As filled with angst and struggle as Angel is, it's also comprised of many wonderful moments of care and tenderness, particularly between the members of its main cast.
These scenes are crucial in underlining the thesis of the show: that no matter how overwhelming the odds or how ubiquitous the forces of evil are, there is always a reason and need to keep fighting them.
Several of those heartwarming moments are highlighted here.
"In the Dark" (1x03)
- The scene where Angel finally gets the Gem of Amarra. The look on his face as he stands in the sunlight for the first time in over two hundred years is just beautiful.
"I Will Remember You" (1x08)
- Buffy and Angel's one perfect night together. It obviously couldn't last, but did they have to hit the Reset Button?
- Angel giving up his mortality because he knows Buffy—and the world—needs him as he is, as a Champion.Oracle: He is not a lower being.
"Parting Gifts" (1x10)
- At the end, Angel is making breakfast for himself and Cordelia as Wesley is getting ready to leave. In spite of all of his posturing and his talk of working alone and being a solitary demon hunter, Wesley really doesnt want to be by himself anymore. Its obvious he wants to stay with them, but hes still just a little too prideful to say so. Angel and Cordy let him beat around the bush for a little while before Angel finally smiles and says, "Breakfast?" Wesley immediately takes off his jacket and sits down beside Cordelia, and the episode ends with the three of them talking and laughing together.
- The scene at the beginning where the two of them distract Cordy's two friends to hide the fact that she's having a vision. It's played more as a funny scene, but its still very thoughtful of them.
- Wesley saying, "Theres no one more fond of Cordelia than I."
- Wesley going with Cordelia to the doctor, and holding her hand while shes freaking out about whatever it is thats growing inside her.
- The whole scene where they go back to Angel's apartment and Wesley is taking care of Cordelia. He's such a sweetheart, being so tender and gentle with Cordy while she's terrified of what's happening to her.
- This bit at the end.Cordelia: I learned something, too. I learned, um, men are evil? Oh wait, I knew that. I learned that LA is full of self-serving phonies. No, had that one down, too. Ahh...sex is bad?Angel: We all knew that.Cordelia: Okay. I learned that I have two people I trust absolutely with my life. And that part's new.Wesley: (starts to tear up and wipes his eyes) Allergies.
- Wesley crying in this scene is kind of Played for Laughs, but it becomes a little more heartwarming (and sad) when you realize that, given what we know of his background, this is quite possibly the first time in his life that anyone has ever said that about him.
"The Ring" (1x16)
- Wes bravely walking into a den of mobsters and demanding answers from their leader about Angel's whereabouts. It's part awesome, as this is the moment we first begin to realize that Wesley is not a man to be trifled with, and also part heartwarming, seeing the kind of loyalty and courage Angel inspires in his people.
- Wesley tells the mobsters that Angel means a great deal to him. This is the first time—one of the only times, in fact—that we ever hear him say that about anyone.
[[AC"Five By Five" (1x18)]]
- When Angel and Faith crash into the street in the middle of their fight, rain begins to fall and the cynical taunts from Faith start turning into desperate screams, begging Angel to kill her, countered by soft refusals by Angel, and Faith's final complete breakdown, which prompts Angel to hug her tightly and comfort her as they both collapse to the ground.
- Angel tucks Faith into his bed, putting an extra blanket over her for warmth.
- Angel's entire relationship with Faith in these two episodes and later in Season 4 is generally very heartwarming. Is it any wonder these two got a spin-off comic series years later?
- When Wesley walks into the office and sees Cordelia, the first thing he does is examine the bruise on her face from where Faith punched her. Wesley had just spent a few hours being tortured by Faith the night before, and his injuries are much worse than Cordelia's single bruise, but as soon as he sees her, he immediately sets aside his own pain and checks to see if she's okay. The look of genuine concern on his face, and the way he tenderly touches her cheek is really sweet.
