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Taking W&H and the memory wipe

Discussion in 'Season 4' started by bespangeled, May 2, 2016.

  1. bespangeled

    bespangeled Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    I just finished a rewatch of Angel - the first 4 seasons. Talking about the memory rape, people have always said that the Fang Gang all agreed to come to W&H on their own. That's completely untrue. Lorne and Gunn both agreed, in conversation but not officially. Wesley said that he was pained to admit that the resources could be valuable - hardly a commitment to take a job with Evil Inc. And Fred was completely bewildered that any of them were planning on staying.

    Then Angel had their memories raped - told them he had made an executive decision - and sold them all down the river to protect Connor.:mad:

    LORNE

    (singing) Could be...who knows? There's something due any day I will know right away soon as it shows (Fred walks into the lobby) It may come cannonballin' down from the sky gleaming inside... Welcome back, Fred (talking, hugs her) Hi. Hey. (starts dancing with her) Oh, well, let me tell you, when this cruise ship sets sail, I will be on the Lido deck. (chuckles) You know, I mean, it's unbelievable. Secrets of the universe, like Siegfried, evil; Roy, not so much. Oh, and balance? Very, very important. (spins Fred out, and she bumps into Wesley)

    FRED
    Uh, heh—ooh! Uh... guess we're all straggling back, some more straggly-like than others. Are you—?

    WESLEY
    Just, uh... a lot to take in.

    The elevator bell rings, Gunn steps out.

    FRED
    You look... did they make you taller?

    GUNN
    I'm doing this. Hope it's not just me, but if it is, that's all right, too.

    WESLEY
    As much as it pains me to admit it, there's probably a great deal we could accomplish with the resources available here.

    FRED
    (looks at Wesley) I can't believe it. Are—are you saying we should take the deal?

    ANGEL
    I already took it.

    FRED
    Angel, what—what?

    WESLEY
    You took the deal?

    ANGEL
    Executive decision.

    WESLEY
    I didn't think you'd—


    LILAH
    Know a silver platter when he's handed one? I'm impressed with the lot of you. Team Angel, all growed up.

    ANGEL
    (whispers) Is it taken care of?


    LILAH
    Cordelia's safe and sound, probably getting a manicure and a blow dry as we speak.

    FRED
    You found Cordy? And she's—

    LILAH
    Still in a coma. But hey, it doesn't mean she can't look her best. (to Angel) She'll receive the finest care, medical and metaphysical. If there is a way to get her back, we'll find it.

    ANGEL
    Good. (whispers) Just one more piece of business. I got to see him.

    LILAH
    I'm sorry, Angel, but that wasn't part of the deal.

    ANGEL
    Value of compromise. Remember, Lilah? I need to see him.

    LILAH
    You're the boss. (hands Angel the file and amulet) There'll be a limo waiting outside. It'll take you to see Connor.

    ANGEL
    (softly) Thank you. (walks out the door)


    FRED
    (watches Angel leave) Who's Connor?


    While they were still in the building touring, before they had announced final decisions, Angel ordered, or allowed, their memories to be wiped and reconfigured. This decision was apparently made before they even met up, since they had no memory of Connor when their brief conversation ended.

    If we are a compendium of memories and experiences, they were all robbed of the experiences they needed to deal with the evil they had been sold to. They didn't make the decision to work at W&H because they no longer existed as the same people they were when they walked through the door. Angel made the decision for the entire team, and then he made it almost impossible for them to chose not to stay.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
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  2. Taake

    Taake Tweedledee Staff Member

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    Black Thorn
    Well, to protect his kid, I do get it. Not that I agree with it, I think it's an awful thing for the character to do. But he wants to save his kid, I mean.. c'mon, who wouldn't? Kid over friends, sorry friends... (Though mostly I think it's more like they needed his kid gone but not dead because the viewers were sick of Connor and didn't even want to have to talk about him anymore.)

    I guess it's why the show puts some effort into making us believe that the AI team would have said yes anyway.

    Douche move making an 'executive decision' but I'm not sure he made it so impossible for them not to stay however. I mean, I guess we don't know what W&H put into their heads instead, but they still had free-will, they still knew W&H was the house of evil, and they weren't exactly under contract with Angel to continue to work for him no matter what. If they had disagreed with his mission they could have left. Why do you feel it was almost impossible for them not to stay?
     
    gite63: They all got greedy about what they would achieve by joining W&H.
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  3. Dolores

    Dolores Professional sleeper

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    But they only had the Connor stuff wiped? Surely they still knew how evil wolfram and hart was.
     
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  4. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    They all still had free will and they all took the same deal.
    Editing all their memories of Connor- which is never proved to be what Angel requested (far more likely to be a 'price' but no-one knows) - doesn't take away from the Faustian bargain they are all entering in to.
    You might as well blame Jasmine for giving them all a scary look at the big picture. They apparently couldn't go back to just running a simple business.
     
  5. bespangeled

    bespangeled Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    The executive decision applied to all of them - Angel cut off the conversation between the other 4, and told him that he had already made an executive declension. But even before they met, while they were still deciding he had their memories wiped. Do you really have free will if a couple of years worth of very critical memories have been removed and/or altered. Think of all the events Connor was key to - W&H bringing back Darla - Darla getting pregnant - W&H trying to get the baby - W&H spiking Angel's blood with Connor's - and so on. All of those memories had to be removed, or altered. Wesley's entire arc that began with taking Connor was gone.

    The people talking about the decision, before Angel made the decision for them, didn't have key information because Angel agreed to take it from them. That's not free will - that's being sold down the river.

