Tag Archives: Wolfram & Hart

Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: Connor

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Read at your own risk if you have not watched one or both television series. In this series of character reviews, I will strictly be writing about the characters from the television series, not the 1992 film.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

One of the marks of adulthood is making the conscious or unconscious decision to break away from your parents and how you were raised. The grey area of this decision is that as much as you may want to break away from your parents, they are always with you.

On Angel, that break is represented by Connor (Vincent Kartheiser). Born to two vampires, Angel (David Boreanaz) and Darla (Julie Benz), he was not raised in the typical happy family life.

Initially taken care of by his father and the rest of the gang at Angel Investigations, Connor is kidnapped and raised by Daniel Holtz (Keith Szarabajka) and raised in another dimension. Taught to hate his father, Connor has superhuman abilities and is not afraid to use those abilities.

Returning to Earth, Connor is now a teenager and is intent on killing Angel. But Angel, like many good parents, forgives his son, even after Connor tries to drown him and watches him from a distance. He also, like many young men, falls in love. The woman he falls in love is Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter). She becomes pregnant and both are manipulated by a cosmic entity bent on destruction.

To save his son’s life, Angel agrees to take over the running of Wolfram & Hart. Connor’s memories are wiped and replaced with that of a normal childhood. Though his memories are briefly returned to him, Angel tells him to go back to his foster parents and live as any young man would.

To sum it up: Though Connor tries to run from his past and his parentage, he can separate himself from the fact that he is Angel’s son. By the time the series ended, Connor found peace with himself, his past and his father. As fans, we remember Connor because we understand his inclinations and though we may have grown past that stage of life, we can easily remember going on that same path.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: Winifred “Fred” Burkle

Dearest readers, I apologize for not posting last week. Life, as it sometimes does, got in the way.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Read at your own risk if you have not watched one or both television series. In this series of character reviews, I will strictly be writing about the characters from the television series, not the 1992 film.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

In any team, there is the brawn and there is the brains. While they are equally important, there is something to be said for using your brains instead of just physically beating your enemy with everything that you have. On Angel, Angel (David Boreanaz) was the brawn, the brains of Angel Investigations was Winifred “Fred” Burkle (Amy Acker).

Fred was introduced to the audience in 2001, when she is rescued from Pylea by the Angel Investigations crew. Her rescue was not planned, the plan by the Angel Investigations crew was just to bring home Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter). But they discovered that Fred was enslaved, they freed her and brought her back to Los Angeles.

Using Fred’s background in physics and mathematics, the Angel Investigations team was able to develop strategies to protect Los Angeles from whatever baddies threatened the city. But Fred was more than a brain, she had two relationships that were not quite so happily ever after: Charles Gunn (J. August Richards) and Wesley Wyndam Price (Alexis Denisof).

When the crew takes over Wolfram & Hart, a mysterious sarcophagus appears. The being inside the sarcophagus, Illyria, slowly kills Fred before taking over her body. Fred’s last words before dies are “Wesley, why can’t I stay?”.

To sum it up: Though every action/adventure narrative has to have a character who uses intellect to solve the problem, this character has to be more than just “the brain”. Fred is more than “the brain”. She is woman with a heart, a conscious, an innocent look that belies an intelligence and most of all, a vital part of Angel Investigations.

Which is why, after all of these years, Fred is still a beloved character.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: Lorne

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Read at your own risk if you have not watched one or both television series. In this series of character reviews, I will strictly be writing about the characters from the television series, not the 1992 film.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

A good joke has the ability to lighten the mood. When a show is particularly dark, comedy is needed to break up the darkness for both the characters and the viewers. On Angel, the comedy came by way of Lorne (the late Andy Hallett). Given the name of  Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan at birth, Lorne comes from a warrior clan who are constantly battling against the forces of evil and have a serious distaste for humans.

Among his kind, Lorne was unique. He enjoyed art and music and preferred to spend his time doing anything but training for battle. After being sucked to Earth via a portal (the same portal that sent Winifred” Fred” Burkle (Amy Acker) to Lorne’s home dimension of Pylea), he opened a karaoke bar. Instead of using his innate mystical gifts to hunt prey or fight, he used them to read the emotions of those who sung on his karaoke stage.

Lorne reluctantly joins Angel Investigations, initially preferring to do his part as a neutral third party. But Angel (David Boreanaz) has a way with words and before he knows it, Lorne is part of the crew. While living and working with Angel’s team (and taking care of Connor (played as an adult by Vincent Kartheiser), Angel’s newborn son), he discovers that the hotel they call home is bugged.

