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Condensing the Seasons

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
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If you had to condense the seasons of either Buffy or Angel down into less episodes, whilst still allowing the narrative to make sense, what episodes would you keep and why?

Season 1

Welcome to the Hellmouth (Introduction of all the characters)
The Harvest (Part 2 of WTTH)
Never Kill a Boy on the First Date (Introduction of the Anointed One)
The Pack (Death of Principal Flutie)
Angel (Death of Darla, Angel is a Vampire reveal)
I Robot, You Jane (Introduction of Jenny)
The Puppet Show (Introduction of Snyder)
Nightmares (Introduction of Hank Summers)
Prophecy Girl (Death of the Master)

Season 2

When She was Bad (Wraps up the Master Storyline with Buffy smashing his bones to dust)
School Hard (Introduction of Spike and Dru, Death of the Annoying one)
Inca Mummy Girl (Introduction of Oz)
Halloween (Introduction of Ethan Rayne)
Lie to Me (Introduction of Lily/Chanterelle)
The Dark Age (Wraps up Ethan Rayne for Season 2)
What's My Line Part 1 (Introduction of Kendra, Part 1 of WML Part 2, Beginning of Woz and Xandelia relationships)
What's My Line Part 2 (Kendra exits, Dru cured, Spike Paralysed)
Bad Eggs (Introduction of Gorch Brothers)
Surprise (Introduction of the Judge (Buffy and Angel sleep together, Part 1 of Innocence)
Innocence (Angel loses his soul, Death of the Judge)
Phases (Oz is a Werewolf reveal)
Passion (Death of Jenny, reveal of soul spell)
I Only Have Eyes for You (Reveal that Spike can now walk)
Becoming Part 1 (Death of Kendra, Introduction to Acathla plot)
Becoming Part 2 (Angel soul restored, Death/exile of Angel, Spike and Dru exit, Joyce finds out Buffy is a slayer, Buffy expelled, Buffy leaves Town)

Season 3

Anne (Buffy returns)
Dead Man's Party (Buffy allowed back to School, Scoobies reunite)
Faith, Hope and Trick (Introduction to Faith, Scott Hope and Mr Trick)
Homecoming (Scott Hope exits, Surviving Gorch Brother exits, Introduction of The Mayor and Finch)
Lovers Walk (Scooby romantic relationships break up)
The Wish (Introduction of Anya)
Helpless (Giles fired by Watcher Council)
The Zeppo (Xander sleeps with Faith)
Bad Girls (Faith kills Finch and turns to the dark side, Introduction of Wesley)
Consequences (Death of Mr Trick, Faith joins The Mayor)
Enemies (Everyone aware that Faith is now evil)
Choices (Beginning of Bangel Break up)
The Prom (Bangel Break Up)
Graduation Day Part 1 (Buffy stabs Faith)
Graduation Day Part 2 (Faith in Coma, Death of Mayor, Angel exits, Death of Snyder, End of high school years)

Do you agree/ disagree? What about the post-high school seasons?
 
B
Btvs fan
Im not sure you need Inca Mummy Girl. Halloween introduces Oz just as well and the audience essentially gets the same information as Inca

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Season 1
Welcome to the Hellmouth/The Harvest (condensed into one 40 minute episode) = Introducing the characters and the world
The Pack = Showing the dynamic between the group and the individual relationships (Xander and Willow, Willow and Buffy, Buffy and Xander)
Angel = Revealing who the mystery man is and what role he's playing
The Puppet Show = Because we do need one campy, awesome MOTW episode :D
Out of Mind, Out of Sight = Cordelia character progression and the scene with Angel and Giles in the library
Prophecy Girl = The conclusion of the season, the Big Bad and such

