Angel (Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode)

Angel (Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode)

Infobox Television episode

Series=Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Airdate=April 14 1997
Writer=David Greenwalt
Director=Scott Brazil
Episode list=List of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes
Prev=The Pack
Next=I, Robot... You, Jane

"Angel" is episode 7 in season 1 of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". See also List of "Buffy" (series) episodes.


The Master is displeased that Buffy is killing his vampires. 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, where she yells at him to get inside. With The Three safely on the other side of the door, Angel explains that a vampire can't enter someone's home unless it's 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, the griffin tattoo on his back is revealed, and Buffy is visibly affected by both his beauty and his proximity. Buffy thanks Angel for his help and asks how he happened to be so close by. Angel, who actually had followed the Slayer from The Bronze, though pleasantly flirtatious, remains evasive. When Buffy's mother comes home from working late, 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 foils Buffy's attempt to keep his presence a secret by putting his shirt and jacket back on and coming 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 in more trouble, but Buffy replies firmly that she doesn't want to "get him dead"—to which Angel makes no response. 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. Still trying to figure him out, Buffy asks why Angel, not being The Chosen One, elects to fight vampires. At his non-committal reply, she wonders what his family thinks of his career choice, then looks around at him when he says, "They're dead." "I'm sorry," Buffy says, but the conversation is suddenly in murky waters. When she quietly asks if it was vampires, he replies with apparent difficulty, "It was." Buffy further theorizes that hunting vampires is some kind of "vengeance gig" for him, but with a hint of desperation, Angel changes the subject. Buffy accepts the gambit and they settle down for the night in their respective spots.

When the gang hears about events the next morning, Xander rather illogically protests that Angel is trying to seduce Buffy by saving her life and getting stabbed. 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. Back at the Hellmouth, 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 much sooner than he anticipates or wishes. Returning home, Buffy brings some supper for Angel, who has waited out the day in her room. Awkwardly attempting small-talk, Buffy asks Angel how he passed the time. Unobtrusively setting aside the food, Angel replies that he did "a little reading", a lot of thinking. Buffy notices her diary askew and, suddenly very agitated, begins to explain away entries that reveal her crush on Angel. Clearly amused, but also somewhat at a loss, Angel stops her and explains in turn that Buffy's mother moved the diary while straightening up; Angel swears he didn't read it.

As Buffy takes a moment to deal with her embarrassment, Angel returns to his own agenda and confesses that he doesn't think he should be around her. Completely forgetting the diary incident, Buffy tries to deal with this new shock until it finally registers that Angel has also confessed that all he wants to do is to kiss her. Shocked again, Buffy barely listens as Angel continues to mutter miserably that he's older than she is and that he should go. Buffy looks at Angel with speculation and hope, and her sudden attention rivets his. They take that last half-step toward each other. Angel bends his head to Buffy's upturned face. At first hesitant and sweet, their kiss quickly grows heated and passionate. Suddenly, Angel pulls back with a snarl of distress and Buffy sees his vampiric visage for the first time. She screams in shock and Angel dives out the window, escaping into the darkness without another word. At Buffy's shriek, her mother rushes in and asks what happened, but Buffy glances out the window and says only that she "saw a shadow." Bringing her friends up to speed before school the next morning, Buffy wistfully wonders why Angel seems good to her. Emphatically, 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 the Master's favorite vampire, 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, Angel apparently has shunned the company of other vampires since coming to America and, stranger yet, has completely stopped preying on humans. Meanwhile, deep in the Master's lair, Darla insists that she be allowed to kill Buffy. The Master concedes upon hearing Darla's diabolical 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. Deeply tempted by Joyce's warm blood, Angel helplessly vamps, but resists the impulse to drink long enough to be discovered, in flagranté, by the returning Buffy. Horrified, frightened and furious to find Angel apparently feeding from her mother, Buffy literally throws him out of the house, then calls for an ambulance. At the hospital, Buffy, Giles, Willow and Xander try to help "anemic" 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 works him into a fury, telling 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 Buffy's mom. 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 and fires before he can recover his balance. To Angel's surprise, the Slayer intentionally shoots wide and her bolt thunks into 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. When the Slayer asks what changed, Angel more quietly tells her the story of the beautiful Gypsy girl he once ate, whose family cursed him in retribution. The Gypsies 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.

Angel doesn't try to justify himself, but the Slayer begins to understand that he is unique among vampires, and that this is what she had sensed from the beginning. When he denies biting Joyce, yet confesses wanting to, as well as wanting to kill Buffy herself, the Slayer lays aside her crossbow and slowly offers her throat to a now utterly motionless 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 gleefully blazes away, keeping the Slayer and her friends pinned down, the wounded Angel suddenly 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 with Buffy's bolt, dusting his maker in the witness of all.

In their Hellmouth 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. Spying Angel across the crowded room, Buffy goes to thank him—and to tell him goodbye. Helpless in the heat of their burgeoning passion for one another, their banter trails to silence and they deeply kiss one last time. As she reluctantly pulls away, Buffy doesn't notice that the cross she's wearing—the one Angel gave her weeks ago at their very first meeting in the alley right out back—was severely scorching him, branding the skin of his chest all during their embrace. Angel, who neither vamped nor flinched as he slowly kissed the Slayer, faintly winces but never says a word as he watches her walk away.


During the production of this episode, it took the makeup department 60 to 90 minutes to apply the vampire prosthetic on David Boreanaz.Golden, Christopher, and Nancy Holder. The Watcher's Guide, Vol. 1. New York: Pocket Books, 1998.] Angel’s Hugo Boss duster is worth over $1,000.

“Angel” reached a Nielsen rating of 2.3 on its original airing. ["Nielsen Ratings for Buffy's First Season." ]

Arc significance

It is revealed Angel is a vampire with a soul.

Darla dies but is resurrected three years later in the spinoff series "Angel", at the end of its first season.

Buffy at first believes Angel is attacking her family. He will actually attempt this upon losing his soul - and reverting to his demonic self, Angelus - in season two.


* Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
* Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
* Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
* Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
* and 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


* Andrew J. Ferchland as The Anointed One


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