Angel (season 3)

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Angel (season 3)
Angel DVD Season (3).jpg
Region 1 Season 3 DVD cover
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 22
Original network The WB
Original release September 24, 2001 (2001-09-24) – May 20, 2002 (2002-05-20)
Season chronology
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Season 2
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Season 4
List of Angel episodes

The third season of the television series Angel, the spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, premiered on September 24, 2001 on The WB and concluded its 22-episode season on May 20, 2002. The season aired in a new timeslot, Mondays at 9:00 pm ET. This was the first season where Angel and Buffy didn't air on the same network, as Buffy had moved to the UPN network beginning with its sixth season.

Season synopsis[edit]

After Angel spends time at a monastery in Sri Lanka mourning Buffy's death, he returns to Los Angeles and is welcomed home by Cordelia, Wesley and Gunn while Fred stays confined to her room, too frightened to leave the hotel. Cordelia is personally attacked by Wolfram & Hart in "That Vision Thing" when Lilah hires a Shaman to hack into the visions granted to Cordelia by the Powers That Be and manifest them physically in order to persuade Angel to free a convicted felon from a hell dimension which he then does. This felon would come back to haunt the females of the group in the episode "Billy" where he uses his power to bring out primal misogyny within the males of the species. Fred, Cordelia and even Lilah are forced to fend for themselves as they battle their friends and eventually overcome Billy's tyranny. Both Gunn and Fred officially join the Angel Investigations team after Gunn realizes where his true loyalties lie and Fred comes to terms with what happened in Pylea and realizes she has something to offer to the team: her intellect. Meanwhile, Wesley starts to grow into his leadership position, portraying the same authority and ruthlessness he showed back in Pylea. He also starts developing feelings for Fred but halts his advances after the traumatic events of "Billy".

In "Offspring", Darla returns to L.A. eight and a half months pregnant with Angel's illegitimate love child brought upon by their one night stand during season two. Although vampires are unable to reproduce due to their lifeless bodies it becomes apparent that the second chance Angel won for Darla before she was re-sired was enough of a loophole for a child to come to term. Wesley finds reference to "the child born to two vampires" in the Nyazian prophecies and surmises that the child is part of the "Tro-Clon"; a confluence of events that will bring about either the purification or ruination of mankind. As Darla comes closer to labor more people find out about the coming birth of the miracle child including Wolfram & Hart and the current head of special projects, Linwood Murrow. They attempt to steal the baby in order to figure out why it exists. However, they are intercepted not by Angel but by a mysterious man from Angel's past who they come to know as Daniel Holtz. It turns out that Holtz is a part of the Tro-Clon and was brought forth, almost two hundred years into the future, by the dimension-hopping demon Sahjhan in order to kill Angel. As more of the Nyazian prophecy is deciphered it becomes clear that Darla will not give birth; "There will be no birth, only death". This cryptic message comes to fruition in the rain-soaked alley behind Lorne's club Caritas after Holtz destroys it using powerful explosives. Darla, realizing that the baby can not be born and realizing too that she will not be able to love it without a soul, kills herself in the hope that it will bring her baby life. As Darla's ashes fade away a baby boy is left in her stead. Holtz comes within killing range of Angel, but after seeing the new born baby in his arms, lets him go, informing Sahjhan that he has a plan that will truly destroy Angel. At the hospital, Angel comes to name his son Connor after his Irish roots.