- Wesley choosing Angel over the Watchers Council is so incredibly important to his Character Development. Before he takes his first of many, many levels in badass by double-crossing the Councils Elite, he flat-out tells them that hes done more good in the few months hes worked for Angel than he ever did while in the Councils employ.
- Keep in mind that Wesley spent his entire life training to be a Watcher. The job was everything to him, and being fired was a huge blow to his confidence. The Council offers him his job back in exchange for Faith, who he has every reason to hate after what she did to him in the previous episode, and he still chooses not to go through with it because it would mean betraying Angel.
- Wes explains his actions by telling Angel, "Its because I trust you."
- Faith choosing to confess and accept responsibility for her crimes. There might be something sad about her being locked away, but there's also hope that she'll find peace from the (metaphorical) demons that drove her to beg Angel to kill her, by doing penance and paying her debt to society.
"To Shanshu in L.A." (1x22)
- After Angel's completely blasé reaction to the prophecy that hes going to die, Wesley explains to Cordelia that desires are our strongest tether to life, and since Angel doesnt want anything, hes not concerned about dying. Cordy immediately starts trying to get Angel to start wanting things.
- In a moment that speaks volumes about Angel and Cordy's relationship, Angel storms into Cordelia's hospital room, and the following exchange happens:Doctor: Hey, you can't be in here!Angel: What happened?!Doctor: Are you family?!Angel: (nudges her away) Yes.
- Wesley, still recovering from his own injuries, performs the spell to release Cordelia from the demon Vocahs control. Then he and Angel sit at her bedside and hold her hands as she talks about all the pain she witnessed through the visions.
- In the last scene, Wesley is still studying the Shanshu prophecy, and he realizes that he's made a mistake. He tells Angel and Cordelia that the word he thought meant "to die" also means "to live," i.e. he's going to live, then die, as a mortal. Meaning Angel has a chance of becoming human someday. The way all of their faces light up with excitement is just beautiful.
- The last scene, when Angel visits Faith in prison and asks how she's doing, and she teases him on having to sing Barry Manilow in front of people.
- Cordelia promising Angel that she'll by his side until he becomes human.
"First Impressions" (2x03)
- After the Fang Gang finishes a pretty rough fight dusting some vampires, they're all sitting on the ground, exhausted, leaning up against Angel's car, and there's a cute little moment where Wesley moves closer to Angel and lays his head on the vampire's shoulder.
- When Cordy sticks her tongue out at Angel, telling him she can't be fired because she's Vision Girl, we see Angel struggling not to smile.
- When Cordelia thinks Angel is firing Wesley, she immediately says, "You can't fire Wesley, I'll quit, too!"
- A small, understated moment occurs when Angel, having received a call from Darla begging for his help, immediately tries to charge off to help her. The entire Fang Gang protests, convinced he's walking into a trap, but Cordelia's response to Angel speaks volumes:Wesley: You know better than anyone what she was.
Angel: What we were. And I also know what she's goin' through. And unlike me, maybe she won't have to go through it alone.
Cordelia: (In a tone of voice as if she's pointing out the obvious) You're not alone.
- Dru and Darla get a villainous moment when Dru pours her heart out to Darla about why she re-sired her.Drusilla: For you. All for you. I thought it was what you wanted—to be saved. All alone. All alone in the dirt. We've lost our way and the little worm won't dance if he's told to. (Starts to sob) No. No. (They hug and then Darla kills a guy)
"The Thin Dead Line" (2x14)
- Everything Gunn and Cordelia do after Wesley is shot.
- The hospital scene at the end is especially touching. Wes wakes up to find Gunn sitting by his bedside, and they share a little bonding moment, with a very sleepy Wesley talking about how good the morphine is making him feel. A few minutes later, Cordelia comes in and tenderly strokes Wesleys hair and smiles at him warmly.
