Angel, the seventh episode of the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is reviewed by yours truly.
So, I just got back from Pacific Rim at the cinema, and I have to say that was a great film – really fun, action packed and immensely enjoyable. I managed to write this review before I left, however – so you’ll probably get a Pacific Rim review tomorrow, or failing that – by the end of the week. But for now, Angel is an episode that I really didn’t think I’d like, mainly because it sounded like it would largely be focused on the romance between Buffy & Angel. True, whilst the romance does play a key role in developing here, I actually ended up enjoying it as Angel comes with a great look into the ‘good’ Vampire, and the mystery man who we haven’t been seeing much of until this point. It allows us to get a nice look at the character, and further the ongoing plot of the series a bit.
This is another strong episode from start to finish of Buffy, and proves that even though Season 1 does have some flops, there are also some very entertaining gems. The whole idea between Angel as a character is creative and the exploration of the character’s personality allows for some strong sequences, with an equally promising setting for the future. I also felt that the interactions between Angel and Dara were very strong as well, thus opening up all the potential and to be had with Buffy’s love interest. The rich mythology presented in Angel allow for a variety of directions from which the show could go from here, and present an interesting dilemma for Buffy and Giles, as her Watcher, who, aside from Angel, are the more prominent characters in this episode, with plenty to do – but even Darla gets plenty of time here, with the chemistry between her and Angel being played out pretty well on screen. It’s interesting to see Dara stepping up from just being one of the Master’s underlings in this episode, something that I felt could have been improved over the course of the Season.
The writers also made us root behind the Angel/Buffy relationship in this episode, with a lack of subtlety displayed in the build up – yet it doesn’t come across as overly cheesy, clichéd or unbelievable. Most of the story is strong and although the parts that focused on the Three were not as good as they could be, literally – they were presented as very strong and intense, and there was even a moment when I thought they’d beaten Buffy. However, they’re defeated far too easily for my liking, which was a real let down.
Also, it seems that something I didn’t know just after watching this episode, David Greenwalt is behind Angel. The same writer who was responsible for creating the appalling Teacher’s Pet, proving that any writer should be given a second chance, as he’s managed to write one of the best episodes, and one of the worst in Season One. He’s also behind a pretty fun episode later in the series – entitled Nightmares, and I’m interested to see what he can come up with in future series. However, next up – we visit one of the lesser-quality episodes in Buffy, S1x08 – I, Robot… You, Jane.
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SEASON 1 (1997): S1x01: Welcome to the Hellmouth, S1x02: The Harvest, S1x03: Witch, S1x04: Teacher’s Pet, S1x05: Never Kill A Boy on the First Date, S1x06: The Pack, S1x07: Angel, S1x08: I, Robot… You, Jane, S1x09: The Puppet Show, S1x10: Nightmares, S1x011: Out of Mind, Out of Sight, S1x012: Prophecy Girl