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Review: Television

Angel (season finale)

David Boreanaz broods over family matters with teen Connor back in the house. Season Three
The WB
(tx: 20 May 2002)

Marks (out of 10): 8

While Angel prepares for Connor to live at the hotel, Justine convinces Connor that Angelus killed Holtz. They burn the body, but Connor still moves in, plotting his own revenge…

Meanwhile Angel's team is fragmenting: the Host and Groo both depart – telling Angel and Cordy respectively that they belong together. Cordy arranges a moonlight rendez vous – but she's intercepted, and it's Connor who meets Angel instead…

Angel's season finales tend to involve character dilemmas rather than apocalypses, and that's the case here. Tomorrow's switchback drama is all about familiar figures, yet every unexpected twist provides a new thrill. In what may be David Greenwalt's last hands-on contribution as executive producer, he leaves the team well and truly sundered, but in a tantalizing way.

There's a slowish build-up: Angel thinks that Connor really feels at home, training with the gang and going to a drive-in, but we know better. Then come the shocks: lawyer Linwood commands a 'copter attack at the movies. Wesley goes from stonewalling Lilah's job offers to bedding her. On the freeway, everything freezes around Cordy and her demon mentor Skip appears. Alone with Angel, Connor beats him into the ocean's surf, before Justine's boat comes in.

All this is handled with Greenwalt's customary, classy skill: the cross-cutting between the Host and Groo's advice works exquisitely. Then the simple yet stunning conclusion sees his two original stars literally drifting apart. With Cordelia ascending to a higher plane and Angel consigned to the deep, where does the series go next? It'll be a long summer – and I can't wait.

by Mark Wyman

Read the full range of reviews, including three more episodes of Angel and five of Buffy, in:
TV Zone #152

Image © The WB / 20th-Century Fox
Review © Visual Imagination 2002. Not for reproduction

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TV Zone #152, see below for ordering options
TV Zone #152
July 2002
ships from Jun 13 2002
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