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Did Buffy know about "Damage?"

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  • Did Buffy know about "Damage?"

    Hey guys

    I've recently rewatched "Damage" and it reminds me of the conspiracy theories that used to be really prevalent in fandom in regards to Buffy "double-crossing" Angel. A lot of people don't believe that Buffy would distrust Angel in this way, at least without seeing things for herself, and they accused Andrew of lying or even speculate that Giles participated in a secret plot behind Buffy's back. Others believe that the intent behind the scene was to drive home to Angel (and the audience) how far he'd fallen whilst working at W&H and that the conspiracy theories both distract from and undermine the intent of the scene.

    I haven't seen this discussed in ages on here so I thought I'd start a thread. What do you guys think? Was it OOC for Buffy to turn her back on Angel without seeing things for herself? Do you think Andrew embellished or outright lied? Did Giles and Andrew do this behind Buffy's back? etc. Or do you find it believable that Buffy would do this?
    - "The earth is doomed" -


  • #2
    Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
    Hey guys

    I've recently rewatched "Damage" and it reminds me of the conspiracy theories that used to be really prevalent in fandom in regards to Buffy "double-crossing" Angel. A lot of people don't believe that Buffy would distrust Angel in this way, at least without seeing things for herself, and they accused Andrew of lying or even speculate that Giles participated in a secret plot behind Buffy's back. Others believe that the intent behind the scene was to drive home to Angel (and the audience) how far he'd fallen whilst working at W&H and that the conspiracy theories both distract from and undermine the intent of the scene.

    I haven't seen this discussed in ages on here so I thought I'd start a thread. What do you guys think? Was it OOC for Buffy to turn her back on Angel without seeing things for herself? Do you think Andrew embellished or outright lied? Did Giles and Andrew do this behind Buffy's back? etc. Or do you find it believable that Buffy would do this?
    It's hard to say. We know in Shells Angel asks Giles to send Willow over to LA to help Fred but he refuses because he's still with Wolfram and Hart. Otoh what happens in Damage is completely forgotten about TGIQ when Andrew is cheerfully inviting them into his and Buffys home.

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    • #3
      I've not gotten to S5 in my first full rewatch yet so I'm going on a recollection of years ago but I didn't think anything of it at the time I first watched it I'm pretty sure. So I think I'd probably go with the idea that it is all just intended to underline Angel having fallen because of the choice to join W&H. And I can see Buffy being unsure what he is doing and them deciding to just extract Dana as the priority, particularly if other events were commanding Buffy's time and trumping her involvement. (I'm unsure what is supposed to be falling at the same time in BtVS as here as I've always thought of S8 running after AtF, so S8-esque events as the new format post the empowerment spell starts I suppose). Equally I could see Giles deciding that involving Buffy complicated things and his remit was to find/gather slayers and so they would just do that and not involve her. The point about their refusal to help in Shells too is a fair one, but again how aware Buffy is is really uncertain. And of course she again isn't really involved in TGIQ as it is decoy Buffy and Andrew is sustaining that. So it seems that an element of distrust/wariness seems fair but that equally Buffy may not have been specifically involved.

      I don't think I'd see it as a betrayal though even if she had been involved in the decision. It somewhat fits the rankling they've done at times about stepping into each other's areas and I think having concerns about what he has gotten himself into is reasonable. I'd possibly even suggest that Angel understands that here and is more frustrated and feeling betrayed by the effect when they don't try to help Fred. But still I think the narrative purpose is to underline the issue of having walked into being somewhat corrupted in the first place.

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      • #4
        I've always thought Andrew embellished. It's his nature to make everything as dramatic as possible. I'd also buy into he and Giles going behind Buffy's back and Buffy not knowing anything about Dana at this point. As far as we know she's either living it up in Italy or trying to get a Slayer Central set up in Scotland, so Giles may have kept the facts about Dana away from her. He may have thought to tell her afterwards but events overtook him . . .

        At this stage in her life, when she's no long so reliant on Giles or anyone else for that matter, I don't think Buffy would simply believe what was told to her. Nor do I think she would ever turn her back on Angel, whatever the circumstances.

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        • #5
          I am convinced this is solely made up by Andrew, maybe under Giles influence, maybe out of his own doing. He even hesitated slightly, when Spike inquires after Buffy and you can tell he is lying. Besides, we know that Buffy was never in Rome and never dated the Immortal, so that was a lie too.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Priceless View Post
            I've always thought Andrew embellished. It's his nature to make everything as dramatic as possible. I'd also buy into he and Giles going behind Buffy's back and Buffy not knowing anything about Dana at this point. As far as we know she's either living it up in Italy or trying to get a Slayer Central set up in Scotland, so Giles may have kept the facts about Dana away from her. He may have thought to tell her afterwards but events overtook him . . .

