Season 5 Episode 15

A Hole in the World

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Feb 25, 2004 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (31)

out of 10
640 votes
  • The tragedy of AI


    The Good;

    Some very worthy stuff here, lovely Spike/Angel and Fred/Wes stuff. Gunn starts to realise the price he's paid for his mind upgrade. Especially love the moment when Fred sings and Lorne reacts, reading her future.

    The Bad;

    The White Room scene seems very unnecessary

    Best line; has to be;

    Fred; "Wesley, why can't I stay?"

    Jeez, how did they get away with that?

    Considering what happened to Glenn Quinn the Burkles remarks about 'Junkie movie stars' are a little tasteless. Also Wes kneecapping the guy who just wanted his fax. Needless to say, hard to watch Fred suffer.

    Apocalypses: 5

    Angel Cliches

    Subverting the Hollywood cliche;

    Fred isn't concerned by the sword sticking through Angel but wants the specimen on it

    In disguise; 8

    DB/JM get's his shirt off; 18,

    Cheap Angel; 8

    Fang Gang in bondage:

    Cordy: 5

    Angel: 15

    Wes: 8

    Gunn; 8

    Lorne; 6

    Fred; 5

    Spike; 6

    Fang gang knocked out: Fred passes out

    Cordy: 15

    Angel: 20

    Wes: 9

    Doyle; 1

    Gunn; 4

    Lorne; 8

    Groo; 1

    Connor; 1

    Faith; 1

    Fred; 7

    Spike; 5

    Kills; going to let Fred go out with a bang and give her a dozen demon babies from the nest. Also one for Wes and one for Spike. 4 of Drogyn's demon guards each for Spike and Angel.

    Cordy: 5 vamps, 3 demons

    Angel; 48 vamps, 67 and 1/2 demons, 5 zombies, 12 humans, one werewolf and one cyborg

    Doyle; 1 vamp

    Wes; 16 demons+5 vamps, 5 zombies, 3 humans, 2 cyborgs

    Kate; 3 vamps

    Faith; 18 vamps, 6 demons, 3 humans.

    Gunn; 11 vamps+ 15 demons, 5 zombies, 1 human.

    Groo; 1 demon

    Fred; 3 vamps+ 14 demons, 5 zombies

    Connor; 16 vamps, 5 zombies, 2 demons, Jasmine

    Spike; 21 vamps, 12 demons+1 human+one parasite

    Fang Gang go evil:

    Cordy: 3

    Angel: 3

    Gunn; 1

    Wes; 1

    Alternate Fang Gang; Fred to Illyria

    Cordy: 4

    Angel: 12

    Fred; 3

    Wes; 1

    Gunn; 1

    Connor; 1

    Lorne; 1

    Characters killed:


    Recurring characters killed; goodbye Fred, liked you but never loved you as I did say Willow. Still, sad to see you go.


    Total number of Angel Investigations; 5,

    Angel, Gunn, Lorne, Wes, Spike

    Angel Investigations shot:

    Angel: 14

    Wes; 2

    Packing heat; literally as here we have Fred as Ripley (before Alien3 ruined the series) packing a flamethrower whilst Wes has his shotgun and a 45 later

    Wes; 12

    Doyle; 1

    Angel; 4

    Gunn; 3

    Fred; 5

    Notches on Fang Gang bedpost: Do Wes and Fred have sex? She implies he's never been there before, do they have sex? Maybe

    Cordy: 5 ?+Wilson/Hacksaw Beast+Phantom Dennis+Groo+Connor plus possibly the Beast

    Angel: 6; Buffy, Darla, The Transcending Furies, Eve

    Wes; 3 definite; Virginia, the bleached blonde and Lilah, 2 possible, Justine, Fred

    Gunn; 2 Fred and Gwen.

    Fred; 1 Gunn, 1 possible Wes

    Groo; 1Cordy

    Spike; 3-Buffy, Anya, Harmony

    Kinky dinky:

    Fred hints she's had group sex with the varsity lacrosse team. She says she's joking but you know she was doing a lot of weed back then. Fred is in effect orally raped by the essence of Illyria which then gestates inside her, taking over her body (again, very like Aliens)

    Captain Subtext;

    Spike; "You think we should annoy other people?" Couple or what? Spike thinks James Bond's tux is poncey. Say that to his face? Angel doesn't know about Wes/Fred just as he didn't know about Fred/Gunn. Spike and Angel hold hands, hmmmm? They refer to St Petersberg where Anyanka and Halfyrek also hung out, wonder if it was at the same time?

    Know the face, different character; 7

    Parking garages;


    Guantanamo Bay;

    Lorne hits Eve. Didn't see that coming just as Lindsey won't in NFA

    Buffy characters on Angel; 17

    Wetherby, Collins and Smith. Angel, Cordy, Oz, Spike, Buffy, Wes, Faith, Darla, Dru, The Master, Anne, Willow and Harmony. POSSIBLY The First Evil, Andrew.

