Here’s my first Fave 5 -- my 5 favorite “Buffy” and “Angel” episodes -- not including season finales and season premieres. Also, when I say “season finales”, I’m not just considering the actual final episode, but any multi-part or multi-arc episodes. So no “End of Days”, “Graduation Day, Pt. 1” or “Power Play.”
All that said, I did do a top 10 favorite “Buffy” episodes back in 2005. 6 of the episodes in that top 10 were non-finale, non-premiere episodes. That said, not all of them made the cut for this (and two episodes that didn’t make the cut back then make it now, on a technicality, because last time I didn’t include episodes from “Angel”).
FAVE 5 EPISODES... WITH EXCEPTIONS
5. “I Will Remember You” - Angel Season 1, Episode 8
Let’s just start with this statement -- most of these episodes are the kind that make you cry. This one is definitely one of them. Sarah Michelle Gellar may have been at her acting best in the scene where she finds out the Oracles are going to turn back time to erase the day she had with Angel. It’s rough, but makes for great TV.
4. “The Body” - Season 5, Episode 16
Probably the most serious episode of the entire series, where the cast deals with the sudden death of Buffy’s mom. It’s just an incredibly well-written and well-directed episode.
3. “The Wish” - Season 3, Episode 9
Sure, it’s a gimmick episode (alternate universe and all) but it’s done better than most gimmick episodes on most shows. Plus, it raises so many great discussion possibilities.
2. “You’re Welcome” - Angel Season 5, Episode 12
In my opinion, the 2nd-best episode of the entire “Angel” run (behind “Not Fade Away”). The sword fight with Lindsay is just awesome, and the final Angel-Cordy moment is a real tearjerker.
1. “Innocence” - Season 2, Episode 14
This episode is all about the Buffy-Angel relationship, and how that one moment changes the entire thing. The cruelty of Angelus toward Buffy is totally in contrast to Angel’s love for Buffy. Plus, I always enjoy how at the end, Buffy can hurt Angel, but she can’t kill him, setting the stage for the rest of the events for Season 2.