Season 2: Part 2

Starring: David Boreanez
20th Century Fox
Certificate: 15
Available now

The second half of series two begins with the star teetering on the edge of a deep chasm of despair which could lead to him losing his soul again. Meanwhile, at the other side of town the sacked members of Angel Investigations are getting back on their feet and continuing to do the good work that he Angel seems to have forgotten about.

Angel's second series continues to build on the foundations built up so well in season one. The odd thing seems to be that the first few episodes in this box set resolve all those riveting story arcs that had been set up in season one. The Darla story seems as resolved as it can be after Reprise, when Angel sinks to his lowest point, after banishing his friends and his infatuation is brought to an end after he sleeps with Darla and finds he still has his soul. Bridges are burnt and a particularly miffed Darla fades into the background whilst Angel returns to try to make amends with his friends. This is particularly clever, as most sci-fi series would have had every one back to normal by teh next episode (where is the continuity these days?), but Angel tackles what has happened more realistically. His wounded friends are not willing to let Angel get away scot free, and much of the series shows Angel trying to win back their affections and accepting the consequences of his earlier selfish actions.

Charisma Carpenter has come into her own throughout this series and her character has evolved from high school bitch to a real woman who has feelings. Increasingly unable to deal with her pain from the visions she inherited from Doyle, and dealing with the loss of her best friend Angel. Her maturity and hurt is shown, but her alter ego still has classic moments of return, for example when Angel hilariously tries to win back her affections by buying her expensive clothes - and it works!

Although there are many dark areas covered in this season, Angel still has many comic moments, and the further inclusion of The Host, brings a lot more opportunities for humour from his karaoke bar. Gripping to the end, a truly unexpected twist takes place at the end of Angel with the group being whisked through a portal to another dimension where humans are slaves. This is the home of The Host, and shenanigans ensue as Cordelia's visions clearly state to the priests that she is the princess they have been waiting for, but the others believe she is in mortal danger and are trying to save her. Angel has a reflection and can walk in the sun, and you cant help but chuckle as his personality changes into that of an excited kid with a new toy.

Overall, the second half of series two is a great pleasure to watch. There is a selection of episodes in here that will cheer you up however bad your day gets, you can sing along to 'We are the champions' with the drunken posse of Cordelia, Wesley and Gunn, or even do the dance of joy with The Host's 'strange' relatives. Its the funniest thing I've seen on a sci-fi show this year.

Keri Allan