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Matt Roush Dispatches on tonight’s Angel "Destiny"

Thursday 20 November 2003, by Webmaster

Dispatches November 19, 2003

Angel’s sweeps month ends tonight on a thrilling note, as the rivalry between those vampires with soul, Angel (David Boreanaz) and Spike (James Marsters), reaches a new fever pitch in a wildly entertaining episode titled "Destiny."

I’ve been enjoying the "revamped" (so to speak) Angel this season, but have grown tired of waiting for Spike to get fully back in the spirit of things. Lurking around the premises, taunting Angel and his team as a spectral ghost, only goes so far.

So it’s not only wonderful for that particular obstacle to be eradicated in the episode’s opening scene - "He’s a solid citizen again," declares Gunn - but Spike’s transformation sets up a new conflict with Angel that should carry them, and us, through the rest of the season with plenty of merry mayhem.

This episode, written by David Fury and Steven S. DeKnight, is jam-packed with violent clashes, surprising twists and fang-sharp wit. Adding to the fun, we get to revisit, in colorful flashbacks, the early days of the vamps’ centuries-long association with each other, when Spike was merely known as William and Angel was the demonic Angelis. As we watch them clash over Drusilla (the wonderful Juliet Landau), the eternally dazed vamp who sired Spike, the seeds of their hostility fester into a bloody battle in the present. The victor, legend has it, will get to sip from a mystical chalice known as the Cup of Perpetual Torment and fulfill the prophecy that can only apply to one CVS (Champion Vampire with Soul).

From startling start to shocking finish, this episode ranks with the best of Buffy. I haven’t found myself saying that in a while.