46

I had the luxury of watching Buffy and Angel when they were on television, when it was impossible for me to mess up the viewing order. Now that I'm introducing it to some friends (and we're coming up on the beginning of Angel) I have no idea when I should watch what episodes, to ensure everything makes sense.

Does anyone know (or have a reference to) a good viewing order for watching Buffy and Angel at the same time?

56

Angel series 1 began alongside Buffy series 4, and to watch "as aired" you should alternate from that point, starting with Buffy. However, there isn't so much crossover that you need to; in general if you want to watch in 'spurts' then one DVD of 3-4 episodes at a time will work fine; even 6-7 in later series.

There are a couple of crossover points to watch out for, though. As Buffy aired first, all crossover episodes should be watched Buffy, then Angel. A complete list:

(Bx.y is Buffy, series x, episode y. Ax.y is Angel.)

Buffy series 1

A lot of this series can be skipped if you're in a hurry, as the writing was still finding it's feet; Buffy didn't become a consistently must-watch series until around series 2, episode 3. That said, it had moments of wit and brilliance right from the start.

  • Don't miss B1.7 Angel or B1.12 Prophecy Girl, as both are strong episodes with material that will matter later.

Buffy series 2-3

The finale of Buffy series 3 contains the setup and motivations for the Angel spinoff.

Buffy series 4 / Angel series 1

  • Technically there's a 5-second crossover in B4.1 The Freshman and A1.1 City of, but it's a character beat; no plots will be spoiled if you don't watch them together.

  • B4.3 Harsh Light of Day is immediately followed by A1.3 In the Dark in the timeline, and characters move from one to the other. You must watch the Buffy episode first, but it won't ruin anything if you finish B4.4 before watching the Angel.

  • B4.8 Pangs and A1.8 I Will Remember You are a crossover story. Catch up to the end of episode 7 in both series before you start.

  • B4.15 This Year's Girl & 16 Who Are You are a two-parter. This doesn't synchronise precisely with Angel, but MUST be watched before A1.18 Five By Five & 19 Sanctuary, which are a follow-on story. B4.20 The Yoko Factor then follows from the end of Sanctuary, so it's probably best to just watch in one-episode alternation from 17-20.

Buffy series 5 / Angel series 2

We've done the hard part; much less crossover from now on. As of this point the 'previously on Buffy' segments started giving away huge spoilers for the episode by their choice of 'previously' clip. If possible, start skipping them.

  • B5.7 Fool for Love and A2.7 Darla form a triptych. While not technically a crossover, and both episodes will make sense on their own, the emotional impact of taking them together is huge, as the Angel episode forces you to re-evaluate things you just saw in the Buffy episode. I strongly recommend watching these two as aired, together in a single session.

  • A2.9 Trial should be watched before B5.14 Crush to avoid a minor spoiler.

  • B5.17 Forever is a crossover. It won't spoil any plots if the series are out of sync at this point, but Angel's character will seem wrong if you haven't finished A2.16 Epiphany yet.

  • B5.22 The Gift is not a crossover, but it is an exception to my advice earlier - the 'previously on' is actually an important part of the theme and presentation of this episode, and should NOT be skipped.

Buffy series 6 / Angel series 3

The shows were now showing on different networks, so no direct crossovers happened. There's an implied one offstage around episode 3 of each series, but order doesn't matter.

Buffy series 7 / Angel series 4

Last series of Buffy. Not much direct crossover, but some implied timing of events. As the big finale approaches they start to sync up again, but the timeline does not match up if you watch identical episode numbers as it did earlier.

  • A4.15 Orpheus is a crossover, and happens immediately before B7.18 Dirty Girls. The timeline is most consistent if you watch as far as B7.17 Lies My Parents Told Me before watching Orpheus, but there won't be any confusion if you don't.

  • The series end is an exception to the usual timing; the Angel finale A4.22 Home happens in the timeline just before the Buffy finale B7.21 End of Days and B7.22 Chosen, in which Angel appears.

