April 18th, 2007 09:58 EST
The road to redemption becomes rocky in Angel: Season Two on DVD
A vampire cursed with a conscience, he sets out to atone for his sins by saving lost souls in the City of Angels with the hope of saving his own. The prophecy states that once he has completed his destiny, he will be human again. However, though he fights the darkness in this world, the darkness within him will resurface once more. Available on DVD, Angel: Season Two features 22 episodes plus audio commentaries of pivotal episodes such as "Darla"; interviews with cast and crew and a behind the scenes look of the series.
Picking up where "To Shanshu in L.A." left off, the second season starts to give the series its own mythology as Angel Investigations gains two new allies: streetwise vampire hunter Charles Gunn (J. August Richards) and green, demonic mind reader Lorne, The Host at Caritas, who wants to make love, not war. Angel definitely went dark this season as Wolfram & Hart resurrects the vampire hero's sire and lover Darla who is now human (Julie Benz) to distract him in hopes making Angel go dark.
Episode highlights includes "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?", in which Angel continues to face his demons in the form of The Hyperion Hotel, the new location for Angel Investigations; "Guise Will Be Guise", in which Wesley poses as Angel to protect a businessman's daughter and ends up getting the girl; "Darla", the conclusion of the Buffy/Angel crossover, with the passionate history between Angel and Darla as the center, as Angel sets out to rescue Darla from Wolfram & Hart; "The Trial", in which Angel risks his life to save a dying Darla, and "Reunion", in which Drusilla (Juliet Landau) comes to L.A. to re-sire Darla, setting up the next arc for season two. It was this season that Angel went from helping the helpless to hunting down the guilty known as Wolfram & Hart, firing his crew as they go on without him to fight the good fight.
The second part of season two finds Wesley (Alexis Denisof) slowly developing leadership skills when he takes over the agency; Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) feeling the pain of the others in her visions, compelling her compel to do something about it; Gunn finding not only a new family, but also a true friend in Wesley when the latter saved the former's life in "The Thin Blue Line".
But this season is about Angel as he realizes in "Happy Anniversary," that no matter how many people he has saved, it will never be enough to make up for all the evil he has done.
The two-part "Reprise"/"Epiphany" helps him discover that it was never about winning at all, giving him a moment of clarity -- that the war between good and evil will never end; that darkness comes from within as well, as Angel decides to patch things up with his team and do good for the sake of doing good. The last four episodes follow our heroes to Lorne's home world when they set out to rescue Cordy while Lorne must deal with his own inner demons and Angel battles the beast within him.
In this season, characters begin to come into their own, making Angel less stand-alone and more focused on character development and the relationships they share.
See why atonement and facing your inner demons is so challenging. Angel: Season Two, available on DVD.