    Missing scenes;

    According to the commentary this show was very long so plenty of scenes to be restored on a DVD extra

    Questions and observations;

    For my money the astronauts win, they've everything the cavemen have plus science and technology. Lots of Aliens imagery, Fred with a flamethrower, the critters at the beginning, even the 'cow-pat' emblem on the sarcophagus looks a bit like a facehugger curled up. Lovely Wes and Gunn moment over Fred, Gunn almost has you going for a bit. Knox is also very believable. Is Fred mesmerised by the sarcophagus crystal as Buffy was in Helpless? Spike and Angel have never flown in a plane before and seem nervous about it. Their bonding on the plane is lovely. They speak of returning to the UK as the mother country, obviously a long time since they've been home. Spike didn't like Les Mis, neither did I, rather see Wicked again. Like Dianne Warren though and I think secretly Gunn does too.

    Marks out of 10; 8/10 good ep but hard to watch

  • B-O-R-I-N-G

    Ok, now I really hate this season 5. It's absolutely boring… Boring as hell :/ I know that this episode is supposed to be one of the best episodes in the show, because Fred dies in it. But seriously, could they come up with something worse? There was noting different, nothing amazing, nothing special. The whole episode looked like all of those episodes when they're saving someone the entire time and in the end he/she is okay and healthy again. The only difference here is that Fried really died. But that doesn't make the entire episode less-boring, does it? I still have 7 more episodes to see, but I hate this season. The show went down the hill since the season five premiere. I used to love Angel, for me it was the second best show ever, but now it's just boring :/
  • Heart-breaking, powerful, unforgettable.


    Heart-breaking, powerful, unforgettable. These are words often used by ad agencies to describe a series, an episode, or a movie. Seldom do these words accurately describe any work of fiction. Yet, here it is. Much of the Angel series was 'okay', but the entire series was worth watching for the handful of nearly perfect episodes scattered throughout the series, most of the best occurring during Season 5.

  • Agonising to watch.

    A Hole In The World is an absolutely outstanding episode and is in my Top 5 episodes of Angel. It is agony to watch and no matter how many times I watch it, I still finish emotionally numb. Fred's death is extremely hard to watch. Unlike Cordelia's who's death was virtually painless and Doyle's who's was over in seconds, Fred had to spend her last day in agony, before she died in the arms of her lover. It was just so powerful and moving and unlike Cordy's death which felt right, Fred's didn't. It felt random and had bad timing but that's why it's so good- there was no build up so it was just a complete shock at the end. The episode starts off like it would with any other damsel in distress but after 20 minutes it gets so hard to watch Fred screaming in pain, delirious with agony and then finally dying asking "Why can't I stay?" That line is brutal, like a knife going through you. Fred has come so far throughout the series; from crazy to geek to strong, brave woman. I loved seeing her character progress and her death is so hard hitting. However, her death was necessary. Save for "You're Welcome" and "Smile Time", the season has been getting increasingly stale and uninteresting. Fred's death saved the season. It gave us this masterpiece and then opened up more storylines with Illyria. While I love Fred, I'm partly glad she died, as the season needed more of a direction to go in. I liked the Deeper Well scenes as well, though not nearly as much as the Fred scenes. They were interesting but a bit useless. Drogyn is a bit annoying too. I loved the visual of it though and Spike saying that it is a hole in the world. It's a good expression.

    Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof were Emmy award deserving here, especially Amy. They were simply outstanding and blew me away. Amy Acker cannot do anything wrong; from crazy texan to cold villain, she does it all magnificently. She was positively amazing as dying Fred and made you see and feel the pain, the madness and the sadness of Fred here and really brought the episode to life. I was really impressed by her here. Alexis Denisof was nearly as excellent in his portrayal of Wesley watching the love of his life die in his arms. When Fred died, a part of Wesley did too and it shows.

    The end was awesome- Fred's eyes turning icy blue and Illyria then standing up. Whoever designed Illyria was amazing- she looks every inch the demon king. Her blue hair to her iced lips- everything works. And her eyes are amazing- that blue is just... wow.

    A Hole In The World is as close to perfect Angel gets. It's an episode you will never forget and very hard to watch. It's one of the best hours of TV ever and should not be missed.
  • A Hole in the World

    A Hole in the World was a perfect episode of Angel because it had a lot of minor sub stories come together to form a new plot twist. I really enjoyed watching this episode which was full of drama, intrigue, mystery, action, humor, and new interesting characters. There is also a lot of character development in this episode. I thought Angel and Spike working together again was cool, and I enjoyed learning what they found out. I also thought Wesley shooting the guy not on Ms. Burkle's case was a tribute to the old school style of Wolfram and Hart. I thought the ending was surprising and interesting though it makes me sad at the same time!!!!!!!
  • hero already exists yo!

    hero was a greta episode but they already remade it with the gift and failed misirably. so why do it once again? only this episode we only see that fred cry and have pain. as if i care? just let her die quickly and use a good plot next time. geez!

    as if smile time was not bad enough. this episode is pretty much fred crying in pain for 40 minutes. i demand my time back! where is the angel i used to love? this episode is not angel worthy. at all.
  • Goodbye again.

