Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 3 Episode 10


Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Dec 15, 1998 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (33)

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  • Amends

    It's a 'Buffy' Christmas and with it comes loads of pain, with the exception of the ending. Written and directed by Whedon himself, this episode ends with an surprisingly contrived happy ending involving a freak snow storm. For some equally contrived reason, though, I'm willing to let that huge complaint go. This is because it is the only episode in the entire series that ends this wildly warm. I never knew Whedon had this kind of warmth in him! Putting aside that anomaly, I can safely say that the rest of the episode is pretty damn good. One scene in particular, though, got me all sad. That's when Joyce and Buffy chat about inviting Faith over for Christmas dinner. The characters are so happy here, and it's so sad because I know what they're all going to have to go through over the next few years.

    I've got a handful of complaints, but nothing all that critical. Angel dreams of his vicious past right as he wakes up. He then goes outside to take a stroll and bumps into Buffy sporting a hair style that does not bring our her better qualities. Oh well, I love her anyway. While talking to Buffy, Angel sees the same Irish man from his dream behind her. Okay, so The First is orchestrating all of this, but it feels like awkward timing. The First should have appeared to Angel a ways after the opening credits. Another complaint I have is that later we find out that Buffy is appearing inside Angel's dreams. Unfortunately, how or why this is happening is never explained. It appears like this is only happening to the two of them so they can have their, admittedly sensual, dream sex later on (which, by the way, also has some creepy foreshadowing at the end of it).

    So now we get to the great material. There are a few really powerful scenes woven into the episode. The first being Oz and Willow's sexual confrontation at Willow's house. It begins at the school when Oz decides to give Willow another shot at their relationship. That leads to the home scene which is just golden television. Taking Buffy's advice to show Oz that "he comes first," Willow decides to offer herself sexually to Oz as proof of that. Our awesome man Oz, however, isn't ready to make love with Willow yet. It's really refreshing to see Oz's maturity about sex. He wonderfully tells her, "you look great. You know, and, and you got the Barry working for you, and, and it's all... good. But when it happens... I want it to be because we both need it to for the same reason. You don't have to prove anything to me."

    The second big scene is when Angel pays a visit to Giles' home for answers about why he's back on Earth. Giles pulls out a crossbow and invites him in. As they're talking, a manifestation of Jenny Calendar appears behind Giles as he's talking. This puts Angel over the edge and he storms out of the house. Giles' response to this entire sequence of events was also perfect. Ultimately, the idea of having Angel haunted and needing to overcome his greatest sins, on Christmas no less, is entirely relevant and beautiful. It's also great that we finally know why Angel is back from Hell.

    Scene number three, and ultimately the most important, is the big conversation between Angel and Buffy on the hilltop. Angel's up there to commit suicide via sunlight and Buffy is passionately trying to convince him not to. He realizes that he's weak and that part of him wants to "take comfort" in Buffy even though he knows it would cost him his soul. Buffy ends up giving Angel the fuel he needs to be able to make a difference in the world. She says, "You're weak. Everybody is. Everybody fails. Maybe this evil did bring you back, but if it did, it's because it needs you. And that means that you can hurt it. Angel, you have the power to do real good, to make amends. But if you die now, then all that you ever were was a monster." She then tells him, "Strong is fighting! It's hard, and it's painful, and it's every day." This entire dialog exchange is literally the mission statement of the spin-off show Angel. That makes this in some ways the actual pilot episode for that show! In the final scene of AtS ("Not Fade Away"), Angel says "lets get to work," swipes his sword, and then it cuts to credits. Stength is about fighting every day.

    This is a very touching and powerful episode with a few small problems and a slightly slow pace. Buffy's words of strength and the freak snow storm really help push the Christmas theme. The three huge scenes, though, completely blow away any negative feelings I have. I hadn't planned on giving this one a big score, but upon analysis I realize this is a really good outing. A solid episode from Joss Whedon.
  • Christianity in the Buffyverse


    The Good;

    Pretty much all of it, the ending is too beautiful for words, Will and Oz getting back together and Will's attempt to seduce him are the highlights. I also really like Joyce hurriedly turning down Buffy's suggestion that they invite Giles for Christmas and you can't fail to be touched by Faith at the Summers' house for Christmas. Also some powerful Giles/Angel scenes. On a lighter note I love the depiction of Liam the 'drunken, whoring, layabout' who seems a pretty fun guy

    The Bad;

    Irish accents not so great on Buffy. I'm still not that clear on the role of the First and what it's plan was? Did it want to wreck WR&H's scheme for the apocalypse?

    Best line;

    Buffy; What are your Christmas plans?

    Willow; Being Jewish not much, not everyone worships Santa, remember?

    Character death;

    None but Jenny makes her second (and unfortunately final postdeath appearance except in flashback)

    Women good/men bad;

    Angelus' behaviour towards the maid is just horrible beyond belief, not just in killing her but in the way he uses his position to shame her into silence

    Kinky dinky;

    Flashbacks to the Buffy/Angel coitus. Love Will's seduction dress and she takes a page out of Ally McBeal's book with Barry White. Amazingly this is the second time Willow has offered her virginity to a boy and he's turned her down. To judge from her remarks Oz is not a virgin however. Great line from Joyce "Angel on top again?"

