybatre n cneg bs ure yvsr (va cenpgvpny grezf), naq pregnvayl jnfa'g nfxrq ol ure gb fgrc va naq gnxr ure ntrapl njnl sebz ure. Fur qvq, nsgre nyy, PUBBFR gb qvr.

                • LadyPeyton says:

                  V ort gb qvssre. Gur ragver cybg bs NGF jnf Natry gelvat gb erqrrz uvzfrys naq znvagnva uvf fgnghf nf Punzcvba.

                  Naq ur'q nyernql gnxra ure ntrapl njnl sebz ure ol erzbivat n qnl bs ure yvsr.

      • settlingforhistory says:

        Bu, V guvax n cneg nobhg vg vf gur frk, orpnhfr va gung zbzrag ur sbetrgf rirelguvat nebhaq uvz, rira gur pevzrf ur pbzzvgrq.
        Ohg vg'f nyfb vzcbegnag gung ur ybirf Ohssl, ur trgf rkprcgrq naq ybirq ol bgure jbzra va gur fcva-bss ohg qbrfa'g ybfr uvf fbhy orpnhfr bs vg.

        • LadyPeyton says:

          Vf gung pnhfrq ol abg ybivat gurz rabhtu be ol uvf xabjyrqtr bs gur snpg gung unccvarff yrnqf gb Natryhf, juvpu jbhyq chg n qnzcre ba nalbar'f unccl.

      • Seventh_Star says:

        v fgebatyl qvfnterr. naq vg jnfa'g whfg gur culfvpny npg bs univat frk. juvpu vf pbasvezrq yngre ba natry jura ur jnf univat eryngvbaf jvgu avan gur jrerjbys tvey. vg jnf gur frk cyhf nyy gur rzbgvbaf fheebhaqvat vg gung pnhfrq gur punatr.

    • Ginsue says:

      "i find it funny that xander is the treasurer of the we hate cordelia club since it seems to have only been comprised of xander and willow…heh. "

      XD Reminds me of S.P.E.W, except more productive.

    • ladysugarquill says:

      and i wish i didn't know that the breaths and moans were made by joss and the sound editor…
      Scene ruined. FOREVER.

  9. tehrevel says:

    This curse seems very silly, it punishes Angel the person and not the demon who commited all the violence. He doesn't know the conditions of the curse and the way to dispel it is something he could very easily do by accident. Finally getting rid of the curse unleashes a vicious mass murderer upon wherever he happens to be at the time. Did they even think this through at all?

    • Zoli says:

      Yeah…. this is the part I have a problem with. I get that they want to punish Angelus by making him feel guilt for his actions. Okay. But then… why would you put in the second part? If he's happy, he goes back to being evil, and kills MORE people? How does that help anything? If you want to punish Angelus and make sure he doesn't hurt anyone else, why would you ever add in a clause that could make him stop being cursed?

      I completely understand Joss Whedon wanting to explore what happens when Angel is evil, but I kind of wish they'd come up with a better explanation.

      • Gwen says:

        I just assumed that, like in many universes with magic and curses, the curse-caster *had* to include an escape clause (possibly, in fact, this very escape clause, by the nature of the magic used or gods called upon or whatever). And making it be when the curse has obviously stopped being a bad thing gives you the most bang for your buck–your curse of a soul won't stop before its time, like it could do if you set it to stop when a one-footed frog jumps across his shadow or something.

        Keep in mind that the goal was NOT to "make sure he doesn't hurt anyone else". It was JUST to "punish Angelus by making him feel guilt for his actions". For all the curser(s?) knew, he would end up coming to peace with killing people and stuff–he'd just have spent some (hopefully significant) amount of time angsting about it first, and would never be able to feel uncomplicatedly gleeful at destroying and ending people's lives, the way he did before. The idea being, even a mass murderer, if human (or a souled vampire), can't get the same total thrill out of killing the way an unsouled vampire does. (I don't AGREE with this interpretation, but it's the only one that seems to make sense for the Calderash to have had at the time of the curse. Or maybe they were just hoping he'd feel so bad he'd walk out into the sun and they weren't expecting to have to deal with it long-term.)

        • Dru says:

          This is a good explanation – the magic is its own beast, and combined with the fact that the primary motivation is revenge, it's what makes the most sense to me.

    • dashformat says:

      And Angelus seems pretty damn ecstatic to have been released…

    • pica_scribit says:

      It only makes sense if Angel knows about the "one moment of true happiness clause". Obviously when he has a soul he doesn't *want* to hurt people, so he would avoid doing anything that might make him truly happy, thus adding to his overall angst and torment. But it's not clear here whether he knows about that part of it or not.

  10. Imo says:

    Also, "Angel kisses Spike on the head. WHERE ARE THE FICS. WHERE ARE THEY."

    They are EVERYWHERE!!!!!!

  11. pica_scribit says:

    Were you prepared, Mark? You weren't, were you? But I think, with this episode, you are officially inducted into the "What The Hell Did Joss Whedon Just Do To Me?!" Club.

    Oh, man! I forgot how *good* this episode is. Character conflict and growth = AWESOME! David Boreanaz flashes some real acting chops as Angelus, and we get the fun dynamic of him with Spike/Dru. Buffy is heartbroken but not weak. Willow is smart and articulate. Oz is just the best guy ever. Xander has a plan. He and Cordelia are found out. Jenny is out of favour. The gang is coming apart at the seams, but they never lose sight of what's important. Everyone is on their game here.

    • cait0716 says:

      I love love love that even though Buffy is emotionally destroyed in this episode she holds it together enough to take out the judge. She doesn't ignore her emotions, but she still manages to get shit done. My hero forever and ever

    • Dru says:

      Maybe it's the effect of my just having woken up, but I read "David Boreanaz flashes" and was all "WHEN?!?!!!" WHO DO I NOT REMEMBER THAT!!".

    • Karen says:

      David Boreanaz is SO much more enjoyable to watch as Angelus then he is as Angel.

    • Smurphy says:

      The children I babysit are wondering why I just started laughing and couldn't stop. Yes. I'm an excellent babysitter.

  12. Andie says:

    Where are the Spike/Angel fics?

    Oh, Mark. They are -everywhere-.

  13. haguenite says:

    Oh, god, THAT scene. I literally can't even watch it. I'm watching the episode right now and paused it during THAT scene to see if the review was up yet and lo and behold it was and I was so curious to see what you would say, because oh my god, I've been dying a thousand deaths waiting for you to get to this episode.

    Anyway, it just hurts my everything for all the reasons you've mentioned. Buffy allowed herself to be horribly vulnerable and everything just went to shit and it breaks my heart.

    "Like I really wanted to stick around after that."
    ALL MY CREYS

  14. sporkaganza93 says:

    The rocket launcher. I LOVE THE ROCKET LAUNCHER. Everything about the killing of the Judge is just amazing and fantastic. When the stick don't work, get a rock, when the rock don't work, get a knife, when the knife don't work, get a gun, and when the gun don't work, just get a bigger gun, right? HILARIOUS.

    Angel becoming Angelus is something pretty much everyone was waiting for you to get to, because it's SUCH a not-prepared moment of the show, I mean, right? You're beginning to understand more clearly the way Whedon feeds on misery.

    • spikesjojo says:

      Misery and conflict are the heart of drama – and Joss is an expert at using them.

    • ladysugarquill says:

      The rocket launcher is my favourite part of the episode, of all the episodes! The whole "can't be killed by any forged weapon" being not a prophecy but just a statement of fact in the time it was made, it's simply amazing.

  15. Andie says:

    UGH, ANGELUS. My heart beats for your morbid sense of humour.

    • Karen says:

      As apathetic as I am about Angel, I REALLY enjoy Angelus.

      • UnstrungZero says:

        ALL OF THIS. I have trouble saying I like Angelus, because dude is evil (naq qbrf fhpu ubeevoyr guvatf D:) but I enjoy Angelus far better than Angel. I never really liked Angel as a person until later seasons of AtS.

        • PheasantPlucker says:

          V nyjnlf sryg yvxr Natry jnf jbexvat fb uneq ng fhccerffvat uvf inzcvevp graqrapvrf (rfcrpvnyyl nebhaq Ohssl) gung ur unq ab raretl yrsg gb npghnyyl or uvzfrys. Jura ur vfa'g orvat n zvfrenoyr ercerffrq thvyg-znpuvar, ur'f npghnyyl na vagrerfgvat crefbanyvgl.
          Nyfb, gvtug yrngure cnagf znxr nalbar zber vagrerfgvat…

        • LadyPeyton says:

          Awwww. I love Angel (notwiithBuffy!). I adore Angelus, but I still love Angel. RFCRPVNYYL jura ur'f n jrr chccrg zna!

          • @farwell3d says:

            Amen to that last part.

            (Contains spoilers for both AtS and for IDW Angel comics)

            Onfvpnyyl, Obernanm qbrf ivfpbhf, rivy xvyyre be rkgerzryl njxjneq naq bhg bs cynpr JNL orggre guna ur qbrf nalguvat ryfr.

            Naq bs pbhefr ur cynlf gur orfg jrr yvggyr chccrg zna rire ba gryrivfvba. Zvtug snyy fubeg bs orfg vs jr vapyhqr chccrg Ybear naq CHCCRG FCVXR~! sebz gur Fcvxr: Funqbj Chccrgf pbzvpf.

  16. NB2000 says:

    Okay I have to admit, I greatly prefer Angel when he's evil. He seems to have suddenly acquired a personality in place of his soul, David Boreanaz just seems to be having a lot of fun playing a completely evil bastard. The shifting dynamic between Angel, Spike and Dru is pretty wonderful as well. Speaking of Spike and Dru:

    Drusilla: "I'm naming all the stars."
    Spike: "You can't see the stars love, that's the ceiling. And it's day."
    Drusilla: "I can see them. But I've named them all the same. And there's terrible confusion"

    Okay I just love that conversation and wanted to mention it.

    Oz’s entire make-out scene/speech.

    THIS THIS THIS! Seriously could he be more adorable and wonderful? Oh right, "Uh…arm!" is pretty hilarious too.

    • cait0716 says:

      I agree. Evil Angel is far more entertaining that Brooding Angel.

    • ladililn says:

      Okay I have to admit, I greatly prefer Angel when he's evil. He seems to have suddenly acquired a personality in place of his soul, David Boreanaz just seems to be having a lot of fun playing a completely evil bastard. The shifting dynamic between Angel, Spike and Dru is pretty wonderful as well.

      ALL OF THIS. oh god I'm a terrible person but I kind of just want Angel to be evil forever. He's so GOOD at it. And he demonstrates emotions and facial expressions and personality! even if it's an evil one. Hey, you take what you can get. (and I have so much love for the scene when Angel is welcomed back into the fold (of evil vampires) :D)

      • NB2000 says:

        (and I have so much love for the scene when Angel is welcomed back into the fold (of evil vampires) :D)

        They're just so HAPPY to all be together again. I kind of wish Darla was still around just to add to the evil joy.

      • UnstrungZero says:

        LOL I just replied to someone above with "ALL OF THIS" on the same topic. Angelus FTW, no more bland cardboard Angel. Except, you know, the death and destruction. >.<

    • Karen says:

      EVIL ANGEL >>>>>> GOOD ANGEL.

    • ladysugarquill says:

      I find Angel to be totally adorable (and I love Boreanaz in it), but Angelus is so much fun to watch.

  17. Danielle says:

    Oh, I kept refreshing all day to read what you had to say about this episode, even this morning when it was still in the middle of the night where you live. And now it's here! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. cait0716 says:

    Here, I'll let the characters say it for me:
    Giles: I wasn't prepared for that
    Jenny: None of us were

    I love the cold open of this episode. It's the exhalation of smoke that does it for me. So hot.

    Honestly, I love this whole episode. It's an emotional roller coaster in the best way

    "Don't you remember the We Hate Cordelia Club? Of which you are the treasurer!"

    Oz's whole speech about kissing Willow is amazing. You can see her fall in love with him in that scene. Bs pbhefr, vg qbrfa'g qb n qnza guvat gb pheo ure iratrshy fgernx

    Buffy's conversation with Angel in his apartment is painful. Every minute of it hurts more than the one before. From "I thought you were a real pro" to "love ya, too". ouch.

    Xander comes up with a plan! And it's a good plan.

    Buffy's blame of Jenny. It's not fair, but she's hurting so much and she needs someone to blame. Jenny is the obvious choice for her. The fact that Giles sides with Buffy breaks my heart and gives me warm mushy feelings at the same time. I hate that Giles and Jenny break so soon after getting back together, but I love that Giles stands beside Buffy in her moment of emotional upheaval.

    "That was then. This is now." It sure is a good thing we assemble weapons now, rather than forging them. One more example (in a long line) of innovation trumping tradition. It's one of my favorite themes of this show, naq gur znva ernfba V guvax gur frnfba sbhe nep jnf gur yrnfg fhpprffshy. Ohg V qvterff.

    Buffy kicking Angel in the nuts is a beautiful moment. She can't kill him yet, but she is damn sure gonna hurt him as much as she can in the meantime.

    Joyce and Giles are the best parents a girl could ask for.

    Without his soul, Angel is a massive jerk, but damn if he isn't a lot more fun than soulful Angel. David Boreanaz really starts to shine in this episode.

    Trivia: In the commentary for this episode, Whedon mentions that ASH hates wearing pants. He doesn't, if he can get away with it. So whenever he's filmed only from the waist up, odds are that he isn't wearing pants. Now, that's all I can really think of in the final scene where he tells Buffy how much he supports and respects her. It's a gorgeous, heartwarming scene, but that is completely overruled by the fact that ASH isn't wearing pants.

    • Hanna says:

      What does he like to wear instead of pants? Skirts? Or is he sitting around half-nekkid? I must know so that I can picture it too!

    • Imo says:

      Ummm, I always assumed that the 'no pants' thing was a joke on Joss' part.

    • settlingforhistory says:

      That Trivia somehow makes me love ASH even more, but this infor sure is never going to get out of my head now, so thanks Joss.

      Bs pbhefr, vg qbrfa'g qb n qnza guvat gb pheo ure iratrshy fgernx

      V unqa'g gubhtug nobhg gung va guvf pbagrkg, ohg jbj, fur nyjnlf unq vg va ure, evtug?

      naq gur znva ernfba V guvax gur frnfba sbhe nep jnf gur yrnfg fhpprffshy. Ohg V qvterff.

      V nterr, V ybirq vg urer orpnhfr vg vf n jnl gb svaq n ybbcubyr, ohg gung gurl znqr vg fhpu n uhtr cneg bs frnfba sbhe nyjnlf ohttrq zr. Gung frnfba nyfb cebbsrq gung gur byq jnl vf orggre gubhtu, fb lrn ab Ohssl jvgu ynfre jrncbaf cyrnfr.

    • Inseriousity. says:

      lol pants in england means boxer shorts etc. maybe there was a cultural mistranslation that they all found funny and joss put it in the commentary? this is the only logical explanation I can think of or maybe I just refuse to think of the alternative cos HE'S GILES and it doesn't fit ๐Ÿ™

    • ajaxbreaker says:

      Jbj, rkpryyrag cbvag nobhg Jvyybj'f iratrshy fgernx. Gung unq arire bppheerq gb zr orsber ohg vg vf xvaqn fnq gung fur vf zber sbphfrq ba K&P guna ba njrfbzr Bm. V ernyyl ybir gur punenpgrevmngvba bs Jvyybj guebhtubhg gur frevrf (rkprcg sbe gur zntvp=nqqvpgvba guvat va frnfba fvk) orpnhfr vg vf fb pbafvfgrag – ure vafrphevgvrf naq gur jnl gurl yrnq gb ure guvefg sbe cbjre, eriratr naq erpbtavgvba ner fb ornhgvshyyl frg hc sebz gur irel rneyvrfg rcvfbqrf bs gur fubj.

    • Trivia: In the commentary for this episode, Whedon mentions that ASH hates wearing pants. He doesn't, if he can get away with it. So whenever he's filmed only from the waist up, odds are that he isn't wearing pants. Now, that's all I can really think of in the final scene where he tells Buffy how much he supports and respects her. It's a gorgeous, heartwarming scene, but that is completely overruled by the fact that ASH isn't wearing pants.

      And of course now I'm thinking "GILES GOES COMMANDO?" even though not that kind of pants

    • spikesjojo says:

      Actually, I think blaming Jenny makes sense. It was her sacred responsibility to make sure that this didn't happen, and she knew that it was from the moment that Buffy and Angel met.

      But having someone there to monitor the curse has always seemed rather odd. I mean, raise your hand if you know who your most beloved ancestor is. What did she do that was so great that a century later she is still the most beloved daughter?

      • Hanna says:

        I always kind of felt insulted on Jenny's behalf about the 'most beloved daughter' thing. Her uncle uses in the context of dismissing the validity of Jenny's perspective, and to me it always came off as 'murdered ancestor girl is way more important than you, so shut up'.

    • knut_knut says:

      I don't care if it's a joke, I love the idea of ASH not wearing pants for most of his scenes <3

    • notemily says:

      It sure is a good thing we assemble weapons now, rather than forging them.

      You know, I never read it this way–I always thought it was just that we have better weapons. It took an army to stop him last time, but now we have weapons that can imitate the amount of force and firepower that army would have been carrying. Like, it's not "no weapon FORGED," it's "no weapon YET forged" could kill him. But I could be wrong.

      Trivia: In the commentary for this episode, Whedon mentions that ASH hates wearing pants. He doesn't, if he can get away with it. So whenever he's filmed only from the waist up, odds are that he isn't wearing pants. Now, that's all I can really think of in the final scene where he tells Buffy how much he supports and respects her. It's a gorgeous, heartwarming scene, but that is completely overruled by the fact that ASH isn't wearing pants.

      This is the best thing I have heard all day.

      • Kickpuncher says:

        You know, I never read it this way–I always thought it was just that we have better weapons.

        I always saw it as one of the classic weasel-word prophecies, like "ab zna bs jbzna obea"/"Znpqhss jnf sebz uvf zbgure'f jbzo hagvzryl evcc'q" (Gotta make sure I don't spoil Mark Reads Macbeth!) and "ab zna pna xvyy zr."/"V nz ab zna!" (Lord of the Rings)

    • RoseFyre says:

      "Buffy's blame of Jenny. It's not fair, but she's hurting so much and she needs someone to blame. Jenny is the obvious choice for her. The fact that Giles sides with Buffy breaks my heart and gives me warm mushy feelings at the same time. I hate that Giles and Jenny break so soon after getting back together, but I love that Giles stands beside Buffy in her moment of emotional upheaval."

      Yes! Because getting torpedoed by Giles's backstory wasn't enough, now they get torpedoed by Jenny's backstory. But I love that Giles is so close to Buffy, and sticks up for her, but…poor him. ๐Ÿ™ And poor Jenny.

  19. Pseudonymph says:

    Really excellent review, Mark.

    V rntreyl njnvg gur rcvfbqr jura Ohssl pna whfg gryy ure zbz jung’f tbvat ba. V ARRQ VG.

    Lrnu, nf zhpu nf V ybir Wblpr, V arire ernyyl sbetnir ure sbe ure vavgvny ernpgvba gb Ohssl jura fur qbrf svaq bhg.

    I don't remember if this is in this episode or not but: Nalbar abgvpr ubj jura Natry gheaf rivy ur fzbxrf yvxr bar pvtnerggr gura jr arire frr uvz fzbxvat ntnva. V svaq gung uvynevbhf.

    It reminds me of the first episode when Xander is seen skateboarding and then he never does it again.

  20. NotQuiteDave says:

    I love how detailed and organised Willow's hatred of Cordelia is that she appointed Xander treasurer of the 'We Hate Cordelia Club'.

  21. PheasantPlucker says:

    Hellooooooooooooo Buffy the Vampire Slayer. You have arrived. What gets me more than anything isn't the heartbreaking plotline (damn you Whedon), but the fact that Boreanaz pulled it off. I mean come on.First episode of this series? WORST ACTOR EVER. But here he is, pulling off a character 180 on which the overarching plot rests. CONVINCINGLY. Well done, sir. Well done.

    Of course, it just makes everything else that much worse. When he sees Buffy in his apartment, ugh my god. Most evil thing anyone could ever do ever. Its deliberate and utterly sick. Poor Buffy.

  22. @dazyndara says:

    This episode was so heartbreaking. Lines like "I thought you were a pro" still elicit a visceral reaction for me, years after I first watched it ๐Ÿ™

    I do <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 Giles at the end though ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. beckaboomer says:

    I'm usually kind of broken by viewing "Innocence." There is just so much heartbreak, all around me! And it keeps getting worse!

    That scene where Angelus destroys Buffy just goes on for SO LONG, and SMG is crying and everything is terrible and nothing is wonderful. "It's not like I haven't been there before." "You were great, really. I thought you were a pro." OW OW OW stop that! Stop that this instant!!!

    I also hate that Buffy feels so guilty about being the catalyst for breaking the curse, because she really had no idea. It is not in any way, shape or form her fault. I'm kind of in love with Giles for being so supportive at the end, although… why does her having sex with her boyfriend have to be seen as "acting rashly"? Anyone? I'm at a loss on that one. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy that he insists she'll have nothing but his respect. Giles is the best Daddy Watcher ever.

