Ranking the top 5 episodes of “Angel”

Happy Wednesday TV Fans!  I just finished my Angel re-watch and I’m left wanting more!  I mean, we were left with a cliffhanger in the end, but there is something to be said about this series, which truly resonates with me.  For today, I am going to be ranking my top 5 episodes from Angel Over my many re-watches of the show, these episodes still stand out and captivate my undivided attention.  The series has so many great episodes and I have plenty of honorable mentions as well because it was truly difficult to just pick five episodes.  Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this show has a lot of funny moments, but it is also very dark and extremely heartbreaking.  I relate to the characters on this show so much and I think that’s why some of these episodes truly stand out for me.

It’s not just about advancing the plot or introducing a new big bad.  These episodes mark epic moments, but they also remind us how much we truly connect to these characters, even after all this time.  While some episodes are shocking, other ones are beyond heartbreaking, but they are absolutely brilliant and worthy of a discussion for sure.  During my re-watch, I chatted with so many Buffy and Angel fans and it was interesting to see which episodes stood out for them compared to my own.  While I may have my own personal preferences, it just furthers my opinion that Angel is an underrated spin-off and deserves some recognition as a standalone series as well.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not yet watched the series.  My top 5 episodes from Angel are:

5

“Rm w/a Vu” (Season 1, episode 5)

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Cordy:  I’m not a sniveling whiny little Cry-Buffy.  I’m the nastiest girl in Sunnydale history. I take crap from no one…Back off!  Polygrip.  You think *you’re* bad?  Being all mean and haunty?   Picking on poor pathetic Cordy?  Well, get ready to haul your wrinkly translucent ass out of this place, because lady, the bitch is back.

Maude:  Do you think that I’m going to take that from trash like you?

Cordy:  I tell you what I think.  I think that you’re going to pack your little ghost bags and get the HELL OUT OF MY HOUSE!

So for me, this episode has to be the one that hooked me onto Angel for good.  When I first began watching Angel, it coincided with season 4 of Buffy and I was mostly looking for crossover events.  However, this episode changed all of that for me.  I always loved Cordelia Chase on Buffy, played by the amazing and beautiful, Charisma Carpenter.  However, she didn’t always get enough screen time on Buffy and she started to really grow as a character toward the end of season 3.  She even staked her very first vampire at graduation!  I was excited to see her on Angel and this episode allowed her to step out of her supporting role and into a leading one with flair.  This episode is absolutely hilarious and kind of creepy at the same time.  I have to admit that I always hesitate before looking in the mirror in the bathroom just because of this very episode.  I mean, you never know if Maude is still hanging around.  I love this episode because Angel and Doyle are trying to fight off other demons, but it’s Cordelia who needs to find the strength within herself to cast out the ghost of Maude, proving that you should never underestimate a girl with confidence and attitude.

4

“Reunion” (Season 2, episode 10)

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Lilah:  For god’s sake, help us.

Holland:  Angel – please. – People are going to die.

Angel:  And yet, somehow, I just can’t seem to care.

My top 5 list would not be complete without including “Reunion.”  I absolutely adore both Drusilla and Darla and often felt like they didn’t get enough time on Buffy either.  Fear not, these bad-ass ladies make their triumphant return on Angel and wreak havoc on the entire city.  After being brought back from the dead, Darla realizes that she is dying as a mortal and the lawyers of Wolfram & Hart enlist Drusilla to turn Darla back into a vampire.  In this episode, these two ladies go shopping, which is enough to make this episode truly stand out, especially when Drusilla starts “ringing all over.”  I mean, you gotta love modern technology.  However, they do not stop here, as they decide to go to the Wolfram & Hart party and truly make a splash.  Darla reminds Holland and the other lawyers that they ordered a massacre and these two ladies show up to bring the massacre to them.  While this moment is shocking on its own, Angel shows up and closes the doors on the lawyers, turning his back on them and refusing to help.  Drusilla recognizes that this man is not Angelus, but Angel’s humanity is tainted here, as he gives up and even fires his team at the end of the episode, causing our fearless leader to question everything.

