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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 ?
 
Angel6
Angel6
Apparently it’s very simply because they wrote the finale before they decided to keep Angel in the show and they didn’t do a great job of smooshing him in there.
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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. 😏
 

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.
 

Ninjagirl2008

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One thing always annoyed me about Angel in this episode. When Xander does convince him to help, and they find Buffy drowned and not breathing, Angel says he can't do mouth to mouth on Buffy because he doesn't breath. But he has to breath to talk! That means he can breath when he chooses. I'm sure this wasn't intended to show him choosing not to help, and was just writers enjoying the dramatic situation this created, but I can't help being annoyed.
 
Skeletor Rigby
Skeletor Rigby
I HC that while vampires breathe maybe as a form of camouflage so they blend in with humans better (or maybe even just body memory function?), their breathe isn't actually healthsome and that's why it wouldn't help.

DeepBlueJoy

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I honestly think that Angel gave up. Yes, it's bad writing, but if we look at it from an in world, character development standpoint, it looks as though Angel believes Buffy's death is inevitable and he's fatalistic, believing all is lost, he's curled up into a ball of grief. Xander, being young, eager and in love with Buffy, has no such fatalism. He also doesn't believe (as do both Giles and Angel) in the immutable nature of infallible prophecy. Sometimes, being young and willing to buck tradition is advantageous.

The breath thing makes no sense. Since he doesn't use O2 for Oxygen exchange in his lungs, the Oxygen he breathes out should actually have more O2 in it - probably close to the O2 content of normal room air. My only explanation is that he has no idea how to do CPR and/or he's afraid to have his face next to her throat with her unable to fight him off. The writers may have been going for drama, but all they did was create massive confusion and even a negative image in the eyes of some viewers.

One would assume he understands that what he is breathing into her is room air. He's old, but he's not dumb.
 

thrasherpix

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I do recall in Angel season 5 where Spanky grabs his throat to cut off his air, and yet Angel talks just fine, which would seem to give it a magical quality since he had not air to use to speak with (just because he didn't need to breathe to exist doesn't mean he didn't need air to speak, unless it's magic).

But it gets messy in that drugs (from booze and smokes to tranquilizer darts) seem to work despite circulation (a lack of which would seem to make sex problematic at best as well, including for female vampires), and if there's circulation then that implies oxygen being supplied to the body system.

And then to really mess it up, Spike manages to render Dru unconscious by choking her, and later Spike is tortured by having his head held underwater as if he had to worry about drowning (never mind that Angel spent months at the bottom of the sea). That wasn't holy water as it would've burned his face off at the very least (a horrific moment that could've made the First seem a lot more threatening and personal that they skipped out on because the writers forgot that vampires don't need to breathe).
 
D
Dora
Spike smokes

Ninjagirl2008

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I'm glad I'm not the only one to think about the breath thing! I like @Skeletor Rigby's idea, but @thrasherpix brings up some good points about other inconsistencies! I guess vampire breath and other physiology ends up working however it needs to in order to create dramatic tension in the moment. I suppose I can live with that 🙃
 

DeepBlueJoy

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Dru's collapse could be from carotid pressure. But it would indirectly be due to blood circulation. The various writers are WILDLY inconsistent.

I feel bad for poor Angel. He is the ideal person to give rescue breaths and does not know it. The writers screwed up.
Post automatically merged:

I do recall in Angel season 5 where Spanky grabs his throat to cut off his air, and yet Angel talks just fine, which would seem to give it a magical quality since he had not air to use to speak with (just because he didn't need to breathe to exist doesn't mean he didn't need air to speak, unless it's magic).

But it gets messy in that drugs (from booze and smokes to tranquilizer darts) seem to work despite circulation (a lack of which would seem to make sex problematic at best as well, including for female vampires), and if there's circulation then that implies oxygen being supplied to the body system.

And then to really mess it up, Spike manages to render Dru unconscious by choking her, and later Spike is tortured by having his head held underwater as if he had to worry about drowning (never mind that Angel spent months at the bottom of the sea). That wasn't holy water as it would've burned his face off at the very least (a horrific moment that could've made the First seem a lot more threatening and personal that they skipped out on because the writers forgot that vampires don't need to breathe).
I think everyone has an innate fear of drowning. I imagine Angel initially tried not to breathe. Panic would only slowly subside.
 
T
thrasherpix
good point about the fear. Now I'm wondering if the belief that vampires won't cross running water is because in the Buffyverse plenty learned to escape by boat when all that did was make it more convenient to go after someone else.
Skeletor Rigby
Skeletor Rigby
I just looked at that scene in Deep Down - it appears the box he was in was sealed so Angel wasn't drowning the whole time (they do that to Stefan when they steal that idea in TVD) he was just sealed up with no air and no food source.

thetopher

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I don't think that Angel would know about CPR training, also giving mouth-to-mouth requires way more lung-capacity that simply talking or casual smoking.

I can rationalize vampires being able to 'gulp/swallow' enough air subconsciously for them to be able to speak but not being able to inhale and exhale massive amounts of air into someone else's lungs.
Also explains how a vampire can smoke a cigarette, whistle, sing, hum etc.

Also-also I seem to remember Buffy grabbing a vampire by his throat at one point and it (comically) seriously affected his ability to speak. Maybe 'Lessons'? Dawn was there I think.
 
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Now that I'm thinking about it in a 'technical' way as opposed to a I-think-this-is-creepy-and-therefore-I-like-it way re: the act of breathing maybe being predatory, maybe vamps do need to breathe just not in the same way we do? Thinking as I type here, but blood is not only food, it's also needed for their bodies to actually function at full capacity (and at all) and also to keep them looking human and being perceived as human. They'd need access to as many normal (or normal appearing) human body functions as possible to pull that trick off and to access those body functions they need to breathe bc they're still in a human body even if it is inhabited by a demon and is imbued with a bunch of mystical demony upgrades, so if they can't breathe for any reason they might be out for a second bc breath is needed bc of the 'failings' of that human body, but it'll just start back up again automatically without assistance once the air is able to come back, like when Spike's taken out of the water (and man, I so wanted that to be holy water too! Missed opportunity! Missed!) and he's basically fine even though he was out for a few seconds bc not being able to breath isn't one of the things that kills vamps, it just briefly (painfully) incapacitates. Dru gets knocked out and stays out for a while (much longer than Spike did after drowning) but we could posit Spike just kept cutting off her air supply until they were out of Sunnydale - he does pull her in closer and put his arm around her neck while he's driving so that could work? Everything else I'm content to hand wave as mystical, like not being able to help in a situation like Buffy's is because it's 'dead breath' so it wouldn't be able to bring anyone back to life. Like, maybe once it enters the vamp body it's contaminated? Anyway, that's my fanwank at the moment ;).
 
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DeepBlueJoy

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I think it was just bad writing.

I think we need to separate our love for the characters from the actions they took in canon. To me, their 'failures' and 'flaws' actually make them stronger characters.

I am just glad Xander knew CPR.
 
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Dogs of Winter

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I dont think the writers really knew what to do with Angel in S1. Its possible that after spending so much time on his own that he had become incredibly passive and wasn't really connected to the world anymore. But during S1 he had already started to change and he was already meant to be in love with Buffy at this point, so I just don't buy that he would act like he did.

I think the writers were trying to make the scene with Xander in his apartment a big 'Xander' moment, and it's not the only time that when the writers are trying to make a scene be a big moment for 1 character they make the other person in the scene act out of character

As someone who watched Angel before Buffy his behaviour seems even more strange
 
T
thrasherpix
I saw the first 3 seasons of Buffy as necessary for Angel to become who he is in the first ep of his own show.
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