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Angel's curse and Buffy

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Hi,

I had something on my mind for quite some time now, and it appeared again in my mind now that I am rewatching the show.

The reason Angel loses his soul after sleeping with Buffy in season 2 isn't because of the deed, it is because of her and the moment that they have shared. Being intimate with someone you love for the first time - for Buffy for the very first time ever and for Angel for the first time after a long while - is a special and meaningful thing. Buffy, the way he loved her and she loved him, and the very moment of peace and purity is something that occupied Angel's thoughts more than the reasons why his soul was restored in the first place. However, who is to say that this would happen every time that they sleep together? The type of the moment and the feeling that they have experienced is very hard to replicate, and giving yourself to someone you love for the first time - no matter if it is good or bad - is an unique experience. The character's would never risk it to find out, however, the whole ''no sex thing or he will lose his soul'' thing always seemed too dramatic to me because I think many things have played into him losing his soul in that moment, and I am kind of convinced that the act of having sex probably wouldn't trigger this kind of side effect. This being said, since I believe that this is more about the person, the moment and the feeling, some other experiences connected to Buffy could still make him lose his soul.

Do you have any thoughts/opinions on this? Also, sorry if this was ever discussed in Angel in more depth, I have seen the show only once a long time ago.
 
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Oromous

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Yes, this was what was generally off about AtS season 1, their overdramatic reaction of "NO SEX, ANGEL!", especially when one of whom who acted this way, Wesley, was the very same person who remarked that "Do you know how hard it is to achieve true happiness?" It's contradictory. lol

I really like how you pointed out about the true meaning of Angel's happiness. It does indeed make more sense that his true happiness only occurs after sex, that brief period of bliss lying with his lover in his arms, as opposed to the act of intercourse itself. I think Wesley, upon closer examination of the events that lead up to Angel's curse breaking, would've probably realized this.
 
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DeadlyDuo

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I think it was initially the sex that made Angel lose his soul because a) they wanted to give Buffy the experience of a girl sleeps with her boyfriend for the first time and he turns into a dick, but also b) Angel as both Liam and Angelus enjoyed the pleasure of sex so forcing him to be celibate would be kind of a cruel joke. However, I think they changed it when they realised that having Angel practically be a monk wasn't helpful to developing romantic relationships involving him. This is why the logic of Cangel doesn't work, Cordy was there for the Angelus saga yet seems unfazed by the risk but the writers were pushing it because by that time they'd changed what made Angel lose his soul.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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Are you a teenage girl in 1998 who's first dealing with emotional and physical intimacy in a relationship, and who has to deal with her boyfriend breaking up with her afterwards? Then no, the curse isn't going to make any sense. And if you are going to write a show about being a young adult, where the main character is a dashing Bruce Wayne targeted at college aged teenage girls, you are limiting your story options. So, my preferred Angel Scenario is "Batman, Tommy and Tuppence" to emphasize Angel's isolation from humanity, you eventually would have to let Angel have sex, because a 16 year old girl in 1998, she'll be ready to graduate college by season 5.

As for the Spell it's self, off-label use. There are a few other undead creatures, Revenants and Liches, where the soul is returned to an undead body. But, the Princes of Hell don't do this out of the kindness of their hearts, you can't just return to living world, you are still apart from it, see, your suffering is on earth now. So, if you do fall in love, or return to your loved ones, the deal is breached, and the soul is removed, and the body crumbles to dust. It's not meant to be used on Vampires, but it works just as well, and it's why you can't remove the perfect happiness clause, it's iron clad. It doesn't make any sense, because it's not about keeping Vampires miserable, the Old Woman just had a clever idea, and the Ancient Spirits of Evil liked it. But it was not meant to be vengeance spell, it was meant to summon the shades of the dead back to give testimony in their deaths, or to act as oracles. It was meant to create undead laborers or guardians, it was meant to create Mumm-Ra, but it wasn't meant to force a vampire into suicide.
 

Myheadsgonenumb

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The fact it isn't the act of sex itself is put to bed (so to speak) once and for all, when he sleeps with Darla in season 2 - and he goes on to actually have a sex life in season 5 without ever worrying about the curse. But in season 2 Darla truly believes he will have lost his soul by having sex with her, he slept with her hoping to lose his soul and Cordelia thinks sex with Darla would cause him to lose his soul too. This is simply because, in world, they aren't characters with all the knowledge we have but people - and people misunderstand and oversimplify and get things wrong.