    The whole Xander/Cordelia thing (STOP WITH THE OUTFIT SLUT-SHAMING, XAND. GOD.) and Willow finding out is just more Whipped Cream of Sadness on top of a Sundae of Despair. I actually fall a little more towards Xander's side, because Willow? You never made any overt moves toward Xander, you never really spoke out about your feelings, and now he's seeing someone else. I know you're hurt and you wanna flip out on someone, but he has every right to kiss whomever he pleases. Of course, then Xander says that he and Cordelia are "just kissing, it doesn't mean that much." Which, I believe, is a lie. He's lying to himself or Willow or both, here. He's tried to openly date Cordelia at this point, and I think he's just protesting that it doesn't mean much here for.. some reason? I don't know. Maybe he's still hurt by Cordy's rejection. These kids make me so sad.

    And then, the cherry on top of our horrible Sundae of Despair… Giles/Jenny are on the outs again. ๐Ÿ™ And this time, it really does not look good. She did lie about her origins, but I think maybe them being so angry at her is still a little harsh. Giles is probably so torn right here, because he loves Buffy and he loves Jenny but he has to pick a side, and Buffy needs him more at the moment. That moment where he tells her to get out still makes my heart hurt, though.

    Okay, but there are a couple of nice things that happen in this episode! Yes! Nice warm, fluffy things:

    1) Oz being awesome and sensing the Xander/Willow tension and not wanting to move in until Willow is over it, ILU OZ MARRY ME.
    2) Joyce being sweet at the end, with her little cupcakes and knowing something's making Buffy sad but she just comforts her (with hair-stroking! I love hair-stroking!) without putting any pressure on Buffy to reveal what's wrong
    3) The rocket-launcher. I love that Xander has this idea, I love his, "Happy Birthday Buffy, I hope you like the color," and I adore The Judge's reaction. "What's that do?"

    …yeah, that's all the happy I can summon for "Innocence." But I love it; it is a superbly-written, amazingly-acted episode and it never fails to get to me.

    "What did you do for your birthday?"
    "…got older."
    "You look the same to me."

    *ded*

    • Sean Murphy says:

      I also side with Xander on Willow's reaction to him and Cordy. He is not Willows property (if had a clip id have used Gaius Baltar's I am not your plaything here) and she has a boyfriend! Whom she then decides to try to use to make her feel better. I know that if the roles were reversed Xander would probably get torn to pieces in the comments but Willow mostly gets a pass in the wider fanbase (more for being an adorable geek than cos she is a girl I like to think…)

      • beckaboomer says:

        Well, Xander has displayed similar behavior towards Buffy and he has been criticized (I think, rightfully) in the comments. Either way, it's a pretty gross way to act, and I think we all recognize that. Jealousy can lead a person down some dark and windy roads, I suppose. I understand the impulse behind these displays, but I don't condone them.

        As for Oz: I'm not sure I would call him Willow's boyfriend at this point (haven't they only had the one date?), but I agree that she's using him in that moment and it isn't cool. At least he's wise enough to know what's going on and he nips that in the bud. Yay for Oz!

    • ladililn says:

      Unve-fgebxvat vf gur Cngragrq Fhzzref Jbzra Zrgubq bs Fubjvat Nssrpgvba. KQ (Frr nyfb: Ohssl naq Qnja)

  24. guest_age says:

    Although thankfully I had a lot of support the first time I did anything at all sexual (I was a freshman in college by that time), so I didn't have to deal with people like the horrible bigots who found your blog (astral plane hugs FOREVER, Mark), I did grow up in a religious background that told me similar things about human sexuality being some horrible, terrible thing. I admit that I'm not proud of that experience, but the reason I'm not proud of it has changed over the years. Initially, it was because I'd gone home with a guy I'd just met and had what essentially amounted to a one-night stand (plus I was dealing with this weird thing where I felt like because I'd gone through a non-consensual situation when I was 8, the idea of wanting an act that had damaged me so badly somehow made me wrong because how could I want that thing that had destroyed me? Rape culture YOU ARE TERRIBLE AND THANK FUCK I HAVE SINCE LEARNED BETTER). Now I'm not proud of it because I allowed the encounter to be all about him and let him think that was okay. I wish I'd said something and told him that it wasn't. But that's the only reason I regret it now. But at the time I felt HORRIBLY GUILTY because oh God, I was clearly a horrible person for having done it and I needed a million showers and what was wrong with me and–I think you get the point.

    I think that's why I really like this episode. It has this horrible thing happen to Buffy as a direct result of having sex, and yet never blames her for it. It's not her fault. She did nothing wrong. There is nothing inherently bad about what she and Angel did together. It is okay that she made an informed choice about what to do with her own body. I wish I'd had this show around when I was going through my self-loathing, self-slut-shaming phase. I think seeing Buffy deal with this might've helped me.

    Astral plane hugs for everyone, regardless. We all need them after that.

  25. Miriam says:

    Oh Mark, I was so waiting for you to get to this bit! It's a great episode, but it gives me all the pity for Buffy. It's just mean.
    And prepare to have your mind blown even more in the following episodes. You are not prepared in every single sense of that statement. So, seriously, no hyperbole here.

    I think the issue of whether Angel deserves to be punished for his deeds pre-souling is a really tricky one. On the one hand, it was a demon without a soul that committed these crimes, but on the other hand Angel has since only gained a soul, not reverted to his human state. He might behave as though he was human, but he's not. And in the Buffyverse a soul only seems to be the morality and sense of right and wrong, one is still the same person without a soul, just free of any moral and social restraints and free to act out one's worst impulses. So no matter how often I watch, I can never decide whether Angel actually deserves punishment now he has a soul.

    But however one might think on that issue, I think the Romani's decision that he should lose his soul at the first moment of true happiness is REALLY counter-productive as they just created a powerful new enemy that might potentially harm them again. So, imho, logic-fail on their part.

    Keep watching, Mark ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm really glad you're doing these reviews, it gives me an excuse to relive Buffy. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Kickpuncher says:

      The "true happiness" loophole might not be part of a decision. Maybe it's just an unavoidable part of the spell that there has to be an escape clause for it, and the Romani chose "true happiness" because they figured the guilt would be insurmountable.

      I mean, if they could have have an irreversible spell, I'm sure they would have.

      • jbb says:

        It might have been to keep Angel in line actually, if he knew about it, because he would have known it was a terrible thing for him to be happy. So, its less of a loophole, more of a double-whammy.

        • @liliaeth says:

          would have probably worked better, if they'd had actually told him about it.

          Gubhtu nqzvggrqyl, gurl cebonoyl qvqa'g svther ba gur erfg bs gur snatrq sbhe nggnpxvat naq xvyyvat frireny bs gurz va eriratr.

          • jbb says:

            Lrnu, V pna'g erpnyy vs ur xarj nobhg vg be abg, ohg vg'f qrsvavgryl fbzrguvat ur fubhyq unir ybbxrq vagb!

      • tigerpetals says:

        Yes, I figure it's just an inevitable part of a curse, that there's a way to break it. And in this case, if the curse is shaped to cause suffering, it makes perfect sense that a loophole requiring happiness would be required. A curse that eventually allowed happiness for the victim would not be an effective curse. It would stop being a curse, which it can't, so instead it leaves.

      • @farwell3d says:

        No, no, no. It's about vengeance. If he's happy, the punishment fails, so why bother with it?

  26. settlingforhistory says:

    Thoughts about one of the, by me at least, most re-watched episodes:

    (V jbhyq unir yvxrq gb frr Qeh’f ivfvba bapr; vg jbhyq or vagrerfgvat gb xabj ubj gurl inevrq sebz Pbeql be Qblyr’f.)

    That part with Angel breathing out the smoke of his victim makes no sense, is so cheesy, but I kind of like it.

    (Natryhf vf cher rivy naq ur npghnyyl, fb gur fbhy vf abg whfg pbafpvrapr ohg nyfb srryvat.
    Jbexf jryy sbe gur gurbel gung Natry naq Natryhf ner gjb qvssrerag crbcyr jvgu gur fnzr zrzbevrf.)

    Poor Willow, my heart breaks at her heart break.

    That scene, oh god that scene in his flat. Boreanaz really sells the disgusting douchbag from hell. I like that he doesn’t look or sound different, he just smiles more often and much more creepy. He looks like he is having fun, which of course he has, no more brooding.

    I really like Xander’s plan, even though I know it is sexist and mean, but it actually uses sexism and stereotypes against a man. (I wonder how he is going to explain the missing rocket launcher.) I just like it when the writers let Xander be useful and not only funny.

    This episode (naq znal nsgre gung) is the reason I’m convinced SMG would have done much better if she had starred in dramas and not boring horror movies.

    Oh no, Jenny hate! I understand her anger but I like Jenny so much. (Naq guvf ehvaf nal punapr fur naq Tvyrf unq ng n ovg bs unccvarff).

    (Jul qvqa’g Wraal’f hapyr cebgrpg uvzfrys ntnvafg Natryhf, jr xabj vg pna or qbar.
    Znlor vg vf nf fvzcyr nf uvz yvivat va n ubgry v.r. n choyvp cynpr, be ur qvqa’g guvax Natryhf xarj nobhg uvz. Naljnl vg’f n ovg bqq.)

    Oz is perfect, isn’t he? He wants Willow to want him for him “When I’m kissing you, you’re kissing me.” I love that guy!

    “Was it good for you, too.” A Horrible cliché, but absolutely chilling in this context.

    Is the tally of people who know Buffy’s identity now rising to 100 or doesn’t the ownership of a rocket launcher count?

    Again “rain”, they sure like to get those two wet.

    (V jbaqrerq sbe n juvyr jul Natryhf vf fb bofrffrq jvgu uhegvat Ohssl, nsgre nyy ur fubhyq or tengrshy naq ur vf abg gur inzc bofrffrq jvgu xvyyvat Fynlref. Ohg bs pbhefr ur jnagf gb trg evq bs nalguvat gung znqr uvz srry naq znlor ercrng jung ur qvq jvgu Qehfvyyn).

    I love Giles’ speech in the car; I want to hug him so much. He is an awesome father figure.

    “What’d you do for your birthday?” oh Joyce, if you only knew. She is still a great mom and is there for Buffy when she needs her. Best TV mom forever. Be nyzbfg hagvy Sberire.

  27. Raenef_the_5th says:

    Oh it's up! My apologies if someone else already posted this, but here is some very interesting commentary by Joss Whedon from the DVDs on this episode, since I heard some discussion about people thinking the show was trying to imply that sex is bad (from the previous days):

    I created ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ as a movie, a long time ago, to protect, as I’ve said before, the blonde girl in the alley who always got killed. One of the distinguishing features of the blonde girl in the alley who always got killed was that she actually had sex. She always seemed to be punished for it; that bothered me; and I thought it wasn’t fair. So Buffy was created as a sort of stereotype-buster on that level.

    However, when we came back to do the series we knew we had to keep it in high school for a while. We had to bounce her age back to fifteen, make her a sophomore instead of a senior. So the issue of sex was one that we were going to have to deal with eventually, in a different and somewhat more serious way in the series. ‘Innocence’ represents the effort to do that.

    What we basically wanted to show was a horror movie version of the idea that, "I sleep with my boyfriend and now he doesn’t call me. And also, he’s killing hookers in alleys."

    […] Politics of the thing are always complicated. You know, I said I didn’t want to kill the girl who has sex; and yet I punish the shit out of her. That brings up a lot of issues with me. I don’t like the idea of a reactionary message, that everything you do must be punished. I believe that Buffy and Angel were in love and that what they did wasn’t bad. At the same time I don’t want to be saying, "All teenagers must boff! You must boff now! Boff each other! Do it!"

    It’s complicated; I don’t really want to be telling them one thing or another. But inevitably in a horror show you end up punishing people for everything they do, just so you can find the horror, the real emotional horror of everything they go through. Buffy drinks beer, not going to go well for her. Buffy has sex with her boyfriend, not going to go well for her. The important thing is to make the punishment emotional, and not have her be axe-murdered. And also let her grow from it; let her be stronger, let it resonate on a normal emotional level, instead of on some Evil Higher Power that must put an axe into their heads just because they dared to have sex.

    Eventually, of course, we deal with that with all the characters; but with Buffy we knew it was all going to be about the pain.

    • Carrie Ann says:

      Thanks for posting this. I think, as Joss says, this show (and almost all of his other works) looks at stereotypes and cliches of genres and twists them in some way. So yes, you see a girl lose her virginity and she feels guilty as the cliche (and our culture) says she should, and then everything goes wrong. But how does it actually go wrong? Her male partner gets cursed – not her. He loses his friends – not her. At the end of the episode, she has the upper hand, and he is forced to run away. Not her.

      Most movingly for me, her father figure – rather than judge and reject her – embraces, supports, and unconditionally loves her. Giles doesn't hesitate for a moment when she pours out her guilt. He just strikes down that line of reasoning and lets her mourn this loss. Giles for President.

    • Personally, I'm still waiting for the show that says, "You must boff now! Boff each other! Do it! But use ALL THE LATEX AND COMMON SENSE."

      • @ohbrietta says:

        Speaking of the word "boff", I, um, once found an erotic comic book called "Boffy the Vampire Layer" that was the most ridiculous cartoon porn parody of Buffy you could possibly imagine. There was a voodoo snake named Dildoza. And also Britney Spears. I think Giles died and came back as a zombie and then had sex with everyone.

  28. Dru says:

    Angel kisses Spike on the head. WHERE ARE THE FICS. WHERE ARE THEY.

    HERE. (spoilers ahoy!)

    You should know better than to ask, really.

  29. claretstock says:

    Every scene with Buffy in it in this episode breaks my heart into a million pieces.

  30. Kari18212 says:

    So I rewatched this episode this morning and (despite the awful sadness I felt for Buffy) I WAS SO EXCITED TO SEE ANGELUS. David's acting in this one…. it's just so good! Also, I died laughing when he came out of the shower in his apartment wearing The Leather Pants of Evil lol. Shortly after… there was no more laughing… only tears ๐Ÿ™

    But for happier parts, yes the dynamic with Spike and Dru and Angel is so fascinating (and the part of me that may have read just a few *cough* hundred *cough* Spike/Angel fics back in the day died over the kiss on the forehead). Dru is so fun to watch I just can't get over it. Spike is almost as happy to have Angel back as Dru is, even as he's clearly getting more annoyed with Angel not killing Buffy and rubbing the wheelchair in his face (which… ouch. I know Angel does so many terrible things in this episode, but as someone whose father was in a wheelchair for my entire life, that seriously stung). I demand ALL THE FLASHBACKS to the adventures of Angelus, Spike and Dru (and Darla I suppose….) no matter how evil and disturbing I know they would be. I just want to see more of them!!!

    • stephanie says:

      the leather pants of evil. oh, so long since i've heard that…. oh how i've missed it!! ๐Ÿ™‚
      EDIT for rot13!
      bu! orfg yrngure cnagf bs rivy?
      snvgu naq ohssl svtug va Tenqhngvba Qnl. ohssl chgf ba gur yrngure cnagf, naq snvgu pnyyf ure bhg ba vg. YBIR

  31. haguenite says:

    Oh, and when Buffy tells Jenny to get out and Giles goes "she said, get out" it's just even more heartbreak. Heartbreak, heartbreak, heartbreak is all this episode is. Joss Whedon feeds on it. It's his life force. His raison d'etre.

  32. Dru says:

    I love how all the ship names in this fandom are SO UTTERLY RIDICULOUS. We've had Bangel, now we have fuel for Spangel, which sound like they should be jewelry and sparkles on a tap dancing costume – naq jr unira'g rira uvg Fchssl naq Shssl, which remind me of nothing so much as what my five-year-old sister might name her stuffed toys.

    Thank god no one's ever made "Sprusilla" a thing.

  33. Beth says:

    I think I remember reading something somewhere about how Joss Whedon was pretty horrified that he could even come up with something as terrible as the heartbreaking Buffy/Angel post-sex scene.

    • Raenef_the_5th says:

      Really? Oh gosh I love that. When even Joss is horrified by something he has done, you know it is terrible (in a good way).

    • Beth says:

      Ok, just found the direct quote: "The scene where Angel has become Angelus but is pretending he's not and that he's just had a one-night stand with Buffy and that destroys her. When he came to her and said, 'Why are you making a big thing out of it?' When he acted like a guy. I wrote that scene and thought, "I might be a worse person than I ever imagined because I am able to write this scene. I think I just tapped into somebody really horrible and it came rather easily. Ugh."

    • tanbarkie says:

      He felt similarly about the scene between Kaylee and Jubal Early on "Firefly":

      Kaylee is someone that [Early] approaches a different way, through a really horrible form of sexual intimidation. This is one of those scenes that, y’know… you write, and then you worry that maybe you’re not as good a person as you hoped you were. You film this scene and everybody kinda wants to avoid you for the rest of the day.

    • Noybusiness says:

      Also, in the extras he says the scene was originally filmed outside Buffy's house and the emotions just weren't coming through; then he realized it should be in Angel's bedroom.

  34. Noybusiness says:

    "I know they’re all bad guys, but the dynamic between Angel, Drusilla, and Spike when Angel returns to them the first time is just fascinating. I can’t say I ever expected this in a million years."

    I KNOW! We've seen the villainy of these two, and now we see the evil that created them both.

  35. Ashley says:

    This is the episode where Buffy became BUFFY. And, oh, how I love it so. You're pretty much doomed from here on out, dude. Just go with it.

  36. notemily says:

    Typing this up ahead of time because I have to work when the post will actually go up! I’ll try to post it on my break, but I won’t have time to read the other comments until later. Boo. (ETA: Yay, itโ€™s up early! I can comment and THEN go to work!)

    This episode is called “Innocence.” But there is no more of that.

    – I like that Angel, who was naked, finds time to put on clothes before running outside to lose his soul. And he keeps saying “Buffy!” Uh dude, you just left Buffy alone so you could run outside. Also, he says “oh no.” Does he know what’s happening to him? I guess maybe he recognizes the sensation from when he became a vampire?
    – Angel is EVIL! And now he has a PERSONALITY and some ACTING SKILLZ! (Seriously, this always cracks me up. Angelus is so much more charismatic than Angel.)
    – I hate the “you look different” trope. Because of course having sex ~changes you~ in some ~fundamental way~? My roommate disagrees and says Joyce might just be picking up on Buffy’s anxiety about waking up alone afterwards. Maybe? Also, later in the ep Buffy says she “got older” and Joyce says “you look the same to me.” Who knows.
    – “I’m upset and I can’t think of a mean word right now but that’s what you are and I’m going to the factory!”
    – One of my favorite Spike & Dru moments. “You can’t see the stars, love. That’s the ceiling. Also, it’s day.” “I can see them. But I’ve named them all the same name, and there’s terrible confusion!” Now I’m imagining Drusilla naming all the stars George Foreman.
    – “Well, he moves to New York and he tries to fulfill that Broadway dreamโ€ฆ” I LOVE YOU EVIL ANGEL
    – Angel smokes! THAT’S HOW YOU CAN TELL HE’S EVIL
    – Did Angel just… roar?
    – “Well, she’s IN the worldโ€ฆ” Spike is really honing his Deadpan Snarker in these eps.
    – “She made me feel like a human being. That’s not the kind of thing you just forgive.” MOAR FLAWLESS DIALOGUE
    – “Say hi for me.” Shut up, Xander.
    – Willy the Snitch!
    – “But I’m okay with the other part.” Cordelia’s little nose-wrinkle after she says this is brilliant. I always watch for it and it’s awesome every time.
    – Willow! NOES
    – “It just means you’d rather be with someone you hate than be with me.” ALL MY CREYS FOR WILLOW
    – Ugh, THIS SCENE. Where Angel at first pretends he’s not evil and then slowly becomes every girl’s worst nightmare. So painful but SO WELL-WRITTEN. It’s something that actually happens to a lot of people–you sleep with someone you think loves you and then they’re like “whatever”–but in this case he ACTUALLY TURNED EVIL. Supernatural metaphors I LOVE THEM
    – Jenny “tried” to keep Angel from Buffy? When was this? (I mean, before last episode, I don’t remember her doing anything of the sort.)
    – This is the worst curse idea ever, btw. If he stops suffering, he will lose his soulโ€ฆ and become EVIL again? HOW DOES THAT HELP ANYONE

    Later, I looked on TV tropes and this topic is discussed on the Headscratchers/Just Bugs Me page, and I found this response that I think sums it up pretty well:

    The reason the curse’s escape clause makes no sense as a strategy for reforming Angel or for containing Angelus is that the gypsies didn’t intend for it to do either. Their only reason for cursing Angelus is to make him suffer, and once he stops suffering, the curse has run its course. If that sounds twisted, myopic and incredibly petty, well, it is, which is Jenny chewed out her uncle for it and refused to keep playing by those rules.

