Jousting in LA, even in Tinseltown that must be a rare enough sight.
A fairly slow opener for a season that will eventually start firing on all cylinders
Jeez, how did they get away with that?
The demon who sings at Caritas is 'Gorshak the Child-eater'? His pick is 'Achy breaky heart' (I'm not sure which is worse?)
Damsel in distress; 16, yep, she sure is
Inverting the Hollywood cliche;
Angel the hero actually kills the damsel in distress' protector by accident
In disguise; 4
DB get's his shirt off; 7
Fang Gang in bondage:
Fang gang knocked out:
Cordy: 3 vamps, 1 demons
Angel; 4 demons for Angel so 16 vamps, 16 and 1/2 demons, 3 humans
Doyle; 1 vamp
Wes; 1/2 a demon
Kate; 3 vamps
Faith; 16 vamps, 6 demons, 3 humans.
Gunn; one more vamp so 4 in all.
Fang Gang go evil:
Alternate Fang Gang:
Recurring characters killed;
Total number of Angel Investigations:
3, Angel and Cordy and Wes
Angel Investigations shot:
Notches on Fang Gang bedpost:
Cordy: 2 ?+Wilson/Hacksaw Beast
Wes seems to attract the attention of a beautiful girl in a bar. The first hints of the love affair between Lindsey and Darla.
From the beginning a very flirtatious relationship between Lorne and Angel. Gunn comments that he's seen Wes before in bed which Wes takes a lot of exception to. Cordy points out that if Angel joins a gym he'll have to shower with naked men but he says he'll always be a loner.
The Introduction of Lorne for the first time, no sign yet that he'll become such an important character. Pretty obvious he's inspired by Barney from Parting Gifts. Angel Investigations have been busy over the summer with at least 6 cases according the whiteboard. First appearance of Merl and first meeting of Gunn, Cordy and Wes. Wonderful to see Angel visit Faith, such a lovely touch. So what happens to the mother and child? Often in fanfic whatever goes wrong in the Buffyverse that kid turns up to set it right. When Angel meets Gunn he inquires after his health as Gunn said he should in Blind Date. Jo is played by Justina Machado who played Rico's wife in the wonderful Six Foot Under, a show that not only guest starred Michelle Tractenberg and Eric Balfour (Jesse) but at one point her characters' actress sister appears to be guest-starring on Angel (or possibly Charmed?)
Marks out of 10; 6/10, the opening and ending are probably better than the rest of the ep
Anagogic Demon: At first I was afraid, I was petrified
Gym Guy: That guy had horns
Angel: Steroids…Not good for you
This episode is the first of Season Two of Angel. It was directed by Joss Whedon, and written by Mere Smith.
This episode opens with and singing demon, and Angel contacting Cordy and Wesley about a demon. They go into a gym and have a brilliant opening fight, which captures the attention of the viewer perfectly.
The episode progresses when Cordy has a vision of a Demon. This Demon appears to be attacking a pregnant woman.
When the gang finds out the kind of demon, Wesley takes them to a Demon Bar. This is where the singing demon derives from. They find out where the Pregnant Women is, and Angel leaves the bar to find her. When he does locate the women, a Demon attacks. After he slays the demon, the woman falls to her feet, and exclaims that Angel killed her protector.
Angel feels horrible remorse for his accidental crime, and takes over the roll of Protector.
Judgment also introduces two new characters.
The singing demon turns out to be a Psychic, who sees the future of those who sing for him. This character is rather animated and interesting.
The second new introduction is a man named Gunn, a freelance fighter who used to know Angel. He fights well and knows about demons and kills them.
Judgment is over all a fabulous and captivating introduction to Season Two of Angel.
The teaser of "Judgement" so effectively reintroduces who the characters are and what they do that it nearly makes Season One obsolete. Cordelia and Wesley are gaining confidence and Angel is all business. There's still plenty of comic potential in all three as well. Cordy is improving as an actress but still has that attitude of hers we all know and love, popping a fellow student a good one in their "dramatic scene." Wesley is hustling at darts but he's still absent-minded enough to toss one without looking and hit an innocent bar patron. And compare Angel's behavior in public with his stumbling stance from the beginning of the first season. Like the series itself, this cast is really beginning to stand on its own.
