The Angel Investigations team is stunned when the Senior Partners of Wolfram and Hart give them control of the L.A. office. The gang quickly moves in, and although everyone is delighted at the amazing resources they now ha... more »ve at their command, they canĀ't stop wondering what the catch is. But the biggest mystery of all revolves around a small package Angel receives containing an amulet and a handful of dustĀ?which coalesces into a very-much-alive Spike.« less
MaryAnn W. from SAINT LOUIS, MO Reviewed on 11/29/2013...
Wow! What a great season!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Dylan W. from LEWISTON, ME Reviewed on 1/24/2013...
I loved this season, it was the best season i would say cause the unexpected happened. This season will make you laugh make you cry. But it ends at a part that made you think they would continue it. The thing is buffy didn't have a beginning you never knew how she became a slayer. But angel didn't have a ending it ends at a cliffhanger and it really got me mad how they ended it. But it is still awesome the end was not that horrible but you should still watch it. But i think one of the reasons i liked this one the most was because Spike was brought back to life in this one.
ANGEL goes out in style with a marvelous final season
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 11/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Warning: Many, many spoilers!
All good things must come to an end, and unfortunately with Season Five of ANGEL we saw not only the end of one of the great series that TV has produced, but the end of Joss Whedon's Slayerverse. With Whedon's recent announcement that he was closing Mutant Enemy's offices and that he does not intend to do another television show in the foreseeable future, this truly is the end of an era. At least we have 144 episodes of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and 110 episodes of ANGEL to remember these remarkable artistic creations by. And meanwhile we can all hope that Joss will reconsider and decide that he does have another set of stories to tell.
After very nearly getting cancelled at the end of Season Four, the WB renewed ANGEL with the understanding that the show would try to move more towards a format where each episode stood alone (though they did manage to sneak in some great storylines along the way) as well as bringing James Marster's Spike over from BUFFY to try and bring some of that audience over. Artistically, Season Five is a huge rebound from the disappointing Season Four, with a large number of stunning individual episodes, a number of shocking plot developments, and some powerful storylines. I never did feel completely at ease with Angel and Co. taking over the running of the evil law firm of hell, Wolfram and Hart, but despite that they managed to do some amazing things. One reason I didn't like the Wolfram and Hart connection was the presence of the specially treated pane glass windows, which allowed vampires Angel, Spike, and Harmony to bask in sunlight without fear of combustion. But ANGEL was metaphorically always about being in the shadows, and I felt that visually the show didn't work as well in the light. But this was one of my only complaints with the season. The other was that some of the characters didn't receive quite the attention that they deserved. Even Angel moved somewhat out of the center at the beginning of the season, as Spike was brought in and established as a central character, though by mid-season he clearly was once again the star of the show. Wesley, who I always found to be the most interesting character on the show, was far less crucial to the plot for most of the season. Gunn for the most part was relegated to bit parts, while Lorne had almost no role to play at all. On the other hand, Fred became far more important, of which more in a second. Harmony, always a secondary character on BUFFY, became a permanent cast member and managed to inject some comic relief as Angel's secretary, though they didn't have time to blend her fully into the mix. After the initial jar of seeing Spike in L.A. rather than Sunnydale, he managed to become a great addition to the show, and one of the great regrets of the failure of ANGEL to get renewed for Season Six was the wonderful team that he and ANGEL made by season's end.
The season saw a great number of remarkable individual episodes. One of my favorites was "Lineage," where Wesley managed to confront his father (or what passes for his father) in what is one of the most stunning scenes in the five seasons of the show. "Smile Time," written by TICK creator Ben Edlund, was arguably the funniest show in the history of the series, when Angel is transformed magically into a two-foot tall felt puppet. His assault of Spike when the latter makes fun of him and their ensuing fight is one of the great absurd moments I've ever seen on TV. I also enjoyed the episodes that dealt with the demise of Fred and the ascendance and development of Illyria.
