Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Angel - Season 3 Overview

Airdates: September 4, 2001 - May 20, 2002

As a Whedonite, I had to give this show a chance. The first two seasons were a tad slow to get into even though there were some good episodes. But this middle season was absolutely stellar! Below I'll go through my ten favorite episodes of the season. Beware for those who have not seen these episodes - there are spoilers afoot.

"That Vision Thing"
- This is where I see Angel's affection for Cordelia growing more than friendly (and I would have to say for the audience as well). Once Cordelia was going through so much pain due to the visions and Angel fights for her honor, I knew the writers had a possible romance in the mix for the viewers. Plus, it was nice seeing Kal Penn in yet another Joss Whedon created show. I love this guy! I enjoyed seeing him in "Beer Bad" Season 4, Episode 5 as a caveman. And how can I forget the fact that Cordelia becomes half-demon in this episode? Classic.

"Billy"
- Loved this episode for The Shining reference when Wesley is chopping into the door to harm Fred. I also thought it was clever that only Billy's touch made everything go wrong with every male. Yet, at the end both Lilah and Cordelia are able to hold their own throughout the episode, not to mention Fred's ability to take care of herself. Disturbing but kool to see Wesley be absolutely awful to Fred.

"Lullaby"
- This episode had me on the edge of my seat from the first frame until the last. Darla. The baby. But mostly that last scene with Darla and the baby. Yeah. Whoa.

"Birthday"
- The show "Cordy" alone makes me relish this episode with each re-watch. It's so silly and wonderful. The most amazing thing about this episode is that she's forever shed the Cordelia we first met on Buffy the Vampire Slayer; she's become the Cordy that we genuinely like as a person and can't get enough screen time with. Huge win with this episode.

"Waiting in the Wings"
- Cordelia and Angel's steamy scene in that dressing room was pure Joss Whedon brilliance. When the credits ran on the bottom of the screen and I realized Joss had written and directed this, I had to re-watch with commentary. As I watched the first time, I was reminded of the Buffy episode, "I Only Have Eyes for You" Season 2, Episode 9, in which Angel and Buffy relive a ghostly encounter in the high school. Luckily, in this episode, no one dies. Another reason I enjoyed this episode was the love triangle between Fred, Gunn, and Wesley. The scene in the theater when they both reach for her hand as she sits in the middle was priceless! Joss Whedon is spot on when he steps in to write an episode. His work is terrific and I will always be a fan.

"Sleep Tight"
- The one where Connor is taken away by Holtz is so sad for Angel. Not only that, but Wesley betraying him and losing support from the gang. Rough. What I like about this episode the beginning descent of Wesley's downward spiral and the bearded look becomes norm which makes him so delectable in a way he hasn't been before. Mmm...bad boys...

"The Price"
- This episode about the centipede like creatures that invade people reminds me of Slither in the way everyone infected has a collective thought ("I'm thirsty!"). Additionally, this marks the first appearance of teenaged Connor (Vincent Kartheiser, pre-Mad Men) which threw me for a loop since I watched the actor on Mad Men first.

"A New World"
- Seeing Vincent Kartheiser fighting was so strange and out of place! I caught myself comparing his performance on this show and Mad Men frequently only to find they are not vastly different from the other. Connor has been an unlikeable character from the getgo just like Pete Campbell is to me on Mad Men. I did enjoy seeing the "fish out of water" situation as Connor learns to navigate this world and meets a junkie (of all people!) in a skuffle. Good episode.

"Benediction"
My favorite scene is when Cordelia glows and stops Connor from stabbing her, freeing him of his pain and hurt. "Let it go," she says to him as he collapses into her arms. It was a great moment for Cordelia. I fell in love with Charisma Carpenter in this episode (albeit the hair; the changing hairstyles drove me crazy!). She's awesome and I never loved her character more until this episode (and season).

"Tomorrow"
OMG - the season finale was off the chain! Not only were Angel and Cordelia going to declare their love to one another but other shit was going down too. The cliffhanger of this episode had me clamoring to watch the next episode of Season 4.

My favorite season of them all, by far, which will make me sad when I finally end the series in a month or so (currently watching Season 5).

There you have it. My faves and raves.

Thoughts? Comments? What did ya'll think of these episodes? What are your favorites?