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Angel: Judgment

Angel: "There are three things I don't do: tan, date, and sing in public."

Okay, this was fun. We had the gym bust, muscles and mirrors, karaoke, and jousting in the streets. We had Lindsey, our favorite Wolfram & Hart lawyer, who acquired a Krycek-like prosthetic and returned along with his female compatriot, Lilah. And we even had cameos by two of the more interesting women in Angel's past – Darla and Faith – which implied that they would be returning and staying longer sometime soon.

The plot was sort of a by-the-way, though. We never really knew why the pregnant woman was being judged; it didn't make sense that it was because of her baby being something special. But the plot really didn't matter. This episode was more about our evil-fighting, soul-saving team. Cordelia is getting a lot more serious, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. Wesley is getting cuter and a lot easier to take seriously. And I do know how I feel about that. I like it.

And Gunn is in the cast! Yay! (That's Gunn. Charles Gunn, with two n's.) So when is Angel going to start paying him? They could bring him into the firm, couldn't they, if they ever get another office? Sort of like a superhero intern? They seem to have money; look at what Wesley was shoving at his demon snitch.

I really, really loved the psychic demon emcee with the white jacket and the red horns at the karaoke bar. Please bring him back.

Bits and pieces:

— It's ironic that Cordelia's acting has improved now that her mission with Angel means more to her than becoming a superstar.

— Darla is over 400. Did we know that? I don't think we did.

— The karaoke outtakes over the end credits were great. David Boreanaz has a great comic touch. "Mandy" was fun but maybe they could have picked a more appropriate song. "Just call me Angel in the morning." Or maybe "Another one bites the dust."


Host: "The glamour and the grit, the big breaks and the heartaches, the sweet, young lovers and the nasty, ugly, hairy fiends that suck out your brain through your face... it's all part of the big, wacky variety show we call Los Angeles. You never know what's coming next. And let's admit it, folks. Isn't that why we love it?"

Angel: "You got your steam. You got your sauna. You got fresh towels. I mean, how bad could it be?"
Cordelia: "You shower with a lot of men."
Angel: "I'll always be a loner."

Cordelia: "Maybe it's time we pay your stoolie a little visit. Make with the chin-music until he canaries. (Angel and Wesley look at her) I've been watching a little noir festival on Bravo."

Host: "Well, I can see someone is feeling pretty zippy. I know it's hatching time and you're looking forward to that. But there is more to life than eating your young. Now let me tell you what I see in your aura..."

Angel: "You ever hear of a Prio Motu?"
Gunn: "Is that like a '62 Chevy with the big cam? (Angel looks at him) All right. I could have just said no."

Angel: (singing) "Oh, Mandy. Well you came and you gave without taking, but I sent you away, oh Mandy. Well, you kissed me and stopped me from shaking. And I need you today, oh Mandy..."
Cordelia: (at a table with Wesley) "That man will do anything to save a life."
Host: "Hey, how 'bout that. A performer. Why don't we just call him Angel, the vampire with soul. I'm going to have a chat with Mr. Tall, Dark and Rockin'. And meanwhile, Durthock the child-eater is going to open up to y'all. He's searching for the gorrishyn mage that stole his power, and he's feeling just a little bit country. So let's give him a hand."

Angel: "Tell me where they are."
Host: "Well. Who's a little curt? Who's a little Curt Jurgens in The Enemy Below?"

Angel: "I had to sing Barry Manilow."
Faith: "You're kidding."
Angel: "In front of people."
Faith: "And here I am talking about my petty little problems."
Angel: "Just wanted to give you a little perspective."
Faith: "Copacabana?"
Angel: "Mandy. I don't want to dwell on it."
Faith: "The road to redemption is a rocky path."

Two out of four stakes,

Billie Doux reviewed all of Buffy and Angel, so she knows the plural of apocalypse.


  1. I think Master mentioned Darla being over 400 in season 1.

  2. Rish is right. In season 1 of BtVS, the Master said that Darla was his favorite for 400 years.

  3. Not a bad season premiere. The main plot with pregnant lady, chosen baby and jousting in the streets (seriously what was up with that?) did nothing for me, but there were a lot of great moments. Loved the opening with the team storming into the gym to stop the ritual sacrifice. They seemed a lot more confident and cohesive as a team than when we last saw them.

    Of course, Angel singing Mandy was a highlight, as was the introduction of Lorne and the demon club. What a wonderful character.

    The small scene we had with Darla was also nice, although it was just a tease. It's been so long since I've seen this series that I really can't remember what wolfram and hart has planned with darla and how it goes down. It's fun getting wrapped up in the plot again, I do remember loving season two, so I'm excited to get through it.

