- For other uses, see Angel (disambiguation)
- “You have no idea what it's like to have done the things I've done... and to care.”
Angel is a famous vampire legendary for both his villainy and heroism. Born Liam in 1727 in Galway, Ireland, he was sired by Darla in 1753 and became known as Angelus, earning notoriety for being one of the most sadistic and brutal demons in history. Both The Master and the First Evil recognized how purely evil Angelus was. However, in 1898, Angelus was cursed by gypsies as vengeance for killing a member of their clan. They returned his soul, forcing him to live for eternity in guilt over the countless crimes he committed. In the late 20th century, Angel, as he began calling himself, became an ally and lover of the current Slayer, Buffy Summers. Realizing they could never be together, Angel left Buffy and moved to Los Angeles, where he became a Champion of the Powers That Be and dedicated himself to "helping the helpless" in the hopes of achieving atonement.
Angel was played by David Boreanaz. He first appeared in 1997 the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer before moving over to his own spin-off show Angel in 1999. His story was continued in 2007 in the comic book Angel: After the Fall. Angel is also featured in Expanded Universe material such as comic books and novels.
Liam and Angelus
- “For a hundred years I offered an ugly death to everyone I met. And I did it with a song in my heart.”
Angel was born as Liam in Galway, Ireland in 1727. By his twenties, he developed a taste for alcohol, women, and sloth; though not a bad man, Liam was a hedonist whose only real ambition lay in seeing the world. For the lazy Irishman, that seemed a laughable dream, especially after he was expelled from home by his father, who labelled him a "terrible disappointment", in the year 1753. Liam was 26 at the time. One night, the drunken Liam caught the eye of an affluent woman named Darla. She lured him into an alley, and, promising him a world full of excitement and travel, transformed him into a vampire. The price was the loss of his human soul, along with his conscience, freeing Liam to act upon his darkest impulses. On the night he rose from his grave, and in response to Darla's claim that he could have anyone in the village, he set about slaughtering the entire community. First, however, he murdered his own family; he found no problem in entering his former house, as his little sister Kathy invited him in without hesitation or suspicion; according to Liam, "She thought that I'd returned to her. An angel". Liam's own mother was the next victim. Upon killing his father, Liam told him how he had made something of himself after all. However, when he gloated over his victory, Darla cruelly deflated him, claiming that it was in fact his father who had won because his disapproval would haunt Liam for the rest of his life.
- “You told me I wasn't a man. You told me I was nothing. And I believed you. You said I'd never amount to anything. Well, you were wrong. You see, father? I have made something of myself after all.”
- ―The vampire Liam to his father[src]
Liam took the name "Angelus", presumably inspired by his sister's mistaken belief that he was an angel. He was later described in historical volumes as "the one with the angelic face" and "the demon with the face of an angel". After leaving Ireland, Angelus and Darla cut a bloody swath through Wales and northern England, before finally reaching London in 1760. During Angelus's first meeting with Darla's sire, the Master, he openly mocked the older vampire despite his power and authority, showing no fear despite his greater age, and confronted Darla about her decision to remain underground when she could be traveling the world with him. Won over by his words, Darla chose to live with Angelus, abandoning the Master's leadership.
In May 1764, Angelus and Darla killed the family of vampire hunter Daniel Holtz. Holtz devoted himself to capturing Angelus and Darla, chasing them across Europe. Angelus and Darla had a near miss in France, after making too much noise by ordering room service and eating the waiters. Darla fled to Austria, abandoning Angelus in a burning barn and riding off on their only horse. After meeting again in Vienna, Angelus and Darla sired the vampires James and Elisabeth. In Marseilles, 1767, Holtz tracked them down and managed to put numerous arrows in Angelus. Holtz briefly lost them in northern Africa, only to track Angelus to Rome in 1771. Instead of killing Holtz, Angelus and Darla realized they had come to view him "like family" and made a sport of ruining his life. Holtz abandoned his hunt and retired to York, England, until in 1773 a demon named Sahjhan offered to take him to the future where he could continue his revenge.
In 1786, Angelus sired a Puritan by the name of Penn, who mimicked Angelus by wreaking havoc on his father and killing his family. Over time he began copying Angelus' "signature" of the time, carving a cross-shaped mark on the face of his victims in order to spite God.
In 1789, a lone Angelus encountered The Beast in Prussia, standing in a field of bodies, who sought Angelus's aid in killing the Svear Priestesses, a group who wished to banish the Beast and who could only be killed by a vampire. When he declined to join with the Beast, Angelus was met with violent reprisal, but a group of Svear priestesses banished the Beast while he was passing out..
In 1860, a young woman called Drusilla from London, England, caught the attention of Angelus. Drusilla was "cursed" with the "sight," something her mother saw as "an affront to the Lord". Drusilla and her sisters were all noted to be virgins, and Drusilla was described as having been "sweet, pure and chaste." While posing as her priest to torment her, Angelus killed her family, which caused Drusilla to flee to a convent. On the day she was to take her holy orders, Angelus massacred the convent. After having sex with Darla right in front of Drusilla, Angelus finally pushed her over the edge, driving her insane before he finally sired her. Drusilla was Angelus' "masterpiece," an everlasting example of his finest cruelty, as her immortality meant that her torment would never end.