    (cont’d)

    • notemily says:

      – "You have gross emotional problems and things are not okay between us." I love Willow. And I love Xander for realizing he's really hurt Willow here and being sensitive to that.
      – "Now I'm having a wiggins." NOBODY SAYS THAT but OH GOD THE LIGHTS ARE OUT and AGH ANGEL
      – "I wasn't prepared for that." "None of us were." EVERYONE WAS UNPREPARED JUST LIKE MARK
      – "Giles, shut up." Willow figures it out. <3333
      – "Wear something trashy. Er." Shut up, Xander.
      – ["Gb xvyy guvf tvey, lbh unir gb ybir ure." Qba'g jbeel Natry, Fcvxr trgf gurer riraghnyyl.]
      – The Claddagh ring ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ Apparently, and I never noticed this myself, but after Angel has turned evil (the scene in his apartment) he can be seen wearing the Claddagh ring the other way around–i.e., to indicate that he's NOT in a relationship. Now that's just mean.
      – Now we get the dream/flashback to the sexing. Well, as much sexing as they can have on a high-school show on the WB.
      – "And me? What was I supposed to be suffering for?"
      – Aaaand Giles finally gets it.
      – Xander uses his powers of remembering Army things! Because this would totally work! (Actually it might, I have no idea.)
      – "Hi! I'm not a soldier. …Right?" I love Cordelia.
      – "I just need five. …Forget I said that last part."
      – "So do you guys steal weapons from the army a lot?" "Well, we don't have cable, so we have to make our own fun."
      – Another flawless Willow/Oz scene. And the look on her face at the end, like, "this guy is awesome."
      – "Kill him." But then he doesn't get a spinoff! [yby ur fgvyy qbrf]
      – "Spiffy?" This entire episode is hilarious, except for the parts where it's heartbreakingly sad.
      – Giles sides with Buffy against Jenny here. He likes Jenny but his loyalties lie with his Slayer.
      – "That was then. This is now." ROCKET LAUNCHER BUFFY! Apparently this is one of Joss's favorite scenes. "What's that do?"
      – I love the slow-mo of Angel and Dru trying to get out of the way. They're like OH SHI-
      – Now it's angst-raining INSIDE too!
      – "Uh… arm?"
      – Kicking Angelus in the balls. Never gets old. (I've heard dudes complain about this trope before, and seriously, I think in this scene it works. Angel had sex with Buffy and then hurt her horribly in part by using that against her, so she kicks him in the sexy bits. Makes sense to me.)
      – "You must be so disappointed in me." NOOO Giles loves you forever! "If it's guilt you're looking for, Buffy, I'm not your man." ALL OF MY TEARS
      – And then we end the episode with "Goodnight, My Love" and Joyce and Buffy hanging out on the couch in pajamas and socks. God these episodes are so fantastic I can't even

      Right, so… Mark, remember way back at the beginning of the season when you said you thought the Anointed One was going to be the main villain of season two? …Yeah, we were all simultaneously laughing and crying at that. Partly because of Spike, and partly because of THIS EPISODE.

      • cait0716 says:

        They do a really good job of mixing the humor with the incredible heartbreak. It's not all painful, just most of it.

        I really like the explanation of the curse you found on TV Tropes. It makes the most sense of anything I've seen.

      • Karen says:

        Angel had sex with Buffy and then hurt her horribly in part by using that against her, so she kicks him in the sexy bits. Makes sense to me.

        IA IA IA. I think it works on a symbolic level. Angel has spent the entire episode using their sexual history to taunt Buffy so Buffy kicking him in the balls works for me on a thematic level.

        • spikesjojo says:

          If we really want to go to the symbolic level, is there a better penis metaphor than the rocket launcher? Angel may have screwed Buffy over – but she sure as hell get empowered by screwing him over with an even bigger…weapon.

    • pica_scribit says:

      This is the worst curse idea ever, btw. If he stops suffering, he will lose his soul… and become EVIL again? HOW DOES THAT HELP ANYONE

      Theoretically, it means he would avoid seeking his own happiness so he never risks becoming evil and harming people again. But that only works if he knows about the "one moment of true happiness" clause, and it's not clear in this ep whether he did or not.

    • settlingforhistory says:

      I really liked that tv tropes quote.
      Also I think as the Romani had not intended to change Angelus they probably assumed anything that would make him perfectly happy would be evil (something he would no longer do with his soul) or that it was sheer impossible for him to achieve that pure happiness. Nsgre nyy gur bayl bgure gvzrf jr frr uvz ybfr uvf fbhy ner qbar vagragvbanyyl be negvsvpvnyyl, ur vf arire fb pbzcyrgryl jvgubhg fhssrevat ntnva.

    • tigerpetals says:

      Yes, that's what I've always thought of the curse. Though I didn't necessarily blame the casters for it. It's possible that the magic just works that way, and they didn't happen to know any other spells at the time. I've fanwanked that that then has to be justified by the vengeance is a living thing belief and that that's the real reason they have someone watching Angel, but didn't admit it because they prefer to go with the belief/whoever sent Jenny didn't feel it was necessary.

    • ladysugarquill says:

      This is the worst curse idea ever, btw. If he stops suffering, he will lose his soul… and become EVIL again? HOW DOES THAT HELP ANYONE

      I think it was supposed to be a fail-proof clause, since being a vampire with a soul and tortured by guilt, those who cursed him thought it was impossible he would ever get to be that happy.

  37. IceBlueRose says:

    I have been waiting for you to get to this episode because that ending is one of my favorite moments with Buffy and Joyce that we've gotten. It's just so well done with Joyce knowing that something is wrong but also knowing not to push. And then Buffy's "I think I'll just let it burn." and the way Joyce holds her is just gorgeous, especially with the fact that the last thing you hear is the music from the movie they're watching. "Good night, my love, my moment with you is ending…" is just such a way to bring home what's happened to Angel.

    Also? "Happy birthday, Buffy, I hope you like the color." I like the delivery of that line – it's the quip that we've come to expect but there's no joking there. They are all completely serious and all business about this.

    Oh, Willow. Willow just always breaks my heart when her voice breaks as she says "No, it just means you'd rather be with someone you hate…than be with me." You can see that she's never really allowed herself to let go of her feelings for Xander even as she's started to move on with Oz so this moment hurts but then that moment in Oz's van when he refuses to make out with her and tells her about "Willow-kissage" is so wonderful.

    I love the dynamics between Spike, Dru, and Angelus. It's always so fun for me to watch because they really aren't the traditional vampires that most would expect which is what I think makes them such fan favorites.

    <img src="http://i39.tinypic.com/214s8hv.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    <img src="http://i42.tinypic.com/jqhm4j.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    • beckaboomer says:

      Seriously, James Marsters is totally looking at Boreanaz's lips there. Look at that gif! THEY WANNA KISS. /slash fangirl off

      I think Boreanaz really enjoys playing evil/snarky.

    • Karen says:

      I just want to echo the love for the scene between Joyce and Buffy. I think it's beautiful. I love their relationship because even though they butt heads sometimes, it's so obvious how much Joyce loves Buffy.

    • @ohbrietta says:

      That gif's totally "Imma knock over your wheelchair with my FACE."

  38. SosaLola says:

    Willow's angry reaction to Xander kissing Cordelia is like Xander's angry reaction to Buffy rejecting him. Both are understandable and don't bother me, even though they shouldn't have said those things. But when you're upset you can't control how you react and you'll probably say things you shouldn't say, but it's understandable.

    *hugs Willow and Xander here*

  39. Maya says:

    CAN WE ALL JUST IMAGINE HOW MUCH MORE AWESOME THE TWILIGHT SERIES WOULD HAVE BEEN IF AFTER EDWARD AND BELLA FINALLY DID IT, EDWARD LOST HIS SOUL AND WENT ON A RAMPAGE.

    Am I the only one who wanted this to happen?

  40. echinodermata says:

    (For reference, I largely use the fannish convention of having 'Angel' act as shorthand for 'Angel, with a soul' and 'Angelus' as shorthand for 'Angel, without a soul,' in case that isn't clear from context.)

    I have a major criticism, but let me preface this with saying I love the Angelus storyline – Angel's so so much more interesting to me as Angelus than as Angel, and I think Angelus is simply a fantastic villain. So I do love this storyline; it's one of my favorites from Buffy.

    But c'mon show, think your narratives through, would you? Basically, we get a story saying 'sex with your boyfriend turns him evil!!' The idea that this show is meant to be a feminist show with feminist themes, but what is probably its most iconic storyline is that sex turns Buffy's boyfriend into an abusive monster? Yikes. I perhaps charitably believe the story was created to depict how sex and sexuality can and is used as weapons, frequently against women, and how abusive boyfriends do exist, and I do think the show does a good job showing just how hurtful this sort of thing can be. I just wish that story didn't have this other baggage of making sex be the reason that causes Angel to lose his soul – it holds too much of a 'sex is bad! (abstinence is good!)' implication to me.

    But I will say I think it's pretty awesome and yes, empowering, seeing Buffy fight Angel at the end. (And that as much as Angel can sometimes be compared to Edward Cullen, Buffy will never be Bella.) And even though there's some truth to Angel saying she can't kill him, her response is simply "give [her] time." It's recognition that she's incredibly hurt, but it's also saying she'll get past it – right now, it's just too close, but she has conviction that she will overcome it in time, and I like that. She's not forever broken from this, which is exactly what Angelus is trying to do to her, so that's a win for Buffy and it shows she's stronger than what Angelus presumes – and he already thinks she's incredibly strong. So even if I do read a 'sex is bad' message from this story and I hate that, I am glad it's at least 'sex is bad, but you can still walk away strong from the consequences.'

    Also, Giles tells Buffy that it's not her fault and she shouldn't feel guilty, and that's a good message and one I needed to hear from his character after my issues with "Reptile Boy." Would have been better if hadn't made the remark about how he can still wag his finger at her, but all the same, the overall sentiment is that he's not going to do that because it's not in fact her fault. So thank you show for having him say that and telling Buffy he'll only support and respect her. She needed to hear that, and frankly, I did too.

    I think the writing and acting for this story is all rather good, and Buffy is further cemented as my hero because of it, so while I do have some major issues with the story I still regard it as a true high point of television. It's a very powerful and iconic story, and I'm willing to acknowledge its flaws but still embrace this story as one I love because at the end of the day, I'm honestly moved and impressed by this episode.

    • Dru says:

      And that as much as Angel can sometimes be compared to Edward Cullen, Buffy will never be Bella.

      I can't wait for the day when it becomes safe to link the "Buffy vs Edward" video here.

      And as for the "sex turns Angel evil" thing, I never read it as just sex that did that. I always felt that what got Angel to the moment of true happiness that led him to become Angelus wasn't the physical act of sex, it was that plus the emotional intimacy he shared with Buffy – in my head, if they'd picked each other up in a bar or something of the sort and had a one-night stand, that wouldn't turn him into Angelus. The message I got wasn't "don't have sex, kids!", it was more like "sometimes you let the wrong person get too close, and they freak out and start acting horrible." If that even makes sense?

      • jbb says:

        Yeah, the story for me wasn't that she had sex and suffered for it, it was that someone she loved and trusted turned on her and she rose above it. I really don't see this episode as anti-feminist or anti-sex, but more in the realm of exploring genuine teenage horrors/fears and having Buffy survive them and come out stronger.

      • Yeah, but so.many.people enthusiastically read this episode as "a nice moral message telling girls not to have sex!" and it makes me want to stake them. Well, maybe not stake them, but definitely smack them with a copy of The Purity Myth.

        • Dru says:

          Which….I do not really understand. It makes me wonder if those people paid any attention to the show before this episode, at all.

          • Honestly, I don't think they pay attention to the show or this episode at all. They just want something that confirms their belief that Sex is Bad for Teenage Girls, subtext be damned.

    • tanbarkie says:

      "But c'mon show, think your narratives through, would you? Basically, we get a story saying 'sex with your boyfriend turns him evil!!' The idea that this show is meant to be a feminist show with feminist themes, but what is probably its most iconic storyline is that sex turns Buffy's boyfriend into an abusive monster?"

      Other people have noted it it elsewhere, but Joss and Co. were well aware of the trope (and its associated baggage). The scenes with Giles and Joyce, as Mark noted, subvert the trope's usual handling, by emphasizing that the writers aren't attacking Buffy for choosing to have sex, but rather exploring the all-too-real phenomenon of the significant other whose attitude completely changes afterward.

      To draw an analogy to a similarly controversial topic: it's the difference between the handling of torture in 24 versus on Battlestar Galactica. Both shows have scenes where our ostensible heroes engage in brutal torture against the "bad guys" in order to obtain information they need. But where 24 celebrates and exonerates this gross behavior, BSG demonstrates how such information is unreliable – and, more importantly, shows the toll that committing torture takes on the protagonists. Both shows address the same distasteful subject, and do so using similar plotlines, but only one treats the subject with gravity and depth.

    • arctic_hare says:

      Yeah, it bothers me too. I can see what I think they were trying to do, but it nevertheless carries those implications.

      • cait0716 says:

        I saw a quote (npghnyyl ertneqvat Gnen'f qrngu ng gur raq bs gur fvkgu frnfba) that I think applies here. Paraphrased, it's basically: if this weren't a trope, this wouldn't be a problem because the story telling is so good. But because the trope exists and this plays into it, it becomes problematic

        • Noybusiness says:

          But it's only happening (in this episode, not your spoiler example) because the trope exists and is being addressed.

    • tigerpetals says:

      Yes. I do love this episode but the metaphor it's supposed to represent is not one I needed to see. If we must have a nice guy is actually bad when you have sex with him story, it shouldn't have been a pivotal event. (Why I like this spoilery video in which gur fbheprf be ng yrnfg ranoyref bs Ohssl'f natfg, ure ragnatyrzragf jvgu zra, ner erqhprq gb nagntbavfgf fur unccvyl gevhzcuf bire .http://absolutedestiny.livejournal.com/165335.html ) We do not need cautionary tales for women. In fact I despise cautionary tales and dealing with the at best muddled intent behind them. We're supposed to love and fear men at the same time, and only love the 'right' men which no, not a single person has a right to define for us but almost everyone is eager to do. I hate that so much. You know what, a guy is a jerk, it's his own fault entirely, period. And if you hang out with him out of choice anyway, it's still his fault although I think you have the responsibility to remove yourself from him if you can. But it's still his fault and not you being naive until harsh reality sets in or whatever.

      • Noybusiness says:

        But it's not a cautionary tale. It's showing that it happens and isn't the woman's fault and is painful but survivable.

        • tigerpetals says:

          Depends on how you read it. It's commonly read as one. The storyline itself doesn't bug me, but I will look at it in context. Giles' comment alone isn't enough, especially given that he does think Buffy acted rashly and he could scold her for it. He just won't be self-righteous with her about it, much like in Reptile Boy, because she doesn't need it. Naq yngre jr'yy trg Zef. Fhzzref' ernpgvba, juvpu jvyy nqq gb Ohssl'f funzr.

          • jbb says:

            It could only be read as a cautionary tale if you think the episode is saying, look what could happen when you have sex! Don't do it! I don't think Buffy does cautionary tales, really.

            If you have to read a message into this episode, it seems more likely to be saying, here's how to survive your boyfriend turning into a soulless monster! (Step 1: get a rocket launcher…)

    • notemily says:

      I read on TV Tropes that Joss said he didn't want to do the usual horror trope of sex leading to awful punishment and/or death, he just needed to destroy his characters' happiness, which in this episode had to do with sex. It makes sense, but it still perpetuates the trope. (Also now we have Word of God confirmation that Joss just wants to make his fans as sad as possible.)

  41. Noybusiness says:

    Coincidentally, I watched this episode and Surprise on my birthday years ago from the DVD, not knowing my birthday (January 19, tomorrow) was also Buffy's birthday.

  42. monkeybutter says:

    That scene with Buffy and Angel was incredibly hard to watch, so I can't even imagine how bad it was for you. And I'm sorry you had to deal with those vicious, bigoted jackasses attacking you. Can I offer internet hugs? Or a rocket launcher?

    Joss Whedon and JK Rowling must share a file of stories ensured to make their audiences feel like they've been punched in the gut. Which is, I guess, why we love them.

    At least Willow and Oz were there to make me feel better. The Willow kissage conversation, and the bright expression on her face as he was talking, warm my heart.

  43. erinmarie says:

    Iโ€™ll always like season one and the beginning of season two. Theyโ€™re campy, sure, but I try not to take them too seriously. Most episodes are enjoyable, and a few like Prophecy Girl and School Hard are legitimately great. But when I say that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of my favorite shows, this is the show Iโ€™m talking about. Angel losing his soul was such a bold move. It changed the tone of the entire series. Innocence is just such a fantastic episode. The metaphor for the fear surrounding losing your virginity and the overall villain story hold up even today.

    โ€œIโ€™m naming all the stars.โ€
    โ€œYou canโ€™t see the stars, love. Thatโ€™s the ceiling. Also, itโ€™s day.โ€
    UGH, I love them both so much.

    Why, hello there, David Boreanaz. Congratulations on your acting debut. I love him, but season one/beginning of season two wasโ€ฆnot so good on the acting front. He had the smoldering look down, but that was about it. Plus, I love when you can tell that actors are having fun, and heโ€™s clearly enjoying himself. I love Drusillaโ€™s face during the Angelus/Judge sequence. Spike hasnโ€™t quite put together all of the pieces, but she has and itโ€™s just perfect. LUV U, JULIET.

    LOL and then there was this (first time trying to post a gif, so I might very well fail. Apologizing in advance)

    So much sass, Angelus.
    Is it awful that I kind of laughed when Willow saw Cordelia and Xander? I feel so bad for her (the โ€œrather be with someone you hate than be with meโ€ was heart breaking), but her face when they broke apart omg Iโ€™m a horrific human being. I was so impressed with her being able to pretty much say, โ€œXander, you suck, but there are more important things we have to deal with.โ€
    The entire Buffy/Angel scene is so completely awful. I want to curl up into a little ball just watching it. Most high school girls worry that guys only want them for sex, and then once they get that, theyโ€™ll be tossed aside. What the writers did with that fear is honestly brilliant. Awful, but brilliant. Have sex with a guy, and then he regresses into a soulless, monstrous murderer. โ€œWas I not good?โ€ STOP. MY HEART CANโ€™T TAKE THIS. And then she has to tell everyone what happened. Poor Buffy.

    I want to comment on everything Jenny because I have all of the feels, but I will reveal all of the spoilers, so I shall wait.

    The Buffy/Giles conversation in the car is one of my favorite scenes throughout the showโ€™s history. โ€œAll you will get from me is my support. And my respect.โ€ Their father/daughter dynamic just makes me want to weep.

    I still have more feeeelings, but this is already the longest comment ever. All in all, I think it is safe the say that Buffy had the worst birthday ever.

  44. The Night I Was Buffy

    At a Buffy event in 2007, before the main event—gur BZJS fvatnybat, bs pbhefr—they did Buffy-oke. The first scene was the Buffy/Angelus scene from "Innocence." You know the one. I volunteered to be Angel.

    Thankfully, the host allowed us to watch the scene with the subtitles on first to refresh our memories on the dialogue. I watched and reviewed Angel's dialogue, paying little attention to Buffy's, which my co-star seemed to know fairly well already, anticipating a few lines. I thought about how to play the lines, to be dickish but not boring. I decided throwing in a double thumbs-up on "I thought you were a pro" would be good. I contemplated taking off my shirt for authenticity. When the clip ended, the host pointed out Buffy's sad, sad, crushed face.

    The two of us took the stage again. The host came on and said, "You know, having a girl play Buffy is just so boring. So how about you play Buffy, and you play Angel." And he threw me a blonde wig.

    Weeeeeeell, fuck.

    Honestly, I didn't care about the fact that I was playing a girl or whatever;, it was more that I hadn't been paying attention to her lines and how to deliver them! So I became a brown-skinned Buffy with blonde hair. Unfortunately, my camera died and there are no pictures or video of what followed.

    When we were ready, we were to say, "Roll it," into our microphones. My scene partner gave the word. I also said, "Roll it." Then: "Or, I suppose"—adjusting the pitch of my voice—"roll it."

    The clip began, with subtitles helpfully provided.

    The first line was mine, in Buffy-voice: "Angel!" And I started to move toward her to mimic the screen, but she stayed put. Through the next couple lines, there were some cries from the audience of "Get closer!" but we didn't manage. It might have been difficult to do it with the microphones, anyway.

    I think I kinda rocked as Buffy. That is, I was really good as a male actor impersonating Buffy without going too over-the-top. Because I understand that a guy delivering Buffy's lines is inherently funny. But I think a lesser actor would have just gone completely high-pitched or excessively Valley Girl, which would also be funny. The problem with that is you would be trying to be funny and thus end up cracking yourself up.

    Whereas I got totally into it. I only raised my voice an octave or two so that I could still have different pitches to work with yet still sound girly enough to be funny. My first real line was "Oh my God! I was so worried," and text like that makes it easy to find a matching emotion. And, luckily, it wasn't a subtle emotion. It was supposed to be very apparent in my voice. So I pretended to be worried. And when I act, what usually happens is that if I pretend an emotion hard enough, I actually feel that emotion. My body physically reacts because it is stupid and easily tricked, much like my brain.

    I think I got a laugh out of nearly every line. I was in control of my faculties so that I could deliberately make sad faces to the audience and quickly think about how best to deliver the next line. But I was also emotional enough that I wasn't infected by the laughter.

    Understandably, my two best lines were at the end, by which point my lip was basically quivering of its own volition. I remembered my scene partner's delivery of "Don't touch me" when we watched the clip earlier and used it, with the beat between "Don't" and "touch me." It was very dramatic and sad.

    And then, finally, at the very end, I delivered the most sincere, genuine, heartfelt "I love you" a man playing Buffy has ever given. I'm pretty sure that got the biggest laugh of all.

    I was very sad. So hurt. So broken. And it showed.

    "You even did the face!" said the host as the scene ended. My prize was a big Season 8 poster that hangs in my bedroom. As I sat down, I attempted to regain my composure. It had been somewhat draining.

    On our way out, one of the cast members (of the event, not the show) said, "You were a great Buffy. Very humorous."

    "Thanks," I said. "I have acted before."

