Derek’s Review – 1.08 “I Will Remember You”

The Good:

Obviously the best episode of the series thus far and an incredibly high benchmark for quality. While it is fun to see Spike and Oz in “In the Dark” and their presence improves that episode, this episode with Buffy is absolutely critical to Angel. She has been mentioned so much and is given as the reason Angel is who he is currently, we needed to see her and their dynamic on the show. This romance story is the most emotive and heartbreaking one on either show (so far) and the fact that they do it in one episode makes it all the most impressive and powerful.

There are few references to events of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and their relationship there but this pretty much completely stands on their own. The actor’s chemistry is such that you immediately understand how both characters are feeling and that sense of history. A couple lines and shared looks and you immediately understand why this is the love of Angel’s life.

It is also some incredibly tightly crafted with Buffy and Angel’s opening argument echoing Angel’s final decision, the focus on time and all the other little perfect echoes and callbacks throughout. It is a such testament to the writing that this event which is other wordly and in other less capable hands completely cheesy and make it relatable. Not only relatable incredibly emotional.

The Bad:

Nothing really but some questions….

The Unknown:

While I think Cordelia’s conversation with Buffy is very interesting and suggestive of her true feelings she was a bit too much of brat in this episode. I think there’s definitely something deeper going with the way Cordelia is acting, I really doubt that she is just upset about losing her job. I think she really is jealous of Buffy but because of what and why it is difficult to say, they only really starches the surface with her telling Buffy she’s selfish but I think there needs to be more. But because they only hint at it makes her annoying for the majority of the episode and rather unlikable.

Similarly I really think Angel’s decision to be a vampire again needs exploration. As I mentioned the episode is so tightly written that there are a number of echoes and foreshadowing but in particular Buffy’s opening arguments to Angel stand out.

Buffy:  “What is this?  Some new torment you cooked up just for me?”
Angel:  “No, I don’t want to torment..”
Buffy:  “What is it?  You can see me, but I can’t see you?  What are we playing here?”
Angel:  “We’re not.  I’m not playing anything.  I wrestled with this decision..”
Buffy:  “Which you made without me.”
Angel:  “I tried to do what I thought was right.  It’s complicated how this all happened, Buffy, you know?  It’s kind of a long story.”

Obviously referring to whatever happening in Sunnydale but given the circular nature of the episode easily can refer to the end of it as well. Angel’s decision is ultimately very heroic and proves the compelling nature of his character yet again. But there is something a bit questionable about the unilateral way he makes the decision to become a vampire. The consequences of Angel’s decision needs to be dealt with not only Angel’s own actions but these incoming dark forces. The Buffy and Angel story is self-contained in a remarkably successful way but there some unresolved issues.

The Bottom Line:

One of the best romance stories I’ve ever seen and told in 40 minutes no less. It is remarkable feat but the episode has some lingering unresolved problems, that keep it from feeling truly complete.

82 out of 100

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