- Feeling extremely discouraged after Virginia breaks up with him, Wesley calls Cordelia to let her know he wont be coming to work the next day. Their entire conversation is incredibly heartwarming. It starts out with Wesley seeking some words of comfort from Cordy, and then he ends up turning it around and encouraging her after she says that shes alone and has no friends. He reminds her that hes her friend, and she thanks him and says shell call him later to see how hes doing. It's really sweet to see them being so open and sincere and real with each other, and its honestly one of the best examples of the strength of their friendship. Theyve come a long way since their days of awkward flirtation back in Sunnydale.
- When Angel first tries to return to the team and starts acting like he knows what they've been going through without him, Wesley promptly shuts him down by calmly and quietly delivering one of the greatest "The Reason You Suck" speeches in the entire series. It's mostly a Moment of Awesome, but it's also incredibly heartwarming to hear Wesley defending Cordelia, talking about her with such obvious fondness and admiration.Angel: Knowing her...Wesley: But you don't. You don't know her at all. For months now you haven't cared to. Otherwise you might have realized that our Cordelia has become a very solitary girl. She's not the vain, carefree creature she once was. Well, certainly not carefree. It's the visions, you see. The visions that were meant to guide you. You could turn away from them. She doesn't have that luxury. She knows and experiences the pain in this city, and because of who she is, she feels compelled to do something about it. It's left her little time for anything else. You'd have known that, if you hadn't had your head firmly up your...place that isn't on top of your neck.
- Although she fails miserably at being a good guy and ultimately decides to be evil, just the fact that Harmony is willing to try to be a good person—in spite all of her vampire instincts and her soullessness—says a lot, given that most vampires immediately embrace their lack of a conscience and never even attempt to do whats right after being turned.
- Even more telling is the fact that, even though Cordelia is pissed off at her for betraying them, none of the team really seems to blame Harmony for it. They understand that its just the way she is, and they seem to recognize that she at least made some effort to fight it.
- Angel buying Cordelia new, expensive clothes to earn her forgiveness at the end. Wesleys reaction kind of turns it into funny moment, but its still really adorable seeing Angel and Cordy bouncing up and down with those big grins on their faces.
- Its also worth noting that Cordy is the only one of the team that Angel is truly dedicated to winning over. Because he loves her.
- Willow tells Cordelia that she's a lesbian and Cordy is genuinely happy for her. Also, the fact that Willow is the one she calls to voice her concerns about Harmony. She's come a long way from the bully who made the shy girl's life miserable.
"Dead End" (2x18)
- Cordy telling Angel to smile more often.
- A subdued one, but Lindsey quitting Wolfram and Hart involves him talking up Lilah in the process, which is a noble gesture given that she would have been killed had he not done so. He could have just as easily walked out and left her to her fate. It's enough that she looks noticeably touched by the gesture.
- Cordelia helping Angel finally deal with Buffy's death.Cordy: You're a living, breathing—well, living, anyway... (coaxes a smile from Angel) ...good guy, who's still fighting and trying to help people. And that's not betraying her. That's honoring her.Angel: You think?Cordy: I'm Cordelia. I don't think. I know. (smiles) Okay?
"Carpe Noctem" (3x04)
- Cordelia excitedly breaks the news of Buffy's resurrection to Angel.
- Cordelia and Wesley really let Buffy and Angel have it through their demonstration of their relationship. Why does it belong here as well as deservedly Funny Moments? Because they see that Fred is scared she will lose Angel to Buffy and they do this not just to make her laugh but to show why it wouldn't work.
- Wesley telling Cordelia he's proud of her at the beginning of the episode.
- The last scene, when Fred goes to see Wesley to let him know that things are okay between them and that she wants him to come back to work.
- Though it quickly turns into a Tear Jerker when he breaks down crying after she leaves.
- The scene where Darla confesses that she truly, truly loves her baby and that she doesn't want to let him go because his soul is the only thing giving her the ability to care about him.
- Darla expressing remorse for all the horrible things she and Angelus did, and then staking herself so Connor can be born.