    "I could tell!" she said, mentioning my timing and maybe something else. And then later another cast member commented on my LiveJournal that I was an awesome Buffy and looked fabulous in that wig!

    But I know you don't care about my life. You'd much rather watch James Marsters play Angel.

    [youtube cIxnAyHzYrs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIxnAyHzYrs youtube]

  45. knut_knut says:

    My god, this episode just KILLED me. Like, made me want to curl up into a ball and watch videos of kittens until I forgot everything. By the end of the episode I was practically screaming STAKEHIMSTAKEHIMSTAKEHIM at Buffy because anyone who makes her feel like shit deserves a painful death, even if they’re technically already dead.

    On a good day, I hate Xander’s slut-shaming, but I guess because of the context of this episode, I just wanted to burn Xander and everything he loves. Not that there’s ever a time for jokingly slut-shaming, BUT THIS IS REALLY, REALLY NOT THE TIME FOR IT. Can we just have one episode where ~lol Cordy’s a slut~ isn’t a joke?

    Willow/Oz!!! <3 <3 <3 I love them so much! More than Jenny/Giles?? I DON’T EVEN KNOW ANYMORE

    • Karen says:

      For me Xander's slut shaming in this episode tends to be eclipsed by all the other awesome stuff going on, so I'd totally forgotten about it until I was rewatching it for this post. And then it just hits you in the face and UGH. STOP BEING THE WORST, XANDER.

  46. enigmaticagentscully says:

    WHY CAN’T WE JUST HAVE NICE THINGS???
    THIS IS THE MOST DEPRESSING AS FUCK SHOW I HAVE EVER WATCHED.

    EXCEPT MAYBE BATTLESTAR GALACTICA NOW I COME TO THINK ABOUT IT because bloody hell that show.

    The few things in this episode that made me happy:

    -Xander remembering his time as a soldier. I know it’s a totally convenient plot device but I don’t care, it’s cool.
    -Oz refusing to make out with Willow just to make Xander jealous. It nicely mirrors her refusal to go to the prom with Xander last season, thus further proving that they are totally made for each other. ^^
    -Buffy’s mom is the best mom.
    -Angel is a million times more interesting and charismatic as a bad guy. Sorry!
    -Giles’ talk with Buffy in the car at the end was lovely.

    The things which made me want to curl up into a tiny ball and weep:

    -Everything else

    Y’know, despite the fact that A LOT happened in this episode, I don’t really have much to say about it except…let’s talk about what happened to Jenny. I thought everyone was kind of harsh on her? I mean, feel free to call me out if I’m just wearing rose-tinted glasses because I love her but…that scene where Buffy and Giles both told her to get out? I’m sorry, what the actual fuck? How is this in any way her fault?
    In fact, if I remember correctly, she’s the only one who actually tried to do anything to prevent this. Plus, she JUST said that she didn’t know this would happen! It was Buffy and Angel’s actions that triggered the curse reversal, and it was her ancestors who put the curse on him in the first place. So…what, are you just hating her now because of the people she belongs to? The people who, I might add, were systematically slaughtered. I mean, fair enough, she lied about who she was (at least by omission) and that maybe warrants some anger but jesus, it’s not like she has the monopoly on keeping quiet about her past, eh Ripper? Just because there was another aspect to her personality that you didn’t know about doesn’t negate the person she is, or all the positive things she’s done so far.

    IDK it just seemed very unforgiving to me. I hope everyone calms down a little next episode.

    Fucking hell, guys, I just want everyone to be happy. Or just anyone to be happy. For FIVE GORRAM MINUTES.

    • Dru says:

      I think if you survived BSG, you'll make it through Buffy. It's like going from the fire into the frying pan, or maybe into a marginally less burn-inducing fire.

      • @farwell3d says:

        Love both shows, but, and maybe it's because I'm a little (or, in some cases A LOT) more attached to the BTVS characters, I think Buffy is slightly more sad forever.

        • Dru says:

          But at least Buffy is sometimes funny, and characters get to have good things happen to them sometimes.

          I love them both, but even living on top of the Hellmouth and going through high school there can't quite beat being chased across galaxies by murderous humanoid robots who have destroyed your planet and killed everyone.

    • LadyPeyton says:

      I agree with you about Jenny, the only excuse I see for Buffy and Giles is the possibility that Buffy is currently so completely destroyed by what happened that she is not thinking rationally, and Giles is partly hurt that Jenny lied to him (how can he trust that she really liked him or did she ingratiated herself with him to stay close to Buffy?) and partly out of loyalty to his currently destroyed Slayer.

      But rationally I agree with you 100%.

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        Yeah, I'm going to charitably assume that Giles sided with Buffy because he knew she needed an ally the most right then, and trying to keep the peace between her and Jenny would just piss her off.

        I guess I just think he should be a little more forgiving considering what happened when his own past nearly got Jenny killed…surely he, of all people, knows what it's like when an old mistake comes back to haunt you, and in this case it wasn't even her mistake.

        • Karen says:

          I think there was a little bit of Giles feeling betrayed by Jenny, but I do think that in that particular scene, he was mostly backing up Buffy because she needed that right then.

        • LadyPeyton says:

          Well, in Giles defense he didn't actively deceive Jenny. I doubt he ever expected the Eyegon thing to ever come up again in his life and its attack on Jenny was truly an accident. Jenny, on the other hand, has been actively deceiving the entire Scooby gang as long as she's known them and, in fact, probably only got to know them in the first place in order to keep a better eye on Angel. Do I think that changed very early on and she really came to care about them? Yes. Do I understand Giles feelings of betrayal upon discovering her deception? Yes. Will I lose patience with him if his anger carries on more than a few episodes? Yes. While it was a deception, it wasn't a major deception. I think he deserves just as much time to get over his feelings of betrayal as she did getting over hers. Maybe even slightly more since his past mistake wasn't intentionally aimed at her whereas hers was.

          • enigmaticagentscully says:

            Ok, I'll go with you on that one. I do think Giles (and indeed, everyone) has a right to feel betrayed and upset, but I do hope they get over it at some point. I guess you put your finger on it there – what I'm really afraid of is a disproportionate response, with everyone just randomly blaming Jenny for what happened.

            It's fair enough that they're a little mad, I would be too of someone I thought I knew might actually have an ulterior motive for hanging around with me!

            • Nattlinnen says:

              Further, they are all under a lot of press. A (for some of them) dear friend have changed to a bitter enemy directly endangering all of them. Time of trouble seem to shatter rather than unite.

    • hassibah says:

      Okay I know you'll never believe this but…I agree.

      No really, it bothered the hell out of me. I mean first Giles fucked up royally with his demon and he got sympathy right away. Then the whole thing with the second that everyone finds out her background she becomes ostracized. But even putting aside that she didn't do the curse and she doesn't deserve to be lumped in with her family, the curse is what made Angel who he was in the first place, and now her fam is being treated as some evil foil for the scoobies when his only real crime was horribly not-thought-through curse design. The whole thing rubs me the wrong way.

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        Clearly we are ~internet soulmates~

        Not least because you appear to have a Kate Beaton Wonder Woman picture as your icon. ๐Ÿ˜›

    • ladililn says:

      I am so so so so with you on Jenny. I had no idea why they were so mean to her at all. I mean, her motivations might not have been ones they liked, but technically, she was working to make sure Angel KEPT his soul. Which (as I think they'd all agree) would have been better for EVERYONE INVOLVED. Also, her uncle was just MURDERED, have a little sympathy. sheeeesh.

    • Delta1212 says:

      “-Angel is a million times more interesting and charismatic as a bad guy. Sorry!”

      I have always thought this. Evil Angel is best Angel. Even when he was pretending for like two minutes back in Spike’s first episode he was better.

      As for Jenny, not that I don’t sympathize with her position, because I do, and rationally, I don’t think she deserves to be ostracized. With Giles though, he had a secret past that, honestly, was relevant to much of what was going on until the demon showed up. His major screw up was that he didn’t handle it well when the demon showed back up again.

      In Jenny’s case, it’s not an arbitrary secret that happened to become relevant to the people around her. She was hiding the fact that she was specifically sent there in the present to spy on Angel and then secretly interfere with Buffy’s life.

      I don’t think Jenny was trying to be evil, and nor do I think she really did anything horrible, so it isn’t that I’m rooting for people to shun her. That said, her secret was very different from Giles’s in terms of how personal it was for the people it affected, and I don’t think that should be overlooked when considering how they react.

    • tigerpetals says:

      Yep. I assume Giles is doing it for Buffy's sake, 'cause he's really supportive of her in general, but it's really not her fault and this always makes me sad for her and Giles.

    • Nos says:

      -Angel is a million times more interesting and charismatic as a bad guy. Sorry!

      So say we all!

      I rot13'd a comment last episode: Hey what happened there at the end, did Angel just get hotter?

    • mophead50 says:

      Joss might give you 5 minutes of happiness, but do not expect any more than that.

  47. LadyPeyton says:

    – I love that even Spike’s wheelchair is red and black. He’s such a slave to fashion.
    – It’s never a good sign when it’s raining in the Buffyverse. Also not a good sign? Smoking. Smoking is a sign of evil in the Buffyverse. Also also not a good sign? Vampires in black leather pants of doom doom doomydoom doom.
    – and YAY!!!!!!! One of my favorite characters of all time appears , Evil Angel! Natryhf, vs lbh'er anfgl. One of the reasons Angel himself leaves me a bit cold is that Evil Angel is soooooo awesome. OMG Boreanaz is in his ELEMENT here!
    – Joyce is astoundingly perceptive. Something’s up, she’s just not sure what so she’s content to wait until Buffy is ready to tell her. Which is VERY difficult when you’re a mother.
    – “Well, I’m upset and I can’t think of a mean word right now!” Willow! Never change!
    – Poor Xander and Cordy. I hope they get their act together. They say the most awful things to each other but I really think they also care for each other. Makes me think that they might have very similar experiences at home, even though they’re from very different tax brackets. You don’t just start verbally abusing people that way. You have to be taught.
    – “You can’t see the stars love. That’s the ceiling. Also, it’s day.”
    – I wonder. Is this the point where Mark realized how unprepared he was? Ta Daa!!!!!
    – Cbbe Fcvxr. Ur vf nyfb fb hacercnerq.
    – Aw Cordy. The thing about Xander is he’d die for any of his friends, including you. Loyal puppy dogs are like that. And oooops! Hi Willow!
    – Ugh. There are not enough words in the English language to express how much I loathe the Buffy/Angel theme song. It’s as sappy and overly melodramatic as the relationship is. I do like the way they used it right before Angel CRUSHED BUFFY’S SOUL!!! though. And Angel, if it was good enough to strip your soul I think it was a lot better than you’re letting her believe.
    – Buffy’s face after Angel walks out just breaks my heart.
    – And now it becomes clear why Jenny was encouraged to separate Buffy and Angel. They’re not evil. They’re just trying to keep the soul intact. And I am not one who subscribes to the idea that ensouling Angel is akin to torturing him. The bleak reality is that if you give him a soul you remove a dangerous vampire from society. We know from his treatment of Dru that unsouled Angel is as scary a force of evil as the Judge. In my opinion the Kalderash people did the world a great big honking favor when they gave him a soul and Jenny was merely working toward ensuring that that favor stayed intact.
    – I love Willow dearly, but I don’t think she’s being fair to Xander. She’s acting towards Xander the way Xander acts towards Buffy and Angel and I don’t think it’s right in either case.
    – “I think I’m having a thought! Now I’m having a plan! Now I’m having a wiggins!”
    – So yeah. Fb lrnu. Natry pnyyf uvzfrys Natry, abg Natryhf n qvssrerag naq frcnengr crefbanyvgl. Ur'f zreryl Natry jvgubhg orarsvg bs n zbeny pbzcnff. Uvf Wvzval Pevpxrg tbg hc naq ena. Ur'f gur yvmneq ibvpr gung fcrnxf vafvq. “This can’t be you.” “We already covered that subject.” It’s him alright.
    – And Xander steps in and saves the day. And Buffy’s face once again breaks my soul into little pieces.
    – and holy carp! We’re barely halfway into the episode! One thing I loved about Whedon shows was how MUCH they crammed into 42 minutes of airtime.
    – Perceptive Willow is perceptive. Very perceptive.
    – “To kill this girl, you have to love her.” ghearq bhg gb or abg fb gehr va gur raq…
    – crying Buffy! Somebody make it better!!!! *sniff*
    – what the heck was Angel’s tattoo a picture of, anyway? I think I see an “A”, but it’s all blurry after that.
    – “even a moment of happiness” best euphemism for the Big “O” ever. LOL!
    – I guess Angel had access to Uncle E because it was a hotel room? That always confused me.
    – “I’m 17 looking at linoleum makes me want to have sex.”
    – Perceptive Oz is perceptive. Match made in heaven! “See in my fantasy when I’m kissing you, you’re kissing me.” *melts*
    – I honestly have never been able to feel anger at Jenny. She never acted to hurt Buffy or Angel. Sure she hid something from them, but it wasn’t responsible for what happened. I understand why Buffy is so angry, but I never felt the same as she did.
    – Looks like Sunnydale has a mall, too! Or a movie theater. Or both. Could go either way. No matter what it is it’s the location of the most kick ass scene of the entire series, IMO. Right now I ship Buffy/Rocket Launcher.
    – “Pieces? We get the pieces. Our job sucks!”
    – Url, Tvyrf pne *vf* funcrq yvxr n cravf!
    – I adore the last scene between Buffy and Giles. SMG is quite honestly one of the best criers of all time.
    – Oh Joyce! I love you so! I hope I’m half the mother you are. I wonder if there’s any significance to the fact that Joyce is wearing all off white and Buffy is wearing half white and half gray. Probably it ties into the Innocence theme somehow.

  48. Oh Mark, I so wanted you to react that way. I knew you would react like that. I knew from all your other reactions since the beginning of your Buffy watching.
    And that your heart will be heartbroken at the end…. *hugs* Welcome in the Whedon world! For good.

    Seriously. This episode is amazing. And such a game changer. Because it changed everything. And it changed the show. There's no turning back. You can't escape. You don't want to escape anyway…

    Angelus and his leather pants have always some weird effects on me… Hotness…. lol
    And those who don't want to cuddle Buffy at the end, have no heart. That is all.

    Funny fact : The moanings from the flashback love scene were made by Joss Whedon himself and his wife. Nope, it's not SMG and D. Boreanaz. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    If one day you have some time in your busy life, you should listen to Whedon's episodes commentaries. Always so great to know how THE man think. Even if you can't really know how his genius works…

    Now let's come the second half of this season 2 ! Yay !

    • Oups ,my bad, sorry not his wife.The sound editor. Whedon's wife is for another story. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • RoseFyre says:

      "If one day you have some time in your busy life, you should listen to Whedon's episodes commentaries. Always so great to know how THE man think. Even if you can't really know how his genius works…"

      But only once you're done with the whole series. The commentary can get uber-spoilery at times.

  49. KatieHal says:

    “V rntreyl njnvg gur rcvfbqr jura Ohssl pna whfg gryy ure zbz jungโ€™f tbvat ba. V ARRQ VG.”

    Bu fjrrg fhzzre puvyq. Fb abg cercnerq!

    Zna. Guvf vf nyy whfg erzvaqvat zr ubj senxxva’ njrfbzr guvf frnfba vf. Gur svanyr–bu! Vg jvyy or n pelsrfg! Lrg zl snibevgr cneg bs vg vf jura fur pngpurf gur oynqr. “Gnxr nyy gung njnl, naq jung’f yrsg?” “Zr.”

    Also, for anyone rewatching along with Mark:

    rire abgvpr ubj gur svefg rcvfbqr sberfunqbjf gur svanyr? Ohssl nfxf Natry jub ur guvaxf jbhyq jva vs gurl sbhtug.

    • WhiteEyedCat says:

      V xrrc guvaxvat gung gbb! Jul qb lbh xrrc nfxvat sbe vg Znex!? Ohssl'f eriryngvba gb ure zbgure bayl oevatf cnva. FB ZHPU CNVA!

    • cait0716 says:

      Gurer ner fb znal jnlf gur cerzvrer sberfunqbjf gur svanyr. Sebz gung yvar, gb Ohssl jnyxvat fgenvtug vagb n genc, gb vg bcravat jvgu Ohssl whfg ubzr sebz YN naq pybfvat jvgu ure urnqrq onpx. Gurl obbxraq gur frnfba ernyyl jryy naq vg terngyl nqqf gb zl nccerpvngvba bs JFJO

    • echinodermata says:

      Rot13'd first line.

      • KatieHal says:

        Sorry. I didn't think that was a spoiler…

        • echinodermata says:

          Gur ernfba vg'f pbafvqrerq fhpu vf orpnhfr dhbgvat Znex'f erivrj sbyybjrq ol ebg13 fgvyy ybbxf yvxr 'grrurr guvf vf vzcbegnag ohg lbh qba'g xabj vg Znex!'

          Fbzrgvzrf gung'f abg gur pnfr naq vagrecergvat vg gung jnl jbhyq zvfqverpg, ohg gung'f abg gur pnfr urer.

  50. hpfish13 says:

    So, I’ve decided to ignore the endless tragedy that is this episode and focus on the one thing that makes me laugh from it.

    [Buffy fires a crossbow at the Judge demon]
    The Judge: Who dares?
    Buffy: Think I got his attention.
    The Judge: You're a fool. No weapon forged can stop me.
    Buffy: That was then…
    [pulls out a rocket launcher]
    Buffy: … this is now.
    [Angelus & Drusilla run for cover]
    The Judge: What's that do?

    Also, I wanted to share that the company where I work purchases material from a company called Angelus Precision Grinding. http://www.angelusprecision.com/menu.html And that the first time I saw an invoice from them, I cracked up laughing. I was like “We can’t do business with them! They are evil!!!” No one heeded my warning though, and we bought like 50,000 dollars worth of material from them.

    We also get our internet from a place called Cybernet, which is clearly what Cyberdine and Skynet disguised their Terminator generating company as.

    • Avery says:

      Hahaha, this reminds me of one time at work when I was sorting through some forms and saw that someone's job title was Shipper. Where can I apply for this immediately? I HAVE EXCELLENT CREDENTIALS.

  51. Maya says:

    More fun trivia: The scene where they flashback to Buffy and Angel having sex had to be re-dubbed, but Joss was too embarrassed to ask SMG and David Boreanaz to re-do it. So he did it himself (with the sound editor doing Buffy's part).

  52. WhiteEyedCat says:

    – "Angel kisses Spike on the head. WHERE ARE THE FICS. WHERE ARE THEY."
    Ha ha, don't worry there is no shortage of Angel/Spike fics.

    – I forgot how completely heart wrenching this episode is! For some reason my memory of it is, Buffy and Angel have sex, Angel goes evil, rocket launcher. But seriously Buffy, stop breaking my heart! I can't take this broken, weeping Buffy, give me back my fun loving badass Buffy!

    – I completely love the dynamic between Spike, Angel and Drusilla. The moment they found out that Angelus was back it felt like Spike dropped a few notches in the leadership command. It probably helps that he's in a wheelchair, but there's definitely the sense that he and Dru are no longer in charge. Not that Dru cares.

    – I also find Angelus and Spike's different philosophies of killing interesting. Angelus seems to get a kick out of completely mentally destroying his victims first (as seem with Dru) whereas Spike is just in it for the kill. I think that this is what makes Angelus so much bigger and badder, since, as Dumbledore taught us, there are things worse than death. It's not clear yet where Dru stands, except that she enjoys armageddon. And creepy dolls.

    – Awwww, Xander and Cordy, and Willow and Oz. I love that their romantic relationships are taking time to develop, it felt like Angel and Buffy were immediately in love. I guess that one did involve a 200 year old vampire so they were a little more mature.

    • spikesjojo says:

      I think that Spike, having killed two slayers, is also in it for the challenge. Both of them, of course, kill to eat. But Angel does seem to prefer torturing his victims (like Dru). As Spike said, he never cared for the pre-show. He doesn't have the physically imposing build that Angelus has – he's actually somewhat on the small side for a man. So he fills in that gap with attitude and mad fighting skills. Even his body language – legs spread to create a wide base and take up space – is calculated to make him look formidable.

      • echinodermata says:

        "Mad fighting skills" meaning "crazy" or "insane" fighting skills is considered ableist; please refrain from this sort of speech on the site.

        • spikesjojo says:

          Apologies. I'm probably actually hideously out of date on slang, I thought in this sense that mad simply meant incredibly good. So I did mean it as a compliment and not in any way pejoratively.

          But I'm curious – since I want to stay here – how does that policy work when discussing Drucilla? Angel has already revealed that he drove her insane. In fact, I think that's one of the incredible draws of her character – her amazing internal logic, her divergent thinking. This vamp does not think like any other – she might be called insane – but she is by no means stupid or ineffective. Since the term used in canon is "insane" will that work?

          • echinodermata says:

            Please read Ableist Word Profile on "Crazy" and the section about it being used as a positive amplifier.

            And I ask you not use "insane" on this site unless you are quoting it. "Insane" is a term that carries the same baggage as "crazy" – note neither of these terms are clinical and one cannot be diagnosed with "craziness" or "insanity." ("Insane" has legal status, but no medical one.)

            So even if the canon uses it, I ask you not use it on this site.

  53. Abygail says:

    I can never watch this episode completly… whenever SMG starts crying, I start crying aswell… so I always miss a few minutes after the crying… god, how I would like to just be there for her to comfort here at those scenes!

