Apocalypse Nowish is an excellent episode that truly starts off the main arc of the season, has some great special effects and an amazing fight at the end. It is a very epic episode and also a dark one.
The episode seems to have finished off a day or two after "Spin The Bottle". Lorne and Angel seemed to have changed roles this episode; in Supersymmetry Angel was pressurizing Lorne to read Cordy to find out things about the new big evil whereas here Lorne is pressurizing Angel into asking Cordelia about it. Things between Cordy and Angel seem to have changed ever since she told him they were in love, implying they're not anymore. It is further revealed that Cordelia has witnessed Angelus' murders during her time as higher power; Angel seems genuinely horrified by this and hurt that she has seen this; he has never tried to hide what he was but to know someone you love has witnessed you commiting atrocities which you aren't responsible for but feel responsible for is tough. Little things here suggest that it isn't really Cordelia; the fact that she seems to play Angel and Connor at the same time, subtly yet effectively is out of character for her. She tells Angel she loves him but flirts with his son; on first viewing you don't really notice it but when you find out it's really Jasmine-in-Cordelia, these things can be picked up. Of course all this subtelty is blown out of the water by the fact she sleeps with Connor at the end which is a HUGE clue. The Beast was incredibly frightening here. He's one of the only Buffyverse main villains that is just brute strength. Most of the Big Bads are highly intelligent and hurt our heroes through magic or emotional attacks but The Beast is basically a much more interesting version of Adam from Buffy S4. His motivations aren't known to us yet but we know he can render Angel, Connor, Wesley, Lorne and Gunn useless in 4 minutes so he's pretty tough. Also the whole Rain of Fire thing gives him mystery and points for coolness- it's a breathtaking sight to see him power up the Ring of Fire and then massive fireballs fall from the sky.
Fred and Gunn are still feeling the after effects of Gunn killing Seidel. To see such a loved up couple go from happy to painfully awkward so fast is sad and I really felt the awkwardness between them in this episode. The only bad thing about this episode is the end. Seeing Cordelia and Connor having sex is every kind of wrong and we REALLY could have done without the visual. It's a truly sickening sight. Aside from that Apocalypse Nowish is an exciting, dark episode that has great action and effects.