Season 4 Episode 5


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Nov 03, 2002 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

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  • Fred's revenge


    The Good;

    Angel versus the demon and all the Wes and Lilah stuff

    The Bad;

    Surely the Prof can think of a less public way to get rid of Fred? All told this is a pretty damn stupid ep

    Best line:

    Angel (to demon who keep's fighting despite having been decapitated) "Come on, I'm holding your head"

    Jeez, how did they get away with that?

    Apocalypses: 5

    Angel Cliches

    In disguise; 8

    DB get's his shirt off; 12

    Cheap Angel; 5

    Fang Gang in bondage:

    Cordy: 5

    Angel: 12

    Wes: 6

    Gunn; 4

    Lorne; 4

    Fred; 2

    Fang gang knocked out:

    Cordy: 12

    Angel: 15

    Wes: 5

    Doyle; 1

    Gunn; 1

    Lorne; 4

    Groo; 1

    Kills: 1 vamp for CC, 1 demon for Angel and one human for Gunn

    Cordy: 6 vamps, 3 demons

    Angel; 41 vamps, 58 and 1/2 demons, 8 humans

    Doyle; 1 vamp

    Wes; 12 demons+3 vamps, 2 humans

    Kate; 3 vamps

    Faith; 16 vamps, 6 demons, 3 humans.

    Gunn; 11 vamps+ 12 demons+ one human.

    Groo; 1 demon

    Fred; 3 vamp+ 1 demon

    Connor; 8 vamps and 2 demon

    Fang Gang go evil:

    Cordy: 2

    Angel: 2

    Gunn; 1

    Wes; 1

    Alternate Fang Gang:

    Cordy: 3

    Angel: 9

    Fred; 1

    Characters killed:


    Recurring characters killed;


    Total number of Angel Investigations:

    Angel, Gunn, Fred, Lorne

    Angel Investigations shot:

    Angel: 11

    Wes; 1

    Packing heat;

    Wes; 6

    Doyle; 1

    Angel; 3

    Gunn; 1

    Notches on Fang Gang bedpost:

    Cordy: 4 ?+Wilson/Hacksaw Beast+Phantom Dennis+Groo

    Angel: 5; Buffy, Darla and The Transcending Furies

    Wes; 3; Virginia, the bleached blonde and Lilah

    Gunn; 1 Fred

    Fred; 1 Gunn

    Groo; 1Cordy

    Kinky dinky:

    Connor remarks that CC steals the bedcovers much to Angel's distress. Gunn mentions that Fred kept him up all night and was unstoppable.

    Captain Subtext;

    Lorne calls Angel 'sweetie' when he brings him breakfast in bed. Whilst Connor refuses to bring Cordy any pics of Angel he's fine with everyone else, even Lorne.

    Know the face, different character; 4

    Parking garages; yep, if I were Lilah I'd just take a taxi every night


    Buffy characters on Angel; 16

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

    Questions and observations;

    Really not good, silly plot and although there's some powerful emotional stuff really far below par. First time we ever see CC's parents. Now when we see Angel recreate the conference room scene at the Hyperion is that just a photographic memory or a spell he casts? Love the satire on the Angel fans, Angel referring to the 'chatty rooms'. Love Fred's Ripley moment, "I'm the bitch!".

    Marks out of 10; 6/10 and maybe that's generous

  • Supersymmetry

    Supersymmetry was a great episode of Angel and I really enjoyed watching it because there was a lot of character development. Lorne is still recovering, Cordelia is starting to feel something is missing at Conners as they share an awkward kiss, Fred is giving a lecture on physics at her old college with Gunn and Angel watching her and helping her out of trouble as Lilah was stalking Wesley who was watching Fred speak. I thought all the intertwining of the characters was brilliant. I thought the story was good, but I didn't like what Gunn did, there was no reason really, and it will have dire consequences. I was surprised and glad to see the ending of this episode and I look forward to the next one!!!!
  • You know what they say about payback? Well Fred's the b*tch.

    I really enjoyed Supersymmetry and found it to be an excellent character driven episode and loved that we got to explore new depths of Fred and see different sides to her.