Just over halfway through the season, fans of the show were shocked beyond comprehension when one of the major and most popular characters, Fred, the geeky but beautiful scientist whom Angel had rescued from another dimension, died, her body being taken over by a powerful ancient demon Illyria. Although fans were initially angered by her demise, most quickly came to be fascinated by the demon who took over her body, and her bizarre relationship with Wesley, Fred's erstwhile lover, who hesitatingly helped her to live in a world she found completely alien. We know from Jeff Bell, ANGEL's executive producer, that in Season Six they planned to have the apparently dead Fred resurrected by Willow from BUFFY, who was to appear as a guest star. In Season Five we learn that there are remnants of Fred in Illyria, and Fred was apparently going to retrieve Fred, while leaving Illyria alive, allowing Amy Acker to play a double role. The possibilities in that would have been remarkable. For instance, Illyria retained many of Fred's memories, including the fact that she loved Wesley. Illyria had achieved a strange attraction of her own to Wesley, and one can only imagine how she would have responded to seeing Fred and Wesley together. Illyria's attachment to Wesley led to perhaps the most moving moment of the entire season, when Illyria, who could manage an absolutely perfect impersonation of Fred when she needed to, asked a dying Wesley if she wanted her to "lie" to him (i.e., pretend to be Fred). After he says, with a smile on his face, yes, she tries to comfort him by telling him that he is going to be with her very shortly. Immediately after he dies, the sorcerer who killed Wesley, regaining consciousness but not realizing that he was talking to a powerful demon and not a "little girl," tells her to take her best shot at him. She does, and in the season's best visual image, the "little girl" spins, throwing a fist at the sorcerer's head, transforming from human to her demon form as she throws a punch at his head, completely shattering his skull (something a mere human was not capable of doing).
The show ended with an utterly remarkably episode entitled "Not Fade Away" (which references great the Buddy Holly song later covered by both the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead). The controversial but to me very beautiful and appropriate ending expressed everything that the show was about. Ultimately, the series was about a man (or vampire) who had more to repent of than he would ever find forgiveness for. He had, therefore, more or less devoted his entire existence to the process of atonement, which the show finally interrupts as an ongoing struggle and not a mere event. As Angel, Illyria, Spike, and a severely injured Gunn rendezvous in an alley in the midst of a heavy downpour, they find themselves being approached by a huge group of demons, including a towering giant and a dragon. The odds look (and possibly are) impossible, but after saying that he wants to slay the dragon, Angel says to the remnants of his team, "Let's get to work." And with those words the episode and the series abruptly ends. I can't imagine a more perfect end. (April 2005 addition: In a new interview, Amy Acker says that Joss Whedon told her that Illyria at least would have survived the fight.)
The WB announced the cancellation ANGEL immediately after their 100th episode. What followed was the most extraordinary campaign to save a show in television history. Fans undertook a large food drive in the show's name, organized blood drives, mailed tens of thousands of post cards, sent cakes to the corporate offices, and even hired a billboard trick to drive around Hollywood, all to no avail. There had been hopes for some made for TV movies and recently it was rumored that the new head of the WB wanted to revive ANGEL for Season Six. But star David Boreanaz and other performers had gone on to other projects, and then came the horrible announcement from Joss Whedon that he was not at present going to work on TV. We can hope that he might change his mind at some point in the future, but I, for one, am profoundly grateful for the two remarkable shows that he gave us. Unlike THE X-FILES, which while brilliant was never able to present a coherent or intelligible narrative about the world it was attempting to narrate, BUFFY and ANGEL gave us not only a tremendous set of characters and a great series of narratives, but a world mythology that was rounded, complete, and convincing. Joss Whedon and his associates raised the bar of what could be done in the medium of television, and as we see new shows like LOST attempting to work along the same paths, we will hopefully continue to benefit in the future from his great vision that started with a petite blonde vampire slayer and ended with a rumble in an alley."
Angel - Vampire/Hero Extraordinaire
Lauren H. Lavine | Cleveland, Ohio | 05/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This six Disk DVD Set is extraordinary. The Picture and Sound quality are so very good that you feel as though you are watching it in a theater. The closed captioning and Audio come in other languages besides English. It's jam packed with all sorts of extra bonus specials. The Brilliant creator, Joss Whedon and other staff members are at their very best, just as they were with their work on Buffy (which is also a must own). I not only highly recommend this Season disk set, but the other four seasons as well. Quite a bit of quality work went into the making of all five seasons. They are a necessary buy for any Angel fan! It's completely impossible to be anything but extremely pleased with this purchase as well as the rest of the series. The writing, acting , directing, etc... are amazing per usual. This is without question once again feature film quality. The fact that all but the first season is filmed in Letter Box gives it that theater feel. In addition, the closed-captioning is less likely to interfere with the picture. David Boreanaz (Angel) and James Marsters (Spike) are brilliant in their performances together as well as with other cast members. I must credit Alexis Denisof (Wes), Andy Hallet (Lorne) and Amy Acker (Fred and Illyria) gives a wonderful performance playing two different characters. Joss Whedon comes through once again. I not only highly recommend this Season disk set, but the other four seasons as well, for Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia) was amazing in her portrayal of the good Cordy, seen in many different incarnations throughout the years. She is sincerely missed in season five. Lucky for us she returns for the 100th episode titled "You're Welcome" when she comes back to wrap up her story line. She never looked more beautiful and did some of her finest work in that one show. Any true Angel fan must complete their set with this one. It's a keeper folks. Purchase this before it gets sold out and you miss your chance to finalize your collection. ORDER IMMEDIATELY OR I PROMISE YOU WILL BE VERY SORRY. "
Innovative until the end
Robin Orlowski | United States | 11/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Despite a massive 'Save Angel' campaign which was mounted by fans (such as myself) and a quick retooling of the series (to get it out of soap), Angel was canceled after five glorious seasons. I was sad, but also recognize I got an awesome last season.
