Season 2 Episode 14 — Innocence
Full nerd disclosure: I am a huge fan of the 1990s TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. When asked my favorite superhero (a question that happens more and more and not only in geek/nerd circles, but even in the workplace), I readily and shamelessly answer Buffy.
I’ve always had a soft spot for the gothic, the horror subset of the fantasy genre, for ancient volumes of forgotten lore. Not to mention, Buffy’s object of affection in the first several seasons is Angel, that smokin’ hot brooding hottie, (did I mention he’s super hot?), a vampire with a soul where other vamps have none, a gypsy curse that keeps him from finding true happiness, and a spinoff series of his own. Add to that the element of an ass-kicking girl coming of age at about the same time as me, and what you’ve created is a lifelong fan.
In Season 2 Episode 14 (entitled “Innocence”), Buffy and Angel take their relationship to the grown-up level. It’s Buffy’s first time, and it turns out to be bad news for Angel (and, well, pretty much everyone) due to the aforementioned gypsy curse. As it turns out, once Angel achieves true happiness, his soul flees his body — and he’s back to the same ruthless, brutal, bloodthirsty vampire ways he indulged for centuries.
They do it. She gives it up (willingly, fully consensual) to an older, mysterious, but seemingly wonderful hottie with a deeply troubled soul, and the very next moment Angel is a changed man. He leaves their bed and roams the streets looking for prey — he feasts on humans like traditional vamps with no souls are wont to do. When he returns to the bed he and Buffy have just shared, he is snarky, petulant, and mean to her. He ridicules her for her lack of experience in the sack, among other things.
As one can imagine, when Buffy awakes to find the immediate and consummate change, her heart is broken.
It gets worse: Angel stalks her. He gaslights her. He attacks her friends, tortures her Watcher. He recruits other vampires to gang up against her and her Scooby crew, and then kills her Watcher’s girlfriend just to put the icing on the cake. “There’s no humanity in him,” the Judge, a recently revived and purely evil demon, declares. Angel’s…