    I really liked the fact that Fred was sent to Pylea through a deliberate attack. It's bad enough that it happened by accident but when you learn someone you looked up to and trusted sent you to a hell dimension, you're going to be pretty upset. Or in Fred's case turn into a homicidal maniac bent on killing the man who ruined your life. Excellent.

    Amy Acker was truly superb here and was genuinely frightening in some of her scenes where she's bent on killing Professor Seidel and the line "No. He's gonna die" creeps me out to this day. This episode is also the beginning of the end for Fred and Gunn's relationship as one of the things Fred loves about Gunn is destroyed; he has it in him to kill a person. The final scene where they're completely uncommunicative shows the direction their relationship is taking and that it's not a good one. Wesley and Lilah's relationship also takes a downward turn here. He's obviously still smitten with Fred and despite her later insistence she isn't jealous, the scene that she follows him to Fred's lecture and looks at him angrily proves otherwise. He also turns her offer down to see Fred's lecture. Wesley is still in love with Fred and his part in helping her kill Seidel proves this. He also keeps throwing out hints that Gunn isn't here for her in hopes that she'll get rid of Gunn.

    The Cordelia and Connor scenes were.. yuck. Seeing Cordelia, the closest thing to a mother Connor has ever had, kiss him is all kinds of wrong. Thankfully she has amnesia or I'd be put right off her. I liked that she eventually went back to Angel though. The fact that even though she can't remember him but is still very drawn to him is proof that they were more than just friends. Cordelia herself asks if they were in love at the end here and we finally get the answer next episode!

    Supersymmetry is an excellent episode that focuses on all the couples of the show and shows that basically all of them are taking downward turns. It provides us with more insight into Fred and shouldn't be missed.
  • Superinconsistency!

    Supersymmetry-After Fred's physics article is published; she's invited to speak at a symposium where a portal opens, bringing her face to face with a demon and a dark secret about her old professor. Meanwhile Angel visits a comic book store seeking to solve the mystery and find out why someone would want Fred out of the way.

    An episode with plot that just feels forced, but has a shocking ending. First, the revelation that Fred's old professor sent her to Pylea brings a continuity error, since we know Fred was alone in the library when she read the book. It just doesn't make sense. Second, am I the only one who felt Fred's sudden blood lust a little forced. I mean Any Acker gives a great performance, but whole wanting to kill someone feels to extreme for even the character. I mean I know Fred can't be sweet and innocent forever, but that was just over-kill with the revenge. Also, why would she go to Wesley is pretty vague. I did like that Gunn was so protective and reasonable throughout this hour. It shows juist how much the character has grown and cares for Fred. But even I couldn't have forseen him actually killing the professor for Fred. It's a shocking yet unneeded development and it's just as hard to believe Gunn would kill someone, but hey rather him then Fred though. It's a very dark moment for Gunn which ultimately begins the downfall of their relationship. The best parts of the episode are Lilah who is jealous of Wesley's affections for Lilah, also Angel fighting with the demon that won't die, even after his head has been removed. This episode also provided some nice portal opening special effects. The episode ends with Cordelia asking Angel if they were in love, what will be his answer? All and All, even with unneeded and forced developments, there are still good scenes and other interestiong developments.
  • The truth about what happened to Fred.

    I had wondered since the end of season two, when we were first shown that Fred was in Lorne's home dimension of Pylea, is they were every going to do anything more with it. For awhile it seemed like it just wasn't going to be touched and then this episode. I wasn't expecting what happened though. Fred was sent to Pylea by a trusted professor who was what? Intimidated by her brilliance? And then he lures her back to her old school by publishing one of her articles to try and do it again. That was, is I mean I'd have a stroke if I were Fred which she very nearly does. After seeking out Wesley to help her kill this proffessor, revealing a darkness in Fred that has really never been seen before. Fred gets pretty close to killing, too. Opening a portal to a hell dimension, Gunn interrupts her plans and pleas for her not to do this claiming he would lose her if she kills him. Fortunately for Fred Gunn steps up and kills the profesror himself, throwing him into the portal thus revealing a darkness in a real darkness in Gunn that proves leathal to his relationship with Fred. Honestly, I've never been a big Gunn fan and I've always thought Wes and Fred made such a better couple and way more sense but I didn't like Charles had that kind of darkness in him. Not till this episode. It's interesting how season four focuses on the darkness in Wesley and this episode focuses on the darkness in Fred but the one we really needed to worry about was Gunn, and just what he is capable of.
  • Freds "Mentor"

