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Morally Wrong/Ambiguous Angel

Antho

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Buffy did a lot of questionable things too when it comes to moral actions. I have in my mind right now :
- she let Ford being killed and turned into a vampire.
- she killed pat, Joyce’s friend in « dead’s man party »
- she killed Gwendolyn post
- she didn’t slay Angelus in « Innocence »when she had the occasion. Letting him the opportunity to kill more people .
- in season 7 in the episode where there is Cassie, one of the guy is hurt at the end end by the demon and she leaves him like that, basically dead.

And theses are only what I have in my mind right now, i’m Sure there are others examples. And of course there are circumstances for theses cases, but in term of killing humans/moral ambiguous actions, I don’t think she is better than Angel.
 
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
Technically speaking, Pat wasn't killed by Buffy, anymore than Pat would've been killed by Buffy if she'd come back as a vampire. She was a zombie that put on the mask, not Pat.
Puppet
Puppet
She did not kill Gwendolyn Post, hunger for power killed Gwendolyn Post, Buffy just defeated her.
K
katmobile
She didn't let Ford get turned he came back to Spike and Dru and he was a corpse when she found him. She knew he may well have been turned as that's what he wanted so she waited by his grave to see if that was the case and staked him when he arose.

ChaseRules

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Angel after finding out about the curse didn't seem to do anything to fix it . We didn't even see him talk about getting it fixed . That Ambiguous
to me . Plus a number of times he made choices without asking the rest of Angel Investions what they thought . Lastly after everything he
told Buffy he goes after Cordelia . That proof that he only thinking about him self .
 
K
katmobile
I don't think it's 'fixable' magic isn't modular.

thrasherpix

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Buffy did a lot of questionable things too when it comes to moral actions. I have in my mind right now :
- she let Ford being killed and turned into a vampire.
- she killed pat, Joyce’s friend in « dead’s man party »
- she killed Gwendolyn post
- she didn’t slay Angelus in « Innocence »when she had the occasion. Letting him the opportunity to kill more people .
- in season 7 in the episode where there is Cassie, one of the guy is hurt at the end end by the demon and she leaves him like that, basically dead.

And theses are only what I have in my mind right now, i’m Sure there are others examples. And of course there are circumstances for theses cases, but in term of killing humans/moral ambiguous actions, I don’t think she is better than Angel.
These don't count in my book. Well, she SHOULD have killed Angel in Innocence, but it's debatable how much of that was selfishness and how much of that was being unable to kill something wearing your lover's face (that is, conscience and the recklessness and foolish hopes of teens in love). But it sounds damned if you do, damned if you don't, if you're gonna dock her for killing another supernatural threat like Post, though if I recall correctly she cut off the glove and then lightning took her, as either way damns Buffy for either not slaying the threat, or allowing it to kill others as it was in the process of doing, or sure to be doing soon.

In addition to her not killing Pat in the first place, there is a HUGE difference between Buffy locking Ford in that club than from Angel locking the lawyers in. Buffy was saving innocents and couldn't have held off the entire gang of vampires herself, while Ford was knocked out and couldn't leave with the rest, so Buffy saved who she could. In addition, it wasn't done in the same spirit as Angel, who in contrast could've taken on 2 vampires, and he very coldly left them in as a deliberate act of vengeance that saved no innocent lives in the process.

I'm trying to think of how to equate Buffy with being as morally ambiguous as Angel (as opposed to making mistakes, some for understandable reasons, though equally understandable why some would be furious with her over it, or are things like killing the Knights of Byzantium, but that was straight up self-defense) and nothing is really coming to mind. Not even season 6 Buffy who was lying to her friends about Spike and tormented a social worker who was trying to do her job in good faith, nor the brief moment when she walked with Faith in season 3 to ransack a sporting goods store as a convenient source of weapons (or knocking out the police at least twice, though I'd say one was justified, but most cops still would've seen her do prison time for it)...Angel was far worse than that, especially in his own show. (I'm not counting Angelus, either. And by the end of season 5 there simply is no comparison.)

