->'' "You're not friends. You'll never be friends. You'll be in love till it kills you both. You'll fight, and you'll shag, and you'll hate each other till it makes you quiver but you'll never be friends. Love isn't brains, children, it's blood; blood screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it."''
-->--'''Spike'''

[[quoteright:284:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/btvs_s3_ep10_amends.jpg]]

Dublin 1838A man named Daniel runs down a street, afraid of something or someone. He finally stops to rest in the entrance to an alley when the man following him, Angelus, appears in front of him. Apparently, Daniel had gambling problems and was in Angelus's debt, so Angelus decided to take his payment "his way". Before he kills Daniel, he tells him to be of good cheer, because after all, "It's Christmas!"

It turns out that this is a nightmare of Angel's. When he wakes up, unable to fall asleep again, he walks the streets of Sunnydale and runs into Buffy, their first encounter since ending their friendship. They exchange a few awkward words before Angel becomes frightened, seeing the ghost of Daniel staring at him. The next day, as Sunnydale High starts winding down for Christmas vacation, Buffy tells her friends about her freaky encounter with Angel. They fill each other in on holiday plans and then Oz shows up, ready to talk to Willow. He tells her that he knows that she and Xander have a history and how doesn't know if things between the two will ever be over. However he also tells her tells her he misses her terribly, so is willing to give their relationship another shot. Cordelia Chase on the other hand is still cold and hostile toward the rest of the Scooby Gang and smuggly tells them that she'll be going to Aspen, "With real snow."

Buffy and her Mom go shopping for a Christmas tree and decide to invite Faith to Christmas dinner, but when Buffy suggests inviting Giles, Joyce becomes uncomfortable and immediately vetoes the idea. While at the lot, Buffy spots a bunch of trees that just died for no reason and the salesman offers to make her "a hell of a deal". Buffy then visits Faith at her run-down motel room, and invites her to Christmas Eve dinner, denying that it was Joyce's idea. Faith claims that she has plans, however Buffy knows she's lying but doesn't push the issue, just telling her that the offer is open.

Angel's nightmares continue to haunt him, and he finally resorts to going to Giles for help. Giles is initially amused when he hears that Angel is asking for his help, but lets him ask. However, wary of Angel and still bitter over Jenny's death and the torture he suffered at his hands, Giles keeps a loaded crossbow in hand, but still listens to Angel's explanations and questions how he is back on Earth. Their conversation is cut short when Angel sees Jenny, and runs off. Giles turns around, but doesn't see her.

In another one of Angel's dreams, he attacks a maid but as he finishes her off, he looks up and sees Buffy there in his dream. They both wake up, realizing that they're in each other's dreams. Buffy goes to Giles and they plan to research so they can find out what force is taking over Angel. Xander offers to help as well, partly to make up for being such a bad friend to Buffy where Angel is concerned, but also it's a better option than being at home. Willow joins in and the gang research for hours, with no joy. Willow tells Buffy that she is trying to think of a way to let Oz know she's truly sorry, and Buffy advises her that she needs to make sure that Oz knows he comes before Xander.

Angel is still unable to sleep and encounters Jenny's spirit at the mansion. He tries to apologize, but she doesn't want to hear it; she just wants to make him suffer. He is then visited by the many ghosts of his victims, including Daniel and the maid he had killed. Finally, nearly crazy from being reminded of what a monster he was, Angel begs for it to stop. Jenny offers him comfort and tells him to rest. At the library, Buffy also falls asleep and both she and Angel are in the same dream again. This time, the two are making passionate love on Buffy's bed. Looking over his shoulder, Buffy notices a creature with its eyes sewn shut just before Angel vamps out and bites her. They both wake up. Jenny tells Angel he needs to kill Buffy.