Wesley does point out in season one that the circumstances were important, but he only says it to Cordelia who isn't really that interested in what Wesley has to say.

Back in Surprise/ Innocence the only witness to what actually happened is Angel himself, because Buffy is asleep. The way she tells the story is they have sex and now he's evil, from her perspective that's how it happened. The uncle tells Jenny (and so the audience) about the moment where his guilty conscience is not plaguing him being the trigger, but he is dead before Buffy and Giles speak to him so they get a second hand account from someone who has only just been told the truth - and then they kick her out of the group so even that source of info if is gone. And Angel - bless him - he's evil, he's in a hell dimension, he's recovering from a hell dimension and feeling guilty ... 'no sex' is a simple rule, he's happy to stick with it and believe that's all it takes.

It makes sense for everyone to misunderstand the curse and only really learn about it through trial and error because no single character has the overarching view of what happens that the audience enjoys. They each only have a little bit of a puzzle piece and assume they have the full picture - which is a very realistic way for them to behave.
 
PrincessBuffy16
PrincessBuffy16
Of course that the characters in the show navigate their lives based on their experiences and the knowledge that they have, and that we, as the audience, have far more information. Which is why I was asking more about the viewer pov :)

white avenger

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I agree that the simple act of having sex wouldn't have been enough to result of Angel losing his soul. The act itself isn't as important as the happiness. We saw that in Season 4 of "Angel," where the mere thought of a happy family atmosphere did the same thing. Buffy, as far as we know, is a virgin at that point in Season 2, and quite likely, while Liam and Angelus had had sex with literally countless women over the span of a couple of centuries, Angel had never actually had anything but carnal desire for any of them. Quite likely, Buffy was the first girl in all of his existence, both mortal and immortal, with whom he had actually made love. That would have made the moment unique and joyful.

And, on the point of that "moment of perfect happiness" clause, I've always wondered if just maybe all that Buffy/Angel abstinence later was really all that necessary. Could either of them actually been able to attain that magical moment a second time, knowing what the consequences would be. Just that thought alone might have made it just as safe for Angel to have sex with Buffy as we saw that it was when he and Nina made love in Angel's Season 5. Maybe, after that one single time, even Buffy would have fallen into that "99.99999 %" of what all the other men and women in the world were happy to experience.
 

burrunjor

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Hi,

I had something on my mind for quite some time now, and it appeared again in my mind now that I am rewatching the show.

The reason Angel loses his soul after sleeping with Buffy in season 2 isn't because of the deed, it is because of her and the moment that they have shared. Being intimate with someone you love for the first time - for Buffy for the very first time ever and for Angel for the first time after a long while - is a special and meaningful thing. Buffy, the way he loved her and she loved him, and the very moment of peace and purity is something that occupied Angel's thoughts more than the reasons why his soul was restored in the first place. However, who is to say that this would happen every time that they sleep together? The type of the moment and the feeling that they have experienced is very hard to replicate, and giving yourself to someone you love for the first time - no matter if it is good or bad - is an unique experience. The character's would never risk it to find out, however, the whole ''no sex thing or he will lose his soul'' thing always seemed too dramatic to me because I think many things have played into him losing his soul in that moment, and I am kind of convinced that the act of having sex probably wouldn't trigger this kind of side effect. This being said, since I believe that this is more about the person, the moment and the feeling, some other experiences connected to Buffy could still make him lose his soul.

Do you have any thoughts/opinions on this? Also, sorry if this was ever discussed in Angel in more depth, I have seen the show only once a long time ago.
I think it was more Buffy season 3 that pushed the no sex thing or he'll lose his soul, which I agree kind of cheapened the reason the first time. It was clearly just being with the woman he loved and everything building up to that point, maybe feeling he was beginning to find redemption by helping a hero like Buffy, (he'd just played a pivotal role in saving the world too in season 1.) How she made him feel, the fact she didn't see him as a monster etc, that all led up to that.

In Angel season 1 I think they handle it quite well and make out that it's more just a moment of happiness that makes him lose it, than sex. Wesley points out that even if he slept with Rebecca that that doesn't mean he'd lose his soul. It's only Cordelia who not surprisingly is the shallow one who thinks that sex = that LOL.

