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Amends - Angels trauma?

HoppyHippy

My arse is not pansy!
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Sineya
#1
I dont watch this episode much, even as a Bangel. Ive never really understood this episode and my hate for christmas gives me more reason to skip it. Plus, Buffy has weird hair.

Is the First re-traumatizing Angel with flashbacks? Does this episode give him the strength to leave sunnydale and Buffy, the strength he has on his own show? He cant be persuaded by the worst evil to kill Buffy. Is this the point he sees he can live with his demons and do good rather than return to the pre buffy rat food days?
 

Spanky

Zexy Mercenary
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Black Thorn
#2
Is this the point he sees he can live with his demons and do good rather than return to the pre buffy rat food days?
Sorta. I think the point of it is even though he is a monster, he doesn't have to be a monster. It's ultimately his choice.
 

thetopher

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Sineya
#3
It addresses the reason for Angel being back in the world; The First says 'I am the reason' but its lying because 'magic snow' keeps Angel alive. So then Angel has to figure out why he is back in the world.
The episode ultimately asks the question that will lead Angel to leave Sunnydale and find his own purpose.
 

Mrs Gordo

And then she comes along...
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Black Thorn
#4
I'm going to quote myself like a dweeb but because I think it's relevant:

I think what "Amends" shows us is that while Angel has an uncanny ability to survive, what he is grappling with is whether or not he should exist. He is having an existential crisis regarding his return from hell. Why is he here? Why did he come back? Why does he exist? The only reason Angel pulled himself from the rubble in the first place is that the Powers told him that his destiny was to help Buffy. And then he ends up losing his soul, killing her teacher, and causing her pain and suffering. Add to this that TF turns that very mission on its head by saying "You were born to hurt her." Angel decides 'well if that's true then I'll die.' And TF is smart. It prays on his fear. That he could turn again, that he could once again become a monster. And his desire for Buffy is real. He is, after all, still in love with her. Still desires her in a very human way. So it is very reasonable that Angel would think, that if there is even a possibility that he was brought back just to destroy her or hinder her he is NOT going to let that happen.

That is why the magical snow is so important. Buffy doesn't convince him to live. It can't just be about her anymore. He has to believe that there is a greater Power that wants him around. That there is more to this than the dichotomy of will I be good for Buffy or bad for Buffy. That his purpose isn't just tied to her. This is the birth of his greater mission statement. Maybe there is another reason he is spared. And, of course, Buffy's words resonate with him, after all, it forms the basis of what he stands for: "Fighting is strong, it's painful and it's every day." is reiterated in s4 AtS "Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. - It's harsh, and cruel. - But that's why there's us. Champions."
So I think the episode is twofold, it shows Angel that he can CREATE his own purpose and his own mission despite the reason that he was brought back. He has the power to do real good, as Buffy tells him. But more importantly to your point, @HoppyHippy it is a springboard for Angel to understand that Buffy is not his sole means of doing good. He can use the inspiration and lessons he learned from her and do good on his own. And that prepares him for the next chapter in his life - in LA.
 
Spanky
Spanky
Just like a lawyer... always likes listening to themselves talk
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Black Thorn
#6
I dont watch this episode much, even as a Bangel. Ive never really understood this episode and my hate for christmas gives me more reason to skip it. Plus, Buffy has weird hair.

Is the First re-traumatizing Angel with flashbacks? Does this episode give him the strength to leave sunnydale and Buffy, the strength he has on his own show? He cant be persuaded by the worst evil to kill Buffy. Is this the point he sees he can live with his demons and do good rather than return to the pre buffy rat food days?
I've always HATED this episode, honestly. Maudlin, uneven, stupid, and the snow thing made me gag. Just saying.
 
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Black Thorn
#8
As an Angel fan it’s kinda strange that you hate this episode m. Just saying
I'm much more of a fan of Angel on his show rather than Buffy. Either way, "Amends" just plain sucks...oooh, look! It's snowing! What a spectacular ending! Gawd.
 
DeadlyDuo
DeadlyDuo
The snow shouldn't have blocked out the sun. Why weren't they more concerned about that?

Spanky

Zexy Mercenary
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Black Thorn
#9
As an Angel fan it’s kinda strange that you hate this episode m. Just saying
I hate it too. But people say I hate everything. Personally I think they are just trying to push their own political agendas onto me. Or maybe more to the point I hate the part everyone loves about it.
 

thetopher

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Sineya
#10
If I'm honest I prefer the little bits of Oz/Willow and Buffy/Faith adorableness to the main angst-y, Bangel-y plot; it felt far more natural and relatable, unsurprisingly.
 
Spanky
Spanky
The Bangely stuff is what drags the episode down. Feels very contrived.

WillowFromBuffy

Extra flamy candles!
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#11
I luuuuuuuuuuuve this episode. I mean, I love the hilltop scene and the subsequent handholdy walk through the snowy streets. Cordelia may be all scratch-the-surface-and-find-more-surface, but this is the bare ugly bones of Buffy and Angel.

I think the scene is cathartic. Angel needs to say that he can't go on living with the burden of his past hanging over him and Buffy needs to say that she cannot live without Angel, and afterwards they both have to do what they said they couldn't. Primal scream therapy.

This is also one of the times when Buffy very explicitly articulates the franchise's philosophy of radical free choice and full personal responsibility.

Oh, and Willow wears a sexy red dress.
 

NileQT87

Billowy Coat, King of Pain
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#12
There was kind of an amazing meta analysis video done during a recent Christmas of this episode in regards to suicidal depression (been there) that really clicked with me. It also talks about Angel being stronger than he knows.

Food for thought.


As for the First Evil bringing Angel back, I strongly disagree that that being true in any way conflicts with the ending, which is essentially the start of the Jasmine arc where we see Angel's series of miracles that manipulate his life. The Powers that Be are opportunists who don't like to get their hands dirty. Jasmine using the First Evil's own self-interested goal to get rid of Buffy doesn't mean that the PtBs/Jasmine would have to actually do that themselves, especially since something else also had motive to do their work for them.

The magic snow is merely the first in a series of miracles (I think people here are trying to associate it too much with Christmas movies and not with Angel's actual storyline) in the same category as the PtBs allowing him to save Kate by waving the invitation rule and conceiving Connor. It's the first of the carrots that get dangled over his head that give him hope that something out there actually cares that he exists and there's a destiny of his own out there for him. Amends, more than any other episode, is the episode where Angel begins to start looking for his own destiny and a reason for his existence separate from what he sees as ruining Buffy's life. Angel's story becomes about something more than Buffy here.

What Angel learns at the end of the episode is that the answer, even an utterly horrific one that makes his destiny into something evil, to why he's back is not what's important, but rather what's important is what he chooses to do with what he's been given. Something else is out there who wants him to live; something offering another destiny for him than what the First wanted of him. When Angel is out of hope, the PtBs will often step in with such an impossible miracle. All but three miracles (ghost!Darla trying to stop Connor, Cordy's final visit and the Black Thorn vision), however, can be attributed to Jasmine.

This also ties into Liam/Angel(us)'s religiosity and desire for cosmic forgiveness. This is the same reason the Shanshu is dangled over his head, offering him exactly that. It's also why we see him rejecting any hope of cosmic forgiveness and even his belief in the PtBs as benevolent beings ("the Powers that Screw You") in favor of championing humanity and human free will, even if there will never be any reward or cosmic forgiveness (what he believes redemption to be) for him.
 
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