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Television Backstory

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

When Buffy Summers' original Watcher, Rupert Giles, was fired by the Watcher's council in the third season, for failing to remain emotionless during a trial, Wesley was introduced as the new Watcher for Buffy and Faith.  Immediately, Wesley's pompous attitude and lack of real experience turned off both Faith and Buffy.  Ultimately, Wesley's attitude turned the two slayers against him, and they got out on a wild party night.  In the end, Faith accidentally kills a man whom she mistakes for a vampire.  This sends Faith on a downward spiral into a dark, evil place. Wesley's inability to see his own faults, results in a crucial mistake that leads to Faith turning away from the Scooby Gang, and into the clutches of the Mayor.  
Buffy eventually leaves the Watcher's council later in the season, effectively leaving Wesley useless.  Despite this, Wesley offers assistance to her in the final battle against the evil Mayor. 
 

Angel

Wesley is next seen in LA partway through Angel the series' first season.  Wesley is now a self-proclaimed rogue demon hunter, though it is later revealed that he was fired by the Watcher's council for his failure to control the two slayers and that the Council refused to pay for his ticket back England.  Wesley is able to get reacquainted with Angel and Cordelia and eventually becomes a member of their private detective agency, Angel Investigations.  Overtime, Wesley grows out of his pompous attitude.
In the second season of Angel, Angel fired the whole team after they questioned his methods.  Wesley, Gunn, and Cordelia continued to operate Angel Investigations with Wesley as the leader.  During this time, Welsey is shot and is forced to stay in a wheelchair for a portion of the season.  When Angel realized he had treated them poorly and returned to his team, he offered to be their employee.  Therefore, Wesley continued to be in charge.

During the third season of Angel, Wesley went through a difficult time.  First, the woman Wesley loved, Fred, begins to date his friend Gunn.  Then, Wesley discovered a prophecy in which Angel was destined to kill his son Connor.  Wesley kidnapped baby Connor hoping to save him.  Another group hoping to take Angel's baby attacked Wesley as he fled with the baby, taking the baby and slitting Wesley's throat.  While in the hospital a distraught Angel attempted to kill Wesley by suffocating him with a pillow (all of this effictively ended his tenure as leader of Angel Investigations). Estranged from his friends, Wesley begins a relationship with Lilah Morgan, an attourney from the evil Wolfram and Heart law firm.

In the opening of the fourth season of Angel, Wesley works to locate Angel after he had been locked in a box and dropped to the bottom of the ocean.  After finding him, he returned him to Fred and Gunn but took his leave.  

 Wesley and Angel in Season 4

He opened up his own supernatural detective agency with his own employees.  But eventually his paths return him to Angel Investigations and he returns to helping them when LA is under attack by The Beast and Jasmine. Wesley's previous coldness toward the crew mellowed over time, especially with the emergence of Jasmine. Eventually, Lilah is killed by a possessed Cordelia, causing Wesley further sorrow, particularly since he will never know if their relationship was anything more than something purely physical.  He is later haunted by her image, as he disguised his true feelings for her under a callous apathy. After he accepts that he did indeed care for Lilah, her apparition (which was likely psychological, rather than spiritual) disappears. Lilah returns as a spirit for Wolfram and Hart at the end of the season to offer Angel Investigations the opportunity to run the LA branch of Wolfram and Heart. 

Angel season five brought more heartache to Wesley.  Wesley and Fred finally begin a romantic relationship, only to have Fred ripped away from them shortly afterwords.  Fred is possessed by an ancient entity known as Illyria. Wesley ultimately chooses to help the demonic Illyria exist in the modern world, because she looks like Fred. Though he never reciprocates the feelings that Illyria seems to grow for Wesley, he does slowly befriend the Old One. He even spends his last day on Earth with her, as he felt he had no one else.  

 Wesley's Death

 By possesing Fred's body, Fred is essentially killed.  Slowly, Wesley begins to try and help Illyria, because she is confused about being returned to the modern world.  During Angel's attack on the Circle of the Black Thorn, Wesley was mortally wounded.  Illyria came to him and held him during his final moments, because she was worried about him.  She changes her appearance to that of Fred, to comfort him in his final moments.  Then, Wesley died.

  

In canonical comics


In 2007, IDW Publishing began to publish a Joss Whedon-sanctioned comic continuation of Angel the series.

First Night


Wesley's First Night story was contained in Angel: After the Fall issue #7.  Wesley had died, and thought he was in heaven with Fred.  But he saw through the deception and realized it was all a Wolfram and Heart lie.  They sent him back to LA (which was now in hell) to be their liason to Angel.  They also sent him back as a ghost.