Drusilla, in turn, sired a poet named William, for whom Angelus largely served as a mentor and role model. William, who later became known as "Spike," went so far as to consider the elder vampire his sire. Angelus taught William about the art of mass slaughter, including an incident during a wedding party where Angelus beat the groom to death with his own arm. When he realised how much Spike cared for Drusilla, Angleus had sex with her just to hurt him, an action Spike would never forgive. In 1890, Angelus attended a production of Giselle by the Blinnikov, a Russian ballet troupe run by Count Kurskov. Despite being evil, he was moved to tears during the performance. In 1894, Angelus and Spike were captured in Rome, Italy by henchmen of the Immortal, a mysterious and seductive being with whom they both had a fierce rivalry. The two vampires were tortured while the Immortal had a threesome with Darla and Drusilla, something that, incidentally, they never allowed Angelus and Spike to do. Angelus and Spike attempted to take revenge on the Immortal, but failed miserably.
- “You don't remember. Everything you've done. For a hundred years. In a moment you will. The face of everyone you have killed—our daughter's face—they will haunt you and you will know what true suffering is.”
- ―Gypsy Man to Angel[src]
In 1898, Angelus slew the favorite daughter of a tribe of Gypsies, the Kalderash clan in Borşa, Romania. To avenge her death, the Kalderash cursed him by restoring his human soul, thus afflicting him with a conscience and condemning him to an eternity of remorse for the crimes he'd committed as the soulless Angelus. During the Boxer Rebellion, the vampire—now known as "Angel"—tried and failed to resume his life with Darla, but found himself unable to eat a baby to prove himself to his sire.
Angel fled and lived in self-imposed isolation, controlling the temptation to feed by avoiding humans altogether. He traveled to the United States, arriving in New York via Ellis Island in 1902. By the 1920's, he spent some time in Chicago, where he saved a little dog from being ran over by a car; however, he was tempted to feed on the dog's owner, a young woman who tried to seduce Angel, only to be harshly rejected. During the Great Depression, he spent in Missoula, Montana, . Decades later, during World War II, Angel was coerced to undertake a secret mission by the Demon Research Initiative, who sank him to the bottom of the ocean to rescue an American submarine crew from three Nazi-captured vampires, Spike, Nostroyev and The Prince of Lies. After the American crew captured the German submarine, the vampires had escaped their bonds, and murdered most of the crew; a remnant survived behind a locked hatch. After the submarine suffered damage from a depth charge Angel was forced to sire a mortally wounded Ensign Sam Lawson, as he was the only person who was able to repair the damage.
In 1952, Los Angeles, Angel was a resident at the Hyperion Hotel. During this time, Angel attempted to stay to himself, avoiding interaction with other residents and patrons. Despite the numerous strange incidents, murders and suicides running rampant throughout the hotel, he looked the other way when his help would have made a difference. After finding a young woman named Judy Kovacs hiding in his room, Angel tried to preserve his isolation, first by disarming and removing the man chasing her, then by immediately ejecting Judy herself. However, her repeated attempts to interact with him allowed the two to build a lukewarm—very surprising and rare for Angel—relationship. Meanwhile, hotel staff and residents, including Judy, continued to become corrupted and, although he didn't understand why, Angel felt compelled to help. He discovered the presence of a Thesulac Demon, a paranoia demon affecting the humans in the hotel, but by the time Angel learned how to defeat it and obtained the items required, the entire hotel was overcome with pathological paranoia. Mad with demon-induced fear, the hotel residents and staff turned on Judy as their exemplar of the Outsider. To save herself, Angel's new friend betrayed him to the mob. With rabid fury, they ambushed Angel, beat him, and then hanged him. Crushed and embittered by the consequences of becoming close to a human, Angel abandoned Judy and everyone else. Instead of destroying the Thesulac as it was in his power to do, he allowed the vicious demon to prey upon and ravage them unhindered.
In New York during the 1970s, Angel witnessed a robbery at a doughnut shop. After the robber shot the employee and fled, Angel stayed with the man as he died. Unable to resist the sight and smell of the clerk's still-warm blood, Angel helplessly succumbed to the overwhelming urge and fed on the body. Deeply disgusted by his own weakness, Angel fled the shop, and then exiled himself to a life of homelessness, living in alleyways and feeding on rats.
Two decades later, a shadow of his former self, the reclusive and emotionally tortured Angel was sought out in 1996 by a demon named Whistler, who persuaded him to join the fight against the evil that had corrupted him and to help the newly-activated Slayer, Buffy Summers. Angel travelled to Hemery High School in Los Angeles where he witnessed Buffy being called as the Slayer and her initial training under her Watcher, Merrick. Filled with a new purpose in life, Angel resolved to help the Slayer with whom he had fallen in love. The following year, when he and Buffy finally met in Sunnydale, he introduced himself, not as Angelus, but as Angel.
- “I want to help her. I want to become somebody.”
