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Innocence

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 2, Episode 14
BuffyRocket
Air date January 20, 1998
Written by Joss Whedon
Directed by Joss Whedon
Episode Guide
previous
"Surprise"
next
"Phases"
Cast
Starring
Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy
Nicholas Brendon Xander
Alyson Hannigan Willow
Charisma Carpenter Cordelia
David Boreanaz Angelus
Anthony Stewart Head Giles
Special Guest Starring
Vincent Schiavelli Uncle Enyos
James Marsters Spike
Juliet Landau Drusilla
Guest Starring
Seth Green Oz
Kristine Sutherland Joyce
Robia LaMorte Jenny
Brian Thompson The Judge
Ryan Francis Soldier
Co Starring
James Lurie Teacher
Carla Madden Woman
Parry Shen Student

"Innocence" is the fourteenth episode of the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is the twenty-sixth episode altogether. It was written and directed by Joss Whedon. It originally broadcast on January 20, 1998.


Synopsis

After making love with Buffy earlier that night, Angel escapes into the alley with a piercing pain in his heart, clearly in despair to realize he is losing his soul. When a women tries to help him a few minutes later, he immediately, and gleefully, kills her.

In the factory, Spike and Drusilla are waiting as the Judge gathers his strength. Suddenly Dru gets a vision that initially causes her pain, but she soon begins smiling as she realizes something good is coming for them...

Buffy wakes up and, finding Angel gone, quickly gets dressed and leaves to find him

In the factory, Dru names all the stars in the sky (giving them all the same name) when suddenly Angelus enters, much to Spike's surprise and anger (given he doesn't know about the transformation) who quickly sets the Judge on him. Spike and Dru wait for the Judge to burn Angel, but nothing happens. Confused, they ask what's wrong and Judge responds that there is nothing to burn... He is clean of humanity. Spike and Dru are amazed as they realize Angel's soul is gone and he is one of them again.

The two can barely believe what's happened. Drusilla dances around in celebration at Angelus returning home, and even Spike is pleased to see his mentor is back to his old evil self and makes a remark about how he hated seeing Angel as the Slayer's "lapdog", only for Angelus to make a motion like he's about to attack Spike before kissing him on the forehead. The couple invite Angelus to join them in using the Judge to destroy the world, and while he's happy to participate he asks them to hold off for a day as he wants to get revenge on Buffy first. Spike realizes that Angelus really wants to make Buffy suffer (not that he has any problems with that), and Angelus tells him that she made him feel like a human... "'that's not the kind of thing you just forgive".

In the library, the gang are worried about Buffy and Angel since neither reported in the previous evening. Thinking they may have been captured, Willow and Xander tell everyone to prepare to visit the factory before Buffy walks in looking for Angel

AngelusBack

Angelus is back.

While researching a way to defeat the Judge, a demon whom "no weapon forged" can harm, Xander and Cordelia get caught kissing in the library by a crushed and furious Willow, who tells Xander that he'd rather be with someone he hates than her. She runs out in distress.

In Angel's apartment, Buffy finds Angelus and tries to talk to him about the previous night. However, intent on emotionally breaking her, Angelus makes several cutting remarks about the previous night making it seem like he was just using her and reminding her that it wasn't his first time. Buffy becomes upset at this sudden change and tries to reach the man she knew, but Angelus just half-heartedly promises to call her. Buffy is left distraught. 

Jenny visits her Uncle Enyos again, who informs her that it's too late and Angel's suffering ended and his soul is gone.

At school, Willow returns and talks to Xander. She makes it clear she doesn't understand why he's with Cordelia, doesn't want to understand it and that she is still very angry with him, but understands that there are bigger problems right now. They discuss the Judge and Xander confirms there's no new information, all the books read the same that no weapon forged can kill him and last time is took an army... a comment which strikes inspiration in Xander and he quickly works out a way to destroy the Judge...

...suddenly the lights go out and Willow and Xander worry before they see Angelus (hidden in shadows). He sends Xander to get the others and calls Willow over telling her he's got something to show her. Willow starts to walk towards him, when Jenny arrives and tells Willow to get away. However Willow doesn't quick enough and Angelus grabs her by the neck, ready to kill her. Buffy arrives, and Angelus makes it clear that he's evil now and intends to kill all her friends as a message. However Xander manages to get behind Angelus and shoves a cross in his face, causing him to let Willow go. Buffy takes the chance to attack in order to save Xander, but Angelus grabs her and forcibly kisses her promising that things are about to get interesting. He leaves, and Buffy is left devastated over what has just happened.

