Angel 3×01: Heartthrob

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: David Greenwalt | Director: David Greenwalt | Aired: 09/24/2001]

“Heartthrob” is another competent but flawed season opener, following in the footsteps of “Judgement” [2×01]. It has a lot going for it in the way of characterization for Angel and in some ways, actually took a very brave approach on a tough subject for the show’s titular character. And, like all David Continue reading “Angel 3×01: Heartthrob”

Angel 3×02: That Vision Thing

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Jeffrey Bell | Director: Bill Norton | Aired: 10/01/2001]

“That Vision Thing” is an episode with a good deal of emotional strength and a pretty competent plot that manages to impress a good deal more than the season opener “Heartthrob” [3×01]. It also manages to accomplish the same ends in a thematic sense. Although, due to the necessity of dealing with the Buff Continue reading “Angel 3×02: That Vision Thing”

Angel 3×03: That Old Gang of Mine

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Tim Minear | Director: Fred Keller | Aired: 10/08/2001]

“That Old Gang of Mine” is a frustratingly underrated episode. Many fans of AtS are often angered by the idiocy of some of the characters in the central plot and project their frustrations upon the episode. Those who hold intelligent grievances against it aside, people who label this episode id Continue reading “Angel 3×03: That Old Gang of Mine”

Angel 3×04: Carpe Noctem

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Scott Murphy | Director: James A. Contner | Aired: 10/15/2001]

“Carpe Noctem” is another episode with some fun qualities but not a great deal to talk about. Like many standalones it succeeds where it does because of the considerable talents of the main cast, who really know how to live their characters in each of their own subtle, loving ways. They channel Continue reading “Angel 3×04: Carpe Noctem”

Angel 3×05: Fredless

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Mere Smith | Director: Marita Grabiak | Aired: 10/22/2001]

“Fredless” is the first episode to focus on the Fang Gang’s newest member, Winifred “Fred” Burkle, and it’s a perfect episode for her. I don’t say this to mean that the episode is perfect – far from it – but it’s definitely fitting for her character as she is now: jittery, uneve Continue reading “Angel 3×05: Fredless”

Angel 3×06: Billy

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Tim Minear and Jeffrey Bell | Director: David Grossman | Aired: 10/29/2001]

“Billy” is another episode like the late-into-S2 standalones such as “Disharmony” [2×17] and “Dead End” [2×18] in its solid characterization and theme but lack of excellence or striking originality. Not that any of those things are always necessary to enjoy an episode, but they do help, don’t they? What we have Continue reading “Angel 3×06: Billy”

Angel 3×07: Offspring

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: David Greenwalt | Director: Turi Meyer | Aired: 11/05/2001]

“Offspring” is an hour of television that mirrors its theme of duality by being two things at once. On one hand, it is a sober human drama in the tradition of the Whedonverse, mixing its characters into some difficult situations with no easy moral resolutions to be seen. On the other, it’s a Continue reading “Angel 3×07: Offspring”

Angel 3×08: Quickening

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Jeffrey Bell | Director: Skip Schoolnik | Aired: 11/12/2001]

“Quickening” is another episode like “Offspring” [3×07] in that it works, but not exceptionally well. The key difference is that this episode is neither a start nor a finish. Like “Through the Looking Glass” [2×21] it’s neither here nor there; it’s a rolling stone, meant to progress the plot and character developments of the Continue reading “Angel 3×08: Quickening”

Angel 3×09: Lullaby

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Tim Minear | Director: Tim Minear | Aired: 11/19/2001]

Now this is what I like. “Lullaby” is everything that embodies the best of S3, and is probably also the best episode of S3. When the competition from other seasons are “To Shanshu in LA” [1×22], “Reprise” [2×15] and”Not Fade Away” [5×22], it’s tough to compete, but this episode does (even if not quite to those heights). Unfortunat Continue reading “Angel 3×09: Lullaby”

Angel 3×10: Dad

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: David H. Goodman | Director: Fred Keller | Aired: 12/10/2001]

“Dad” is another episode of S3 with strong, emotionally resonant themes that fails to intellectually engage on the level of the average episode of other AtS seasons. With the exception of the previous episode (“Lullaby” [3×09]), much of this season has that weakness. However, that quality alone does no Continue reading “Angel 3×10: Dad”

Angel 3×11: Birthday

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Mere Smith | Director: David Grossman | Aired: 01/14/2002]

“Birthday” is the first Cordelia-centric episode we’ve had since S1’s “Rm w a Vu” [1×05], which was a quirky, entertaining little piece with solid, important character development and conflict. This episode without a doubt attempts bigger things, but it doesn’t succeed quite as spectacularly as it Continue reading “Angel 3×11: Birthday”