Angel fell in love with Buffy the first time he saw her on that fateful day in L.A. when she first was called. However, Angel didn't show himself until after her move to Sunnydale, and after her first day at Sunnydale High. Buffy did not realize Angel was a vampire until several weeks later, but by then the damage was done - she had fallen in love with him in turn. Though they tried to deny their feelings, they could not resist the passion growing between them. When they finally consummated their relationship, Angel experienced one moment of pure happiness, which broke the Gypsy curse and lost him his soul. Angel instantly reverted to his former evil self, Angelus, who has no humanity left in him and despises that Buffy forced him to endure her love for Angel.
Angel, now Angelus, allied himself once again with Spike and Drusilla, who had recently settled in Sunnydale. Resenting the humiliation he felt because Buffy had made Angel feel like a human being, Angelus took immense pleasure in tormenting the Slayer and her friends. First, he helped Spike and Dru deploy a powerful demon known as the Judge. After Buffy destroyed the Judge, Angelus embarked on a guerrilla campaign, lurking in the shadows, preying on Buffy's classmates, sending her gruesome messages, even drawing pictures of her as she slept and leaving them in her bedroom.
Angelus's reign of terror culminated in his murder of Jenny Calendar, which served him in two ways. First, he eliminated an enemy (Jenny was born Janna of the Kalderash clan) and destroyed her work just as she managed to successfully decipher the lost Gypsy curse which could be used to restore Angel's soul. Second, Angelus used Jenny's death to viciously torment Giles, Jenny's paramour and the person on whom Buffy depended most. After Angelus orchestrated this masterpiece of terror, Drusilla drew his attention to a new opportunity for destruction and chaos. Angelus widened his focus and began a scheme to awaken the demon Acathla and bring about the end of the world. Buffy was determined to stop him despite their history. In their final fight, Angelus defeats Buffy but continues to torment her rather than kill her, allowing her to stage one last counterattack. In her anger, the Slayer was able to overcome Angelus, but just as Acathla opened the vortex into his hell dimension, Buffy's friend and comrade, Willow Rosenberg, used the ritual Jenny had rediscovered and preserved to restore Angel's soul. Since Acathla could only be stopped by the blood of the individual who activated him, Buffy was forced to sacrifice her beloved Angel rather than the demon Angelus to save the world. Impaled on the Slayer's enchanted sword, Angel appeared to shrink into the distance until Acathla's vortex suddenly snapped closed.
A few months later, Angel was unexpectedly released from Acathla's hell after a hundred years of suffering and torture, reappearing in his mansion in a feral state. Buffy aided him in secret, fostering his rehabilitation. Once he regained his senses, Angel began to suspect that his return from Hell was not accidental, that he must be meant to serve some unknown purpose. That fear -- that this purpose was not for the cause of good -- grew in Angel's mind as he began to experience what he believed to be hallucinations. However, he was actually being haunted by the First Evil. The First, able to adopt the appearances of Angelus' victims, drove Angel ever closer to the brink of madness by lashing him with guilt and, ultimately, tempting him to end it all by losing his soul once again and killing Buffy in the throes of passion. In despair, Angel chose to kill himself rather than risk his beloved Slayer. To Angel's shock and consternation, it snowed that Christmas morning as he waited under the open sky for the sun to rise. From that moment, he began to entertain the hope that his return might have some purpose for good after all.
After that miraculous snowy day in southern California, Angel and Buffy tried to build an actual relationship, taking in the occasional movie, getting away on more scenic patrols, enjoying moonlit picnics in the cemetery. But it was not to be. Even before their one and only night together, Angel had worried about Buffy's future with him, his inability to give her a family, or even a remotely normal human life. Upon hearing his own concerns reflected back to him from such disparate sources as Mayor Wilkins and Joyce Summers, Angel at last made the difficult decision to leave Sunnydale and to leave Buffy. Angel broke up with Buffy in the sewer right before prom, but went to the dance to let Buffy have her perfect high school moment. Before the Ascension, Faith shot Angel with a poisoned arrow whose only cure was the blood of a Slayer. The poison made Angel feverish and caused him to hallucinate; it eventually would have killed him. Having failed to bring a dead Faith to Angel to cure him, Buffy forced Angel to feed from her. Angel rushed Buffy to a hospital where he stopped the grieving Mayor from smothering Buffy.
Angel promised Buffy he would stay until Sunnydale High's Graduation Day, to help avert the Mayor's Ascension. He also warned her that, if they survived the ordeal, he would leave without saying goodbye. They survived, and Angel, with a last, long look at the Slayer, kept his final promise.
In L.A., Angel spends a few months alone, patrolling dives and dark alleys, battling vampires who hunt there and fighting his blood lust after feeding from Buffy by not getting close to the humans he's trying to help. Soon enough, he receives support in his attempts to redeem himself in the service of others. First, Doyle, a half-demon and fellow Irishman, is sent by The Powers That Be. Almost immediately thereafter, Angel runs into Cordelia Chase, a former classmate of Buffy's who has moved to L.A. to find wealth and fame. The trio form Angel Investigations, a shoestring operation whose mission statement is to "Help the Helpless."