It's taken some heat from other people, but I honestly liked Smile Time just because the idea of the 'brooder' as a Muppet character was irresistibly hilarious. If the writers hadn't done overkill with story arcs in earlier seasons (and the series had more confirmed time) a couple of episodes of Angel as a puppet would have been hilarious. Plus, in classic Whedon format, they could have extended the critique of children's television as evil by having Angel beat an insipid dinosaur (you know who I am talking about). The only really bad thing about the episode is the tie-in doll is unbelievably expensive (at least as much as this DVD.
I also liked the ending precisely because it reminded the viewers that everything in the world CANNOT be wrapped up in a cute little package. Life is tough because it has all of those loose ends which are never going to be together no matter how hard we try. Showing Angel's ultimate emotional-intellectual growth, it also is a good message for us at home.
Maybe there will be Angel television movies, maybe not---but this season recovered itself just in time to close with maximum viewer kudos. Because critics were originally skeptical how long this series could actually last before running out of ideas which were separate from BTVS, David Boreanaz and the rest of this cast should be very proud with their work on this series.
Not Fade Away
T. Stewart | Santa Cruz | 11/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When the fifth season of Angel premired on the WB unbelivible things where happening and continued the happen all the way up until the final episode. Although viewership had gone down in season 4, and the rating for Angel's fifth season where the highest the show ever saw (and it was up against the breakout show of the year "the oc").
But in Febuary on 2004, despite all the high ratins, the WB announced teh cancellation of the show. For Three months following thousands of fans protested the cancellation and tried all they could to get the show to continue. Unfortunatly, there efforts didn't realize any results beyond the small promise of TV movies (which have been looking less and less likely).
But getting back to the fifth season, the story continues about 22 days after the events in the season 4 finale (and about 19 days after the events in the buffy the vampire series finale) and finds the gang working at wolfram & heart trying to figure out how they can use their new toy to help the helpless, but then Angel gets an unexpected packing containing an old friend (or enemy depending on how to look at it).
Despire loosing one of their strongest assets (Charisma Charpenter, who reprises her role of Cordelia Chase in episode 100 for Cordy's last Hurah) the fifth season is a pretty strong season, and one of the best in the buffyverse. Coming off the heels of the cancellation of Buffy, their was alot of pressure on Angel to continue the Buffyverse, which it did perfectly. The season was made up of many "stand-alone" episodes which suddely started an overlaping arc (which was to continue into season 6) and also dropping hints as the the whereabout of are favorite scoobies.
The one complant many fans seem to have is how the last 3 episodes of the show seemed rushed, which they do. Whedon and company basically had to put a season's worth of episodes in the space of 3 episodes to end the series, which under the circumstances they pulled of well.
Wheither you enjoyed the final season of angel, or if you didn't this will probably be the last Buffyverse DVD we see in a LONG time. Special Features are suppose to include:
- Commentary on "Conviction" by JOss Whedon - Commentary on "Destiny" by Skip Schoolink, David Fury, Steven S. DeKnight, and Juliet Landau - Commentary on "Soul Purpose" by David Boreanaz, Brent Fletcher, and Christian Kane - Commnetary on "Your Welcome" by David Fury, Christian Kane, and Sara Thompson - Commentary on "A Hole in the World" by Joss Whedon, Amy Acker, and Alexis Densiof - Commentary on "Underneath" by Skip Schoolink, Elizabeth Craft, Sarah Finn, and Adam Baldwin - Commentary on "Not Fade Away" by Jeffry Bell - "Hey Kids! It's Smile Time" Featurette - "Angel 100" Featurette - "Angel: Choregraphy of a Stunt!" Featurette - "Angel: The Final Season" Featurette - "To Live and Die in LA: The Best of Angel" - "Halos and Horns: Recurring Villianry" - "Angel Unbound: The Gag ReelS""
"Personally? I Kinda Wanna Slay the Dragon..."
