Okay, I probably should have declared this upfront. I'm a massive Buffy/Angel fan. I mean *massive*. Enormous. The biggest. I love love love love them. And I'm also reading Stephanie Meyers' Twilight right now. So ahh ... yeah that may colour your view of me. I'm a hopeless romantic.
So ... sigh ... now we come to the first big Buffy/Angel episode. Yummy!! OMG - when they are in the kitchen and we see Angel's eagle tattoo? Okay, I'm also a David Boreanaz fan. Mmmmm..... But seriously, all that topless close up action and tension whilst Buffy is finding a bandaid. Yeah, you had me at "take off your shirt". Aside: they just encountered The Three and Angel is hurt - would a bandaid *seriously* sort that out?! But nevermind...
Willow: How is it that you always know all this stuff? I never know this stuff.
Giles: Yes well you weren't here researching it from Midnight to 6am
Willow: No. I was sleeping.
Plot - oh yes, there is one. The Master is grumpy cause there is a Slayer in town messing with all his plans. He sends The Three to take her out. They fail. Then Darla hatches a plan to set Buffy and Angel up so that Angel wil take out the Slayer.
This episode also brings us the first Buffy/Angel kiss and Angel's big revelation. Xander (You're in love with a vampire? Are you out of your mind?) gets a chance to be the moral compass by being the one to point out that Buffy has to kill Angel (although he's somewhat biased in terms of the outcome).
Other memorable moments include the Bronze pre- and post-fumagation parties (What's the difference between this and the prefumigation party - more partier roaches); some early Cordelia/Xander time (It's not true what everyone's saying. You don't look like a hooker in that dress.) And Xander's offer for Buffy to stay at his house till it all "blows over".
One of my all time favourite scenes is the one of the weapons training in the library:
Goodbye stakes, hello flying fatality!
I'm not going to need pads to fight you.
And some really great one-liners:
Buffy: 'A' stands for Ahmed, a charming foreign exchange student.
Cordelia: This is a knock off! This is exactly what happens when you sign these free trade agreements.
The Master: Angel, he was the most vicious creature I ever met. I miss him.
Willow: It is kinda novel how he'll stay young and beautful forever. Although you'll get wrinkly and die. Oh! What about the children?
But there is just so much jam packed into this episode.
Did you think she would look at your face, your true face, and give you a kiss?
For me it hits home what this episode is about with Darla's taunting of Angel. There's so much double speak in that - firstly, the revelation of his secret - his true face - it's the most personal thing you can ever show someone else, who you really are. And it's such a powerful YA theme - high school so often a time for awakening self awareness and the defining of one's identity. And the awkwardness that comes with being an adolescent and not really wanting to be different. That line always reminds me of a scene in Babylon 5 where it's the Minbari tradition to watch one's beloved sleep in order for them to reveal their "true face". But of course there's the other double speak here for "give you a kiss" which also means the bite of a vampire.
In this scene with Darla, we see so much of Angel's past revealed and we begin to see how tortured he is. But it's not till his showdown with Buffy at the end when he just wants her to end it for him (I did it with a song in my heart) that we discover he is in excruciating mental anguish: you have no idea what it's like to have done the things i've done and to care. Which of course makes him all the hotter - to both Buffy, and me!
There's two other great things about this episode I want to touch on. First, it marks the first in the long Buffy tradition of donning the BLACK LEATHER and using the crossbow for all the serious showdowns and duels. Here, both Buffy and Angel don the black leather pants and frankly, it looks *awewsome* in the darkened warehouse against the red pool table. This is also the scene I was thinking of earlier (post from a few back) with Darla and the guns and the staking.
The second thing I want to touch on is that this for me is the first episode where we see the group as a solid entity. When Giles discovers that Darla was involved in the drinking of Buffy's Mum he leaves the room and says to Willow and Xander: We have a problem. The "we" is really touching here because it was Buffy who was the target and Buffy who is on the vengeance gig but the other three are in, no questions asked. This is important, I think, because from the next episode on they start allowing others to know their secret and to join their group.
But still ... you can't beat the heart breaking final scene as Buffy and Angel agree that they cannot continue and that they both have to walk away. Gets me everytime to see Buffy's cross burnt into Angel's chest, over his heart!