3

“Birthday” (Season 3, episode 11)

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Skip:  You may wanna think about that. The only way *you* get to keep the visions is by becoming – part demon. The process isn’t easy. It’ll make your vision pain feel like a stroll through candyland. And even after the pain subsides the effects of the transition will be numerous and unpredictable. You may never be able to lead a human life again.

Cordy:  So – demonize me already.

I love this episode because it is a Cordy-centric one; however, it also allows Cordelia to really transform and grow as a selfless hero, which is extremely important.  In this episode, Cordelia’s painful visions catch up with her, as she ends up in some kind of deep sleep or coma, as Angel and her friends try to help her.  Cordelia ends up in a limbo of sorts and meets her guide, Skip, who is a hilarious demon that really almost deserves his own spin-off series.  Cordelia is brought to a mall so she feels comfortable and is given the chance to re-write her life.  Skip makes it so she never bumped into Angel at the party in LA and she ends up becoming famous with her own show, Cordy!  It seems like she has the perfect life, but Cordelia’s path intertwines with helping the helpless and she later makes the decision to accept her visions and become part demon.  Skip warns her that there will be consequences, but Cordelia is ready to accept her fate, understanding that it is her true purpose to help others.  This episode is so important because we have really seen Cordelia’s goodness shine through, as she will do anything to help.  In previous seasons of Buffy and maybe even earlier on Angel, Cordelia would have taken her shiny new life and ran with it, but she’s not that girl anymore.  She has become a hero one can truly be proud of and she’s ready to embrace her new destiny. 

2

“Not Fade Away” (Season 5, episode 22)

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Illyria:  You’re fading. You’ll last 10 minutes at best.

Gunn:  Then let’s make ’em memorable.

Spike:  In terms of a plan?

Angel:  We fight.

Spike:  Bit more specific.

Angel:  Well, personally, I kind of want to slay the dragon…Let’s go to work.

I was a little torn between my number 1 and 2 picks, but I am going to give the series finale of Angel my number 2 spot.  However, please note that this was a very difficult decision because this episode is fantastic.  Season 5 really got things back on track for the show, but it also provided us with some heartbreaking moments that still make me cry today.  In the series finale, the apocalypse we have been hearing about for 5 seasons is finally unleashed by Wolfram & Hart.  Angel and his team are ready to fight, even though the odds are definitely not in their favor.  The episode does a great job of summing certain things up and providing us with some closure.  For example, we get to see Harmony being Harmony and Connor returns to stand by his father’s side, which is important.  We also get to see some heartbreaking closure for Wesley as well, which I am going to devote another blog entry to, so stay tuned on that.  At the end of the episode, it is raining and our remaining heroes debate over the plan.  Angel wants to fight the dragon of course and simply tells them to “go to work,” leaving fans with a major cliffhanger at the end of the series.  So, we don’t know if the prophecy will be fulfilled and if Angel will eventually become human and we don’t know the fate of some of our remaining characters as well.  However, I think this series finale is one of the best I have seen on any show because it reminds us what the show is about.  While Buffy had more closure and the opportunity to do whatever she wanted at the end of the series, Angel and his team are left fighting the good fight, which is why he came to LA in the first place.  It’s not about achieving the happily ever after.  It’s about the fight until the very end to “help the helpless” and that’s exactly what Angel and the others do.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one episode of Angel are:

  • “I Will Remember You”
  • “Hero”
  • “Eternity”
  • “Five by Five”
  • “To Shanshu in L.A.”
  • “Guise Will Be Guise”
  • “Darla”
  • “Disharmony”
  • “Lullaby”
  • “Forgiving”
  • “Awakening”
  • “Soulless”
  • “Salvage”
  • “Life of the Party”
  • “Destiny”
  • “Harm’s Way”
  • “A Hole in the World”
  • “Shells”

1

“You’re Welcome” (Season 5, episode 12)

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Angel:  I need you here.

Cordy:  Don’t make it hard, Angel. I’m just on a different road… and this is my off-ramp. The Powers That Be owed me one, and I didn’t waste it. I got my guy back on track…We take what we can get, champ, and we do our best with it. I’ll be seeing you.

