October 2, 2021

Buffy 1.7, Angel: Kill or Be Killed

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:03 pm by Jenn

I, too, like to make out with mysterious guys I know nothing about

Summary: Collin and the Master are hanging out underground, still waiting for their minions to do their jobs so the Master can ascend. The Master complains to Darla that Buffy killed another one of his minions. He’s tired of the Slayer taking out all his guys. Collin suggests that the Master kill her, so Darla volunteers to do the job. The Master decides to send the Three instead.

The Bronze is about to close for a few days for fumigation, which means it’s time for their annual fumigation party. Catch a roach, get a free drink! Willow thinks it’s fun, but Buffy’s distracted. She laments that she’s single. Willow suggests that she date Angel, but since he’s not around much, that doesn’t appeal to Buffy. Still, she does like when he is around.

Xander is dancing dorkily, trying to find someone to dance dorkily with him. Cordelia taunts him and he taunts her back. So…same as usual. Xander joins Buffy and Willow, but Buffy thinks she’s bringing down everyone’s mood, so she leaves. On her way out, she passes a lurking Angel, but when she turns to double-check that he was really there, he disappears.

On her way home, Buffy senses a vampire and prepares to stake him and be on her way. Unfortunately, it’s not one vampire, it’s three. Specifically, it’s the Three. They’re all really strong, and she’s more outnumbered than she would be with just three regular vampires. Fortunately, Angel comes to her rescue and makes it a more even fight. But they don’t finish any of the vampires off, and Angel takes a metal post to the stomach. The two run to Buffy’s house, which the Three can’t enter without an invitation.

Buffy goes to get some bandages for Angel’s wound, telling him to take off his jacket and shirt. That’s a little treat for the audience. Buffy asks how he happened to be in the right place at the right time. Angel pretends he wasn’t stalking her and was just out for a walk. Buffy says it’s not a huge problem if he’s been hanging around her, but she’d like to know why. “Maybe I like you,” he says.

Buffy hears Joyce come home and runs to the front door to make sure the Three aren’t still outside the house. She rushes Joyce upstairs before she can realize that there’s someone else there. But Angel makes himself seen, so Buffy has to introduce him to her mother. She lies that he’s a college student who’s been tutoring her in history.

After Joyce goes upstairs, Buffy pretends to see Angel off, then sneaks him up to her room so he won’t have to face the Three. She offers to let him sleep in her bed while she sleeps on the floor. He’s too chivalrous for that, and also too chivalrous not to look away while she’s changing clothes. They chat while he looks out the window to see if the Three are still there.

Buffy asks why Angel has taken on the tasks she’s destined for as the Chosen One. He says someone has to protect humanity. His family’s dead, and Buffy guesses vampires are to blame. They are, but Angel says it was a long time ago. He changes the subject, telling Buffy how pretty she is. As they get in bed/floor, she asks if he snores. He doesn’t know, since it’s been a long time since he’s slept close enough to someone who might hear.

Xander’s upset to hear the next day that Angel spent the night in Buffy’s room. Willow thinks it’s romantic and wonders if anything happened. Buffy happily says that Angel was a gentleman. Xander thinks Angel set this all up to impress her. Giles asks about the Three, who he’s identified as warrior vampires. Willow wonders how Giles always knows what’s going on. She never knows what’s going on. Giles tells Buffy they need to step up her training. Xander suggests that Buffy stay with him for a while. Willow can tell Angel to leave town. Xander, stop talking. Giles says Buffy and Angel aren’t in immediate danger. The Three won’t be a problem again.

Indeed, the Three admit to the Master that they failed to kill the Slayer, which means the Master is allowed/expected to kill them. The Master tells Collin that this is part of the responsibility that comes with their power. He doesn’t see the point in killing the Three, but he lets Darla kill them anyway, because why not find joy wherever you can?

Buffy raids the book cage, where Giles keeps the weapons they haven’t gotten to use yet. She’s especially interested in using a crossbow. He wants her to start with a quarterstaff instead. They spar, and she quickly disarms him and flips him onto his back. That’s enough for Giles to allow her to try the crossbow instead.

Angel’s been hanging out in Buffy’s room all day, so she brings him dinner. In a bag. I guess it’s the thought that counts. She gets upset when she thinks he read her diary, since she’s written a bunch of stuff about someone named A. Not that A is Angel! He’s Achmed, a charming exchange student! Buffy loves Achmed! You heard it here first! Angel tells her that Joyce moved the diary when she came in to straighten up the room. Angel hid in the closet and didn’t read it.

