Ever since Hulu began coughing up Angel season 1, I’ve watching a bit here and there and rediscovered my other favorite Angel ep: I Will Remember You. Angel turns human again; Buffy pops up; they get it on, and nothing good can come of it. Status quo is restored at the end of the ep, in part because the status quo, i.e., Angel’s suffering, motivates the entire show.
Also it is a fact of TV shows and other media that “you can’t always get what you want, but, if you try sometimes, you just might find you’ll get what you need,” in the immortal words of Mick Jagger. Or, in the immortal words of Geoffrey Chaucer, “Forbid us thing, and that desiren we,” which means, “We want what we can’t have.” All of this is to say that we as humans are driven by our yearning for unobtainable states of being and, when we do obtain these states, we often discover that such states have undesirable consequences. Then we realize that we shouldn’t have obtained what we wanted, but what we needed.
Anyway, I really like this ep because it takes the cliches of Forbidden Love, Angsty Suffering, Wish Come True, What-If Futures, Overrated Bliss and Return to the Trenches and really makes ’em work. I credit most of the success to Sarah Michelle Gellar’s guest turn as Buffy and the comfortable chemistry she shares with David Boreanaz so that it’s really believable that they want, but can’t have, each other. Oh, all right, I guess I have to credit David Boreanaz’ acting skillz for emanating pain and suffering out Angel’s pores, despite the fact that the character is a dense, obtuse, uncommunicative BLOCK even on his good days. Incidentally, momentary humanity really becomes Angel, allowing David Boreanaz to act out moods other than “staring off into space” and “brooding;” Boreanaz’ noted comic talent appears, for example, when Angel discovers the glories of non-blood-based food. Hah!