    Following a few not-so-brilliant (but nonetheless okay) episodes, "A Hold in the World" brings us the death of yet another female character on this show, just a few episodes after bidding farewell to Cordelia. The episode was everything that you could expect from a death of a beloved character. We watched this girl rescued from that hell dimension, growing into a woman that's fighting with "her boys" and sadly we had to say goodbye to her as well.

    It pains me to go through this, and even though I always thought I wouldn't be as touched by another death ever since Whedon killed off great characters on both "Buffy" and "Angel," this episode still manages to make me sad for Fred. Watching her slowly die as others try to help her, and realizing that she won't be rescued was really painful and bittersweet.

    Sure, it may make it seem like they did the same thing with Cordelia, but for some reason this is different. Also, you might ask Whedon why does he almost always go for the females, but I guess the questions should be put aside. I hope that the little that's left of this season will be amazing, because I see a lot of potential in Ilyria.

    My absolute favorite scene would be Wesley saying goodbye to Cordelia. It seems as if we can't have happy characters on this show at any time, so their love just made the last few scenes very hard. I knew that Knox might do something one day, and I guess this is it. I guess it's time to put Fred aside, and look into the future.
  • I almost, no did cry.

    This is my fav episode of Angel. I loved Spike's quote about there being a hole in the world and that they ougta have know. Fred was my favorite character, but now Illyria is. First Doyle, the Cordy, now Fred? Made you wonder if anyone else would live to see the final battle. It did seem a little unfair though. Killing Fred when Wesley and her finally got together. I thought Amy Acker's performance was amazing, and her best episode, especially the end. -X-Peace-
  • This episode is a tearjerker AND a series classic. Without a doubt, it's one of the series' best of the best

    *sigh* Winifred Burkle. What a great character. Brilliant, charming, sweet and beautiful. A girl that I think many guys could easily fall for, were she real. From the first few episodes she came onto the show, I knew that I was going to like her. A lot. I knew what her ultimate fate was going to be, but I never saw the episode where she actually died. Well, I finally saw it, and boy was it a good one. Gosh, when I opened my season 5 box set, I was wondering when this episode was gonna show up (I watch every episode, all in order) and when I saw that this one was next up, I almost started to tear up before I hit play, when Fred was looking at the coffin, I was quietly in my mind begging her to just walk away, even though I knew it would do no good..... I may come off as a loser, and maybe I am, but this episode was one of the saddest things I've ever seen, and Amy Acker truly shines in this episode. I.... I just don't really know what else to say. Fred died so horribly, and her final words," Please..... why can't I stay?"..... Absolutely heartbreaking. I was crying during the episode, and for a bit after as well. Gosh, just thinking about her final words even now is starting to get to me. Well, I recommend this episode, HOWEVER, I DO NOT recommend that this episode be watched by newcomers (I know there are probably barely any people left who would like this series that haven't watched it yet, but still) AT ALL until you get to know Fred and care about her.
  • A Hole In My Heart

    A Hole In The World-When Fred opens up an ancient sarcophagus that was anonymously sent to her, she is infected by a mysterious parasitic demon called Illyria. Angel and Spike learn that Illyria is an ancient demon who existed before recorded time, and they must race to return her to an ancient demon burial ground before she kills Fred and thousands of other innocent victims.

    Ironically, after the one of the funniest episodes of television comes one of the saddest! Written and directed by Buffyverse creator himself and such powerful acting from the whole cast. This is the best display of emotional drama since Buffy's "The Body" just 3 years ago before this one. Of all the people to watch slowy dieing in agony, Fred has to be the worst case senario. I mean since her arrival back at the end of Season 2, as an audience, we were all routing for the little Texcian with a big heart to match that big brain of hers. She may have been a little kooky and lacking a bit of sanity in the beginning but she sure has developed into quite the leading lady at this point in the series. Her intelligence was finally put to some good use as Head of the Sciene Department of Wolfram and Hart and during the conclusion of last episode, she was the first to man up and make her move on Wesley to which they both blissfully kissed to consummate their new relationship. But a las, when people start getting too happy in the Buffyverse, something has to come along and tear it apart just as fast as it began. Joss writers one of his best scripts ever as Fred's leading gentlemen are willing to do whatever to save her as she slowly begins to drift away. As I said, the cast give some of their best performances here from Wesley's grief to Gunn's struggling to help to Angel's concentration to Spike's loyalty to Lorne's understanding to Knox's....that bastard!

    Knox has been such a mixed character so far and finding out his part in killing Fred to bring about an ancient god is shocking. His character is pretty much insane but the development of the coming of Illyria is very promising. The Old Ones have been mentioned throughout the years of both Buffy and Angel, though we might have thought we saw one (The Mayor's big snake form, the Hellmouth demon) we haven't been confirmed on it. The Old Ones mythology is also an incredible concept that the writing staff have created. The introduction of Drogyn and the revelation of the Deeper Well filled with the coffins of trapped Old Ones is a stunning sequence. But at the heart of the episode are the last moments between Wesley and Fred. Both Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof are beyond flawless as they cry, shake and struggle to hold on to each other as Fred just can't hold on any longer. Another soldier is done on Angel's team as Wesley holds Fred's lifeless body. But just a few moments later, Fred's body convulses and thus awakens the parasite that has just killed her from within. Her hair now streaks of blue as well as a blue forhead, eyes and skin. The parasite speaks, "This will do!" All and All, "A Hole In World" is a powerful piece of drama that most non-fantasy shows can't touch, the acting was so moving with the revelations, dialogue, storylines and twists making this one of the most incredible episodes to date. But it only gets better, surprisingly!
  • Fred is gone! But Illyria remains...

