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Discussion of 7.19 "Empty Places" - Aired 4/29/03 (UPN-US)

katmobile

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Here we go with my take no one is behaving OOC, no one is entirely right, few (apart from Anya, Rona and Kennedy are entirely right). As Faith will say they're all wicked stressed and that's not a great judgement enhancer.

I remember at the time going yes, no to everyone except Anya who I was shouting at the telly at and Rona, both of them have offered nothing but bitchy remarks and negatively to the fight the entire season apart from Anya's demon contacts.
I remember nodding at Buffy was right about the power being where the bad guys were but thinking she was dead wrong about expecting everyone to go back to the vineyard and as others pointed out her timing after Xander literally just got out of hospital utterly sucked. It doesn't help Buffy is trying to fashion an army out if people of disparate people many of whom hate or resent others, some of whom have agendas they will go behind her back to achieve. This creates bad blood she doesn't trust Giles for good reasons and Wood because if his issues stabs her in the back for taking HIS advice.

As with many arguements with the Scoobies Xander and Willow don't get that Buffy only copes with doing her job sometimes by repressing her pain and focusing on where to hit next. She doesn't get this looks callous to them. Willow also has Kennedy on her case.
Kennedy thinks SHE should be leader and SHE knows where they should be striking and never getting she might be wrong.
Giles thinks Buffy is becoming reckless and the fact he brings Jenny up proves where his issues with Buffy re. Spike come from. His duty as he sees it is protect the potentials he doesn't think Buffy is doing this. Some have suggested he's dealing the unresolved PTSD from the watcher's going boom I think he's overcompensating from his guilt going AWOL last year.

Faith and Buffy have unresolved issues but I think Faith us trying and Buffy's words at the end show she understands that.

Dawn is actually thinking of the group and her words are right they have to be united. She looks gutted as she says it and tells Rona to Shut up with the undertone that she'd really like to use stronger language than that and possibly even back it up with her hands when Rona is a bitch. Because that is what Rona is being along with Anya.

Dear Anya I get you're upset your ex honey you still have feelings for is maimed. Would you fancy having to stick him with a sword and send him to HELL to save the world? Sound good? No? The phrase 'do YOU feel lucky punk, well do ya?' would seem to apply in spades wouldn't it dear? Maybe you shouldn't say that to the person who did. If Faith hadn't needed the stress relief of a fight I would have said the wrong person got punched in the face.





I
 

DeadlyDuo

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@katmobile Kennedy initiated the mutiny in an attempt at power grabbing. As she later admits to Faith, she thought she'd get a bigger say with Faith in charge (hence why she'd been brownnosing Faith before the mutiny). Also in the immediate aftermath of Buffy being kicked out when everyone is squabbling over what to do, you can hear Kennedy say "I think those of us who have been here the longest should get a bigger say". Since the two potentials Kennedy arrived with were now dead, that would make her the longest serving potential. Kennedy was acting entirely in her own self interest, she even jumps down Willow's throat when it looks like she's about to side with Buffy even though she hadn't yet said anything.
 

thrasherpix

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I was sure bad magic (or the "aura of the First") was tainting their characters to make them so out of character. (And the first time I saw it, I immediately watched the entire scene again as I wondered what I'd missed, and then assumed bad mojo at work rather than writers just desperate to be done with the show as they shoehorned it down a specific path.) The biggest was the way Buffy was, treating her friends as flunkies rather than people she greatly respected as allies ("part of the unit" in her words to the Watchers Council in season 5), and who had saved her time and again while also helping her plan the strategies, something she seems to have forgotten as she talks only about her saving them.

