I’m Dark and Brooding, Guess Who I Am.

by December Lambeth on September 29, 2005

in Television Reviews 

The dark and self-pitying side to Angel starts to show halfway through this season. Instead of being concerned with the helpless he gets hooked on Wolfram & Hart. His obsession with Wolfram & Hart leaves the rest of the gang to fend for themselves and the helpless; Wesley, Gunn, and Cordy try to keep up with their clientele without Angel. The gang barely flying by the seat of their pants to the point of getting seriously hurt or killed, Angel steps in at the last minute to save the day and return to his normal self.

Angel: Season 2
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The dark and self-pitying side to Angel starts to show halfway through this season. Instead of being concerned with the helpless he gets hooked on Wolfram & Hart. His obsession with Wolfram & Hart leaves the rest of the gang to fend for themselves and the helpless; Wesley, Gunn, and Cordy try to keep up with their clientele without Angel. The gang barely flying by the seat of their pants to the point of getting seriously hurt or killed, Angel steps in at the last minute to save the day and return to his normal self.

Angel Season 2 has a great deal of turning points. Angel starts out on the path he originally chose in Season 1, but halfway through turns into a real bastard and goes after Wolfram & Hart and then turns back into a good guy towards the end. We see him fire his crew, let Kate try to kill herself, allow Darla and Dru to eat most of the Wolfram & Hart lawyers, and get it on with Darla. Then we witness the gang trying to make it on their own without Angel, Wesley got shot and a girlfriend, Cordy got a haircut and a third eye and Gunn questioned his loyalty towards Angel Investigations and his old crew. Kate finally comes to grips with Angel being a good guy and accepts that he has helped her more than hurt her and he is not at fault for all the evil in the world. Lindsey fell in love with Darla, but was rejected and in return tried to kick Angel’s ass and looses and then finally quits the firm and leaves LA. Lilah gets the job and a little more power in Wolfram & Hart. Angel sees how things really are and that is no matter what the fight is there will always be evil, but it’s the one act of kindness that makes the dent in the plan. Darla is brought back and then she’s dying again and then Dru comes in and turns her to a vampire. Angel rights his wrongs, saves the crew and goes to work for them instead of them working for him. Cordy becomes a princess and finds herself a hunk of a man, but in another dimension. Cordy’s visions are becoming stronger and stronger and starting to take over her wellbeing and health. Angel, Wesley, Lorne and Gunn jump into another dimension to save Cordy and brings back a new member to the gang, Fred, for the 3rd season of Angel.

Season 2: The Gang

Characters:

Angel:(David Boreanaz) Angel becomes hung up on Wolfram & Hart’s control and mind games. He gets darker and darker throughout the season, becoming closed off from the group and more concerned about him. Most of his problems do stem from Wolfram & Hart and he plays right into their game at times.

Cordelia:(Charisma Carpenter) Cordelia’s visions are getting stronger and stronger; they are taking over her life and mental/physical health. The gang shows concern, but she backs away from them not sharing the truth about how strong her visions are getting. Cory’s character has grown by leaps and bounds, no longer looking for the shallow acting career and completely putting herself into the saving the innocent business.

Wesley:(Alexis Denisof) Wesley becomes a major player in “watcher” form and slaying form. He studies up on the demons that the gang must fight and he stands next to Angel and Cordy in the battles. His character grows more and more with each episode; he comes into his own towards the end and plays a major role in the prophecy that states how Angel is to become human.

Gunn:(J. August Richards) Gunn starts out as a hired hand, but ends up as much of a part of Angel Investigations as the rest of the team. He leaves his street family to help Angel fight the good fight.

Lorne:(Andy Hallett) Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan, aka “Lorne” is an anagogic demon that can sense people’s thoughts through singing. He plays a small role as a host in a safe haven bar that gets destroyed over and over again, towards the end Lorne finds himself just as much of the gang as the rest.

Fred:(Amy Acker) This character shows up at the end of the season and plays into a love triangle in season 3 between Gunn and Wesley. She helps save Angel while the gang is trapped in Lorne’s dimensional world, Pylea, a place where humans are slaves and demons rule.

Kate:(Elisabeth Röhm) An annoying and self-pitying character indeed. She is an L.A. police detective who takes a great deal of undeserved anger out on Angel. Most annoying character in the show.

Lindsey:(Christian Kane) A squirmy little lawyer who works for the evil firm of Wolfram & Hart. Angel has many disputes with Lindsey throughout the season.

Lilah:(Stephanie Romanov) An evil witch of a lawyer who works for Wolfram & Hart. She always has the evil plan, but it never works out. Angel and her are always battling it out, a constant cat and mouse game.