Giles has found out that the force that is taking over Angel is called The First. It's very powerful and impossible to kill. However, there are three priests (the creatures with their eyes sewn shut) which Buffy can kill, and hopefully put an end to the mental torment Angel is suffering from. Buffy and Xander visit Willy the Snitch, but he only says that The First may be underground. Oz arrives at Willow's house with videos from Big Lou's and finds she has a bit more planned for the night. He tells her he's not ready to take their relationship that far and that she doesn't need to prove herself to him, which she's fine with and they just kiss.

At home, Buffy and her mom are trimming the tree, and they both get a surprise when Faith shows up. Buffy goes upstairs to her room to find that Angel is there waiting for her. Blind with the need to find peace of mind, he fights the urge to kill Buffy. As Jenny, unseen and unheard by Buffy, continues to goad him into doing so, a frantic Angel jumps headfirst out the window as a horrified Buffy looks on. Buffy leaves Faith in charge of watching her mom, while she goes to Giles for immediate help. At the mansion, Jenny tries to convince Angel that he must kill Buffy and that she will be at risk as long as he is alive. With that, Angel resolves to commit suicide by sunlight instead, which Jenny says wasn't the plan, but it would nevertheless be acceptable.

After some more research, Buffy discovers that wherever the priests are, nothing will grow above or below. Buffy remembers the dead trees at the Christmas tree lot, though before she departs, Giles warns her that she may have to kill Angel again should he truly become dangerous. She goes there and in the middle of a circle of dead trees, she makes a hole in the ground which then leads to the priests. She tears the place and the priests apart, then encounters the First in Jenny's form. They attack each other verbally and then Buffy runs off to the mansion to save Angel from killing himself with the sun.

She finds him atop Kingman's Bluff, the sun only minutes away from rising. He tells her that he loves her and wants her so much that he'd be willing to lose his soul just to be with her. Buffy desperately wants him to come inside, but he believes very strongly that he is evil and he's got to be strong for once, and die. They yell, and hit each other, and cry and say how much they love one another. Buffy gives him his last chance to prove how strong he really can be and to come in from the sun. She tells him that if he really doesn't have a place on Earth then he can burn. Then, out of nowhere, snow begins to fall, covering the previously sunny and warm Sunnydale in a beautiful white Christmas, hiding the sun.

Willow and Oz wake up on Willow's bed (they were just sleeping) to the snow. Xander wakes up in a sleeping bag in his backyard covered in snow. Giles notices it from his apartment, while Faith and Joyce see it from the Summer's home. Buffy and Angel walk hand in hand together through the snow, united once again with Angel truly ready to rejoin the fight against evil and make amends for what he has done.

