Props to Johanna, for introducing me to Dawson's Wrap way back when, and to Wing and Sars, who make it look easy.
The show begins with Angel's monotone -- er...monologue. "Los Angeles. You see it at night and it shines. A beacon. People are drawn to it. People...and other things." Ooo, scary. During this there's a little montage of sights in the City of Angels (geddit? geddit?). There are also some super-annoying blipvert-style cuts and double-exposed shots and overexposed shots, which recur throughout the episode. At normal speed these appear to be random meaningless images but if you look at them frame-by-frame, you'll discover that they are actually...random meaningless images. Although some of them are kinda pretty.
Angel is sitting in a bar, burbling drunkenly about Buffy, who he describes as "a hottie girl." When it was announced that Angel was getting his own show, Johanna said "I hope [the show] is just him getting drunk and falling down every week, because that would hold my interest a lot longer than the constant moping thing." Needless to say, Johanna and I were very excited to see her wish was granted so quickly. He even falls down a few minutes later! While Angel continues to blither, the three guys and two girls playing pool (huh?) finish their game and leave the bar. As the flute of tension toots, Angel prepares to follow them, and we realize he was only pretending to be drunk. Golly. Angel strides out of the bar after them in slo-mo. Well, it's either slow motion or he's taking his own sweet time going off to battle evil, so I choose to believe it was slo-mo.
In a shocking development, the three guys are vamps preparing to dine on the girls. Angel wanders up and does his drunk act again to get close to them. Then they fight, and there's the usual kicking and blocking and throwing vamps into car windshields. Angel does this stretching move which causes stakes to drop/slide/shoot out from his jacket sleeves, and he then dusts two of the vamps. That was very James Bond and all, but...um...why do that? If he can wear the coat, he can carry the stakes in a pocket. If he can't wear the coat, people will see stakes strapped to his arms. But Angel has had a lot of time on his hands; maybe he's taken up gadget-making as a hobby. The girls try to thank Angel, but he's got his game face on (and the prosthetic eyebrows look particularly awful throughout this episode). In his vampire aspect, Angel is a little tempted by the fact that one of the girls is bleeding. It seems to me that he must have been around the gang on Buffy when one or more of them was bleeding, but whatever. Anyway he dispatches the last vamp and walks away, down the clean, graffiti-free alley of downtown Vancouver. Er, I mean, Los Angeles.
Credits. Angsty cello. Shots of Angel brooding. Cue the drums as Angel breaks through a door. Angel is pensive, angsty, worried, briefly happy, and then pensive again. Costarring Cordelia's hair and that guy from Roseanne.