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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Angel finds its own footing
Season One of ANGEL ends with Wolfram & Hart, the evil lawfirm who seem to have become Angel Investigations' archenemy, resurrecting Angel's sire, Darla, whom Angel staked in the first season of ANGEL's parent-series, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. So the second season of ANGEL starts off with the slow, moral decline of our hero as he learns of her return and reacts to her...
Published on June 28 2003 by Heather M. Dumdei

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3.0 out of 5 stars The worst of Angel, but still better than most TV around
Reviewing Angel's second season is very hard indeed. As a big fan of everything Joss Whedon's done (particularly Buffy, but also the late, lamented Firefly), it's all too easy to give this boxset 5 stars. However, to be honest this is the one season of either Buffy or Angel that didn't really gel for me. After a much more episodic structure in its first season, Angel...
Published on May 12 2004 by Mr. B. G. Fowler


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Angel finds its own footing, June 28 2003
By 
Heather M. Dumdei (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Angel: Season 2 (DVD)
Season One of ANGEL ends with Wolfram & Hart, the evil lawfirm who seem to have become Angel Investigations' archenemy, resurrecting Angel's sire, Darla, whom Angel staked in the first season of ANGEL's parent-series, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. So the second season of ANGEL starts off with the slow, moral decline of our hero as he learns of her return and reacts to her presence.
The second season of ANGEL is really the season when this series began to break free from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, and it really does wonders for the show. By developing distinct storylines that have little or no dependence on stories from the earlier show, ANGEL becomes strong on its own. There is only one official BUFFY-ANGEL crossover episode during Season Two, and it really only features a BUFFY castmember in flashback. My biggest criticism would be that the season doesn't really seem to find its strength until the latter half, but it's still a fun ride getting there - much better than the first season, no matter which half you watch.
In Season Two, Charles Gunn, the ghetto-raised moster fighter we met at the end of Season One, becomes a full-time cast member bringing with him all new stories. We meet The Host (aka Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan or "Lorne") whose home dimension plays a significant part later in the season. Fred (Amy Acker), a future regular castmember, makes her first appearance as a crazy slave-girl on the run. We get to see old characters take on new dimensions. Cordelia eases into her role as Angel Investigations employee and "vision girl" and begins to shed her shallow BUFFY persona. Wesley shows that he has what it takes to be a leader and not just the comical sidekick. Most of all, Angel takes a walk down a very dark path only to come out on a much brighter side. (It really is great to see David Boreanaz playing the dark side of Angel without having to go to Angelus lengths to do so.)
With this increasingly strong show, fans can finally feel free to enjoy ANGEL as a separate series from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great Season!!, Oct. 19 2003
By 
bryhil_04 (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Angel: Season 2 (DVD)
Here's my review:
Judgement: 9.5/10 A pregnant woman is trying to protect her baby, the tribunal demands a champion, seeming as Angel killed it, he becomes the champion. After all the fuss, Angel visits Faith in jail.
Are you Now or Have you Ever Been: 9.5/10 Very interesting story arc where we find out Angel has a connection to their hotel/mansion they just finished with last season. We go back to the 50's, a demon makes people crazy. Also in the past, we see a darker side of Angel that will take place later this season.
First Impressions: 9/10 Angel is dreaming erotically about Darla, continuously, while Cordelia tries to save Gunn from a demon.
Untouched: 9/10 Angel, "You wouldn't like me when I'm happy." I love that line, this is fairly decent episode about a girl who works with W&H, she cannot control her telekinetic powers. Especially with how her father treated her.
Dear Boy: 9.5/10 Angel finds out Darla is back, but she claims she is someone else so he tries to kill her, again.
Guise will be Guise: 10/10 Angel is out talking to a guy, Wesley decides to take charge and play Angel. Cordelia calls Gunn and they try to get Wesley out. The father is trying to kill her daughter on his 50th birthday.
Darla: 9/10 Some flashback scenes with Angelus/Angel/Darla/Spike and Drusila, Lindsay is off the project as Darla suffers with her new soul.
The Shroud of Rahmon: 10/10 Angel pretends to act as a crazy, bright and flashy vampire named Jay-Dong, they are planning to steal a shroud that makes people crazy, or in Angel's case, bad.