Over the next few months Angel Investigations become a surrogate family towards baby Connor, looking after him when his father can't while their business continues to boom. Wesley and Gunn both vie for Fred's affection. After the destruction of Caritas, Lorne decides to move into the hotel. On her 21st birthday Cordelia falls into a mystical coma caused by the neurological damage of the ever more debilitating visions. She is then offered a second life of fame and fortune but decides to stand with Angel and help the helpless, allowed to do so by sacrificing her humanity. Now half-demon, Cordelia is wary of her newfound powers but finds it to be a blessing in disguise after the visions cease to cause her pain. After a night fraught with sexual energy the gang return to the hotel to find the Groosalugg waiting for them, having left Pylea to find his true love – Cordelia. With the two of them now together, Angel decides to send the two lovers away on a holiday to give Cordelia a much needed break. Meanwhile, Fred chooses Gunn as her suitor leaving Wesley devastated and emotionally withdrawn. While looking for references about Connor in the Nyazian prophecies, Wesley comes across a passage inscribed; "The father will kill the son." Meanwhile, Holtz has been raising an army of vengeful, vampire hunters willing to fight and die for his cause. Chief among them is Justine Cooper who lost her twin sister to a vampire attack. Wesley meets with Holtz and learns that he plans to assault Angel Investigations but gives Wesley the option to take the baby and go. With everything that Wesley has seen and heard and fearing for the safety of the baby, he feels he has no choice but to take Connor away. However, he is tricked by Holtz and, as he is about to leave, is confronted by Justine who slits his throat and steals the baby away. Holtz then attempts to flee with Justine and the baby but is ambushed by both Angel and Wolfram & Hart. Sahjhan appears and opens a portal to "Quor'toth" – darkest of the dark worlds. With Wolfram & Hart ready to take the baby away (or kill him), Angel tells Holtz to take the baby and run. Holtz jumps into the hell dimension, just before telling Angel that his son will never even know he existed. Angel is left emotionally shattered.

Subsequently, Wesley is found bleeding to death in a park and is taken to a hospital where Angel then attempts to smother him to death. Although he fails to do so he tells Wesley that if he ever sees him again he will kill him for the part he played in Connor's abduction. When Cordelia returns from holiday she is angry at the gang for not informing her of the events that transpired after she left and hurt that they wouldn't immediately call her back after things began to spiral out of control. Meanwhile, Gunn and Fred hit a snag in their relationship when an old acquaintance comes to collect Gunn's indebted soul. The gang use this as a catalyst to re-shape their team and get back on track with the Fred/Gunn romance strengthened because of it. As Angel, Inc. begin to rebuild their lives Wesley is busy being continuously ensnared by Wolfram & Hart. Now holding onto a dark and cynical outlook to life, Wesley is approached by Lilah who infiltrates his life and ends up having sex with him. Wesley refuses to join her company however. After the Hyperion Hotel is infested by inter-dimensional, insect like demons (and subsequently cleansed by Cordelia's newfound, angelic powers) a portal to the Quor'toth is created through which Connor re-appears, now sixteen years old and back on Earth to kill Angel for what he did to Holtz' family. Meanwhile, Holtz comes back through the portal as well and tells Connor that he should be with his father claiming to have no taste for vengeance anymore. This, however, is Holtz' final revenge after he has Justine kill him in the manner of a vampire and blames it on Angel. While Connor infiltrates Angel Investigations to lure them into a false sense of security, Angel believes everything in his life is finally starting to go well. Cordelia is halted by a spirit guide who tells her that she no longer belongs on Earth and instead has been called to a Higher Plane. Meanwhile, Connor attacks Angel on the beach and uses a stun gun to incapacitate him. With the help of Justine, he traps Angel in a crate and sinks him to the bottom of the ocean. After this night, Angel Investigations is left shattered; Cordelia is in a heavenly dimension, Lorne has moved on to Las Vegas, the Groosalugg left Cordelia, Connor betrayed his father and Angel was sent to the bottom of the sea. Fred and Gunn are the only members of the group left, curious as to where everyone has gone.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]


Series creators Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt served as executive producers, while Greenwalt would serve as the series' showrunner as Whedon was running Buffy and developing his new series, Firefly. Whedon wrote and directed one episode during the season; "Waiting in the Wings". Greenwalt wrote four of the season's episodes and directed two, the premiere and the finale. Tim Minear was promoted to executive producer midseason and wrote and/or directed six episodes of the season including important, Connor-centric episodes such as "Lullaby", "A New World" and "Benediction". Buffy writer/producer Marti Noxon served as consulting producer for her final season on Angel, as she was also running Buffy since she was promoted to executive producer. Buffy writer David Fury wrote one freelance episode, and he officially joined the writing staff in the following season.

The only other returning writer was Mere Smith, who was promoted to story editor. New additions included Jeffrey Bell, who wrote and/or co-wrote six episodes during the season, and served as co-producer, then promoted to producer midseason. Scott Murphy was hired as story editor, although he only wrote two episodes in the first half of the season. Buffy script coordinator David H. Goodman was hired to write two freelance episodes.[1]

This was the last season in which both David Greenwalt and Tim Minear served as full-time writer-producers, as Minear left to help develop Whedon's new series, Firefly and Greenwalt left as his contract with Fox was up. They both served as consulting producers for subsequent seasons.

