Angel: Hero   Rewatch 
August 26, 2015 9:23 PM - Season 1, Episode 9 - Subscribe

Doyle enlists Angel to help stop The Scourge, a group determined to purge human blood from demon kind. As Doyle reveals his full identity to Cordelia, he makes the ultimate sacrifice.
posted by yellowbinder (2 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The beginning of this episode is such a meta comment on the style of the series and in particular pokes fun at its opening, with Cordelia as director. Nice reference to Patrick Stewart as “the bald Star Trek guy,” except now I wonder what his role could have been on Angel in an alternate universe. Complete with hairstyle, he’s pretty much exactly what Gunn tries to turn into in S5.

“Our rats are low.”

The video of Doyle is used well at the end of the episode (major pathos) and then again a few times as the series goes on (thinking specifically of “You’re Welcome,” but I know that’s not the only time). It was actually a shock to see it again in that episode, because it seemed like it had been so long since Doyle was on the show, and it only took me about a year to get through it with friends. I can only imagine the space a four-year gap would have created. Of course, this gains more sadness in light of the actor’s death. “Is that it? Am I done?” (quiet sobbing)

I’m sure nobody thought this out in advance, but it’s a fitting bookend that Doyle burns himself up in his sacrifice to save humanity, and then in Season Five, Spike gets brought back and added to the team after doing the same thing. Obviously, for myriad reasons they brought Spike back and not Doyle, but it continues the conversation about sacrifice and muddies the waters more, if demons are not necessarily evil, and can make their own moral choices.

Both this week’s Buffy and Angel episodes are heavily mopey about a doomed romance. Not that this is a bad thing, just a coherent tone for the week. Buffy goes light at the end, though, while Angel gets heavy.

This definitely won’t be the last time Angel tries to change a system or group from the inside out by pretending to infiltrate it. His behaviour with Doyle (faking breaking his neck to get in with the Demon Nazis) reminds me a lot of his plan in Buffy’s “School Hard,” where he pretends he’s about to eat Xander to try to get Spike to lower his defenses. At least he’s consistent.
posted by ilana at 11:02 PM on August 26, 2015

Glenn Quinn was such a sad loss.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:05 AM on August 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

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