- Fred staying behind in the alley instead of going to the car with the others, kneeling beside Angel and Darla as the rain pours down, and as a result being the only other person who gets to witness Connors birth.
- Angel as a father. Not letting anyone else hold Connor right at first, singing an Irish lullaby to his son, and telling Cordelia that if Connor needs to get to the hospital on the sunniest day of the year at noon, Angel will get him there.
- The rest of the gang throwing Cordy a little surprise birthday party at the beginning.
- The way Dennis the ghost looks after Cordy is incredibly heartwarming.
- Doyle's brief posthumous cameo in the video Skip shows Cordelia. The look on Cordelia's face when she sees the video and hears that Doyle never meant to give her the visions, and that they were accidentally transferred because he was in love with her is incredibly sweet.
- Cordelia becoming half-demon at the end so she can keep the visions and help Angel, even though she couldve happily lived life as a sitcom star in the alternate universe.
- Wesley insisting that Angel is special and one-of-a-kind to try to cheer him up when Angel is feeling down about Groo and Cordy.
- Keep in mind that Wesley is still reeling from his own heartbreak over Fred and Gunn, and he's in the process of trying to find and translate all of the prophecies surrounding the Tro-clon. Even with all of that going on, he still notices that something is bothering Angel and takes the time to try to encourage him. This is exactly the kind of thing that made Wesley such a good leader.
- The scene at the end, after Angel's gone through so much trouble to help Cordy and Groo live happily ever after, even though it's killing him inside. He goes upstairs, picks up his infant son, and radiates pure joy. He carries the baby downstairs, where they bump into Wesley.Wesley: You startled me.Angel: Oh. We didn't mean to.Wesley: I thought I was alone.Angel: Yeah. (smiles at Connor) So did I.
- Wesley relentlessly searching for a way to prevent the prophecy, to the point where hes losing sleep, making international phone calls to obscure, hard-to-reach wizards, and even putting his own life at risk by consulting a powerful being in an attempt to get information.
- Although its quickly ruined, Wesleys brief moment of reprieve near the end of the episode is also really sweet. He goes up to see Angel and Connor, and decides that hes probably been worrying for nothing. He starts laughing and says that life is funny and stupid people talking to hamburgers is funny, and things are okay.
- Of course Whedon being, well...Whedon, he couldnt let the scene end there, but still, it was nice while it lasted.
"Sleep Tight" (3x16)
- The sheer amount of affection and dedication Wesley shows for Connor. Wes loves that baby, and literally gives up everything trying to keep him safe.
- Which just makes the ending—and the next few episodes—so much more heartwrenching.
- When Fred and Gunn are searching through Wesley's notes, there's a brief shot of a journal entry expressing his concern for Cordelia (prior to her being made half-demon)."...and I feel that she is hiding the true effects that the visions are having on her body. It is difficult to get her to talk about this subject as it is difficult to get her to talk on any subject she deems personal."
"Double or Nothing" (3x18)
- Fred bringing Wesley some of his things and expressing concern for his well-being, even though shes pissed off at him.
"The Price" (3x19)
- Fred speaking up for Wesley when the rest of the team refuses to even say his name. Sure, shes plenty mad at him for what he did, but shes willing to forgive him and she still wants him to eventually be able to come back to the team.
- Even as Connor is sealing him in a metal box and preparing to drop him to the bottom of the ocean, all Angel can do is keep repeating "I love you," and saying he forgives Connor for what hes doing. The strength and the depth of Angels love for his son outweighs even the worst things Connor could possibly do.
"Deep Down" (4x01)
- During the three months that Angel has been trapped in a box at the bottom of the ocean, Wesley has been going out every night searching for him, despite the fact that Angel hates him and tried to kill him the last time they were in the same room together.
- When Wes finally does find him, Angel is suffering from hunger-induced hallucinations and thinks he sees Connor. He angrily says, "I should have killed you." Wesley thinks Angel is talking to him, and he just takes it.