It won't actually spoil or confuse any plots if you watch as-aired; you'll just see Angel turn up in Buffy with a McGuffin you haven't yet seen him acquire. That said, for tone alone I strongly recommend watching the Angel finale before the Buffy one, as the Buffy finale brings a close emotionally to the entire series.

Angel series 5

Now on its own.

  • A5.11 Damage and A5.20 The Girl in Question have some offstage post-Buffy continuity for those who wanted to know.
  • Just finished re-watching all these myself, with someone who'd missed them the first time. Possibly it shows. – Tynam Dec 16 '11 at 18:23
  • Clearly there is at least one hardcore Buffyverse fan here. :-) – Faheem Mitha Dec 19 '11 at 17:58
  • a possible minor correction for B7/A4 timeline. Netflix streaming lists B7.18 as "Dirty Girls", but the answer above says B7.17. The crossover I saw starts with B7.17 "Lies my parents told me" and then continues on A4.15 "Orpheus". I saw it out of order and it isn't a big deal. But since it is a two episode skew, I thought it was worth pointing out for others. – Michael Levy Dec 10 '12 at 13:40
  • This suffers from serious "Your answer is in another castle" syndrome, so I won't post it as one, but there's a pretty nice representation on this one blog that I found – Yann Oct 13 '15 at 11:55
9

From Buffyfest blog:

After watching the first 3 seasons of Buffy, move on to this order. This is order is designed for minimum disc switching.

Seasons 4/1

Buffy Season 4 - The Freshman
Angel Season 1 - City of...
Angel Season 1 -Lonely Hearts
Buffy Season 4 - Living Conditions
Buffy Season 4 - The Harsh Light Of Day
Angel Season 1 -IN THE DARK
Angel Season 1 -I FALL TO PIECES
Buffy Season 4 - Fear Itself
Buffy Season 4 - Beer Bad
Buffy Season 4 - Wild at Heart
Buffy Season 4 - The Initiative
Angel Season 1 -RM W/A VU
Angel Season 1 -Sense and Sensitivity
Angel Season 1 -The Bachelor Party
Buffy Season 4 - Pangs
Angel Season 1 -I Will Remember You
Buffy Season 4 - Something Blue
Angel Season 1 -Hero
Angel Season 1 -Parting Gifts
Buffy Season 4 - Hush
Buffy Season 4 – Doomed
Buffy Season 4 - A New Man
Angel Season 1 -Somnambulist
Angel Season 1 -Expecting
Angel Season 1 -She
Buffy Season 4 - The I In Team
Buffy Season 4 - Goodbye Iowa
Angel Season 1 -I've Got You Under My Skin
Angel Season 1 -The Prodigal
Angel Season 1 -The Ring
Angel Season 1 -Eternity
Buffy Season 4 - This Year's Girl (1 of 2)
Buffy Season 4 - Who Are You? (2 of 2)
Buffy Season 4 - Superstar
Buffy Season 4 - Where the Wild Things
Angel -Five by Five (part 1 of 2)
Buffy Season 4 - New Moon Rising
Angel -Sanctuary (part 2 of 2)
Buffy Season 4 - The Yoko Factor
Angel Season 1 -War Zone
Angel Season 1 -Blind Date
Buffy Season 4 - Primeval
Buffy Season 4 - Restless
Angel Season 1 -To Shanshu in LA

