Headscratchers for ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. Spoilers abound.
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[[folder:The Master's Skeleton]]
* A ''Buffy''/''Angel'' combination: when the Master, aged about 600-800 according to WordOfGod, died in season 1 of ''Buffy'', it took him at least 15 seconds to go poof in a long process of shrieking and vaporizing (as opposed to the usual 2-second drill). And even then, a skeleton remained which had to be crushed later. In season 5 of ''Angel'', however, a ''freakishly'' ancient vampire called The Prince of Lies, who was a play on Nosferatu and was reportedly as old as darkness itself, got dusted by Angel and turned to ashes just as easily as any other vamp. Not even a skeleton or anything. CanonDiscontinuity, anyone?
** It's never been directly stated that a vampire's durability is affected by his age. While it's almost certainly a factor, there are probably many other elements. The Master, for example, was steeped in magic, and had spent the best part of a century testing the magic of the Hellmouth. Besides that, who knows the truth of the Prince of Lies' reputation? I rather like the interpretation of (the similarly Nosferatu-inspired) ''Shadow of the Vampire'', in which the vampire himself can no longer remember his origins or age.
** Even if a vampire's durability is affected by his age (it probably is), '''how''' he ages and ''"evolves"'' seems to be different for each vampire. The oldest ones that we know are the Master, the Prince of Lies, Kakhistos and Dracula (and then Darla and Drusilla, I guess... leaving the soul boys aside): they're all pretty different from each other. So, if there's not a recurring ''standard'' for their elderly non-life, there's no reason to assume there is a common ''standard'' for the way they get dusted. Heh... look at how Darla got dusted: I doubt the Master would be able to do ''that''.
*** Actually if you assume the Prince of Lies is lying (in addition to being fifty or sixty years younger when when we met him) they seem to be somewhat consistent. The Master is according to word of god 600-800 (I think Word of God is lying/mistaken) and has apparently gotten so old that he has no need for a human face. Kakistos is so old that he has cloven hooves like a demon which would make him logically older than the Master. Perhaps less trained in the arcane arts but older physically. Now the reason I suspect Word of God is lying about the Master being 600-800 is because I have a hard time believing that Spike is a young vampire at just under two hundred (I know he got retconned into being younger than that) but Giles makes that sound like a fledging, the vampire equilvalent of a teenage hooligan. I'm supposed to believe that the oldest recorded member of an immortal race that becomes stronger with age is only three or four times the age of their "teens?" It wouldn't shock me at all if the Master was closer to double that age.
** It didn't bug me with the Prince of Lies. I assumed he was ya know, lying. What rightly pissed me off was Kakistos a vampire so old he had lost his human features.
* Why was Xander still considered one of the good guys after his behavior in the season 2 finale? And two episodes into season three?
** Because he wasn't trying to kill/maim/destroy anyone?
** Because he's not a MarySue. Even good guys screw up, and let's face it, Angelus was a menace and nearly killed them all, hell he almost destroyed the entire world. Telling Buffy just to kick his ass and not hold was, in his eyes, the best plan, since even if Angel got his soul back, there'd be no guarantee he'd get it again.
*** I agree that non-MarySue good guys screw up. However, they should expect to face some consequences when they do. Xander effectively decided that he knew better than not just Buffy, but Willow, Giles and even Jenny. So he proceeded to break a promise to Willow, and in the process make Buffy think that Willow wasn't in any more mood to help her than he was. Yeah, good guys do make rash decisions like that, but shouldn't he have at least gotten ''reprimanded'' for it? He suffered no consequences whatsoever.
*** People don't automatically suffer consequences in reality - why should they in fiction, whether he was wrong or not? Personally this troper feels Xander was the only one with any sense of perspective about Angel. I spent half of Season 2 and 3 going "Just bloody stake him already!" OK, there wouldn't have been the spin-off but in other terms, it's amazing that the characters so soon ''forget'' that Angel is dangerous.
**** Part of the reason we enjoy fiction is because people suffer consequences that they might escape in real life. In any case, the Scooby Gang as a whole is pretty bad at dealing with demons wearing loved ones' faces - see the whole group in Dopplegangland and Xander himself in Selfless.
** Because nobody knew but him. In Season 7 during one of the ''many'' arguments between Buffy and the rest, she calls Xander on his phrase "kick his ass", to which Willow responds "I never said that". Willow had no reason to believe Xander didn't pass the message on, and Buffy had no reason to believe Willow said anything but that unless Xander raised the topic himself, which is...unlikely.
*** Okay, then, why didn't they reprimand him when that argument was finished? I hoped that they would, and I know that I'm not the only one.
*** It's been 5 years and everything turned out OK. What would be the point?
**** I didn't mean the ''in-universe'' explanation for why he didn't have to face up to what he'd done, I was asking why the ''writers'' never had him face up to what he'd done, and we the viewers aren't supposed to mind?
***** Look at it from the point of view of watching it since it was airing. That was almost 5 years ago. Would you care about a minor lie someone told you 5 years ago?
****** Minor? Whether you think it was the right thing to do or not, it was a very large, very important lie.
**** I was of the impression that the Season 7 reference was: a. a shout out to season 2 and b. a kind of "hey, look how bad things are that the gang didn't pick up on this" thing.
***** I was of the impression that it was a TrollingCreator saying "Ha, ha, this very important issue that has divided the fandom for years will never, ever be dealt with and there's nothing you can do about it!"