Like any good Joss Whedon work would, Season Two sets out immediately to remove the characters from their place of comfort. More of an ongoing thread is suggested than the prior year with the concept of the prophecy and Julie Benz's enigmatic appearance as Darla, whose intentions seem unclear from the very beginning. Lilah and Lindsey, the most interesting W&H villains from the first season, are set up to get more screen time this time around. The wonderful J. August Richards arrives as a regular to shake up the dynamic between the main Angel Investigations team. In the very early Gunn episodes, Richards uses more street slang than the Gunn we're used to, but the character's strength and sense of carrying many burdens quietly is established from the outset.
Of course you can't overlook the first appearance of Lorne, here still called simply The Host, and his demon karaoke bar Caritas. Lorne's presence is yet another way "Angel" advances its sophistication from the first season. He's much cleverer than the silly Oracles, and he's never just a plot device -- he has his own opinions and agenda. Besides, what a great excuse to have everybody in the cast take a turn singing during the season! Here we see Angel tackle "Mandy" and it's nearly the comic equal of his ridiculous dancing sequence from "She." For the rest of the show's run, Lorne can always be counted on to add humor to even the bleakest situations. Plus, the whole idea of grotesque demons singing karaoke is practically a bottomless well of comedy.
"Judgement" shares a problem with many "Buffy" and "Angel" season premieres. The standalone storyline in the episode isn't nearly as interesting as the ongoing character work and the setup for more longer-running plotlines. Having Angel kill a fellow champion is a clever way of getting him questioning his mission right from the beginning, but the whole Tribunal concept is poorly explained and feels like a first-season idea. The way that the various guest actors talk about the young woman's unborn child suggests it's destined to be a major player, but to the best of my knowledge it's never mentioned again. Also, the whole role of the Powers That Be in this episode makes no sense. The Tribunal implies that the pregnant woman's grievance must be settled by one-on-one combat. If the woman already had a champion, why would the Powers send Cordelia a vision telling Angel to assist them?
I guess since it's the first episode of a new season, it's important to reestablish the central concept of Cordelia's visions. But that could have been worked into the teaser. If Angel had just come across the champion demon by chance and killed him that way, it wouldn't change the episode significantly and it would have questioning his faith even more strongly. Oh well, they can't all be perfect. And ending with a jousting contest right on the streets of L.A.? There's an image that could only have sprung from the mind of Joss Whedon.
"Judgement" isn't the strongest episode of "Angel" to this point, but it does quite rightly suggest that the season to come is going to be a quantum leap forward from the first. It makes you wonder what's going to happen with Darla, Gunn, and the prophecy. In other words, it makes you want to watch the next episode, which is exactly what a season premiere should do.
This second season of "Angel" is when the show really started to come into its own. The show started to have mini-arc storylines and started to rely a little less on the individual standalone storylines that took up the majority of the first season. My favorite parts of this season are the trilogy of episodes "The Trial/Reunion/Redefinition" (these are my favorite three episodes of any Joss Whedon show) and also the final three episodes that take place in Pylea (these are either love them or hate them episodes are often argued about amongst fans).
Here is how I rate the episodes in season 2:
ANGEL Season 2
Angel 2- 1 Judgment - 8
Angel 2- 2 Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been - 9
Angel 2- 3 First Impressions - 7
Angel 2- 4 Untouched - 9
Angel 2- 5 Dear Boy - 10
Angel 2- 6 Guise Will Be Guise - 8
Angel 2- 7 Darla - 10
Angel 2- 8 The Shroud Of Rahmon - 9
Angel 2- 9 The Trial - 10+ !!!
Angel 2-10 Reunion - 10++ !!!
Angel 2-11 Redefinition - 9
Angel 2-12 Blood Money - 7
Angel 2-13 Happy Anniversary - 4
Angel 2-14 The Thin Dead Line - 6
Angel 2-15 Reprise - 9
Angel 2-16 Epiphany - 9
Angel 2-17 Disharmony - 8
Angel 2-18 Dead End - 8
Angel 2-19 Belonging - 7
Angel 2-20 Over The Rainbow - 9
Angel 2-21 Through The Looking Glass - 10
Angel 2-22 There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb - 9
The beginning of the second season of Angel, and what a start it was.
Both the beginning and end of the episode were spectacular, though some of the in between was a bit slow and less fascinating, but the brilliant scenes come up for it.