Offhand, the worst I can think of is risking all the worlds for the sake of her sister who was a fiction imprinted in her mind by a spell (and my head canon can't decide how much of that was Buffy, who did send Angel to Hell to save the world, and how much was the compulsion of magic put into her by the monks).
 

Antho

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Well, she SHOULD have killed Angel in Innocence, but it's debatable how much of that was selfishness and how much of that was being unable to kill something wearing your lover's face
I agree. Of course that I don’t blame Buffy for that. It’s all understandable. But it was still morally wrong to leave a murderer like Angelus alive as long as she did. As a viewer we understand her of course but try to explain that at someone Angelus has killed a member of family or friends.. I beg the vision of things would be different.

there is a HUGE difference between Buffy locking Ford in that club than from Angel locking the lawyers in. Buffy was saving innocents and couldn't have held off the entire gang of vampires herself, while Ford was knocked out and couldn't leave with the rest, so Buffy saved who she could. In addition, it wasn't done in the same spirit as Angel, who in contrast could've taken on 2 vampires, and he very coldly left them in as a deliberate act of vengeance that saved no innocent lives in the process.
I never compared theses 2 situations I don’t know why you do. But since you did it : Angel was wrong but I don’t think he should be feel responsible. Theses lawyers got what they deserved. And the worst is they kinda brought what happened to them themselves. They resurrected Darla. They brought back Drusilla to L.A. They made Drusilla turned Darla in vampire again. Angel did nothing of all of that. The lawyers are like 90% responsible of theirs deaths. Angel chose to not intervene and that is morally wrong of course but he didn’t kill them with his hands. And you assume that Angel can take both Darla and Drusilla on a fight, I’m personally not so sure. And like Angel Buffy let ford die because like the lawyers he is responsible of 90% of his death.

I'm trying to think of how to equate Buffy with being as morally ambiguous as Angel
Except that it wasn’t my point. I don’t compare the degree of morality between Buffy and Angel. What I say is that both do some morally and ambiguous wrong actions. Whether one is more tolerable than the others is up to interpretation and is the opinion of a person.


And by the end of season 5 there simply is no comparison.)
Killing Drogyn is the only thing that I reproach to Angel when it comes to morally ambiguous things. He was so wrong. But honestly I can find excuse, understandable reasons for absolutely all the others things people reproach him in this thread.

You could mention her slaying those Knights of Byzantium, but all of those were self-defense.
Yeah I agree. Like Angel. Most of what people reproach to him in this thread can be explain by « self defense ».
 

thrasherpix

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I never compared theses 2 situations I don’t know why you do.
I don’t compare the degree of morality between Buffy and Angel
Because you said you don’t think she is better than Angel (which implies a similar degree at the very least) and then listed those examples.

While I admit to being very tired after a stressful day when I gave an almost immediate reply so that I could've misunderstood, it still seems reasonable to say you were comparing the two as opposed to saying neither one was a perfect saint, and for you to list Buffy "locking Ford in" was somehow comparable to Angel locking the lawyers in with Darla and Dru, done in the same spirit and intent (thus explaining why you don't see Buffy as better than Angel) when I see a very big difference between them.

But hey, fair enough. I'm just explaining how my brain interpreted your words, right or wrong. :)
 
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Antho

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Because you said you don’t think she is better than Angel (which implies a similar degree at the very least) and then listed those examples.
I probably express myself in a bad way. I mostly wanted to say that Both of them did some very questionable things. And then I did that list just to give example in order to prove my point that Buffy also did a lot of wrong morally actions and I don’t see people do reproach to her very often. That’s all. I did not mean to compare the them but it surely came accros like that. Sorry.
I feel you a little angry in your message... have I upset you ? Maybe my tone wasn’t appropriate but it was clearly not my intention.
 
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
No problem! I wasn't angry even when I immediately replied. Stressed, yes, but only tired and perhaps blunt, but if you heard my intended tone I don't think it would've bothered you.

DeadlyDuo

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Buffy didn't really have a choice but to lock Ford in. Spike was blocking the stairs and Ford was on the lower floor. The only reason Buffy escaped was because she jumped (with really bad wire work) onto the higher floor and held Dru hostage. She forced Spike to move down the stairs, whereas before he was stood at the top and blocking the door. Buffy barely got out of there alive and at the time Ford was unconscious so there was no way he could've escaped with him especially as she was outnumbered.
 

