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Feature 8.9
Video 8.5
Audio 8.5
Special Features 9.0
Total 9.0
Distributor: Fox
Running Time:
990 minutes
Edwin Millheim


Angel Season 5 DVD Set

Feature: The last shreds of the Joss Whedon universe have come to an end. Buffy ended back in 2003, it was like a bad trick or joke that some thought the next season would start and there the gang would all be again. Nope, did not happen. Happily one of the most fun and interesting characters “SPIKE” Played by James Marsters would be finding his way over to the Angel TV show. Maybe to put a little jolt in the Angel ratings and save the show. By this point rumblings of the dark cloak of canceling had already been spreading like some death demon that not even Angel and friends could do battle against and hope to win. Plus one for DVD’s, because even though the show did get cancelled, with the DVD collection on the shelf we can rewatch some of our favorite episodes.

During the five season run Angel ran the full roller coaster of ups and downs, like any complex TV show would, but Angel just seemed to lack the teeth to live up to such a wildly popular show like “Buffy The Vampire Slayer.” With some of the better story arcs coming after the announcement of the pending cancellation of Angel.

As all the fans and casual followers of the show recall our heroes ended season four with Angel and company taking over the law firm of Wolfram and Hart. Yup the one and the same firm that was more than a thorn in the side of Angel throughout earlier season shows. Now in Season five Angel is now the CEO, Fred is the head of the science department, Lorne everyone’s favorite green demon is the head of handling up the entertainment oriented clients. Pretty much everyone finds a little niche in the belly of the beast that is Wolfram and Hart. Gunn and Wesley find their parts also, with Gunn turning into a rather unwitting pawn in the things to come, Matter of fact there are more plots and sub plots and agendas flying around than an old X-Men comic.

But seriously, how many other people wonder why they even keep trusting Wesley? How many times does he have to betray everyone before he would be ousted? Apparently forever because he is in the thick of things and one of the most volatile characters in the whole season… even counting Spike.

Speaking of which, the return of Spike after being fried like a dead chicken at the end of Buffy is perhaps one of the better things that happen for the show Angel. The tension between the characters Angel and Spike and the very long history they have is cause for much amusing and some times even tense character interaction between these two vampires with souls.

If you have followed the show at all you may recall a certain Shanshu prophecy which talks about a vampire with a soul stopping the coming apocalypse. But what’s this? Two vampires and both have souls. This creates enough doubt that viewers now wonder who in fact will be redeemed…will it actually be Angel or Spike?

One of the most interesting things is to watch actors play different roles within the same series; it’s interesting because they seem to have even more fun playing someone with a different slant. This has always been evident with David Boreanaz got to let his teeth grow a bit longer and play Angelus with a total abandon that showed he was having fun. This time around and the last part of Season five Amy Acker (Fred) gets to do the same as she sheds away from Fred and becomes some kind of ancient demon god. Acker gets to show a small portion of her range giving a hint of what could have been if Angel would have made it past season five.

As it is the final show for Angel season five brings it all to a head, but does not deliver any kind of final closure. Rather we are left hanging high and dry as the final scene rolls and credits are fast to follow and the thought echoing in our head is simply “What the heck?!” Shake your fist at the screen and wonder why Joss Whedon decided to punish the fans with such an ending. But take heart, Angel season five is worth the ending frustration to just hear Spike call Angel a “Wee puppet man.” In the episode Smile Time.

The DVD sets attributes are as follows;

Format: Color, Closed-captioned, Widescreen
Studio: Fox Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: February 15, 2005
Run Time: 990

DVD Features:

Available subtitles: English, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
22 episodes on six discs

Selected audio commentary by Joss Whedon, David Boreanaz, Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Sarah Thompson, Christian Kane, Juliet Landau, Adam Baldwin, Skip Schoolnik, David Fury, Steven S. DeKnight, Jeffrey Bell, Brent Fletcher, Elizabeth Craft, and Sarah Fain

"Angel: The Final Season" overview with cast and crew interviews
Featurettes: Hey Kids! It's Smile Time, Angel 100, Angel: Choreography of a Stunt, To Live and Die in L.A.: The Best of Angel, Halos & Horns: Recurring Villainy, Angel Unbound: The Gag Reels

Video: This transfer has some beautiful images and it comes across very well in the 1.78:1 anamorphic wide screen, your best viewing is going to be a high def television or flat panel computer monitor with a really good video card. An older television just did not do the DVDs justice at all.

Audio: The sound on the other hand is perhaps the better of all five seasons. The Dolby Digital 2.0 surround sound really ads a heavy punch to many of the episodes. Actor dialogue comes across very clear and crisp and the subwoofer comes into play quite pleasingly at the appropriate moments.

All 22 episodes of Angel season five are found here on six disks.

Disc One:
• "Conviction"
• "Just Rewards"
• "Unleashed"
• "Hell Bound"

Disc Two:
• "Life of the Party"
• "The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco"
• "Lineage"
• "Destiny"

Disc Three:
• "Harm's Way"
• "Soul Purpose"
• "Damage"

Disc Four:
• "You're Welcome"
• "Why We Fight"
• "Smile Time"
• "A Hole in the World"

Disc Five:
• "Shells"
• "Underneath
• "Origin"
• "Time Bomb"

Disc Six:
• "The Girl in Question"
• "Power Play"
• "Not Fade Away"

When you watch it all, you will sit there and sigh, what a ride….

Edwin Millheim
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