***** I was of the impression that it was five years later and they kind of had other, bigger fish to fry at that point rather than exploring wrongs that two of them didn't even realize had been committed until that point, so maybe we shouldn't get so sore about it. At least they ''did'' acknowledge it eventually.
** Also, who's to say it was the wrong thing to do? At that point, Xander had no confidence that the spell would work, and also knew that even if it did, that the gateway to Hell could still be open, and that telling Buffy to "hold it back" could (and probably would) get her killed. Saying "kick his ass" instead of "hold it back" probably saved her life. And even if it didn't, it was his prerogative to decide what Buffy needed to hear at that moment. If you knew that someone had to do something hard that they had no confidence in doing, would you tell them to only do it until they could give up, or would you have them push through it all despite the hardship? Granted, Angel DID get his soul back, but that was AFTER the gate was open, and killing him and using his body to close the gate was still necessary. Selfish on Xander's part? Yes. But not irredeemably evil. And certainly not the ONLY time he's ever done something stupid. Remember that love potion? If they can keep him around after that, then slipping in a few words of encouragement can be forgiven, especially if it was really needed by Buffy (she still wasn't sure she could do the deed herself, remember. She needed it more than blind hope.)
*** None of that explains why Xander thought he had any right to talk to Buffy the way he did in the second episode of season three...
**** He's upset with her. From his point of view, she bailed on them and left them to manage the fort without (from what I recall) even letting them know she's alive. Granted, he bears some responsibility for why she did so, but people's feelings can be complex.
**** While we saw the note Buffy left for her mother, it stands to reason that Joyce may've just lied to them by saying Buffy went to see her father if asked. Also remember that at the time of Buffy's departure, Willow is in a wheelchair and the whole gang has just dealt with the world almost ending. Buffy's suddenly gone and it's pretty much left to an injured inexperienced witch Willow, a Watcher in Giles, an inexperienced Xander, an inexperienced Cordelia, and a three days of the month werewolf Oz to protect Sunnydale. While they probably just fought off vampires, something bigger could have occurred too and Buffy was nowhere to be found and none of them had any idea where she was or if she was even alive. Willow makes mention of the fact that they dusted just six out of ten vampires (she says 9 of 10 but Oz corrects her) and who knows how many they did not even encounter. Willow points out how they had to pick up the slack to Buffy.
--->Buffy: You guys were doing just fine without me.
--->Willow: We were doing the best we could! It's not like we had a lot of choice in the matter.
*** Buffy took her friends for granted. She ran off, came back three months later and expected to be treated just as before as if nothing had happened. I don't blame her, she was in a world of pain that summer but I don't blame Willow and Xander for feeling hurt by such a behavior either. Also notice that the scandal in Dead Man's Party only starts after Buffy tries to skip town once more which led Willow amd Xander to believe that Buffy didn't care about them or their friendship. Selfish? Yes. Human? Totally.
**** But that only happened after Willow repeatedly avoided Buffy when Buffy needed her the most (blew her off and the party), and her mother said having her back was in some ways worse. You can say Buffy was selfish, but her friends were just as bad, if not worse for trying to call her on it while ignoring their own faults. Granted they wouldn't have known how hard it is on Buffy, since they didn't know at this point that Buffy was forced to kill Angel while he had his soul - which undoubtedly must have made this whole thing much, much worse for her - but Willow thought she had succeeded, so the clues were there had she bothered to look.
** Xander is considered one of the good guys because he is in fact a good guy. Yes, there's a lot of shades of gray involved but not more so than Buffy herself.
** If Xander changed the outcome of Season 2 at all, though, he basically did it for the better. Telling Buffy that Willow was trying to restore Angel's soul would have most likely made her more hesitant in fighting him in the first place. Once it happened, I doubt there was any confusion as to what had happened (Buffy already knew Willow had tried once and been attacked). Buffy being forced to stab him would have happened regardless, since Angel succeeding in removing the sword happened regardless. Not to mention, Xander saved Giles. As for his behavior in Season 3, he's pissed at Buffy for abandoning them all, and arguably he's justified in it. Willow, Joyce, and Giles are ''all'' pissed at her, Xander just is the most outward about it.
** So, remind me why so many people think Xander's the reason that Buffy had to send Angel to the hell dimension. Season 3 startup scrappiness aside, had he told her "Oh, Willow's trying to give him back his soul, keep him away from the statue but try not to kill him," the only way it could ''possibly'' have changed (due to Buffy going all-out in the timeline that did happen) is that Angelus might have killed Buffy and/or gotten to Acathla slightly earlier. Since he did tell her "kick his ass" (more specifically, that that's what Willow had wanted to say), it would have risked Buffy dusting Angel before he got his soul back, or before she noticed that he had been re-ensouled (which didn't happen), but it also stopped her from holding back and increasing the risk of Angelus killing her or completing the ritual (the latter of which, unfortunately, happened anyway). Is the problem that if Buffy had held back and Angelus had completed the ritual and (assuming Buffy could even overpower him in the same, useful way she had Angel) gotten sent to the hell dimension, that he wouldn't have had a soul at the time and wouldn't have been miserable? That he wouldn't have had a soul at the time and Buffy wouldn't have felt so guilty? A combination of the two (what I think is the case)? Or something else?
*** Giving Angel his soul back was only a back-up plan in case Buffy failed to kill him anyway... And given it's a ''curse'', it's not as though Willow would have been doing him, and therefore Buffy, much of a favor, which she'd have realized if she'd thought it through. Any guilt surely belongs to Willow not Xander. As the troper above said, Buffy would have needed to kill Angel anyway.
