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ANGEL (ep 1.07)

(a.k.a. Ironic Love)

Written by: David Greenwalt
Directed by: Scott Brazil
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Starring: Mark Metcalf as The Master
David Boreanaz as Angel
Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers
Julie Benz as Darla
Co-Starring: Andrew J. Ferchland as Collin (the Anointed One)
Charles Wesley as Meanest Vamp

Plot Summary

Buffy found out that the man she has a crush on, Angel, is really a vampire.

Plot Details

The episode began with the Anointed One tossing stones in the blood pools. The Master was upset that Buffy had slain another of his vampires. Darla wanted to take care of Buffy herself, but the Master wanted to call upon the Three instead.

The Bronze had a pre-fumigation party. This meant that anyone who squashed a cockroach got a free drink. Even Cordelia participated. While there, Cordelia was watching Xander and Angel was watching Buffy. Nobody seemed to be watching Willow.

Buffy concluded that she was depressing both Willow and Xander, so she headed home. On the way, three vampires ambushed her. Buffy put up a good struggle, but they were too much for her. Fortunately, Angel rescued her and both escaped to Buffy's house. Angel assured Buffy that vampires cannot enter unless invited, so they were safe. The real reason why they were safe was that the vampires were too stupid to, say, toss a few Molotov cocktails in the house.

Angel was injured, which gave Buffy a good excuse to get Angel's shirt off. My guess is that most female fans (and, perhaps, some male fans) were very grateful. Angel denied that he was following her, but not even Buffy believed that.

Buffy's mother arrived home. Buffy started distracting her while Angel put his clothes on. Buffy claimed that he was a first year community college student who was tutoring her in history. Her mother seemed to buy that and went to bed.

Buffy pretended to say good night to Angel but brought him to her room instead. He explained that vampires killed his family a long time ago. He deftly changed the subject when Buffy pressed further.

The next morning, Xander was aghast that Buffy let Angel spend the night. Willow, however, thought that it was romantic. Giles wanted to talk about the attack. From Buffy's description, Giles recognized the vampires as being the Three.

The Three failed to kill Buffy, so they offered their lives to the Master. After convincing the Three that he would spare their undeaths, the Master had Darla stake them.

At the library, Buffy was eager to begin crossbow training. Giles wanted to train her with a quarter staff instead despite Buffy's assertion that she would not be fighting Friar Tuck (or Little John for that matter). Once she mastered the quarter staff, she could then train on the crossbow. A brief sparring session ended with Giles flat on this rear end saying that it was time to work on the crossbow.

Buffy arrived at home that night to find Angel still in her room. He said that he just read a little and thought some. Buffy saw her diary out and made certain assumptions about what he read, which she shared with Angel. Angel denied reading the diary, and Buffy seemed to actually believe him. He said that he should go, but Buffy came in for a kiss. Angel suddenly went into vamp face and fled from the room.

The next day, Buffy told the others that Angel was a vampire. Giles denied that a vampire could be good, but Buffy did not understand why Angel would help her. Xander saw the situation as simple: Buffy, as the slayer, should slay Angel. He was shocked to hear that Buffy was in love with a vampire. Unfortunately, Cordelia heard that last part. Xander tried to cover by saying that Buffy was in love with an umpire, but Cordelia was too distracted by another student wearing her same dress to pay any attention.

Darla was waiting for Angel at his home. They held a conversation that basically told the audience that the two of them had a history together.

At the library, Giles found a reference to an Irish vampire named "Angelus" who is about 240 years old. About 80 years ago, he came to the United States with no record of him killing anyone since.

Darla suggested to the Master that she get Angel to kill Buffy and thus bring him back to evil.