    Calling Captain Subtext;

    Quite a lot of Jaith, it's obvious that a family Christmas is what Faith really wants despite her projected steel

    Guantanamo Bay;

    Buffy and Xander threaten Willy the Snitch but don't beat him up for once

    What the fanficcers thought;

    Plenty of adult stuff as normal ('Buffy the Slutty Santa Helper' has her as an S&M ponygirl in chains pulling Santa's sleigh) but largely this time of year brings out the slush (physically and metaphorically). My favourite is 'At Last', it has Buffy as a C19th noblewoman (much as we saw her in Halloween) who get's vamped by Darla on her way back home for Christmas. 200 years later she get's cursed by gypsies, restoring both soul and humanity. She tracks down her family's descendents (Joyce, her husband Hank and their daughter Dawn) and turns up on their doorstep on Christmas morning, posing as Joyce's long lost niece. And they adopt her, forming her new family, finally allowing her to enjoy a normal human life once more and completing the journey she began centuries before.

    Questions and observations;

    So, is the First the real deal? Lucifer, the Devil, Satan, The Evil One? Apparently Robia LaMorte had a hard time in this ep because she's become very Christian and didn't like playing what was essentially the Devil? But it's not exactly as if they're saying it's a good thing and gets defeated in the end. Buffy comments that Xander has a piece of Willow that Oz can't touch, the same is true of Willow and Xander with Anya in season 5. Presumably Dawn enjoys Christmas with Faith at home. To judge by his flashbacks whilst Angel was Angelus he kills a father and his young children yet no one goes hysterical Gingerbread style.

    The First says that Angel will drink Buffy and he does at the end of the season. Once read a horrible fanfic where the ending gives Angel his moment of joy turning him into Angelus and having him torture Buffy. Thankfully there was a sequal where everything works out happily, his soul get's restored and he uses WR&H's healers to cure her.

    So, God in the Buffyverse? What are we to think? I think the snowstorm is clearly the work of the PTB. I know the rival theory is that it's WR&H saving him but it's pretty clear that they're unaware of his significance until near the end of the first season of Angel. Or it's a meterelogical freak but who could buy that?

    8/10 I think

  • A time for making up

    This is a very powerful episode,typical of Josh Whedon's writing.We get more flashbacks from Angelus's past - and please don't complain about Boreanaz's Irish accent unless you come from Ireland. We Brits don't pick holes in Spike and Dru's 'English' accents.
    The atmosphere really builds up with the hauntings and the obvious mental torment Angel is suffering.
    Powerful acting from David Boreanaz throughout. I especialy love the scene where he comes to ask for help from Giles - great from both of them.
    The final scene with Buffy is also memorable and really fills out the character of Angel. Great acting from both of them.
    The erotic love dream experienced by both Buffy and Angel at the same time was a great idea.
  • It's beginning to look a lot like payback, everywhere you go....

    Ah Christmas time. My favorite time of year. I look forward to when(or if)my favorite shows do a holiday episode. If there are others like me, then hopefully you liked this episode because it's the only real Christmas episode Buffy ever did. They did Halloween ones every other year, but only one "true" Christmas ep. And what a doozy. One of the best episodes of season three, and one of my top favorite episodes of Buffy ever. This particular episode is something extra special for me. This was the episode that got me hooked on the show. We didn't have The WB in our area for a long time. We didn't have it when the show first started airing. I missed the entire first season, and we finally got the channel when the series was wrapping up it's second season. Even then, it took longer to get into the swing of things. I just glanced at a re-run of "Go Fish" during the summer, and saw a bit of the season three premiere "Anne". I liked what I saw, but I wasn't sucked in yet. I hadn't had the time as of yet. But then this ep came along. A big Buffy Christmas. This was the first episode that I really saw. That I really watched. I was glued to the TV screen for every single frame of this brilliant episode. I was amazed at what I was seeing. I finally got a look into what this fast growing phenomenon was. I was a goner from here on out. The horror, the comedy, the brilliant characters, the magnificent writing. I was now kicking myself for not getting into the re-runs during the previous summer. This was the coolest show I had ever seen. And a big holiday episode to boot!. Who could ask for anything more?. So, this episode has a bit more of a special meaning to me. It will always be something special. So, how did the gang from Sunnydale deck the halls with boughs of holly this year?...

    A heavyily Angel centered episode this is as Angel is being haunted by the ghosts of his past. People he has murdered back in his Angelus days. In the process, Angel begins to fall apart, while in the meantime learns why he was brought back from the hell dimension earlier in the year. Also going on is everyone's feelings about Angel being brought out.

