Angel: Sanctuary   Rewatch 
October 1, 2015 6:05 AM - Season 1, Episode 19 - Subscribe

Angel protects Faith from Wolfram & Hart, the Watcher's Council, the LAPD, and Buffy, but he can't protect her from herself.

Amazingly, this is Sarah Michelle Gellar's last appearance on Angel (body doubles and archive audio were used for two later appearances of Buffy). Joss Whedon has said that writing this episode -- specifically, the last scene between Angel and Buffy -- is where it really "clicked" for him that Angel was a different show from BTVS.
posted by Etrigan (1 comment total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This episode again makes the case for why Angel and Faith are a pretty great match-up, as he's the rare bird who can actually understand where she's coming from. The first scene, where Wesley and Cordelia advise Angel that Faith can't be saved and flee for paid vacation retrospectively, helps prove this. Angel, having tortured Giles (and others) in a very, very similar way to how Faith tortured Wesley (who will learn many things about moral relativism past good/evil), needs in some way to help Faith to continue to help himself. On the other hand, Wesley's speech in the teaser is there to set up the idea that he might go along with the Watcher's Council's goons, which did temporarily fool me, and I was delighted that he double-crossed them to show his faith (heh) in Angel. Plus, he gets to be all cool with a syringe/dart and punch Weatherby in the face. Screw those Council guys, really. (It is amazing how much precision Wesley has, except for when the script calls for him to be a klutz, but it's mostly differentiated by "Wesley tries to look cool/impress = klutz, Wesley is doing the right thing/nobody's watching = cool and precise")

Buffy on this episode really does show what a gap there now is between the two characters, and this leads to Angel's really weird guest turn at the end of Buffy S4 which basically turns into a whine-fight with Riley, which I'm not sure needed to happen (especially with Whedon's epiphany). I guess old boyfriend needed to meet the new one, but Angel basically saying "stay out of my town" and then following her to beat up her new guy (after Faith sleeps with Riley in Buffy's body, which Angel does know about, as she tells him; well, maybe not the body-switching part, it's not clear) is definitely not his finest moment. Their meeting highlights again that AtS is a much more morally grey series than BTVS, though the latter is getting there. The conversation between Buffy and Faith on the roof is a good and necessary one ("I gave you every chance"/"You don't know what it's like on the other side" [to not be in control]).

X-Files reference here, with Kate correcting her fellow officer on who is the believer and who is the skeptic.

Faith turning herself in is a way to emphasize the "stop running" conversation from earlier, but in a more physical, less metaphorical way. But then again, Faith is more about the one than the other.
posted by ilana at 9:03 PM on October 16, 2015

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