- A few minutes later, Wes realizes that pigs blood isnt enough for the severely malnourished vampire and, without the slightest hesitation, cuts his own arm and makes Angel feed off of him.
- The best part is that Wesley doesnt do any of this in order to earn Angels forgiveness and get back on the team—he just does it because it needs to be done.
- Pay attention to Wesley's dynamic with Justine. It's pretty screwed up, to be sure—she cut his throat, he kept her chained in a closet for three months...some pretty dark stuff there. But listen to the way he talks to her, and you'll realize that Wesley doesn't hate Justine. This is the woman who slit his throat, left him for dead, and took Connor from him. He has every right to hate her, but he doesn't. If anything, he actually seems to care about what happens to her.Wesley: You can continue being a slave, Justine, or you can live your life. Your choice.
"Ground State" (4x02)
- Angel goes to Wesley and asks for his help finding Cordelia, and Wesley gives him a very thick folder filled with every scrap of information he's compiled over the summer. What's truly remarkable about this (and the previous episode) is Wesley's unwavering dedication to the people he cares about. Angel and Cordelia are the two people on the team he's known the longest and was the closest to. And they were the ones who seemed to hate him the most after he took Connor. But when they went missing, Wesley spent months relentlessly searching for the both of them. It didn't matter how much they hated him, he never stopped loving them.
"Apocalypse, Nowish" (4x07)
- The team has just been thoroughly curb-stomped by the Beast. Fire is raining down from the sky. The world is coming to pieces around them. And Wesley, just as badly beaten as everyone else, gets up and pushes his way through the destruction to find the injured Gunn, pulls him to safety, and holds onto him for dear life, keeping him safe in the middle of all the chaos. Gunn, his former-friend-turned-romantic-rival. Gunn who cant stand him anymore. Gunn who would be just as happy if Wesley had stayed away from the team for good. Even after all that, Wesley still cares enough to look out for him and make sure he's protected.
- Wesley and Faith discussing the recent release of Angelus.Faith: I'm not gonna kill him, Wesley. (off Wesley's expression) Angelus. I don't care what you thought you sprung me for. Angel's the only one in my life who's never given up on me, there's no way I'm givin' up on—Wesley: I know. That's why it had to be you.
- When Faith and Wesley jump out of a third-floor window to escape the prison, Faith uses her body to cushion Wesley as they land on a car. The last time they saw each other, she was torturing him. Now shes protecting him.
- Theres also the moment right after that, when they roll off the car and Wesley has to take a second to get his bearings. Faith asks him if hes okay, and he responds with her old catchphrase, "Five by five."
- This episode and the next one both have a lot of great moments for Wesley and Faith, as they finally get to function as Watcher and Slayer for the first time, and we finally get to see what an excellent team they really make.
- Wesley bringing Faith back to his apartment and helping to clean her wounds after she gets curb-stomped by Angelus and the Beast. Whatever lingering animosity he may have toward Faith over what she did to him back in Season 1, it's obvious from these three episodes that the former Watcher still cares very deeply for his Slayer.
- Wesley taunts Faith about her past mistakes, making her angry enough to slam him up against a wall. As soon as she does, his expression and his tone soften, and he explains that he was only provoking her to make sure she was capable of doing whatever was necessary, because he knows that's what it will take for her to survive her fight with Angelus.
- Wesley starts off his tirade by reminding Faith about the time she tortured him. Faith looks at him with genuine remorse on her face and asks, "You really think I'd hurt you again?"
- Willow expressing concern for Wesley when she sees how dark and distant he's become. She encourages him by sharing her own story of how she went crazy with black magic and almost destroyed the world. Wesley remarks that she seems exactly the same as when he knew her back in Sunnydale, and he seems to realize for the first time that just because he's touched his inner darkness, he doesn't have to let it consume him. It's kind of subtle, but after this scene, Wesley actually seems to be doing a little better for the remainder of the season, likely inspired by Willow's comeback story.
