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"I Will Remember You"
Angel episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 8
Written by David Greenwalt
Jeannine Renshaw
Directed by David Grossman
Production no. 1ADH08
Original airdate November 23, 1999
Guest stars

Carey Cannon
   (Female Oracle)
Randall Slavin
   (Male Oracle)
Sarah Michelle Gellar
   (Buffy)

Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"Bachelor Party" "Hero"
List of Angel episodes

"I Will Remember You" is episode 8 of season 1 in the television show Angel, originally broadcast on the WB network. In this episode, Buffy follows Angel back to Los Angeles, where she confronts him about his surreptitious assistance back in Sunnydale. They are attacked by a Mohra demon; when Angel kills the demon he is restored to life by its powerful blood. After The Oracles — a link to The Powers That Be — confirm he is human again, Angel and Buffy spend a blissful night together. When Doyle receives a vision that the Mohra has regenerated itself, Angel leaves to kill the demon for good. In the ensuing battle, Angel discovers the consequences of having only human strength; Buffy must come to his rescue and slay the demon herself. Angel returns to The Oracles, who agree to turn back time so that Angel, accepting the entire cost of the bargain, can kill the Mohra before its blood makes him human.
See also List of Angel episodes.

Contents

Plot

Angel is back in LA after assisting Buffy (unbeknown only to her) for three days during Sunnydale's latest mysterious manifestation. Now, Cordelia and Doyle closely watch Angel for signs of depression. Cordelia probes for details about his trip, and is in the midst of expressing her tart opinion of Angel's inconsistent secretiveness when the Slayer herself suddenly appears in the office doorway. Hurt and angry that Angel let everyone else know he was in Sunnydale, Buffy has come all the way to L.A. to tell him how she feels. Cordelia quickly introduces a fascinated Doyle, then frankly pushes him into the outer office. Finally one on one, Buffy confesses that even when she can't see him, since their very first meeting in that dark alley behind The Bronze all those years ago, she has always been able to sense Angel's presence when he's near. She is worried—and disappointed—because that unmistakable awareness over the past couple of days never materialized into Angel's physical presence. Buffy is also angry, believing Angel made a unilateral decision in a situation affecting them both. They reach an impasse. Angel, though he apologizes for unintentionally hurting Buffy, remains convinced he did the right thing. With nothing left to discuss, and resigned anew to living her life without Angel, Buffy turns to leave. At that moment, a ferocious, sword-wielding warrior demon crashes in through the window and knocks Angel to the floor. Stepping in, Buffy disarms the demon and engages it hand to hand, allowing Angel to retrieve the sword and plunge it into the demon's abdomen. This forces the demon into retreat and it escapes back through the smashed window. Finding themselves in uncomfortably intimate proximity, Buffy and Angel awkwardly sort themselves out and prepare to give chase.

As they track the demon through the sewers, Buffy continues to snipe at Angel, mocking his choice of weapon, sarcastically praising his ability to track by scent (Angel touches some demon blood on the tunnel wall to show her that they are going in the right direction) and finally alluding to their painful breakup several months earlier while on a similar hunt through the sewers of Sunnydale. When Angel says he feels weird, Buffy relents, confessing her pain and confusion over still wanting him without being able to have him. Angel gently corrects Buffy, saying that the demon's blood on his fingers is powerful enough to make him feel strange. Despite her chagrin, the ice between them is broken and their awareness of each other intensifies to the point where they must struggle to stay on task. When the demon's track seems unclear, one path leading deeper into the sewers and one leading up to the surface, Buffy and Angel logically split up. Angel follows the demon underground and flushes it from cover. During the first volley of blows, the demon inflicts a shallow cut on Angel's palm. Angel recoils and reflexively vamps, then renews the fight with increased ferocity. When Angel delivers a fatal thrust, some of the demon's phosphorescent blood mixes with his own. White light suffuses his body and he drops to his knees with a shout. Shocked by the unmistakable sound and sensation of his long undead heart beginning to beat, Angel whispers, "I'm alive."

In awe, Angel enters the office through the front door in full daylight. Cordelia brightly guesses that Angel has an umbrella to shield him, but Doyle immediately discerns that their friend is alive. After briefly standing in the sunlight streaming through the windows (while Doyle feels his wrist for a pulse), Angel realizes his incredible desire for food and demolishes the contents of the office fridge. Trying to figure out what to do next, Angel sends Cordelia to call Buffy off the hunt, but asks her not to mention his altered state yet. Doyle pages quickly through a reference book and Angel identifies the Mohra demon. While Angel moves back to the window, this time to marvel at his reflection in the glass, Doyle reads that the Mohra demon, which incidentally needs great quantities of salt to survive, works for the "other side" to take out warriors for good like Angel and Buffy, good agents of The Powers That Be. The reference also states that the Mohra's "veins run with the Blood of Eternity." Musing that this explains what happened to him, Angel becomes determined to ask the Powers why. Doyle cautions Angel that The Powers cannot be questioned directly, but must be approached "through channels." When Angel demands access, Doyle obligingly takes him to see The Oracles, using a spell to gain entry into their realm through The Gateway for Lost Souls. Accepting the gift of Angel's watch, The Oracles confirm that he is both alive and truly human, with all the attendant pain and pleasure of that mortal condition. Angel reports back to Doyle, who concludes that, since a whole new world has opened up for his friend, the next logical step would be to figure out what Angel wants. Alone among strangers, Buffy wanders along a sunlit garden path and gazes out at the ocean. Suddenly puzzled to sense him for the first time in broad daylight, she turns—and is stunned to see Angel striding toward her. Never pausing, Angel takes the Slayer into his embrace and kisses her passionately in the golden L.A. noon.