    I found this episode to be heart-pounding and tearjerking. It was very well written and very sad as well. It was just about the finest hour f television and one of the series' highlights. It was completely heart-wrenching to watch the whole thing go down. We also got to see how much Wesley loved Fred and how much Fred deeply affected everyone in the group. However it managed to stay true to the fact that nothing can ever be perfect in the Whedonverse. We saw that to be true in the season 6 evil-Willow ark that was started by the episode: Seeing Red, where Tara was finally added to the credits only to be gunned down by a vengeful Warren. I rate this episode a 10, a series highlight, and an episode no Angel fan can miss... No matter how painful!
  • Transitory thought ..

    In the world of Joss Whedon, most things which two persons love each other exist all the time cannot be found.Either will die soon in many cases, even if the time which can be spent differs, respectively. And I think that Wesley&Fred had greeted separation transitorily very short. Wesley considered Fred from the time of the beginning which took Fred and was invited to the return friend. Although a line had been immediately drawn to her when it turned out that it is someone else whom Fred chose, even when the feeling of loving her also after that did not change, but was maintained and another sweetheart was, what is loved truly was only Fred. the time of confessing from the direction of Fred by the last of SMILE TIME, since it did not get across to Fred easily even if always wrapped in so gentle to big love -- Wesley -- it was really good -- a tear did not stop at the feeling .. and "A Hole in the World" Although it can regard starting and tending toward a sad end immediately as cruel supremely and excels It is Wesley which was loved at the end in the life of Fred, and it greeted the last in his arm.I think that it was really fortunate also in the time of her trying last moment.
  • The end of fred,the hansome man that got her out of pylea couldnt keep her from dying.

    this episode was so sad and depressing fred really didnt want to die joss whedon wrote this script really well even though i was pretty mad that he killed fred off righr after Cordy and just when wesley and fred started getting serious but the acting was so great that it made my perception of the episode change but i will probabley never forgive the writers for kiling Cordelia off but anyways i love the scenes between spike and angel in the spot where the whole in the world is. i felt so bad for fredin the final scene where she was telling wes to tell her parents that she was strong and when she asked him why cant i stay oh my gosh totally heart whenching hey but i like to think of Doyle,Cordelia, and Fred together up where buffy went after she died in the gift.
  • Goodbye Winifred Burkle...

    I cried this whole episode! I can't believe this happened to Fred! She didn't deserve this, not at all!! And also, what happened to all the women on this show? First Lilah, then Cordy, and now Fred! They're killing off all the women here! And right when Wesley and Fred get together, she dies?? That's just not right! I just feel so sorry for Wes, he pretty much went crazy after Fred's death. Anyways, I loved Alexis and Amy's performance in the last scene. They made it seem so real! They are really talented actors. I'm really going to miss Fred. She was the heart of the show after Cordy left.
  • Joss drives the knife in a bit further

    I don't even know where to begin with this one. Here we have sweet Fred whom I had grown to love since the gang got her out of Pylea. She had undergone some big character development along the way. She started out as a little bit crazy (thanks to Pylea) and turned into one helluva fighter along the way. She actually served as the heart of the gang after Cordy went to "Floatyville." Bottom line: she was loved. It seemed like FINALLY she and Wes were going to have "their time" together and then just as quickly as you can say "Mummy dust" she is taken away from us, the gang, and Wes. Our hearts werent even beginning to heal from losing Cordy and then we lost Fred too.
  • So sad...

    I've always liked Angel, but I've never been so invested in a storyline like I am with Fred/Illyria, it's just such a great idea!!
    I read that the Amy Acker was shocked when Joss told her that Fred was gonna die - until he told her the Illyria-storyline and she must have been thrilled. It's a great experience for an acting person to play two so different characters within one show.

    The scene when Fred died with Wesley at her side was sooo sad, there has hardly ever been such an emotional moment in "Angel", I think. I cried like a baby when I first saw it. Since I had no idea it was gonna happen, it really hit me. But the idea was great and Fred's last episode was just amazing!
  • Illyria : \"This Will Do\"

    This really was a special episode. Even though I loved the character of Fred, Joss had opened up a whole new set of stories with the introduction of Illyria.

    The way he told the death of Fred was wonderful and truely amazing writing and directing. Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker could not have done a better job as Fred fought for her life and everything she had left. The final few words the two shared with one another were heartbreaking and touching.

    Fred: Would you have loved me?
    Wesley: I\'ve loved you since I\'ve known you. No that\'s not--I think maybe even before.
    Fred: I\'m so sorry.
    Wesley: No, no, no.
    Fred: I need you to talk to my parents. They have to know I wasn\'t scared. That it was quick, that I wasn\'t scared. Oh God!
    Wesley: I need you to fight, you don\'t have to talk, just concentrate on fighting. Just hold on.
    Fred: I\'m not scared. I\'m not scared. I\'m not scared. Please. Wesley. Why can\'t I stay?