The episode introduced The Host (Lorned) singing in his karaoke bar. Meanwhile Cordy and Wes get beeped, Cordy is acting and improving quite a lot while Wes is impressing a girl…for the first time. They both go with Angel to a club and kill some demons, the action scene looked very cool.
Back at Cordy’s place, she gets a vision. Angel goes out to it and finds a pregnant lady with a demon behind her, but Angel is strong and breaks it’s neck. But he finds out just right after it that the demon was good and was protecting the woman from something and now he has to take on the job.
This episode we also meat Merl who sometimes helps Angel. Angel goes to find the woman’s home after he killed her and Gunn helps him with that because he knows the streets better than everyone. Angel tells him to go to Cordy’s apartment and take something he found, when the pregnant lady arrives at home she was just looking for that. She says that her daughter has some special powers and now everyone is after it. Soon the demons arrive and they flee into a hotel that Angel has seen before, when they get attacked once again he tells her to go to Cordy’s place while he fights off the demons.
Meanwhile Gunn meets Cordy and Wes, the three characters have a great spark and chemistry. When Angel comes home he finds out that the pregnant woman didn’t listen to him and he feels bad about it, he thinks that he won’t become human anytime soon even though he thought he was going to. But he decides not to mope around and to save the pregnant lady.
There are some tribuno men who are after her, she has to have a her to protect her and Angel enters the battle. He has to get on a horse and beat down the other contestant and so he does, he hacks off it’s head when it thinks to have defeated Angel. So now the woman will be protected together with the daughter until she grows of age.
What Angel learns form this episode is that it’s not right to keep score. The episode was brilliant, Darla was brought back and now with Lindsey and Lilah.
At the end of the episode Angel visits Faith which was a powerful scene, they both talk about their problems but Angel wins when he tells her he had to sing.
The episode was pretty good, sometimes a bit slow but when it was good, it was very good. it was nice to see Faith once more and the scene with Angel on a horse was classic.
At the end of the first season, “Angel” was at a crossroads. The episodic nature of the first season had proven less than satisfying, and it was clear that the second season would shift back into the format that worked best for “Buffy”: relatively self-contained episodes with an overarching theme. It was a question of where to go with that theme.
The seeds had been planted in the first season, beginning with “Five by Five” and the idea that Angel was struggling against his darker impulses in a struggle for redemption. Previous to this point in the series, that darkness was primarily associated with Angelus, the demon within. But that opened up a question that was related to the theme running through the concurrent season of “Buffy”: where does the demon start and the human begin?
To explore this concept properly, Angel needed to fall into morally questionable territory without reverting to Angelus. Angel needed to reveal the darkness within himself, the side of his human personality that feeds Angelus. This fits into the overall theory that the vampires in the Buffyverse take the darkest personality traits within the human victim and amplify them, thus playing on the metaphor that Angel represents.
But something must trigger the fall, and this episode is meant to provide the beginning of that process. Lorne (here referred to as simply “The Host”) says as much in his conversation with Angel. Angel began to focus too much on the possibility of getting that reward at the end of the fight. It was more about rushing the process than living the process. As a result, he was left open to assumptions about why he should be doing what he has been doing.
In a more broad perspective, this is the trouble that Angel encounters through the rest of the series. Angel is never quite sure whether or not his actions are the “right” ones. He has to make choices and hope that they take him down the right path. Every time he starts thinking about his apparent destiny or his personal desires, the mission is compromised. Those who understand that fact use it against him, time after time.
In this episode, Angel discovers how easy it can be to step off the path. It prepares the audience for the fact that Wolfram and Hart will purposefully manipulate Angel off the path throughout the course of the season, and how he responds to that manipulation. That said, it suffers from the same issues that plague most Mutant Enemy season premieres. A great deal of time is spent dealing with the ramifications of the previous season finale while setting up the philosophical character arcs for the coming season. This combination usually leaves the episode light on actual plot.
Starting the episode with Lorne is a bit of a kick in the pants, another way of evolving the original concept from the pilot into the version explored in the second season. Everyone has evolved in a certain sense: Cordy is better at the acting, Wesley has a lot more confidence (even if the skills are still developing), Angel is taking it to the bad guys with a quip and a bit of flair. Yet the methodical desire to identify and eliminate evil has done little to resolve Angel’s lack of connection to the world around him, which was at the heart of his problem.
