10 – Sleep Tight – S3E16
Wesley has a tough decision to make regarding Connor, Angel’s son, and whether or not to take him away to keep him safe. We discover that Angel’s blood had been spiked with Connor’s blood to make him smell like food, proving that Angel was not prophesied to kill his own son, but things were being manipulated to make it seem that way in order to gain the ultimate revenge on Angel for things he had done as Angelus. A fantastic episode with great acting by Alexis Dennisoff who is deeply conflicted between his friends and Holtz during the whole situation. In typical Joss Whedon style, just as it seems like things are going well for our heroes, the episode ends in heartbreak and bloodshed. However, also in typical Joss Whedon style, it’s done fantastically.
9 – Destiny – S5E08
Spike is mysteriously made corporeal again, and having TWO vampire champions with a sole seems to be causing a rift in space and time itself. So what are they to do? While Wesley is on a leave of absence from incidents in a previous episode, a member of his department looks into the ShanShu prophesy and determines that if they can find an ancient cup and drink from it, they will be able to make claim to being the one and only vampire champion and putting an end to the rift. Both men feel it’s their destiny, so they must fight it out to decide the winner! Half of the episode is dedicated to Angel and Spike battling it out complete with flashbacks showing their long history as friends and enemies which is the main reason I love this particular episode so much!
8 – Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been – S2E02
At the end of Season 1, the Angel Investigation offices are blown up, so Angel asks Cordelia and Wesley to look into an abandoned hotel from the 50’s as a potential new office. While digging into the history of the building, they discover that Angel was a resident during that time; and all the while people in the hotel were either mysteriously dying or getting killed. We are treated to mostly flashbacks this time, showing us the events that lead to the hotel getting closed and how Angel was involved. A nice unique episode that didn’t focus on any bigger story arc, but set up the new Angel Investigation office nicely.
7 – Hell Bound – S5E04
Season 5 got off to a bit of a rocky start. While the first 3 episodes aren’t bad by any means, they just weren’t memorable. Then episode 4 came along and the series finally picked up again. Spike is still a ghost of sorts, but begins to feel like he is being sucked into hell. Upon further investigation, Spike discovers that he isn’t alone… someone is there trying to send him to hell so they don’t have to go! A nice creepy vibe to this whole episode, with a good fight scene to end it, and some nice character development for Spike and his relationship with Fred.
6 – In The Dark – S1E03
This was the first episode that crossed over from Buffy to Angel, despite the two shows being on different networks. Over on Buffy, Spike had found a magical ring that granted any vampire who wore it true immortality; sunlight and a stake in the heart would no longer be a problem! Buffy was able to take the ring from him and sent it to LA for Angel, who decided it would be best to hide it away rather than use it himself. Spike follows the ring to LA, and brings a friend along to help torture Angel into revealing where the ring is. Any time we get an episode revolving around Angel Vs Spike, it’s always great, but here was more focused on Angel’s torture and his answers to certain questions rather than a straight up fight between the two old acquaintances.
5 – Apocalypse, Nowish – S4E07
Paranormal activity starts to increase dramatically in LA, and it all seems to be pointing to a new big bad coming to town to bring about the end of the world. An interesting episode as it features all the gang back together for the most part to help out, despite everything that had happened over the last year between them all. And while all of that stuff is great, it’s the huge fight scene at the end with the giant rock demon that makes me love this episode so much. For a TV show with a budget nowhere near a major blockbuster movie, they make the battle seem so epic and huge, as the entire gang get utterly destroyed by the seemingly indestructible new foe. I never grow tired of this one!
Number 4 – Redefinition – S2E11
Darla and Drusilla are setting up to take over LA, while Angel trains to take them down. He’s still conflicted with the fact he has to once again kill Darla, so instead of killing her straight away, he takes her out of commission for a while in spectacular fashion until he can summon up the mental strength to take her out of the world for good. Meanwhile, Gunn, Wesley and Cordi try to figure out where they go from here, after Angel fires them, which may or may not involve the worst rendition of “We are the champions” ever. Except maybe the Robbie Williams one…
3 – Reunion – S2E10
Despite all his efforts, Angel was unable to save Darla, and now thanks to Drusilla, she will soon rise again as a Vampire. Angel must track them down and try to stake Darla before she awakens. When that doesn’t work and the two go on a killing spree, Angel takes it upon himself to change the rules, and turn to the dark side without losing his sole in order to eliminate two of the most deadly vampires in history! Angel’s transformation from wanting to simply save Darla from becoming a vampire again, to distancing himself from humanity in order to stop her is amazing to watch.
2 – Release – S4E14
Angelus is free, and the beast is dead. Leaving just him and Faith to fight it out. The brilliance of the Angelus character mixed with the new dynamic between Faith and Wesley, with Wesley as the gritty unemotional watcher now who will do whatever it takes to get the job done, and Faith finally fighting on the side of good. What makes this episode so spectacular for me is the fight scene between Faith and Angelus. Not only is it a great fight, but the dialogue between the two is just awesome. This episode in particular really shows us how dangerous Angelus can be, unlike his appearances on Buffy where he constantly got his arse kicked.
1 – Soulless – S4E11
Angelus. For fans of the show I’m pretty certain I could leave it there… but that would be lazy. Fine, I’ll talk some more. The gang remove Angel’s soul in hopes that Angelus has some information on the beast that could help them. What results is a Joss Whedon take on the Hannibal Lecture movies. Angelus, the big bad evil who eats people, locked up and being questioned. He’s smart, he’s diabolical, and he knows just what buttons to push. It’s just brilliant. And sad. Because it makes me wish we got so much more of the Angelus character than we did. Seeing the effects Angelus’ words have on the gang is great to see as they try to stick together but end up fighting thanks to Angelus using what Angel knows about his friends against them. We do get some action here and there in this episode, but for me, it could have been 40 minutes of Angelus talking in a cage and I’d still have ranked it number 1 on my list!