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Do you believe what Angel does for Darla in The Trial?

Mr Trick

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Given their history and the fact that Darla has for the most part been a thorn in Angel's side. Do you believe that he would really sacrfice his own life to save Darla's as he was willing to do in this episode? As is pointed out to him surely he is of more value to the world than she is?
 

thetopher

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I absolutely believed that he was capable, but I don't think it was a rational choice. By redeeming/saving Darla Angel could do the impossible and redeem himself in one big, dramatic gesture.

...good thing he got over that then. Yup.
 

Taake

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As is pointed out to him surely he is of more value to the world than she is?
Well that's just a hop and skip away from unpleasant rationalization of who should/deserves to live and who doesn't (very The Circle which funnily enough features Darla Julie Benz :p ). So no, I don't think he is of more value to the world than she is, also we don't know what being saved like that would have done to change her...

I think it's believable
a) Because he is a big gesture guy,
b) I think he had guilt about having killed her (I'm not saying he regretted it, but I do think he felt guilty, it may not have been love - what with lacking of soul etc. - but they certainly had a deep and complex relationship which spanned centuries)
c) He cared for Darla, due to the aforementioned complex relations. Did he love her? Meh, maybe not, maybe so. But he certainly had strong feelings towards her.
d) Was she really such a thorn in his side? She's a nuisance in Buffy season 1, but when they were together, when he tried to be with her even with a soul, and when she's brought back by W&H I don't see her as a thorn in his side at all. When she get's vamped up again, sure, then maybe, because he feels responsible, but that's later.
 

Mr Trick

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I absolutely believed that he was capable, but I don't think it was a rational choice. By redeeming/saving Darla Angel could do the impossible and redeem himself in one big, dramatic gesture.

...good thing he got over that then. Yup.
If you mean redeem himself for his past sins, I don't really see how Angel's past sins has to do with saving Darla. I guess I question whether he would think that she was worth saving given all her crimes.
 
Well that's just a hop and skip away from unpleasant rationalization of who should/deserves to live and who doesn't (very The Circle which funnily enough features Darla Julie Benz :p ). So no, I don't think he is of more value to the world than she is, also we don't know what being saved like that would have done to change her...

I think it's believable
a) Because he is a big gesture guy,
b) I think he had guilt about having killed her (I'm not saying he regretted it, but I do think he felt guilty, it may not have been love - what with lacking of soul etc. - but they certainly had a deep and complex relationship which spanned centuries)
c) He cared for Darla, due to the aforementioned complex relations. Did he love her? Meh, maybe not, maybe so. But he certainly had strong feelings towards her.
d) Was she really such a thorn in his side? She's a nuisance in Buffy season 1, but when they were together, when he tried to be with her even with a soul, and when she's brought back by W&H I don't see her as a thorn in his side at all. When she get's vamped up again, sure, then maybe, because he feels responsible, but that's later.
A lot of this is fair, but than again its not as if he is actually killing her, he wasn't responsible for that. I just wonder if by killing himself that he was willing to take it too far. He must have seen his value to the world. But I think you make a pretty strong case.
 

Taake

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He must have seen his value to the world.
I think to some extent he certainly did, buuuut I also think that Broody McGee probably mostly saw his cost to the world. I.e. the constant risk of turning back to Angelus, of making bad choices, of falling into temptation etc. A lot of the time Angel feels kind of like a the glass is half-full kind of guy, to whom sacrificing himself for a 'noble' cause would be an easy way out of the burden of living with everything he had on his conscience.

Also, I think that his willingness to sacrifice himself for Darla - so that she could become human again - was a kind of double redemption for the both of them. She would get to "shanshu" (kind of), and through sacrifcing himself he would be paying for the evil they had wrought as demons. I.e. the evil that was done to her (vampified) and to him by her (vampified) would be kind of "reset" if you will, but both of their demons disappearing, and human Darla carrying on.
Sorry if that got confusing. :)
 
Mr Trick
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No it was a perfectly argued and reasoned case, thank-you.

thetopher

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If you mean redeem himself for his past sins, I don't really see how Angel's past sins has to do with saving Darla. I guess I question whether he would think that she was worth saving given all her crimes.
Basically Darla at that point is Angel back when he was Liam- a (relatively) innocent human who made some bad choices. If she can be saved and given a second chance as a human, that's the closest Angel could get to saving himself- 'cause time-travel isn't possible.
 

