Emmie (angearia) wrote,

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Interesting Twilight Discussion

I'm copying over this discussion from whedonesque because I think it's nifty and others would enjoy reading it.

I don't think Angel is irredemable. I didn’t realize until lately that I’m in the minority of my view on Angel: that he’s a fascinating character precisely because his sin is hubris and because he constantly makes decisions for other people’s “good”—decisions which I can’t in good conscience condone (see…most of AtS and half of BtVS, actually). So to me, having Angel come riding in on his white horse to save Buffy from having to tarnish herself or get blood on her hands by doing something he believes to be “necessary” (instead of recognizing that the thing that makes Buffy Summers so awesome is that, at the last minute, she always finds a way to get around what’s necessary but not good) makes absolutely perfect sense. I see it as completely compatible with his earlier characterization, especially Not Fade Away, which I believe to have presented Angel in a completely Machiavellian light (poor Drogyn! I cannot separate Alec Newman from Paul Atreides, and I’m always: OMG! ANGEL KILLED MUAD’DIB!). Does that make him irredemable? No. But it does say, to me at least, that he believes that that is his role, and that's the one he's going to keep fulfilling: the one who does things others can't or won't do (regardless of whether those things are morally wrong). And I think that's anything but noble, though clearly others would disagree.

Of course, I’m also one of those people who think if he ever actually got the Shanshu, he’d be totally and completely miserable, and that his real reward is Connor, and he should recognize that.

So clearly, my views are a little unorthodox.

  GVH, Angel would have pulled the trigger but probably would have thought to put it between his eyes. The guy didn't even manage to look shaken up afterwards for having murdered Drogyn to pull off his plan, no reason why he'd hesitate over the murder he intended.
  Of course he wasn’t going to look shaken up afterwards. He was in a room filled with people who were scrutinising his every move to see if he was acting or not. Why do you think they brought Drogyn there in the first place? It was to test him -- Angel had to act unaffected to keep his cover.

In regards to Lindsey, I thought he was the scum of the earth who would never amount to anything good. Lest we forget that he planned to take over Wolfram and Hart after Angel vacated the building. He was by no means an innocent or a good person and Lorne "heard him sing.” I can understand why people find it icky and wrong but I’ll never understand why they don’t hold Lorne to the same standards or why killing Lindsey of all people makes Angel “irredeemably evil.”
 Well, some of us believe that killing Drogyn--or any innocent--in order to maintain his "cover" isn't morally justified. At all. The ends don't justify the means.

Also, who decides who's the scum of the earth? And who decides that that means that that "scum" doesn't deserve life? I have a major, major problem with that idea. Killing in self-defense or defense of another person who's under threat perhaps is justified. But I can't think of another reason that killing is justified. The idea that we can decide who is worthy of life and who isn't disturbs me greatly.

I do hold Lorne to the same standards, but I also hold Angel--his commanding officer, for want of a better term--responsible, in the same way I hold the higher ups in any situation responsible for the actions of their subordinates--especially when those subordinates are acting under their direct orders. That's what being a leader is.

[ETA] On the other hand, I'm a big believer in grace, so I don't believe that anyone is not redeemable. But you have to want to change and give up your former actions. So he's totally capable of redemption if that's what he decides he wants.
 And he showed little to no remorse afterwards even when he wasn't with the circle anymore. Angel's reasoning for what he did was that he didn't have any other choice, which is bull. There are always more then two choices.
And the circle didn't just kidnap Drogyn, Drogyn was set up by Angel because he wanted to use him so that his team thought he was evil. But just like most of Angel's plans he didn't think things trough which brings with it huge ramifactions like killing an innocent(Drogyn) in cold blood, bringing about the apocalypse because he wanted to do "something".
I think Angel's messages are often right on the money, "everything we do matters","always keep on fighting",ect. The problem with Angel is how he transforms these messages into actions, and actions is where Angel falls short. I think the same will be with Twilight, message is sound, his actions are not.
I think Angel's messages are often right on the money, "everything we do matters","always keep on fighting",ect. The problem with Angel is how he transforms these messages into actions, and actions is where Angel falls short. I think the same will be with Twilight, message is sound, his actions are not.

I love that. So true.
 Angel never intended for Drogyn to be placed in that position. And he’s completely right in what he said – if he didn’t they’d have killed them both. Now Angel can either die alongside Drogyn on principle and make Drogyn’s death totally meaningless, or he can survive and go through with his plan to take down the Circle. It’s horrible what he had to do but it was never part of his plan.

As far as Angel being ‘commanding officer’ I’m always a bit dubious about that. Firstly, nobody forced Lorne to pull that trigger so regardless of whether it was an “order” or not (which I don’t think it was) he’d still be just as culpable. Lorne could have walked away at anytime. Secondly, wasn’t an integral part of their final scene in PowerPlay about how this was a group decision and how they voted as a team on this plan? -- “I can’t order you to do this. I can’t do it without you. So we vote, as a team, if this is something worth dying for.”

Angel didn’t “order” any of these characters to do anything and when they raised their hands they were voting that this was something they believed was worth dying for.

In regards to Lindsey -- I was simply pointing out that he was nor innocent or a good person so it makes no sense to me to claim this act was an “irredeemable evil” in comparison to anything else Angel has ever done. And certainly if this is irredeemable than Willow can never come back from killing Warren and is going straight to hell as well. I don't believe anything is "irredeemable" if a person truly wants to change and I believe Angel does.

I call Lindsey scum because of how he used his poverty as an excuse to work for Evil Inc. (see Willow’s “poor you” speech to Faith in Choices) for how he took money over doing what was right, for how he tried to turn Angel dark, for how he came back to LA to take over Wolfram and Hart. IMO he’s a bad man who’s been nothing more than flaky and whose moral quandaries stemmed from boredom and restlessness, not some decency.

