Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

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This week's Angel marked Charisma Carpenter's swan song with the show. Angel's been sub-par all season, but it wasn't until this episode that I realized what's been missing.

The show is greatly hurt by Cordelia's absence. Angel might be the lead of the show, but Cordelia was the emotional center. Her relationship with Angel-- and the Powers That Be-- anchored the show, and without it Angel has been adrift. Cordelia had an electricity and vibrance that Amy Acker's Fred can't approach. Carpenter was particularly strong in her farewell appearance, turning in a sweet, moving performance that brought home how far her character has come since the show began.

I didn't miss Cordelia at all when she left Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but her departure from Angel leaves a surprisingly large hole.

Update: The WB has announced that this will be the final season of Angel. Suddenly that hole doesn't look so large after all.

3 Comments

You won't be missing her for long. She's doing a Playboy pictorial that will be out this summer.

TiVo is making you grow feeble minded. That episode was last week :)

Larry's right, it was last week. This week's episode was the flashback to a Nazi sub episode, or something like that. I haven't seen it yet.

And I completely agree with you about Cordelia's absence taking Angel down a notch. I'm just hoping that they can do with Spike's character what they did with Cordy, and turn a character from a simple vessel for sarcastic, biting one-liners into a character with real, complex emotions that the audience can empathize with. In my opinion, Spike is the best candidate to be the new heart of the show.

Unfortunately, I haven't seen anything that would suggest the writers plan to take Spike's character to the next level. They seem totally content to use him for the soul (ha!) purpose of Angel-banter.

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