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Why didn't Angel dust Lawson on the sub?

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  • Why didn't Angel dust Lawson on the sub?

    I was just watching this beautiful video about the history of the Fang Four and of course, Lawson came up too. I understand that Angel had to turn him so Lawson could get the sub running again and thus save the rest of the crew and get the ship to the US.

    But after Lawson got the ship running again (and said he was hungry) Angel made him walk up a ladder and jump into the ocean. Angel did not expect Lawson to not make it to the dry land. There was, of course, a chance that a shark would bite his head off or that the sun would come up before Lawson reached the shore (although if that would have happened I guess Lawson could simply have dived deep). But Lawson himself said that he would make it and Angel was expecting that too because he said "If I see you again I will kill you. So, why did Angel wait until they meet next? Why not kill him now?

    Lawson was a good man but he now was a vampire and it was clear that he was hungry and would go hunting as soon as he reached land. Angel did not let him feed off the sailors but in the end, he kinda let him feed off other people. Why did he let Lawson go at all? Why did he not simply stake him on the boat?

    I know that he let Spike go too and that's just as questionable but I can explain that with a) a stronger bond between the two of them and b) the fact that Spike might have put up a fight that could have ended badly for the crew and the sub. But Lawson was a fledgling. Surely Angel could have taken him out.

    What do you think?

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  • #2
    I think it was mostly guilt. Angel would've felt like he "damned" Lawson (his words to describe what Darla did to him) so the least he could do is offer Lawson one chance at survival. I think Angel felt bad enough already about siring Lawson to save the sub and that he'd have felt even worse if he sired Lawson to save the sub only to discard of him so ruthlessly straight after. It's not all that dissimilar to Angel offering Drusilla a chance to leave in Lie to Me;

    ANGEL
    Drusilla, leave here. I'm offering you that chance. Take Spike and leave

    DRU
    Or what? You'll hurt me? No you can't. Not anymore


    I agree that it meant that Lawson was undoubtedly going to kill and hurt others (and he describes all the horrific things he did) but that's really no different than Angel letting Spike leave as you say or Angel offering a chance for Spike and Dru to leave in S2. And Angel wasn't overly concerned about being a hero at this point in time so I think it's in-character for him to ignore that if it meant giving Lawson a fighting chance. I think he felt he owed him that much.
    "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

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    • #3

      I think guilt did rule Angel, but I also think the one thing, as a vampire he learned was the real craving: surprise. Angelus even said so.

      Even if Angel didn't have the ability to fully know what to "see" for himself, he wasn't blind to the promise or potential of what Buffy was talking about as his possibility. And that possibility that time affords is not his right to deny another, in "good conscience." He actually could care about his cursed family, that have to be recognized as special in the ability to not "die" in the first frenzy of feeding. That means they are indeed racking up the evil because they really are craving what "echoes" in memory--and not just 'more" of the same, but real meaning. The body needs to live for any possibility of "mind" to ever have potential of emerging/becoming/actualizing.

      ATS was always trying to show the "good choice' wasn't "good" in beneficence, but showing a choice remains, even in the throes of death. Especially then, for that is the worst time to fear for one's identity and existence, why human purpose is in survival for that provides for our potential, for change, for surprise, even for the "forever" of love and peace.
      Buffy's faith in life was her, a human, who struggled to survive; not being the slayer, who wearied of "the trap/curse of being the slayer. Until she made (FORCED) the curse on others.So, the good-bad paradox. Yes, they later could choose to "heed the call" or not. For vampires, the "soul" is also a curse that provides that "potential" for choice.

      I mean, the vampires could walk the bottoms of the sea (yeah, no 'pressure' problems--hee) and save themselves, eventually. Potential is the story of ATS, I think, because it most certainly was Spike's on BTVS.
      HUGS!
      sybil

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      • #4
        vampmogs
        I think it was mostly guilt. Angel would've felt like he "damned" Lawson (his words to describe what Darla did to him) so the least he could do is offer Lawson one chance at survival.
        Lawson was technically dead when Angel turned him. He was dying of a bullet wound. Angel didn't owe him anything and offering him a couple of more hours as a vampire actually was a gift already. Lawson's death wasn't Angel's fault and if he damned him by siring him he could as well have put him out of his misery immediately.