Oh, what the hell. One for the road?

There really has to be something said for the 100th episode of this series.  I remember being so disappointed when I saw that Cordelia was no longer in the main credits at the start of season 5 and I was wondering if she would ever wake up from her coma.  In this episode, fans get their wish and Cordelia returns.  Her bright smile is back and she is excited for some “shopping” with Angel and Wesley, giving fans a real sense of nostalgia and appreciation for the start of the series.  The episode is absolutely brilliant from start to finish, but nothing could prepare me for the very end.  Joss Whedon is fantastic at creating twists that we never see coming and that’s what he did here.  Cordelia reveals that it’s no longer her time and that the “Powers That Be” owed her one, allowing her to get Angel back on track with his destiny.

Throughout the series, Angel and Cordelia had a will-they-won’t-they vibe going on and I really loved the chemistry between these two.  That being said, I am a Buffy & Angel fan for life, but I’m not going to knock the connection between Angel and Cordelia.  After missing literally every opportunity to be together previously, it seems like they are now going to get a chance at a “happily ever after.”  Only this is a Joss Whedon show and happily ever after is not possible, as we learn that Cordelia never wakes up from her coma and Angel is informed at the end of the episode that she died.  Angel is initially confused, as he tells the person on the phone that she is standing right there, but realizes that she is gone.  However, Cordelia does her job by reminding Angel what he stands for and they even get the chance to share an epic kiss that had me swooning for sure.  In classic Cordy-style, she says, “You’re welcome” at the end of the episode and we are left with Angel simply saying, “Thank you,” which broke my heart all over again, as he is now standing there alone.

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post some of your thoughts on your own favorite episodes from Angel below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

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**I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery, then this might be the book for you or someone you know!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I hope you enjoy!

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Ranking my top 5 Female Vampires from TV: “I’m Going to Blow Out the Candles”

Happy Thursday TV viewers!  Why should boys have all the fun?  For today’s list, I am going to be looking at female vampires from television.  Whether she is considered witty, seductive, crazy, or just simply bad-ass, these female vampires refuse to let the boys steal the spotlight, as they give them a run for their money and capture our affection along the way.  Please note some spoilers are ahead.  My top 5 Female Vampires from TV are:

5

The Countess from American Horror Story:  Hotel

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“Why would I help you when it gives me so much joy to see you suffer?”

Portrayed by Lady Gaga, The Countess truly embodies the art of dark seduction.  In the beginning of the season, The Countess and Donovan go to a cemetery and seduce a young couple at a movie screening.  While the scene is initially sexual and passionate, it turns deadly when they brutally kill the couple and devour their blood.  The Countess is powerful and beyond alluring to others, as she really masters the penetrating stare deep within one’s soul, which allows her to corrupt and destroy.  The Countess has a hypnotizing quality about her, as she lures young children to her in order to maintain her eternal youth and she maintains her killer fashion sense with a glove that is simply to die for…literally.

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4

Jessica Hamby from True Blood

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“I’m so sick of silverin’ myself all day every day, being pissed off all the time. This is what PMS used to feel like.”

In Jessica’s mortal life, she grows up with a strict Christian family and is extremely pure.  Bill turns Jessica into a vampire and she becomes very dangerous, but mostly because she is also an emotional teenage girl.  Jessica is doomed to be a vampire virgin for eternity, which is both hilarious and horrible at the same time.  Jessica speaks her mind and is not afraid to let all of her emotions run wild, as she really proves to be a teenage daughter from hell for poor Bill.

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Later in the series, Jessica really develops as a character, but she never disappoints with providing us with some fun entertainment along the way.

3

Caroline Forbes from The Vampire Diaries

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“You are not even worth the calories I burn talking to you.”

During her mortal life, Caroline is actually quite annoying and judgmental.  However, when she is turned into a vampire, Caroline transforms into a very likable character, even though she has a new lust for blood.  Caroline is always levelheaded and is the one that you can truly envision being your own best friend. 