Doyle, Angel's trusted friend and sole connection to the Powers, sacrifices himself to save others, leading Angel to become even more protective of those few he holds dear. Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, who had briefly served as Watcher to both Buffy and Faith Lehane in Sunnydale, arrives in L.A. claiming to be a "rogue demon hunter," a lone wolf sort who only works solo. After their first case, however, Wesley is eager to stay and assist Angel and Cordelia in their mission. A few months later, they are joined by lifelong demon fighter, Charles Gunn. The Angel Investigations team also enlists the help of demon karaoke bar-owner Lorne, known initially only as The Host. Both prescient and empathic, Lorne can sense the futures of humans and demons when they sing. During this time, three young Wolfram & Hart associates, Lindsey McDonald, Lee Mercer, and Lilah Morgan, attempt to have Angel killed by the rogue vampire slayer, Faith. Angel defeats Faith, however, but refuses to kill her. Under Angel's influence, the deeply troubled Faith starts along her own path to redemption, ultimately turning herself in to the police as the first step toward making amends for her crimes.
As Angel continues to help the helpless in Los Angeles, his good deeds begin seriously to disrupt the plans of the evil inter-dimensional law firm, Wolfram & Hart. In an attempt to control him, the firm resurrects his sire and former lover, Darla, who comes back as a human rather than as a vampire. Wolfram & Hart then summon Drusilla, who turns Darla into a vampire again. Angel feels such deep anguish at his failure to save Darla, and such intense fury at Wolfram & Hart for their machinations, that he fires his crew and embarks on a bitter, ruthless vendetta against both the law firm and the newly reunited Darla and Drusilla. In a dark moment, Angel refuses to prevent the slaughter of a very large group of Wolfram & Hart employees at the fangs of their own creations, Drusilla and Darla. In spiritual agony beyond even his endurance, Angel attempts to shed his soul by having sex with Darla, but instead of happiness, finds despair. A moment of clarity follows the desperate act, and Angel realizes that his purpose is still to do all the good he can, even if he can't do all the good he wants. Having hoped to get her boy Angelus back, Darla is horrified and infuriated by Angel's epiphany, and flees Los Angeles. After a difficult reconciliation that involves Wesley taking over the official position of leader of the group, the Angel Investigations team find themselves transported to Lorne's home dimension, Pylea. Eventually, after Angel defeats the undefeated Champion of Pylea, the Groosalugg, they return with a new team member, Fred Burkle, in tow, and to the news that the love of Angel's life, Buffy, has died.
Despite Buffy's miraculous resurrection a few months later, Angel finds that his previously platonic love for Cordelia has grown to be romantic. Before he has a chance to confess his feelings, however, Darla returns, pregnant with his son, to be named Connor. False prophecies, time travelers and betrayal lead to Angel losing his infant son to an old enemy, Holtz, who abducts Connor soon after his birth, taking him to the hell dimension Quor'toth, where time passes differently. Wesley, who, though unknowingly, brought about the kidnapping ends up having his throat slit and gets fired from Angel Investigations. When Connor returns days later, he is a young man who has been raised by Holtz to believe that Angel is still a soulless monster. Holtz takes his own life in such a way that Connor is led to believe he was killed by Angel and vows to make Angel pay for the suffering he had caused Holtz. That same night, Connor sinks his father to the bottom of the ocean in a steel coffin and Cordelia ascends to a higher plane, the feelings shared between her and Angel still left unspoken.
Rescued by Wesley from his watery prison, Angel's relationship with Connor is strained. It is complicated further by the return of an amnesiac Cordelia, who prefers to stay with Connor because he told her the truth while the others lied to her (albeit because they thought it was for her own good). When a very powerful demon known only as the Beast arrives and begins an attempt to bring forth an apocalypse, Angel's worst fears are realized when he has to strip himself of his soul and revert to his evil alter ego in order to defeat it. Angelus does indeed overcome the Beast, and is also deft enough to realize that the Beast was a mere "flunky" serving an even deeper evil; the Beast he knew was only interested in smashing and slaughter, and it was unlikely that the Beast would have become smarter since Angelus fought him.
Although he is momentarily free to wreak a little havoc of his own, Angelus is recaptured and re-ensouled after he defeats and drinks Faith, who has injected herself with a powerful drug. With the help of Faith (who almost dies in her quest to capture Angelus) and Willow, culminating in a brief but violent mental battle between Angel and Angelus. After his soul is restored, Angel figures out that the enemy he has been battling is a little closer to home than the group had previously considered, realizing that whatever the Beast's "boss" is, it is using Cordelia's body to carry out its plans. After battling and defeating the divine being known as Jasmine, Angel is offered the L.A. branch of Wolfram & Hart on the grounds that he ended world peace. Angel acts against all of his instincts and makes a deal with his sworn enemy, in exchange for Wolfram & Hart erasing Connor’s memories and giving him a normal life, and trying to find a way to cure Cordelia.
Angel's year spent running Wolfram & Hart is one marred with challenge and self-doubt. Trying to battle evil from within the belly of the beast proves to be more difficult than even he imagined, with the lines of good and evil becoming ever more gray with every action taken. Shortly after Angel assumes control of the law firm, matters are further complicated when Spike appears as a ghost, emerging from a familiar amulet sent to Angel in the mail. Sharing a complicated history of murder and mayhem, they had spent more than a century as rivals in everything. Now both possessing souls, and both still in love with Buffy, they had evolved into very different heroes in the war against evil. Forced to co-exist, they wage a protracted, insidious battle of wits, ending when they finally come to an understanding and acceptance of their unique brotherhood on their journey to redemption.