- Lorne staying by Faith's side while she's under the influence of the Orpheus drug.
"Inside Out" (4x17)
- A small moment when Angel comforts Wesley after Lilah's death.Angel: We werent exactly friends—Wesley: —You were mortal enemies. Why should you care what happened to her?Angel: Because you did.
- The reason Angel made the deal with Wolfram & Heart? So that Connor could have a normal life. The episode ends with Angel discretly visiting Connor at his new home having a nice dinner with his loving family talking about college plans. After all the angst and misery thrown his way, he finally has real happiness.
"Hell Bound" (5x04)
- Fred doing her best to help Spike become corporeal again, despite Angels (and pretty much everyone elses) misgivings.
- Very early on, Angel, who's spent the past episodes bickering with Spike at every turn and their relationship being positively vitriolic at every turn, even when they're on the same side, Angel reveals to Spike that there was one thing that he did appreciate about Spike: he liked his poems. Considering as a human everyone would constantly shit on William's poetry, Angel might have very well been the first person to ever compliment him over it. Spike tries to play it off, but for a brief moment you can see in his face that he's touched.
- When Freds life is threatened, Spike immediately gives up his chance to become corporeal in order to save her from Pavayne, and in the end he says he wouldn't change his decision for the world.
- At the end, when Fred says that she can look for other ways to make him corporeal, but they might be dangerous, Spike refuses because he doesnt want to go down the same path as Pavayne.Spike: I'm not going to be like him, desperately keeping myself out of hell no matter who it hurts.Fred: Just proves what I've been telling everyone.Spike: That I'm a handsome devil who livens up the place?Fred: That you're worth saving.
"Life of the Party" (5x05)
- The last scene, where Angel takes care of the extremely sleep-deprived Lorne. He's being positively... fatherly.
- When Numero Cinco's four brothers return from the dead and instantly jump into the fight (after grabbing fence posts to pin the demon with), one of them pauses and tells a dumbstruck Angel to get involved. Despite Angel's own misgivings about his worthiness as a hero, they, heroes who died a hero's death have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that he is one of them. A hero.
Angel: [The demon] still didn't want my heart, though.Cinco: Of course not, Amigo. Who'd want that dried-up prune of a dead thing?
- Neither has Cinco. While the episode never settles the question of whether the demon (who feeds on the hearts of heroes) doesn't want Angel's heart because he's no longer a hero or because he's a vampire and the demon gets no nourishment from undead, unbeating hearts, at the end of the episode Cinco has a firm opinion.
- Cinco finally getting to be at peace with his brothers.
- Wesley shoots a cyborg disguised as his father in order to protect Fred. Afterwards, when hes feeling terrible about what he did, Fred tries to comfort him by telling him that deep down, some part of him must have known that it wasnt really his father. Wesley says that he was certain it was. He acted purely on instinct because Freds life was at risk.
- In the last scene, Wesley picks up the phone and calls his father. Its really early in the morning over in England, and Roger chastises him for not paying attention to the time difference. Wesley doesnt even mind the criticism this time, and says that he just wanted to call and see how Roger was doing.
- The moment when Angel finally, truly forgives Wesley for taking Connor.
- Angel: Their perception is that we're weak.Wesley: No, their perception is I'm weak. That's why they went for me.Angel: They're wrong. You do what you have to do to protect the people around you. You do what you know is right, regardless of the cost. Y'know I never really understood that. You're the guy that makes all the hard decisions, even if you have to make them alone.
- Keep in mind that, thanks to the memory alterations, Wes doesn't even realize that Angel is talking about what happened with Connor. Even so, Angel still wants to make it clear that he understands now.
"You're Welcome" (5x12)
- The team finds out that Lindsey is back and has been in cahoots with Eve against Angel by using Spike (among other things). All of this is bad, but what infuriates Angel and a recently awakened Cordelia the most is that someone has the nerve to be masquerading under the name of "Doyle."
