Homepage > Joss Whedon’s Tv Series > Angel > News > The Wesley Unification Theory
From Home.earthlink.net/ mimesere
AngelThe Wesley Unification Theory
Tuesday 12 August 2003, by Webmaster
A. Mental problems
1. High functioning sociopath
a. Is aware of being a sociopath
b. Is very good at disguising symptoms of psychosis.
c. Is able to function socially
d. Does not like to get own hands bloody/dirty
Affinity for weapon use enables him to keep a distance between himself and the other person/demon/thing
e. Result of parental/paternal abuse
i. Being locked under the stairs probably led to initial break with reality.
ii. Father’s overwhelming insistence on manliness and "stiff upper lip" British crap enabled Wesley to hide any dubious activities under the guise of a socially accepted action/behavior.
3. Antisocial narcissist.
4. Has a deathwish
a. Believes he will die fighting because the fighting doesn’t ever end
b. Believes he is damned
c. Wants Angel to bite him
d. Would never actively kill himself.
e. Reckless with his own body.
5. Prone to hallucinations
a. People talk to him (Lilah, Daddy)
b. Makes him doubt his grasp of reality
6. Delusions of grandeur
a. Wants his life to mean something
b. Has it in him to destroy the world
c. Wants a destiny/some plan to follow.
2. Deep-rooted fear of the dark
C. Other Personality Quirks
2. Easily influenced by how others perceive him
3. Generally a loner.
4. Believes in his own unworthiness.
II. History and Family
A. General family
1. Comes from a family of Watchers.
2. Independently wealthy, either currently or very recently.
3. Not aristocracy, but landed and very old.
4. Church of England.
5. Heavily involved in Watcher Council politics.
2. Probably failed to become a (active) Watcher and displaced ambition on to Wesley.
3. Continually second guesses Wesley
4. The Daddy Issues
a. Desperate need to please
b. Is afraid of failing and displeasing daddy/father figure.
c. Does what he is told
d. Everything is a failure no matter what Wesley does.
2. Slept around because father was an asshole
D. Miscellaneous family
1. Paternal grandmother
a. Probably where much of Wesley’s insane ranting during "Billy" comes from. Possibly also tied to Wesley’s father.
b. Severely religious
c. Intimidating in presence and home.
2. Disreputable relative
a. Taught Wesley something he was probably too young for.
b. Aversion to personal magic use may start here.
1. Childhood - young adulthood
a. Neglected more than actively abused.
b. Repression during teen years.
i. Boarding school from about age 11
ii. Learned to functionally socialize at school.
c. Advanced degree (M.phil or higher) in Linguistics. Probably a minor or secondary degree in Classics and/or Medieval Studies.
d. Watcher training
i. Textual studies
ii. Personal defense.
iii. Magic use post-Giles scandal probably heavily discouraged.
iv. Successfully faced down vampires in "controlled circumstances"
a. Doesn’t think about Buffy very much. All his Slayer issues are tied up with Faith.
b. Thinks Giles is the world’s biggest hypocrite. Other than that, doesn’t care.
III. Romantic and Social Interactions
1. Prone to have short-term relationships. One night stands or similar.
2. Romantic relationships tend to be agreeable, shallow, and/or based entirely on illusion. Lilah is the exception.
3. Likes sassy, curvy, fabulous/fashionable brunettes.
4. Likes his significant others to be emotionally aware enough to balance him out.
5. Long term relationships, pre-Lilah
i. Agreeable and light.
ii. Amicable parting.
iii. If she came to him needing help now, chances are better than likely that he would help her.
i. Shallow initial infatuation.
ii. Primarily a sibling relationship.
i. Fred knows (subconsciously) that Wesley is mentally unstable and therefore unsafe. She does not get close to dangerous men.
ii. Desired romance with Fred based mostly on an idealization of her character and morality.
iii. Doesn’t know Fred at all. If he did, he would probably not be attracted. Is not attracted to people who are too similar to him in superficial ways.
