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Jane After Dark: Five reasons why Angel season five is awesome

by Jane Boursaw, posted May 17th 2009 2:27PM
Alexis Denisof of AngelWell, you guys were absolutely right. Season five of Angel is awesome, and I'm so glad I slugged through some of the earlier seasons that didn't exactly float my vampire boat.

The writing in season five is excellent, the characters are both fun and multidimensional (especially Wesley, whose story only gets more and more tragic), and it's just a great all-around season. Here are five reasons why I loved this season as much as any TV show (including Buffy).

1. Spike as a ghost. Brilliant. First of all, he's probably my favorite character in all the Buffy-verse, so just having him back on screen makes me giddy. But the topper is seeing him and Angel trade vamp barbs. These two couldn't be more different, and while they say they don't like each other, you've gotta think there's some kind of mutual admiration and trust there. They've been through a lot together, and Spike was there for Angel til the bitter end (of season five). One of my favorite scenes occurs in "The Girl in Question," where the two of them go to Europe to rescue Buffy from the Immortal, only to find she's in a relationship with him. "She'd never fall for a centuries-old guy with a dark past who may or may not be evil!" exclaims Angel to Spike.

2. Wolfram & Hart. Installing the gang at the posh W&H digs is another stroke of brilliance. It really gave the series a fresh start, gave each of the team members a purpose, and made me forget all about Connor (well, until he returned later in the season). The W&H angle also had a deeper meaning about whether someone can work within the confines of corporate America and still fight the good fight without turning evil. There were certainly moments where that came into question, such as Gunn being infused with legal brilliance -- and paying a price for it.

3. More sex and romance. Finally! Fred and Wesley get together. But damn! That pesky ancient demon Illyria showed up to ruin their happiness (I love how their tragic story played out, though, with Illyria turning back into Fred right before Wesley died; she had some heart after all). Still, between Lindsey and Eve (dysfunctional, though it may be) and Fred and Wesley, there was a bit more cozying up than we've seen in previous seasons. Even Angel got some action, even though he and Nina didn't have much chemistry. I guess she wasn't really the ultimate girl for him, because he didn't turn back into Angelus, right? So, in that sense, maybe they WERE right for each other.

4. More stories coming back around. Not only did we get lots of Spike goodness this season, but Cordelia's story was wrapped up (sad, though it was), and Connor re-entered Angel's life. Question for Angel-philes: I'm assuming that after Connor came back and fought the demon in "Origin," he knew Angel was his father then, right? Because right before he got on the elevator to go take care of his parents, he said to Angel, "You've gotta do what you can to protect your family. I learned that from my father." In the very last episode, he told Angel that his memories had come back and were mixed in with his new life, but it seems like he must have gotten some of his memories back in "Origin." I appreciated how they wrapped up his storyline in the last episode, with Connor telling Angel that he understood and was grateful for what he had done (giving him a new life with a normal family).

5. More Angel taking charge.
Angel got a little wimpy and whiny and broody in the past few seasons, but it seemed like he really took charge in season five and started fighting the bad guys with a vengeance again. Especially in the last episode, with his very last line: "Let's go to work." I like how they wrapped a few storylines up at the end, but still left things open with the remaining team members fighting what must have been a losing battle. It was a great ending that didn't sink into a Hollywood-ized storyline with the heroes beating the bad guys and all is right with the world again. No, they went out fighting, and we have to believe they fought and won (that's how it played out in my head anyway; guess I still like the Hollywood ending!).

One thing that didn't set well with me was how Lorne shot Lindsey point-blank at the end. It seemed very out of character for Lorne to do that. Did Lorne and Lindsey have a deeper storyline that caused Lorne to be so ruthless at that point? And the fact that Lorne didn't trust Angel, even after Angel told the team he was only making it look like there was infighting to throw the senior partners off the track ... And Lorne telling Angel that after this fight, he was done, and don't come looking for him. None of that seemed right to me.

Looking forward to reading your thoughts!

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debbie oneil

i loved to watch Angel , and missed the last season , i thought the last season was wicked having just finished watching it , but the ending was well not a ending , pointless!!! . i cant believe such fab writers/producers let the final programe in the season be so lame .

June 09 2009 at 9:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm also a newbie to the Angel series, and I agree that Season 5 was quite good. I liked the comic relief that Spike brought to the episodes, and I agree that there was a lot of mutual respect between Angel and Spike. I also agree that the line about the "wee little puppet man" was one of the best lines of the whole season.

I thought Fred really came into her own in Season 5. In prior seasons, I always felt as though she was kind of unsuccessfully trying to find a niche for herself. It seemed like running the science department brought her a lot of confidence and a sense of purpose. I also liked how Wes became a more integrated person in Season 5, after he successfully went through his dark phase in Season 4. I actually liked Illyria and thought there were a lot of good possibilities that could have been explored between her relationships with Wes and Spike if the series had continued. It's also too bad we didn't see too much of Nina, since she was one of the few potential romantic interests of Angel who I really liked.

