Angel—Season 1

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7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Shows potential

Lacks direction direction a lot of the season

 
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Welcome to the City of Angels

Angel (David Boreanaz) has left Sunnydale and is trying to reestablish himself in Los Angeles after his disastrous break-up with Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Geller).  With Buffy’s friend Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) and a half-demon named Allen Doyle (Glenn Quinn), Angel is setting up a detective agency in an attempt to redeem his past actions…but a law firm named Wolfram & Hart might have other plans for Angel.

Angel—Season 1 ran from October 5, 1999 to May 23, 2000 on the WB.  It spun off of the immensely popular Buffy the Vampire Slayer after Season 3.  The show followed Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which later moved to UPN).  The series was released to mixed reviews.

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Scream if you love Angel!!!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a unique show.  It took a so-so movie, made a great TV series, and won the approval of critics.  With the introduction of Angel in the first season, a popular supporting character was created, and despite rabid fans, Buffy the Vampire Slayer always had tepid ratings.  It was a bit of a surprise for Angel to spin off Buffy and an even bigger surprise that it wasn’t that bad.

This season of Angel is generally considered “the worst” of the seasons.  The show didn’t have much direction at this point and it is very creature of the week.  This is something that Buffy suffered from its first season…but it was a shorter season.  I will say that the show was forced to rely heavier on the actual writing.  Buffy was filled with a lot of one liners and jokes.  Angel does have a lot of wordplay but it feels considerably less when compared to Buffy…which in a way is a good thing.

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Angel’s here to kill generic demons everywhere!

The problem is that the season doesn’t have a real villain.  Wolfram & Hart is developing at this point, but it doesn’t really become a player until the last few episodes of the season.  Boreanaz has a “no fun” clause built into his character with the curse and the levity comes from Charisma Carpenter who is the fun character.  Later in the season, Buffy alum Alex Denisof joined the team (essentially replacing Glenn Quinn’s Doyle character) as Wesley, and the series also gets visits from Oz (Seth Green), Faith (Eliza Dushku), and Buffy (Sarah Michelle Geller) herself.

Both Angel and Buffy had a cheapness to them, but it works with the writing.  If the show had been high tech and slick, it might not have worked.  The goofy look of many of the villains almost play into show…I just wish they built better sets.

Angel—Season 1 shows promise for the future of the series.  The show created the debate of which show was better Angel or Buffy.  I know friends who fell on both sides of this argument.  If you are basing the judgment on Angel—Season 1, you’d pick Buffy, but with more direction for Angel—Season 2, Angel will put up a fight.

Angel—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

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“City of…”

1.1       City of… Airdate:  10/05/99

Angel (David Boreanaz) moves to Los Angeles and meets Allen Doyle (Glenn Quinn) a half-demon assigned to guide him.  When Doyle tells him to reconnect to the people he is saving, he sends him to a girl named Tina (Tracy Middendorf ) who is a potential target for danger by a man named Russell Winters (Vyto Ruginis).  When Angel and Tina run into Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) at a party, Angel learns that Tina might not be the only one in danger.  Angel’s action against Russell leads him in conflict with a legal group known as Wolfram & Hart.

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“Lonely Heart”

1.2       Lonely Heart Airdate:  10/12/99

Angel, Cordelia, and Doyle work to set-up their investigation agency, and Doyle suffers another vision that someone is in danger.  With the only clue being a vision of a bar where swingers hang out, Angel goes undercover but finds himself having a run in with an officer named Detective Kate Lockley (Elisabeth Rohm) when he discovers the demon is a burrower that hides in bodies.

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“In the Dark”

1.3       In the Dark Airdate:  10/19/99

Oz (Seth Green) comes to town to return Angel’s ring from Buffy, and Doyle reveals his ring creates immunity. Angel learns Spike (James Marsters) is in town, and he wants the ring.  As Spike searches for Angel, Angel tries to protect his first paying client from an abusive boyfriend.  When Spike is double crossed by a torture demon (Kevin West), the demon might be unstoppable.

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“I Fall to Pieces”

1.4       I Fall to Pieces Airdate:  10/26/99

Angel questions how he can run a business when he can’t charge people and tries to help a woman named Melissa Burns (Tushka Bergen) from a stalker named Dr. Ronald Meltzer (Andy Umberger) who seems to know her every move.

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“RM w/a Vu”

1.5       RM w/a Vu Airdate:  11/02/99

Doyle deals demon loan sharks after payback and Cordelia tries to get out of her apartment.  When Doyle helps Cordelia find the perfect apartment Cordelia finds that the apartment has a problem with a spirit that wants her out.

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“Sense and Sensitivity”

1.6       Sense and Sensitivity Airdate:  11/09/99

Cordelia and Doyle demand more respect from Angel.  Kate comes to Angel for help with a missing mob boss named Little Tony Papazian (John Capodice).  When Little Tony calls in Wolfram & Hart, a sensitivity trainer (Ron Marasco) is called in to make the police easier to control.

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“The Bachelor Party”

1.7       The Bachelor Party Airdate:  11/16/99

Cordelia has a bad date with a guy which ends with Doyle saving her from a vampire.  As Cordelia gets close to Doyle, Doyle’s wife Harriet (Kristin Dattilo) returns to reveal she’s getting married.  When Doyle learns she’s marrying another demon named Richard (Carlos Jacott), he questions if he caused their break-up.  With Angel and Doyle invited to Richard’s, Cordelia attends Harriet’s bachelorette party.  Angel uncovers a conspiracy at the bachelor party that could cost Doyle his life, and a vision from Doyle could send Angel back to Sunnydale.