This is not the Buffy I know and love. I could point out other things that strike me as not-Buffy, but I'll just say Buffy as General was done right in season 3, and Scoobies turning on Buffy was done right in season 4 (Yoko Factor)...neither was done right in season 7. And until season 7, the arguments the Scoobies had with Buffy was often because Buffy wanted to keep them out of danger, at least minimalizing the participation of others. Buffy also in did (or had others do) recon & investigation (often sneaking onto a site by herself) before acting against a Big Bad (typically with special tactics, be it rocket launchers and flamethrowers, troll hammers and sorcery, or mystical tarot magick---things they arranged for themselves, not having a magical McGuffin handed to Buffy, with another that was practically handed to her with only token resistance), not ordering "civilians" into battle against a Big Bad on a hunch and without a plan. In season 7 she's reckless (something she got onto Faith about in season 3, but now in season 7 Faith is the good Slayer) and about the opposite of how she's been before.

The Scoobies are OOC as well. Giles wouldn't bring up Jenny as if Buffy had anything to do with that then it would be because Buffy refused to act in killing Angelus rather than being as gung ho to fight evil as she was in season 7. The writers just wanted to make a martyr of Buffy so that she could have her moment with Spike (being told by him what she's already been told before by others) and didn't care about the characters or story anywhere near as much as the fans did (SMG also comes off as being tired of her role as well, perhaps unhappy with how her character was written).

I was so disappointed with the characterization and writing that burst my suspension of disbelief that I refused to watch Angel (as I figured the writers got just as bad there as well) for about 10 years, though glad I finally did...about the same time I got Angel for me and others I watched season 7 a second time (with others) which was very hard, and I doubt I ever will again.
 
Last edited:
FaithLehane16
FaithLehane16
The writing got bad in Angel Seasons 3&4.

spikenbuffy

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People always say Buffy is cold in some episodes of S7 it's true at times but she's not THAT cold, she pretends to be, sometimes she doesn't want to let them see her as weak or whatever else, when Cloe was dead and Buffy put her under the ground she cried alone as the scoobies & potentials were in her house in Get It Done and in Empty Places, she stared with deep sadness in her eyes at the picture of Her, Willow and Xander before Caleb comes in and hit her.
 

Antho

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Empty Places is one of the worst episode of the series for me. This is just painful to watch and this episode has no redeem qualities for me. It's just bad ! They are all despicable, except Xander I understand him because of his eye.
 

spikenbuffy

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It's funny that the last time Willow went to police that was when she was Dark Willow in Two To Go, the police men didn't recognized her. Faith wasn't bad in this episode unlike the others. But it's just the scene when Buffy hit her, I am happy that Buffy punched her after Faith said to her face without pity that Buffy made a mistake. Faith knew that Buffy was hurting when she talked earlier to Dawn.
 

FaithLehane16

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Faith wasn't willing to kick Buffy out of the house. She only suggested for Buffy to take a siesta. When Buffy got faced with the mutiny, Faith was the only one who told her she didn't want things to go down that way. She was trying to get Buffy back in the house when everyone else kicked her out for the time being.

THe whole Spike is the only one who has Buffy's back is just BS. He isn't just the only one she could count on. Spike didn't become her ally without selfish undertones up until Season 5. He kind of was selfish with the whole soul thing because he was expecting Buffy to take him back right away. He also did that out of insecurity. Xander, Willow, and Giles were by her side longer, even Angel. Buffy did put Angel before Riley(all the time) and Spike(mostly). She started to have a thing with Spike in Season 6.

I can understand what Anya saying what she said was more of a Cordelia thing. For instance Anya has put some more effort into being Buffy's friend than Cordelia did. Anya actually attended Joyce's funeral, unlike Cordelia. The problems with that are Charisma was having her own issues with Joss, was originally supposed to have a Dark Phoenix storyline to do a reverse Bangel(us) storyline that was in BtVS, but ended up having her character getting possessed by a rogue PTB that resulted in a coma.

I'm not sure why Anya would still have residual resentment towards Buffy over the whole Selfless episode. Anya had made it clear in that episode that her and Buffy are following different paths with their own agenda. She was willing to fight Buffy, however I do understand some resentment over the fact that Anya was willing to help both Dark Willow, and Xander, Buffy, and Giles in the last episodes in Season 6.

