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Question Season 4: Your views, before and now

Season 4: Your views, before and now

  • Still love it

    Votes: 15 29.4%
  • Still like it

    Votes: 7 13.7%
  • Still dislike it

    Votes: 5 9.8%
  • Still hate it

    Votes: 4 7.8%
  • Loved it, now like it

    Votes: 3 5.9%
  • Loved it, now dislike it

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Loved it, now hate it

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Liked it, now love it

    Votes: 2 3.9%
  • Liked it, now dislike it

    Votes: 3 5.9%
  • Liked it, now hate it

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Disliked it, now love it

    Votes: 2 3.9%
  • Disliked it, now like it

    Votes: 5 9.8%
  • Disliked it, now hate it

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Hated it, now love it

    Votes: 1 2.0%
  • Hated it, now like it

    Votes: 2 3.9%
  • Hated it, now dislike it

    Votes: 2 3.9%

  • Total voters
    51

badsister

Angel's Avenger
Joined
Apr 11, 2018
Messages
416
I blame @Mrs Gordo . Cause wow inspiring post. So On my re-watch of my s4 of Angel i really started to learn to like it... Maybe I was too young and naive for it before lol
 
Mrs Gordo
Mrs Gordo
I have accomplished my mission in this world. I can now go in peace. :P :)

sariel

Townie
Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
2
Age
30
I hated what happened with Cordelia and Connor in the season but everything else is really fantastic. The Beast is great, Angelus is great, Jasmine is great. Faith is great. The way the season begins is great. Wesley is scary. However, the parts with Cordelia are really hard to watch. And the fact that Cordelia going evil spins this all together really undermines it. The stupid voice that Cordelia uses when talking to Angelus is so ridiculous it almost ruins the whole season (for me). Overall though, I like it.
 

sariel

Townie
Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
2
Age
30
i don't mind her as villain that much
actually knowing it the second time around im watching her closely and man she played everyone real good there.
it's not the fact of her being a villain as such, but the way it is executed.

in the later episodes i find her very implausible and cartoonish. the dialogue is clunky and unconvincing, i find all the sitting in that bedroom really boring, hardly menacing at all.

the plot doesn't really make sense. although i get that it's supposed to be complicated and convoluted as it underlines how powerful jasmine is - the sun is blot out but then it comes back? is the connor part even necessary? at least when it comes to, say, glory trying to get home, how the entire deal actually *works* is explained (although i'm not fresh from watching it, so maybe it was, but i feel like i'd remember!). possessed cordy is supposed to be this evil mastermind but all her machinations are either crude (i find it so hard to believe no one figured out that lilah was not bitten by a vampire), cheesy (like the disembodied voice controlling angelus), total fails (she fails to keep angel's soul away from willow, angelus kills the beast), or just plain strange.

plus i'm very uncomfortable with the controlling relationship between her and connor, which is where a lot of the bad dialogue happens too - not because i think it is "wrong" to portray such a relationship per se but just because, like i said, it's hard to watch and not in a good way.

making a good main character a villain is obviously well established on the shows with angel, faith and willow all playing that role. with cordelia i don't think they did it very well at all. however, i think the other stuff pretty much makes up for it.
 
W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
My main criticism of this season is the same one a lot of people lay on S7 of BtVS, when they say that Spike was pushed to the front and all the other characters were sacrificed to make him look good.

S4 is like Wesley the Show. Angel's character is vague and impotent. Possessed Cordelia is a boring baddie and the misdirection just leaves you confused the first half of the season. Fred is reduced to Wesley's object of affection. Gunn - who was a highlight of S3 - is made completely unlikable as Wesley's jealous rival.

My biggest problem is that I've lost all investment. I don't really care what happens to these people anymore. They're no sympathetic and their situation seems hopeless. I'm not invested in Cangel or the saga of Wes, Fred and Gunn. I would be just as indifferent if Fred got off with Lorne and left those two fools hanging. Faith wanting to save Angel was the only thing I could really cheer for.

Wesley, Lilah, Faith and Gina Torres's Jasmine are the only bright points. The relationship between Torres!Jasmine and Connor was also good.
 

Mrs Gordo

Bangel extremist...
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
4,043
Location
Texas
Black Thorn
My main criticism of this season is the same one a lot of people lay on S7 of BtVS, when they say that Spike was pushed to the front and all the other characters were sacrificed to make him look good.

S4 is like Wesley the Show. Angel's character is vague and impotent.
I really don't see how Wesley is supposed to come out of s4 "looking good." I love Wesley and his character and his arc and his growth etc but there is some serious darkness in that man and he struggles a great deal with it in season 4. I hardly think he comes out looking like a champion. He does not play a major role in bringing down Jasmine (that is more Fred, Connor, Angel).

