|This article is about the episode. For other uses, see Angel.|
"Angel" is the seventh episode of the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show, and the seventh episode in the series. Written by David Greenwalt and directed by Scott Brazil, it originally broadcast on April 14, 1997 on The WB network.
LOVE STINKS — While Buffy grows more and more annoyed with Angel's mysterious disappearing act, she can't deny her growing obsession with him. Meanwhile, it's killing Xander that Buffy doesn't have a clue how he feels about her and, as he vents his frustrations to Willow, she knows all too well how he feels. And in the underworld, The Master is incensed that Buffy has taken the lives of so many members of his family, and he summons warrior vampires to annihilate her.
The Master is displeased that Buffy is killing his vampires, the latest victim being Zachary. Deeming Darla's request to deal with Buffy too personally motivated, the Master decides instead to send The Three, a trio of warrior vampires, to take the Slayer out. The Three ambush Buffy on her way home from pre-fumigation night at the Bronze. Angel, whom Buffy at first suspects is the (only) one stalking her, shows up at a critical moment, but is wounded helping the Slayer break out of a dicey triple hold. Buffy abandons the fight and helps Angel run to her house, where she yells at him to get inside. With the Three safely on the other side of the door, Angel explains that a vampire can't enter someone's home unless invited in. Buffy recalls hearing that, but tells Angel she's never had to put it to the test before.
As Angel removes his jacket and shirt so Buffy can dress his wound, the griffin tattoo on his back is revealed, and Buffy is visibly affected by both his beauty and his proximity. Buffy thanks Angel for his help and asks how he happened to be so close by. Angel, who actually had followed the Slayer from the Bronze, remains evasive, though pleasantly flirtatious. When Buffy's mother, Joyce, comes home from working late, Buffy flies to the front door to be sure Joyce is safe and that no vampires get in, then tries to coax her to go up to bed immediately. Angel foils Buffy's attempt to keep his presence a secret by putting his shirt and jacket back on and coming into the hall to meet Joyce. Buffy claims Angel is a college student tutoring her in history.
Once the mildly skeptical Joyce goes upstairs, Buffy pretends to send Angel off, but instead sneaks him up to her bedroom. Angel says he doesn't want to get her into anymore trouble, but Buffy replies firmly that she doesn't want to "get him dead" — to which Angel makes no response. They discuss the room's one bed and Angel insists on taking the floor, whereupon Buffy sends him to the window to see whether the "fang gang" is still lurking so his back will be turned while she changes. Still trying to figure him out, Buffy asks why Angel, not being The Chosen One, elects to fight vampires. At his non-committal reply, she wonders what his family thinks of his career choice, then looks around at him when he says, "They're dead." "I'm sorry," Buffy replies, but the conversation is suddenly in murky waters. When she quietly asks if it was vampires that killed his family, he replies with apparent difficulty, "It was." Buffy further theorizes that hunting vampires is some kind of "vengeance gig" for him, but with a hint of desperation, Angel changes the subject. Buffy accepts the gambit and they settle down for the night in their respective spots.
When the gang hears about the events the next morning, Xander rather illogically protests that Angel is trying to seduce Buffy by saving her life and getting stabbed. Rupert Giles identifies the armored vampire trio and reassures everyone that the Three are no longer a threat, since they must offer their lives to the Master in penance for failing their mission. Indded, the Master allows Darla to execute the Three, as an object lesson in the use of power for Collin, the Anointed One. Returning to the library later that day, Buffy begins weapons training. She is disappointed when Giles requires her to start with the quarterstaff rather than the "cool" crossbow, but easily defeats her Watcher staff-to-staff and progresses to crossbow training much sooner than he anticipates or wishes.
Returning home, Buffy brings some supper for Angel, who has waited out the day in her room. Awkwardly attempting small-talk, Buffy asks Angel how he passed the time. Unobtrusively setting aside the food, Angel replies that he did "a little reading," a lot of thinking. Buffy notices her diary askew and, suddenly very agitated, begins to explain away entries that reveal her crush on Angel. Clearly amused, but also somewhat at a loss, Angel stops her and explains in turn that Buffy's mother moved the diary while straightening up; Angel swears he didn't read it. As Buffy takes a moment to deal with her embarrassment, Angel returns to his own agenda and confesses that he doesn't think he should be around her. Completely forgetting the diary incident, Buffy tries to deal with this new shock until it finally registers that Angel has also confessed that all he wants to do is to kiss her. Shocked again, Buffy barely listens as Angel continues to mutter miserably that he's older than she is and that he should go.