Back at Angel Investigations, Cordelia brings Doyle up to speed about the "forbidden love of all time" between Buffy and Angel. Meanwhile, Angel is wondering aloud about his options and his purpose, now that he's human. Buffy thinks his sober concerns sound far too cautious, and is on the verge of giving up hope when she discovers that the apparently stoic Angel is extremely susceptible to the deep temptation of having her within sight and scent and reach. Unable to resist any longer, Buffy and Angel fairly lunge into each others arms and find immediate gratification on the kitchen table. Later, Angel raids the fridge in the nude, bringing an impromptu picnic back to bed for a glowing Buffy. The two of them spend much of the night exploring the sensual and emotional delights—the sheer joy—of being human, together, for the first time.

Cordelia and Doyle commiserate over drinks, wondering if they are out of a job. Doyle suddenly has a vision and returns to Angel's place to report that the Mohra demon has unexpectedly regenerated itself, bigger and meaner than ever. Doyle joins Angel for another hunt, suggesting they include the Slayer to provide some "supernatural" muscle, but Angel believes that his being human will never work unless he can still fight demons on his own. Researching cryptic clues about Mohra vulnerabilities on the way, Angel and Doyle track the demon to a nearby salt refinery where it ambushes them, knocks Doyle unconscious with a single kick and proceeds to severely thrash Angel. In the meantime, Buffy, waking alone in Angel's bed, forces Cordelia to tell her what's happening. In the nick of time, Buffy finds Angel and the Mohra at the bottom of an empty salt silo and takes over the fight while the demon declaims prophecies about dark hordes and the end of days. Angel spots the jewel on the demon's forehead, remembers that destroying its "thousand eyes" will stop it and shouts instructions to the embattled Slayer. Using one of its own weapons, Buffy smashes the Mohra's forehead jewel, whereupon the demon fractures and shatters in a burst of radiant light. In the sudden quiet, Buffy kneels down and gathers the battered Angel into her arms.

Returning to The Oracles, Angel asks about the portents described by the Mohra and learns that if he remains human, Buffy will face the minions of darkness alone and die much sooner. Stricken, Angel asks The Oracles to take back his life. At first, The Oracles refuse to interfere in "a matter of love" between "lower beings." Angel argues that there are larger issues at stake, that if he remains human, the "other side" will have certainly succeeded in removing one champion from the cause of The Powers That Be, as well as hastening the demise of another. The Oracles decide that Angel's willingness to sacrifice the single shred of happiness and love he has ever known qualifies him as a "higher being," but that his request to give back his life can only be granted if the entire day is erased. Angel never wavers in his determination to protect the Slayer, even when he learns that, in order to prevent circumstances from repeating exactly, he alone will remember all they have shared. Returning to Buffy, Angel tells her he has been to The Oracles to ask to become a vampire again—and that they granted his request. She rapidly passes through disbelief, anger and rejection, then grows wild with grief upon learning how little time actually remains to them. Angel holds Buffy close and weeps as his heart breaks. They share one last, desperate kiss as the final seconds click past with Buffy vowing through her tears that she'll never forget what happened. In a flash, things switch back exactly twenty-four hours earlier to the moment in Angel's office when Buffy, her mind now completely wiped of the day that never happened, again resigns herself to the necessity of forgetting the love of her life. Angel, shaken but composed, responds with the same words as before, now freighted with an infinitely deeper grief and longing. When Buffy turns to leave and the Mohra bursts through the window, Angel calmly picks up the heavy clock from his desk, ducks the demon's first kick and steps inside its first sword thrust. Quickly, he smashes the clock into the demon's forehead, destroying its "thousand eyes," then steps back to watch it shatter and disappear in a thousand glowing fragments. Shocked, Buffy asks how Angel was able to destroy the demon so decisively. Angel shrugs and says, "It was a Mohra demon. I, um, I've had a lot of time to catch up on my reading." When Buffy says, "Yeah ... then that's all there really is to say," Angel turns to look down at the damaged clock. "Yeah," he agrees. When he turns back, he's speaking to an empty room. "That's it."

