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Who Understands Angel Best?

Who Understands Angel The Best?

  • Buffy (First love/Inspiration/Shared destiny)

    Votes: 11 37.9%
  • Cordelia (Vision Girl/Confidante)

    Votes: 4 13.8%
  • Faith (Dark Slayer & Redemption buddy)

    Votes: 8 27.6%
  • Spike (The other vampire with a soul)

    Votes: 1 3.4%
  • Connor (You're my Daaaddd!)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other (Who? Tell me who, dammit)

    Votes: 5 17.2%

  • Total voters
    29

thetopher

Member of the Church Of Faith
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Sineya
Just interested in different perspectives.
Angel is pretty much the least knowable male character in the Buffyverse (except for maybe Oz) and yet he seems to have a deep need for a connection/understanding (doesn't necessarily mean romantic connection but it can be) so...who had/has this with him?

You can decide what important criteria constitutes 'understand' and why this connection is so important.
And timeline doesn't really matter; you can compare S3 Buffy with S3 Cordelia or S5 Spike and Connor, whomever.

Discuss.
 
Athene
Athene
You should do a poll for each character

Name the Stars

You can't see the stars, love. That's the ceiling.
Joined
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Black Thorn
I would say Sike. They are both vampires with souls, who have known each other for a long time, and fell in love with the same girl/girls. They both have a ton of guilt, and are obsessed/in love with Buffy.
 

Athene

Scooby
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Sineya
Spike and Angel have a very superficial connection- which is that they both have souls. For Spike that means a clean slate, for Angel it means eternal guilt and punishment so I don’t think they understand each other.
I went with Faith because no matter what path Angel tries to embrace (a lover to Buffy, a father to Connor) behind those masks he’s still always an ex- mass everything that can never get past what he’s done. Only Faith can understand that and even she can only understand a fraction of Angel’s guilt.
 

DayDreamer27

Potential
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Feb 11, 2018
Messages
204
I can give HELL NO's to Conor, Spike, and Cordellia. Lol

Buffy loves him & there's definitely some understanding.

But I'd say Faith woild be the #1.

Angel always seemed to be more protective of her because he's fought the battle she has with darkness & redemption. Buffy even shows this. She wanted Faith's head mounted & Angel says she doesn't understand Faith's plight. Buffy then responds that Angel does and she can't be in their murderer club. That alone puts Faith above Buffy.

As stated Spike is superficial. Conor may be. a son, but children rarely get their parents. Lol Disqualified.

Cordy is a confidant, but hasn't really shared too much experience with Angel, imo.
 

Cangel1987

♥ Cangel ♥ Spuffy ♥
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For me in the first place, clearly number 1. Cordelia. After that Buffy :)
 

Taake

Talk Darcy to me
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Wesley. I think they’ve seen the worst of each other, the best of each other, know each others strenghts and weaknesses and can ”see” the other’s struggles very clearly, even if they don’t always chat about it openly.

I think Wesley understands Angel very well, though his attempt at kidnapping baby Connor may have been misguided, his instinct was right. He knew Angel would want to sacrifice anything, including his own involvement in his son’s life, to save Connor, something Angel proved by ”Home”. He made a mistake making the choice for Angel, but I still think he understood Angel better than the rest of the AI team.

I think he and Buffy understand and know each other pretty well, but feelings complicate things and I would say that he hides parts of himself from her (because you want the one you love to think highly of you, not for some nefarious reason)

As for Faith, I feel like Angel understands her more so than she him. I guess I just think their redemption buddies thing is cute, but kind of shallow, it is not as if their experiences can compare in the least. Even if they’re part of the ’murder club’. I think she understands one side of him pretty well, but not in general (though they spend more time together in the comics so maybe it changes there)
 

Ceadsearc03

Townie
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Apr 10, 2019
Messages
97
I said Buffy, but I don’t think that necessarily means she relates to him most or vice versa. She’s the first person who really understood him and accepted him unconditionally and that he trusted.