    That last line. Why cant I stay stayed with me for a long time. This was Angel at its best.

    At the start I thought it would be another episode where someones in trouble and then they would be saved, How shocked I was when Fred actually died.

    The whole cast worked together wondefully. We saw another side of Spike and Angels relationship, a better side and a more caring one.

    Eve returned and Sarah Thompson did another stellar job.

    It didn\'t really surprise me that Knox was evil, he does work at Wolfram & Hart for gods sake but his change in personality was sought of unexpected.

    It was nice to see Gunn do what hes best at instead of this Lawyer stuff that Im used to.

    Overall, fantastic episode, one of Angels best, I kept replaying the bit where Illyria stood up, blue as ever, and said \"This will Do\". Magical episode. Rest in Peace Fred!
  • So sad!!

    i have to say that angel has never really made me cry before, but watching this had me in floods of tears! watching a heartbroken wesley read to fred in her last hours was just gutwrenching!! All praise goes to Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof for those amazing scenes, and to all the writers that wrote such a fantastic episode. it\'s just a shame that wesley and fred barely had any time together seen as they had only just got together when shes died, so for me, that was the saddest part- you could see how much wesley loved her!!
  • Typical Joss fashion.

    Just as everything goes up Joss sends it all crashing down. Fred finally wakes up and finds Wes, the one she has been meant to be with since she was introduced. And Wes finally got his dream girl. Just as they are starting their happy and adorable relationship the concept that mortals have no place in this fight rears it's ugly head and is once again proven.

    The last few moments are devestating and your heart just breaks for Wes and Fred over and over.
  • Just when everything seems to be going better...

    they tear it apart. I guess that J August Richards was right about Joss Whedon, he doesn't like happy endings (I believe somebody on Buffy said something alike when Tara died) It's just so tragical how Fred dies. It's not the fact that she dies that is awful but the fact that you know it's like she never existed, her entire essence is destroyed so you know she's not somewhere in heaven or where-ever being happy. And when Fred said that words: "Please Wesley, why can't I stay" it just broke my heart, all the ten times I heard her say it (not including the next episode)

    Besides the obvious hell I've been through while watching this I have to say this was actually a very good episode. The whole concept of the hole in the world especially with Spike commenting was funny. The idea that everybody except Wesley himself had a part in it was cruel but nifty and the tension around Fred's dying was excellent, as was the acting of Amy Acker. If the dying of a characters makes you cry, they're doing something right!
  • We have to say goodbye to Winifred Burkle and say hello to Illyria, one of the Old Ones.

    A Whole in the World together with Shells, I kinda see them as one episode because you have to see them together to get the whole picture, are probably the best episodes of Angel. I’ve always loved the character of Fred, Amy Acker just did an magnificent job in portraying her.

    Amy shows that she is the star of the show (imo) in this episode. Fred gets infected with a demon parasite that destroys her from the inside to use it as it’s vessel. And seeing Fred dying is really heartwhreaking, especially when she says ‘why can’t I stay?’ to Wesley.

    Gunn discovers that by helping the doctor in the previous episode to get another brain boost for himself he’s one of the chains that got Illyria’s tomb to Wolfram and Heart and thus is part responsible for Fred’s death, this starts a chain of events for the character of Gunn.

    As I said before this is probably my most favourite episode of Angel, I had only wished that this wasn’t the last season so we could have seen more of Illyria.
  • Fred!!!

    Why is it that all the best episodes ever deal with the death of a main character?

    This episode is one of the best. Although most of season 5, I consider one shots and filler, this arc is amazing! Cordy dieing and now Fred is a lot to handle within 3 episodes from each other!

    Joss has made amazing choices throughout this series and Buffy. And although I don't like season 5 on a whole, it has so many wonderful one shot episodes!

    I hope that Angel continues in the comics like Buffy, just to see how Iyllria would adjust to this world. She seems to make strong conections to Wes and easily stopped being an "old one" with "old one" feelings.

    I will miss you Fred :(
  • Another great episode. Season 5 just keeps getting better. Spoiler warning.

    What can I say about this episode? Everything about it is great from start to finish. The acting is superb as usual. (Amy Acker is splendid in this episode.) The writing is amazing as we have come to expect with this wonderful series. & it is full of great plot twists. It is very sad at parts when you see Fred suffering & at the end something unpredictable happens that leaves you wanting more. Season 5 has been very strong up to this point & this episode makes you sure that the amazing ride will continue. This episode is close to perfect overall. Check it out.
  • Fred inhales evil dust and Team Angel has to save the Fredster.

    Wow...Just Wow. This is one of my favorite, if not, my absolute favorite episode in the entire Angel Saga.

    Great Moments:

    - "Aliens"ish opening with Fred and the nice shot of Wes and Fred kissing next a huge fire ball.

    - The moment where Lorne hears Fred sings and she spews up blood over Wesley's face. Truly shocking.

