Is it weird saying that I’m glad I re-watched this episode? IT FEELS WEIRD. It’s not like I actively wanted to live through this experience again, but it proved to be a really eye-opening episode once you have the full context of Buffy and Angel at hand. So, this commission, which is from the lovely Lawrence, hit me harder than I expected it to ~because of reasons.~
- So, we all have dealbreakers! We all have a tolerance level. We can all reach a point where we feel like enough is enough, and we are just done. Like, totally, completely done. I don’t often reach that point with fiction, despite that I have quite a few things that trigger me. I think having Mark Reads and Mark Watches has helped me work through those things so that I can take care of myself. Writing about things that upset me or enrage me actually helps take the power out of them!
- In terms of the Buffyverse, I think I was way more willing to give all the characters the benefit of the doubt because I didn’t know their whole story. That being said, LORD. Season six left a bad taste in my mouth regarding everyone, except Tara. And maybe Anya? Yeah, Anya wasn’t as awful as everyone else, but holy crap, that season made everyone do awful things all the time to everyone. HELP.
- Watching “Passion,” I realized that for some people, it would be totally understandable if this was the moment they said, “NOPE. DONE. I AM DONE WITH YOU, ANGEL.” And I would not take that away from them. This is still one of the most haunting and disturbing episodes of the whole series. Like on a molecular level. Pretty sure the atoms that make up “Passion” are just as unsettled as we are.
- I think part of that for me not only comes from Angelus’s behavior, but the fact that the show was never truly clear about the delineation between a vampire with a soul and one without a soul. I know that’s been one of the most-discussed things in this community because I brought it up a LOT. It confused me! It still does! But in the context of “Passion,” we watch Buffy’s romantic interest, the person she had sex with the first time, a heroic force, systematically stalk, abuse, and murder people that Buffy and Giles care about. That sort of dissonance is extremely hard to handle because it defies the characterization we assumed that Angel had.
- That risk is huge! Like, you take this person most people grew to like, and you make him undeniably awful. So, while I would never presume to say that you need to like Angel after this, I was always impressed that the show managed to make him likable again at all. (Most of the credit for that goes to the actual show Angel, which humanized Angel by showing us how deeply flawed and silly he was. It took away the evil mystification of his character. Eventually, I should say, as he does some FUCKED UP THINGS on that show, too.)
- I miss Jenny Calendar. I do. God, she really would have been so great in the later seasons. WHAT WOULD SHE HAVE DONE TO WILLOW IN SEASON SIX IF SHE WAS STILL AROUND? Oh god, does that fic exist? If not, I give full permission to steal this idea from me.
- I will also forever “enjoy” this episode because of Giles’s furious attack on Angel at the end. (I use “enjoy” in a loose form of the word, because let’s be real: I don’t actually feel joy watching this.)
- How did these actors not win Emmys for this episode? This show was totally underrated in terms of awards. Look at David Boreanaz, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Alyson Hannigan act their pants off! It’s amazing.
- So many feelings.
Mark Links Stuff
- I am going on tour in 2013! There are 27 tour dates spread across the eastern half of North America. Please help suggest venues, offer up a place to crash, and RSVP for dates near you!
- I have begun writing posts in advance to compensate for tour. All commissions are open, and I have listed all upcoming Mark Watches posts that are missing commissions.
- You can also commission me to read bad fic/fiction on ANY Mark Does Stuff Tour date. You can claim a specific date to have a live reading right here.