Although the WB already has picked up many of its hits for next season, cult fave Angel is not among them. Nonetheless, David Boreanaz, who plays the toothsome hero of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff, remains hopeful that good news is forthcoming. "I'm optimistic," he tells TV Guide Online, noting, "We didn't get an early renewal last year, either. You just kind of have to wait it out."

No doubt the actor's confidence is fueled by his knowledge of the plot twists that the season finale holds in store. In the next-to-last episode, cult leader Jasmine's apocalyptic plot was thwarted. (Was there ever any doubt?) Then, "the last episode is the beginning of what's to come, and that's really exciting. If the show ends, it would leave open so many doors. It wouldn't be like, 'Okay. Now, I understand it all.'"

Plus, Angel is sure to get a boost from the title do-gooder's long-awaited reunion with his Chosen One on UPN's Buffy sendoff. "Angel and Buffy meet, of course, in a perfect moment," Boreanaz reveals. "I won't say much about it, but I will say that it was good to see the two characters back together. It was easy, too — Sarah Michelle Gellar and I just kind of stepped back into it again."

Still, the leading man can't confirm that his undead counterpart's flirtation with she-demon Cordelia ( Charisma Carpenter) is kaput. "I definitely see things changing," he allows. "But I was always 50/50 on [their romance] coming to fruition, anyway. There are bits of me that understood why those two should be together, but it wasn't 100 percent, like it was with Angel and Buffy. Angel and Cordelia both had different agendas and a lot of other stuff going on."

Despite the fact that Eliza Dushku elected to abandon her role as rogue slayer Faith in order to headline Fox's Heroine, Boreanaz promises that fans haven't seen the last of them together. "I wasn't disappointed by her choice," he insists. "I think she made the correct decision inside her own heart. She's a really talented person, and one that I look forward to working with in the future. I think that the two of us will cross paths again."

Until then, Boreanaz will content himself by channeling Angelus as a Satanic gang leader who murders Edward Furlong and Tara Reid in The Crow 4: Wicked Prayer, which begins shooting next month. "The script was really enticing," he says enthusiastically. "It's just wicked — and I really wanted to work with Dennis Hopper.

"There are also a couple of books I'm thinking of optioning into films," he adds. "I'm still working on a personal project about my father, but I don't foresee that happening anytime soon." Just as well: If our prayers are answered, Angel will keep him busy for years to come.