    It seems Fred has been published in a magazine and is going to give a speech on her theory. Fred has came a long way from that crazy girl in a cave the gang found in Pylea. Everything is going so well for Fred, she is back into physics and she has a boyfriend (Gunn) who she loves very much. Angel and Gunn accompany her to the conference she is speaking at and Wes even ditches Lilah to sit near the back row and hear Fred speak. Freds former professor and mentor (Prof. Seidel) is even introducing her. Fred starts the speech when a portal opens above her head and tentacles come down and try and lift her up. Thankfully Angel saves her, crisis averted. Too bad this makes Fred revert back to the person she was when she first came back from Pylea. To sum up, she and the gang find out Prof. Seidel is the one responsible for her trip to Pylea. She is hellbent for revenge and since Gunn wont support her, she goes to Wes who does help her. In the end, though, it is Gunn who kills the Prof. so Fred doesnt have to. But you know when you watch that something inside him (and her) died in that moment.
  • the truth

    i do not like fred but this episode was well written and i like cordelia with connor. also lilah and wesley should have stayed together. the episode is intence the way fred goes dark and tries to kill some doctor that send her to pylea but gunn killed him at the end and it broke their relationship. the episode was well done and sometimes very fun.
  • Supersymmetry scarcely picking up the pace for this misfiring Season 4, but only by a Mok'tagar hair. What provided some real interest for this episode was the further character development of our sweet, dear Winifred.

    Supersymmetry slightly picking up the pace for this misfiring Season 4, but only by a Mok'tagar hair.

    What provided some real interest for this episode was the further character development of our sweet, dear Winifred.

    Not just your petite and pleasant girl next door, Fred's also that brilliant rocket scientist next door. In fact, her radical scientific-rific concepts saw her published, and to appear as top Physicist speaker with the likes of Ed Witten and Brian Greene.


    Umm ... I guess that means something like; all the Scientists in the world are vanilla bean ice milk, and Fred's the Oreo cookie crumbs on the top for this important and radical discovering.

    Seemingly putting the last 5 years behind her, we catch a real glimpse at what Fred could have achieved before that point in time where she checked out that wrong square book, that checked her wrongly square into a hell-world called Pylea.

    Five years of pain and suffering in a hell dimension'll make a girl capable of a lot of things. And she'll tell you that herself, as she's damning the very traitor who sent her to that helldome as a cowslave. Yes, we finally discover the villain behind Fred's tragedy .. no, it wasn't an accident, and it wasn't Colonel Mustard in the Conservatory with the Candlestick either.


    It was her mentor, her beacon of support, her adoring Professor, Dr. Oliver Seidel. Who was ultimately just jealous because she was ... // really, really smart //.

    *Weak motive there, Oliver.*

    Disappointing reveal, thin accounting. *Yawn*

    But, I did enjoy the triangle relationships between Wes and Fred, and Fred and Gunn. Wes was true to step in and provide support for what Fred wanted. Gunn was true to step in and absorb the act of killing for her conscience.

    Which was the better intentions to Fred's mind, I wonder?

    Fred herself was the best part of this episode. Here's yet another fine example of Joss's signature recipe for his female protagonists; power, courage and brains all swirled together in a wisp of a woman.

    The remainder of the episode felt a bit jumbled. Mostly in the Angel/Cordy/Conner relationships. Again another love triangle, but these 3 are filled with oddity and awkwardness from every angle.

    And finally the most painful part of the episode. Conner spotting cleavage, Cordy kissing Conner in those ugly slippers. Eek!

    What the heck is happening here?

    This must have been shot with "credit bloopers" in mind, and then someone screwed up and grabbed the wrong splices on the editing floor. (?) Oh I know these things are costly to fix later, but ... common, I paid $40 for these videos.
  • This is a much darker episode with lots of character development.

    This episode shows that Fred wasn't sent to Pylea just by accident, infact this episode shows that Fred's old profesor planned on placing the book where she could find it to send her to another dimension so that Fred will not take away his interlectual reputation.