In the library, the gang discuss this alarming turn of events. Willow tries to comfort Buffy, but then she realizes that Jenny knew Angel had turned before he revealed himself. Jenny lies that she saw his face in the darkness. Giles knows that something set off this transformation, and Buffy realizes that it was having sex with Angel that caused him to lose his soul. Buffy, overwhelmed by what's happening, leaves in distress as Willow realizes the two slept together.

Xander tells the others that he has a plan to defeat the Judge but he needs Cordelia's help for it to work. He mentions that they also need transport, and Willow tells him that they can use Oz's van. Xander refuses to tell Cordelia her part in the plan, and they agree to meet later. As for Buffy, Willow and Jenny decide that she needs some time alone. Everyone agrees, hating to think what Buffy is going through.

Buffy returns home and attempts to hold herself together, but after seeing the cross that Angel gave her and his ring still on her finger, finally suffers an emotional meltdown and collapses onto her bed, sobbing uncontrollably. Falling asleep, Buffy has another dream where she's initially with Angel making love before standing in a graveyard with him and Jenny... making Buffy realize that Jenny knows more than she's letting on. The next day, Buffy confronts Jenny by slamming her on a desk, and although Giles tries to stop her Jenny shocks him when she admits that she is a member of the Gypsy clan that cursed Angelus so long ago and that it was a moment of total happiness that caused him to lose his soul (causing Giles to realize that Buffy and Angel had sex which caused it). Buffy tells her to curse Angel again, but Jenny explains that it's old magic which is long since lost to her people. When Buffy, Jenny, and Giles visit Enyos for answers, they find that Angelus has brutally murdered him, leaving the message WAS IT GOOD FOR YOU TOO? daubed in blood. Giles tells Buffy that Angelus is trying to make it harder for her... But Buffy feels that he's just making it easier, knowing she'll have to kill him.

After being driven there by Willow and Oz, Xander and Cordelia sneak into a military base. When a soldier confronts him, Xander claims that they're there to make out near weaponry, and suddenly quotes military procedure that makes the soldier agree to leave them alone for a few mintues. Cordelia asks him where he got all the knowledge he just used, and Xander admits that all the knowledge he gained when he turned into a soldier at Halloween is still with him, including that concerning weaponry. The two then steal a large box. In the van, Willow asks Oz if he wants to make out. Oz tells her that he is looking forward to kissing her but declines, given that it's obvious she only wants to kiss to make Xander jealous. As a result, Willow's respect and feelings for Oz grow.

The four return to the library with their "present" for Buffy. Jenny offers to help in the confrontation with the Judge, but Buffy refuses to accept her offer. When Jenny tries to insist Giles orders her to leave, emotionally hurt over the secrets she's been keeping.

After Xander gives Buffy a crash course in how to work her new "present", the gang head to the factory only to find it seemingly empty (Spike is hiding, but in his weakened state knows he is in no condition to confront them). They realize that Angelus and the Judge are making their move, but don't know where they're going. They work out the Judge will go somewhere with a lot of people, but can't figure out where. Cordelia remarks that people aren't going to "line up to get massacred", which strikes a chord with Oz who knows somewhere people do line up...

Angelus, Dru, the Judge and a gang of vampires arrive at a mall multiplex filled with people waiting for the movies to start. Angelus has the exits sealed, and the Judge starts to burn all the people in the place... But at the last second Buffy shoots him with an arrow. The Judge is unconcerned, and reminds her that "no weapon forged of man" can kill him. Buffy shows him times have changed and pulls out her "present"... A rocket launcher! Angelus and Dru realize what is about to happen and dive out of the way and Buffy gets it ready. The Judge asks "What's that do?" as Buffy fires and the projectile blows the Judge into tiny pieces. Drusilla, distressed, quickly leaves and Angel slips away too, but Buffy follows. She tells her friends to pick up the pieces and keep them separate, as the sprinkler system starts up.