            At this stage in her life, when she's no long so reliant on Giles or anyone else for that matter, I don't think Buffy would simply believe what was told to her. Nor do I think she would ever turn her back on Angel, whatever the circumstances.
            I can certainly go with Andrew somewhat embellishing being in amongst it all and we know for sure he is supporting the ruse of Buffy being in Rome. To a great degree he still can't help himself on this front I think. But I don't think it is impossible for Buffy to take a stance opposed to Angel, she did regarding Faith. That being said, I think she would have to feel strongly about something to do so, rather than just falling to hearsay and would have been more likely to confront him. So it is in this regard that I wonder if she even knows the details of what is happening and fall to thinking the point was to focus on underlining the questioning of the position Angel has taken.
            Last edited by Stoney; 07-07-19, 01:47 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Stoney View Post
              I've not gotten to S5 in my first full rewatch yet so I'm going on a recollection of years ago but I didn't think anything of it at the time I first watched it I'm pretty sure. So I think I'd probably go with the idea that it is all just intended to underline Angel having fallen because of the choice to join W&H. And I can see Buffy being unsure what he is doing and them deciding to just extract Dana as the priority, particularly if other events were commanding Buffy's time and trumping her involvement. (I'm unsure what is supposed to be falling at the same time in BtVS as here as I've always thought of S8 running after AtF, so S8-esque events as the new format post the empowerment spell starts I suppose). Equally I could see Giles deciding that involving Buffy complicated things and his remit was to find/gather slayers and so they would just do that and not involve her. The point about their refusal to help in Shells too is a fair one, but again how aware Buffy is is really uncertain. And of course she again isn't really involved in TGIQ as it is decoy Buffy and Andrew is sustaining that. So it seems that an element of distrust/wariness seems fair but that equally Buffy may not have been specifically involved.

              I don't think I'd see it as a betrayal though even if she had been involved in the decision. It somewhat fits the rankling they've done at times about stepping into each other's areas and I think having concerns about what he has gotten himself into is reasonable. I'd possibly even suggest that Angel understands that here and is more frustrated and feeling betrayed by the effect when they don't try to help Fred. But still I think the narrative purpose is to underline the issue of having walked into being somewhat corrupted in the first place.

              The whole S8 Buffy impersonation was a retcon by Joss but at the time of Angel S5 it was not meant as such.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Stoney View Post
                I can certainly go with Andrew somewhat embellishing being in amongst it all and we know for sure he is supporting the ruse of Buffy being in Rome. To a great degree he still can't help himself on this front I think. But I don't think it is impossible for Buffy to take a stance opposed to Angel, she did regarding Faith. That being said, I think she would have to feel strongly about something to do so, rather than just falling to hearsay and would have been more likely to confront him. So it is in this regard that I wonder if she even knows the details of what is happening and fall to thinking the point was to focus on underlining the questioning of the position Angel has taken.
                I agree that Buffy would take a stance against Angel, and the Faith issue illustrates that. But she would not do it without talking to Angel first and discussing it with him, or I do not believe she would. I think she'd be stunned that Angel took over W&H and want to know every detail before she turned her back on him.

                If Buffy knew about Dana, I don't think she would send Andrew and a Slayer team to deal with the situation unless she'd spoken with Angel first, and we know she didn't. Angel being involved makes it personal for her. I agree Stoney, that I doubt very much she knew anything about Dana, and that Andrew and Giles dealt with her behind Buffy's back.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post
                  The whole S8 Buffy impersonation was a retcon by Joss but at the time of Angel S5 it was not meant as such.
                  I'm aware of that, but it was retconned so that is what the canon becomes and what we learn better informs what we saw before.

                  Originally posted by Priceless View Post
                  I agree that Buffy would take a stance against Angel, and the Faith issue illustrates that. But she would not do it without talking to Angel first and discussing it with him, or I do not believe she would. I think she'd be stunned that Angel took over W&H and want to know every detail before she turned her back on him.
                  I can certainly see your point but this is why I was pondering on her own circumstances not allowing for it. Particularly if she's not even in the same country and is trying to stay unseen/undercover.