The episode’s only reference to Darla, resurrected in the first season finale, comes early on, a reminder of the fact that Angel’s troubles are only beginning. This is important, because the writers remind the audience of what the threat is and then methodically demonstrate Angel’s primary weakness. It sets the stage for the rest of the season.
It’s rather telling that Wesley is the one who discovered Caritas and Lorne as a resource. One wouldn’t expect Cordy to be the one to uncover a demon sanctuary, but it’s easy to forget that Wesley was considered a threat in the demon world before he crossed paths with Angel. For all his bumbling and seeming innocence, he has a great deal of potential, and this is one area in which it continues to be realized.
Merl is a rather annoying yet necessary minor character, adding some layers to the concept of “demons” and what they are all about. Merl isn’t evil so much as self-interested, which doesn’t make him particular different than a lot of humans down of their luck. This is in contrast to the early Buffyverse assertion that demons are by nature evil to the core, adding the growing sense that the Watchers and human historians don’t know as much as they think.
Lorne is initially a clever way to add a semi-regular connection to the Powers That Be when Cordy’s visions aren’t enough to service the plot arc demands. Tying him to a karaoke bar is another example of Joss genius. It’s damned funny, but also has the benefit of making sense. Music does allow for the general baring of souls, as seen later in “Once More, With Feeling”, so why not capitalize on it?
Of course, this leads into Angel’s mistake. In the rush of working towards his redemption, Angel has been letting the corners get cut in the process, making assumptions to expedite his own reward. Instead of looking into the situation and understanding what his role might be, thus helping others while helping himself, he lets his own self-interest get in the way of the mission.
Angel struggles to regain a sense of control over the situation, which provides the perfect opportunity to bring Gunn back into the fold. At this point, Gunn retains much of his street edge with a hint of death-wish, and in retrospect, it’s amazing how his relationship to Angel and the rest of the team changes him. In a sense, this is another example of Angel acting without consideration of the consequences. It’s hinted throughout the rest of the series that Gunn’s crusade for street-kid survival suffers without his leadership.
Another interesting concept is introduced in this episode: what if Angel’s desire to help is in contradiction to the desires of the potential victim? This becomes a key philosophical concept in Angel’s arc with respect to Darla; Darla doesn’t want to be saved, yet Angel insists. That insistence, from a certain point of view, sets him up for a fall when his desires are confounded. The question becomes: when does the desire to protect and save humanity turn into something less than benevolent?
The initial meeting between Wesley, Cordy, and Gunn is one of the best moments of the episode. Gunn’s initial episodes touched on some social and racial themes that were eventually set aside, so this becomes a chance to show how Angel is not the only one dealing with assumptions and prejudices. It also gives Gunn a chance to display his particular brand of humor.
Since the woman at the center of the episode becomes Angel’s responsibility, at least in his own mind, her desire to be left alone forces him to seek other means. And of course, that means Angel must sing for Lorne. His rendition of “Mandy” is perhaps one of the most hilarious and painful moments in the series. (His dancing in the first season comes to mind as a comparison.) Lorne all but warns Angel that his motivations are questionable, yet it’s also suggested that he’s supposed to work it out on his own.
The actual resolution of the episode in the final act is a bit of a disappointment. As fun as it is to see a joust taking place in the middle of Los Angeles, with traffic in the background, it’s still not very exciting. It’s also a little annoying that the baby in this episode never came into the series. It reveals the fact that this entire situation is contrived to introduce the philosophical character elements and little else.
In that respect, the very end of the episode touches on how Angel’s character arc is likely to resolve itself. Angel set Faith on the path towards redemption, so it makes sense that Angel would keep in touch with Faith to keep his own head straight. Angel takes a dark turn throughout the second season, and he will need to find his footing with his humanity to get back into the light. That is effectively the entire point of Angel’s journey: to have the chance to walk in the light, Angel must battle through the worst of the darkness, within and without.
however! it is absolutely hilarious watching angel attempting to sing mandy. this is also a recurring theme throughout the rest of the series: angel can't sing. the credits at the end show david boreanaz playing about on the karaoke, which in itself make this episode worthwhile. all in all, not bad episode, but definitely the weakest season opener of all five.
a good start to the season 2. gunn is sunnyly added to the intro which is stupid because we barely know him but its allright. he does not suck.
the pregnant lady was annoying with her baby but the thing that rocks is faiths end and angel on a horse and just introducing the charaters all again and the song thing. the ep was not the best of the show but much better than other shows.
