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Old July 16 2011, 02:44 AM   #56
DevilEyes
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Re: Once More, With Feeling: my big Buffy/Angel canon rewatch/reread/r

(continued)

But since this is such a great episode with a lot of great lines, I’ll add several other quotes.

Buffy: I think this is all part of your little fantasy drama. Isn't this exactly how you imagined it? You tell me how you've suffered and I feel sorry for you. Well, I do feel sorry for you, and if those vampires come in here and start feeding, I'll kill you myself.

Angel: Things used to be pretty simple. A hundred years, just hanging out, feelin' guilty... I really honed my brooding skills.

Chantarelle: Don't be ashamed! It's cool that you're open to it. We welcome anyone who's interested in the Lonely Ones. Willow: The Lonely Ones?
Angel: Vampires.
Xander: Oh! We usually call them the nasty, pointy, bitey ones.

Ford: Yes! See, this is the best! I wanna be like you. A vampire.
Spike: I've known you for two minutes, and I can't stand you. I don't really feature you livin' forever. (to Drusilla) Can I eat him now, love?

Ford: I'd love to! But if you guys already had plans... Would I be imposing?
Xander: No, only in the literal sense. (delivered with a huge smile and a handwave)

Buffy: I am trying to save you! You are playing in some serious traffic here! Do you understand that? You're going to die! And the only hope you have of surviving this is to get out of this pit right now, and… my God, could you have a dorkier outfit?

Recurring characters: Chanterelle, the blonde vampire-worshiper who learns about the real nature of vampires when Spike’s gang raids the place and when she gets bitten by Spike and then saved by Buffy. She reappears in season 3 opener “Anne” living in LA under the name Lily, and after being saved by Buffy again, takes up the name Anne and reappears on AtS as Anne Steele, an administrator of a shelter for homeless teenagers.

Mythology: Buffy says that vampires are picky over who they sire. Yet Drusilla in School Hard sired Sheila, who was brought by Spike just to be ‘food’. Maybe Dru wasn’t that picky due to her insanity?

Willow invites Angel to her room to talk to her about Buffy. Angel is now invited into both Buffy's and Willow's homes, as well as Cordelia's car.

Giles’ book has a photo of Drusilla (presumably taken when she was already a vampire, since there was no mention of her human life, parents, last name, or even if Drusilla was her real first name, which I doubt), but no information other than she was Spike’s “sometime paramour” who was killed by an angry mob in Prague. Another example that Watcher’s books get it wrong a lot of times, and contain very meegre info. They also apparently tend to ignore female vampires – barely a mention of Drusilla, no mention of Darla, as opposed to the reputation of Angelus and Spike as the worst vampires in history, despite the fact that the women participated in most of these crimes and were just as bad as they were. Sign of the times when the books were written and of CoW’s patriarchal bias – men are naturally seen as leaders, and as those that are likely to be violent criminals, while women can’t be anything more than “paramours”?

Angel/Angelus: Nobody is yet making any distinction between Angel’s souled and soulless self at this point. Not Drusilla, who is reminding him that he killed her family; not Angel himself, who feels guilty and says he killed her family, tortured her and drove her insane and then turned her into a vampire (all in 1st person singular); and not Buffy, either.

Pop culture references: Dracula (1973) with Jack Palance in the title role is played at the Sunset club, and Ford mouths to Dracula’s dialogue in the film. The Muppet Show – Xander calls Angel “Bossy the Cow”.
Buffy says she used to listen to Divinyls “I Touch Myself” when she had a crush on Ford in the 5th grade – hastily adding that she had no idea what the song meant (and Willow only then realizes what the song is about!).

Spike Badass-o-meter: He really is menacing in this episode, especially to the vampire-wannabes at the Sunset club. And he doesn’t run away from anyone this time, so this is the first episode without negative points. He also intended to fight Buffy on his own, telling his minions to leave the Slayer to him, so more positive points for that. He doesn’t actually get to do much in the end, but that’s because Buffy used his love for Drusilla to defeat him. And he has a lot of authority among the Sunnydale vamps, since his minions listen to his orders to stop feeding on the helpless humans, and he obviously didn’t have to deal with any sort of rebellion over the fact that he put his girlfriend’s life above letting them feed. All in all, his best showing so far.

