• Thank you for visiting Buffy-Boards. You obviously have exceptional taste. We just want you to know that:
    1. You really should register so you can chat with us!
    2. Twelve thousand people can't be wrong.
    3. Buffy-Boards loves you.
    4. See 1 through 3.
    Come on, register already!

Discussion of 1.14 "I've Got You Under My Skin" - Aired 2/15/00 (WB-US)

Mr Trick

Scooby
Joined
Jan 9, 2015
Messages
14,830
Age
40
Location
London, UK
I actually didn't mention IWRY as a Bangel fan. I've seen lots of Angel top 25, 10 or even 5 episodes with IWRY listed. And that episode is pretty much always in a list of stand out season 1 episodes. I disagree, their relationship hadn't been tied perfectly at the end of season 3. Angel left without a goodbye, in fact, he never says goodbye. Buffy and Angel will always be important to each other which is why they mention each other frequently, why they see each other every season (off-screen in season 6), etc. IWRY isn't the episode that resurrected Bangel for no reason, because the shows continuously resurrected Bangel throughout the seasons (their kiss in Forever or Chosen, Angel saying Buffy's name in 'Awakening', the episode 'Heartthrob', Angel S5). IWRY obviously had a lot of Bangel, but it was about Angel's character, his sacrifice and showing the Angel audience who Buffy was. It wasn't really about pleasing the Bangel fans, which is why the episode didn't affect Buffy or interfere with her show.



'She' is truly bad. 'Expecting' and 'Sense and Sensitivity' are sweet and funny, respectively. Those are average episodes. You can't tell me 'Bad Eggs' or 'Gingerbread' aren't worse. The one with Rebecca is 'Eternity'. Angel supposedly has a crush on that woman (though I don't believe anyone can actually see it and it completely goes away after the episode) and she tries to unleash Angelus. I haven't rewatched it yet so I don't remember all of it. The parts with Angelus were good, but achieving fake perfect happiness and Angelus resurfacing without Angel losing his soul makes no sense. Does Angel temporarily lose his soul? Idk.



I like the AI team in S1. I think Angel as a character is at his best in S1 and S2, Wes is hilarious and this Cordy is my favorite - she's bitchy, blunt and funny, but kind and perceptive too. The writing isn't consistently strong, but when it is, it's really good. There are a quite a bit of episodes that are intellectually stimulating and define the core statement of the show. My favorite episodes this season are better than my faves in S3 (except for 'Lullaby') and probably at the same level as the best S4 writing (except for 'Deep Down' and 'Home'). S4 for example has some amazing writing, but the bad always brings the episodes down.
S1 is just a fun season, but with enough deep episodes to satisfy my need for substance. Season 2 is amazing because I love the subject of depression, hopelessness, existentialism, but season 1 is more re-watchable. The other seasons have some truly spectacular episodes and some really strong writing but overall I enjoy this season more. Also, this season is pretty much romance free and doesn't suffer from contrived romances and love triangles. I guess S5 is very serialized and has some amazing episodes, but I hate the first 11 or so episodes (excluding Lineage) and that season doesn't truly feel like an Angel season.
They did have their special night together at the Prom. That was their goodbye for me. Both accepted that they just couldn't be together. I don't think you actually need Angel saying goodbye for it to be tied up;) I think from a storyline point of view they had done as much as they could do with the relationship. Theey should have left it alone IMO.

Bad Eggs isn't great but it has its moments and some of the dialouge alone lifts it above those Angel episodes IMO. Gingerbread gets a bad rap I think. Its actually a pretty good episode. It just looks avenge because of how great the rest of season 3 is. I liked the end of Enterity but besides that I think its pretty pants:D I don't think he did lose his soul no. But can't say for sure.

I'm not so keen on goofy Wes. It was fine in Buffy because he was bascially playing a bad guy. And there are a couple of moments in S1 when the character is too creepy for me, like in I think its Expecting. Cordy's good but I thought she was even better in the next season. For me there are two maybe three episodes that are as good as the best from any season but no more than that IMO. As you know I disagree with you about S3:p
 

Carrie Hopewell

Little girl lost in the woods
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
2,722
Age
24
Location
Lisbon, Portugal
Sineya
They did have their special night together at the Prom.
Yes, but GD ruined that conclusion.