He probably relates better to Faith or Spike but I don’t think that means they truly understand him.
 

RachM

I'm busy. I'm brooding.
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I'd nominate Lindsey, Darla and Doyle, all on different levels.

Darla understands soulless Angel the most (and by extension the parts of Angelus which remain in Angel even when he's souled). She was, after all, his mentor/mother figure and lover and spent over a century with him. She knew Angelus so well, and therefore, she understands the darker parts of Angel, which is why she's able to manipulate him so well in the beginning of Season 2, how she knows exactly what to send to him in his dreams, and how to drive him insane.

Lindsey understands Angel because he's spent so much time trying to bring him down. He's studied Angel, learned his strengths and weaknesses. He, more than anyone, understands why Angel is a champion and how this gives Angel strength, because he's come up against this champion so often and had to learn how to defeat him. Lindsey's obsession with Angel allowed him to get to know Angel on a level not many others did.

And lastly, Doyle understands Angel's loneliness, self-imposed isolation and need for human contact extremely well (and in a very short time, too). But every interaction Doyle has with Angel in his brief run shows a deep understanding of the vampire, from his quiet "Let him be" when Angel is walking around in the sun and Cordy is freaking out in In The Dark, to his realization of how much Angel is hurting when Angel reveals the events of IWRY, to his speech in I Fall To Pieces about Angel charging people for saving them. I feel like Angel and Doyle connected really deeply in the short time they were together and as such, Doyle got to know him on a pretty deep level.

(Sorry for double posting, but I wanted to respond to this, hope it's okay!)

For me in the first place, clearly number 1. Cordelia.
Could you elaborate on this? Because, while Cordelia is definitely an important part of Angel's life and she provides a balance in his life and helps him find a purpose (and is mostly there to support him) I don't really feel that she truly understands him.

In Season 1 she often has to be told how Angel's feeling or why he's reacting the way he is, such as when Doyle has to pull her back when Angel walks in the sun for the first time (because he understands what it means to Angel, whereas Cordy is more concerned with Angel's physical well-being, showing that she cares about him, but doesn't actually understand what being in the sun means to him). Or in The Ring when she doesn't understand why Angel is trying to distance himself from Rebecca Lowell (because he's afraid of getting close to her because he's attracted to her). Or in Sanctuary when she doesn't understand why Angel wants to help Faith and she just takes off for several days - hell, Wesley was tortured by Faith, and even he's able to understand why Angel wants to help Faith. Then there's To Shanshu In L.A. when she doesn't understand how Angel is disconnect from life, and Wesley has to explain it to her, how Angel doesn't want things, he doesn't yearn the same way humans do.

In Season 2 she shows zero understanding regarding Angel's connection (and then obsession) with Darla, never bothering to look deeper at why Angel is so attached to Darla. She then spends much of the season estranged from Angel. And even in Season 3, when she's written OOC in order to "suit" Angel better, she still doesn't understand why he's acting the way he does when he returns from his Sabbatical, not realising that Angel actually isn't struggling in a world without Buffy.

Like I said, I think that Cordelia is important to Angel, and he needs her bluntness and sometimes even her lack of compassion to help him see the big picture, but I don't see a lot of evidence that Cordelia truly understands Angel.
 

NileQT87

Billowy Coat, King of Pain
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I vote Wesley, Faith and Buffy in different ways. But overall, I'd say Wesley.

This poll should really be edited to include Wesley.

The real 'hell, no's on this list are Cordy and Spike. They have incredibly superficial understandings of Angel.

Spike often spouts complete bullcrap about how good Angel apparently has it (the entire fact of why Angel is actually at W&H--Connor--makes Spike look like a complete tool in Destiny when he accuses him of having it too good), because he can't stop seeing himself as a constant victim. It's usually the other way around with Angel constantly having to pay for everything and have everything he loves taken from him, while Spike expects it for free as if he's owed it. Even with a soul, he always wants to take credit for anything good the demon ever did, while also absolve himself of everything bad. He doesn't understand he can't have that both ways. In reality, souled Spike is using the image of his soulless alter-ego to get what he always thought was owed to him as a human: respect. Angel acts like an adult who takes adult responsibilities for things and doesn't blame others for his every misfortune. And Angel certainly doesn't blame his soulless persona's victims, even ones that have let revenge destroy them, with excuses!