Darla(Julie Benz) She comes back from the dust with the help of Wolfram & Hart to cause havoc with Angel. Her purpose is to turn Angel back to Angelus. Darla realizes that she is dying in her human form, tries to get Angel to turn her so she can live forever, instead Angel goes through a test putting his life on the line to save her. She can’t be saved; she was already brought back once.

Cordy

Crossovers:
Willow:(Alyson Hannigan)
Spike(James Marsters)
Willow(Seth Green)
Faith(Eliza Dushku)
Drusilla(Juliet Landau)

Episodes:
Judgment

Angel mistakenly slays a demon who is protecting an innocent pregnant girl, he has to sing karaoke in order to find out how to make things right. He sings the standard song “Mandy” by Barry Manilow. Darla recovers from her resurrection and Angel discovers he may not always be eternal. Angel makes a visit to prison to have a chat with Faith.

Are you Now, Or Have you Ever Been?

Angel travels back in time to 1952 where Angel isn’t the Angel we know today. He lives in hiding scared of the tortured souls around him. Angel rids the hotel of the demon that still haunts it and releases the soul of the one girl he cared about from the past.  The Angel Investigation team moves into their new offices at the Hyperion Hotel after the mystery is solved.

First Impressions

Cordelia has a vision of Gunn being in danger and after not being able to get a hold of Wesley nor Angel she goes to protect him herself. While doing this Angel is having nighttime visits from Darla in his dreams or is it for real. We start seeing more of Wolfram and Hart and their evil little games to control Angel. Cordelia loses Angels car and in the search for it she and Gunn get in a battle. Cordelia realizes Gunn is his own worst enemy; she can’t save him, but can be there to help him when he needs a little support.

Wesley

Untouched

Angel helps a young woman with uncontrollable telekinetic powers. Angel’s sleepless nights are distracting him during his working hours and he is still oblivious to Darla paying him visits in his room while he sleeps at night. The young woman, Bethany, with telekinetic powers is tangled up with Lilah and Wolfram & Hart, but doesn’t know they want to use her for evil. Bethany starts losing control over powers due to abuse from her father and Angel helps her get through it and gain control of her life.

Dear Boy

Angel finally gets a glimpse of Darla while awake and when he tells his gang this they all think he has lost his mind until they see her with their own eyes. All the while they are afraid he might fall for that one moment of bliss with Darla return to his evil ways. Kate appears and plays super bitch and doesn’t want to listen to the truth from the gang, they try to explain to her that Darla is setting up Angel and he is trying to do what’s right. She won’t listen, only all to willing to blame Angel for all the wrongs in the world. While the gang is dealing with Kate, Angel is below ground trying to talk a little comment sense into Darla, trying to get her to realize that her soul will start eating away at her very insides. Darla won’t listen to reason and runs off and figures out the pain the hard way. All of these events start to turn Angel to brooding mean guy who starts to wrap his days up with Wolfram & Hart and less with the innocent. He starts to forget his true purpose in L.A. and why he’s fighting the good fight.

Guise Will Be Guise

Wesley gets to play Angel and tries to save a young girl. Angel goes to find out about his haunting dreams from a mystical swami. Wesley hooks up for the first time with his occasional love interest, Virginia Bryce.

Darla

Flashbacks of Angelus and Darla’s rein pepper this episode, showing us what evil they possessed together before Angel was cursed with a soul. Darla is loosing her mind with her new soul and memories of what horrors she committed. Angel is desperate to save Darla from Wolfram & Hart’s death grip on her, but fails in the end.

Lorne

Shroud of Rahmon

Angel and Gunn pose as robbers to help demons steal the Shroud of Rahmon, but Kate jumps in on the robbers at the last minute. Kate’s involvement forces Angel to bight her and whisper in her ear to fake dead so the demons don’t do the job themselves. She falls to the floor and they escape with the Shroud. Later Angel burns the Shroud and Wesley tries to take the fall for the robbery. Kate comes in to the questioning and tells the police to let Wesley go, he had nothing to do with the robbery. Kate, even after Angel saved her, still won’t forgive him and Angel sits down at the end to think about how Kate tastes.

The Trial

After Darla ran out a couple of episodes ago Gunn finds her, but not before Lindsey. He takes her back to Wolfram & Hart only to find out that she is dying from the same disease she had before The Master turned her in her former life. Finding no possible way to cure Darla, Lindsey contacts Angel to see how he could help. Angel takes Darla to Lorne to sing and help them find a cure. It’s a life or death situation, Angel must win a challenge to save her life, but finds out after all the hell he goes through that it was all a waste of time. Darla spends her time trying to get Angel to turn her and save her life, but he won’t. In the end the two are sitting in a sleazy hotel and Wolfram & Hart break in with Drusilla and she turns Darla.

