Ranking the top 5 heartbreaking moments from “Angel”

Happy Wednesday TV Fans!  For today, I have once again returned to one of my old favorites, Angel.  After ranking my top episodes last week, I realized how many truly heartbreaking moments there are on this show.  I mean, you sort of start to expect this from a Joss Whedon series, as many of our beloved characters do not get a chance at a happily ever after, but there is something so incredibly soul crushing about some of the moments on Angel in particular.  It’s been quite some time since I have watched the series and while I knew certain moments were coming, I couldn’t stop the tears from falling.  These moments are not just sad or tragic, they impact me in such a way that I end up thinking about my own life and my connection to others.

It’s interesting how a few familiar key words in these moments can truly impact us.  Whether it’s the death of a favorite character or a moment of true compassion, these moments stand the test of time and continue to tug at my emotions.  The heartbreak is so real and unavoidable and yet I still find myself hoping that the outcome will change, but it never does.  While I love that Joss Whedon is not afraid to kill off main characters, I found myself needing to emotionally prepare for the moments that follow.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the full series yet.  My top 5 heart-breaking moments from Angel are:


Darla’s sacrifice.

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“This child – Angel, it’s the one good thing we ever did together…you make sure to tell him that.”

Lullaby (Season 3, Episode 9)

Darla has always been known as a ruthless and evil vampire.  However, she is the one who turned Angel and he cannot always ignore his connection to her, especially when she is brought back from the dead.  After Darla and Angel sleep together, we later find out that there is a major consequence.  Angel’s soul is still intact, but Darla is pregnant with their child.  As Darla progresses with her pregnancy, we learn that the baby is human with a soul.  The baby’s goodness begins to truly impact Darla and she realizes what she must do.  In a tragic moment, Darla tells Angel that this is the one good thing they ever did together, right before she stakes herself.  Angel’s son, Connor, is born in the alley because of Darla’s sacrifice.  Darla has redeemed herself in this moment and while she cannot erase all of her past sins, this act proves that it’s never too late to try and do the right thing for the ones you love.


Angel & Buffy’s day together is reset.

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“No!  Oh God.  It’s not enough time.”

I Will Remember You (Season 1, Episode 8)

In the episode, “I Will Remember You,” we get a Buffy/Angel crossover, as Buffy comes to town to confront Angel after he stopped by in Sunnydale to save her without talking to her.  Their argument is put on hold, as they are attacked and Angel is infected by a demon, which causes him to become human.  Buffy and Angel finally get the opportunity to be with one another, but things are never that easy.  Angel realizes that he cannot protect Buffy and the helpless as a human and asks for the Powers That Be to reset the day.  As if this isn’t heartbreaking enough, Angel will remember the day with Buffy, but it will be stripped from her own memory, as if it never happened.  Angel tells Buffy that they only have a minute left together and she begins crying, telling him that it’s not enough time, which always brings me to tears.  This episode gives Bangel fans the chance to see a happily ever after for our beautiful couple, but everything is temporary.  The fact that Angel carries this memory alone is truly tragic and my heart goes out to him here.  If only…


Fred’s death.

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“I’m not scared. I’m not scared. I’m not scared. Please, Wesley, why can’t I stay?”

A Hole in the World (Season 5, Episode 15)

In season 5, Joss really let fans cry their eyes out.  Fred is one of my all time favorite characters and she always brings a goofy innocence to everything, which really helps balance out the team.  She and Wesley have never really gotten the chance to explore their feelings for one another, but it seems like that is all about to change in season 5.  Fred finally sees Wesley in a romantic way and wants to be with him, which had fans cheering everywhere.  However, just as these two start off their relationship together, tragedy strikes when a mysterious package arrives at Wolfram & Hart and Fred is infected by it.  Fred begins to deteriorate very quickly, as the team tries to find a way to save her.  Only they do not have enough time or a real option, as Angel is not able to save Fred and sacrifice many lives as a result.  Wesley stays by Fred’s side through it all and she tries to be so brave for him, which is incredibly heartbreaking.  As soon as she utters the words, “Why can’t I stay?” I start sobbing.  Fred’s reaction here is so pure and innocent and I still just desperately want her to be all right, but she’s gone and Wesley’s reaction is beyond tragic.


