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Screenrants Top 5 Angel Episode (And 5 Worst) Do you agree?

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  • Screenrants Top 5 Angel Episode (And 5 Worst) Do you agree?

    Angel: 5 Best Episodes (And 5 Worst)

    Spinning out of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel aired on the WB for five seasons from 1999-2004. The series focused on the titular vampire with a soul (David Boreanaz) as he left Sunnydale - and his true love - behind. Setting up shop in L.A., Angel became something of a paranormal private investigator, led from one lost soul to another by his half-demon companion, Doyle. He was also joined by Buffy alum and former mean girl, Cordelia Chase, and later, ousted watcher, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce. Several more heroes became an integral part of Angel Investigations as well, including empath and singer extraordinaire Lorne, demon hunter Charles Gunn, and dimension-hopping Fred Burkle. Even Buffy’s other beau, Spike, eventually found his way to L.A.

    A bit darker in tone than its predecessor, Angel featured lovable characters and unpredictable stories, revealing itself to be one of TV's greatest spinoffs. With over one hundred episodes aired, some were certainly better than others though. Let’s look at the best and the worst of the bunch.


    After a somewhat lackluster 4th outing, Season 5 pulled off a rather brilliant paradigm shift. Evil law firm, Wolfram & Hart, had been the show’s Big Bad since the beginning and suddenly Team Angel found themselves running the corporation. This led to a slew of fantastic episodes, including an excellent finale. However, “Smile Time” has to be the season’s most unforgettable installment.

    Angel finds himself transformed into an adorable puppet and must fight malevolent demons masquerading as the stars of a beloved children's show. What probably sounded ridiculous on paper proved truly inspired, because this episode is pure genius. From puppet Angel beating up Spike in an elevator to the long-awaited kiss between Fred and Wesley, “Smile Time” will always be ranked among Angel’s best.


    There isn’t much to love about “Provider”. The season 3 episode finds Angel Investigations taking on too many cases now that they have baby Connor to support. It’s all fun and games until Fred almost loses her head, although no one’s cases go according to plan. Of all the avenues that were explored about Angel’s new status as a dad, this had to be the blandest of them all.

    Yes, having a kid is both a gift and a huge financial burden, but “Provider” doesn’t bring anything new to the table here. It’s just an episode fans were forced to sit through while waiting for Holtz to make his next move.


    Darla was an underused character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but resurrecting Angelus’s sire for Angel was a brilliant move that led to some of season 2’s best stories. Wolfram & Hart had brought her back as a human who was dying, just as Darla had been before she was sired herself. When Angel failed to make her a vampire once more as the law firm had hoped, they brought in the big guns: Drusilla.

    Adding Drusilla to any episode is never a bad idea, but there was more to “Reunion” than the chemistry between Julie Benz and Juliet Landau. Wolfram & Hart had failed to elicit the reaction they’d hoped for, but that doesn’t mean that their actions didn’t affect Angel. After trying so hard to save Darla the episode before, her return to form was too much for him. Angel completely snapped, not only letting the girls kill an entire roomful of lawyers, but also firing everyone close to him.


    As unpleasant as Cordelia’s second pregnancy was, “Expecting” was worse. Much like Buffy’s 1st season, Angel had several bad episodes to choose from during its first outing as well. This one was probably the most awful. As if anyone needed another heavy-handed metaphor about the dangers of casual dating, Cordelia gets pregnant after a one-night stand - at least there was a Ken Marino cameo.

    This is Angel though, so she gets pregnant with demon spawn and comes to term almost immediately. Of course, Angel and Wesley save Cordy and the other girls suffering from the same predicament. If everyone’s being honest though, this episode is only memorable for being kind of gross.


    Season 3 episode “Sleep Tight” is heartbreaking for multiple reasons. Wesley makes an incredibly difficult decision in order to save Connor’s life. He tries to take the baby and run, but inadvertently gives Angel’s child to his mortal enemy. This seems like an unforgivable betrayal, but Wolfram & Hart went through a lot of trouble to make Wesley believe that Angel would kill Connor.

    Thanks to a series of very unfortunate events, Wesley winds up with his throat cut, and Holtz gets a hold of Connor. In one of the show’s most gut-wrenching moments, Angel is powerless to stop Holtz from jumping through the portal into a hell dimension known as Quor’toth, with Connor in his arms.


    Poor Charles Gunn. He’s one of Angel’s best characters, but some of the show’s worst episodes happen to center on him. Remember finding out that Gunn literally sold his soul for a pickup truck? That’s right, he had finally found happiness with Fred, but almost lost it all thanks to a poor decision made during his wayward youth.

    Sure, it makes sense that Gunn didn’t think that he had a future and therefore, was willing to sacrifice it for something he needed at the time. That being said, “Double or Nothing” simply isn’t very good. With much more interesting plot developments happening throughout season 3, this one always felt like a boring distraction from everything that actually mattered.


    “Deep Down” may have been Angel’s best premiere ever. If only the rest of season 4 could’ve lived up to that potential. Seriously, our hero was trapped at the bottom of the ocean while his ungrateful brat of a son was having a blast with the best surrogate parents ever - who wouldn’t want to live with Fred and Gunn?