Seasons 5/2

Buffy Season 5 Episode 1: Buffy vs. Dracula
Buffy Season 5 Episode 2: Real Me
Buffy Season 5 Episode 3: The Replacement
Buffy Season 5 Episode 4: Out of My Mind
Angel Season 2 Episode 1: Judgment
Angel Season 2 Episode 2: Are You Now or Have You Ever Been
Angel Season 2 Episode 3: First Impressions
Angel Season 2 Episode 4: Untouched
Buffy Season 5 Episode 5: No Place Like Home
Buffy Season 5 Episode 6: Family
Angel Season 2 Episode 5: Dear Boy
Angel Season 2 Episode 6: Guise Will Be Guise
Buffy Season 5 Episode 7: Fool for Love
Angel Season 2 Episode 7: Darla
Buffy Season 5 Episode 8: Shadow
Buffy Season 5 Episode 9: Listening to Fear
Buffy Season 5 Episode 10: Into the Woods
Buffy Season 5 Episode 11: Triangle
Buffy Season 5 Episode 12: Checkpoint
Buffy Season 5 Episode 13: Blood Ties
Angel Season 2 Episode 8: The Shroud of Rahmon
Angel Season 2 Episode 9: The Trial
Angel Season 2 Episode 10: Reunion
Angel Season 2 Episode 11: Redefinition
Buffy Season 5 Episode 14: Crush
Angel Season 2 Episode 12: Blood Money
Angel Season 2 Episode 13: Happy Anniversary
Angel Season 2 Episode 14: The Thin Dead Line
Angel Season 2 pisode 15: Reprise
Angel Season 2 Episode 16: Epiphany
Angel Season 2 Episode 17: Disharmony
Buffy Season 5 Episode 15: I Was Made to Love You
Buffy Season 5 Episode 16: The Body
Buffy Season 5 Episode 17: Forever
Angel Season 2 Episode 18: Dead End
Angel Season 2 Episode 19: Belonging
Buffy Season 5 Episode 18: Intervention
Buffy Season 5 Episode 19: Tough Love
Angel Season 2 Episode 20: Over the Rainbow
Angel Season 2 Episode 21: Through the Looking Glass
Buffy Season 5 Episode 20: Spiral
Buffy Season 5 Episode 21: The Weight of the World
Buffy Season 5 Episode 22: The Gift
Angel Season 2 Episode 22: There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb

**note: Although some may not agree, the narrative flow is actually better if you watch "Darla" BEFORE "Fool For Love" (or if you have any skill at math with regards to calculating Angel's age)

Seasons 6/3

Angel Season 3 Episode 1: Heartthrob
Buffy Season 6 Episode 1: Bargaining: Part 1
Buffy Season 6 Episode 2: Bargaining: Part 2
Buffy Season 6 Episode 3: After Life
Angel Season 3 Episode 2: That Vision Thing
Angel Season 3 Episode 3: That Old Gang of Mine
Angel Season 3 Episode 4: Carpe Noctem
Buffy Season 6 Episode 4: Flooded
Buffy Season 6 Episode 5: Life Serial
Angel Season 3 Episode 5: Fredless

(at this point you can watch them however you want until mid season 7 of Buffy [indicated] as Buffy moved to UPN. I grouped them into fours so it's still not as much disc switching...but feel free to watch 8 Angels in a row if you're into the story more, or vice versa)

Angel Season 3 Episode 6: Billy
Angel Season 3 Episode 7: Offspring
Angel Season 3 Episode 8: Quickening
Buffy Season 6 Episode 6: All the Way
Buffy Season 6 Episode 7: Once More, with Feeling
Buffy Season 6 Episode 8: Tabula Rasa
Angel Season 3 Episode 9: Lullaby
Angel Season 3 Episode 10: Dad
Angel Season 3 Episode 11: Birthday
Angel Season 3 Episode 12: Provider
Buffy Season 6 Episode 9: Smashed
Buffy Season 6 Episode 10: Wrecked
Buffy Season 6 Episode 11: Gone
Buffy Season 6 Episode 12: Doublemeat Palace
Angel Season 3 Episode 13: Waiting in the Wings
Angel Season 3 Episode 14: Couplet
Angel Season 3 Episode 15: Loyalty
Angel Season 3 Episode 16: Sleep Tight
Buffy Season 6 Episode 13: Dead Things
Buffy Season 6 Episode 14: Older and Far Away
Buffy Season 6 Episode 15: As You Were
Buffy Season 6 Episode 16: Hell's Bells
Angel Season 3 Episode 17: Forgiving
Angel Season 3 Episode 18: Double or Nothing
Angel Season 3 Episode 19: The Price
Angel Season 3 Episode 20: A New World
Buffy Season 6 Episode 17: Normal Again
Buffy Season 6 Episode 18: Entropy
Buffy Season 6 Episode 19: Seeing Red
Buffy Season 6 Episode 20: Villains
Angel Season 3 Episode 21: Benediction
Angel Season 3 Episode 22: Tomorrow
Buffy Season 6 Episode 21: Two to Go
Buffy Season 6 Episode 22: Grave