Later, Willow tried to tutor Buffy on the Reconstruction Era, but the conversation quickly devolved into discussing Angel. Darla observed this conversation and went to Buffy's house claiming to be another history tutor. Buffy's mother did not know about vampires and invited Darla in. Darla bit Buffy's mother and took enough blood for Buffy's mother to lose consciousness. Buffy's mother did get one good scream out, which attracted a lurking Angel. Darla handed Buffy's mother to Angel and left, just in time for Buffy to see Angel, in vamp face, hold Buffy's mother.

Buffy, Giles, Willow, and Xander congregated at the hospital. Buffy's mother was very impressed that a faculty member cared enough to visit. After Buffy left to go hunt Angel down, her mother mentioned that Darla came to tutor Buffy, and that Darla must be quite worried. (Apparently, Darla attacked Buffy's mother from behind.) Giles said that he would check on Darla, impressing Buffy's mother even more.

At a closed Bronze, Buffy ran into Angel with a magically reloading crossbow. They had a brief tussle before Buffy decided that she should confront Angel verbally. Angel then told her his story. About a century ago, he killed a teenage Romany girl. The Romany cursed him with a soul. He has never fed off of a human since. He also denied biting Buffy's mother. This story was good enough for Buffy. She even trusted him enough to offer him her throat.

Darla then showed up and mentioned that she was once involved with Angel. Buffy did not seem to be particularly upset at this revelation. Darla also mentioned that she made Angel a vampire before pulling out two pistols.

After about twelve shots with the guns, Buffy managed to shoot back with a crossbow. Even though the bolt hit Darla much closer to where a human heart would be than some of the successful stakings that we have seen, Darla was unharmed.

Willow, Giles, and Xander arrived. In order to distract Darla, Willow shouted that it was Darla, and not Angel, who bit Buffy's mother. Darla responded by firing about six shots in their general direction.

Darla then fired about 18 shots toward Buffy but did little more than cause damage to the Bronze. She managed to get one last shot as Angel staked her.

The Master was extremely distraught when he heard that Angel staked Darla. However, his mood changed quickly when the Anointed One assured him that he would have the chance to kill them all when he rose again.

Xander unconvincingly tried to say that he was not jealous when Buffy met Angel again at the Bronze. Willow did not tell him that Buffy and Angel were kissing, with Buffy's cross necklace leaving a burn on Angel's chest.

The Good

For people who were not already spoiled, it was probably a good surprise to hear that Angel is a vampire. In general, it is good to have character-centered episodes.

The Bad

I understand that, at the time this episode was made, the writers believed that the show would last for seven seasons only in their wildest fantasies. They did not realize that they would have time to draw out stories. As a result, this story was rushed.

The story would have had far more emotional resonance if we learned that Darla and Angel had a connection much earlier. We could have seen how Angel was torn between his assumed duty to fight other vampires and his lingering feelings for an ex. Over several episodes, we can see how this affects him. Then, when he is forced to stake Darla, we can feel his torment. Instead, we are just told that there is a connection a few scenes before.

I rank episodes based on how good they are rather than on how important they are. This is an important episode that reveals a lot about an important character. However, it does not do so as well as it could have.

Rank: 129

Action: 6

Three vampires ambushed Buffy in the teaser. Angel rescued her in the first act.

Buffy had a brief tussle with Angel at the Bronze.

Buffy and Angel had a fight with Darla that ended with Angel staking Darla.

Comedy: 1

The references to the various fumigation parties were amusing.

Drama: 3

Buffy had to face the fact that her job description might require her to kill the object of her affection.

The Master was very upset when he learned of Darla's demise.

Romance: 7

Buffy and Angel both expressed their attraction to each other.

Character Development: 8

Angel—Darla turned Angel into a vampire a bit over 200 years ago. About 100 years ago, Angel killed a young Romany woman. Her kin cursed him with a soul. Ever since then, he has stopped killing humans. He came to the United States about 80 years ago and dropped out of sight.

Importance: 8

The most important thing in this episode is the establishment of Angel's character.

Buffy is doing a good job in wearing down the Master's forces. He is starting to get desperate.