As for Giles, while he is correct over the fact Spike never even bothered to leave town for Buffy's own good, he is incorrect over helping Robin in killing him. Giles knew better. He knew to just be cautious when it came to both Angel and Spike. Also his priorities were all over the place in Season 7. First he is against people going out on dates during an apocalypse, but he then later supports Faith's decision in taking the potentials out along with Dawn. How bipolar. He tells Buffy to be a leader, but later demotes her. I can understand being hurt over a woman choosing someone who slaughtered half of Europe over you, but you don't need to go against your word.

I do understand Xander's viewpoint. He did just loose his eye because of what General Buffy was telling them to do. He just recently gave a speech of how wonderful Buffy was.

I am one of those people who didn't like Buffy punching Faith. Buffy has saved two men from jail in order to prevent her ex-bestie at the time from killing them. If Buffy has enough strength to bend jail bars in order to get Jonathan and Andrew out, then Faith is capable of doing the same thing. It's as if Buffy still has the same viewpoint of Faith, even though she allows both Spike and Willow into her household. Faith prevented herself from the evildoings she did. She helped Angel and his team out. She wasn't intending to get Dawn and the potentials drunk. What Buffy did to Faith was uncalled for. Faith did have a point.

For Willow, she was upset that Buffy didn't spend more time with Xander in the hospital. Plus she probably had the feeling that Buffy wouldn't listen to what she had to say. She didn't want to have Xander loose his other eye. I don't think she was saying what she was saying to just please Kennedy.

I do understand what some people are saying about Xander, Giles, Dawn, and Willow being OOC supporting Faith as a leader over Buffy, but at the same time, Faith needs some experience in the leader field. She doesn't need to be played second fiddle to Buffy.

I honestly think Buffy is being too arrogant by being in her General position. A good leader is open to the ideas and suggestions of others. A bad leader just follows his/her ideas. Her execution plan at that time was horrible. Who is going to be watching over Xander when everyone else is off to battle? Plus some other people need to have time recovering from their injuries unlike powerful witches, vampires, and slayers. Also trust goes both ways. I can understand her feelings with Giles, but what does she have against Xander, Willow, and Dawn? Without her friends, she would be dead a lot sooner.

I don't believe that Dawn was intending to kick her sister out of her own house permanently. I think she was just suggesting for her sister to separate herself from the others for a little while, however I don't know why the others couldn't have their headquarters elsewhere. I don't think Dawn was doing it out of malicious intent.

I will express my thoughts on Spike's speech to the others in the Touched thread.
 

DeadlyDuo

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I honestly think Buffy is being too arrogant by being in her General position. A good leader is open to the ideas and suggestions of others.
Buffy did listen to others, and if anything that's what caused the problem in the first place. Buffy initially had reservations over taking the potentials to the vineyard but listened to Wood when he said she should "test" them (then he stabs her in the back when it all goes wrong).

Buffy did listen to the scoobies when she formulated the plan for the vineyard. She left Giles and Willow at the house in case it was a bait and switch (as Spike suggested), she only took the more experienced potentials, and she acknowledged it could be a trap (as Giles suggested) which is why she had Faith and Xander wait outside as back up. Buffy thought Caleb might have captured another potential, she couldn't risk ignoring that despite it being a trap. Traps have to have bait.

Buffy's plan was logically sound, they expected Caleb and the bringers to be there and they were, where it went wrong is that the group underestimated Caleb's strength. As soon as he took out Buffy and Spike, the whole plan went downhill because none of the others were a match for Caleb. Spike was just able to save Xander before being forced to call a retreat.

The mutiny was Kennedy's attempt at power grabbing. It's a public arena and Buffy's popularity was at a low at that time. Kennedy even shuts down Willow before Willow even says anything because she thinks Willow is going to stick up for Buffy. Wood jumps on Kennedy's bandwagon (his revenge for Buffy not letting him kill Spike). Immediately after the mutiny when everyone is trying to talk at once, Kennedy suggests she gets given a bigger say, she complains to Faith that she thought she would get a bigger say with Faith in charge, that is all Kennedy cares about. The moment she starts dating Willow, she immediately starts turning up for Scooby meetings without earning a right to be there (unlike Spike, Anya, Tara, and Oz who all had to earn their place). Kennedy's been power playing since the moment she walked through the front door and looked down her nose at Buffy.
 