Angel is at the forefront of season 4 in so many ways. The season literally starts with a vision of Angel's mind of the family he thought he would have and the entire season is a deconstruction of that family dynamic and comes full circle so that Angel gets to give the dream of the perfect family to his son. From beginning to end this season is so much about Angel in ways that seasons 3 and 5 don't come close to.

When he first returns in season 4 his relationship with Connor and Wesley are at the forefront of the show. Throughout the season the Connor&Angel and Wesley&Angel relationships (the fall out and the mending of relationships) are thoroughly explored throughout the season (contrast this with Buffy&Xander or Buffy&Willow or Buffy&Dawn which are given far less attention than Buffy&Spike). Cordy and Angel's relationship is similarly explored. Angel is still at the center of all of this. Not just that but we get some time with Angelus and then Angel gets to confront his own demon. We get back story on Angel and his history.

I just could not disagree more - this season such a clear exploration of Angel's character through various lenses. And it wasn't vague, it was in fact rather heavy handed in places (see Angelus/Angel fight). Further, Angel is not impotent in s4. He makes a huge decision at the end of this series that many people in fandom take issue with in Home regarding Connor and joining Wolfram & Hart. He also happens to play a major role in the BtVS apocalypse as well. You could argue he really had his hands full in season 4.

Fred is reduced to Wesley's object of affection.
I will agree that I'm not a big fan of Fred in regards to the love triangle in place but away from the romance angle, Fred really comes into her own in this season. She is pivotal to discovering Jasmine with literally none of her friends on her side. Magic Bullet might be my favorite Fred episode ever. When she says "I'm not a champion, like you" and Angel says "Everything I see says otherwise." I always cheer because Fred is so brave and she doesn't even realize how amazing she is. :)
 
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W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
I must point out that I feel the season gets back on track once Jasmine is born in the body of Gina Torres. My criticism is all about the earlier part of the season.
I really don't see how Wesley is supposed to come out of s4 "looking good." I love Wesley and his character and his arc and his growth etc but there is some serious darkness in that man and he struggles a great deal with it in season 4. I hardly think he comes out looking like a champion. He does not play a major role in bringing down Jasmine (that is more Fred, Connor, Angel).
You clearly haven't read any of my other posts about Wesley :p My point is merely that Wesley is the most active character in the story. He is the one who drives the story forward, so much that he stands out as the main protagonist. Exactly because Wesley is no champion, it makes the show feel sorta rudderless. Wesley may be compelling enough, but he is a poor substitute for Angel as the leading man.
When he first returns in season 4 his relationship with Connor and Wesley are at the forefront of the show. Throughout the season the Connor&Angel and Wesley&Angel relationships (the fall out and the mending of relationships) are thoroughly explored throughout the season (contrast this with Buffy&Xander or Buffy&Willow or Buffy&Dawn which are given far less attention than Buffy&Spike). Cordy and Angel's relationship is similarly explored. Angel is still at the center of all of this. Not just that but we get some time with Angelus and then Angel gets to confront his own demon. We get back story on Angel and his history.
Angel's dream in the first episode is a good setup, but it just doesn't go anywhere. Angel spends most of the season wondering about whether Cordelia loves him or what he can do to make Connor accept him as his father, but he is never able to get anywhere. Cordelia is gone, Cordelia comes back, Cordelia has lost her memory, Cordelia gets her memory back but refuses to speak to Angel, Cordelia sleeps with Connor... Angel feels like a silent spectator. What does he really achieve this season?

Also, as a viewer, I am not all that eager to see these threads resolved. I have no investment in Cangel, my investment in Connor drops for every episode, and so does my investment in the Fang Gang, as Gunn and Wesley grow ever more toxic and violent. Before Faith shows up, I am hoping Angelus eats them all.
I just could not disagree more - this season such a clear exploration of Angel's character through various lenses. And it wasn't vague, it was in fact rather heavy handed in places (see Angelus/Angel fight).
But do we learn anything about Angel during this confrontation? Angel is good. Angelus is very evil. There is so little nuance overlap between the two. I guess there is some stuff about how shame and self-loathing postponed Angel's development into a good guy, but we know all of this already.
 

Mrs Gordo

Bangel extremist...
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
4,043
Location
Texas
Black Thorn
I have no investment in Cangel
Of all of the people in all of the known world I have the least investment in Cangel - I assure you. And yet I can still appreciate how the resolution of that relationship was in large part about Angel and letting go of this idealized notion of The Perfect Family™.
 

