In the finale of the third season of "Angel," Joss Whedon’s spin-off of his wildly popular "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," two of the series’ main characters – Angel, the vampire-with-a-soul (David Boreanaz) and his could-be new love and fellow "Buffy" transplant Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) – both go missing. Angel is locked in a coffin-like box and dumped into the ocean’s chilly waters by his teenage son Connor (Vincent Kartheiser, whose character was only a baby in season three before being kidnapped and taken into a hell dimension). Meanwhile, Cordelia is stopped on the freeway and taken into the heavens because she has earned the opportunity of being a "higher power."

Needless to say, all is awry at Angel Investigations at the beginning of season four. Although the season does have some chilling storylines and keynote episodes (most notably episode 6, "Apocalypse Nowish," in which a memory spell backfires and makes the Angel Investigations team think they’re all high school students on a vampire hunt), it tries to do too much, too fast.

Some of the stuff that happens in season four is a little too convoluted and far-fetched, even for a usually ultra-creative sci-fi show. There are questions raised that are not readily answered and story arcs that overreach way too much. For example, the season’s main plot involves Cordelia who, after returning to L.A. with no memory of her past but with a big secret in tow, shacks up with Connor and eventually gives birth to a fully grown woman, Jasmine, who manipulates people into following her every move. Whoa!

Overall, "Angel" loses a little bit of steam in it’s fourth season despite a clinching finale in which Angel is offered full control of evil law firm Wolfram & Hart. He accepts the deal, but only if his miserable son Connor is offered a happy, albeit alternate life with another family.

The six-disc DVD set, released Sept. 7, features commentary and interviews with Whedon and some of the cast and crew; outtakes; and featurettes including "Angel and the Apocalypse," "Last Looks: The Hyperion Hotel" and "Fatal Beauty and the Beast."

DVD Grade: B-