This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Mr. Dominic, get this man a refrigerator."
11943 members | you are not logged in | 23 April 2014












May 09 2011

(SPOILER) Dark Horse solicitations for August 2011. Including the debut of Season 9 book Angel and Faith series and the second issue of Dollhouse: Epitaphs miniseries. Also check out, audio interview with Angel and Faith writer Christos Gage from the Boston Comic-Con.

Changed the newsarama link to the much more comprehensive link from CBR. Thanks Simon!

Added interview link provided by faith in Angel

August 31st - man that is so long away! Nothing new here...so the Watchers files are replacing the PTB as a way of Angel getting cases.

Is he no longer a champion for good...
so the Watchers files are replacing the PTB as a way of Angel getting cases. Is he no longer a champion for good...


I'd call that a radical interpretation of the text.
I'm loving that cover, and I dig Christos Gage's work, so I have no doubts about this series thus far. Can hardly wait for August!
$2.99! Nice.
He hasn't been a champion for good for quite some time, especially if you look at season 5. He is just a guy acting in his own self-interest, until Twilight fooled him anyway. The powers seemed less interested in his actions as the tv show went on, taking more of an interest in Cordy. She seems to be the only power that still has his back

I love Faith described as the rebel slayer. She's always done things her own way, for better or for worse. Even those times when it seemed like she was following Buffy, she never completely fell in line.
@Arkham258 The powers interest in Cordy was false - it was Jasmine, not the powers who had an interest in Cordy.
I'm quite happy with book 1 of Dollhouse: Epitaphs, and very pleased to see Andrew coming aboard as writer for issue 2. Now if I can just muster the unnatural patience this ride will require, all is good.
Really looking forward to Angel & Faith #1.You know we're almost near the start of things when the first solicitation hits.
I also loved book 1 of Dollhouse:Epitaphs, very well done

I like that Dollhouse gave us a post-apocalyptic storyline and didn't erase it with some time travel weirdness like a lot of sci-fi does. Things that happened on Dollhouse actually mattered
Excellent. Faith's tattoo has now been added to the Jo Chen cover.
Looking forward to this series and the mothership Buffy title. I like the idea of Angel and Faith potentially running a UK version of Angel Investigations and digging up cold cases. Could make for a very moody, atmospheric series. Plus, I like that Faith is "co-headlining" this book because she deserves the recognition.

I'm also interested in which Angel regulars will appear: Gunn, Connor, Kate, Illyria? Ghost Wesley?
Connor will definitely appear, Illyria will almost certainly not make any major appearances.

(Allie and Gage have mentioned Connor in his interviews about Angel & Faith, but Allie said that Joss was so in love with Illyria, he wanted to be the one who wrote her next chapter.)
Faith in Angel: I really don't think that's a fair interpretation of the text. So he's getting cases from old Watcher files instead of directly from the PTB. And this means he's no longer a champion of good? I dunno, that seems like a real stretch to me.

Blanetalk, Arkham: that wasn't book 1 of Epitaphs. It was the one-shot. Issue #1 should be released in July. Just an FYI.
"He hasn't been a champion for good for quite some time, especially if you look at season 5. He is just a guy acting in his own self-interest, until Twilight fooled him anyway. The powers seemed less interested in his actions as the tv show went on, taking more of an interest in Cordy. She seems to be the only power that still has his back"

Arkham I can't disagree more. TPtB was silent when Jasmine planned to possess Cordelia and when she succeeded in destroying her:. And it was Angel who had to fight against her to save the world.

His own self interest? You think it is selfish what he did in s5? Try to save his son, destroyed with the help of a former PtB, Jasmine? You can't agree with his decision to join W&H but can't define it a selfish reason. And was Angel selfish in AtF, dying more than once for the safe of his son and deciding to continue the fight because "people don't have to suffer so much"?

As for s8, albeit I can't despise its plot more, it was for the world, again, that Angel became Twilight, in first place.
Aradia, if you lobotomized some other mother's child in order to save your own, I'd call you selfish. Angel essentially lobotomized his friends, who all have parents, in order to save his son. That's the best spin you can give him and it's still selfish. People don't have license to do anything they want to other people in the name of *their* children.

It's even worse when you consider that he "saved" Connor by erasing him and replacing him with Pod!Connor.

If Angel was fighting for the world in season 8, he had a funny way of showing it, what with trying to get Buffy to stay in paradise with him while the world was destroyed and all.
***

I'm stoked about the new series. The blurb makes it clear that Angel has some serious atoning to do -- so at least the story is clear about that even if some fans try to pretend it isn't so. I think it'll be great having Faith with him on the team. The only scary thing is the last bit about what the "will do". Can't wait until August!

[ edited by Maggie on 2011-05-09 20:15 ]
@Waterkeeper511

I meant that is he no longer a "Champion" (capital C) of good (ie working for the Powers)..not that he's not on the side of good.

Of course the Powers are cut off now, but I hope that he is still an 'important' vampire champion, that that is not forgotton about.
He gave up his son to save him. I think that's one of the most selfless things any Whedonverse character has ever done. And Angel could only do it in such a way that would ultimately damn him but yet he did it anyway.
Maggie, were Buffy and Joyce lobotomized? Were the monks selfish? And what do you mean with "Angel's friends had parents"? What does it mean? PodConnor, as you called him, is a safe young boy andthis is important, it means Angel's decision was the only possible. Oh, and for the matter, Connor is a real boy, while Dawn is a green energy become human.. and Buffy chose to put in danger all the world and all the human beings in this world including her friends to save her fake sister ..why she wasn't selfish? Yes, she died AFTER this decision, but she decided to risk the world for her. I don't recall someone had called her selfish. You don't talk about Angel dead in Atf, by the way, nor the Angel at the end of AtF. I despise s8 and its portraying of Angel (among other,many many other things) but you mentioned only his desired to stay in Paradise, while I was speaking about his motivations to become Twilight.

I don't want to discuss Angel in s8, for me he's utterly OOC . Anf for me Angel, as a protagonist, appears in his own comics, i.e. IDW comics. When he come back at DH in his own title and not as a bad written puppet at service of Buffy story ...well I'll be able to talk about his own new comics.: I hope.
I agree - what he did for Connor was the most selfless act in either show (not the most, but one of the most)...it was a horrible situation. Angel did what he could to give his son a good life, without the misery and despair that he had grown up with.
Different strokes and all. But answer me true all of you who see it as unselfish: if Angel had stolen key memories from YOU in order to save Connor, would you have nodded and said he was being unselfish should you some day discover what he'd done? Let's say that the key moments of your life were eradicated (as happened to Wesley) -- you forget the most important lesson you ever learned; you forget that you are capable of betrayal; you forget that the guy lobotomizing you also tried to kill you.

Cause for the record, if any of you were to invade my person that way in the name of your kid, I'd regard it as a selfish assault and I'd call the cops.

ETA: For me, selfless is making a sacrifice of yourself for another. Making a sacrifice of a third party for another might be the desparate act of a parent. But it's the opposite of selfless.

[ edited by Maggie on 2011-05-09 21:41 ]
, selfless is making a sacrifice of yourself for another.


He did sacrifice himself. He joined Wolfram and Hart to save his son and he had live with what he did to his friends. 'Home' would have made an astounding series finale if the show had not got renewed.
It is a story, Maggie... if you were Angel and your baby was stolen from you by your best friend and therefore put in the hands of your worse enemy, seeing that beloved son disappeard in the worse hell dimension...well do you think you can forgive your former best friend (albeit not immediately)and you can work, trust him again? Seriously? This is a story, Maggie, not real life. Lobotomized, etc are words for real world and doesn't mean anything in Whedonland. In real world Buffy couldn't live again, Connor wouldn't be in Quortoth and so on.
I wouldn't classify Wes, Fred, or Gunn's memories of Connor as key information. And poor Wes was much better off mentally when he couldn't remember his betrayal of Angel.
Would it have been better if Angel had consulted with the gang before he did what he did? Of course...but that was not part of the deal. He did the best he could with the choices that were given to him.

And to bring it back to what this story will be about - would it have been better if he had not put on a mask, better if he told Buffy the situation? Maybe, maybe not. But once again Angel made the difficult choices, and made the best he could out of the situation as it was presented to him.

Cos he is a hero.
Aradia, of course the story isn't literally true. But if it doesn't metaphorically resonate with the real world it wouldn't be the gripping story we are all talking about.

I'm not sure what your point is about Angel not being able to forgive Wesley. That's certainly very human. It's not selfless. Stealing Wesley's key memories from him was not selfless.