FaithLehane16

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Buffy did listen to others, and if anything that's what caused the problem in the first place. Buffy initially had reservations over taking the potentials to the vineyard but listened to Wood when he said she should "test" them (then he stabs her in the back when it all goes wrong).

Buffy did listen to the scoobies when she formulated the plan for the vineyard. She left Giles and Willow at the house in case it was a bait and switch (as Spike suggested), she only took the more experienced potentials, and she acknowledged it could be a trap (as Giles suggested) which is why she had Faith and Xander wait outside as back up. Buffy thought Caleb might have captured another potential, she couldn't risk ignoring that despite it being a trap. Traps have to have bait.

Buffy's plan was logically sound, they expected Caleb and the bringers to be there and they were, where it went wrong is that the group underestimated Caleb's strength. As soon as he took out Buffy and Spike, the whole plan went downhill because none of the others were a match for Caleb. Spike was just able to save Xander before being forced to call a retreat.

The mutiny was Kennedy's attempt at power grabbing. It's a public arena and Buffy's popularity was at a low at that time. Kennedy even shuts down Willow before Willow even says anything because she thinks Willow is going to stick up for Buffy. Wood jumps on Kennedy's bandwagon (his revenge for Buffy not letting him kill Spike). Immediately after the mutiny when everyone is trying to talk at once, Kennedy suggests she gets given a bigger say, she complains to Faith that she thought she would get a bigger say with Faith in charge, that is all Kennedy cares about. The moment she starts dating Willow, she immediately starts turning up for Scooby meetings without earning a right to be there (unlike Spike, Anya, Tara, and Oz who all had to earn their place). Kennedy's been power playing since the moment she walked through the front door and looked down her nose at Buffy.
No. She wasn't willing to listen to the others. She had this persona that screamed "It's my way or the highway. " My better half even observed that when we were watching the episode yesterday.

Angel also earned his way into the Scoobies. You forgot about him.
 

katmobile

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Buffy did listen to others, and if anything that's what caused the problem in the first place. Buffy initially had reservations over taking the potentials to the vineyard but listened to Wood when he said she should "test" them (then he stabs her in the back when it all goes wrong).

Buffy did listen to the scoobies when she formulated the plan for the vineyard. She left Giles and Willow at the house in case it was a bait and switch (as Spike suggested), she only took the more experienced potentials, and she acknowledged it could be a trap (as Giles suggested) which is why she had Faith and Xander wait outside as back up. Buffy thought Caleb might have captured another potential, she couldn't risk ignoring that despite it being a trap. Traps have to have bait.

Buffy's plan was logically sound, they expected Caleb and the bringers to be there and they were, where it went wrong is that the group underestimated Caleb's strength. As soon as he took out Buffy and Spike, the whole plan went downhill because none of the others were a match for Caleb. Spike was just able to save Xander before being forced to call a retreat.

The mutiny was Kennedy's attempt at power grabbing. It's a public arena and Buffy's popularity was at a low at that time. Kennedy even shuts down Willow before Willow even says anything because she thinks Willow is going to stick up for Buffy. Wood jumps on Kennedy's bandwagon (his revenge for Buffy not letting him kill Spike). Immediately after the mutiny when everyone is trying to talk at once, Kennedy suggests she gets given a bigger say, she complains to Faith that she thought she would get a bigger say with Faith in charge, that is all Kennedy cares about. The moment she starts dating Willow, she immediately starts turning up for Scooby meetings without earning a right to be there (unlike Spike, Anya, Tara, and Oz who all had to earn their place). Kennedy's been power playing since the moment she walked through the front door and looked down her nose at Buffy.
I agree with most of this except for possibly Kennedy grabbing for power the minute she walked in the door. However she definately is by this stage.

No. She wasn't willing to listen to the others. She had this persona that screamed "It's my way or the highway. " My better half even observed that when we were watching the episode yesterday.