    This episode is mainly about character development and shows Fred's darker side when she wants to have revenge for being sent to Pylea. This episode also shows the strength and weakness in Fred and Gunn's relationship, as Gunn will do anything for Fred even murder but Fred would rather go to Wes for help instead of Gunn.

    This episode also shows that Wes is having doubts about his relationship with Lilah and that his feelings for Fred are growing as he agrees to help her get revenge.

    Overall i would say that this episode was a great way for Fred to develop and had an unexpected twist with how Fred got to Pylea.
  • This episode is very misunderstood. Fred is finally able to show her dark side but instead of her killing the man who send her to pylea it's Gunn who does that for her but instead of being gratefull it tears them appart.


    This episode is massively underrated. it's a very strong and emotional episode full of character development for most of the characters. specially Fred. she finally finds out who was the one who send her to pylea and Gunn ends up killing him. also a great episode for the Wesley/Lilah relationship. and it ends up with Cordy asking Angel if they were inlove.

    cut to Fred and Gunn and she is screaming and her article is in a magazine and Gunn tries to read it and they start to kiss. cut to Angel and Lorne talking and Lorne is feeling a bit better but he won't read Cordy anymore. Angel hears something and he goes to a room and finds Connor who's stealing things for Cordy and Angel gives him something and Connor says that Cordy is always stealing the covers leaving Angel upset.

    the credits start

    Cut to Gunn telling Angel that Fred kept him up all night but Angel didn't want to know that. But Fred tells about her article and that she's going to a place and they are going with and she has to practise infront of them. and they talk about Connor being there and taking stuff to Cordy and Angel is upset with that but Fred says it will all be for the best. cut to Wes and Lilah comes with a gift and gives it to him and wants to have sex but he has to go and leaves and Lilah sees that he went to Fred. Cut to Cordy and her stuff and puts pictures on the wall but no Angel ones but Connor says he didn't see any. And she says she misses something and he says she has to fight and he will train her.

    cut to Fred and her boys arriving and she is very exited and her professor is going to announce her and they talk strange and Gunn doesn't understand and Angel goes for seats. When he sist he sees Wesley. Gunn comes and he feels very dumb but Angel says he doesn't understand any of those things either. Cut to Lilah coming in and she sees Wesley and how he looks at Fred. Angel sees Lilah and Fred is doing her speech. Lilah calls someone and leaves and then a portal opens who attacks Fred and tries to take her but Angel goes and saves Fred and a guy keeps making pictures. Fred is terrified.

    Cut to Lilah in her car when the roof comes off and Angel was the one who did it and asks what he did to Fred and she doesn't know and she's not so stupid to look that suspicious and he gets it and he says he will talk to her about Lorne and she leaves. cut to Gunn waking up and hearing Fred and she's writing on the walls and going crazy but he says she's save and she has to go to the professor tomorrow again and not to be worry and he and Angel will handle it. cut to the morning and Angel has chairs and he remembers everything and that Lilah was there for Wesley and Gunn is confused and then Angel says that a nerdy guy was making pictures and Gunn knows where to find him.

    cut to the guy and they are hitting him and he says he wanted to know if she really was one of the ones who have disappeared. cut to Fred going to her professor and he gave her a grade but he says he wants to teach her again and that she's a very talented young woman who deserves to live in the world she was meant for. cut to with that guy and he says he has heard of those things that more students have disappeared and that there are forums about Angel and he's amused. cut to Fred again and the man has to talk to Laurie and Fred finds a book with the monster that attacked her and she sees it and the man almost caught her. Cut to Gunn and Angel finding out and then Fred appears there and they say that he's gonna pay because he was the one who send her to pylea but she says he's gonna die.

