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Angel: Season 5 (2003)

Cast: David Boreanaz, David Boreanaz, James Marsters, more...
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Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Horror, Television, Vampires, Comedy TV, Horror TV, Fantasy, Horror TV
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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As its final season began, Angel had already established a tone and theme for the year. In "Home," the final episode of season four, the titular vampire hero (David Boreanaz) had agreed to take over the Los Angeles branch of demonic law firm Wolfram & Hart. Vowing to put the firm's vast resources to work in the fight against evil, Angel and company effectively sold out -- with the best of intentions. Parent series Buffy the Vampire Slayer had recently spent its own final season developing an extended metaphor about the "war on terror." Now, Angel sets out to explore a subtler form of evil: the slippery slope of compromised idealism. Given the WB network's continued lack of faith in the show (the fifth season almost didn't happen and the sixth never did, despite a nice ratings bump) critics pointed out that Angel's decision to fight from within the belly of the beast served as a metaphor for the show's quest to tell compelling scripted stories on broadcast TV. Angel spent the season making compromises, so its producers had to settle for smaller budgets and self-contained episodes. They also had to bring Buffy alumnus James Marsters on board as a cast regular, despite his character's heroic death in the Buffy finale. With a ghostly Spike installed as Angel's gleefully snide conscience and rival, the writers brought in several other new and returning characters. Ditzy vampire bombshell Harmony (Mercedes McNab) stepped in as Angel's secretary and the show's central comic relief, while the smarmy Eve (Sarah Thompson) and the affable Knox (Jonathan M. Woodward) served as Wolfram & Hart's human faces.

As for the show's remaining mainstays, Angel romanced a werewolf named Nina (Jenny Mollen) and, along with Spike, came to terms with his feelings for his ex-girlfriend Buffy. (Much to fans' disappointment, though, Sarah Michelle Gellar did not reprise her signature role.) Street-smart demon hunter Gunn (J. August Richards) made a Faustian pact with Wolfram & Hart's senior partners and paid the price for his moral ambivalence. Scientist Fred (Amy Acker) found her soul shattered and her body colonized by an ancient demon named Illyria. Wesley (Alexis Denisof) went off the deep end when Illyria snuffed out his new romance with Fred. Only Lorne (Andy Hallett), the green-skinned empathic demon, got short shrift on the plot points, his presence reduced to the occasional quip or helping hand. This made room for a steady parade of guest stars. For the 100th episode, former Buffy and Angel regular Charisma Carpenter once more brought the caustic and beautiful Cordelia Chase to life. Vincent Kartheiser twice reprised his role as Angel's son, while Buffy vet Tom Lenk helped the fang gang keep tabs on their old friends from Sunnydale. The most unexpected guest of all came in the form of Christian Kane, whose scheming Lindsey McDonald resurfaced to set the stage for a finale that ended as abruptly and heroically as the series itself. ~ Brian J. Dillard, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

Angel: Season 5 (Disc 1 of 6) (2003)
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6.97 (40 votes)
Angel: Season 5 (Disc 2 of 6) (2003)
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7.00 (39 votes)
Angel: Season 5 (Disc 3 of 6) (2003)
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7.11 (57 votes)
Angel: Season 5 (Disc 4 of 6) (2003)
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6.86 (63 votes)
Angel: Season 5 (Disc 5 of 6) (2003)
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6.93 (59 votes)
Angel: Season 5 (Disc 6 of 6) (2003)
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7.37 (46 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

Well they did have to make way for Jack and Bobby... by dropjohnson March 22, 2005 - 3:32 PM PST
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Please fans of Angel, and of Joss Whedon shows in general, take a moment to thank the fine people at the WB for canceling Angel after its finest season. Really the possibilities for season six were boundless, what with Buffy crossover Spike and his contentious-at-its-best-moments relationship with Angel and the late addition of Ilyria. Season five shows a return to form from the heavy soap-opera morass of the Connor era. This reinvigoration is owed primarily to the show's return to humor (much of which came in the form of their change in address and also the addition of Harmony to the full-time cast as Angel's secretary) without losing the ability to occasionally shock or devastate. Even with the abruptness of their cancellation (they only found out it was the end with five episodes remaining) Angel provides a far better denouement than Buffy (who had the entirety of season seven to be ponderous) leaving one able only to consider those splenid possibilities that a season six would have provided. Such is life in a television universe teeming with LCD pablum such as Joan of Arcadia and Blind Justice (Show's tagline: He lost his sight, not his vision. Get it?). Note: if you like Angel (and I'm assuming you do if you're looking to rent season five) and Buffy and you've not already watched Firefly (which would be a bit surprising), give it a shot and I bet you'll have a reason to thank the Fox network as well.

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© 2006 All Media Guide, LLC. Portions of content provided by All Movie Guide®, a trademark of All Media Guide, LLC.