** So Xander is blamed for putting a higher priority on saving the world than saving Angel or being honest with Buffy? Can I just revel in certain fans' fabulous lack of priorities? Not to mention that Angel pulled the sword from Acathla before Buffy had a chance to engage him in a fight an stall for time waiting for the spell to work so the whole thing is monumentally moot.
*** Don't kid yourself about Xander's motives. When confronted with a demon wearing his best friend's face in Dopplegangland, and his lover's in Selfless, he was just as reluctant to kill as Buffy.
**** Those situations don't equate the Angelus scenario. Neither Vampire Willow nor Anyanka were trying to destroy the world. They were minor threats that were both neutralised by the end of encounter (Vampire Willow via sending her back to her world and Anyanka by giving up her powers to fix the damage). Xander's reaction to Willow as a vampire is exactly the same as Buffy and Giles' and when it came to Anyanka he knew she wasn't a 'destroy the world' type and was searching for a way to fix things that didn't involve killing.
** I think I can answer this. Xander wanted to MurderTheHypotenuse, thus didn't reveal the plan to resoul Angel. As for ''Dead Man's Party?'' WordOfGod was the events of the episode were to be dragged out a lot longer, but the writers wanted to get to the Mayor plot, thus they cobbled together a hack that looked like it belonged in season seven.
*** Oh please. If Xander actually wanted Angel dead, all he'd have to do is catch the guy asleep and set him on fire. Dawn figured that one out, so its not like Xander's going to miss it.
**** And yet he never did so all the while he was lecturing the rest of the Scoobies on their dereliction of duty. It's almost like he didn't quite dare to do it himself.
***** ''Xander'' not quite dare it himself? Xander Harris? Suicidally courageous Xander Harris who throws himself into fights he can't possibly win? Who openly intimidated Angelus into walking away when Buffy was hospitalized, repelling the legendary vampire by sheer ball size alone? Who walked into Angelus's den with Buffy, being nothing more than, by his own admission, "a scared guy with a rock"? How about the time he stared down Jack in the Sunnydale basement and got him to disarm a bomb simply by being more brave than he was? The examples are endless. Say what you will about Xander Harris, he is many things both good and bad, but a coward is not one of them. He's probably the boldest person in the entire cast and has, on several occasions, set out on his own initiative to kill or force other, VERY dangerous characters to do things against their will, Angel among them.
* Leaving Anya at the altar for an absolutely BS reason, no one, AT ALL, calling him out on this, and then Xander having the unmitigated gall to judge Anya for having sex with Spike in the immediate aftermath? W.T.F? This was the exact moment when I got turned well and truly off BVTS.
** Xander'd been uncomfortable with the impending marriage all season. The unfortunate fact is, he's just too young; the big Apocalypse proposal was a grand and powerful gesture, but after they all lived through it, he started to have cold feet. He NEEDED to talk to Anya about maybe putting it off all season; Once More With Feeling even gave him them a song about this problem, I'll Never Tell, the title of which is precisely why it all went to hell. That he broke off the wedding was inevitable; the demon itself only gave his season-long fears and doubts solid form and forced him to face up to them. It's the timing that was just ''terrible''.
*** What pisses me off is that that makes Xander's assurance about his apocalypse marriage proposal complete BS, and that Anya was completely on the money when she accused him of that.
**** He probably genuinely believed he meant it at the time. Anya saw through it initially because she's actually pretty decent at the same "See it for what it is, with all the social and ethical bs stripped from it" shtick that Spike is, but I have no doubt Xander honestly believed he was ready for it in the heat of the moment, and only started to freak out afterwards. But yeah, Anya was totally right.
**** I prefer to believe that he really did mean it, and that was just backpedaling by the writers.
** Everyone seems to miss this point, but in "Hell's Bells", it's implied that Xander leaves Anya because [[FreudianExcuse his father was abusive toward his mother]] and as a result he's irrationally terrified he'll one day ''hurt or even kill'' Anya if they get married. This isn't so much a BS excuse as it is an indication that Xander needs lots and lots of therapy.
*** Not lots of therapy, just one sentence from Anya: Xander, just how much abuse do you suppose a former vengeance demon would take? Xander never gave her the chance.
*** Also, there's a fanfic where he talks to Marcy after she becomes invisible and before she goes nuts ([[ItMakesSenseInContext they're locked in a windowless room with the lights off by accident]]) and basically says that he doesn't dare get into a relationship with Willow because he's afraid that if he was ever abusive towards her she would just be quiet and take it, but a relationship with Buffy would be alright because if he tried to hit her she would stop him by hitting back harder.
**** Well, Xander just spent the episode living his worst nightmare. Asking him to put it aside in the span of ten minutes and get married in front of the very people he's terrified of turning into might be asking a bit much.
* Forget all the small stuff: what about the mass Criminally Negligent Homicide he committed in the Once More With Feeling?
** He's in good company, then. Spike and Anya both intentially slaughtered thousands of people. Willow would go on to nearly destroy the world. Giles killed Ben, not to mention all that stuff he did as a teenager. Buffy chose to protect her sister over the world. Granted, it worked out in the end, but it still may count as criminally negligent homicide. The point is, while what he did was stupid and careless, it in no way makes him the black sheep of the Scoobies.
