Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Gone But Not Forgotten: Angel in Buffy The Vampire Slayer Episode "Graduation Day Part 1"

Remember that time Angel got poisoned and suffered lots of pain and almost died? THAT was awesome. 

David Boreanaz Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy Summers Buffy the Vampire Slayer Graduation Day Buffy and Angel
He's just strolling along, having a casual mini-argument about FEELINGS with the Buffster when BAM. Arrow through the almost-heart. He goes down like beast.

David Boreanaz Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy Summers Buffy the Vampire Slayer Graduation Day Buffy and Angel
At first they're all like, 'Wow, thank goodness Faith is sucksville with a crossbow' and Buffy and Giles work together to wrench the jagged piece of wood from Angel's torso. Owwie!

David Boreanaz Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy Summers Buffy the Vampire Slayer Graduation Day Buffy and Angel
David Boreanaz Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy Summers Buffy the Vampire Slayer Graduation Day Buffy and Angel
But it doesn't take long for them to realize that something's rotten in the state of Denmark. Angel is weak, sweaty, and doing that squinty eye thing he does when he's at less than full capacity. They correctly deduce poison and it is at this point that the mayor's plan to distract the gang fully takes effect.

David Boreanaz Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy Summers Buffy the Vampire Slayer Graduation Day Buffy and Angel
This finale - both parts - are two of the best Buffy episodes. Everyone is in a state of transition. Willow hooks up with Oz. Anya tries to convince Xander to run off with her. And Buffy quits the council. It's not lost on her that leaving the council behind is pretty symmetrical with leaving high school behind. She's striking out on her own, free from everyone's authority. And isn't that just what graduating high school's all about? (in theory anyway...) 

David Boreanaz Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy Summers Buffy the Vampire Slayer Graduation Day Buffy and Angel
All of this is beautifully colored by Angel's suffering and the fact that we know he's leaving soon. Plus! Buffy the Vampire Slayer does sweaty vampire SO much better than The Vampire Diaries

David Boreanaz Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy Summers Buffy the Vampire Slayer Graduation Day Buffy and Angel
Anyway, like any ailing vampire, Angel is sent off to bed where he remains feverish and delusional. Buffy is the perfect nursemaid, kissing his fingertips (because that helps...) and cooling his forehead with a damp cloth. Florence Nightingale strikes again!

David Boreanaz Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy Summers Buffy the Vampire Slayer Graduation Day Buffy and Angel
David Boreanaz Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy Summers Buffy the Vampire Slayer Graduation Day Buffy and Angel
David Boreanaz Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy Summers Buffy the Vampire Slayer Graduation Day Buffy and Angel
The funnest bit of this whole sickness business is actually in Part 2. But Angel's almost demise is what finally pushes Buffy to confront Faith. In one of the most fun Buffy fights ever (although - on DVD you can really see the stunt people!) Buffy wins but doesn't get the slayer blood she needs. Whatever is a girl with slayer blood coursing through her veins to do!? I guess we'll find out...

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