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Lie to Me: Do you love me?

r2dh2

Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain
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Ok, I have a question. Why does Angel ask Buffy if she loves him when she asks him about Drusila? Is it a way to get some reassurance before telling her the truth? Or is it an implicit way of asking her to trust him if she loves him? I'm not sure, DB acting fell flat for me in this scene and I cannot really understand what is behind Angel's question.

Thoughts?
 

Priceless

Scooby
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Angel is going to reveal the worst thing he's ever done, the thing that haunts him the most (because Dru is still in the world, a walking talking permanent reminder of his evil) and he needs to believe Buffy won't turn away from him, hate him, feel the same disgust for him that he feels for himself. It's also a really manipulative thing to do to a young girl who is so obviously in love with you.
 

r2dh2

Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain
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Angel is going to reveal the worst thing he's ever done, the thing that haunts him the most (because Dru is still in the world, a walking talking permanent reminder of his evil) and he needs to believe Buffy won't turn away from him, hate him, feel the same disgust for him that he feels for himself. It's also a really manipulative thing to do to a young girl who is so obviously in love with you.

Is it really manipulative? I mean, what he did is really bad, I can understand his hesitation and the need of some reassurance. In this episode, I am more bothered by his lies to Buffy than by this particular question. But I have trouble connecting to their scenes together, DB acting doesn't sell the part to me.
 

Priceless

Scooby
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Is it really manipulative? I mean, what he did is really bad, I can understand his hesitation and the need of some reassurance. In this episode, I am more bothered by his lies to Buffy than by this particular question. But I have trouble connecting to their scenes together, DB acting doesn't sell the part to me.
Yes, DB wasn't the best at emoting, that's a fact.

I do think it is manipulative. He's 240 (??) and she's 16 and he's looking to her for emotional support before he reveals this hideous fact about himself. It's understandable, but it's also self-serving and playing with Buffy's emotions. Before he reveals the truth he is secure in her love, so there isn't any real jeopardy for him. Even if there is the remotest chance that she will turn around, a second after declaring her love, and say she no longer loves him, he can throw her superfast change of heart back at her, making her feel like the abuser. 'You said you loved me, so I revealed this horrible fact from my past, and suddenly you stop loving me. What's your love worth if it can change so quickly? Why can't you show me some understanding?' etc. etc.
 

r2dh2

Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain
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Yes, DB wasn't the best at emoting, that's a fact.

I do think it is manipulative. He's 240 (??) and she's 16 and he's looking to her for emotional support before he reveals this hideous fact about himself. It's understandable, but it's also self-serving and playing with Buffy's emotions. Before he reveals the truth he is secure in her love, so there isn't any real jeopardy for him. Even if there is the remotest chance that she will turn around, a second after declaring her love, and say she no longer loves him, he can throw her superfast change of heart back at her, making her feel like the abuser. 'You said you loved me, so I revealed this horrible fact from my past, and suddenly you stop loving me. What's your love worth if it can change so quickly? Why can't you show me some understanding?' etc. etc.

oh, I see what you mean. I agree that it could have gone in that direction had she responded in a different way. I think I always gave Angel the benefit of the doubt when it came to relationships due to his own history. Besides Darla, I don't think he ever had a real relationship. He comes from a very different time and he died as an emotionally stunted man, spent years with Darla as a soulless vampire and kept to himself until he met Buffy. It's not an excuse, but sort of an explanation as to why he let himself go too deep too. I wish they had shown more of his inner struggle regarding Buffy. He is indeed older and despite his shortcomings, he should have known better at times (off topic, the "when I see into the future, all see is you" always makes me cringe, I understand Buffy's feelings and maybe he felt the same, but I think that it was a missed opportunity to show more maturity).
 

Priceless

Scooby
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He's had a soul for a hundred years. How stunted can he really be? No disrespect to Angel, but he was friends with the Rat Pack, went to Elvis and Priscilla's wedding, cared for people along the way, saw humanity in action, surely after a hundred years he'd learnt something? I appreciate Angel much more on his own show, when we get to see a more mature man. I tend to think the Angel we see on AtS would not have even started a relationship with Buffy.
 
Tome
Tome
Very well put.

Faded90

Scooby
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He's had a soul for a hundred years. How stunted can he really be? No disrespect to Angel, but he was friends with the Rat Pack, went to Elvis and Priscilla's wedding, cared for people along the way, saw humanity in action, surely after a hundred years he'd learnt something? I appreciate Angel much more on his own show, when we get to see a more mature man. I tend to think the Angel we see on AtS would not have even started a relationship with Buffy.
To be honest Angel’s backstory is made up as they went along which is what happens with all of them but it kind of keeps contradicting who he was (and makes Angel look like a liar to make himself look more sympathetic to Buffy) and how he portrayed himself in the early seasons . His characterisation as a result is wildly different in different seasons and some of his earlier characterisation doesn’t make a lot of sense. To be honest I do find Angel in general’s characterisation pretty inconsistent, even on his own show.

