This is an episode all about our mysterious hero
Buffy and Willow are emo-ing about guys in the Bronze. Buffy claims she is crush-less, despite Willow bringing up Angel. Willow sighs dreamily as she watches Xander.
Xander: [to Cordelia] "Y'know, hey, I don't know what everyone's talking about. That
outfit doesn't make you look like a hooker!"
Buffy, depressed about her love-less life, heads home, only to be stalked--sadly not by Angel--but by THE THREE. A gang of super strong vampire dudes that the Master sent after Buffy. Angel is there to save the day. Both of them escape to her house, though Angel is not unscathed. Buffy orders him to strip so she can tend to his wound.
HELLO, SALTY GOODNESS!
Buffy's mom comes home and she tells her Angel is helping her "study." Yeah, right. She sneaks him up to her room, claiming he HAS to stay the night to keep out of danger from The Three. Smooth move, Buffy. He sleeps beside her bed and adorableness ensues.
Angel: Y-you even look pretty when you go to sleep.
Buffy: Well, when I wake up it's an entirely different story....Here. Sleep tight.....Angel?
Buffy: Do you snore?
Angel: I don't know. It's been a long time since anybody's been in a position to let me know.
The next morning, Buffy recounts the story to Xander's alarm, while Willow finds it utterly romantic. Giles tells them some info about the The Three and announces that since they failed in killing Buffy and Angel, they'll sacrifice their lives to the Master. Problem solved, right?
Willow: How is it you always know this stuff? You always know what's going on. I never know what's going on.
Giles: Well, you weren't here from midnight until six researching it.
Willow: No, I was sleeping.
And then Buffy and Giles do some training. Buffy is dying to try out the crossbow, but Giles wants her to practice with the staff first. Being the Slayer, she catches on quickly.
Poor Giles. Not only is he wearing something ridiculous, he got his ass kicked!
Buffy goes home to bring Angel a sandwhich and asks how his day was. Spotting her open diary on her nightstand, she wigs out.
Buffy: My diary? You read my diary? That is *not* okay! A diary is like a person's most private place! I... You don't even know what I was writing about! 'Hunk' can mean a lot of things, bad things. And, and when it says that your eyes are 'penetrating', I meant to write 'bulging'....And 'A' doesn't even stand for 'Angel' for that matter, it
stands for... 'Achmed', a charming foreign exchange student, so that whole fantasy part has nothing to even do with you at all...
Angel: Your mother moved your diary when she came in to straighten up.
I watched from the closet. I didn't read it, I swear.
LOL, poor Buffy. Insert foot into mouth. Oh well, at least Angel finds it adorable and charming. So, they do this:
FIRST ANGEL & BUFFY KISS! YAY! My inner Bangel fangirl is screaming with innocent joy.
This feeling lasts for only a few seconds because suddenly Angel VAMPS OUT mid-kiss. What the hell!? Apparently kissing Buffy was too much for him and he didn't know what to do, so he vamped out? I really can't rationalize this because it still makes absolutely no sense to me. Of course, kissing could be leading to some sort of perfect happiness, so maybe he was controlling himself for the future...
Anyway, Buffy screams and Angel jumps out the window. She is super depressed the next day, trying to seek some sort of comfort from Willow, Xander, and Giles.
Xander, still desperately in love with Buffy, tries to convince her to stake him.
Xander: You're in love with a vampire?! What, are you outta your mind?!
Xander: Not vampire...How could you love an umpire? Everyone hates 'em!
Back at Angel's humble abode, Darla, the Master's adorable pet pays him a visit and we learn a lot about Angel's history. It's clear the two have known each other for hundreds of years, wreaked some havoc, but something obviously changed in Angel. What could it be? Darla advises him to tell Buffy about the curse. What is this curse? Hmmm!
Back at Sunnydale High, Giles is researching Angel. We find out he used to be Angelus, a horrible killing machine!
Giles: Does this, uh, Angel have, um, a tattoo behind his right shoulder?
Buffy: Yeah, it's a, it's a bird or something.
Xander: Now I'm sayin' something. You saw him naked?
Buffy and Willow try to distract themselves with studying, but decide boys are far more interesting. Willow moons about Xander, Buffy sighs about Angel. Darla pays Buffy's mom, Joyce, a visit at her home, claiming to be a study buddy. She bites her and Angel, passing by (or stalking Buffy's house in an attempt to explain himself) hears her scream. He's holding Joyce after Darla runs away just as Buffy comes home. Talk about bad timing! Poor guy. Joyce is rushed to the hospital and Buffy decides she's going to kill Angel. Off to get the crossbow, she goes!
As they spar, Angel tells her he was cursed by gypsies with a soul. She offers her neck to him, but he politely declines. Darla interrupts their touching moment with GUNS. Guns become a running theme in Buffy. I've found that in the Buffy world, Joss hates guns. They make things complicated and never help things. So, people who use guns tend to get quite punished.
Darla shoots Angel, Buffy shoots her with a crossbow and misses by a few inches. They fight a little more and eventually Angel stakes her in the heart with a crossbow arrow, killing his sire without a second thought. Thinking about the future of Buffy & Angel, this is really sad.
Buffy is conflicted about what to do and the next night at the Bronze, she and Angel talk.
Angel: I just wanted to see if you were okay. And your mother.
Buffy: We're both good. You?
Angel: If I can go a little while without getting shot or stabbed I'll be alright. Look, this can't...
Buffy: ...ever be anything. I know. For one thing, you're, like, two hundred and twenty-four years older than I am.
Angel: I just gotta... I gotta walk away from this.
Buffy: I know. Me, too. One of us has to go here.
Angel: I know.
And then they kiss. And I am a huge Bangel sap and cried while watching this. I miss these simpler times. It's just so romantic because it's the beginning of the epic love story that is Buffy and Angel.