Writer Tim Minear directed the highest amount of episodes in the third season, directing four episodes.


No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
451"Heartthrob"David GreenwaltDavid GreenwaltSeptember 24, 2001 (2001-09-24)3ADH01
As Angel mourns Buffy's death, he battles a lovelorn vampire seeking revenge for the death of his beloved.
462"That Vision Thing"Bill L. NortonJeffrey BellOctober 1, 2001 (2001-10-01)3ADH03
Lilah coerces Angel's help in securing the release of a prisoner the "Powers That Be" have locked in a fiery prison.
473"That Old Gang of Mine"Fred KellerTim MinearOctober 8, 2001 (2001-10-08)3ADH02
Gunn's loyalties are torn between his current demon-hunting associates and the gang he used to hang out with when his old gang starts murdering innocent demons.
484"Carpe Noctem"James A. ContnerScott MurphyOctober 15, 2001 (2001-10-15)3ADH04
An old man uses an ancient incantation to switch bodies with Angel.
495"Fredless"Marita GrabiakMere SmithOctober 22, 2001 (2001-10-22)3ADH05
When Fred's parents come to take her home, she feels she should go with them as she doesn't belong to the gang.
506"Billy"David GrossmanTim Minear & Jeffrey BellOctober 29, 2001 (2001-10-29)3ADH06
Angel's friends are affected by a man called Billy with the power to make other men brutalize women, forcing Fred to deal with a psychotic Wesley and Gunn.
517"Offspring"Turi MeyerDavid GreenwaltNovember 5, 2001 (2001-11-05)3ADH07
As the crew researches a prophecy about the arrival of a being of huge profound impact on the world, Darla arrives at the hotel pregnant.
528"Quickening"Skip SchoolnikJeffrey BellNovember 12, 2001 (2001-11-12)3ADH08
As Angel and his friends try to determine what kind of baby Darla will have, Holtz starts his search for Angel.
539"Lullaby"Tim MinearTim MinearNovember 19, 2001 (2001-11-19)3ADH09
As Darla goes through a difficult labor, Holtz pursues Angel.
5410"Dad"Fred KellerDavid H. GoodmanDecember 10, 2001 (2001-12-10)3ADH10
Angel tries to keep his son safe from the many demons, vampires and humans who would like to harm the baby.
5511"Birthday"Michael GrossmanMere SmithJanuary 14, 2002 (2002-01-14)3ADH11
On her birthday, Cordelia learns her visions will kill her unless she goes back in time and chooses a different path in life.
5612"Provider"Bill L. NortonScott MurphyJanuary 21, 2002 (2002-01-21)3ADH12
Fred solves a puzzle for a group of demons who literally want to buy her brain, stalking her.
5713"Waiting in the Wings"Joss WhedonJoss WhedonFebruary 4, 2002 (2002-02-04)3ADH13
Angel and his friends attend a ballet, where Angel realizes he saw exactly the same dancers on stage 110 years ago.
5814"Couplet"Tim MinearTim Minear & Jeffrey BellFebruary 18, 2002 (2002-02-18)3ADH14
Angel struggles with his jealousy of the newly arrived Groosalugg.
5915"Loyalty"James A. ContnerMere SmithFebruary 25, 2002 (2002-02-25)3ADH15
Wesley dreads the fulfilment of the prophecy that Angel will kill Connor.
6016"Sleep Tight"Terrence O'HaraDavid GreenwaltMarch 4, 2002 (2002-03-04)3ADH16
To save Connor's life, Wesley takes him away from Angel.
6117"Forgiving"Turi MeyerJeffrey BellApril 15, 2002 (2002-04-15)3ADH17
As Fred and Gunn search for Wesley, Angel searches for Sahjhan to learn more about the prophecy that he would kill Connor.
6218"Double or Nothing"David GrossmanDavid H. GoodmanApril 22, 2002 (2002-04-22)3ADH18
When a demon that Gunn once sold his soul to comes to collect on the debt, Angel, Groosalugg, Fred and Cordelia help to save him.
6319"The Price"Marita GrabiakDavid FuryApril 29, 2002 (2002-04-29)3ADH19
Angel's hotel is infested by demonic slugs created by the spell he used to alter Sahjhan.
6420"A New World"Tim MinearJeffrey BellMay 6, 2002 (2002-05-06)3ADH20
Angel's son returns from another dimension, now a teenager. Angel pursues Connor, who makes a new friend on the streets.
6521"Benediction"Tim MinearTim MinearMay 13, 2002 (2002-05-13)3ADH21
Holtz insists that Connor rejoin Angel. Meanwhile, Justine learns Holtz is back.
6622"Tomorrow"David GreenwaltDavid GreenwaltMay 20, 2002 (2002-05-20)3ADH22
Angel and Cordelia plan to meet to finally acknowledge their feelings.