The Trial: 10/10 Angel finds out Darla is dying of siphilis, he tries everything but only Drusila can save her.
Reunion: 10/10 Drusila is back and Darla is a vampire. They start feeding again, Angel tries dusting Darla again, but fails, meanwhile, Holland Manners is hosting a party at his house, Dru & Darla enter, kill his wife, Angel comes to the party, Darla, "So, you gonna give us that goodnight kiss." Angel, "Not tonight." Holland, "People are going to die." Angel, "& for some reason, I just can't seem to care." Angel closes the doors & locks it for Dru & Darla & a bunch of W&H cliants. Angel later fires Wesley/Gunn/Cordy.
Redefinition: 10/10 Dru & Darla kill everyone except Lindsay and Lilah, Angel sets them on fire, Darla sticks around, Drusila skips town and heads to Sunnydale, for Spike. Lilah and Lindsay are handed a great job.
Blood Money: 9.5/10 Angel teams up with an old buddy to scru over W&H, Ann makes an appearence.
Happy Anniversary: 9/10 A guy is going to destroy the world by freezing time, only he doesn't know it.
The Thin Dead Line: 9.5/10 Zombie cops try killing everyone.
Reprise: 9.5/10 Angel goes on a mission only to find out that in the end, everyone has evil in them, it's what makes them human. He completely gives up and goes to Darla to sleep with her. He wakes up.
Epiphany: 6.5/10 Angel heads out, like on Buffy, everyone thinking he'll lose his soul, but he stands up again, and thanks Darla, he didn't lose his soul. Meanwhile, Cordy has now gotten a 3rd eye from a demon. Angel gets back in the game with his friends.
Disharmony: 10/10 Harmony is back as a vampire, Cordelia doesn't know until she talks to Willow. Angel wants to kill Harmony but also wants to respect Cordy's wishes.
Dead End: 8.5/10 Lindsay gets an evil hand that writes kill, he decides to leave.
Belonging: 9.5/10 A demon enters from Lorne's dimension, he tries kiling, until it is slain, Cordy gets sucked into Lorne's dimension.
Over the Rainbow/Through the Looking Glass/There's No Place Like Plrtz GLRB: 10/10 Cordelia is made princess in Lorne's dimension as they try to save her and go back.
Excellent season, a must buy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out Of A Slayer's Shadow, Sept. 3 2003
By 
T. Lobascio (New Jersey United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Angel: Season 2 (DVD)
For its second season, the television show Angel, began to step ever so slowly away from Buffy The Vampire slayer. With their original base of operations no more, Angel (David Boreanaz) and his team decide to use an old hotel, to work out of. Aside from Cordelia (Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), and Wesley (Alexis Denisof), the team continues to grow. Former vampire hunter Charles Gunn (J. August Richards) decides to help out full time. Angel continues to go up against the partners at the law firm, Wolfram and Hart. They are using an old vampire flame (the great Julie Benz) as a ploy to defeat Angel. This plan forces final story arcs for cop friend Kate (Elizabeth Rhom) and Lindsey (Christian Kane). The gang also befriends the owner of a demon nightclub. Lorne, (Andy Hallet) a green skined being with horns, who loves Karaoke. He comes from a place called Pylea, located in an alternate demension, that the team gets visit first hand. The "Buffy" crossovers continue with visits to Faith (Eliza Dushku) in jail, while Spike (James Marsters) and Dru (Julliet Landau), pop by in unique ways as well. Lastly, by season's end, the group will get another member that will change everything in season 3...
The team behind the series stayed true to the rules, first establshed on "Buffy", while taking its own risks in year two. The additions work very well, but I must say, that I wish Kane's character would have stuck around a bit longer. The show has really come into its own by now. Season 2 surpasses the first year in spades--Thanks to the influence of creators Joss Whedon (who stepped back a bit to start Firefly) and David Greenwalt.
The six disc DVD set has some great extras. There are two episodes that have audio commentaries, the first features Tim Minear on 'Are You Now or Have You Ever Been'. The second is by Fred Keller on 'Over the Rainbow'. Both tracks offer an informative look behind the scenes of these particular episodes. Next up, are 4 featurettes that look at these topics: how the series handled complex make up effects back then, stunts, a season overview, and a look inside Angel Investigations itself. You can also read the scripts for "Darla" and "Disharmony", see the usual still gallery,and look at series bluepints to round it out.