He’s decided he can’t hang out with Buffy because when they’re around each other, all he can think about is how much he wants to kiss her. Since he’s older, this can’t happen. Buffy isn’t deterred by that, so they kiss. But he pulls away, and when he turns back to her, his face has changed – he’s vamped out. Buffy screams and Angel jumps out the window. When Joyce runs into find out what happened, Buffy says she just got spooked by a shadow.

The next day, Buffy shares the news with the other Scoobies. She wonders if a vampire can ever be a good person. Giles says no – even with his memories from his human life, he’s been taken over by a demon. Buffy wonders why Angel was so nice to her, then. Is this something the Master cooked up? Xander doesn’t care – Angel’s a vampire, so Buffy has to slay him.

That won’t be so easy, since Buffy has developed feelings for Angel. You might even say she’s in love with him. Xander exclaims that she’s out of her mind for falling for a vampire. Cordelia overhears, so Xander corrects himself: Buffy’s in love with an umpire. Cordelia quickly moves on to confront a girl who’s wearing the same dress she is. “You think we have problems,” Buffy quips.

Angel goes home to what can only be described as a lair. Darla’s waiting for him there, and this isn’t their first encounter. In fact, they’ve known each other for decades. They used to wreak havoc together, but now Angel’s hanging out with a Slayer and acting like a human. Angel acknowledges that he’s not human, but he’s also not like other vampires. Darla points out that he still needs blood to survive. (Unlike other vampires, he drinks from blood bags.)

Darla tries to entice Angel to let his real nature come out. She knows it’s brewing inside him, and she hopes she’s around when it finally explodes out of him. She taunts that Buffy’s probably afraid of him. Or maybe not. Maybe if Angel tells her about the curse, she’ll change her mind. But if she still doesn’t trust him, Angel knows where he can find Darla.

The Scoobies do some research in the library, but they have trouble finding any information on Angel. Giles comes across something about Angelus, so named because of his angelic face. That means Angel’s about 240, which isn’t as old as many vampires, but is still pretty old. Angelus came from Ireland, caused trouble in Europe for decades, and then came to the U.S. about 80 years ago and basically became a hermit. Willow thinks that means he’s a good vampire after all. Buffy agrees, since Angel never fed on her.

Underground, Darla presents a plan to the Master: Have Angel kill Buffy, then return to their fold. The Master is a big fan of Angel’s, or at least the evil version of him, Angelus. Darla plans to force Angel to kill Buffy to keep her from killing him. The Master is pleased that his “family” is looking out for each other.

Buffy and Willow try to study in the library, but Buffy’s understandably distracted. Willow gets that Buffy’s still hung up on Angel. She herself can’t help fantasizing about Xander just grabbing her and kissing her. Buffy encourages her to speak up if she wants to be with Xander. Willow knows that’ll end badly, so she’s not going there.

Darla lurks in the shelves upstairs as Buffy and Willow talk about Buffy’s kiss with Angel. Willow thinks it’s nice that Angel will always be young and handsome, though it’s not quite as nice when she thinks about how Buffy will grow old and die. Plus, what if they have kids? Buffy wants to get all this out of her system and come to terms with the fact that Angel’s a vampire, so nothing can happen between them.

At home, Joyce hears creaking noises outside and checks to make sure she’s alone. She’s not – Darla’s outside. She introduces herself as a friend of Buffy’s who’s there to study. Joyce naïvely invites her in and offers her a snack. Angel’s lurking outside as well, and he almost knocks on the door to see if Buffy will talk to him. That means he’s close enough to hear Joyce when she screams.

Angel bursts into the house (thanks to Buffy’s earlier invitation) and tells Darla to let Joyce go. Darla tries to tempt him into drinking some of her blood. He vamps out but struggles to stop himself. Of course, that’s when Buffy comes home and catches him in vamp face, bent over her unconscious mother. She throws him out a window and tells him that if he comes back, she’ll kill him.

Buffy calls an ambulance, telling the 911 operator that Joyce cut herself. The Scoobies reconvene at the hospital, where Joyce is told that she slipped and cut herself on something resembling a barbecue fork (which the Summerses don’t have). She meets Giles for the first time and is impressed by how caring the teachers are in Sunnydale.

Buffy thinks she was stupid to trust Angel and not kill him after she found out that he’s a vampire. Willow thinks it’s reasonable that she couldn’t bring herself to kill someone she cares about. But now Buffy is ready to make sure Angel never hurts anyone else she cares about. Giles reminds her that Angel knows she’s a Slayer and has taken on the Three. This isn’t going to be an easy kill.