    Nsgre gur oernxhc va gur arkg frnfba gurl rira unq gb fgbc gur fubbgvat sbe unys na ubhe orpnhfr FZT pbhyqa'g fgbc pelvat… fur ernyyl oryvrirq Ohssl naq Natry fubhyq or sberire, gung whfg grnef zr hc.

    • settlingforhistory says:

      There is a blooper reel (which unfortunately I can't find anywhere) of SMG crying in David's arms (bs gung cbfrffrq ol tubfgf fprar va V bayl unir rlrf sbe lbh) which so heart breaking, she really is a great actress.

  54. arctic_hare says:

    You were never prepared for this, Mark. Not. One. Bit.

    That whole thing with him blowing out the smoke looks cool, but makes no sense.

    I have to agree with Cordelia and Giles here. What possible good would it do for them to all get themselves killed, when they could instead work on finding a way to stop the Judge? Willow, Xander, I know your hearts are in the right places here, but you're wrong. It isn't that the others don't have feelings, it's that they're also engaging their brains. If you'd slow down and think about it, you'd see that.

    Yeah, so… about Boreanaz' acting. I think it gets so much better when Angel loses his soul, because he just gets to be bad and enjoy it, and it's a lot of fun to watch. He's clearly having a good time, and we got a little taste of that back in School Hard when he put on his act for Spike. Now here's the genuine article, and shit is going to get so real.

    Okay, slashing Angelus/Spike after that little kiss on the forehead.

    Willow, no. Just no. I really don't like how she acts here. I don't like how Xander downplays what he and Cordy were doing either, but what Willow says really doesn't sit right with me. He's not obligated to tell you if he's got something going on with her or anyone, and the whole "you'd rather be with someone you hate than be with me" sounds like the entitled bullcrap I usually expect from HIM towards Buffy. Cut it out. It's not as bad as when he does it to Buffy because of gender differences and history, but it's still not cool.

    I can't even talk about the scene in Angel's apartment. It's too awful. Not quality-wise, but just… the look on SMG's face when he's so cruel to her. It breaks my heart for poor Buffy.

    WILLOW NO DON'T TRUST HIM

    Oh, Buffy. ๐Ÿ™ This doesn't happen often, but I agree, shut up, Giles.

    Ugh, Xander, you were doing so well till now, and then you brought out the slut-shaming for her clothing choices again. Sigh. Just stop.

    I have no words for the scene with Buffy crying in her room, either. ๐Ÿ™

    HAWKWARD.

    Did we need the "sissy girl" line, writers? Really? Ugh. I also don't like the line "I'm seventeen, looking at linoleum makes me want to have sex". Way to erase the experiences of all the teenagers who aren't/weren't desperate to have sex.

    ILU, Oz.

    The ship just sank. ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ I understand his being angry, granted, but noooooooooooooo they only just got back together! WHY MUST YOU DO THIS TO US.

    The effect for the Judge frying people reminds me strongly of when the Ark opened up and fried the Nazis.

    ROCKET LAUNCHER FUCK YES!

    I HAVE HAD THIS GIF LYING AROUND SINCE FOREVER AND NOW I FINALLY GET TO USE IT!

    <img src="http://i44.tinypic.com/r7j1xx.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    Oh, Giles. ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ Although I really dislike the line about Buffy acting "rashly", as though the mere act of having sex with Angel was wrong. She had no way of knowing beforehand about the specifics of the curse, as he himself says, so what was "rash" about it?

    Segue of heartbreakingly appropriate lyrics, go. ๐Ÿ™

    That ending with Buffy and her mom gets me every time.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      The ship just sank. ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ I understand his being angry, granted, but noooooooooooooo they only just got back together! WHY MUST YOU DO THIS TO US.

      Whedon is just pulling my ~feelings~ every which way with this. I JUST WANT THEM TO BE HAPPY.

    • Bonnie says:

      I totally agree with you about Willow's behaviour towards Xander. Actually, I almost always agree with everything you say. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • beckaboomer says:

      Yes, and that line Giles has about wagging his finger, ("You did [act rashly], and I could…") always bugged me too. As if there is some sort of right anyone has to wag their finger at another person for having consensual sex? Huh? It's just a weird moment for the show and for Giles, of whom I would have expected better.

      • etherealclarity says:

        I feel like maybe the inclusion of that line was meant to allude to the idea that maybe Buffy wasn't emotionally ready for sex (as some of us discussed in yesterday's post). But it comes off weird, and isn't really any of his business. I mean, the consequences in this episode would have been exactly the same had Buffy been 100% emotionally ready for sex. So it rubs me the wrong way.

    • hassibah says:

      Yeah I agree about Willow and Xander. I do get where her emotions are coming from but what he does is his own damn business and she should stay out.
      Just :/

    • misterbernie says:

      Beautiful gif is beautiful <3

    • notemily says:

      Oh, Giles. ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ Although I really dislike the line about Buffy acting "rashly", as though the mere act of having sex with Angel was wrong. She had no way of knowing beforehand about the specifics of the curse, as he himself says, so what was "rash" about it?

      Word. Every time I watch this scene I'm like "What is he talking about? …Oh, I guess he's talking about the sex?" because Buffy's behavior didn't seem rash at all to me. Done in a moment of passion, sure, but it wasn't like she hadn't thought about it and already pretty much made up her mind.

      • _Bailey_ says:

        Just to play devil's advocate here . . . . she did disappear in the middle of a major strategic meeting. The reason was originally to spy on Spike and Dru, but she and Angel ended up having sex and she was away from the gang for hours without checking in, or even calling to let them know to watch out for the enormous smurf that might be wandering around Sunnydale (she had no way of knowing that he would hole up for a while to gather his strength). The rest of the gang spends the night at the library looking for a way to stop the Judge, and Buffy's "we had to hide" excuse for not joining them (or again, even simply calling) falls a bit flat. I can see see how Giles can accuse her of being rash when she decides to put the situation with the Judge on hold to appease her hormones.

    • Sean Murphy says:

      I very much appreciate and respect you for your even handedness on Willows possessiveness of Xander in the ep, since you hold Xander to task for such things, and many a time I've seen people try to excuse it and say "its different willow is allowed to!". Though because of this i will take issue with the "It's not as bad as when he does it to Buffy because of gender differences and history, but it's still not cool." line and disagree with you on that point since why should Xander get treated unfairly because he is a man? You could have made the argument for the individual of Xander doing it several times previously but you didn't. you judged him on his gender.

  55. This two-parter is really one of my favorites. One thing I like about Buffy is how it takes situations that a lot of people have experienced and gives them these supernatural twists. This episode is a fine example of that, because while I can't speak for everyone, I know I sure have had that fear that sleeping with a boy was going to change everything – and not for the better. It's sort of a common trope that I've seen in a lot of media too: 'girl gives it up, boy becomes a jerk.' Joss takes that and gives it a major twist – Angel doesn't just lose interest, he loses his SOUL.

    And when Angel is bad, he is very, very bad.

    Also, I have to say that I love the buildup to the Judge and then Buffy blasts him to bits with a rocket launcher, end of story. This kind of stuff is one of the rasons that I love BtVS so very much!

  56. DreamRose311 says:

    Abj V jnag gb urne Znex fnl fbzrguvat nobhg ubj Natryhf unf gb or er-phefrq be gung Natryhf pna'g qvr orpnhfr Natry unf n fcvabss… Zl ebbzzngr xrcg qbvat gung orgjrra guvf naq Orpbzvat. Naq gura nsgre jr jngpurq Orpbzvat, fur jrag naq gevrq gb svaq bhg vasb nobhg Natry orpnhfr bs uvz qlvat naq fb fur sbhaq bhg jura ur pbzrf onpx… *natresnpr* Fur vf bar bs gubfr ernq-gur-ynfg-puncgre-svefg glcrf gubhtu, fb… vg unccraf urur.

  57. Karen says:

    THIS EPISODE. SO MUCH GOING ON FOR SO MANY CHARACTERS. ASLDF;SDJF. Ok, I’m going to try to keep this brief-ish. So last episode it seemed like maybe Buffy wasn’t completely ready to have sex with Angel. I mean she was definitely sexually attracted to him, but at the same time it felt a bit like she wanted to have sex with him just because it felt like the next step even if she wasn’t completely emotionally ready. And now we kind of see the ramifications of that and how de-souled Angel plays on those insecurities and it’s so cruel. ALTHOUGH. How badass is it when Angel bites the woman and like then blows out the smoke of the cigarette she had been smoking?

    Anyway, Buffy wakes up the ~the morning after~ and Angel isn’t there which makes her a bit insecure about the events of the night before, but she’s still not sure exactly what’s wrong. She just knows that SOMETHING is wrong. And she’s worried.

    And she’s right to be worried. Angel has joined back up with Spike and Dru and this can’t possibly be good. (Although speaking of Spike, this line of his made me lol: “You can’t see the stars, love. That’s the ceiling. Also, it’s day.”) I love that Angel can’t be burned because there’s no humanity in him which I think give us a sense for how bad he really is since even Dru and Spike were said to have humanity in them, according to the Judge.

    In the midst of all this Buffy and Angels stuff, there’s also some good Willow (and Xander) things happening in this episode. Poor Willow finding out about Cordy and Xander that way. On the topic of Xander, Xander can fuck off when he tells Cordy to meet him in half an hour and to wear something “trashy… er”. YOU ARE THE WORST, XANDER HARRIS. His plan is quite good though. Doesn’t make him less of an asshole, unfortunately. Anyway, Willow finds out about Xander and Cordy and it HURTS. She’s carried a torch for Xander for years and now he’s with this girl that he doesn’t even LIKE? Ooooouch. The way that Willow wants to kiss Oz as a way of getting back at Xander for his relationship with Xander… oh sweetie… no. But I LOVE that Oz tells her that while he wants to kiss her, he doesn’t want her to kiss him just to get even with Xander. Oz is just super sweet and also insightful and I WANT HIM AND WILLOW TO BE TOGETHER MAKING JOKES AND BEING CUTE FOREVER.

    So while all this is going on, Angel continues to mess with Buffy in really cruel ways. He makes her feel both used and unwanted. The look on her face when Angel is mocking her sexual ability and then blows her off is so heartbreaking. It just feels like the idea of a high school boyfriend who is done with a girl after he’s gotten what he wanted (aka sex). Like, I didn’t care much about Buffy/Angel in the last episode, but in THIS episode my heart breaks for Buffy. I don’t care about them as a relationship as such. But I do care about how the relationship affects Buffy as a character. And my poor beloved Buffy’s heart is just being shattered here.

    Oh god and the way he kisses Buffy before shoving her aside at the scene in the school hallway- just rubbing in their romantic relationship. And his plan at getting to her is working. She looks so cold and dead on the inside. And then she goes home and sobs on her bed and I just want to hold her. She knows that the only thing that had changed for Angel was the fact that they had sex, so she feels responsible. Like she was in some way deficient and that led to Angel losing her soul.

    While I’m talking about Angel losing his soul, I feel like I should touch on the Jenny part of this episode. Her uncle continues to feel a bit like a stereotype, but at least Jenny is allowed to continue to feel like a real person with conflicting beliefs. I do think it’s interesting though that her uncle says, “It is not justice we serve, it is vengeance.” And vengeance isn’t really concerned about fairness. Anyway, later in the episode Buffy figures out that Jenny knew something and it just feels like a betrayal. Jenny didn’t want to hurt Buffy, but Buffy did get hurt. Giles feels the betrayal too. He backs Buffy up when she tells Jenny to get out. And it’s just like ;lkasdjf;lsdkjfd. Jenny felt the responsibility to her family, but now she also feels the responsibility to her friends and they’re in conflict and it’s not fair.

    Angel continues to prey on Buffy’s insecurities about her sexuality and her relationship with Angel. Writing “Was it good for you too?” with the blood of Jenny’s uncle was a stroke of masterful genius assholery.

    • Karen says:

      So Buffy uses the RPG and kills the judge and it’s pretty clever. But then… THEN. That fight between her and Angel. It’s a good fight. At different points in the fight, Angel says both, “if I knew how easy it would have been for you to give it up, I wouldn’t have even bothered,”and “you made me the man I am today”. Which is just like hitting Buffy where it hurts, rubbing salt in the would because those touch on the feeling of being used that Buffy had been struggling with (aka he just wanted her for sex) and the feeling of guilt and responsibility because it was due to having sex with her that Angel lost his soul. Throughout the fight Buffy gets some good hits in, working out her anger and hurt. But in the end she just can’t kill him. He still looks like the man she loved, and she just can’t do it. Angel taunts her with that fact (because he’s totally right), but she can at least kick him in the balls. And as she walks away she says, “give me time”. Right now the hurt is too close.

      The final few minutes are brilliant. The scene in the car with Giles and Buffy is great. He’s Giles, so Buffy feels like she can’t really talk to him fully about everything that is bothering her (namely the sexual aspect of everything that happened), but Giles reassures Buffy. Buffy’s spent this whole episode feeling first worthless and then guilty and Giles tells Buffy that he’ll always have his support and respect

      Then Buffy goes inside and spends the evening watching old with her mom. I love this bit of dialogue:

      Joyce: What’d you do with your birthday?
      Buffy: Got older.

      That is some really great writing because on one hand it’s the kind of sarcastic thing a teenager might say to a parent who asked their kid about their birthday. But on the other hand, it’s so true. Buffy got older. She is having to face some really hard things that no seventeen year old should have to deal with. When Buffy says she’s just going to let the candle burn, Joyce knows that something is wrong, but she doesn’ t know what. So she just lets Buffy lean against her and strokes Buffy’s hair. It’s such a beautiful and quiet moment in the midst of all the drama earlier in the episode. And it reminds us that even though Buffy is the chosen one and has to fight vampires, she’s still a seventeen year old girl who sometimes just needs her mom.

    • Kickpuncher says:

      The way that Willow wants to kiss Oz as a way of getting back at Xander for his relationship with Xander… oh sweetie… no

      V gubhtug gung qvqa'g unccra hagvy Gur Ercynprzrag.

    • Inseriousity. says:

      wow if this is brief…? ๐Ÿ˜›

      I always like your contributions though. you go into so much detail. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Dru says:

      How badass is it when Angel bites the woman and like then blows out the smoke of the cigarette she had been smoking?

      It gives a whole new meaning to the words "secondhand smoke".

  58. ajaxbreaker says:

    Finally you're here ๐Ÿ™‚ I've been dying to get your reaction to this episode. It's definitely one of the best Buffy episodes ever and every time I rewatch it, I am bowled over by just how good it is. Oh Joss, you hurt us so good.

    Things I love:
    -Oz's "Willow kissage" speech. If that doesn't turn you into a pile of mush then something's wrong with you. I love how Willow watches him during this speech with this look of total wonder on her face, like her whole world is opening up.
    -"Looking at linoleum makes me wanna have sex"
    -Angel kissing Spike on the head, but also Spike bursting into pleased laughter afterwards. Yes, of course, there are fics ๐Ÿ˜€ That tiny scene just gives you such an idea of the long, complicated history between these characters. (Bs pbhefr guvf vf yngre rkcyberq ornhgvshyyl va Natry.)
    -SMG acts the hell out of this episode. Perfect balance between hurt, insecure teenage girl, drawn, jilted lover and determined, kick-ass fighter. She is matched scene for scene by Boreanaz, who is clearly having a ball playing the bad guy. The soul left, the charisma arrived ๐Ÿ˜€
    -Buffy asking, in that tiny little-girl voice "Was I not good?" HERE IS MY HEART JOSS STOMP AWAY. What kills it is this is such a basic human fear, that you were a bad lover, or physically inferior in some other way. I bet there's not one person on earth who can't relate to that scene in some way.
    -Angel blowing out that woman's smoke makes absolutely no sense but damn if it isn't one of the coolest images ever to be on television
    -Buffy kicking Angel in the groin is the perfect way of getting back at the guy who made her feel sexually inadequate, isn't it?

    • Seventh_Star says:

      gur znva ernfba v jvfu natry unq unq ng yrnfg bar zber frnfba vf orpnhfr v jnagrq zber rkcybengvba bs fcvxr naq natry. gurl'er purzvfgel vf haoryvrinoyr. naq uvynevbhf.

    • hpfish13 says:

      -Buffy asking, in that tiny little-girl voice "Was I not good?" HERE IS MY HEART JOSS STOMP AWAY.

      Gur bayl zbzrag bs FZT'f npgvat gung trgf gb zr zber guna gung zbzrag vf ng gur raq bs V Jnf Znqr Gb Ybir Lbh, jura nyy fur fnlf vf "Zbz? Zbz? Zbzzl?"

      WBFF JURQBA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  59. LucyGoosey says:

    So yeah, I just realized. Not only does Buffy know having sex with her boyfriend turned him evil again, but she also knows that it wasn't that specifically- it was that she gave him a moment of "perfect happiness". He loved her enough that it made him want to kill her. That would hurt doubly.

  60. hassibah says:

    rot13 comment from yesterday: I think it's kind of apt that Angel turning evil happened on the 13th episode.

    Now onto today:
    Jenny gets the scary/suspicious music again.
    So evil Angel is basically a frat boy? I will admit I liked the move where he killed that girl and then exhaled her cig smoke, that looked pretty cool and his chemistry w Spike and Dru is indeed amazing.
    Oh yeah and he still big on torturing people through the ones they care about. Again Sarah deserves all the awards for her scenes with him.
    Oh godddddddddd Willow why are you making me so sad when you are in such close to being with Oz?
    Also wasn't Oz's van painted black and white a few episodes ago? Good thing I am commenting on paint since Oz didn't say anything awesome or interesting today. No really I love how observant he is.
    Xander's plan working is so fucking rediculous but whatever. For god's sake man, tell Cordy what it is! I know you hate each other and that's a thing but you at least owe her that, esp when that plan involves committing really serious federal offences.
    I love Dru, my first time around with this show I liked her but didn't really appreciate her much but now I see the error of my ways. Also her and Angel quietly edging away from smurf boy while Buffy points that thing at him will never not be funny.
    The poorly written uncle didn't live long, there's a surprise. At least Buffy figures out that she has to kill Angel pretty damn fast.
    But anyways…if you were doing a revenge curse and it's really important to you that Angel be miserable, WHY would you design your curse so that the second he stops being miserable, he becomes the monster that killed everything you love in the first place? Why wouldn't you give him an eternal depression curse or something? I like the idea of making him feel remorse but uh, that's a really flawed plan(and yes I know it's to advance the plot but JUST SAYING.)

    It (shockhorror!) pisses me off that Buffy tells Jenny to fuck off.
    um… She did not do the curse, she did not invent the terms of the curse, that all happened way before she was born. She had no real idea how the curse would actually work or what it would do.
    I mean Giles got tea and booze and sympathy when his demon (which he was actually responsible for) possessed and killed a bunch of people, Buffy even (tried to) protect Rayne whose guts she totally hated naq vg'f abg yvxr Natry qvqa'g whfg xvyy ure eryngvir naq guerngra rirelbar gung Ohssl xabjf. What's the difference with Jenny, it's not like Buffy's known Giles that much longer than her at this point. What's more she tried to help them as soon as her secret was out.

    It is such a beautiful thing to me that Whedon goes out of his way to have a male figure in Buffy’s life tell her that Angel is not her fault, that she is not irrational for choosing to have sex, and that he supports her.

    Despite me being mad at Buffy and Giles just based on the very end of this episode alone can he be my dad? I mean probably not cause my heart would explode but Buffy really gets the best parents.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      Oh thank goodness I'm not alone on the Jenny thing. I was a little worried I'm just turning into a huge Jenny apologist but…yeah they were really harsh on her.

      I guess it doesn't bother me so much that Buffy was mad, since she probably isn't in the most rational frame of mind at the moment anyway and needs someone to blame. But it makes me sad that Giles and the others are going to hate her for simply withholding information about herself that was really none of their business anyway.

      What does it matter that she was one of the Kalderash people? She personally never did anything to harm Angel, she had no way of warning them about what would happen, since she didn't know herself, and even afterwards, she wanted nothing more than to help.

      • settlingforhistory says:

        Oh, but they don't know what we know about Jenny; that she tried to convince her uncle or that she had intended to split up the couple. The only thing the Scoobies know is that she could have warned them, that she could have prevented all of this. I love Jenny a lot and I don't blame her, but I don't blame the others for feeling betrayed either.

        • enigmaticagentscully says:

          I guess, but…didn't she outright tell them that she didn't know this would happen?

          • settlingforhistory says:

            She knew about the loophole, she is the one who told them about it, though of course she could not have known what Angel's moment of perfect happiness would be.

            • enigmaticagentscully says:

              I thought her uncle only just told her about it in this episode? Sorry, I don't mean to seem like I'm arguing with you, but I actually feel like I may actually have missed something here.

              I was under the impression that she knew about the curse, and was sent there to make sure it was still working, but didn't know that if Angel experienced a true moment of happiness it would be broken?

              Didn't her uncle only tell her that in the scene where she calls him a fool? I'd look up a quote or something but I'm a little wary of spoilers!

              • hassibah says:

                That's what I thought too, how the curse worked wasn't really clear untill this episode.

              • settlingforhistory says:

                Yes, she only found out in this episode, but the Scoobies only know: 'Jenny knew the curse could break and she didn't warn us.'

                I don't blame Jenny, I understand it was a tough decision, she did try to get Angel far away from Buffy and I don't think loyalty to her family is a bad thing, my point is just that I understand the Scoobies, too.

