TV Review: Angel Season 5

In three days, I’ve marathoned all of Angel season 5. I had taken a break after the previous season because it was a disappointment for the most part. There were still good moments, but overall I didn’t really like it, and Connor annoyed me every single time he was on screen. So I was a bit concerned whether I would like the final season as much as I had liked the first three. So, I waited until I was in the mood.

And once I started watching season 5, I couldn’t stop. 22 episodes in 3 days. And I loved it.

I think they did a really solid job with this final season (and I am grateful that I didn’t watch at the first run so I knew there were more even if in the form of comics, after the final episode). I loved everyone’s character development, and the team spirit, through the good and the bad. When I look back at all the characters, no matter whether they first appeared in Buffy or Angel, I am blown away by all the way they have come. This is brilliant. The team spirit, the family (beyond blood) and all the sacrifices (Gunn staying behind, knowing full well what he is exposing himself to was one hell of an emotional moment) and how they all cope with Fred’s death and grieve and deal with how responsible they feel, all of this was great.

Even Spike, who tends to annoy me (and I still don’t ship him with Buffy, I just don’t) got much more interesting to me in this season. I had already found that he had been evolving in the final season of Buffy, but it was even more visible in this one. His banter with Angel could be hilarious but I liked how they were both able to eventually work things out and really work together. It was very engaging to watch this evolution.

This season was heartbreaking. I’ve cried so much in front of so many episodes. All these deaths were horrible to watch, but one thing that made them great storytelling was that they weren’t cheap and all had their time to happen for real, and see people cope with them. That made it even more horrible to watch but it was great narration! I was glad to see Cordelia one last time, and her final scene with Angel was beautiful and said a lot about timing and circumstances in life and how they can affect people beyond their wishes and feelings sometimes.

When I remember how Cordelia and Welsey used to be when we first saw them in Buffy, it is crazy to see how far they have come since then. I would have never thought that I could like them so much, and Wesley is borderline my favorite character in Angel, if I really think about it.

I like that the characters still screw up, even though they know better, at times, especially when they go through raw emotion and tragedy (such as when Wesley stabs Gunn). That makes them realistic, especially as they are eventually able to talk things through and work them out in an adult way (most of the time). I was also surprised not to want to slap Connor the couple of episodes he showed up in. That was a big difference with before!

Fred’s death was very well shot and heart wrenching, not only because she was a great character, but seeing that happen right after she and Wesley had finally got together was horrible. Their scenes together in the episode were outstanding. In a way, this is why I was almost relieved for Wesley to die in the finale, so he could be with Fred again. I liked how Illyria eventually learned to care as well and when she asks him, as she holds his dying body. “Do you want me to lie to you?” That made me cry so much, especially as they had already talked about her looking like Fred was only an illusion, a lie, making the scene even more powerful.

Lorne shooting Lindsey in the finale was a shock, but it made a lot of sense they didn’t let Lindsey run around, and made all the more sense why Lorne would “quit” afterwards, and disappearing into the night. I wouldn’t have bet on finding Lorne such a compelling character at first, but he really grew on me.

The final scene of the show? Oh my God. I was able to come to Angel without too many spoilers, so it was great. It left me crying and with so many feels and goosebumps. It was epicness at its best and the few lines they all exchange, it confirmed how much I loved the finale.

Spike, Gunn, Angel and Illyria in 5.22 Not Fade Away. Source: Buffyverse Wiki

4 thoughts on “TV Review: Angel Season 5

  1. hannahgivens

    Oh man, I cried at the finale. A lot. Take notes, ladies and gentlemen, that’s how you do “devastating but fantastic.”

    I loved Cordelia and Wesley too. Cordy was especially amazing, because it’s so rare to see a female character with a story progression like that. I’ve been seeing posts around WordPress lately about how we need more female characters who aren’t really that great of people but are still good guys, or who start off as jerks and learn to be good people the way so many male characters do. Cordy is one of the few who actually pulled that off.

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    1. Natacha Guyot Post author

      “Devastating but fantastic” is a perfect way to put it! And that “simple” last line “let’s get to work”. It was just… That finale was heart wrenching. I would have never thought that Cordelia could become so much of an interesting character. I agree with you that she is a good example. Other examples I have in mind would be Cameron and Jesse in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, though they are very different characters.

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