Buffy searches for Angelus, only for him to get the jump on her. He boasts that he only pretended to love her, but Buffy tells him she knows he isn't the man she loved and his words won't work on her anymore. Angelus doesn't believe her remarking that she still made him what he is. The two, soaking wet from the sprinklers, fight and Buffy manages to overpower him. She pulls out a stake, but Angelus tells her that he knows she can't kill him. Buffy knows she's right, and instead knees him in the groin. As Angelus sinks to the floor, Buffy tells him it's only a matter of time.

Giles drives Buffy home and she feels awful for putting her friends in serious danger from Angelus. Giles assures her that, although she did act irresponsibly, it is obvious that she and Angel loved each other and that he hasn't lost his trust and respect in her.

Later, Buffy and her mother sit down to watch a movie, Joyce presenting her with a cupcake mounted with a candle and a promise of a later shopping trip. Joyce asks Buffy what she got for her birthday, and Buffy simply answers that she got older. She decides not to blow out the candle on her birthday cupcake and instead just lets it burn. A sad Buffy cuddles up in the arms of a visibly concerned Joyce whilst a romantic song plays on the old movie they are watching, "Goodnight, my love..."

Continuity

  • The Big Bad for season two has appeared and Buffy, of all people, helped make it happen.
  • This is the first instance where Xander reveals he has retained military knowledge after the events of the Halloween episode.
  • Willow learns of Xander and Cordelia's relationship.
  • The explosion of the rocket actually begins slightly before impacting the Judge. Joss' commentary explains it as necessary because "We had to mask the rocket bouncing off of the statue".
  • Although Buffy gets the drop on Angel when she first learns he is a vampire ("Angel"), and tries to goad him into fighting her when she comes back from visiting her father in L.A. ("When She Was Bad"), it is not until he reverts to Angelus in this episode that they engage in their first actual battle with one another.
  • Jenny's past and ulterior motives for being in Sunnydale are revealed.
  • Drusilla refers to Angel as "Angel" rather than Angelus. In Angel episodes, Drusilla almost always refers to him as "Angelus," even going so far as to call him "that Angel beast" when he has a soul ("Reunion"). Being he her torturer and sire, and slayer of her family, it's not a surprise she deeply hates him, though being companions for decades.
  • This episode is the only episode of the series to focus on the Big Bad of the particular season.
  • It is established that Sunnydale has its own army base, which will recur in later stories.
  • We learn that there are various degrees of evil in vampires. Angelus does not have enough humanity for the Judge to burn him in this episode, but Dalton had enough in the previous episode.
  • When Angelus affirm to Spike that "To kill this girl [Buffy]... you have to love her", it foreshadowing the future and destructive passion between the blond vampire and the Slayer into Season 6.
  • Oz joins the Scooby Gang in this episode, aiding them in stealing the rocket launcher and joining them in going to the Factory and the Mall. He had learned of the truth about what was going on in the previous episode.

Body Count

  • A woman, drained by Angelus
  • Enyos Kalderash, killed by Angelus
  • A man, burned by The Judge
  • The Judge, blown to pieces by Buffy with a rocket launcher (likely just incapacitated)

Background Information

Production

  • Asked about his decision to turn Angel evil, Joss Whedon said that he feels it was necessary to keep the story fresh. Although the fan base wanted Buffy and Angel to be together romantically, Whedon said "What people want is not what they need."[1]
  • The rocket launcher was originally going to be a tank, but that turned out to be too expensive.
  • In the flashback scenes of Buffy and Angel consummating their relationship, it's not actually David and Sarah's breathing we can hear, but rather Joss Whedon and supervising sound editor Cindy Rabideau. Apparently Joss was too embarrassed to ask the actors to provide this particular voiceover.
  • Filming had to be halted for 25 minutes after Sarah Michelle Gellar's big crying scene for the actress to compose herself.

Broadcast

  • This episode was the highest rated episode of Buffy ever, scoring a 5.2 Nielsen rating and a 6.7 overnight rating, with each ratings point representing 980,000 households. In millions of viewers, this episode scored the biggest of the series (8.2 million).
  • With this episode, the show moved permanently from Mondays to Tuesdays. As a result of the move, this episode originally aired just one day after 'Surprise'.