** Most of the time, Xander is a comic relief character, and comic relief characters on ''Buffy'' rarely get the same moral judgement non-comic relief characters do. That's why Angel hates himself for being a murderer and is frequently scorned and mistrusted because of it, while Anya reminisces fondly about all the people she's killed and never gets a stronger rebuke than "You're making people uncomfortable". That's because Angel isn't a comic relief character, while Anya is (or ''was'', until "Selfless").
*** Angel is regarded with mistrust because he was evil for a while, not because of his character type. He murdered people (including Giles' girlfriend) and tried to bring about the end of the world. It's not like the characters know that they're in a tv show. The idea that [[ButtMonkey Xander]] gets away with more because his emotional trauma is usually PlayedForLaughs is doesn't make sense.
* In "Innocence", Spike and Dru realise that Angel's curse has been broken when the Judge fails to burn him, declaring that there is no humanity in him. But why was he able to burn the (presumably equally soulless) vampire Dalton in the previous episode?
** Dalton loved to read for the joy of reading and to acquire knowledge, which were "good" traits.
** It's not just a soul, it's how "human" they are. Dalton had a very human love for love and study, hence he got burned. The Judge also mentions that Drusilla and Spike could be burned because of their love for each other. Angelus couldn't be burned because he's just that sadistic.
* I've always though that Dalton was one of those "Not so bad" villains that could've easily become a good guy. Though we didn't saw him that much, he seemed to be rather nice for a vampire. He may not had a soul, but he definitely had human emotions (a bit like Spike, or even Dracula) I even writed an unpublished oneshot fanfic about what would happened if he wasn't burn by the Judge... Yeah... Don't ask, Dalton was one of my favorites characters along with a few others "monsters of the week" like M. Trick, Kulak of the Miquot Clan and Sweet.
* The touch had no effect on Angelus to demonstrate he was pure evil and not faking or just sorta bad. Given his overall characterisation it makes no sense, it's just a symbol.
[[folder:I'd like to Order one slayer, extra-dead.]]
* Since the Order of Taraka turned out to be so scarily effective against a slayer, you have to wonder why they haven't been called on by other big bads throughout history. Spike's lackey questions whether hiring them is "overkill", but when Spike says it's "just enough kill", he has a point - who, from evil's point of view, is a bigger target than the slayer? It's possible that whatever price they demand for their services is far more than most would be willing to pay (and maybe that's what the minion meant by "overkill"), but it's interesting that a team of assassins capable of taking out a slayer has existed for centuries, but apparently hadn't been used in that way (if Giles' shocked reaction is any indication) until Spike hired them.
** One possible explanation is that, since a new slayer's immediately called by the death of the last one, most villains would consider killing the slayer to be nothing but buying a little bit of extra time. And if the Order of Taraka charges per individual Slayer, they could run up a huge bill very quickly...
** Killing a slayer is a big thing for a demon or vampire. Its a pride thing. Can you imagine some demon walking up to his demon buddies and bragging about hiring the Order of Taraka to kill the Slayer?
--->Demon 1: Hey I just killed the Slayer!
--->Demon 2: How'd you manage that?
--->Demon 1: I hired the "Order of Taraka to kill her!
--->Demon 2: ...wuss!
** It kinda makes sense that it might bother other demons to hire the order but not Spike. Since Spike had already killed slayers he didn't need the credibility. even if he outsourced this one he'd still be very well respected.
** Also, where did you get that the Order of Taraka was effective at killing the Slayer? XANDER and CORDELIA were able to kill one of their assassins. They sent three assassins to Sunnydale and all three turned up dead, with the Slayer alive and kicking. This, coupled with the above note about the Slayer line, means that fighting the Slayer ONCE might be good for a paycheck, but sustained conflict would be terrible for business. Slayers will continue to be called indefinitely. No matter how many assassins they have to throw at her when she's found, it's a losing battle. The Order of Taraka will run out of men long before the Slayer line spontaneously decides not to exist anymore.
** Most of the villians throughout the series aren't much concerned with Buffy. The Mayor specifically told Angel NOT to kill Buffy because he didn't want a new Slayer being called, one that could potentially sneak up on him at least he knew who this slayer was. Adam wanted her alive. Glory needed her alive or thought she did and if she wanted here dead she'd have done it. The Trio didn't want her dead. The First wasn't impressed. At all.
*** And as to other demons doing it throughout history, there's no way of knowing if it's ever been done before. As was mentioned above, killing the Slayer is a badge of pride among demons. Any demon who wound up paying the Order of Taraka to remove a particularly dangerous Slayer from their activities would never actually fess up to doing so. There could be any number of instances we will never know about because the hiring party lied about it and the Order of Taraka don't talk much.
[[folder:Angel's Invitation to Giles' Home]]
* Maybe I missed an earlier episode where Giles invited him in, but how did Angel get into his house to leave Jenny's corpse?
** Maybe Angelus threw the corpse and all the romantic stuff through the windows.
** I thought it was Jenny's house, so that he could come in once she was dead.
** It was established in a throw-away line earlier that Angel has an invitation to Giles', but we never learn why. I'm not normally one to call HoYay, but there's also the fact that, after it's established that Angelus is most driven to hurt those who Angel was close to, he did way more nasty stuff to Giles than to Buffy.
*** Until Jenny joined, Angel was the only other adult in the Scooby Gang. Its hardly suspicious that Giles would want a private place to confer with him. As for the 'way more nasty stuff', Angel killed Jenny Calendar because she was a threat to him, not just to get at Giles: leaving her corpse for Giles to find was merely a bonus.