    Can you say Charles Dickens?. When a TV show does
    christmas episodes, at some point they are going to do either "It's A Wonderful Life" or "A Christmas Carol". Or both. Joss goes the Dickens path here and he does it, not surprisingly, brilliantly. Everything that people love about Christmas themed specials is here. The snow, the lights, the cheer, and the big emotional climax. Some people think that's the worst part about them. But let's not waste time on those people, shall we?. So, Angel is being haunted by visions of peopls he has killed in the past. The main one here is a young man named Daniel, who Angel killed in Dublin in 1838. Daniel pretty much serves as the Jacob Marley type ghost here, if you want to continue in the "Christmas Carol" vein here. He begins what would come to be a nightmare for Angel. Another ghost, a servant girl named Margaret, represent the ghosts of Angel's past. Who is his present ghost?. That would be Jenny Calendar, who he killed so shockingly and violently last year. A lot of people at this time were still not quite over it yet. And really, who wasn't thrilled to see Jenny/Robia La Morte back?. It may not of really been Jenny, but still. Interesting side not, although you probably already know if you are a Buffy fan, is that Robia La Morte really did not like this episode. She didn't like the fact of coming back and that Jenny was presented as this evil thing in such an evil manner. Okay. It's ironic that she would think this since I see this as one of the best episodes she has been in!. Anyways, what is the future?. Angel fears the future is the death of his beloved, Buffy Summers. Some say that the "Christmas Carol" angle is light and you can overlook it. Perhaps this is true, but I can't help but always seeing it. Like with everything Joss does, something that has been done before is quickly rejuvenated and tossed onto it's head. This is the Scrooge tale for the new generation. The best that's been done in that format. The whole Angel storyline was magnificent. The big ending is not all sunshine and rainbows when Angel finally comes too. It's somber, quiet, and perfect. The snow falling in Southern California was beautiful beyod words. Some saw it as Joss not being able to overlook all Christmas-y cliche, but that was not it at all. Joss doesn't do cliche. From what I have heard, the snow was a clean and pure symbol and was a metaphor for Angel being cleansed. Or something like that. I'll buy it. That whole scene was breathtaking. "It's not the demon in me that needs killing - It's the man", were some perfectly written words for Angel. That scene was brilliantly acted, and Sarah and David both did some of their best work there. A riveting and beautiful moment in a storyline that is also riveting, beautiful, and a real tearjerker. Joss, you did it again.

    This episode is not just about Angel, but how Angel is felt among the other characters. It's been a long and bumpy road between Angel and the other people on the show. Xander is still pretty much Xander when it comes to Angel. You can understand where Xander is coming from, but him acting like a jacka** goes a long way. Thank god Buffy tells him to shut it. The best here is with Giles. Giles is torn. How could he not be?. Angel was a strong ally, and then he turned and murdered Giles' girlfriend. Now he's back, better, and is looking for help?. What would you think if you were Giles?. You would want to kill him, but you also know that he is back to being Angel and that he means the world to Buffy. Giles is conflicted with emotions, and his scene with Angel in his apartment was fantastic. With Jenny appearing behind Giles, it was just fantastic. Great work from Tony Head as usual. And does Buffy realize what this is doing to her friends?. And especially to Giles?. Giles suffered the worst from Angelus, and what does Buffy expect?. Do they matter to her as much as her love for Angel?. This is a rousing storyline for the season, and I love it that it is handled, especially by Giles, with constrained dignity. But it's not all about Angel with them. Each character has their own revealing moment. Willow and Oz "try again", and thanks to Cordelia, we find out just why Xander hates this particular holiday. Poor Xander. You go from wanting to smack him one minute, to feeling sorry for him the next. And Faith. Buffy and Faith connect a bit when Buffy invites her over for Christmas, and Faith makes up a lie about having to go to a party. But she shows up. The party was, quite conveniently and non too surprisingly, a bust. You feel sorry for Faith here.

    What we have in the end is a visually stunning and brilliantly told tale that could only of been done by the master himself. "Amends" was a pitch perfect episode that had so much going in the character department, that it makes this episode nothing less than "pivotal". No doubt about it, this is one glorious episode. A top classic.
  • 'Strong is fighting! It's hard, and it's painful, and it's every day. It's what we have to do. And we can do it together. But if you're too much of a coward for that, then burn. '

    ‘Amends’ is easily the best written and acted episode of season 3. Also one of the show’s best.

    It doesn’t only features the great Angelus in the flashbacks, but we also meet the first evil that becomes very important in the last season and we see Robia LaMorte back for the last time *sniff*

    ‘Amends’ was made to be a Christmas special, and what a special episode it was.

    Angel is having dreams about his past and about the people he killed when he was Angelus, he also has a dream of killing a woman and Buffy has a guest spot in that nightmare.

    In this episode we also meet The First who takes bodies of people who Angel killed and one of them is Jenny. Through the episode it haunts him and tells him how completely useless he is. Also that he was only brought back to kill Buffy, he has to do it and it brings him into confusion.
    We see one amazing scene where both Angel and Buffy dream of having sex and Angel turns at the end of the dream and drains her life out,

    Meanwhile the other sweet and cute storyline is about Oz and Willow. Willow wants to have him back as they were before and decides she wants to have sex. But he backs her off and says that he’s going to have sex with her when he knows that it isn’t to get rid of the guilt.

    Anyway, Buffy reads about the bringers and knows where they are. She goes under dearth and meets The First who tells her that it’s pure evil and darkness fears it. It also tells Buffy that Angel is going to die by sunrise because he went up to kill himself of not wanting to kill her.

    Buffy finds him waiting for the sun and tries to make him fight and be strong but he can’t, he says that the world wants him gone. That entire scene was powerfully acted and written. At the end of it, it begins to snow. Apparently that entire day isn’t gonna have any sun, only snow of the first time in Sunnydale.

    The episode was easily one of the show’s darkest and most depressing ones. It’s so beautifully played out.
    ‘Amends’ is another Buffy classic, but unlike many. It’s one of the biggest and bestes.

  • It's Christmas at the Hellmouth, and an incoporeal evil presence from beyond the dawn of time is trying to manipulate Angel is his dreams. A welcome return for Jenny Calendar, not so much for Angel's Irish accent.

    I love Season Three. It's got the best villains, the highest average episode quality, a unique shortage of utter stinkers, and Willow's cutest haircut. But one thing about Season Three is jarring enough to push it out of the pole position in the race for best "Buffy" season, at least in my estimation: Angel. Angel doesn't fit in season three. In the episodes that don't focus on him, his appearances seem forced and contrived. In the episodes that do, all of the emoting being done on his part and on Buffy's seems a dim reflection of the untoppable catharsis of Season Two's finale. The writers and David Boreanaz are clearly just making time until "Angel" can get off the ground, and it's a disservice to a great character whose time on a great show had simply passed.

