Avox in Arcadia (perpetual) wrote,
Avox in Arcadia

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Well, something was in that apple.

I enjoyed the latest issue of Season 8 as I always do, but like most of us, I was unnerved by Angel being so out of character and disappointed that we didn't get much of the explanation that we were promised. Since reading it I've been working on some theories as to what's going on with Angel, mostly aimed at making his perspective a little more palatable to myself and anyone else who doesn't want to see his character take this kind of turn.

Most of these can overlap with each other. I'm playing it safe and not putting much stock into anything until the explanations start up again after the agonizing delay they have planned. As increasingly crazy as it seems, I still have a huge amount of faith in Joss, and I'm not willing to say that Meltzer just dropped the ball with his arc. All will be well by the end of the season; I'm just curious about how.

a) The Garden of Eden parallel doesn't stop at the garden itself. Angel and Buffy are being tempted with the knowledge of good and evil, but if they take it, they'll have to leave paradise. Of course, here the apple is the right choice, and the only serpent in play is Buffy's conscience. I really hope this isn't the correct interpretation, because Phillip Pullman did it first, and because I find his reasons for doing so to be ridiculous, but there's no getting away from the imagery in that issue.

b) Angel really is Twilight's bitch. His love for Buffy was part of the plan, so it stayed intact, but everything else that defined him has been wiped and replaced by the desire to create a new world with her. In this case, the glitch in Twilight's plan is Buffy's devotion to her family. Angel, unable to coax her into staying, hardly has an option but to follow her. He can't do the world-building thing without his other half. Obviously I don't want this one either, because come on, give us our Angel back.

c) Out of character? He's not out of character! He's just hiding something, as usual. Throughout the conversation with Buffy, Angel sounded like he was trying to convince Buffy that Afterglowville was the right place for them. In actuality, he was testing her resolve, because he knew that they had to return to the world and he knew how hard it was going to be. Everything he says is the truth: they're finally free, they finally get to be together, and they have the power and destiny to make a beautiful universe. He knows how much both of them want that, and he needs Buffy to know it too before she chooses against it. This one's my favorite option, guess why?

d) God I love them in those Indian clothes....Sorry, got distracted. Back to the list.

e) The aftermath of NFA took away Angel's last connections to his mission, and he finally snapped. Seeing that he really couldn't ever save the people he loves gave him a disconnect from reality, and when he was offered a giant reset button, he jumped at the chance. Twilight lifted him out of the responsibility of choosing, and he wanted the same for Buffy. This of course is just a subcategory of the "Angel's gone crazy" theory which has been circulating since Twilightgate, and I don't see how previous issues have set it up or how the next few could resolve it.

f) Buffy and Angel are now so closely linked that there isn't actually any disagreement between them as two distinct people. Bangel is having a talk with themself. They weigh the pros and cons and then make a decision that draws from the influence of their past selves, who are represented by their original appearances but don't actually exist, but in the end, it's a monobrain who decides to return to their friends. Canon is laughing at me even as I write this.

g) Am I really up to the letter g? Okay, last one. After #33 I made this post about how Angel and Buffy are now too powerful to feel anything except each other. It's possible that this applies to them in different ways, due to the length of time that they've been under Twilight's influence or the difference in their personalities. All Buffy can feel is Angel, but her friends are a part of herself (even if the rest of the world isn't), and not being able to feel them doesn't mean that she forgets them. Angel has a very weak sense of self-- he's been defining himself based on Buffy since the day he met her. All he can feel now is her, but he feels all of her, including her friends.

I'm not going into the rest of the issue yet; I'll probably do a couple other meta posts to cover the other stuff that interested or annoyed me. Thoughts, anyone?
Tags: buffyverse, character: angel, dark horse buffy comics, pairing: buffy/angel

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