ChaseRules

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I probably express myself in a bad way. I mostly wanted to say that Both of them did some very questionable things. And then I did that list just to give example in order to prove my point that Buffy also did a lot of wrong morally actions and I don’t see people do reproach to her very often. That’s all. I did not mean to compare the them but it surely came accros like that. Sorry.
I feel you a little angry in your message... have I upset you ? Maybe my tone wasn’t appropriate but it was clearly not my intention.
Its true that Buffy left Ford in the building with the Vampires but she had no choice .

And when Angel locked the people in with Dara & Dru & one of them said they were going to die he said "I really don't Care " .
Big Different there .
 

Antho

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Guys can we agree that all the characters do some morally ambiguous actions. That was my point. I did that Buffy list like I could have done a Willow list Spike list Wesley list even a Giles list. All I was saying is that all character have take or done some ambigous things. Whether it’s more important or not only concern you and your vision of things. Willow tried to destroy the world. This is the top level for me. 😂

Ps sorry I have broke my phone and some things don’t work like the point of interrogation. I have ordered another screen. But I have to stay like that until the next week that my sisters come back to her holidays and repair it for me. God I hate apple right now.
 

ChaseRules

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Guys can we agree that all the characters do some morally ambiguous actions. That was my point. I did that Buffy list like I could have done a Willow list Spike list Wesley list even a Giles list. All I was saying is that all character have take or done some ambigous things. Whether it’s more important or not only concern you and your vision of things. Willow tried to destroy the world. This is the top level for me. 😂

Ps sorry I have broke my phone and some things don’t work like the point of interrogation. I have ordered another screen. But I have to stay like that until the next week that my sisters come back to her holidays and repair it for me. God I hate apple right now.
Agreed but this is a Angel thread not of any of the other characters .
 
Antho
Antho
Fine.

Antho

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Thrasherpix sorry i can’t mention you since the arobase thing doesn’t work anymore on my phones 😡 but I wanted to say to you that there is no problem for me either. And don’t worry I will respond to you in the What does like represent thread. It’s just that my computer has a battery problems and no this is my phone. I want to you to know that I will respond to you as soon as all theses prob get resolved.
 

ChaseRules

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@katmobile ….. " I don't think it's 'fixable' magic isn't modular". True but they didn't even show Angel looking into it .
That what gets me that he didn't even seem to try .
 

thetopher

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Honestly with Angel its less about the moral choice as it is about character consistency. I always feel that his decisions, even the unwise ones, are completely understandable. His whole concept is 'the guy struggling with what he is/what he's done' so, of course there's going to be some murkiness to him, its built into his concept.

Buffy on the other hand isn't really that morally ambiguous until S7 (and even then I'm not sure that's intentional) but she does make a lot of youthful mistakes. Her mistakes have the perception of being much less 'calculated' than Angel's though. But in general I find that being the title character they both tend to constantly struggle with moral decisions and suffer from their mistakes more than most other characters, making them, to me, more forgivable.

-I'm constantly surprised about IWRY and people's reaction to Angel's choice. It's HIS body and his destiny, no one else's. They also tend to forget that he does tell Buffy what he did and, though clearly upset, she understands. The forgetting is mostly bad for him, not her. Why did he do it the easy he did it? Well, the whole season is about Angel seeing and rejecting easy/arbitrary ways out his chosen path. He wants forgiveness ('in The Dark') but he wants to, principally earn that forgiveness. So, no magic ring, no 'accidentally becoming human' if there's a terrible price to be had (Buffy's untimely death for example). The season ends with the promise of Shanshu', the earning of a second chance by higher powers.
Getting back to it- I mean, why are the people who object to this not upset about Graduation Day pt 2 where Angel was willing to die but Buffy beat him until his demon came out and then fed off her? Isn't that not respecting another other character's agency? Does Buffy get a pass?
- Am I going to mourn an attempted child assassin who works for an evil law firm? Nope, off with his head, he tried to blow Angel away, his intent was incredibly violent, and so he got deaded. Also Buffy did the same to an evil witch, and yes, a witch is a mortal human.
-W&H employees, whilst humans, all seem to revel in causing harm, enabling evil and basically being immoral jerks who work for one of the unholiest powers on earth. Whilst I don't think Angel should go around actively killing them- that would be counter productive- he shouldn't be obliged to go out of his to save them either. That seems fair.