    "Amends" is by far the weakest of the "Buffy" episodes that Joss Whedon personally wrote and directed. There are a lot of internal problems that contribute to this. Among other things, there's a poorly conceived and badly explained bad guy. The First Evil isn't very interesting or very scary, and its ability to shapeshift is one of those concepts that just works better on the page than it does in practice. The First's lack of a single face and voice we can attach it to in our minds is a fatal mistake on a show that relies to such a large extent on the personality of its characters, villainous and otherwise. I still have no clue why Joss and company thought bringing back The First for the whole of Season Seven was a workable idea. In the case of "Amends," since The First is essentially unkillable, the episode has an uncomfortable and indefinite ending, compounded by the confused religious imagery that also crops up here seemingly more out of desperation than anything else. It's also a concern that the real cause of Angel's return from the hell dimension to which he was banished in "Becoming" isn't explained here. In fact, it's never been explained to my satisfaction on either "Buffy" or "Angel." Why didn't they just do an episode where God appears in the form of a network executive and preaches the gospel of maximizing revenue streams?

    "Amends" is well-directed, to be sure, and it's nice to see the enchanting Robia LaMorte back for one last hurrah as the ghost of Jenny Calendar. The more you consider the ramifications of the episode, however, the more uncomfortable you become. Buffy is ultimately a show about accepting individual responsibility, but in "Amends" the day is saved when...Baby Jesus makes it snow? What the hell? The episode's best scenes are those between Oz and Willow, but stylistically and thematically they're a million miles away from the Angel/Buffy/First stuff. While Oz and Willow are growing up and realizing that relationships have to be built around trust and full disclosure, Angel and Buffy continue on in deep denial about the untenability of their own romance. Whedon expertly uses smart casting, tight direction, and sharp dialogue to make us care about the fairly run-of-the-mill haunting storyline, but then he completely falters at the ending, where The First just gives up and goes away because...well, no reason and Angel ends up not killing himself because...it snows. This is stupid. We expect better from "Buffy." We especially expect better from Whedon. The less time spent dwelling on this bad apple in Season Three's tasty orchard, the better.
  • Buffy starts making 'guest appearances' in Angel's dreams about his time as Angelus. Angel asks Giles (the nerve!) for help...and he gives it.

    We receive flashbacks to some of Angelus' more contemptable deeds, especially the poor maid that due to her station can't even make a scene while being attacked. The twist, of course, is that Buffy is present in the dream to witness it.

    The episode starts a little mysterious as the gang tries to figure out why Angel seems to be losing his marbles. There's some really great scenes with an evil version of Ms. Calender on hand to twist the knife a little more.

    I think David's performance in this episode is top notch throughout. I have to give special mention to the scene though where he goes to Giles' apartment for help. Both David and Tony play the tension of the situation wonderfully.

    Some people have problems with the cheesy snowfall in Sunnydale that acts to save Angel from the sun. I don't. I thought it was really sweet; especially the scene with Faith coming out onto the Summers' porch with a smile on her face. We got to see so little of Faith having simply joy and considering where she goes from here...I just find it a nice brief moment.

    The snow piles and drifts at the end were badly done though. It looks like whipped cream and there's no way that much snow has fallen unless a white-out blizzard occurred in town in between scene shifts.
  • My favorite episode EVER

    Favorite Quotes: Buffy: "Angel, please! You have to get inside."
    Angel: "It told me to kill you. You were in the dream. You know. It told me to loose my soul with you, and become a monster again."
    Buffy: "I know what it told you. What does it matter?"
    Angel: "Because I wanted to! Because I want you so badly. I want to take comfort in you, and I know it will cost me my soul. And part of my doesn't care. I'm weak, I've never been anything else. It's not the demon in me that needs killing Buffy. It's the man."

    This was hands down my favorite Buffy episode of the whole series. It was such a turning point for Angel and I believe it is what motivated him above all else to move on with his unlife, away from Buffy at the end of the season. The best part, to me, was when Angel had given up and was ready for the sun to rise...and it didnt! It snowed. A higher power definitely had use for him. And we got the first look at "The First". Awesome episode, I love it.
  • Tis' The Season To Be Haunted

    Amends-While the gang prepares for their Christmas vacation, Angel is haunted by visions of his violent past. The ghost of Jenny Calendar appears to him and reminds him in great detail of the evil deeds he has performed. At first she almost seems to be taking pity on him, but gradually her counsel grows more sinister.

    A dark, chilling and emotional episode that brings up some hidden tension and raises some questions even answers on why Angel was brought back from Hell. A christmas themed episode with disturbing scenes thrown in mixed with some of the best acting of the series, "Amends" is sometimes harshly overlooked by fans. The flashbacks and dream sequences range from stunning to terrifying, especially the scene in which Buffy and Angel make love only for Angel vamp-out and kill her.

    The episode also introduces the Bringers, the creepy looking preists who worship the First. Speaking of the First (who becomes the Big Bad of seventh and last season of Buffy) makes an immediate impression as powerful entity. Mostly due to Robia LeMorte's portrayl of the ultimate evil, her playful yet twisted performance gives depth to the First Evil and makes you see it as a force to be reckoned with. While many fans would come to hate the First and see it a weak threat, The First is truly an inventive villain as it can shape shift to any dead being. It also has power of any being and can drive them to limitless actions. Also, the special effects showing the First's true form were amazing and it looked frightening. There are also some great sub-plots like Willow and Oz finally getting back together. The best part is Willow wanting Oz to be her first to prove her loyalty to him. this where Oz continues to show how cool and respected a character he is. He wants them to wait until it's the right time and when they are both ready to consummate their relationship. Seth Green and Alyson Hannigan are wonderful in that scene with Oz's maturity and Willow's nervousness.