----
!Tropes:
* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: [[NeedleInAStackOfNeedles Fourteen million square miles]] of them, and that's not including a lot of natural cave formations and a gateway to Hell.
* AbusiveParents: We get our first mention of Xander's troubled home life, in a reference to him sleeping outside to avoid their drunken squabbles.
* AccidentalInnuendo (InUniverse): Joyce is putting up the Christmas decorations; Buffy is thinking about her EroticDream.
-->'''Joyce:''' So, angel's on top again?\\
'''Buffy:''' (startled) What?\\
'''Joyce:''' (holds up an angel and a star) Angel or star?\\
'''Buffy:''' Oh, uh... star. Star.
* ActorAllusion: The maid Margaret is played by Cornelia Hayes O'Herlihy, who played Princess Margaret in ''Gods and Monsters''.
* AesopAmnesia: Buffy's resolution in "Lovers Walk" to stay away from Angel gets thrown out the window when she has to intervene to stop Angel from committing suicide.
* AlwaysABiggerFish
-->'''Willy:''' Apparently there's been a lot of migration out of Sunnydale from the lower inhabitants. Something's scaring them off, and these are things that aren't easily scared.
* TheAtoner: Xander helps Buffy find out what's wrong with Angel, presumably to make up for his actions re Angel in "Revelations". Averted with Angel, whose sins are so numerous and terrible he believes he can't possibly atone.
* AnAxeToGrind: Buffy finds a handy axe lying among the Christmas trees, and chops a hole down into where the Bringers are lurking. And then chops a hole in some Bringers.
* BadassBoast: The First [[CardCarryingVillain talking about how evil it is]]. Buffy is not impressed.
* BadDreams
* BaitAndSwitchComment: Angel decides to kill himself. Jenny!First says "You're not supposed to die, that's not the plan." After Angel leaves she adds, "But it'll do."
* BeneathTheMask: Carrying on the themes raised in "Becoming", this episode deconstructs Angel the MysteriousProtector and [[StarCrossedLovers Star Crossed Lover]]. He was a drunken hedonist as a human, now crushed under the guilt of hundreds of years of gleefully sadistic evil. A couple of years as Buffy's champion don't even begin to up for that, even if he hadn't spent the time falling for the woman he was supposed to be protecting. Afraid that he doesn't have the strength of character to resist having sex with (and killing) Buffy again, he tries to kill himself.
* BlatantLies: Faith turns down Buffy's offer of Christmas dinner, claiming she's already been invited to a big party. Buffy herself denies it was mum who put her up to inviting Faith. However Faith turns up anyway.
* BreakThemByTalking: Done plenty of times by the First to Angel.
* ButIWouldReallyEnjoyIt: When Angel is struggling not to have his wicked way with Buffy, the First is whispering in his ear that [[KissOfTheVampire Buffy wants him to do it]].
* CatapultNightmare: When Angel wakes up after dreaming of having sex with Buffy, [[ComingAndGoing then vamping out and biting her]].
* ChekhovsGun: The dead Christmas trees.
* ChristmasEpisode
* ChristmasMiracle / DeusExMachina: It begins snowing on Sunnydale, leaving the town in total darkness, and saving Angel from burning. MaybeMagicMaybeMundane.
* ContinuityNod: Joyce claiming that Giles didn't want to share Christmas with them is undoubtedly due to the embarrassing events of "Band Candy".
* CrypticConversation: Buffy is searching through Giles' TomeOfEldritchLore for information on the First.
-->"'A child shall be born of man and goat and have two heads, and The First shall speak only in riddles...' No wonder you like this stuff. It's like reading The Sun."
** LaymansTerms: Giles then sums up what they've found as "[[CardCarryingVillain We're bad and we're not going to get any better.]]"
* DisproportionateRetribution: Angelus murders a man because he can't pay his debts from a card game.
* DissonantSerenity: Giles opens the door to find Angel standing there [[MustBeInvited asking for an invitation]]. He keeps it together and walks into the kitchen, then comes out with a loaded crossbow. OhCrap.
* DoNotTauntCthulhu: Unless you're Buffy.
-->'''The First:''' You think you can fight me? I'm not a demon, little girl. I am something that you can't even conceive. The First Evil. Beyond sin, beyond death. I am the thing the darkness fears. You'll never see me, but I am everywhere. Every being, every thought, every drop of hate--
