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|First appearance||"City Of"
|Last appearance||Angel: After the Fall|
|Created by||Joss Whedon|
|Purpose||Helping the helpless/hopeless, saving lost souls, demon hunting, forming an opposition to Wolfram & Hart|
Angel Investigations is a fictional detective agency run by the title character Angel previously on the WB television series Angel (a spin-off from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). It is sometimes abbreviated as AI. The agency allows Angel to openly advertise his willingness to assist people in trouble without specifying the agency's specialization in supernatural cases; their slogan We Help the Helpless is especially appealing to people who are unfamiliar with the supernatural world and therefore are afraid to ask for help, fearing they will be considered crazy, but who are nonetheless in desperate need of aid.
Throughout most of the series' run, the agency has employed most of the characters, and provided the series with a steady income of storylines. Because of this, AI is somewhat synonymous to the group of main characters. It is also known as Team Angel, a term that could be employed even following the demise of Angel Investigations as a business.
Story of the agency
The agency is founded by Angel on the first episode Season One, "City Of". Angel makes friends with Doyle, a half-demon who's been given visions by The Powers That Be of people in need of Angel's help. After they successfully rescue former Sunnydale associate Cordelia Chase, she joins them and encourages them to front their operations with a detective agency, with the hope of having a steady paycheck while she attempts to make it as an actress. Cordelia also coins their slogan, "We help the hopeless" and designs their business logo, a stylized angel which resembles "a lobster."
Halfway through Season 1, Doyle passes his visions on to Cordelia just prior to his death. Another old Sunnydale friend, self-styled "rogue demon hunter" and former Watcher Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, joins Angel Investigations soon thereafter bringing an extensive knowledge of demons and magic to the agency. At the end of season one, street tough vampire hunter Charles Gunn also joins AI, adding much-needed brawn to their group. AI originally operate out of Angel's residence, a basement apartment beneath a ground floor office space comprising an inner executive office and an outer reception area. At the end of the first season, however, an agent of the evil law firm Wolfram and Hart blows up the building as part of their scheme against Angel.
Cordelia's residence is pressed into service as AI headquarters until shortly into Season 2, when AI moves to a new location, the Hyperion Hotel. Now empty and all but abandoned, the Hyperion is a luxury hotel where Angel stayed in 1952. The Hyperion was abandoned due to a demon that drove the occupants to insanity. AI kills the demon and takes control of the building for use as their headquarters, Angel concluding that they will redeem the building like he seeks to redeem himself. The manager's office in the lobby is used by Angel (and later Wesley) and several of the empty rooms are used as a residence for various characters. Halfway through season two, Angel fires his three colleagues after escalating disagreements about his growing moral corruption. Instead of disbanding while Angel deals with his private issues, Gunn, Cordelia, and Wesley continue running AI without him in a rented office. They opt to keep the name "Angel Investigations" because they feel they are continuing the "mission" that Angel started out with, but their attempts to operate independently are hamped by the lack of Angel's supernatural abilities and his weapons stockpile. Eventually, Angel rejoins them and their base of operations returns to the Hyperion Hotel. As part of his amends, he agrees to work for them and Wesley is selected as the leader of the team; however, Angel, being the group's champion and greatest fighter, is often unofficially in charge, leading their fights against Gunn's old gang and Wolfram & Hart's attempts to capture the pregnant Darla. At the end of the second season, A.I. spent three episodes in the demon-dimension Pylea, home to friend Lorne. There they rescue Winifred Burkle, a stranded former physics student, who joins the agency around the middle of Season 3 after spending some time recovering from the trauma of her time in Pylea.
After a falling-out in Season 3, Wesley leaves the group and sets up his own group, which is run more as a paramilitary mercenary group than a detective agency. Angel resumes his function as leader with the departure of Wesley, and remains the de facto leader when he returns.
At the end of Season 4, the agency is dissolved when Angel assumes control over the L.A. branch of their former enemy Wolfram & Hart.
In Season 5, the A.I. team is now known as Team Angel, though, in "Underneath", Angel claims that they "don't have a name". Due to their alliance with Wolfram & Hart this season, Angel's friends and allies in the Scooby Gang, including Buffy, have deemed him, and his crew by extension, untrustworthy.