    At the heart of the episode is Angel as he deals with his torment once again, David Boreanaz puts on a captiving show as Angel slowy loses his mind. Sarah Michelle Gellar is also a standout as Buffy desperate tries to find a way to save Angel. In fact, during the closing moments of episode, Sarah and David truly steal the show with performances so moving it only makes the already powerful script written by none other than Joss Whedon seem so surreal. Also, the sudden snow fall at the end was touching way to bring the 2 lovers together as well as everyone in Sunnydale as a tribute to the holidays. A hidden masterpiece that still should get more praise, "Amends" is perfect mix of powerful drama, excellent horror and wonderful dialogue.
  • reflective.

    this episode flashback from angel's past life and somehow buffy had an appearance, sort of like a dream while the first convinced angel to kill himself. angel is tormented of the evil things he did back then. the visualization of buffy and angel dreaming at the same time is very passionate and him waking up knowing that he'd lose his soul if he experienced a moment of happiness. and the conversations they had in the end before it snowed, buffy telling angel that he has the power to make up for the things in the past, to atone. it's a deeply moving scene which i really love in this episode.
  • Angel and the Ghost of Chanukka Past.

    When you see in the credits 'Written and Directed by Joss Whedon', you know you're in for a good one. However, this seems to me to be Whedon's weakest episode yet.

    Amends sees Angel being tortured by the ghost (or whatever) of Jenny Calendar and tempted to pursue his path of cruelty yet again. Meanwhile Willow tries to make it up to Oz by offering her body to him, Faith is invited to the Summers' for Christmas, and snow makes an appearance in Sunnydale.

    This is probably the most Christian Buffy episode of all time, dealing with the themes of forgiveness, sin, miracles and morals. We are introduced to the First Evil, which seems to be the exact Buffy equivalent of the Christian devil, tempting the reformed sinner back on the wrong path. I myself am a hardcore atheist (and I understand Whedon is too) and maybe that is why this episode never took for me. The miracle of the cold-front and the overly emotional scene with Angel and Buffy before sunrise just proves the saying that less is more. The whole First Evil business was a tad confusing and unclear, but I'll praise David Boreanaz for a great, engaging performance, as always. Apart from that, Alyson Hannigan yet again stole the show with her lovable awkwardness. Xander's change of heart as regards to Angel was very sudden and quite unbelievable. Eliza Dushku appears in a small, but rather touching subplot, as Faith relinquishes her tough exterior for a brief spell and allows herself to be welcomed into a family home. It seemed a bit over the top for Joyce to invite a girl she hardly knows for Christmas, but maybe that's just me.

    All in all, a nice episode with some interesting themes and nice acting. But all the good threads do not meet to create that one powerful, haunting story that leaves you shaken and breathless. Not an addition to the shelf of Joss Whedon masterpieces.
  • Amends

    Amends was a great episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's third season. This episode introduces us to a new formidable foe known as The First, as in The First Evil, Pure and Great. It appears as the dead and it haunted Angel trying to get him to kill Buffy. This episode was very entertaining as it had lots of action, some history on Angel, and a great twist in the story line. It was alos interestig to find out how everyone would be spending Christmas. This episode had a lot of depth to the story, characters, and scenery. I look forward to seeing what happens with all this evil brewing.
  • Great Christmas episode

    I really enjoyed this episode and here are a few reasons why:
    1. I really liked how it wasn't a normal Christmas episode. It wasn't all happy, etc and I think that's one thing that's really great about Buffy the Vampire Slayer - It's really different than most other shows on.
    2. Faith coming over to Buffy and Joyce's. I'm a fan of the character of Faith and of Eliza Dushku (sp?). So anytime that she gets screen time I am happy :)
    3. Buffy and Angel "reconciling." I know the peace between them probably isn't going to last, but I really like them as a couple.

    Now for my few little gripes with the episode:
    1. While I liked seeing Jenny back (another character I really like) I did not like seeing her in such an evil form
    2. The snow @ the end. Thought that was totally cheesy and a bit predictable.

    All in all thought it was a great episode!
  • Season 3, Episode 10.

    It's Christmas Break in Sunnydale. Willow and Oz begin rebuilding their relationship, as Buffy tries to help Angel.

    As sexy as David Boreanaz is, I'm not crazy about all the flashbacks. Now, the shirtless scenes, however, can keep on coming! Faith looked good in this episode! At least when Buffy invited her to dinner, anyway. I loved that she did that.
    Cordelia: I'm going skiing in Aspen. There's actually snow there.
    Buffy: Well I hear that helps.
    LMAO! Buffy and Cordelia are awesome. It just sucks that this is Cordelia's last season on the show. I like her character a lot. Overall, I guess an OK episode. YAY for Miss Calendar being back.
  • Christmas time.

