13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
The peak of Angel's run.,
This review is from: Angel - Season 3 [DVD] (DVD)
Yep, for me this is definitely the best series of Angel, where all the minor flaws from the first two seasons were ironed out but before the still good but slightly bloated fourth season. This third series represents all of the best things about Angel, and comes out on top in practically every way.
First off, the cast is at its best as all the major players have now arrived, i.e. Angel, Cordy, Wes, Gunn, Fred and Lorne, making this the first full series with what most people would probably consider the "classic" lineup. The addition of Fred was definitely a good decision (despite what a couple of my friends might say), as she both adds something new to the group (surely the only people who could possibly dislike her are those who enjoy drowning puppies) and shakes up existing relationships, in particular Wesley and Gunn's friendship, and Angel himself is on excellent form, all the brooding having got a bit tiresome in parts of season 2. It's also in this series that Wesley evolves into my favourite character in Buffy or Angel, with a descent into darkness that is both believable (this being vitally important when you consider the rather clownish figure he cut in his early days in Buffy season 3 and even the early seasons of Angel) and genuinely tragic, and has enormous consequences for the rest of the show's run. Cordy, too, shows massive growth as a character in this series, coming to terms with the responsibility of her visions and her mixed feelings towards more than one male character.
Series 3 is also the best series of Angel for both stand-alone episodes and a season-long arc, and for maintaining a perfect balance between the two, a balance which was definitely lost in the plot-heavy (though, as I say, still good) 4th series. This season's main plot arc is once again my favourite out of the 5 seasons (along with the finale of series 5), peaking in some excellent episodes around the middle of the series (Offspring, Quickening, Lullaby, Loyalty and Sleep Tight) and at the season's climax (Benediction and Tomorrow), and is matched by some of the best one-off episodes in the show's run, my favourites being That Old Gang Of Mine, Billy and Waiting In The Wings (written and directed by Joss Whedon).
I hope I've managed to give a good idea of what this series is all about without giving anything too major away, the only thing you really need to know is that if you like Buffy and/or Angel, neither show gets any better than this.