Deutsche Version | Season 4

Disc 1

Conviction

Synopsis: The gang tries to settle in with their new lives at Wolfram & Hart. Angels new assistant is Harmony who doesn’t know yet about the fate of her friend Cordelia. Gunn is being re-clothed. And then there is this client of W&H’s who threatens to kill all the people of California if he gets convicted for the crimes he has done.

My Opinion: Cordelia has left the show. 🙁 On the other hand, Spike isn’t as dead as it looked like at the end of Buffy – ok “not as dead” as a vampire can be who additionally is a ghost now. While I liked the season opener, it’s pity that they lift Angel’s restirctions more and more. The show loses its dark touch a bit. The idea to upload a lawyer’s knowledge directly into Gunn’s brain was very matrix-y but really cool.

Just Rewards

Synopsis: The gang uses the resources of W&H to find out what happend to Spike who isn’t happy with his life as a ghost at all. Despite their mutual despise, Angel and Spike work together to stop a necromancer who gets his dead bodies via W&H.

My Opinion: One can feel how they both really like each other. I liked Spike back in Buffy and I like how he badgers Angel – this season has to be good.

Unleashed

Synopsis: A young femal jogger is bitten by a werewolf and the full moon will be up for another two days. Spike on the other hand has the problem that his essence is more frequently and longer being pulled into the direction of hell. He asks Fred for her help, to return him into a body of his own.

My Opinion: Spike won’t be a ghost for the entire season, that much is certain now – in my opinion. I presume that he will return to his body within the next few episodes. The story about the werewolf was ok, but currently I am more interested in Spike. Unfortunately Angel has again abandoned a human – even if he had a werewolf bite – even though he knew that he would die. I still don’t like that.

Hell Bound

Synopsis: Suddenly Spike is not only a ghost, now he is a ghost no one can see or hear. And he starts to see dead people who are disfigured.

My Opinion: “I never told anyone this, but I liked your poems.” – “You like Barry Manilow.” Yes, Spike gives the show a new spice. This foru episodes have already made me forget the last season and even Harmony fits in. I am just a bit sad that Angel doesn’t believe in his mission anymore.

Disc 2

Life of the Party

Synopsis: Usually the Halloween party at Wolfram & Hart’s is a big event. A lot of demon are coming, there’s a ritual sacrifice and other enjoyable things. But this year no one is willing to come because they fear to walk into a trap of Angel’s. Lorne restlessly tries to make this party happen.

My Opinion: I often thought if it were cool to not having to sleep anymore. The day would be 7 to 8 hours longer. Average episode.

The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco

Synopsis: Angel has to fight an Aztec demon who collects the hearts of heroes and who is looking for an amulet. In this fight he has the help of a mexican wrestler who has lost his four brothers in the fight against the demon.

My Opinion: A good episode to restore Angel’s faith in heroes with the help of a guest character.

Lineage

Synopsis: Wesley’s father is visiting him at Wolfram & Hart’s. He tries to convince hime to join the newly refounded Watcher’s Council. But then W&H is attacked by cyborg ninjas.

My Opinion: Now we know why Wesley has been so clumsy in the beginning. But we also see at the end how far he has come and that he is willing to make the hardest decisions. But I would like to know what memories the spell has erased/modified. If they have no recollection about Angel’s son, what do they remember about the last two years?

Destiny

Synopsis: Spike has become corporeal but the universe doesn’t take that lightly. Now there are two champions, two vampires with a soul, two persons that could be the one from the Shanshu prophecy. But there is a way to find out which one is the chosen one.

My Opinion: We are so lucky that the universe didn’t collapse when Trelawney’s prophecy could have meant Neville Longbottom and Harry Potter. 😉 I liked the episode very much and the return of Lindsay came unexpected. Now the story becomes full circle with the first season.

Disc 3

Harm’s Way

Synopsis: Harmony doesn’t feel like she is accepted, neither by Angel nor by her colleagues. When she awakes one day on the side of a dead man – bitten by a vampire – she panics because Angel has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to the killing of humans.