After the Fall


In Angel: After the Fall, Wesley is the last employee of the Wolfram and Heart LA branch.  Wesley attempts to help Angel best he can, helping Angel locate ways to heal himself quickly (because Angel had now been made human by Wolfram and Heart) but he was unable to help him directly assist him because he was no longer corporeal.  When Wesley meets Illyria, she reverts back into Fred (though she later changes back.  It is revealed her that she has been switching back and forth ever since LA went to hell).  Welsey then shows Illyria where his real body was.  Illyria leaves the body in Spikes care when she goes with Angel on a mission.  Spike remarks to Wesley that if Wolfram and Heart does anything to hurt  whatever was left of Fred inside Illyria, Spike would find away to kill him.  Wesley replies that, off-the-record, he was counting on it.

When the now vampire Gunn attacks Angel and removes all of the healing "mojo" keeping Angel alive, Wesley is transported to him (presumably by Wolfram and Heart).  Wesley, frustrated that he can't do anything to aid the dieing Angel, cries towards the sky asking why Wolfram and Heart sent him back if he can't help.  Wolfram and Heart reveal to him a vision to give to Angel.  A vision of Angel killing thousands of people.
 
 

Relationships

Roger Wyndam-Pryce

 Wesley's relationship with his father was tumultous at best. Roger was overly critical of Wesley, constantly berating him for his failures, and acting condescendingly whenever Wesley did manage to succeed. This is evident when Wesley was appointed Headboy of the Watcher's Council, which Roger concluded was only a result of the weak number of applicants. When Wesley became the leader of Angel Investigations, Roger questioned Wesley competence and the validity of the position, causing a previously proud Wesley to become quiet and reserved for the remainder of the conversation. 
 Roger and Wesley as they appear in "Lineage"
 
In the Fifth Season episode "Lineage", Wesley is visited by his father at Wolfram & Hart. After criticising Wesley's career, friends and Wesley personally, Roger later steals a device used to siphon away the free will of Angel. He is stopped mid-escape by a confused Wesley and Fred. Wesley and Roger then hold eachother at gunpoint until Roger uses Fred as a hostage. Wesley then shoots his father multiple times without hesitation. It is only after this that Wesley discovers  his " father" was in fact a robotic decoy used to infiltrate W&H. After, Fred comforts Wesley by asserting that some part of him must have known that the doppelganger was not his real father, otherwise he could not have shot him. Wesley, however, disagrees with Fred, saying that he was certain it was his father, and that he was able to kill him because "he was pointing a gun at [her]". 
 

Cordelia Chase

 Upon first arriving in Sunnydale, Wesley had alienated virtually every member of the Scooby Gang, save for Cordelia. He was immediately attracted to her, and found the fact that she was "forbidden" (as she was in High School) even more appealing. Cordelia reciprocated Wesley's attraction and the two would often share flirtatious words and glances. The two even engaged in a dance at the High School Prom, upon Wesley being prompted by an exasperated Giles. Eventually, the two shared an uncomfortable kiss in "Graduation Day" before the Mayor's Ascension, the awkwardness of this kiss leaving Wesley and Cordelia to mutually decide that their relationship should remain platonic. 
Cordelia and Wesley's Kiss

 
After Wesley joined Angel Investigations, he and Cordelia's relationship took a more antagonistic turn as the two were often seen bickering and undermining one another. However, they eventually grew to become strong friends, and would assist eachother whenever needed. Nevertheless, Wesley's kidnapping of Angel's son, Connor, greatly strained his relationship with Cordelia, who did not endorse Wesley's motives at all. Despite this, Wesley was deeply saddened by the news of Cordelia's death.
 

Angel

 Wesley's induction into Angel Investigations happened very quickly, and he was even more readily accepted into the group once his skills as a researcher became apparent. Wesley considered Angel his best friend, and vice-versa, so it came as the ultimate betrayal when Wesley kidnapped Connor (though Wes was convinced he was doing the right thing), with Angel resolving that he would kill Pryce for what he had done. Nevertheless, despite the animosity between the two, they continued to watch over one another, as Angel, whilst contemplating his existence at the bottom of the Ocean, began to forgive Wesley. At the same time, Wesley was searching for Angel after kidnapping Justine; Holtz's co-conspirator in the manipulation of Connor. Eventually, Wesley found Angel and returned him to the Hyperion Hotel to the welcoming arms of Fred and Gunn. Angel then offered Wesley a place at A.I once again, though Wesley initially refused, he eventually rejoined the group. 
 

Lilah Morgan

 Wesley engaged in a sexual, and ultimately romantic relationship with Wolfram & Hart's Head of Special Projects, Lilah Morgan, whilst he was exiled from A.I. During his time with Lilah, Wesley assumed a far more cruel and sexually forward personality; often engaging in acts which he would previously have frowned upon. He ultimately broke up with Lilah after rejoining Angel Investigations. And despite his constant assertions that he never cared for Lilah, Wesley was greatly upset at her death; his conscience taking on Lilah's visage in order to chastise him for his selfish behaviour. He apologises to "Lilah" for the way he treated her, then puts her remains to rest. 
 