Grace

Destructo-Girl
Joined
Mar 23, 2017
Messages
1,792
Black Thorn
Of all of the people in all of the known world I have the least investment in Cangel - I assure you. And yet I can still appreciate how the resolution of that relationship was in large part about Angel and letting go of this idealized notion of The Perfect Family™.
Wait, that relationship was resolved? I didn't really see that until S5, but maybe I'm forgetting something. And I didn't feel like Angel gave up on the idealized notion of the perfect family, he just decided it wasn't possible *for him*, which was just the sadness cherry on top of the pain sundae.

I've only seen the season once, so I'd need to watch it again to confirm my initial impressions, but, like @WillowFromBuffy, I did feel like Angel was a spectator (and/or the muscle) for a lot of the season, carried along by events that hurt him. And then in the end, he chose to wipe it all out.
 

Mrs Gordo

Bangel extremist...
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
4,043
Location
Texas
Black Thorn
Wait, that relationship was resolved? I didn't really see that until S5, but maybe I'm forgetting something.
From my perspective the Cordy/Angel relationship was finished in s4. She tells Angel that she loves him but can’t forgive the things he did as Angelus and then Angel sees her have sex with his son. Sure, these were not Cordy it was something possessing her but I find it hard to believe that Angel can get passed the Connor relationship. Add to that Skip tells the team that they have been manipulated by Jasmine for some time. And Angel’s resolve to kill Jasdelia.

Taken together, especially when Skip gives his retconn-ish speech, and after Angel discovers the truth about Jasmine, my impression is he let’s go of the illusion he had in the first episode. The idea that Cordy would be the mom to his son, that they would have these perfect family dinners, all of that from his perspective was an illusion (just like Jasmine’s paradise). And, yes, what I mean is he gives up on the idea that he can have the perfect family. Essentially, I see s3 Angel about suddenly having this hope and longing for family and normalcy (and I see his feelings for Cordy tied to that esepecially in her role in Connor’s life) and I s4 as a destruction of the notion that Angel can have that normal life and him letting that go. But he can give that life to Connor. And that actually makes him happy.

By the time he goes to Buffy in Home, I believe he has resolved his feelings for Cordelia and made peace with that. Which is why he seems to want to know where his place is in Buffy’s life.

YW doesn’t resolve anything to do with Cordy/Angel. It reflects fondly on what could have been but what never happened. It’s an epilogue.
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I did feel like Angel was a spectator (and/or the muscle) for a lot of the season, carried along by events that hurt him. And then in the end, he chose to wipe it all out.
But, and I may be mis-reading you on this, Angel wipes it out not because of his pain (or the things that hurt him) but because of Connor’s pain. Angel can live with pain. He lived in hell for a hundred years and at the bottom of the ocean starving and hallucinating for months. What he can’t live with is the people he loves being tortured. So guess I’m not on board with theory that s4 was about “everything sucked for me so I’m going to wipe it.” Especially since he retains the memories. If I misunderstood you here, I apologize in advance!
 
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Grace

Destructo-Girl
Joined
Mar 23, 2017
Messages
1,792
Black Thorn
But, and I may be mis-reading you on this, Angel wipes it out not because of his pain (or the things that hurt him) but because of Connor’s pain. Angel can live with pain. He lived in hell for a hundred years and at the bottom of the ocean starving and hallucinating for months. What he can’t live with is the people he loves being tortured. So guess I’m not on board with theory that s4 was about “everything sucked for me so I’m going to wipe it.” Especially since he retains the memories. If I misunderstood you here, I apologize in advance!
Yeah, definitely did not mean that Angel wiped the memories because of his own pain, just that a lot of what happened in S4 was effectively wiped out for a long time because Connor and Wesley no longer remembered it. So to me, Angel went through the season without much, if any, change. He basically learned yet again, "I can't have nice things." And the idea that he would sacrifice his relationship with Connor so that Connor could be happy is again not new. That was the foundational premise of AtS to begin with, with Angel leaving Buffy to hopefully allow her a better life. So even though I love Home, I feel frustrated by the entire season when I step back and look at it. It's like Buffy Season 6, where we go through a ton of pain, and the ending is that Buffy learns the same lesson that she did in Season 5: Dawn/her humanity is really important. :)

YW doesn’t resolve anything to do with Cordy/Angel. It reflects fondly on what could have been but what never happened. It’s an epilogue.
I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one. ;)
 

Mrs Gordo

Bangel extremist...
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
4,043
Location
Texas
Black Thorn
I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one. ;)
We probably won’t agree on this either way which is fine but I’m curious, how do you think YW resolved the C/A relationship?
 