    - Angel/Spike/Lorne interrogation of Eve. Lorne actually gets to throw a punch and do some "Angel" threats. You could tell that Lorne wasn't playing around.

    - Fred/Wesley Scenes were some of the most emotional scenes ever on television. Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker both did such a convicing job. If you can watch this episode without even getting a slight tear then you are a robot.

    - The innocence of Fred. You could tell that not only was this one of the worst things to happen to one of the main characters but it happend to the most innocent and honest character on the show. It was like adding insult to injury.

    Bad Stuff


    Maybe it's just my giant crush on Amy Acker but it was so sad to see her go like that. It just made you love the character more once she was gone. No more quirky moments, no more funny chuckles, no more science talk. Joss Whedon pulled no punches in this episode. Amazing...Simply Amazing.
  • Don't go Fred!

    When Fred opens up an ancient sarcophagus that was anonymously sent to her, she is infected by a mysterious parasitic demon called Illyria. Angel and Spike learn that Illyria is an ancient demon who existed before recorded time, and they must race to return her to an ancient demon burial ground before she kills Fred and thousands of other innocent victims.

    In this episode, we watch Angel face the decision of a life-time. Having to choose between his Friend Fred, or the thousands of others that would die if he were to let her live.

    This episodes shows new levels to all characters in ways that were never possible before.
  • Cavemen win. :(

    Every time I watch this one I see something new, which is strange given how extraordinarily straightforward it is.

    First off, the WB are dorks.

    Watching this one episode, with the funny little opening in Fred's room at her parents' home, it wasn't as clear, the way it was aired, that this episode is in fact the first of a two-part farewell to Fred -- or, more to the point, a farewell to Fred and the introduction to Illyria.

    It cheats Cordelia a little bit, but only if you ignore the fact that Cordy got to spend her last days doing stuff, living her final moments to their fullest. "You're Welcome" is a perfectly wonderful showcase for Cordelia because we don't learn until the end of the show that she is, in fact, dead.

    In "A Hole in the World," Fred is being mourned very nearly through the second half of the episode. There are very few final last minute grasping at straws of hope available. If anything, with this death, Joss played completely fair, which he doesn't always.

    But between "A Hole in the World" and "Shells" -- the second half of this two-parter -- there were six weeks of hiatus. There were changes made to the opening credits to include some Illyria footage. There was very little indication that this was a two-parter right up until Fred's last words reiterated in a spark appearing between Illyria's fingers, Wesley packing Feigenbaum, the stuffed Master of Chaos bunny, away in a box and the final sequence of Fred climbing into a pickup truck and heading west to find her angel, above the heart-breaking acoustic strains of Kim Ritchie's "A Place Called Home," legitimately bookending the two-part farewell.

    In a just universe, they'd have aired these episodes back to back.

    I'll start, as this episode did, with a mistake -- or, more to the point, another bit of evidence were it needed that S4 is a terrible season, or that "Supersymmetry" was a terrible episode. Apart from having Angel manifest a hallucination in the lobby of the Hyperion, re-creating the lecture hall where Fred was attacked -- something he's never been able to do before or since (and it wasn't just his own imagination, since Gunn can experience it as well) Fred, in an offhand comment before the lecture, said she'd been a history major before Prof. Seidel inspired her to get involved in quantum physics.

    Well, to begin with, the dsciplines are completely different, and require completely different skill sets. You move to quantum physics from somewhere in the math or science fields, not from more verbal disciplines.

    This, I think, we can put down to the sort of mistake we encountered in "School Hard," where Spike shouted out that Angelus was his sire, discovering in flashbacks that in fact Drusilla was Spoik's sire and Angelus was hers.

    It suggests that Fred's backstory was too sketchy for too long -- especially for as wonderful as these writers tend to be. And again, the flashback redirects just seem more persuasive, somehow. When Fred tells her mom she's going to go to UCLA and learn everything they can teach her about quantum physics and come up with stuff they haven't thought of, not only is it just an exuberant backstory launch for this character, it's just more believeable -- not simply because it's just more credible than everything we saw in "Supersymmetry," but because we see it. Fred has a stuffed bunny named for the person who came up with Chaos Theory, and she's been interested in high-energy physics since she was in high school.

    Quod erat demonstratum.

    Fred, who from "Spin the Bottle" got high in high school and pursued conspiracy theories, Fred the incredibly bright college student who was banished by her professor to one of the theoretical dimensions ...

    Let's explore that. Fred blames Seidel for her incarceration that turned her into this incredibly sympathetic crazy person in Pylea. But whether she picked up that book herself in a relatively unused wing of the campus library and read the incantation on the cover aloud, or whether her professor sent her there ...

    Fred reads the incantation.

    And Fred touches the gemstone on the sarcophagus.

    In the second part of this two-parter, Wes curses Fred's curiosity. As fatal flaws go, I was assuming it was going to be her impossible over-reaction to things, like Gunn dying for a few seconds, or their trek through the sewers in "Shiny Happy People" where she once again brings up his murder of Prof. Seidel and refers to herself as a "shell."

    Just like Angel being refered to as a puppet, Joss starts some of his storylines far in the past.