In the episode "Destiny," when they prepare to do battle over the Cup of Perpetual Torment, Spike tells Angel "You had a soul forced on you. As a curse. Make you suffer for all the horrible things you've done. Me, I fought for my soul, went through the demon trials, almost did me in a dozen times over, but I kept fighting. Because I knew it was the right thing to do. It's my destiny." Then, Spike defeats Angel for the first time in their century plus association. Despite this, Spike and Angel come to an understanding that lets the two of them operate as a lethal team when the two end up fighting side-by-side, using their long experience of each other's skills to operate in near-perfect tandem. While investigating sinister children's program, Smile Time, Angel was turned into a puppet. Puppet Angel managed to stop Smile Times plans and save the children of Los Angeles. He remained a puppet for several days until the spell wore off. It was around this time that he realized werewolf Nina Ash was attracted to him, and the pair started dating.
Angel finally understands that he will never be able to completely stop the forces of evil, but that he can temporarily sever the Senior Partners' hold on Earth. Together with his comrades, Angel prepares to suicidally incur the apocalyptic wrath of the Senior Partners as a way of going out in a blaze of glory. They assassinate the members of the Circle of the Black Thorn, the Senior Partners' instruments on Earth for pulling all the political and economic strings. In this effort, Gunn is badly wounded, and Wesley is killed. Gunn manages to make it to the meeting point, the alley behind the Hyperion Hotel, where he, Angel, Spike and Illyria engage in battle with the dark armies that the Senior Partners have sent against them. The last words spoken on screen are, "Let's go to work."
After the Fall
Season Six is kicked off showing an overall loss for Team Angel after the battle. In retaliation to Angel's stance, Wolfram & Hart has seemingly moved the city of Los Angeles to a hell dimension, turning it into a post-apocalyptic territory filled with demons. In an attempt to deprive him of his strength and immortality when he needed it most, the Senior Partners have also turned Angel into a human, forcing Angel and Wesley to rely on mystical enchantments to provide Angel with at least a measure of his old abilities.
Angel is still based at the demolished Wolfram & Hart building and is under the watch of the Senior Partners' newest liaison, Wesley. Angel is, however, planning to take the fight to the Senior Partners and free Los Angeles, first by destroying all of the demon lords of Los Angeles. While preparing for the war, he rescues citizens in peril and sends them, anonymously, to his son Connor who has set up a safe-house with Nina and Gwen. Angel is not alone, however. With him is his newest friend and companion, the dragon that was closing in on him in the final scene of the Angel series finale. After befriending the dragon in the alley, they had joined forces to make a powerful team. Having learned the truth about Spike, Angel declares to the demon lords of Los Angeles that he shall free all their human slaves, and arranges to meet them in two days to restore Los Angeles to Earth.
Having used his rituals to heal his wounds, Angel contacts Lorne, now the lord of the Silver Lake area, to confirm his old friend's neutral status in the upcoming struggle against the demon lords, and is reunited with the Groosalugg, who offers his services to Angel in the upcoming battle just before Gunn, now a vampire, destroys the Wolfram & Hart building as part of his revenge against Angel. When Angel goes up against the champions of the Demon Lords, he initially stands alone in his fight. Unknown to him, Lorne went around and rallied all of Angel's friends to come join him in his fight. After the fight is over and the Demon Lords defeated, Angel and crew head back to their old home base: the Hyperion Hotel. Later, shortly after killing a nest of vampires, Illyria reveals to the group that Angel is no longer a vampire. Connor gets angry with Angel for being lied to and takes off. If that wasn't enough, Angel and company then run into Gunn, who is now a vampire.
Upon seeing what has become of Gunn, Angel tells Gunn that he's sorry. Gunn remarks that he figured he would say that, and proceeds to show Angel his base of operations (Angel goes along with it knowing that it is a dangerous situation). Gunn even proceeds to ask for Angel's help in saving LA (he clearly has become insane). Angel lies, saying that he will help him even though he is pulling out a stake from behind his coat. He thinks to himself that Angelus would be proud of his deception, but he hates himself even more for it. Gunn is able to beat him in a fight, and proceeds to use a mystical item to remove the magicks keeping Angel alive. Gunn leaves him there to die. Despite encouragement from Cordelia's spirit, a vision Angel receives nearly leads him to resign himself to death when it apparently shows him having reverted to Angelus, but Connor's encouragement urges him to keep fighting as he acknowledges that he would never allow himself to become what he saw in that vision.
- “All this time, I did what I did because of the Shanshu Prophecy. Well. Time to start doing what I do despite it.”
Angel recovers and, after discovering that Illyria has returned to her original form, devises a plan to stop her. However, Gunn doesn't plan on letting them do so, and kills Connor. Nonetheless, Betta George manages to force Fred's memories back into Illyria's mind and calm her down from her rampage.
