I loved rewatching this episode. I found it funny how a lot of the scenes were familiar yet I hadn't associated them as belonging to this episode. This is mostly, I guess, because of the enormity of the episode to follow. Yet this episode contains so much overall backstory. It's here we glimpse some of Angel's life history including when he was sired. We see snippets of Drusilla before she was turned.
We discover that Buffy was the motivating force for Angel to come out of his 90 year mooch-fest and join the real world - and that he knew about her long before they meet in Sunnydale, Angel having watched her get called. And that him watching that moment was what made him want to stand up and be counted. Whistler is a favourite character of mine - too underplayed and should so have gotten more screentime. He works well to hint at the greater worldbuilding for us - that not all demons want to end the world and that there might be some bigger fight at play.
It occurred to me on this viewing that Willow channelling all the energy to re-curse Angel was perhaps the opening of the door that became very hard for her to shut again, in the end.
It was nice to see that Jenny was working on the curse for Buffy and Angel in her private time - that she really was part of the posse and not out to get them.
I love this episode. I love the drama of Dru coming in to kidnap Giles, that she so easily kills Kendra, that it shows how powerful she is in her own right even though she so often stands off to the side and watches and claps. Xander standing up and reminding everyone that it's not so clear cut - that Buffy wants to ignore the murder so she can have her boyfriend back - because oh that it were that simple!!
I love the building to the climax episode. I'm a fan of the costuming department and the use of the coats for Buffy throughout the show. The blue one is so great and wears so well for all the really dramatic shots in this and the next episode - when she faces Angelus down and then when she runs back through the streets and round the halls of the school - its lines are long and clean and they make her look powerful and strong and simultaneously small.
Buffy: This is a beautiful moment we're having. Can we please fight?
Angelus: Gosh, I was hoping we could get back together. What do you think? Do we have a shot? (gets a look from Buffy) Alright. We'll fight.
I love how Angelus is always teasing her because she falls every time for thinking it's about her and it never is, it's always a trap. And one of the best suspenseful moments is when Buffy realises it was a trap and discovers her whole world (the library and her friends in it) in disarray.
And I love the voice over at the end of this episode:
Bottom line is, even if you see 'em coming, you're not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come. You can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That's when you find out who you are. You'll see what I mean.
That's just awesomely brilliant writing. Does he meant for the next episode or for everything that happens after this moment? I love the way this show is written such that it is internally consistent and holds up all the way to the very end.
Actually I kind of hate the voiceover.
Also, Alisa has said everything that could possibly be said about Becoming Part 1 except the best line of the episode:
"It's a big rock. Can't wait to tell my friends. They don't have a rock this big." - Spike