    Fred grabs weapons and wants to hurt him and Gunn stops her and they say it's not what they believe in but Fred says she's gonna lie down. Gunn and Angel have to do something fast because it can get ugly. cut to Fred and Wes and he likes it and he knows how to end it and he says Gunn and Angel are right but he's gonna help and then a portal opens and almost swallows Fred with it. cut to Cordy and Connor fighting a vampire and Cordy kicks it and stakes it and then she kisses Connor but backs off. cut to Gunn and Angel and they are upset and they have to find Fred. cut to Wes and Fred in the car and he's surprised Gunn doesn't help her but she says he doesn't have it in him and that's why she loves him and then says it's not about what's right and steps out. cut to the professor and Angel is there and he opens a portal with a monster and tries to escape but Fred stops him 'you know what they say about payback? well I’m the bitch'

    Cut to Cordy and Connor and she tells him that she's going back because she needs some time to think and she is still confused and she leaves Connor. cut back to Fred and she wants to kill him and she says she changed and opens a portal and she’s gonna send him there and then Gunn arrives but he doesn't want to lose her and he grabs the professor but then he brakes his neck and throws his body in the portal. Angel comes in and Gunn says it's taken care of. cut to them coming home and Fred and Gunn both upset and go upstairs and Angel sees that there is something wrong. Then he sees Cordy and they go outside and she asks him if they were inlove because she doesn't want more lies and Angel just stares.

    Black Out
    Best episode quotes:

    Lorne: Oh, give it to me, sweetness. Right there.
    Angel: Here you go. How's your head?
    Lorne: Smashing. Listen, I know I've been a wee bit jumpy the last couple of days, but did I hear a scream?
    Angel: Oh, it's just Fred. I think it's a Texas thing.
    Lorne: Hmm. Mmm. Well it's all too much sturm und drang for my appetite: Cordelia shacking up with your hell-spawn no offense. And the hole between my horns
    Angel: And you're probably a little on edge because of the whole "Slouching Toward Bethlehem" thing...
    Lorne: No.
    Angel: No? That's good because uh...
    Lorne: Sorry. I jumped ahead. That "no" was the one that comes after you asking me to read Cordy again.
    Angel: I wasn't gonna ask you that immediately. I was gonna build up to it subtly.
    Lorne: I appreciate that, sugar pie, really. But the answer's no. I'm not a champion. I'm just a regular old karaoke-singing empath demon.
    Angel: You saw something. If we knew what it was
    Lorne: Then Wolfram and Hart would come after me again. And maybe they wouldn't stop with a little gray matter.
    Angel: I'm listening.
    Lorne: Hey, death just doesn't look good on me.

    Angel: Oh. Hi. Sorry.
    Connor: I'm used to it.
    Angel: The front door's always open, Connor. You don't have to sneak in.
    Connor: Cordy wanted some of her stuff.
    Angel: How's she doing, Cordy. Anything coming back to her?
    Connor: Nothing about you.
    Angel: Is she alone right now, 'cause
    Connor: She's safe. I can take care of Cordelia. Can I go?
    Angel: Sure. Sorry. Wait. You should take her fuzzy slippers. Her feet get cold.
    Connor: I know. She's always stealing the covers.

    Gunn: You don't wanna go in there. Girl kept me up all night. She is un-stoppable.
    Angel: More than I need to know.
    Fred: Did Charles tell you?
    Angel: He-he didn't describe it...
    Fred: I've been asked to present my article at the Physics Institute. P-Dimensional Subspace has always been a fascinating area, but I had no idea there would be so much interest. Can I practice my speech for you? I think Lorne's a little conked.
    Lorne: Oh, yay, we're back.
    Gunn: That. All night. Well, mostly that.
    Angel: I didn't know Fred was getting back into physics.
    Gunn: Yeah, I don't think she wanted anyone to know. I think she was afraid she lost the knack.
    Angel: Huh. She seems over that.
    Fred: It's nothing big, really, just a little breakthrough in quantum particles. Emphasis on little. Probably be disproven in no time. It's just I used to dream I'd discover some revolutionary concept and Oh, it's silly.
    Angel: Doesn't sound silly.
    Fred: I-I guess I just wanted all those people I looked up to I wanted 'em to see me too. And then I got sucked into Pylea and, well, when you're a cow-slave, you don't want anyone to see you at all.
    Gunn: Everybody'll be watching you now.
    Fred: I got to practice. Y you'll be there?
    Gunn: Cheering you on! Right?
    Lorne: Well, the little nipper dropped in for a midnight visit last night.
    Fred: Connor was here?
    Gunn: I hope he doesn't want to kiss and make up, 'cause that
    Angel: He picked up some of Cordelia's things.
    Fred: She's just trying to put the pieces back together. It'll work out, and it'll all be for the best. It will. Five years of unendurable torture and mental anguish aside, if I hadn't been sucked through that portal, I never would have figured out my string compactification theory.
    Gunn: Exactly. 'Cause, you know, strings need... to compactify.