- He killed Drogyn because, at that point it was either Drogyn dying or both of them dying at the hands of the Black Thorn. Besides the guy was some magical immortal and not very good at his job. Maybe the next guardian of the deeper well will be half-way decent.
 
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Yeah, in Unleashed he leaves a guy to be cannibalised.
Actually he doesn't. He takes Nina out of there and makes an offhand comment about them eating the new werewolf next full moon, but then at the very end of the episode - when the gang are all up in his penthouse - they specifically reference the fact that the dinner club has been put out of business and will not be reconvening. The guy did not get eaten - whether it was Angel himself or he sent operatives to do it, that guy got rescued.

Time was literally turned back, so people's minds weren't messed with/violated, and everyone in the world other than Buffy will repeat the same day's experiences as before.
This isn't true though. In one version Buffy stays with Angel and goes to fight the Mohra demon, in the other she walks straight back out and lives a completely different day. Every single person she has contact with in that time is also now living a different day. Which will then effect the people they go on to have contact with and so and so on. There will be a huge ripple - butterfly flapping it's wing - effect throughout the city (at least).

We know for a fact it will impact Doyle and Cordy's day. In one version they come back to the office and Angel is human, Doyle goes to the oracles, him and Cordy get drinks, Doyle goes to fight the Mohra and who knows what happens to them after he gets back? In the other they comeback to the office, Buffy is gone, Angel is brooding and they presumably just stick around the office all day.

So all the people they interacted with in the first timeline are now living a different day as well.

Have you ever had that thing or heard of it happening where if you were a moment/earlier later you would have been killed or injured but you literally just missed out on disaster by a split second? It certainly happens on the roads a lot. Well imagine Cordelia bumps into someone in the parking lot of the bar, it delays them for a fraction of a second. They get in their car and drive to the exit and are just pulling out when a truck speeds past, had they been a second earlier they would have been hit. The second time around, Cordelia is not in that parking lot, she doesn't bump into anyone, they get into their car a second earlier, they reach the turning a second earlier ... and they're dead now because Angel turned back time.

Every interaction - now matter how small - effects what happens next. Just Angel and Doyle in the car going to the oracles will have an impact on which cars get through the traffic lights which will impact people's days - making them late/ meaning they got there on time and the consequence of that. There will be Sliding Doors all over L.A.

There can be know 'it just effects them' unless in both versions the person making the decision spent all day by themselves not leaving the house or talking to anyone. And Angel had no right to unilaterally alter the world this way.

What? Are you talking about this line:

"That was your idea, remember? We stay away from each other."
This is such a gas lighting line. Because it was his idea to break up with her and his idea to leave town. So actually not being together and spending time apart is entirely his idea that she had no choice but to agree to. Then he made the decision to return to town but not tell her and she came to remind him of his plan. So did she say those words? maybe - but - they weren't her words. They were his that she was repeating back to him.

It's interesting that in his head her turning up and reminding him not to diverge from his own plan becomes her telling him they need to be apart. He's only in L.A and they only need to be apart because he made that choice for them. And now he is refusing to take ownership of it and actively placing the decision on her. He's lashing out and being completely unreasonable - and the reason for that is he is pretty much entirely in the wrong and knows it but doesn't accept it.

-I'm constantly surprised about IWRY and people's reaction to Angel's choice. It's HIS body and his destiny, no one else's. They also tend to forget that he does tell Buffy what he did and, though clearly upset, she understands. The forgetting is mostly bad for him, not her.
I have no problem with Angel deciding he would rather be a vampire, or that he doesn't deserve to be human yet and so going back (although I've pointed out above why this can never be a consequence free decision, it's just he never once stops to think about the consequences for anyone else). Just like I have no problem with Angel breaking up with Buffy if he doesn't want to be with her anymore.

