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December 05 2005

'Amends' is one of TV Guide's favourite holiday TV episodes. The classic episode from Buffy season 3 features alongside 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' and 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'.

I didn't like the first time I saw it but it's really grown on me on repeat viewing. Darn good episode.

I was so into the Bangel at that point so the hilltop scene was simply powerful. It made me cry. It really hit home for me. I love this episode and it's one I need to revisit again on Christmas Eve.

I laugh at the snow on the ground though. Freshly fallen snow doesn't normally look like a damn root system, but it's MAGIC snow so it can do what it wants.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2005-12-05 13:09 ]

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2005-12-05 13:10 ]
I'm with electricspacegirl on this one. I will be watching it several times over the holiday.

I think one of my favourite lines is "Sorry to bother you". In fact I love that whole scene.

Don't get much chance to see freshly fallen snow here so I'm not too bothered about the way it looks.
One of my favourite episodes, this one. Also: The First.
Eh ... I kinda thought this was way too campy for Season 3. I did like seeing Jenny again, but the Christmas-Carol-like ending left a bad taste in my mouth.

I think I might be related to the grinch. :)
Eurgh! I liked the whole The First haunting Angel bit, that was very well done. But the cheesey bit on the hilltop was too much. Or so I thought, until it started snowing. That was just too cringeworthy for words. They are at each others throats one minute and then walking hand in hand through the snow the next like nothing had happened. Laaaame. IMO. :0)
lynnie, the snow was a miracle. Thus the shutting up and marveling.
I think The West Wing's "Noel" should be on that list too... great episode.
Also missed was the X-Files season 6 episode: "The Ghosts that Stole Christmas."
I hate that magic snow ending with all my being.
Amends is brilliant for many reasons, methinks, but mostly for the Barry workin' for Willow.

Genius!

Seriously, I think it is truly a top 20, maybe top 10 Buffy episode.
To me, the Jenny haunting parts get repetitive (although it WAS great to see her again), to the point where I'm "Oh, shut UP already!" But I love the hilltop scene, and the miracle soap snow. It is cheesy, but lovely and heart-filling, too.
Also missed was the X-Files season 6 episode: "The Ghosts that Stole Christmas."

I never watched X-Files, but hubby showed me that episode last year. It's adorable!

As for Amends...to my hubby's eternal consternation I tend to not remember non-Spike season 3 episodes very well and we haven't watched season 3 in a long time. Since I was Bangely, I'm sure I enjoyed it, but I do remember bits...the snow at the end I remember, and it was a bit of alright.
I'm with eddy.

I thought Joss created BtVS to make fun of episode endings like this one.
Count me in on not liking the magic snow. IMO it does not fit in with the entire rest of the series. I cringe when I see it. Of course I just had a thought; could Angel's curse be so powerful that it can get the weather to conspire to not allow him to end his own misery? Hmmmm. Sounds pretty unlikely, but it makes me feel a little better about it. ;-)

One of my favorite holiday episodes is the Northern Exposure episode where Joel is dealing with the suductive nature of Christmas trees, the Native peoples are celebrating what amounts to the solstice and Holling sings Ave' Marie for Shelly who is missing a big Catholic Christmas mass. I loved how they managed to do a whole cultural examination of what the season means to people while still giving it sweetness and heart. Just sappy enough for my tastes but with a lot to say that has not been said very often or in that way.

[ edited by newcj on 2005-12-05 17:44 ]
Another vote against the snow. This is one of the few BtVS episodes ("Ted" is another) where the episode is basically good, but I get the feeling that they couldn't figure out how to end it. Or maybe fell in love with a bad ending, and couldn't see the badness. Or just ran out of time to fix it. Or something....

Fortunately, these are really rare in the Whedonverse. Unlike Lost, where sometimes I'm half-expecting everyone sitting around the campfire to break out in Kum Bah Yah.
I don't know. Never cared much about Amends. Then again, never cared about Bangel either. The episode is definitely not bad though and I liked the snow. Don't care if it is fake.
I loved Amends, with the exception of some bad Angelus hair flashbacks, though I agree with Willowy and the whole wanting Jenny/The First to shut up. I've always thought of Amends as a set-up for AtS. We had to have a turning point in Angel's life that allowed him to strike out on his own and try to find some redemption. Up until Amends, it wasn't happening. Plus, we got a hint that TPTB had plans for Angel.

