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Question about Release and Orpheus

KaitKat

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The three part arc in Angel Season 4 that includes Faith are my favorite three episodes of the season and some of my favorites in the series. Part of the reason these episodes are so great is the dynamic between Wes and Faith who in my opinion work better as mirrored characters than Faith and Angel. They are at different stages in their journeys Faith has crawled her way out of the darkness while Wesley is still in it, to the point that she was the one advocating against his interrogation methods which included stabbing a human. Wesley quickly turns it around on her and reminds her that she seemed to enjoy torturing him, told her that she was a rabid dog that should have put down and she will never change. When she goes to hit him he seems pleased at tells her that it’s what she will need to beat Angelus. Faith refused to give into her worst impulses drugged herself and allowed Angelus to feed on her. This is where my questions come in. Do you think the Orpheus was Wes or Faith’s idea? I’ve heard theories that Wes had planned on drugging her since she failed against the beast and manipulated her into thinking it was her idea, do you believe this? Do you think Wes was meant what he said when he was goading Faith? Do you think he was goading her into being willing to kill Angelus if she couldn’t capture him? There isn’t a lot of textual evidence to answer these questions so I don’t think there are any wrong answers just how we understand the characters.


Another Question: When Lilah’s ghost is talking to Wes he gets the idea to go to Faith after she mentions redemption, who’s redemption do you think Wes was thinking about his or Faith’s?
 

Stake fodder

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Do you think the Orpheus was Wes or Faith’s idea? I’ve heard theories that Wes had planned on drugging her since she failed against the beast and manipulated her into thinking it was her idea, do you believe this? Do you think Wes was meant what he said when he was goading Faith? Do you think he was goading her into being willing to kill Angelus if she couldn’t capture him?
It may have been either's idea, but I find it hard to believe Faith could be manipulated into taking it. She would be too smart for that. And no, I don't think Wes meant it when he was goading her. Well, maybe he still has some bitterness about his torture, but he surely remembers that he is in need of forgiveness, too.

Another Question: When Lilah’s ghost is talking to Wes he gets the idea to go to Faith after she mentions redemption, who’s redemption do you think Wes was thinking about his or Faith’s?
Faith's, I think. Lilah says about Wes wanting her to find redemption, "Angel's influence, I suppose. The whole not giving up on someone, no matter how far he—or she—has fallen." Lilah means herself with "she," but the emphasis on it would lead Wes to think of other "shes" that Angel's influence has helped. Though he may have only been thinking of Faith's strength at the time.
 

thetopher

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Sineya
This is where my questions come in. Do you think the Orpheus was Wes or Faith’s idea?

Definitely Faith's idea; she tells Angelus that he fell for her 'incredibly simple ruse' of letting him bite her.

Though I'm not sure she knew everything about the drugs effects, only that she and Angelus would go on some one-way psychedelic journey together whilst everyone else figures how to get Angel back.

Lorne criticizes Wesley and accuses him of it being his idea because he knows how bad the drugs are and can't believe that someone would voluntarily inject themselves knowing all the risks.
He's wrong about that of course, Faith accepts that she isn't coming back.


Do you think Wes was meant what he said when he was goading Faith?

Not really. I don't think he thinks that Faith 'should've been put down like a dog' because well, here she is helping him out for Angel's sake. But I think he is accurately articulating that deep well of self-loathing that Faith feels about herself, to get her angry and lash out.

Because Wesley wants the Faith he saw battle Angel in Five-By-Five, who was a pretty unstoppable whirlwind of violence, shouting and throwing Angel all over the place; that girl has a much better chance at stopping Angelus than a 'tame-Faith' who's worried about slapping junkies around.

Do you think he was goading her into being willing to kill Angelus if she couldn’t capture him?

I don't think so, he brought Faith into it precisely because he wants Angelus taken in alive and undusted. He couldn't rely on Connor to do that- even if I was convinced that Connor could win a fight- and so he had to go get somebody far more capable and better.

It's Faith fear that if she 'goes there' that she will lose control and do something she would regret in the heat of the moment; although I think she proves these fears are unfounded given how she dug deep, managed to keep her composure and still batter Angelus senseless even whilst on drugs.

Another Question: When Lilah’s ghost is talking to Wes he gets the idea to go to Faith after she mentions redemption, who’s redemption do you think Wes was thinking about his or Faith’s?

Both. Wesley was the primary advocating for bringing Angelus forth so he almost certainly holds himself responsible for all the subsequent badness, also everyone around him is looking to him for leadership and he's in a pretty low place; at that moment he thinks that Angelus killed Lilah. And he brought Angelus forth in the first place, ergo he killed Lilah, somebody who probably cared for him more than he wanted to admit.