Both accepted that they just couldn't be together. I don't think you actually need Angel saying goodbye for it to be tied up;)
Their scenes together in the following seasons don't dispute that. They know they can't be together and know how to offer each other support without their failed romance completely ruining the moment. I'm not saying that a goodbye was necessary, just that Angel clearly stating "I'm not going to say goodbye" was done with a very specific purpose. Joss already knew that Buffy would be in Angel's show at some point and that their relationship was meant to be 'epic' and 'transcendent' (his words).

I think from a storyline point of view they had done as much as they could do with the relationship. Theey should have left it alone IMO.
They did leave it alone. IWRY didn't affect Buffy or BtVS. It only affected AtS, but since there is no Bangel on Angel's show, IWRY doesn't really stir things up, it's just a one-off episode that is supposed to highlight Angel's selflessness and, like I said, show the Angel audience (who might not have seen BtVS) who the woman that made Angel come up to L.A is. It doesn't affect Angel or Buffy's storyline. I think Buffy S3 deliberately set Bangel up as an immortal, but doomed romance, and I think the writers insisted every year on 'reviving' the romance one way or another. Not giving Buffy and Angel any scenes together after S3 wouldn't have made much sense.

Bad Eggs isn't great but it has its moments and some of the dialouge alone lifts it above those Angel episodes IMO. Gingerbread gets a bad rap I think. Its actually a pretty good episode. It just looks avenge because of how great the rest of season 3 is.
'Expecting' is a funny episode with some great dialogue and 'Sense and Sensitivity' also has some really great dialogue, mainly because of Kate and her relationship with her dad. I don't know why Buffy's terrible episodes are always considered better than Angel's worse episodes, when it's the same crap. Gingerbread has a good beginning and ending, but everything concerning MOO is terrible and absurd imo. Joyce is just unbearable.

I'm not so keen on goofy Wes. It was fine in Buffy because he was bascially playing a bad guy. And there are a couple of moments in S1 when the character is too creepy for me, like in I think its Expecting.
I never saw him as creepy. He was used a lot for comic relief, but he was also the brains of AI and proved himself in a number of occasions.
 

Mr Trick

Scooby
Joined
Jan 9, 2015
Messages
14,830
Age
40
Location
London, UK
Yes, but GD ruined that conclusion.



Their scenes together in the following seasons don't dispute that. They know they can't be together and know how to offer each other support without their failed romance completely ruining the moment. I'm not saying that a goodbye was necessary, just that Angel clearly stating "I'm not going to say goodbye" was done with a very specific purpose. Joss already knew that Buffy would be in Angel's show at some point and that their relationship was meant to be 'epic' and 'transcendent' (his words).



They did leave it alone. IWRY didn't affect Buffy or BtVS. It only affected AtS, but since there is no Bangel on Angel's show, IWRY doesn't really stir things up, it's just a one-off episode that is supposed to highlight Angel's selflessness and, like I said, show the Angel audience (who might not have seen BtVS) who the woman that made Angel come up to L.A is. It doesn't affect Angel or Buffy's storyline. I think Buffy S3 deliberately set Bangel up as an immortal, but doomed romance, and I think the writers insisted every year on 'reviving' the romance one way or another. Not giving Buffy and Angel any scenes together after S3 wouldn't have made much sense.



'Expecting' is a funny episode with some great dialogue and 'Sense and Sensitivity' also has some really great dialogue, mainly because of Kate and her relationship with her dad. I don't know why Buffy's terrible episodes are always considered better than Angel's worse episodes, when it's the same crap. Gingerbread has a good beginning and ending, but everything concerning MOO is terrible and absurd imo. Joyce is just unbearable.



I never saw him as creepy. He was used a lot for comic relief, but he was also the brains of AI and proved himself in a number of occasions.
I don't think GD ruins it really. To have ended the season with the Prom would have been flat. It had to end with the payoff to the Mayor/Graduation arc. I think Angel being a part of that fight is actually a worthy way for him to leave the show.