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“I Will Remember You”

1.8       I Will Remember You Airdate:  11/23/99

Angel returns from Sunnydale after seeing Buffy (Sarah Michelle Geller).  When Buffy comes after Angel to demand to know why he wouldn’t see her, they both end up in pursuit of a demon.  Angel’s run in with the demon causes his blood to mix with the demon blood with unexpected results. Angel finds he must slay the demon again when it regenerates and that he has to do it while being human. The Oracles reveal a warning to Angel.

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“Hero”

1.9       Hero Airdate:  11/30/99

Angel deals with his missing time with Buffy and reveals the Oracles warning to him about the future.  Cordelia works to market the detective agency and Doyle tries to get the courage to tell Cordelia his feelings but continues to hide he’s part demon.  Angel and Doyle find a group of demons hiding from something called the Scourge and Doyle warns Angel that the Scourge are pure-blood demons who vow to hunt down people like Doyle.

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“Parting Gifts”

1.10     Parting Gifts Airdate:  12/14/99

Angel goes to the Oracles to try to get Doyle back and tells the Oracles that he needs his gift to know who is in danger.  Cordelia deals with Doyle’s death and finds she has been given his gift.  Angel works to stop a demon named Barney (Maury Sterling) being tracked by an unstoppable enemy in the form of Wesley-Wyndam Pryce (Alex Denisof).  When Wesley arrives, he brings warning of a demon called a Kungai.

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“Somnambulist”

1.11     Somnambulist Airdate:  01/18/00

Kate investigates a series of murders while Angel suffers realistic dreams of the murders.  When Angel learns about the murders, he questions if he could be responsible.  When Wesley learns about the murders, he suspects Angel is killing again.  Out to prove himself innocent, Angel reveals he had a protégé named Penn (Jeremy Renner).  To stop Penn, Angel must go to Kate with his secret.

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“Expecting”

1.12     Expecting Airdate:  01/25/00

A night out for Cordelia leads to an encounter with Wilson Christopher (Ken Marino).  When Cordelia wakes up, she discovers herself almost nine months pregnant and alone.  As Angel seeks answers in the pregnancy, Wesley and Cordelia prepare for a multiple birth.

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“She”

1.13     She Airdate:  02/08/00

Coredelia has a vision of a someone burned at an ice factory, and Angel goes to investigate.  When Angel discovers a woman named Jheira (Bai Ling), Jheira reveals she is on the run and only Angel can help her…but Jheira is a threat as well.  Wesley finds work at Angel Investigations.

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“I’ve Got You Under My Skin”

1.14     I’ve Got You Under My Skin Airdate:  02/15/00

Angel tries to deal with Doyle’s death but finds himself involved with a family where one of the members is possessed by an Ethros demon.  Setting out to stop the demonic possession, Angel and his team are on a race against time to exorcise the demon.

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“The Prodigal”

1.15     The Prodigal Airdate:  02/22/00

A demon attacks a L.A., train and Angel tries to find out why.  When Angel realizes Kate’s father (John Mahon) is involved, it could end their partnership.  Plus, the origin of Angel’s transformation into a vampire is revealed!

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“The Ring”

1.16     The Ring Airdate:  02/29/00

Angel finds himself trapped in a series of underground fights where he could be forced to kill for an audience.  As Cordelia and Wesley try to free him, Angel must decide if he will fight for his life.

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“Eternity”

1.17     Eternity Airdate:  04/04/00

Angel finds himself entangled with a movie star named Rebecca Lowell (Tamara Gorski) when he saves her life.  When Rebecca finds Angel’s vampire-side, she realizes Angel could be the key to eternal youth.

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“Five by Five”

1.18     Five by Five Airdate:  04/25/00

Angel continues to go head-to-head with Wolfram & Hart by convincing a drug dealer to testify.  Faith (Eliza Dushku) has come to L.A. and she could be the secret weapon that Wolfram & Hart needs to stop Angel.

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“Sanctuary”

1.19     Sanctuary Airdate:  05/02/00

Faith is trying to come to turns with her past actions, and the only person on her side is Angel.  As Wolfram & Hart hire a demon to kill Faith, Wesley is contacted by the Council, Kate hunts Faith with police, and Angel finds himself a visitor he never expected.

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“War Zone”

1.20     War Zone Airdate:  05/09/00

When Angel, Wesley, and Cordelia are hired to stop a man from blackmailing a wealthy outsider named David Nabbit (David Herman), Angel finds himself pulled into a turf war by a vampire slayer named Charles Gunn (J. August Richards) who intends to keep vampires out of his part of the city.

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“Blind Date”

1.21     Blind Date Airdate:  05/16/00

When Angel encounters a blind assassin named Vanessa Bewer (Jennifer Badger Martin), he finds himself once again facing Wolfram & Hart.  The encounter leads to a strange alliance with defender Lindsey McDonald (Christian Kane) who has decided to defect…leading to a dangerous raid of Wolfram & Hart.

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“To Shanshu in L.A.”

1.22     To Shanshu in L.A. Airdate:  05/23/00

The raid of Wolfram & Hart has left Angel in possession of a scroll which could prophesize his future but also has forced Lindsey McDonald to decide which side he is truly on.  Wolfram & Hart is not only targeting Angel but his friends and it has bigger plans for Angel.

Related Links:

Angel:  After the Fall 1

Angel:  After the Fall 2:  First Night

Buffy the Vampire Slayer—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Buffy the Vampire Slayer—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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