By After the Fall, the team seems to have been fully disbanded, though the members are still active, albeit operating mostly independent of each other; the now-human Angel and a ghostly Wesley are combating the Demon Lords from the destroyed Wolfram & Hart building, Spike and an unstable Illyria are posing as Demon Lords in order to save humans and benevolent demons, a vampiric Gunn is fighting the Demon Lords and plotting revenge against Angel for letting him die, Connor is heading a safe house for humans and benevolent demons (most of them having been rescued and evacuated into his care by Spike and an anonymous Angel) alongside Nina Ash and Gwen Raiden, and Lorne is the neutral Lord of Silver Lake with the Groosalugg as his champion. In Angel's battle with the other Demon Lords' champions, Lorne rallies the others in order to help him in the fight, and afterwards, they all move back into the Hyperion.
After the Senior Partners rewind time, Angel and his crew are back in the Hyperion, running Angel Investigations as a business yet again, albeit with several difficulties due to Angel's newly acquired fame; most of their recent clients are fans and admirers rather than people who actually need help.
As seen in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, Angel has been working undercover in an anti-Slayer paramilitary group, indicating that, by that time, Angel Investigations has either been disbanded or is simply continuing to function without him.
Aforementioned karaoke-demon Lorne, and Angel's son Connor, are also associated with the agency, although it is unclear whether or not they are actually employees.
In order of length of membership:
- Angel, the team's namesake and a member throughout. The exception to this being a period in Season 2, where technically he disbanded the team, but the other members simply continued without him. Originally he had been the team's leader and boss, when he returned after his absence from the team, he was de jure subordinate to Wesley. When Wesley left the team, Angel essentially became the de facto leader once again.
- Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, a member from mid-season 1 onwards and team leader for some period. His actions in Season 3 forced him to leave, though he was gradually accepted back into the group again. He died in the series finale.
- Charles Gunn, an ally from the end of Season 1 onwards, Gunn officially joins the group in Season 2, when he starts receiving a salary. He leaves the group between Angel Season 5 and After the Fall, because he was turned into a vampire. No longer a vampire, he takes a leave of absence with Illyria in Aftermath and returns in the ongoing IDW series.
- Cordelia Chase, a founding member until her disappearance at the end of Season 3. She returned in Season 4 but, possessed, was working against AI from within. She fell into a coma at the end of that season and died the following year. In Angel: After the Fall she is revealed to be a genuine Higher being for the Powers That Be.
- Winifred Burkle, introduced towards the end of Season 2, Fred becomes a member in Season 3 and is a core member of the group until her death in Season 5.
- Lorne, a long-time ally since his introduction in the first episode of Season 2, it is hard to pinpoint when he becomes a genuine member of the group, though most likely in Season 3 after the destruction of his karaoke club Caritas. Lorne leaves the group after Season 5, but returns as an ally in After the Fall.
- Spike, an old ally of Angel back in his soulless days, joins the team during the fifth season when he comes back alive after his death in the finale of Buffy.
- Allen Francis Doyle, a founding member. Doyle was a half-demon with precognitive abilities. He died in Season 1.
- Connor, Angel's son is introduced in Season 3 and has a complicated relationship with the group, more often than not he is working against them or is indifferent to them due to his belief that Angel is inherently evil. He finally accepts Angel as his father and joins the group in Angel: After the Fall, continuing as a current member of the team.
- Nina Ash, a werewolf who Angel dated in Season 5. Once LA got sucked into Hell after "Not Fade Away", she teams up with Connor and Gwen to help people stuck in the city. She joins Angel's team in Issue #5 of Angel: After the Fall.
- Illyria, a depowered Old One who was introduced in Season 5 after being revived in the shell of Fred's body. She joins Angel's team for a short period of time during Angel: After the Fall.
- Gwen Raiden, a professional thief and electrokinetic mutant introduced early on in Season 4. Initially an ally of the team, she becomes a part-time member of the group in Angel: After the Fall onwards.
- Cordelia Chase
- Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, starting with the episode "Parting Gifts"
- Allen Francis Doyle, until his death in "Hero"
- Kate Lockley, starting with the episode "Lonely Hearts" until "The Prodigal".
- Charles Gunn, starting with the episode "War Zone".
- Buffy Summers, when she visits LA in the episodes "I Will Remember You" and "Sanctuary".
- Daniel 'Oz' Osbourne, when he visits LA in the episode "In the Dark".