Powers and abilities
Angel has the standard powers (albeit at much higher levels) and vulnerabilities of a Buffyverse vampire. He has demonstrated enhanced speed in episodes such as "Blood Money", "Reprise", "Release" and "That Vision Thing", crossing several meters in the blink of an eye. He is a highly skilled combatant and generally fights unarmed, using circular attacks such as spinning kicks and back hands. In addition to his proficiency in many forms of martial arts, he has mastered many varieties of weapons, favoring the axe and the broadsword. Angel also possesses some cognitive abilities; he has a photographic memory ("Habeas Corpses") and has displayed a psychic connection to those he has sired on at least one occasion ("Somnambulist"). In "Power Play", he reveals that Cordelia passed on her visions to him earlier that season in "You're Welcome". However, he believes that this was a "one-shot deal", suggesting that this ability is not permanent. Because of his age, Angel has immense knowledge of both demonology and history (on occasion rivaling that of Giles and Wesley), and has some experience in witchcraft and sorcery, though his natural aptitude for it is only average, much less than that of Willow. As Angelus, he displays considerable skill in manipulating others' emotional states and has driven his victims insane, as seen with Drusilla. With or without his soul, he is shown to be an expert in torture, having tortured Giles as Angelus ("Becoming, Part Two") and Linwood as Angel (cf. "Forgiving").
As well as his supernatural abilities and fighting skills, Angel displayed a number of other talents. He apparently has "very nice handwriting" and is a gifted artist, first seen in the episode "Passion", using charcoal crayon and China ink to draw portraits. He can drive, owning a black 1967 Plymouth GTX convertible in Angel seasons one to four and a Dodge Viper, along with an entire garage full of other cars, in season five; while he mentions in "Conviction" that he owns a helicopter, it is unknown if whether or not he piloted it to the school where he confronted Wolfram & Hart's Black Ops team. He can speak several languages, including English, Korean, Tibetan, Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, French, Russian, Romanian, German, and in "Harm's Way" tries to learn the language of the Vinji and Sahrvin demons via an instruction tape. Angel is competent, but uncomfortable, with using modern technology; he frequently struggles to understand cellphones (once claiming that they must have been invented by a "bored warlock") and confuses computer terminology such as "chatty rooms." He is shown changing diapers, but claims to be more familiar with pins than the "new-fangled fasteners" of disposable brands ("Dad"). He is a convincing improvisational actor, as seen in the episodes "Enemies", "Five by Five", "The Shroud of Rahmon", and "Power Play", but is not very talented at singing (as seen in the episode "Judgement", amongst others). He also seems to be aware of how skilled he is, once telling a demon, "If you're lucky, you'll last ten minutes, tops. Really lucky, you'll be unconscious for the last five."
Following "Not Fade Away", Angel: After The Fall reveals that Angel is no longer a vampire. His new limitations are unclear, but he clearly retains enough of his old strength to go up against Illyria and do some damage, although he apparently lacks his old healing abilities. In issue 4 it's revealed that Angel did in fact become human during the battle in "Not Fade Away" as a result of the Senior Partners attempting to deprive him of his strength when he most needs it, and is using various enchantments to keep up the appearance that he is still a vampire despite the potential risks involved in a human using the spells he relies on to imitate his old healing abilities for a prolonged period.
- Darla: Angel was sired by Darla. The pair were lovers until Angelus' transformation into Angel drove them apart, although he briefly tried to redeem himself in her eyes. Because Darla sired Angel, he sees her as something of a a maternal figure. During Darla's brief moments of humanity - when she is resurrected by Wolfram & Hart - Angel goes above and beyond in trying to help her atone. When Darla becomes pregnant with her and Angel's son, Connor, Darla tells Angel that their son is "the only good thing" that they ever did together; she then stakes herself in order to allow Connor to be born.
- Buffy Summers: When Angel first sees Buffy, he realizes that he wants to be someone and his faith in humanity is inspired. When they sleep together for the first time, Angel loses his soul, becoming Angelus. Buffy is forced to kill him, to save the world, even though Willow has just ensouled him. After he returns from Hell, he and Buffy still love each other, and attempt a relationship. After realizing this relationship is unfair to Buffy and he needs to begin his path to redemption, he leaves. Buffy comes to L.A., and for a brief time, Angel becomes human. He has to rewind the day, because being human will eventually lead to Buffy's death and that the Powers That Be have not released him from his atonement, nor offered him "forgiveness". After Buffy dies in the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel spends months away at a monastery in Asia. He comes to help Buffy in the Buffy finale and provides aid to Buffy in the final fight against Caleb. He gives her an amulet that proves important in the final confrontation with the First. He goes to seek Buffy out in Italy during the last season of Angel, albeit unsuccessfully. Angel and Spike's relationships with Buffy are left on even grounds with Andrew saying Buffy loves them both. Buffy stated in "Selfless", "I loved Angel more than I will ever love anything in this life." She also expresses that she sometimes still thinks about a future with Angel in "Chosen", but it will be years, if ever.
- Kate Lockley: Kate serves as Angel's contact in the police force as he starts his private detective business. The strong possibility of a relationship is hinted at, but ultimately doesn't materialize as she is unable to accept her discovery of his vampire nature, blaming him for the death of her father when her father was killed by vampires and wouldn't invite Angel in to help. The two eventually reconcile when Angel saves her life when she attempts to commit suicide after losing her job at the L.A.P.D.