    Lilah: Surprise!
    Wesley: Well, look, a bribe. How thoughtful. No, it can't be a bribe. Must be a setup.
    Lilah: Can't it just be... a gift? Open it. We seem to be butting heads lately. Now you'll have the advantage.
    Wesley: This must have cost a fortune.
    Lilah: Yes. It'll take you hours to thank me properly. Fortunately, I've taken the afternoon off.
    Wesley: I have to leave actually. But, thank you, Lilah, for the gift.

    Gunn: Listen, man, I'm gonna need simultaneous translating on this thing. You know, like the President with the Russians. But just gimme the highlights.
    Angel: No problem. Of course, I have no idea what she's talking about.
    Gunn: Will you tell Fred that? If she thinks we're both stupid, I won't stand out as much.

    Angel: That's cool. The top just comes right off.
    Lilah: Hey, if this is about the jolly green demon I could've had him killed, but do I hear a "thank you"?
    Angel: Before we get to that, how 'bout you tell me why a portal happened to open up over Fred's head right after you slithered out of the auditorium.
    Lilah: Tragedy struck Gidget? Really? Did she go to that place in the big Texas sky?
    Angel: Gunn and I took care of it. Of course, if we hadn't've been there, I'm sure your good friend Wesley would've stepped right in.
    Lilah: Come on. If I were gonna kill the twig, would I do it in a room full of people and then make a conspicuous getaway so I looked extra suspicious?
    Angel: Add videotape, sounds like vintage Wolfram and Hart. Except this time somebody else deserves the credit.
    Lilah: You're quick.
    Angel: About Lorne, there's gonna be a conversation.
    Lilah: You know, Angel, coming from you, idle threats are so.... well, idle.
    Angel: You remember when I ripped your car in half?
    Lilah: Yeah, yeah, hulk smash.

    Seidel: I've been holding onto something for you.
    Fred: The last test I took before A-minus?
    Seidel: Well, I would have given another student an A+, but with you, I had to use a different standard.
    Fred: Huh. Now he tells me.
    Seidel: I'd love another crack at it teaching you. You have a gift. It shouldn't be wasted.
    Fred: It's been so long. I-I mean, writing the article was great, but... I have another life now.
    Seidel: Sounds like a life you've stumbled into, not one you chose.
    Fred: I guess it kinda chose me.
    Seidel: You know, I don't know what I saw yesterday. There are studies about subconscious suggestion, mass hysteriabut I know what I see right now.
    Fred: You do?
    Seidel: A very talented young woman who deserves to live in the world she was meant for.

    Clerk: You guys know how it is: you hear things, like from a friend of a friend's roommate. You don't know if they really happened.
    Gunn: Like the story about the girl, the cat and peanut butter.
    Angel: That one's true. Long story.
    Clerk: Like, yeah, you're Angel, right? There are whole forums on you in chat rooms, man! Who knew you actually, like, existed?!
    Gunn: The disappearances?
    Clerk: Uh, supposedly there were three before your girlfriend and one since.
    Angel: What do you know?
    Clerk: Just rumors. They were all science types, and, like, these weren't your everyday kidnappings. Hey, maybe I could help you guys, be your intern!
    Gunn: We're full up on interns, but the decoder ring's in the mail.
    Angel: They talk about me in the chatty rooms?