Darla goes back to Angel’s lair to tell him that Buffy’s looking for him. She taunts him for letting himself believe that Buffy might accept him. As Buffy gets in some crossbow practice, Darla urges Angel to kill Buffy before she can kill him: “Kill. Feed. Live.” Angel tells her he wants this over, which Darla is happy to hear.

Since Buffy knows Angel lives near the Bronze, she goes there to try to figure out where he might be. Back at the hospital, Giles chats with Joyce about Buffy’s trouble with history. Since Buffy “lives very much in the now,” she has a hard time learning about things that have already happened. Joyce says she’s trying, since she’s studying with both Willow and Darla. Giles isn’t familiar with Darla, whom Joyce notes was still in the house when she had her “accident.” Giles figures out that Darla, not Angel, attacked Joyce.

Buffy follows some noises into the closed Bronze, hunting Angel. He appears to her with his vamp face on, ready to fight. But when she has her chance to send an arrow into his heart, she hesitates. He morphs out of his vamp face and encourages her to go ahead and stake him. Buffy asks why he’s acted the way he has. He was nice to her, and now he’s her enemy. Why go after her family? Angel says he killed his own family, so why not?

For 100 years, Angel killed everyone he met, and he did it happily. Then one day he killed a Romani girl about Buffy’s age. Her elders came up with a creative punishment: They restored his soul. When you become a vampire, your soul disappears, leaving you without a conscience or guilt. That makes it easier to kill innocent people. “You have no idea what it’s like to have done the things I’ve done…and to care,” Angel says. He hasn’t fed on a human since that day.

Buffy wonders why Angel suddenly chose to attack Joyce. He says he didn’t, but he knew Buffy wouldn’t believe him if he said so. Plus, his demon side took over and he truly wanted to kill her. Buffy puts down her crossbow and walks up to him, offering him the chance to do it. When he doesn’t move, she says it must not be as easy as it seems. Darla, who’s just arrived, disagrees.

As the other Scoobies search for Buffy, Darla lets Buffy know that she and Angel were involved for a long time. Buffy just insults Darla’s outfit, hair, and wrinkles. Darla reminds Angel that he threw away his shot at ruling with her in the Master’s court because he wanted to get to know Buffy. He’ll always be sick, and he’ll spend the rest of his eternal life remembering what it was like to watch Buffy die.

Buffy picks up her crossbow again, but Darla isn’t scared, since she has two guns. She shoots Angel, though a bullet won’t kill a vampire. She continues firing at Buffy, who’s able to hide from her. The Scoobies are outside and hear the shots. Buffy’s a better shot with her crossbow than Darla is with her guns, though she doesn’t get an arrow in Darla’s heart.

Xander suggests that the Scoobies distract Darla, so Willow yells out that Darla was the one who attacked Joyce. Darla starts shooting at them but keeps missing. Still, the distraction works, and Buffy is almost able to get the upper hand. While Darla’s focused on her, Angel comes up behind Darla and jams an arrow through her back, into her heart. Darla says his name, surprised, then turns to dust. Angel leaves without saying anything to Buffy.

Underground, the Master is distraught to lose his favorite vampire. Collin says Darla was weak and they don’t need her. He’ll kill the Slayer. The Master is also sad that Angel won’t be returning to the fold to sit at his right hand. Collin says everyone’s against the Master, but he’ll rise soon and they’ll kill everyone.

The Scoobies (minus Giles) go back to the Bronze for the post-fumigation party. Angel’s been radio-silent, but Buffy feels like he’s still watching her. Willow notices that he’s lurking in the shadows once again. Xander decides not to watch, which means his full attention is on Willow.

Angel approaches Buffy, saying he just wanted to make sure she and Joyce were both okay. He knows he and Buffy can never have any kind of relationship. She understands, and she agrees that they both need to walk away. But neither of them does. Instead, they kiss again. Willow decides not to tell Xander about that. This time, Angel doesn’t vamp out, though he says it hurts. When Buffy leaves, saying she’ll see him around, we see what Angel meant: Her cross necklace burned his chest.

Thoughts: The show uses the word “gypsy,” but that’s considered a slur, so I’ll be using “Romani.”

For the record, Buffy telling Angel, “Get in” when they get to her house counts as an invitation.

I’d forgotten how little Willow gets to do this early in the season. It’s too bad, especially since Alyson Hannigan is so funny. But at least she gets more to do than Charisma Carpenter.

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