Again this might just be my personal taste because I was never that engaged with the Buffy-Angel relationship. For me most of the time Angel weakened Buffy's character and visa vica. I agree that it makes sense for them still to have their odd moments, but clearly IWRY was much more than that. And I didn't mention this in my last post, but I didn't like them kissing at the end of S7. It felt cheap for me.

That's your reading of that episode I don't agree. And I agree with you about the job S3 does for Angel-Buffy, but that just makes IWRY even more pointless to me. Have them make comeo's on each other's show but beyond that they should have lefted it alone.

To me Expecting is another cheap b-movie rip off and it does damage to Cordy's character. She sleeps with a guy after one date and to make matters worse the guy isn't even that charming:rolleyes: Oh Kate and her father were terrible for me. Are you forgetting that awful speech she makes?;)
Its not that which I differ from you on. Its your examples which I differ on. If you had used the likes of Teacher's Pet or Go Fish as the bad Buffy episodes then I think you would have a point. But Bad Eggs and Gingerbread just arn't that bad IMO. I thought the whole MOO thing was an interesting idea at least. You do hit on a good point though because one of the reasons I think Buffy is a better show is because even the worse episodes (including the ones I mentioned) still are watchable and have good moments in a way that the worse Angel episode don't IMO.

I do find him creepy in a couple of scenes like the one in Expecting. Considering he is supposed to be on the good team I don't think he should be perving on helpless girls. Like I said it was different on Buffy because he was playing the wimpish, bad guy who could be passed off as comic relief because you are meant to laugh at him falling flat on his face. And I'm not knocking the character because he's one of my favourite ever. It just takes him a bit of time to get there:)
 

Carrie Hopewell

Little girl lost in the woods
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
2,722
Age
24
Location
Lisbon, Portugal
Sineya
I don't think GD ruins it really. To have ended the season with the Prom would have been flat. It had to end with the payoff to the Mayor/Graduation arc. I think Angel being a part of that fight is actually a worthy way for him to leave the show.
I didn't say 'The Prom' should have been the season finale! Absolutely not, nor should 'The Prom' have been the last Bangel episode. Faith poisoning Angel is what finally makes Buffy go after Faith and the scene where Angel drinks from Buffy is iconic. And, yes, Angel was great in the battle. What I meant was that that peaceful moment Buffy and Angel had at the prom is ruined by their bickering in GD. And the looks they share before Angel leaves aren't as good as the ones they share in the prom scene.

Again this might just be my personal taste because I was never that engaged with the Buffy-Angel relationship. For me most of the time Angel weakened Buffy's character and visa vica. I agree that it makes sense for them still to have their odd moments, but clearly IWRY was much more than that. And I didn't mention this in my last post, but I didn't like them kissing at the end of S7. It felt cheap for me.
Yeah, I get that you don't like Bangel much and I disagree about the characters making each other weak, but that's a different discussion. IWRY fits perfectly in Angel's story. I don't think they did it to give Bangel a last hurrah, especially considering they were trying to introduce Riley as a love interest and he always looks bad next to Angel. If you look at IWRY only 15 min of it are purely Buffy/Angel. IWRY is about Angel first and what Buffy means to him and to his story second. It was about him realizing that he couldn't go back to Sunnydale because he was building a life in L.A, that being a vampire was part of his identity, that he wanted to be a champion and also that he still loved Buffy deeply. And even if IWRY was done to please Bangel fans, considering it didn't affect Buffy and was one episode in Angel season 1, I'm okay with that.

And I agree with you about the job S3 does for Angel-Buffy, but that just makes IWRY even more pointless to me. Have them make comeo's on each other's show but beyond that they should have lefted it alone.
IWRY is not pointless. It's Angel's biggest sacrifice until 'Home'. In 'I Will Remember You' Angel erases the day to save Buffy and only he remembers it. In 'Home' he changes the timeline to save his son and only he remembers it. Also, in IWRY we meet the Oracles for the first time who allude to the Shanshu prophecy. I could go on and on about how IWRY is entirely pointy ;). And the kiss in 'Chosen' didn't feel cheap. They kissed in 'Forever' too, so it wasn't OOC imo. The kiss was meant to reveal that Buffy and Angel still had feeling for each other, they kissed because sometimes she did think that far ahead and thought of him. Regardless, that scene doesn't rekindle their relationship or anything like that, so I find the kiss harmless.