                  If Buffy knew about Dana, I don't think she would send Andrew and a Slayer team to deal with the situation unless she'd spoken with Angel first, and we know she didn't. Angel being involved makes it personal for her. I agree Stoney, that I doubt very much she knew anything about Dana, and that Andrew and Giles dealt with her behind Buffy's back.
                  I certainly think her being unaware is a real possibility. Again, particularly considering all they were trying to organise and set up at that point too.

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                  • #10
                    I never thought Buffy had anything to do with that. She wouldn't condemn Angel without talking to him. I just figured Andrew regarded Giles as the Voice Of Buffy. If Giles told Andrew that Buffy now distrusted Angel, Andrew would take it as gospel.

                    To be honest, it might just be the only way of dealing with Andrew.

                    "Just get the slayer, and come back. Don't stay to sight see. Oh, and don't let Angel keep her. Buffy and I don't trust him, and this Wolfram and Hart business. (takes out handkerchief, and polishes glasses) Uhmm...take a few slayers with you just in case."

                    I can see Buffy having doubts and putting off a conversation. But I can't see her actually mistrusting him to the point that she wants nothing to do with him. When Buffy love someone she doesn't make snap judgements. She waits for the entirety of the story. And she loves Angel.
                    Last edited by bespangled; 08-07-19, 11:14 AM.
                    Can we agree that the writers made everyone do and say everything with a thought to getting good ratings and being renewed. This includes everything we love as well as everything we hate.

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                    • #11
                      Too bad the Season 8 comics ignored this.
                      I also hate that the comics never did anything with Dana. She was probably killed off screen or make that off panel by Twilight's anti slayer minions.

                      As I said before the Season 8 comics were bad at acknowledging plot points from Angel Season 5.
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                      • #12
                        In the non-retconned version, I don't see a problem with it. The very next episode she was supposed to show up and put him back on track. Instead they used Cordy but the intent is still the same.

                        I don't see the fandom view that she's double-crossing anyone, either. Her priority is going to be the girl and there really wasn't time to do any feeling out on Angel to give him or W&H the benefit of the doubt. Protect the girl, then get information. Sounds like something she'd do.

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                        • #13
                          I'm a huge Buffy fan and would have loved to see her AtS S5. I'm not a big Cordy fan and never miss her after her absence in both Buffy and Angel when she leaves. However, I'm really glad that it was Cordy in "you're welcome". It makes so much more sense in as far as Angel's connection to her, to Cordy's connection to the show and gives her character much needed closure.
                          Last edited by GoSpuffy; 04-08-19, 07:03 AM.
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                          I like who I am when Iā€™m with him. I like who we are together.ā€

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                          • #14
                            I've always thought that the message in "You're Welcome" is confusing and at odds with the remainder of Season 5. At the beginning of the episode Angel is ready to quite W&H because he can no longer stomach the nature of their work. Arguably, this is exactly what he should have done and is more in line with the remainder of Season 5 which depicts working for W&H as a huge mistake and moral failing. Yet, Cordy returns and convinces Angel... to stay? And this is meant to be a positive thing? If she were putting him back on track wouldn't she have convinced him to abandon W&H seeing as how she believes he made a deal with the devil?

                            Her vision puts Angel on track to the Circle of the Blackthorn but that mission results in him having to kill Drogyn and framing a senator for being a pedophile - and as if that wasn't heinous enough he also has the senator brainwashed into believing he is one too. So besides giving Angel a bit of a pep boost, I actually think Cordy failed to steer Angel on the right course.

                            I don't know how they could have done it differently with Buffy. I assume that if she'd showed up Angel wouldn't have quit W&H either so she'd have served the same function that Cordy did. Yet, Buffy just turned against Angel in "Damage" for working for W&H so how could she simultaneously put him back on track in a Buffy-version of "You're Welcome" and have Angel continuing to work there? It's a contradiction.
                            - "The earth is doomed" -

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                            • #15
                              I go with the bleaker view of S5 and find Angel to be disconnected from his mission through to the end where he's putting so many lives on the line for a moment of glorious defiance. I don't think You're Welcome works as putting him back on track at all and though I'm yet to rewatch it, felt that he must have misinterpreted the vision rather than it steering him back. I'll definitely look closely at this when I next watch. His actions through the remainder of the season certainly don't reflect what they always promoted the mission as in helping the helpless and in being in touch with people to me. I've always said walking out would have been far more in line with returning to the mission. It's interesting to consider it after Damage and how it could have played out if SMG had done it instead. I agree it doesn't really make any sense. Even less really for Buffy to actively come to encourage him to be in W&H. At least with the idea of a vision there is that sense of subjective interpretation where his despondency can have influenced him.

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