- The Scooby Gang, shown towards the end of Season One of Angel that Angel and Cordelia are still in contact with Scooby Gang members Rupert Giles and Willow Rosenberg.
- Lindsey McDonald during the episode "Blind Date".
- Angel, until he leaves the team in "Reunion", and then rejoins in "Epiphany"
- Cordelia Chase
- Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
- Charles Gunn, officially joins in "Untouched"
- Lorne, who frequently gives Angel advice from the episode "Judgement" onwards.
- Kate Lockley, from "The Shroud of Rahmon" until she leaves town in "Epiphany".
- Winifred Burkle, helps the gang from the episode "Over the Rainbow" onwards in Pylea.
- Willow Rosenberg in a phone conversation with Cordelia in "Disharmony"
- Cordelia Chase
- Charles Gunn
- Winifred Burkle, starting from around the episode "Fredless".
- Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, until he leaves the group in "Sleep Tight" with Connor.
- Lorne, starting with the episode "Dad"
- Angel, until he becomes Angelus in "Awakening" but returns in "Orpheus"
- Cordelia Chase, until she becomes possessed by Jasmine in "Spin the Bottle"
- Charles Gunn
- Winifred Burkle
- Lorne, after his return from Las Vegas in "The House Always Wins"
- Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, rejoins the group in the episode "Apocalypse, Nowish"
- Connor, unreliably starting with the episode "Slouching Toward Bethlehem" until he solely listens to Jasmine in Cordelia's body in "Release"
- Faith, starting with the episode "Salvage" until she leaves town in "Orpheus" with Willow.
- Gwen Raiden, from around "Ground State", helps the group out in "Long Day's Journey" and requests their help in "Players"
- Willow Rosenberg visits to help restore Angel's soul in the episode "Orpheus"
Although Angel and Team work for Wolfram and Hart, and no longer run Angel Investigations, there still is a core team and allies:
- Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
- Charles Gunn
- Lorne until he leaves the group in "Not Fade Away"
- Winifred "Fred" Burkle, until her death in "A Hole in the World"
- Spike, initially an ally until he officially joins them in "A Hole in the World"
- Illyria, goes from antagonist, to ally, and finally acts as a member of the group in "Not Fade Away".
- Cordelia Chase, briefly returns in "You're Welcome".
- Harmony Kendall until "Not Fade Away"
- Connor works with Angel during "Origin" and "Not Fade Away".
- Lindsey McDonald during the episode "Not Fade Away".
After the Fall
- Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, until time is reversed in Angel: After the Fall #16
- Cordelia Chase, in Angel: After the Fall #12 and #13
- Spike, starting with Angel: After the Fall #5
- Connor, starting with Angel: After the Fall #5
- Nina Ash, starting with Angel: After the Fall #5
- Illyria, starting with Angel: After the Fall #5 until she reverts to her true form in #14
- Gwen Raiden, starting with Angel: After the Fall #5, until her betrayal in Angel: After the Fall #11
- Cordelia (dragon)
- Lorne, starting with Angel: After the Fall #4
- The Groosalugg, starting with Angel: After the Fall #4
From issue 18 to present
- Angel, until becoming Twilight in Buffy Season 8
- Spike, until Angel: After the Fall #38
- Connor, acting as leader from, Angel: After the Fall #28 to present
- Illyria, until Angel: After the Fall #44
- Charles Gunn to present
- Betta George, until Angel: After the Fall #38 when he then leaves with Spike
- Laura Weathermill to present
- Polyphemus, until Angel: After the Fall #44
- James, until Angel: After the Fall #33
- Dez, until Angel: After the Fall #36
- Angel Investigations
- The Spikettes
- Eddie Hope
- The Groosalugg
- Cordelia (dragon)
- Willow Rosenberg
After the events of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight in which Angel was the masked Big Bad known as Twilight and was later possessed by the cosmic entity of the same name when he killed Rupert Giles, Slayer Faith Lehane inherits Giles' home in London and takes Angel in to rehabilitate him. As such, Angel Investigations is no more. However Charles Gunn and Angel's son Connor appear for one arc known as Family Reunion when Angel & Faith visit LA with Willow. There, Gunn mentions Nina has gotten married and Kate Lockley is back with the LAPD investigating supernatural crimes, since the mystical world became public knowledge in Season Eight. And Illyria later appears in the Buffy title set in San Francisco.