Amends also gave Angel & Buffy a chance to express their true feelings for each other, post Angel/Angelus 'Damn, I have a pesky curse', and start to deal with those feelings.

I also loved the magic snow and the shot of the finally peaceful Buffy and Angel walking along, hand in hand. I loved all the end shots- Xander in his sleeping bag, Willow and Oz, Joyce and Faith...

[ edited by looking on 2005-12-05 18:14 ]
I like the snow for the sake of Beck's score. Beautiful.
Not a fan of Amends. I don't detest it (I reserve than emotion for Doublemeat Palace), but I wouldn't rank it anywhere near the top of my list of favorites, either. I've always hated the magic snow. Perhaps if it hadn't been for that, the episode would rank higher in my estimation, but I thought it was a particularly weak ending.
I'm not normally one for cheese nor soppy romantic stuff but I'm in the loving Amends and loving the ending camp. I'm also in the "The Ghosts that Stole Christmas." fanclub and think that it should definitely be in there.
I like to think of Amends as an early pilot for ATS.

Plus, I love Doublemeat Palace. I mean, it has a penis shooting white stuff - what's not to love?
On first viewing, I didn't care too much for Amends, partly because of DB's wincesome Oirish accent. But I do like it more and more. For me, the snow is just an open-hearted glance at the possibility of good things occasionally happening. In a show that's often laden with snark and tragedy, Amends is like a shiny little counterpoint, and one which gives more force to the darkness around it. Plus, as looking and Gossi rightly point out, it sets up the themes of Angel the Series pretty nicely.
I loved Ammends, with the exception of some bad Angelus hair flashbacks, though I agree with Willowy and the whole wanting Jenny/The First to shut up. I've always thought of Ammends as a set-up for AtS. We had to have a turning point in Angel's life that allowed him to strike out on his own and try to find some redemption. Up until Ammends, it wasn't happening. Plus, we got a hint that TPTB had plans for Angel.

Ammends also gave Angel & Buffy a chance to express their true feelings for each other, post Angel/Angelus 'Damn, I have a pesky curse', and start to deal with those feelings.

I also loved the magic snow and the shot of the finally peaceful Buffy and Angel walking along, hand in hand. I loved all the end shots- Xander in his sleeping bag, Willow and Oz, Joyce and Faith...


I agree with all your points, looking. I was trying to articulate what I was thinking but I had a long night. You said it better than I could anyway.
palehorse surely you don't dislike the phallic demon....*shivvvvver*
I won't say I loved Amends, but I did love the sappy ending, fake snow not withstanding. To me, it always meant that TPTB were saving Angel from the great evil of The First, and that they had more plans for him. And since I've always felt that Angel and Buffy belonged together, the hand-in-hand scene was okey-dokey by me. And who cares what the snow looked like anyway? It was an accessory, though a necessary one.
Plus, I love Doublemeat Palace. I mean, it has a penis shooting white stuff - what's not to love?


Well, let's put it this way, if I wasn't gay before...
It was corny mushy goo, but admittedly I got sucked into it, mostly due to Buffy's crying sad face.
It was corny mushy goo, but admittedly I got sucked into it, mostly due to Buffy's crying sad face.


Thank you for not referring to the Doublemeat Penis Demon like I first thought, because, ew.
Bad hair, bad accent and I never got the Buffy Angel relationship so that part didn't do much for me.

But Xander spending Christmas eve in his sleeping bag? Gets me every time. Sniffle.
I enjoy Amends in the same way I like the occasional sappy romantic comedy. It's a guilty pleasure. Not one of BtVS's greater moments in my opinion, though, and one I definitely have to suspend my critical faculties when I watch. At the same time I'm saying "Awww" as I watch Buffy and Angel tramp happily through the magic snow, a part of me is cringing, hard, inside. WAY more sap than the average episode, and a resolution that really doesn't fit with the internal rules of the show's universe. Still: Awwwww...
If anyone has ever wondered what a Buffy episode would be like if it was written and directed by Richard Curtis would be like, then 'Amends' is the one for you.