-->'''Buffy:''' Alright, I get it. You're evil. Do we have to chat about it all day?
-->'''The First:''' YouHaveNoIdeaWhoYoureDealingWith.
-->'''Buffy:''' Let me guess. Is it...evil?
* DrivenToSuicide: Angel tries to kill himself by allowing the sunrise to immolate him. [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane He's saved]].
* EldritchAbomination: The First briefly morphs into one before disappearing.
* EroticDream: The First gives Angel these to entice him into sleeping with Buffy and losing his soul.
-->'''Giles:''' You had another dream, with Angel? What happened?
-->'''Buffy:''' ''(long pause)'' We don't need to get sidetracked.
* EurekaMoment: Buffy realising the dead Christmas trees reveal the location of the Bringers.
* EvilIsBurningHot: A heatwave envelops Sunnydale; as soon as the First Evil is driven off, the temperature drops rapidly, creating snow.
* EvilPlan: The First wants Angel to kill the Slayer, and in the process turn him back into the evil Angelus. Angel decides to prevent this by committing suicide, but this is also acceptable to the First, as it means Angel can no longer be a weapon against evil.
* EvilSoundsDeep: "DEAD BY SUNRISE!"
* ExactWords: Willy says he's picked up some information from the Underground. "You know, from things that live under the ground."
* EyelessFace: Bringers, or Harbingers. They have a [[BuffySpeak 'no eyes' kinda look]].
* FailedAttemptAtDrama: After Willow says she wants to sleep with him, Oz responds by standing up.
-->'''Willow:''' Where are you going?
-->'''Oz:''' No, I'm not going. Just a dramatic gesture.
** GettingCrapPastTheRadar: After Willow goes into more detail about what she wants from him, [[RagingStiffie he quickly has to sit down again]].
* FinalBossPreview: The First Evil will return as the BigBad of Season 7.
* FlashbackCut: Showing Angel as the drunken lout he was before being turned into a vampire.
* ForcedToWatch: Angel has a second dream in which Angelus kills a housemaid, only to be shocked to see Buffy staring at him. Cue both Angel and Buffy waking up in their separate beds.
** Buffy says she won't stand around and watch Angel immolate himself if that's what he wants to do. Then it starts snowing.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Angel drinking Buffy's blood comes to pass as the First predicts, [[ProphecyTwist albeit for different reasons]] ("Graduation Day, Part Two").
** What Buffy says to Angel "Strong is fighting! It's hard, and it's painful, and it's every day" is what he puts into practice in the spin-off series ''Series/{{Angel}}''. That series also continues the theme of higher powers (both good and evil) seeking to control or protect Angel for their own purposes.
** The First mentions that Liam was a terrible disappointment to his parents, something Angel relives in detail in his own series.
* [[AFormYouAreComfortableWith A Form You Are Really, Really Not Comfortable With]]: The First appears in the form of Jenny Calender, killed by Angelus in "Passions", plus [[ISeeDeadPeople several other victims]] from before he was ensouled. The First also uses the Jenny form with Buffy, who has her own guilt issues in that area (Buffy failing to kill Angelus in "Innocence" led to Jenny's death).
* AFriendInNeed: Despite their antipathy towards Angel, Giles and Xander work to save him.
* FriendshipMoment: Affected by the Christmas spirit (actually because spending Christmas alone seems too depressing) the Scoobies try to patch up the differences that tore them apart. Oz reconciles with Willow, Giles and Xander help Buffy find out what's wrong with Angel, Faith accepts the invitation to dinner at the Summer's house. Cordelia however departs for Aspen with some snarky comments at the Scoobies (particularly Xander).
* FriendVersusLover: To prove her relationship with Oz is stronger than her relationship with Xander, Willow [[SexEqualsLove decides to sleep with Oz]].
* FrothyMugsOfWater: PlayedForLaughs as Willow has a couple of soda bottles in a champagne ice bucket, a sign that her attempt to seduce Oz isn't as grown up as she thinks.
* HaHaHaNo: Giles is less than pleased when Angel (who in their last encounter was torturing him) shows up at his doorstep.
