You know, I might have to change my previously-stated opinion that season 5 of Angel is my favorite. Holy shit, y’all, SEASON TWO IS JUST SO FANTASTIC. It really is! And later this week, I’ll get to talk about “Judgment” and the entire Pylea arc, and season two just overwhelms me with feelings. So, let’s talk about “Reprise”!
Hey, everything is awful. Surprise! I appreciate that a lot of season two explores just how flawed our “hero” really is. Just because he has a soul doesn’t mean he makes good decisions or is a good person. Hell, a lot of this arc exposes just the sort of shortcomings Angel has. He messes up everything: Kate’s life, Darla’s life, all the friends he left behind at the hotel, himself, and I could probably keep going, but you get the point. In hindsight, I am discovering that Angel is even better than I recall. I can see how many themes and parallels there are that I never could have picked up on the first time around. In this case, “Reprise” is a recollection of what Hell means for Angel. It’s intentional that Darla is the antagonist of the story because his life is repeating again in a way. Darla and Angel were inseparable for so long because of the evil things they did together. Now what is Angel supposed to do now that she’s back and she’s been sired again?
Oh god, everyone isn’t friends at this point THERE WAS SO MUCH ANGST DURING THIS ARC. Fuckin’ Angel, I swear. Then we have Kate’s miserable and heartbreaking characterization. She’s one of the main characters that I wish had gotten way more screen time than she had. Alas, “Epiphany” is her last moment on the show. She had so much potential! Could you imagine how awesome she would have been if she’d joined Angel Investigations??? SOMEONE WRITE THIS FIC PLEASE.
Of course, the greatest part of “Reprise” is the moment when Holland Manners reveals that the Home Office is Earth. It is totally continuous with everything in season five, even though it’s not intentional, and the fact that the Senior Partners unleash Hell on earth in the finale is damn appropriate. This really represents what these characters have to struggle against in this show: people are our own worst enemies, and human nature will always perpetuate evil if we don’t do anything to stop it.
I just love this show so much, y’all.