Charles Gunn

 Wesley and Charles intially acted adversarily to one another, however after Wesley was shot trying to help Gunn's friends, the two quickly struck up a rapport. This relationship deteriorated though, once Wesley found out that Gunn was indirectly responsible for the death of his love, Fred. Wesley tried to kill Gunn, and although he was unsuccessful and ultimately forgave Gunn; the two were never truly friends again. 
 

Winifred Burkle

 Wesley's defining relationship however, came in the form of his complete devotion to Winifred "Fred" Burkle. Wesley fell for  the quirky Fred almost instantly. He admired her astounding intellect and supremely good nature just as much as he appreciated her beauty. In "Billy" Wesley was possessed by a mysoginistic force and tried to murder Fred, after which, upon regaining his self-control, he spent a week away from work, as he was unable to deal with his guilt. Fred, however, forgave Wesley immediately, and despite this set back, Wes continued trying to get closer to Fred. Yet in "Waiting in the Wings", Wesley saw Fred and Gunn engaged in a heartfelt kiss, marking the beginning of their season-long relationship, which crushed Wesley. Nevertheless, he remained a devoted friend to both Gunn and Fred. 
After his exile, Fred's condemnation hit Wesley the hardest, as her lack of forgiveness drove him into despair. Despite this, when Fred's body was inhabited by a parasite, Wesley, upon hearing the news, wasted no time in finding a means to cure her; despite his previous assertions that he would never help A.I again, only assisting "because it's Fred". He would continue to keep an eye on Fred and her accomplishments inside the Scientific Community during his exile.
 
After rejoining A.I and witness the downward spiral of Fred and Gunn's relationship, Wesley believed he had a chance with his love. Eventually, Wesley shared a brief kiss with Fred who had grown more and more attracted to him, only for her feelings for him to dull considerably after finding out about his actions with Lilah Morgan. 
Fred and Wesley after their kiss in "Smile Time"
After Angel Investigations was absorbed by Wolfram & Hart, Fred was immediately attracted to her co-worker, Knox, with whom she shared a mutual love of Science. After discovering Fred's feelings toward Knox, Wesley finally gave up all hope of a future with Fred, resolving to continue to love her, and remain her friend, but nothing more. This hopelessness turned into obliviousness, as after realising her incompatibility with Knox and a growing respect and love for Wesley, Fred tried numerous times to express her feelings for Wesley, who misunderstood all of her advances. Eventually, she kissed him and the two began their romantic relationship. Their love was not to last, however, as Fred's soul was ultimately consumed after being used as a conduit for the Old One known as Illyria. Fred spent her final moments on the Earth in the arms of  Wesley who declared his eternal love for her. 
 
Fred's death resulted in a drastic personality change in Wesley. His existence no longer defined by his love for Fred, and his desire to make the world a better place for people like her; Wesley instead devoted his life to taking revenge on those responsible for her death. During his final moments, Wesley was comforted by Illyria, who assumed Fred's form, and died looking into the eyes of the woman he loved one last time. 
 

Illyria

 Upon Illyria's consumption of Fred's soul and body, Wesley initially desired her death, as she had corrupted the last vestiges left of his love. Nevertheless, after seeing Illyria's potential for good, and due to her resemblance to Fred, Wesley resolved to help the Demon fit into human society. Wesley became Illyria's closest friend, and although he still saw her as the being that stole Fred's body and soul, he warmed to the Demon considerably. After his death at the hands of Cyvus Vail, Illyria comforted Wesley by assuming Fred's form and telling him that she loved him. Following this, she promptly murdered the decrepit sorceror by punching a hole through his head. Once she met up with the other members of A.I, Illyria expressed true grief at the death of Wesley, stating that she wished "to do more violence". 
 
 

Power and Abilities


Unlike many other Buffyverse characters, Wesley possessed no superhuman powers or abilities. He did however, have a keen knowledge of virtually everything relating to the supernatural. In addition, his researching and translating abilties rivalled or even surpassed those of Rupert Giles, as he was responsible for the translation of the notoriously vague Shanshu Prophecy. 
 
In addition to his mental skills, Wesley was also a formidable hand-to-hand combatant and swordsman. He also kept numerous blades concealed on his person, in order to compensate for his lack of physical strength. Nevetheless, it was his status as an expert marksman that set him apart from his colleagues. Wesley also holds the distinction of being the only Buffyverse character to use firearms as his signature weapon. Weapons which he used to great effect on numerous occasions. 
 
However, in "Not Fade Away" Wesley also displayed a previously unseen potency with the magical arts. He was able to summon a ball of magic that was capable of throwing Cyvus Vail, one of the most powerful sorcerors on Earth, across a room.

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