AngelCityofAngel.com’s Top Ten Angel Episodes
Monday 29 September 2003, by Webmaster
Get your stakes ready because it is that time of the year again ! Evil, in all of its glorious monster forms, is returning on October 1st for Angel and everyone to battle from their brand new location : the offices of Wolfram & Hart ! Will Angel descend into the darkness of the evil law firm or can he resist and use the resources for good ? Will Fred ever choose between Wesley and Gunn ? And, for Joss sakes, will we ever get another glimpse of our beloved Numfar ? While we don’t have any answers, CityofAngel.com is very excited for the new season and as a little treat three of our writers have compiled their Top Ten list of favorite Angel episodes ! Whet your appetite and reminisce about all the good times over the past four years, and remember, just because Spike is coming to Los Angeles doesn’t mean it’s safe ! The Swoopster’s Top 10 Angel episode list :
#10. 2.18 Dead End - Written by David Greenwalt and directed by James Contner — certainly two of my favorites. For the first time we see how Wolfram & Hart works in the everyday world. Lilah [Stephanie Romanov] and Lindsey [Christian Kane] are at their bickering, backstabbing best here. The highlight is the Angel/Lindsey interactions, and a nice spotlight for Kane’s singing talents as well.
#9. 1.15 The Prodigal - We learn Angel’s real name and discovered why he began calling himself Angel - backstory always a plus. Liam emerges from his grave is classic horror style. Elisabeth Rohm (Det. Kate Lockley) stands out ; her quiet scenes with her father and with Angel show that still deeper side to her that I like as well as her emotional draw.
#8. 3.9 Lullaby - The most classic moment in Angel history ; when Darla [Julie Benz] repents her sins and dies (again) by taking her own life to save her and Angel’s baby. Written by Tim Minear, he does an excellent job of putting the audience on red alert by throwing us a curve and then making us wait with bated breath for what happens next.
#7. 2.2 Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been - Another from the Minear pennage as we are transported to the not-so-distant past, Angel of the 1950’s. Here, he is distant, removed even more from the world of the living. Outstanding Boreanaz shows more facets and depth to both himself as well as his character with whom he comes more and more entwined.
#6 4.20 Sacrifice - Former Firefly scribe and Tick creator, Ben Edlund makes his Angel writing debut by expertly weaving action, horror, gore, and humor. Amy Acker (Fred) shows another level of her acting depth as her giddy intel-shy-girl takes a walk-about and the mature, passionate, and soulful Fred emerges.
#5 4.15 Orpheus - If there’s one thing I love about Angel it’s the writings of Mere Smith ! Add in rogue slayer, Faith [Eliza Dushku], and a crossover from Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Willow [Alyson Hannigan] and you’ve got the culmination of one of the best episodes of the season. In this twistful tale of action, Mere gives us an abundance of great one-liners, the Willow/Wesley travels-with-my-dark-side comparisons, and a brilliant Faith/Angel mind-tour.
#4 2.7 Darla - Tim Minear’s directorial debut on Angel. His gift to take us into the past lives and unlives without a feeling of detachment has made the historical elements of the series a hit. Darla [Julie Benz], takes her character from dying mortal to nobility ala the Nosforatu style of the Master, wonderfully recreated by Mark Metcalf.
#3 3.16 Sleep Tight - Again Greenwalt hails. Fight scenes have always been a perk of Angel thanks to stunt coordinator Mike Massa. Boreanaz stretches his acting legs, playing the careless, out of control monster to the brooding hero struggling to control the raging demon within him. Always fun to watch.
#2 2.11 Redefinition - Mere Smith goes full-throttle. Darla and Drusilla [Juliet Landau] have a new agenda, they are the new ’big bad’ in town and W&H is in for a wild ride ! Angel has tripped into the darkness once again in unknown territory. The key being Darla’s last words... "That wasn’t Angel. It wasn’t Angelus, either." Some of the best dialogue ever written.
#1 1.18/2.5 Five by Five/Dear Boy - A tie. In Five by Five, Sophia Crawford (never satisfied with doing the same gag twice) and Karen Sheperd shine better than they have since the days of Buffy’s GD2. Alexis Denisof (Wesley) is brilliant in his torture scene. Eliza Dushku brings all her sexiness to the screen but it is her deep, gripping emotions (as Faith tries to get Angel to kill her) that we see her incredibly talent as we watch the inner struggle taking her to the near brink of borderline schizophrenic. Dear Boy, written and directed by Greenwalt hasJulie Benz’s performance of a lifetime ! Perhaps for the first time we see a truer side of Darla ; vengeful yet vulnerable, and most of all, still enraptured by Angel. We discover that she is truly human again and, like Angel, with a soul, The final two scenes between the two are riveting and marks the emotional depth of the series.