Buffyverse Wiki
Buffyverse Wiki
Note: 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 and the seventh episode in the series. Written by David Greenwalt and directed by Scott Brazil, it was 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.[1]


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, yelling at him to get inside. With the Three 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, a tattoo on his back is revealed. Buffy thanks Angel for his help and asks how he happened to be so close by. Buffy's mother, Joyce, comes home from working late, so 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, now with his shirt and jacket back on, comes 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 that she doesn't want to "get him dead." 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. Buffy asks why Angel, not being the Chosen One, elects to fight vampires. She wonders what his family thinks of his career choice, so he says: "They're dead." Buffy asks if it was vampires that killed his family, he replies: "it was." Buffy theorizes that hunting vampires is some kind of "vengeance gig" for him, but Angel changes the subject. They settle down for the night in their respective spots.

When the gang hears about the events the next morning, Xander 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. Indeed, 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.

Returning home, Buffy brings some supper for Angel, who has waited out the day in her room. Buffy asks Angel how he passed the time, who replies that he did "a little reading," a lot of thinking. Buffy notices her diary askew and agitatedly explains away entries that reveal her crush on "A." Angel stops her and explains in turn that Buffy's mother moved the diary while straightening up; Angel swears he didn't read it. He then confesses that he doesn't think he should be around her, because all he wants to do is to kiss her. As Buffy approaches him, Angel explains he's older than she is and that he should go.

Buffy and Angel take a step toward each other and kiss. Suddenly, Angel pulls back with a snarl. When he turns back to her, his demon face reveals the truth — Angel is a vampire. Buffy screams and Angel escapes through the window. Joyce rushes in the bedroom and asks what happened, but Buffy says that she "saw a shadow." Bringing her friends up to speed before school the next morning, Buffy wonders why Angel seems good to her. 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 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, he apparently has shunned the company of other vampires since coming to America and stopped preying on humans. Meanwhile, in the Master's lair, Darla insists that she be allowed to kill Buffy. The Master concedes upon hearing Darla's 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.

Buffy arrives and finds Angel in this position with her bleeding mother. She throws him out of the house then calls for an ambulance. At the hospital, Buffy, Giles, Willow, and Xander try to help 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 tells 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 her. 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 before he can recover his balance. The Slayer shoots wide and her bolt hits 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. Buffy asks what changed, so Angel 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. He denies biting Joyce, yet confesses wanting to, as well as wanting to kill Buffy herself. The Slayer lays aside her crossbow and offers her throat to 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 blazes away, keeping the Slayer and her friends pinned down, Angel 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. She says his name and turns into dust.

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. Noticing Angel across the crowded room, Buffy goes to thank him and tell him goodbye. They kiss and mention how painful this is. As Angel watches Buffy leave, his chest has a burn in the shape of Buffy's cross necklace.


  • Buffy invites Angel into her house for the first time; she'll revoke it in the episode "Passion."
  • Angel tells Buffy he killed his family as a vampire. Flashbacks from the episode "The Prodigal" will show him dong so.
  • Angel tells Darla: "The last time I saw you, it was kimonos." The last time he saw her was during the Boxer Rebellion, when she was wearing a Chinese garment instead ("Darla").
  • Giles states that Angel has been a vampire "two hundred and forty years or so." His facts are fairly accurate since Angel was turned two hundred and forty-four years before ("Becoming, Part One").
  • The Master says he "misses" Angel. In the episode "Darla," it's revealed that their first encounter was a violent one and nearly resulted in Angelus being killed. In "Destiny," Angelus explains disdainfully that Darla's "precious Master called for [her]." While these scenes do not engender the idea of any kind of fondness between the two, in "missing" Angel, the Master might be referring to the destruction and terror he caused while soulless.
  • The Master says "out of the mouths of babes" after a comment made by the Anointed One, and in the episode "Two to Go," Xander repeats the line after a comment by Dawn, both of which relate to murder.
  • The Kalderash cursing Angel with his soul is seen in "Becoming, Part One."
  • Angel being a vampire with a soul will be a major plot point. In "Surprise," Angel loses his soul after a night of "perfect happiness" with Buffy, becoming a villain for the rest of the season until Willow restores his soul once more ("Becoming, Part Two"), an act that propels her into an interest in witchcraft.
  • While Angel tells Buffy that he hadn't fed on another living being since his soul was restored, he has fed on at least two dying humans: Sam Lawson in 1943 ("Why We Fight") and a gunshot victim in the 1970s ("Orpheus").
  • 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."



Organizations and titles[]





Rituals and spells[]

Death count[]

  • One cockroach, squashed by Willow at the Bronze.
  • Zachary, dusted by Buffy (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.[2]
  • Angel's Hugo Boss duster is worth over $1,000.[2]
  • 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.[3]

Deleted scenes[]

  • Joyce and Buffy would talk about Angel during dinner:[4]
    Joyce: "I have to call the exterminator, I heard mice or something upstairs today..."
    Buffy: "I bet they'll go away in a day or so — are those new curtains?"
    Joyce turns to look. Buffy empties most of her chicken, etc. into a large plastic baggie in her lap. Joyce turns back.
    Joyce: "Aunt Lolly made those when you were five."
    Buffy: "What am I thinking? I know what I'm thinking, more protein. Your chicken rocks, Mom."
    Buffy gets up, serves herself some more.
    Joyce: "We have an appetite tonight. So tell me about this young man Angel. When are you going to see him again?"
    Buffy: (small glance upwards) "Soon..."
    Joyce: "He's doing more than helping you with your history, isn't he?" (nothing from Buffy) "I mean you've got Willow for that, plus I saw the way you looked at each other. We've talked about taking these things slowly. You know how a glacier moves a few feet every year? That kind of slowly."
    Buffy: "Okay, so slower than you and Dad took it."
    Joyce: "Touché. Do you want to hear the lecture or do you know it by heart?"
    Buffy: "You were young, you were in love, what you weren't was through with college, focused on a career and... no help from the audience, please, in possession of your own identity."
    Joyce: "That pretty much covers it." (notes Buffy's plate) "You cleaned your plate again?"
  • Xander would linger outside class:[4]
    Willlow: "Oh boy, time for geometry." (off Xander and Buffy's looks) "It's fun if you make it fun."
    They move off. The last of several kids enter rooms and the hall is quiet. Except... for Xander at a drinking fountain. Drinking up a storm. A nearby class door opens, Willow exits.
    Willow: "Geometry's starting."
    Xander: "Yup."
    Willow: "But you're out here drinking."
    Xander: "Again I say, yup."
    Willow: "Something's bothering you. Buffy."
    Xander: "Buffy? Why would Buffy be bothering me?"
    Willow: "Cause you kinda got a thing there and she kinda has a thing... elsewhere."
    Xander: "It's just... this guy Angel, the research is in, he's a vampire — still she likes him better than me."
    Willow: "She doesn't like him 'cause he's a vampire, I know she's not down with that part."
    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 into class. She stands alone 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.
  • Cordelia wears a dress from the designer Todd Oldham.
  • Cordelia rails against another student wearing the same dress as hers, decrying it as a knockoff and the result of "free trade agreements," a reference to the recently enacted North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).


  • 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.
  • In the final scene, in between when Buffy leaves Xander and Willow then 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, the kimono is a form of Japanese traditional clothing which closely resembles, and is in fact based off of, the Chinese hanfu.


International titles[]

  • 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 America): "Ángel" (Angel)
  • Spanish (Spain): "Ángel" (Angel)
  • Swedish: "Ängel" (Angel)



Promotional stills[]



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."