Season 2 meanwhile reinforces that by having him not lose it after sleeping with Darla.

Season 5 meanwhile similarly has him be able to have a relationship and sex with Nina because he doesn't love her, she doesn't love him, it's just casual fun.

I think a lot of the time people, fans and some writers mistake Angel not wanting to get close to people for him not being able to have sex with them. For instance in season 1 he doesn't want to get to know Rebecca because he really likes her personally and feels a connection, and in time they could end up together romantically like him and Buffy leading to a moment of happiness, whatever that is sex, something else.

If it was just a casual thing he probably wouldn't mind. (Even then though being a Vampire with a tortured past he probably doesn't go in for casual dates much. I always loved the bit where Doyle and Cordy just let him sit on his own in the dark and he's so relieved LOL. )

Season 4 of Angel though is where they really lose it and make the trigger shallow, by having it that sex with Cordelia, worse a Jasmine possessed Cordelia that he didn't notice would make him lose his soul. To me him forgiving and hugging Connor and then Vamping out and biting his neck would have been better way of him losing his soul in that vision.

I've often wondered though if, barring magics it would have been possible for Angel to lose his soul a second time?

He had no idea he could lose it the first time and so naturally let his guard down when sharing a moment with the Buffster, but after that the fear of losing it would always be in his mind. That's why people argue he didn't lose it when holding a baby Connor, or being with Cordy in You're Welcome. Regardless of how happy those moments seemed, Angel would always have the memory of what happened in Sunnydale holding him back. The curse is kind of its own failsafe as perfect happiness can never be achieved if you know that it will come at a price, and the fact that you are aware of that just makes the torment all the worse.

If only the Romani clan had told him that the first time he most certainly wouldn't have lost it. (Maybe they didn't out of fear that he would kill himself like in Amends and therefore be free of his torment.)
 
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Faded90

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I agree that the simple act of having sex wouldn't have been enough to result of Angel losing his soul. The act itself isn't as important as the happiness. We saw that in Season 4 of "Angel," where the mere thought of a happy family atmosphere did the same thing. Buffy, as far as we know, is a virgin at that point in Season 2, and quite likely, while Liam and Angelus had had sex with literally countless women over the span of a couple of centuries, Angel had never actually had anything but carnal desire for any of them. Quite likely, Buffy was the first girl in all of his existence, both mortal and immortal, with whom he had actually made love. That would have made the moment unique and joyful.

And, on the point of that "moment of perfect happiness" clause, I've always wondered if just maybe all that Buffy/Angel abstinence later was really all that necessary. Could either of them actually been able to attain that magical moment a second time, knowing what the consequences would be. Just that thought alone might have made it just as safe for Angel to have sex with Buffy as we saw that it was when he and Nina made love in Angel's Season 5. Maybe, after that one single time, even Buffy would have fallen into that "99.99999 %" of what all the other men and women in the world were happy to experience.
I always find ‘Forever’ interesting with regards to his soul. Angel has just had sex with Darla so knows that sex doesn’t equal no soul but when him and Buffy start kissing he pulls away and apologises to her because he actually can’t ‘handle the neediness’ because he wants to be able to give her the comfort she wants. I think it absolutely isn’t about sex but I think he’s still scared to risk sex with Buffy
 

Joan the Vampire Slayer

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Do you have any thoughts/opinions on this? Also, sorry if this was ever discussed in Angel in more depth, I have seen the show only once a long time ago.
I think you've answered your own question! You're right that there is no guarantee that if they did the deed again he'd lose his soul again, but it's too much of a risk to take.

Also - don't apologize! Everything's been discussed here before. ;)
 
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I think it was more Buffy season 3 that pushed the no sex thing or he'll lose his soul, which I agree kind of cheapened the reason the first time. It was clearly just being with the woman he loved and everything building up to that point, maybe feeling he was beginning to find redemption by helping a hero like Buffy, (he'd just played a pivotal role in saving the world too in season 1.) How she made him feel, the fact she didn't see him as a monster etc, that all led up to that.

In Angel season 1 I think they handle it quite well and make out that it's more just a moment of happiness that makes him lose it, than sex. Wesley points out that even if he slept with Rebecca that that doesn't mean he'd lose his soul. It's only Cordelia who not surprisingly is the shallow one who thinks that sex = that LOL.