Cordy barely ever picks up on Angel's feelings even when they're right in front of her. It's usually Wesley who then has to explain it to her or we see him being the one who actually notices when Angel's feeling left out/lonely. Wesley even has to explain what the curse really is about and she still doesn't get it. Couplet alone is a total disqualifier for Cordy's skills of observation and even the most basic understanding of who she's asking for awkward favors.

Wesley can actually relate to a lot of Angel's own issues (never feeling good enough for others, feeling like a failure who is guilty for everything, etc...) and feelings (being the one left out of everyone else's happiness--it's no mistake that Wesley is the only one who would notice Angel is hiding in the shadows while everyone else is hugging in the sunlight), so it makes sense that he's able to imagine himself in the same place. Wesley also understands making big picture decisions that go against emotional feelings, which is something Angel understands in a way that even Buffy really struggles with (to the point of Giles sometimes having to step in because of her making an emotional decision over a logical one--killing Ben).
 

katmobile

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Wesley. I think they’ve seen the worst of each other, the best of each other, know each others strenghts and weaknesses and can ”see” the other’s struggles very clearly, even if they don’t always chat about it openly.

I think Wesley understands Angel very well, though his attempt at kidnapping baby Connor may have been misguided, his instinct was right. He knew Angel would want to sacrifice anything, including his own involvement in his son’s life, to save Connor, something Angel proved by ”Home”. He made a mistake making the choice for Angel, but I still think he understood Angel better than the rest of the AI team.

I think he and Buffy understand and know each other pretty well, but feelings complicate things and I would say that he hides parts of himself from her (because you want the one you love to think highly of you, not for some nefarious reason)

As for Faith, I feel like Angel understands her more so than she him. I guess I just think their redemption buddies thing is cute, but kind of shallow, it is not as if their experiences can compare in the least. Even if they’re part of the ’murder club’. I think she understands one side of him pretty well, but not in general (though they spend more time together in the comics so maybe it changes there)
I voted for Cordy whether you ship them or not she seems to understand him and they Def have a connection but Wes definitely does too.
 

Taake

Talk Darcy to me
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I voted for Cordy whether you ship them or not she seems to understand him and they Def have a connection but Wes definitely does too.
She did also ”see” his past, supposedly, when she was a higher being, so no point in keeping secrets from her!
 
NileQT87
NileQT87
That was Jasmine fully woken up in Spin the Bottle. Cordy was not at home after Lorne woke up Jasmine. Can't give that to her canonically. Pure manipulation.

nightshade

Headless chicken
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Black Thorn
Darla understands soulless Angel the most (and by extension the parts of Angelus which remain in Angel even when he's souled). She was, after all, his mentor/mother figure and lover and spent over a century with him. She knew Angelus so well, and therefore, she understands the darker parts of Angel, which is why she's able to manipulate him so well in the beginning of Season 2, how she knows exactly what to send to him in his dreams, and how to drive him insane.
I really like this, plus she was souled, first by becoming human and then while pregnant, so understands what it's like to have killed so many and then to have a soul afterwards.
 

Ann

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I, of course voted for Buffy. Buffy was the reason Angel wanted to do more than exist. She knows him best, was there for him when he came back from in S3 and talked him out of letting the sun burn him up in Amends. She helped him to keep fighting and since they have gone through similar life experiences understands him and what he needs. If they had kept in touch I doubt Angel would have gotten so off the path Buffy started him on.
 