Simon I guess I'm unimpressed with a 'selflessness' that was only possible throught the act of sacrificing OTHER people. And I'm not sure that Angel's personal sacrifices in comparison to what he robbed from them compares at all.

Wounded dwarf Wesley lost the memory of kidnapping Connor, having his throat slit, etc. etc. All huge elements in his life story got rubbed out. Take whatever events were so central to your life that they define who you are and tell me that you would regard it selfless of me if I robbed you of them because I wanted to save my own kith and kin.

Faith in Angel I think you've got a pretty radical interpretation of the text going there. Angel's choices wouldn't be "ill-considered" if they were "the best he could do". But the use of words around here is generally puzzling. I'm pretty sure my dictionary entry for hero doesn't include "locked humans in a room with vampires to be eaten; quasi-raped a woman in an effort to lose his soul and thereby unleash a monster on the world; attempt to murder his friend; use black magic and thereby cause the death of an innocent bystander; torture and murder more often times than is worth listing here; etc. etc." I'll grant you that Angel often does heroic things. But I can't grant you that whatever Angel does must be heroic because Angel does them, which as far as I can tell is the essence of your argument.
Connor is thankful for his new family and memories. The fact that Angel doesn't get to be part of Connor's new life is where it's selfless. Wesley clearly doesn't enjoy having those memories back after "Origin", so it doesn't seem like they're memories he's worse off for not having. In a way, Angel letting Wes forget about the betrayal and estrangement is like forgiveness. And I don't know about you, but I'd be happy to give up a few memories to save a kid and the store full of people he was about to blow up. Memories aren't as valuable as human lives.

Also, when you think about what Angel did, you've got to remember that the entire deal with W&H had to be worked out ridiculously quickly. Angel saw on the news that Connor already had all those people in that store rigged with explosives. He didn't have time to work out the comparatively minor details like who would and wouldn't have their memories altered by Connor getting his new life, he just had to get there and do something as soon as he possibly could, before Connor either blew everyone up or got gunned down by a SWAT team.
The word "rape" is thrown around way too lightly and it's troubling. There is no such thing as "quasi-rape," and Angel never committed it.

Also, "executive producer" has just become a verb!

[ edited by patxshand on 2011-05-09 23:41 ]
Ooh, I assume the 'quasi-rape' we are referring to is Darla? I've not heard that incident referred to in that way before...
I think what makes me love Angel is how questionable so many of his actions are, as the above comments are proving. He is an ends justifies the means kind of guy and occasionally he DOES do things for his own selfish reasons. Or at least, that's how I view him. In my eyes, Angel is NOT a hero. He very much tries to be though. Angel is very grey, which is why I don't think the powers really bother with him anymore. He's probably the best anti-hero I have seen in fiction I would say.

Seasons 2 and 5 really showed me that Angel has a little of Angelus in his personality. You can see this in the other seasons too. He is manipulative when he needs to be, he willingly sacrifices a friend if he needs to(Drogan in season 5), he makes decisions for other people that he has no right to(just ask Wesley or Buffy)and he has no qualms in killing-unlike Buffy. He blew a guy's head off with a shotgun in season 5 when the guy was no longer a threat to him because he just wasn't feeling very merciful that day. Angel is very, very, VERY dark. If you really go back and rewatch every season of his show, Twilight isn't that much of a shock really. I think he NEEDS Faith, as she has fought against her own darkness better than he has, which is ironic

As someone else pointed out, I was thinking of champion as in servant of the powers. So yeah, my previous post about him was in reference to that.
I think he's a hero - I never said he was perfect:-) See my name for my beliefs:-)
I would also like to add, that doing something that affects other people because of YOUR love for YOUR son is the complete opposite of being selfless. Angel acted out of HIS love for Connor and didn't care if it meant raping his friends of their memories(something he also did to Buffy in season 1). He also didn't care if saving HIS son meant working for evil incarnate

I love Angel, but I am unbiased in how I view him. He DOES do selfish things and he does it often. It's funny how some people don't see that the most selfish actions often occur due to one's love of another human being. Nothing is more selfish than sacrificing friends and possibly innocent lives(by working for Wolfram & Heart)just to save your son

You guys should watch Fringe, as one man's selfish love for his son nearly destroyed an entire universe. Walter and Angel should sit down and talk sometime. What we are discussing here is a big theme on Fringe. How far will you go for the ones you love, and is it right?

[ edited by Arkham258 on 2011-05-10 00:12 ]
Angel didn't do anything to Buffy's memories in IWRY. It was a time loop. She never had those memories in the first place. Which was the Oracles' idea for how to make him a vampire again, not his.
It's funny that this is still being debated how many years later-and there are still hugely varying differences of opinion.
It was a time loop that Angel decided to have initiated. How can you NOT put that on him. It wasn't his idea, but it was his choice. Buffy herself was angry about it. Also, Wes and Illyria's reactions when they found out Angel took their memories in season 5 just shows that what he did is selfish

With all due respect to everyone's opinions, the proof is right there on screen. Sure Angel saves people and kills bad guys, but his actions in other areas are often questionable.
It was a time loop Angel initiated to prevent Buffy from dying earlier than she was supposed to. And she accepted that once she understood it. I consider that to be one of the most selfless things he ever did (easily on par with being willing to die for Darla in "The Trial"). So do the Oracles, "This one is willing sacrifice every drop of human happiness and love he has ever known for another. He is not a lower being," and all. And I'm talking about Wes after he got his memories back. He fought to get them, sure, but once he had them, he wished he didn't and he understood why Angel did what he did. So that particular memory wipe doesn't look so horrible from where I'm standing.
Sacrifices always have to be made when it comes to saving lives like this. If he hadn't stopped Connor with W&H then more people would have died. Wes was not in a great mental state, taking those memories from him was the best thing he could have done to make him a team player again. Buffy was angry at first, but then she understood and accepted that Angel was sacrificing everything he ever wanted to fight the good fight, to accept that he can't be forgiven that easily.

His actions aren't always the best option, but it shows his flaws. If he were perfect all the time he wouldn't be a troubled compelling character. If every decision he made didn't have grave consequences then what would be the point in watching his progression. He'd be a sidekick to the PTB, not an autonomous champion. And the PTB, to be quite honest, don't exactly strike me as all the selfless when it comes to saving the world either. They seem to be more grey than Angel.
With Faith, someone who really is a champion (more so than any vampire or slayer on the show) but sacrifieces the title in favour of enduring suffering and the stigma attatched to her own previous shady past, Angel has a genuine chance at redemption, not like taking on the missions of "superior" beings who don't seem to really give a damn about consequences.

Also, Dollhouse cover looks awesome.
What sacrifice? That's the point. He DIDN'T sacrifice Connor for the greater good. Oh yeah, Buffy accepted it BECAUSE SHE HAD NO CHOICE! The decision had already been made. It's Like a husband making a major decision about his wife without even consulting her. Buffy should have been given the facts BEFORE he made his choice. It's her life and she should decide what to do with it.

As for Connor, all Angel had to do was kill him and people would have stopped dying. How many people were hurt by him making the deal with Wolfram & Heart. How's Fred doing these days? Oh, that's right she's DEAD. So is Drogan...and Lindsey. Oh, and let's not forget how broken Lorne was after season 5. All that, so Angel could give his son a new life instead of killing the psychopath that Connor had become. It wasn't selfless, it was selfish. Again, I bring up Fringe if any of you guys watch it. Because one man didn't sacrifice his son, countless lives were lost. Angel "saving" Connor had heavy consquences as well

And I'm well aware Angel isn't perfect and I know that makes him compelling. That's pretty much the point I've been making
And since I brought up Lorne, how could Angel make him do that? Again, selfish. Sacrificing a friend because he wanted Lindsey dead. Angel does this sort of thing ALL THE TIME. It is his greatest flaw, when he wants something it doesn't matter to him who is hurt or thrown under the bus in the process. Hence Twilight.....
So Buffy's speech about being willing to sacrifice the world in place of her fake sister makes her more heroic? If she hadn't figured out that killing herself would have saved the world then it'd have all gone to hell.
Angel didn't just save Connor, he fixed the city. His sacrifice was his position as a hero. He traded his everything, not just for Connor, but to help Buffy(and made Spike a hero along the way) with the amulet, saved LA in the wake of the Jasmine issue. His actions did a huge reset not just for Connor and his friends, but all of those effected by Jasmine(except Cordy). That was kind of a big deal. Yes, Connor was the deciding factor, but everyone needs an extra special personal push to do something right, especially when the stakes are so high. His friends had already agreed to sign on before him.
Making Lorne do that, Lorne could have said no. He was leaving anyway, they all agreed to their parts. Angel didn't hold a gun to Lorne's head(or ass) and tell him to do it or else. Lorne agreed. He knew signing up with W&H was wrong, he did what he did in a way to make it right.
Lindsey dying, you see that as a bad thing? He was kind of a bad guy. Lorne could have walked out if he wanted to, he was about as seduced as everyone else. They all could have left W&H if they wanted to. Fred was Gunn's mistake, he signed that delivery thing.

