Angel (season 4)

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Angel (season 4)
Angel DVD Season (4).jpg
Region 1 Season 4 DVD cover
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 22
Broadcast
Original channel The WB
Original run October 6, 2002 (2002-10-06) – May 7, 2003 (2003-05-07)
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1 September 7, 2004 (2004-09-07)
Region 2 April 1, 2004 (2004-04-01)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 3
Next →
Season 5
List of Angel episodes

The fourth season of the television series Angel, the spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, premiered on October 6, 2002 on The WB and concluded its 22-episode season on May 7, 2003. The season aired in a new timeslot, Sundays at 9:00 pm ET, and then relocated to Wednesdays at 9:00 pm ET, beginning with "Habeas Corpses".

Season synopsis[edit]

The season begins with Gunn and Fred searching for Angel (who had been trapped at the bottom of the ocean by his treacherous son Connor) and Cordelia (who had been summoned to a Higher Plane of existence) at the end of season three. It turns out that Wesley (who had been banished from the group for betraying Angel's trust) has been independently searching for them both as well. Using information coerced from Justine, Wesley is able to deduce Angel's location and bring him back to shore and to his friends at Angel Investigations. After Angel forces Connor to leave the Hyperion Hotel in retribution for what he did to him, Angel does everything he can to find Cordelia whose whereabouts are still unknown. Angel and Co. eventually learn that Cordelia is happy and they decide to leave her in peace (much to Cordelia's chagrin, who, having been watching the events of the world from on-high, wants to return to Earth and be with her friends again). However, after the team goes on a mission to Las Vegas in order to rescue an abducted Lorne, the gang returns to the hotel and find an amnesiac Cordelia waiting for them – with no idea of who she is or how she got there. After Cordelia is made aware of the demonic world that surrounds them, and of her own rather convoluted past, she decides to go live with Connor because of his truthful outlook on life. Meanwhile, Fred and Gunn hit a serious snag in their relationship after Gunn kills Fred's old college professor for sending her to Pylea, after Fred had intended to kill him herself. Wesley is still sleeping with Lilah Morgan who, after decapitating Linwood Murrow with the backing of the Senior Partners, was made head of special projects at Wolfram & Hart. Wesley and Lilah begin to develop genuine feelings for each other.

Using rather unreliable magic, Lorne is eventually able to retrieve Cordelia's long lost memories which brings back everything she felt for Angel and her friends. After telling Angel that the two of them were in love, she runs out of the hotel unable to deal with everything that has happened to her. Later she tells Angel that as soon as she regained her memory she had a vision of a terrifying monster rising up underneath Los Angeles. This monster would come to be known as The Beast, who, as soon as he is awakened (having been brought forth at the exact place of Connor's birth), brings about an L.A. wide Apocalypse. As the Beast calls down a reign of fire (soon after defeating the entirety of Angel Investigations with little to no effort) Cordelia and Connor look upon what they believe to be the end of the world. Cordelia, perceiving Connor's life as one big sham, decides to sleep with him in order to give him one moment of truth in an otherwise horrible life of lies. Angel, witnessing this after checking to see if they were okay, grows incredibly frustrated and resentful towards the two of them. After Connor contacts Wolfram & Hart to gain information about his true nature, the Beast invades the building and kills everyone inside (except for Lilah who is rescued by Wesley). Angel is informed of this and goes in with his team to rescue his son. Holding back a force of reanimated corpses, Angel and his team make it to the infamous White Room and come face to face with the Beast again who is seen sucking energy from the conduit who resides there. Using her last ounce of strength, the conduit teleports the team away before they are harmed. This event leads to the gang realizing that the Beast is on a quest to kill the five totems of the sun god Ra (known as the Ra-Tet) in order to block out the sun, which he subsequently achieves. In their most recent confrontation, The Beast refers to Angel as if they are old friends (calling him "Angelus"), which leads Wesley to surmise that Angelus may know a way to defeat it and subsequently uses powerful magic to willingly remove Angel's soul, bringing forth the vicious monster at his core.