A brief stay in Las Vegas turns into a nightmare when a crime lord threatens to kill innocent people unless Lorne uses his abilities for less than honest means. In the final season of Angel, after the team takes over running Wolfram & Hart, Lorne is put in charge of the entertainment division. But all is not what it seems.

After Fred is murdered and Illyria takes over her body, Lorne’s normal cheerful disposition turns dark. Disgusted with the way that his world and his friends have changed, he walks away for good.

To sum it up: We all need a good laugh. In the world of Angel, where darkness and death were sewn into the narrative, Lorne provided a laugh, a one-liner and a moment to just breathe. As a character, the audience remembers Lorne because of his ability to make the audience laugh. That is why we love him and why we keep going back to this character time and again.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: Charles Gunn

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Read at your own risk if you have not watched one or both television series. In this series of character reviews, I will strictly be writing about the characters from the television series, not the 1992 film.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

Sometimes, a warrior does not come from a traditional background where they receive formal fight training. A warrior may learn to fight because he has to. On Angel, Charles Gunn (J. August Richards) fought because he had to. Born and raised in inner city Los Angeles, Gunn learned from an early age that it was up to him and those around him to protect the residents of his neighborhood. Especially when the vampires invaded.

Gunn meets Angel (David Boreanaz) when he tries to dust Angel, not knowing that Angel is not a baddie. It takes Gunn a little bit of time, but he soon joins Angel’s crew as a fully fledged member. When Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) is sucked into the alternative world of Pylea, Gunn joins the boys in finding her and bringing her home.

When they return home, Gunn must face his past when his former gang is slaughtering demons for no reason. Knowing that he cannot go back, he finds the family he did not have before. He also finds love with Winifred “Fred” Burkle (Amy Acker). But that love is tested when Gunn kills the man that sent Fred to Pylea, where the Angel Investigations crew first met Fred.

The guilt of the murder leads Gunn to Wolfram and Heart, where he become a lawyer by the power of magic and takes over the L.A. office. Though Gunn has good intentions, you know what they say about those who have good intentions. In the end, Gunn dies fighting for what he believes in.

To sum it up: A warrior is someone who does what they need to do to protect their home and their loved ones. Though Gunn does not have the traditional background of a warrior, he is still a warrior in every sense of the word. He may not always make the wisest choices, but his heroism comes through in the end.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: Faith Lehane

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Read at your own risk if you have not watched one or both television series. In this series of character reviews, I will strictly be writing about the characters from the television series, not the 1992 film.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

The concept of the frenemy is as follows: a person with whom one is friendly despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry. On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy’s (Sarah Michelle Gellar) frenemy is Faith Lehane (Eliza Dushku). In the world of BVTS, every time a slayer dies, a new one is activated. After Kendra Young (Bianca Lawson) is killed, Faith is activated as the new slayer. She tries to become one of the Scooby gang, but she fits in like square peg fits in a round hole.

When it becomes obvious that Faith will never be part of Buffy’s inner circle, she becomes bitter and angry. When she accidentally kills a human who she thought was a vampire, Faith turns to the dark side. Aligning herself with the Mayor, she becomes his surrogate daughter and henchwoman. Buffy and Faith get into the fight of all fights at the end of the third season after Faith nearly kills Angel. Buffy wins the battle, leaving Faith alive, but in a coma.

When Faith wakes up from her coma, she takes revenge on Buffy by switching their bodies. While in Buffy’s body, she does some not so nice things and is taken into custody by the Watcher’s Council. After they revert to their own bodies, each woman has come to realize that they misunderstood each other. They may never be friends, but at least there is an understanding of the other woman.

Faith is then bound for Los Angeles, where she is hired by Wolfram & Hart to kill Angel. This second quest to kill Angel leads Faith on a journey to figure out if she has some chance of being a hero or if she will only ever be a villain. This jump from hero to villain and back to hero takes Faith back to Sunnydale. Fighting with the Scooby gang in the final battle, Faith proves herself to be a hero.

To sum it up: From a writing perspective, a frenemy is a great antagonist. He or she knows our hero/heroine. They especially know what makes the hero or heroine tick. As one of the major antagonists in the BVTS and Angel universe, Faith knows our heroes well. This allows her to get under their skins. But they also know her well, allowing them to reach her humanity.  Like many of the major baddies on BVTS and Angel, she balances the villain with just enough humanity to catch the audience’s attention.

Which is the reason why BVTS and Angel fans still respect and adore this character.

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