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Rm w/a Vu - Best Cordelia-centric episode of the show (yes, that means better than Birthday and You're Welcome), it really digs into her character, gives her some great lines, great depth and a win at the end. We also really see the trio working as a team, as Doyle helps Angel, Angel helps Doyle, Doyle helps Cordelia, and so on.
Hero - I've heard people say that it's overrated and only remembered as being great because of the last five minutes, but I could not disagree more; the whole episode is amazing, as it builds up to the last five minutes, making it even more special when you see it on a rewatch and recognize all of the signs.
Sanctuary - This is an easy pick for me from the two Faith episodes of this season because this is the one where we really get to see the raw side of a girl who has hit rock bottom but doesn't yet know how to climb her way back up again. My only dislike in this one is Buffy, but I'm over it by now; it is what it is.
To Shanshu In LA - Great finale, the beginning of great episodes that will be made of ATS. My favorite finale of ATS.
Five By Five - The End is groundbreaking
In The Dark - The last time Spike is threatening & scary until at least BTVS S6 (Smashed).
For me it's 5x5, Santuary and Parting Gift. The two Faith episodes are great and move the show up a level. Parting Gifts sees the core team of Angel Investigations coming together for the first time and this is the best AI will be.
IWRY and Hero are my absolute favorites but it was hard to pick a 3rd. I went with Sanctuary but maybe I should’ve gone with 5x5. The Faith mini-arc was excellent.
I also liked Parting Gift for a lot of reasons: intro to Wesley as part of the team (the leather pants, “rogue demon hunter”🤣) plus Cordy gets her abilities. In the Dark with Spike & Oz guest-starring is so great. Rm w/a Vu is great character development for Cordy and just an awesome plot. To Shanshu in LA is an amazing surprise and cliffhanger and really gives us direction for the next season and actually the entire show.
R/m w/a Vu - the first time Doyle is given much to do we get the first hints to his past, the introduction of Dennis, him being buried alive in the wall is one of the creepiest things in the whole Buffyverse, 'we hope you're helpless', the ghost that doubts Cordelia's commitment to Sparkle Motion - all good stuff.
The Bachelor Party - 45 mins of back to back Doyle and he isn't dead by the end of it. It is my favourite of all 110 episodes of the show - I have been known to watch this one twice in one day. Plus Cordelia tries to ask Doyle out and my heart can't even take it.
Hero - up until the last two mins or so. I switch off directly after the kiss. No one wants to see that shit.
And the rest of the show really might as well not happen. Just how much do I not care about Wesley? All the much - that's how.
To Shanshu - there had been great episodes earlier in the season but most of them had been event episodes where there was a Buffy crossover or someone died etc. This one felt like a statement of intent where the show was putting down its own identity for the seasons to come. One of the very best season finales in the Buffyverse
Sanctuary - 5*5 is great as well but I think this is a more consistent episode from start to finish and it is really moving to see Faith at her most vulnerable after she hits rock bottom
Blind Date - really underrated episode. Lindsey is great in it and I love Gunn's scene in the lobby
Loads of other good eps too - 5*5, IWRY, In the Dark and I have always had a soft spot for The Ring
Well I'm going to be extremely predictable and maybe boring with my no.1 pick 🙃😏
I will say I love the Faith two parter and also the series finale but my top three are literally one after the other because of the change in dynamics to the show itself.
3. Ep 10 Parting Gifts. Wesley showing up was unexpected and yet for a character that I wasn't too fuss about on BTVS, he just fitted in and it was the start or re-start of AI.
2. Ep 9 Hero. Let me just start by saying I love Doyle. He was a perfect fit with Angel and also Cordelia and I would have happily continue on with the three of them working together for AI. So while I appreciate and love what we got moving on from ep 10, a part of me will always wish we could have had Doyle for a bit longer.
I thought he and Cordelia had lovely chemistry and would have been interested to see if they were going to change their working relationship into a romantic one.
Even though I did not want him to go, he got the perfect ending for his character and I'm glad Doyle was not brought back again to be evil like they were possible planning if GQ had sadly died.
1. Ep 8. IWRY. As if it was going to be anything else. My beating heart just loves this episode even if it was a painful ending, I love and enjoy all aspects of the writing and storytelling in regards to the metaphors and insightfulness. However I'm a romantic when it comes to reading and watching so a episode like this hits me deeply with all the feels.