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Recap / Angel S 03 E 05 Fredless

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Fred's parents turn up at Angel Investigations looking for their daughter. A giant bug demon is hunting Angel.


  • 10-Minute Retirement: Fred leaves with her parents, but comes back when she has a Eureka Moment about the bug demon. Fred then realises she can't return to normal life as she's no longer normal herself, and Angel Investigations is where she wants to be.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Lampshaded by Fred. "I could build a condo in these sewers."
  • After-Action Patch-Up: Angel is rather eager to get patched up by Cordy again.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!
    Fred: I swear I don't know how you all put up with me. I practically need flashcards to understand my (looks past Angel) pretty crystals. Oh, look. They're everywhere.
  • Armed with Canon: See Romantic Hyperbole.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking (or maybe Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick in reverse):
    Roger: Frankly, Angel, I don't care if you drink pig's blood, cows blood, or those froofy, little, imported beers.
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  • Bad "Bad Acting" / Take That!: Cordelia and Wesley drilling the shit out of the Bangel romance.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy
    Roger: "Now, Spiro Agnew, I know he was—"
    Angel: "A Grathnar demon! You knew that? I thought I was the only one that knew that!"
    Roger: "What else would he be, but a demon?"
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies
  • Brief Accent Imitation
    Gunn: Yes, give us that (mimics Wes English accent) "purpose of an inventory" speech, again.
    • Wesley puts on an American accent during the Bangel re-enactment scene. Note that Alexis Denisof really is American.
  • Brick Joke: Fred's Rube Goldberg Device is presumed to be either a spring-loaded decapitation device or something to make toast. It turns out to be the former.
  • Cat Scare: Angel's mobile rings as he's being stalked through the sewers by a giant bug demon.
  • The Champion: Angel to Fred.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Fred's mother drives a school bus for a living.
  • Continuity Nod: Angel is returning from the meeting Buffy was going to at the end of BTVS "Flooded".
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  • Crazy Homeless Person: Spoofed when Fred Talking to Herself at the bus station scares off the hobo sitting next to her.
    Fred: Oh hey, I wa... I was just calculating Pi, relax. I'm not dangerous!
  • Crossover: Averted due to Buffy's Channel Hop to UPN, though crossover characters would return in Seasons 4 & 5.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Wesley re the odds of Angel getting back together with Buffy.
    "I think it's fair to say...no. Not a chance, never, no way, not in a million years, and also 'nuh-uh.'"
  • Double Entendre: Cordelia saying "I can soothe your ass off" to Angel.
  • Double Meaning: Lorne is actually being metaphorical, not referring to Fred's parents.
    "You thought you could outrun them, and maybe you were free. But those old monsters hunted you down."
  • Dramatic Downstage Turn: Cordelia turns away from Fred and towards the fourth wall when she starts demonstrating what Bangel is all about.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Wesley (abusive father), Angel (strict father), Cordelia (father in prison) and Gunn (orphan) all envy Fred's Good Parents.
  • Elephant in the Living Room: What Fred's parents are to her — she has been coping with her trauma by pretending she's living in a Heroic Fantasy. The presence of her parents brings home the fact that what she's experienced is real.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: The Durslar beast to Angel in the sewers. One Battle Discretion Shot later and Angel is proudly showing off its head.
  • Finish Dialogue in Unison
    Roger: "Well, I tell ya, I hadn't seen a stroke like that since Nicklaus took on Gary Player in the '63..."
    Angel & Roger: "Bob Hope Dessert Classic!"
  • Five-Man Band: Lampshaded by Fred right down to naming Wesley as "the brain", Gunn as "the muscle", and Cordy as "the heart".
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Fred
  • Gag Echo / Strange Minds Think Alike: Roger Burkle also suspects Fred's gadget makes toast.
  • Half Truth / Implausible Deniability: The Fang Gang trying to explain away demons and Fred's absence. The Burkles are unimpressed.
  • Hands Off My Fluffy!: Inverted in a Noodle Incident where Wesley talks with nostalgia of how he once impaled what he thought was a small Rodentius demon with a spear they're cataloging. "Of course the poodle's owners weren't too happy."
  • Head Full of Demon Wing Wong
  • Heartbreak and Ice Cream: Angel returns from his meeting with Buffy and it's implied that things didn't go well. He immediately takes Fred out for ice cream.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Angel modestly says he's not a superhero when Roger Burkle calls him one. Gunn cheerfully chimes in with "More like a bloodsucking fiend!" earning himself a sour look from Angel.
  • Implausible Deniability: Fred most definitely is not still crushing on Angel.
    Fred: And of course she's gonna love him back, because he's so strong and handsome and he really listens when you talk. I-I mean, if you go for that sort of thing.
  • Improvised Weapon: The Fang Gang make good use of a bag of golf clubs at the bus station. Roger Burkle clonks the bug with a metal rubbish bin while Trish Burkle makes better use of a bus.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!
    Cordy: "Fred can barely tie her shoes without Mr. 'oh, you're my big, fat hero!' around."
    Angel: "You think I'm fat?"
  • It's a Long Story: Wesley has to bring the Burkles up to speed whilst Angel is fighting a big demon bug.
    Wes: "Angel's a vampire. He has a soul, but it's a long story. I'll tell you about it if we don't end up dying."
  • Look Both Ways: Justified as Fred's mum is driving the bus she uses to run over the big bug.
