CORPORATE LINE: The City of Angels has proved to be the ideal address for a fallen vampire looking to save a few lost souls and, in turn, redeem his own. Now, in his new position at the head of Wolfram and Hart, Angel makes use of the firm’s state-of-the-art technology and the darkly tinted windows in his luxurious new office, stunning penthouse apartment and fleet of limousines. After more than 200 years spent hiding from the light, he will at last be able to move about during the day.
With Wolfram and Hart under new management, Angel and the gang will take on one supernatural cause after another. Their client list will be a mix of good and evil characters, including a werewolf, a necromancer who uses human bodies as vessels for demon spirits and a terrorist who threatens Los Angeles with a deadly virus.
THE SHOW: The WB was going to cancel Angel after the fourth season however under certain conditions they brought the show back for a fifth and final season. The WB demanded Spike come over from Buffy and join Angel which turned out not to be a bad idea however the other condition that the WB imposed of making each episode stand alone was a mistake.
Season four was a good season however the fifth was much better. The idea of Angel and friends taking over the law firm never felt right but you had to live with it. Some older characters faded while others came to the forefront like Harmony, a secondary Buffy character, becomes the secretary. Spike certainly takes on a large role just as the WB wanted.
There are many great episodes such as “Smile Time” and “Lineage.” There are some great plot twists and off the wall episodes all of which are trademarks of Whedon. The final episode “Not Fade Away” finds Angel and company facing uneven odds for which Angel replies “Let’s go to work.” It’s a good, but unremarkable ending especially when you realize that there was a sixth season planned.
DVD FEATURES: Season Five is full of featurettes some are quite good. Angel 100 is a short look behind the scenes of the 100th episode. Hey Kids! It’s Smile Time is a look at the hilarious puppet episode.
To Live and Die in L.A. finds Joss Whedon discussing his favorite Angel episodes and because its released on the fifth season DVD you’d assume there’d be a few episodes from that season—there isn’t. The weakest featurettes, Halos and Horns: Recurring Villainy focuses on weak cast interviews.
The commentaries are the usual fare. Some are interesting, especially the commentary with David Boreanaz, Christian Kane, and Brent Fletcher. Underneath, a commentary with director Skip Schoolnik, Adam Baldwin and writers Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain is interesting, too.
FRANKLY: Angel the Fifth Season DVD is good, especially for a season that wasn’t supposed to be. The show is worth buying the DVD set alone but the addition of the featurettes makes for a fantastic box set and addition to any Angel collection.
+ Charlie Craine