Even as Angel mourns the death of Buffy, Darla makes her way to L.A. with a mysterious new life growing within her. Now thrust into a role he never imagined, Angel needs the assistance of the Angel Investigations team more than ever. But while Cordelia, Gunn and Fred rally round the new dad, an ancient and deadly prophecy convinces Wesley to commit the ultimate betrayal.
In the third season of Angel
, the titular vampire with a soul was forced to stand alone thanks to the (temporary) death of his beloved Buffy and her show's move to a new network, with no crossover between the two allowed. He returns from seeking peace in a demon-haunted monastery to find the L.A. Angel Investigations team fighting supernatural crime in his absence. Fred is still haunted by the nightmare dimension from which they rescued her; Cordelia's visions get ever more painful and debilitating. The schemes of the evil law firm Wolfram and Hart become every more imaginative and dragon lady Lilah Morgan becomes even more of an enemy when lusting after Angel. Unbelievably, Darla, Angel's vampire sire and lover, turns up, pregnant with his child and is tortured by inexplicable motherly feelings as well as a raging thirst for human blood.
For a few episodes things go pretty well--but Angel's enemies, both those he has made in his quest for redemption and those he made when he was unadulterated evil, are still out there. Stephanie Romanov comes into her silky own in this series, making Lilah Morgan all the more seductively evil because she is clear about the choices she has made; the satanic law firm of Wolfram and Hart are this show's most inspired creation. As the season moves to its close, Wesley (Alexis Denisof) has hard choices to make. The devastating climax is compulsive viewing, and this season also contains one of the most impressive single episodes of the entire show: in "Waiting in the Wings," writer, director and creator Joss Whedon comes up with a classic ghost story as Angel and his crew go to the ballet and find a performance that is literally timeless. --Roz Kaveney