Angel could be blamed for every death in the series if you just say that he banded them together, you could even go back and actually blame Buffy. Angel wouldn't be there if it wasn't for her, therefore none of them would have died that way if it wasn't for her. So blaming Angel for the deaths of people who made the choice to be there is not a good argument.
I wasn't comparing Angel's heroicness to Buffy's. That a whole other topic of debate. Jasmine was already dead. How did Angel's deal save the city? What does the amulet have to do with anything? That was just an extra perk he got from making that deal. Pure coincidence as I recall. He friends never agreed to having their memories stolen. Angel made that choice for them. He also agreed to them working for Wolfram & Hard BEFORE they did. There was a line he spoke that specifically stated that before they got in the car. When Angel asks you to do something, it's just a formality that he makes you THINK you have a choice because in Angel's mind, as always, he thinks he already knows what is best. Angel KNEW Lorne would agree to kill Lindsey. He never should have asked him in the first place. Also, Angel BACKSTABBED Lindsey. Not one of his best moments

Angel likes to play god and sometimes it bites him in the ass
Wow. A lot of Angel hate. I kinda love the guy. Backs out of thread slowly.
It's not hate from me, but I do see Angel as very flawed. It makes him interesting. I think Buffy has also been quite flawed since season 7 started, but that's another story
Why would anyone want or expect a non-flawed character? Of course they are flawed. By design. I don't understand the issue I guess.

[ edited by IrrationaliTV on 2011-05-10 02:18 ]
We're just debating whether or not one of Angel's flaws is selfishness. Some of us think yes(like me), others think no. I guess you could say we are also debating whether or not Angel ever plays god, which I think he does

Interestingly, I think Wesley has often shown the same flaws as Angel. Fascinating how much the two mirrored eachother over the course of the show
Jasmine was dead, but people were screwed up after all of that. The cop wanting to kill himself on the roof was more than proof of that. That whole exchange between the cop and Connor puts everything into context. He wanted to kill himself cause he couldn't live without the feeling that Jasmine gave him. Angel would carry that horrible emptiness and no one else would cause of the reset he did with W&H.
He backstabbed a guy who spent 5 years trying to kill him and all his friends. Lorne read him and knew he would have done the same. Really, I can't see how shooting him was a mistake. They needed to wrap up the story and so a quick gun shot did that quite well. Lorne is a big boy, big enough to stay in W&H and to have made his own bad decisions, he already didn't trust Angel and was on board with the mutiny that they were beginning. They all agreed to end it then and there by any means necessary. Poor Lorne doesn't fit. How was his presence in W&H even necessary?

The Buffy thing was just to look at how selfish people can be with family. In a way she took the easy way out. There's no guilt to live with, she gave up herself and left the others to live on and deal with it. Killing Dawn would have been the right thing to do. Killing Connor would have been the right thing to do. But they were selfish and couldn't live with that.

Your reading of Angel's manipulation of his friends is a little off. They were all there for a reason. They all had something to fight and die for. They all chose to do that with him. He didn't manipulate them, their own consciences did. They wanted Fred to leave in seaon 3. She didn't. Lorne did leave and wound up needing them to rescue them. Angel didn't manipulate them, he saved them and gave them purpose and the ability to know to do the right thing, whatever sacrifices that entailed. Look at Gunn killing Fred's professor so she wouldn't have to live with the guilt. He lost Fred to that. He took her choice away from her. Do we think any less of him for robbing her of her own agency in that moment?

All the heroes on the show have been deeply selfish, but I still don't think that that is the only thing motivating their heroics. I mean Angel does this for redemption, but by season 5 he had given up on that and jsut wanted to do the right thing. He signed away his prophecy, his redemption. How much more sacrifice do you need? His life from that point on was simply to do the right thing, no rewards.
Kill your girlfriend's BFF fishes, kill the watcher's girlfriend; allow some questionable lawyers to be killed by your demonic family and later kill the guardian of the deeper well and even later a bunch of slayers (presumably with your soul these times); wipe your friends' and your son's memories of significant life experiences at different points; happily vote to destroy the world to enact Twilight... why wouldn't you be a champion? Hey, I've got a flaw or two, where do I sign up? I find Angel interesting vis a vis his quest for redemption, but I don't believe that he is 'all that into it' when push comes to shove based on his definition of what matters.
Funny. Some people are always eager to always criticise Angel and are not willing to pay attention at others characters and their deeply questionable decisions and acts.
aradia, try not to derail the thread. Thanks.
Why would anyone want or expect a non-flawed character? Of course they are flawed. By design. I don't understand the issue I guess.

You're absolutely right. Nobody wants that. Which is why a lot of us are just confused that people constantly try and excuse all of Angel’s bad behaviour and pretend he always acts like a hero. I love Angel and I don’t always agree with people’s criticisms of him, but even I’m pretty fed up with the constant attempts to whitewash him and ignore his flaws.

When people talk about Home I feel for Angel so much. That final scene where he watches Connor from the window is truly heartbreaking and is one of my favourite moments in AtS. However, it was wrong to “rape the memories of his friends who trust him” (Cordy, You’re Welcome). That’s why it’s such a great episode. Angel’s motivations are entirely understandable and, IMO, greatly sympathetic but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily good.

I think up until S8 Angel deserved to be called a hero. I really do. I think he’s made some terrible mistakes (like locking the lawyers in with Darla and Drusilla or sleeping with Darla and trying to lose his soul) but overall I think he was a heroic character. He dedicated his life to helping people because “he doesn’t think they should have to suffer” and he saved a lot of people. He fought gallantly for Darla to have a second shot at life, he helped people like Bethany overcome her issues, he was amazing when he sheltered Faith and didn’t give up on her etc. However, after S8 he doesn’t deserve the title anymore because what he did was truly atrocious. Yes, he had good intentions but the path to hell is paved with good intentions. That doesn’t excuse him “torturing” Buffy for a whole year, or sacrificing slayers and human men, or encouraging the Slayer-hate, or ordering the execution of ‘spike guy’, or hiring Roden to groom Gigi into a killer etc. It troubles me that people would try and excuse his behaviour here when it was deeply disturbing and really dark. The solicitation for S9 makes it quite clear that Angel has a lot to atone for and I really do hope he can become a hero once more, but right now he isn’t one. It’s a slap in the face to all the other heroic characters in the verse (like Buffy, Xander, Gunn, Dawn etc) to say Angel is a hero too. He’s not. Let’s hope that he manages to grow enough as a character that one day he can be again.
vampmogs, to me Angel has always been the guy who fucks up, tries to fix things, fucks up worse, tries to fix that and then keeps carrying on. He's us in a lot of ways. He's been screwed over and screwed up and a big screw up yet he keeps trying to be good and do right. He keeps trying to fix things.

His heroism is in not giving up and giving in. He just keeps on keeping on. That is admirable. He doesn't always get it right and sometimes his failings are a bit epic but he keeps on trying. His heart is in the right place and he is somehow filled with hope. To me he is the most hopeful person in the Buffyverse. He somehow believes he can try to make up for his "sins" (I don't actually believe in the concept) and the damage he has done. He somehow believes that what he does matters.That is heroic.

He ain't Superman (thank Joss for that. That's one boring mofo) but he's still a hero. You may not like or agree with his decisions and actions but he's still a hero. He keeps trying against all odds.

I think several people in this thread simply don't like the character so they argue that he is "bad" which is fine. I can't stand Xander. He creeps me out, makes my skin crawl and hit the fast forward but I won't say that he isn't important to the story or that he isn't occasionally heroic in his own right. I just have no use for the character and choose to omit him from my Buffy experience whenever and wherever possible. :)

So many different ways to enjoy (or not) the Buffyverse.
IrrationaliTV, in general I agree with you. As I said, I think Angel overall was a hero even if he did fuck up a lot in his own series. In AtS he dedicated years of his life to fighting evil and helping people and the good far outweighed the bad.