Buffy looks at Angel with speculation and hope, and her sudden attention rivets his. They take that last half-step toward each other. Angel bends his head to Buffy's upturned face. At first hesitant and sweet, their kiss quickly grows heated and passionate. Suddenly, Angel pulls back with a snarl of distress, and when he turns back to her Buffy learns, due to his transformed face that Angel is a vampire. She screams in shock and Angel dives out the window, escaping into the darkness without another word. At Buffy's shriek, her mother rushes in and asks what happened, but Buffy glances out the window and says only that she "saw a shadow". Bringing her friends up to speed before school the next morning, Buffy wistfully wonders why Angel seems good to her. Emphatically, Giles insists there are no good vampires — a vampire, lacking a soul, is not even a person. Xander urges Buffy to slay Angel.
Returning to his apartment, Angel becomes aware of an intruder, but seems little surprised to see the Master's favorite vampire, Darla. She taunts him, telling him humans will never accept him for who he is, but he replies that he is no longer accepted by vampires, either. Meanwhile, Giles researches Angel's history and notices the peculiarity that even though this vampire was previously well-known as the vicious killer Angelus, Angel apparently has shunned the company of other vampires since coming to America and, stranger yet, has completely stopped preying on humans. Meanwhile, deep in the Master's lair, Darla insists that she be allowed to kill Buffy. The Master concedes upon hearing Darla's diabolical plan to use Angel as her weapon.
Later that evening in the library, Willow is having a hard time tutoring Buffy in the history of the Civil War, since they are both distracted by gloom over boys — Buffy because she doesn't want to slay Angel and Willow because she wants to attract Xander. Lurking in the stacks, Darla eavesdrops before going to Buffy's house, where she cons Joyce into inviting her in by claiming to be yet another study buddy of Buffy's. Prowling around Buffy's house himself, Angel hears Joyce's cry and rushes in just as Darla begins to drink from her. Daring him to drink too, Darla shoves the now unconscious Joyce into Angel's arms and escapes out the back door. Deeply tempted by Joyce's warm blood, Angel helplessly vamps, but resists the impulse to drink long enough to be discovered, in flagrant, by the returning Buffy.
Horrified, frightened and furious to find Angel apparently feeding from her mother, Buffy literally throws him out of the house, then calls for an ambulance. At the hospital, Buffy, Giles, Willow and Xander try to help now anemic Joyce reconstruct events, and she says her last memory is of inviting Buffy's "study friend" inside. Buffy misunderstands, thinking Joyce means Angel rather than Darla. Leaving her mother in the care of friends and doctors, Buffy races to the library, takes the crossbow from the weapons locker, and storms out into the night. At Angel's apartment, Darla works him into a fury, telling him how easy it was to poison Buffy against him, exhorting him to kill or be killed. Meanwhile, Giles talks further with Joyce and learns enough to realize that it was Darla, not Angel, who bit Buffy's mom. With Xander and Willow in tow, he rushes to find Buffy to warn her of the trap.
Alone in the dark, Buffy tracks Angel to the deserted Bronze and engages him in combat. Angel soon tackles and disarms Buffy, but she retrieves her weapon and fires before he can recover his balance. To Angel's surprise, the Slayer intentionally shoots wide and her bolt thunks into the wall beside his head. When she demands an explanation for his actions, particularly why he spared her but not her mom, Angel mockingly recounts highlights from his Angelus days. When the Slayer asks what changed, Angel more quietly tells her the story of the Kalderash girl he once killed, whose family cursed him in retribution. They gave him a soul that would wrack him with guilt, eternally tormenting him for the evil he had wreaked during a century and more of unbridled vampirism. Angel doesn't try to justify himself, but the Slayer begins to understand that he is unique among vampires, and that this is what she had sensed from the beginning. When he denies biting Joyce, yet confesses wanting to, as well as wanting to kill Buffy herself, the Slayer lays aside her crossbow and slowly offers her throat to a now utterly motionless Angel.
Suddenly, Darla emerges from the shadows and starts to taunt them, boasting to Buffy that she, Darla, was the vampire who turned Angel all those decades ago. When Buffy levels her crossbow, Darla pulls out a pair of handguns and fires. Hit, Angel crumples to the floor. Buffy dives for cover behind the bar and looses a bolt that hits Darla's chest but misses her heart. Hearing gunfire, Giles, Willow and Xander rush in and distract Darla, shouting to Buffy that it was Darla who bit Joyce, not Angel. As Darla gleefully blazes away, keeping the Slayer and her friends pinned down, the wounded Angel suddenly lunges toward the wall and yanks out the crossbow bolt that missed his head earlier. Looming up from behind, Angel stakes Darla through the heart with Buffy's bolt, dusting his maker in the witness of all.
