Angel Season 2 Review

[Review by Ryan Bovay]


Fans find themselves torn on most of AtS’ seasons almost as heatedly as they do BtVS’. Some enjoy Season One’s anthology style while others revile its lack of an arc and slow pace. Many consider Season Three the show’s best season for its large arc and strong developments, but some see it as overst Continue reading “Angel Season 2 Review”

Angel 2×22: There’s No Place Like Plrtz Glrb

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: David Greenwalt | Director: David Greenwalt | Aired: 05/22/2001]

“There’s No Place Like Plrtz Glrb” is a fun and worthy finale to the Pylea arc, all of it functioning as a comparably light thematic coda to the rest of this dark and intense season. Series creator David Greenwalt writes and directs for the first time in forever, though it’s not quite his b Continue reading “Angel 2×22: There’s No Place Like Plrtz Glrb”

Angel 2×21: Through the Looking Glass

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Tim Minear | Director: Tim Minear | Aired: 05/15/2001]

Now this is Pylea done right. The first two episodes of the four episode arc were decent enough, but were held severely down by their unwillingness to go forth with any real character development. But here Pylea is good. Surprisingly good. “Through the Looking Glass” is bursting through the sea Continue reading “Angel 2×21: Through the Looking Glass”

Angel 2×20: Over the Rainbow

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Mere Smith | Director: Fred Keller | Aired: 05/08/2001]

“Over the Rainbow,” like the previous episode, is largely setup without a lot of payoff, but like its predecessor succeeds because of its comedy and the fun it has in the process. Its chief mistake is repeating the exact same material we heard in the past episode, concerning most things; the ch Continue reading “Angel 2×20: Over the Rainbow”

Angel 2×19: Belonging

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Shawn Ryan | Director: Turi Meyer | Aired: 05/01/2001]

“Belonging,” like the past couple of episodes, is a fun installment that focuses on some character work tied together by a common theme. It’s the first installment, and more of a set up for, the Pylea arc, which kicks off officially in the episode following this one and carries us to the end Continue reading “Angel 2×19: Belonging”

Angel 2×18: Dead End

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: David Greenwalt | Director: James A. Contner | Aired: 04/24/2001]

“Dead End” does us our final service for the main arc of S2 by tying up the last loose ends and sending off one of its major players. Like an episode such as “Happy Anniversary” [2×13] (which was also written by David Greenwalt), it doesn’t do anything remarkably profound but is so sharply written, funny and c Continue reading “Angel 2×18: Dead End”

Angel 2×17: Disharmony

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: David Fury | Director: Fred Keller | Aired: 04/17/2001]

“Disharmony” is, in the style of its title character, light, funny, a little ridiculous and completely tone deaf. At least Disharmony is an appropriate name. When looking at an episode like this you have to ask yourself if it really works as something more than a standalone because, like episod Continue reading “Angel 2×17: Disharmony”

Angel 2×16: Epiphany

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Tim Minear | Director: Thomas J. Wright | Aired: 02/27/2001]

“Epiphany” is the second part of the arc-ending two-parter following “Reprise” [2×15], but is really more of a counterpart than a direct continuation. It’s much lighter, more upbeat and in certain terms, more bearable than its other half. “Reprise” [2×15] is an episode so penetrating with its darkness and de Continue reading “Angel 2×16: Epiphany”

Angel 2×15: Reprise

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Tim Minear | Director: James Whitmore Jr | Aired: 02/20/2001]

“Reprise,” the first episode of the two part conclusion to Season Two’s main arc, begins in a dark place and ends even darker. Save for “Release” [4×14], this is quite possibly the darkest episode of the show and it’s an extremely close second at that. Despite the hope for change the last two episo Continue reading “Angel 2×15: Reprise”

Angel 2×14: The Thin Dead Line

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Jim Kouf and Shawn Ryan | Director: Scott McGinnis | Aired: 02/13/2001]

Here we come to what is probably the worst episode of the season and, in consideration of the score, that’s quite a fine thing. Even the show’s fifth and final season can make no such claim about having such tepid lows. “The Thin Dead Line” is thoroughly enjoyable, if somewhat contrived and Continue reading “Angel 2×14: The Thin Dead Line”

Angel 2×13: Happy Anniversary

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Joss Whedon (Story) and David Greenwalt (Story and Teleplay) | Director: Bill Norton | Aired: 02/06/2001]

“Happy Anniversary” is an odd, screwball little episode that surprised me a great deal. Not through any particular genius or amazing feats, but simply through its unstoppably infective charm that plumbs unapologetic goofiness without departing from the show’s regular tone. It’s also surpris Continue reading “Angel 2×13: Happy Anniversary”

Angel 2×12: Blood Money

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Shawn Ryan and Mere Smith | Director: R.D. Price | Aired: 01/23/2001]

“Blood Money” marks the first step into Angel’s new and ongoing crusade against Lindsey, Lilah and Wolfram and Hart. Like many good Angel episodes, it provides with an entertaining set of ‘now’ moments while offering insight to and reflection on the characters’ current position in the s Continue reading “Angel 2×12: Blood Money”