Mrs Gordo

Bangel extremist...
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Black Thorn
Could I multi-vote? I think Faith and Buffy would be my picks. I only picked Buffy because I thought I only had one choice! I also would like to see Wesley on the list. In terms of people who just "get" Angel-with-a-soul those are the three I'd pick. Faith actually may top my list especially if I reluctantly factor in the comics... (but... let's not...). The only reason Faith may win out for me is because she isn't clouded by her own romantic feelings for him and so she may have an upper hand over Buffy. But Buffy and Angel share an almost unspoken understanding of having a great weight on their shoulders, she never once tries to change him. I think one of the best ways that we know Buffy understands him is the way she approaches his crisis in Amends. She doesn't tell him that what he did with a soul wasn't his fault. She knows that he feels all of the pain and grief that he caused while soulless. Instead, she tells him that all he can do is move forward and do good. And that works so well with Angel that it becomes his entire mission statement. Buffy has seen first hand all of the evil Angel is capable of without a soul, in a very personal way. She also understands the fears and guilt he faces ensouled because he took the time to share those with her on various occasions (whereas he doesn't seem to have those conversations with alot of people).

I will join in @RachM 's sentiment that while I think Cordy and Angel were extremely close friends they never seemed on entirely same wavelength and that seems to be precisely why people like them together (or as friends) because Cordy pushes Angel a little outside of his comfort zone. But Cordy is perplexed in season 2 when he is going through his issues with Darla and she is always asking him to be more cheerful and be less broody. Again, I think that their friendship serves a great purpose. It's great to have friends that push you outside of your comfort zone. But I don't think it translates to necessarily understanding each other.

I also never see any indication that Angel ever understood Cordy. He was always a little confounded by her.

I cannot believe you put Spike on the list lol. :D
 

thetopher

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Sineya
Man, I really pooped up this poll thread; a put it in the wrong place and I didn't put Wesley in and people don't like that I tried to be fair and put Spike in and I didn't make it a multi-vote thingy... *cries manly Buffy-fan tears*

Anyways...


I think Wesley understands Angel very well, though his attempt at kidnapping baby Connor may have been misguided, his instinct was right. He knew Angel would want to sacrifice anything, including his own involvement in his son’s life, to save Connor, something Angel proved by ”Home”. He made a mistake making the choice for Angel, but I still think he understood Angel better than the rest of the AI team.
It's been a while since I've seen S3 but doesn't Angel basically state 'I would never hurt my son' and refuses to see Wesley's point of view. It's actually Fred and Fred alone who champions/defends Wes's decision.
Angel forgives Wesley later on, but where does he say 'I understand what you did/why you did it?' Maybe he said it later and I forgot *ponders*

But to me the abduction kinda disqualifies Wesley entirely.... But also Wesley's relationship with Angel goes something like this: was in awe of Angel for most of S1, He never really understood his darker turn in S2, then he's his boss for a while and has fun ordering him about (in Disharmony for example) in S3 he thinks that Angel might turn and harm Connor, in S4 their mostly at odds until the apocalypse rolls around and in S5 Wesley can't even remember what he did to Connor...

I just don't see how he understands Angel at any point in the show. Maybe he shows moments of insight (like in 'To Shanshu In LA') or comforts him like in 'Couplet, but in terms of 'I get you, dude' I'd put Cordelia well ahead of Wes and I don't rank her highly at all.

Still, I'm probably wrong. Just give me a reason. :)

I'd nominate Lindsey, Darla and Doyle, all on different levels.
Interesting. I think out of those three I'd rate Doyle the highest, they bonded very quickly. Doyle was his first man-friend. :)

Could I multi-vote? I think Faith and Buffy would be my picks. I only picked Buffy because I thought I only had one choice!
Life is hard little one, be brave. :p

I cannot believe you put Spike on the list lol.
I mainly put Spike on the list so the people who think they have a connection would explain it to me. Personally I don't see it. That's my excuse.

Me? I think Faith. She was in his mind (or soul, memories, whatever) in 'Orpheus', saw his century-long journey, saw him at his lowest, I don't see her romanticizing him much after that. Plus he confided in her during those prison visits.