Reunion

Angel tries to save Darla before she rises as a vampire, but gets there too late. Darla and Dru fight Angel off and run off. The two go on a bloody shopping spree and end at Holland’s little get together. Holland is the head guy at Wolfram & Hart, you could call him the puppet master. Angel shows up at the party, but does nothing to stop Dru and Darla from going on a lawyer luncheon, a true massacre. Angel and Darla have a few words and he shuts the door and lets the two vampires have at it, they kill everybody in the room, but Lindsey and Lilah. Angel goes back to the gang to tell them what he did and they told him that he was wrong in his actions. He agreed and then fired the whole lot.

Gunn

Redefinition

Dru and Darla kept the two lawyers alive so they could have a link to Wolfram & Hart, they want to take over LA and they need the funding. Lilah and Lindsey find themselves duking it out for their lives and top spot at the firm. Angel muscles up to take on Dru and Darla and their little gang of soldiers they are trying to put together. The two vamps show up to gather the troops to find them dead and Angel smoking a cigarette. He lights them up like fireworks on the fourth of July and walks away. Darla puts busts open a fire hydrant and saves Dru and herself. Angel goes back to the hotel to keep training and Wesley lets him know how wrong he is and that the gang was still going to keep to the mission even though Angel has given up, or they think he has.

Blood Money

While Wes, Gunn, & Cordy discuss their new agency and what to call it, Angel is out for revenge on Lindsey, Lilah, and Wolfram & Hart. He spends his time tracking their every move and finds a charity ball that they have to be a scam. Hiring somebody to help him, they steal the money and give it to Anne, the woman who runs the shelter that the charity was set up for. Anne doesn’t care if it is blood money, it helps either way. Angel gets a little twinge of what wrong he is doing by being so self involved, but not enough to change his ways. Lindsey wants him dead, but the higher ups at the firm say that Angel plays a big part in the apocalypse and they want him on their side when time comes.

Happy Anniversary

Lorne drags Angels ass out of bed and forces him to do what he is suppose to be doing all along, help the helpless. A young scientist with a crush has found a way to freeze time so his girlfriend won’t break up with him, but this would cause the end of the world and it must be stopped. Lorne gets Angel to open up to him and explain why he fired the gang, Angel said that they were not up for revenge and that was all he wanted. Lorne explains to Angel that he is a champion and it’s a very dark place that he is headed towards and he should turn back. Wesley’s new girlfriend gets the gang a job and the drudge forward without their fearless leader.

Angel won’t kill Fred

The Thin Dead Line

Zombie cops are killing and beating up on everybody. The gang gets stuck at Anne’s shelter surrounded by the mean ass zombies. Wesley and Gunn sneak out to check out the story and find it to be true, Wesley gets shot and just about bleeds to death. Angel has stopped stocking the firm long enough to find out what’s going on and works with Kate to put an end to it. He goes to the hospital to make sure that Wesley is okay, but Cordy gives him what for and tells him they are doing just fine without him and to get out.

Reprise

This is a big turning point for Angel, this episode cover a great deal. Darla has been faking ill and shaking up with Lindsey. As she is snooping through his things she finds a report that says every so many years a senior partner will come in for a review of the staff, Angel finds the same information out and decides he is going to kill the senior partner. He goes to a shop that he had visited in the past to find out how to kill the senior partner and gets more info about a ring that will take him to the main office so he can kill the rest, the main office being in hell of course. The shopkeeper gives him a glove that should do the job, but Darla steals it from him and runs off. He gets the glove back from Darla and goes after the big guy. After killing the senior partner, Holland’s “ghost” shows up behind an elevator door and offers to take Angel to the head office, leaving him exactly where he got on, in LA. Angel walks back realizing all the violence that is going on around him and it would do absolutely no good to fight anymore, because people are naturally evil and are going to go after each other with or with out the supernatural evils in the world. While all this is going on, Angel has a confrontation with Wesley and Cordy and Wesley pulls his stitches out and goes home leaving Cordy in the office alone. They had a client that wouldn’t pay at first, but called back for Cordy to come pick up the money and walk right into a trap. Angel goes back to the hotel, to find Kate on his answering machine confessing to committing suicide. Angel ignores the cry for help and goes up to his room to find Darla standing in the corner. The two of them go at it like wild monkeys in heat and as Angel is lying in bed next to her he gets an old familiar feeling, is his soul being ripped away from him again and will Cordy live through her kidnapping?