Crossovers with Buffy the Vampire Slayer[edit]

The third season of Angel coincided with the sixth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. With this season, Buffy switched networks from The WB to UPN, while Angel still remained on The WB. Because they were on competing networks, there were no official crossovers. At the time, WB Entertainment President Jordan Levin stated "There will be no crossovers between Angel and Buffy. I think it's more important, in the long term, that Angel really establishes itself as a world that obviously comes from the same mythology, but operates with its own set of principles, guidelines and characters, and really establishes itself independently from Buffy."[2] Although there's no distinct crossovers where characters appear on the other shows, there are moments where characters are mentioned or moments that happen off screen.

At the end of the episode "Carpe Noctem", Angel (David Boreanaz) receives a telephone call in which Willow tells him Buffy is alive. Buffy then receives a call from Angel at the end of the Buffy episode "Flooded", and immediately leaves to meet with him. Although the phone call scenes happen on screen, neither Willow's side on Angel or Angel's side on Buffy is shown. The scene between Buffy and Angel also happens off screen, but is described by them in the following episodes.


The third season was nominated for three Saturn Awards – Best Network Television Series, Best Actor on Television (David Boreanaz) and Female Cinescape Genre Face of the Future Award (Amy Acker). The episode "Waiting in the Wings" was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.[3]

The Futon Critic named "Billy" the 36th best episode of 2001[4] and "That Vision Thing" the 14th best episode of 2001.[5]

The third season averaged 4.4 million viewers, slightly lower than the sixth season of Buffy.[6]

DVD release[edit]

Angel: The Complete Third Season was released on DVD in region 1 on February 10, 2004[7] and in region 2 on March 3, 2003.[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 three commentary tracks—"Billy" by writers Tim Minear and Jeffrey Bell; "Lullaby" by writer/director Tim Minear and Mere Smith; and "Waiting in the Wings" by writer/director Joss Whedon. There are two sets of deleted scenes, for "Birthday" with commentary by Tim Minear and Mere Smith and "Waiting in the Wings" with commentary by Joss Whedon. Featurettes include, "Darla: Deliver Us From Evil", a featurette on the character of Darla with interviews with actress Julie Benz; "Page to Screen" which details the process from the script to the completed episode; and "Season 3 Overview" is a summary of the season featuring interviews with cast and crew members. Also included are screen tests for Amy Acker and Vincent Kartheiser, series outtakes, and photo galleries.[9]


  1. ^ "A Brief History of Mutant Enemy". May 24, 2004. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  2. ^ Frank Kurtz (July 16, 2001). "Joss Whedon Talks Angel/Buffy Crossovers". Archived from the original on June 21, 2008. Retrieved August 1, 2010.
  3. ^ ""Angel" (1999) - Awards". IMDb. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  4. ^ Brian Ford Sullivan (January 2, 2002). "The 50 Best Episodes of 2001 - #40-31". The Futon Critic. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  5. ^ Brian Ford Sullivan (January 4, 2002). "The 50 Best Episodes of 2001 - #20-11". The Futon Critic. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  6. ^ "How did your favorite show rate?". USA Today. May 28, 2002. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  7. ^ "Angel - Season Three (1999)". Retrieved August 9, 2010.
  8. ^ "Buffy DVD and VHS". BBC. Retrieved August 9, 2010.
  9. ^ "Angel - The Complete 3rd Season". Archived from the original on August 11, 2011. Retrieved February 18, 2011.

External links[edit]