No more mister bumpy face. No more gloomy brooding in
the shadows. No more Joss Whedon weekly on my TV.
That's what really hurts. Joss is one hell of a TV
genius, and it's a sad thing that WB and FOX won't
have him to kick around anymore.
With one hell of a show, "Angel" ends. "Buffy" got
seven years, five on WB while UPN gave us the last
two. "Angel" gets five and no one picks it up.
What, UPN, you needed more money for Smackdown?
Still, considering those last two "Buffy" years,
perhaps it's a good thing UPN declined. There were
some great moments (mainly "Once More, With Feeling")
but those last two seasons really didn't shine like
the first five. So perhaps it's best that Mr. Brow
bowed out now, at his best.
For its entire run, Angel has had to live under the
shadow of She-Who-Stakes, but it was very
comfortable there. "Buffy" had some dark moments and
times, but the show was built around a girl who really
liked shopping at the mall more than demon-slaying. There was always a core where it stayed light and
fluffy. Her darkness seemed to just be whiny and
angsty. Then the jokes would came back out and our
heroine would bounce back on top.
always knew he had an inner demon (literally) to watch
out for and would wallow in the darkness (although I
admit it sometimes was too much wallowing). Even at
his lightest, Angel's inner darkness was there.
"Angel" was the show where the rough edges and
darkness took center stage. It was
the more mature and of the two shows.
Things never quite wrapped up cleanly on "Angel."
There almost always was a serious cost to be paid to
put an end to the problems. Doyle died saving a bunch
of innocent demons. Angel sacrificed having his son Conner
in his life to give him a chance at happiness.
Wolfram & Heart's Senior Partners, even after the
removal of their main pawns, the Circle of the Black
Thorn, will endure to continue their plans to destroy
our world. Connor had to kill his own daughter
(sort of) to save the world. Fred died. Angel doesn't
get either Buffy or werewolf girl and a "happily ever
after." Darla staked herself to give Connor a chance
at life. In fact, a lot of dark, bad things happened
that I don't think would have flown on "Buffy."
This is not to say that Bumpy-Face and his gang were a
bunch of gloomy gusses. There were some great comedic
bits in the show, which really was unavoidable once
"The Tick" mastermind Ben Edlund came on board as a
producer. He, David Fury and Joss are some of the
funniest guys in entertainment. Some of the funnier
moments: The evil demon puppets; Doyle's ex getting
re-married, and her groom's family planning to eat his
brain to ensure a good marriage; Cordy's being a queen
in Lorne's home dimension; Angel singing "Mandy." And
just about everything that Lorne ever said or did.
Not everything was perfect. To be
honest, I kind of tuned out for most of the third
and fourth seasons (Conner annoyed me). I came
back just a few episodes before they brought Faith in
to take on Angelus and The Beast. From then on,
however, I was all the way back. Especially this year.
This fifth season has been the best thing
Joss and company have done save "Firefly." Normally,
"Buffy" and "Angel" had a "big bad" who serves as the
main threat each year. This season the big bad wasn't
any one particular entity, but the seductive corruption
of the power of Wolfram & Hart. Putting the heroes in charge of the center of Los Angeles' evil allowed each episode to
be somewhat self-contained, but gave the season an
We also got some great moments this year. Numero Cinco
and Wes's delivery of "El Diablo Robotico." Fred's
death and Amy Acker's portrayal of Illeria: She really
managed to make them two distinct characters with just
her voice and body language. The
addition of Spike to the cast and the mayhem he
caused. Gunn's flat refusal to even be tempted by
Wolfram & Hart lackey Hamilton and going back to having his heart ripped
out. "The Apocalypse? You're soaking in it." Lorne's
dark side manifesting at the Halloween party, looking
like the Hulk. Wes' willingness to kill his father to
protect Fred. Conner's look at Angel at the end of
"Origin" as he remembers his "real"
life. Illeria's kingdoms and armies having been
reduced to dust by the ravages of time. The head of
the Rome office of Wolfram & Hart. And those are just
off the top of my head. The whole season has been
Then there was this finale, which just rocked. I love
that they went for the "Butch and Sundance" ending,
which was so fitting for the show. "Buffy" got a nice
pat little wrap up, where as "Angel" goes out
I loved the bell in the soundtrack as Angel realized
how to beat Hamilton. Gunn's conversation with his
friend from the shelter. Spike finally finding an
audience who appreciates his poetry. "I crap stronger
magic than this." Lindsy's reaction as he dies, and
his refusal to believe that a "flunky" kills him. "You
just show up for coffee and expect me to believe the
world's not ending?" Harmony's betraying Angel, and
his expecting it. "Would you like me to lie to you?"
"Oh yes, thank you." (And I'm man enough to admit that
the death scene got me watery. Joss does deaths very
well.) Getting to see Lorne sing one last time, and
his exit. "Can I deny you three times?" Angel's
willingness to sacrifice his chance at humanity to
bring down the Circle. Angel facing down the army of
evil in the original alley. "I wish to do more
violence." That incredibly cool shot of said evil
army, and the last two lines of the show. Some people
are going to hate this ending, but I loved it.
This has been one stellar year for "Angel." They say
to always go out on top and leave 'em wanting more.
"Angel" succeeded on both counts.