First he’s shunned himself for 100 years, barely even knew how to talk to people and lived a loner life who hadn’t fed off another human since he got his soul. Then suddenly he’d actually gone back to killing, fought with demons in Mexico over women, had orgies, worked with the government, knew gangsters, partied with the Rat Pack and attended Elvis’ wedding 😂

I mean jesus I’m surprised he wasn’t on the front pages of celeb gossip magazine 😂
 

r2dh2

Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain
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He's had a soul for a hundred years. How stunted can he really be? No disrespect to Angel, but he was friends with the Rat Pack, went to Elvis and Priscilla's wedding, cared for people along the way, saw humanity in action, surely after a hundred years he'd learnt something? I appreciate Angel much more on his own show, when we get to see a more mature man. I tend to think the Angel we see on AtS would not have even started a relationship with Buffy.

To be honest Angel’s backstory is made up as they went along which is what happens with all of them but it kind of keeps contradicting who he was (and makes Angel look like a liar to make himself look more sympathetic to Buffy) and how he portrayed himself in the early seasons . His characterisation as a result is wildly different in different seasons and some of his earlier characterisation doesn’t make a lot of sense. To be honest I do find Angel in general’s characterisation pretty inconsistent, even on his own show.

First he’s shunned himself for 100 years, barely even knew how to talk to people and lived a loner life who hadn’t fed off another human since he got his soul. Then suddenly he’d actually gone back to killing, fought with demons in Mexico over women, had orgies, worked with the government, knew gangsters, partied with the Rat Pack and attended Elvis’ wedding 😂

I mean jesus I’m surprised he wasn’t on the front pages of celeb gossip magazine 😂

Here I agree with @Faded90. I had actually forgotten all those things that he supposedly did (and I actually only remember the Elvis part, not the other things that they mention). I think his background is all over the place. I took it literally that he pretty much spent those 100 years alone until Buffy. So, I don't know anymore 😕... I guess in the context of BtVS S2, I still give him the benefit of the doubt and I take it as him acting emotionally younger than a 240 years old kid because of that. Otherwise, it does look bad and more manipulative than it was actually intended (I think).

Edit: Actually, I have another question. Was it intended to be shown as manipulation? I mean, it is part of an episode called "Lie to me." What do you think that was the intention of the writers when they added this specific dialogue between Buffy and Angel?
 
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Priceless
Priceless
Yes I do think it is meant to be read as manipulative.

KaitKat

Potential
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I don’t think he did it for manipulative reasons and I don’t think he’d have thrown it in her face had she left after that but a 16 year old girl isn’t going to leave right after she says I love you. The scene and the relationship felt wrong to me but I think it was supposed to even if he wasn’t a vampire he’s still way to old and too experienced for her and he’s old enough to know better. If Spuffy never would have happened people would have lost it if Spike got together with Dawn when she was only 16 and she lost her virginity to him, the same thing applies to Bangel for me.
 
N
Nearwild
The Romeo and Juliet feel to Bangel never did it for me, but you just made it sound downright icky! 🤣🤢

thetopher

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Sineya
Firstly I think Angel was absolutely looking for reassurance before telling Buffy the worst thing he ever did. But why, you cry? Why if he'd done all these awesome things in the past like fight demons and dragons and invade Nazi subs and hang with the Rat-Pack and Elvis, why was he so insecure? Oh, was is he just being manipulative of a 16 yr old girl?

Well...maybe its the fact that he'd never been in love before, never, not even as Liam. Not to mention that since his curse he'd very rarely been close to any human; and when he had it had always ended badly; y'know they set a mob on him and have him lynched or he killed them or turn them to save lives or something else bad.

So first, fragile love, coupled with all his past experience interacting with humanity plus absolute magnified shame about his past horrors (actually walking around telling him how he hurt them) is the magic recipe for insecurity.
And this is how it manifested; one question, one sign that maybe Buffy wouldn't look at him with disgust, pull out a stake and tell him to get the hell out. Insecurity about what you are, after what you've done and what you've been told over and over (that you're a monster) I think that's a rather human frailty to have. Certainly an understandable one.

Btw-this is why I think his own show enriches- for the most part- Angel's role on BtVS.

Also I don't ever think Angel would've thrown any love confession back in Buffy's face; 'Aha! No takebacks, you said it! You said it!' is not a S2 Angel thing to do, it would make light not only of a crime he feels condemns him as a monster but it would demean his own feelings for Buffy.

I think it's a fundamental misunderstanding of his character to in any way think he was capable of that.
 
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