- Wesley and Cordelia doing research together, just like old times. The best part is when Wesley smiles and tells her how much hes missed this.
- During their conversation in Wesley's office, Cordelia tells him shes sorry about Lilahs death, and Wesley assures her that he knows it wasnt really Cordelia who killed her. Cordy says she knows that, but shes still sorry about it.
- Keep in mind that Cordelia has more reason than anyone else to hate Lilah, considering what Lilah did to her back in season 3. Even after all that, Cordy is completely sincere when she offers her condolences to Wesley, because she recognizes that he genuinely cared for Lilah.
- At the end, Cordelia stays behind to talk to Angel. As the others are getting on the elevator, she calls out to Wesley and tells him, "You still work the best mojo in town." During her talk with Angel, we find out that Cordelia died in the hospital. She never woke up from her coma, and the Powers That Be allowed her to take corporeal form one last time to get Angel back on track. This makes her comment to Wesley a lot more heartwarming—she knew she couldnt say goodbye to all of them without raising their suspicions, but she just had to say one last thing to her best friend.
- She also finally shares a sincere Big Damn Kiss with Angel one last time. The only time since they fell in love.
"Smile Time" (5x14)
- Angel apologizing to Nina at the end.Angel: So...how about breakfast?Nina: ...What do puppets eat?Angel: (holds out his hand) Let's find out.
- The corny "Self Esteem" song playing as Wes and Fred kiss.
"A Hole in the World" (5x15)
- Everyone immediately setting aside their differences and rallying together to try to save Fred.
Fred: It's my boys.
- Fred's response to the sight of Team Angel crowded around her bedside as she wakes up:
- Spikes quiet reflection in the Deeper Well is so powerful that it stops Angel from going through with the retrieval spell, which would have saved Freds life at the cost of hundreds of thousands of others.
- All of Fred and Wesleys scenes are a combination of heartwarming and downright tearjerkers.
"Power Play" (5x21)
- Angel explains his plan to the others and not sugarcoating the fact that he's proposing a Suicide Mission to take down the Circle of the Black Thorn. He asks if they're in and Spike is the first one to raise his hand. He and Angel spend most of their screentime insulting each other and metaphorically comparing sizes, but he's willing fight alongside him to the bitter end.
"Not Fade Away" (5x22)
- Angel tells everyone to take the day off and go spend what might be their last day alive doing something that means a lot to them:
- Spike goes out drinking, and it looks like hes getting ready to start a Bar Brawl. Instead he goes up on stage and reads some poetry he wrote. The audience cheers his work enthusiastically, meaning William the Bloody-Awful-At-Poetry is finally getting some respect. Sure, they might all have been roaring drunk, but the stunned joy on Spike's face and in his voice as he thanks them for their applause and gets ready to recite another poem is beautiful. For extra heartwarming, compare this with the flashback in "Fool for Love," which showed William chickening out and his peers turning it into a source of humiliation. This episode has him finally putting his work out there with no regrets.
- Angel goes to see Connor at a coffee shop and offers to help him write a resume.
- Gunn visits Anne, who's still working her ass off trying to keep her shelter going. He asks her what she'd do if she had absolute proof that the whole world is rigged, that the bad guys will always win, and that nothing they can do matters. She looks at him as if it was the dumbest thing she ever heard and sums up the entire show in two sentences:Anne: I'd get this truck packed before the new stuff gets here. Wanna give me a hand?
- Wesley...stays behind and tends to Illyrias wounds, even though its not what he wants to be doing. Goes into Tear Jerker territory very quickly when Illyria asks him why he stayed with her instead of going out like the others. He tells her that with Fred gone, theres nothing left that he wants. This one actually becomes a lot more heartbreaking when you think back to his conversation with Cordelia in the first season finale, when he explained the importance of wanting things. The exact same thing Wesley saw in Angel four years earlier has now happened to him. There's nothing Wesley wants, so he's not tethered to life anymore.