Course Emma Thompson playing Joyce, Colin Firth playing Angel and Hugh Grant as Giles would be highly entertaining.
And Renee Zellweger as Buffy? ew.
I think it is a great Christmas episode and certainly has a lot of the kind of stuff you would want from Christmas TV, but I don't think it's among the best episodes of Buffy.

I did think having The First around was a good idea, and it appearing as Angel's past victims inluding Jenny was great and finds in perfectly with season seven. It was also nice to see some of the awkwardness between Buffy and Faith, because it shows that Christmas doesn't instantly solve everyone's problems, which was also emphasised by poor Xander sleeping outside, and the charm of Oz choosing to wait to sleep with Willow.

Perhaps the snowy ending was a little bit trite, but I didn't think it was too sentimental, it was nice. Also, the idea that Angel may have been brought back by a dark power to use him as a weapon or something, and that's why it snowed, is also interesting. Did we ever get official word on that, by the way? I think I remember reading that there is a giant connection between whoever brought Angel back (either the PTB or The First) which also fits in with the predestined course of action to bring Jasmine onto this plane of existance, and how The First and Jasmine were sort of working against each other. Do we actually have official word from Joss on how the whole thing was connected?

I have sadly yet to see the Charlie Brown Christmas, it seems to be on regularly in America at Christmas but not here. I have to see the Snoopy Dance. I've seen it before but not in that film.
I really loved Amends, too. I even watch it when it isn't holilday time. I think David and Sarah really shine in this one. And I absolutely loved the snowy ending. Sometimes I just watch that ending with the weather forecaster and the movie marquee and the walk in the snow. What can I say? I am not offended by honest sentiment and I believe in love. By the way, I am pretty sure that Joss has said the snow was good, a miracle.
It's a story of redemption, and Angel is redeemed, partially, at least through his deep repentence, which is, after all, the first step toward redemption. I like the TexLuvsAngel's notion that the PTB stepped in and saved Angel, because they weren't done with him...yeah, a kind of pre-pilot for AtS.

I think it's bloody brilliant.
I'm with SNT on this one. With cable channels making the same mushy dull schmaltzy Christmas movies that can't hold a candle to "A Christmas Carol (Alistair sim and George C. Scott versions)" and "It's a Wondeful Life", "Amends" took a different path to show us the miracle of hope and redemption. It was also schmaltzy because of the Miracle Snow thanks to the Powers That Be, but had an edge--and Sunnydale looked a lot less Hellmouth-like in the snow.
and I am Bangel for life!
Check out Marshmallow World, a fun, wicked little story that takes place on Christmas day before the snow melts. If anyone wants to a little Christmasy Buffy fic to brighten up their holidays. :)
I like the TexLuvsAngel's notion that the PTB stepped in and saved Angel, because they weren't done with him...yeah, a kind of pre-pilot for AtS.


I've always assumed it was the PTB that caused it to snow to keep Angel alive for one more day so he'd choose the path to redemption. I also believe it was the PTB that brought him back from hell. The First was just taking credit for it to try to use him to its advantage. I think Firsty sensed Angel was a potential crux in its future plans so it wanted him either evil or dead. The PTB had definite plans for Angel and I'm sure they brought him back so he could fulfill them.

As for 'ships, mine are fluid but their will always be a little (or a lot) of Bangel in me. They were my first Whedon tragedy and you don't ever forget that.
Count me in as a fan of the 'cheesy' snow! "Amends" is in my top ten favorite BTVS episodes. And it is the ending that makes it that way. I have never thought that the snow was cheesy at all. To me it is a powerful event. I also love the montage showing how the snowfall interacts with Faith, Xander, Willow and Oz. Call me a girlyman, but I tear up almost everytime when I catch the end of that one!

We all love the 'low-mortality' of characters in Joss' shows (it is the pain that keeps us watching, right?) However, it makes it that much more special when the rare moments of happiness occur in these character's lives. I can probably count four or five instances where something good happens on a Joss show with absolutely no karmic 'price' to be paid as a result.

