Awakening is a great episode with an even better twist at the end, and one that fools you from start to end. The main storyline of extracting Angel's soul was good and I'm glad they didn't rush into it and make a mess of the thing. Angel's struggle with himself was good here; he can pass on the offer to find out information on The Beast and remain as Angel or find out the information at the expense of his soul. Angel, as a champion, will always do the right thing at the end but Angelus is his weakness; he knows how dangerous and evil Angelus is but they need this information. It lets people who haven't seen Angelus yet know what a danger he is. Angelus is calculating, cunning and extremely powerful- his words alone can do more damage than his vampiric strength. The dream sequence is well done and it's basically Angel's perfect day- killing The Beast, saving the day, beating up Connor (who hasn't wanted to do that?), Connor finally accepting him and then boning Cordelia at the end. It's all pretty predictable and some parts and speeches are quite cheesy but this is Angel's head I guess! It had me fooled all the way through and I was starting to get disappointed that The Beast was so easily destroyed but then the ending happened, which was excellent. Angel's perfect day also feautures him to be seemingly perfect- he wins every fight he's in, rescues the damsel and does what he does best. Also at the end, he looks at the people enjoying the sun and would rather be inside; it shows that he wishes he could feel this way and not let his tendency to burst into flames in sunlight bother him. I really hated when he said "Buffy?" at the end of having sex with Cordy though- as a Cangel fan it felt cheap and tacked on as if trying to earn a seal of approval from all the "Buffy and Angel forever" fans. If he was really thinking about Buffy why not have her there? It really irritated me as it's obvious he loves Cordelia now.
The ending was creepy- Angelus' laugh just sent shivers down my spine. He looked positively evil at this scene with just a laugh! It shows he's not a typical vampire who'd want to attack the man in his cell but that he'd rather frighten the people around him- true to Angelus' character. Great episode!