We are restarting the Angel storyline and get to see how his entrance to Sunnydale compares to the original. Loss and regret seem to be the ongoing themes in Angel’s life, despite which canon thread we follow.
Note: This recap may contain spoilers!
We start off with the story of Mara and her desire to protect others from the destruction of The Riders. This gang of bad guys is filled with vampires and led by none other than Angelus. I will always be more interested in Angelus than Angel, so the limited time we got to see him was a nice kick-off. Angelus bites Mara and tempts her to drink from him in order to save herself. Although she refuses for a while, Mara finally gives in. Unfortunately, we get a time jump to present day before we can delve more deeply into that particular storyline.
In present times, Angel has been called to Sunnydale for some unknown reason. A sorceress in Los Angeles sent him there, but didn’t give him the reason for his mission. But at least he got to meet up with his old friend Francis, the child-now-adult that he saved long ago. And Francis brings up the constant truth that comes out despite whatever canon we follow. Despite Angel having a soul and trying to be good now, the vampire himself knows that he will forever be tainted by what he’s done, who he was before. A constant struggle that he lives with for all eternity.
But enough about his wallowing in despair. He’s got a mission and he needs to figure out why he’s been sent to Sunnydale. Lilith is waiting at his house when he gets there, spreading some more vague warnings as well. She’s cast a protection spell over the house, but it won’t do him much good outside its walls. And out there, the world has definitely changed from olden times. Lilith warns him that something dark has latched onto this generation, so focused on social media that they don’t see themselves for what they really are.
And then we get into the obvious portion of the storytelling, where Angel suffers a loss of the only friend we’ve seen him have thus far. Francis’ daughter, Julia, is infected by the darkness. She’s been taunted online about her looks, about not being pretty enough, so when offered the temptation of acceptance, of course she takes it. With the darkness controlling her now, she proceeds to burn down their house, killing Francis, his wife, and Julia in the process. Lilith tells Angel to avenge them, fight the darkness. And we assume that’s just what he will do. Angel’s life is littered with regret and losses, but it’s also what fuels him forward. He seeks to repent for his past misdeeds through good actions now. He will never save enough to wipe the slate clean, but he keeps trying.
Rating: 3 / 5 Stars