Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

How A Family Functions: Angel and the Master

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How A Family Functions: Angel and the Master

    Angel! He was the most vicious creature I ever met. I miss him.
    --The Master, "Angel"
    Fanon says a lot of things about the Master. Most of them, surprisingly, seem to be wrong. I myself didn't really notice this until I read Peasant's essay on the subject, which is quite insightful. Peasant establishes rather clearly that the Master is a master of snark, and not particularly traditional except insofar as it helps him maintain his power. Peasant also points out that Dru doesn't seem to have originated the "family" language, as is commonly assumed--the Master uses it quite frequently. He doesn't, as far as I recall, refer to any specific vampire as a son or daughter; he does, however, constantly remind Colin that his creations are family and must take care of each other. (He does it so often, in fact, that I sometimes wonder why a small boy would need to be told this...more on that some other time.)

    You see how we all work together for the common good? That's how a family is supposed to function!
    --"Angel"
    This does not, in any way, change the fact that the Master is one evil bastard. He takes pleasure--a "little", anyway--from his execution of some of his most powerful minions, the Three. He seems to have readily sacrificed Andrew Borba, whose religious ranting suggests he might easily have taken to the Order. He wants (the more fool he, it seems) to summon the Old Ones back to Earth. And in the Wishverse, he creates a machine to drain blood from humans all the more efficiently while keeping them conscious until they die. A strong case can be made that he is one of the most evil vampires in the Jossverse, though he has some close competition.

    And yet, the concept of family seems to be much more than rhetoric to him. His most violent rages seem always to be over the unplanned deaths of his minions. His anger over Luke's death in "The Harvest" is undoubtedly at least partly because Luke will now be unable to free him. But in "NKABOTFD", we see him fly off the handle because a single minion has foolishly gotten himself killed. In "Angel", he muses regretfully that "Zachary was strong, and he was careful, and still the Slayer takes him....It wears thin," and is promptly delighted by the Anointed One's advice to "annihilate" Buffy. Later in the same episode, when he discovers that Darla has died, and at Angel's hands, he begins smashing things blindly and even snaps at Colin, to whom he otherwise shows considerable respect--presumably for his role in the prophecy and apparent total loyalty. This is not the reaction of someone who values his servants only for their utility; when he says that Darla was his "favorite", he means precisely that. The obvious referent noun would seem to be "favorite daughter", though we all know how fluid vampire relationships can be. Twisted though the emotion is, the old buzzard would appear--gasp--to love her.

    How does the Master feel about Angel? (Curiously, he seems rarely to speak of "Angelus" as such.) Apparently, he's a favorite too--Darla is certain the Master wants herself and Angel to be his direct subordinates for his upcoming thousand-year reign, and the Master says Angel was to have "sat at my right hand, come the day." This might seem odd, given what we see of their first meeting in "Darla"--Angelus plops himself down in the Master's throne and makes fun of him, and the Master then tosses him around like a rag doll. But in fact this seems to be fairly normal for vampire relationships; no matter how friendly a pair of vampires appear toward each other, we almost always see them battling for dominance at least once. Even Spike has been known to snap at Drusilla, for all that he dotes on her, when her raving becomes too irritating. Angelus' behavior just demonstrates that he has stones. More puzzling is that the only "day" the Master could be obviously referring to would be the day he successfully opens the Hellmouth, and his only known attempt at that prior to the shows was in 1937. By that point, Angel had already been ensouled for almost forty years, and was apparently living aimlessly in a dingy hotel room (as per "Why We Fight", a few years later). While it's not clear that the Master could have had any idea what he was up to just then, Darla undoubtedly reported Angel's hapless condition to him when she returned sometime after the Boxer Rebellion. Darla is bluntly disgusted with Angel's soul and behavior, but the Master apparently clung to hope for him. I'd consider that a powerful attachment indeed.

    Yet it doesn't seem that Angelus returned the favor. Angelus plainly regards the Master as a powerful but outdated fool. Darla runs away with Angelus shortly after the meeting, and there's no indication in canon that the men ever encountered each other again. It looks as if either the Master places a great deal of stock in first impressions, or they had some meeting we're not aware of at a later date--presumably before Angel was cursed in 1898. Of course, that's a great deal of time, most of which Angelus spent rampaging through Europe; it could be that they spoke again, or simply that the Master heard and approved of the bloody swath his prodigal children were cutting.

    It's not really surprising, of course, that Angel(us) seems to bear the Master no affection at all. Angel is reluctant to kill Darla, Drusilla, or Spike, even after his ensoulment, but the Master appears to be in a different category altogether; Angel's only concern about the fellow is that he may be too powerful to take out. We never hear Angel say much about what he thinks, really. As for Angelus...well, how many times have we heard him say it? He has never loved anyone, ever. He does appear to have an attachment to Darla, and to some lesser degree to Dru and Spike. Still, he has willingly betrayed and left each of them at various times, though with Darla this seems to have been partly sport. The few times Angelus has definitely experienced love--whether via Angel's soul and persona, or by ghostly possession--he's been revolted by it.

