Episode Reviews (53)

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  • 10

    everybody has a skeleton in the cupboard!..

    By peyngel, Dec 14, 2013

    wow! it's just the most romantic episode since the beginning of the show (though I know it's not the most romantic in entire series!). this storyline is just so... can't find the right word to define it... it's just really great! smth like "The Beauty & the Beast" -- the Slayer & the Vampire... the couple that is not meant to be but they are... Sarah and David look amazing in their scenes together. and even I'm not Angel's fan and prefer Spike, I miss Buffy/Angel time.

    the Darla's death kinda shocked me 'coz I really wanna see her in the show (glad she'll appear in "Angel" then -- love Julie Benz).

    actually, I have a lot to say (or write) about this epi. but I guess I'd better come to the conclusion that this episode is one of my favorite in the first season -- to be honest, it takes 2nd place after "Prophecy Girl"!

    FAVE SCENE: Buffy/Angel in the end of epi.

    FAVE QUOTE: Buffy: For us to have a conversation about a guy, there'd have to be a guy for us to have a conversation about. Is that a sentence?moreless

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  • 10


    By tarafan2, Jun 11, 2013

    In my second Buffy review, I mistakenly referred to Angel's past as having been revealed in the series' second episode. I made that goof because I mixed up information I'd gleaned from one of the DVD featurettes with information I'd obtained from actually watching the show. And now I'm really regretting having watched that featurette, because it would've been so much sweeter to learn about Angel for the first time from this episodeand would've been more genuinely startling if I hadn't already seen the moment where he transforms from hunk to monster after a kiss from Buffy.

    Despite the spoilers, "Angel" was still the best Season One episode I've yet seen. I've enjoyed every Buffy I've watched-with the exception of one after thisbut "Angel" is the first installment since the two-part pilot that really lives up to the series' premise. It has twists, drama, dark humor, deep sorrow, sexual tension and a subtle exploration of a significant theme. It's also well-directed by the great Scott Brazil, a former Hill Street Blues helmer who'd later help shepherd The Shield to glory.

    We begin by meeting The Three, a trio of super-vampires tasked by The Master to take out Buffya job they're well on their way to completing, before Angel intervenes. The unhappy couple flees The Three and takes refuge at Buffy's house, where they share a little sexual tension, thena day laterthe kiss that stirs up Angel's evil side and terrifies our heroine. Meanwhile, determined to curry favor with The Master, hot schoolgirl Darla decides to persuade Angel to re-join her on the dark side of vampirism. Her plan? To get Buffy to turn on Angel, and then for Angel to kill Buffy. Her method? She weasels her way into Buffy's house by pretending to be a classmate, takes a bite out of Buffy's mother Joyce, then shoves Joyce into Angel's arms just before Buffy comes home.

    Part of the beauty of "Angel" is the way it slyly converts a standard piece of vampire lorethe idea that vampires can only come into your home if you invite themand uses it to illuminate some ideas about "family" in the Buffyverse. Typically, writers use the "vampires have to be invited in" idea to imply that everyone has a little wickedness in them, and that succumbing to vampires is really a matter of a giving in to an impulse that's already there. In the Buffy The Vampire Slayer episodes I've seen, the good guys are outcasts who cling to a private hope that they can be normal, and maybe someday Thus Buffy invites in a vampire who's a prospective boyfriend, and Joyce invites in a vampire who looks like an ordinary schoolfriend for her daughter, and Angel is tempted to leave behind his refrigerator full of stolen blood bags to join Darla and The Master and what they both describe warmly as, yes,

    The rest of the beauty of "Angel" is the way it exploits the ambiguity raised by this theme to tease and bait the audience. Having seen Sunnydale High's principal get devoured just one episode ago, we can't assume that Darlaor Angel!won't kill Joyce, nor do we know whether Buffy will realize that the whole Angel-about-to-chow-down-on-her-mom thing is a big misunderstanding. For all we know, Buffy might just kill Angel. Xander certainly wants Buffy to do her sworn duty as The Chosen One, because it'll eliminate a key rival for her affections, and edge him that much closer to living out his dream of

    And there are also a multitude of character touches, funny bits of dialogue, and milieu-enriching moments that make "Angel" a significant episode. I like how The Master comes off as half Proud Papa with Collin, and half sarcastic smartass. I like how Buffy's first encounter with The Three reveals her as vulnerable, really for the first time on the show. I like how Buffy's chaste sleepover with Angel involves her lying to her mom, just like any other horny teenager. I like how when Buffy asks Angel if he snores, he forlornly says, "I don't I like how Giles' request that Buffy learn to master the quarterstaff prompts her to complain, "I'm not going to be fighting Friar I like how when Buffy thinks Angel has been reading her diary, she snappishly points out that when she refers to "A" she means "Ahmed, a charming foreign exchange student," and that contrary to what she may have written, Angel's eyes are "bulging, not I even like that a good chunk of the episode takes place before, during and after The Bronze undergoes "a fumigation"a neat nod to the business of this episode and this series.

