Thursday, June 14, 2012

Gone But Not Forgotten: Angel in Buffy the Vampire Slayer "Graduation Day Part 2"

I feel like this episode could best be summed up with some choice lyrics from Bon Jovi's Shot Through the Heart. Apart from the "Shot through the heart" bit, there's, "An angel's smile is what you sell, you promise me heaven and put me through hell, no one can save me the damage is done." I mean, right? 

David Boreanaz as Angel on Buffy the Vampire Slayer  Season Three Finale Graduation Day Part 2 Buffy and Angel
Angel is dying and dying quickly. Buffy's fight with Faith very unfortunately ended with Faith being driven off in the back of a produce truck, her slayer blood unavailable for vampire rescuage. By the time Buffy returns to Angel's abode, all he wants is the chance to say goodbye.

David Boreanaz as Angel on Buffy the Vampire Slayer  Season Three Finale Graduation Day Part 2 Buffy and Angel
He gets his chance. But Buffy's having none of it. He's not checking out while she's got the cure for what ails him pumping through her veins. Sure, the two of them can't have sex because Angel will lose his soul. But the sexiest thing about vampires is that there's this whole other way in which they exchange bodily fluids with the lady folk.

David Boreanaz as Angel on Buffy the Vampire Slayer  Season Three Finale Graduation Day Part 2 Buffy and Angel
Buffy tells Angel to drink her. Angel says no. Buffy says yes. Nowadays, we live in a world where television vampires feast on their girlfriends whenever the mood strikes. On True Blood, it's essentially a part of the sexcapades. On Vampire Diaries, every time Stefan or Damon gets an owwie, Elena's there with a vein in their face. But back in the Buffy days, we were closing out season three and Buffy and Angel still hadn't done the deed. You know... this deed. Not the other deed.

David Boreanaz Angel Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy Summers Buffy the Vampire Slayer Graduation Day Part 2 
Angel refuses because all real gentlemen refuse to drink their one true love's blood. But Buffy insists. With her fist.
David Boreanaz Angel Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy Summers Buffy the Vampire Slayer Graduation Day Part 2
I love watching Buffy beat the crap out of weak and dying Angel. It's for his own good! Beating him up is the only way to make the fangs come out. (If this were True Blood, she could just flash him...)

David Boreanaz as Angel drinks Buffy's Blood Sarah Michelle Gellar Graduation Day Part 2 Season Three Finale
Buffy's beating works and Angel sinks his teeth in. Sexy sexy. He drinks until he's feeling right as rain. And until Buffy is unconscious. Cue the major guilt.

David Boreanaz as Angel on Buffy the Vampire Slayer  Season Three Finale Graduation Day Part 2 Buffy and Angel
Angel puts on his angry face to rescue Buffy. Shock of shocks, Buffy survives the draining and recuperates in time to fight the mayor.

David Boreanaz as Angel on Buffy the Vampire Slayer  Season Three Finale Graduation Day Part 2 Buffy and Angel
In one of their final conversations for a long while, Angel tells Buffy that once the world has been saved, he's leaving town without saying goodbye. Saying goodbye would just hurt too much. Buffy's done with high school, done with the council, and in a matter of hours, she'll be done with Angel too. Sadness.

David Boreanaz as Angel on Buffy the Vampire Slayer  Season Three Finale Graduation Day Part 2 Buffy and Angel
They win. Mayor dead. Yay. And then her last look at Angel as he strolls off into the mist of a Sunnydale night.

David Boreanaz as Angel on Buffy the Vampire Slayer  Season Three Finale Graduation Day Part 2 Buffy and Angel
Sigh. This wasn't just the end of an era in the life of Buffy Summers, it was the end of an era in the run of a great television show. Things are never quite the same post high school. And once Dawn is in the picture, Buffy's character isn't even the same anymore. Angel walks off and takes some of the best Buffy the Vampire Slayer material with him. Him and Buffy have a couple other great moments that I'll address in the future, but this is a departure that still bugs me 13 (OH. MY. GOD. 13?!) years later.

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