Season 2
School Hard = Introducing Spike and Drusilla (and it's considered a bit of a second pilot anyway)
Halloween = Ethan Rayne and also just a fun episode
Lie to Me = If for nothing else than the scene where Angel tells Buffy about Drusilla
The Dark Age = Ripper background
What's My Line (condensed into one 40 minute episode) = Introducing Kendra, Xander/Cordelia starting, Spike being injured, Drusilla regaining her strength, so on
Surprise/Innocence (condensed into one 40 minute episode) = For obvious reasons
Phases = Oz being a werewolf and also becoming a part of the group through Willow
Passion = Jenny's death and everything becoming serious, fast
Becoming Pt. I/Pt. II (in their real-time format) = Also pretty obvious

Season 3
Anne/Dead Man's Party (condensed into one 40 minute episode) = Seeing what's become of Buffy since last season and dealing with the fallout when she returns
Faith, Hope & Trick = Introducing Faith and Mr. Trick
Beauty and the Beasts = Bringing Angel back from Hell
Lovers Walk = For all the change in the relationships of the group
Helpless = For the Cruciamentum and meeting the Council and Giles being fired
Bad Girls/Consequences (condensed into one 40 minute episode) = For Faith's bad turn and joining the mayor
Enemies = For the gang finding out about Faith
Choices/The Prom (condensed into one 40 minute episode) = For all the choices being made, including the end of the Bangel relationship that happens in Prom
Bargaining Day Pt. I/Pt. II (condensed into a one-hour long episode) = Again, obvious

Season 4
The Freshman/Living Conditions (a one-hour long premiere) = Dealing with Buffy's angst, Kathy the demon roommate and the mystery of the masked men
The Harsh Light of Day = Spike and Harmony's return, the Gem of Amara
Wild at Heart = Oz leaving, Spike being captured
The Initiative = Unfortunately, we need this one :)
Pangs/Something Blue (you get the drill by now) = For Spike coming to the gang and Willow's misuse of magic
Hush = Tara's introduction and Buffy and Riley finding out about one another (plus, it's awesome!)
The I in Team/Goodbye Iowa = Touching on the overarching storyline
This Year's Girl/Who Are You? = We don't really need a lot of the first episode, but together it's an important storyline
The Yoko Factor/Primeval (one-hour finale) = Again, obvious

Season 5
Buffy vs. Dracula/Real Me = You can really get rid of most of the Dracula storyline, except for Buffy's visions while drinking his blood, and then, of course, Dawn intro
Out of My Mind = For Spike's desperation and final dream, and the return of Riley's army buddies (Graham)
No Place Like Home = For the orb, meeting Glory and finding out what/who Dawn really is
Fool for Love = For the Spike backstory
Shadow/Listening to Fear = Edit out the unneeded and we'd have one very strong episode focused around Joyce's illness and Glory as the Big Bad
Into the Woods/Triangle = The end of Buffy/Riley, how Buffy deals with it and knowledge that Giles is talking to the Council
Checkpoint = For the Council reinstating Giles, telling Buffy about Glory being a God and Glory showing up at Buffy's home
Blood Ties = For Dawn learning the truth about herself (and the gang, too)
Crush = For Buffy finding out about Spike and everything coming to a head
I Was Made to Love You = More movement on the Spike-loves-Buffy storyline and the final scene...
The Body = For...everything
Forever = For the aftermath as the girls try to deal with their loss
Intervention = For movement on the overall arch with Glory
Tough Love = For Tara being brainsucked and Glory finding out that Dawn's the Key
Spiral/The Weight of the World = Building to the Finale
The Gift = Finale

Season 6
Bargaining (one-hour long premiere = Buffy returning, obviously
Life Serial = The Trio testing Buffy and Buffy failing at being back to life
Once More, with Feeling = For all of the revelations
Smashed/Wrecked = Willow's downfall, Buffy/Spike beginnings
Dead Things = For showing how far Warren is willing to go
As You Were = Closure on Riley and ending the Buffy/Spike thing
Hell's Bells = Dissolution of Xander/Anya
Seeing Red = For (god I hate saying this) the bathroom scene that sends Spike to Africa and Tara's death in the end
Villains/Two to Go/Grave (two-hour finale) = I love all three, but we can condense them a bit