    But mostly I love that when Buffy kisses Angel goodbye, she leaves him with a cross-shaped scar on his chest. A perfect ending to pretty much a perfect episode.moreless

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  • 9.0


    By arkanitoo, Jul 09, 2012

    A S1 episode that's actually relevant beyond the scope of itself? Could it really be true!? It is!! This actually feels more like an early S2 episode that is saddled with S1's production values and musical score. "Angel" is simply bursting with romantic excitement and nascent sexuality, so much so that I felt it spark off of Buffy during several key scenes. Sarah Michelle Gellar really nailed getting those feelings across in a very understated yet potent performance. This is one of the few S1 episodes that I actually felt, and it also serves as a strong setup to S2's themes of first love, blind romanticism, and forgiveness.

    One of the more successful recurring elements of S1 so far has been the growing romantic tension between Buffy and Angel. Buffy verbalizes how powerful her feelings are to Willow: "When he is around it's like the lights dim everywhere else." As their relationship continues to evolve, though, several road blocks between them both direct and indirect -- do as well. The Three, while quite lame, serve their purpose in getting Angel in Buffy's house where their mutual attraction (and the actors' chemistry) is quite palpable. The other side of that attraction is the look on Joyce's face ("uh huh") when she sees her daughter hanging out with this attractive older guy. The dance between young romance and consequences is something that will thrive in S2.

    In the first scene in Buffy's room, Gellar continues to act the hell out the moment; you can feel her excitement, yet also the innocence in her eyes. This excitement continues when her unfiltered giddiness at sleeping right next to a very polite Angel is shared with her friends the next day. Willow can understand the excitement, but Xander is expectedly not pleased.

    All of this build-up explodes during what I'd describe as one of the most well built-up kisses I've ever seen on television. The show has earned its way up to this moment quite well, so rather than feeling like something common it instead plays out as memorable. This is also precisely why the subsequent reveal that Angel is a vampire works even though I know ten times over that it's going to happen. The fact that I can still be moved by all this is a testament to the build-up and the acting. This is representative of the difference between a cheap one-off shock and an earned character-based shock that has far reaching implications. This quality will become a staple of Buffy as a show, so it's wonderful to see the initial instances of it in action.

    The Angel revelation has immediate implications for both the episode and the series as a whole at this point, some of which are set into motion almost immediately when Buffy asks Giles if a vampire can ever be a good person. Giles gives her a very one-dimensional answer that while not entirely false belies the whole truth (not that I think Giles is lying, but rather is simply misinformed), and that's even putting aside the whole soul/soulless issue. The landscape is a lot more complex than the Watchers' Council position indicates. Spike, Drusilla, Angelus, Vampire Willow, and others will spark a lot of debate and interpretation in the seasons to come, which will make for quite an interesting ride. Right here, though, Angel is the very first kink in the gears towards the show's initial take on demonic nature and the meaning of a soul.

    All of this comes to a head when Buffy goes out to kill Angel after she thinks he attacked her mom. Buffy gets the edge on Angel, but she decides to spare him and asks him "Why? Why didn't you just attack me when you had the chance? Was it a joke? To make me feel for you and then..." This is when Angel explains the curse to Buffy, and she clearly feels he's being genuine. The fact that Buffy's willing to risk being bitten to confirm Angel's story speaks even further volumes to both her instinct and the depths of her feelings for him.

    While "Angel" is definitely focused on Buffy's side of things, it doesn't shy away from shedding more details on Angel himself. A lot of this material is exposition-y (and not all that interesting when one already knows the details), but seeing things from Angel's perspective was needed. We can see that while Buffy's trying to balance slaying, school, and romance, Angel's juggling with his demonic nature, desire for amends, and becoming romantically invested in someone for likely the very first time in his soul-having existence. Right now the thing both Buffy and Angel have in common is their mutual attraction and newfound investment in each other. As their relationship evolves, it'll end up in a much more aware and mature place in which Buffy comes to understand and help Angel through some of his struggles, and vice versa. Of course the moment Angel finally starts believing in his own potential as a person, we see that he no longer belongs in Buffy's world. Before we can reach that point (S3), though, reality is going to come crashing down on their blinding romance (hello S2).

    Although the central plot is certainly intriguing enough, there are some nice subtleties in "Angel" that shouldn't be overlooked. For one, there's that super fun training sequence between Buffy and Giles. Beyond just being awesome, it's also interesting in how Buffy learns the hard way that becoming "proficient with the basic tools of combat" is trivial compared to becoming proficient with the basic tools of life, as will be demonstrated again and again in the coming seasons.