However, after S8 I don’t think we can call him a hero any longer. At some point you can lose the right to be called that and, IMO, he most certainly lost that right when he agreed to Twilight’s plan and hurt a great many people. Heroes don’t “torture the cheerleader”, strip her of her moral certainty, beat the shit out of her in a cemetery and order the execution of her friends. They don’t manipulate people like they were just disposable pieces on a chess board (an analogy Angel himself uses in #9) and lure them into conflicts. They don’t hire men to groom mentally traumatised young women into becoming deranged killers and then have them both executed by the good guys, who they are also trying to corrupt. They don’t sacrifice good men on a Tibetan battlefield because “they’re mortal and have to die sometime” or order the execution of a man because he displeased them. Heroes don’t stand ideally by whilst a misogynistic murder fires a torpedo at a building filled with heroic young women, and agree that it will “play its part” in a much larger scheme. Heroes don’t hunt people down who have retreated and just want to give up the fight and leave in peace. And heroes most certainly DO NOT see the world being overrun with demons and want to just ignore it and stay in paradise instead.

Just because somebody was once a hero it doesn’t mean they can continue to call themselves that no matter what horrible crimes they commit. Angel is partially responsible for 206 slayers being brutally killed and he has much more blood on his hands too. Angel acted despicably when he terrorised Buffy all year and “put her through hell” and he certainly wasn’t heroic when he beat her down so badly (both physically and emotionally) that he finally managed to break her.

Heroes don’t do that. At some point Angel looses the right to call himself that because it’s a real slap in the face to all the other heroes in the story who would never commit such atrocities. There's only so many times you can screw up before you go too far and Angel really lost it in S8. I'm not saying he's beyond redemption or could never be a hero again but right now I don't see how he deserves to be called that. If you want to be a hero then you can’t just talk the talk, you actually gotta do things that are heroic. And nothing about Angel’s behaviour in S8 was heroic. It was actually really quite evil.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2011-05-10 09:14 ]
When did Angel ever call himself a hero? Champion maybe. Can't remember him calling himself a hero. Heroes usually don't.

And I won't argue with you about season 8. I disagree completely but won't argue with you because it seems few people can be rational about S8 and that dampens my thorough enjoyment and approval of the comics. Loved every issue.
Huh? I'm one of S8's biggest fans and have been since the very first issue. I've loved nearly every moment of it and I've spent way too much time over the past 4 years defending its worth to all the haters. I don't understand how listing all of Angel's crimes means I don't like the season, or that I'm not being rational about it? Care to explain?
Re:Season 8 and Angel.

The reason I can still like Angel and call him a hero after Season 8 is that we do not have enough context for his actions. We have very very limited insight into why he took on the Twilight mantle...and that's just bad storytelling. But that another debate!

However-I know that when it comes to things like this Angel's actions come from a place of good. You know that he had an immense struggle over what to do. We can see in the Riley one-shot that he wasn't happy and desperately wanted to find another way. It just annoys me then when people ignore this and say he is evil and what he did as Twilight was selfish.

We have been told that Angel made the best choice he could from the situation that he was given. As Angel tends to do. Not that he doesn't mess up and do selfish things. But this time - even though it (possibly) turned out to be the wrong thing...I do not believe that it came from an evil place.
Here is an audio interview with Christos Gage about Angel and Faith from the Boston Comic-Con. Very interesting. Maybe someone could add it to the title here, rather than opening up a new thread?

http://horrorhavenreviews.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/boston-comic-con-creator-spotlight-interview-with-christos-gage/
I think there's a difference between being selfish and being a dick. Angel erasing his friends' memories to save Connor? Yeah, that's a dick move. But he did it for Connor, not for himself, and then he did his best to stay out of Connor's life. Making it selfless.

(I say this as a huge Angel fan, btw.)

[ edited by Waterkeeper511 on 2011-05-10 13:26 ]
When did Angel ever call himself a hero?

In The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco, Angel is disappointed to be "rejected" by the Aztec demon, which only hunts for the hearts of heroes. The implication is that he thinks of himself that way.
The reason I can still like Angel and call him a hero after Season 8 is that we do not have enough context for his actions

How much more context do we need? I mean, I get that we could have spent more time on Angel’s POV (and apparently that’s the plan for A&F) but would it really have changed much? I don’t doubt Angel felt he had to do this but that doesn’t let him off the hook. No matter what the context it’s never ok to terrorise someone and mentally torture them for a year. It’ll never be heroic and it’ll never be a message this feminist story would want to condone. How awful would it have been if the writers supported Angel’s behaviour when he went behind Buffy’s back, tortured her, beat her down, destroyed her moral certainty and manipulated her... all for her ‘own good.’ That would be pretty damn ugly, wouldn’t it?

However-I know that when it comes to things like this Angel's actions come from a place of good.

The path to hell is paved with good intentions.

Honestly, it’s a saying that gets quoted way too often but that’s because it really sums up this situation so well. People commit all kinds of atrocities because they had ‘good intentions’ or felt it was ‘necessary’ but that doesn’t make it any less wrong, and it certainly doesn’t excuse their crimes. 206 Slayers are dead, Giles is dead, Buffy was put through a living hell, many innocent men were slaughtered in Tibet... do you really think any of them care that Angel played with their lives because he had ‘good intentions?’ Does it make it any less terrible? People’s lives were destroyed, others ended for good, and Angel has a lot of blood on his hands. I agree that Angel thought he was saving the world but that doesn’t mean we should just wave away the amount of damage he did whilst he tried to orchestrate his plan. And I think Whedon went out of his way to make sure we didn’t do that when he put a human face to the casualties in Turbulence and had Buffy share a very poignant moment with a dying solider. A soldier who was tricked into attacking the Slayers, who was in love, and who died, all because Angel deemed his life an ‘acceptable loss.’ Yay?

We have been told that Angel made the best choice he could from the situation that he was given.

But he didn’t. We saw that Buffy made a far better choice when she said “fuck evolution” and refused to let Twilight!Kitty manipulate her. She refused to accept the prophecy and she went back down to earth and saved her family. Nobody forced Angel to agree to Twilight’s plan and, according to Allie, characters like “Buffy or Spike” would have never signed on to do what Angel did. So, even the writers think only certain characters like Angel (or Giles) would sign on for something like this and Twilight!Kitty totally exploited Angel’s willingness to commit evil for ‘the greater good’ and played on his weaknesses too. It tempted him with talks of a reward that “made Shanshu look like a sack of crap”, it lured him in with talks of “destiny” and it knew Angel would be the perfect candidate to manipulate Buffy and “cause her to betray her morals and ideals” (as according to Allie). I am not saying Angel didn’t have good intentions because I agree that he did but, as an Angel fan, I have to say I think it’s far too of a generous reading to pretend Twilight!Kitty didn’t exploit some real weaknesses in Angel. It used flaws in his character to persuade him and the reason it didn’t approach Buffy first was because it knew she would never agree – “You can’t beat evil by doing evil. I know that”

And, really, Angel didn’t have to do everything he did. For example, in Retreat all of Angel’s henchmen (including Amy) thought that the Slayers had drowned when trying to escape, thanks to a spell Willow performed. Angel was the guy who insisted that “he knew Buffy too well to think she’d die quietly” and insisted that they keep looking for her. He even killed ‘spike guy’ for accidentally giving him the wrong coordinates to Buffy’s location because he was furious that they were wasting time. If Angel really was just interested in “minimising the casualties” as he claimed in #33, and if he really was just trying to protect Buffy from her enemies that “would come at her from all sides”, then he’d have let her retreat in peace. He would have told his henchmen that they were right and that all the Slayers had perished and Buffy could have been safe in Tibet. Instead he refuses to stop looking for her and orders all of his men to hunt her down. So how did Angel make the best choice he could with the situation he was given?

Nope, Angel wanted Buffy so demoralised that she’d ascend with him and that’s why he continued to hunt her down and sacrifice both his men and the Slayers. He wanted Buffy to be “brought so low” that she’d gain Twilight’s powers and he was willing to kill anybody to do it. A lot of innocent people died because of Angel and that could have been avoided if he hadn’t been so hell bent on transforming Buffy (against her will) into some kind of super powered goddess. If he was solely interested in minimising the casualties as he said he was then he’d have been quite satisfied that his minions thought Buffy had died and the bloodshed in Tibet would have been avoided.