I'm glad Connor became more stable, which brought good closure for his character. I always wanted to like Connor, but the creators in Season 4 just insisted on making him as unlikeable as possible. I also appreciated how they brought Cordelia back one more time. And Lindsey rocked, and I missed Lilah.

The best part of Season 5 for me was the continued questioning of the gang on whether accepting the assignment to run the LA office of W&H was a good idea. I always like the theme of how people are forced to explore the shades of gray that fall between black and white. I personally felt Angel Investigations almost had no choice but to take over W&H since they were pretty badly beat up both physically and emotionally by the end of Season 4. By taking on the plum assignment, it gave Angel and his pals a chance to recover a bit and plot their next moves.

All in all, I was sad to see the end of the series, but at least it ended on a high note.

May 18 2009 at 10:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What made "Angel" great and the better series in my opinion was that while "Buffy" drew clear lines between the heroes and villians "Angel" always dealt in the grey areas. Whedon proved with Season five that its the writing acting that makes a show great. Not the make-up, not the exotic locals, or the special effects. Of course when I think of "Angel" season five I think of Amy Acker as Illyria. We only got her in about five episodes or whatever but Amy knocked that performance out of the park. Season five gave us a great mixture of some of its darkest episodes in the series, as well as some of its funniest.

May 18 2009 at 4:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yes the Puppet Episode brought us one of Spike's greatest lines ever uttered: "You're a wee little puppet man" (The greatest lines ever uttered by Spike on Angel happened in Season One Episode "In the Dark" where Spike voices a conversation between Angel and Girl in an alley..."To the Angelmobile...away!")

But one thing that made season five on Angel so great was the whole first part of the episode, "A Hole in The World". It starts off hilariously, Angel and Spike pulling everyone in Wolfram and Hart into a heated discussion about Astronauts vs Cavemen. It's such a ridiculous and normal conversation and you're expecting a lighthearted and amusing episode when out of nowhere Fred starts spewing blood and collapses.

Not only is the argument Astronauts vs Cavemen pure Angel humor at it's best, but the unexpected injury and then eventual death of a main character is what Joss does best, that fine line between comedy and tragedy.

And honestly if you have the time, do pick up the Angel After the Fall Comic book, the unaired season 6, it makes me so mad that it was never realized on screen but it's definitly worth the money.

May 18 2009 at 3:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

very dark and great even the puppet episode was a classic

May 18 2009 at 12:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Connor told Angel "I know you're my father" in Not Fade Away when Angel went to meet him for coffee. Connor told him he was grateful for what Angel had done and he understood why, but that he didn't want to talk about it.
Season IV the whole Cordelia and Connor romance made my cringe. The ick factor was high any time those two were together. I felt bad for Charisma having to be romantic with this kid after having David as her partner.

May 17 2009 at 10:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Connor told Angel "I know you're my father" in "Not Fade Away" when Angel went to have coffee with him. Connor tells him that he knows why Angel did what he did and he is grateful, but he doesn't want to get into it with him.
Also, Season IV, the whole Cordelia and Connor romance made me cringe. The ick factor was really strong during those scenes. I felt bad for Charisma having to play romantically off this kid when previously she had David B. to smooch with.

May 17 2009 at 10:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not sure why you didn't like the other seasons, but I'm glad you stuck it out until the end. The last season of Angel was my favorite. I wish they would have let it continue, but at least it wrapped up with the greatest last episode in TV history.

One thing you didn't mention that I loved about the final season was more of Harmony - especially her relationship with Spike. The one where he got his body back and tried to go for a romp with Harmony until to get attacked when she went crazy was just hilarious.

May 17 2009 at 8:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked season five a lot. I think that you (Jane) are missing some key plot elements here, which may be causing your confusion. Connor got all his memories back at the very moment that Wesley broke the illusion.

Lorne's final scene was sad, but it wasn't out of character. If you noticed, he was acting out of character for the whole episode. This is because when Angel was formulating his final plan, he secretly told Lorne to assassinate Lindsay after Lindsay kills who he was supposed to kill. Lorne is a firm believer in redemption and that anyone, good or evil, can be guided on the path to righteousness with the right advice (which was the main point behind his karaoke bar Caritas). However, Angel tells Lorne to kill Lindsay, rather than give Lindsay a shot at redemption. Since Angel forces him to murder Lindsay, he slips into the shadows and tells Angel never to come looking for him because he can no longer trust and is no longer willing to follow Angel.

I also thought that, while it was great, Season five suffered from a lack of Lilah. She was great for the entire series and Eve (and Sarah Thompson) did not bring nearly as much to the table.

Overall, Angel should at least have gotten another two seasons.

May 17 2009 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

and yes....i really loved season 5 back then....i think it the best Angel season out there and even after all these years i still watch some episodes like the one with the puppets again and again ^^

May 17 2009 at 6:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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