To me Expecting is another cheap b-movie rip off and it does damage to Cordy's character. She sleeps with a guy after one date and to make matters worse the guy isn't even that charming:rolleyes: Oh Kate and her father were terrible for me. Are you forgetting that awful speech she makes?;)
Dark!Willow seems like a cheap b-movie rip off. And how does sleeping with a guy after a first date damage a character? A person's self worth is completely unrelated to how often she has sex or after how many dates. The guy wasn't my type and he looked douchy but I don't see anything wrong with Cordelia having sex with him. What I don't like is how the writers impregnated her as part of the 'sex is bad' bullshit they have going on that only affects and hurts women. The sexism is what drags the episode down and made me uncomfortable watching it sometimes.
Kate's speech in 'Sense and Sensitivity' is supposed to be awkward, because she's being vulnerable and saying the truth, so while it isn't pretty it is well written.

Its not that which I differ from you on. Its your examples which I differ on. If you had used the likes of Teacher's Pet or Go Fish as the bad Buffy episodes then I think you would have a point. But Bad Eggs and Gingerbread just arn't that bad IMO. I thought the whole MOO thing was an interesting idea at least. You do hit on a good point though because one of the reasons I think Buffy is a better show is because even the worse episodes (including the ones I mentioned) still are watchable and have good moments in a way that the worse Angel episode don't IMO.
Please, 'Go Fish' is so terrible that you have to compare it to a truly bad Angel episode such as 'Provider' or 'She'. 'Expecting' is not that bad, it's a good, average episode. MOO was not an interesting idea imo and I completely disagree about Buffy's worst episodes being more watchable than Angel's.

I do find him creepy in a couple of scenes like the one in Expecting. Considering he is supposed to be on the good team I don't think he should be perving on helpless girls.
At what point did he perv on helpless girls? He flirted with Cordelia's friends who were adults and certainly not helpless.
 

Mr Trick

Scooby
Joined
Jan 9, 2015
Messages
14,830
Age
40
Location
London, UK
I didn't say 'The Prom' should have been the season finale! Absolutely not, nor should 'The Prom' have been the last Bangel episode. Faith poisoning Angel is what finally makes Buffy go after Faith and the scene where Angel drinks from Buffy is iconic. And, yes, Angel was great in the battle. What I meant was that that peaceful moment Buffy and Angel had at the prom is ruined by their bickering in GD. And the looks they share before Angel leaves aren't as good as the ones they share in the prom scene.



Yeah, I get that you don't like Bangel much and I disagree about the characters making each other weak, but that's a different discussion. IWRY fits perfectly in Angel's story. I don't think they did it to give Bangel a last hurrah, especially considering they were trying to introduce Riley as a love interest and he always looks bad next to Angel. If you look at IWRY only 15 min of it are purely Buffy/Angel. IWRY is about Angel first and what Buffy means to him and to his story second. It was about him realizing that he couldn't go back to Sunnydale because he was building a life in L.A, that being a vampire was part of his identity, that he wanted to be a champion and also that he still loved Buffy deeply. And even if IWRY was done to please Bangel fans, considering it didn't affect Buffy and was one episode in Angel season 1, I'm okay with that.



IWRY is not pointless. It's Angel's biggest sacrifice until 'Home'. In 'I Will Remember You' Angel erases the day to save Buffy and only he remembers it. In 'Home' he changes the timeline to save his son and only he remembers it. Also, in IWRY we meet the Oracles for the first time who allude to the Shanshu prophecy. I could go on and on about how IWRY is entirely pointy ;). And the kiss in 'Chosen' didn't feel cheap. They kissed in 'Forever' too, so it wasn't OOC imo. The kiss was meant to reveal that Buffy and Angel still had feeling for each other, they kissed because sometimes she did think that far ahead and thought of him. Regardless, that scene doesn't rekindle their relationship or anything like that, so I find the kiss harmless.