--> '''Angel:''' I'm sorry to bother you.
--> '''Giles:''' ''(stares, then bursts out laughing)'' Sorry. Coming from you, that phrase strikes me as rather funny. ''(chuckles)'' "Sorry to bother me."
--> '''Angel:''' I need your help.
--> '''Giles:''' And the funny keeps on coming.
* HardWorkMontage: The Scoobies researching the problem (and eating pizza).
* TheHedonist: Liam
* HoldingHands / SnowMeansLove: Buffy and Angel at the end of the episode. Definitely not JustFriends.
* HorrorDoesntSettleForSimpleTuesday: Buffy wishes for a nice quiet Christmas. [[TemptingFate What was she thinking?]]
* HumanoidAbomination. The Harbingers
* IDidntMeanToTurnYouOn: After their erotic dream [[BreakingAndBloodsucking Angel encounters Buffy in her bedroom]] wearing a [[LadyInRed blood-red dress]], her hair pinned up to [[WarmBloodBagsAreEverywhere expose her neck]] and her lower lip [[ButIWouldReallyEnjoyIt trembling from repressed emotion]]. He has to jump out the window to prevent himself from jumping her.
* IHaveAFamily
-->'''Margaret:''' (terrified) Sir! My son!
-->'''Angelus:''' Oh, he'll make a fine dessert.
* InadvertentEntranceCue: Xander asks who else could have as pathetic a social life as he does. Cue Willow walking through the door.
* InformedJudaism: Willow has to remind the others that being Jewish she doesn't actually celebrate Christmas. She promises to show some Hanukkah Spirit instead.
* IntertwinedFingers: In the Buffy/Angel sex scene.
* IronicEcho: Tormented by his guilt, Angel cries, "Oh god!" The First just sneers. "Cry out. Make a scene."
* InsecureLoveInterest
* IWishedYouWereDead: Inverted when LoveHurts
-->'''Buffy:''' I love you so much... And I tried to make you go away... I killed you and it didn't help. (crying) And I hate it! I hate that it's ''so'' hard... and that you can hurt me ''so'' much. (sobs, then harshly) I know everything that you did, because you did it to me. Oh, God! I wish that I wished you dead. I don't. (whispers) I can't.
* JustLikeMakingLove: Jenny!First urges Angel to pour out all his [[IsThatWhatTheyAreCallingItNow frustration]] into Buffy.
* LadyInRed: Invoked deliberately by Willow and accidentally by Buffy.
* LeaveMeAlone: Finding Angel distraught in her bedroom, Buffy urges him to let her help. As he's struggling not to throw her onto the bed and have his way with her, Angel snarls at her to leave him alone and leaps out the window.
* LetsWaitAwhile: Oz turns down Willow's offer to lose her virginity, aware she's doing it just to prove she really loves him.
* LittleDeadRidingHood: Although it's a red dress instead of the usual hoodie.
* LoveMakesYouEvil: Buffy informs Angel the First has been manipulating him. He says it doesn't matter as he still wants Buffy, regardless of the consequences to them both.
* MadonnaWhoreComplex: Implied when Angelus is forcing his attentions on the maid; presumably the son she refers to was born out of wedlock.
-->'''Angelus:''' Cry out. Call for help. I'm sure Mistress will believe your behavior beyond reproach. ''(sneers)''
* MasterOfTheMixedMessage
-->'''Angel:''' You have to stay away from me.
-->'''Buffy:''' ''(bewildered)'' You came to see me to tell me that I can't see you?
-->''(He starts to move toward her. She backs away.)''
-->'''Buffy:''' Angel, something is doing this to you. You just have to control it, okay? I-I know that you're confused...
-->'''Angel:''' ''(staring hungrily at her)'' I think you're the one who's confused.
* MindRape: The First tries to pull one on Angel.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: The Harbingers of Death.
** InUniverse when Buffy walks into Willy's Bar, whereupon the bartender greets 'The Slayer' very loudly. Several vampires make a prompt exit.
* NoTimeToExplain: Buffy to Faith; AesopAmnesia is averted when Buffy stresses that she ''will'' explain, all of it, remembering the lesson of "Revelations".
* OminousLatinChanting
-->'''Buffy:''' Alright, ten more minutes of chanting and then you guys have to go to bed.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: Giles is not inclined to help Angel, until he flees out the door after seeing invisible people.
* PercussiveMaintenance: Faith on finding her TV isn't working.
* PerpSweating: Xander isn't very good at it.
