Determined to prove to himself that there is life after Buffy, Angel leaves Sunnydale after helping the Scoobies defeat Mayor Richard Wilkins and heads off to Los Angeles. Hoping to make a difference in the world Angel embarks on a quest to help the helpless in hopes of making amends for the horrible things he had done in the past as Angelus.
It’s not long before Angel is approached by a stranger known only as Doyle who claims to have been sent to guide Angel by the Powers That Be. Doyle receives information on people in need of Angel’s help via head splitting visions. One of Doyle’s visions leads Angel to a waitress who is being harassed and threatened by a man who Angel discovers is a vampire. Sadly Angel is unable to save the woman but instead ends up saving the vampire’s next intended victim, Cordelia Chase. Cordelia, who had recently moved to LA to pursue an acting career thought that she had met an influential man who could help her. It’s not long however before she realizes that the man is actually a vampire and intends to make her a snack. Thankfully Angel shows up to save the day and Cordelia decides to help him in his mission (as a paid employee of course). Now with both Cordelia and Doyle at his side Angel is better prepared to continue his quest to help the helpless and begins working as a private investigator through ‘Angel Investigations‘.
Moments before Doyle is killed saving LA from a ‘bomb’ that if detonated would destroy every creature who is at least part human (Doyle himself being half demon/ half human), he tells Cordelia how he feels about her and then kisses her goodbye. Unbeknownst to Cordelia, the kiss enabled Doyle to pass his visions on to her so that Angel would still be connected to the PTB (What Cordelia calls the Powers That Be). Angel and Cordelia are later joined by Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, Rupert Giles‘ replacement after he had been fired by the Watchers Council. Having himself been kicked out of the Watchers Council in disgrace over the Faith fiasco, Wesley now fancies himself a ‘rogue demon hunter’. Having spent months tracking a demon to LA Wesley runs into Angel, whom the demon had gone to for help. Stating that just because he’s a demon doesn’t make him a bad guy, it’s not long before the demon proves that he can’t be trusted when he kidnaps Cordelia in hopes of selling her ‘seer’s eyes‘ on the black market. After helping Angel to rescue Cordelia, Wesley quickly becomes the newest member of Angel Investigations.
From time to time Angel finds himself butting heads with the law firm Wolfram and Hart. What most people don’t realize is that unlike most lawyers, those at Wolfram and Hart are indeed pure evil. Whenever demons find themselves in legal trouble it’s Wolfram and Hart they turn to to get them off the hook. This of course does not hold well with Angel. Angel’s greatest foe at Wolfram and Hart is young up and comer Lindsey McDonald, who never seems to have any trouble convincing juries of his clients innocence. Lindsey really gets on Angel’s bad side when he hires Faith, the rogue slayer who has just rolled into town to kill him. Instead Angel is able to help Faith come to terms with her past and convinces her to try and make amends for the pain that she has caused.
It seems even Lindsey has a soft side though when he comes to Angel with information that an assassin plans to murder children. With Lindsey’s help Angel is able to infiltrate Wolfram and Hart in order to discover the location of the children in order to protect them. Using the help of Charles Gunn, a young self-styled vampire hunter to get past security that can detect vampires, Angel is able to find the information he needs. On his way out the door a scroll catches Angel’s eye and unable to help himself, he takes it causing alarms to go off. Escaping, Angel and Lindsey are able to save the children but Lindsey’s will proves to be too weak to resist the temptations of Wolfram and Hart. Lindsey rejoins the firm after being offered a promotion and a corner office.
When Wesley is able to translate the scrolls, known as the Scrolls of Aberjian, he comes across a prophesy about ‘the vampire with a soul‘. According to the Shanshu Prophecy, the vampire with a soul shall one day become human as a reward for his role in an upcoming Apocalypse. Believing this to be his chance at redemption and to live a normal life, Angel is renewed and ready to continue his battle against evil. What Angel doesn’t know though is that Wolfram and Hart still have some surprises in store for him, including the resurrection of his sire and former lover Darla.
Aside from Cordelia, Wesley and Faith other cast members from Buffy: The Vampire Slayer also make appearances throughout season one including Spike, Oz and of course Buffy herself.