- Gunn and Wesley's handshake as they leave, a small reaffirming of their friendship and putting aside everything that's happened in the name of the mission. Of course, it becomes heartbreaking when you realise that this is their last interaction.
- Angel and Connor's last scene together, when Connor wants to stay and help with the fight but Angel insists that he go home and get out of harm's way.Connor: They'll destroy you.Angel: As long as you're okay, they can't.
- When Wesley is dying, Illyria takes Freds form to comfort him. Illyria had previously offered to do this before the final battle, but Wesley refused because "it would be a lie." As he's dying, Illyria asks if he'd like her to lie to him, and he says yes.
- Cyrus Vain, who killed Wesley, offers Illyria one free shot (thinking her a helpless human girl)—and she pulverizes his skull with a single punch. It's heartwarming, in a violent, vengeance-y way.
- Its kind of a combination of Heartwarming and Awesome—Illyria, the primordial demon who considers humanity beneath her, kills Vail in retribution for what he did to Wesley.
- Illyria is also crying as Fred when Wesley lies dying in her arms, even saying "my Wes". Illyria may claim she's lying but the performance is very convincing.
- There's also the fact that after Illyria killed her assigned targets from the Circle of the Black Thorn, rather than immediately head to the rendezvous point like everyone else, she instead journeyed to Wesley's location to see if he needed any help. When she sees him about to topple over from his stab wound, she immediately runs over to him and calls out his name in concern.Wesley: It was good...that you came.Illyria: I killed all mine, and I was... (stares off, searching for the word)Wesley: (gently) ...Concerned?Illlyria: (looks back at him) I think so.
- When Illyria joins the others in the alley for the final battle, she's grieving for Wesley, and doesn't understand why she can't stop. Clearly the god of demons is considerably more human than she thinks she is.
- When the audience finds out what Angel named the dragon. It's Cordelia. Though it doesn't seem so much like it when it's explained.
- One scene has Illyria getting angry about those she cares about dying as Ghost!Wes disappears; a few panels later, a sign is shown with "Doyle" written on it.
- Connor telling Human!Angel to go home, because he cares whether or not he gets hurt.
- Wesley's final goodbye to Angel is this, though Spike quickly ruins the moment.Spike:"What was that? If he (ghost!Wes) wasn't see-through, you would have kissed wouldn't you? I got that vibe."
- When Angel is reunited with Connor, Angel's so relieved and happy that he's crying. Also when he talks about how much he loves Connor.
- One scene has Betta George, a telepathic demon, reveal that Angel and Spike both (simultaneously) thanked each other silently and in another scene that Spike thinks of Angel like an older brother (though he immediately denies this). It's especially heartwarming when you realize before this Angel previously lost the rest of his close friends.
- Angel naming the research wing of the library after Fred and Wes.
- In Only Human, when Fred's parents tell Gunn that they will love her no matter that (they still don't know about Illyria).
- Illyria staying by Gunn's bedside while he heals and killing his enemies and Angel forgiving him.
- "I think you're kind of amazing. And I'm proud to be your father." **Hug**
- The end, set against a background of the faces of Wes, Fred, Cordelia, Doyle, and Lorne:'Angel: "I've made mistakes along the way, and I've lost people I will never stop missing. But I will spend the rest of my life, however long that is, making their sacrifices worthwhile. Tonight, I'd like to think they'd be proud of me. I know that I will always be grateful for them. Time to get back to work."
- A real life version comes from the special Lorne comic made in tribute to the late Andy Hallet. First Lorne sacrifices himself to save the day and the gang saying goodbye afterwards is clearly directed at Andy. Next is a poem summarizing Lorne's role in after the fall and then a eulogy by Mark Lutz who was best friends with Andy. They then explain that they got rid of Lorne in a way that they could bring him back later but so he was out of action for now so he could enjoy some peace for a little while.