Friday, April 6, 2012

I’ll just… let it burn.


I’ve mentioned before that Buffy’s relationship with Angel seems to be driven purely by her fantasies.


That’s not to condemn or mock her, it’s just a statement of fact. Buffy’s still a young girl, and it’s not like society doesn’t tell young girls that Princes Charming exist, and that we’re all entitled to “happily ever after.” It’s something she can be forgiven for doing, is what I’m saying. Unfortunately,

(You guessed it)

I mentioned in the review for Surprise that there is a brilliant strategy in this being the episode named Innocence, and now I get to elaborate.

In addition to pushing fairy tale romances, this culture has a habit of linking virginity to innocence and naïveté, and maybe that’s right in some cases, but… not this one. Buffy loses her virginity in Surprise, but she loses her rose-colored glasses here, in one of the most brutal scenes ever (which was flawlessly executed, in my opinion).

Due to a clause in Angel’s curse (which totally makes sense, you guys, really!), his one night with Buffy turns him into King of the Douchebaskets, and Buffy is forced to deal with the monster she’s inadvertently created.

Let’s be clear here: this is not saying that Buffy is to blame. As Giles says, while she may have acted rashly, her decisions were understandable, given the information she had at the time. She wasn’t stupid, she wasn’t tricked, she’s not a slut. She’s a girl in love.

By the way, fuck you, Joss Whedon, for making that scene so goddamn believable. Just—the “I thought you were a pro” line kills, you sadistic bastard.

Also, how awesome is it that the sex scene is shown in this episode rather than last, after we know that Angel’s changed? We’re not meant to be titillated or swoony, Whedon just wants to kill all that is left of joy. Thanks, guy.

Fuck, I need a drink.


Stray observations:

  • This one’s not so stray, but it seemed not to fit with the bulk of the review… The Drusilla in Buffy’s dreams is… well, it’s Buffy. Specifically, it’s Buffy’s shadow self. Which means, that in her unconscious, Buffy knew that she would “kill” Angel. Or that she was afraid to.
  • Spike wants to destroy the world?
  • Buffy worrying that her mom can tell she’s had sex is just fucking perfect.
  • “You can’t see the stars, love, that’s the ceiling. Also, it’s day.”
  • Okay, he’s an asshole, but… Angelus is way more fun than Angel.
  • “Gee, maybe he’s broken.”
  • Buffy:  I—I don’t understand. Was it m-me? (meekly) Was I not good?
    Angelus:  (laughs) You were great. Really. (snidely) I thought you were a pro.
    Buffy:  How can you say this to me?
    Angelus:  Lighten up. It was a good time. It doesn't mean like we have to make a big deal.
    Buffy:  It is a big deal!
    Angelus:  It's—what? Bells ringing, fireworks, a dulcet choir of pretty little birdies? (laughs) Come on, Buffy…It's not like I've never been there before.
    Owowowowowowowowowowow… JOSS WHEDON, WHAT IS YOUR BRAIN?!
  • Seriously, this curse makes no sense. Like, at all.
  • “I am Angel… at last.” Hmm…
  • … Sunnydale has an army base?
  • “Well, we don’t have cable, so we have to make our own fun.”
  • “Oh, I’m not gonna kiss you.” Oz. Why are you not real, Oz?
  • Giles rejecting Jenny for Buffy’s sake. :(
  • MOTHERFUCKING ROCKET LAUNCHER. I hereby decree that whenever I’m feeling down someone has to give me a rocket launcher as a gift.
  • “Best present ever.” “Knew you’d like it.”
  • By the way, don’t think it’s a coincidence that Buffy and Angelus’ fight takes place under a sprinkler shower.
  • “Come on, Buffy. You know you want it, huh?” Jesus, Angel.
  • (Source) Yes, good.
  • "Do you want me to wag my finger at you and tell you that you acted rashly? You did. A-and I can. I know that you loved him. And... he... has proven more than once that he loved you. You couldn't have known what would happen. The coming months a-are gonna - are gonna be hard... I-I suspect on all of us, but... if it's guilt you're looking for, Buffy, I'm-I'm not your man. All you will get from me is-is my support. And my respect." Oh, Giles…
  • Dear god, when will I ever stop crying?!


  1. I love the rocket launcher. But I think I might love it more in "Him" (which is really the only redeeming scene in "Him")

  2. It's easy to see why this is Whedon's favourite episode (I also love that his top 10 are all episodes, sans The Wish, written by him :L).

    It changes the direction of the show radically. It's heartaching, it's action-packed, it's intense, thought-provoking, brilliantly directed (seriously, that hallway scene....God!), has Whedon's usual great dialogue and moments that make me love this show everytime I watch it-I could seriously watch this episode over and over again and never get bored of it.

    And yeah, that scene in Angel's Jesus, Joss Whedon, you hate your fans, don't you? That's my only rationale for what you do time and time again-you hate us! I...I kind of love that you hate us. N....not in a sadistic way, or anything....O_o

    1. Yeah, I can't be too mad at Whedon for picking his own episode as a favorite. It's pretty nearly flawless.

  3. Am I a bad person for cheering when Angel turned evil because it meant Buffy had to kill him? [uhoh] I'm sorry! I just was so sick of the lovey dovey crap and this episode meant the bad-assery was finally returning with a, motherfucking rocket launcher, vengeance!

    Love this episode and love Oz too. I honestly didn't get why Willow was so hung up on Xander when she had Oz being all Ozzy around her.

    1. Yes. You are a bad person for cheering, and as such, you have to go to your room and think about what you've done. AND NO DESSERT!

  4. Drusilla and Angelus... good times in Sunnydale. Why do I always forget them when we make lists of best Big Bads?

    Thanks MAP.


  5. The Curse DOES make sense, it just never got to play out - he has a moment of Perfect Happiness (with someone), turns evil, maims, tortures, utterly destroys and then kills them;

    AND THEN his soul would RETURN (again), and he would see and realise what he had done - THAT'S Vengence.

    The "Perfect Happiness" does not mean "sex" - was Angelus perfectly happy with (evil) Darla (the first time) in 1898? Debatable.

    But he certainly was perfectly happy killing people all over the place with Gay Abandon.