                • Karen says:

                  Yeah, the Scoobies don't have the full pictures and Buffy is really hurting right now. So I understand her lashing out at Jenny. And then Giles saw how bad Buffy was hurting which is why he backed her up (in addition to feeling a bit of betrayal on his own).

      • Ginsue says:

        I do not think that it is wrong to defend Jenny when other characters have kept dangerous secrets, as well. When I see the word apologist, it usually involves a sect of fandom that is willing to excuse a character for murdering a child in cold blood because he had a sympathetic motivation. Jenny did not have any more control of what happened to Angel than Buffy did. Her uncle even said that their tribe doesn't even remember how it is done anymore.

        I understand Buffy's anger, but I was surprised at Gile's harshness. It was so forced. In my mind, I imagine he did it for Buffy's sake, but I still do not know if it is warranted. If he had just said it any other way, she probably would have left and gave Buffy some space. Well, now my ship has another fallout.

        Now I am afraid, afraid that this was an issue with fandom and they blame her for more problems than this.

        • settlingforhistory says:

          All I have experienced here is absolute love for Jenny so I don't think there was much blame among the fans.
          I guess Giles is so harsh partly because of his protectiveness of Buffy, but also because he cared about Jenny and feels horrible betrayed now.

    • NB2000 says:

      Also wasn't Oz's van painted black and white a few episodes ago?

      It was also right-hand drive and now it's left-hand.

    • arctic_hare says:

      Well, with regards to Jenny, they may feel like she only got close to them as part of her assignment and are doubting everything that went before in her relationships with them. I love her too, don't get me wrong, but I figure that's probably how THEY see it.

      • hassibah says:

        It kind of doesn't make that much sense to me that Enyos and Jenny's fam are made out to be foils of the scoobies at all. I mean good Angel would never have existed at all if not for them.

        That said I can understand confusion and rage on Buffy's part, especially at first, but by the end of the episode I did expect different from Giles considering his past. I tend to write it as him trying to give Buffy moral support when she's going through so much shit, but it still makes me mad.

        • arctic_hare says:

          Oh yeah, I definitely don't get why they're made out to be baddies either, they're really not. I understand why Buffy and Giles too might be angry at Jenny – they don't have the whole picture and Buffy thinks this could've been avoided if Jenny had spoken up sooner, and Giles might feel like their relationship was a sham the whole time on top of "must support Buffy in her time of need". Plus, yeah, he is a bit of a hypocrite. I get why they lash out, but I don't condone it, either, and I feel terrible for poor Jenny.

          • spikesjojo says:

            Why send someone to make sure Angel stays miserable, and not tell them what will happen if he gets happy? And when you are supposed to see that someone stays miserable and then see them developing an intense and loving relationship, shouldn't you do something?

            I don't think Giles is a hypocrite. Giles is a watcher. He is Buffy's watcher. That's more than a job – it's a calling. I like Jenny – I really do. But I also see that on the scale of priorities, Buffy is the only real priority Giles has – and anything that will affect her ability to be the slayer has to be dealt with. Buffy has just been hugely betrayed – I don't think Giles would want to risk any actions that even look like possible betrayal.

            • arctic_hare says:

              I think he's a bit hypocritical for getting mad at Jenny for hiding something from him, when he did the same thing and it put her life in danger.

          • Hanna says:

            I agree that Jenny got shafted here, but I don't think Giles is at fault. It clearly hurts him to treat her like that. But he has an obligation to Buffy that is more than personal. It's his sacred duty to make sure she is prepared to fight evil, and he is the only one in her life who can begin to understand how much she will have to sacrifice in that fight.

    • notemily says:

      I'm laughing at the idea of an eternal depression curse. I mean, depression is awful, yes, but can you imagine Angel being MORE broody than he already is?

  61. colleencuisine says:

    Once you have finished the entire series, I highly recommend the book "Sex and the Slayer: a Gender Studies Primer for the Buffy Fan" by Lorna Jowett. I think you would really enjoy it.

    • @ohbrietta says:

      There's also Slayage, which is an online scholarly journal completely on Buffy/Angel/Whedonverse, which I totally used when i wrote an essay on Buffy three years ago.

  62. Meltha says:

    I think too that part of the problem with the curse is that vengence doesn't punish monsters; it creates them.

  63. 00guera00 says:

    For the first time, I actually had time to take notes for an episode! So thoughts while watching…
    •Dru is happy…uh oh
    •Ominous thunder is ominous
    •Run lady! Don’t be nice! RUN!
    •Okay the smoke thing…is that supposed to mean he bit all the way through her neck?
    •“I’m naming all the stars…” I love their conversations.
    •Oh Willow…my heart is shattered. “You’d rather be with someone you hate, than with me.”
    •And then, when I didn’t think it could hurt any worse…I can’t watch the Angel/Buffy scene too closely. UGH
    •“I’ll call ya.” And I repeat, UGH
    •The Uncle’s Vengeance speech… (Nalobql ryfr guvaxvat nobhg Naln?)
    •And don’t you think that if there was a chance that a mass murder could be set loose that maybe he should have mentioned that earlier? Seriously?
    •“I think I’m having a thought…”
    •I got something to show you? In the dark? Really?
    •Anybody else think those cutouts in the outside wall look like bats?
    •“Leaning towards blind panic myself.” Oh, Giles.
    •Uh, they believed the, I saw his face excuse? It was dark!
    •Oh I forgot Buffy figured it out in the dream
    •Attacking a teacher in the middle of class…good plan.
    •Although, getting out of class early makes the class forget.
    • Jnvg…jnvg…jnvg…Jung nobhg gur vaivgngvba? (pbhyq or n ubgry ebbz, V thrff)
    •This whole army scene is kinda awkward.
    •But Oz and Willow’s conversation totally make up for any oddness in the army scene.
    •“Don’t you look spiffy.”
    •Oh Jenny, and again my heart is all squished.
    •Lol, Spike hiding in the shadows.
    •Poor random dude ๐Ÿ™
    •I love how Angel and Dru are like “hit the deck!” while the Judge is all “Huh?”
    •“We get the pieces, our job SUCKS!”
    •“If is guilt you’re looking for, Buffy I’m not your man. All you’ll get from me is my support, and my respect.”
    I love Giles itty bitty pieces.

    I like this episode…not one of my top favorites but its pretty great.

  64. Ginsue says:

    ROCKET LAUNCHER! I jumped from my seat when she took out the rocket launcher. So much awesome in that scene just cannot be contained!

    I am going to stop making fun of Angel now. I just feel horrible about complaining that their relationship did not seem interesting enough, and then this happens. I complain that he does nothing but brood, and then he takes pleasure in destroying Buffy from the inside out! I…I really didn't mean it okay. I liked it when everyone was happy. Really!

    However, I also like it when they are fighting each other under the sprinklers. 8D Damn that was an awesome erotic action scene. Except for the ending knee-groin attack. That was a mood killer.

    On the plus side, Jenny seems to know where her allegiance lies. I feel bad for her… again. Yet, I feel so proud of Giles for being supportive of Buffy. The girl is suffering real-life self-worth dilemmas, and he told her the right and the genuine thing.

    Although, shooting a millennium old ancient evil with a rocket-launcher is also great therapy for a teenage girl. ^.~

  65. Stephanie says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIxnAyHzYrs&fe

    So apparently a thing that people do is watch this scene with just subtitles and have other people act out the parts. It's called Buffyoke, and this is a clip of James Marsters playing it.

  66. Inseriousity. says:

    Season 1. 12 episodes and it's over.
    Season 2. SHIT HAS ONLY JUST STARTED AND YOU ARE NOT PREPARED.

  67. DreamRose311 says:

    Fb sne vg qbrfa'g frrz yvxr nalbar unf zragvbarq guvf ohg…

    "Yrg vg ohea"

    !

  68. t09yavosaur says:

    -Drusilla seemed upset at first?
    -Hi Angelus.
    -Angel, Dru, and Spike are evilly fun.
    -Beat up Willy the Snitch a couple of times? Poor Willy.
    -Xander apologized! Also, weirdest relationship ever.
    -Whoa, I wasn't expecting this kind of angst.
    -Nevermind, I officially hate Angelus. No Spike/Dru interaction can make up for it.
    -You tell your uncle, Jenny!
    -Hate you Angelus!!!
    -Jenny, tell them!!!!! This is no time for secrets.
    -Hate Hate Hate Hate Hate!
    -Buffy on a mission! W00t!! Also love the students being nonchalant about it. “Oh that wacky Buffy is throttling Mrs. Calender. Should we do something?” “Nah, we're getting out of class early, it's cool.”
    -Xander is self-aware!!
    -Oz is observant and eternally adorable!!!!
    -Aww, Buffy-Giles solidarity. I still feel bad for Jenny thought.
    -THAT WAS AWESOME.
    -Whoa, was that really what the poster for Quest For Camelot looked like?
    -Giles is the bestest authority figure in the universe.

    I feel the need to talk a bit about the strange position I seem to be in. Though I am new to all things Buffy Fandom, I know quite a lot of small details from the show. I grew up in an American Suburb during the Buffy era and was immersed in pop culture for most of my school years (I am slowly learning that my school was pretty awesome except for the parts that sucked. We were reasonably diverse and in 13 years I only had one horrific teacher. Our culture was pretty fantastic). Buffy was a thing that everyone knew about even if not everyone watched. There was nothing distinctly "nerdy" about being a fan. Then there is the fact that the WB was the only channel I watched (except for every single episode of Wishbone and the occasional weekend movie), so I probably caught commercials. In addition I have been a part of the Internet for about 12 years now so there is bound to be some leakage from that. Thus, I know things. I knew Angel was a vampire, I knew sex made his soul disappear, V xabj Natry fbzrubj unf n xvq, V xabj Jvyybj orpbzrf n jvgpu, naq fur znl trg n tveysevraq be fbzrguvat, V xabj gung Fcvxr orpbzrf n tbbq thl, V nz ernfbanoyl fher gung Bm orpbzrf n jrerjbys ng fbzr cbvag, naq Ohssl unf fbzr xvaq bs fvfgre be fbzrguvat gung vf nyfb fbzr xvaq bs xrl gb gur raq bs gur havirefr.

    I think that is the complete list of my foreknowledge. Anything else I won't know if I know it until we get there. And now that I have said all that I can return to my blissful innocence with everything else.

    • cait0716 says:

      I have a little lego action figure of Buffy with the rocket launcher. It's on my shelf next to Spike with the DuLac cross and Qnex Jvyybj envfvat gur grzcyr

  69. Bonnie says:

    I violently dislike both Angel and Boreanaz's acting (which goes from looking constipated and in pain when he's good, to looking constipated but being giggly about it when he's evil), but the thing that will never stop grossing me out the most is how Angel's perfect moment of happiness consisted of deflowering a starry-eyed teenager. It loudly speaks to all of my personal squicks.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      Aw, you don't think that's a little unfair? I mean, I'm no big fan of Angel, but he has proven on multiple occasions that he really loves Buffy. And she was over the age of consent and it was a consensual act so…

      I don't know if 'deflowering' is quite the right term, as it kind of implies that she had no say in the matter when it seemed to be Buffy that instigated it, and the whole thing was a choice they made together.

      • Bonnie says:

        Not in California. She'd just turned 17, and teh age of consent there is 18. Joss fails at law research ๐Ÿ˜‰
        I know that I might come across strongly, but then again, that's why I said that it's my personal squicks that get hit there. I am well aware that others don't have the same gut reaction to an underage girl and a much older guy having sex.
        And another thing where we might differ: I think that Buffy and Angel are at a huge power disbalance here. If you discount 250 or however plus years he's got on her, he's still at least 27-8 to her barely turned 17. She seems to have the power, but it's him who actually has it.
        But differences in opinion are legit, of course. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • enigmaticagentscully says:

          Oh sorry, I'm over here in England where:
          a) The age of consent is 16 and…
          b) People like me assume that it's the same everywhere because ~Rule Britannia ~ and all that jazz. ๐Ÿ˜›

          Ok, I do see your point. I'm not sure I agree, but what squicks you out, squicks you out.

          • Bonnie says:

            I'm not in California either, but I've spent several years being squicked by the Buffy/Angel romance, so… I've done my research ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Dru says:

        Oh, there is plenty of reason for squicks with the Buffy/Angel relationship, especially with the "True Love" aspects of it, but it's not the fact that they had sex that grosses me out – (spoilers for the rest of Season 2) vg'f yrneavat gung ur fnj ure sbe gur svefg gvzr jura fur'f bayl whfg orpbzr gur Fynlre, naq onfvpnyyl srryf fbzr xvaq bs qrrc naq crefbany nggnpuzrag whfg gura. Juvpu yrnqf gb uvz sbyybjvat ure nebhaq va Fhaalqnyr npgvat yvxr ur'f arire frra be urneq bs ure orsber. Naq gur jubyr "ersbezrq ol uvf ybir bs n tbbq jbzna" – va guvf pnfr, SVSGRRA-LRNE-BYQ Ohssl, jub ng guvf cbvag unf ab vqrn gung fur vf na bofrffvba sbe uvz.

        There's the whole "star-crossed lovers" thing all right, but there is also worlds of DO NOT WANT in there.

        • Bonnie says:

          God, yes. I dislike the narrative legacy of the star-crossed romance, as well as the fact that Natry'f bja fgbel vf fb zhpu gvrq va uvf fgehpgheny ebyr bs Ohssl'f ybir vagrerfg gung jr arire trg gb pner nobhg uvz nf n punenpgre va uvf bja evtug orpnhfr ur arire qrirybcf nf n punenpgre va uvf bja evtug (juvpu vf bar bs gur znva ernfbaf jul V infgyl cersre Fcvxr nf gur ybir vagrerfg) – ur'f gurer cheryl sbe Ohssl, jnf vagebqhprq vagb gur fubj jvgu n ovt 'ybir vagrerfg' fvta ba uvf (rabezbhf) sberurnq – juvpu arire unccraf va erny yvsr – naq ur erznvaf gjb-qvzrafvbany sbe uvf ragver eha ba Ohssl'f fubj.

          Plus yes to everything you said in code! Lbh qba'g snyy va ybir jvgu n fbhy bs n ybyyvcbc-fhpxvat 15lb, juvyr fclvat ure va ure fpubbylneq sebz oruvaq n oynpxrq bhg pne jvaqbj! Uvf ZB fpernzf frk bssraqre.

          • Dru says:

            And a bigger YES to your second paragraph. I could never put my finger on why exactly it bothered me so much – I was 15 when I last watched this – and you have it spot-on.

  70. SweetVerda says:

    So, I had a grin on my face at the beginning, simply because Angel makes a great villain. He's just so perfectly evil and devious in every way, and his posture and attitude are completely different from ensouled!Angel. I could watch an entire show about Angel as a villain, just being terribly awful to everyone. Does this count as a spoiler, because I'm implying that Angel the show isn't about that? Or maybe I'm doing some stealthy foreshadowing… You'll never know! Muahahaha.

    And then we get to the scene with Buffy crying on her bed, and I start crying, too, because everything hurts. It's not fair to Buffy, or Angel, or anyone really. And I think the Romani Uncle acknowledged this, that it is not justice, it just is.

  71. Raenef_the_5th says:

    Oh, I also wanted to note THE GREAT NUMBERS OF SUSTAINED SHOTS, as in everyone doing their lines and it's one take with no cuts in them. (The scene with Angel lighting a match, everyone in the Library, more talking in the library.) Everyone is amazing. Joss was proud of his actors and he should be proud.

  72. etherealclarity says:

    I unfortunately re-watched this episode last night right after I had been feeling rather upset and sad about some other love-related issues, so I definitely was tearing up during this episode even though I've seen it a good 5-6 times at a minimum.

    -Xander/Cordy – THANK YOU XANDER for apologizing to Cordy because yeah, you snapped at her and you shouldn't have. And I love that Cordy points out that he is clearly fixated on Buffy. But the trashy-er comment is definitely a WTF moment. You guys just made up, what are you doing Xander? (And that outfit is something you could wear to work – there's nothing remotely "trashy" seeming about it.) (Though the "trashy" outfit she does end up wearing makes me want to laugh.)

    -Poor Willow ๐Ÿ™ And yay for Oz ๐Ÿ™‚ I think this is the moment when many Xander/Willow shippers started to really warm up to Oz. And well they should. <3

    -Also RE: Willow – I love how she picks up so quickly on what happened between Buffy and Angel that made Buffy so upset and made Angel lose his soul. "Giles, shut up." You can see her remembering their conversation from the last episode. This show and it's subtlety is so amazing.

    -I am the saddest for Buffy. I don't care about Buffy/Angel, but I care that she hurts. She deals with enough – mortality, juggling multiple lives and lies – on a regular basis and now you pile this on too? I want to give her all the hugs. (And anyone who thinks that SMG can't act needs to watch THAT SCENE. "Was I not… good?" OMG KILLS ME EVERY TIME.)

    -Jenny. They are being too harsh on Jenny but I also kind of don't care because I've always been kinda meh about Jenny anyway?

    -"I'm 17. Looking at linoleum makes me want to have sex." AHAHAHA. I didn't have quite this experience when I was 17 but I know a LOT OF PEOPLE who did so this makes me laugh.

    Overall, one of the really excellent episodes. A+++, would watch again.

  73. karate0kat says:

    Allow Lyndsy Fonseca's amazing face to sum up how I felt about this whole Angelus thing back in the day.

    <img src="http://i41.tinypic.com/ega234.jpg"/&gt;
    <img src="http://i39.tinypic.com/se60xk.jpg"/&gt;
    <img src="http://i42.tinypic.com/242a9e1.jpg"/&gt;
    <img src="http://i42.tinypic.com/s4xk51.jpg"/&gt;
    <img src="http://i39.tinypic.com/8xilvo.jpg"/&gt;
    <img src="http://i43.tinypic.com/2n6i32d.jpg"/&gt;
    <img src="http://i41.tinypic.com/2552vt4.jpg"/&gt;

  74. Elisa says:

    Angel (IMO) does not DESERVE to lose his soul. As other have pointed out, a vampire is no longer human. They are taken over by the demon. The person dies. They have the memories, but they are not the person they were. When Angel is "cursed" he gets his soul back. It's almost like coming back from the dead, except in a vampire's body. So the guilt and all that only comes when he gets his soul back, and he immediately stops killing people.

    MY POOR ANGEL. SNIFF. He deserves the happiness of a thousand flowery meadons. Or kittens. Or whatever symbolizes happiness. .

  75. enigmaticagentscully says:

    Mean Girls is always relevant.

    ALWAYS.

  76. arctic_hare says:

    <img src="http://i39.tinypic.com/oi4x87.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      …now I'm trying to remember what that said to see what I just got spoiled for.

      It wasn't anything important, was it? Wait, why am I even asking this.

    • V xvaqn svtherq gur "naq qvr" cneg jnf nffbpvngrq jvgu gur bevtvany dhbgr sebz Zrna Tveyf. "Lbh jvyy trg certanag… naq qvr." Ohg V thrff vg phgf n ovg gbb pybfr. Zl onq.

  77. escencedes says:

    So someone link me to your blog, Mark, and literally I spent the the last month going through every single review (even from things I haven’t actually seen or watched!) Being in a pretty bad place in my life right now, you seriously made my days a lot better.
    Ok, let’s move on.

    Because I am cruel, cruel person, Buffy:

  78. Zetal says:

    I don't know how he managed it, but my brother was channel-surfing one day and came across… this episode. First episode of Buffy he'd ever seen. Not only was he hooked, he made me so interested that I started watching. To this day, he *still* doesn't like Angel much (although he will admit Angelus is a lot of fun). I started watching when the show was in reruns, so I got to see good (well, souled) Angel first… I always have liked Angel, and even knowing it was coming because my brother had to spoil me to get me to watch with him, I still found the transformation heartbreaking.

    • Plactus says:

      As the brother in question:

      I didn't stumble across this episode, it was a friend's recommendation. The friend forgot to mention that it was a two-part episode, the first part of which was the day before. He just told me it was moving to Tuesdays.

      And I liked Angel better once ur fcha bss bagb uvf bja fubj. V jnfa'g rira fher V jnf tbvat gb jngpu gung ng svefg orpnhfr V qvqa'g yvxr Pbeql zhpu rvgure (JGS jnf jebat jvgu zr?), ohg ol gur frpbaq rcvfbqr, V jnf ubbxrq. Fgvyy qba'g yvxr Natry zhpu ba Ohssl, nfvqr sebz gur rivy-Natry cunfr. Never got into Buffy/Angel (the ship) much, though.

  79. @Ivana2804 says:

    Before I start with my other thoughts about Innocence, I first have to make my thoughts clear on a certain subject.

    ANGEL AND ANGELUS ARE THE SAME PERSON. Or rather, YVNZ, NATRY NAQ NATRYHF NER GUR FNZR CREFBA.

    Furthermore, I’m not sure why I’m even using “Angel” and “Angelus”, when the characters on the show weren’t doing it at this point, Jenny being the only exception.

    First off: Iโ€™ve never considered โ€œAngelusโ€ a separate person from โ€œAngelโ€, just Angelโ€™s alter ego. In fact, it never even occurred to me that someone would consider them literally two different people, until I came across a Favorite characters from Buffy and Angel poll online, where โ€œAngelโ€ and โ€œAngelusโ€ were given as two separate options, which took me completely by surprise (no pun intended) and made me go, WTF?

