Angel the vampire (David Boreanaz) is a handsome, brooding bloodsucker with a soul featured the WB/UPN fantasy dramas BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (1997-2003) and ANGEL (1999-2004).
Born in Galway, Ireland in the early 1700s, Angel (then known as Angelus) was sired by a vampire named Darla [Anglo-Saxon for “Dear One“]. In 1860, Angelus stalked a young woman named Drusilla, killed her family, drove her to madness and then changed her into a vampire on the day she was to become a nun. With Drusilla and another vampire named William the Bloody [a.k.a. Spike], Angelus terrorized the European landscape.
Unfortunately in 1898, Angelus killed the daughter of a Romanian gypsy and suffered a curse placed by the tribe’s elders. The curse restored Angelus’ human soul which forced him to feel remorse for the killings he had committed over the past centuries. Fleeing to America, Angelus lived in misery until the 1990s when he met a demon named Whistler who mentored Angelus into becoming a force for good.
Arriving in California, Angelus observed a young woman named Buffy Anne Summers, a Slayer who fought demons of darkness. Taken by her beauty and courage Angelus decided to aid Buffy and her friends collectively called “The Scooby Gang.”
Unfortunately, when Angelus and Buffy consummated their love on her 17th birthday, the Romany curse was reversed [it forbid any feelings of happiness] and the soulless 242-year-old Angelus, now known to Buffy as Angel, reverted to his killing state.
Reunited with Spike and Drusilla, Angelus began a campaign of torture and death. He killed Buffy’s classmates and teacher Jenny Calender [Giles Rupert’s girlfriend] and just as he prepared to open up the gates of hell to a demon called Acathla, Buffy foiled his plan and sent Angelus to hell instead.
Tragically, just as Angelus plunge to the netherworld, a spell cast by Willow Rosenberg gave Angelus his soul back. Miraculously Angel returned from hell but he could no longer risk physical intimacy with Buffy for fear of reverting back to his evil counterpart, Angelus.
Angel left Sunnydale, California and relocated to Los Angeles. But despite the distance and irrationality of their relationship [he’s a vampire; she kills them] Angel and Buffy were still deeply in love.
While in the City of Angels, Angel used his powers to help others as a private detective. His partners included Cordelia Chase, one of the original “Scooby Gang” members [who aspired to be an actress]; Doyle an Irish half-Demon with the gift of vision [later killed in a bomb explosion]; and Wesley Wyndham-Pryce, a rogue demon hunter and former Watcher who had helped Buffy in the past. Their corporate motto: “We help the helpless.”
For relaxation, Angel and friends hung out at bar known as “Caritas” owned by Lorne the Demon who provided Angel with information about the demon underworld.
During a battle with an assassin demon [a Moradeen] Angel’s blood mingled with the demon’s regenerative blood and transformed Angel back into a fully functioning pre-vampire human being.
He could now enjoy food and other sensual pleasures as well as walk freely in the daylight without burning up. But after seeing how useless his human form was against the many demons that he and Buffy needed to battle, Angel asked the “Powers That Be” to change him back into a warrior demon vampire so he could protect Buffy and others for any dangers in the future.
Before he was changed back into a vampire, Buffy had visited Los Angeles and both shared a night of blissful love [which was erased from Buffy’s memory 24 hours later]. Angel, on the other hand, had to live with the memory, knowing that he could never be with Buffy again.
In the spring of 2000, Angel’s office building was blown up. While looking for a place to relocate, Angel revisited the Hyperion, a historical hotel built in 1928. He had lived at the hotel in room 217 in 1952. Back then, the Thesulac Demon, an evil whispering force was inhabiting the hotel and affecting the staff and guests by feeding off their fears and prejudices and driving them crazy or to suicide.
After a paranoid crowd of hotel guests [driven by the demon’s influence] hung Angel by the neck from the hotel balcony, a remorseless Angel came back to life and left those in the hotel to the mercy of the evil demon. It then possessed an employee to go door-to-door and kill all the guests with a 12-gauge shotgun. All but one – the woman who betrayed Angel. It kept her in room 214 and feed off her guilt and pain for 48 years.
In the fall of 2000, Angel exorcised the demon and freed the building from its evil curse. He went into room 214 and found the woman who had been held captive by the demon. She asked for Angel’s forgiveness for betraying him to the mob and then died. Secure that the demon had been killed and the hotel was no longer an evil place, Angel moved back into the hotel and used it for his new base of operations. The hotel had been closed since 12/16/79 and declared a historical landmark.
From time to time, Angel beseeched access to the “Powers That Be” who lived on an other plain and knew the future. They informed Angel that one day he would revert back to being a human.
Much happened to Angel after he set up shop in LA. But the biggest event was the birth of his son, Connor who quickly grew to adulthood due to his supernatural origins.
The last time we saw Angel, he was bidding his son Connor to flee Los Angeles, as he and his friends were about to take on an Army of Demons in an apocalyptic alley fight behind the hotel. The demons, of course, were sent courtesy of the law firm of Wolfram and Hart. But Angel is a survivor, and I suspect we will be seeing him again – despite the overwhelming odds he faced in his last battle.
Note: On the detective drama THE ROCKFORD FILES/NBC/1974-80 Stuart Margolin appeared as Angel Martin, the slimy con-man and hustler friend of private eye Jim Rockford (James Garner).
The police drama NASH BRIDGES/CBS/1996-2001 featured a weird street person named Angel (Tracey Walter) who dressed in a white robe and sported a pair of huge feathered angel wings.