Twenty years to the day after Angel's premiere, the cast reunited at New York Comic Con on Saturday to reminisce on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off. Amid the celebration, star Charisma Carpenter spoke out on the controversial end of her fan-favorite character, Cordelia Chase, who was written out at the end of Season 4.
Asked whether there was anything in her character's story that she wished she could have explored further, Carpenter took a long pause. "That's really loaded," she said. "She would have been great to explore in Season 5."
Carpenter returned for one episode of the fifth and final season, which ultimately revealed that Cordelia had died and was appearing to Angel (David Boreanaz) in a vision. The actress said she hadn't wanted her character to die. "I welcomed the opportunity to come back and to be with my friends and to have Cordelia live on. So when I signed on and agreed to do it and then found out after I had signed on that we were, in fact, writing her out — one of the contingencies of my return was just, like, I don't want to come back to kill her. You know, tell a story to let her live on in some way. And it didn't work out that way."
She recalled being swayed after meeting with Jeffrey Bell, showrunner of the last two seasons. "I said, 'Well, if you're going to kill her, tell me how it's done.' And then he tells me the story, which you all know, and I was like, wow that's really good. If you're going to go, that's the way to go."
Calling the episode, Season 5's "You're Welcome," a "seminal episode" for the WB series, Carpenter expressed gratitude for her experience in the role even as she wished it could have continued. "Obviously Cordelia's a huge part of my life, the best role I have ever occupied to date," the actress said. "So that would have been great to continue doing that."
Carpenter was joined at the reunion by co-stars James Marsters, Amy Acker, J. August Richards, and Alexis Denisof. (Series lead Boreanaz was not in attendance.) The panel was moderated by Clare Kramer, who played Season 5 big bad Glory on Buffy.
Angel aired on The WB from 1999 to 2004.
All five seasons of Angel are available to stream on Hulu.