B. Social Interactions
1. Constructed family unit.
a. Angel is a father figure to Wesley, sibling/lover to Cordelia.
b. Cordelia is a sibling/former lover to Wesley. Interaction tends heavily toward a sibling dynamic.
i. Not a terribly complicated relationship - it’s just family.
ii. Wesley will not forgive Cordelia for her abandonment of him after the kidnapping of Connor.
a. Does not seem to have any outside of core A.I. group.
b. Many acquaintances
i. Business contacts, both human, demonic, legitimate, and criminal.
ii. Unknown number of brief romances.
A. With women
1. Weak female role models while growing up.
2. Is not truly a misogynist.
3. Relates to women sexually.
4. Finds it difficult to be friends with women. (Possibly due to limited contact)
5. Theoretically, he has no problem with women. Practically, they make him uncomfortable.
6. Discomfort does not stop him from being a ho.
B. With God/religion
1. Believes in grace/redemption.
2. Believes in the doctrine of good works.
3. Believes one must earn God’s assistance by doing one’s best.
4. Knows that the Bible is a lie.
5. Probably agnostic.
6. Believes in heaven/hell.
7. Believes hell is unfair.
8. Believes he is damned.
V. Interactions with Other Characters.
1. Best friends/soulmate. "Hetero life mate."
2. Gunn writes Wesley’s mental and emotional problems as "crazy white people shit"
3. Gunn believes Wesley is competent and that he wants to do good.
4. Doesn’t believe that Wesley gets nothing out of the act of doing good.
5. Provided a different moral model for Wesley to emulate.
6. Unable to deal with possible sexual feelings for/attraction to Wesley.
a. Knee jerk "I’m not gay" reaction.
b. In Pylea, Gunn’s assumption that Wesley’s morality was the same as his is shaken with the discovery that Wesley will send people (and Angel) into death without apparent guilt and his trust in Wesley is shaken badly. This, combined with his inability to deal with attraction to a man, leads Gunn to react badly to a pass made by Wesley. While they repair their relationship back to the appearance of what it was before, their friendship is shaken up enough that it can’t deal with the added stress of a romance with Fred. Attraction to Fred may be a sublimation of attraction to Wesley, as they have physical and mental/emotional/psychological traits in common.
1. Tied heavily into feelings for father.
2. Would die for Angel.
3. First person to view Wesley as competent.
4. Gives Wesley the hope of grace.
5. Gives Wesley a mission/purpose.
6. Provided first chance at an ideal family.
7. Hallucination!Dad left off talking when Wesley took up with Angel.
8. As replacement father figure, fills role of Daddy Wesley Wanted to Have.
9. Upon rejection of Wesley in favor of Faith, Angel takes on the role of Daddy Wesley Thinks He Deserves.
10. Oedipal connection to Angel.
11. Wesley will do what Angel says, but his fear (esp. post-Connor) is that Angel will choose to do the wrong thing.
12. The universe has told him that defying Angel is wrong. Will only defy Angel for Lilah’s sake.
13. Will not mindlessly toe Angel’s party line.
14. Will do Angel’s dirty work.
1. Subconscious jealousy of Connor.
2. Wanted Angel to behave as bad daddy to Connor, because Connor destroyed Wesley’s family unit/mission.
3. Wesley went to Holtz to keep his own hands clean. Plan backfired and Wesley ended up with most of the blame. Accepted punishment because of the realization that he wanted Connor gone and that was the worst thing he could do to Angel.
4. Connor promotes incest.
5. Stole everyone from Wesley, leaving him only with Gunn and Fred.
a. Fred = equally unstable mirror of himself.
b. Gunn = too homophobic to acknowledge feelings for Wesley, and thus unable to provide the support/family unit needed.
c. Then Connor stole them too.
d. Removed Angel from the "good fight" and thus jeopardized Wesley’s opportunity for grace.