But by busting Faith out he can get Angel back and redeem that mistake, and he correctly guesses that Faith will go all out to help the guy who put her on her path; she will want redeem (in the sense of 'back it back') Angel's trust/faith in her.
 

Bop

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I think there's the most textual evidence that it was Faith's idea, both her and Wesley say that it was.

It also makes sense narratively because Wesley was trying to make Faith give into her old self but Faith refuses to do that at every corner (for example she deliberately gives up one of her chances to shoot Angelus because he could snap Wesley's neck, she even checks on Wesley before running after Angelus when he lets him go). Drugging herself was what Faith came up with because she'd rather risk dying than become like her old self again.
It also ties into the end of Orpheus when Faith is very happy for the fight to be over for her because she accepts she's dying.

I think if Wesley had manipulated Faith there would have been more narrative tie ins to that.

Actually, even at the end of Orpheus when Wesley is saying goodbye to Faith, Gunn's comment that Wesley let the girl do all the heavy lifting further suggests that Faith was running the show.
 

KaitKat

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Thank you guys for your response. I actually find it interesting that you all think that the Orpheus was Faith’s idea, I’ve read many threads and forums about this episode and only one other person seems to believe it was Faith’s idea. I was wondering if I was missing something since the text isn’t extremely clear one way or the other. Wes does seem to look guilty when he walks in on Lorne and Conner talking about her and of course there is the line where he says Faith isn’t dead yet and you can hear the guilt in his voice, this can easily be explained by the fact that it was his idea to unleash Angelus and he was the one who drug her into that mess to begin with. I’m also of the mindset that Wes considers Faith one of his biggest failures maybe only next to taking Conner and now her got to see what kind of Slayer she could have been added to the fact that this time she was the one rejecting the darkness. It’s a lot to contemplate and I wish this episode would have been more of a character study of Wes vs having him flirt with his real life love interest, I just found that scene awkward and realistically can’t think of why he would tell someone who was a virtual stranger that he had Justine locked in his closet.

Not really. I don't think he thinks that Faith 'should've been put down like a dog' because well, here she is helping him out for Angel's sake. But I think he is accurately articulating that deep well of self-loathing that Faith feels about herself, to get her angry and lash out.

Because Wesley wants the Faith he saw battle Angel in Five-By-Five, who was a pretty unstoppable whirlwind of violence, shouting and throwing Angel all over the place; that girl has a much better chance at stopping Angelus than a 'tame-Faith' who's worried about slapping junkies around.


It also makes sense narratively because Wesley was trying to make Faith give into her old self but Faith refuses to do that at every corner (for example she deliberately gives up one of her chances to shoot Angelus because he could snap Wesley's neck, she even checks on Wesley before running after Angelus when he lets him go).


I agree completely! He may be a little bitter but I don’t think he meant what he said. From an intellectual perspective goading her would be stupid if he didn’t think she had changed. I do think that he did start forgiving her when she turned herself in he knows how easy she could have escaped he knows she chose to stay until he asked her for help.



I also think that these episodes were part of both character’s redemption stories. So much of Wesley’s identity has been being a failed watcher, Faith did clean up his mess, she didn’t go back into the darkness to do it, and at the end of the episode he got to see his former charge heading to Sunnydale to do more good in the world. Faith worked with Wesley and let him be a Watcher to her but told him no when he told her she had to be willing to take it all the way. It may be the comics before she vocalizes it but she is no longer the girl who will do anything for the approval of an authority figure but she will treat them with respect. Faith being willing to sacrifice herself is also another awesome full circle moment from Enemies. I think they both healed a little after this.
 

Bop

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this can easily be explained by the fact that it was his idea to unleash Angelus and he was the one who drug her into that mess to begin with.

I think it's exactly that, even at the start of Release when Wesley tries to treat Faith's wounds he looks guilty over the fact she was beaten up a lot by the beast even though that's not his fault but obviously Wesley is and does feel responsible for Faith because he's the one who asked her to take on the job.

I also think that the Willow and Wesley scene feels very out of place because these characters had no relationship to each other.


It may be the comics before she vocalizes it but she is no longer the girl who will do anything for the approval of an authority figure but she will treat them with respect.

I've always thought it was an intentional callback when Faith calls Wesley "Boss" in Release because that's what she called The Mayor and it's an interesting parallel because she did anything for The Mayor but she's moved on from that mindset.
 

KaitKat

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I've always thought it was an intentional callback when Faith calls Wesley "Boss" in Release because that's what she called The Mayor and it's an interesting parallel because she did anything for The Mayor but she's moved on from that mindset.