    Overall, I agree Billie. Solid 2 star episode.

  4. Lovely wide screen blooper: in the gym with all the mirrors, Boreanaz can be seen in a reflection on the far right edge, waiting for the reflections of the others to move off screen before joining them. Cool effect ruined. ;)

  5. What a great opening sequence, going from scary demon to glamorous singing host, segueing smoothly into a subtle saga sell for new viewers. I never understood the character Lorne the first time I went through the series. I was oblivious to his omnisexual flirtations and he didn't seem to do a whole lot. I now understand him to be a great foil for the serious Angel, in a way that early Cordy and Doyle were. And he is of course another move from the black-white morality of all-demons-are-evil to more shades of ...green ;)

  6. "Shades of green." Well said, Remco.

    The actress who played the mom was in Six Feet Under, and it took me an aeon to place her the first time I watched that show.

  7. Barry Manilow actually turns up twice in this episode. This will completely date me, but those of us who remember his song “Could It Be Magic” might have recognized the Chopin Lindsey plays for Darla at the beginning; Manilow uses it as the introduction to that song.

    The cold open was perfect as a season opener. A cool demon places us in LA with a hint of humor and we see our three leads kicking some butt. I was instantly aware of the people and places that populate this universe.

    The story itself was rather mundane, but it didn’t matter. This episode is all about establishing relationships. Speaking of which, I love the scene where Gunn goes to Cordy’s house. He’s going to fit in nicely with our crew.

  8. Angel season two is my favorite of them all. Julie Benz and david Boreanaz are a joy to watch together.

    Loved, loved, loved the introduction of the host, and I also love that there seems to be more a sense of Scooby Gang with Cordelia, Wes and now Gunn, like Buffy has back in Sunnydale.

    I will always think that not adding Faith as a regular in this cast was a missed opportunity, though. She matches this universe so well, and I like her rapport with Angel.

    A fun start anyway, even if, as the review said, the plot was not particularly important. It's ok anyway, since this season's arc is so magnificent.

  9. Yay! So much fun reading what you thought about the show back then, Billie, especially knowing where it goes. :)

    The jousting plot was really a throw away but the episode still ends up making me happy. Mostly because we meet Lorne. LORNE! (that's the name of the green guy for those on their first run)

  10. This is where I really started to love this show. Lorne is a great character from the off - I have many thoughts about him in the episodes to come.

    Even though the jousting and the case of the week felt really random, I love the sense of freedom and joy that seems to radiate off the writing and performances.

    I just watched Buffy and Angel for the first time starting last summer and it was at this point that I began watching Angel immediately after finishing the corresponding Buffy episode (later on I sometimes watched a run of Angel eps and had to backtrack to Buffy.)

  11. I'd agree that this episode is great fun, which is just as well as the story is very poor, why didn't the pregnant lady shout out during the fight with her protecter?

    There does seem to be a bit of a preconception/misunderstanding theme going on. Angel killing demon protector, Gunn's gang being perceived as being a threat, when the were protectors.

    I love Caritas, its an inspired idea, the host is fabulous and the karaoke is very amusing.

  12. I really hate that Andy Hallett (Lorne) died so young. We lost a talented actor. :(

  13. You said it, TheShadowKnows. I cried. He was freaking 32. 32!

  14. It is such a shame. When I first watched Angel 1-2 years ago I did my usual and googled all the actors etc and my heart just sank when I found out that he had died, that is always in my mind when watching episodes he is in.

  15. RIP Andy. It is really bittersweet seeing your original comments about bringing Lorne back, Billie.

  16. Lovely episode - so fun to read your original reviews Billie. The second season really makes Angel its own show. I loved the way they all responded to the 911 and walked in like they owned the gym. Gunn is great and it is fun to think about where he is going. Yay to re-watches!

  17. Late to the party. I just discovered this site and I absolutely love it. I just wanted to point out that the piece Darla is listening to is Chopin's Prelude in C minor Op. 28 #20, and I doubt it's an accident they used that particular piece of music. Barry Manilow based his 'Could it be Magic' on that prelude:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52-EkZRnG2E

  18. Oh yeah I forget that they never actually named Lorne until much later into the season. I felt such a comforting release to see the season start with him. I forgot when he came in.
    Love the changes to the opening credits, that first shot of David Boreanaz when his name comes up, the ceiling-burst helicopter shot.. AND THE ADDITION OF GUNN TO ADD A RED TEMPLATE! Look at how freaking adorable he looked there in that shot of him brushing his nose and smiling! I have to keep an eye out for whatever episode that's from because I don't remember it.


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