    Fvapr gura, Vโ€™ir jngpurq gur ragvergl bs NgF, V pna rira yrff haqrefgnaq ubj nalbar pbhyq frr gurz nf gjb qvssrerag crbcyr. Abguvat va Natryโ€™f fgbel jbhyq znxr nal frafr vs gungโ€™f gur pnfr (abg gb zragvba Fcvxrโ€™f naq Qneynโ€™f fgbevrf vs gurve fbhyrq naq hafbhyrq, uhzna naq inzcver irefvbaf jrer yvgrenyyl qvssrerag crbcyr), naq gur ragver cerzvfr bs NgF jbhyq or cbvagyrff. Gung fubj vf nobhg ERQRZCGVBA…Hayrff Natry vf ernyyl n zragnyyl vyy crefba jub guvaxf ur pbzzvggrq gur pevzrf gung fbzr bgure thl pbzzvggrq, yvxr gubfr crbcyr jub pbasrff gb gur zheqref gurl’ir ernq nobhg va gur cncref.

    But to focus just on the show so far, there hasnโ€™t been any indication at all that Angelโ€™s souled and soulless versions are two different people โ€“ on the contrary, Angel has constantly been talking about his soulless past in 1st person singular, and โ€œAngelusโ€ does the same, talking about his recent souled past with Buffy in 1st person singular, both owning up to all their actions when soulless/souled (despite the fact that as โ€œAngelโ€, he hates what he did as soulless, while as โ€œAngelusโ€, he hates what he did as souled)โ€ฆ or that all the other vampires who know him well โ€“ Dru, Spike, Darla, the Master โ€“ always treat him as the same guy.

    Do you all really think that the Watchers, who had no clue what it’s like to become a vampire, knew the truth about what vampires are, but the vampires themselves are totally in the dark about it?

    Without the soul, he is still as obsessed with Buffy as he was before, only now his love for her has turned into hate and desire to hurt and destroy her, to get back at her for making him feel those tender emotions.

    Spike: You’ve really got a yen to hurt this girl, haven’t you?
    Angel(us): She made me feel like a human being. That’s not the kind of thing you just forgive.

    Notice – *me*. Not “she made Angel”, “she made that boring noble guy”. She made *me* feel human.

    Spike: I’ve got to tell you, it made me sick to my stomach seeing you being the Slayer’s lap dog.

    Why does Spike think they’re the same person? And why doesn’t Angelus answer “That wasn’t me, it was Angel!”

    Spike: No more of this ‘I’ve got a soul’ crap?
    Angelus: What can I say? I was going through a phase.

    Compare to souled Angel speaking in “Angel”:

    BUFFY: I invited you into my home and then you attacked my family!
    ANGEL: Why not? I killed mine. I killed their friends… and their friend’s children… For a hundred years I offered ugly death to everyone I met, and I did it with a song in my heart.
    BUFFY: What changed?
    ANGEL: Fed on a girl about your age… beautiful… dumb as a post… but a favorite among her clan.
    BUFFY: Her clan?
    ANGEL: Romany. Gypsies. The elders conjured the perfect punishment for me. They restored my soul.
    BUFFY: What, they were all out of boils and blinding torment?
    ANGEL: When you become a vampire the demon takes your body, but it doesn’t get your soul. That’s gone! No conscience, no remorse… It’s an easy way to live. You have no idea what it’s like to have done the things I’ve done… and to care. I haven’t fed on a living human being since that day.

    He sure seems convinced he did all those things, not some other guy!

    Lie to Me:

    ANGEL: I did a lot of unconscionable things when I became a vampire. Drusilla was the worst. She was… an obsession of mine. She was pure and sweet and chaste…
    BUFFY: And you made her a vampire.
    ANGEL: First I made her insane. Killed everybody she loved. Visited every mental torture on her I could devise. She eventually fled to a convent, and on the day she took her holy orders, I turned her into a demon.

    • @Ivana2804 says:

      cont.

      There is just one moment in Innocence when soulless "Angelus" when he speaks of the “Angel” persona in the 3rd person:

      Buffy: Angel, there must be some part of you inside that still remembers who you are.
      Angel(us): Dream on, schoolgirl. Your boyfriend is dead and you're all gonna join him.

      If we took that literally, it would clash with a bunch of other things he says in the same episode, especially in conversation with Spike and Dru. If he really thought “Angel” as someone else, another personality if not another person, he’d have no reason not to tell that to his fellow soulless vampires. If anything, he’d love to be able to say that it wasn’t him who was acting so embarrassingly as “Slayer’s lapdog” and being all nice and good. Instead, he just casually writes it off as “What can I say? I was going through a phase”. More likely, he is either tailoring his words to hurt Buffy (a lot of things he says to her contradict each other: I am Angel, I am not Angel), and he is making the point that he won’t go back to being the way he was when he was her boyfriend, therefore her boyfriend is metaphorically “dead”.

      Naq gur jnl ur fcrnxf urer vf ernyyl abg qvssrerag sebz gur jnl Jvyybj va frnfba 6 gnyxrq nobhg urefrys nsgre fur jrag qnex:

      Ohssl: Lbh unir gb yvfgra gb zr. Gur sbeprf vafvqr lbh ner vaperqvoyl cbjreshy. Gurl'er fgebat, ohg lbh'er fgebatre. Lbh unir gb erzrzore lbh'er fgvyy Jvyybj.
      (Qnex) Jvyybj: Yrg zr gryy lbh fbzrguvat nobhg Jvyybj. Fur'f n ybfre, naq fur nyjnlf unf orra. Crbcyr cvpxrq ba Jvyybj va whavbe uvtu fpubby, uvtu fpubby, hc hagvy pbyyrtr jvgu ure fghcvq zbhfl jnlf. Naq abj… Jvyybj'f n whaxvr.
      Ohssl: V pna uryc.
      (Qnex) Jvyybj: Gur bayl guvat Jvyybj jnf rire tbbq sbe… gur bayl guvat V unq tbvat sbe zr… jrer gur zbzragf, whfg zbzragf, jura Gnen jbhyq ybbx ng zr naq V jnf jbaqreshy. Naq gung jvyy arire unccra ntnva!

      We've also seen Giles look himself in the mirror and talk to his scruffy, Ripper-like persona in 2nd person singular, even though there's no soullessness, demonic possession or supernatural influence involved in the Giles/Ripper duality. I doubt that there's anyone who maintains that Giles had a literally split personality, let alone that Ripper was someone else.

      The second thing I’ve realized during this rewatch, is that most of the characters at this point are constantly calling Angel’s soulless alter ego simply “Angel”. In Innocence, the only person who uses the name Angelus is Jenny. However, Dru and Spike simply call him “Angel”.

      Dru: Angel..?
      Angel(us): Yeah, baby, I’m back.

      He himself does the same:

      Jenny: He's not Angel any more. Are you?
      Angel(us): Wrong. I am Angel… at last!

      The most likely explanation would be that “Angelus” was a name that he was more widely known by (because Latin names just sound so much scarier!), and that’s how he got recorded in the books, while the people closest to him, his vampire companions, used to simply call him “Angel”.

      Finally, in the shooting scripts, he is always referred to as “Angel”. http://www.buffyworld.com/buffy/scripts/026_scri….

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        We've also seen Giles look himself in the mirror and talk to his scruffy, Ripper-like persona in 2nd person singular

        Not really important to your point, but when I saw that scene I assumed he was talking to Eyghon? When he says 'So…you're back', if that's the one you mean.

      • 00guera00 says:

        Gur jnl V nyjnlf ybbxrq ng vg vf guvf.

        Yvnz jnf n uhzna, gura ur tbg ghearq. Uvf uhzna fbhy jura sylvat bss vagb gur rgure naq n qrzba jnf 'obea' vagb uvf obql. (bar bs gur ernfbaf inzcverf ner fb ybj ba gur qrzba gbgrz cbyr vf gurl ner pbafvqrerq unys oerrqf) Fb abj Yvnz'f obql vf ehaavat nebhaq jvgu n qrzba'f 'fbhy' be rffrapr be jungrire chyyvat gur fgevatf.

        Gura gur phefr sbeprf Yvnz'f fbhy onpx vagb Natry/Natryhf' obql…jvgu gur qrzba. Fb guvf obql vf ehaavat nebhaq jvgu n uhzna fbhy gelvat gb onynapr bhg gur qrzba 'fbhy' (juvpu vf ernyyl rkcyberq zber va Natry naq va gur synfuonpxf)

        Fb gb zr, Natry = gur qrzba naq gur uhzna gbtrgure (fb bs pbhefr gurl jbhyq ersre gb gurzfryirf nf V/zr orpnhfr gurl ner obgu gurer.) Jurernf Natryhf = whfg gur qrzba

        • _Bailey_ says:

          Guvf vf abg pnaba, ohg V nyjnlf nffhzrq gur qrzba jnf abg fragvrag. Gur qrzba vgfrys pnaabg guvax, naq vg unf irel yvggyr crefbanyvgl bs vgf bja. V arire obhtug va gb gur jubyr frcnengr crbcyr guvat, zbfgyl orpnhfr Fcvxr vf zl inzcver bs pubvpr naq ur cebirf bire naq bire ntnva gung ur vf gur fnzr crefba. Ur pnerq sbe uvf zbgure nsgre orvat ghearq, naq ur npghnyyl punatrf irel yvggyr jura ur ertnvaf uvf fbhy, ng yrnfg nsgre uvf "guerr jrrxf zbnavat va n onfrzrag" cunfr. Jung vf n orvat ohg gur fhz bs gurve zrzbevrf naq rkcrevraprf? Vs inzcverf jrer gehyl qvssrerag perngherf fvzcyl cbffrffvat n obql, jul jbhyq Fcvxr pner nobhg uvf zbgure? Jul jbhyq Natry naq Craa or fb vagrag ba xvyyvat gurve snguref, jubz gurl arire tbg nybat jvgu nf uhznaf? Jul jbhyq Qeh fgvyy or vafnar nsgre fur jnf ghearq?

          Gurer ner ahzrebhf cbffvoyr ernfbaf sbe Natry'f punatrf va crefbanyvgl. Bar V yvxr vf gung Yvnz arire unf gb gnxr erfcbafvovyvgl sbe nalguvat orsber, naq abj ur unf gb qrny jvgu gur snpg gung npgvbaf unir pbafrdhraprf. Nabgure, zber sna-onfrq bar V'ir pbzr npebff vf gung gur phefr npghnyyl znxrf uvz srry gur thvyg zber fgebatyl guna ur jbhyq unir vs ur unq tnvarq uvf fbhy gur jnl Fcvxr unq.

          Nalbar ryfr unir gubhtugf ba guvf?

          • 00guera00 says:

            V nyjnlf gubhtug gur obql (naq gurer'f tbg gb or n orggre jnl bs cuenfvat guvf) uryq nyy gur zrzbevrf naq rkcrevraprf naq gur fbhy ubyqf gur angher cneg bs gur angher naq ahegher rdhngvba. Ohg V pna'g oryvrir gur qrzba vfa'g fragvrag, V thrff orpnhfr V nffbpvngr fragvrapr jvgu fbhy (be ng yrnfg jung guvf fubj fubjf nf fbhy) naq fvapr gur uhzna fbhy, be fragvrapr vf tbar, gura fbzrguvat zhfg gnxr vg'f cynpr.

            Vs gur fbhy jnfa'g fcrpvsvp gb rnpu (zrnavat gurer unf gb or fbzrguvat gung znxrf vg gurvef, vg'f abg whfg n zbeny pbzcnff) gura vg jbhyqa'g znggre juvpu fbhy gurl chyyrq bhg bs gur rgure (ohg va Natry vg'f cbvagrq bhg gung vg'f qrsvavgryl Yvnz'f fbhy gurl chyy bhg bs Natry naq xrrc va gur wne, f'jul gurl tbg n ovg senagvp jura vg jrag zvffvat)

            Vg'f xvaqn yvxr vs Natry vf pbzcbfrq bs nyy gur zrzbevrf naq rkcrevraprf sebz obgu Yvnz naq Natryhf bire gur lrnef naq ur'f tbg Yvnz fvggvat ba bar fubhyqre naq Natryhf fvggvat ba gur bgure juvfcrevat va uvf rnef.

            Nz V gur bayl bar jub fnj n qvssrerapr va Fcvxr nsgre ur tbg uvf fbhy? Ur jnf yrff fjnttre, yrff oybbqyhfg, n ybg zber zvyq Jvyyvnz gb zr.

            • @Ivana2804 says:

              Fbhy pna'g or fragvrag, orpnhfr va gung pnfr Natry jbhyq erzrzore orvat va rgure be va na beo qhevat gubfr 150 lrnef naq va frnfba 2 naq va frnfba 4 bs NgF, naq Fcvxr va frnfba 7 jbhyq erzrzore orvat va rgure be jurerire sbe 120 lrnef. Ohg gurl qba'g. Qvggb sbe Qneyn, jub tbrf sebz fbhyrq gb fbhyyrff naq ntnva fbhyrq naq ntnva fbhyyrff, naq arire tvirf nal vaqvpngvba gung fur erzrzoref orvat va rgure be jurerire.

              • 00guera00 says:

                V thrff V whfg xrrc pbzvat onpx gb gur, vs gur fbhy vf whfg n zbeny pbzcnff (be novyvgl gb srry thvyg be jungrire) naq vf abg gur jungrire gung znxrf lbh lbh, gura jul pbhyqa'g gurl whfg wnz nal fbhy va gurer? Gb zr, Natry naq Natryhf ner gur fnzr crefba, whfg Yvnz'f yrsg gur ohvyqvat jura ur'f Natryhf.

                Naq gura gurer jnf gung gvzr gurl jrag gb Cnyrn (fcryyvat? Ybear'f ubzrjbeyq) jurer gur qrzba shyyl gbbx bire naq frrzrq sreny…Be jura Snvgu vf va Natryf urnq naq Natry naq Natryhf svtug…

                Naq gura zl urnq fgnegf gb uheg :\

            • _Bailey_ says:

              "Nz V gur bayl bar jub fnj n qvssrerapr va Fcvxr nsgre ur tbg uvf fbhy? Ur jnf yrff fjnttre, yrff oybbqyhfg, n ybg zber zvyq Jvyyvnz gb zr."

              V fnj gur qvssrerapr, ohg zl znva cbvag vf gung gur qvssrerapr vf sne yrff rkgerzr guna vg vf va Natry.

              Vs lbh frr gur qrzba nf fragvrag, naq gura gur fbhy nf fragvrag nf jryy, gung jbhyq nethr sbe gur "gjb crbcyr" gurbel, jbhyq vg abg?

              Nyfb, jung Vinan2804 fnvq. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • @Ivana2804 says:

            V nterr jvgu lbh nobhg gur qrzba. Vg frrzf gb or n qrzbavp sbepr zber guna n fragvrag crefba. Vs vg jrer, V qba'g frr jul vg jbhyq nterr gb cbffrff fbzrbar'f obql naq nofbeq nyy gurve crefbanyvgl genvgf, zrzbevrf, rzbgvbaf, ybfvat nyy bs gurve bja, hagvy vg fgnegf oryvrivat vg'f gung qrnq uhzna. Nf Qneyn fnvq "Jung jr jrer vasbezf nyy jr orpbzr" naq fur jnf ersreevat gb jung gurl jrer nf uhznaf.

            Vs gur qrzba vf fragvrag, vg orpbzrf ernyyl uneq gb rkcynva jul vg arire pbagevohgrf nal zrzbevrf bs vgf bja naq jul vg npprcgf nabgure'f vqragvgl, ertneqvat vgfrys nf gur fnzr crefba nf gur qrnq uhzna.

            Ohg V qba'g guvax gung gurer'f nal qvssrerapr orgjrra Natry'f naq Fcvxr'f fbhyf eryngrq gb ubj gurl tbg gurz, phefr be serr jvyy. V guvax vg'f whfg gurve vaqvivqhny crefbanyvgvrf naq ubj gurl qrny jvgu pbafpvrapr naq thvyg. V'z abg fher gung Natry srryf zber thvygl, rvgure – V guvax gung Fcvxr qbrf, gbb, ohg ur guvaxf gur orfg guvat gb qb vf whfg ybbx sbejneq naq fgneg qbvat tbbq, orpnhfr guvaxvat nobhg gur cnfg vfa'g tbvat gb punatr nalguvat.

            • _Bailey_ says:

              Irel tbq cbvagf nobhg gur fvzcyr qvssreraprf va NAtry'f naq Fcvxr'f crefbanyvgvrf.

              Vg ernyyl vf rnfl gb bireguvax guvatf jvgu guvf fubj, vfa'g vg? Rfcrpvnyyl vs lbh'ir orra vzzrefrq va gur snaqbz.

            • 00guera00 says:

              V guvax V frr jurer jr'er qvssrevat ba gur qrzba. V guvax gur qrzba vf OBEA vagb gur furyy bs gur uhzna. Vg'f abg tvivat hc nalguvat, bayl tnvavat zrzbevrf gb funcr jung vg jvyy orpbzr.

    • arctic_hare says:

      Ciphered part of your post because vg unfa'g orra erirnyrq gung Natry'f anzr nf n uhzna jnf Yvnz.

  80. @liliaeth says:

    jryy xrrc va zvaq gung sebz guvf zbzrag ba, ur'yy arire tb vagb frk jvgubhg srnevat gung ur znl ybfr uvf fbhy ntnva. Fb jura ur unq frk jvgu Avan, gung jnf nyjnlf va gur onpx bs uvf zvaq, retb, ab zbzrag bs cresrpg unccvarff.

    • Seventh_Star says:

      v qb. ohg natry'f nyjnlf orra n ovg bs n jbeel-jbeg, gb chg vg zvyqyl.

      ubarfgyl, v fuvc fchssl, gbb (vf gung nyybjrq?). v ybir fcvxr zber guna zbfg guvatf. v guvax ohssl unq qvfgvapgyl qvssrerag eryngvbafuvcf jvgu natry naq gura jvgu fcvxr. naq v fvapreryl ybir gurz obgu.

      • BethanytheMartian says:

        Rneyl va gur Frnfba 8 pbzvp, fur snagnfvmrf univat gurz obgu. V fuvc gung, naq abobql pna fgbc zr.

        • Seventh_Star says:

          this just might be my favorite exchange of the whole series:

          ohssl: lbh xabj, bar bs gurfr qnlf v'z whfg tbaan chg lbh gjb va n ebbz naq yrg lbh enffyr vg bhg.
          fcvxr: ab pbzcynvagf urer.
          ohssl: uzz…gurer pbhyq or bvy bs fbzr xvaq vaibyirq.

  81. The main overriding feeling I have about this episode is that Joyce is all of the awesome.

  82. @Ivana2804 says:

    Here's what I think about why the curse was broken. The popular idea is that sex did it.

    However, Angel didn’t lose his soul in the moment of orgasm, he lost it afterwards when he was sleeping peacefully next to Buffy. IMO it wasn’t about "bells ringing", it was about the peace and contentment. My theory is, it was not just about being with the girl he loves and who loves him, but about feeling worthy of love. Buffy was not just an innocent girl, and the person his life was revolving around (he had no friends, family or job), she was also the Slayer, the one who was called to pass judgment on him, and her love felt to him like forgiveness for his sins. But it was an illusion – nobody is really in position to give someone else redemption, and in particular, Buffy didn’t even know Angel that well and, while she knew of his dark past on the intellectual level, she didn’t really process it. When that past comes back, she is in shock and disbelief.

    spoilers for "Angel" the series:
    Natry xrrcf nffhzvat gung vg'f frk gung qvq vg. Ba NgF, ur gevrq gb unir frk jvgu Qneyn naq ybfr uvf fbhy, naq vg qvqa'g jbex, orpnhfr ur jnf qbvat vg bhg bs qrfcnve. Ernyyl tbbq betnfz qbrfa'g rdhny gehr unccvarff.

    Va frnfba 4, gur bayl bgure gvzr jura ur ybfg uvf fbhy, vg gbbx n ybg zber guvatf gb snyy vagb cynpr va uvf snagnfl fb ur pbhyq or cresrpgyl unccl, abg whfg fyrrcvat jvgu gur jbzna ur jnf va ybir jvgu (Pbeqryvn) ohg nyfb znxvat crnpr jvgu uvf fba naq rneavat uvf erfcrpg, univat Jrfyrl ncbybtvmr gb uvz sbe fgrnyvat Pbaabe, znxvat crnpr jvgu Jrfyrl, univat nyy bs uvf sevraqf trg nybat, fnivat gur jbeyq gbtrgure jvgu uvf fba naq uvf sevraqf, naq gura Pbeqryvn gryyvat uvz fur ybirq uvz naq gur gjb bs gurz znxvat ybir jnf gur svany vpvat ba gur pnxr.

    Va frnfba 5, fur yrneaf ur pna qngr naq unir frk naq or zbqrengryl unccl jvgu Avan naq abg ybfr uvf fbhy. Uvf yvsr vfa'g irel unccl ng gur gvzr, fvapr ur srryf yvxr n chccrg bs Jbysenz & Uneg naq srnef gung ur'f abg n ureb nalzber.

    *fcbvyref sbe pbzvpf*

    Naq va frnfba 8, fhcrecbjrerq Natry naq fhcrecbjrerq Ohssl unir jvyq frk va fcnpr juvyr haqre gur vasyhrapr bs Gjvyvtug, naq Natry ntnva qbrfa'g ybfr uvf fbhy. Ng gur gvzr, ur vf n qryhqrq chccrg bs Gjvyvtug naq ur unf fgbccrq orvat n ureb naq orpbzr n ivyynva. Gehr unccvarff? Abg fb zhpu.

