Having Angel and Wes reconcile with each other was the first hint I had that things werent what they seemed to be. Plus everything was just a little easy. The dead monk has tattoos all over him which confirm there's a weapon to defeat the Beast, then Cordy has a vision that tells them were it is and it happens to be right under the city. Also Angel forgiving Cordy and Cordy getting over everything that Angelus had done, Connor and Angel getting over their issues.
1) It's simple a 'moment' of perfect happiness. That's all it takes, one moment. Doesn't have to be a perfect day or for Angel to forget about all his problems.
Remember when it happened the first time? Angel and Buffy still had to worry about 'The Judge' and that looming doomsday apocalypse thing. Drusilla and Spike were still alive and plotting evil. Wouldn't Angel worry about that?
Nope, it takes one moment- maybe people accepting him for who he is, forgiveness, someone knowing all the horrible things 'he's' done but still loving him/trusting him anyway.
2) It's wish fulfillment so of course Angel's gonna get his ego stroked. The guy doesn't have the highest opinion of himself a lot of the time so he wishes that some people give him some pep, that's okay in my book.
In Angel's dream of a perfect day, in which all Angel's wishes become true:
- Wesley is not dark. Wesley knows everything.
- Fred is just a sidekick.
- Gunn is a kid who likes to play with weapons and does accidental damage.
- Lorne is almost not there.
- Cordy aside, Wesley's change is what Angel wants to see.
- He doesn't particularly want Fred/Gunn/Lorne to change, and still wears glasses of ignoring/mild disrespect towards them. Especially Lorne. Angel doesn't want to treat Lorne better and he doesn't seem to know his dismissive attitude to Lorne.
- The excuse he found for his son to give up Cordy was "she's too old for me". Angel seems to be unaware of his own age from day 1.
unfortunately David Boreanaz had aged and couldn't produce the same level of performance for the character as we had seen in Buffy Season 2.
It had absolutely nothing to do with age. It's exactly for the reasons you wrote. Angel is now the main character so there was no way they would let Angelus go on a murder spree like he did on BtVS where Angel was just a secondary character. So we get a lame ass version of Angelus that is all talk and no bite. And they of course make him more uncensored as well since AtS is supposed to be the more adult show of the two. It just didn't work for me.I don't know if I would solely blame DB's age. The writing was not as good. Joss wrote or rewrote the most important Angelus episodes in Season 2 (Innocence, Passion, Becoming). Also, the stakes were so much lower. Obviously, they couldn't kill off the main character, and it was highly unlikely that they would have him do anything too bad if they wanted to keep the audience on his side when he had his soul back. And, honestly, I think part of it was just that we knew Angel so much better, had seen him be dorky and light-hearted, so just having Angelus be not-broody wasn't enough. So they went over the top and unfortunately landed a bit too much on creepy uncle.