Angel 2×11: Redefinition

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Mere Smith | Director: Michael Grossman | Aired: 01/16/2001]

Angel’s transformation begins in “Redefinition,” a dimly lit, thoughtful character study that picks up where “Reunion” [2×10] left off and starts the ball rolling on the darkest side of Angel’s personality that we’ve seen yet (while ensouled, anyway). It’s not as explosive or messy as I might h Continue reading “Angel 2×11: Redefinition”

Angel 2×10: Reunion

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Tim Minear and Shawn Ryan | Director: James A. Contner | Aired: 12/19/2000]

In my review of “To Shanshu in LA” [1×22], I started off by talking about how that episode functioned as a preview of David Greenwalt’s vision for the series. Co-creator Joss Whedon was no doubt heavily involved in the show as a producer, but the subtle shift from its sharp, snappy, Buffyesque tone of writing into Continue reading “Angel 2×10: Reunion”

Angel 2×09: The Trial

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: David Greenwalt (Story) and Tim Minear and Doug Petrie (Teleplay) | Director: Bruce Seth Green | Aired: 11/28/2000]

In my last review (“The Shroud of Rahmon” [2×08] ) I began by explaining that that I was pleasantly surprised by the episode; it took a mediocre premise and turned it upside down, using the Whedonverse’s strongest qualities (sharp dialogue, unexpected twists, smart character developments) to inject its own bran Continue reading “Angel 2×09: The Trial”

Angel 2×08: The Shroud of Rahmon

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Jim Kouf | Director: David Grossman | Aired: 11/21/2000]

“The Shroud of Rahmon” is an interesting episode to follow such a hugely plot-relevant and completely perfect episode such as “Darla” [2×07], its predecessor. It also surprised me a great deal in how much I enjoyed it. Admittedly, the premise is entirely mediocre: An “Ocean’s Eleven” like group Continue reading “Angel 2×08: The Shroud of Rahmon”

Angel 2×07: Darla

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Tim Minear | Director: Tim Minear | Aired: 11/14/2000]

Written and directed by Tim Minear, probably AtS’ single best writer, “Darla” is an episode with classically strong character writing at its core and a striking visual style lining it. No one quality about this episode (character development, direction, acting) is the strongest in the series or e Continue reading “Angel 2×07: Darla”

Angel 2×06: Guise Will Be Guise

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Jane Espenson | Director: Krishna Rao | Aired: 11/07/2000]

One of the brilliant Jane Espenson’s (very) few episodes on AtS, “Guise Will Be Guise” is a tight, enjoyable package. It’s one of the few outright comedic episodes of the series and while it doesn’t hit all the marks of say, “Spin The Bottle” [4×06], it’s still miles ahead of similar episodes such as [ Continue reading “Angel 2×06: Guise Will Be Guise”

Angel 2×05: Dear Boy

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: David Greenwalt | Director: David Greenwalt | Aired: 10/24/2000]

The central arc of S2 kicks off with “Dear Boy.” Its plot line is referred to as the “Darla arc,” and its story, which encompass twelve episodes total (from this ep to “Epiphany” [2×16] ), is one of the single best in the Whedonverse, both in terms of its fictional quality and the real-world r Continue reading “Angel 2×05: Dear Boy”

Angel 2×04: Untouched

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Mere Smith | Director: Joss Whedon | Aired: 10/17/2000]

“Untouched,” the final of the four standalones that precede the Darla arc, is a finer piece of work than you’d expect. It’s definitely better than 2×01: “Judgement” [2×01] and “First Impressions” [2×03], and though it does fall short of “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?” [2×02] it remains a solid and intelligent examination of an important subject. T Continue reading “Angel 2×04: Untouched”

Angel 2×03: First Impressions

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Shawn Ryan | Director: James A. Contner | Aired: 10/10/2000]

“First Impressions” is another episode like “War Zone” [1×20] that focuses on Charles Gunn. It’s much like the earlier of these two episodes (and the character himself) in that I appreciated it more my second watch through. Gunn always struck me as two things upon my first impression of him: AtS’ Continue reading “Angel 2×03: First Impressions”

Angel 2×02: Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Tim Minear | Director: David Semel | Aired: 10/03/2000]

“Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?” is a unique and memorable piece of work; a universal fan-favourite never given anything less than adoration, it is a marvel of production design, photography and atmosphere. In my opinion (which – let’s face it – you’re here to read), it can’t be v Continue reading “Angel 2×02: Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?”

Angel 2×01: Judgement

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Joss Whedon (Story) and David Greenwalt (Story and Teleplay) | Director: Michael Lange | Aired: 09/26/2000]

“Judgement” is an episode that follows in the footsteps of season premieres past) by functioning as a theme vehicle; putting most of its effort into establishing the characters for the season ahead and, more importantly, giving us hints and clues about what’s to come via the new themes it est Continue reading “Angel 2×01: Judgement”