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From Scifi.com


Angel Season Five Premiere - Review

By Kathie Huddleston

Wednesday 1 October 2003

Running the L.A. branch of an evil law firm adds a whole new level of complication to helping the helpless. Angel Season Five Premiere

"Conviction" and "Just Rewards"

Starring David Boreanaz, Alexis Denisof, J. August Richards, Amy Acker, Andy Hallett and James Marsters

Created by Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt

Written and directed by Joss Whedon

The WB

Premieres Wednesday, Oct. 1 and 8, at 9 p.m. ET/PT

A beautiful young woman walks into an unfamiliar area confused and scared. Suddenly, a vampire attacks her. Hearing the screams, Angel (Boreanaz) rushes over rooftops to aid the terrified woman, jumping in to stop the vampire just in time. As the vampire turns to dust, the woman looks on with admiration as her hero walks away without even giving her his name.

Or not. Just before he can make his grand exit, the forces of Wolfram & Hart descend en masse, and they are not at all thrilled that their CEO has performed a rescue scenario without letting them secure the scene first. And then there’s the matter that the vamp Angel dusted works for a client. The befuddled Angel can only look on as a publicity photo is taken, the girl signs papers regarding the rescue, and an eager employee offers to bring his car around. So much for helping the helpless.

Three weeks have passed since the senior partners turned over the LA branch of Wolfram & Hart to Angel and the gang, and they are all a bit shell-shocked and out of place. That is, except for Lorne (Andy Hallett), whose biggest issue appears to be that his interior decorator can’t find the right carpeting for his office.

Despite the three weeks, there are plenty of surprises, as Angel meets his new secretary and old enemy, Harmony (Mercedes McNab), and the gang gets an introduction to Eve (Sarah Thompson), their liaison with the senior partners. The "catch," as Eve tells them, is that while they can do whatever they want to with the L.A. branch of Wolfram & Hart, they still have to keep the business running or evil will find other outlets-and ones they might not then have the resources to deal with.

They begin to understand how complicated their lives have gotten when one of their very evil human clients orders them to win his case-or else. Unfortunately for the gang, the "or else" may well mean bye-bye Los Angeles. As they race to find a solution, Gunn faces a decision that will change him forever, and another old friend/enemy pops into Angel’s life.

Things will never be the same

Now in its fifth season, Angel can finally step out of the shadows of Joss Whedon’s other shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, and take its rightful place as a terrific series that has come into its own. And it’s about time. Angel has been producing not just great episodes but great seasons for years now. The two-part season premiere "Conviction" and "Just Rewards," which was written and directed by Whedon, offers the clever dialogue, humor and drama that make his shows so rich and rewarding.

Like a lot of returning genre series this year, Angel has a new direction. This direction takes Angel and the gang into the belly of the beast (that being Wolfram & Hart) and lets them explore brand-new territory, which has to do more with the shades of gray in the levels of evil that exist rather than the black and white, good vs. evil they have faced in the past. It’s a move which will shake the characters up, spin them around and change them forever.

"Conviction" and "Just Rewards" may be billed as a two-part season premiere, but both episodes are standalone for the most part. Of special note, we’ll learn what happened to Cordelia, the one big loose end from last year, and Spike returns in a very clever way. However, don’t look for much of Spike until the second episode. The episodes are filled with very funny dialogue and situations that remind us how good a writer and director Whedon is. Arguably he is the best producer and writer of genre material on television, and having his attention focused on Angel, now that it’s his only series on the air, can only help the show in the long run.

Coming off of a couple of arcy seasons, this year looks very different. Anyone can sit down and enjoy these episodes whether they’ve ever seen Angel before or not. The strategy is to give the series a chance to thrive with the audience from new lead-in Smallville. Whether the plan works or not, Angel hasn’t been this accessible to new viewers since the first season.

When it’s all said and done, Angel will take its place next to Buffy as not only one of the best fantasy shows ever made, but one of the best television series. To my mind, it’s already there. How Angel does after Smallville may well be the make-or-break point as to whether this series has a future on The WB. I hope so. I’m not ready to tune in to a television season that doesn’t have a Joss Whedon series. So start watching, boys and girls. This is one show we don’t want to lose. - Kathie

1 Message

  • > Angel Season Five Premiere - Review

    16 April 2004 09:27, by Wolverine68

    This season was a major step up from season 4. Which let’s not even begin to look at the disapointments. I just try to look at the bright side, season 4 had the all time greatest villian ever concieved (The Beast).

    Season 5 is edgy, and Angel (the character) has gotten a bit darker. This season is somewhat remenicent of season two, where he was in a very dark place.

    Stand alone episodes are parcially to do with this. Story-archs work well, but season-archs are just to much.

    There is only one gripe I have with this season. And that is why did "Conviction" end with a to be continued, but the next story falls under a different title. The only to be continued ever on Angel, and it’s not even really a 2 part episode, just a suspense gimick. However, that is not important, as the title is never even seen on episodes.