R. M. Fisher | New Zealand = Middle Earth! | 03/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The fifth and final season of the outstanding spin-off of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" does not quite bring the show full-circle in the same way that its sister-show does, but it has the courage to stand on its own feet and go out with a bang in one of its strongest seasons. Far from the beginnings of the hopeful smile on the face of Buffy in her season finale, Angel and his (severely depleted gang) go out with a grim and determined air, and the differences in the final scenes cannot be a coincidence: "Buffy" ends on an open highway in the sunshine, "Angel" ends in a rainy alleyway. It underscores one of the crucial differences between the two shows; that for all its tragedy and pathos, "Buffy" was ultimately an upbeat show about the strength of friendship and the victory of goodness. "Angel" was more about the struggle against the encroaching powers of evil, forever hovering at the edges of ordinary life. (And for the record, as much as I love the Buffy finale "Chosen", I found the way that Angel's gang dealt with their final days [each going out to spend the day doing what they love most] far more touching than how the Scooby Gang dealt with *their* last apocalypse [which was finding a convenient partner and having sex]).
This theme was made particularly clear in the finale of Season Four, in which Angel makes a devil's bargain with the rebuilt law-firm of Wolfram and Hart: in return for a new life for his psychologically-damaged son Conner, he would take the dubious position of senior executive of Wolfram and Hart. Having no idea of his reasoning behind taking the deal (having their own memories wiped as well) his team: intellectual Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, street-fighter Charles Gunn, physicist Winifred "Fred" Burkle and aura-reading demon Lorne, hesitantly join him in the institute that has been his main antagonist for the previous four seasons.
That there is a deeper plan going on is certainly apparent - why else would the most evil company on earth sign on their sworn enemies as employees? With the absence of his best friend and seeress Cordelia Chase (in a coma since the previous season) Angel flounders in murky waters, unsure of where his allegiances lie. Clear messages from Buffy and the Scooby Gang indicating that they no longer trust him hardly help - and there's another unexpected spanner in the works. Spike (last seen being incinerated at the bottom of the Hellmouth) is unexpectedly resurrected as a ghost that cannot leave the Wolfram and Hart building. How? Why? There is clearly someone pulling the strings behind all of this, someone who's eventual appearance will send long-term fans into a frenzy of delight.
The creators of the show knew that Season Five was the end for "Angel", and so do everything in their power to make this a memorable final season. There are plenty of moments that can be described as nothing short of epic; returns from past characters, deaths of major characters, new heights of impressiveness in special effects and fight scenes, dark internal paths that are walked by our regulars, and the sense of something building - something that everyone's combined forces cannot hope to overcome.
There are so many *good* things that happen this season: all the treachery and plots that go on at Wolfram and Hart, the return of several familiar faces, such as Lindsay MacDonald (not seen since Season Two), Andrew from the Scooby Gang, Harmony Kendell as Angel's secretary (who had a great run in the franchise considering her character was introduced way back in Season One of "Buffy!") and even Anne, whose popped up both here and in "Buffy." Conner returns and is miraculously not-annoying, Cordelia returns to say her goodbyes, and there are plenty of new and fun characters such as the enigmatic Eve, brutal-but-charming Marcus Hamilton, and love-interest Nina Ash.
That's not to mention flashbacks that explore the tense relationship between Angel and Spike (including revisits from Darla and Drusilla), further exploration into the Sanshui Prophesy, the emergence of an ancient demon, the betrayal of a semi-trusted collegue...oh, and Angel gets turned into a puppet. Watching Angel-Puppet morph into vampire, take on Spike, dive behind desks, get mauled by a werewolf ("Is there a Geppetto in the house?!") and fight foul-mouthed, alcoholic muppets is surely the most hilarious hour of television ever. So much gets cramped into twenty-two episodes, and yet it never feels rushed or jumbled. Just writing all this great stuff down makes me want to go and watch it all again.
However, one thing does annoy me: I have been frustrated throughout the forth and fifth seasons of the show as to Angel's romantic attachments and loyalties. In this season alone he is linked with three love interests: Buffy, Cordelia and a werewolf named Nina. Expressing deep affection toward all three females, it would have been an interesting situation to see how he'd deal if all three ended up in the same room with him! It's hard to feel that he's being sincere to any of them when he's speaking of love to whoever's with him at that particular moment. I always felt it was a bad idea to link Angel and Cordelia romantically together, and although we get a kiss that brings Doyle's visions full-circle (nice continuity there, as well as tribute to the three original members of the team) it is difficult to understand Angel's heart when a few episodes after Cordelia's return he's chasing after Buffy in Rome and sleeping with Nina in his penthouse. Of course, we all *know* that Buffy/Angel has always been the central romance to the franchise, but it's frustrating to see him (or rather, the writers) play with his heart at random.
Although the ending tears one's heart out, and we're struck by the unfairness that there wasn't a sixth season that could have wrapped the show up to completion, it is a fitting end to the vampire-with-a-soul; an individual who was desperate to make amends for his past sins, and eventually comes to the realization throughout eight seasons of television (if you count his time on "Buffy", which I do) that he never could. But does this make him stop fighting the good fight regardless? No, the final words we hear him speak are: "let's get to work". Like Buffy, his journey is only just beginning. What a great, great show."