Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season One: Episode Seven: Angel
Original Air Date: 4/14/97
Special Notes: We learn a secret
Just as the title indicates, this episode has a lot to do with Angel. This
episode is crux to the romantic subplot of the first three and a half seasons.
When Angel and Buffy have to seek refuge in her house following being tracked
by an evil band of vampires, romance begins to bloom. But, when Buffy and Angel
kiss, a terrifying secret is revealed; Angel is a vampire. This is a turning
point in the entire series. Angel, being a vampire with a soul, now has an extreme
amount of depth to him. He’s a character we can partially hate because
of his past; yet feel for because of what has happened to him through the years.
Through the course of the episode we learn the history of Angel/Angelus, more
about Darla, and we watch a romance blossom. Relying heavily on plot to carry
this episode, the action and comedy are somewhat absent. Still, because the
revelations in this episode are so important to the series, this episode is
easily one of the best. The way the plot is set up, and how everything is acted
out is spectacular. Watch this episode to truly get a grasp on how dramatic
this series can be.
This episode is special for a great many reasons. Its the first time we find out Angel's secret, the first time Joyce invites a deadly creature into her home, the first time Buffy has to struggle with her first love, the first trip to a hospital, and the first time Buffy is tricked into thinking someone did something that they actually didn't do. The writing in this episode is absolutely fantastic, as Joss presents just how confusing love can be. Granted, his situation is far more dramatic than anything anyone else could ever cook up, but it tells the story remarkably well. Comedy is in short supply, as this episode is really the first hardcore serious escapade into true darkness. The comedy that is there, is mostly Xander and the Master. The action and story more than make up for the lack of laughs though. The psychological aspect of this episode actually run more closely to season 3 or season 6 than it does to season 1. There is a lot of pain crammed into this 44 minutes of film, and i love it!
Cordelia almost dead: 2
Cordelia finds badness: 1
Xander bad dates: 1
Hospital Scenes: 1
Perfect 5 Ratings: 1
Eaglefreak2k: episode 8?
Eaglefreak2k: arguably the best episode of season 1, and one of the best in the whole series in my mind
Webby2299: why's that?
Eaglefreak2k: it's the starting point for the 3 year and ever present thereafter buffy/angel relationship
Eaglefreak2k: it really is a kick in the pants for the series dramatic overtones
Webby2299: agreed, and very true about the plot, this is the foundation for a lingering plot device
Eaglefreak2k: it never really goes away
Eaglefreak2k: so in the story
Webby2299: would you like to explain it to our readers?
Eaglefreak2k: we see that angel is a vampire, which raises a) the whole slayer/slayee issue, and b) buffy's actual feelings for angel. its the first time we really see how much she has fallen for him
Webby2299: indeed, and it's the strong emotional ties found in this episode that set up Buffy's pain and happiness for so long. Also, we learn the history of Angel too, which really comes into play later in the second season
Eaglefreak2k: and the first of "angel" the series
Eaglefreak2k: we also see just how much xander wants to get rid of angel
Eaglefreak2k: which plays out for a very long time as well
Webby2299: yes, a lot of charcter emotions revolves around this episode
Eaglefreak2k: the acting is fantabulous in this one too
Eaglefreak2k: everyone gets their shot
Eaglefreak2k: and nails it
Eaglefreak2k: even Kristine Sutherland
Webby2299: yes, she does a wonderful job in the hospital scene as well
Eaglefreak2k: and julie benz earns her money in this one as well
Eaglefreak2k: she really channels darla everytime she plays her
Eaglefreak2k: so manipulating
Eaglefreak2k: and thats something we see in season 2 of angel as well
Eaglefreak2k: same manipulative darls
Webby2299: I'm glad you pointed this out, because originally, Darla was supposed to have died in episode one, but she was kept because of her acting ability
Eaglefreak2k: point made
Eaglefreak2k: everyone is great, especially in this episode
Webby2299: yes, that is now beaten to death
Eaglefreak2k: the emotion and the characterazation throughout the whole thing is amazing
Webby2299: so, should we move into Action?
Eaglefreak2k: go for it
Webby2299: Considering how dramatic and plot heavy this episode was, there is a good amount of action in it. From the chase involving "The Three" to the battle with Darla, it's all pretty good. Not an awful lot, but what scenes that exist are performed well.
Eaglefreak2k: the thing i always liked about buffy is that they didnt rely on huge fight scenes to make or break an episode
Eaglefreak2k: joss whedon always knew where to throw the action in and how much to use to make the episode work
Eaglefreak2k: this is a shining example
Eaglefreak2k: they have only the action that helps the story along
Eaglefreak2k: granted, it isn't a lot, but any more would have been too much
Webby2299: yes, considering how much this revolved around character relationships
Webby2299: you take it away
Eaglefreak2k: for being what this episode is, there is decent amount of comedy, mostly from xander trying to relay how much he doesnt like angel
Eaglefreak2k: but the right decision was made in making this one mostly serious
Eaglefreak2k: if more humor were there, it would have insulted the integrety of what was going on
Webby2299: yes, comedy would've decidedly killed the episode
Webby2299: i think we pretty much covered the plot of this episode too, excellently done
Eaglefreak2k: well that one was easy
Webby2299: overall rating?
Eaglefreak2k: i give it a 5
Webby2299: no argument from me, a definite 5
Eaglefreak2k: woohoo! the first perfect score!!