    I'm really not a fan of the first evil, but I think it does its job in this episode. I really like Angel in this episode as he tries to deal with what he has done in the past and what he is still struggling to become. I also really like Jenny in this episode and I think the actress played the first really well. My favorite part of this episode though is between Oz and Willow, I love when he comes to her and tells her that he misses her. He is so sweet and I love them together. Then when she offers to have sex with him and he refuses it is such a great moment between the two of them and so sweet. Then it snows at the end and it is one of those magical Christmas moments that I love.
  • we see more of angel's past in this episode.

    this episode shows angel's past and the things he done before he got his soul. buffy suddenly appeared in the dream and saw what angel did. this is the first appereance of the first evil,who later become the big bad in season 7. the first evil tried to get angel to lose his soul in buffy, but insted made angel trying to kill himself. but a miracle happens and the sun did not came up and insted started snowing. this episod also showed that willow and oz got back together. willow tried to 'seduced' oz and oz was just soo sweet. he didn't want to do it with willow because she felt the need to,but he wanted it to just happen. willow was also very cute.
  • It's a Wonderful Episode

    Buffy fans usually fit into two camps with this episode. Some think Amends is a masterpiece, whilst others think it's sentimental holiday garbage. I fit into the first category. Whilst parts of the episode could be seen as corny, is over-sentimentality really such a bad thing?

    David Boreanaz really impressed me throughout the episode. Most of the time he isn't given half the credit he deserves for his performances, and gives Angel so much emotion and energy, especially in his scene with Giles, which could have fallen apart in the hands of a less talented actor. That one scene was hugely tense, as Giles clearly wants to act out revenge on what he did to him last season.

    I also loved the closing moments. Whilst the snowfall is kinda lame, it brings a neat It's a Wonderful Life-style closer to the episode, and you can't help but be dragged along for the ride. To really enjoy the episode, you just have to suck yourself into the holiday season, with all the miracle hoodoo and forgiveness, and understand exactly what happens to Angel, and how he finally finds a purpose for living since his resurrection.

    The First was an excellent bad guy, and has so much potential that you can hardly blame the writers for not ending its story in this episode. Robia LaMorte was effectively creepy in the role, and made any memory of Jenny Calendar get completely pushed out your mind. Apparently it was difficult for her off-camera to play ultimate evil, due to her Christian beliefs, so she deserves a lot of acclaim for convincing in the part. I also loved the Bringers, who looked terrifying, and the way everything above them died (with the Christmas trees).

    Meanwhile, Willow tried to get back with Oz, and it produced one of the cutest scenes to date. Alyson Hannigan completely puts across the awkwardness of teenage romance in that one scene, clearly nervous about having sex for the first time, but desperately trying to convince that she isn't. Plus, throwing on some Barry White to "enhance the mood" was hilarious. In a throwback to Innocence, it was really great to see Oz turn Willow's offer down, telling her that she wants their first time to be at the perfect moment, not just so Willow could gain his forgiveness. Just like with their first kiss, Oz shows how he knows and understands Willow more than anybody else, and knows exactly the right moment for a monumental event to happen.

    Whilst not essentially a classic episode, Amends features excellent performances from the leads and an important message about forgiveness, and that giving up on your search for it leaves you meaningless, especially in Angel's case.

    Director: Joss Whedon
    Writer: Joss Whedon
    Rating: A
  • Snowing in Sunnydale and the introduction to the First

    This was such an amazing episode. It was so sad and touching. I loved the Oz/Willow parts to the story. It was really great that they were trying to repair their relationship after what happened with Willow and Xander. They were so cute when they were hugging in the classroom too. I liked when Willow was trying to tell Oz that she was ready for them to take the next step in their relationship because they were so adorable stumbling over themselves trying to talk.

    I loved Angel. Sure we knew that Angel had done some terrible things in his past as Angelus but here we got to see how much he enjoyed tormenting people. And it was also made clear that Angel wasn't really a good man either.

    I liked Buffy and Angel here too. This is really the first time this season where you get to see that passion that is still between them and how much they still want and love each other.

    This was a truly amazing episode of Buffy and I loved the snow at the end too.
  • Angel is haunted by the ghosts of his past.

    Angel is haunted by the ghosts of his past, including Jennifer Calender, or so it seems. Though it comes to light that these ghosts he is seeing may actually be something called The First Evil, seeking to end Angel's existence. Fortunate for the tortured vampire he still has Buffy, no matter how seperated they are. She confronts him trying to take his own life and manages to stop him, though it takes some great convincing and truth on both their parts. In the end someone out there, not just Buffy, does all they can to convince Angel that he belongs in this world not only helping him to see the light but helping he and Buffy to find their way back together.
  • Angel gives up!

    This episode is fabulous, everything ties in together.

    Angel is about ready to commit suicide to stop himself from doing anything more to hurt Buffy or humanity in general until Buffy saves him. This is such a touching moment and when it starts to snow the moment is complete. They do linger a bit too long looking at the snow though.

    I don't think that Xander or Cordy will ever get back together again, there just wasn't enough love for their relationship to last on, it was all shallow.

    I am glad that Willow and Oz are back together, they are such a great couple, the werewolf and the witch!
  • Christmas time...

    Here I am watching all the Christmas episodes that I have on Dvd to all of my favorite shows. In this episode Angel keeps seeing people that he has killed including jenny Calender. We keep on seeing flashbacks from like the 1800s. Oz and Willow decide to get back together after what happened in a previous episode. They all learn that this thing hurting Angel is known as the First. The First evil and it wants angel to kill Buffy but it doesn't work. I really liked this episode I would have liked to see a little more fighting. I liked how they introduced the First and then 4 yaers later in season 7 they will bring the first back. Later...
  • It is Christmastime in Sunnydale, and the heat is unbearable. Angel's guilt is also becoming unbearable. He prepares to end it all by killing himself.