*** Was the invitation magically revoked? The Christmas episode showed that Giles had to invite Angel in.
*** A few episodes after that (I don't remember exactly when, it might even have been before), Giles figures out how to revoke the invitation, which we see Buffy and Willow use in their houses (and in a throwaway comment, Cordelia's car). I would assume that they did the same to Giles' house.
**** "Passion" was the episode where they learned the de - invite spell; Giles was on his way home to perform it when he stumbled on "Jenny's" surprise.
**** Angel died and went to a hell dimension, thus wiping the slate clean. When he was brought back he had to be re-invited as Buffy does in "Lover's Walk".
**** Angel has been in Giles' apartment before, I think it was at the end of season 1 when he was helping Giles get the Codex.
**** Indeed, Angel is one of the best source of info the gang has had up to that point (the Harvest, the Master, the Judge, Drusilla, Spike, the Anointed One, etc.); it would have been normal for Giles to invite him in to discuss some of this, especially info they might not want the gang to hear. Remember, Buffy had walked in on them discussing her prophetized death when they did so in the School's library; they might not have wanted it to happen again.
[[folder:Why Contain Daryl?]]
* In the Season 2 episode "Some Assembly Required", I don't understand why they'd have to keep Daryl locked up like that. Is it because of the government? I think they'd be ''very'' happy and rewarding to people who know how to bring people back from the dead. Give mom a heart attack? Solve this problem by not letting her see him until they think it's the right time. Or, avoid all of the above issues by getting him a fake identity. All the scars on his face? Yeah, they're freaky as hell. But I've seen people who faces scarred even worse than that still living their lives, and the worst I've seen is people staring at them, never anything like getting screamed at for daring to show their faces in public. Makeup could also at least make the scars a bit less creepy. And his insanity seemed to have come from desperation and loneliness, so... yeah.
** Daryl was the one who wouldn't come out in public. At one point his brother tried to convince him to come out, he said no. At a guess I'd say it was because he'd been the guy every girl wanted and was now all scarred and green.
[[folder:Why Would a Moment of Pure Happiness Remove Angel's Soul?]]
* Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't get why the gypsies would make it so if Angel was happy, then he'd revert to being a complete monster. How would the pure happiness thing benefit them? Wouldn't it be easier to permanently bond the soul to him?
** Angel was cursed with a soul so that he'd have the emotion to feel and live with all the evil things he's done - leaving him without a soul or killing him wouldn't really have and effect but having a soul he'd have to live everyday in misery and guilt over everything. If he reached perfect happiness then the point of his soul (to punish him by having him miserable) is gone. Reverting him back to Angelus when he reached happiness would make sure that he could NEVER be happy.
*** It may or may not have been easier to permanently bond his soul. Magic is clearly established as being weird like that early on. The reality is that the gypsies were established to be dicks and maybe they thought that if he was enjoying being a vampire that they'd failed so epically they might as well let him go back to being free range evil. Honestly it makes LESS sense that his moment of perfect happiness happened when it did. I just barely survived a fight and an invincible demon has been resurrected, it's gonna take more than me getting in a girls pants to produce perfect happiness. Maybe it's just me who thinks the end of the world would be depressing enough to keep me from getting there. Though I probably would have gone evil when Buffy came back from the dead but that would have been REAL inconvenient.
*** Consider the context though. He has not been with a woman in over a century, at least where it had any meaning beyond sex. Hell, he has scarcely had ''any'' contract at all. Buffy was the first girl he truly loved, to the point she made him feel human again. "Getting into her pants" had a much greater significance based on that context, thus why he reached too happiness. I also agree with above in the gypsies were simply assholes that wanted him to suffer for eternity.
* It's stated in the spin off that his moment of pure happiness wasn't just because he got in a girl's pants, but because it was Buffy specifically, who Angel's completely in love with.
** No matter how in love you are a moment of perfect (remember in the same episode it's pointed out that most people have to deal with acceptable happiness and perfect happiness is an incredibly rare thing) happiness should not have came immediately on the heels of a near death experience, the ressurection of an unkillable demon who was going to kill both of them in short order. When she came back from the dead would have made sense, first kiss would have made sense, when she touched him in his vampiric form would have made sense. The only reason the curse didn't activate at any of those times is it likely didn't exist yet.
*** The heels of a neart-death experience is actually an excellent time for a moment of perfect happiness. Surviving a near-death experience makes everything more meaningful for people. We tend to take what we have for granted; when we come very close to losing everything, the world becomes a lot more flavorful for a while. Angel was still in that period of "Embrace and savor everything that happens" that comes after a near-death experience, shutting out all the bad to bury himself in the good (in this case, the sex). That was his moment of Perfect Happiness with Buffy.
* It's a [[TooDumbToLive unbelievably stupid and myopic curse anyway]] since all it does is make him ''feel bad'' when he's not committing horrible atrocities, with the contingency that he'll immediately go back to being a threat to all humanity should he ever be happy. When presented with the opportunity to permanently rid the world of a dangerous evil, these idiots choose instead to put a timer on it.
** ACTUALLY its not a stupid curse its pretty brilliant. They made Angel WANT to be miserable. His guilt not only made him suffer but he made himself suffer because he didn't want to risk happiness. Angel was honestly horrified with what he had done as Angelus and NEVER wanted that to happen again. They made it so it was seriously unlikely that Angel would ever be Angelus because they place him in a self correcting system. He would begin to get happy and then he would(theoretically)always make himself miserable again so he wouldn't lose his soul.