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She is loyal and thoughtful, even though she is a creature of the night, and she is often the character to present us with an unlikely voice of reason in the midst of the chaos going on in Mystic Falls.  She is also still sassy, which is entertaining as well.  They say that “blondes have more fun,” but in this case, I guess blonde vampires do.

2

Pam or Pamela Swynford De Beaufort from True Blood

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“I don’t know what it is about me that makes people think I want to hear their problems. Maybe I smile too much. Maybe I wear too much pink. But please remember, I can rip your throat out if I need to, and also know that I am not a hooker. That was a long, long time ago.”

This list would not be complete without including Pam.  Pam is Eric’s second in command at Fangtasia and she is not the most likable gal, but she doesn’t care, which makes her so incredibly amazing.  Pam does not have any issues with being a vampire.  She just accepts who she is and she embraces the darkness with flair.  Pam’s witty remarks are laugh out loud funny and she doesn’t care who she pisses off.

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Her leather ensembles are to die for and her devotion to Eric is something truly remarkable, as he is one of the few beings in the world that truly matters to her.  Pam is absolutely bad-ass and is a vampire that you do not want to mess with.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick are:

  • Rebekah from “The Originals”
  • Harmony from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel”
  • Shauna Babcock from “The Passage”
  • Sophie-Anne from “True Blood”
  • Olivia Godfrey from “Hemlock Grove”
  • Katherine from “The Vampire Diaries”
  • Tara from “True Blood”
  • Elena from “The Vampire Diaries”
  • Darla from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel”

1

Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel

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“I met an old man. Didn’t like him. He got stuck in my teeth.”

So my number one pick has to go to Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.  Played by the absolutely incredible Juliet Landau, Drusilla is Spike’s girlfriend and is pretty much batshit crazy, but that’s all part of her charm.  Drusilla first comes to Sunnydale back in season 2 and has been weakened by a mob.  Drusilla has visions and often sees stars indoors and enjoys having tea parties with her dolls.  However, these are not ordinary tea parties, as Dru tends to blindfold the dolls who don’t behave so that they cannot watch her feed and kill.

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Drusilla is extremely dangerous when she does get her strength back and even kills a slayer named Kendra, using her hypnosis on her before slashing her throat with her nail.  Even though Drusilla is a vampire, she feels so much.  It may be misguided, but she later explains to Buffy that vampires are very capable of love.  Drusilla makes several guest appearances later on both Buffy and Angel and always causes some trouble, while keeping us thoroughly entertained.  She still remains my absolute favorite female vampire on television and probably always will be.  Just remember, if you set a “bad example, you will have no cakes today.”

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below on some of your favorite female vampires from TV.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

**I would love it if you would take a moment to check out my Whizbuzz Book page via the link below for everything you need to know about my new book, The Search for Alice, including my author bio page and links to my website and social media sites!  Thank you!

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@TV_Fanatic_Girl

If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery, then this might be the book for you or someone you know!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I hope you enjoy!

When Kallie Bennett, a jaded teenage girl plagued by her alcoholic mother and her peers molded out of sheer bubble gum perfection, chases after Alice in Wonderland herself, she ends up lost in her own version of Wonderland, which forces her to face her utmost fears and introduces her to familiar characters with a dark twist. Among these characters is Ches, a gorgeous vampire with a conflicted conscience, who becomes Kallie’s guide and blossoming love interest. She also crosses paths with Queen Hartley, a manipulative witch who has the power to strip away one’s memories and imagination, which brings a bone chilling new meaning to “off with their heads.” In The Search for Alice, Kallie starts to realize that her Wonderland is just as frightening as her own reality and that she cannot always run away from her problems. She must figure out a way to defeat Queen Hartley and return home before it is too late, but she soon learns that escaping Wonderland means leaving Ches behind forever.