        I do believe that Angel respected Lawson and maybe even admired him for his aim for a purpose in life. Maybe that made him reluctant of dusting Lawson. But I'm not really happy with this solution because if Lawson (as a human) would have had a say in the matter he would have asked to be staked on the spot and before he kills a single human. If Angel felt guilt towards human Lawson, he certainly didn't do him a favor by letting vampire Lawson go.

        I think his relationship with Drusilla and Spike was different because of the time they had spent together as a family. After all, he had lived with Drusilla for almost forty years and with Spike for almost twenty. Besides, he might have not been sure if he really could take out both Drusilla and Spike in season 2.

        flow
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        • #5
          I do think that Angel is perhaps showing a sense of guilt for having created Lawson to use him, for having damned him by making him a vampire even if he would have died, but also maybe indicating that he does gain that sense of connection to him from siring him as well. I would agree that he wouldn't have the same depth that makes it difficult to consider dusting his original vampire family, the strength of connection that made him try to return to them when struggling so badly when first souled and which has him letting them leave repeatedly, but we do also see that his connection to Penn has a strong effect on him when he comes to LA too. So I think some automatic sense of connection that isn't so easy to dismiss is possible. Particularly when you also consider that his place as a souled vampire is very uncertain to him, that he is still finding it so very hard.

          As I remember, the flashbacks show he is isolating himself a great deal when he was approached to retrieve the sub in Why We Fight. Even though he withdraws from human society by choice he can still be finding it very lonely of course, so there might even be a feeling of comradeship that came from having successfully returned the sub together. Knowing there were vampires on board might have left Angel feeling ethically obliged to help, but it had been made clear the men of the Demon Research Initiative were going to force him anyway. That sense of connection to Spike and Lawson might even have been emphasised by the way in which the humans he was currently choosing to distance from made it clear they'd force him to act as they wished. Perhaps even knowing that Lawson, Spike and the others are still out there, makes his isolation feel a little less harsh, that the potential of family still exists.

          I don't know really, but I think there are a mix of responses that Angel could have been feeling as he often struggles with very mixed feelings as the demonic side of himself wars in response to how he morally feels about the very same issues.

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          • #6
            He talked about the connection he had with those he sired in Somnambulist, that he could sense where they were, and as we saw even after centuries he could still dream about Penn's murders. Clearly there is some sort of physical and mental feeling that is shared.

            Darla threw him out when he got the soul but she didn't stake him. Angel warned Dru and Spike off, but even though he knew Spike was gunning for Buffy he made no attempt to stake him, or Dru. When Dru turned Darla and they went on a killing spree, he set a fire that could harm them but he didn't pick up a crossbow. And more than once he actually got between Spike and dangers.

            Having a soul didn't make him any less a demon. Given the choice of terminating someone he has that bond with, or letting people he doesn't know die, each time he chose his family. I really think that in some way the demon that they have is shared, or able to share with others of the same lineage. So when he turned Lawson he became part of Lawson, and Lawson became part of him. Besides there was no way he was gonna stake Spike. But he did send Spike after Lawson, and off to safety.
            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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            • #7
              Actually Lawson isn't damned - not unless he gets his soul back. As a demon pure when he dusts he is either gone or he gets to go torture people in hell.
              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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              • #8
                Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                I think it was mostly guilt. Angel would've felt like he "damned" Lawson (his words to describe what Darla did to him) so the least he could do is offer Lawson one chance at survival. I think Angel felt bad enough already about siring Lawson to save the sub and that he'd have felt even worse if he sired Lawson to save the sub only to discard of him so ruthlessly straight after. It's not all that dissimilar to Angel offering Drusilla a chance to leave in Lie to Me;

                ANGEL
                Drusilla, leave here. I'm offering you that chance. Take Spike and leave

                DRU
                Or what? You'll hurt me? No you can't. Not anymore


                I agree that it meant that Lawson was undoubtedly going to kill and hurt others (and he describes all the horrific things he did) but that's really no different than Angel letting Spike leave as you say or Angel offering a chance for Spike and Dru to leave in S2. And Angel wasn't overly concerned about being a hero at this point in time so I think it's in-character for him to ignore that if it meant giving Lawson a fighting chance. I think he felt he owed him that much.

                He would also let Harmony go later in the season, so I don't think it was simply down to Angel not concerned with being a hero as he would do the same years later

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