As you know this is the season 2 opener. The team still doesn't have a new office so they are in Cordeilia's apartment. she has a vision and angel goes and accidently kills some other warrier that was on the good side and he was prtecting a pregnat woman from demons and he had to fight for her to have prtection. He can't seem to find her so he goes to the Host and he has to sing so he can bare his soul. he finds the woman and helps her so she has protection. This was a good way to start off season 2. bringing in new characters like the host. Gunn was added to the opening credits. Later...
Even though this episode may not be the most exciting or well written Angel episode ever, it does a wonderful job of setting up the rest of the season and to a large extent the series.
The episode is important on many levels it introduces us to new relationships, concepts and locations that weren’t seen in season 1.
The best place to start would be to go back a little to the season 1 finale where the Shanshu prophecy revealed that Angel would eventually become human. This is expanded on here with Angel trying to be the hero. His despondency that he is still making mistakes is interesting to see, not least because it means that the viewer doesn’t have to worry, Angel still has a long way to go on his journey to human-dom. Another point to bring up is the founding of the slightly more elevated relationship of Cordy and Angel. Already seen somewhat in “Shanshu” Cordy and Angel have obviously developed a tight bond as she tells him that she’ll always be there for him (or words to that effect) Although that bond was probably formed after Doyle’s death, Cordy’s overload of visions and new found mission has helped to deepen their relationship.
Another concept which I think has developed out of the Shanshu was the idea of Angel as a champion. The buzz word in the last season was Hero but the close connections of that words with Doyle means that its not really appropriate to use that word anymore. Instead, this episode establishes the idea of Angel as a champion. He fights for the expectant mother in a truly heroic way as he have seen before but the horse ridden battle (little bit cheesy but still quite cute) helps to emphasise the role he now has as a champion. This is an idea that will play heavily over the next 4 years. In this episode we get glimpses of 3 other hugely important aspects of the show. The title credits roll with the addiction of Gunn, who while he won’t be important just yet, starts to play a major role in the team as the season goes on. We also get to see our first look at the Hyperion Hotel which we get to see more off in the next episode. And we get to see the Host in all his singing glory and Caritas one of my favourite Angel locations.
The last thing that this episode sets up is Darla and her new found human form complete with an alliance with W&H and especially Lindsey. Darla was only briefly seen in Buffy season 1 and although we have seen her in flashbacks this is our true first opportunity to meet her and Julie Benz truly makes it a memorable one!
Overall I felt that story of Judgement was a little weak and standard. Angel helps the damsel in distress. However the rest of the episode, the bits around the plot itself make this episode so watchable. In this episode we get to see pretty much every character which makes this such a memorable season and the rest of the season is perfectly set up which allows us to plunge right into the rest of the season :)
Angel investigations is now located in Cordy's apartment after the explosion. She has a vision of a big scary demon. Angel goes to kill it, which he shouldn't have. The demon was the protector of a young pregnant mother, She was being chased and all demonmic forces wanted her baby. ngel felt so bad about killing her protector. He tries to help but just makes things worse for her. He finds out she has to battle for protection of herself and her unborn child. To find her angel must sing. It's so funny. He sings Mandy really badly. Then he finds her and fight and then she is protected. The best part of this episode was him singing.
I wasn't terribly impressed with the season 2 opener. While I was happy to see Team Angel back in action, I felt like this wasn't a strong enough episode to kick off our second season. On the upside, we get to meet the Host(later known as Lorne) of a demon karaoke bar; Caritas. He listens to demons sing and sets them on their paths. We also get to meet Merl, a stool pigeon demon who Wes pays to give him information. And (yay) Gunn is back! The damsel in distress in this ep is a pregnant lady whose protector is killed by Angel. Seems she needed a champion to fight for the protection of her unborn child. You can guess what happens from here. A solid ep, just not what I expected as a kick-off.