Dark!Willow seems like a cheap b-movie rip off. And how does sleeping with a guy after a first date damage a character? A person's self worth is completely unrelated to how often she has sex or after how many dates. The guy wasn't my type and he looked douchy but I don't see anything wrong with Cordelia having sex with him. What I don't like is how the writers impregnated her as part of the 'sex is bad' bullshit they have going on that only affects and hurts women. The sexism is what drags the episode down and made me uncomfortable watching it sometimes.
Kate's speech in 'Sense and Sensitivity' is supposed to be awkward, because she's being vulnerable and saying the truth, so while it isn't pretty it is well written.



Please, 'Go Fish' is so terrible that you have to compare it to a truly bad Angel episode such as 'Provider' or 'She'. 'Expecting' is not that bad, it's a good, average episode. MOO was not an interesting idea imo and I completely disagree about Buffy's worst episodes being more watchable than Angel's.



At what point did he perv on helpless girls? He flirted with Cordelia's friends who were adults and certainly not helpless
.
But if you look at it another way having the break the way they did is a more adult way to go about it. And maybe they did it that way to make it clear that this is pretty much the end of the relationship. If they'd ended it with them having a big moment then I think that would have left people wondering if they'd get back together one day. I think it worked perfectly.

Well we're going round in crcles on IWRY debate so better just agree to differ. Its not just those reasons I think its an avenge episode. And for what its worth there are things I like about it. Its just not one of my favourites:)

The kiss in chosen felt more cheap to me because it seemed they did it for one of two reasons. Either because it was the final episode so they felt they had to do something romantic with Buffy and Angel. Or they did it just to cause abit of tension between Buffy and Spike. I don't mind Angel appearing in the episode but I don't see any point in them kissing. You can't have people you are meant to be invested in randomly kissing. It makes the characters look weak.

I agree it is a bit of a sexist episode, and her sleeping with a guy after one date just adds to that. I understand people do it in real life, but again this is a character we are meant to care about and who we want to grow as a person. Also, its not like we're talking a one night stand here, Cordy believes that this is a guy she could date.

But the speech isn't akward, its just cheesy, annoying and boring. It doesn't serve any purpose. Its not entertaining, its not interesting. Its poorly written and poorly delivered.

No I agree that Go Fish is worse than Expecting. But not by much;) That wasn't my point. My point was that as bad as Go Fish is you still have moments in it which are very entertaining and at least make it watchable. I can't think of any moments like that in Expecting.

Someone might have to help me out here. It was either at the end of She or Expecting. I think Expecting because its when he and Cordy are rescuring the girls from the baby shower or whatever that thing was. And Wes does indeed get a bit pervy. Why not watch the end of the episode back?:D
 

Give Us A Kiss

Fuffy Apologist
Joined
Feb 4, 2015
Messages
2,655
Sineya
Wes seems to wear more comfortable clothing now, I like it :)

Knife, cut :p

Angel misses Doyle :(

Two kids are fighting :rolleyes:

I would run from the dad...

They lock their kids in their rooms :eek:, they can't go get water or go to the bathroom if they need too...

Angel needs to grieve...

He is grieving now.

Not another vision :(

Angel just saved the boy's life :D

Angel gets invited inside, the parents must think of him as a godsend.

Wes, you won't find anything in that can...

He found something :eek:

Angel seems to be surviving, but clearly not liking it...

Demon poo looks pretty...

Cordy's right about children's nursery rhymes, they are full of death...

The kids hates Brussel Sprouts, I agree with them, they are vile.

Ryan's possessed by a demon :eek:

Apparently, he has been possessed for a long time...

Cordy, listen...

No one can help Angel and Wes :(

The mom is clearly in denial... :rolleyes:

Angel, Wes is the only option...

Cordy, hold her down...

What has she done ??? :eek:

There are 600 species of wood ??? :eek:

How did the boy get possessed in the first place ??? o_O

Oww !!! :eek:

At least they have a box...

The demon broke the box :eek:

He's ugly :p

So, it was all Ryan ??? :eek:

He's going to light the house :eek:

I just want to look away :(

Ryan needs to be evaluated...

Next time: Fathers and vampires.
 

