|Index||3 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The second season of Angel is even better than the first. With Darla
back in the mix, there is a longer story arc this season and more
insights into Angel's past. Season two also adds Gunn to the cast full
time and introduces Lorne and Fred, who will play larger roles as the
show goes own. It moves the Angel Investigations into the Hyperion
hotel and sets up everything that will happen in seasons 3 and 4.
Season two is one of my favorite seasons of the show and I highly
recommend seeing it. "Judgement" establishes some important stuff for
the over all story this season, and you shouldn't skip it.
"Judgement" revolves around Angel's quest to save a pregnant woman. He's working towards the Shanshu Prophesy, believing that if he can fight enough evil, he'll be redeemed and made human again. Misinterpreting one of Cordy's visions, he kills a demon who he thinks is threatening a pregnant woman. Really, though, the demon was protecting her. Her unborn daughter will be a powerful mystic and a lot of people are out to kill her. A magical tribunal is ready to step in and save her, but only after a battle. She has to have a champion to compete in a duel and the demon that Angel killed was suppose to fight for her. Angel volunteers to take his place, but the woman is skeptical of his talents and runs off.
Wesley has found a new demon night club called Karitos. The host of the club (Lorne, although we don't know his name yet) can read people's futures and auras when they sing. Angel finally, reluctantly, agrees to sing in order to find the pregnant woman again. As Wes and Cordy stare at him in shock, Angel muddles through a karaoke version of Barry Manlow's "Mandy." Meanwhile, over at Wolfram and Hart, Lindsey is guiding Darla through her readjustment to the human world. Angel finds the pregnant woman and fights as her champion. He realizes that the Shanshu Prophesy may take a long time to come true and that he'll have to keep fighting one day at a time.
There's so much to like about this episode. I just love Lorne. He's one of the likable, interesting, consistently entertaining characters in the entire Buffyverse. His talent for reading "auras" when people sing will have a huge impact on the rest of the show. It's so great to see him here, just meeting Angel. Plus, this is also the episode where Wes and Cordy meet Gunn. It's kind of funny, watching them try to be "cool." And this is the episode that features the Hyperion hotel for the first time. Personally, I think BTVS and "Angel" have locations that just ARE the show. When I think of the shows, I automatically think of certain settings. For the first part of BTVS, it's the Sunnydale High library. In later seasons, it's the Magic Box. On "Angel," it's always the Hyperion. The huge hotel is just the perfect location for the show. There's something "right" about it. As if the mostly empty hotel, metaphorically haunted by its long, checkered history, symbolizes Angel's own feelings of emptiness and his own haunted past. Yet, both he and the Hyperion are now entering new, better chapters in their "lives." It's just really interesting. Also, I like seeing Angel ride an horse down a street in LA. It's just hilarious. And I'm glad that Angel is going to visit Faith in prison. He's such a sweetie. Finally, I think that this is the first episode that uses the word "Champion." It'll be used to describe Angel and Spike in the years to come and I think it just really works.
On the down side, I think the pregnant woman's kind of whiny. Granted she's having a rough time of it, but since she'll never been seen again... who cares? But, I am sorry that Angel accidentally killed the demon who was protecting her. It's a shame, since the guy was just doing his job.