    Even supposing that Angel could be self-deluded when he says that Angelus has never loved anyone, he plainly is not lying to anyone else. He believes utterly in his own incapacity, to the point that he seems to project it on other vampires who we know experience something at least akin to love--most notably Spike, who constantly wears his heart on his sleeve.

    Consider this--is it plausible that Angel knows absolutely nothing about the way the Master treats his "family"? Even if the two never saw each other again after their initial meeting, surely Darla must have told him something about what it was like to be a part of the Order. And if they did meet again for more than the briefest of visits, Angelus surely must have seen the Master doting on Darla, and possibly other "children" as well, or perhaps in a rage over the death of some careless son or daughter. (The latter might well have been more convincing than the former--Angelus and Darla play at affection with each other, but seem not to care much for the other's well-being.) Angelus would no doubt be disgusted by such a display. And Angel...well, ask yourself: what would it be like to know that one of the most monstrous creatures in the world at least loves his family--and you didn't?

    No wonder he broods.
    Last edited by Mabus; 03-10-07, 04:38 PM.
    DeadWar: Burden of Proof
    Out Now.
    Avatar by Barb
    Feedback is always welcome here.

  • #2
    Wow, first of all interesting thread.


    Originally posted by Mabus View Post
    Fanon says a lot of things about the Master. Most of them, surprisingly, seem to be wrong. I myself didn't really notice this until I read Peasant's essay on the subject, which is quite insightful. Peasant establishes rather clearly that the Master is a master of snark, and not particularly traditional except insofar as it helps him maintain his power.
    Well we see he is able to adapt to more modern concepts. He demonstrates here his more practical way of looking at matters however I think there are still elements of elistist snobbery at work and it seems that Angelus adopted some of those traits in a manner of speaking.

    Peasant also points out that Dru doesn't seem to have originated the "family" language, as is commonly assumed--the Master uses it quite frequently. He doesn't, as far as I recall, refer to any specific vampire as a son or daughter; he does, however, constantly remind Colin that his creations are family and must take care of each other. (He does it so often, in fact, that I sometimes wonder why a small boy would need to be told this...more on that some other time.)
    It's difficult with vamps sometimes because cannot tell what is genuine affection amongst the most callous and what is simply dark but jocular. What I love about the Master is that he keeps us guessing.


    This does not, in any way, change the fact that the Master is one evil bastard. He takes pleasure--a "little", anyway--from his execution of some of his most powerful minions, the Three. He seems to have readily sacrificed Andrew Borba, whose religious ranting suggests he might easily have taken to the Order. He wants (the more fool he, it seems) to summon the Old Ones back to Earth. And in the Wishverse, he creates a machine to drain blood from humans all the more efficiently while keeping them conscious until they die. A strong case can be made that he is one of the most evil vampires in the Jossverse, though he has some close competition.
    Evil and power hungry yes. This goes into being seen to be powerful as well, I definitely think there is some ego driven villainy among other things and I would say that extends in different ways to our other Aurelius boys...


    And yet, the concept of family seems to be much more than rhetoric to him. His most violent rages seem always to be over the unplanned deaths of his minions. His anger over Luke's death in "The Harvest" is undoubtedly at least partly because Luke will now be unable to free him. But in "NKABOTFD", we see him fly off the handle because a single minion has foolishly gotten himself killed. In "Angel", he muses regretfully that "Zachary was strong, and he was careful, and still the Slayer takes him....It wears thin," and is promptly delighted by the Anointed One's advice to "annihilate" Buffy. Later in the same episode, when he discovers that Darla has died, and at Angel's hands, he begins smashing things blindly and even snaps at Colin, to whom he otherwise shows considerable respect--presumably for his role in the prophecy and apparent total loyalty. This is not the reaction of someone who values his servants only for their utility; when he says that Darla was his "favorite", he means precisely that. The obvious referent noun would seem to be "favorite daughter", though we all know how fluid vampire relationships can be. Twisted though the emotion is, the old buzzard would appear--gasp--to love her.
    I definitely think there are elements of pragmatism, genuine affection and snark there. Whilst vampires often attempt to seperate themselves from a human concepts they find themselves drawn into the complexities of relationships, perhaps attempting to define them under the 'laws' of the former species in some oblique way. As much as he can value viciousness and callousness, as you say he can also value loyalty kinship.

    How does the Master feel about Angel? (Curiously, he seems rarely to speak of "Angelus" as such.) Apparently, he's a favorite too--Darla is certain the Master wants herself and Angel to be his direct subordinates for his upcoming thousand-year reign, and the Master says Angel was to have "sat at my right hand, come the day." This might seem odd, given what we see of their first meeting in "Darla"--Angelus plops himself down in the Master's throne and makes fun of him, and the Master then tosses him around like a rag doll.
    Aside from family, his fondness may have born out of respect...

