Well, I am back again, this time with my Season Two Redemption Report of your Buffy spin-off, the show Angel. Yes the series that severely tests my patience. All the time.
But I shall, hopefully, bravely carry on. With SPOILERS!
So onwards to our favourite Vampire with a soul, the man with kinda a plan to make good, Angel.
He was an idiot for most of this season, then whiny.
Angel is too stupid to recognize he is under magical psychological, which has happened before, and easily falls prey to it. Does not talk to his friends for far too long, obsesses over the crazed Darla, and goes to season one Buffy moody level with a side order of angst.
So yeah, most of this season Angel himself bored me. The only part I agreed with Angel on was the locking of the Wolfram and Hart lawyers in with Darla and Drusilla. Then you all chickened out by having the very very very annoying Lindsay and Lila live. But I do miss Holland, the slimy bugger.
The topper was Angel getting the Twilight Zone treatment and realizing that Earth is Hell, so time to Abandon All Hope and go turn evil. By sleeping with Darla. And way to go fanfic by explaining how meaningless sex does not equal a moment of pure happiness. I know you are trying to silence to nitpickers, but you could have done this in a whole lot less overly melodramatic way. Yeah, it was yucky.
And speaking of yucky, Darla. I completely understand the story arc for Darla here, and I even kinda dig her traumatic back story, but this entire human again stuff went on and on and on. And on. But at least we got Drusilla back for some interesting stuff because of this over long mess. Drusilla is scary and cool.
To move on with Cordelia, we did see some growth from her this year. The almost relationship with Gunn, which I though was gonna go someplace romantic but instead just flows into neutral coworkers, just lands with a whatever. But it is fascinating Joss how she is so fiercely loyal most of the time now. Which is different than on Buffy when she took off on the Scoobies mid season. All because she now takes the visions, which are less of a plot crutch now, very very seriously. I actually cheered when Cordelia told Angel off at the hospital. She really is coming into her own now.
Wesley. Sigh, Wesley. Still popping back and forth from klutz to ninja whenever the story needs it. Oh, and one little crumb again about his abusive father. Lets see what Wesley we get in season three.
And someone who is coming into his own as well is Gunn. From street Vampire hunter to… private eye Vampire hunter. I really think Gunn thrives under the slightly more structured life Wesley provides through AI, which is good. Gunn has lots of promise and can’t wait to see where else he goes.
We only get glimpses of what I know will be a regular, the interesting and funny Freddie, aka, Winifred, aka the missing librarian. She may look very groomed for an escaped slave living in a cave, but I do have high hopes for Freddie.
I really should rattle off some of the crud that bothered or bored me Joss, just to clear out the sludge that accumulates. Lets see, Kate is finally gone and mostly forgotten because she was useless. The rich guy never came back, thank the Hellmouth. Lindsay drove out of town never to darken Angel again, probably obsessing over Darla whom he barely knew, and that makes me a happy camper. Wesley dates Virginia maybe kinda and then they break up. Anne is annoying and should be slapped by Angel then Buffy. The charity ball being robbed was astoundingly stupid and so not worth it. The twit freezing time could have been good but was just creepy. The Tribunal and the Trial made me bored now. The humour feels forced much of the time. Angel firing AI went on way to long and had me check my watch a lot. Same with Pylea.
But what went right Joss?
Lorne and the karaoke bar grew on me, song by song, Barry Manilow hit by Barry Manilow hit. I like the new hotel headquarters, with an interesting backstory for both Angel and the building. Faith made some fun appearances. The dance of shame should be emulated. Harmony had my attention and even raised some important questions about the nature of Vampires. Princess Leia Cordelia. Willow doing so much in her guest spots. Flashback to how Angelus became Angel had my attention. The zombie cops gave us the walking dead doing horrific damage. Your episode Joss with the Carrie take rocked with window shattering greatness. Wolfram and Hart are still vile and evil and abhorrent and deserve to die. And Dennis is the coolest roommate ever.
I see some promise at the end of the season, after the whole endless drama with Darla finally closed up. Maybe the lighten tone will give some life to Angel, in more ways than one.
…is currently reading The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler