- Season 4
Fox Home Entertainment
Date: September 7, 2003
Review posted: September 9, 2004
The vampire Angel
(David Boreanaz) has a human
soul, but committed terrible crimes in the past. Seeking
forgiveness and trying to redeem himself, he moves from Sunnydale (and a relationship with Buffy Summers) to Los
Angeles, where he helps the downtrodden by thwarting the
supernatural creatures that prey on them.
season of Angel ended with two major cliffhangers: while
Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) was ascending to a higher plane,
Angel (David Boreanaz) was sinking to the bottom of the ocean,
trapped in a metal coffin by his unstable son Connor (Vincent
Kartheiser). Season Four picks up three months later with Fred
(Amy Acker) and Gunn (J. August Richards) running Angel
Investigations and taking care of Connor while searching for
Angel, unaware of Connor’s part in Angel’s disappearance.
(Alexis Denisof), still estranged from the gang, has developed his own
band of demon fighters. More interesting than this, though, is his hot
“relationship” with Angel’s nemesis Lilah (Stephanie Romanov), a top
lawyer at the evil law firm Wolfram & Hart. Angel’s summer was spent
hallucinating, while Cordy’s summer was spent as a higher being, a
very boring higher being. Luckily for her (sort of), she soon returns
to Earth—but stricken with amnesia.
throws more twists at the viewer than any other season of a Joss
Whedon show than I can think of, and that’s saying something.
Relationships change continually; nothing you think you know can
be taken for granted. Whedon is a master of character development
and puts his skills to good use this season. Each character arc is
surprising and interesting, including those of recurring
(Daniel Dae-Kim) and Lilah Morgan. The season is described with
great accuracy by one of its own characters, Charles Gunn: “I’ve
spent most of this year trapped in what I can only describe as a
turgid, supernatural soap opera” (“Players”). Even with various
monsters hacking (or burning, stabbing and eating) their way
through the City of Angels, the main action is all emotional. The
physical action is simply a backdrop for this—Angel discovers the
girl he loves having sex with his own son amidst a rain of fire
(“Apocalypse, Nowish”). This is when Angel is at its
best—when the focus is on the people and their emotions, and the
monsters are secondary.
Apart from the
brilliant character arcs, Angel Season 4 has a lot to offer,
including one very different sort of demon. He’s green. He’s horned.
He’s Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan. Andy Hallett began portraying
the karaoke-singing demon known as Lorne (and for a time The Host) in
the premiere of the show’s second season, and late in the fourth
season he was finally given his rightful place as a series regular.
Lorne had appeared in almost every episode in the third and fourth
seasons, so this was very satisfying to his fans. Lorne plays an
integral part in the fourth season, if not as a major player then as a
breath of fresh air. With his pop culture quips and his styling fits,
Lorne always manages to bring levity where it is most needed. Indeed,
the light nature of the character makes him a useful tool: when Lorne
gets serious, things have clearly reached a new level of bad.
Fox presents Angel in 1.78:1 fullscreen. Colors
look good, black levels are fine, the print image is pretty
decent, and lack of clarity is not an issue here.
Fox presents Angel in English 2.0 Dolby Surround Sound.
This is a decent soundtrack presentation. Dialogue is clear and
easy to understand. Sound effects are presented well but not very crisp.
There are also French and Spanish Dolby Surround dub tracks,
plus English and Spanish subtitles.
As usual with
Buffy and Angel, the commentaries on this
set are positively rockalicious. That’s right, rockalicious.
Season Four has a good number of commentaries, some highlights
being the commentary on “Spin the Bottle” with Alexis Denisof
and Joss Whedon and the commentary on “The House Always Wins”
with David Fury and Andy Hallett. The featurettes are the
same as usual—entertaining for their cast and crew interviews,
but nothing ground-breaking. The outtakes, on the other
hand, are quite hilarious especially the ones involving door
problems. Door problems are funny. Overall, the special features
are quite enjoyable.
can say is I love the DVD. It’s very good stuff.
Home | Back to Top