Slayrunt

Oh ho! Aren’t you Mr. Dicey Semantics?
Joined
Jan 11, 2017
Messages
192
Age
28
Location
Australia
when angel was reciting the exorcism, did anyone else expect the demon to come out of angel too?
lmao, i know this sounds stupid but how does it work? so angel was turned into a demon (as in his a vampire) so it cant be expelled.. then how would it be explained with the little boy? he wasnt turned into a demon? i understand he was possessed and didnt become a demon but by this point we had never seen anything like this in the buffyverse before.

i might be reading into this too much maybe i should go to sleep lol.
 

Fuffy Baith

2017 (and 2016) Cutest BB member
Joined
Mar 14, 2014
Messages
4,159
Age
33
Location
CA
Sineya
when angel was reciting the exorcism, did anyone else expect the demon to come out of angel too?
No, but interesting. We know that the vampire kills a person and that person dies, but a demon takes their body. So essentially, they are possessed by a demon, but it's not the same because the person was dead first. I think. I believe this kid did not have a soul and that is what drew the demon to him, Angel has a soul, as in his body, but the demon Angelus does not. There is definitely a lot of questions asked about how vampires actually work in the Buffyverse, there's a few inconsistencies, but we never really get solid answers.
 

Slayrunt

Oh ho! Aren’t you Mr. Dicey Semantics?
Joined
Jan 11, 2017
Messages
192
Age
28
Location
Australia
No, but interesting. We know that the vampire kills a person and that person dies, but a demon takes their body. So essentially, they are possessed by a demon, but it's not the same because the person was dead first. I think. I believe this kid did not have a soul and that is what drew the demon to him, Angel has a soul, as in his body, but the demon Angelus does not. There is definitely a lot of questions asked about how vampires actually work in the Buffyverse, there's a few inconsistencies, but we never really get solid answers.
Yeah thats true, it can be very inconsistent. usually im able to look past the vampire lore and just enjoy the episodes but with this episode it mad me think because; I didnt know that demons in the buffyverse could be non corporal because we hadn't seen it before, and seeing a demon able to take over a human body without killing it seemed odd?
But i did kinda liked seeing an exorcism in the buffyverse!
 

Fuffy Baith

2017 (and 2016) Cutest BB member
Joined
Mar 14, 2014
Messages
4,159
Age
33
Location
CA
Sineya
Yeah thats true, it can be very inconsistent. usually im able to look past the vampire lore and just enjoy the episodes but with this episode it mad me think because; I didnt know that demons in the buffyverse could be non corporal because we hadn't seen it before, and seeing a demon able to take over a human body without killing it seemed odd?
But i did kinda liked seeing an exorcism in the buffyverse!
Yea I think Angel the show definitely explores the different kinds of demons more so than Buffy does. But you're a straight up old school exorcism style of demon is new and does feel like it needs to be more explained. Because where does this demon go if it's not in a host body? They store it in some container but it does feel like a physical entity, when the Buffyverse is all about demons in the physical form. Vampires are considered demons not just monsters. I think the closest thing we got was in I Only Have Eyes for You, when people are temporarily possessed by the ghost spirit of James, who was incorporeal. But he was a spirit not a demon. So yea there needed to be a little bit more world building around this new concept of demon. Lonely Hearts had a demon that could possess bodies, but like you said, it kills them, this little boy lives. And still has no soul.
 

Slayrunt

Oh ho! Aren’t you Mr. Dicey Semantics?
Joined
Jan 11, 2017
Messages
192
Age
28
Location
Australia
when the Buffyverse is all about demons in the physical form
Yes exactly!
And also, we then see the demon in its demon body again when it speaks to angel and wesley. so does that mean this particular demon can only take over another body or did they want too extend the ability of the demons in buffyverse. It all makes for good discussion though.
 

Oromous

Socially Awkward
Joined
Aug 16, 2020
Messages
647
Age
30
Location
Singapore
Sineya
Angel (to Cordy and Wesley): "Cordelia! Doyle!"

Too soon, Angel. Too soon. Sigh.