    Episodes have been more original, and intresting then for along time. "Life Of The Party was fun" (& only had one flaw, the fight with evil Lorne could have been doen better). ’That Cautionary number episode’ (lol), ok "tale of numero cinco," was a refreshing change, and had some much needed great fight scenes. "Hell Bound" was risky, and nightmarish. "Just Rewards" & "Unleashed" showed there was alot of good that could be done by working for W&H. "Destiny" gave an intresting insist to the relatonship between our souled vampires. Another refreshing change was done, Spike besting Angel in battle. The reintroduction of Lindsey was the most shocking thing in the whole 5 years. No one expected to ever see him again.

    "Harm’s Way" was a seemingly pointless episode, and the low point of the season, but still a good episode, with it’s value. The 100th episode was the shinning becon of the season, and one of the show’s best ever. Great plot, it’s happy, it’s sad, it’s triumphant & realistic. and we get to see the best fight on the show since Angel Inc. first battles The Beast.

    There is even a visit from some people from SunnyDale. Not the way I would have had the enocounter go down, but another well doen story line. A true shopwing of how people change and grow apart. David Boreanez then showed he was a great director. We even get to see one more flash back episode. The writters always wanted to do an episode in the 30’s and now they got it.

    On top of all this, we get to see Angel turned into a puppet, (Not since Hercules was turned into a pig has the world laughed so hard.) Even as a puppet he manages to have 2 great fight scenes. Then Joss Whedon writes a heart felt plot, where a major character’s life is taken. The story is cut short to move on the other stories, but was enjoyable.

    Now we have 6 episode left. Will Angel finally have to face "the" apocaplypse. What will be with his son? Will someone finally stake Drucilla? Questions questions, oh my.

    Thanks Joss, and everyone for 5 plus great years. For a spin off that outdid it’s origin. This is definatly one of hte great shows ever concieved, ammoung the best in my generation (which I can vouch is only 1 of 2 shows I am collecting on DVD).

    The only point I must disagree on is Joss being the finest writter. I give him his credit in coming up with these thing we refer to as the "Whedon" or "Buffy" - verse. And perhaps this would be different if he didn’t have the duties of executive producer on his hands, who knows.

    His writting was always the best on Buffy. His finales for seasons 2 & 5 were the best plots & greatest challenges for Buffy. However we are talking about Angel.

    If you run down the list of the stand out episodes of each season of Angel, who’s names are on them?

     Season 1- 1-"In The Dark" written by Douglas Petrie 2-"I Will Remember You" ’ ’ by David Greenwalt & Janine Renshaw 3-"Hero" ’ ’ by Howard Gordan & Tim Minear 4-"Five By Five" ’ ’ by Jim Kouf 5-"Sactuary" ’ ’ by Tim Minear & Joss Whedon 6-"War Zone" ’ ’ by Garry Campell 7-"To Shanshu In L.A." ’ ’ by David Greenwalt

     Season 2- 1-"Judgement" (Whedon did think of the story idea with Greenwalt, but Greenwalt did the telleplay) 2-"Have You Now Or Ever Been" by Tim Minear 3-"The Trial" by Douglas Petrie & Tim Minear 4-"Happy Aniversay" by David Greenwalt 5-"Reprise" & "Epipshany" by Tim Minear 6-The last 3/Pylia story arch was written by A(20)-Mere Smith B(21)- Tim Minear C(22)-David Greenwalt

     Season 3- 1-"Heartthrob" by David Greenwalt 2-"That Vison Thing" by Jeffery Bell 3-"That Old Gand Of Mine" by Tim Minear 4-"Carpe Noctem" by Scott Murphy 5-"Birthday" by Mere Smith 6-"The Price" by David Fury 7-"Waiting In The Wings" by Joss Whedon (& look only one episode by him in season 3)

     Season 4- 1-"Apocalypse Nowish" by Steven S. DeKnight 2-"Orpheus" by Mere Smith 3-"Sacrifice" by Ben Edlund 4-"Home" by Tim Minear (Yes, only 4, that’s how bad it was - in comparison.)

     Season 5- 1-"Hellbound" by Steven S. DeKnight 2-"Life Of The Party" by Ben Edlund 3-"Soul Purpose" by Brent Flecher 4-"You’re Welcome" by David Fury 5-"Smile Time" Ben Edlund wrote the telleplay & directed (Joss helped with the story idea) 6-"Underneath" By Sarah Fain & Elizabeth Craft 7- 8- (I am leaving the last 2 open, I know next weeks in going to be good, I have read spoliers & the WB discription. Then the season finale that I know, without even reading a spoiler as I want to be surprised, will blow everyone & thing away.)

    Sorry if I carried on a bit, I wanted to prove my point. Seems Joss’s name is the least frequent of the great TV writters. His visions of projects to produce is probably the best today.