    Also, Wesley, who’s now cooler than he’s ever been, kidnapped Justine in an effort to find Angel. Not only did he succeed, but he even fed the delirious vampire his own blood in order to sustain him. So, Connor’s duplicity was revealed and Angel finally got the chance for a proper father/son chat.


    Has there ever been a more disappointing episode than “The Girl in Question”? This season 5 installment did include Darla and Drusilla, which is always a plus. However, not even those two crazy vamps could save it. Angel and Spike spend an entire episode searching for Buffy, who’s apparently dating their arch rival - who no one had ever heard of before this point.

    The comics later revealed that the girl dating the Immortal was merely a decoy Buffy, as if the writers were distancing themselves from this strange episode. Contrary to popular belief, Sarah Michelle Gellar was never going to appear in this installment, but a Buffy cameo is kind of the only thing that could’ve saved it.


    It was a tough call between this one and “Five By Five”, but “I Will Remember You” takes it for giving fans what they’d spent years hoping for - however briefly. This crossover with Buffy the Vampire Slayer sees Buffy heading to L.A. to tell Angel off for coming to Sunnydale and lurking in the shadows. However, after fighting a “mutant ninja demon thing”, the creature’s blood mixes with Angel’s and he becomes human.

    From that amazing kiss on the beach (in broad daylight) to post-coital cookie dough fudge mint chip, viewers finally got a glimpse of a happy Buffy/Angel romance. Sadly, that whole saving the world thing got in the way once again. Angel had to ask the Oracles to turn back time and return him to his immortal form. The real catch: Angel alone would remember the day. Buffy pleading with Angel and promising him that she won’t forget remains one of the most heartbreaking moments in the entire series.


    Season 4 may have been the show’s weakest, but “Slouching Toward Bethlehem” is the worst offender of the bunch. Having Cordelia and Angel enter into a romantic relationship was already a divisive move, but keeping them apart by giving Cordy amnesia was just plain silly.

    Cordelia returned from her time in a higher dimension with no memory of the life she had before. Aside from that, Angel and the gang were trying to keep their demon hunting a secret, which goes about as well as one would expect. Lila uses her affair with Wesley to her advantage and the extra creepy romance between Connor and Cordelia begins. The season definitely had its high points, but this was not one of them.

    - - - Updated - - -

    So the best -

    I Will Remember You
    Deep Down
    Sleep Tight
    Smile Time

    The Worst -

    Slouching Towards Bethlehem
    The Girl In Question
    Double of Nothing

  • #2
    Dont agree with that list. I can't stand IWRY and think it should be on the worst list.
    As for the best, where is 5by5 and Are You now or have you ever Been


    • #3
      I've never been a big fan of Are You Now or Have You Ever Been, I don't enjoy the story and the ending is poor, so I don't mind that it's not on the list, but I agree Five By Five should be on the list.

      - - - Updated - - -

      And how didn't She make the worst list?


      • #4
        Originally posted by Priceless View Post
        I've never been a big fan of Are You Now or Have You Ever Been, I don't enjoy the story and the ending is poor, so I don't mind that it's not on the list, but I agree Five By Five should be on the list.

        - - - Updated - - -

        And how didn't She make the worst list?
        That's an interesting view, what didn't you like about Are You Know ?


        • #5
          Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post
          That's an interesting view, what didn't you like about Are You Know ?
          I liked it well enough, it was pretty middling episode for me. I had an issue with the ending and thought it was too cheesy. The girl is still alive and is only freed when Angel releases her from the hotel. It was just a but much for me. Not a terrible episode, but could be improved.


          • #6
            I think AYNOHYEB is a contender for the best Angel ep across the whole series so it does seem like a glaring omision to me. It's not without any issues, I do think the idea she managed to survive all those years isolated in the hotel is weak, but overall it's fantastic and gives great insights into Angel. I also don't enjoy IWRY much either so would have lost that for Are You Now in the 'best' list. The others I think are all solid eps. Bringing it down to just a top five is tough though. I would have included She as a 'worst' one too.


            • #7
              The best list is pretty ok, I'd have 5x5 in there, maybe Dear Boy, Darla, Destiny and Darla . . . all the D's

              But I love Deep Down, that's real contender for me as best episode of the whole show. But I do like Sleep Tight. Reunion and IWRY are both good, but not great.

              As for the worst, well mine would be very different, apart from Double of Nothing, which is pretty awful. I'd choose from Cautionary Tale of . . . , Carpe Noctem, That Old Gang of Mine, I Fall To Pieces, The House Always Wins, First Impressions, The Thin Dead Line . . .


              • #8
                All caught up.

                All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.

                * "The Girl in Question" (A 5.20) is only not-great because it greatly implies Buffy is simply being used by the Immortal to 'get back at' or 'one-up' Angel and Spike. But it even fails at that because Andrew Wells tells Spike and Angel that Buffy is simply 'having fun' with the Immortal and it's never implied she more enjoys the sex with the Immortal than the sex she had with Spike.