My problem is that he doesn't make these decisions about his life for himself, he makes them for her. And he makes them without ever consulting her until it's done. He gives up his humanity because the oracles tell him she will die sooner without him there, not because he wants to be a champion, not because he wants to save other people, not because he wants to earn his forgiveness but literally 'then I'm here to beg for her life.' Just like he breaks up with her because she will want the normal things he can't give her.

He doesn't let her be a part of the decision, even though it is a decision that will massively effect her. All the things he tells her about why he needs to be a vampire again after the deal is done - he needed to say that before he went. If he made a choice for himself and had the respect and courage to tell her about it beforehand then I would be fully supportive of his decision. But doing it in secret shows a fundamental disrespect to Buffy and doing it for her shows a belief that he knows better and has a right to make decisions about her life for her.

And as for him telling her after the fact - that's even worse! She isn't going to remember any of it anyway so why upset her? Why not let her have those last few seconds? He didn't wake her up to kill the demon in order to allow her her moment of normality, so why the change of heart now? He tells her for himself, to share the burden with someone else even if only for a moment. He tells her so he gets a goodbye.
If he doesn't respect her enough to let her be a part of the conversation, or even to not have a discussion but at least tell her outright before the deal is done - then the heroic and noble thing to do after the fact is slap a happy face on and give her one last minute together and never let on that he is anything but as blissfully happy as she is.
What he chooses to do causes her unnecessary pain for absolutely no reason. It is the worst of all possible worlds.
 

thetopher

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My problem is that he doesn't make these decisions about his life for himself, he makes them for her. And he makes them without ever consulting her until it's done. He gives up his humanity because the oracles tell him she will die sooner without him there, not because he wants to be a champion, not because he wants to save other people, not because he wants to earn his forgiveness but literally 'then I'm here to beg for her life.' Just like he breaks up with her because she will want the normal things he can't give her.
No, Buffy is simply PART of the reason. The Mohra demon refers to a coming darkness and demonic armies and such, there is a war coming, which the Oracles later confirm. That is another factor as to why Angel makes his choice- and it is HIS choice. He feels like he has to be there, to fight. He will fight for Buffy even if he can't be with her.

The whole season Angel is given easy outs but the fact is Angel (this season at least) doesn't want easy. Saying Buffy is the whole reason is simplistic, since she isn't a factor any any of Angel's other decisions in other episodes.

And as for him telling her after the fact - that's even worse! She isn't going to remember any of it anyway so why upset her?
Again no, because not telling Buffy would've been deceitful, by telling Buffy what he has done and the reasons why he is actually respecting her and her pov. Also its another key to hearing his full motivation- its not just about HER, its about the world they both have to fight for.
I can just picture the outcry from Angel haters if he'd just kept his decision that did effect her from her completely to himself, it would've confirmed to them that he simply doesn't care about her pov and is treating her like someone in need of protecting, when that's not it at all.
 
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I disagree. telling someone about a done deal that affects them after the fact is not showing them respect. Presenting someone with a fait acomplis and giving them no choice but to go along with it is an assholish thing to do.
Now if she was going to remember then yes she would have to know. But as she isn't going to, then telling her about it serves no purpose. It just causes her pain.

If Buffy and her well being is part of his reasoning then she has to be a part of the decision making process. That's the beginning and end of it. His other reasons might outweigh her objections and that is fine. But if she is one of the reasons he's doing it, then to make this decision without at least informing her is disrespectful at best. He has no right to make a decision about her without her being a part of it.

He could have not brought her into his reasoning - and made it all about him. And that would be fine. But ultimately the request to become human again comes after the oracles say she will die sooner if he is not a vampire and he begs for her life. When he brings her into it, there is becomes no excuse for him not to have spoken to her about it.