** Of course they did. They weren't trying to rid the world of evil. They were trying to make Angelus suffer a horrible torment. As Jenny's uncle put it, it was not justice they were after, it was vengeance.
* Honestly, the worst part is the fact that if he's truly in love with Buffy, almost every moment near her should be a moment of perfect happiness. If nothing else, the moment after the curse was put back on him, and he saw her for the first as if he'd gone months without seeing her, then that should have been a moment of perfect happiness. That moment when you wake up, and the person you love is there, and you touch them and feel them, and it feels like all the bad times are behind you, that should be a moment of perfect happiness. And thus the curse should have lifted immediately after it was replaced.
* Isn't anyone going to mention that that "moment" we're talking about here is actually the orgasm he has when sleeping with Buffy for the first time? As a moment of perfect happiness, a culmination of a relationship with a person you love, you can't top it, I'm sorry but waking up next to someone doesn't quite have the same emotional, physical, symbolical, radical, momentous appeal as sex does. Joss knows it. Joss is feelin' it.
** I don't think so. Or, at least, not the orgasm itself. It had more to do with who he was having sex with. The entire point was that Angel had a sexual connection with someone he loved (Buffy). Later, in his own show, Darla would use this to purposely bring back Angelus. She failed precisely because Angel didn't have the emotional connection required with Darla that was neccessary to create a moment of perfect happiness.
* The curse is stupid and counter productive, Jenny points this out and her uncle agrees they aren't working off logic. They wanted Angelus to suffer, if he stops suffering then the spell ends.
* Why did marginal exposure to indirect sunlight in What's My Line seem to weaken Angel to the point that he needed a relatively substantial amount of time to recover? Angel's wandered around in the sun before with just a coat over his head without any ill effects.
** Narrative convenience, even the writers admit that. After that he was recovering from the ritual were Drusilla sucked the 'life' out of him, it was supposed to kill him.
* Also, in a somewhat related question, why was Spike in a wheelchair in any case- wouldn't vampire healing have taken care of his injuries relatively quickly?
** Even with advanced healing some injuries just take longer and still may be permenent. They may have thought Spike was permenently paralysed.
*** Yeah, it's possible that vampire healing is just a sped up version of normal, human healing, not an altogether different thing. So an injury that could be healed if thenot for death (like a sword through the belly) can heal up, but a permanent spinal injury wouldn't because it's not something that the human body can heal.
**** Don't forget Spike DID heal much more quickly than expected by all parties. He was manipulating everyone because he hated Angelus. He was probably partially recovered before we knew about it. In fact it is implied.
[[folder:Angelus the ineffective]]
* Okay, so Angelus, the Scourge of Europe, the terror of the 18th and 19th century, gets unleashed by the curse being lifted due to a Roma loophole. That's fine, and brings out the chance of a really good villain. Problem, Angelus is not an effective villain. What did he do during his terrible spree in Sunnydale? He grilled some fish and broke Jenny Calendar's neck. Psychological torture is fine and all, but grilling fish, really? You could have gotten more conflict if Willow came home and found, instead of her fish had been barbecued, that her parents were limbless, or that her mom had been raped, or that the house was on fire with them inside. All of these are better than dead fish because they mean business, and up until he actually killed Jenny, I thought Angelus was nothing but hype. You might argue that its ContractualImmortality, but that's bogus, because at that point, we had never seen Xander's or Willow's parents, and they are hardly ever shown throughout the rest of the series.\\
Heck, imagine this, Giles goes into the library, and is shocked and horrified to find hanging from the shelves several high school students, lifeless and drained of blood. It doesn't cost us anyone we know, it establishes better warfare than dead fish, and shows that Angel is attacking their home turf much more effectively than drawings of Buffy's mom.\\
Another possibility is the death of one of the Scooby gang's parents. Cordy's, Xander's, whoever, leading to Angel forcing division in Buffy's ranks as well as dividing her forces to multiple points to protect them. The only way she can combat this is to reveal of the Masquerade to their parents as more people get involved and/or slaughtered.\\
The reason I made this rather gruesome rant? In season 2, we get a lot of hype on how EVIL and scary Angelus is, and for most of the season, it is unjustified.
* Even when we're shown how he was during his prime Angelus was really just a hooligan with vampire powers. He just has really good PR and believes his own hype. Really what we're shown really has him as just kinda petty in both Buffy and Angel.
* My guess is that as vicious as he may be, he's not stupid enough to pick a fight with the Slayer, especially when he knows just how strong she it. If I remember correctly, she never really tried her best to stake him, since he didn't really do anything that bad up until killing Jenny, which he only did because he knew that she was trying to ensoul him again (though I'm sure he didn't complain about the chance to kill her and then psychologically torture Giles and the rest of the gang with her death). Buffy still loved him and wasn't trying her hardest to kill him, and if he had committed any major atrocities, her anger would have outweighed her reluctance. He was more effective with small jabs of psychological torture; nothing bad enough to have Buffy going after him guns blazing, but disturbing enough to throw everyone off balance and never know what to expect next. That's my theory anyway.
* My theory is that the first time Angelus is released he gets the impression he's free for good. So, he starts playing it very slowly. If he had his way, he would have killed off every member of the Scooby Gang, individually and in the most sadistic way possible, and left their bodies for the survivors to find. Possibly over the course of a few years. The discovery of Acathla shifted his priorities, however, so he satisfied himself with sending the planet to hell. At any rate, when he re-emerges several years later [[spoiler: in season four of ''Angel'']], he knows he can be re-ensouled again if he's not careful, so his former teammates are prime murder targets. This would explain his much more dangerous behavior in that arc.
