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Discussion of 1.09 "Hero" - Aired 11/30/99 (WB-US)

Oct 23, 2018
[B]Oromous[/B] Yeah, you're right. I underestimated Glenn. And it was tactless on my part sympathizing for Glenn as I would towards Doyle. My bad.

It's all cool.

I have huge sympathy for Glenn and I get very cross with people who say rather heartless things about his addiction (I know that's not you! But it's out there) but Glenn wasn't a hero and Doyle wasn't an actor, just like David's not a vampire and Angel's not on Seal Team. I think Glenn does deserve a lot of sympathy, and I think his family would be touched to know that complete strangers still care that he's gone and think it's a tragedy, but it's important to separate that out from 'Hero' which is just the death of a fictional character and by no means the last the world ever saw of Glenn Quinn. It's sad that Glenn's gone because he's gone - not because Doyle sacrificed his life for a boatload of demons and left behind a video. I think it's fine to be sad about both, but not to get them mixed up. And its OK to be honest that really you're more sad about Doyle than Glenn, because he's the one you actually 'knew'.
Besides - he died over 3 years after filming Hero. 3 years is ages whilst your living it - who even remembers 2017? (although in fairness, years were a lot less eventful back then) There's no more need to feel sad for Glenn when watching Hero than there is for any other episode of Angel, or Roseanne or any of the films he made. His death was a tragedy, but I'm sure his life wasn't. The inevitability of it all foreshadowed on Hero is an illusion created by hindsight.


Odd Individual
Jan 27, 2019
A terrific send-off for a character that still had a lot of potential to be developed further, though for just nine episodes, I think we get a pretty decent little arc for Doyle. He's far from my favourite 'Angel' character (he's a lot of fun, just not as interesting to me as the others), but Glenn Quinn was a great actor and always put everything into the performance. Doyle's sacrifice is a very well played scene, and I think it's seeing Cordy's reaction to his death that makes it so impactful for me. Also, seeing him melt into blood and bones is very intense and brutal for a main character death, when most TV shows shy away from that sort of thing.

The Scourge are pretty decent villains, and it's a shame we don't see them again after this, although without Doyle's personal history with them, I don't know if they would have been as effective. They don't just represent racism here, they represent one of Doyle's biggest regrets, which is a big part of why the episode works so well; it really is all about Doyle. More than anything, this episode proved that the show was capable of anything, even killing off a main character permanently, nine episodes in, and it remains one of the most important for that reason alone.
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