    I have extremely mixed feelings about this episode. The episode begins slow, but I never bore of it. I am getting tired of all the characters moping about because of heart break. At first, it was dramatic. Now I just want everyone to get over it.

    On the surface, this episode presents an intriguing Christmas whodunit: Who is torturing Angel? And why did Angel return from Hell in the first place. Unfortunately, we are not given a satisfactory answer for Angel's return. It might/might not have been the doing of some incorporeal First Evil trying to do Buffy in.

    Like an iceberg, you have to go beneath the surface for the theme in most of this episode. Angel has committed horrible crimes. Will Giles or anyone else he has hurt be able to forgive him? Does Angel deserve redemption? Yes, God extends redemption to all people, but Angel is not really a person. He is (un)dead. It is not possible to have a satisfactory storyline about redemption centering on Angel.

    The pivotal moment of this episode is when Angel makes the decision to sacrifice himself rather than harm Buffy. He is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice and wait outside in the open for the sunrise that will bring his doom. Angel's sacrifice would have prevented the spin-off Angel which was already in the making at this point. Whedon muddles the whole sacrifice theme by bringing Buffy in at the last moment saying sacrificing himself would just be giving up.

    We have no framework to make the sacrifice significant. We see our share of evil on Buffy, but rarely do we see good make a guest appearance. Sacrifice must be done for a greater good. The one--if you can call it that--stirring up trouble in this episode is called the First Evil. The First Evil is not our monster-of-the-week. It is a concept. A greater evil exists. Evil exists in people and in our world. It is a constant struggle to overcome this evil.

    As a Christian, I know that a greater evil really does exist, but I also know a greater good exists. God loves us and extends redemption. These facts are self-evident in our universe. Even Amends recognizes the existence of a greater good. Something other than coincidence must be at work that is greater than the First Evil that caused the snow and no sunrise--the Christmas miracle--in Sunnydale at the end of Amends.

    As in the case of the sacrifice, there is no framework for this Christmas miracle. In Buffy, vampires and werewolves are real. Santa Claus might as well be real also. Maybe he caused the snow. I half-expected the camera to zoom out at the end of the episode to reveal a sleigh flying through the air.
    Amends started slow, but like every other theme in this episode, there was a flipside. It had a solid ending that made me feel connected to the characters I have come to love, but in the end, my mixed feelings land this episode right in the middle of the scale with 5 out of 10. This episode has provided me more to think about than any other episode of Buffy. Although I did not rank it near as high as many other episodes, I would list this episode among my favorites.

    -Matthew Miller
    Find this review and more at tv.swingthesickle.com
  • meet "the first evil"...

    Christmas in Sunnydale and Hanukah for Willow. Willow is trying hard to get Oz to trust her again and starts by having him do some research with her. Angel is acting all strange and no one really know why. Turns out that he is having visions of those that he killed in the past, with one, Jenny, pushing him to kill the slayer. She is telling him to first love her so he becomes Angeles again and then he can kill her. He tries to push the visions away but it doesn’t seem to work. Turns out that the visions are the “first evil”. Angel doesn’t think that he can fight it any longer so he goes outside to kill himself in the sun. Buffy shows up to stop him and they fight and then it snows. A cold front has come in and the clouds are covering the sun so Buffy and Angel get to spend the day together. Tyring to be happy (but not too much.)
  • Amazing

    This episode is one of my favourite Buffy episodes and one of the best no matter what anyone else says. This is the epitome of Buffy and Angel moments! The talk that they have before it starts snowing is just amazing. Angel is wanting to kill himself as he is led to believe by the haunting First that the world wants him gone but Buffy tells him that she still loves him and she couldn't live without him. This episode is soo sad as I almost thought Angel was going to kill himself and that Buffy couldn't convince him otherwise. When it started snowing though..that was just so magical because Sunnydale is known for its hot weather and for it to start snowing just then was fantastic as it made Angel think twice :) thumbs up!
  • Clever episode

    Every once in a while it is good to find on televisions shows producing episodes with original contents. This one was really creative, and brought tension to the viewers on a level that you give up to leave the room until the episode is over.
    Starts well, developing an interseting batlle between Buffy and a legion of demons.
    It keeps getiing better when the crew one more time decides to stay together on the searching and on the hunting to figure out what is the threat they are up against.
    Turns out very exciting when creates a connection between Buffy and Angel through a dream they share at same time.
    Alludes to the Christmas spirit when Faith, a not very emotional carachter surrenders to an invitation to spend Christmas night along with other people (on that case, Buffy and Joyce).
    Ends up perfect. Angel, tormented by The First, decides to kill himself, struglles with Buffy (she tries to stop him) but finally is kept alive because the sun didn't rise on that day.
    The episode is one of the best of all.
  • The First makes an appearence and Angel makes 'Amends'

    A hugely important episode in the Buffyverse. It marks the first appearence of the First- something I'm glad Joss decided to follow up on in season 7. The idea of the original evil is something that is interesting and a good big bad for Buffy.
    I have just seen season 7 so to watch this now displayed some clever continuity. I was pleased that most of the mythology was kept true to especially in the way Jenny tortured Angel like the First will later torture our other favourite vamp with a soul, Spike

    This episode also, I feel, sets up for the spin-off show Angel. It is in this episode that Angel truly starts to wonder about his destiny and begins to path to redemption.