Mr Trick

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Basically Darla at that point is Angel back when he was Liam- a (relatively) innocent human who made some bad choices. If she can be saved and given a second chance as a human, that's the closest Angel could get to saving himself- 'cause time-travel isn't possible.
I can see it. Interesting though that Darla didn't actually want to be a human, even less so after finding out she was dying. Whereas Angel IMO did have that ambition I really think that Darla felt more at home being a vampire.

You guys have convinced me of Angel's motivations, or at least given me a strong enough case, its just that the episode itself doesn't do that for me.:)
 

Bluebird

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Do you believe that he would really sacrfice his own life to save Darla's as he was willing to do in this episode?
Yeah I do. When he was asked to give up his life for hers he agreed, and as far as he knew he was going to die when he agreed.

I think it makes a lot of sense that he'd try to save Darla. In his mind she's no different from the other humans he saves. Someone who's made mistakes, who's lost their way in life. He would see her redemption as redeeming himself in some way, since she was a vampire who got to be human again. She shanshued. :D
Also, Angel, as a fella, is all about the self sacrifice. He loves wearing his martyrdom cloak.
 

Monkey Pants

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I guess it's believable, but I never actually believed it. This was around the time that I started to feel that Darla's arc was heading in the wrong direction and I was getting disappointed.
 

Mr Trick

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I guess it's believable, but I never actually believed it. This was around the time that I started to feel that Darla's arc was heading in the wrong direction and I was getting disappointed.
Think I'm the same as in @Taake and @thetopher have both convinced me in this thread why its believable, yet they don't sell it well enough in the actual episode IMO.

Do you even think that goes down hill when Drusella comes into the show? Because I love that storyline and Reunion maybe one of the best episodes ever.
 

Monkey Pants

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Think I'm the same as in @Taake and @thetopher have both convinced me in this thread why its believable, yet they don't sell it well enough in the actual episode IMO.

Do you even think that goes down hill when Drusella comes into the show? Because I love that storyline and Reunion maybe one of the best episodes ever.
I liked when Drusilla came in and they went on their rampage, but I didn't like the fact that Darla became human again and was feeling guilt. I thought they already did that with Angel and Spike (although it happened with Spike later). I would have preferred if Darla stayed evil and continued trying to break Angel. The first human without a soul, to me that would have been far more interesting.
 

Mr Trick

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I liked when Drusilla came in and they went on their rampage, but I didn't like the fact that Darla became human again and was feeling guilt. I thought they already did that with Angel and Spike (although it happened with Spike later). I would have preferred if Darla stayed evil and continued trying to break Angel. The first human without a soul, to me that would have been far more interesting.
So you weren't a fan of the baby storyline for example? I will reserve judgement on that for now since I'm still to get there on the rewatch, but of course without we would have no Connor, so yeah you're right maybe she should have stayed on the darkside.:D
 

Monkey Pants

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So you weren't a fan of the baby storyline for example? I will reserve judgement on that for now since I'm still to get there on the rewatch, but of course without we would have no Connor, so yeah you're right maybe she should have stayed on the darkside.:D
We could have had the baby storyline either way...if Darla was human and still evil, they could have still gotten together during the dark Angel phase.
 

Mr Trick

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We could have had the baby storyline either way...if Darla was human and still evil, they could have still gotten together during the dark Angel phase.
Good point, but then I don't see much more in her arc from Reunion on which drags it down then.
 

RomanticSoul

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The first human without a soul, to me that would have been far more interesting.
But she wouldn't have been the first. We've already seen the soulles kid in S1 of Angel. So we know that some humans can have no soul for whatever reason. It would hardly make Darla the first or only one in existance who is human without a soul.

As to the topic at hand I'm with thetopher and Taake on this.
 