Angel 3×12: Provider

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Scott Murphy | Director: Bill Norton | Aired: 01/21/2002]

I love this show dearly. I truly do. Since I began writing these reviews I’ve discovered depths to this amazing program most will never even be aware of to appreciate and I owe my desire to professionally write to Joss Whedon and his emissaries of awesomeness throughout the ‘verse: Buffy, Angel a Continue reading “Angel 3×12: Provider”

Angel 3×13: Waiting in the Wings

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Joss Whedon | Director: Joss Whedon | Aired: 02/04/2002]

“Waiting in the Wings” is another fan favourite episode of the show in the vein of “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?” [2×02]: fantastical, highly interesting, oozing in atmosphere and at the heart of it: an old-fashioned mystery that leads to an unexpectedly touching place. While it’s not as good as “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?” [2×02] it’s good enou Continue reading “Angel 3×13: Waiting in the Wings”

Angel 3×14: Couplet

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Tim Minear and Jeffrey Bell | Director: Tim Minear | Aired: 02/18/2002]

“Couplet” is a decent episode with some important, worthwhile character progressions that inform the upcoming episodes quite a bit. There’s enough stuff here to enjoy, from the zesty, fun dialogue to the character’s thoroughly enjoyable performances, which elevate some unengaging moments to Continue reading “Angel 3×14: Couplet”

Angel 3×15: Loyalty

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Mere Smith | Director: James A. Contner | Aired: 02/25/2002]

“Loyalty” is an episode of all-setup no-payoff like “Quickening” [3×08], but succeeds in every way where that episode failed by making the events meant to precede the barnstormer “Sleep Tight” [3×16] unexpected and powerful. With an engaging setup to begin with – the prophecy Wesley discovered at the end of [“3×14” Continue reading “Angel 3×15: Loyalty”

Angel 3×16: Sleep Tight

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: David Greenwalt | Director: Terrence O Hara | Aired: 03/04/2002]

The word ‘tragedy,’ like almost every other word in the English language, has become over-used to the point of being devalued these days. Anything from the loss of the family pet to a school shooting is solemnly referred to by news media as a ‘tragedy,’ it seems. Since I’m a staunch relat Continue reading “Angel 3×16: Sleep Tight”

Angel 3×17: Forgiving

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Jeffrey Bell | Director: Turi Meyer | Aired: 04/15/2002]

“Forgiving” is a gripping and memorable follow up to the major tragedy of Wesley Wyndam-Pryce and Angel Investigations in “Sleep Tight” [3×16]. It has a large burden on its shoulders: to pick up the pieces from the cliffhanger that the last episode left us on and move forward in a way that’s not only unp Continue reading “Angel 3×17: Forgiving”

Angel 3×18: Double or Nothing

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: David H. Goodman | Director: David Grossman | Aired: 04/22/2002]

Here is another episode like “Forgiving” [3×17] with a large burden on it shoulders. The main arc of the season has been resolved, so now we need to ask the question: where do we go from here? “Double or Nothing,” for what it’s worth, does a superb job of answering the question and moving this new sect Continue reading “Angel 3×18: Double or Nothing”

Angel 3×19: The Price

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: David Fury | Director: Marita Grabiak | Aired: 04/29/2002]

AtS is nothing if not a series about consequences. Even before the series’ inception, the character of Angel (during his BtVS tenure) focused on the threat from within and the extent of moral culpability. So in a season that focuses on responsibility it’s not surprise that we’re getting a lot Continue reading “Angel 3×19: The Price”

Angel 3×20: A New World

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Jeffrey Bell | Director: Tim Minear | Aired: 05/06/2002]

“A New World” is an episode disappointingly split between action and character, rather than being an enjoyable blending of the two. The first thing thought that comes to mind when you begin watching it is “ENDLESS POTENTIAL.” The uncertainty of Connor’s return and the vagueness of his mot Continue reading “Angel 3×20: A New World”

Angel 3×21: Benediction

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: Tim Minear | Director: Tim Minear | Aired: 05/13/2002]

“Benediction” is another one of those excellent character pieces that often gets overlooked because of episodes with more bang or plot focus. Not that some of them aren’t deserving of the attention – such as with barnstormers like “Reprise” [2×15] – but it’s disappointing how forgotten episodes Continue reading “Angel 3×21: Benediction”

Angel 3×22: Tomorrow

[Review by Ryan Bovay]

[Writer: David Greenwalt | Director: David Greenwalt | Aired: 05/20/2002]

“Tomorrow,” like S3’s premiere episode “Heartthrob” [3×01], in every way encapsulates what I both love and hate about S3. Here is an episode with extremely strong characterization for some of its players, and little or none for some others. It has powerful dramatic moments and some sharp, intensely writ Continue reading “Angel 3×22: Tomorrow”