Angel also earned his way into the Scoobies. You forgot about him.
We don't really get the chance to see if Buffy's plan could have been adapted to accomodate people's concerns because it got highjacked by understandable fears and a lot of people's peeves, vendettas, issues and power plays (I'm looking at Kennedy here). I don't think she was blameless she was insensitive to try and bring it up the moment Xander was back from hospital but I think it was distration on her part. She wanted to keep going in order not to fall apart. I'm not sure the scoobies have ever really understood this. I think the idea as some people have said to have involved an inner circle and then had it proposed to the potentials might have worked better but since Kennedy would have muscled her way in and Wood and Anya would still have been included then possibly.

I think that a lot of people had some legit concerns and pretty well everyone was wrong about something. The less said about Rona, Anya, Kennedy and yeah Wood during the debate the better really... on the grounds if you can't say anything nice... Faith handles a difficult situtation well though.
 

YummySushiPJs

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Whilst I understand Xander was feeling low and angry having just lost an eye, his argument doesn't hold up.

People fighting demons and powerful vampires, gods, monsters and all manner of things on a weekly basis - are going to get seriously hurt. He didn't join a knitting club. He joined a group that's violent and dangerous. People are going to lose limbs, eyes, be permanently scarred... all sorts. It's a miracle it took 7 years for anyone to sustain a permanent injury, to be honest. And both he and Willow knowingly signed onto this. Voluntarily.

His anger is understandable (anyone would be pissed and feeling low having just lost their eye) and therefore we can understand why he said it at the time, but his point doesn't hold up to subsequent defense.
 

Tank1978

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Anyone else think that an early season giles (before he left for england) would have been more supportive and had her back? He was pissed at her cos I think he knew he was wrong to side with woods personal revenge mission on spike and Buffy stood up to him on it. Sadly the giles and Buffy relationship deteriorated further in the comics
 

DeadlyDuo

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No. She wasn't willing to listen to the others. She had this persona that screamed "It's my way or the highway. " My better half even observed that when we were watching the episode yesterday.
Buffy offered to open the floor to suggestions on how to attack the vineyard again. Giles told her to take on the role of general which she reluctantly did so now she has to direct her troops. She can't sit down and ask each and every potential what they want to do, it has to be a case of "we're doing this, what's best way to go about it?"

@katmobile is right that Buffy's timing sucked but at the end of the day, Buffy was right.

Angel also earned his way into the Scoobies. You forgot about him.
I did forget about him, but that also just proves my point. All the other scooby members outside of the core 4 had to earn their place on the team regardless of who they were dating. Kennedy seems to think she has automatic access just because she's dating Willow.

It's also clear that Kennedy thinks she's above the other potentials and that they are not her equals.

I don't think she was blameless she was insensitive to try and bring it up the moment Xander was back from hospital but I think it was distration on her part. She wanted to keep going in order not to fall apart. I'm not sure the scoobies have ever really understood this.
I agree. She did the same thing after Joyce's death to the point that Dawn accused her of not caring before Buffy broke down in tears and admitted that she had to carry on because if she stopped then it meant that Joyce was really gone.

Also at this juncture, Buffy's back is really against the wall. She facing her toughest opponent yet, her "army" is a bunch of scared teenage girls, everyone that can is skipping town (human and demons alike), and everyone is looking at her to save the day.

I think the idea as some people have said to have involved an inner circle and then had it proposed to the potentials might have worked better but since Kennedy would have muscled her way in and Wood and Anya would still have been included then possibly.
Given that Kennedy and Wood were the ones who initiated and led the mutiny and would still be there, then I think the outcome would've ended the same.

The less said about Rona, Anya, Kennedy and yeah Wood during the debate the better really... on the grounds if you can't say anything nice... Faith handles a difficult situtation well though.
Faith was kind of scapegoated in this scene which was a little unfair to her.
 