My favorite part of the episode: Angel singing "Mandy." Without a doubt, it's one of the funniest moments of the entire series. From Angel's death grip on the microphone, to admission that he just thinks the song it "pretty," to his embarrassed wince as he tells Faith about the performance... It's all just hilarious. The scene sets up the continuing joke that Angel is a Barry Manlow fan and seals Karitos' place in the show. I just love it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
You're just a vampire like everyone else - An excellent second season opener with plenty to go around, maybe even more than the first one, although the quality doesn't reach as high. I love how the characters each have grown their own way, 'Cordy' is suddenly becoming a good actress while 'Wes' is able to impress a chick, yet still when they get the '911' call they chose the mission over their personal life which seems to be improving. This episode sets the beginning of the season perfectly, it introduced the karaoke bar and 'The Host' aka 'Lorne' which will both play a big role during this season. We also see how 'Darla' is doing, she seems pretty crazy but 'Lindsey' apparently likes taking care of her. 'J. August Richards' who plays 'Gunn' is now added to the credits, I really liked his street-phase, I think 'Gunn' became less interesting by season, especially as a lawyer. But anyway, this episode shows that heroes also make mistakes, 'Angel' accidentally kills another warrior and after another brooding session he decides to become the pregnant woman's protector who is played by 'Justina Michado'. Did anyone notice that she always seems to be playing a pregnant woman? (ANGEL, SFU and Final Destination 2?). One of the things I loved the most about this episode were the Tribuno, they seemed pretty Mortal Kombat-ish and and plus we got the neat 'Angel-on-a-horse' scene for free. But my most favorite scene has to be the last, with 'Faith'. It was both touching and funny. And did anyone else watch the closing credits? more DB singing, gosh, that was just as funny as the 'She' closing credits. FAITH: The road to redemption is a rocky path. ANGEL: That it is. FAITH: You think we might make it? ANGEL: We might. (8.5 out of 10)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Good; Jousting in LA, even in Tinseltown that must be a rare enough sight.
The Bad; A fairly slow opener for a season that will eventually start firing on all cylinders
Jeez, how did they get away with that? The demon who sings at Caritas is 'Gorshak the Child-eater'? His pick is 'Achy breaky heart' (I'm not sure which is worse?)
Angel Clichés Damsel in distress; 16, yep, she sure is
Inverting the Hollywood cliché; Angel the hero actually kills the damsel in distress' protector by accident
In disguise; 4
DB get's his shirt off; 7
Cheap Angel; 4
Fang Gang in bondage: Cordy: 5 Angel: 8 Wes: 2
Fang gang knocked out: Cordy: 9 Angel: 10 Wes: 5 Doyle; 1
Kills: Cordy: 3 vamps, 1½ demons Angel; 4 demons for Angel so 16 vamps, 16 and 1/2 demons, 3 humans Doyle; 1 vamp Wes; 1/2 a demon Kate; 3 vamps Faith; 16 vamps, 6 demons, 3 humans. Gunn; one more vamp so 4 in all.
Fang Gang go evil: Cordy: 2 Angel: 2
Alternate Fang Gang: Cordy: 2 Angel: 6
Characters killed: 25
Recurring characters killed; 4;
Total number of Angel Investigations: 3, Angel and Cordy and Wes
Angel Investigations shot: Angel: 8,
Packing heat; Wes; 2 Doyle; 1 Angel; 1
Notches on Fang Gang bedpost: Cordy: 2 ?+Wilson/Hacksaw Beast Angel: 1;Buffy
Kinky dinky: Wes seems to attract the attention of a beautiful girl in a bar. The first hints of the love affair between Lindsey and Darla.
Captain Subtext; From the beginning a very flirtatious relationship between Lorne and Angel. Gunn comments that he's seen Wes before in bed which Wes takes a lot of exception to. Cordy points out that if Angel joins a gym he'll have to shower with naked men but he says he'll always be a loner.
Know the face, different character; 2
Parking garages; 4,
Guantanamo Bay; Angel beats up Merl and kills an innocent
Buffy characters on Angel; 11 Wetherby, Collins and Smith. Angel, Cordy, Oz, Spike, Buffy, Wes, Faith, Darla
Questions and observations; The Introduction of Lorne for the first time, no sign yet that he'll become such an important character. Pretty obvious he's inspired by Barney from Parting Gifts. Angel Investigations have been busy over the summer with at least 6 cases according the whiteboard. First appearance of Merl and first meeting of Gunn, Cordy and Wes. Wonderful to see Angel visit Faith, such a lovely touch. So what happens to the mother and child? Often in fanfic whatever goes wrong in the Buffyverse that kid turns up to set it right. When Angel meets Gunn he enquires after his health as Gunn said he should in Blind Date. Jo is played by Justina Machado who played Rico's wife in the wonderful Six Foot Under, a show that not only guest starred Michelle Tractenberg and Eric Balfour (Jesse) but at one point her characters' actress sister appears to be guest-starring on Angel (or possibly Charmed?)
Marks out of 10; 6/10, the opening and ending are probably better than the rest of the ep
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