Deleted Scenes

  • This exchange was cut for length:[2]
Gypsy Man: "You! Evil one!"
Angelus: "Evil one? Oh, man, now I've got hurt feelings."
Gypsy Man: "What do you want?"
Angelus: "A whole lot. Got a lot of lost time to make up for. Say, I guess that's kind of your fault, isn't it? You Gypsy types, you go and curse people, you really don't care who gets hurt. Of course, you did give me an escape clause, so I gotta thank you for that."
Gypsy Man: "You are an abomination. The day you stop suffering for your crimes, you are no longer worthy of a human soul."
Angelus: "Well, that pesky little critter's all gone. So we can get down to business... Don't worry, it won't hurt a bit...after the first hour."

Pop Culture References

  • Smurf: Buffy clearly means to insult the Judge, having already told Giles that the demon was not "the prettiest man in town."
  • Quest for Camelot: When Buffy battles Angelus in the mall's movie theater, posters for this 1998 Warner Bros film can be seen on the walls.
  • At the end, the movie Buffy and her mom are watching is Stowaway, a 1936 musical starring Shirley Temple, Alice Faye, and Robert Young. The song "Goodnight, My Love" is being sung by Faye and Young.

Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors

  • You can see Drusilla reflecting off of the brass plate behind her when the explosion takes place.
  • After Angelus reveals himself at the school, Xander tells Cordelia to meet him at Willow's house in half an hour. However, the heist does not actually take place until the next day (in between the two scenes, Buffy falls asleep and confronts Jenny the next morning). Joss Whedon has acknowledge this error, and suggested for the sake of realism that he and Cordelia simply met up with Willow and Oz to go over the plan before going through with it the following evening.

Music

  • Alice Faye - "Goodnight My Love" (Plays as Buffy and her mom watch the movie at the end of the episode.)
  • Christophe Beck - "What's That Do?"
  • Christophe Beck - "Moment of Happiness"

International Titles

  • French: Innocence - partie 2 (Innocence - part 2)
  • Finnish: Enkeli vai Paholainen? (Angel or Demon?)
  • German: Der gefallene Engel (The fallen Angel)

Other

  • Joss Whedon has listed this as his favorite episode. Whedon said of the episode: "The scene where Angel has become Angelus but is pretending he's not and that he's just had a one-night stand with Buffy and that destroys her. When he came to her and said, 'Why are you making a big thing out of it?' When he acted like a guy. I wrote that scene and thought, 'I might be a worse person than I ever imagined because I am able to write this scene.' I think I just tapped into somebody really horrible and it came rather easily. Ugh."
  • This episode is Angelus-centric.
  • This episode is included in The Slayer Collection: Angel DVD.
  • In traditional vampire lore, roses are actually supposed to repel vampires. That does not seem to be the case in the Buffyverse, although Drusilla does not seem to care for them.

Quotes

Dru - "I'm naming all the stars."
Spike - "You can't see the stars, love; that's the ceiling. Also, it's day."
Dru - "I can see them, but I've named them all the same name, and there's terrible confusion."
Spike - [to Dru] - "Do you know what happens to Angel?"
Angelus - "Well, he moved to New York and tries to fulfill that Broadway dream, it's tough slaying but one day, he's working in the chorus when the big star twists her ankle."
Oz - "So, do you guys steal weapons from the army a lot?"
Willow - "Well we don't have cable so we have to make our own fun."
Cordelia - "So does looking at guns make you wanna have sex?"
Xander - I'm 17. Looking at linoleum makes me wanna have sex."
Willow - "My God! You people are all - well, I'm upset, and I can't think of a mean word right now, but that's what you are, and we're going to the Factory."
Xander - "Whoa, whoa! I-I think I'm havin' a thought. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's a thought. Now I'm havin' a plan." [the light go out] "And now I'm havin' a wiggins."
Willow - "I knew it! I knew it! Well, not 'knew it' in the sense of having the slightest idea, but I knew there was something I didn't know. You two were fighting way too much. It's not natural!"
Xander - "I know it's weird..."
Willow - "Weird? It's against all laws of God and Man! It's Cordelia! Remember? The, the 'We Hate Cordelia' club, of which you are the treasurer."
Xander - "Look, I was gonna tell you."
Willow - "Gee, what stopped you? Could it be shame?"
Oz - "Uh... arm!"

References

  1. The man behind the Slayer
  2. The Watcher's Guide, Vol.1 by Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder, 1998.

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