Cordelia’s death.

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“Hello. Yes, I know. She’s… but that’s impossible. She’s standing right— I’m sorry. Yeah. When did she die? Did she, um… she never did wake up? I see.”

(hangs up, looks out to where Cordelia was standing moments earlier)

“Thank you.”

You’re Welcome (Season 5, Episode 12)

As many of you know, this is my favorite episode of the series, but it is so hard for me to watch it.  We initially think that Cordelia has woken up from her coma and that she and Angel may finally get the opportunity to be together.  However, we are not granted this wish, as we learn that Cordelia is here on a very temporary basis, as the Powers That Be “owed her one.”  Cordelia sets Angel on the right path and kisses him one last time, but their moment is interrupted when she tells him that he has to get the phone.  Angel is shocked to find out that Cordy never woke up from the coma, as he hopefully looks over to see her, but realizes that she is gone.  Reality sets in here, as Angel is left alone, but he does thank her.  Angel has been through so much and he still kept his hope alive that Cordy would wake up one day.  While Angel can hold on to this fantasy, it doesn’t bring Cordy back, which is truly devastating.


Illyria pretends to be Fred to comfort Wesley.

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“Would you like me to lie to you now?”

Not Fade Away (Season 5, Episode 22)

In the series finale, we have a lot going on, but this moment still stands the test of time for me.  These nine words bring me to tears every single time.  They are that powerful.  Wesley is fatally wounded and only has a few moments left.  Illyria has been showing signs of humanity, but she understands what she must do here to comfort him and simply asks Wesley if he would like her to lie to him now.  Wesley agrees and Illyria appears to be Fred in front of him, staying with him until the very end so that he can die peacefully with the woman he loves by his side.  Wesley’s death is sad enough, but this moment of compassion from Illyria affects my heart and soul.  This moment is so incredibly real and touching, as Illyria finally understands what it means to feel grief and loss.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some of your own heartbreaking moments from Angel in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

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Ranking the top 5 villains from “Angel”

Happy Wednesday TV Fans!  For today, I have returned to one of my old favorites, Angel, as I am currently on the last season of my re-watch.  I have such an appreciation for this spin-off series of Buffy, as it really was not afraid to dive deeper into the darkness that exists all around us.  Angel Investigations had a mission to “help the helpless” and they did run into their fair share of villains along the way.  However, they faced some demons they never saw coming, some evil foes from their past, and even villains among each other.

These villains became worthy opponents who continued to threaten our beloved characters and the world.  Each villain was unique and terrifying in their own way, but they continuously challenged Angel.  Whether they used the law and corruption to further their agenda or just smashed everything in sight, they deserve a spot in my top 5.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the series yet. My top 5 villains from Angel are:


Holtz collage


Daniel Holtz is a vampire hunter from Angel’s past and he made a deal with a demon named Sahjan so that he could get his revenge on Angel and Darla.  Holtz is the main villain in season 3 and returns from a state of suspended animation to take out “Angelus” once and for all.  Holtz learns that the vampire he knew from long ago is now with a soul, but he still wants to make him suffer.  Angelus killed Holtz’s family and Holtz wants to even the score.

He is a formidable villain because he successfully takes away the one thing that Angel truly cares about.  He doesn’t kill Angel’s son, but he abducts him and takes him to another dimension with the help of Wesley’s betrayal.  Angel’s son, Connor, ends up growing up in another dimension and is raised by Holtz.  Holtz continues to manipulate this love and even has his right hand partner in crime, Justine, kill him so it looks like Angel did it.

Holtz wants to ensure that Angel’s son will hate him for the rest of time, which is a revenge that would hurt Angel more than any other type of torture thrown his way.  Holtz was contemplative in his plan and truly impacted Angel, proving to be a villain worthy of my top 5 for sure.


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The Beast

The Beast is a nearly unstoppable demon that emerges in season 4.  When Cordelia returns to earth, she has visions about this particular demon, which seems to be connected to Connor somehow.  The Beast is very powerful and Angel has a tough time fighting him.  The Beast begins killing members of the “Ra-Tet” to successfully banish the sun.  The Beast is all about destruction, but we eventually learn that his strings are being pulled by Jasmine, who has taken over Cordelia’s body.

