“I Will Remember You” was the first great ANGEL episode. It showed why the Buffy-Angel relationship would never work. Buffy shows up in LA to confront Angel about his recent visit to her in Sunnydale in the previous BUFFY episode, “Pangs”. She was upset with him because he was in Sunnydale and kept his being there a secret and because they had agreed to stay out of each other’s lives. But before they can discuss anything, they are attacked by a demon. They then hunt the demon, and after battling it again, its blood turns Angel human. With Angel human, they finally are able to be with each other. They are finally able to have a perfect day with each other. But, while battling the demon, he puts Buffy and himself in more danger than before. Their relationship soon becomes tragic once more. Angel realizes that if he remains human it could get Buffy killed trying to protect him. He makes a visit to the Oracles and persuades them to reverse time so he can once again become the hero that he needs to be. And they agree, after Angel gives them his watch as a gift. He then returns to Buffy and tells her about his decision. And the final scene, where Buffy begins to cry and proclaim that there isn’t enough time and they embrace each other, is a tearjerker. Angel is the only one that has the knowledge of his sacrifice, and perhaps it is a driving force behind his darker and moody state that follows him throughout the series run.
The secondary story line of Cordy and Doyle’s comedic banter is a perfect fit with the tragedy of Angel and Buffy’s relationship.