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Angel Season Two: Spoilers and Foreshadowing

The Angel Re-Watch continues! Just like with Buffy, we're keeping spoilers out of the review comments, but they're very welcome right here. Post anything you like about the second season of Angel and how it relates to the rest of Angel as well as to the parent show, Buffy.

We're assuming everyone who reads or posts comments in this thread HAS SEEN IT ALL, including all of Buffy and Angel. If you haven't seen both series in their entirety yet, leave now -- or you're certainly going to be spoiled! You can always come back and post a comment later. It'll be here.

There are a number of Buffy/Angel crossover episodes. Here is my crossover guide.
Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. In “The Trial,” Angel gets the rug pulled out from under him with the whole three-trials-collect-$200-dollars trick.

    In Season Four’s “Awakening,” the writers tease us with a similar Indiana Jones-style quest, ultimately poking fun at the idea that the “solution” could ever be that simple by making it nothing more than a dream.

    Even Angel’s realization in 2.1 “The Judgment,” that the goal of shanshuing can’t be the point, fits with this perpetual rejection of the easy way out.

    I love it: we’re being constantly reminded that there is no trick to living a good life, no simple three-step sequence that leads to redemption and forgiveness, no easy answer. I think that might be why Angel appeals to me more than Buffy: Buffy slays demons both metaphorical and real. And, sure, messiness and questioning abound in Sunnydale. But Angel is all about the ambiguity how the impossibility of ever truly winning means the best we can do is fight with honor.

    (All that, by the way, is also why I love the last scene of the series finale.)

  2. About "Reprise":

    This idea dovetails with my above comment: the elevator scene in "Reprise" emphasizes that it's not cut-and-dried, there is no deep abyss, there's just the here and now, which is awful some of the time.

    That reminds me of the issue of shanshu-ing (the ishanshu?): maybe becoming a "real boy" or whatever the prophecy says is no more literal than the idea of Hell is literal. It's all just metaphor to describe everyday life. Or unlife, as the case may be.

  3. Josie, that's why I love the way the finale ends, too. It is, indeed, the entire theme of the show. You can't win. You keep fighting the good fight anyway.

    The elevator scene is a classic, and Holland Manners is such a great character.


  4. I wouldn't count this as foreshadowing but on a rewatch, Angel strangling Wes hits different. I'm not going to check when it happened but it was pretty early into season 2, definitely before episode 5.


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