Angelus tells the team little of value but instead taunts and ridicules each of them by exploiting a weak spot either in their self-esteem or relationships. Lilah returns and offers to free Angelus if he'll help her kill the Beast. The team stop her just in time and bring her back to the hotel along with an ancient text that details knowledge of the Beast. The gang come to realize that the Beast is not a sole agent as they presumed but is in fact working for an even greater entity. With this knowledge they decide to return Angel's soul, but find that its container, the Muo-Ping, is missing. Meanwhile, Fred and Gunn break off their relationship citing the Professor's murder, and Wesley's feelings, as the reason while Connor does his best to beat back the rising demonic hordes in L.A. single-handedly. Angelus eventually escapes his cage and hunts down Cordelia and Lilah in the hotel. They both make a run for it but Lilah is subsequently captured—not by Angelus but by Cordelia who then stabs her in the neck with a dagger, killing her. The gang return to find Lilah dead and Angelus feeding off her corpse. Wesley takes Lilah down to the basement to decapitate her in case she's been turned where he is met with a vision of Lilah who makes him realize what he must do and that the two perhaps did love one another. Wesley then goes to prison to free the rogue Slayer Faith in order to stop Angelus. Faith, Angelus and the Beast compete in a battle wherein Angelus slays the Beast, bringing the sun back. Meanwhile, the Beast's master, whom it turns out is Cordelia, has been communicating with Angelus to try to woo him to her side. During a battle, Angelus sucks Faith's blood but then, both he and Faith, falls into a drug induced coma through the effects of Orpheus—a mystical stimulant which Faith had injected into her blood stream. They share a mystical journey where they see Angel after he was cursed with his soul and came to America. Meanwhile, Willow Rosenberg is summoned to the hotel by Fred in order to return Angel's soul which she successfully does after competing in a magical battle with Cordelia. With all of the team's threats averted Willow takes Faith back to Sunnydale to aid in their fight against The First while Angel proclaims that they are now stronger than ever. However, Cordelia chooses that moment to come downstairs, revealing that she is pregnant with Connor's child.

The team deduce that Cordelia's child must be demonic in nature while Angel realizes that Cordelia is the Beast's master (the one who orchestrated everything that happened throughout the season) and sets up an elaborate scheme to catch her in the act. As Cordelia manipulates Connor into kidnapping and murdering a young, female virgin to bring their baby to term, Angel Inc. learn that they are little more than instruments of fate in a far larger plan. Realizing this truth, Angel goes to kill Cordelia but arrives too late and Cordy's baby is born revealing a beautiful Goddess in its stead. Everyone who looks upon immediately fall in love and gain inner peace—including Angel and Connor. Cordelia, meanwhile, is left in a coma. Jasmine, the name chosen for the fallen power, brings love and peace to the city and begins to end world strife. However, Fred, having accidentally mixed her blood with Jasmine's, realizes the truth—that Jasmine is a hideous creature that is in fact manipulating Earth's inhabitants for her own gain. Fred then goes on the run but bravely returns and confronts Jasmine and Angel Inc. where she is able to bring Angel to her side. The two then infiltrate the hotel and reclaim Wesley, Gunn and Lorne but fail to revert Connor who decides to stand with Jasmine.

The five heroes flee the city and go underground where Wesley is captured by an ancient being who tells of his world where Jasmine once ruled. Wesley figures out a way to said world and as Jasmine's army attempt to capture the team, Wesley opens a portal and sends Angel through telling him to find Jasmine's real name which will break her spell. The team are captured and taken back to the hotel during which Jasmine begins to make her presence known to the world at large. Connor meanwhile becomes dissatisfied with Jasmine's actions and seeks out Cordelia whom he finds resting in a protected church. He then confesses his feelings of pain and inadequacy and unfeeling towards everything that has happened in his life, including Jasmine. Meanwhile, in another dimension, Angel confronts a priest who holds Jasmine's name and brings him back to Earth where he says it out loud, destroying her power. The city is left in ruin as people go from having peace to pain in a matter of seconds. Jasmine blames Angel for this and uses her terrific strength to beat him back. He is saved, however, by Connor who punches a hole through Jasmine's head.

