11 'Angel' Episodes to Watch for the 20th Anniversary (PHOTOS)

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Angel episodes
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“City of … ” (Season 1, Episode 1)

The pilot picked up with Angel in Los Angeles after leaving Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Sunnydale, meeting the half-demon with the visions Doyle (Glenn Quinn), and running into Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter). It was the beginning of Angel saving people in L.A.

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“I Will Remember You” (Season 1, Episode 8)

Though Angel would eventually move on from (but never forget or truly declare over) its main character’s relationship with Buffy, this episode, more than any other, remembered where it came from, with Angel briefly becoming human and spending a day with Buffy. But in one of the most heartbreaking moments of the entire series, he had to reverse time and know he’d live with the knowledge that only he would remember.

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“Hero” (Season 1, Episode 9)

The earliest incarnation of a team came to an end as Doyle sacrificed himself to save Angel, just as he and Cordelia were on the verge of getting together.

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“There’s No Place Like Plrtz Glrb” (Season 2, Episode 22)

Pylea was not only Lorne’s (Andy Hallett) home, it was also where the others first met Fred (Amy Acker) and Angel’s human side maintained control. It was also the episode that tied into the Buffy Season 5 finale, as Willow (Alyson Hannigan) was waiting for them when they returned to L.A. and Angel knew what news she had come to deliver.

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“Birthday” (Season 3, Episode 11)

What if Cordelia had never teamed up with Angel and Doyle in Season 1? Would she have become the person everyone thought she would given what she was like in high school on Buffy? Cordelia had a choice to make about her future, and she made the one that kickstarted the rest of her story on the show: to become a half-demon so she could keep the visions that had been killing her human body.

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“Orpheus” (Season 4, Episode 15)

If you’re going to watch Angel’s journey as the vampire with a soul, you have to see him as the vampire without one, too, and this episode offered not only a look at Angelus but a look at some of Angel’s lowest points as well. It also closed out Faith’s (Eliza Dushku) last arc on the spinoff and featured another welcome return from Willow that recalled her ensouling Angel back on Buffy.

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“Home” (Season 4, Episode 22)

This episode kicked off what was to come, with Angel and the others taking control of Wolfram & Hart, set up a key moment in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series finale that led to Spike (James Marsters) appearing in the final season (the amulet), and, for the most part, closed out Connor’s (Vincent Kartheiser) story.

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“You’re Welcome” (Season 5, Episode 12)

The 100th episode of the series featured what was initially presented as Cordelia waking from her coma, only to end up providing closure to the character and a final moment (and real kiss) between her and Angel.

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“Smile Time” (Season 5, Episode 14)

Puppet Angel. Need we say more? Angel was turned into a puppet while investigating a TV show stealing the life forces of its child viewers, and we got Puppet Angel vs. Spike and Puppet Angel’s vamp face. Fred and Wesley also finally got together, which made what was to come even more heartbreaking.

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“A Hole in the World” (Season 5, Episode 15)

Arguably one of the best episodes of the series, the others fought to save Fred after she became infected by the spirit of Illyria, but the only way was to allow possibly hundreds of thousands to die. They had to let her die, and she and Wesley (Alexis Denisof) shared a heartbreaking goodbye — before Illyria took over.

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“Not Fade Away” (Season 5, Episode 22)

Angel and the others plotted to kill the members of the Circle of the Black Thorn, and they succeeded, but it came at a great cost (Wesley). And, as the series finale ended, their fight was just beginning (and Angel was planning to kill a dragon).

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Angel is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year (and with a cast reunion at New York Comic Con!), and there was so much to love about the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff.

While a rewatch of the entire series is possible — all five seasons are streaming on Hulu — we also know that people don't necessarily have the time to binge a show, especially with everything else on TV now. So, in honor of the milestone, we're taking a look back at some of the best and most entertaining episodes of the WB hit starring David Boreanaz.

Click through the gallery above to see TV Insider's picks of episodes to check out for Angel's 20th anniversary.