Acting

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Main cast

Guest stars

Co-stars

  • David Wald as Mohra Demon #1
  • Chris Durand as Mohra Demon #2

Production details

In his essay on the music used in Angel, Matthew Mills points out how, when Angel asks the Oracles to turn back time, the slow tempo and use of the clarinet in the background music adds "emotive weight to the Oracles' sympathy" for his situation. As the Oracles explain that only Angel will remember the moments he shared with Buffy, Angel's theme ends on a minor key, underscoring the sacrifice being made.[1]

"Angel is one of those heroes who flourish on frustration," Peter S. Beagle says, "who thrive on never achieving their hearts' desire." This episode, in which Angel relinquishes the chance to have a normal, happy life with Buffy in order to "fulfill his penance," perfectly typifies Angel's character and fate, says Beagle.[2]

If you listen closely toward the end of the episode when Angel holds Buffy while she cries, David Boreanaz, who plays Angel, says to Buffy (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar), "It's okay, Sarah." During filming Gellar was having such a hard time keeping composure due to her belief that Buffy and Angel should end up together in the series that she was crying and asking Joss Whedon to change the scene. Boreanaz slipped in his performance and comforted Gellar during filming.

Writing

Arc significance

  • This is the second time in the series Angel gives up a chance at happiness. In the episode, "In the Dark", he relinquishes the ability to walk in the sun.
  • This episode is the first time that Angel makes an arrangement that causes those around him to forget something significant in order to protect those he loves. In the season four finale, "Home", Angel alters everyone's memories so that his son, Connor, can have a normal life.
  • This is the first appearance of The Oracles, a pair of humanoid beings, brother and sister, both unpredictable and self-important, that serve and speak for The Powers That Be. The Oracles last appear at the end of season one, in "To Shanshu in L.A."

Continuity

  • Crossover with Buffy: This episode follows the events of "Pangs", which aired immediately before.
  • When Buffy snarks at Angel, "I was really jonesing for another heartbreaking sewer talk," she refers to events in the season three Buffy episode, "The Prom", where Angel breaks up with her while they are patrolling Sunnydale sewers.
  • When Angel first returns to the office after becoming human, Cordelia worriedly demands, "Did you do it with Buffy?" And as Doyle steps up to stare into Angel's eyes she warns, "Watch it, Doyle. Don't get too close." This is a reference to the events of the last half of season two of Buffy, beginning in "Surprise", when Angel's curse is broken by his moment of happiness with the Slayer, thus causing him to lose his soul and reverting him to the evil Angelus.
  • That much of Buffy's pleasure comes from her sense of being a "normal girl falling asleep in the arms of her normal boyfriend" underscores one of the Slayer's fundamental internal conflicts, which she first expresses to Giles in the Buffy premiere, "Welcome to the Hellmouth", and essentially resolves in the series finale, "Chosen".
  • Buffy reminds Angel to include peanut butter in the supplies he grabs from the kitchen, recalling Angel's exasperation with Cordelia for getting peanut butter in his bed several weeks earlier, in "Rm w/a Vu".
  • This is the second time Angel leaves Buffy sleeping in an attempt to ensure her safety, although the first time ("Surprise"), it was he himself who was the imminent threat as the evil, soulless Angelus. In this episode, Angel wants to prove he still poses a threat to anyone.
  • Buffy's challenge to Mohra, "You hurt my boyfriend," recalls her very similar challenge to Spike in the season two Buffy episode, "What's My Line, Part Two", after he abducts Angel as the blood sacrifice in his healing ritual for Drusilla: "You can hurt me, you can send assassins after me, but nobody messes with my boyfriend."

Cultural references

  • Titanic: Cordelia tells Doyle they have time for a cappucino and, probably, the director's cut of Titanic while the Buffy and Angel Show runs its accustomed lengthy and dramatic course.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Before knowing the species of demon they pursue, Buffy refers to it as a Mutant Ninja Demon Thing, especially apt since they track it in the sewers.
  • Orson Pig: Doyle calls Angel "Orson" when Angel begins gorging on Food

Translations

  • German title: "Liebe auf Zeit" ("Temporary Love")
  • Italian title: "Il ritorno di Buffy" ("The return of Buffy")
  • Spanish title: "Siempre te recordaré" ("I will always remember you")
  • French title: "Je ne t'oublierai jamais" ("I will never forget you")
  • Brazilian Portuguese title: "Eu Vou Lembrar de Você" ("I Will Remember You")

Reception and reviews

This episode was rated the series' best episode in a poll done by Angel Magazine.[3]

References

  1. ^ Mills, Matthew (2005), "Ubi Caritas?: Music as Narrative Agent in Angel", in Stacey Abbott, Reading Angel: The TV Spin-off With a Soul, I.B.Tauris, pp. 33–34, ISBN 1850438390, http://books.google.com/books?id=7B42U0hgDy0C&pg=PA75&lpg=PA75&dq=angel+%22city+of%22+debut+episode+first&source=web&ots=O9BIJhfgPe&sig=sDNVGiyry_7fPHmmR06jN3hELoA#PPA34,M1, retrieved 10-8-2007  
  2. ^ Beagle, Peter S. (2004), "The Good Vampire: Spike and Angel", in Glenn Yeffeth, Five Seasons of Angel, BenBella, pp. 120, ISBN 1-932100-33-4  
  3. ^ Top Angel episodes, BBC, 18 January 2005, http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/news/cult/2005/01/18/16581.shtml, retrieved 2007-10-16  

External links


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