    Continuing our trace of Fred's path, she is forced to live for five years as a slave to green demons, on the run as Cave Fred after she disables the collar that forces obedience on pain of death, until one day she is rescued -- Hero Angel refuses to behead her, and instead facilitates her escape, and then she saves Wes and Gunn by distracting a seriously vamped-out Angel with a bag of blood. She takes him back to her cave, which is increbily brave, but whereas in five years she has learned to negotiate the monsters in Pylea, she is ill-equipped to deal with life in L.A., reverting to Cave Fred -- cavemen win -- back at the hotel.

    She is reunited with her parents and begins to re-acclimate, forging a relationship with Gunn, and becoming an object of Wesley's obsession -- which he becomes horrified by in "Billy." She herself begins to pursue her old obsession, making a little progress on string theory that gets published and brings her face-to-face with the man who, however you want to interpret this, sent her to Pylea. And she plans to return the favor, although Gunn actually carries out her murderous intent, driving a wedge between them. She fights battles, saves her friends from Jasmine's thrall, and then takes over the practical science division at W&H, forms a little infatuation with her cute lab assistant Knox, but ultimately turns her attentions to Wesley.

    One can argue she's gone out at the top of her game. The betrayal involved in Knox bringing that sarcophagus to her lab for her if they'd been going out would've been one thing, but somehow it's all the more evil because she and Wes were building a relationship and finding happiness with each other.

    We don't have any evidence that they actually consummated this relationship, but from their interaction during the raging bug battle at the beginning of this episode -- and all of Wesley's tenderness toward the end of it -- it's a damn good bet.

    If there were any doubt at all about Gunn's complicity in that sarcophagus appearing, the anonymous delivery crew's words "It's already signed for" puts a button on it. One wonders who Knox is acting for -- the sarcophagus he's been waiting for, which he and Sparrow apparently were in cahoots about, appearing in his lab is a moment when he'd be expected to knit his hands together and emit a Mr.Burns-esque "Eeeex-cellent."

    But he's coy for the cameras and for most of the episode he seems to be trying to do everything he can to bring Fred back.

    The first reveal is so incredibly cool, however. After everything looks like it's going to be just fine after she's checked out for mummy dust, Fred and Wes are making plans for the evening on the landing and Lorne passes by. She sings a few notes of "You Are My Sunshine" (and what an adorable little voice she has) and Lorne knows exactly what he's heard. He whips around with this great expression of panic on his face in time to catch her as she coughs blood and falls down those dangerous-looking stairs.

    Immediately the arguments of the day -- including the cavemen v. astronauts argument Angel and Spike are having and she's continuing with Wesley -- arguing that the astronauts must be armed in some way -- cease. Everyone is united in their efforts (it seems) to save Fred. This episode really highlighted the fact that there are very few womenfolk in Fred's universe. The medlab they take her to is packed full of Y chromosomes with little Fred alone in her bed -- "My boys. I haven't had this many strapping men at my bedside since the varsity lacrosse league." Great joke, luv.

    They do everything they can -- I loved Wes shooting that guy through the leg when he found out he wasn't working Miss Burkle's case -- and Angel and Spike and Lorne tracking Gunn's lead to Eve's location, and her pointing them to The Deeper Well -- which was some good storytelling, btw. I loved Lorne's lines in Lindsey's old apartment -- "Fred once told me after a sinful amount of Thai food that she thought most people would prefer to be green -- your shade, if possible." And "If I was facing your future, I'd make like Carmen Miranda and die." Great work from Andy Hallett in this ep.

    Fred gets up and tries to save herself -- nice move by Joss -- a strong woman refusing to sit idly by while her body and her world collapses makes her all the more solid a character and actually all the more sympathetic.

    Gunn confronting Knox about saving her, when he and Gunn together (without Gunn's implicit knowledge) are the reason she's dying. Nice. Also, Gunn confronting himself in the White Room was interesting without being too informative. There was a lot of story to tell in this episode, and there wasn't a lot of throwaway stuff, but that scene, while cool, didn't add too much.

    Knox's slip of the tongue is as clumsy as Desdemona's handkerchief, but he'd covered his tracks too well -- he had to give himself away because no one else would've been able to figure it out. Hell, even when there are no witnesses he doesn't get overexcited about the sarcophagus showing up and his god manifesting once again.

    The final scenes where Wes is reading to Fred from "The Little Princess" -- using one of those wonderful templates to call it up -- is some of the most emotionally compelling television out there. Along with Fred repeating her first lines to Angel -- "Handsome man saves me from the monsters" -- her conversation with Wes is even better. After instructing him to tell her parents it was quick, that she wasn't scared, she says something like:

    Fred: I walk with heroes."
    Wes: "You are one."
    Fred: "And this is my power. To not let them get me."

    And if it were up to Spike and Angel (nice trick with the wire from those two) they wouldn't. But Angel's acting on information we don't have -- to wit, that the Circle of the Black Thorn is watching for a sacrifice and Fred's closest in the line of fire. This was a slightly different Angel than we saw in "Lineage," where his entire world would end if anything happened to Fred. The Angel of "Lineage" would've been OK with Drogyn's warning of Illyria clawing its way into everyone between Fred and The Deeper Well -- the lives of hundreds if not thousands of people. The Angel on the bridge above "A Hole in the World" determines to make the sacrifice.