Season 7
Lessons/Beneath You (one-hour premiere) = Showing where the gang is now, giving us the hint of the Big Bad, and revealing Spike's secret to Buffy
Same Time, Same Place = For Willow's return and her going to Tara's grave
Selfless = Anya's story (FINALLY!)
Conversations with Dead People = Important for the overarching storyline
Sleeper/Never Leave Me = Andrew's return, Spike turning people
Bring on the Night/Showtime = Giles returning, Potentials introduced, all the exposition
Potential = Showing how far Dawn has come, introducing Amanda, foreshadowing Xander's future injury
First Date = Robin's secret coming out
Get It Done = Slayer backstory and touching on the overarching storyline
Lies My Parents Told Me = Robin's attempt on Spike's life, which gets rid of the trigger, and the Giles/Buffy relationship dissolving
Dirty Girls = Faith's return, Caleb's introduction, Xander's injury, so much important stuff
Empty Places/Touched = The big argument and change in leadership, finding the bomb and the Scythe, seeing people leaving town in droves
Chosen (stretched into two-hour finale) = Again, obvious

I was not surprised that S5 was so hard to shorten, what I love about it is how it touches so much on the overarching story in most episodes. I was surprised that S7 was the second-longest. I'll come back and do Angel later.
 

vampmogs

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I find this really hard as almost all of the episodes contribute something to the narrative in some way. But I'll do my best;

Season 1:

- Welcome to the Hellmouth/The Harvest (introduces us to the show's mythology and the characters)
- The Witch (expands on the show's mythology to include threats outside of vampires. It also specifically introduces us to Witches who will be hugely significant moving forward and to Amy who will become a recurring character. It's also the first episode that establishes the Buffy/Xander/Willow triangle)
- Never Kill A Boy On The First Date (it's a pretty arc-significant episode and introduces us to the Anointed One)
- Angel (this of course reveals that Angel is a vampire and fleshes out his character considerably as well as the Buffy/Angel relationship)
- Nightmares (A nice insight into our core 4 characters. If we have to lose the Xander-centric and Willow-centric episodes this season then this episode is integral to allowing us to understand them better and grow further attached. It also sets up Buffy's fear of The Master nicely)
- Out of Mind, Out of Sight (a pivotal episode for Cordy's development who up until now was pretty one-note. It also progresses the plot by having Angel bring the codex to Giles and is a really great example of the show's mission statement in using the horrors of adolescence to tell horror stories)
Prophecy Girl (Obviously hugely significant with Buffy's death and Buffy killing The Master. A really important episode that sets up future plot developments and moves along several of the relationships as well - mainly Buffy's rejection of Xander)

Season 2:

- When She Was Bad (a great season opener that deals with Buffy's trauma over her death, brings a close to The Master once and for all, foreshadows Buffy VS Angel later in the season, and sets up Giles/Jenny)
- Schoolhard (an extremely pivotal episode in that it introduces us to Spike and Drusilla who not only go on to be really important characters throughout the rest of the show but help redefine the show's villains and the tone moving forward. The episode also gives us our first glimpse of "Angelus", it reveals that Snyder and the Sunnydale law enforcement are aware of the supernatural, and it kills off The Anointed One)
- Inca Mummy Girl (As others have said, it introduces Oz and Willow/Oz for the first time. It's also the first appearance of Jonathan and as an added bonus it helps establish the Xander = demon magnet theme)
- Halloween (This episode establishes the show's Halloween lore that vampires shy away from the holiday, it progresses the Buffy/Angel relationship, it introduces us to Ethan Rayne and we see our first glimpse of 'Ripper', it puts to rest the Buffy/Cordy/Angel rivalry, and it contains some great character growth for Buffy/Willow/Xander and sets up Xander retaining his military knowledge which will be called upon again in subsequent episodes)
- Lie to Me (A pivotal episode that reveals to us the Angel/Drusilla backstory and it gives us the first hint at the Angel/Spike/Dru dynamic. It also lays down the mission statement of the series and it's exploration of growing up - "Lie to me")
- The Dark Ages (Giles' backstory is revealed and forever changes how his character is perceived. We also get the added bonus of UST between Xander/Cordy and another glimpse at Willow's assertiveness beginning to come out. It also features Angel saving Jenny's life which is part of the reason she softens on her secret mission to watch him as revealed later)
- What's My Line I/II (A very plot-heavy 2 parter that progresses the season in really significant ways. We're introduced to Kendra and the revelation that there are now 2 slayers in the world, Willow/Oz finally meet, this is the first appearance of Willy and Drusilla gets her strength back and Spike ends up in his wheelchair)
- Surprise/Innocence (Game-changer episodes that not only elevated the series to new heights but of course had huge implications for the rest of the season/show. Angel loses his soul, Buffy loses her virginity, Willow catches Xander/Cordy together, Giles and Buffy ostracise Jenny, and Willow begins falling for Oz)
- Phases (A really significant episode in that it reveals to us that Oz is a werewolf and Willow/Oz officially get together. It's also another glimpse at Angel's unique brand of terror and Buffy's feelings of guilt that people are dying as a result of her inability to kill him)
- B,B&B (Xander/Cordy is revealed to Sunnydale High and Cordy officially leaves her 'Queen C' life behind and joins the Scoobies)
- Passion (What's there even to say? Angel murders Jenny, Angel's restoration curse is revealed, and several relationships are changed forever. It's also the first appearance of The Magic Box)
- I Only Have Eyes For You (This is a pretty pivotal episode in regards to Buffy's development and how she blames herself for Angel's turn but I've actually picked it for it's plot elements. Spike is revealed to be able to walk again and Angelus, Dru and Spike move into the mansion)
- Becoming I/II (An obvious choice. We're privy to some hugely significant flashbacks including our first glimpse of Liam, Liam becoming a vampire, Buffy becoming a Slayer, Angel having his soul restored and Angel seeing Buffy for the first time. The episode also contains the death of Kendra, Buffy being expelled, Willow's first ever spell, Spike's allegiance with Buffy, Buffy coming out to Joyce, and of course Angel having his soul restored and Buffy sacrificing him to save the world. There's very few episodes in the series with as many hugely significant plot elements)

Season 3:

- Anne (This episode lets us know where Buffy has been all summer and of course brings her back to Sunnydale in the end)
- Faith, Hope & Trick (a pretty significant episode with not only the introduction of Faith but also Mr Trick and Angel's return from Hell. It's also the first episode in the entire series to ever mention The Council which is pretty huge)
- Beauty and the Beasts (I had to include this episode as it's where Buffy discovers Angel and sets up Buffy keeping Angel's return a secret from the rest of the gang)
- Revelations (The gang comes to blows as Angel's return is revealed and I think this has a significant impact on the remainder of the season. This episode establishes the mistrust and antagonism between Buffy/Faith, I think Xander has a major identity crisis after this episode, Angel saves Willow and appeases the gang, and this episode lays the groundwork for Watcher's being perceived as untrustworthy villains)
- Lovers Walk (Spike returns and it's revealed that he and Drusilla have broken up, the Willow/Xander affair is revealed which ends Xander/Cordy forever, and Angel's return is revealed to Joyce)
- The Wish (our introduction to the Wishverse and to Vamp!Willow who will make an appearance later in the season. This episode is also Anya's first appearance in the series who not only will be a pivotal character but also brings with her the Vengeance Demon mythology)
- Amends (A pretty significant episode in Angel's journey as well as the introduction of The First who will be a future Big Bad. It also gives us a brief reconciliation between Buffy/Faith, brings Willow/Oz back together, and has Buffy/Angel reunite)
- Gingerbread (I feel like I have to include this as it's the episode that Amy turns herself into a rat which becomes a running gag for the next 3 seasons)
- Helpless (A pivotal episode for Buffy's character as not only does it establish her inner strength but it also establishes her estrangement from Hank and her father issues. It is of course introduces us to Quentin Travers, ends with Giles being fired, and has Angel come clean to Buffy that he saw her pre-Sunnydale)
- The Zeppo (A really significant episode for Xander's character. I just cannot exclude it - and it also sets up the Xander/Faith "relationship" which will turn very dark later in the season)
- Bad Girls (A pivotal episode for the season with the introduction of Wesley and Faith killing Finch. A real turning point)
- Consequences (Faith teams up with the Major, our first glimpse at Detective Angel and Mr Trick is dusted)
- Dopplegangland (much like The Zeppo this is a really significant episode for Willow's character and it also re-introduces us to Anya as a human)
- Enemies (Faith's treachery is revealed to the gang)
- Prom (Angel breaks up with Buffy and AtS is born)
- Graduation Day I/II (Buffy puts Faith into a coma, Angel and Cordy leave Sunnydale, Sunnydale High is blown up, The Mayor is killed, Snyder and Larry die, Harmony is sired into a vampire, and the gang finish high school. It also gives us our first foreshadowing of Dawn's arrival and Buffy's death)

Wow I did a bad job. I barely excluded any episodes. I just can't bring myself to do it as practically every episode is pivotal in some way.
 
B
Btvs fan
What abour Choices its where Buffy gets Faiths knife and they set up that Buffy is going to college in Sunnydale

Btvs fan

Scooby
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A lot of my pics are the same as the above, which is why I wont bother to give reasons for some as they are the same
S1
Welcome to the Hellmouth/Harvest -
The Witch - introduces Amy
Never Kill a boy on First date - Intro the Anointed One
The Pack - because of Fluties death
Angel - Kills Darla/Gives Angel a backstory
I Robot You Jane - Introduces Jenny Calendar
Puppet Show- Snyder Intro
Invisible Girl - Intros Cordy to the Supernatural and the Codex for Prophecy Girl
Prophecy Girl - Well Duh

S2
When She was Bad
School Hard - Introduces Spike and Dru/Kills off the Annoying One
Halloween - Intros Oz pretty much just as well here as Inca does and not miss anything
Lie To Me - Duh
Dark Age - Fleshes out Giles more
What's My Line 2 parter -
Suprise/Innocence - Intros Angelus and Oz intro to the Supernatural is a brilliant line "actually it explains a lot"
Phases - Makes Oz a Werewolf
BBB - brings back Amy and shows she is a witch too.
Passion - Angelus murders Jenny
I Only Have Eyes for You - Spike is out of the Wheel chair and mentions the Mayor and it's the episode that convinces Joss to give Angel a spin off show
Becoming PTS 1 and 2 - Well Duh

S3
Anne - Shows what happened to Buffy
Dead Mans Party- nesscary to see her back in with the group
Faith Hope and Trick - Intros Mr Trick and of course Faith
Homecoming - The Mayor is introduced for the first time on screen and Mr Trick begins working for him - Scott Hope is gone
Revelations - first Buffy/Faith fight and the gang learn about Angel being back-
Lovers Walk - The episode that makes Spike a regular
The Wish - introduces Anya
Amends - Essentially set up for the Angel spin off and urghh introduces the First
Helpless - Starts Buffys conflict with the Watchers Council and Giles is fired.
The Zeppo - Xander has sex for the first time and peaks in his character arc
Bad Girls/Consequences - Trick is killed/Faith kills somone and joins the Mayor and Wesley is introduced.
Dopplegangland - Faith's apartment and her team up with the Mayor is shown while Anya is revealed and foiled from getting her powers back
Enemies - Faith's treachery revealed and the end date of the Mayors plan
Choices - Buffy gets Faith's knife and it starts the Buffy/Angel break up and sets up the college year for S4
The Prom - Buffy and Angel break up and Cordy and Xander make peace and it starts Anya/Xander
Graduation Day pts 1 and 2 - Well Duh
I'll do S3l4 and Angel S1 later
 