I’m not saying you have to hate Angel. I’m a huge Angel fan and even after his behaviour in S8 I don’t hate him. I’m just extremely disappointed in him because I know that he’s capable of being better than this. I’m disgusted by his actions and I’d be just as disgusted if any other character did this. The story has already said that Angel screwed up and the world was nearly destroyed. The entire premise of ANGEL & FAITH is based on the idea that Angel committed “sins” and Faith will help rehabilitate him. After all, it’s supposed to be a role reversal of when he helped her in Sanctuary when she had committed evil, so what is that but an admission that he, like Faith in S3/S4, did something really wrong? I just see no point in defending him when the writers have stated, repeatedly, that he fucked up and he “won’t be let off the hook.” I am still an Angel fan because I find his character really compelling but, at this time, I no longer consider him a hero. After all the people he hurt in S8 I don’t think he has earned the right to be called that and, as a Buffy fan first and foremost, I’m really angry at him for how he treated her last season. It was truly despicable and totally reminiscent of how Angelus tried to break her in S2.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2011-05-10 14:30 ]
How much more context do we need? Well lots obviously since the face that there is such debate still about Angel's actions. There is so much we don't know, and therefore cannot judge.

I mean, I get that we could have spent more time on Angel’s POV (and apparently that’s the plan for A&F) but would it really have changed much? Of course it would. If we had seen how Angel was first approached about Twilight, how the future he was shown looked, how the choices were presented to him, of course it would have made a difference. It would either have damned him, or shown him to have had to make the hard choice. But we only got snippets. Some of those scenes give the people who support Angel comfort, other scenes give people who want to condem him ammo. But we only have half the story...so here we are. I'm sure we will get more info during A&F and that will help us understand what happened.

I don’t doubt Angel felt he had to do this but that doesn’t let him off the hook. No matter what the context it’s never ok to terrorise someone and mentally torture them for a year. It’ll never be heroic and it’ll never be a message this feminist story would want to condone.

I agree - that wasn't right. But since I can't understand how Angel would do this I cannot praise or condemn.

The path to hell is paved with good intentions. But people are forgetting that Angel didn't set out to do this. he was approached with this prophecy (and prophecies are always a factor in Angels life - they do come true, if in a twisted way) and he knew he could either do nothing, or do something. He chose to do something. What if he did nothing. Didn't tell Buffy, just carried on with his own life and let all the organisations that were after the Slayer organisation all attack them (and) Buffy and wipe them out. Would that have been heroic? Would that have been the right thing to do?

Nobody forced Angel to agree to Twilight’s plan and, according to Allie, characters like “Buffy or Spike” would have never signed on to do what Angel did.

But he didn't know that it was Twilights plan. It was Whistler that brought him this info. Whistler who helped him come up from the gutter. Whistler who Angel trusted. Why would he not believe him. Whistler was a friend (and remember was to be brought back on AtS before scheduling conflicts got in the way). This was a trusted old friend.

And, really, Angel didn’t have to do everything he did.

I agree with you. I cannot justify all his actions, and I won't pretend to. My biggest problem is the view that what Angel did was evil. I do not believe it to be so. And if it is revealed in the comics that it was, and Angel is turned into a master villain and comes down on the side of evil in the final battle,...then I will accept it. But for now, I need a better explanation for his actions, as I cannot see how he went from AtS and AtF to Twilight. I cannot connect the dots, and many other cannot either.

I’m not saying you have to hate Angel It would take a lot:)

I’m just extremely disappointed in him because I know that he’s capable of being better than this. I agree...and I am dissapointed in Joss for such a badly thought through plot. How is it that this story line is so badly understood and there is so much debate? Can you give me another arc on either show that has caused such controversy after it was wrapped up because people just did not understand what the hell went on? Season 4 of Angel maybe, but that was all explained by the writers - whether you liked the explanation or not, it was still dealt with within the season.

I just see no point in defending him when the writers have stated, repeatedly, that he fucked up and he “won’t be let off the hook.” Once again - ya he messed up, but we have no idea why! Why did he make the choices he did? Why did he think that Twilight and the mask etc was the best option. We have not been told, and therefore I will defend him, and I will continue to ask "Why?!" until we have been given a proper explanation.

In the short term it was to serve Buffy's story. But that is not good enough.
Taaroko
Connor is thankful for his new family and memories. The fact that Angel doesn't get to be part of Connor's new life is where it's selfless. Wesley clearly doesn't enjoy having those memories back after "Origin", so it doesn't seem like they're memories he's worse off for not having. In a way, Angel letting Wes forget about the betrayal and estrangement is like forgiveness. And I don't know about you, but I'd be happy to give up a few memories to save a kid and the store full of people he was about to blow up. Memories aren't as valuable as human lives.


I guess that's how the creation of Dollhouse has been justified by its creators.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Vamp, great post. Yes, Angel's story in season 8 was an illustration of the idea that once you start deliberatingly doing evil things for the greater good, you can't stop - until somebody stops you.

But in season 8 he was basically servicing Buffy's story. Not unlike she serviced his story in "The Girl in Question" where she was depicted as a bimbo. Plot necessity. Now, when he's away from Buffy, he has a chance to atone and to be a hero. Can't wait for the first issue.
You know the Twilight thing kind of seems like a fulfillment of all the prophesies about Angel. He was supposed to be a critical figure in some apocalyptic scenario and there was a brief glimpse into the future in IDW's Angel books that showed Angel surrounded by dead bodies. You can even view his chance at paradise with Buffy as shanshu, though he technically was not human. I think Angel's destiny has played out. Where does he go from here? I think W&H actually leave earth in the last Angel book or Spike book. Don't quote me on that though, but it would be quite telling if they have no more interest in Angel. If they already know what course his life will take from that point on(Twilight). The end of magic....and all the lives lost and affected by that. All because of Angel

Someone mentioned that Giles would have become Twilight given similar circumstances. I think that is possible. The thing about Angel, Giles and Wesley that is interesting is that they have always had a dark side and were willing to get their hands dirty by doing things that Buffy would never even consider. I actually personally believe that Wesley became something of a mirror of Angel over the course of the series. Always trying to prevent Angel's corruption and yet ironically becoming very corrupt himself. Stealing Angel's son, stabbing his friend Gunn, shooting his own father. Fred was his Buffy, a chance to become a better man, but then she died....and Wesley stopped caring about his own life from that point on. Well, I'm getting off topic now

I would like to add to the discussion that while we are pointing out Angel's failings and how he's no longer a hero, let's not let Buffy off the hook. She's not a hero in my eyes either. This is the same girl who watched some vamps attack some humans in the Fray storyline and didn't seem to care. This is the same girl who was corrupt enough to actually get caught up in the Twilight thing long enough to allow a bunch of demons to attack earth. This is the same girl who killed future Willow without even giving it a second thought. Something is not quite right with her. She's been like some alternate universe Buffy ever since Willow brought her back from the dead. And then you have Willow, who kind of initiated ALL of this by bringing Buffy back from the dead which has had ramifications on the Buffyverse we are STILL seeing now. Then you have Xander who has become buddies with the most notorious vampire of all time

At the moment, I am not sure if there are any real heroes left in the Buffyverse, which makes for good stories. It seems almost strange to me when Buffy and the Scoobies fall into their usual, funny Buffyesque dialogue sometimes as there is so much corruption and darkness among them now and in some ways Buffy's story has become as dark as Angel's, ever since Buffy season 6

Just my two cents, but of all the main characters Faith is looking the best to me at the moment. She has been getting sronger and more heroic as other characters seem to keep spiraling downward. She's very much becoming THE slayer in my eyes
It's not enough to say that Angel's plan in Season 8 makes him selfish. If he were selfish, he would have enjoyed it.
You know Angel's name has take greater meaning to me with all the recent events in his life. In Supernatural we see angels as these beings with great cosmic powers who are meant to serve humanity yet sometimes use that power to try and destroy it(makes me think of the old saying, "Angel of Death"). Buffyverse Angel has both saved and destroyed countless lives. We even had an ACTUAL angel character in IDW's stories who then reveals himself as an evil being with great cosmic power who tries to turn earth into a hell of his making
Well lots obviously since the face that there is such debate still about Angel's actions.

Sorry, but I really have to disagree with you there. I think one of the main reasons there’s still so much debate about Angel’s actions is because a lot of people have such a hard time admitting that he did anything wrong. I have to say that I’m a little perplexed people are still ‘waiting for S9’ to see if Angel really did anything wrong when, IMO, it should be pretty obvious that, regardless of what Angel was thinking at the time, his actions can never be OK.

Of course it would. If we had seen how Angel was first approached about Twilight, how the future he was shown looked, how the choices were presented to him, of course it would have made a difference.

Huh? We were shown how Angel was first approached by Twilight and we were shown how those choices were presented to him. In #36 we see the first time Twilight made contact with Angel and we heard its sales pitch.

But people are forgetting that Angel didn't set out to do this. he was approached with this prophecy (and prophecies are always a factor in Angels life - they do come true, if in a twisted way) and he knew he could either do nothing, or do something. He chose to do something. What if he did nothing. Didn't tell Buffy, just carried on with his own life and let all the organisations that were after the Slayer organisation all attack them (and) Buffy and wipe them out. Would that have been heroic? Would that have been the right thing to do?