-->'''Willy:''' Doesn't ring a bell.\\
'''Xander:''' (menacingly) How about I ring that bell for you? (hopefully to Buffy) Does the threatening come now?\\
'''Buffy:''' Maybe you shouldn't help.
* PleaseDontLeaveMe: When her arguments fail to sway Angel from killing herself, all Buffy can do is beg him not to leave her.
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: Angelus bullies a servant into agreeing to have sex with him, and ''then'' shows her his NightmareFace.
* ReadyForLovemaking: Oz enters Willow's house to find a candle-lit room, Willow wearing a tight red dress, and BarryWhite's "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" playing on the stereo.
* TheReveal: Played with when we discover why Angel was brought out of the hell dimension -- to kill Buffy. However Buffy is not willing to accept this explanation, and the fact that the First is willing to settle for Angel's suicide is an indication she's right.
* SayYourPrayers: One of Angelus' victims says the Twenty-third Psalm.
* SexForSolace: What the First tempts Angel with -- by sleeping with Buffy he can satiate his desire for her and then, by turning evil, be free of guilt forever.
* ShutUpHannibal: Buffy pulls one on the UltimateEvil!
* SidetrackedByTheAnalogy: Oz says he's jealous of Willow's history with Xander.
-->'''Willow:''' But it's a [[ChildhoodFriendRomance history that's in the past]]! Well, I-I guess most history is in the past...
* SuicideBySunlight: Angel tries to do this, but a miraculous snow shower clouds the sky so the sun doesn't show.
-->'''The First:''' You don't have the strength to kill yourself.
-->'''Angel:''' I don't need the strength. I just need the sun to rise.
* TalkingDownTheSuicidal: Buffy doesn't actually succeed, but fortunately a Christmas miracle occurs instead.
* TalkingInYourDreams: The First is trying to drive Angel over his DespairEventHorizon, so sends him dreams of his past crimes as Angelus. To further torment him, [[ForcedToWatch Buffy also shares these dreams]]. Then because having sex with Buffy will turn him evil, they start having shared {{Erotic Dream}}s as well.
* TearJerker: Buffy trying to talk Angel out of killing himself.
* ThisAndThat: Willow offers to "do that thing" with Oz.
* ThisIsThePartWhere
** When Oz forgives Willow for straying with Xander, she asks if they're supposed to hug now. They do.
** When PerpSweating Willy, Xander asks, "Does the threatening come now?"
* TitleDrop:
-->'''Buffy''': Angel, you have the power to do real good, to make amends.
* TwistedChristmas
* TwoScenesOneDialogue
-->'''Giles:''' You realize if he [Angel] truly becomes a danger, [[StakingTheLovedOne you may have to kill him]]. [[Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS2E22BecomingPart2 Again.]] Can you do that?
-->''Buffy is silent. Cut to Angel in his mansion''
-->'''Angel:''' I can't do it!
* UltimateEvil: The First
* TheUnreveal: We never find out if the First or the PowersThatBe were responsible for bringing Angel out of the hell dimension, or if the snowstorm was due to the sudden drop of temperature or another miracle by the PowersThatBe. In the ''Series/{{Angel}}'' spin-off it's revealed that the forces of both good and evil have a vested interest in his survival, so either party could be involved.
* UnwantedAssistance: Buffy tells Xander "Maybe you shouldn't help" after his hilarious attempt to threaten Willy the Snitch. Afterwards, Willy deadpans "You did great, by the way. I was very intimidated by you." Xander buys it.
* VillainsNeverLie
-->'''Buffy:''' Some great evil takes credit for bringing you back and you buy it?
* ViolenceIsTheOnlyOption: Faced with an Angel who's going to pieces, Buffy urges Giles to give her something to pummel. Killing the Bringer priests and breaking the First's connection with Sunnydale may or may not have helped with the subsequent ChristmasMiracle.
* WalkingWasteland: The Bringers cause the Christmas trees to wilt over their heads.
* WeatherSavesTheDay: Angel is about to commit {{Suicide By Sunlight}} when it suddenly starts to snow and the sun doesn't come up.
* YouCantFightFate: The First tells Angel it's his destiny to be a sadistic killer.
* YouHaveNoIdeaWhoYoureDealingWith: And at this point in the series, Buffy really doesn't know. Then again she doesn't really care either.