My Opinion: Very funny episode from the POV of a recurring character. But Angel does treat her very dismissively. Unfortunately it’s hard to translate episode titles like this into other languages. German episode titles have a tendency to spoil the episode. Not only with this but most TV shows. For example: Imagine a science fiction show episode where someone makes a clone of himself but this would only be revealed at the end of the episode. The original title would be something like Look Upon Yourself. Most likely the german title would be Der Klon (The Clone).
And I am not alone in that assessment.

Soul Purpose

Synopsis: Angel has more often and longer lasting dreams that tell him that he is not the chosen one of the Shanshu prophecy. Lindsey on the other hand represents himself to Spike as “Doyle” and declares that it was him who made Spike corporeal again and that he has visions from the “Powers That Be”.

My Opinion: If they couldn’t get Sarah Michelle Gellar Prinze for a guest appearance, they shouldn’t have done this. It didn’t felt real. But the rest of the episode was good, I liked the scene where Fred disembowels Angel like a shark.
PS: Soul Purpose was the only episode in Angel that one of the cast (David Boreanaz) directed.

Damage

Synopsis: A young woman with great strength escapes from a mental institution. As it turns out, she was one of the potential Slayers and is now – thanks to Willow’s spell – a Vampire Slayer. Now she’s after Spike whom she believes to be her former torturer.

My Opinion: Even Buffy thinks that it was a bad idea that Angel took the job of CEO at Wolfram & Hart’s. The episode was average, but the self-reflection of Spike at the end and the appearance of 12 Slayers raised it a bit. It’s sad that we haven’t met Buffy personally, I thought there would be another crossover after the Buffy finale.

Disc 4

You’re Welcome

Synopsis: Cordelia finally awakens from her coma and instantly warns Angel because she had a vision. When Lindsey learns of this he takes up his role as “Doyle” again and tries to convince Spike that Cordy is evil. Then he tries to use a secret ewapon against Angel.

My Opinion: Cordy is dead. 🙁 It was very nice to see her again but now it’s final. But I have to say, I didn’t miss her as much as I had expected, Spike is a very good replacement.

Still I want to make another remark. When I write these reviews, I read some background info (production notes, etc.) in parallel. I’ve read that originally it was planned that Sarah Michelle would make a guest appearance instead of Charisma. But Sarah declined and she was absent from the show for the entire season. Some say she wanted to put some distance between her and her role. That’s a situation I don’t comprehend. Who would know SMG if it weren’t for Buffy? I know that certain images can stick for a lifetime (Leonard Nimoy – I am not Spock) but I think that it is a bit ungrateful when you sever all strings.
But Charisma was a wonderful replacement and it remains the question if it would have worked as well with Sarah.

Why We Fight

Synopsis: A vampire threatens Angel’s friends. Angel sired him when he already had a soul but it was under extraordinary circumstances during the second world war.. Angel remembers what happened back then.

My Opinion: Spike does has a thing with leather jackets. The episode was ok but the question of why Angel fights was answered neither in the past nor the present.

Smile Time

Synopsis: Several children fall into a stasis after they have been watching a breakfast children’s show. Angel investigates in the TV studio but he returns changed.

My Opinion: This episode is based upon an idea that would have fit perfectly into Farscape. And since I love Farscape I loved this episode. The Angel puppet was great.

A Hole in the World

Synopsis: Somthing escapes from a sarcophagus from Fred’s laboratory and it takes Fred as a host. If they can’t get it out again, Fred will die. The gang tries everything to prevent exactly this.

My Opinion: The show comes to an end and Joss starts to kill off the characters. First Cordy, now Fred. And he doesn’t seem to like relationships. He often tears them apart in a cruel way (Buffy-Angel, Willow-Tara, Xander-Anya, Angel-Cordy) and now Fred-Wesley. Let’s see what happens with Illyria now.