    There's also this fabulous little scene where, in the hospital, Joyce asks Giles why Buffy struggles with history so much. Giles' response is as metaphorical as it is literal. He tells Joyce that Buffy "lives very much in the 'now' and history, of course, is very much about the 'then.'" I can't help but think this really speaks to Buffy as a person who always has her own way of getting things done and has a tendency to subvert what's expected of her in a positive way. In light of this, she often ends up ditching the old ways of doing things.

    All of this leads to the sublime final scene, where Buffy and Angel both admit that their relationship can't happen, yet they can't pull themselves away from each other. This unstoppable attraction will only grow between now and "Surprise" [2x13] when the other shoe drops. For now, though, both the viewers and the characters get to enjoy being washed over by this initially blissful nave romanticism, with a tone-setting and aptly titled song playing in the background that alludes to it all falling apart. "I'll Remember You" indeed, with a cross burned onto my soul.

    "Angel" is one of the only episodes of S1 that puts it all together. While it's definitely still held back a bit by many of S1's usual sore appendages (music, etc.), thereby creating a few rough edges, the episode succeeds despite them due to some excellent acting by an electric Sarah Michelle Gellar and a rapidly improving David Boreanaz. The episode also sports a lasting, relevant story that will have character-based implications that reach far beyond it in of itself. "Angel" gives us an appetizer of the kind of Buffy magic that lies ahead, and I can't help but love it for that.moreless

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  • 6.0

    Buffy and Angel aren't convincing.

    By KyahCA, Jul 09, 2012

    The thing with Buffy and Angel's relationship is it's just not convincing.

    This is only the 7th episode, and Angel has appeared only a few short times to give Buffy advice about the Master and such. It was nothing more than that. It's understandable that Buffy would have a crush on him because of his charm and mysterious good looks, but for them to just have this connection and for Buffy to hesitate when Xander asked if she was in love with him? Come on now...

    So the Master recruits "The Three" to go after Buffy, and Angel comes to help her out of it. Buffy quickly invites him into her house. Boy, it would have been awkward if she didn't actually say it out loud wouldn't it? Considering we find out that Angel is actually a vampire.

    OMG! I totally didn't see that coming! ... Okay, I already knew. This isn't my first time watching this show. But come on, wasn't it kind of obvious? We only ever see Angel lurking around at night, never in the day. And he just has this... vampire vibe. If that makes sense.

    We see more of Darla, and we find out that she was the one who actually turned Angel into a vampire over 200 years ago. It was nice to see her again, but it's too bad she gets dusted so soon. But that won't be the last time we see her.

    So as you can tell, this isn't a favourite episode of mine. Maybe it's biased because I do not ship Buffy and Angel together, but isn't that the point of a review after all? To state my opinion about it?

    It's a fine episode, but it's too focused on Angel who I find to be a very dull character. But I guess since the episode is called "Angel" I'll let it down easy.moreless

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  • 10

    The series finds it's feet

    By joxerlives, Jan 04, 2012


    The Good;

    Awesome fight scenes with both The Three and at the Bronze. Lovely stuff with Buffy intrducing Angel to Joyce, wonderful scene between Angel and Darla hinting at great things to come. I love Joyce's denial over the barbecue fork and Cordy's rage over the girl in the same dress. The big shock that Angel is a vampire which I must say I didn't see coming at all (he gives Buffy a cross in WTTH but it's in a box!). Love the diary misunderstanding too and the shock of Buffy coming home to see a bleeding Joyce in Angel's arms.

    The Bad;

    The Master's killing of The Three (lame name or what?) is stupid. Also they seem to give up awfully easily, that or Joyce just walks right past them? (maybe they know better than to mess with momma Summers?)

    Best line;

    Buffy "Stay the hell away from us!"

    Observations and questions;

    Anyone else disturbed by The Master's relationship with The Anointed? Joyce is the first cast member to be bitten by a vamp (although despite being a huge part of the series she's never actually a Scooby) whilst Angel is the first to be shot. Why don't vamps use guns more often? According to Joss it goes against their demonic nature. We have Xander dancing, always a treat. Angel kills his first vamp onscreen although we later learn he's killed at least 2 prior to this. The first of the many deaths of Darla

    Here Buffy really kicks into high gear, the Buffy/Angel romance is set on it's course, we see the Darla/Angel relationship for the first time, it turns an OK show with an attractive cast into a brilliant show



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  • 9.5

    Angel's secret revealed

    By Phunner1416, Jun 13, 2011

    This episode was good. It reveals Angel as the first vampire ever to have a soul, which will lead up to the Big-Bad of the second season, a main story-arc of the third season, and a spin-off of Buffy, Angel. This episode also shows Darla's death, and the first time that the Master is ever truly furious. This is a great episode with a couple of great twists; first when Buffy finds out that Angel is a vampire, then when Buffy finds out that Angel is a vampire with a soul, and that Darla framed him for biting Joyce and all of the other evil things that Buffy thought Angel had done. This episode was truly great.moreless

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  • 9.0

    The Master sends out The Three – a trio of warrior vampires - to finish Buffy once and for all. The situation pushes Buffy and Angel closer together - but she discovers an unexpected secret about him. Not one of my favourites at the time, but a key ep...