1. First person to take Daddy!Angel away from Wesley. More rage about that than actual torture.
2. Stole illusions of dignity and competence from him.
3. Faith wants/wanted Wesley to be her good daddy; Wesley wants no part of it, but understands why.
4. Wesley knows how to manipulate Faith.
5. What broke Wesley was not Faith’s torture; it was that Angel rejected him to take the part of Faith.
6. Faith believes Wesley’s approval is worth having.
7. Would kill her in a second if he thought it would serve the greater good.
8. Faith made Wesley believe that everyone is expendable, except maybe Angel.
9. If there’s a road to redemption for him, it probably lies through Faith
10. 5x5 and Sanctuary are THE key Wesley episodes
11. Deep affinity for Faith which upsets Wesley. Faith is not a functional person and thus calls Wesley’s ability to function successfully into doubt.
1. Great love of his life.
2. Feeds into his psychosis.
3. Lilah is what Wesley would be if he wrote everything off as situational/relativistic.
4. Hates her for being able to show everyone’s hypocrisy and issues without even trying. She trivializes the world by being in it.
5. Gets off on her loving him and being able to influence her.
6. Sees him for all he is (crazy and ruthless) and loves him anyway.
7. First equal relationship.
8. Saved his life by allowing him to externalize his self-loathing/rage over what he did with Connor and allowed him to move on to be able to do good again.
9. They liked each other.
10. She owns his ass because she gave him the grace Angel only promised. This messed with his head because he only gets grace from the Whore of Babylon.
11. Enjoyed playing.
12. He think she’s bad for him for many reasons; he’s wrong, but that’s what he thinks.
13. Why she now owns him: he realizes he wronged her terribly by not forgiving/accepting her the way she did him.
14. Romantic relationship with Lilah was the only one in which he engaged fully and emotionally, but did not realize the depth of what it was until after she was dead. Subconsciously, gave everything because he expected to die
VI. Life, The Universe, and Everything Else
A. Not a heavy magic user. Tends to farm out magic using assignments. Is capable of performing magic, but shows no inherent talent/interest.
B. Was dressed up as a girl at some point during school years.
C. Doesn’t think people deserve to be treated badly.
D. Believes in good. Wants to do good despite not believing that he is.
E. A good portion of L.A. is probably very afraid of Wesley.
F. Has a reputation in the underground.
G. Would not die for Fred. Would do dangerously stupid things, but not actually die for her.
H. Respects the abilities of Angel, Lilah, and Gunn to take care of themselves; would try to help Fred as he doesn’t think she could.
I. Everyone picks someone else over him except for Lilah; this makes him neurotic and angsty.
J. Took Orpheus during the Summer of Nihilism because he would never use something on others that he wouldn’t use on himself.
K. Can compartmentalize when the world is on the line.
L. Hates hypocrisy; not brave enough to call anyone on it.
M. Is a lot more similar to Dru than most people realize.
N. Probably a genius
O. Not intuitive
P. No sense of timing
Q. No flair for the dramatic
R. Could not be happy with/would not know what to do with a normal life
S. Can’t stop fighting; doesn’t know how.
T. Does the dirty work
U. Does not have a destiny. Acts as a catalyst to move the players into position for their destinies.
1. Excellent tactician and strategist.
2. Enough understanding of psychology to be a high functioning sociopath and to manipulate the same.
4. Weapons, care and use of.
5. Knows how to use connections well.
6. Knows how to torture people.
7. Decent understanding of anatomy.
8. Not technophobic. Knows how to use technology but prefers traditional methods.
9. Extensive knowledge of crap film. No knowledge of pop culture/music.
10. Good in bed.
11. Has extensive contacts, both legitimate and underground.
12. Excellent administrator.
13. Significant leadership ability. However, underestimates self and destabilizes enterprises.
14. Is not as charismatic as Angel.
15. Wide range of random knowledge. Self-taught.