Disc 5

Shells

Synopsis: Fred is really dead and Illyria has posessed her body. There’s no hope of Fred coming back – at least currently. In Angel’s world death isn’t as final as it seems to be. But Illyria plans to raise her army again.

My Opinion: Wesley has become very merciless even though he can’t even remember some the events of the last year(s). Amy’s mask and her accent are quite good – I wouldn’t have recognized her. The connection between Fred/Illyria and Wesley doesn’t seem to be totally broken, thus hope remains.

Underneath

Synopsis: Angel, Spike and Gunn try to rescue Lindsey from a hell dimension to get more knowledge about the coming apocalypse. But they have no idea in what kind of hell he is trapped in: he lives in suburbia.

My Opinion: Average episode. Nothing special happend, except for Gunn taking the path of the penitent.

Origin

Synopsis: An old prophecy shall become true. Connor is supposed to kill Sahjhan, the demon who sent him and Holtz into the Quor’Toth dimension. But thanks to Angel, Connor doesn’t know anything about this past. Unfortunately the sorcerer who took that memory is exactly the same as the one who wants to see Sahjhan dead – and he has the power to give those memories back.

My Opinion: Loose ends get tied up. I’ve totally forgotten about the prophecy. But I feel sad for Wesley. Now he has not only to carry the grief of Fred’s death but also the old knowledge of him kidnapping Angel’s son and the new knowledge of having brought back those memories. He is evn more than Angel the tragic figure of this show.

Time Bomb

Synopsis: Illyria loses more frequently the control over her body and Angel loses more and more interest in helping the helpless but instead acts more and more like a real Wolfram & Hart employee.

My Opinion: I may be wrong, but I am quite certain that there is a plan behind Angel’s actions – especially allowing that young woman to sign the contract. There are only three episodes left and I can’t believe that Angel has another crisis of faith – especially since Cordelia has pulled him out of the last one. I wouldn’t like that. Unless the show doesn’t end with a bad surprise – in the Buffy comic The Long Way Home none of them is mentioned.

Disc 6

The Girl in Question

Synopsis: Spike and Angel have to got to Rome, to retrieve the head of a demon clanlord. But there is not just the head in Rome, there is also The Immortal (and old enemy of two), Andrew, Dawn – and Buffy.

My Opinion: Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the episode. But it was another episode about Buffy without Buffy. This becomes a running gag without actually being funny.

Power Play

Synopsis: Angel’s friends are more and more concerned about his actions. When the warden of the “Deeper Well” (the prison in which Illyria was held) comes to L.A. and accuses Angel of attempted assassination, they demand answers – including one to the question whether Angel had anything to do with the death of Fred.

My Opinion: Good episode that promises a thrilling finale. Luckily I was right. The show seems to end in a big bang but at least Angel isn’t on the wrong side. Now I want to know who is going to die – that someone will die is to be expected by anyone who has seen the finale of Buffy and the Joss Whedon movie Serenity.

Not Fade Away

Synopsis: Angel and the gang plan to assassinate each and every member of the “Circle of the Black Thorn”. Illyria and Lindsey join their mission in the knowledge that the Senior Partners’s revenge will come swift and will be horrible.

My Opinion: “I take it the odds are against us and the situation is grim.” (James T. Kirk, Star Trek: Generations) Wow, what an exit. This was an excellent end to this series because it was no explicit end. Wesley’s death was unfortunate but far better staged than the death of Anya. You can only wish that he will find the peace in death that he hasn’t found in life. I have already ordered the comic book which will be released in July.

The Season – My Opinion: This was without doubt my favourite season of Angel. The new setting, the changed situation and Spike did help a lot. Even more than in previous seasons the world has become grey instead of becoming more black/white.

The Series – My Opinion: I liked the series as a whole a great deal, although you have to (even more than in Buffy) take leave from the idea that it could have played in our world. The demons were way to public for this. The series had a deadbeat in the middle (season 4) but recovered very well with the fifth season. In direct comparison to Buffy I prefer the latter.