On Angel

That Angel Doesn't Live Here Anymore

By Laura Resnick

“It’s not Daddy,” the mad vampire Drusilla says when Angel enters the wine cellar in which she and Darla are about to eat a bunch of lawyers in “Reunion” (A2-10). She adds in disappointment, “It’s never Daddy.”

She is, of course, alluding to the unique (and, from Drusilla’s perspective, unfortunate) transformation which her vampire “sire” has gone through–twice in the course of his eventful existence–changing from the gleefully evil Angelus into the conscience-stricken Angel. The en-souled vampire who confronts Darla and Drusilla in that wine cellar, though troubled and walking close to the edge at that point in his unlife, is not Drusilla’s “Daddy” as she knew him, but rather her sworn enemy, the individual whom her sire ultimately became.

This schizophrenia is a well-known aspect of Angel’s characterization, and it runs so deep that Angel and the Fang Gang often talk about his alter ego, Angelus, as if he were a separate individual altogether. Yet there is an equally strong split in Angel’s characterization which goes unaddressed: The Angel we know on Angel is a different character than the one we knew on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

When Darla, Angel’s sire and former lover (to use the word loosely), recalls bitterly in “Dear Boy” (A2-05) that Angel preferred “that cheerleader” to her, one is startled by the notion of Angel dating a cheerleader . . . until one realizes that it wasn’t this Angel. It was that Angel, and he doesn’t live here anymore. Like Angelus, that Angel is a  …

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