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All Shows > Angel > Season 1

Angel - 1x02 - Lonely Hearts

Synopsis: A body-snatching demon is seducing and killing people at a local bar. No, really.

Review: Spoiler Warning! Don't read this review if you haven't seen the episode, unless the thought of unexpected plot twists frightens you.

After a very strong pilot episode, this standalone episode is somewhat of a letdown. The plot is the basic "figure out what creature of the week is killing people, then kill said creature of the week" formula that Angel's first season tends to fall into--much like the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This is not a good thing.

However, there are a couple of plot twists that keep the story interesting. The most notable being the revelation that Kate, who at first seemed like an irrelevant side character, is actually an undercover cop and a potential ally for Angel. Unfortunately, with the plot twists also come plot holes. In order to surprise us with the bartender being the bad guy, an off screen body switch had to have taken place in a very short amount of time when the demon had only switched bodies once a night before then. This is not completely implausible, but it comes off as a cheap trick to surprise the audience. Also, the demon's need to have some sort of sexual contact with its victims before switching bodies seems to disappear by the time it is ready to steal Kate's body. These inconsistencies make the episode feel rushed.

The theme of loneliness and longing for connection was at first a clever metaphor but became a bit heavy handed by the end. Episode themes and messages always work best when they are subtle and not stated word for word several times. I give the episode a 6 out of 10. It's not horrible but also not especially memorable.

Rating: 6 out of 10 (Reviewed by: Matt Pickle)

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