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Buffy and Angel: Keeping it in Order

If you are a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, chances are you are either a fan, or at least an occasional watcher of its popular spin-off, Angel. Due to the incredible number of crossover episodes in the Buffy and Angel universe, to not watch both shows is to miss part of the story. Especially at the beginning of Angel, when the show was establishing its correlation with the immensely popular Buffy, characters made guest appearances back and forth like a fantasy tennis match.

If you didn’t watch the show, but you are intrigued by the premise, and the fact that all of the seasons of both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel are available now for rental or purchase, you may find yourself at a loss as to how to watch the episodes of the two shows to make the seasons correspond.

Angel’s first season started airing during the fourth season of Buffy, and there were four big crossovers during that first year of joint airing. There were also plenty of Buffy references in Angel’s first season. They didn’t stray far from the canon of the Buffy universe, and the show was easily established as a sister show to its predecessor. Watching season four of Buffy and season one of Angel simultaneously (Buffy, episode one, Angel, episode one, Buffy episode two, and so on), keeps the story moving in chronological order on both shows, gives meaning and logic to the crossover episodes, and doesn’t give away anything. If you watch one of the shows all the way through the season, and then the other, it will ruin a good deal of the element of surprise, one of strongest points of both Buffy and Angel.

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In season two of Angel, the show distanced itself slightly from Buffy, with less emphasis on events that affected characters on both shows, but two major crossover episodes are crucial to watch as one. One Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode and one Angel episode, which were actually shown together on the WB in their initial presentation, are really two halves of one whole installment. On Buffy, “Fool For Love” is the first part of the flashback episode, and it completes in the “Darla” episode of Angel.

The next time that some sort of order to your watching becomes important is with the seventh, and final, season of Buffy, and the fourth and fifth seasons of Angel. A lot is happening in Buffy’s final season, so much that it has an affect on the characters on Angel as well. While the crossover episodes from this season can be a bit out of chronological order with the story, it’s still possible for the story to make sense if you watch Buffy, episode one, Angel, episode one, and so on. Make sure to finish the final season of Buffy before moving onto the next, and last, season of Angel though. What happens in Buffy’s last season resonates through Angel’s last, and as well it should. They were born of the same creator after all.