Angel isn’t a show that I think of often these days, but there’s a scene that really resonated with me when I was 17 and has managed to stick around in the intervening years. It comes near the end of the second season episode ‘Epiphany’, with Angel confiding in Kate what he believes his purpose in life is after grappling with the idea that nothing matters.
In the greater scheme or the big picture, nothing we do matters. There's no grand plan, no big win. If there is no great glorious end to all this, if…nothing we do matters…then all that matters is what we do. ‘Cause that's all there is. What we do, now. Today. I fought for so long. For redemption, for a reward…and finally, just to beat the other guy, but...I never got it. All I want to do is help. I want to help because I don't think people should suffer, as they do. Because if there’s no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness…is the greatest thing in the world.