    Other Points:
    It was nice to see Faith back- she has been missing for quite a few episodes and from what Buffy said their relationship has really deteriorated.
    Nice also to see Robia La Morte back as Jenny/the First. She was truly brilliant as the evil first
    Yay! Oz forgave Willow. They were very cute in this episode and I love Willow's seduction of him! very funny
    Love the little santa hat on the mutant enemy; "grr argh"

    Overall a fantastic episode, full of heartbreak made perfect by some brilliant acting
  • "Not everyone worships Santa" - Willow

    It’s the only ever Buffy Xmas. The vamps are having a quiet time of it, but Angel is haunted by the ghosts of Christmas past. Gamblers, serving maids, businessmen, computer teachers all appear to Angel to remind him of his past sins, to torment him. This episode sets up both the Angel series where Angel’s redemption is the main theme, and Buffy Season 7 with the notion of the First Evil – “beyond evil, beyond death…the thing the darkness fears”, the final ever Big Bad of the series.

    This being Christmas, we have the theme of forgiveness. Cordy, who can’t forgive any of the Scoobs is off to Aspen where there is real snow, Xander, who can’t forgive Angel, has a miserly Xmas treat of sleeping outside to avoid his drunken parents (what about the Snoopy Christmas Special?) and it’s only Willow, the non-Christian, compassionate to everyone, who gets what she wants – the return of Oz. But in typical Willow style, she over-compensates and tries to seduce her boyfriend with a red dress, Barry White on the turntable and fizzy pop on ice. But like the scene in Innocence when he refuses to kiss Willow, Oz turns her down, preferring to wait until it’s right. Either that or he always has to be the one to make the first move, the blinking control freak. But he has forgiven Willow her transgression.

    Giles, in the meantime, is finding it difficult to forgive Angel his past crimes. How horribly ironic is it that he invites Angel into the place where he killed Jenny, even if Giles is armed with a crossbow. The Watcher researches the First Evil more for Buffy’s sake than her vamp lover’s. Xander shows a bigger heart than he has done previously and joins in the research Xmas Eve party (and is rewarded by getting to bully Willy in (the return of) Willy’s Bar), whilst Faith, forgiving Buffy for perceived misdeeds, watches over Joyce (whom, one notes, does not extend the Christmas spirit to Mr Giles).

    Joss’s obsession with dreams continues in this episode as Buffy and Angel’s dreams intermingle. This, along with Oz’s comment, during the failed seduction scene: “Ever have that dream when you’re in the middle of a play and you don’t know your lines, or the plot?”, which seems to be a foreshadowing of Restless, shows Joss subtly continuing specific themes in the episodes written by him.

    So then, the First Evil, even more wicked than Angel’s moustache. It is made clear that this is not a vampire or a demon, it is something that is constant and doesn’t take a break for Christmas. At the end of the episode it is defeated and yet not defeated. Deferred, if you will. It tries to persuade Angel to kill Buffy by playing on his guilt and fear that by staying near Buffy he will once again lose his soul and will hurt her yet again. It convinces him that he is weak, that he will never be able to control his murderous, lustful, Angelus side. The implication is that the First Evil brings out the wickedness, however dormant, in everyone. The episode is an attempt to explain why Angel was brought back from hell, rather than David Boreanaz’s need to fulfil his 3 year contract, but the reason remains ambiguous. Was it the First Evil who resurrected him, wanting him to kill the Slayer, or was it by a benign power wishing Angel to have, as Buffy says, “the power to do real good, to make amends”, even if that will be in LA and not in Sunnydale? Whichever, Angel still has to learn to forgive himself, to believe he can be a good person.

    The hilltop scene is worth the rest of the not-so-exciting episode. Buffy’s outpouring of love and forgiveness: “I killed you but it didn’t help”, “I wished that I wished you dead” and the redemptive power of the snow indicating a fresh start, is beautifully played and the unexpected blizzard in a trad. Sunnydale heatwave even brings peace to the two lovers as they stop angsting and walk hand in hand through a deserted Christmas morning. If the last episode was similar to George Bailey’s discovery that life is better with him in it, then this schmaltzy ending is pure It’s a Wonderful Life.

  • Ties into season 7

    The first time I watched this episode, it was pretty boring to me. I like David Boreanaz as an actor, just not too sure how I feel about the Angel character. It's hard to really like a character who has done the despicable things that Angel has done in the past (although I am getting there) and I don't think just saying something like Angelus did that, but Angel didn't" can absolve him of his past crimes. However, the more I watch it, the more I realize just what a great episode "Amends" is. Throw in the fact that it has a direct bearing on season 7, and it becomes a truly important episode.
  • Angel is tormented aan evil.

    When an evil, calling itself "The First" Evil comes to Snnydale, Angel becomes tormented by flashbacks to his evil deeds. It is heartbreaking to watch Angel have flashes of what Angelius has done and knowing how tormented Buffy and Angel are. It takes Buffy's aganizing speech at the end for Angel to come to himself.
  • The First Evil torments Angel in the form of his past victims.

    This episode is one of my absolute favorites, and I always want to cry at the end when Buffy begs Angel not to kill himself. The way she gets so emotional when she asks him "what about me?" shows that Angel really is her soulmate and they have a once in a lifetime kind of love. No man that Buffy gets involved with after Angel even compares to the love they share, and this episode is proof of that. Even after all the bad things he did, she can't bring herself to hate him or want him dead. I love Buffy and Angel, and I wish he had stayed on the show longer. I'll always prefer the earlier seasons over the later ones simply because Buffy and Angel were together. Even when he was evil, I liked him being on the show.
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