I Will Remember You, while sounding suspiciously like a Celine Dion song, is another victory for the series because in just a few episodes, we’ve seen a level of continuity that I can seriously get behind. When Doyle had the vision about Buffy in the last episode of Angel, we could see clearly that Angel was going to make a cross-over cameo on Buffy. Well done, I say! What I did not expect was that Buffy would then do a cross-over cameo back to see Angel. This is really making it clear that these two series are very tightly woven together and I genuinely love that. I think the nearest I’d seen to this was when season three of Doctor Who did that neat tie in with the season one finale of Torchwood. I had no idea Buffy/Angel got there so much earlier than the TARDIS. Never underestimate the chosen ones, I guess, time machine or otherwise.
That’s not the only continuity thing this episode does well. But first, a quick summation. At the end of Pangs, Xander announced that Angel was in town, so Buffy goes to confront him and stir up emotions because… love. What can you do? While arguing, a random ninja demon leaps through the window and attacks the two lovers. Long story short, Angel gets infected with demon blood and has to go see the writer and script editor of the series also known as “the powers that be” (read: the Fates or the Oracles… or the writer and script editor. I mean it’s even said “they don’t live in our reality” – right, because they write the series, man!) Angel is made mortal but can’t protect Buffy so he goes back to see the writer and script editor to ask if they could undo the events of the episode and make him a vampire again. “Sure, but we’re going to rewind time and make everyone forget… except you, because… love!” Angel reverts and Sarah Michelle Gellar sells the pain so viscerally that I got teary eyed like a sap. Excellent job but now this episode was effectively a waste because all the development of the two is for nothing and Angel just goes back to pining for Buffy but with the added knowledge of what he’s just lost.
I freely acknowledge that this is bound to have an impact because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that this show does nothing without meaning and I am looking forward to seeing the ramifications of this, but that’s not to say I was happy about the episode or the sudden inclusion of a back door to the script! Having said that, I loved additional continuity elements like Buffy referring to not looking forward to another talk in the sewers. (The Prom). I also really appreciated Cordelia advising Doyle to “get back” when he approaches Angel because she thinks that because Angel would have had sex with Buffy, he’d become evil again. Brilliant! Love that this series has not forgotten its past and I am totally happy eating humble pie, because when I’d started, I thought the writers were like not paying attention. (Granted, I started this show after Chris Chibnall started writing Doctor Who, so can I be blamed?)
What I did not like about that scene was that when Doyle approached Angel, he seems to be staring at a random stain or something on Angel’s shirt, because he sure as hell wasn’t looking up. However, if that’s my biggest complaint, I won’t even deduct a point from the writing! Like the Tennant/Tate season of Doctor Who, we also get a hint that a great darkness is coming so, hey, hints of something big. And let’s not leave out the comedy! Cordelia speculating on the likelihood of Angel and Buffy just sitting around having tea and crackers cuts to show Angel and Buffy sitting around just having tea and crackers. (Although it was followed shortly thereafter by sex, but it was still very funny.) Also great was the line that they “didn’t have cookie dough mint chip in your day”.
I’ve never been much of a fan of those episodes that effectively rewind all that happened by the end but the fact that Angel remembers is a good sign that things are going to come back at some point. If nothing more, we will see character development from him, even if Buffy has to go back to her same old life of pining and fighting ninja vampires. Still, watching two series that are so brilliantly interconnected is worth its weight in wooden stakes. I just hope the Powers The Be are going to keep up the high standards that we’ve seen or I may want to rewind my entire commitment to the series. Somehow, I don’t see that happening though… ML
Tie-ins between a spinoff and the parent series so early on in the spinoff, as enjoyable as they can certainly be, may challenge the spinoff’s ability to stand on its own legs as I had mentioned in my comments for Crusade: The Rules Of The Game. But given the impact of the bond between Angel and Buffy, this occasion naturally isn’t without worthy significance. Thanks, ML, for reaffirming that in your review.
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