Happy Wednesday TV Fans! For today, I have once again returned to one of my old favorites, Angel. After ranking my top episodes last week, I realized how many truly heartbreaking moments there are on this show. I mean, you sort of start to expect this from a Joss Whedon series, as many of our beloved characters do not get a chance at a happily ever after, but there is something so incredibly soul crushing about some of the moments on Angel in particular. It’s been quite some time since I have watched the series and while I knew certain moments were coming, I couldn’t stop the tears from falling. These moments are not just sad or tragic, they impact me in such a way that I end up thinking about my own life and my connection to others.
It’s interesting how a few familiar key words in these moments can truly impact us. Whether it’s the death of a favorite character or a moment of true compassion, these moments stand the test of time and continue to tug at my emotions. The heartbreak is so real and unavoidable and yet I still find myself hoping that the outcome will change, but it never does. While I love that Joss Whedon is not afraid to kill off main characters, I found myself needing to emotionally prepare for the moments that follow. Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the full series yet. My top 5 heart-breaking moments from Angel are:
“This child – Angel, it’s the one good thing we ever did together…you make sure to tell him that.”
Lullaby (Season 3, Episode 9)
Darla has always been known as a ruthless and evil vampire. However, she is the one who turned Angel and he cannot always ignore his connection to her, especially when she is brought back from the dead. After Darla and Angel sleep together, we later find out that there is a major consequence. Angel’s soul is still intact, but Darla is pregnant with their child. As Darla progresses with her pregnancy, we learn that the baby is human with a soul. The baby’s goodness begins to truly impact Darla and she realizes what she must do. In a tragic moment, Darla tells Angel that this is the one good thing they ever did together, right before she stakes herself. Angel’s son, Connor, is born in the alley because of Darla’s sacrifice. Darla has redeemed herself in this moment and while she cannot erase all of her past sins, this act proves that it’s never too late to try and do the right thing for the ones you love.
Angel & Buffy’s day together is reset.
“No! Oh God. It’s not enough time.”
I Will Remember You (Season 1, Episode 8)
In the episode, “I Will Remember You,” we get a Buffy/Angel crossover, as Buffy comes to town to confront Angel after he stopped by in Sunnydale to save her without talking to her. Their argument is put on hold, as they are attacked and Angel is infected by a demon, which causes him to become human. Buffy and Angel finally get the opportunity to be with one another, but things are never that easy. Angel realizes that he cannot protect Buffy and the helpless as a human and asks for the Powers That Be to reset the day. As if this isn’t heartbreaking enough, Angel will remember the day with Buffy, but it will be stripped from her own memory, as if it never happened. Angel tells Buffy that they only have a minute left together and she begins crying, telling him that it’s not enough time, which always brings me to tears. This episode gives Bangel fans the chance to see a happily ever after for our beautiful couple, but everything is temporary. The fact that Angel carries this memory alone is truly tragic and my heart goes out to him here. If only…
“I’m not scared. I’m not scared. I’m not scared. Please, Wesley, why can’t I stay?”
A Hole in the World (Season 5, Episode 15)
In season 5, Joss really let fans cry their eyes out. Fred is one of my all time favorite characters and she always brings a goofy innocence to everything, which really helps balance out the team. She and Wesley have never really gotten the chance to explore their feelings for one another, but it seems like that is all about to change in season 5. Fred finally sees Wesley in a romantic way and wants to be with him, which had fans cheering everywhere. However, just as these two start off their relationship together, tragedy strikes when a mysterious package arrives at Wolfram & Hart and Fred is infected by it. Fred begins to deteriorate very quickly, as the team tries to find a way to save her. Only they do not have enough time or a real option, as Angel is not able to save Fred and sacrifice many lives as a result. Wesley stays by Fred’s side through it all and she tries to be so brave for him, which is incredibly heartbreaking. As soon as she utters the words, “Why can’t I stay?” I start sobbing. Fred’s reaction here is so pure and innocent and I still just desperately want her to be all right, but she’s gone and Wesley’s reaction is beyond tragic.
“Hello. Yes, I know. She’s… but that’s impossible. She’s standing right— I’m sorry. Yeah. When did she die? Did she, um… she never did wake up? I see.”
(hangs up, looks out to where Cordelia was standing moments earlier)
You’re Welcome (Season 5, Episode 12)
As many of you know, this is my favorite episode of the series, but it is so hard for me to watch it. We initially think that Cordelia has woken up from her coma and that she and Angel may finally get the opportunity to be together. However, we are not granted this wish, as we learn that Cordelia is here on a very temporary basis, as the Powers That Be “owed her one.” Cordelia sets Angel on the right path and kisses him one last time, but their moment is interrupted when she tells him that he has to get the phone. Angel is shocked to find out that Cordy never woke up from the coma, as he hopefully looks over to see her, but realizes that she is gone. Reality sets in here, as Angel is left alone, but he does thank her. Angel has been through so much and he still kept his hope alive that Cordy would wake up one day. While Angel can hold on to this fantasy, it doesn’t bring Cordy back, which is truly devastating.
Illyria pretends to be Fred to comfort Wesley.
“Would you like me to lie to you now?”
Not Fade Away (Season 5, Episode 22)
In the series finale, we have a lot going on, but this moment still stands the test of time for me. These nine words bring me to tears every single time. They are that powerful. Wesley is fatally wounded and only has a few moments left. Illyria has been showing signs of humanity, but she understands what she must do here to comfort him and simply asks Wesley if he would like her to lie to him now. Wesley agrees and Illyria appears to be Fred in front of him, staying with him until the very end so that he can die peacefully with the woman he loves by his side. Wesley’s death is sad enough, but this moment of compassion from Illyria affects my heart and soul. This moment is so incredibly real and touching, as Illyria finally understands what it means to feel grief and loss.
I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some of your own heartbreaking moments from Angel in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!
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