Most Valuable Player: Angel

Angel rescued Buffy from the Three and staked Darla as she was trying to kill Buffy with her magically reloading guns.

Sherlock Holmes Award: Giles

This was a cheap win for Giles. Characters did not so much figure things out as have things told to them. Giles did figure out that it was Darla, and not Angel, who attack Buffy's mother, so he gets the award even though the story would not have changed if he had not done so.

Goat of the Week: Darla

Her plan to kill Buffy was a long shot at best. She assumed that Angel would kill Buffy to save himself when it was more likely that he would be able to explain the situation. Even if Buffy did not believe him, why does she think that he would beat her? Buffy, after all, is a vampire slayer, and Angel has not killed a human in a long time. Most likely, she would kill him if it came to a fight. Even if he were the better fighter, he would probably try to escape rather than finish Buffy off.


How did the Master know that Angel staked Darla? It is plausible for him to assume that Darla was dust when she did not return, but he would not know that it was Angel, and not Buffy, who did it. The only witnesses that we could see were Angel, Buffy, Giles, Willow, and Xander. Are we supposed to believe that one of these people went to the Master and gave him the news? Did he have another vampire spy for him? Why did that vampire not try to help Darla?

According to Tv.com, the two guns that Darla used holds 31 bullets between them. It is hard to tell how many shots she fired as it was unclear which sound effects were shots and which were ricochets and whether the shots that Giles, Willow, and Xander heard outside the Bronze were the same shots that we heard inside the Bronze. However, by my count, Darla fired 37 shots.

DVD Extras

Joss Whedon on "Angel" and "The Puppet Show"—Joss Whedon talked about how his production company is named after his first typewriter and why he has vampires explode into dust. Specific to this episode, he talked about Sarah Michelle Gellar's and David Boreanaz's "breath-off" before the episode.

Memorable Quotes

"You know, I don't know what everyone's talking about. That outfit doesn't make you look like a hooker." Xander to Cordelia

"Come on, wake up and smell the seduction. It's the oldest trick in the book." Xander
"What? Saving my life? Getting slashed in the ribs?" Buffy
"Duh, I mean guys would to anything to impress a girl. I once drank an entire gallon of Gatorade without taking a breath." Xander
"It was pretty impressive, although later there was an ick factor." Willow

"Pay attention, child. You are the Anointed, and there is much you must learn. With power comes responsibility. True, they did fail, but also true, we who walk at night share a common bond. The taking of a life—I'm not talking about humans, of course—is a serious matter." The Master
"So you would spare them?" The Anointed One
"I am weary, and their deaths will bring me little joy. [Poof] Of course, sometimes, a little is enough." The Master

"Goodbye, stakes, hello, flying fatality." Buffy

"My diary? You read my diary? That is not OK. A diary is, like, a person's most private place. You don't even know what I was writing about. 'Hunk' can mean a lot of things, bad things, and when it said your eyes were penetrating, I meant to write 'bulging.'" Buffy
"Buffy..." Angel
"The 'A' doesn't even stand for 'Angel' for that matter. It stands for 'Achmed,' a charming foreign exchange student, so that whole fantasy part has nothing to even do with you at all." Buffy
"Your mother moved your diary when she came in to straighten up." Angel

"Where did you get that dress? This is a one-of-a-kind Todd Oldham. Do you know how much this dress cost? Is this a knock-off? This is a knock-off isn't it? Some cheesy knock-off. This is exactly what happens when you sign these free-trade agreements." Cordelia
"You think we have problems." Buffy

"Well, you've been around since Columbus. You are bound to pile up a few exes. You're older than him, right? Just between us girls, you are looking a little worn around the eyes." Buffy

"OK, so what's the difference between this and the pre-fumigation party?" Buffy
"Much hardier cockroaches." Xander

Characters in Peril


Police and Guns

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This page was last modified on October 31, 2012