There is a lot to be said about this episode. A lot of people would say that it marks the beginning of the doomed romance of Buffy and Angel. Now, I'm not a hardcore fan of Buffy and Angel, but I will say that this is most romantic and tragic couple of the whole series.
From episode 1 (Welcome to HellMouth), we know that Buffy is smitten with Angel for his good looks and mysterious nature. This is the episode where the crush becomes love in my eyes.
Lets begin, shall we?
Let me start with the grossness of catching a roach to get a free drink. Any club that has to stoop to that to get customers and deal with roaches is gross. But it is during this that Buffy is bemoaning about how Angel is so illusive that she hardly knows him with Willow. You can tell from the way the girls discuss boys and love is that they have grown close over a short period of time. It a very open line of communication in contrast to the domineering speeches Cordelia dishes upon her flock of "friends".
The Master, getting frustrated with Buffy taking out vampires left and right summons The Three, a trio of vampires that wear armor and are excel in combat. They attack Buffy outside the Bronze where she is aided by Angel and they escape to her house.
What bothers me is when Joyce discovers them together and doesn't get upset or mad at Buffy. She had a knowing smile yet, she doesn't seem upset that Buffy is alone with an older attractive man. My mother would have gone ballistic if she caught me like that when I was a child.
Buffy and Angel decide that he should stay in case the Three come back, not knowing that the Master allowed Darla to kill them off for their failure in killing Buffy. Buffy does take this chance to try to get know Angel better to discover two things.
1. He returns her feelings
2. He's a vampire!
Even thought discovering that Angel is a vampire doesn't hamper Buffy's feelings. She doesn't hate vampires. It makes me think of the roaches in the beginning of the show. Does an exterminator hates roaches? I don't think so, he kills them because it's his job to do so, just as it is Buffy's job to slay vampires.
Another thing that I don't understand is why Giles is okay with the relationship? Being a Watcher who very likely has spent a great deal of time studying the evil of vampires would be outraged at the forbidden romance of a Slayer and a Vampire.
The only one who is outrage by the union is Xander and with good reason. He has a crush on Buffy and has been jealous of Angel for several episodes. And also, I believe that Xander has a greatly disliking for vampires over what happened to his friend, Jesse, in the first two eps. Thus, Xander has a double disliking for Angel that lasts for a very long time. Honestly, I can't remember ever seeing them buddy up.
Darla uses Joyce to trick Buffy into thinking Angel attacked her mother. Awesome bit of her kicking his ass out the window! And Buffy goes to take him down, but when Angel opens up to her, explaining the gypsy curse and all the grief he had suffered because of his actions, she believes in his goodness and they face Darla who comes after them with pistols.
We also learn here that Darla is Angel's maker and past lover. And Angel kills Darla, his maker. That sad and shocked, "Angel?" is a sad touch there.
At the end of the episode, Angel and Buffy meet up at the Bronze and have a very romantic scene together. They both talk softly and discuss why a relationship between them would never work out and then they kiss each other deeply. A very loving kiss.
Then Buffy draws away and we see a cross shape burn on Angel's chest caused from the same cross he gave her in the beginning of the season. It is a burn that she does not notice.
There is a lot of symbolism I see in this cross burning here. It symbolizes the suffering these lovers will endure in the future because of who and what they are. Especially in season 2 and they're separation in season 3. I will touch upon the burning of the cross into the flesh in later reviews.
Overall, it's a good episode that marks milestone in the series, the discovery of Angel's background.