Grace

Destructo-Girl
Joined
Mar 23, 2017
Messages
1,792
Black Thorn
We probably won’t agree on this either way which is fine but I’m curious, how do you think YW resolved the C/A relationship?
Because I don't think Angel had really made peace with it by the end of Season 4 as you do. I think he'd given up, but I don't think he really deals with it until he's able to actually talk to her. To me, it's no coincidence that he starts dating Nina very soon after that. He had unresolved stuff that he needed to make peace with before he could move on.
 
Mrs Gordo
Mrs Gordo
I can see where you’re coming from.
W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
@Mrs Gordo I want back and read what I had actually written, which made me realise where the confusion came from. I wrote that many people say the writers tried to make Spike look good in S7 by making other characters look back. The people who believe this never seem to believe the writers were successful.

In AtS S4, Gunn is reduced to an angry black man in order to make it easier for the audience to accept Wesley's attempt to win over Fred. This does very little to sell me on Fresley, especially when they try to convince us of Fred and Wesley's comparability by telling us that Wesley knows experimental physics. Seriously, what is Welsey's résumé? Historian, linguist, literary expert, expert of old languages, gun expert, martial artist, midwife, sorcerer and physicist to boot?

The ending of the season is interesting, though it is also highly disappointing. Angel gives Connor up to the most evil organisation in the 'verse and has everybody's minds wiped. It is clearly an act of desperation, which once again makes Angel feel powerless. Also, the Fang Gang all wanna join WRH, because it will allow them to focus on their own interests without having to rely on each other.

I guess Angel, Cordelia and Connor playing house would have been a step to far, but I really miss it when Angel, Cordy, Wes and Gunn made up a little imperfect family. The breaking up of the Fang Gang is easier to bear in S5, because it is obvious that they miss each other. If nothing else, it allows one to be nostalgic.

It's like Buffy Season 6, where we go through a ton of pain, and the ending is that Buffy learns the same lesson that she did in Season 5: Dawn/her humanity is really important. :)
No, no, no! :p Not letting that stand. In S5, Buffy gives her life for Dawn. In S6, Buffy decides to live, so she can support Dawn in her journey to becoming a self realised adult. Totally different things. If Buffy is relearning anything, it is what she said to Angel in Amends, but often we wrestle with the same problems several times.
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@Grace I would never say Buffy took the easy way out. The choice was between herself and Dawn, and Buffy made the nobles choice. The choice to keep living and to keep being there for Dawn simply wasn't present for her at this point.

There is also the problem that Glory broke Buffy and made her feel powerless at a time when all her safe havens - Joyce, Angel and to a large extent even the Scoobies - were lost to her. We needed to see her come back and start to heal that wound.
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This interpretation is really precious to me as a Willow fan, because Will brings Buffy out her catatonic state in Weight of the World back to life in Bargaining. By problematising Buffy's sacrifice, I justify the resurrection :p
 
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Grace
Grace
You know my view of The Gift is different. I don’t think Buffy takes the easy way out or anything like that.

AlphaFoxtrot

Scooby
Joined
Sep 11, 2017
Messages
1,611
Age
39
It was one of the riskiest things done, at a time when serialized television wasn't really a thing. And showing a villian who couldn't be defeated in one episode, that was great. However, the payoff sucked. I like Jasmine, I think she was novel, if completely out of left field, by scale, the payoff was underwhelming.
 

spikenbuffy

"Why can't I stay"
Staff member
Joined
Jul 31, 2018
Messages
1,961
Age
26
Location
France
I still love season 4, when I watch S4 I just want to watch it until the end of season 4, I love Wesley & Lilah, Wesley & Fred (KISS), Cordelia who reveals herself not being Cordelia, Angelus, I love that Willow comes to L.A, Faith, Gwen (also Gwen & Gunn) and Jasmine who for me is original and not that bad (except consent issues & manipulation of Connor). I just don't like Fake Cordelia & Connor relationship, Connor who makes me want to slap him (love that Faith hit him when he tried to kill Angel) or Gunn who is annoying at times concerning Wes. But I 'm kind of sad for Angel who lost his son in Home and I'm a little happy for Connor to have a happy family in the end.
 

thrasherpix

Scooby
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Messages
3,206
Age
37
I voted Loved It, Now Liked It. That said, it interests me less and less now. However, this vid (awesome to me, possibly because Within Temptation is one of my favorite bands) makes me want to see season 4 again! :)

 
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