Written by Kristina
Forgive (verb) - to stop blaming or being angry with (someone) for something they have done, or to ask someone not to be angry with you (from the Cambridge International Dictionary of English)
Angel has been helping the helpless since he moved to Los Angeles to atone for his sins as Angelus the vampire. He is searching for forgiveness - from those he hurt, from the Powers that Be, and from himself. Last season, as he descended into darkness, he fired Wes, Gunn and Cordy. When he experienced his epiphany, he went back to them, seeking to rebuild their trust in him and looking for forgiveness. From that point on, the Angel Investigations team grew stronger than before, and welcomed three new members to their team -- Fred, Lorne and Connor, Angel's son.
As I'm writing this, I am reminded of the statement, "To err is human, to forgive is divine" and I don't quite agree with that. As difficult as it may seem to forgive someone who has hurt you, forgiveness is a human quality. And as Angel works towards his shanshu -- his humanity -- he must learn to forgive as well. As Giles said in the season two Buffy episode "I Only Have Eyes for You":
"To forgive is an act of compassion, Buffy. It's not done because people deserve it. It's done because they need it."
When it comes down to it, humans can be compassionate, as displayed in public displays of compassion after tragedies. It is difficult to watch another person struggle with their pain and their guilt. With the hopes of easing this pain, we forgive them. However many times we are too wrapped up in our own pain to notice the pain of others. Buffy realized this when she gained her psychic abilities in "Earshot."
Right now, Angel is very wrapped up in the pain of losing his son, and dealing with what he sees as Wesley's betrayal. Of course, every fan wants to know -- will Angel forgive Wesley? Before Angel can even consider forgiving Wesley, he needs to learn the whole story. Possibly Wesley's largest mistake was not sharing the prophecy with anyone. He carried that very large burden himself, and it led him down a road where he had to make some very, very difficult choices. Only time will tell if he made the right choices. He believed he was doing the right thing -- taking Connor away from Angel, in the hopes of preventing the prophecy; however, Wesley's concern for others was his undoing -- he didn't tell Angel about the prophecy for fear of how it would impact him, and he believed Justine's charade. As thanks for his concern, Justine slit his throat and grabbed Connor. Wesley had already betrayed a member of his team this season -- Fred in "Billy." He had a difficult time forgiving himself for terrorizing Fred because of his love for her. Now, he has betrayed Fred as well as Angel and the rest of the team.
In my opinion, the more important question is not if Angel will forgive Wesley, but if he will forgive himself, if he survives. We are all our own worst critics, and Wesley will have to deal with the consequences of his actions. And before forgiveness from anyone else can mean something to him, he must forgive himself. And therein lies his humanity, as well as Angel's.