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
Angel Season 3
Buffy Season 7
And here we reach the creative nadir of the televised Whedonverse. It's still punctuated by moments of absolute greatness, but overall I still have the bad taste of evil Cordelia and Jasmine in my mouth. Also, so incredibly sick of Connor. Glad they deep-sixed him at the end of the season.
Highlights: Angelus. Any time you bring Angelus back and he's running evil across town is a good time. And then they call Faith out of retirement/prison to track him down. And then Willow shows up to re-ensoul him. These were the best episodes of the season. Oh, except for the finale, which completely turns the tables on our heroes and re-sets the table for an epic fifth season.
Lowlights: Evil Cordelia. Jasmine. While I really liked the first episode she shows up in because of some of the silliness involved, it starts going downhill quickly.
"Orpheus" Episode 4.15
After feeding off of Faith, who had injected a powerful drug right before, an unconscious Angelus and Faith live through memories of Angel's life with a soul. The name "Orpheus" is the street name of the drug, but also serves as a double meaning, referencing the Greek legend of the man who braved the underworld to save his true love, Eurydice. Meanwhile, Willow tries to track down Angel's soul and restore it. This caps off a trio of episodes that highlight Faith and Angelus and their character development, culminating with this story of Angel's attempts at redemption. The best part? When Angel shows up and says to Angelus, "Hey-- jackass!" and then punches him. Confronting his inner demons, in the most literal sense.
9 out of 10
Overall rating for Season: 6 out of 10.
Some great pieces here, and at times Angel was even the better series than Buffy, (see my previous theory about Joss Whedon's split attention between Buffy, Angel, and Firefly during this season) but it overall just fell a little flat. Compared to what the fifth season was about to bring, this just feels like a show treading water.
I swear, if I had to listen to Connor whine one more time or see Cordelia play dumb about being evil, I was going to rage quit this show. Even bringing in Gina Torres as Jasmine just felt wrong somehow. It was like, "Here's your consolation prize because Firefly didn't catch on-- you get to play the Big Bad." The same way I felt about Fillion being in Buffy, I feel about Torres here. Love love love them, but just not the parts they were playing.