In their lair, Collin consoles the Master for his loss of Darla at Angel's hands. Once again at the Bronze, now post-fumigation, Willow, Xander and Buffy comment on how much, and how little, has changed since their last outing. Spying Angel across the crowded room, Buffy goes to thank him - and to tell him goodbye. Helpless in the heat of their burgeoning passion for one another, their banter trails to silence and they deeply kiss one last time. As she reluctantly pulls away, Buffy doesn't notice that the cross she's wearing — the one Angel gave her weeks ago at their very first meeting — was severely scorching him, branding the skin of his chest all during their embrace. Angel, who neither vamped nor flinched as he slowly kissed the Slayer, faintly winces but never says a word as he watches her walk away.
- The Master has begun training the Anointed One.
- Buffy invites Angel into her house for the first time, an invitation she revokes temporarily due to a misunderstanding, but then restores it, only to revoke it later again in episode "Passion".
- This episode reveals two consistent aspects of Buffyverse vampires; that they need an invitation to enter private residences and their lack of a soul.
- The Master says he "misses" Angel. In episode "Darla", it's revealed that their first encounter was a violent one and nearly resulted in Angelus being killed on the spot. In "Destiny", Angelus explains disdainfully that Darla's "precious Master called for [her]." These scenes do not engender the idea of any kind of fondness between the two; although, in "missing" Angel, the Master might be referring to the destruction and terror he caused while soulless.
- Angel tells Buffy it was vampires who killed his family. Indeed, in episode "The Prodigal" it'll be revealed that, alongside Darla, he was one of these vampires.
- Angel tells Darla: "the last time I saw you, it was kimonos." The last time he saw her was in China, during The Boxer Rebellion ("Darla").
- Giles stated that Angel had been a vampire "two hundred and forty years or so". His facts were fairly accurate since he was turned two hundred and forty-four years beforehand.
- It's revealed that Darla was once romantically involved with Angel and the one who sired him.
- Darla dies (for the second of four times). This is the first kill we see Angel make onscreen although we later learn he has made others in the past.
- Joyce meets Giles, Angel, and Darla for the first time. It's also her first interaction with Xander and Willow.
- The Master says "out of the mouths of babes" after a comment made by the Anointed One and in the season 6 episode "Two to Go", Xander repeats the line after a comment by Dawn, both of which relate to murder.
- In the library, Willow talks to Buffy about what would happen if Angel and her had children, while Darla is listening in the dark. Actually, although it looks impossible after this episode — with Darla killed by Angel and the simple fact that vampires can't procreate —, it is Darla who will have a child with Angel.
- After Buffy finds out Angel is a vampire with a soul, they kiss and we see the cross Angel gave her searing his chest. Years later, in "Beneath You", after Buffy realizes Spike has a soul, he drapes his body on a large cross as it burns him. Additionally, Angel tells her: "I wanted to kill you" and Spike uses the words "I dreamed of killing you".
- Angel being a vampire with a soul will be a major plot point. In "Surprise", Angel loses his soul after a night of passion with Buffy, becoming Angelus again for the rest of the season before Willow restores his soul once more, an act that propels her into an interest in witchcraft. She later restores Angel's soul again in the Angel episode "Orpheus".
- The Kalderash cursing Angel with his soul is seen in "Becoming, Part One".
- Rupert Giles
- Alexander Harris
- Kathy (Only mentioned)
- Willow Rosenberg
- Joyce Summers
- Buffy Summers
- Annie Vega
- Zachary (Only mentioned)
- Liam's father (Only mentioned)
- Liam's mother (Only mentioned)
Organizations and titles
- Budapest, Hungary (Only mentioned)
- Ireland (Only mentioned)
- Sunnydale, USA
Weapons and objects
Rituals and spells
- Ritual of Restoration (Only mentioned)
- One cockroach, squashed by Willow Rosenberg at the Bronze.
- Zachary, dusted by Buffy Summers (only mentioned).
- The Three, dusted by Darla at the church.
- Darla, staked by Angel at the Bronze.
Behind the scenes
- This is the first episode to feature the show's opening prologue used to explain the Slayer mythology.
- During the production of this episode, it took the makeup department 60 to 90 minutes to apply the vampire prosthetic on David Boreanaz.
- Angel's Hugo Boss duster is worth over $1,000.
- Producer and writer Marti Noxon, who reportedly first thought the series was going to be a "failed TV show" after a "failed movie," had her original impression changed after watching this episode, particularly the scene Buffy offers her neck to Angel.