Seasons 7/4

Angel Season 4, Episode 1: Deep Down
Angel Season 4, Episode 2: Ground State
Angel Season 4, Episode 3: The House Always Wins
Angel Season 4, Episode 4: Slouching Toward Bethlehem
Buffy Season 7, Episode 1: Lessons
Buffy Season 7, Episode 2: Beneath You
Buffy Season 7, Episode 3: Same Time, Same Place
Buffy Season 7, Episode 4: Help
Angel Season 4, Episode 5: Supersymmetry
Angel Season 4, Episode 6: Spin the Bottle
Buffy Season 7, Episode 5: Selfless
Buffy Season 7, Episode 6: Him
Buffy Season 7, Episode 7: Conversations with Dead People
Buffy Season 7, Episode 8: Sleeper
Buffy Season 7, Episode 9: Never Leave Me
Buffy Season 7, Episode 10: Bring on the Night
Buffy Season 7, Episode 11: Showtime
Buffy Season 7, Episode 12: Potential
Buffy Season 7, Episode 13: The Killer in Me
Buffy Season 7, Episode 14: First Date
Buffy Season 7, Episode 15: Get It Done
Buffy Season 7, Episode 16: Storyteller
Angel Season 4, Episode 7: Apocalypse, Nowish
Angel Season 4, Episode 8: Habeas Corpses
Angel Season 4, Episode 9: Long Day's Journey
Angel Season 4, Episode 10: Awakening
Angel Season 4, Episode 11: Soulless
Angel Season 4, Episode 12: Calvary
Angel Season 4, Episode 13: Salvage
Angel Season 4, Episode 14: Release

(Start watching in this order again around or before here.)

Buffy Season 7, Episode 17: Lies My Parents Told Me
Angel Season 4, Episode 15: Orpheus
Buffy Season 7, Episode 18: Dirty Girls
Buffy Season 7, Episode 19: Empty Places
Buffy Season 7, Episode 20: Touched
Angel Season 4, Episode 16: Players
Angel Season 4, Episode 17: Inside Out
Angel Season 4, Episode 18: Shiny Happy People
Angel Season 4, Episode 19: The Magic Bullet
Angel Season 4, Episode 20: Sacrifice
Angel Season 4, Episode 21: Peace Out
Angel Season 4, Episode 22: Home
Buffy Season 7, Episode 21: End of Days
Buffy Season 7, Episode 22: Chosen

Then all of season 5 Angel (in order, of course.)

2

Actually, Angel season 1 started along side Buffy season 4 (he left Buffy at the end of season 3...spoilers). I actually had this situation when I tried to introduce my wife to both buffy and angel. We watched Buffy seasons 1-3, and then alternated between each show starting on Buffy season 4/Angel season 1. That allowed us to watch in "real-time" with the show (Angel appears in a season 4 episode of Buffy; she visits him in the next episode of Angel, etc.) It was a little bit jarring going from one show to another, but hey, that is how it happened when they originally aired.

1

IMO, watch Buffy all the way through, then go back and watch Angel all the way through. Buffy isn't going to blow anything important for Angel, but Angel does have a few more spoilers for Buffy.

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