    Jung'f nyfb vagrerfgvat vf gung va NgF frnfba 1 "Rgreavgl" ur fgnegf npgvat yvxr Natryhf, rira gubhtu UR QVQA'G YBFR UVF FBHY, ue jnf whfg unccl sebz gur qeht ur jnf tvira (juvpu vf abg *gehr* unccvarff). Ubj vf gung rira cbffvoyr vs Natry naq Natryhf ner gjb qvssrerag crbcyr? Vg frrzf gung "Natryhf" vf vafvqr uvz nyy gur gvzr naq jnvgvat gb pbzr bhg jura "Natry" fgbcf srryvat thvygl naq jnagvat erqrzcgvba.

    • Dru says:

      IMO it wasn’t about "bells ringing", it was about the peace and contentment. My theory is, it was not just about being with the girl he loves and who loves him, but about feeling worthy of love.

      EXACTLY. This is what I've always thought – that it's not the physical act of sex that caused Angel's "moment of true happiness", it was the intimacy, and that is as much, if not more, about his emotional connection to Buffy.

      Let me put it this way, if Angel had had sex with some stranger, or even if he and Buffy didn't know each other but picked each other up and had a one-night stand, that wouldn't be enough to cause the breaking of the curse.

      • Bonnie says:

        I agree with you about the random stranger sex not doing it for Angel, but I think it wasn't so much intimacy and acceptance being a moment of perfect happiness, as it was Buffy giving him her viriginity, which made him a metaphorical 'destroyer' of her 'innocence'.
        Angel gets off on destroying innocence, whether he's soulled or soulless – I totally agree with Ivana2804, above, and her insistence that Angel and Angelus are the same person. The same, not particularly good person.

        • robin_comments says:

          I really like this idea and find it interesting, even if I'm not sure I agree with it. It's a neat way of looking at things.

        • @Ivana2804 says:

          Hm, I don't think he enjoys destroying innocence when he has a soul. He has the same obsessions in both versions, but they manifest in very different ways. With a soul, he wants to protect innocence, without it he wants to destroy it. Ur fcraqf n ybg bs gvzr guvaxvat nobhg vaqvivqhny crbcyr naq gurve srryvatf, ohg jvgu gur fbhy ur jnagf gb svaq n jnl gb uryc gur urycyrff naq fnir crbcyr, naq jvgubhg vg ur jnagf gb svaq n jnl gb gbegher gurz naq qrfgebl gurz. Jvgubhg fbhy, ur eriryf va gur cnva bs bguref, jvgu gur fbhy ur gbegherf uvzfrys jvgu thvyg bire pnhfvat gung cnva. Ur eryngrf gb Snvgu naq frrf fbzrguvat bs uvzfrys va ure, fb jvgu gur fbhy, ur gevrf gb uryc ure fgneg ybbxvat sbe erqrzcgvba, gevrf gb znxr ure yvxr uvzfrys, naq jvgubhg fbhy, ur gevrf gb znxr ure tvir urefrys gb ure zheqrebhf vzchyfrf, gevrf gb znxr ure yvxr uvzfrys (naq yvgrenyyl va guvf pnfr).

          Ohg gura gurer ner fbzr bppnfvbaf jurer gubfr gjb zvk…

          • LadyPeyton says:

            I've always seen him as a very a very narcissistic personality. He always has to either has to be the biggest hero, or the biggest villain in the room. He hides this behavior with Buffy because he's obsessed with and trying to impress her, but even then he still "Batmans" to an astonishing degree.

            • @Ivana2804 says:

              Yes. And I think it's because (spoilers for Angel the Series) ur jnf n hfryrff 'cebqvtny fba' nf n uhzna, naq ur'f nyjnlf gelvat gb cebir fbzrguvat. Ur'f nyjnlf cebivat uvf qnq gung ur'f "znqr fbzrguvat bhg bs zlfrys" nf ur fnvq jura ur jnf nobhg gb xvyy uvz. Ur qrfcvfrf jung ur jnf nf n uhzna, orpnhfr ur srryf ur jnf jrnx naq hfryrff, naq ur nyjnlf birepbzcrafngrf. Yvxr Qneyn fnvq, jung jr jrer vasbezf nyy jr orpbzr. "Vg'f abg gur qrzba va zr gung arrqf gur xvyyvat, vg'f gur zna".

        • Dru says:

          I don't think the perfect happiness coming from the "destroyer of innocence" thing really fits, because it would have happened regardless of Buffy's level of prior sexual experience.

          So far on the show everyone has insisted that Angel and Angelus are not one and the same, but I think it's an oversimplification that the Scoobies probably use to make sense out of things, and the waters are considerably muddy on that one.

          Angel certainly seems to think that he and Angelus are not separate entities, anyway – he feels responsible for the atrocities he committed as Angelus, as he said to Buffy earlier.

          • Bonnie says:

            because it would have happened regardless of Buffy's level of prior sexual experience.

            We have no way of knowing that.

    • notemily says:

      Yeah I've heard the theory (on TV Tropes) that it's not just one moment of "feeling good," it's contentment. That makes a lot of sense to me. He's not truly happy because he just had sex with Buffy–he's truly happy because he loves her and she loves him back and they are together. Angel can't have the "everything is beautiful and nothing hurts" mindset, or he'll lose his soul. Sucks to be him.

      • cait0716 says:

        Angel spoilers

        Guvf vf irel zhpu fhccbegrq va gur frnfba sbhe rcvfbqr bs Natry jura ur ybfrf uvf fbhy. Va gung rcvfbqr vg'f abg rabhtu gb unir frk. Ur unf gb znxr hc jvgu Jrfyrl, rnea gur erfcrpg bs uvf fba, xvyy gur onq thl, oevat gur fha onpx, *naq* trg gur tvey. Naq ol gur snpg gung frk jvgu Avan qbrfa'g pnhfr uvz gb ybfr uvf fbhy va gur svsgu frnfba

  83. @alexiel921 says:

    I'd comment about the episode itself, but I can't think of anything to say other than: I love Oz in this episode (his speech was intended to warm up viewers to him; certainly did the job for me); as well as the timing mistake of having Xander and the rest say they're going to meet up that night and then we see Buffy at school, and then it's nighttime and we see the raid on the military compound. Joss' answer is brilliant and I can kind of see that they would have done it: it was a dry run.

    My other comment is relating to the whole "abstinence only sex-ed". Our school was supposed to do that, but the health teacher kinda said "fuck that" and taught us a bit more than he should have. There was a lot of warning us about diseases and other stuff, but there was also some (very minimal) talk of birth control and other safe sex things. But not too much, he didn't want to get in trouble. We still ended up with about 10 of the people in my graduating class (of less than 100) that had children by graduation. Better than the grades above and below us though; they all had at least one person die, usually from a car accident.

    The funniest (to me anyway) bit of sex advice a teacher gave though was our chemistry teacher. She overheard some girls talking about having sex and she said they should really wait. Her reason? "It isn't as much fun when you're a teenager; you'll enjoy it more as an adult." I'm almost certain she meant enjoy physically.

  84. Smurphy says:

    An hour has passed and there are already 4 PAGES of comments. Go Mark.

    I had seen this episode before so while it was emotional I know the end result so I wasn't necessarily sobbing just couldn't wait to see your emotions BUT the first time I watched this I was 10? You said 1998 right… so I was 10. So I didn't really get ANYTHING that happened in this episode.

    I'm 23 now. And I get it. I really understood the last scene with Joyce… sometimes you just need someone to make you feel that absolutely nothing has changed and you are still the same person. My best friend's family did this for me. I owe them everything that weekend.

  85. Hotaru_hime says:

    YES THE ROCKET LAUNCHER.
    But for everything else?
    (โ•ฏ°โ–ก°๏ผ‰โ•ฏ๏ธต โ”ปโ”โ”ป

  86. OleGriz says:

    One thought I had while re-watching this time, was that perhaps the trigger for the curse breaking may have been a mistake in the curse. The Romani putting the curse on Angel were obviously very angry and I could see phrasing a curse as something like: "You will have a soul, and you will feel the guilt of all your crimes. As long as the soul remains and the curse is active, you will never know a moment of true happiness.", inadvertently creating the escape clause in effect here.

    Even once this flaw in the curse was realized, it was probably seen as simpler to have agents like Jenny make sure Angel continued to suffer rather than risk breaking the curse trying to fix the loophole (since, as this episode shows, the curse breaking is a Bad Thing).

    Also, I love the little detail that the bust Buffy lands next to when Angel throws her against the hallway wall is apparently a memorial to Principal Flutie. It says:

    In Memory of
    Principal Rob[ert Flutie]

    I suppose there may have been a previous principal named Rob or Robert too, but it is still a great detail.

    • @Ivana2804 says:

      I never noticed the gravestone! BtVS is great to rewatch over and over for such little details.

      I like your theory. Why would they want him to lose his soul and start killing again? It makes a lot more sense if the happiness clause happened as an accidental by-product of the curse.

    • trishasage says:

      How have I never seen that? Awww…Bob.

  87. jademg says:

    Mark, I love your reviews, and I love watching Buffy as a first again through your eyes. I feel the need to comment since you have now several times brought up the fact that unlike most people you didn't lose your virginity in high school, and the feelings that caused you to have. And that being homosexual was somehow part of the reason for that. I wanted to comment that there ARE heterosexual, non-religious types who did not lose their virginity in high school. I was 29. And I have plenty of friends who waited for their own reasons, not some silly religious doctrine. So you're not alone. And there is nothing wrong with waiting until you're ready.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      <3

    • etherealclarity says:

      YES AGREED. I was 23. Hetero, non-religious.

    • SnarkyWriter says:

      21. Hetero. Religious (formerly. Ugh). Mere weeks before my wedding. Apparently I make my more secular friends feel bad because I've had exactly one partner. And I feel bad for making them feel bad because, really. No shame.

    • RoseFyre says:

      20 here. In a long-term hetero relationship, though I self-identify as on the bi spectrum now. Somewhat religious, but not on matters of sex before marriage. *shrugs* I just didn't date in high school, really, and wasn't willing to have a one-night stand just to see what sex was like. So I waited until I was in an actual relationship, though not to the point of marriage or engagement.

  88. Internet hugs all round for anyone that needs them: *hug* *hug* *hug*

    also: 'So do you guys steal weapons from the army a lot?' – best line ever.

  89. SnarkyWriter says:

    My favorite line in the whole episode: "What's that do?"

  90. Bonnie says:

    "I'll handle the Smurf." – Buffy, my love for you has no bounds. <3

  91. David Boreanaz is just so good at being evil. I like him when he's Angelus more then Angel. Mostly because Angelus is so FUN.. In a very evil way of course.

    And now things will never be the same again. Prepare your tissues and cuddly things!

  92. crazydiamondsue says:

    When you get read for the Spike/Angel fic: http://ficbitch.com/slashingtheangel/

  93. robin_comments says:

    ok I keep getting a message that site admins must approve my post. And then I delete it and try to figure out what I did wrong, but then it happens again.

  94. robin_comments says:

    I looooove that Dru senses Angel's transformation.

    Angel's soulless introduction is so awesome, you guys. Just getting up to eat a lady and then BLOW OUT SMOKE? !!! "I feel just fine." Angel, you are now awesome and you should feel awesome.

    I love how the show quickly establishes that this Angel is something entirely new, for which we ARE NOT PREPARED. We see that unlike with Spike, Dru, and Dalton, The Judge feels no humanity from Angel. ("He is clean"… "There's no humanity in him.") Remember, only a pure creature of evil could withstand The Judge! Can you say YIKES??? And then we see how Angel's methods are differ from Spike. Standing next to Drusilla, his great masterpiece, we're reminded that Angel doesn't want to simply kill. He's into the psychological torture, into really destroying someone from the inside as well as out. Which is 500x more scary.

    "She made me feel like a human being. That's not the kind of thing you just forgive." omfg Angel, why so creepy? You are magnificent. <3

    Buffy pulling out the rocket launcher all "that was then, this is now" and Dru & Angel getting it with OH NOES expressions, diving away? GENIUS. This would have to be one of my top 10 moments on BtVS.

    (continued…)

    • robin_comments says:

      I really am of two minds about the Willow/Xander confrontation. On one hand, I have to come down hard on Xander's side because just like it is Not Okay for him to critisize and shame Buffy for not having feelings for him and instead being sexually interested in Angel, it's Not Okay for Willow do it to Xander. HOWEVER, there's a whole other side to this for Willow that I am very sympathetic to — the idea of her best friend dating a person who bullied them both cruelly for years. I do think she has the right to say she doesn't feel good about that.

      re: Jenny. I think the idea behind Buffy's anger (and Giles' support of her) is that Jenny has befriended them under false circumstances and didn't tell them she was assigned to watch over Angel (that the tribe was still watching Angel!) or that it was her people that cursed Angel and so she had access to specialized knowledge about it — even when she became much closer to the group and then even when she got together romantically with Giles. (They might feel that it's one thing for Giles to keep his ugly past a secret, but he thought it truly wouldn't affect the rest of them. Jenny's secret had to do specifically with Angel, someone in their "group" and Buffy's boyfriend. So keeping her knowledge to herself also meant keeping away useful knowledge that applied to Buffy and the people she carried about.)

      I'm not saying Jenny's an awful person and deserves to be hated…but I can see where Buffy's rage is coming from, because she doesn't have access to Jenny's POV and Jenny's reasons. All Buffy can likely see is that if Jenny had been upfront and honest with them, Giles would have had the opportunity to research the curse and have Jenny contact her uncle for the details on it, and then maybe they would have figured out the loophole and this tragedy could have been avoided. Whether or not this would have actually happened, Buffy is tormented by the not knowing, by the possibility that things could have been changed. Also, Buffy has probably put together how Jenny was just like, "yeah! Angel you leave! I'll drive you!" on her birthday yesterday, which… yeah… looks pretty bad now in retrospect.

      The biggest thing for me is that Buffy and Giles now feel like they might not know the "real" Jenny or her full agenda or morals. They pretty much DO know the "real" Jenny, but to be fair they have no way of knowing that. They feel like they can't trust her anymore, and that's not a totally illogical way to feel considering what little they know about the situation and how things have quickly gone from bad to worse. It's not really fair to poor Jenny, but she did make the choices that put her in this position (the times she chose silence).

  95. SecretGirl127 says:

    I am new to Buffy and was behind you on the watching until last week. When I got to this episode, I was just in happy shock. I didn't know if I was going to be able to hang in there for seven seasons of brooding. This just changed everything. I am in.

    Also, yet another parallel (teen sex leads to bad things) with that other teen vampire story. How can that woman claim to have never seen this show. How?

    • Bonnie says:

      That woman proudly said that she'd never read Dracula. You could spend a lot of time trying to find a better analogy for that asinine announcement, but you'll fail to find it, because there's no better way of putting it: It's just like someone deciding to write about vampires without having read Dracula. Egads..

    • LadyPeyton says:

      I'm sorry I simply don't believe her. Her series reads exactly the same as every bad (not all of them, just the bad ones) Buffy/Angel fanfic I've ever read.

  96. quenstalof says:

    I think….maybe that was Cordelia trying to protect Xander?
    Of which you are the Treasurer.
    Wow so harsh. I mean I know he's a soulless demon and all, but ouch.
    I love that Willow takes the time to set things straight between her and Xander. We're not ok, but this is more important.
    Oh Willow no!
    The awkward moment when you realize you're going to have to kill your boyfriend.
    I like that Angel still has some respect for Buffy in his plans to kill her.
    WHat is Xander playing at? Why can't he tell anyone his plan? Seems like he wants everyone to fawn over his genius.
    That solider looks familiar, but I can't IMDB because of SPOILERS
    Freezeframe Willow KIssage. SO ADORABLE I CAN'T EVEN
    Oz (not Ox, which is what i keep typing) how are you so wise?
    Was that the weirdest way to use a crowbar or what?
    You're breaking my Giles/Jenny shipper heart
    I feel like the mall is a very sudden addition to Sunnydale's geography. I mean what two episodes it's been mentioned in before?
    I love how Angel and Drusilla are edging forward as soon as they see the bazooka

  97. @Ivana2804 says:

    – Spike continues to mock the Judge. I love it.
    – Dru seems to have a vision of Angel losing his soul.
    – Smoking! Leather pants! Sure signs of EVIL!
    – The purpose of the plot about Judge wanting to burn vampires for their humanity was to establish that Angelus was extra specially evil. I think it's silly that they're using "human" as a synonym for "goodness" or "tender feelings". Humans can be incredibly evil.
    – The dynamic between Angelus, Dru and Spike is fascinating. They are a family, in the twisted vampire way. Dru is getting even creepier than before. She admires Angel’s special, almost artistic brand of sadism –“You don’t want to kill her, you want to hurt her, like you hurt me”. She doesn’t seem to resent him for the way he tortured her and drove her insane, she loves pain and destruction and admires his talent for inflicting it. She’s beaming when she talks about the way he hurt her, while playing with one of her dolls, which is bound and gagged, and by playing I mean sticking her nails in the doll’s eyes, similar to what she wanted to do to Dalton.
    – Although they're friendly and Spike is glad that his "Yoda" is back, there are signs of tension between them: Angelus doesn't like it when Spike questions him and makes snarky comments. He certainly doesn't like being called "Slayer's lapdog", even in past tense.
    – Slashy "do I hit you or do I kiss you" moment. This time it's a kiss.
    – Another shirtless scene for David Boreanaz, but this time there's a reason for it: it parallels the B/A scene from the beginning of Surprise, and adds the feeling of intimacy that makes the scene so much more painful. Joss said in the DVD commentary that they first planned to shoot it outside, but then realized that it would be so much more painful if it was at his place, in a more intimate setting.
    – That scene… SMG breaks your heart when she's crying. I feel like I just want her to kick his ass instead of telling him ILY, but she's in too much of a shock. He's just piling up every nasty, misogynistic insult he can think of. What, first you mock her that she's inexperienced, then you compare her to a prostitute?! Dude, you're not making sense! But to someone so young, vulnerable and in love, it's so painful. It's even worse when she asks is *she* did something wrong. ๐Ÿ™
    – Now we can finally say that this plot was intended as a metaphor for "the guy who turns into a jerk when you sleep with him". Angelus is acting like an extreme version of an abusive ex-boyfriend.
    – Oddly enough, killing people doesn't make him nearly as hateful as all the personal gross things he does in Innocence: that morning after scene. All the insults, mocking and slut-shaming and the way he's pretending that it didn't mean anything to him and that he never loved her, and the way he says “I love you, too. I’ll call you”, giving her a quick kiss at one point, and the grossest of all, after having killed Jenny’s uncle, writing the message to Buffy “Was it as good for you, too?” in the victim’s blood on the wall.
    – His threats of killing Willow have an obvious rapist undertone, he says it turns him on that she’s so “cute and helpless”.
    – Buffy cries in her room, can't even look at the ring… so painful again. I love the dream scene, so atmospheric. The dream flashback to Buffy and Angel making love is the first sex scene in the show, and it is very subtle, as fits the situation. Then it fades into the scene at the funeral. Angel – his human side (?) is there, Jenny is there… Who is in the coffin?
    – "To kill this girl… you have to love her." So does he? In a weird way, this may be true, his sadistic obsession is the other side of the love he felt for her when he had a soul. "Lbh'er fgvyy nyy ur guvaxf nobhg."

  98. theduck says:

    I'm just going to say in advance, I'm basically incapable of making serious or insightful comments, so.

    – Nooo, Angel! Don't bite people biting is bad ๐Ÿ™

    – Okay, Joyce, something is obviously wrong how can you not tell

    – I love it when Willow yells at people. <3

    – "Well, you know, it kind of itches a little." I kind of love Angelus, is that bad?

    – Yeah, this is when I started shipping Spike/Angel. Oddly enough it's not the kiss that does it for me; it's the way Angel growls and grabs him by the collar. IDK I'M WEIRD LIKE THAT.

    – I love how Xander's just laying on the library counter. I'm a fan of turning not-furniture things into furniture!

    – Xander and Cordy are just my favorite couple ever. <333

    – But poor Willow, aww ๐Ÿ™ </3

    – Seeing Buffy hug Angelus thinking he's Angel is so sad ugh ๐Ÿ™ And the stuff he says to her oh my god :(((

    – "Giles, shut up." Exactly what I wanted to say there, Willow.

    – May I just point out that the sex scene is beautifully filmed? The super close up shots are gorgeous and I love it.

    – OZ!!!

    – "You've got twenty minutes." "I just need five. …Uh, forget I said that last part." Hee.

    – "I'm seventeen. Looking at linoleum makes me want to have sex." One of my all-time favorite Xander quotes right there.

    – Oz is so sweet! He could've gotten mad at Willow for trying to make Xander jealous, or stopped seeing her, but instead he was just like "I can wait." <33333333333

    – "Don't you look spiffy." "Spiffy?" That made me laugh out loud, somehow I missed it the first time I watched this episode.

    – People are really calm considering there's a demon over there vaporizing people. JUST SAYING.

    – "What's that do?" Man, the Judge is kind of hilarious in this episode.

    – "Uh… arm…" lol OZ.

    – Giles, I love you so much. You are the most awesome ever <3

    – I get really jealous of Buffy and Joyce's relationship sometimes ๐Ÿ™ I'm not even sure if those kind of mother/daughter relationships actually exist, but they seem… I don't know, I just hope no one who has that kind of relationship with their parents ever takes it for granted because I seriously wish I could've had that.

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