                But it's there as the reason Spike and Angel 'get past' their Buffy divide. And it implies Spike got so good at sex because he wanted to 'one-up' the Immortal.

                Anyway, "TGiQ" is far from one of the worst AtS episodes.

                * The problem with "I Will Remember You" (A 1.08) is that it's not actually supportive of Buffy/Angel. It's something around 6 hours after Angel meets Buffy in the sun that they have sex. The sex is relatively barely better than the sex she had with Parker Abrams and later Riley Finn. And then Angel decides to not be with Buffy because he'd rather remain a demon fighter. And then Charles Gunn is later introduced. And then still-human Cordelia Chase becomes a very competent demon killer. Wesley even becomes a very competent demon killer.

                And then the next BtVS episodes has Buffy and Spike engaged merely because Willow queries "Well, fine. Why doesn't so just go marry him?" (

                And then Angel's very attracted to a demon goddess and then a movie star/TV actress. And then Buffy gets with Riley Finn, is attracted to Dracula, and Spike becomes--and perhaps already was--the love of her life.


                • #9
                  I really enjoy TGIQ. It's funny and full of spangely goodness. What's not to like?

                  “I like who I am when I’m with him. I like who we are together.”


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GoSpuffy View Post
                    What's not to like?
                    Above all else for me, the way they have Spike behave about the coat. I have come to terms with it because we've seen the way he is defensive around Angel plenty of times raised in the season and him specifically avoiding exposing his emotions and possible fears of not being useful in the fight it could cause makes sense. But it is an awful representation if taken at face value. It totally undermines the significance of him leaving the coat behind in S6 when he fled Buffy's house and then him avoiding wearing it again because of what it represented. The retrieval of it was a specific and important story point in S7 and if you understand how he connects it to that side of himself in being able to fight and his need still then for the 'image' and outfit to be able to do that for the greater good, the only reason he put it back on, then watching him brag about what he did to earn it instead is pretty dire. If you don't care for the character it may well fit low expectations of him and seem to provide proof of what a shallow person he is. The same would be true if you only know him from AtS too. His questionable attitude towards fighting slayers is portrayed as pure callousness alone regarding the coat too rather than the more complex links towards being able to put himself on the line for the mission wrapped into wearing the coat that S7 gave alongside that. Just like this it is an abysmal representation.

                    EDIT: It isn't about him being bothered in itself. Having seen his ongoing need to dress to connect to the fighter within him in BtVS it makes sense that he is. It's about presenting a shallow impression of why he is bothered, the loss of a trophy, as the whole/simple truth that shaves off character complexity and why/how he wore it again originally for the greater good despite not wanting to feel that connection anymore too.

                    Then there is the racist Italian boss who spits on the gypsies. There are some bits in the episode that are funny for sure but the coat, the racism and the 'moving on' from Buffy side (which was never going to be held true for either character) are very weak. Thank goodness Buffy dating the Immortal was retconned too. But better understanding about the behaviour around the coat isn't openly offered in the text of AtS and as it sits alongside other times in the season when Spike is presented in really shallow ways for a joke over previously serious/significant story points (see all the 'hard-to-believe-he'd-make' references to his mum), as well as him generally being used for comedy and being somewhat dumbed down, it feels like character bashing from the writers here. I really hate seeing him portrayed like that and it just being left at that surface level representation, bah.

                    TTB is the biggest cheerleader for hating TGIQ. If she comes across this thread she can probably add many reasons.
                    Last edited by Stoney; 10-07-19, 12:15 PM.


                    • #11
                      All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.

                      * Regarding "The Girl in Question" (A 5.20): Spike was still wearing his 'Spike costume' throughout AtS S5 instead of wearing suits. He was still bleaching his hair. It makes perfect sense he'd be upset that his coat was destroyed. If anything, one would assume he'd be more upset than he actually was.

                      * I don't like "Five by Five" (A 1.18) because being Buffy already made Faith better. I don't like that Faith somehow greatly reverted and suddenly needed Angel to save her.

                      * "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been" (A 2.02) is another example of Cursed Angel being more evil than portrayed in BtVS. His ret-conned backstory wasn't good for his supposed 'champion' status.


                      • #12
                        I don't think IWRY should be there. It seems rhey wanted an episode from each season, but Five by Five should be there instead. Of course, season 2 has multiple episodes superior to anything from S1, like Are You Now?, Darla, Reprise - and any of them would be a good pick, but Reunion is a good pick, too.
                        Other than that, it's a good list. The writeups are fine, and I have no objections at all to the worst list. TGIQ, Expecting and STB are all absolutely terrible, and the other two are also very poor. Good picks.
                        A pleasant surprise, since ScreenRant often has terrible articles that don't even get the basic facts right (not about Buffyverse).
                        You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.


                        • #13
                          Sorry, I still bloody adore the Girl in question!


                          • #14
                            I didn't like Buffy dating The Immortal, so I was glad that was retconned by the comics. Other than that, I really enjoyed TGIQ. I think it helps the enjoyment if you don't take the episode too seriously.


                            • #15
                              TGIQ really isn't that bad