My Buffyholism is Showing has posted a new episode poll, as we continue our trek through S3. In Amends, the First Evil (who will be back in S7 to confuse us with its muddled plot for world domination) strikes out at the returned-from-Hell Angel. Apparently in an attempt to turn him evil and drain Buffy, instead of just having the Bringers plant explosives around her house in the middle of the night.
Forgiveness is a big theme of this episode. Which example was the most significant for you?
For me, it's Giles' ... maybe forgiveness might be too strong a word..., but his being able to look past what Angelus did to Jenny in order to help him. I'd guess he's willing to do so more for Buffy than Angel, himself, but he also doesn't immediately shoot him with his crossbow. And, when Buffy asks him if they can help her ex, it always strikes me as Giles had already decided to help him before Buffy's specific request to do so. That was very big of him, under the circumstances.
The First Evil, in this episode, is able to touch Angel. This is at odds with it being incorporeal in S7. What's the what?
The real life answer would be that the writers' hadn't come up with that detail so they could screw with our heads over Giles in S7.
In the narrative of the show though, I always just imagine that the First Evil can trick people's senses into believing it is touching them. Angel believes that fake-Jenny is stroking him, so he psychosomaticly feels her doing so.
The First Evil tells Angel that it was the one that brought him back. The ending leaves this ambiguous. It could be The Powers That Be bringing back their Champion. What say you?
I find myself going back and forth on this one. I think I could accept either scenario, but with Angel's own interactions with TPTB on his own show, I lean more toward the First Evil telling a big fib here. The Powers bring Angel back, and the First Evil sees an opportunity to remove the Guardian of the Hellmouth and wrap Angel around its metaphorical finger, without having to deal with the impulse control issues of Angelus.
But, I could certainly accept any arguments that the First Evil is telling the truth, too. It could be just as it relates - it arranged for Angel to be returned to deal with Buffy and when that was failing, was just as happy with his own self-destruction (which would also certainly weaken/destroy Buffy emotionally/mentally if not physically).
Some people have theorized that The First was targeting souled vampires (Angel in S3, Spike in S7). In this way, Amends would be a prelude to the plot in S7. Does this work for you?
No, it really doesn't. The motivations don't really match up... in S3, it seems more about Buffy. In S7, she's more of an obstacle that has to be dealt with, but it's really world domination the First Evil is after. I think the fact that there were two preternaturally powerful demons that could be manipulated into getting Buffy out of the way was the actual point, rather than the fact that souls were involved... that was sort of a bonus because it allowed them to get so emotionally wrecked and vulnerable to the First's manipulations (and of course, Spike's odd post-hypnotic suggestion thing also helped there).
After an intense encounter with Angel in her bedroom, Buffy goes to Giles for help. He asks Buffy if she's prepared to kill Angel again. Do you think she could do it?
I don't think she could at that point. If there was another world-ending threat that Angel was the key too, maybe she'd find the will to do it one more time (but she'd probably be completely useless afterward). But, here, as far as anyone knows this is just the First Evil screwing around with Angel's head to make him kill her specifically for the general "kill the Slayer" reasons.
I don't think she'd kill him again just to save herself. I don't think she has that ... hardness ... she needs to do so. I could buy an argument that she might do so in S7, but this is back in S3 -- I just don't think she has it in her if there wasn't a lot more at stake than her own life.
The Magic Snow interrupts Buffy's attempt to keep Angel from killing himself. Without that snowfall, do you think she would have been successful?
I have to go with a 'no' on this one, too. Angel seems pretty much resigned to death... in fact, it seems like he's decided it would be easier and safer on everyone, including himself. I don't think Buffy's plea would have swayed him from this course of action, but it would have made him feel a lot worse about it since she's not leaving him to it. I think it's definitely the miracle snow though that convinces him that someone "up there" still finds value in his existence (little did he know how badly the PTB were going to screw with him).
This episode ends with Angel and Buffy walking hand in hand as it snows. Are they back together now?
Not together. Not nearly apart enough, but not together either. They're both in this limbo that neither can escape as long as he remains in Sunnydale... which by now, can't happen soon enough for me....
Which is worse [Buffy's "Bangs of Doom" or Angel's flashback "Pornstache"?
Embarrassing as it is, I must now admit to my fetish for pornstaches. I know, it's a sickness... obviously growing up in the 1970's has indelibly damaged me in some way. For this reason, I'm rocking Angel and therefore voting Buffy's Bangs as much worse.
Pretend you're a movie reviewer and give this episode a star rating.
I'm gonna go with a 3-starry on this one. It's a relatively average episode, and while I like the idea of the First Evil and I really like the temporary re-approachment between Buffy and Faith, and Joyce's overdone panic at the thought of Giles joining them... I can't say I spend the watching time 100% engaged.
The First Evil's blonde-maid gets on my nerves. It's a little annoying that the Bringers choose the shallowest underground cavern in the whole area to set up in... one conveniently placed under trees so there is a warning sign of where to find them later, and the snow... oh, that Snow of Salvation....
The idea of the Snow doesn't bother me, but the cheesy way it was filmed does. One, it looks like shaving cream. Two, the shot of Xander Harris sleeping outdoors for any reason in Sunnydale after he knows what is out in the dark is just... moronic. And Three, the Buffy/Angel walking hand in hand smiling at one another is just so sickly sweet, I want them to be attacked by vampires also enjoying the fact that the sun isn't coming out for a change.
I do really like the innocent grin on Faith's face though when she and Joyce come out onto the porch to behold the Snow of Salvation. I wish the snow in my driveway was as refreshing and wonderous.