PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE. If your diet requires you to dine on television spoiler-free ... good luck with that.


Tuesday, July 6, 2021

I Love You So Much I Almost Forgot to Brood

Episode 3.05: Fredless. Original Airdate: 10.22.01

“Fred prepares to go home to her parents—until she earns a place with the group by figuring out the key to an attack launched by large bug demons.”

Daniel’s Thoughts:
  • Wes & Cordy & Gunn & Fred are doing inventory on swords.
  • “Now that she’s alive again, are they going to get back together?”
  • Ah, Right. Angel is off to see Buffy.
  • Cordelia & Wesley do a great mocking impression of Angel & Buffy’s relationship.
Cordy: "Gasp!"

  • “I love you so much I almost forgot to brood.”
  • “Why don’t you both bite me.”
  • Angel doesn’t want to talk about his meeting with Buffy that we don’t see because we’re on two different networks.
  • Angel invites Fred for ice cream and no one else for some reason?
  • It’s later and Fred exposits what we missed. They got ice cream then saw a creature and now they’re in the sewer.  As you do.
  • Cordy trips over Chekov’s decapitation machine.
  • And we have Fred’s parents
  • And they’re both very familiar faces.  And they look like their last name would be Kent or something.
  • The gang lies to Fred’s parents about what really happened to her.  Which I guess is something we do even though there are literally monsters everywhere.  It was done in Sunnydale as well despite being on a hellmouth.
  • And then Angel decides to bring in the decapitated head of a demon….which Cordelia explains away as a prop in a monster movie.  Which….is good cause it looks like one.
  • Fred’s parents are confused and the gang are hemming and hawing and it’s as awkward as you might expect.
  • Fred doesn’t want to see her parents so she’s left.
  • Cordelia thinks there’s something off about Fred's parents.
  • And that’s only because they’re acting fishy.
  • Aww, Lorne’s bar is still a mess from last time and he looks kinda depressed about it.
  • Fred: “Was there another massacre?” Lorne, “Just the one.”
  • First stop for the gang: Library.  She’s not there.
  • Angel’s in the sewers.  Not there.  But he is being stalked.
  • They all go to Lorne’s…including Fred’s parents for some reason? If they’re trying to hide the truth from the Berkles, why would they take them to see a demon.
  • Meanwhile Lorne is still pissed at Gunn.
  • “We don’t get a lot of guys who wear eyeliner. Not for long anyhow.” - wow….way to make light of murdering gay people. [They're fine with demons, but effeminate men is one step too far! This world is stupid I want a new one. - Z]
  • Fred’s at the bus station that kinda looks like the Hyperion. (I was right! It's the same set!)
  • Fred’s parents show up and Fred freaks out. The idea being, I guess, that if she sees someone from her past, the past 5 years are real, the trauma finally hitting her.
  • “You’re safe now.” - which is cue for an evil monsterdemon to attack.
  • This one’s like a praying mantis type thing.
  • Gunn, Angel, Cordy & Wes fight.  Even Fred joins in.   And then it gets smashed by a bus.
  • It’s Fred’s mom that….stole the bus(?) to smash it.
  • Fred’s parents are kinda impressed by Fred’s current occupation.
  • Angel’s way too happy to have Cordy fix his wounds.
  • Fred identifies everyone’s contribution to the gang: Angel’s the champion, Wes is the brains, Gunn is the muscle (which…), & Cordy’s the heart.  She doesn’t know where she belongs.
  • She decides to go home.  And knowing what we know….maybe she shoulda kept to that decision.
  • They all say their goodbyes and it really looks like they’re saying bye to the character. I can’t remember if I was tricked the first time I saw this.
  • But Fred does leave with her parents.
  • In the cab, Fred realizes something about the demon Angel killed.
  • Meanwhile the gang are jealous of Fred’s relationship with her parents.  We never really met Cordy’s parents.  We just heard about her dad going to prison for tax fraud but we never officially met him.  We know Wes has a bad relationship with his controlling, hard to please dad.  I don’t know if we know anything about Gunn’s parents - just his sister.   And I think Angel had a dick dad….that he ended up eating?
  • “I can be soothing.  I can soothe your ass off.”  Cordy, what?
  • Oh shit.  Lots of bug monsters now.
  • I have to admit, the gross bug monsters are pretty impressively made. They're not the usual biped humanoid demons we usually see and it must have been a lot of visual effect work to achieve the look.
  • So Fred saves the day and decides to stay. Yay!