Honestly, regarding the whole demon thing, I don't really mind that much, It might be because I haven't studied up much on Buffyverse's demon lore, but to me, a demon could very well have any kind of powers or forms as any other supernatural entity. That's the fun of writing supernatural creatures - they are the unknown. And with something as generalized as the term, "demon", it could have a vast amount of context or meaning more than just "a creature without soul." I feel like it could be very malleable because of how fickle words can be; what other characters have described about demons in the past might not be the entirety of the truth. There might have been other forms of demons they never touched upon, or other abilities even.

Regardless of the details, I'm just glad to see a demon possession at all, because damn, that was scary as hell. I have a special fear and respect for demon possessions because exorcisms in both fiction and real life rarely lead to happy endings. Angel has always been dark so far in season 1, but possessions always strike a more sinister chord with me because unlike the human murderers (whom can be stopped eventually) and normal demons (who are fictional), possessions have been in existence throughout history, regardless of whether you believe in them or not. There's just enough grounds for their existence to dismiss them as mere Boogiemen. Add to the fact that exorcisms are known throughout history (pop culture or otherwise) to be awfully difficult practices that can result in the death of the priests (which happened in the episode), this makes demon possession that much scarier as you can't just stake them in the heart. And if that's not enough, the classic trait of these possession demons looking into your greatest weakness to break your spirit (in this case, Wesley and Angel) is just the extra bonus of fun. An antagonist who utilizes psychological warfare over mere physicality is always a favorite of mine. Needless to say, there were a lot of stakes raised in this episode alone, and I loved it. After the hilarity that was Maddog Jukebox Adam, a villain I could take seriously and then some was a refreshing change.

Considering my feelings about the loss of Doyle, especially, the demon taunting Angel about him and then Angel retaliating in anger was particularly cathartic. Because of the similar sentiments both Angel and the audience feel towards Doyle, this anger is also shared by us too, something that's spectacularly used by the writers to play with the audience's emotions. It's just such great writing here.

And yes, I know the demon possession in this episode is especially tropey and serves no real purpose other than to reveal the big twist in the end... but it's done so well and I love the tropey part of it. And it had me convinced that it's the real threat SO effectively (as I was writing this while watching the episode) that when the twist eventually came, it was such an effective whiplash that had the exact kind of god-fearing fear in me that the writers had intended. Holy cow, the boy with no soul. Whether it makes sense in Buffy-lore or not, this was a terrifying revelation that's (for the second time so far in Buffyverse) treading into X-Files horrifying territory. Angel has been dark so far, but again, much like the possessions, stories of young children killing their siblings aren't entirely fictional. So much scary and disturbing from this episode.

Aside from the sinister vibes here, I also love how this episode adds this layer of religious spirituality, perhaps for the first time in the series, when Angel enters a church. I'm not a pious Christian myself (more of an agnostic really), but the meaning of this scene just gives me Daredevil vibes all over (Netflix, not Affleck), with Angel being a demon (the closest metaphorical symbol to the Devil) who has to seek aid from the House of God ("You would come into a place of worship?"). I just love how the writers play around with Angel's role as a troubled soul seeking redemption, a reason why I fell in love with Netflix's Daredevil and his struggle with accepting God too (a similar struggle I've faced in the past... and pretty much given up out of indifference).

One minor gripe I have is with Cordy's dialogue. There were times in the past in Angel S1 alone when her dialogue treads into ditz territory, speaking before thinking, and we all know by now she's no ditz. But this lack of subtlety... "We can watch TV and block out your son's pain..." God, Cordelia.
 
Last edited:

RDHWesley

Odd Individual
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
110
Location
UK
I've grown to like this episode much more since my initial viewing of it. On the surface, it's pretty standard and uninspired, but the way it handles the characters is really commendable. Angel gets to come to terms with Doyle's death fully, plus we get some insights into Wesley's background which is always very welcome for me. The scene where the demon hurls the crucifix into Wes' neck is genuinely horrific. The big twist that Ryan himself was evil rather than the demon is really cool, very reminiscent of Michael Myers. Don't really get the point of Kate's random cameo at the end, but other than that, it's a good conclusion.

Whilst its plot is predictable, the way it tells the story and does the cast justice is why this seems to get better with every rewatch.
 
Top Bottom