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Angel – The 5 Best Moments
It can be rough being a spinoff series. Co-creators David Greenwalt and Joss Whedon did well enough to make Angel stand on its own, though. It did well enough to stay out of Buffy’s shadow, which was large enough to cast several great moments of its own. Angel ran for five years, producing some of the best episodes of the genre. Out of all the great moments, these particular five stand out to me as what truly made it one of my favorite series.
If there is one thing Angel always did at top game, it was exits. In the series finale, “Not Fade Away,” we see a shared exit for Lorne and Lindsay. This may be the darkest moment of the show. We see Lorne, a character whose personality brought in mostly light and comedic relief, forced to kill a man who was trying to redeem himself. Lindsay’s past is what took him down, and the Angel crew simply couldn’t trust him. Watching this scene a second time adds depth to what is being said between them before Lorne pulls the trigger. I probably would’ve picked up on what he was saying the first time if it weren’t for the shock and sadness (I actually liked Lindsay). And what better parting words could Lorne have used besides “Good night, folks”?
There were plenty of emotional moments during Angel‘s run, but not many reach the standards set by the last five minutes of “I Will Remember You.” After spending a day of being human, Angel decides to go to the Oracles, who turn back time to before he is infected with the Mohra Demon blood that caused his humanity. It’s when he breaks the news to Buffy, who he spent the entire day with, that the tears start to roll. Buffy ultimately agrees with his decision, but their exchange is still heartbreaking. Perhaps, the most tragic aspect of this episode is that Angel is the only one that remembers the lost day. Buffy swears to him in their final minute that she won’t forget, but that’s not how things work out. Angel is forced to go another curse alone.
That’s right. Angel‘s series finale was good enought to merit two of its top five moments. This particular scene showcases two great moments in unison; the evolution of Illyria and the passing of Wesley. Wesley arguably had the most character development in the entire series. His character really grew on me, so it was sad to him go down like that. I’d say Fred goes down for the saddest death, but what makes Wesley’s slightly more memorable to me is how it reflected Fred’s. They each died in each others arms. The symmetry to that really hit me hard. Also, seeing the transformation from Fred to Illyria as she broke Vail’s face was pretty incredible.
The return of Angelus was one of the best story arcs that Angel has ever seen. And they probably couldn’t have picked a better way to start. I, like many I assume, was tricked into thinking that things were finally going in favor of the good guys. Just about every relationship Angel had was restored, the world was saved and Angel reached true happiness. Of course, true happiness doesn’t go over very well. This time, true happiness was needed to bring out the beast within Angel to stop the beast within Los Angeles. Just as Angel reaches this high point, we have a bomb dropped on us. About 90% of the episode was an illusion crafted to bring out his bad side, and it passed with flying colors. I don’t know what shocked me more, the twist in the story or the twist of David Boreanaz being able to freeze my blood by laughing.
Angel has seen its fair share of twists, but this one always stands out to me as the strongest goose-bump inducer. It might have been a little Sixth Sense-ish, but it still caught me off guard. “You’re Welcome” features the return and departure of one of the Buffyverse’s longest running characters, Cordelia. Season 4 put her through a pretty rough story line which was more than made up for in this episode. Throughout the episode, Cordelia sees more and more of what Angel is turning into and straightens him out. Everything was looking bright; Cordy was back, Angel was seeing things clearly, and they finally share a true kiss. Then, we’re hit with emotional strain in the final scene. The reveal that Cordelia never woke up from her coma, passed away and was just, more-or-less, a spirit, was done with perfection. I rewatched the scene maybe five or six times.