Zelda’s Thoughts:
  • Omg did you miss us? Don’t answer that.
  • We start off with another fun fakeout of a sword being held to Wes’s face as he says “You wouldn’t dare,” but it’s just Wes, Cordy, and Gunn bickering about how to organize the weapons. Meanwhile Fred is fretting about the time, but only because Angel’s been gone a while.
  • “Are they gonna get back together? Angel and the girl with the goofy name?” // “Well, *Fred*” touche, Wes.
  • AHAHAHAHHA favorite part of the season for me: Cordy and Wes acting out the melodrama that is Bangel. 
  • Then Cordy actually says “GASP” and I die.
  • I love this scene so much.
  • And because Buffy’s on a new network and she and Angel reunited off-screen, neither Buffy nor Angel their respective crews what happened. Don’t worry, boo. The fanfic writers got this. (oh and apparently Jane Espenson wrote a comic about it?)
  • Cordy: “Now we’ll never ever know.” // Angel, off-screen and faint “That’s right!”
  • I really do like the banter. I’ll even say I missed it during our two month hiatus.
  • Fred’s spelling out the start of her arc as she babbles next to Angel in the sewer with her giant cone of ice cream, that she doesn’t know why they keep her around, she has nothing to offer.
  • He sends her off back to the hotel while he goes to deal with whatever monster of the week we’ve got (which she clued him onto by spotting some pretty crystals on the sewer wall).
  • Side note: I don’t think I’d be able to eat ice cream in a sewer. The stench would flavor anything I put in my mouth. Maybe part of being in the fang gang is some kind inurement to noticing sewer stench? Does Angel just like smell like that all the time because that’s how he travels in daylight? And he’s got enhance vampire nostrils. I need to stop thinking about this.
  • Gunn’s eager for Cordy to get a vision, just to stop Wes’s nattering. No luck, but she trips over a new invention by Fred, which gosh I wonder if it’ll be useful in the climax of the episode.
  • And two Texan strangers say “we’re sorry to barge in on your arsenal here,” and hey Fred’s dad (spoiler) is Bullit from The O.C.! They’re here about their missing daughter … FRED (oops I spoiled it two seconds ago).
  • Anyway, Fred shows up after that revelation, sees her parents, and skedaddles up to her room before anyone notices.
  • The crew is struggling with how to explain to Fred’s parents where she’s been, because they don’t want to clue them in to the supernaturalness of it all.
  • So when Angel comes in with a trophy head from his offscreen demon fight, Cordy says it’s a prop from a movie he’s working on and these are Fred’s very normal parents.
  • “Ah. Fred has parents.”
  • Fred, meanwhile, is frantically trying to clean the writing from the walls of her dark room.
  • Gunn, meanwhile to that meanwhile, is mindblown that the P.I. the Burkles hired found Fred off an envelope with no return address. How does our team get anything done?
  • The crew is getting a bit suspicious now of the parents. “What is she running from?” And the show’s playing into that, with the parents murmuring quietly to each other “We might have to call them in sooner than we thought.”
  • The crew wonders where Fred’s gone. Gunn: “we could hit all the local taco stands.” See? He knows her true passion. Meant to be.
  • Oh there’s a quick joke about is Fred making porn, I missed that until this very watch.
  • Lorne smokes? Lorne SMOKES? But but … only evil or about-to-die characters smoke!
  • Maybe it was weed.
  • Anyway, Fred’s come calling at the smashed up Caritas to sing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”
  • Ugh poor Lorne and his smashed bar. I guess he lives there? Did we know that?
  • Lorne says Fred thought she was free, but those old monsters hunted her down. We’re made to think that the monsters are her parents, but it’s actually her un-dealt-with trauma of acknowledging that what happened to her in Pylea is real and part of her existence and reality, same as her non-supernatural upbringing with her parents.
  • Side note: Cordy claims she’s never ridden in a school bus … not even on a field trip? Wasn’t she at the zoo when Xander turned into a hyena? Or the museum when the Incan Mummy Girl woke up? D and I are both tempted to call a shenanigan but we’re not angry enough about it.
  • Question: How come Angel can’t track Fred’s scent?
  • Lorne’s still mad at Gunn over the mess his ex-crew made, which is … partially fair. Gunn knew and told no one that the crew was going off-mission. But it’s not like Gunn himself ever lost the mission.
  • Ah, Lorne’s actually mad at all of them, because they only come to him when they need stuff, but no one’s been helping him rebuild his bar. “What about my me? My me’s important.” but also some of this bluster is to hide that he knows where Fred is.
  • Fred’s waiting for a bus out of town and babbling aloud to herself but nope, they found her.
  • “You’re not them. You can’t be them cuz they don’t know.” And she breaks down “I was all by myself and you weren’t there. I got lost. I got lost and they did terrible things to me but it was just a storybook. It was just a story with monsters, not real. But if you’re here and you see me, then it’s real and it did happen. If you see what they made of me—”