Tank1978

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People had decided this was the time to get buffy back for whatever it was they were mad with her about. Historically buffy made far more good decisions than bad and her "spider sense" was right most of the time. She'd earned the right to a failed mission and they should have backed her judgement. In the end her but feeling was proved correct. Felt sorry for faith as well as she was then put in charge and had all this pressure on her she wasn't ready to deal with and Kennedy was still trying to run the show. One small gripe I have about how they made faith out to not be ready for leadership was that in the recent Angel episodes once broken out of jail, she immediately walked in and took charge showing leadership skills then
 

DeadlyDuo

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People had decided this was the time to get buffy back for whatever it was they were mad with her about. Historically buffy made far more good decisions than bad and her "spider sense" was right most of the time. She'd earned the right to a failed mission and they should have backed her judgement. In the end her but feeling was proved correct. Felt sorry for faith as well as she was then put in charge and had all this pressure on her she wasn't ready to deal with and Kennedy was still trying to run the show. One small gripe I have about how they made faith out to not be ready for leadership was that in the recent Angel episodes once broken out of jail, she immediately walked in and took charge showing leadership skills then
I think Faith was uncomfortable taking the reins from Buffy, after all Sunnydale was Buffy's territory. Faith did step up though by telling Kennedy to back off (something that should've been done from the very beginning by Buffy and the scoobies), and Faith also acknowledged that she was no longer the potentials' friend but their leader. After the failed mission that nearly killed them all, I think Faith finally understood the pressure Buffy was under.

It does feel a bit off though that after Buffy left, the scoobies seems to be echoing what she has said and done and even making the same mistakes, yet nobody gets a hard time over it
 

Btvs fan

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I hate how the Potentials basically throw Faith under a bus in this storyline. "we got punished for following her" Wait what ! you forced her into leading you guys and now you just abandon her 😡

Faith was only made wrong and Buffy right due to writers fiat. Nothing was earned. For some reason Caleb chose to dig up the scythe and lead Buffy there at the same time 🤷‍♂️

I put it down to the writing. Giving it the minimum of thought shows it makes mo sense. It was the end of the show and it's obvious that those writers who weren't moving over to Ats just gave up and didn't care anymore about things making sense. It why Buffy can be saved and kiss Angel just to cater to B/A shippers 🤢
 

DeadlyDuo

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It why Buffy can be saved and kiss Angel just to cater to B/A shippers 🤢
The Bangel kiss highlights Buffy flip flopping between Angel and Spike. She just needs to pick one of the and then stick with her decision. The kiss itself I have no issue with, Bangel was portrayed as this great love affair so it makes sense, but she spends Season 7 making eyes at Spike then kisses Angel and it just seems a little unfair to Spike. No wonder he said "No you don't but thanks for saying it" when she told him she loved him. If we didn't have all the Spuffy drama then the kiss would be perfectly fine.
 

katmobile

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The Bangel kiss highlights Buffy flip flopping between Angel and Spike. She just needs to pick one of the and then stick with her decision. The kiss itself I have no issue with, Bangel was portrayed as this great love affair so it makes sense, but she spends Season 7 making eyes at Spike then kisses Angel and it just seems a little unfair to Spike. No wonder he said "No you don't but thanks for saying it" when she told him she loved him. If we didn't have all the Spuffy drama then the kiss would be perfectly fine.
I don't agree it feels very shoe horned in, regressive and pandering and there to create false tension but then I'm a Spuffy I was never going to be a fan.
 

DeadlyDuo

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I don't agree it feels very shoe horned in, regressive and pandering and there to create false tension but then I'm a Spuffy I was never going to be a fan.
As I said, if none of the Spuffy stuff happened, then there would be nothing wrong with the Bangel kiss. Up to the end of Season 5, the kiss makes perfect sense. However because of the Spuffy drama and the fact that Spike is still on the scene and he and Buffy are making eyes at each other throughout Season 7, the Bangel kiss does feel a little out of place especially as it precedes Buffy's declaration of "love" for Spike. That's why Buffy needs to pick either Angel or Spike and stick with her decision rather than kissing one and declaring love for the other. It just makes her look like a flip flopper.
 
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