The box set makes for fine recommended viewing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars On its own... at last, July 10 2004
By 
This review is from: Angel: Season 2 (DVD)
Angel: Season 2 was where the show started to move into its own 'formula', and the opening statement that Angel himself was not devastated by the loss of Buffy served to encompase one fact: the show was on its own.
Where the first season essentially followed the monster-of-the-week plus occasional storyline episode formula that has been tried and true on Buffy, Season 2 started to move away from that into the darker, emotionally churning state of being that we viewers have grown so used to in the third and fourth seasons.
The second season of Angel also points at the show's tendency to serve an overarching plot rather than a seasonal "Big Bad", when it ends with a trip to a different dimension instead of concluding the Darla storyline (which is completed in the third season).
But though this season has a darker, more plot-arc oriented spine, it still contains some excellent character and monster-of-the-week episodes. One of these is "Are You Now or Were You Ever?", thought by fans everywhere as being one of the best episodes of the show. Other greats include "Darla", "Guise will Beguise", and "The Shroud of Rahmon".
There are also portents of the futures of the different characters interspersed throughout the season. This is where Wesley really matured, becoming a hard-bitten leader rather than a comical sidekick. You can see his character being prepared to make the harder choices that cause him to be so dark later on in the series.
Angel himself has a hard time of it throughout this season, but then, when does he not? He grows dark, deep-set despair keeping him from both his mission and his friends. But his redemption is both funny and touching when he returns towards the end of the season.
Cordelia grows immensely during this season, primarily because of her visions. She's still "tell it like it is" Cordy, but her caring for others grows by leaps and bounds, setting the stage for the Cordelia we know later on in the third season.
Charles Gunn also joins the Fang Gang, forsaking his old 'crew' to help Angel Investigations in a slow process that is (fortunately) very believable.
Also in this season we are introduced to two new characters that will later become regulars: Fred and Lorne (the Host). The first is a slightly cooky, very intelligent woman who was stuck in Pylea for five years before returning with the Angel Investigations gang. The second, Lorne, is a truly unique character - a demon that sings, and can read a person's destiny when that person sings. Both are excellent additions to the group, and help to flesh out the dynamic between the characters.
In conclusion, Angel: Season 2 serves as a stage-setter for the third and fourth seasons' storylines and characters, and contains some truly memorable episodes as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Season, June 2 2004
This review is from: Angel: Season 2 (DVD)
This season is the start of the story arc in this great show. Where as 1st season was comprised of mostly stand alone episodes, this season has many interesting plots threaded out between 22 episodes.
One of the story arcs is the return of Darla, who was brought back by Wolfram and Hart in the season finale of 1st season. She really messes with Angel's head and it results in the temporary break up of Angel Investigations. It breaks the crew up into two separate storylines for about half of a season. In one storyline there is Angel and Darla and the surprise return of another vampire friend at the end of Reunion. The other storyline is Cordelia, Wesley and Gunn trying to run their detective agency without the help of a superpower.
There are some great stories told in this season. And it is the first time you really get a glimpse of a bad Angel that isnt Angelus. I'd have to say that I liked him. There are a lot of flashbacks in this season, and you get a lot of background information on Angel, which some people think is boring, but I really enjoy.
You see the return of Willow and Harmony in the episode Disharmony, which is by far the funniest of the season. Mostly because of a very confused Cordelia. Willow is also at the end of There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb, but she has no lines. It is just implied that she is there to tell Angel about what happened at the end of Fifth Season of Buffy.
The most interesting storyline is the last 3 episodes of this season which take you to Lorne's(also known as the Host and Krevlorneswath of the Deathwok Clan) homeland of Pylea. Lorne isnt really part of the gang in this season, but he helps Angel out a lot. The gang has to go into Pylea in order to save Cordelia, and it results in 3 great episodes, and the discovery of a crazy girl who has been stuck there for the last 5 years of her life. The crazy girl is Winifred Burkle, Fred, and she becomes my favorite character on the show quickly.