And even if it was all about him, and how he needed to be a champion and not take the easy path and how people's lives depended on him being a vampire ... even if this decision is all about him - it is still the right and respectful thing to tell your partner what you are going to do before you do it! When you are in love, when you are part of a partnership there is no action that will not affect the other person, and the bigger that action the bigger the effect and you have to take that into account and listen to their point of view and show at least basic respect to the fact that they will have feelings about what happens to both them and you.

Angel doesn't do that. He makes a decision and he goes and does it.

Even if the discussion was just him saying: 'there is nothing you can do or say to change my mind, I'm no good to the world like this, I need to earn my redemption, I'm a liability to you and the cost of my humanity is the lives of others so I'm going to become a vampire again' he still owed it to her to say that before he did it and anything else is just not good enough. That isn't how a healthy and decent relationship works. Making big, life changing decisions without either consulting or informing your partner is not OK. Ever.

But in this one, fantastical and very specific example - once this decision has been made in secret and the chance to show Buffy respect is out the window, it should have been kept a secret. Hurting her in a way she will never remember but he will is not showing her respect.
 

thetopher

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I disagree. telling someone about a done deal that affects them after the fact is not showing them respect. Presenting someone with a fait acomplis and giving them no choice but to go along with it is an assholish thing to do.
This is a completely arbitrary distinction to make; if Angel was going to make up his mind either way no matter what Buffy thought and Buffy's input doesn't matter then why ask for it? Lip service is just insulting and patronising.

Also you're forgetting the timeline here; Angel's decision is pretty much instantaneous in the presence of the Oracles when they reveal everything to him; they make it clear that this is a one chance thing there and then- he hasn't got time to haggle or negotiate. Not to mention that its Angel's love of Buffy is seemingly the only reason they grant his request 'he is not a lower being' (that's why its brought up).

Can you really see Angel saying 'Uh, hang on, before you make this unprecedented thing let me pop out of this dimension so I can get an okay from Buffy, even if its just a 'you're cool with this right because Imma gonna do it anyway'.
C'mon.


Now if she was going to remember then yes she would have to know. But as she isn't going to, then telling her about it serves no purpose. It just causes her pain.
Pain that she would not remember so what does it matter? He was being honest with her, which is the more important thing. You are honest with the important people in your life no matter what.

If Buffy and her well being is part of his reasoning then she has to be a part of the decision making process. That's the beginning and end of it. His other reasons might outweigh her objections and that is fine. But if she is one of the reasons he's doing it, then to make this decision without at least informing her is disrespectful at best. He has no right to make a decision about her without her being a part of it.
Weird since Buffy makes decisions that affect other people all the time without consulting them, its sort of the lot of being the main character on your own show.
Besides we are talking about Angel's entire life going forward, its his decision and his alone because it effects him one thousand per cent more than it affects any other person.

And even if it was all about him, and how he needed to be a champion and not take the easy path and how people's lives depended on him being a vampire ... even if this decision is all about him - it is still the right and respectful thing to tell your partner what you are going to do before you do it! When you are in love, when you are part of a partnership there is no action that will not affect the other person, and the bigger that action the bigger the effect and you have to take that into account and listen to their point of view and show at least basic respect to the fact that they will have feelings about what happens to both them and you.
They are not 'partners', they are not a married couple or whatever, nor can they can never be together because of who each of them is, it's the point of the episode. What you're describing sounds like two weirdly co-dependant people who cannot make choices without being in each others pockets. Neither Buffy or Angel are anything like that usually, and thank god for that.
 
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This is a completely arbitrary distinction to make; if Angel was going to make up his mind either way no matter what Buffy thought and Buffy's input doesn't matter then why ask for it? Lip service is just insulting and patronising.
Because it effects her and it is respectful to inform people of things that affect them before it is done. It isn't lip service, it's keeping her in the loop - in this case in the loop of her own life.
If Angel has the courage of his convictions then he should be able to explain things to Buffy in such a way that she will agree to it, without worrying she will change his mind. Allowing her to say her piece is important though. Maybe she could change his mind, maybe she would turn out to be right - maybe she had an argument that would override what he believed. In which case he did them both a disservice in not letting her say it.
Assuming - as he does - that he is absolutely in the right, though, he owes her the time it takes to explain this and the space to accept it. If he is in the right, then he must believe she will accept it and therefore telling her first is simply the difference between making a huge life changing decision behind her back and being upfront and honest about it ... which to me is a pretty huge difference. If he doesn't believe she will accept it, that she won't understand - and therefore he has to do it in secret ... well, that says nothing good about the way he sees her, his respect for her intelligence or their relationship past present or future, does it?
I believe that the Bangel relationship is better than that and that therefore he has to believe she will understand, that they can have a grown up discussion about this - and yet he chooses to go off an do it in secret anyway. That's not semantics.

