Saturday, September 12, 2009

DVD review - Angel season 5 episodes 21 and 22

Concluding my viewing/reviewing of Angel season 5...

SPOILERS

A5-21: Power Play (written by David Fury, airdate 5/12/04)

I was never thrilled with the Nina character, so her final appearances in this episode didn't mean much to me. Interesting play of what Angel does to enter the Circle of the Black Thorn - I like the deception, the confusion and the plan to put in one last strike. He knows they can't win the war - not really - but Angel plans to give them a helluva battle. Good to see Drogan brought back in, even if it is for some final moments before the series ended. Loved he and Illyria playing video games (and that Spike would suggest "Crash Bandicoot" for them). Good scene with the guys - when Angel reveals his plan and gets the buy-in. All do in their own way. But have they fooled Hamilton and the powers? Hmmm.... A solid set up for a series finale. One last fight.


A5-22: Not Fade Away (written by Whedon and Bell, airdate 5/19/04)

Some great stuff here - Angel willing to sign away his chance for humanity, Harmony feeling left out and wanting to help (only to end up a betrayer - which Angel planned all along!), Lindsey signing on for the fight - much to Eve's dismay - and then after helping he gets his just desserts - from Loren no less(!) (was this part of Angel's plan all along? Hard to say. Loved Loren's making this his own final curtain call as this business of fighting never suited him.). One of the best lines comes from Vail - "I crap better magic than this". That wicked one does Wes in, and we get a tear-jerker moment with Illyria and Wes before he shuffles off (with her as "Fred"). Connor back - and for once I was okay with his appearances - and he helps Angel with Hamilton. Another cool part - Angel goes for blood from Hamilton, to get a true taste of that power to use for his fight. This is enough to bring the whole law firm down.

As for the ending, well, it seems like more a season finale rather than a series one. So sad to see us not getting to see how the remainder of the gang will keep up the fight against the army of demons after them. We know they'll fight on until they can no longer. It leaves this up to the viewers' imagination.

2 comments:

Michael O'Connell said...

Finally, he reaches the end.

I have to start at the end. The finale. I want you to imagine all of us Angel fans sitting at our TVs, knowing this is the last episode ever, waiting to see how Joss and company are going to end things. After all the big moments, we're getting closer and closer to the end, and all of us start looking at the clock. Wait...isn't there, like, five minutes left in the episode? Actually, five minutes left in the SERIES? Huge stress, anticipation, everything. There's the (surviving) gang, standing together for the final conflict. And then...

It ends?!!!

What the...?!!

There was a "nooooo!" moment for me, followed by just a moment of anger, followed soon after by laughter. Leave it to Joss. I soon (after the shock wore off) loved the ending. Make up your own minds, folks. But since we're saying good-bye to our fighters, let's see them, in our last moment with them, fighting. The good fight, yeah?

Arguably one of the best Wes moments ever. "Do you want me to lie to you now?" "Oh, yes, please". The surrender, the peace with what's coming. Think about where the character started, back in Buffy, how far he came, and how he went out. Alexis is the man, dude. Wes was comic relief at best, and turned into one of my favorite TV characters ever.

Spike with the poetry. AWEsome.

Jumping back to the previous ep - that scene with the guys making their final call to do this, with the illusion going on for Hamilton - damnit, that was a brilliant scene, the perfect hanger to lead us into the finale. MAN moment! The music for that scene was so perfect.

And I'm with you...this is, like, the ONE time I liked (tolerated?) Connor! I think this was them (just my opinion) apologizing to Vincent, and showing us what the character COULD have been if they hadn't gone off on that season 4 panic tangent. Ah, well. It would have been wrong to have Angel's end without one last thing with his son, so glad that happened.

Oh, sweet justice for Lindsey! That was heavy. Poor Loren. Never intended on being a soldier, but got wrapped up with these guys. Was great how much play he got in this final season. I highly recommend trying "Leverage" on TNT, by the way, if you want more Christian Kane, as he's amazing on that show (and a major ass-kicker).

Sadly, this final run on Angel constituted yet ANOTHER rush to change things. They found out they weren't coming back for another season, so had to rush an ending together. But at least they had some warning (not enough), and gave us a satisfying curtain.

Now, as for the Angel comics that pick up where the series left off? Not sure what to tell you there. The Buffy comics are a serious treat. The Angel ones? Really bad art (in the opinion of both me and Russ), and it's very hard to get passed that. But, if you're like me, you'll probably jump in anyway just to find out what happens in "season 6". I think the story's just fine...it's just hard to focus on it with the bad art. You make the choice, sir. But the "what happens?!" answers are all there to be had.

Welcome to full membership in the Buffyverse, Mr. M! Glad you made the journey and joined the rest of us. There were ups and downs, but overall? A remarkable body of work, and some terrific television. And you too, now, carry many of those characters as a part of you. I learned so, so much about storytelling from Joss, Marti, Jane, David, every one of those fantastic writers. I'm grateful to have had the chance to watch all those. TV rarely gets that good.

And now, if you haven't tried it yet...I say try "Fray"! Learn the far future of the Buffyverse! More great Joss writing to be had. And can't wait to hear your thoughts on Buffy season 8.

So long, Sunnydale. Good night, L.A.

Martin said...

I did love Spike and the poetry. Also that Gunn spent his last day doing what he always did - try to help people (very selfless).

And the evolution of Wesley's character throughout this series was indeed amazing. Very rich, very complex. Sorry to see him killed off, but it was the series finale so it worked.

Side note: I hear Alexis is going to be on Dollhouse this season. Very cool!

Thanks for the tips on the Angel comics. The only barrier to them, at the moment, is that they are only doing them as hardcover collections. Too pricy. I might pick them up if they drop down to softcover. Oh, and I have seen John Byrne doing an Angel mini set during WWII (I think that's the right ware). Byrne gets the art and likeness right.

Fray - I read it like two months back. Enjoyed it quite a bit, even though it was finite in length. Would have loved to see it go longer.

Season 8 Buffy comics - I've read the first two so far. Comments to come soon. Must say, I'm enjoying them so far. Getting them via the collections works well for me.