This season is a must own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Where it All Starts, June 2 2004
This review is from: Angel: Season 2 (DVD)
This is where the greatness of Angel begins. The season starts out with Angel arrogant over the fact that he will eventually become human, and he is taking risks because he thinks that he can't die. The season further moves on with Darla's return, her terminal illness, and her subsequent transformation into a vampire again. Wolfram and Hart takes it's place as the big bad, and further plagues Angel. The second season of the show explores Angel and his dark side, and it finds all the characters pushed to their breaking point. It all sets up the show for the astounding third season, where the build-up from this season turns into a roller coaster ride. Starring David Boreanaz, Charisma Carter, Amy Acker, Alexis Denisoff, J. Augustis Richards, and Andy Hallet. The episodes from the second season are:
1. Judgement
2. Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?
3. First Impressions
4. Untouched
5. Dear Booy
6. Guise Will be Guise
7. Darla
8. Shroud of Rahmon
9. Trial
10. Reunion
11. Redefinition
12. Blood Money
13. Happy Anniversary
14. Thin Dead Line
15. Reprise
16. Epiphany
17. Disharmony
18. Dead End
19. Belonging
20. Over The Rainbow
21. Through the Looking Glass
22. There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb
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5.0 out of 5 stars Where it All Begins, June 2 2004
This review is from: Angel: Season 2 (DVD)
This is where the greatness of Angel begins. The season starts out with Angel arrogant over the fact that he will eventually become human, and he is taking risks because he thinks that he can't die. The season further moves on with Darla's return, her terminal illness, and her subsequent transformation into a vampire again. Wolfram and Hart takes it's place as the big bad, and further plagues Angel. The second season of the show explores Angel and his dark side, and it finds all the characters pushed to their breaking point. It all sets up the show for the astounding third season, where the build-up from this season turns into a roller coaster ride. Starring David Boreanaz, Charisma Carter, Amy Acker, Alexis Denisoff, J. Augustis Richards, and Andy Hallet. The episodes from the second season are:
1. Judgement
2. Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?
3. First Impressions
4. Untouched
5. Dear Booy
6. Guise Will be Guise
7. Darla
8. Shroud of Rahmon
9. Trial
10. Reunion
11. Redefinition
12. Blood Money
13. Happy Anniversary
14. Thin Dead Line
15. Reprise
16. Epiphany
17. Disharmony
18. Dead End
19. Belonging
20. Over The Rainbow
21. Through the Looking Glass
22. There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beginning to stand on it's own, May 19 2004
By 
N. Durham "Big Evil" (Philadelphia, PA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Angel: Season 2 (DVD)
The first season of Angel, a spin off of Joss Whedon's wildly popular series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was rough around the edges to say the least. Season 2 of Angel saw the series begin to find it's own footing, setting itself apart from it's counterpart program. Tortured vampire Angel (David Boreanaz), along with Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) and Wesley (Alexis Denisof) are joined by vampire street fighter Gunn (J. August Richards) as Angel Investigations upgrades to a run down L.A. hotel. Naturally though, things don't stay peaceful for long; as the demonic law firm Wolfram & Hart resurrects Angel's old love Darla (Julie Benz) who is made a vampire once again by her old cohort Drusilla (Juliet Landau) and Angel finds himself lured away from his team (get all that?). This is when the show began to show signs of being something really special. Just as Whedon's Buffy had began perfection in the middle of it's second season, Angel began to show the same signs of life and out grow it's growing pains; until the much dismissed by some and well liked by others storyarc taking place in the demon dimension of Pylea where the gang finds themselves trapped. It shouldn't have come close to working, but thanks to Whedon's creative team of writers it did, and the cast themselves began to soar when the green skinned, horned, karaoke loving demon Lorne (Andy Hallett) and trapped pysicist Fred (Amy Acker) are introduced. Though it's not perfect, the second season of Angel is some of the best TV to be seen, and the hilarious episode entitled "Disharmony", where newly vampiric Harmony (Mercedes McNabb) pays the crew a visit, is worth the price of admission alone.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The worst of Angel, but still better than most TV around, May 12 2004
This review is from: Angel: Season 2 (DVD)
Reviewing Angel's second season is very hard indeed. As a big fan of everything Joss Whedon's done (particularly Buffy, but also the late, lamented Firefly), it's all too easy to give this boxset 5 stars. However, to be honest this is the one season of either Buffy or Angel that didn't really gel for me. After a much more episodic structure in its first season, Angel moves into its second season with a few carefully constructed plot arcs involving the return of Angel's sire Darla, as well as the gloriously insane Drusilla. Unfortunately this doesn't work nearly as well as it does on its sister show here, and its much more a case of individual episodes shining rather than how any one story arc is dealt with as a whole.