- The episode, which first reveals the character Angel's true nature and origins, is written by David Greenwalt, who would later be known for co-creating the spinoff Angel.
- "Angel" reached a Nielsen rating of 2.3 on its original airing.
- One exchange was cut:
- Xander: "Love sucks. Ever since I was in grammar school, it's the same old dance… you dig someone, they dig someone else. And then that someone else digs someone else."
- Willow: "That's the dance."
- Xander: "I mean, I'm right for her. I'm the guy. I know it. She's so stupid! She's not stupid. But… it's too much. We're such good buds, I'm this close to her, and she doesn't have a clue how I feel. And wouldn't care if she did. It's killing me." [He exits and Willow stands alone for a moment]
- Willow: "Gee, what's that like?"
Pop culture references
- Xander's line "fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly" is a line from the song "Can't help lovin' dat man" from the 1929 musical Show Boat.
- The Master says that "with great power comes great responsibility", quoting from the origin story of Spider-Man.
Goofs, bloopers & continuity errors
- When Buffy and Angel are being chased by the Three, one of the vampires manages to get his hand into Buffy's house as she's closing the door, despite not having an invitation to enter. This is inconsistent with the vampire barriers on people's homes in later episodes, where no part of a vampire can enter a home uninvited. (An alternate perspective is that the Three are so strong as vampires that they are able to force at least a hand through the protective barrier surrounding an individual's home. Seeing it this way makes the Three far scarier. It also explains why the Three did not force their way into the open door.)
- In the final scene, in between the time that Buffy leaves Xander and Willow and the time when she talks to Angel, her hair and lipstick have changed.
- When Darla is spying on Willow and Buffy's conversation in the library, her reflection can be seen on the bookshelf next to her, despite the fact that vampires don't have reflections.
- Angel mentions to Darla that the last time he had seen her, 'it was kimonos,' referring to their time in China during the Boxer Rebellion. However, kimonos are a form of Japanese traditional clothing which closely resemble, and are in fact based off of, the Chinese hanfu.
- Sophie Zelmani — "I'll Remember You" (Plays while Buffy and Angel talk at the end of the episode.)
- Walter Murphy — original score
- Armenian: "Հրեշտակ" (Angel)
- Czech: "Angel"
- Finnish: "Tuhon enkeli" (Angel of Doom)
- French: "Alias Angelus"
- German: "Angel — Blutige Küsse" (Angel — Bloody Kisses)
- Hungarian: "Angel"
- Italian: "L'Angelo Custode" (The Guardian Angel)
- Japanese: "エンジェル" (Angel)
- Polish: "Anioł ciemności" (Angel of Darkness)
- Portuguese (Brazil): "Angel"
- Romanian: "Angel"
- Russian: "Ангел" (Angel)
- Spanish (Latin American and Spain): "Ángel" (Angel)
- This episode is included in The Slayer Pack VHS collection.
- This episode is collected in The Slayer Collection: Angel DVD.
- The script for this episode is included in The Script Book: Season One, Volume 2.
- The book The Angel Chronicles, Volume 1 includes a novelization of this episode.
- This episode first aired on Sarah Michelle Gellar's twentieth birthday.
- This is the first instance in the show in which a vampire kills another vampire. Darla is shown killing one of The Three, then Angel kills her.
|Willow - “So, we're talking about a guy?”|
|Buffy - “Not exactly a guy. For us to have a conversation about a guy, there'd have to be a guy for us to have a conversation about. Is that a sentence?”|
|Willow - “You lack a guy.”|
|Buffy - “I do. Which is fine with me, most of the time, but…”|
|Willow - “What about Angel?”|
|Buffy - “Angel? I can just see him in a relationship. ‘Hi, honey, you're in grave danger. I’ll see you next month.’”|
|Xander - “Buffy, c’mon, wake up and smell the seduction. It’s the oldest trick in the book.”|
|Buffy - “What? Saving my life? Getting slashed in the ribs?”|
|Xander - “Duh! I mean, guys will do anything to impress a girl. I once drank an entire gallon of Gatorade without taking a breath.”|
|Buffy - “Cool! Crossbow! Check out these babies. Goodbye stakes, hello flying fatality. What can I shoot?”|
|Darla - “It’s been a while.”|
|Angel - “A lifetime.”|
|Darla - “Or two. But who's counting?”|
|Willow - “So he is a good vampire! I mean, on a scale of one to ten, ten being someone who’s killing and maiming every night, one being someone who’s… not.”|