With Buffy off the air, fans flocked to Angel's last season to get their fix of Joss Whedon's "Buffyverse" in any form they could, and the addition of Spike was a shrewd one, albeit not enough to keep the show from getting canceled. And for the first half of the season, the creative forces behind the show seemed to be toying ruthlessly with the audience. Spike was around, but not entirely corporeal; Angel himself became sullen and withdrawn; and most horrifically, sweetheart scientist Fred (Amy Acker) and former watcher Wesley (Alexis Denisof) underwent traumas that would test even the most devoted viewer. However, just when you'd be about to throw in the towel, things started changing for the better--Spike became a permanent fixture (both in the flesh and on the show), Angel's secret motives were revealed, and the introduction of demon warrior Illyria, who proved to be the show's answer to Buffy's sardonic demon-made-human Anya, was a welcome breath of fresh air. Creatively, Angel also came up with some of its best episodes, including "Smile Time" (where Angel is turned into a puppet really!) and "You're Welcome" (the show's 100th episode, which marked the bittersweet return of Carpenter's Cordelia). The ending of the series was deliberately ambiguous, and not everyone made it through alive, but in going out kicking, it was a proper sendoff for a show that always fought the good fight. --Mark Englehart
The 4th season was evidence of the show getting a bit stale and this move was a breath of fresh air. The season has some excellent continuous storylines, but also some great individual episodes. Smile Time, You're Welcome and Harm's Way are great examples of these. Every charcter had episodes devoted just to them, with references going back to the beginning in some cases. The story arcs are great too. Adjusting to life in the largest, oldest and not forgetting most evil law firm in the world provides a great plot for the 1st half with some memorable and hilarious moments, the reintroductions of Spike and Harmony being an excellent choice. The 2nd half then moves into more serious plots that don't just revolve around individuals, but the company as a whole. The introduction of Illyria halfway through was a bold but great move and the build up to the final battle with the Senior Partners is addictive viewing, quite literally. I watched the whole series in the space of 25 hours. Never has a show had such a moving ending. It leaves you feeling very satisfied while at the same time wanting more. You get closure on all the characters that matter, from Cordelia all the way through to Lindsey. The progress in the relationships between Fred & Wes and Connor & Angel are especially moving.
The final few episodes manage to create a sense of finality at the same time as having a familiar sense of continuity. It has stuck to the theme of all the seasons - you have to fight on and although the war may never end, you can always make a difference in the world. This will not let any Angel fans down.Read more ›
However, when I finally watched it, I was completely amazed. Angel went out with a bang, not a whimper, and kept it's premise until the very end. There's plenty of stand-alone episodes, which makes a refreshing change to the interesting although heavy arcs of the last 3 seasons, and a focus on character development. Everyone changes in this season, whether it's Lorne, Gunn, Fred or Connor (please note that despite being a chief Connor hater, this season convinced me that the character could be incredibly likeable). Angel's loyalties are kept ambiguous right from the very end, as he dives deeper and deeper into Wolfram & Hart. There are plenty of new characters to pique your interest, as well as the return of Buffy favourites (most obviously, Spike). For those interested in what happens to the Scooby gang after Chosen, there is even a little valuable info on their whereabouts!
To cut it short, this is a worthy last season to a surprise hit show. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, you'll cover your eyes during the gory bits, but most importantly, it will reward you 8 years of watching the Buffyverse unfold.
A must buy!
That said they ended it with style in their last season, even when told it would be ending at the start of filming.
We still have all the great characters who are flung into a new situation, working for and running the evil corporation they have for so long thought against. It is interesting to see how they react to getting power and the way it changes them.
As well as the old characters we have the addition of an old favourite from Buffy, Spike. His relationship with angel is truly something to enjoy. It is great seeing how they get on each others nerves and it adds spark to the series.
As per usual in any Angel or Buffy the series has plenty of action, drama and comedy. As a show where comedy is not the main part of it it still had my laughing at times harder than any comedy might. The 'muppet' episode goes down as one of the funniest episodes I have ever seen.
It ends on a cliff hanger, leaving us hoping they will make more, or tv movies or even a theatre movie. But at the same time you are left satisfied.
If you want to buy a DVD television series to watch you can do no better than any Buffy or Angel DVD's.
Finally, the end of the series is wrapped up well, with a great ending and a feeling that the fight is still going on even if we can't watch them anymore (rather than Buffy where they all seemed to retire at 22). This is not surprising however, the network gave Joss & Co half a series warning that they were pulling the plug, and this is the guy that wrote a *second* outstanding series pilot, for 45 minutes rather than 90 in just two days!
This season had its ups down. Read more