** Well, actually, Angelus in season four of Angel didn't go after his former teammates as prime murder targets because he knows he can be re-ensouled by them. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't he just decide to go back and go after his friends (former friends) after he found that there were no more people left around too kill due to the blackout?
** I agree that he was planning to take things slowly - he starts with pets, but also threatening Willow and Buffy that he can kill them while they sleep at any time. He also threatens Buffy with the possibility of killing Joyce. By Valentine's Day, he was planning to kill Xander, but was prevented by the bespelled Drusilla.
But the watershed moment for Angelus is when he's possessed by the teacher's ghost, and is forced to feel love again. He clearly views this as an utter violation, and its after this that he pretty much decides that he's through with the games and just wants to send everything to hell.
* Not to be cranky, but the version of season two that is described at the top of this thread sounds like a total drag. Yes, of course we could have had a season full of horrible graphic rape and murder and people mourning their parents, but that would have been a different show that I'd probably consider tacky and dull. Instead, terrible things are alluded to while Angel bides his time, kills fish, and oh yeah, eventually ''murders Giles's girlfriend and romantically arranges her body for him to find in his bed''. Which happens in the same episode as the fish killing, incidentally, because the show is toying with you in exactly the same way that Angel is toying with Buffy and friends. Your expectations are supposed to be dialed down before Jenny's death, and apparently they were. Not sure what the problem is other than wanting a different genre of show.
** OP here. I'm not saying I wanted a season of graphic television that the standards office would faint at. I'm saying I wanted Angelus to be an effective villain. If he was a vampire who just bought into his own hype, that would be one thing, but to have the entire cast soiling their respective pants because Angelus is in town, shows that we're meant to take him as a genuine threat, and most of what he does is just heckle them like a demonic Statler and Waldorf,. It's InformedAbility, and it's grating.
*** It's not an informed ability. Angel likes to emotionally torture people. He can get into their houses, he can murder their friends and family. He's fucking terrifying. The lack of sleep alone would have been torture enough.
**** It's entirely an informed ability. Angelus's power is clearly great PR. Look at his displayed history. He killed Jenny and I assume dozens of unnamed citizens. Big whoop, every vampire racks up an off screen kill or ten. The only truly impressive things he does is attempt to awaken Akathla, which is admitedly we need bigger scales on the one to ten scale of evil. He does all of nothing aside from try to eliminate direct threats when he comes back in Angel. Throughout the flash backs we find out that he wasn' even that terrible a vampire. Holts was hunting him, he eventually killed Holt' family. After that he doesn't do anything evil enough to warrent documentation. If the Gypsies weren't complete morons Darla would have ended up with a soul not Angel. Darla captured the girl, Darla delivered her to Angel. All he did was feed. It's not that Angel is blameless, he's about as blameless as a man sitting down to a steak dinner is of killing a cow.
* No, it's not an informed ability, actually. Angelus wasn't ''ever'' about racking up a kill count. It was explicitly stated by Angel himself that his goal was to do to Buffy what he did to Drusilla. And what was it he did to her again? He tortured her emotionally, killing off everyone she cared about one by one over the course of ''years'' and only once he was sure he had made her insane turned her into a vampire. Angel's game was to be played over the long haul, and other plans came up before it was even really getting rolling. It's not an informed ability on Angel either, as he tried to do the same thing to Holts. Angelus was never about the biggest body count. He was about picking a victim and torturing them personally until he had had his fill of them. That's why he's worse than other vampires. They just kill for food, they don't spend years torturing the same people for the fun of it.
** To be honest, a rampage by Angelus would've gotten old and have had less of an impact. One of those "less is more" writing techniques. The real impact was supposed to be on Giles and Buffy, and a history of bloodshed would have diminished it. Notwithstanding, Angel did murder Theresa specially for Buffy, tried to kill Xander, killed the girl whose heart he gave to Drusilla, and Jenny Calender's uncle. Then tried to end the world. I'd say that's as bad as they made him out to be.
* Also, as is referred to many, many times throughout the season by Spike himself, Angelus is not a master strategist. He didn't even consider the possibility of Giles coming after him for killing Jenny and was caught completely off-guard. In fact, if Giles hadn't been too caught up in his BerserkButton, given the weapons he had and how off-guard he caught Angelus (and how unwilling Spike was to lend a hand), odds are if he'd gone for a few arrows and a stake instead of a flaming baseball bat, that would have been the end for Angelus.
* I think Angel was enjoying the fact that Buffy was still too in love with him to kill him. For much of his time as a villain, he was playing a game of seeing just how far he could push Buffy before she actually came for him guns blazing. Jumping straight to attacking her in her sleep or dumping corpses all over the library would mean less time spent taunting Buffy with her inability to kill him.
[[folder: Council Communications.]]
The Watcher's Council has some of the worst communication skills in known history. It's bafflingly bad. First Buffy's death and revival caused Kendra to be called up which is explained fairly well except for a few things. It's clear that the Council knows about Buffy and that she's ALIVE. While it's possible Giles didn't directly report the situation to the Council (which would be bafflingly stupid but possible) when Kendra was called up there was apparently no confusion within the Council itself which is why nobody called Giles to offer condolences or anything of the sort. Worse when Kendra is sent to Sunnydale she immediately goes on the hunt. Why wasn't she sent TO GILES? She's clearly a take orders Slayer and the only reason she wouldn't immediately seek out an authority figure is because she wasn't aware that there was a local authority figure to check into and her Watcher knew there was trouble in a place he should have known had a Slayer and he didn't pick up the phone?!