I don't believe Angel wanted him dead because he thought he was worthless -- if that were true he'd have killed him long ago -- and I don't believe Lorne would have went through with it if he didn't see something in Lindsey's singing that was bad news. I believe Angel wanted him taken out because he planned to take over Wolfram and Hart after Angel vacated the building. Now I think it's debatable about whether that was right or wrong but I don't believe he killed him just because he thought Lindsey was worthless. He's thought that from day one.

I believe Angel is a complex character who was actually my first pick for Twilight because I believe he was capable of becoming that guy. But I don’t believe he’s “irredeemable” or “evil” I just believe he’s someone who’s trying to make an amends and who stumbles along the way.
 So clearly, my views are a little unorthodox.

I've never really thought of Angel in this light, Lirazel. But you and Vergil put a very interesting perspective on everything that has happened with him.

May have to re-watch AtS with that in mind. Thanks.
 I cannot justify killing Drogyn or Lindsey (the right thing to do would be to die alongside Drogyn--I would rather die than take someone else's life, unless, again, they were directly threatening my life or the life of some other innocent person-and still, I'd pull a Shepherd Book and aim at the kneecaps. And killing Lindsey was Angel's idea, and I don't believe that punishing someone for something they might do is right, either). Period.

Again, I don't think anyone is irreedemable, but again, I think Angel has chosen to take on the role of "the one who does things others can't/won't do" because he believes himself to be already tainted--and he has convinced himself that the things he does will promote the greater good, and I completely reject that Machiavellian belief.

Also (and this is a bigger problem with the show's writers than Angel-the-character), I reject the idea the way to redeem yourself after centuries of violence is to--wait for it--commit more violence--instead of, say, going to work with Anne to help disenfranchised kids or something. But that wouldn't make for as interesting TV, I suppose. I guess I just have a worldview problem with AtS.

And thank you, korkster, for the very great compliment! These are conclusions I've been arriving at lately now that I've taken some time to actually think about the show on a deeper level instead of just enjoying it (or not!). The idea that it might inspire anyone to think about it in a new way makes me giddy!
 I agree with Lirazel, while i don't think that Angel is irredeemable, he has gotten lots of undeserved second chances that many other character did not get.
But the best thing about Angel the show has always been how it's more complicated,dark. And the show did a great job of showing Angel as a very flawed,conflicted hero. And i'm really excited to finally see Angel again since the show ended. The showdown between Buffy and Twilight will be epic.
 Oh, absolutely. I think it's interesting precisely because I have all these problems with characters' decisions and they make me think. Angel would be much less interesting as a flawless hero (again, unorthodox views: I think Buffy's at her most interesting in seasons 6 and 7 when she really has to struggle, you know?). I think the showdown will indeed be epic--and complicated.
 Word to everything Lirazel and Vergil have said. Angel is a flawed hero who makes choices that are meant to unsettle us. He's always put in situations where there is no easy way out. If Angel were in Buffy's position in The Gift, who thinks he'd have killed Dawn? Angel is very akin to Giles in this way of doing what "must be done" - Angel would have killed Ben after he'd beaten him down with the troll hammer while Buffy walked away. Was it necessary to kill Ben? To remove Glory from power, it might have been. Was it heroic? No. What Giles did is akin to what Angel did in the latter half of Season 5.

For Angel, there are no easy answers. He's a character of doomed fate. He never gets to experience true happiness. He never gets to save everyone. He saves the world by killing Jasmine, but ends world peace...? He delays the Apocalypse (only delays) by killing the Circle of the Black Thorn and all of LA is sent to hell - and while he sacrifices himself to free them from hell, they still have months of hellish experiences in their memory (trauma!). There's always a "but" at the end of his heroism, a qualification that while it might have been the necessary thing to do, it wasn't perfect nor was it perfectly right.

Which is what makes what's to come so interesting in Season 8. Because Buffy is about triumphing over these impossible situations and finding a solution that saves the world without severe negative consequences to others while Angel is about saving the world by whatever means are necessary and said means often mean trampling over a few innocents.
 There's always a "but" at the end of his heroism, a qualification that while it might have been the necessary thing to do, it wasn't perfect nor was it perfectly right.

Oh, oh, oh! Yes! That's the perfect way of phrasing it! And I also love your summary of the two approaches that are going to come into conflict in S8 between him and Buffy. That could truly be awesome.

It's very much like Batman's decision at the end of The Dark Knight, and Gordon says: Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt him because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight.

And, you know, I'm not sure that I think that's morally correct. But it's where Angel's at, and it certainly is interesting.

 Okay, you've now gone and distracted me with that epic ending to The Dark Knight which always gets me with the rising music as he runs off into the night. And Batman-Angel comparisons are always apt - right on.

That quote is perfect for what Twilight is turning Buffy into in the world's view, I think. Can't you hear Twilight saying: "[Buffy] is the hero the world deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt her because she can take it. Because she's no longer our hero."

That quote actually encapsulates them both. In Twilight's view, he's "the one [the world] needs right now [to make the tough decisions]...the silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight."

And just to toss this out there, Joss has spoken in interviews before about wanting to write a Batman movie.
 Lirazel, i think there's a small difference because Batman didn't kill those people. He becomes whatever the public needs him to be, because he is strong enough to handle it. His reputation/image is tarnished but his hands aren't. With Angel, those killings are on his hands, directly or indirectly he is partly/fully responsible.
Tags: comics, season 8, twilight
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