Mr Trick

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I've be talking more about this with another memeber and heard another view point and I still don't think it works for me. Firstly, Angel believes that his role in the world is save people and that he still has sins to atone for so he has no attention to die anytime soon. Yes, he and Darla have history, but Angel would see it as mostly being a bad history. Yes he would feel bad about letting her die, but you can't really sacrifice so many other lives for one life. And the other thing to remember is the Shanshu Prophecy. That gives Angel even more reason to stay.
 

white avenger

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Angel's heart, shriveled up walnut that it might be, is in the right place, even though his head usually isn't. He's well meaning, impulsive, and often self sacrificing, which in in many ways appropriate, since this is the total reverse of Angelus, and is most likely portrayed that way for that exact reason. Unfortunately, he's never been the sharpest knife in the drawer, in either persona. (What can you expect when your base material is Liam?) Far too often, I think, he makes snap decisions without really thinking them through, which wind up putting himself in jeopardy, where, if he had just stopped and weighed the consequences of his actions, he might have made better choices. Granted, in some cases, there isn't all that much time to rationalize and strategize, but, even when there is, he doesn't seem all that eager to take it. He's the "jump in and fight your way out" guy, rather than the "stand back, wait for the right moment, then deal the killing blow" guy. Once again, the exact opposite of Angelus
 
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BuffyBot22

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I think it was totally in character for Angel to want to save her, because in a way it would be saving himself in the process. He also has a serious hero complex, so he would want to save her regardless.
However, I think this episode and just the Darla and dark Angel storyline would have been better after Buffy died in "The Gift" - it would have been like Angel wanting to save Darla because he couldn't save Buffy and hence his whirlwind down into darkness. Of course this would mean that BtVS would have to end with s5 instead of s7, but that seems to be a pretty popular consensus on this forum from what I've gathered. I also think this would add more significance to her death especially from Angel's perspective. I didn't get enough grief from him in s3 over her death. I think this would have served better, and also a way to bring Bangel back around without putting them together. I think it would have made his spiral into darkness make more sense too. I don't even know why he goes dark in s2, I just know that I enjoy it, but it would have been more enjoyable with a significant reason behind it like not being able to save the love of his life after he sacrificed a human life with her to save her just for her to die anyway without him even being there to try to stop it. I just would have been more pleased with this. It's probably because I'm a hopeless Bangel, but I still think it would have made for better storytelling regardless.
 

Spanish Flame

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I understand in this episode why Angel does this for Darla but despite I love Darla on the whole show, I dont buy Angel sacrifying for her because as he said he never loved her and he never was completely happy as with Buffy...
But as Buffybot22 says, he has a hero complex he can't help but saving everyone for his redemption and all.
I like this episode but, I don't buy the end of sacrifice to Darla....
 

RachM

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Jumping on an old thread here, but I’m a complete Dangel Whore, so can’t help myself.

I one hundred per cent believe in Angel offering his life for Darla and that he was sincere and wanted to save her. Angel and Darla have an incredibly complex relationship, given all the different incarnations in which they encounter one another and interact and when Darla is human, it’s the closest the two ever get to genuinely caring for and loving one another.

In the episodes leading up to The Trial, Angel has watched W&H manipulate and use Darla, bringing her back not only as human but as a dying human, in order to force him to turn her. He knows that none of this would be happening were it not for him, that she has been put through this hell because of his fight with W&H. As her soul starts to affect her and she feels the weight of it, you can slowly see Angel start to see her in a different light, not as the monster who damned him, but as a human who needs him. He goes through the trials for her, to make up for what W&H are doing to her.

When he offers his life for hers, it not only underlines the depth of his feelings for her (which have been emerging over the season) it ties into his own quest for redemption (as others in this thread have pointed out). Angel has always sought redemption while simultaneously believing that he doesn’t deserve it/cannot achieve it. If he can deliver redemption to Darla, even at the expense of his life, it proves to him that she and by extension himself do deserve it, that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Which is why his breakdown upon finding out that Darla cannot be given new life is so extreme and emotional. It’s the first chip in his façade, the first indication of his loss of faith which happens over Season 2, this realisation that no matter how hard he tries, he cannot achieve redemption, he will never be at peace, he will never escape his past. He is grieving for both Darla and himself, for the fact that they have no hope and it’s really quite heartbreaking to watch.

So yes, I believe in what Angel was trying to do, I believe he genuinely wanted to give Darla a second chance, a chance to live life as a human, but it is somewhat selfishly motivated, spurned by his own inner demons as well as his complex bond with Darla.
 
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