Also you're forgetting the timeline here; Angel's decision is pretty much instantaneous in the presence of the Oracles when they reveal everything to him; they make it clear that this is a one chance thing there and then- he hasn't got time to haggle or negotiate. Not to mention that its Angel's love of Buffy is seemingly the only reason they grant his request 'he is not a lower being' (that's why its brought up).
I'm not forgetting the time line. This is in fact a deep and serious flaw in the episode. The episode itself is a terribly gratuitous, self indulgent fanwank for the bangels designed to do nothing but have SMG sob in a kitchen and the entire story is built around that moment. In order to get to this moment they have to have Angel make stupid decisions (not wake her up for the Mohra demon) and then immoral decisions (to remove her memories) - all to get SMG crying. It's a terrible episode. It massively changes the world building of both shows (hello - cure for vampirism, hello oracles, hello time travel) but never does anything with them, we're threatened with soldiers of darkness who then never come - and at the end of it we are exactly where we started. It is the most immaterial episode that exists. It creates these world changing devices to support a story that never happens and then never deals with them. The whole edifice is paper thin and exists for that one scene right at the end.

But to get there, Angel makes bad choices. And the fact that he is taking part in a piss poor plot device masquerading as a story does not exonerate him from those bad choices.

The right thing to do was to talk to Buffy first. The only reason he doesn't was to get that final scene. This then becomes a part of Angel's character and the bangel relationship - he makes decisions which will affect her, that are at least partially about her, without having the decency to talk to her about it first. I'm not letting them off the hook for that. Not in so inconsequential and self indulgent an episode.

Pain that she would not remember so what does it matter? He was being honest with her, which is the more important thing. You are honest with the important people in your life no matter what.
Because for those few moments she felt pain and he caused it. For those few moments she could have felt blissful happiness. He made a choice there. The time for honesty was beforehand. He missed that window. In the minute they have left before she forgets, honesty would cause pain and a lie would cause happiness. If being honest was that important then that is why he should tell her before. You can't argue he does it to be honest when he made the agreement in secret. That's trying to have it both ways. According to your post, honesty is important after the fact but honesty beforehand is 'lip service'. Now that is arbitrary.

Now in any other situation, yes he would still have to come clean and be honest. And yes, you should be honest with the people who are important to you. But in this very specific circumstance, he had a chance to be honest, he missed it - now he owes it to her to make her happy while he still can.

They are not 'partners', they are not a married couple or whatever, nor can they can never be together because of who each of them is, it's the point of the episode. What you're describing sounds like two weirdly co-dependant people who cannot make choices without being in each others pockets. Neither Buffy or Angel are anything like that usually, and thank god for that.
Of course they are partners - or at least Buffy thinks they are. They are boyfriend and girlfriend, they are in love, they have been in a serious relationship and the plan is to dive straight back into it. She thinks this is for life. He thought it was for life. Circumstances forced him to rethink that and he didn't even tell her he was having second thoughts! Expecting something better from him is not describing something weirdly codependent. There is difference between deciding where you're going for lunch without telling your significant other and deciding to change species, reinstate the curse and end the relationship without telling the other.

We are specifically talking about them in IWRY so the whole 'can't be together because of who they are' doesn't hold, not until Angel makes that decision without telling Buffy. They are together in this episode. They are each other's partner. However the discovery that his humanity did not change the fact that they cannot be together is something that should have come up for discussion once it was discovered.

When two people are involved (as Buffy and Angel are in this episode) you cannot make a life changing decision which will impact the other without running it by them first. That's not weirdly codependent. That's good manners.
 