** Seems to me that the Council and Giles always had a bit of a complicated relationship, what with Giles taking on a fatherly role for his Slayer and allowing her to do frivolous things like have friends and such. Odds are they left him there, out of the loop, so that he wouldn't cause any more trouble by allowing things like the Slayer coming back to life and plitting the powers to keep going on.
[[folder:The Soul Ritual]]
* Something that really bugged me was the group's decision to do the ritual to bring back Angel's soul in the library, considering that they had been attacked there before. Why not go to someone's house for easy protection from vampires? I know they wanted to get the ritual done ASAP to stop Angel from reviving Acathla, but since the ritual itself seemed to be a pretty short affair when done later on, it just seems like it would be worth using Oz's van to go to a house/apartment/etc while also preparing whatever else was needed. Hell, even just using Oz's van by itself would've made more sense, if it was true that cars are resistant to vampire entry (though Cordelia's whining about needing to get her car re-proofed against Angel earlier in the season could have just been Cordelia being stupid and the others finding it easier to humor her than to argue).
** Perhaps they wanted to be around all the books in case something went wrong. I mean yes Jenny translated the text of the original ritual but that's not to say they might have done something wrong and maybe one of the books in the library could have helped reverse it. If they'd been in someone's house and something went wrong they'd have to put the ritual on hold while someone went looking for the right book in the library, much easier to have all the books around. Also whose house do they go to where they don't have to explain why a group of them are going upstairs with strange ingredients and will be chanting for a few minutes? And maybe they also wanted to use the power of the Hellmouth for an added bonus.
[[folder: Kendra, Dru, Angelus and the Judge.]]
Kendra is sent to Sunnydale because her Watcher senses a dark presense rising in Sunnydale. Which turns out to be Drusilla. Let's for the moment forgive the fact that Kendra is the one who captures Angel for Spike because that wasn't her plan. What's so impressive about Drusilla that it qualifies as something to send the Slayer after? Of all our major vampires she's by far the most "tame" and the only major threat is her seeing which seems balanced by her crazy most of the time. Angelus however didn't qualify as a big threat until he found Acathla? I'll be the first to admit Angelus' reputation far and wide outstrips his actions but he's still clearly worse than Dru and the Judge was supposed to be invincible and might well have been a global threat had Xander not had a stroke of genius.
** It's implied (if not outright stated, I can't remember for sure) that, if Drusilla does not go through the healing ritual, she would soon die. If she dies, Spike presumably lacks a reason to begin assembling The Judge. Notice how Spike only reached an apocalyptic level of evil as a show of affection for Drusilla, and how quick he was to backstab Angelus on the Acathla plot when Drusilla was not mooning over him anymore. So, basically, Kendra's watcher thought to send Kendra to eliminate Drusilla because she is a vampire both crazy enough to do world-ending stuff and able to influence others into doing so as well. As for why Kendra wasn't recalled sooner, it was a combination of (a) the apparent deaths of Spike and Drusilla after the healing ritual lulling Kendra's watcher into a false sense of security, (b) the time between learning that Spike and Drusilla are assembling The Judge and Team Scooby blowing him up was too short for Kendra to be sent back again, and (c) the lack of a major apocalyptic threat after The Judge's demise until people recovered Acathla's big rock, at which point Kendra was sent to Sunnydale again. I guess that Kendra's watcher noticed that Angelus and Spike both focus their evil on relatively petty and personal affairs when they are not motivated to look at the bigger picture by Drusilla, so either one individually simply being around does not pose a major threat in itself if Drusilla is out of the picture.
** It wasn't about Dru, specifically. Kendra was sent because a dark power was aboot to rise in Sunnydale. Classic Slayer/Watcher "something bad is going to happen, go stop it" at its finest, and it was completely, 100% true, Kendra just wasn't around for most of it. Drusilla's rise led to the present of the Judge, which in turn led to Angelus losing his soul, which ultimately snowballed into Acathla. The dark power wasn't Drusilla, specifically, it was this entire chain of events; Kendra was only recalled because they mistakenly assumed the dark power had been stopped, and was sent back to Sunnydale when the mistake was realized.
[[folder:Angel's Pointless Death]]
* Angel's blood is required not only to open the portal to Hell, but also to close it. It seems a bit odd that a small amount of blood on his hand could open it, yet he needs to be stabbed through the gut to close it. Buffy knew it was his blood that would close it, thanks to Whistler, so why didn't she just lop off a hand or something? You'd think she'd try anything else before condemning her love to hell and torment.
** Call it a contingency plan to make sure preventing whatever hell they intent is painful-strikingly difficult and in the majority of cases, sealing spells are a desperate last resort.
** I can think of a few reasons actually. First as learn later with Glory's ritual it's possible, even likely that his blood can open it, his blood can stop it was actually closer to his blood can open it, his death can stop it. Even if that's not true it's possible that's what she thought. Also Angel is a vampire. If your goal is to get blood for a ritual stabbing him through the heart (with a metal sword) is far kinder than lopping off a hand. Lopped off hand, no more hand, sword through the chest, played for laughs in some cases. That would have made for an interesting Season 3 opener though. You know, Giles tracks her down and finds her and Angel sharing coffee in a diner.