Nicknames: Xander calls Angel “Dead boy”, to his annoyance, then follows it with “Bossy the Cow”. Drusilla calls Angel “my pet”; “pet” seems to be a term of endearment that both she and Spike like to use. She also calls Angel “my dear boy”, which she probably heard from Darla.

Destroying English language: Since this is a completely Whedon-written episode, we get an unusual amount of Buffy-speak: adjectives as nouns (Xander: “it gives me a happy”), nouns becoming adjectives (Buffy: “Nothing vampirey”), and the infamous incorrect superlative “bestest” (those who have read season 8 know why it’s infamous), which was only ever used on the show when the character was being sarcastic: here it’s jealous Xander mimicking Buffy calling Ford “bestest friend of all my friends”. (In season 3, it was Buffy sarcastically calling Faith “my bestest new little sister”, while not feeling very sisterly about her.)

Buffys’ ILYs: Angel elicits a declaration of love from Buffy, and that after she asks him to tell her the truth about Drusilla. It seems that his mysteriousness is mostly due to his fear that Buffy would reject him if she found out all about his past. It’s like he had to get an assurance first, before telling her the awful truth. (It’s also interesting that he hasn’t still told her or anyone out loud that he loves her, even though it’s mostly assumed by everyone, and he didn’t deny it when Giles and Xander said he was in love with Buffy. Maybe it’s because of AtS season 4 and his “Were we in love?” to Cordelia, but I think that it’s a character trait for Angel, he is unable to be open about his feelings before he gets a guarantee that the woman feels the same.)
This is the first time that Buffy tells anyone in the show “I love you” in a romantic way. And it’s worth noting that, even for the season 2 Buffy who was still a lot more emotionally open than in the later seasons, it is very hard to get those words across as she says them to Angel for the first time. (Incidentally, I can’t help noticing that SMG plays it in completely the same way that she played Buffy telling Spike “I love you” in the series finale (see it for yourself) Oddly enough, I’ve seen quite a few people say that she didn’t sound convincing in Chosen, but I don’t think I’ve seen the same said about Lie to Me.)
Buffy says: “I love you. I don’t know if I trust you” – not the first time the issue of trusting Angel has come up: during her bitchy phase in When She Was Bad, she told him she didn’t trust him; at this point, she’s unsure, but I think she did trust him completely at the time of Surprise. But what happened afterwards must have changed things – in Sanctuary, Buffy will imply again, during a heated argument, that she doesn’t trust or even know Angel. It seems that Buffy will change her outlook on love a lot by season 6, when she will claim that it’s impossible to love without trust (or at least, with the kind of love that doesn’t burn out until nothing is left), which seems to clash with what she tells Angel in Lie to Me. But I think it was the trauma of her ‘Angelus’ experience that changed her.
Angel’s reply “Maybe you shouldn’t either”, and Buffy’s answer: “Maybe I should be the one to decide!” is characteristic of their relationship in general, with Angel going from pursuing her to pulling away and trying to protect her from his own darkness – but ultimately making decisions for her, over and over, with a somewhat patronizing belief that he knows best what is good for her.

Foreshadowing: Buffy says “I like surprises”. Angel tells Drusilla to take Spike and leave Sunnydale, or else “it will end badly, for all of us”. Drusilla says about Buffy: “Poor thing, she has no idea what’s in store”. And how right she was – though at the time, this probably sounded like a threat about what Drusilla intended to do. (Good job of setting wrong expectations, show. ) Angel says that Drusilla, as a human, was innocent and pure, and an obsession of his; same description could apply to Buffy. After losing his soul, Angel(us) will mentally torture and try to break Buffy the same way he broke Drusilla.

There’s just one thing that’s wrong in this episode, and that’s Angel’s horrible makeup. What were they thinking? It seems that the makeup artists were trying to make him look paler, but he just looks like he has white powder and pink lip gloss on his face… maybe he was a glam rock fan. Aside from that, this episode is perfection, and therefore it gets the first perfect rating.

Rating: 5
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my Buffy/Angel rewatch

Last edited by DevilEyes; July 16 2011 at 03:00 AM.
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