Season 1: Prophecy Girl (Buffy kicking ass in a beautiful dress, Willow’s tears giving Buffy the strength and will to face the Master, “I’m sixteen years old. I don’t wanna die,” Xander swallowing his pride and going to Angel for help as well as saving Buffy’s life.)
Season 2: Innocence (This is simply perfection, I love every little bit of it, but because I’m a Xander girl, I’m gonna list the awesomeness of my boy: came up with the idea to defeat the judge, took the role of a leader and made a plan to steal Buffy’s awesome birthday present.)
Season 3: The Zeppo (Other than the obvious XANDER reasons, I really, really loved how the show makes fun of itself here, the way the A plot took the backseat to the B plot, and of course the unreliable narration of Xander.)
Season 4: Restless (Digging so deep into our main four was made of awesome)
Season 5: The Body (It’s a masterpiece, I loved that there was no music in the whole episode, I love the raw performances of all the characters.)
Season 6: Can I say all the Dark Willow episodes? No? Okay, then Grave, because of the Xander obviously.
Season 7: Selfless (I don’t think I ever loved Anya as much as I did here. This episode is so well written.)
Season 8: Wolves at the Gate (It was either this one or A Beautiful Sunset, but I guess Dracula wins over Buffy’s confrontation with Twilight. I loved the Tokyo vampires, I loved Buffy/Satsu, I loved jealous Willow, I loved Xander/Renee, and Xander standing up to Dracula in the end was so satisfying.)
Season 9: The Watcher (Shameless Xander fan here, loved the storyline about Xander’s anger issues, and Xander kicking the crap out of “Twilight” in grief for Giles.)
Season 10: I Wish (I loved both the Scoobies getting sucked into their childhoods and the Spander)
Hi ! I love this tumble and am so happy I found it. I wanted to ask you what you felt were the strength that came out of Bangel and Cangel that allowed them to work and the one weakness/flaw that caused them to fail (besides the BTS drama w/Charisma and Joss). I always read Angel allowed himself to be silly and embrace his feelings with Cordy while being with Buffy kept him broody and weary, and I'm not so sure about that.
It’s difficult to answer this question because both couples ultimately didn’t work. And I might not be the right person to answer this question because I never shipped Buffy/Angel, but I’ll try.
Bangel: I think there were more weaknesses than strengths here (again, this is only my personal take on this ship, I’m sure there are a million Bangel shippers who can come up with a thousand reasons why this ship worked.) Angel was Buffy’s first everything, but I think they were more in lust than they were in love. (and don’t get me started on the age difference because why is a 27-year-old man dating a 16-year-old girl…?) They were always too possessive and jealous of each other, and even though they were always saying how much they loved each other, I don’t think they ever got to know each other really well? I mean, Angel bought Buffy a book for her birthday? What’s more, they were always so wrapped up in each other and their relationship drama that they sometimes neglected everyone around them. Just remember that when Angel visited Sunnydale in Chosen he was all smiles and jokes and jealous rants when a) had been supposedly in love with Cordelia, b) had a son with Darla who was sent to a hell dimension and came back to kill him c) had said son have a child with Cordelia. Which basically brings me to what I think was their biggest weakness and the reason why they ultimately didn’t work: they never grew up. It doesn’t matter how much time went by or the relationships they built with other people or the things that happened to them as they were apart, Buffy and Angel will always be that 16-year-old girl who fell in love with the cryptic guy who gave her a cross necklace and his jacket and the vampire weirdo who fell in love with a 15-year-old girl who had just been called as a slayer and followed her around. That’s who they perpetually are to each other or around each other.
Cangel: now these two had a lot of things in their favor. First of all, they grew up together, side by side. They were - to quote Grey’s Anatomy - each other’s person. Cordy got Angel like no one could, not even Buffy. And Angel allowed himself to be all of him when he was with her - goofy, dorky, vulnerable, strong, relentless. But Cordelia never took any of his bullshit and he constantly called him on his shitty actions. They were friends and then they were family. And then they were more. There was a lot of potential, but then we got season 4 and everything went to waste. So, tbh, I’m actually happy that Cangel mostly remained a platonic relationship. I think it’s better to have all the bittersweet what-ifs than the possibility of having the writers shit all over their relationship ever more so than they already did.