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What is Angel's reasoning/state of mind in Prophecy Girl ?

Cheese Slices

A Bidet of Evil
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I never got quite got where Angel was coming from in this episode. He is just incredibly passive in this episode. I know that this is one of the character's traits, but it seems very strange here given the circumstances. When Buffy overhears him and Giles discussing her impending doom in the library and tells them she is "quitting", he tries to sort of talk her out of it; then he does pretty much nothing until Xander comes to get him and even then he chooses to antagonize and one up Xander who has to actually convince him to help him save Buffy.
What gives ? I know that S1 Angel isn't the most developed character but I can't comprehend it. Is he so jaded and old that he can't muster the belief that prophecies can be averted or worked around so he doesn't even try ? Can someone who understands his character better explain ?
 
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Maybe her took her at her word that she quit so there was nothing he needed to do? Xander certainly delivers the line that she's gone to fight the master like it's news.

But it is one of the reasons why, much as I love Angel and much as I love Buffy and much as I would have loved them to be happy together ... I don't think Bangel is an especially believable romance/ relationship when actually studied. They're supposed to be 'in love' at this point (Buffy having admitted to loving him in the episode 'Angel' when Xander says 'it's not like you're in love with him' and in that same episode Darla saying Angel loves Buffy, and then in OOMOOS Giles saying 'a vampire in love with a slayer' - their feelings for each other being the reason they are staying apart) but clearly if he thinks she's quit and that's the end of it then he doesn't know her very well. And he isn't showing any concern for her well being - even if he truly believes she isn't going to fight the master, he should still be wondering if she's OK. Instead he's just hanging out at home assuming everything's fine so ... umm ... where's the love exactly?

Xander and Giles prove how much they love Buffy in this episode. Angel ... not so much.
 

Antho

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His reactions on this episode is one of the moments that proves for me that the writers clearly didn’t know what to do with him in most part of S1. Honestly I totally blame them. It’s not believable for me that Angel would do nothing to save Buffy. A lot of people dislike David Boreanaz’s acting in season 1 but sure DB wasn’t helped by the producers that didn’t know in what direction they wanted the character to take. It’s not simple to act when the people that have created the characters dont’ know what to do with it.
 

TriBel

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Is he so jaded and old that he can't muster the belief that prophecies can be averted or worked around so he doesn't even try ?
Left-field but I always presumed Angel's feelings for Buffy were unconsciously tangled with his feelings for Kathy, his sister. In A11 we find out Liam's father barred Liam from seeing her because a) his evil would always come out and b) he'd corrupt her. It's kinda spoken as a prophecy. I think this "prophecy" underwrites many of the prophecies Angel's embroiled in (similarly, Wes is easily fooled by "the father will kill the child" because of his relationship with his own dad). Angel visits Kathy and she gives "Liam" a ring telling him to never forget her - he vows he won't. So Angel, like Spike "makes a promise to a lady" (what we don't know until LMPTM is William made a promise to his mum before he made one to Buffy). All this is repressed and manifests itself as a compulsion to repeat.

So yeah...this:
he can't muster the belief that prophecies can be averted or worked around so he doesn't even try ?
He'd be reluctant to interfere if he thought it was her destiny.
According to Spike (S10), Angel always does what his dad tells him. In fact, his relationship with his father explains Twilight and a number of other "anomalies"...and certainly motivates the question of who he's remembering in IWRY. To a certain extent, his "prophecies" are self-fulfilling - on the surface he's much less active in the writing of his destiny than Spike (caveat...I don't know Angel that well). However, that might be an illusion because we see something similar in relation to Spike with first words "Home Sweet Home". It's a metaphor that follows him throughout the shows...through the IDW comics and into Dark Horse. In both cases. they're still active in S12.

This of course presumes the writers at least had an idea of what they were doing or they were on a trajectory that meant they could write something that made sense in retrospect. I'm inclined towards the latter. I'm happy thinking they had a vague notion of where they wanted to go without knowing exactly which route they were going to take. Sorta like knowing "Once upon a time...and they all lived happily ever after". Beginning and End. Fill in the middle at your leisure. Bit like life really. 😏
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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I recall once reading an early draft of the script where the Master made it very clear that he would be displeased with Angelus, should he interfere. So, Angel fears the Master. Seems reasonable.
 

thrasherpix

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While I have no firm thought on this, I can't help but think of Angel being jealous in Some Assembly Required (fearing/assuming that others would be with Buffy, where he scoffs that Xander is "just a kid"), and his warning Buffy away in Reptile Boy that they have to keep the relationship as strictly professional because anything more will get out of control and not end up like some fairy tale (though he comes off as trying to tell himself that more than Buffy).

That is, maybe Angel assumed the others had it taken care of, and maybe he couldn't accept the feelings he had and tried to seal them off. It wasn't that he didn't care, but that he cared too much. He'd have only regained his strength recently and still be rebuilding his self-confidence (and I'm not sure he had any self-confidence before, not counting Angelus).

Or, as I just assumed without thinking about it, he really was just too scared, but Xander said exactly the right thing to get him to think of Buffy in addition to not allowing Xander to show him up by going down alone.
 
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