No, the right thing to do would have been to go straight to Buffy and TELL HER everything. He could have refused to cooperate and go straight to Buffy. He could have done exactly what Buffy did in the Twilight dimension and say “fuck evolution” and go be a hero. Instead he chose to cooperate with Twilight and didn’t even try and stop the prophecy.

But he didn't know that it was Twilights plan. It was Whistler that brought him this info. Whistler who helped him come up from the gutter. Whistler who Angel trusted. Why would he not believe him. Whistler was a friend (and remember was to be brought back on AtS before scheduling conflicts got in the way). This was a trusted old friend.

Whistler already proved himself to be fallible back in S2. He failed to tell Angel about the curse and admits that he “didn’t see Buffy coming” which resulted in Angel losing his soul and he world nearly being swallowed by Acathla. So, whilst I agree that Angel probably still would trust Whistler I disagree that we shouldn’t criticise him for his blind faith when Whistler already screwed up once. Besides, it shouldn’t have mattered who told Angel to kill people and torture Buffy because Angel should have refused no matter what. But, as we saw in AtS, Angel is predisposed to this ‘ends justify the means’ way of thinking, like when he sacrificed Drogyn for his plan or performed dark magic to open Quortoth.

My biggest problem is the view that what Angel did was evil. I do not believe it to be so.

I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I just find it pretty bothersome that up until the Twilight reveal I didn’t see a single fan say that Twilight’s behaviour wasn’t evil or wrong. Then suddenly the justifications started once Angel was revealed to be behind the mask and I’m pretty disturbed by that. Torture is torture regardless of who is doing it etc. Frankly, I think it's a cop out that people keep saying they 'need to see more' when, IMO, it should be pretty obvious that Angel's behavior was atrocious. I don't think people should need the writers to tell them that.

As for the rest, I disagree with you that we don’t know Angel’s motivations or why he was vulnerable to Twilight’s manipulation. I think you can go back to his darker moments in AtS S1-S5 and see how Angel was very capable of all this. I also think we got a good idea of why Angel felt he had to do this and I’m quite at peace with the story. I will always welcome more insight into his motivations because, yes, that would be nice, but we already know why he felt he had to do this. There's a lot of debate because people are bending over backwards to excuse his behaviour. And, yes, there's still just as much debate about many of the story lines in BtVS all these years later (Xander's lie, LMPTM, Buffy trying to kill Faith etc).
Huh? We were shown how Angel was first approached by Twilight and we were shown how those choices were presented to him. In #36 we see the first time Twilight made contact with Angel and we heard its sales pitch.


We don't know if that was the first time that Twilight made contact with Angel. We see Angel coming from an unknown future, a future that was horrible, where the world was destroyed and there was huge loss of life. That is what was shown to Angel. Whether it was the truth or not we don't know. It could have all been a lie ( I don't think so personally but I can accept that it might have been.) Whatever it was was so bad that it made Angel take up the Twilight mantle. But we don't see how he was made aware of Twilight. Was the meeting with Whistler before or after he visit to this future? When did Whistler come to him? When did he find out about the prophecy? All of these are unanswered questions, which I personally think are very important. You see his motivations as bad (i.e. he was susceptible to falling for prophecies about destiny)...but this time he was (I believe) shown what would happen. He was actually brought to the time when the battle was lost and earth was a post-apocalyptic world. And he thought he could prevent that. Was he right?...

No, the right thing to do would have been to go straight to Buffy and TELL HER everything.

Maybe you are right. Maybe all this could have been avoided if he had just gone straight to her. But he was told by Whistler that he couldn't - that they would LOSE if he did. Was he wrong not to want to risk that?

But, as we saw in AtS, Angel is predisposed to this ‘ends justify the means’ way of thinking,

Maybe I am opening myself up for criticism here...but sometimes they do. Horrible as that maybe is...sometimes it is not as simple as the goodly good heroes of Goodonia, and the evil evil villains of Villaintia. Sometimes good people have to do bad things, and bad people sometimes do good things.

Whether that is acceptable or palatable depends on ones own personal morality and view of the world.

I just find it pretty bothersome that up until the Twilight reveal I didn’t see a single fan say that Twilight’s behaviour wasn’t evil or wrong.

Because maybe people could not believe that Angel would do this. And don't forget that they tried to give us some justification for what he did in the Riley one-shot. They realised that people were just not buying it, so then we got the Whistler scenes. They were not in the main book - because there 'wasn't room for it' (please!), so they attempted to show in the Riley oneshot that Angel's actions were, while misguided, not evil. Why bother showing those scenes with the attempted justification, if we were not meant to see where Angel was coming from?

If they had not shown any flashbacks, and we just saw the main story line - then yes I would be saying that Angel had lost his mind, and had gone evil. But the flashbacks tell me otherwise.


Look at the end of the day I cannot argue that some of Angel's actions were wrong. Of course. But until shown otherwise I will continue to believe that Angel did genuinely think he was doing the right thing at the beginning.

After that...not so much.
I am seriously excited to have Angel back under the same roof as Buffy and to be getting his own title again. I think Faith being there with him will be very interesting and I can't wait to see what is done with her.

As far as Angel's hero status or selfless nature? Aside from Buffy, imo, Angel is the most selfless character in the verse. Like Simon mentioned earlier, giving up Connor to make his life better, similar to what he did in IWRY for Buffy, is a totally selfless act. That's the thing about Angel, he will give up every drop of happiness he knows for another. He's the man!
I don't think Angel is evil. I just think he has a hardened heart from his YEARS of life of Angelus. Angel can see horrible things and shut it out of his mind if he has too. That's why you hear some of us calling him an "ends justify the means kind of person". He's a general. He can see the "acceptable losses" and the desired outcome. I don't think he enjoys this, but he is capable of it. I think some of the truly horrible things Twilight did was just Angel playing the part to perfection. He did what he had to do to maintain the appearance of this awful villain. Season 5 showed us all new levels of how dark Angel can be when he is "pretending" to be evil. He did this in Buffy season 3 as well to fool Faith...and Buffy found it quite disturbing if you all remember.

It seems like Buffy has been gradually turning into this as well in the last two seasons. See Fray storyline where innocents getting killed by vamps is less important than Buffy following them to their HQ. She's thinking like a general. Acceptable losses and all that. It's also why she so quickly killed Willow. She hardened her heart. Now it's possibly they may move her away from that in season 9. We'll see

I do agree that many people are looking for excuses and justifying Angel's actions because they love the character. I love Angel, but I don't feel I need to excuse his actions. I will stick with the character through thick and thin, much like Faith. This is what I love about her. She KNOWS what he did and yet still chastises Buffy and everyone else for turning their backs on him. It's just like Angel season 1. Buffy had every reason in the world for hating Faith and wanting her dead and Angel had every reason for letting Buffy do it or just killing Faith himself. That's what's beautiful about the Faith/Angel relationship. They absolutely WILL NOT give up on eachother NO MATTER WHAT. It's also why I really wouldn't mind an Angel/Faith romance personally.

I love the revelation that Cordy, as one of the powers that be, has seen and experienced every evil thing Angel did as Angelus.....and she still loves him, accepts him and believes in him. That's unconditional love, and in Faith's case, unconditional loyalty

I personally have always viewed Angel's relationships with Cordy and even Faith to have been on stronger foundations than his relationship with Buffy, but Angel never saw it that way.

[ edited by Arkham258 on 2011-05-10 17:33 ]
Do we think any less of him [Gunn] for robbing her [Fred] of her own agency in that moment?

Yes. Yes we do. Just as we think less of Angel for trying to stop Cordy from killing Billy. Men in ATS have a disturbing tendency to think they know better than women, and to deprive the women of agency in the name of "protecting" them.

By the same token, Angel choosing to erase his friends' memories was wrong, because it deprived them of agency. It doesn't matter how much good resulted; it doesn't matter whether Wesley was happier without those memories. As Wesley himself says in a later episode, the loss of those memories changed his identity (If her memories were tampered with, was Fred still who you thought she was? Illyria asks. No, Wesley answers, after discovering what Angel did: "None of us are.").

And I think Angel made that choice knowing it was wrong. When Gunn protests that he didn't know Fred would be hurt when he signed the release slip (for the crate containing Illyria), the doctor replies "but you knew someone would be." That holds true for Angel as well: in addition to betraying his friends by erasing their memories, he *also* knew that people would be hurt as a result of him joining Wolfram and Hart, and he did it anyway--to save Connor.