In particular, the story involving Angel losing his faith in humanity and himself could have been so much more resonant than it is here and, although comparisons with Buffy seem unfair, her breakdown in series 6 was a lot better than Angel's here. In addition, after Darla is 'vamped' again, her character becomes little more than a conventional villain, which is an insult to the history her and Angel have. Yet to be fair, their history is treated with a remarkable amount of detail and respect in the earlier episodes. By far the most infuriating aspect of this season though is the long-awaited return of fan favourite Drusilla. Gone are the Victorian outfits and poetic language and in come pink polo necks and often silly turns of phrase. These come off as somebody writing Drusilla who doesn't know her character very well, which is a shame considering just how good she was in season 2 of Buffy. For me though, the most aggravating part of the season was its end, where the gang travel to Lorne's homeland of Pylea to rescue lost librarian (and future cast member) Fred. Though there are a few laughs to be had here - notable Angel's response to the sunlight that doesn't burn, and Joss Whedon's cameo as a dancing demon - it's just too hokey for the most part.
Don't get me wrong though, I didn't hate the series, all I'm saying is that it had its faults. There were some great points to it, and if the story arcs didn't work together quite as well as they might have done you are at least safe in the knowledge that they were essential to the later series and retrospectively were crucial to the overall story. In particular, the character development of Wesley and Cordelia here proved big stepping stones for what they'd have to face in series 3. There was also the addition of a few new faces, namely Fred and karaoke bar owner Lorne. Whilst both were yet to find their feet on the show, it was nice to see them branching out with an ensemble cast. A few stand-alone episodes are also good, in particularly Darla (companion piece to Buffy's Fool For Love), which tells a good dose of backstory on everyone's favourite vamp-turned-human. Drawing a strong performance from Julie Benz, it stands as one of the best Angel episodes even now. Other instant classics include the opener Heartthrob, 20's pastiche Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been?, Wesley stand-out Guise Will Be Guise and social commentary The Thin Dead Line. It's these that lift the series above nearly everything else on TV. Unfortunately, that's not always enough to feed a fan with already high expectations of a series that delivered last time around and, after this shaky second season, really delivered some of the best entertainment around in its next 3 seasons.
To sum up, Angel is a fantastic, classic piece of programming, of which season 2 isn't a very good example. To complete anyone's collection it's a must, but for any first time viewers, any of the other series of the show are a better introduction to why this is so critically acclaimed. The extras are also much better than those on most TV boxsets, and the commentaries and documentaries are genuinely insightful. All in all, better than most you'll find out there, but compared to what Joss Whedon can normally pull off, it doesn't quite cut it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bless Angel, March 13 2004
This review is from: Angel: Season 2 (DVD)
Season 2 of Angel takes a couple of steps up from it's freshman season, and takes its viewers on an escapage that is just as fresh, fun, emotional, and scary as Buffy itself. It doesn't hold the same feeling as Buffy does, but it produces itself a new feeling, a feeling for the Angelverse.
Season 2 begin to flesh out its characters. Angel, Cordelia, and Wesley's role as Angel Investigations has continued past its last horrific experience, but this time they're in an awesome new setting. With the addition of Gunn and Lorne, the cast now seems to be round and about complete. With Darla's return and the evil that is Wolfram and Hart, there is never a bore. Especially with the inclusion of Drusilla (whose moments of insanity are better than ever).
Angel season 2 settles the show for it's future seasons and future storylines, as it is a season of building and pretense.
The DVD presentation is just as equal with the first season. Nothing new here, but all the supplements are just as interesting.
Darla's human, Dru returns, Darla's a vamp, Lilah (Stephanie Romanov is delicious) is promoted, Cordelia becomes princess, Lindsay is ran out of town, Fred is introduced, and a heck of a lot more happens in what is Angel season 2.
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Angel: Season 2
Angel: Season 2 by James Whitmore Jr. (DVD - 2003)
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