Now if I wanted only 'karmic-free' happiness; I'd watch 7th Heaven or Charmed. But the occasional happy ending is appreciated by this fan.
No Charlie Brown Christmas in Europe? How sad. I hope you get a chance to see it sometime Razor. It is very low tech but also very sweet.
I think I might have said this last year when we talked about Amends, but I like how it inverts the film "It's a Wonderful Life." The First is Clarence who shows Angel his past in order to lead him to suicide. It's fun to compare the two and watch how Joss takes several images and plot points and turns them on their heads. Ultimately the message is better as well. The movie is about what you did in your past, Amends focuses on what we do with our future.

Plus it sets up that nice moment in Angel in the Conor to Quortoth aftermath where Angel talks about buying a snow globe and then remarks that it never snows in Southern California. Cordy then says, "It did once."
Wasn't Cordy in Aspen or something during "Amends"? I suppose she would still know about it but I suppose she missed it.

NewCJ, they did actually show the first Charlie Brown film here last week, but the Christmas film isn't like a regular staple or anything. I hope they do show it though. I love reading Peanuts in the newspaper and I have seen some of the films before. Such a basic but funny comic, there really is something endearing and identifiable about all the characters.
And the music for the Charlie Brown Christmas! It is by the Vince Guaraldi trio & is just perfect.
All this talk of Amends has made me want to see it again but I have lent those seasons to a some friends of mine who have seen Angel and Firefly but not Buffy. They are 17 & 18, so I am still catching them young!
Razor, Sorry to be dense but what do you mean by the first Charlie Brown film?

I agree it has such staying power because the kids and situations are so very universal and easy to identify with...including the dog. It even worked as a musical.

For the record, I don't dislike Amends. I just really don't like the magic snow. Good things happening sometimes, I do like.
Okay, I'm late, but Electricspacegirl? bwa ha and also...ewwwwwwwwww...
Biff, that's an interesting take on Amends. I'll have to think of that when I watch it again this year.
Simon and SNT - wouldn't that be fun - having a dinner party while discussing recasting Buffy and Angel with A List actors. The goal is to see who gets the first person to fall off their chair laughing.
redfern, where would Donald Sutherland figure in?!
Brilliant, Willowy, just brilliant. :) And I was thinking the Master . . .
I was thinking the First. Then he would never actually appear on screen or have any lines...

(I know. Bad me. Bad bad me. This probably doesn't need to be said, but I like D Sutherland's performances in general, it is just really unfortunate what hapened with him in regards to BTVStM. )
newcj, that was a bit of a mistake on my part. I just know one of the films was on last week, and I can't remember the exact title, I thought it was just Charlie Brown and assumed it was the first film, but I think it had something else in the title. It had the characters flying kites, if that helps.
How about (being totally random and without thinking about it much)
Ben Affleck as Angel
Matt Damon as Spike
John Cusack as Xander
Andie MacDowell as Cordelia
Scarlett Johansson as Buffy
Bill Murray as Giles
Susan Sarandon as Joyce
Kate Hudson as Willow

or even better - take the cast of another movie and reuse then
Bladerunner
Rutger Hauer as Spike
Harrison Ford as Angel
Darryl Hannah as Buffy
Sean Young as Cordelia
etc
Heh, redfern, I had Ben Affleck down as Angel too in my mental list. But your cast actually sounds pretty good - I'd watch - for fun, obviously - Scarlett as Buffy and Bill Murray as Giles any day. And certainly Susan Sarandon as Joyce and John Cusack as Xander.

How about Ashton Kutcher as Spike, Jessica Simpson as Buffy, and Lindsay Lohan as Willow?
SNT: LOL Aston as Spike, bloody hell thats funny
We need to put more thought into this...
Hugh Laurie as Giles?
Jack Nicholson as the Master?
Tom Cruise as Angel?
We need to put more thought into this...
Hugh Laurie as Giles?
Jack Nicholson as the Master?
Tom Cruise as Angel?


*snort* Tom Cruise as Angel! That's so funny I want to see it. Laurie as Giles and Nicholson as the Master would be perfect. Yes.
SNT - Ye gods, man...

redfern - /chuckle

Just caught Laurie in an ep of Blackadder the other day :) Too fun.
Hugh Laurie has to play the tormented Wesley on Angel...I've several times commented on the similarity.

Susan Sarandon is perfect for Joyce, and I'm pretty sure I've commented on that to my wife before.

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