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December 14 2015

The AV Club consider Buffy's 'Amends' to be a Christmas classic. "What this episode captures, and what so few other "holiday special" episodes of TV fail to appreciate, is just how dark Christmas despair can get."

Some great discussions going on in the comments section of this article... Warms my heart that people still hold this show so closely to their heart...
Looks like I'll be watching "Amends" with my wife before Christmas this year... Possibly a new tradition?

[ edited by Simpleba on 2015-12-14 19:21 ]
Oh man, I would encourage the new tradition, Simpleba! One of the reasons I wrote this piece is because I've watched "Amends" every Xmas for the past decade, and it felt like time to acknowledge that it deserves to be in the pantheon of great holiday-themed TV episodes.
I was happy to see this article because I watch 'Amends' almost every Christmas. The scene on the hill gets me every time and I think it's one of Joss's underrated episodes. I think of it as the real beginning of 'Angel' the series.

I'm a little surprised that this article has no mention of 'A Christmas Carol'. Or is that influence too obvious?
Nice article, I love "Amends", very underrated episode.
I think a lot of viewers were so upset by Buffy's bangs in that episode that they had trouble focusing on the wonderful story. I hated the bangs at first but now love them. Kind of like Season 6...
Not a favorite of mine, but always found it interesting that this, of all episodes, introduced such a seemingly important villain in The First Evil, who went untouched until Season 7 (and is a cheesier concept than I'd expect from Whedon and friends...the Buffyverse didn't need its own version of Satan, albeit with strange non-corporeal/no-touchy limits on it). I still think The First Evil was all talk and was self-named...not literally the first demon or evil spirit to exist in the history of Buffyverse-Earth or its universe.

I don't even remember what The First's goals were...it was messing with Angel at the time...why ? And then where'd it go for three and a half years ? I'd have to watch Season 7 again, but what did it want that season ? To end the slayer line, but what does that get it ? Was it trying to become corporeal ? Or just sowing chaos and making it easier for demons, hoping to open the Hellmouth, etc...?

Magic snow (and really dense cloud cover, how convenient)...blech, cheese. I remember, at the time of airing, being disappointed after the powerhouse trio of eps that were "Revelations", "Lovers Walk", and "The Wish".

On the other hand, retroactively, I can accept (and I even kinda like), that it was the Powers-That-Be or specifically the Power-That-Would-Be-Jasmine looking out for Angel and saving him for their purposes (or if her purposes, it puts an awesomely dark twist on such a sunny ending -- sure, Angel's saved, but so that he could end up the grand-daddy of an entity that would kill a lotta people on its quest to be born -- The Beast's rain of fire, for starters -- and then need to consume something like 1000 people per day to sustain itself).

[ edited by Kris on 2015-12-15 05:53 ]
As far as Amends go, I'm pretty sure The First's goal was to have Angel sleep with Buffy, go all Angelus and kill her. I'm guessing it had an idea of what could transpire if Buffy didn't die until Willow was powerful enough to bring her back and such.
By Season Three Buffy had stopped the Hellmouth from opening and prevented Acathla from ending the world, all within two years. That's reason enough for The First to want to wipe her out, and I like the idea that it already knew how dangerous she would be to it later. As for why it waited, it's a bit hand-wavy, but they do say in Season Seven that Willow raising Buffy from the dead made the slayer line especially vulnerable. Plus maybe it took a few years for The First to build its following after Buffy defeated the Bringers so easily in 'Amends'.

It's a very Jossian touch that basically everything The First says in 'Amends' is true. Right down to it telling Angel that sooner or later he will drink Buffy's blood.

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