I'm actually surprised Buffy is getting so many votes. There are many occasions where Buffy outright states that she doesn't know Angel at all (or maybe just fears that she doesn't). Plus there's a lot of his life she has never been privy to.
Ripostes anyone? Some Bangel gonna tell me that 'she knows his soul' 'cause they dated for a couple of years? *yes, I'm teasing with that bit*
 
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I really wanted to vote for Faith but i had to go with Buffy (though not for the reasons listed above).

I think Buffy and Angel are the only two that have actual destiny's. For the other characters, life is very much a choice. They can choose what path they take. That's a luxury Buffy and Angel don't have. They try to walk away from their destiny and it will continually hunt them down and haunt them until they get on the right path again.
 

Taake

Talk Darcy to me
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It's been a while since I've seen S3 but doesn't Angel basically state 'I would never hurt my son' and refuses to see Wesley's point of view. It's actually Fred and Fred alone who champions/defends Wes's decision.
Angel forgives Wesley later on, but where does he say 'I understand what you did/why you did it?' Maybe he said it later and I forgot *ponders*
Exactly. Wesley understands Angel better than Angel understands himself.
I would never hurt my son, he says, because he wasn't - at the time - faced with the reality of his potentially damaging presence in Connor's life. I'm not defending Wesley really, because I hate what he did, BUT when faced with something similar to what Wesley feared in season 3, Angel does hurt his son. He kills him. Knowing it has to be done to save him.

So no, he doesn't say, he Wes, I totally understand what you did. That's not the point. (Though implicitly he does say this because he still remembers everything in season 5, even though Wes doesn't, and he is perfectly fine with Wesley then, it's basically Angel saying - I don't approve what you did, but I understand it now).

The point is that Wesley understood that there was a part of Angel that would protect Connor against anything, even himself, if necessary. Wesley kidnapping Connor is on par with Angel killing Connor in Home, they're both willing to remove Angel out of the equation in order to save the child. Again, Wesley's methodology was wrong, but his instinct and understanding of Angel was right.

But also Wesley's relationship with Angel goes something like this: was in awe of Angel for most of S1, He never really understood his darker turn in S2, then he's his boss for a while and has fun ordering him about (in Disharmony for example) in S3 he thinks that Angel might turn and harm Connor, in S4 their mostly at odds until the apocalypse rolls around and in S5 Wesley can't even remember what he did to Connor...

I just don't see how he understands Angel at any point in the show. Maybe he shows moments of insight (like in 'To Shanshu In LA') or comforts him like in 'Couplet, but in terms of 'I get you, dude' I'd put Cordelia well ahead of Wes and I don't rank her highly at all.

Still, I'm probably wrong. Just give me a reason. :)
I mean, I'm probably not going to change your mind but what you see as moments, I see as telltale signs of Wesley being a bit of a Xander, he's the one who notices and understands everything, because no one is really paying attention to him. So I think those are signs that he understands Angel very well, just like when he scolds Angel for making up excuses about not dating Nina. He can push Angel on certain points like no one else can, can mock and scold him and make him re-think things. Not because they're about to frolic through a field together in the BFF-ness, but because they both see each other very clearly and the personal struggle the other is going through.

As for season 2, I feel this is a very linear way of thinking. Wesley didn't understand Angel in season 2, going dark, so he doesn't understand him at all. But friendship and understanding evolves, Wesley probably has a lot more insight and understanding about Angel going dark come season 4. That means he didn't understand Angel fully before of course, but they grew and changed together, to me this breeds understanding and depth. There is a reason why it's Wesley looking for Angel at the start of season 4.

In essence, I reject your simplistic view of their relationship through the seasons as these reductionist plotlines and that Wesley was simply in awe of Angel in season 1 :p
I vote Wesley for all the little moments between them that show that even when they don't agree, they understand the other, but that this is also a work in progress.
 

katmobile

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I feel that why Spike and Angel clash is they don't understand each other although there's a glimpse in the comics where each of them manages to come up with what the other one needs at that moment but in the comics Faith is definitely the closest.
 
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