After he runs off, Angel returns to the hotel to find Lilah alive, and the gang perplexed. She has come to offer them the L.A. branch of Wolfram & Hart because of their valiant efforts in ending world peace. They take a trip to the law firm where they are given the full tour including the science division (Fred), the R&D department (Wesley), the entertainment division (Lorne) and the White Room (Gunn). Angel vehemently declines the offer but begins to change his mind after he witnesses Connor strapping explosives to himself, Cordelia and a crowd of innocent people. He goes to his son's aid where Connor tells him that he was a terrible father and that he cannot feel anything in this world. The two proceed to have their final fight where Angel, using a mystically imbued knife granted to him by Wolfram & Hart, slits his son's throat—fulfilling the fake prophecy that stated "The Father Will Kill The Son." In fact, Connor is not dead but instead has been granted an entirely new life by Wolfram & Hart and all knowledge of him has been deleted from his friends' memories. Because of this, Angel takes up Lilah's offer to run Wolfram & Hart. Meanwhile, Wesley had attempted to save Lilah's life by burning her eternal contract with the firm, but to no avail. She thanks him for trying however and professes her genuine feelings for him. Angel then takes a trip to Connor's fabricated life and looks on from a distance as his son shares a joyous dinner with his parents and sisters. Angel then walks away into the shadows.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]

Crew[edit]

Series creator Joss Whedon remained as the sole executive producer of the show after David Greenwalt left at the end of season three to produce the ABC series Miracles after his contract with 20th Century Fox was up. He stayed on as a consulting producer for the remainder of the series. At the start of the season, David Simkins was made showrunner and executive producer, but after three months, he left the show due to "creative differences" and is not credited in any episodes. Jeffrey Bell was promoted to co-executive producer and assumed the role of showrunner for the season. Tim Minear also left the series to run Whedon's new series Firefly but, like Greenwalt, stayed on as a consulting producer, and wrote and directed the season finale "Home". Whedon would write and direct only one episode of the season, "Spin the Bottle", because of his commitments to the first season of Firefly and the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Steven S. DeKnight, who had written for Buffy during seasons five and six, moved over to Angel where he stayed for the remainder of the show's run. He wrote or co-wrote six episodes of the season, including the season premiere and also directed his debut episode; "Inside Out". Buffy writer-producer David Fury joined as a consulting producer (taking over Marti Noxon's role) and ended up writing four episodes. Mere Smith was promoted to executive story editor and wrote or co-wrote four episodes. Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain joined the show as staff writers and wrote or co-wrote five episodes. Firefly writer Ben Edlund was hired as a producer towards the end of the season, following the cancellation of Firefly.[1]

