THE CHALLENGE: Binge-watch and review every season of Buffy to celebrate Dark Horse Comics' release of "Buffy Season 10" on March 19 and "Angel and Faith Season 10" on April 2. So far we've done:
Buffy Season 1 (and an overview of why we love Buffy)
Buffy Season 2
Buffy Season 3
Buffy Season 4
Angel Season 1
Buffy Season 5
Angel Season 2
Buffy Season 6
Highlights: Skip! The coolest demon ever! And we get him three times this season. Holtz as the bad guy. What a clever turn for the show. The return of Darla. The return of the Groosalug. We learn what Gunn was willing to sell his soul for. Angel saves a man named Billy Blim from hell in order to save Cordelia, and then it turns out Billy has a power to make men become ultra-mygonistic and start committing violence towards women. Wesley's betrayal of Angel.
Lowlights: Not a whole lot actually. Baby Connor and whiny teenager Connor are both potential landmines, but they're dealt with fine overall. I still have misgivings about angry teen Connor, though.
"Birthday" Episode 3.11
This episode is brilliant. Not only does it provide of "what if" scenario where Cordelia has all of her dreams come true (and we get to see the title sequence of her hit TV show "Cordy!") it also ties together a lot of threads going back to the earliest episodes and also lays the groundwork for what's coming later. That's really brilliant. So is having Skip act as Cordelia's spirit guide. So is Phantom Dennis throwing Cordelia a birthday party-- a floating party hat. Awesome. This episode was fun, but also cosmically serious. Considering the dark turn the rest of the season was about to take, this was needed.
9 out of 10
"Waiting in the Wings," Episode 3.13 guest review by Specbot
Note: this is the only episode of "Angel" this season to have been written and directed by Joss Whedon.
"Angel" is a show that's always pushing its characters somewhere, and that place is almost always a place of misery. Everyone gets their turn, and in "Waiting in the Wings," the lucky stars are Wesley and Angel. It's a story of unrequited love that ping pongs around to nearly every character before it hits its target, even Lorne has to deal with his unrequited love of ballet when he's forced to stay at the hotel and watch Connor. From there, Cordelia, Angel, and Wesley get caught up in a mystical retelling of an unrequited love story while each living out their own in real life. At least Cordelia gets a happy ending when Groo shows up again. The many layers, heart-wrenching emotions, and Summer Glau's first appearance in the Whedonverse make this episode one that can't be missed.
10 out of 10
Overall rating for Season Three: 8 out of 10. Holtz is a great villain. Because he's not really a bad guy. He's a good guy, blinded by revenge, and unable to compromise. In some ways, this mirrors Wesley's own internal struggle of balancing a personal loyalty to Angel versus doing what he feels to be right. This season takes the characters places and demands the audience follow them.