  • Mad Oracle: Angel goes to see Fred in her Room Full of Crazy before she departs for good. He knocks on the door; inside Fred is looking at words she's written on the wall; Go away, go away, go away, knocking.
  • Mama Bear / Papa Bear: Fred's parents immediately pitch in to defend their daughter.
    Roger: "That's my daughter, you damn cockroach!"
  • Monster Is a Mommy: The bugs are actually after the demon head that Angel took back to the Hyperion with him. Once Fred's device breaks open its skull, a horde of tiny bugs follow mummy out the door and the horde stop attacking.
  • Mystery Magnet: Fred and Angel go out for ice cream. Next thing we see they're stalking through the sewers, and Fred is babbling happily about the monster that jumped out of the ice cream freezer to attack them.
  • Not So Dire: Wesley is apparently being threatened at sword point. Actually Cordelia was showing him the sword for cataloguing.
    Wes: [Close Up On Head] "You wouldn't dare. [Reveal Shot] You were just going to toss in a Prothgarian broadsword with a third-century ceremonial Sancteus dagger?"
  • Off with His Head!: Angel proudly struts in with the head of the Durslar beast he killed, declaring that he wants it mounted, only to realise Fred's parents are there, so Angel claims it's a prop head from a movie.
    "You know, a little glue, paper-mache... [Angel tosses the head aside, then winces at the sound of breaking glass] Possibly some lead."
  • Oh, Crap!: The gang look out the window into the Hyperion's garden to see a swarm of giant bugs.
    Cordelia: "We are so immensely dead."
  • Once Upon a Time: Fred tells Angel their own story in the form of a fairy tale.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business
    • Fred flees the Hyperion when her parents turn up, even though she's barely gone out of her room in months.
    • Lorne wearing a ratty terrycloth robe.
  • Private Eye Monologue: Cordelia tries to pass off their talk of vampires and demons as "LA gumshoe detective slang."
  • Romantic Hyperbole: In commemoration of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Channel Hopping to another network, Cordelia and Wesley spoof the Bangel romance in a Funny Moment.
    Cordelia: Let me break it down for you, Fred. "[Chewing the Scenery] Oh, Angel! I know that I am a Slayer, and you are a vampire, and it would be impossible for us to be together, but—"
    Wesley: But! [The Glasses Come Off] My Gypsy Curse sometimes prevents me from seeing the truth. Oh, Buffy...
    Cordelia: Yes, Angel?
    Wesley: [Milking the Giant Cow] I love you so much I almost forgot to brood!
    Cordelia: And just because I sent you to hell that one time doesn't mean we can't just...be friends!
    Wesley: [Clint Squint] Or possibly more?
    Cordelia: Gasp!! No! We mustn't!
    Wesley: Kiss me!
    Cordelia: Bite me!
    Angel: [Walk-In Chime-In] How 'bout you both bite me?
    Fred: You're back!
    Gunn: How'd it go?
    Angel: I think those two pretty much summed it up. To be honest, I really don't want to talk about it.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Fred realises her room was just another cave she built in the hope that Angel could save her. The episode ends on the gang and her parents helping Fred whitewash the walls, with Fred painting over a picture she drew of Angel saving her on his horse.
  • Saying Too Much:
    Wesley: They loved her. Supported her. Didn't grind her down into a... tiny self-conscious nub with their constant berating. Their never ending tirade of debasement, and scorn and...
  • Shaped Like Itself
    Cordy: "I'm not gonna sit around here and mope like you bunch of...mopers."
  • Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: Fred is trying to escape her parents, who are presumed by the Fang Gang to be demons or Abusive Parents. It turns out her parents are completely normal which is why Fred doesn't want to face them, as it would mean acknowledging that the horrors she lived through were real. It's actually kind of amusing that Whedon had racked up so many abusive father characters that this is genuinely shocking.
  • Short Story Long
    Angel: "So how you doing?"
    Fred: "Oh, ah...fizzy. Kinda weird and... fizzy. But excited. And a little sad. Thankful. Sorta cautiously happy. Relieved and worried at the same time. Slightly nauseous while still bein', hopeful?"
    Angel: "And that about covers it."
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Cordelia tells the Burkles that Fred is out with one of their associates.
    Cordy: "Who is not an evil fiend...or a vampire...because they don't exist."
  • Tearjerker: Fred's "I was so lost" monologue to her parents when she finally meets them.
  • Take That!: The lighthearted jab at Buffy's romance with Angel.
  • Tempting Fate
    • Roger tells Fred she's safe now. Giant bug-demon drops from above.
    • "Angel said he could handle— (Angel gets thrown through the French doors) ...it."
    • Subverted when Gunn tells Cordy to hurry up and have another vision. Cordelia is snarking back that she's not in a hurry to have another agonizing experience when she suddenly screams in pain...because she stubbed her toe on Fred's gadget.
  • The Un-Reveal: What happened between Buffy and Angel, who makes it clear he doesn't want to talk about it.
    Cordelia: "Now we'll never, ever know."
    Angel: [off screen] "That's right."
  • Vampire Detective Series: Again spoofed, with the gang impressed that the Private Detective the Burkles hired was able to trace her letter back to them despite the lack of return address.
  • Wasn't That Fun?: Trish Burkle after running over the bug demon shouts excitedly, "Did I get it? Did I get it, y'all?"
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