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Throw-back Sunday: Ranking the top 5 villains from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

It’s Throw-Back Sunday TV Fans!  For today, I have returned to one of my old favorites, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Buffy and her friends are a blast to watch and are always trying to ensure that goodness prevails in order to protect Sunnydale and the rest of the world.  But this would get boring if Buffy could always easily save the day against countless vampires.  What makes the show surpass this is the introduction of formidable foes that cross her path.  Ranging from the geeks she went to high school with to the first evil that existed in the world, there is a lot of evil and chaos thrown at the Scoobies.  Let’s not forget that some of Buffy’s closest friends have turned on her and mortal enemies have become great allies along the way.  Buffy is the Chosen One for sure, but these villains are not only worthy of an all out battle, they are more complex and smarter than your average vampire turned to dust.   Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the series yet. My top 5 villains from Buffy the Vampire Slayer are:

5

Drusilla

Drusilla was introduced to Buffy in season 2 along with her boyfriend, Spike.  When she first came to town she was weakened from a mob, but was revealed to possess psychic abilities.  When Drusilla is at her full strength she proves to be extremely dangerous and even kills another slayer who gets in her way.  What makes Drusilla such a stand-out villain is that she is completely insane.  She has an innocent girl-like quality at first and manipulates Spike to do her bidding, all while having a tea party with her dolls.  One of my favorite scenes with Drusilla is when she blindfolds one of the dolls and says she’s not allowed to watch with the rest, as she kills someone brutally in front of them.  There is a haunting quality about Drusilla that makes her beyond scary and a real threat to Buffy.

4

Glory

The best way to define her I suppose is if Cordelia had god-like powers with no sense of remorse.  Glory is revealed to be a god and Buffy’s sister, Dawn, is the key that she is desperately looking for.  In one of the first fights with Glory, Buffy is beaten not just badly, but to a bloody pulp, making fans wonder about how she would be able to defeat her.  Glory is an entertaining villain, keeping her manicure and lip gloss in check while continuing on her quest, refusing to allow anyone to get in her way.

3

The Master

The Master is introduced as the first main villain that Buffy must face in the first season.  His face has no humanity left in it, different from other vampires, because of his age.  There is a cringe-worthy factor here for sure, but the Master hasn’t left his sense of humor behind either.  He is ruthless and powerful and even is able to kill Buffy initially.  Thankfully Xander is able to revive her, but he proved to be a dangerous foe and an influence on other vampires nearby.

2

Evil Willow

Everyone loves Willow and she is a great friend to Buffy.  When she begins experimenting with witchcraft, it naturally seems like a great way to help Buffy fight the forces of evil.  But when Willow loses the love of her life, Tara, she is consumed by rage and evil magic corrupts her.  Willow becomes so powerful that it seems like no one will be able to defeat her.  If not for her best friend, Xander, who has no powers or supernatural strength, she would have been lost for good and the world might have been destroyed.  Xander uses love to remind Willow that he will always be there for her and it brings her goodness back to the surface.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick are:

  • Spike
  • Faith
  • The Mayor
  • The Judge
  • Mr. Trick
  • Anyanka
  • Darla
  • The First
  • The Gorch family
  • The Gentlemen
  • Kralik
  • Caleb
  • The Trio
  • Harmony

1

Angelus

Buffy and Angel’s love is so passionate and real throughout the beginning episodes.  There is something very romantic about the idea of a vampire with a soul and Angel has been trying to do good and make up for the monster he used to be.  However, when he is with Buffy, he loses his soul because he experiences true happiness, and Angelus is unleashed on the world once more as a result.  Not only is he a vicious killer, but he targets on Buffy’s weakness and mocks their love, making it seem like he did not care for her in the slightest.  He goes after her friends and family and toys with Buffy in a stalker-like way.  When Angelus unleashes a demon on the world to swallow it whole, Buffy knows that she must kill him to close the portal.  She has pushed her feelings aside and knows that she must defeat him for the greater good.  However, this becomes an almost impossible task when Angel’s soul is restored right at the moment she is about to kill him.  Buffy must follow through with this, sacrificing her love to save the world.  Her love for Angelus is what makes him such a dangerous villain.  Buffy is the Chosen One, but she is also human and a teenage girl with feelings.  Her strength is truly tested when Angelus is introduced, but she is able to do what is necessary to defeat him.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some of your own favorite villains from Buffy the Vampire Slayer Thanks for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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