You didn’t actually think I’d do this Christmas Challenge without Buffy, did you? I mean, out of all the Whedon series, I think Buffy is the only one with a Christmas episode (or was there a random Christmas party in an episode of Angel that I’m forgetting?). “Amends” is a rare gem, and I love watching it every year.
To be honest, the plot’s kind-of boring after you see it over and over. Angel is being tormented by what he thinks are the ghosts of his past kills. They taunt him over and over to kill the Slayer, to give into his evil. Angel is feeling beaten and guilty, and finally decides that he should give up and leave himself to die.
Meanwhile, the Scoobies discover that these aren’t real ghosts (and Angel’s not really going crazy). The First is here to make sure Angel works with whatever plan he has in store. First and foremost, that’s killing the Slayer. But hey, if Angel just dies, I guess that can work, too.
The flashbacks don’t really do it for me anymore, but I really just watch this episode for the ending. Buffy and Angel stand on a hill overlooking Sunnydale, and Angel gives a speech about the little kids that are sneaking out of their beds on Christmas morning to see what they got. Getting up before the sunrise. The same sunrise that will kill him. Buffy argues with him, and they briefly fight. It’s too hard to be a monster, and the thing that needs killing is the man inside. What does Angel have to live for?
Well, what about Buffy? She killed him and it didn’t even help. And if he wants to kill himself, then do it, but don’t let him think that it’s showing his strength and don’t expect her to watch —
And then it snows.
Ok, I seriously tear up every time this happens. Last night I was barely watching the episode, doing a little online shopping at the same time, and even at that moment, I looked up and saw that snowfall, I was instantly brought back to that moment when I first saw it. The world was telling Angel that he can’t die. There would be no sun today.
It’s just a beautiful scene, and for a place like Sunnydale that never gets snow and where everyone was complaining about the heat, it just emphasized that a higher power somewhere was watching out for Angel that Christmas Eve night.
Recommendation: Of course. Of course. And yes, of course.