- Rebecca Lowell: A short-lived love interest introduced in the episode "Eternity," Rebecca is an actress who hires Angel as her bodyguard. Learning about his vampire nature, she tries to convince him to sire her, not wanting to become old and unattractive, but her attempts only result in Angel briefly reverting to Angelus when she drugs his drink, inducing a feeling of bliss. After this, she leaves the office and is never seen again.
- Cordelia Chase: Friends for years, Angel and Cordelia eventually realize that they have fallen in love with one another, only to be torn apart by her ascension and transformation and his imprisonment underwater by Connor before they can tell each other. Upon their subsequent returns, they do not pursue the relationship; Cordelia instead, under the control of Jasmine, forms a relationship with Angel's son, which results in her falling into a coma when Jasmine uses her body to create an independent host for itself. In Angel's perfect day dream-sequence, Angel ends it by consummating the relationship, but calls out "Buffy!" as he is losing his soul. Later, Cordelia returns to put Angel back on track to stopping the Apocalypse. She does this and just before she dies, Cordelia and Angel share their first and only real kiss. In doing so, one last vision (which is only a one-shot deal) that shows Angel who the true power holders are, is passed to him, helping him to stop the Apocalypse from the inside.
- Nina Ash: A werewolf who Angel saves from being eaten, she develops feelings for Angel and he is eventually convinced to give a relationship a shot. This relationship establishes that Angel is able to have positive sex (unlike his "perfect despair" moment with Darla) and still keep his soul. The two break up when Angel attempts to send her away to save her from the Senior Partners' inevitable revenge.
- Drusilla: Angelus tormented the human Drusilla, sired her and kept her on as a companion afterwards; Angelus regarded her as his greatest work. The two might have resumed a sexual relationship in Season Two of Buffy after Angel loses his soul.
- Spike: Spike mentions in the fifth season episode, "Power Play", that "Angel and me have never been intimate. Except that one--" Whedon has confirmed the possibility of a sexual encounter, and in the DVD commentary for the episode "A Hole In The World", he says: "You know, um, I just wanna say Angel and Spike, they were hanging out, uh, for years and years and years, they were in, you know, all kinds of deviant, they were vampires... Are we thinking they never...? Come on, people! I'm just sayin'. I'm just sayin'. You know, they're open-minded guys. They may be evil but, you know, they're not bigoted or closed-minded."
- The Transuding Furies: The Furies are the three beautiful, powerful beings who cast the anti-demon-violence spell on Lorne's bar, Caritas. When Angel needs the spell removed to fight Gunn's rogue former gang, the Furies tell Cordelia that they will require 'payment' for such an act, and only Angel is 'equipped' to repay the debt (Whenever he is mentioned all three of them say, "Mmmm... Angel"). The general tone seems to imply a past sexual relationship between the Furies and Angel.
- Gwen Raiden: A thief with command over electricity, Angel shares a kiss with Gwen after she gives him an electro-shock that (temporarily) reawakens his dead heart. He subsequently flirts with her to make Cordelia jealous while they are trying to protect the Ra-Tet from The Beast, but later seems to develop a slight affection for her; he almost appears jealous when she asks for Gunn's help over his.
- Eve: Angel's liaison to the Senior Partners, she and Angel have a one-time encounter at Wolfram & Hart's Halloween party, when Lorne loses control of his empathic powers and he begins to unintentionally write destinies instead of reading them (he tells Angel and Eve to "get a room", saying that "you could cut the sexual tension with a knife"). When Angel thinks they should talk about it, Eve remarks, "It's not as if this is the first time I've had sex under mystical influence. I went to UC Santa Cruz". After this, however, their relationship becomes increasingly hostile due to Eve's relationship with Angel's old foe Lindsey, particularly following her attempt to infect Angel with a dream-inducing parasite.
- Faith Lehane — When Faith first crosses the line by killing a man, Angel is the first person to attempt to rehabilitate her. However, he is interrupted when Wesley tries to hand her over to the Watchers' Council. While working for Mayor Wilkins, Faith attempts to remove Angel's soul by seducing him. At this point Faith harbors a sexual interest to Angel, but this is likely out of jealousy toward Buffy. After awakening from her coma and fleeing Sunnydale Faith goes to Los Angeles. Shortly after her arrival Wolfram & Hart hire Faith to kill Angel. After torturing Wesley, Angel confronts Faith, and during the fight he realizes what Faith really wants; she wants Angel to kill her. He refuses, and again tries to help her, defending her from both Buffy and agents of the Watchers' Council. Thanks to Angel's help Faith starts down the path to redemption by confessing to her crimes and going to prison. He visits her to make sure she is alright and prison is where she stays for several years. She later breaks out, but only because Angel needs her help, due to Angelus having been restored. Despite the difficulties involved in such a task, Faith makes sure he is brought in and protected so he can be re-ensouled by Willow, even defeating Connor to prevent him from staking his father. The two share a strong bond based on their mutual desire for redemption; Faith also states that Angel is the one person that has never given up on her, a factor that doubtless plays an important role in her decision to fight so hard to save him.
- Willow Rosenberg - Angel shares deep affection and mutual confidence with Willow, and not just because she restored his soul not once but twice; in several occasions he asks for her help, looking at her as a reliable ally and friend. During his initial time in Sunnydale, after Buffy, Willow was probably Angel's closest friend in the Scooby Gang, although, as with all the team, his relationship with her was somewhat strained after he came back from Hell. At the end of episode "Orpheus " (the last time they meet onscreen) they hug as old friends.
