Angel: Smile Time (2004)

Genres - Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Prime-Time Drama [TV]  |  
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As Gunn (J. August Richards) makes a Faustian pact with Wolfram & Hart to keep his mental upgrade, Angel (David Boreanaz) sets out to discover why children all over Los Angeles have been struck by a mystery ailment. The trail leads to the producers of a popular children's TV show called "Smile Time," whose cuddly characters are actually demons who have adopted puppet disguises to steal the life forces of the city's kids. Unfortunately for Angel, vampires are susceptible to the same process the demons underwent; he finds himself transformed against his will into an undead puppet. While trying to resume his fleshly existence, the vampire champion comes to blows with Spike (James Marsters), who's overjoyed to see his rival reduced to plushy cuteness. Angel also has a close encounter with werewolf babe Nina (Jenny Mollen -- see "Unleashed"), whose hairy alter ego tries to snack on his diminutive form. After battling the "Smile Time" gang and saving L.A.'s children, Angel looks forward to regaining his vampiric form and romancing Nina. Meanwhile, Fred (Amy Acker) and Wesley (Alexis Denisof) finally see their own longed-for relationship bloom. Originally broadcast February 18, 2004, on the WB network, "Smile Time" marked season five, episode 14 of the supernatural soap opera. Angel producer David Fury makes a cameo appearance in this episode, which was written by series creator Joss Whedon and Ben Edlund, creator of The Tick.