  • And her parents embrace her. And everything’s fine. Except for the big insect-y demon that jumps down from the ceiling.
  • Angel breaks two glass doors with his body, thrown by the demon.
  • But never fear, our crew is here! Gunn and Wes and Cordy join the fight. A weapon gets slid to Fred, but she stands there. She gets one swing at the demon before it tosses her away, and then Mr. Burkle gets in on the action.
  • Never fear, y’all. Mrs. Burkle to the rescue, smashing it to purple goo with a bus. See? Everyone’s got their valuable skills.
  • The Burkles seem pretty chill with their new knowledge about demons and whatnot, which is probably helping with Fred dealing with the merging of her two worlds.
  • Angel’s oddly giddy to be next up for getting bandaged by Cordy. Is this part of their buddy whatnot? Frankly he’s oddly giddy in general, but maybe it’s residual from his happiness that Buffy’s alive? We’ve already hit the point where he wasn’t destroyed by her death, which means Bangel is officially being put to rest by this series, at least, making way for Cangel and whatnot.
  • Anyway Fred wants to go home. Gunn and Wes quietly agree she’ll probably be happier there, but you can tell they’ll both miss her. Because that triangle's looming.
  • Angel, saying goodbye in Fred’s room, asks if she’ll remember everything that’s on the walls. “Sure, it’s a story. Once upon a time there was a girl who lived all alone in a horrible cave, so far from home it made her chest hurt … when one day, just like in a fairy tale, a handsome made rode up on a horse and saved her, and took her back to his castle.”
  • “But …the handsome man went away again. And even tho she didn’t mean to, didn’t want to, high up in that castle she built herself another  cave, hoping he would save her again. But you can’t save me this time, can you?”
  • Meanwhile downstairs, Trish makes a dig at the fourth Alien movie, aka the one Joss Wh*don wrote but disowned.
  • Fred comes down to make her goodbyes. As she hugs Cordy, C whispers “Between you and me, I’m almost a little jealous.”
  • I was sitting here grumping that Fred has a carry-box suitcase but it’s not like she had a rollerback with her. Headcanon that this was lying around the hotel and they repurposed it (just like she repurposed that other box suitcase to be the maybe-a-toaster-definitely-a-demon-head-smasher device.
  • Anyway, as they drive away she reopens her bag and sees those crystals all over her shirt that got covered in demon guts and has an epiphany.
  • The fang gang is sitting in the office, reminiscing not just about Fred but how great her parents were, that they’re actual loving parents, and Wes goes off a little bit on what they aren’t, cluing us yet again into how utterly awful his dad is.
  • Anyway demon head starts going all bulgy because TIME FOR THE EGGS TO HATCH.
  • Cordy professes she’s glad Fred’s gone but when Angel says she’ll come back and visit, Cordy gets very happily hopeful.
  • Oh hey there’s a whole bunch of the big bug demons on the attack. Don’t worry, y’all. Fred’s here. “I’m here! I’m late.”
  • “Who’s helping me here?” // Fred: “I am.” She sets off her suitcase invention contraption, which smashes the non-papier mache head, releases a bunch of roaches (yuck), and that sends the big bug demons out. They were here for the kids.
  • See? Fred figured it out with science, deduction, and wacky invention! She said Angel was the Champion, Wes is the brains, Gunn's the muscle*, Cordy's the heart, and “just a stunning revelation of my true path is all,” she knows she belongs here too.
  • I’m going to headcanon RIGHT NOW, for me and anyone else who needs it, that Fred visits her parents a lot, or they visit her, because this is not allowed to be the last time they see her alive. They’re like the only good parents in the Angelverse and I want their child to have good quality time with them.
  • Anyway, they stick around a bit and help the crew repaint Fred’s room to cover up the writing, to hide the fairy tale version of the story, and generally to bond because let’s face it, they  could all use some quality time with good parents.
  • Listen it’s been a long year of missing my family. I got to see my mom in May, and I get to see my other parents and my sister later this month, and I just want everyone to have that good good bonding time with caregivers who love them too.
Favorite Lines:

Daniel & Zelda: 


First Appearance:
Roger Burkle, Trish Burkle
Recurring: Lorne
Generally Known TV Face: Gary Grubbs, Jennifer Griffin
Lorne’s Nicknames: Big Palooka (Angel)
Cordy’s Nicknames: Mr. and Mrs. Bickerson (Gunn and Wes)

Angel! In! History!

Angel watches golf, specifically, the '63 Bob Hope Desert Classic (whatever that is), when Nicklaus took on Gary Player.

Caritas Song List
Row, Row, Row Your Boat”


Cordelia’s Hair – honey-brown with highlights, pinstraight bob
Dead Humans – 0
Dead Undeads – 2
Dead Flashbacks – 0
Dead Lawyers – 0
Cordelia Has a Vision – 0
Wesley Prat-falls – 0
Lawyered Ex Machina – 0
Evil Reveal – 0
Unevil Reveal – 2 (the Burkles aren’t evil)
Shenanigans Called – 0
Apocalypse Called – 0
Prophecy Called – 0
Champion Called – 1