Fredless is a nice, touching episode with some hilarious moments and a heartbreaking performance by the incredible Amy Acker. It finished off the Crazy-Fred subplot and lets her real character come through.
The demon-crystal storyline was a bit dull but it was necessary to the plot so Fred could stay in L.A. I think the bug demons looked actually very good but I don't who was working the camera when they were on screen, as they seemed to stutter and freeze alot, which is quite irritating. Thankfully, it takes a small role in the episode and isn't focused on, leaving more time for the excellent character-based plot going on.
Fred was more likeable in this episode than she's ever been and I'm so glad she stayed in L.A. as she evolves into an amazing character, eventually becoming the heart of the group after Cordelia falls into a coma and then proceeds to become Illyria. Her breakdown was heart-wrenching and in some crazy way, it made sense. It made her experience in Pylea seem more real and you truly felt for her. Amy Acker was simply outstanding in this scene and she can do emotional scenes so well and makes the character of Fred more loveable. It's not easy to cry on cue just like that but she managed it excellently and is up there with the top actresses in the 'verse. I also liked the nice scene at the end where she paints over her picture of Angel saving her, finally putting her Pylea experience behind her and moving on, and realizing she has a place on the time- she's smart but a different kind of smart from Wesley.
Roger and Trish Burkle are good characters and the only parents to be seen more than once in the entire verse (excluding Joyce Summers of course). At the start of the episode, I was creeped out by them, as the storyline made it seem like they were abusive, due to Fred's fear of them. After her breakdown however, I felt they grounded the characters and fitted in perfectly with the group. This episode reminds me a lot of the scenes in "The Girl In Question" where Illyria masquerades as Fred to stop them finding out that Fred is dead.
I like that the gang actually did miss Fred when she left as I was wondering how'd they feel without her but as shown, they did miss her when she'd gone. This episode subtly hints at Wesley's feelings for Fred when he excitedly votes her to stay. The episode also has some nice Cordy/Angel moments as well, showing their growing attraction to one another.
Finally, the Wesley/Cordy scene where they pretend to be Buffy and Angel was one of the funniest moments of the series. It seriously brightened this episode up even more.
Fredless is a heartwarming episode that focuses on the least explored member of the group and finally finished the Crazy-Fred arc.