Heroic? Not so much. It's a bargain with the devil, after all. Compelling storytelling, about a flawed but deeply sympathetic character? Hell yes.
I think some of the truly horrible things Twilight did was just Angel playing the part to perfection. He did what he had to do to maintain the appearance of this awful villain.

I agree.

I do agree that many people are looking for excuses and justifying Angel's actions because they love the character. I love Angel, but I don't feel I need to excuse his actions.

I'm not looking for excuse his actions, but saying that I understand where he was coming from when he did them. I agree that it would have been better if he had not done them, but do not condemn him for doing them either. Confused - moi?:)

I love the revelation that Cordy, as one of the powers that be, has seen and experienced every evil thing Angel did as Angelus.....and she still loves him, accepts him and believes in him. That's unconditional love, and in Faith's case, unconditional loyalty

The only problem there is that when "Cordy" said she saw everything Angelus did in higher power land, she was possessed by Jasmine, therefore it probably can't be counted. And it was in Angel's fantasy that she said she 'still loved him despite it' so that definately can't be counted - but I agree with you in principle.
My stance on Angel as Twilight is that even if he was lied to, misguided, etc... he thought it was up to him to save the world from doom. That isn't an evil action.

It will be interesting to get more information via Whitsler's appearance in the Angel title but that doesn't mean I am fearful that Angel is no longer a hero. In my heart, Angel does what has to be done to save the day. As mentioned before, often that comes at a huge painful personal price. He is so selfless that he does it anyway.

As far as Cordy goes, what she said wasn't a total lie. Cordy did see and live through Angelus in Sunnydale and obviously didn't let that prevent her from becoming a part of Angel's family and yes, I think she loved him until the end. Wasn't that part of the message in You're Welcome?
I have a deep love for Cordy and I miss her so much. I think she was - IS- an extraordinary woman and I can't forgive Joss for having dismissed her. And I like Faith, too. Friendship, acceptance, understanding, tolerance, help and love: these are the words in my mind when I think of the relationship both girls have (had) with Angel. And Angel with them. Really supporting. Wonderful.
Perhaps Angel really is truly blind to the consequences of his actions. Perhaps he does see everything he does as selfless even when he is being quite clearly selfish. Illyria in a recent issue of the comic said that Angel always has good intentions, but does not realize the consequences of his actions. She seemed to be contemplating killing him at the time, or at least stopping him. I thought that was a very interesting line from her. They were probably foreshadowing Twilight with that bit of dialogue

Perhaps he does view himself as being selfless. I love Angel because I view him as such an incredibly complex character. I have often wondered if he is a bit delusional. Perhaps you would have to be to have experienced everything he has and not be insane.

Perhaps Angelus bleeds into Angel's mind and personality. Sure, the soul keeps him locked away, but he is still always kicking around in Angel's head. I sometimes view the Angel/Angelus thing as being a variation on multiple personality disorder. Are they really two SEPERATE people or just Angel when he has guidance(soul)and when he doesn't. One episode of the show confirmed that Angelus is well aware of EVERYTHING that happens in Angel's life, which I found a bit disturbing. It's like Jekyl and Hyde. It makes Angel very different from someone like Spike, who doesn't have an "Angelus" persona. I always think of that when I see the dark, questionable things that Angel does. Angelus is part of his personality, part of who he is. It the deepest, darkest, scariest part of his personality that the soul keeps in check. That was always a part of the Angel/Spike conflict. Spike once said even soulless he wasn't the monster that Angelus was. So there is enough darkness in Angel for something like Twilight to be possible

I love Angel, he is such a wonderfully fucked up character. He's never boring
Totally agree with your last post aradia, Faith and Cordy were/are the best females in Angel's life. The blonds seem to cause him a lot of grief(Buffy and Darla), but I love those two characters too LOL
Great interview with Gage.Glad Faith will still be counseling slayers while helping Angel get back on his feet.
My favorite part of the interview is when he says, "I think Faith has probably advanced more than any other character in the Buffyverse. She's become a mature leader."

That really says a LOT
She really has. She seems to be the only left who's aware of her actions and as such is really capable of helping and leading others. Buffy got lost in her role and we watched her decline from as early as season 4 with the initiative. Maybe even season 3 when she kinda lost the plot along with Faith, she never seemed to recover as much as Faith did. She had her to blame so believed that Faith was the one who led her astray, not that she herself wanted to. I love that Faith is now getting the attention and the recognition she deserves. Although I do think alot of the love for her goes toward the way Eliza portrayed her. Any other actress and they probably would have let her die in the original way. She really gave Faith a voice and a character beyond the scripted page.
Oh definitely, I fell for Eliza at the same time I fell for Faith. To me, she IS Faith. Much like how Hudson Leick embodied Callisto on Xena like no other actress could have. I see so many pararllels between those two tv shows. The musical episodes, the Xena/Callisto and Buffy/Faith body swap episodes, etc. Callisto eventually had a redemptive arc too and her fate was always intertwined with Xena's

The way I see it, the Buffy and Faith dynamic has been completely turned on its head. The Angel and Faith book feels like a return to season 1 Buffy, except with Faith instead. Faith will be slaying baddies and helping innocents, with Angel helping her and with Giles providing her guidance through the belongings he left behind. Meanwhile, Buffy has become Faith. She watched her watcher die, she is responsible for innocent lives being lost, everyone hates her(including Willow I suspect) and I get this feeling that we might see a bit of a loner Buffy in season 9, but I could be wrong. To quote Faith from Buffy season 7, "Am I the good slayer now? Is she the bad slayer?"
We don't know if that was the first time that Twilight made contact with Angel

I think it was made pretty clear that it was. I’m not sure how else Joss was supposed to convey that other than Angel hearing for the first time about Twilight’s plan and getting his powers. It’s exactly the same as when Merrick first approached Buffy in the Becoming flashbacks and told her she was the Slayer. It was never explicitly stated that this was the first time Buffy had heard about her calling before its pretty evident that this was the case. Besides, Scott Allie told us before #36 came out that we'd seen when Angel was first approached by Twilight (referring to the flashbacks) and he also said Angel started down a slippery slope ever since DOG first approached him in #36.

Was the meeting with Whistler before or after he visit to this future? When did Whistler come to him? When did he find out about the prophecy?

Most of these are not unanswered questions. We can see that Whistler must have approached Angel after DOG because in #36 we see Twilight instructing Angel to wear the mask, and then in the Riley one shot Angel is already in disguise when talking to Whistler. We know the first time Angel hears about the prophecy because Twilight starts to tell him about it through the air hostess after he saves the plan full of people etc.

Maybe you are right. Maybe all this could have been avoided if he had just gone straight to her. But he was told by Whistler that he couldn't - that they would LOSE if he did. Was he wrong not to want to risk that?

And Buffy was told that it was her destiny to ascend into paradise and that this had been set in motion for thousands of years. But Buffy, unlike Angel, “never does what she’s meant to do” and refused to just accept the prophecy. That’s the difference between them and that’s why, IMO, it’s a weak defence to excuse Angel on the grounds that Whistler told him not to tell her, when Buffy proves that you don’t have to listen to prophecies or people ordering you to do disgusting things. The writers set up a pretty clear parallel between Buffy and Angel this season and it was pretty unflattering to Angel.

Maybe I am opening myself up for criticism here...but sometimes they do. Horrible as that maybe is...sometimes it is not as simple as the goodly good heroes of Goodonia, and the evil evil villains of Villaintia. Sometimes good people have to do bad things, and bad people sometimes do good things.

And that’s fine as long as people can accept that you can’t be a hero AND commit the kind of atrocities Angel did in S8. Take for example Giles in The Gift, when he decides he has to kill Ben to prevent Glory’s return he states how Buffy couldn’t do that because “she’s a hero you see, she’s not like us.” Giles felt it was necessary to kill Ben but he knew it wasn’t a heroic act. What Angel did was undoubtedly worse so how can he still be classified as a hero when he partook in the genocide of Slayers and wanted to sacrifice the whole world in #34?

And don't forget that they tried to give us some
justification for what he did in the Riley one-shot.


Ah, no. They tried to help people understand why he was motivated to do this but that’s radically different to “justifying” his behaviour. There’s a world of difference between fleshing out a character’s POV and trying to say that a character’s actions are OK. And as a humanist, I really doubt Joss believes that it’s perfectly justifiable to sacrifice hundreds of lives, torture people, and move people around like chess pieces on a board.

They were not in the main book - because there 'wasn't room for it' (please!), so they attempted to show in the Riley oneshot that Angel's actions were, while misguided, not evil.