Episodes[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
67 1 "Deep Down" Terrence O'Hara Steven S. DeKnight October 6, 2002 (2002-10-06) 4ADH01 4.57[2]
Angel is trapped on the ocean floor and Cordelia is stuck on a mystical plane. Wesley searches independently for them as well as Fred and Gunn.
68 2 "Ground State" Michael Grossman Mere Smith October 13, 2002 (2002-10-13) 4ADH02 4.21[2]
Angel, Fred and Gunn break into an auction house to get an object that may locate Cordelia, but a cat burglar named Gwen, who possesses the power to control electricity, targets the same relic.
69 3 "The House Always Wins" Marita Grabiak David Fury October 20, 2002 (2002-10-20) 4ADH03 5.07[2]
Angel decides to take Gunn and Fred on a road trip to Vegas to visit Lorne, who is being blackmailed to help a manager steal people's destinies.
70 4 "Slouching Toward Bethlehem" Skip Schoolnik Jeffrey Bell October 27, 2002 (2002-10-27) 4ADH04 4.13[2]
Cordelia returns but has no memory of who she is. Connor saves her from a demon and she decides to stay with him.
71 5 "Supersymmetry" Bill L. Norton Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain November 3, 2002 (2002-11-03) 4ADH05 3.64[2]
Fred's article is published and she's invited to speak at a symposium where a portal opens.
72 6 "Spin the Bottle" Joss Whedon Joss Whedon November 10, 2002 (2002-11-10) 4ADH06 3.63[2]
Lorne attempts a spell on Cordelia to restore her memory, which results in the gang reverting to their memories as teenagers.
73 7 "Apocalypse, Nowish" Vern Gillum Steven S. DeKnight November 17, 2002 (2002-11-17) 4ADH07 4.25[2]
Cordelia's apocalyptic nightmares become a reality as a powerful demon emerges in L.A.
74 8 "Habeas Corpses" Skip Schoolnik Jeffrey Bell January 15, 2003 (2003-01-15) 4ADH08 4.01[2]
Angel learns that Connor is trapped in Wolfram and Hart, which is under attack from the Beast.
75 9 "Long Day's Journey" Terrence O'Hara Mere Smith January 22, 2003 (2003-01-22) 4ADH09 3.46[2]
The gang learns that the answer to stopping The Beast is "among them", they suspect Connor. Meanwhile, Gwen returns, and the gang learn that the Beast intends to blot out the sun.
76 10 "Awakening" James A. Contner David Fury & Steven S. DeKnight January 29, 2003 (2003-01-29) 4ADH10 3.1[2]
In an attempt to locate The Beast and restore the sun, Wesley brings in a dark mystic to extract Angel's soul.
77 11 "Soulless" Sean Astin Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain February 5, 2003 (2003-02-05) 4ADH11 3.46[2]
Angelus is interrogated by Wesley and co as they attempt to find out how to kill The Beast.
78 12 "Calvary" Bill L. Norton Jeffrey Bell & Steven S. DeKnight & Mere Smith February 12, 2003 (2003-02-12) 4ADH12 3.69[2]
The gang discover The Beast is working for a much more powerful Master, who is far closer to home than they realize.
79 13 "Salvage" Jefferson Kibbee David Fury March 5, 2003 (2003-03-05) 4ADH13 3.72[2]
Wesley releases Faith from prison to help capture Angelus, who is himself going after the Beast.
80 14 "Release" James A. Contner Steven S. DeKnight & Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain March 12, 2003 (2003-03-12) 4ADH14 3.91[2]
Angelus continues his search for the Beast's Master as Faith attempts to find a way to contain Angelus.
81 15 "Orpheus" Terrence O'Hara Mere Smith March 19, 2003 (2003-03-19) 4ADH15 3.91[2]
Willow is called in to restore Angel's soul. Meanwhile, while in their comas, Angelus and Faith experience flashbacks of Angel's good deeds over the centuries, culminating in a mental showdown between Angel and Angelus.
82 16 "Players" Michael Grossman Jeffrey Bell & Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain March 26, 2003 (2003-03-26) 4ADH16 3.45[2]
Gwen enlists Gunn's help to steal a device to control her abilities while Lorne attempts a ritual to restore his empathic powers.
83 17 "Inside Out" Steven S. DeKnight Steven S. DeKnight April 2, 2003 (2003-04-02) 4ADH17 3.55[2]
The gang learns of a higher being's plan to give birth to itself through Cordelia, and Connor receives a visit from the spirit of his deceased mother, Darla.
84 18 "Shiny Happy People" Marita Grabiak Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain April 9, 2003 (2003-04-09) 4ADH18 3.92[2]
As Cordelia lies in a coma following her demonic delivery, the rest of the gang becomes acquainted with—and enchanted by—her unexpected offspring, Jasmine.
85 19 "The Magic Bullet" Jeffrey Bell Jeffrey Bell April 16, 2003 (2003-04-16) 4ADH19 4.09[2]
After discovering the secret to breaking Jasmine's spell over the nation's citizens, Fred must find a way to save the others before she's captured and killed.
86 20 "Sacrifice" David Straiton Ben Edlund April 23, 2003 (2003-04-23) 4ADH20 3.71[2]
Free from Jasmine's spell, Angel and the gang escape into the sewers for protection, where Wesley discovers an insect-like demon that may hold the key to defeating Jasmine.
87 21 "Peace Out" Jefferson Kibbee David Fury April 30, 2003 (2003-04-30) 4ADH21 4.04[2]
Connor goes in search of the missing Cordelia, while Angel travels to another dimension in search of Jasmine's true name.
88 22 "Home" Tim Minear Tim Minear May 7, 2003 (2003-05-07) 4ADH22 3.95[2]
With Jasmine defeated, Angel and the gang are made an offer they can't refuse from W&H, and Connor goes over the edge into madness.