    By Jay-Spacedust, Mar 06, 2011

    This review contains spoilers.

    Although I didn't particularly take to this episode the first time I ever saw it (not being such a fan of the slushy romance side of the series back then), it now stands as one of the key episodes of the entire series, for obvious reasons. I also confess to liking the episode far more than I originally did, now my tastes have matured (allegedly).

    "The Three" that the Master sends out to get rid of Buffy are somewhat of a red herring – they look set to be the archetypal "monster threat of the week", but in fact they are gone within the first twenty minutes of the story, not slayed by Buffy, but by Darla, at the command of the Master, disgusted by their failure.

    So of course the main thrust of the episode is that Angel turns out to be ... a vampire! Who woulda guessed it. Although I'm not particularly into the whole slushy romance side of things, I did feel that it played out very well here, with good performances from both Sarah Michelle Gellar, and David Boreanaz, and some nice dialogue.

    Some have commented that this episode plays like an (arguably better) version of 'Twilight'. A female friend of mine has forced me to watch 'Twilight' (it wasn't my choice – honest!!), and I can definitely see the comparisons.

    As always, particularly with the first season, there is some light relief elsewhere in the episode, again as pretty much always, mostly coming from Xander and Willow. I love Xander's various goofy attempts to put Buffy off of Angel, and his various boasts himself (such as the time he drank a gallon of Cool-Aid, with an "ick factor later").

    The episode also sees the dusting of Darla at the end. Julie Benz plays the role devilishly perfectly, with that Joker-esque smile. Thankfully, it's not the last we see of Darla in the Buffy / Angel universe.

    In many ways, "Angel" is a sign of things to come in the show, with character developments as prominent (sometimes even more prominent) than the "threat of the week" storylines.

    Although I wasn't overtaken with the episode when I first saw it on BBC Two way back when (though didn't DISlike it), I've come to appreciate it more now. Although not one of my all-time favourite 'Buffy' episodes, it does hold some key developments that are key to the future course of the series. I give "Angel" a respectable 9 out of 10.moreless

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  • 9.5

    Put simply, this episode was a better version of Twilight.

    By gtucks, Mar 06, 2011

    Human girl falls for with a vampire that no longer kills people. Their love is forbidden and his limits are tested but they both come out alive.

    Though Twilight had almost the exact same storyline, I didn't like it but I loved this episode! It could be because the acting was a thousand times better and the vampire with the face of an angel was actually attractive.. who knows. Anyway, I'd been rooting for Buffy and Angel to get together since the Pilot so I was, of course, very excited to see this episode. Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz have amazing chemistry which really made this episode great.

    But they didn't get too carried away with the romance, which was good. There was still a lot of action, and plenty of twists in the plot. All in all, a very good episode!moreless

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  • 6.5

    Finally an episode with something

    By Thestorysofar, Jan 13, 2011

    Ok so as with all the love going on in Buffy it's like this.

    Willow loves Xander, Xander loves Buffy, Buffy loves Angel Cordelia loves herself and Giles loves his library and books.

    So Angel has been this reoccuring character that shows up for a couple of minutes and gives advise about bad things to Buffy. He is tall dark and handsome and totally hot so Buffy falls for him because he's not a dork like Xander. The 3 in this episode were wasted. They looked good they should of kept them going. 1 slip up and they were toast. I know the bad guy has to be mean and in doing so has to kill his own men. Anyway Angel turns out to be a vampire. shock. And so Buffy can't go out with him because he is a vampire and she is Slayer. But Angel turns out to be nice vampire and wants help.

    End of Darla Vampire. she was okay another evil vampire out of the way. I bet Buffy wishes she killed her earlier.moreless

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  • 8.5


    By TrueTvWatcher, Oct 10, 2010

    Angel was a great episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy and Angel's budding relationship is put to the test in this episode. This is the staging ground for what is to come. The episode also gave us insights into some of the other characters as well. I really enjoyed watching the story of this episode unfold, and it was interesting to learn the truth behind Angel's secret. It was a shame that we lost Darla so soon. She was a really great vampire. I think that this is a crucial turning point in the characters lives, though they don't know it.moreless

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