They wanted us to see that his MOTIVATIONS were misguided and not evil, not his actions. I’ve stated repeatedly that I believe Angel felt he had to do this to save the world and that was made quite clear in the text. However, that doesn’t mean his behaviour is suddenly OK. I don’t care what anybody says, I will never see it as ‘justifiable’ to terrorise someone, physically beat them, kill their friends and put them through hell ‘for their own good.’ It’s sickening and, IMO, it’s most definitely an evil action. Angel’s intentions may have been good but, again, the path to hell is paved with good intentions. If they weren't evil then why does Angel need to 'atone' in S9?

Why bother showing those scenes with the attempted justification, if we were not meant to see where Angel was coming from?

Of course they wanted us to see where he was coming from. They also wanted us to see where Faith was coming from when she tried to torture Buffy in Enemies. It doesn’t mean that they’re condoning her behaviour or that we’re meant to support her just because her reasons may be sympathetic and complex.

But until shown otherwise I will continue to believe that Angel did genuinely think he was doing the right thing at the beginning.

Again, I’ve never denied this. However, I still don’t see why because Angel thought he was doing the right thing it suddenly means we shouldn’t criticise him. Hitler really believed he was doing Germany a favour by eradicating the Jews, Osama Bin Laden really did think the West was evil when he attacked the twin towers... and? Since when is that any kind of justification? Some of the worst atrocities in human history are committed by people who truly believed they were doing the right thing.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2011-05-11 06:58 ]
Vampmogs's comment there about Angel made me think of the Operative in Serenity. at no point did i genuinely think he was evil. His actions were wrong, sure, but he believed. Much like Angel did and then he went and let the crew go, an attempt to make things right. They're clearly still good and heroic characters(yeah I thought he was a bit of a hero, if we were supposed to be viewing things from the peaceifiying Alliance he would have been the John Wayne of the piece, not Mal), but they just got given a belief, the chance to sacrifice themselves for an idea greater than themselves. Like V for Vendetta, except he actually sorted that bit at the end. Also V killed the bad guys, but the whole thing is that they believed in an idea of a better world. V tortured everyone's favourite ballerina to help her ascend. We didn't hate him, he showed us that some women look good in a buzz cut! Thanks V.
The chance to sacrifice themselves for an idea greater than themselves.

Oh, they can sacrifice themselves as much as they like. My problem is when they start sacrificing other people for these 'greater ideas.' Especially when, as stated in the A&F solicitation, Angel’s ideas were ‘ill-conceived’ and nearly destroyed the entire world. Sorry, but when I see images of Slayers lying dead in swamps, or stuffed in boxes, I'm not all that impressed by Angel's willingness to sacrifice innocent people. What gives him the right to kill innocent people so he can create his vision of a better world?

[ edited by vampmogs on 2011-05-11 07:41 ]
Well that's what the Operative did too. That's what Buffy did in Fray's universe. It's definintely not the right thing to do but to them the sacrifice of a few for a better world is justifiable.
And thankfully neither Serenity nor S8 condoned this type of behaviour. I'm glad we can agree it's not the right thing to do.
Vampmogs-

I have seen a lot of people bring up Hitler etc re:Twilight. The major flaw in that logic ointment is that Hitler didn't live in a world of prophecy, and where prophecies come true. He did what he did out of a deep seated hate, and very complex social,financial and hatefilled reasons in a post WW1 Weimar Germany.

In our story we have a vampire with a soul who has been the subject of prophecies, and has seen many prophecies come true. This is very important. People may go on about how Buffy is the one that defies prophecy, and Angel is th one that is ruled by it. But that is how the shows were set up. Prophecy played a very small part on Buffys show, but it was integral to Angels. Most seasons of Buffy did not hinge on a prophecy. The end of Season 1 did, elements of Season 2, but there were no prophecies about the Mayor,about Adam, about Glory, about the Trio, or about the First. On Angel there would have been-especially about something like the First.

On Angel the Shanshu prophecy hangs over him for nearly the whole show. The Tro-clon prophecy comes true, the bones of the Shanshu comes true (apart from th human bit yet:-)), the Father will kill the son comes true, Connor killing Sahjhan comes true - and that was even a fake prophecy! On Buffy all those would have been 'defied', on Angel they come true.

So Angel may hate prophecies, but there is precedence for them coming true, so why were people surprised when he listened?

Also people forget the fact that we are told that things would have been a lot worse if he hadn't done what he did. More slayers would have died, more destruction and perhaps even Buffy herself would have perished. While it is terrible to say that "only" 200 and odd slayers died, would it have been worse if we found out that Angel did nothing and all the slayers would have been killed.

Is that the better option?
Also people forget the fact that we are told that things would have been a lot worse if he hadn't done what he did.

How is that even possible? How could things have been worse than they were in Twilight/Last Gleaming when the portals all opened up and the world was overrun with demons? You’re forgetting that Twilight was evil and tricked Angel into triggering the apocalypse. It just spoon-fed Angel all that nonsense about ‘minimising casualties’ when it really intended to end our world. Angel was duped.

It’s explicitly stated that by sleeping together, Buffy and Angel gave birth to the new reality that wanted to steal the ‘seed of wonder’ which would result in our world being destroyed. If Angel had refused to cooperate right back in the beginning then all of the death in Twilight/Last Gleaming would have been avoided. Twilight needed Angel to ‘bring Buffy low’ so the two of them could destroy our world (it’s stated in #38 that together they were meant to steal the seed).

Not to mention that even before that, Angel made a lot of things worse. For instance, all the bloodshed in Tibet could have been avoided if Angel hadn’t insisted that they hunt Buffy down. When the Slayers managed to escape to Oz’s monastery Willow did a cloaking spell which tricked everyone, even Amy, into thinking the Slayers had all drowned at sea. However, Angel insisted that Buffy wasn’t dead and ordered that his men continue looking for her. If he really was interested in minimising casualties then he would have allowed his men to think Buffy had perished and the Slayers could have lived peacefully in Tibet. But he didn’t do that. In fact, he was so furious when ‘spike guy’ got the Slayer’s coordinates wrong that he ordered the man be executed (another needless death) because he wanted to find Buffy as soon as possible. Not to mention that he then refused to allow the General to retreat his men from the battlefield because ‘they were mortal and had to die sometime.’ So all of those soldier’s deaths are Angel’s fault too.

In our story we have a vampire with a soul who has been the subject of prophecies, and has seen many prophecies come true.

He also knows that prophecies can be subverted or even manufactured. And he obviously didn’t do his research because it turns out that the Twilight prophecy (the one were a superpowered Slayer and Vampire cause the apocalypse) was well-documented and people like the Watchers were aware of it. So, we can blame Angel for just accepting the prophecy as some kind of fact AND for not looking into it more closely and realising that he was being deceived.
I think we are not going to agree:-) We both have deeply held convictions which no matter what arguments we put forward the other will go "But...."

So let's agree to disagree. Thanks for an interesting debate though:-)
But in season 8 he was basically servicing Buffy's story. Not unlike she serviced his story in "The Girl in Question" where she was depicted as a bimbo. Plot necessity. Now, when he's away from Buffy, he has a chance to atone and to be a hero


Moscow Watcher you are my hero[ine]. I only hope thay will be able to resuscitate the character I loved.
kamw30 - *waves* I'm a nerd-o[ine], actually.

I think that right now Buffyverse is on a very interesting crossroad. So far, Buffy always had to make a choice between moral and amoral; while Angel always has to choose the lesser of two evils.

In season 8 this difference became less noticeable. I wonder if in season 9, when both ongoing series will be run by the same Joss Whedon, will the characters in both series play by the same rules.
Joss has pretty much torn down both Buffy AND Angel as heroes. I think it will be interesting to see them built back up again and also interesting to see what other characters step up and become bigger players, with the most obvious one being Faith of course. Buffy and Angel aren't the "chosen ones" any more. Angel is not a champion anymore(and hasn't been for some time) and seems to have become what he has fought against for so long(a villainous threat to the world).

Then there's Buffy, who is scorned by the very slayers that meant so much to her and in her mind scorned even by Giles. Plus, you can tell that Willow feels that Buffy damned the world that she is supposed to protect.

I would say that Buffy changed course back in season 6, it's been noticeably different ever since. Darker, greyer and more Angel-like. People say Marti changed everything, but Joss has been running things for the past two seasons. I know it's utterly ridiculous and not true, but I still like to think that the Buffy that came back in season 6 wasn't the same Buffy. I remember when Dawn tried to bring back her mom, there was this idea that anything brought back from the dead doesn't come back "right"

[ edited by Arkham258 on 2011-05-11 22:56 ]

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home