I Will Remember You (Angel)

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"I Will Remember You"
Angel episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 8
Directed byDavid Grossman
Written byDavid Greenwalt
Jeannine Renshaw
Production code1ADH08
Original air dateNovember 23, 1999
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"I Will Remember You" is episode 8 of season 1 in the television show Angel, originally broadcast on the WB network. In this episode, Buffy follows Angel back to Los Angeles, where she confronts him about his surreptitious assistance back in Sunnydale. They are attacked by a Mohra demon; when Angel kills the demon he is restored to life by its powerful blood. After The Oracles — a link to The Powers That Be — confirm he is human again, Angel and Buffy spend a blissful night together. When Doyle receives a vision that the Mohra has regenerated itself, Angel leaves to kill the demon for good. In the ensuing battle, Angel discovers the consequences of having only human strength; Buffy must come to his rescue and slay the demon herself. Angel returns to The Oracles, who agree to turn back time so that Angel, accepting the entire cost of the bargain, can kill the Mohra before its blood makes him human. This episode is #78 on the TV Guide list of TV's Top 100 Episodes of all time.


Buffy surprises Angel with a visit to Los Angeles. Their emotion-driven discussion is interrupted by the arrival of a Mohra demon. Angel stabs the demon, but it retreats to the sewers. Buffy and Angel hesitantly follow, discussing their future as a couple and the feelings about each other. They split up; Angel meets the demon on his route. As they fight, the Mohra demon cuts Angel. Angel kills the demon. Its blood, eventually found to be the Blood of Eternity, merges with his own, and he becomes human.

Realizing what this means for their relationship, Angel spends the night with Buffy. However, Doyle shares the news that the Mohra demon is alive: the demon's rejuvenating blood also worked on itself. So, Angel sets out with Doyle to kill the demon, without Buffy's much-needed supernatural assistance. Angel fails miserably until Buffy shows up and slays the demon. Angel realizes how useless he is in his human form, and asks the Oracles to turn back time to make him a "demon with a soul" once more. They consent, and time is set back twenty four hours despite a heartbroken Buffy begging Angel to remain human before the Mohra demon is killed, with only Angel as a witness to the night he and Buffy shared.

Production details[edit]

In his essay on the music used in Angel, Matthew Mills points out how, when Angel asks the Oracles to turn back time, the slow tempo and use of the clarinet in the background music adds "emotive weight to the Oracles' sympathy" for his situation. As the Oracles explain that only Angel will remember the moments he shared with Buffy, Angel's theme ends on a minor key, underscoring the sacrifice being made.[1]

"Angel is one of those heroes who flourish on frustration," Peter S. Beagle says, "who thrive on never achieving their hearts' desire." This episode, in which Angel relinquishes the chance to have a normal, happy life with Buffy in order to "fulfill his penance," perfectly typifies Angel's character and fate, says Beagle.[2]


Arc significance[edit]

  • This is the second time in the series Angel gives up a chance at happiness. In the episode, "In the Dark", he relinquishes the ability to walk in the sun.
  • This episode is the first time that Angel makes an arrangement that causes those around him to forget something significant in order to protect those he loves. In the season four finale, "Home", Angel alters everyone's memories so that his son, Connor, can have a normal life.
  • This is the first appearance of The Oracles, a pair of humanoid beings, brother and sister, both unpredictable and self-important, that serve and speak for The Powers That Be. The Oracles last appear at the end of season one, in "To Shanshu in L.A."
  • The Shanshu Prophecy is implied during Angel's meeting with the Oracles.


  • Crossover with Buffy: This episode follows the events of "Pangs," which aired immediately before.
  • When Buffy snarks at Angel, "I was really jonesing for another heartbreaking sewer talk," she refers to events in the season three Buffy episode, "The Prom", where Angel breaks up with her while they are patrolling Sunnydale sewers.
  • When Angel first returns to the office after becoming human, Cordelia worriedly demands, "Did you do it with Buffy?" And as Doyle steps up to stare into Angel's eyes she warns, "Watch it, Doyle. Don't get too close." This is a reference to the events of the last half of season two of Buffy, beginning in "Surprise", when Angel's curse is broken by his moment of happiness with the Slayer, thus causing him to lose his soul and reverting him to the evil Angelus.
  • That much of Buffy's pleasure comes from her sense of being a "normal girl falling asleep in the arms of her normal boyfriend" underscores one of the Slayer's fundamental internal conflicts, which she first expresses to Giles in the Buffy premiere, "Welcome to the Hellmouth", and essentially resolves in the series finale, "Chosen".
  • Buffy reminds Angel to include peanut butter in the supplies he grabs from the kitchen, recalling Angel's exasperation with Cordelia for getting peanut butter in his bed several weeks earlier, in "Rm w/a Vu".
  • Buffy's challenge to Mohra, "You hurt my boyfriend," recalls her very similar challenge to Spike in the season two Buffy episode, "What's My Line, Part Two", after he abducts Angel as the blood sacrifice in his healing ritual for Drusilla: "You can hurt me, you can send assassins after me, but nobody messes with my boyfriend."
  • When Buffy and Angel are approaching each other for their final embrace toward the end of the episode, the music starts to swell and it is noticed that the music is that of "Close Your Eyes," the main theme heard in Season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer during the finale, "Becoming: Part 2."
  • This episode marks the final on screen meeting of Buffy and Cordelia, who have known each other since the events of the Buffy pilot episode "Welcome to the Hellmouth". Whereas both characters appear in the subsequent Angel episode "Sanctuary", they do not share any scenes.

Cultural references[edit]

  • Titanic: Cordelia tells Doyle they have time for a cappucino and, probably, the director's cut of Titanic while "The Buffy and Angel Show" runs its accustomed lengthy and dramatic course.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Before knowing the species of demon they pursue, Buffy refers to it as a Mutant Ninja Demon Thing, especially apt since they track it in the sewers.
  • Famille rose vase, Qing Dynasty c. 1811: Angel knows better than to show up a second time before The Oracles empty-handed.
  • Orson Welles: When Angel begins gorging on food, Doyle calls Angel "Orson" in reference to the director with a famous mid-life obesity. May also be a reference to Orson Pig from Garfield and Friends.


Noel Murray of The A.V. Club liked the premise but not the whole execution, writing, "It's an undeniably sweet episode, but I have to say I found the set-up clunky and the complications a little forced, no matter how beautifully it all plays out."[3]

In Entertainment Weekly's list of the 25 best Whedonverse episodes—including episodes from Angel, as well as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Dollhouse—"I Will Remember You" placed at #14.[4] This episode was rated the series' best episode in a poll done by Angel Magazine in 2005.[5]


  1. ^ Mills, Matthew (2005), "Ubi Caritas?: Music as Narrative Agent in Angel", in Stacey Abbott, Reading Angel: The TV Spin-off With a Soul, I.B.Tauris, pp. 33–34, ISBN 1-85043-839-0, retrieved 10-8-2007 Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. ^ Beagle, Peter S. (2004), "The Good Vampire: Spike and Angel", in Glenn Yeffeth, Five Seasons of Angel, BenBella, p. 120, ISBN 1-932100-33-4
  3. ^ Murray, Noel (7 August 2009). ""The Initiative", etc". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  4. ^ Bernardin, Marc; Vary, Adam B. (24 September 2009). "25 Best Whedonverse Episodes". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  5. ^ Top Angel episodes, BBC, 18 January 2005, archived from the original on 19 March 2005, retrieved 2007-10-16

External links[edit]