- Winifred Burkle: When Angel saves Fred from Pylea he "vamps out" but rather than his face changing as usual, the demon inside of him comes out completely. After killing two guards it tries to kill Gunn and Wesley- until Fred, her right hand soaked in blood, lures the demon back to her cave. Fred cares for Angel as he recovers, and remains the only person who wasn't scared by Angel's demon after learning about his vampire nature. When Angel brings Fred back to LA, he takes her in and is the only member of the group who doesn't seem unnerved by her state of mind. She has a crush on him for a time after her arrival, but eventually gets over it when she learns about the curse on his soul. Though their relationship isn't romantic, Fred did kiss him once to fool passerbys into thinking they were just a random couple when they were on the run from Jasmine's followers. When she asked if he thought they bought it, he replied "I did".
- Angel: Look, I'm weak. I've never been anything else. It's not the demon in me that needs killing, Buffy. It's the man.
(Episode 3.10 (Buffy) "Amends")
- Angel: ...there is no guilt, there is no torment, no consequences... It's pure. I remember what that was like. Sometimes I miss that clarity.
- Cordelia: But not the trying to kill your friends and family part, right? Just checking!
(Episode 1.21 "Blind Date")
- Cordelia: What I remember when I was a higher being... I remember seeing you. Your past. When you were Angelus.
- Angel: I've never tried to hide who I was. Or what I've done. You already knew.
- Cordelia: Knowing's different than living it. When I was up there, I could look back and see everything you did as Angelus. More than see. I felt it. Not just their fear and pain. I felt you. And how much you enjoyed making them suffer...
(Episode 4.07 "Apocalypse, Nowish")
- Angel: When you become a vampire, the demon takes your body, but it doesn't get your soul. That's gone. No conscience, no remorse; it's an easy way to live. You have no idea what it's like to have done the things I've done. And to care.
(Episode 1.7, "Angel")
Angel has made more appearances in canon Buffyverse programs than any other character. He appeared in:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer — Angel became a series regular in the show's second and third seasons. He appeared in 58 episodes in all, including guest appearances in the episodes:
- Season 1 (1997) - "Welcome To The Hellmouth"; "The Harvest"; "Teacher's Pet"; "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date"; "Angel"; "Out of Mind, Out of Sight"; "Prophecy Girl".
- Season 4 (1999, 2000) - "Pangs"; "The Yoko Factor".
- Season 5 (2000, 2001) - "Fool for Love" (flashbacks); "Forever".
- Season 7 (2002, 2003) - "End of Days"; "Chosen".
Angel — As the star of the series, Angel appeared in all 110 episodes of five seasons.
- Angel was supposed to be a one-time character until David Boreanaz was found . David had already been cast at the time of the Unaired Buffy pilot, but did not appear.
- In the Angel season three episode "Carpe Noctem", in which Angel was victim of a bodyswitch, he was played by Rance Howard.
- Angel has a tattoo on his shoulder-blade of a griffin from The Book of Kells, with the addition of the letter 'A' beneath it. 
- The first time it was planned that Angel would lose his soul, Joss Whedon was doubtful of David Boreanaz being capable of portraying the cruelty of Angelus, however would later come to state that David scared him in Becoming, Part Two.
- David impressed Joss Whedon so much playing Angelus possessed by the spirit of Grace Newman, a woman, in I Only Have Eyes for You, that he was given his own show.
- Angel is a "Fanilow" (a fan of Barry Manilow), particularly loving the song "Mandy". As he quotes, "I think it's kinda pretty."
- Angel has appeared in by far the most episodes in Buffyverse, for a total of 167 episodes. Buffy and Willow are next, with 146 and 147 episodes respectively. He has also appeared in the most seasons of Buffyverse (All seasons of Buffy and Angel except for Buffy season 6) for a total of 11. He is also the only character to appear in the pilots and finales of both Buffy and Angel.
- Angel is a fan of ice hockey (we see him watching the game in "Life of the Party") and he hoped Connor would grow up playing ice hockey, one of the reasons being that it is a sport where most games are played indoors, and at night (allowing for vampires to spectate).
- Angel's human name, Liam, is the Irish form of the name William. Angel would, as Angelus, sire the vampire Drusilla, who eventually sired the vampire William the Bloody.
- While it is established that, as a vampire, Angel doesn't age, it's obvious across Buffy and Angel that David Boreanaz ages from 27 to 34.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Becoming, Part One"
- ↑ "The Prodigal"
- ↑ "Angel"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 "Somnambulist"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 "Darla"
- ↑ "Quickening"
- ↑ "Heartthrob"
- ↑ "Offspring"
- ↑ The year comes from the episode's shooting script
- ↑ "Soulless"
- ↑ "Lie to Me"
- ↑ "Dear Boy"
- ↑ "Fool for Love"
- ↑ "School Hard"
- ↑ "Destiny"
- ↑ "Waiting in the Wings"
- ↑ "The Girl in Question"
- ↑ "Five by Five"
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 "Orpheus"
- ↑ "City of"
- ↑ "Why We Fight"
- ↑ "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been"