    And yeah - it's his kid. But what Angel did wasn't the only option that he had. He certainly didn't have the moral right to completely take away critical parts of other people he claimed to love. If he wanted to sacrifice himself, that's fine - but not the others.
    --- Double Post Merged, May 2, 2016 ---
    Show me where Wesley and Fred say they accept the jobs.
     
  6. vellavu

    vellavu Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    It just reminds me that W&H could always brainwash them, with or without Angel's request.

    Then why don't they brainwash Angel into their side in S1?:confused:
     
  7. bespangeled

    bespangeled Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    I think that the vamp-with-a-soul had to chose whether to be good or evil in the coming apocalypse. W&H did try to force the issue, but they weren't able to directly chose for him. It's the same problem that Angel made by taking away the memories - if Angel's mind is taken over, is he still Angel, and are his choices the choice he would have made without altered memories. Angel had to be free to chose. They could bring Darla back and throw her in his path, or try to take the baby - bu removing Angel's free will invalidated his ability to chose between good and evil.

    The irony is that once he did decide - he took away the ability to freely chose from the people who trusted him.
     
    gite63: Yes, same with the First Evil and Spike - he had to *choose* evil.
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  8. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    Are you sayin gthat they were mind-controlled into taking the job?

    From S5, Episode 1: Conviction:
    FRED: It's so big.

    WESLEY: It does take some getting used to.

    FRED: Have you seen my lab? It's giganamous. And I'm in charge.

    WESLEY: I'm sure you'll have no trouble—

    FRED: I don't even understand half of what they're doing. There's this machine, 6 feet tall, it makes this noise— whoompa! Whoompa! Phht! Not a clue.

    WESLEY: Well, I'm still stuck back at, "Why on earth are we here?"

    FRED: What, because we're crusaders against evil and now the law firm that represents most of the evil in the world has given us its L.A. branch to run however we want, probably in an attempt to corrupt, divide, or destroy us, and we all said yes in, like, 3 minutes?

    Wesley and Fred specifically seem very self-aware about the bargain they made. After many days after accepting their position they still have reservations- which speaks to free will- but they're onboard of their own volition.
     
  9. Mr. Pole

    Mr. Pole Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Exactly. By saying they did not agree is kinda missing the bigger picture and the point of them all taking the deal of their free will.
     
  10. Bluebird

    Bluebird two by two, hands of blue

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    Black Thorn
    Memory wiping is old hat for Angel, he done it to Buffy aswell. I don't really get any feeling that they weren't in control at that point. To me the characters seemed closer than they'd been for a long time, and that they were willing to follow Angel's decisions. I'm sure they could have told him where to go if they weren't on board with him.
     
  11. RomanticSoul

    RomanticSoul I AM GROOT

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    They all signed up of their own free will. What's that got to do with the mindwipe?

    Minor correction here. The Oracles decided how to grant his wish, not Angel. And also time was wiped, not memories. I'm still fuzzy as to how you can wipe memories that weren't there to begin with. Buffy never had the memories of the first IWRY timeline because that time line now doesn't exist anymore. So what memories were wiped exactly?
     
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  12. Taake

    Taake Tweedledee Staff Member

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    Black Thorn
    But they still knew the most essential thing of all - that W&H were bad guys, they were making a deal with the devil. Even without Connor's arc they knew that much, they weren't sheep led to a slaughter.

    Well, morally right is kind of a sticky area in general on the shows so I'm not too concerned with that. In the abstract I can go yeah, he was morally wrong. In action however, yeah I think he made the right call.

    And he I don't think he "claims to love" them, he loves them, he just loves Connor more. They're his friends, Connor is his child, of course he's going to pick his child over them, I think they would all have understood that even if he hadn't made the call for them.


    But I'm mroe curious as to what other options you think he had?
     
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  13. Mr. Pole

    Mr. Pole Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Exactly. They willingly ate the proverbial apple knowing that they really should not do so.
     
  14. gite63

    gite63 Gone

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    Sineya
    What Cordelia would have done. The others got greedy about fancy labs, lots of very ancient books and instant knowledge.
     
  15. Mr. Pole

    Mr. Pole Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    I doubt it. They would have introduced her to the film department and she could be in movies and commercials. She would be in hog heaven. The whole purpose of W&H was to provide them everything they wanted that they thought would make them more complete. They would have gotten Cordy too.
     
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  16. gite63

    gite63 Gone

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    Sineya
    But Cordy had already had a glimpse of fame and fortune, and gave it up for the greater good...
     
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  17. Mr. Pole

    Mr. Pole Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    But now she could have both. It wasn't a one or the other choice. She could have her cake and eat it too.
     
  18. gite63

    gite63 Gone

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    Sineya
    Even so, I think she wouldn't take the deal.
     
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  19. white avenger

    white avenger white avenger

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    By depriving Wes and the others of their memories of Connor, Angel removed knowledge that might very well have influenced their decision. Common logic would indicate that, in removing certain memories, other, false, memories must be substituted in order to fill in the blank places. At the best, Angel put his friends in a position where they would be making life altering decisions based on incomplete information, and at the worst, those decisions were being based on memories of things that never happened.
     
    bespangeled: We are our memories to a certain degree - and this wipe goes back to the first year that they were together.
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  20. RomanticSoul

    RomanticSoul I AM GROOT

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    Again what does that have to do with their decisions to join W&H? They have shown us that prior to the mindwipe all of them were more than eager to see what W&H had to offer, with Angel actually being the most reluctant one. Remember the limo scene? They all pretended they wanted to go because they 'needed to know what the enemy was up to' but that wasn't the real reason. And it's also been shown that Gunn would have taken the offer before the mindwipe was in effect. Also if that wipe had any influence on their decision why would W&H not ensure that none of them would back out? Fred was still reluctant to join after the wipe went into effect.