Btvs fan

Scooby
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Season 1 of Angel
City of - Introduces the show/characters and mission statement
Lonely Hearts - Introduced Kate
Room With a View - Intros Cordys flat and Phantom Dennis/expands on Doyle's past a bit
Sense and Sensitivity - Intros Lee at W & H and Kate's Dad
Bachelor Party - Gives more of Doyle's backstory
I Will Remember You - Intros the Extras in Paint
Hero - Kills Doyle
Parting Gifts - Intros Wesley and starts to move Cordy into Doyle's character role
Sonmbulist - A must see, this episode changes the entire show structure from monster/victim of the week to being about Angel and his journey. Also the first proper Cordy/Angel scene that defines the rest of the show while Kate is introduced to super natural
Prodigal - Starts the Kate/Angel feud while show how Angel got his name and more of his relationship with Darla
5by5/Sanctuary - Finally has Angel stand up to Buffy and shows the diverging nature of the 2 shows while being part of the whole Faith arc from Buffy s4.
War Games - Introduction of Gunn
Blind Date - Deepens Lindsey role and intros Holland Manners and the Shanshu prophecy while killing off Lee
To Shanshu in La - Ends the first season while setting up the second and brings back Darla

Side note I thought about In the Dark but as an episode it doesn't really add anything imo for Ats besides closing off the Gem arc on Buffy but wasn't really central to Angel and being Spikes last proper villain guest role before joining BtVS
 

Btvs fan

Scooby
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Messages
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38
Season 4 of Buffy
The Freshman -
Living Conditions - intros Parker and Willow into Buffys room
Harsh Light of Day - Brings bk Anya and Spike and Harmony -
Fear Itself - Deals with the fallout from Harsh light
Wild At Heart - Seth Green leaves the show
The Initiative - Spike becomes a Regular and Riley and Maggie are revealed
Pangs - Spike joins the scooby gang
Something Blue - The first episode (unintentionally) to show Spuffy while developing Willow
Hush - Starts Buffy/Riley and the Initiative
Doomed - Follows up the above
A New Man - Same
I In Team/Goodbye Iowa - Kills off Maggie and intros Adam
This Years Girl/Who Are You - Start of the Faith arc and Crossover with Angel
Superstar- Deals with the fall out of the above
Yoko Factor/Prime Evil - Season finale

Side Note : I didn't add Restless as it doesn't really add anything for me either as a Coda for S4 or Preview for S5 for the actual plot
 

HowiMetdaSlayer

Occasionally, I am callous and strange 🐶
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I would condense S7 into zero episodes. ;)
 
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
I bet we'd have gotten a lot more amazing fanfic (far better than the canon, IMO) that way than we did get! At the very least let it go to comic form then it would probably still be better than the TV version with new enthusiastic writers

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Angel

Season 1

City of... - For the introduction of Doyle, and the second introduction of both Angel and Cordelia. Also introduces Wolfram & Hart and Lindsey
Rm w/a Vu - Cordelia growth and Dennis the Ghost!
The Bachelor Party - Doyle background
Hero - Saying goodbye to Doyle
Parting Gifts - Hello Wesley and Cordy now has the visions
The Prodigal - To understand the shift in Kate and Angel's partnership
Five by Five - Faith's story
Sanctuary - Continuation of Faith's story
War Zone - Introducing Gunn
To Shanshu in L.A. - Season finale
 
B
Btvs fan
You wouldnt have Lonely Hearts and Intro Kate ?
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