Dru

Epiphany

Angel’s pain isn’t his soul leaving his body, but a harsh moment of epiphany. He realizes all the wrong he has been doing and it’s time to patch up the bridges he has burned with the gang. Darla is pissed that she couldn’t give him his one moment of true happiness and he tells her to leave. He is sorry, but he doesn’t want to see her ever again or he will kill her. Angel heads over to Kate’s apartment to save her first and then he goes to find the gang and realizes that Cordy is in trouble, he gathers Gunn and a wounded Wesley to go save Cordy. Along the way they run into a gang of demons and Angel stops to fight them and tells Wesley and Gunn to save Cordy. After the demons run off from Angel, Lindsey shows up in a beat up pick-up truck and tries to kill Angel. Angel beats Lindsey with a bat and apologizes that Darla couldn’t love him. Angel shows up just in time to save the whole gang and beg for forgiveness. Afterwards Kate shows up to thank Angel for saving her and lets him know that she will never try to kill herself again because she believes in a higher power, after all she never invited him in and he was able to get into her apartment and save her. Angel lets her know, that even though it won’t do a great deal of good, he is going to go back to helping the less fortunate, because the strongest thing to demonstrate is a pure act of kindness and that is all that matters. Angel goes to the gang, but they tell him they don’t want to work for him, but he says that he wants to work for them.

Vamped Angel

Disharmony

A vamped out Harmony shows up to rekindle her friendship with Cordy and tries to find a new lease on life, after being dissed by Spike. She works at being a good little vampire, but fails when she joins a vampire cult and turns the gang over to them. The gang kicks butt and Cordy lets Harmony live only if she leaves LA and never comes back.

Dead End

Wolfram & Hart gives Lindsey a surrogate hand that once belonged to a murderous man and it’s still possessed. Lindsey goes to Lorne to find out why his hand is acting all weird and finds that Wolfram & Hart’s little gift is essentially broken. While singing Angel and the crew come in to find out why Cordy’s visions are getting so strong and almost debilitating her. The firm is going to name who is in charge, but Lindsey lets them know how crazy his hand is making him and he could kill all, he told them to give it to Lilah and leave him be. At the end Lindsey leaves and Angel gives him a send off.

Darla

Belonging

Cordy has a vision of a girl in a library getting sucked into a portal and a portal opens up on Lorne’s bar. A demon comes through and Lorne asks Angel to kill him, the demon is there to battle a monster that had escaped from their realm, Angel and the demon fight the monster and the crew sends the demon back to his home. While the portal is opened, Cordy gets sucked in too.

Over the Rainbow

The dimension Cordy is sucked into just so happens to be Lorne’s old stopping ground, and she has been captured and sold as a slave. She has a vision while captured and the people believe her to be cursed and take her to the head council. The council uses a prophecy from a book with pictures of wolf, ram and heart on the front, the prophecy says that she is the chosen one and the turn her into their queen. Angel is going to do what ever he has to get into the dimension and save Cordy. Lorne doesn’t want to go, but a psychic tells him he has to so he can settle some bad scores with the family and save Cordy. Gunn wasn’t going to go either, but at the last minute changed his mind.

Through the Looking Glass

Now in a foreign dimension, Angel finds he can walk in the light, but he wants to focus on saving Cordy. The gang meets Lorne’s family and Angel runs into Fred, the woman sucked into the dimension in the library. He also runs into his true monster inside, Fred saves him from himself. Cordy saves the gang from death and later finds out her role, she is to mate with the Groosalugg. He is to take her powers, but she does not know that and he ends up falling in love with her.

Lilah

There’s No Place Like Plrtz Glrb

Lorne looses his head, literally, and Cordy tries to escape with head in hand. She meets the Groosalugg who is a very handsome hunk of a man, she changes her mind. Angel bonds with Fred in the woods and the gang is finding it very hard to get out of this dimension. Angel pulls himself together and fights the monster inside to save Cordy, he doesn’t know that she doesn’t need saving from Groo, but rather from the priests who are trying to steal her power. He fights Groo, but Cordy stops it and the find a way out and return to LA.

Lindsey

Kick ass transitional season for Angel, this is the last of the true helping and find the path of redemption. Many changes happen amongst Angel, Wesley, Gunn and Cordelia, both personal and as a crime fighting team. Angel and the group deal with inner demons and find that evil is all around, but it takes a village to conquer and they need each other to give the good fight. Angel goes through many ups and downs and even fires his entire staff, but realizes the mistakes he made and asks for forgiveness in the end. Season 2 introduces new members like Lorne the Host and psychic and Fred a quiet girl who had been trapped a slave and living like a wild woman in another dimension. All new and old characters bond and bring on a very strong and mysterious season 3. The show found its legs and Angel found his own identity away from Buffy and Sunnydale. I think season 2 is the best of the series.

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