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Weird since Buffy makes decisions that affect other people all the time without consulting them, its sort of the lot of being the main character on your own show.
Besides we are talking about Angel's entire life going forward, its his decision and his alone because it effects him one thousand per cent more than it affects any other person.
What decision does Buffy ever make that is comparable with her boyfriend deciding to revert to being a vampire, end their relationship and wipe her memory of it? Because I'm really struggling to think of anything.

And it massively effects Buffy's life going forward! She just doesn't know about it! He makes the decision for both their life paths. The fact that he remembers it and she doesn't neither changes that nor makes it any better. If anything - it makes it worse. Buffy has a right to her own history. He knows something about her that she doesn't. He tells Doyle. Doyle tells Cordelia.

Cordelia knows there is an existing chapter of the bangel saga that Buffy is completely unaware of.
 

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I'm not forgetting the time line. This is in fact a deep and serious flaw in the episode. The episode itself is a terribly gratuitous, self indulgent fanwank for the bangels designed to do nothing but have SMG sob in a kitchen and the entire story is built around that moment. In order to get to this moment they have to have Angel make stupid decisions (not wake her up for the Mohra demon) and then immoral decisions (to remove her memories) - all to get SMG crying. It's a terrible episode. It massively changes the world building of both shows (hello - cure for vampirism, hello oracles, hello time travel) but never does anything with them, we're threatened with soldiers of darkness who then never come - and at the end of it we are exactly where we started. It is the most immaterial episode that exists. It creates these world changing devices to support a story that never happens and then never deals with them. The whole edifice is paper thin and exists for that one scene right at the end.
I ignored the rest of your post because this is the nub of the matter; you hate the episode simply because its Bangel fan-fic, we all hate certain episodes because of their premise and that's fine.
Unfortunately for you its actually fairly well-constructed fan-fic and my timeline is accurate; you claim Angel is calculating when he's actually put on the spot by the oracles. You attempts to malign a character because you think the story is unrealistic or pandering and you don't like seeing Buffy sobbing or whatever, that's pretty revealing but its not an accurate depiction of what happens in the episode at all. Sorry.

Also you're wrong that it 'changes' the world-building, it simply expands on it.
- Cure for vampirism: Never brought up again because Morha demons are described as rare champions of the underworld, although they show up again in A&F S9. But that's not really the point, its a macguffin to get to the Angel is now human' character stuff. Besides is it so hard to imagine a demon infecting an opponent with their ability by accident? Hell the same thing happened to Buffy in Earshot.
- Oracles introduce the concept of 'the powers that be' which are explored through Doyle's (and later Cordy's) visions, Skip, Jasmine, the concept of champions of the powers and such.
- Time-travel? We already had alternate dimensions so 'disappearing' one day is not exactly a stretch. I'd say time manipulation is a more apt description. Besides Cordy forgot the events of 'The Wish like it never happened so there's precedent.
- No armies of darkness appearing? The Scourge literally appear in the very next episode and Angel is crucial in stopping them, then there's the sacred child wanted dead in 'Judgement' (and others in 'Blind Date', Vocha in 'To Shanshu In LA', various demon cults, The Beast, The Circle Of The Black Thorn, plenty of contenders then. Angel stops them all.

I don't really like the episode either, its not for me, but I don't use it as an excuse to attack Angel's character or paint Buffy as a victim of an inconsiderate ex. For me it simply draws a line under the Bangel relationship; its not going to happen at time soon (years, etc)
What decision does Buffy ever make that is comparable with her boyfriend deciding to revert to being a vampire, end their relationship and wipe her memory of it? Because I'm really struggling to think of anything.
Firstly Angel doesn't wipe Buffy's memory, the Oracles screw with time and Angel's memory, that's what happened.
As for arbitrary decisions she makes how about 'every single time she keeps a secret from the rest of the gang that might adversely effect their lives?' (Angel returning, Dawn being the thing the Big Bad is after, etc) or 'It's my sister or the world, if anyone goes near my sister I'll kill them'
These are big decisions that are mainly about her but also affect others. Does she care or consult them? Not really.
 
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