On Angel

Death Becomes Him

Blondie Bear 5.0
By Nancy Holder

My character has better arcs than any character, except for a lead, has in any other project, movies or theater. One of my favorite things about the role is that it hasn’t stayed in one place. It’s gone all over the map. I like to say that I started out as a super-villain and went to wacky neighbor for a season and then the wrong boyfriend for a couple of seasons and then the redeemed man. That’s kind of like four roles in one.

–James Marsters, “Undead Again,” BTVS Magazine

Before the opening of Angel’s fifth season, there was a great deal of fan anxiety and speculation about which known “version” of Spike the show’s producers would bring to Angel. But season five viewers actually saw a fifth–and therefore, new–version of Blondie Bear. Now that the series has ended, we can easily see how Spike was transformed from the snarky, dangerous villain of “School Hard” (B2-3) into a true Champion willing to give his life for the cause.

We saw most of Spike’s transformation on Buffy, but it was not until he was removed from Buffy’s world and made a fulltime inhabitant of the Angel mythos–a mythos that had itself undergone a brilliant retrofit during its fifth season, courtesy of Team Whedon–that he was capable of taking the final steps toward his transformation.

First, some backstory. In the spring of 2003, worse news for Angel fans than the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was that Angel itself might also go  …

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