Even though The Beast is not a master manipulator, he is powerful enough to hurt everyone in his path, including Faith, who tries to help bring back Angel once he is turned into Angelus.  The Beast was a villain made for nightmares and he definitely gave me some during my re-watch and he may have been Angel’s toughest opponent when it comes to combat.


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Darla & Drusilla

The delicious and dark duo that wreaked havoc in season 2 absolutely deserve a spot on my list.  By themselves, Darla and Drusilla prove to be dangerous, but as a tag team they are truly masterful.  After Darla is brought back as a human in season 2, Wolfram & Hart recruit Drusilla to turn her into a vampire.

These two bad-ass ladies just want to have fun, as they even go on a shopping spree that is to die for…literally.  Angel has close ties to both of them from his past, which makes them formidable foes.  My favorite episode with them is “Reunion,” (Season 2, episode 10), where they decide to turn the tables on Wolfram & Hart and deliver a “massacre” just like they ordered.  Only the massacre is on the lawyers, as they kill everyone at the party except for Lindsey and Lilah.

They even spark a darkness within Angel, as he allows Darla and Drusilla to kill everyone at the party.  He is not Angelus in this moment, but something else, as his past consumes him and he almost turns off his humanity here, which proves just how dangerous this duo was.


Jasmine collage


After fans were initially shocked that Cordelia could be the potential big bad in Season 4, we learn that Jasmine has been controlling her and pulling the strings.  Cordelia ends up giving birth to Jasmine, which puts her into a coma, and the goddess is released into the world.  You would think that Jasmine would be all about destruction, but her methods are different, as she creates a world of “shiny happy people.”  You know she was evil when she got Angel to wear yellow.

Everyone is enamored by Jasmine, as they flock to her and will do anything to make her happy, which is beyond dangerous.  Later on, Fred is exposed to Jasmine’s blood and sees the true face of Jasmine, which consists of maggots and rotting flesh.  Thanks to Fred, everyone else is eventually able to see what Jasmine truly is and we learn that she consumes large groups of people at a time to maintain her strength.  So, basically she eats people, but in a happy, cheery way.

Jasmine is a worthy villain because she was able to successfully infiltrate Angel’s group and use Cordelia to be reborn into the world.  She was also a villain that Angel could not just merely fight and attack, as her manipulation of the world was something transcendent of violence, but luckily we had our girl Fred there to make a difference.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick are:

  • Angelus
  • Illyria (although I don’t personally classify her as a villain)
  • Skip
  • Vocah


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Wolfram & Hart

It should be no surprise that my favorite villain has to go to “Wolfram & Hart.”  I decided to keep them as a collective, rather than break them up individually, because that was the point of this evil law firm.  While Buffy had to fight endless demons, gods, and vampires, Angel had to deal with evil lawyers who were not afraid to cut through red tape to further their agenda.  My standout lawyers from Wolfram & Hart were Lindsey and Lilah, but the entire concept of an evil law firm was pure genius. 

The lawyers of Wolfram & Hart successfully use manipulation and corruption, which is not something Angel can just easily fight or attack.  They actually helped Angel become an even stronger hero, as he needed to think outside the box to outsmart them again and again.  In season 5, Angel is presented with the opportunity to lead the Wolfram & Hart branch in LA, which was a shock to many viewers.  Even though Angel tries to do good with the resources he now has readily available, there are still consequences and threats thrown his way.

The ultimate last apocalypse of the series is unleashed from Wolfram & Hart, which reminded us that they were the very source of the evil walking the earth.  Whether you love them or hate them, you have to respect the unique methods of Wolfram & Hart, as this law firm absolutely earns my top spot today.

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

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Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl


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As you may know, February is “Women in Horror” month. To celebrate, PromoteHorror.com asked women from different professions if they would like to answer some questions about being a “Woman in Horror,” and more. I am so excited that I was interviewed for this and I hope that everyone continues to celebrate and support women in horror all year round! Check out my Women in Horror month Interview at Women in Horror Month Interview with Author/Blogger Amy Koto