    But in fact this seems to be fairly normal for vampire relationships; no matter how friendly a pair of vampires appear toward each other, we almost always see them battling for dominance at least once.
    And indeed, the Master really lives up to male stereotype of being threatened by the opposing male and yes, it does mirror Angelus and Spike.

    Even Spike has been known to snap at Drusilla, for all that he dotes on her, when her raving becomes too irritating. Angelus' behavior just demonstrates that he has stones. More puzzling is that the only "day" the Master could be obviously referring to would be the day he successfully opens the Hellmouth, and his only known attempt at that prior to the shows was in 1937. By that point, Angel had already been ensouled for almost forty years, and was apparently living aimlessly in a dingy hotel room (as per "Why We Fight", a few years later). While it's not clear that the Master could have had any idea what he was up to just then, Darla undoubtedly reported Angel's hapless condition to him when she returned sometime after the Boxer Rebellion.



    Darla is bluntly disgusted with Angel's soul and behavior, but the Master apparently clung to hope for him. I'd consider that a powerful attachment indeed.
    It's also uncertain how much they know about the curse. It seems unlikely they know about the happiness clause but both the Master and Darla seem to hold hope as she believes he can swayed back to their side. I'm not sure if the Master read about 'Angel(us)' big day'. Maybe he assumed he'd be there after he killed the Slayer.

    Yet it doesn't seem that Angelus returned the favor. Angelus plainly regards the Master as a powerful but outdated fool. Darla runs away with Angelus shortly after the meeting, and there's no indication in canon that the men ever encountered each other again. It looks as if either the Master places a great deal of stock in first impressions, or they had some meeting we're not aware of at a later date--presumably before Angel was cursed in 1898. Of course, that's a great deal of time, most of which Angelus spent rampaging through Europe; it could be that they spoke again, or simply that the Master heard and approved of the bloody swath his prodigal children were cutting.
    Angelus doesn't seem to like compromise. The Master would most likely be like his Daddy all over again and certainly he isn't interested in that but it's more than likely that Angelus' status is what The Master approved of, yes.

    It's not really surprising, of course, that Angel(us) seems to bear the Master no affection at all. Angel is reluctant to kill Darla, Drusilla, or Spike, even after his ensoulment, but the Master appears to be in a different category altogether; Angel's only concern about the fellow is that he may be too powerful to take out.
    Well it could be somewhat due to circumstance as well. Darla is possibly the only vampire Angelus indulged (he wouldn't hurt Dru even a little bit, how cruel!) and his mentorship with Spike was something that fits in with how he feels about himself (the big guy swaggering around barking orders) and Dru was his art. With soul of course based upon all this and the fact that he couldn't save Darla (more guilt, yikes) we have an incredible broodfest. The Master didn't really fit into any of these catergories.

    We never hear Angel say much about what he thinks, really. As for Angelus...well, how many times have we heard him say it? He has never loved anyone, ever. He does appear to have an attachment to Darla, and to some lesser degree to Dru and Spike. Still, he has willingly betrayed and left each of them at various times, though with Darla this seems to have been partly sport. The few times Angelus has definitely experienced love--whether via Angel's soul and persona, or by ghostly possession--he's been revolted by it.
    Indeed. He most likely felt great affection for Darla however and mentioned he liked having Spike around. Vampires although evil are social creatures and although he professed as to not having friends on account of being evil he still didn't mind spending time with 'interesting' vamps.


    Even supposing that Angel could be self-deluded when he says that Angelus has never loved anyone, he plainly is not lying to anyone else. He believes utterly in his own incapacity, to the point that he seems to project it on other vampires who we know experience something at least akin to love--most notably Spike, who constantly wears his heart on his sleeve.
    Indeed and maybe this is also due to his belief in that it is antithetical to his evil.

    Consider this--is it plausible that Angel knows absolutely nothing about the way the Master treats his "family"? Even if the two never saw each other again after their initial meeting, surely Darla must have told him something about what it was like to be a part of the Order. And if they did meet again for more than the briefest of visits, Angelus surely must have seen the Master doting on Darla, and possibly other "children" as well, or perhaps in a rage over the death of some careless son or daughter. (The latter might well have been more convincing than the former--Angelus and Darla play at affection with each other, but seem not to care much for the other's well-being.) Angelus would no doubt be disgusted by such a display. And Angel...well, ask yourself: what would it be like to know that one of the most monstrous creatures in the world at least loves his family--and you didn't?
    It's possible but it's uncertain how far this affection would offend him. Angelus didn't seem that bothered about James and Elizabeth. In fact it secures his position as 'Most Evil Vamp'. I'm not sure if he'd care but he definitely cares if he is the one experiencing these feelings first hand...yuk!

    No wonder he broods
    One of the many reasons. lol

    Comment

    Working...
    X