But Angel pointed out to Wes that the problem was that Wes didn't trust Angel.
The thing is, Angel might be a big fan of being trusted, but as you said its a case of the pot needing to meet the kettle. He certainly never seems to be very interested in anyone else's autonomy when it comes time for *him* to make a decision and take action. If anything, he's the king of making other people's decisions for them as if they have no mind of their own. He did it to Buffy when he broke off their relationship and moved to Los Angeles. He did it to Wesley and Cordelia when he decided to take Faith in after she beat Cordy up and tortured Wes half to death. He did it to Gunn when he dumped the MOG to go off on his ego-stroking mission of vengeance against Wolfram and Hart. He did it to the whole lot of them when he agreed to take the deal with W & H despite what it would do to his friends' memories. He even managed to do it to Lorne when he browbeat the guy into murdering Lindsey for him. So its a bit rich on his part to say 'you should have trusted me' when he's got no trust in anyone else to think for themselves. Hell, even when his decisions turn out to be right, like in the case of Buffy and Faith, it never quite sits well with me that he does this sort of thing over and over and no one ever calls him out on it or comments about it.
My take is, Angel and Wes were very much alike. They were both leader types who were willing to make sacrifices in order to get the job done, and they were both willing to go to great extremes in order to accomplish their goals. They both also possessed sullen, nearly childish attitudes when it came to wallowing in self-pity and 'oh, woe is me'. It must have stung for Wesley to be kicked to the curb by the group for doing what Angel had already done several times over, and all he had to do was give Cordelia some clothes. Had he but realized that the way to forgiveness was to enhance Cordy's wardrobe, I'm sure those months of being an outcast would never have happened.
One thing that strikes me is how similar Angel's reaction to Wesley's betrayal is to that of his response to Connor's actions. Wes takes the baby away in order to save his life and spare his friend the pain of having murdered his son? Exile, with a smothering attempt on top of it. Connor dumps his father into the ocean because he too is acting on false information and a whole boatload of emotional turmoil? Exile again, and with no questions asked and no opinions solicited from anyone else. Not that Fred and Gunn wouldn't have agreed with exile in either case, but once again its Angel behaving as if he's the king of the realm and everyone else is just supposed to follow his lead.
None of this has been said to defend or excuse Wesley, who I don't always like. He was wrong, and his ego was what led him to underestimate Justine and her fanatical devotion to Holtz. And it made for great, compelling television to watch him vacillate between self-pity and righteous indignation when it came to the treatment he received. But why he should become a pariah when he's simply mirroring Angel's behavior is kind of a mystery to me. It isn't as if they both couldn't be (self-righteous, whiny, juvenile) assholes. OMMV.
Edited by Cobalt Stargazer, Jun 27, 2012 @ 4:03 PM.