Angel, accidently killing another demonic champion for good like himself, gets thrown into the role of champion for a young woman carrying a very important child. Battling a demon and saving the baby's unborn life he not only proves continually that he is a champion for good, even though he made a mistake in killing the baby's original champion, but he also proves to himself that he isn't quite out of the tunnel yet.
Angel: I thought I was out of the tunnel.
Cordelia: Sure you did. Because the tunnel is… You know, it's something we all… Are we talking real tunnel or symbolic? Just give me that much.
Angel: I-I saw the light at the end of the tunnel - that some day I might become human. That light was so bright, I thought I was already out.
Cordelia: Yeah. We all got a little cocky, didn't we? It's gonna be a long while until you work your way out, but I know you well enough to know you will. And I'll be with you until you do. Angel: What about your inevitable stardom?
Cordelia: I'm not saying I won't have a day job.
What's not to love about this episode? Cordelia stopping in her acting role because of a 911 call from Angel, Wes stopping a game of Darts for the 911 call, and the introduction of Lorne's character, all were great parts of this episode.
I liked that Cordelia's vision sent Angel to kill the good demon that was protecting the pregnant woman. It was brilliant. I liked how angry Cordy got after Angel told her he'd killed a good guy.
I loved that the gang was working with Cordelia's apartment as headquarters. You would have thought that they would have found some place else to work by now.
I liked Cordelia and Wesley meeting Gunn. It was funny how freaked out they got when he knocked on the door and said Gunn.
I loved Angel trying to protect the woman. He did excellent in that battle. I loved how she didn't think he could do it and then he won in the end.
I liked that somewhere in the back of everything else that was going on we saw Darla too.
This was a decent start to this new season of Angel.
Any episode with Angel singing is always a fun one. Lots going on here with Angel making a mistake and killing a good demon. He then is caught up with trying to make right on this problem. I've just recently begun to watch Angel and I am also a Bones fan which of course stars David Boreanaz as well. It is interesting to me that he seems to always play parts where he is atoning for his past. He does it well though.
I liked the ending where Angel went to visit Faith in prison. Kind of didn't expect that but it was a nice touch.
I think this is a great way to start off a season. And I absolutely loved the opening scene when the whole group, with the exception of Gunn, just kills another demon. This is the first episode of Lorne, one of my favorite characters. I thought it was hilarious when he said he would look great in Angel's coat. And, whoa, Angel sings??? He can save the world from demons, but he can't sing! Ha! And worst of all, he sings "Mandy." Anyways, Faith's appearance at the end of the episode was perfect! I loved it when she said, "The road to redemption is a rocky path." It really is. Great season premiere!
Judgement-After a case of mistaken identity leads Angel to slay a demon protecting an innocent girl, karaoke is the only way to make things right. Meanwhile, Angel struggles with the discovery that he may not always be eternal and Darla recovers from her resurrection.
A great start to the season where we are introduced to another important Fang Gang member, the always lovable, always over the top Lorne aka The Host. Andy Hallett fits the part perfectly and his interaction with the cast is wonderful. Lorne's Caritas club is a great new setting for the series and watching hideous demons singing old pop tunes from Mavin Gaye to Aretha Franklin is a hilarious yet genius idea! Other hilarious moments are Angel's priceless awful karaoke singing and Cordelia and Wesley meeting Gunn for the first time. Just the hilarious dialogue between all 3 characters like:
Gunn: "It's Gunn."
Cordelia: "I think he said he's got a gun!"
Gunn: "I've seen you before in bed."
Wesley: "Best you 2 work it out between you."
Gunn: "I saw you in bed, too."
Wesley: "Now wait just a minute!"
The plot is also pretty solid with Angel mistakely killing a pregnant woman's protector who turned out to be a soldier for the Powers That Be like Angel. Justina Machnado does fine in her role, if you don't count the annoying ragging on Angel for getting things wrong. Ease up, the guy is helping you for God sakes! The show also seems to have gotten a larger budger as the show look clearer, more vibrant and some lovely set pieces. The climactic battle between Angel and the Demon Knight is well choregrahped and directed. The medieval essence had a cool contrast in the the L.A. setting. We also get a scene where we see Darla interacting with Lilah and Lindsey which promises some trouble for Angel real soon. All and All, a great season premeire which promises a lot for the rest of the season.
Your favorite neighborhood brood-bag is back after a stellar First Season.