Season 2 meanwhile reinforces that by having him not lose it after sleeping with Darla.

Season 5 meanwhile similarly has him be able to have a relationship and sex with Nina because he doesn't love her, she doesn't love him, it's just casual fun.

I think a lot of the time people, fans and some writers mistake Angel not wanting to get close to people for him not being able to have sex with them. For instance in season 1 he doesn't want to get to know Rebecca because he really likes her personally and feels a connection, and in time they could end up together romantically like him and Buffy leading to a moment of happiness, whatever that is sex, something else.

If it was just a casual thing he probably wouldn't mind. (Even then though being a Vampire with a tortured past he probably doesn't go in for casual dates much. I always loved the bit where Doyle and Cordy just let him sit on his own in the dark and he's so relieved LOL. )

Season 4 of Angel though is where they really lose it and make the trigger shallow, by having it that sex with Cordelia, worse a Jasmine possessed Cordelia that he didn't notice would make him lose his soul. To me him forgiving and hugging Connor and then Vamping out and biting his neck would have been better way of him losing his soul in that vision.

I've often wondered though if, barring magics it would have been possible for Angel to lose his soul a second time?

He had no idea he could lose it the first time and so naturally let his guard down when sharing a moment with the Buffster, but after that the fear of losing it would always be in his mind. That's why people argue he didn't lose it when holding a baby Connor, or being with Cordy in You're Welcome. Regardless of how happy those moments seemed, Angel would always have the memory of what happened in Sunnydale holding him back. The curse is kind of its own failsafe as perfect happiness can never be achieved if you know that it will come at a price, and the fact that you are aware of that just makes the torment all the worse.

If only the Romani clan had told him that the first time he most certainly wouldn't have lost it. (Maybe they didn't out of fear that he would kill himself like in Amends and therefore be free of his torment.)
I was also thinking in a quite similar direction - in BtvS season 2, Jenny's uncle said that the curse will be broken when Angel's bad deeds no longer weigh on his mind. I can imagine that knowing you can lose your soul and become a monster again would weigh heavily on someone's mind, even during the happiest of the moments (maybe even especially during those).
 

DeadlyDuo

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I was also thinking in a quite similar direction - in BtvS season 2, Jenny's uncle said that the curse will be broken when Angel's bad deeds no longer weigh on his mind. I can imagine that knowing you can lose your soul and become a monster again would weigh heavily on someone's mind, even during the happiest of the moments (maybe even especially during those).
All it takes is a moment though and there is no guarantee that Angel won't be caught off guard.

Here's a question, why doesn't Angel lose his soul when he sleeps? He's asleep so his bad deeds wouldn't be weighing on his mind at that juncture.
 
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All it takes is a moment though and there is no guarantee that Angel won't be caught off guard.

Here's a question, why doesn't Angel lose his soul when he sleeps? He's asleep so his bad deeds wouldn't be weighing on his mind at that juncture.
Of course there's no guarantee, he always has to be careful and cautious regarding everything he does so he doesn't feel too content - however, happiness also can't be prevented, and there's no measurement of how much happiness he can take before he loses his soul. Pretty sure that's why they refer to it as a curse, since the moments he feels happy during are the ones he should be scared of more than anything else. However, taking this into consideration, I would also imagine that that fear could also stop him from giving himself to those moments completely - getting back behind the wheel after a bad car crash would probably make you uneasy to go back into the traffic and there's a likely chance you will panic or slow down when you pass again by the spot where the accident happened.

Also, I would imagine that him sleeping doesn't make him that happy for him to lose his soul. No one ever said that an easy and empty mind make him lose his soul, but an easy and empty mind caused by happiness - when so many nice thoughts are inhabiting his mind that there's no more room for the bad ones.
 
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Ann

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All it takes is a moment though and there is no guarantee that Angel won't be caught off guard.

Here's a question, why doesn't Angel lose his soul when he sleeps? He's asleep so his bad deeds wouldn't be weighing on his mind at that juncture.
It is true that Angel can be caught off guard and all he can do is his best to avoid those moments that will cause him to lose his soul.

As to why Angel doesn't lose his soul when he sleeps that could be because he dreams of his victims. Doing that would keep them in Angel's mind and have him not happy.
 
Reason: left out a word
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