Crossovers with Buffy the Vampire Slayer[edit]

The fourth season of Angel coincided with the seventh and final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This was the final year in which both shows were on television together.

In the Buffy episode "Lies My Parents Told Me", Willow (Alyson Hannigan) receives a call from Fred. She leaves immediately and goes to L.A. without telling why. Willow appears in "Orpheus" to re-ensoul Angel (David Boreanaz) as she previously did in the Buffy season two finale "Becoming, Part Two". After successfully re-ensouling Angel, she brings Faith (Eliza Dushku) back with her to Sunnydale to help in the fight against The First Evil.

In the season four finale, "Home", Angel receives an amulet from Wolfram & Hart which is important to the final battle in Sunnydale. Angel goes to Sunnydale in the penultimate Buffy episode "End of Days" and also appears in the series finale "Chosen". Angel gives Buffy the amulet (which is later worn by Spike in the final battle) and offers his help, but Buffy declines as she needs him to be the second front if they fail. Buffy and Angel share one final moment in a graveyard where they discuss a possible future.

Reception[edit]

The fourth season was nominated for five Saturn Awards – Best Network Television Series, Best Actress in a Television Series (Charisma Carpenter), Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series (Alexis Denisof), Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series (Amy Acker), and David Boreanaz won for Best Actor in a Television Series. The season was also nominated for four Satellite Awards – David Boreanaz for Best Actor – Television Series Drama, Andy Hallett for Best Supporting Actor – Television Series Drama, and Amy Acker and Gina Torres both for Best Supporting Actress – Television Series Drama.[3]

The Futon Critic named "Spin the Bottle" the 33rd best episode of 2002[4] and "Peace Out" the 25th best episode of 2003.[5]

The fourth season averaged 3.7 million viewers, slightly lower than the seventh and final season of Buffy.[6]

DVD release[edit]

Angel: The Complete Fourth Season was released on DVD in region 1 on September 7, 2004[7] and in region 2 on April 1, 2004.[8] The DVD includes all 22 episodes on 6 discs presented in anamorphic widescreen 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Special features on the DVD include seven commentary tracks—"The House Always Wins" by writer David Fury and actor Andy Hallett; "Spin the Bottle" by writer/director Joss Whedon and actor Alexis Denisof; "Apocalypse, Nowish" by writer Steven S. DeKnight and director Vern Gillum; "Orpheus" by co-executive producer Jeffrey Bell and director Terrence O'Hara; "Inside Out" by writer/director Steven S. DeKnight; "The Magic Bullet" by writer/director Jeffrey Bell; and "Home" by writer/director Tim Minear. Featurettes include, "Angel and the Apocalypse", which details how they depicted the apocalypse on the show; "Unplugged: Season 4 Outtakes", a series of outtakes from the season; "Last Looks: The Hyperion Hotel", a set tour of the Hyperion Hotel; "Fatal Beauty and the Beast", a look at the villains of the season; "Malice in Wonderland: Wolfram & Hart", a look at the law firm and its importance in the show; and "Prophecies: Season 4 Overview", a summary of the season featuring interviews with cast and crew members.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A Brief History of Mutant Enemy". Whedon.info. May 24, 2004. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "Nielsen Ratings for Angel's Fourth Season". Archived from the original on April 11, 2004. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  3. ^ ""Angel" (1999) - Awards". IMDb. Retrieved August 12, 2010. 
  4. ^ Brian Ford Sullivan (January 7, 2003). "The 50 Best Episodes of 2002 - #40-31". The Futon Critic. Retrieved August 12, 2010. 
  5. ^ Brian Ford Sullivan (January 14, 2004). "The 50 Best Episodes of 2003 - #30-21". The Futon Critic. Retrieved August 12, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Season Ratings 2002-2003". Nielsen Media Research. Retrieved August 12, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Angel - Season Four (1999)". Amazon.com. Retrieved August 9, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Buffy DVD and VHS". BBC. Retrieved August 9, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Angel - The Complete 4th Season". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved February 18, 2011. 

External links[edit]