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From Insidevc.com


Spike Returns from the Dead

By Dave Mason

Monday 29 September 2003, by Webmaster

It’s all about Spike this season, it seems, as critics anticipate his arrival on ’Angel’ this season

Spike returns from the dead But vampire finds himself in limbo on ’Angel’ September 27, 2003

Spike, the vampire who perished to save the world from an angry Hellmouth in the series finale of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," returns in this week’s well-written season premiere of "Angel." But first, there’s a plot showing the compromises Angel, the original vampire with a soul, must make as he’s forced to work with the evil beings he battles.

"Angel," the "Buffy" spinoff, begins its fifth season with a two-part episode beginning at 9 p.m. Wednesday. The WB hopes a lead-in from "Smallville" at 8 will boost the series’ ratings.

Angel (David Boreanaz) finds Wolfram & Hart working for him and against him. He and his crew get to run the Los Angeles branch of the law firm and are using it to fight the very evil the firm represents.

Angel’s faced with tackling the worst of Wolfram & Hart’s clients while keeping the firm in business. Otherwise, an even worse firm that Angel can’t control could be born.

And there’s a big change in store for Gunn (J. August Richards), who will find a bigger role with Wolfram & Hart. The other characters — Fred (Amy Acker) and Wesley (Alexis Denisof) — are finding their place in this new world.

The clever season premiere reintroduces Harmony (Mercedes McNab), a vampire and Spike’s former girlfriend. She now works for Angel and brings her special brand of comic relief.

There are plot spoilers in the next paragraph, but I’m trying not to say too much.

Spike (James Marsters) returns later in the episode, but he’s caught in a limbo between life and death and maybe something worse than death. The Oct. 8 episode explores this dilemma further and features surprises about Spike’s motivations. Sure, he has a soul, but the strong episode still keeps you guessing about Spike.

Joss Whedon, the "Buffy" creator and "Angel" co-creator and executive producer, said he plans to air a lot of stand-alone episodes this season to make the series more enticing for new viewers.

He also said the series later this season will deal with the presence of many vampire slayers in the world. Buffy shared her powers with all potential slayers in the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" finale in May.

Meanwhile, fans of Cordelia, the character played by Charisma Carpenter, can find an early version of her, sort of, on NBC’s "Miss Match."

In the 8 p.m. Friday episode, Carpenter plays a shallow friend of Kate Fox, the lawyer/matchmaker played by Alicia Silverstone, and she’s just like the early Cordelia who used to taunt Buffy and the other Scoobies. It’s a funny performance.

Carpenter left "Angel" to make time for her family, and her character, Cordelia, remains in a coma.