Angel, Cordy and Wes are forced to continue 'Angel Investigations' out of Cordelia's haunted apartment after the explosive events from last season's finale. Soon enough, Cordy gets a vision of a nasty demon that needs an Angel-whooping. Problems transpire after Angel kills the demon in question, but regrettably finds out the bad guy wasn't bad to begin with. After killing an innocent, Angel is forced to take on the duties of guarding a pregnant woman who was under the dead demon's protection. The problem is, this woman is being sought by every evil demon in the book.
First, let me just say ANGEL IN WIDESCREEN! Love the new look of the show in Season 2. This is a fun episode. Though it seems a bit heavy-handed at first with the death of an innocent demon, the tone soon turns all-out adventure as Angel is forced to "champion" for the pregnant woman in front of an all-demon tribunal. And come on, did you ever think you'd see David Boreanaz mount a horse and joust with a demon knight on a L.A. sidestreet? Awesome.
Judgement is a good, solid season opener and whilst definitely not the most thrilling episode of the season, it sets up everything nicely and gets us reacquainted with everyone without being too serious or memorable. The introduction of Lorne is also here and it's definitely a great introduction. Lorne was very likeable in this episode, and I'm glad they kept him on until the end of the show. The whole Tribunal pregnancy story was a bit.. blah. It just wasn't a whole lot interesting and neither was the pregnant woman for that matter. The story wasn't a great way to start off the season. It was OK, but it was just kind of boring. The actress who played the woman wasn't that good in my opinion and she just sort of grated on me a bit. The fight scene at the end was excellent and unique though: Angel rides a horse through downtown L.A. and kills a nefarious demon through decapitation? Great.
The character interaction was much better than the plot and all the actor's were on top form. Everyone had great chemistry and were on top form. Cordelia is deepening as a character, as is Wesley and it shows mostly in two scenes: the one where Cordelia is in acting class and her teacher called her "outstanding" which is a far cry from the awful actress she was last season. I felt they were using a metaphor that Cordelia was growing not just as an actress, but as a person too, becoming a caring, mature person. She further deepens this season and next and it's the right direction for her character. Wesley's introduction in the darts scene show he is growing out of his bumbling idiot character and also becoming more mature. He beats the men at darts and a pretty girl eyes him up and he just seems a lot more confident all round. Gunn hasn't changed at all though, but as he was only introduced 3 episodes ago, it's forgiveable. We need to first get to know him properly.
The scene in Lindsey's office with him, Lilah and Darla was ultimately the most interesting scene in the episode. Julie Benz has such a presence on camera and you just can't remove your eyes from her- she's simply too good. Darla seemed still somewhat disorientated here and seems to be adjusting slowly and regaining her memories. Her line "I'd love to see that boy" was chilling and her facial expression lets you know she means business when she says this.
The karaoke bar is simply a great addition to the show. Demons singing karaoke? Ingenious. That demon singing "I'm So Excited" looked exactly the same as the frog demon in "The Ring"- a nice bit of continuity if it's meant to be him. Angel singing "Mandy" was hilarious and he looked absolutely terrified- a first for Angel. It just adds a new presence to the show and a new set for the actors to work on and yet another way to get information from the Powers. We can't have Cordy get a vision about EVERYthing.
Also the introduction of Merl, who continues into the show until early S3. He's also another good new source of information and reminds me of Willy from BtVS, the local motormouth, charging money for information or getting it beat out of them. His make up's really good and he looked authentic and real. Lorne's speech to Angel about him getting set up for a fall indicates that Angel's life is about to get a whole lot more interesting, not in a good way. The truth is Angel looked very happy in this episode- that never bodes well. He's heading for a big, big fall indeed.
Judgement was a good opener for S2 and aside from the so-so Tribunal pregnancy plotline, it was excellent. A good episode but the best is yet to come.
Judgement was a perfect and classic episode of Angel's first episode of the second season. I really enjoyed watching this episode because we were introduced to new characters such as the Host who ran a demon kareoke bar. I also thought the story with the pregnant woman was interesting. Angel had a lot of character growth in this epsiode and it was also fun to watch him sing "Mandy". Cordelia coined some classic pharases and Wesley revealed his sources to the gang. Angel truly earns the title of Hero in this episode, which sets a great tone for the rest of the season. I can't wait to see what happens next!!!!!!!
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