    Knox: "I don't mean he can't save her. I mean that he won't."

    Cavemen win. Ancient powers triumph over pure science. Fred dies and ... as perfect as the theme becomes, it was just a puzzle Mutant Enemy had been fussing with for the week this episode was written, but it was just too impossibly elegant. Fred is dragged back into the cave, kicking and screaming.

    Fred: "Wesley ... why can't I stay?"

    In my opinion, the most heartbreaking final words I think this show has given us for any main character, so full of loss and confusion and sadness. And there is no answer.

    Unless it is Illyria's opening assessment of her re-established existence. Rising like an icy blue stab of pain, her words:

    Illyria: "This will do."

    Joss, you evil, evil bastage.
  • This is one of the saddest episodes I have ever seen....

    This episode hurt my feelings. I was so upset that Whedon not only let Angel not get the love of his life-TWICE-but he let Wesley follow suit. It so sad to know that in order to save the world so much must be sacrificed.
    When Fred first came on, she was a bit annoying and I could not see what they saw in her. Of course she is brilliant, but a little naïve for my taste. But she did prove herself worthy to be called a warrior and champion. I wish that she and Wes would have been together from the start. He would have loved her thoroughly and it would have been great.
    I found the irony of the reason Fred and Gunn broke up was because she changed him indirectly-seems as if irony will always reign.
    If living forever wasn’t enough torture, Angel has to see the ones he loves die before his eyes. Helpless and tormented by what he knows could only be his fault for trying to save the world.
    I loved this episode because it made me FEEL for them all. They worked together to save someone who was sincere to them all. I could see her influence on their lives and it was always good. She never took them for granted and she never treated anyone unkind. She was pure and wholesome and worth saving. It is horrible to be trapped in a world and living in a cave for 5 years just to come back, fight the good fight, save the world a dozen times and die because of who you are. Fred was a beautiful character. So sad that they left Lorne, the only other character who is like Fred.
    It’s scary to see how W&H can break them down. Although, they don’t claim to work for good or evil, they now how to fudge the lines.
    So, I will say FAREWELL to Winefred Burkle. Thank-you for being the character you were, sorry for that horrible fate. Sorry you never were allowed to find out if Wes was your true love. I hate that your soul was destroyed and that you may not have even made it to heaven or hell-but thanks for your kind-hearted attitude.

  • Can it get any better than this?

    In this episode Fred is killed by illyria, who takes over her body. Tragic to loose Fred, but the switch is more than fine. Illyria is an interesting carakter in so many ways, that it didnt seem like a loss at all. Amy is still in the show.. yay for that :) All the darkness and sadness this episode reveals is one of the great things about this series in my opinion, and this time it was just perfect.

    Illyria may have killed our beloved Fred, but she looks sharp :D This adds to the beauty of the show.
  • The One Where Fred Doesn't Make It

    I remember when this first got aired and I was absolutely terrified of what was going to happen. Before it aired, spoilers had revealed that A Hole in the World featured "a setback for Fred". Some were saying that her parents were to be brutally murdered, some said she would be possessed but I had no idea that she was going to be killed off.

    This is not the episode for fans of happy, funny hours of Angel. In contrast to the previous episode, the hilarious Smile Time, A Hole in the World is just downright depressing. Fred is left dying after breathing in gas from an ancient sarcophagus which has been delivered to Wolfram & Hart. Whilst Wesley stays at her bedside during her final hours, Angel and Spike travel to England to visit the burial ground of the ancient demon which is liquefying Fred's organs.

    Amy Acker deserved an Emmy for her performance in this episode. It's heartbreaking watching such a sweet character die right before your eyes. At least with other deaths in the Buffyverse (Tara, Jenny), they died quickly and without much pain. But this is just terrible, watching Fred go through stress and pain until she finally departs.

    I don't know if it was such a good idea killing off the one remaining female character on the show only two episodes after the other leading female, Cordelia, was killed off but I guess it did open the doors for more storylines involving Illyria, the demon who took over Fred's body.

    The closing moments, where blue lady Illyria leaps up from behind the bed and echoes three terrifying words at her new body, "this will do" are awe-inducing. The other big storyline of the episode, and probably the most important discussion EVER, the "cavemen vs astronauts" debate, is hilarious compared to the depressing rest of the episode.

    A Hole in the World is depressing viewing but makes for one of the greatest hours in Angel history. Plus, on a somewhat pointless side note, am I the only one who absolutely loves the name Feigenbaum??
  • Why do these shows always do this to us?!?!?

    Just a few episodes ago, they killed Cordelia off, and now they kill Fred off as well? This just sucks! And the fact that Wesley and Fred finally got together in the previous episode is just another kick in the face. All relationships must be destined to fail in Whedonverse. Do not get me wrong, it is a great episode, but it is another sad, depressing story in a sad, depressing season. This is the beginning of the end of the series. If I remember correctly, this is one of the first episodes that aired following the announcement of \'Angel\'s cancellation. More sadness, I know.
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