I didn’t catch this before but agree with it completely. They are honestly my favorite dynamic to explore.
 
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Bop

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I didn’t catch this before but agree with it completely. They are honestly my favorite dynamic to explore.
I think Faith only says it once to Wes but she said it quite a lot to The Mayor so I don't think it's a coincidence :D Wesley and Faith are definitely one of the most interesting dynamics on the show. One of the reasons I love Faith so much is I think so many of her dynamics with other characters are fascinating- Buffy/Faith of course, Faith/Angel, Faith/Wesley, Faith/The Mayor.
 

KaitKat

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I think Faith only says it once to Wes but she said it quite a lot to The Mayor so I don't think it's a coincidence :D Wesley and Faith are definitely one of the most interesting dynamics on the show. One of the reasons I love Faith so much is I think so many of her dynamics with other characters are fascinating- Buffy/Faith of course, Faith/Angel, Faith/Wesley, Faith/The Mayor.

I got the line before but I just always chalked it up to her giving him attitude after he had seen her broken and vulnerable, it’s more familiar to her. Now that you said it though I do think it was a deliberate choice since in the episode Wes is acting as a Watcher/authority figure and we get to see the contrast when he asks her to do something unethical vs when they mayor had her do questionable things. Even more love for this arc now! 😍

Faith has really interesting dynamics with EVERYONE I do think Buffy and Wesley are the more interesting of the two because in both cases it was a failure on both sides. Unlike most I do find Wesley the more interesting of the two but that’s probably due to me not being a Fuffy shipper, although I certainly get the appeal. The mayor was just plain interesting. Faith was so underutilized. I have to say though part of the reasoning may be Eliza Dushku has chemistry with absolutely everyone.
 
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I got the line before but I just always chalked it up to her giving him attitude after he had seen her broken and vulnerable, it’s more familiar to her. Now that you said it though I do think it was a deliberate choice since in the episode Wes is acting as a Watcher/authority figure and we get to see the contrast when he asks her to do something unethical vs when they mayor had her do questionable things. Even more love for this arc now! 😍

Faith has really interesting dynamics with EVERYONE I do think Buffy and Wesley are the more interesting of the two because in both cases it was a failure on both sides. Unlike most I do find Wesley the more interesting of the two but that’s probably due to me not being a Fuffy shipper, although I certainly get the appeal. The mayor was just plain interesting. Faith was so underutilized. I have to say though part of the reasoning may be Eliza Dushku has chemistry with absolutely everyone

I think Buffy and Faith had the most layered dynamic because it spans a lot longer time and is given more focus so it's definitely my favourite for how interesting it is. Faith and Wesley is interesting too- they actually even have a pretty good shipping community which you wouldn't expect but there's actually fanfic websites just for them.

I think Faith's dynamics with Angel and The Mayor are just wholesome.

There is something about Eliza- I mean I'd even love to see more Faith/Connor and Faith/Gunn scenes just based on their tiny interactions.
 

KaitKat

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I think Buffy and Faith had the most layered dynamic because it spans a lot longer time and is given more focus so it's definitely my favourite for how interesting it is. Faith and Wesley is interesting too- they actually even have a pretty good shipping community which you wouldn't expect but there's actually fanfic websites just for them.

I think Faith's dynamics with Angel and The Mayor are just wholesome.

There is something about Eliza- I mean I'd even love to see more Faith/Connor and Faith/Gunn scenes just based on their tiny interactions.

I do kind of ship Faith and Wes, personally I think it’s every bit as layered as Buffy and Faith but I get that people don’t and I do get the appeal of Buffy/Faith they are very well layered too, I used to ship them, I just don’t anymore. I will say though that it will always be my head cannon that Faith had a crush on Buffy in Season 3 and Buffy was attracted to Faith but didn’t know how to deal with it.

I do love the wholesome interactions with the mayor and Angel…..even if it should have been Giles.

I loved Conner’s crush on Faith and I do think that Gunn/Faith could have been a healthy relationship and more wholesome that Wood.
 
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I used to read a lot of fanfiction that had Wesley and Faith as a ship and I found them really well written especially when it would be set in Angel season 4 or Angel season 5 so I am kind of a shipper of them. I think there was great chemistry between them at the very least in Angel season 4. I really appreciate Buffy/Faith on all sorts of levels whether romantic or not it's just fun to think about.
 
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KaitKat

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@Bop one of the best fanfics I read was one where Faith stayed in Boston and Wes was her watcher, Dawn was Faith’s little sister. It was Faith/Wes but there was still tension and sexual tension between Buffy and Faith when they visited each other, it was fantastic.
 
Bop
Bop
That sounds so creative, do you remember the title I'd love to read it :)
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