Despite being a spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel is a pretty good show in its own right. Though the first season isn’t as good as the rest, there are some gems hidden in there:
5. I Will Remember You- Liking this episode will depend on how invested you are in the Buffy and Angel storyline. But if you care, even just a little, then “I Will Remember You” is pretty great. It gives us some insight into what Angel is willing to do for the cause of fighting evil, and it helps to put him in perspective.
4. Rm w/ a Vu- This creepy episode introduces Dennis, a favorite (albeit invisible) character for Angel fans. Cordelia shows us what she is willing to go through for a great apartment, and features a great guest starring performance by Beth Grant (the women who “doubts your commitment to Sparkle Motion” in Donnie Darko).
3. Hero- This episode would be ranked first if the first chunk of it was as compelling/heartbreaking as the last three minutes. But those last three minutes are unforgettable, and they let Angel viewers know early on that no one is safe and that bad things are going to happen on this show. And they really do.
2. Five by Five/Sanctuary- The two episode arc featuring rouge Slayer Faith (Eliza Dushku), is pretty staggering. We learn a ton about Faith as a character, and we learn what Wesley can withstand, and what Angel can forgive. It is also a great crossover, coming on the heels of a two episode Faith arc in Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s fourth season.
1. I’ve Got You Under My Skin- What episode could beat out an episode with Faith? Or “Hero,” which is important to Angel fans? For me, it has got to be “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” because it is dark and strange and incredibly unnerving. We see a glimpse of Wesley’s machiavellian side, and the courage that is hiding under all his befuddled-ness, and we understand that we are in a series that is somehow darker than Buffy.