    Gunn: I don't like this, man. I got a bad feeling. What?
    Angel: Here. The thing all those students have in common.
    Gunn: Oliver Seidel. As in the guy she's with right now. Fred, thank God. Look, there's something we gotta tell you. The portal
    Fred: It was Professor Seidel.
    Gunn: Yeah.
    Fred: And he's done it before.
    Angel: That's right. There were others.
    Fred: No. To me. He's the son of a bitch that sent me to Pylea.
    Gunn: What?
    Angel: We're gonna get this guy.
    Gunn: Count on it. He's gonna pay.
    Fred: No. He's gonna die.
    Gunn: What do you mean, die?
    Fred: I don't know yet. But it's gonna be about pain. The halberd could work. Acting like I'm all addlebrained talking about other dimensions. Pylea? Never heard of it. Right. How 'bout a flail-whipping? Would that take a nice long time?
    Angel: Hours, if you do it right. Not that you should do it at all. Ever.
    Fred: He's a killer, and he's just sitting there smiling, telling me I'm so gifted and how he wants to teach me. Oh, there's gonna be a lesson all right.
    Gunn: All right, Fred, let's calm down.
    Fred: I idolized him, and he sent me to hell. Me and God knows how many others who didn't make it back. So-so sure! I'll calm down when he's dead!
    Gunn: Fred, a few years ago, I would've done in the guy myself. But this it isn't what we do.
    Fred: We kill monsters every day.
    Gunn: We help people. Fred, if you do this, the demons you'll be living with won't be the horned, fangy kind. They'll be the kind you can't get rid of.
    Fred: You're wrong.
    Angel: He's right. Whatever you do now it's nothing compared to how it'll be afterward.
    Gunn: What you're talking about goes against everything you believe in. Everything we believe in. Fred, you idolized him. But don't let him be defining what you are now. Can I have the axe?
    Fred: I'm sorry, Charles. I guess I kinda lost it.
    Gunn: You want a drink? I could make you some cocoa.
    Fred: No. Thanks. I'm just gonna go lie down. For a few days.
    Gunn: So what are we gonna do to this guy?
    Angel: No idea, but let's do it fast.
    Gunn: We gotta get to him before Fred changes her mind. 'Cause vengeance—it can get ugly.

    Wesley: Vengeance. Sounds good.
    Fred: Angel and Gunn want me to be all sweetness and light. Cute little Fred. She'll turn the other cheek like a good girl. I mean, they saw what Professor Seidel is capable of. He opened that portal right in front of 'em.
    Wesley: They dealt with it handily enough.
    Fred: You were there?
    Wesley: I read your article. Saw you'd be speaking. It was an excellent piece. Although I'm not sure I understand how Pauli repulsion is so readily reversed. Layman's opinion.
    Fred: You've been keeping track of me?
    Wesley: Yes. Well, about this Professor Seidel, what did you have in mind?
    Fred: Beyond pain, I'm not really sure. That's why I came to you.
    Wesley: Fred, you do know that everything Angel and Gunn have told you is true. Vengeance will have a price. And once you've acted, you can't go back. You have to live with your actions forever.
    Fred: He's a serial killer.
    Wesley: All right, then. I'm sure we'll find an appropriate solution. Oh, here's something interesting. Once practiced in ancient Egypt.
    Fred: Is that his tongue?

    Wesley: You remember everything we went over?
    Fred: I do. And I'm gonna give him exactly what he deserves, thanks to you. What?
    Wesley: I was just thinking, um not that I don't get his point but I'm surprised Gunn's not here, no matter what the consequences.
    Fred: Charles doesn't have it in him. It's part of what I love about him.
    Wesley: You can still back out, if you think Gunn's right.
    Fred: It's not about what's right. Pull over there.
    Wesley: I'd ask to tag along
    Fred: But you know what the answer would be.

    Fred: You know what they say about payback? Well, I'm the bitch.

    Fred: Stay right there.
    Seidel: Winifred. Fred. Please. Let's talk about this.
    Fred: Talk? Sure, let's talk, 'cause you gave me the chance to Oh, wait, no you didn't. Oh well. No talking.
    Seidel: Fred, I know you. You're not capable of hurting anyone.
    Fred: You don't know me. Not anymore. Five years of pain and suffering in a hell dimension'll make a girl capable of a lot of things.

    Angel: Come on. I'm holding your head.

    Fred: It's kind of funny, thinking how threatened you were by me back when I was a grad student. That's why you sent me and the others away, isn't it? You couldn't handle the competition.
    Seidel: Fred
    Fred: That's why Laurie's still around. She's not smart enough to overshadow you, is she? Not like me. I'm special. Special on a Pylean platter with a side of you make me sick!
    Seidel: Why don't you just let me
    Fred: Go? Well, since you asked so nicely, sure. I've even practiced a goodbye speech. Klyv mat chyvma, klvma chyt.
    Gunn: Fred, no!
    Fred: Go away, Charles! You asked me not to kill him, and I'm not. Not exactly.
    Gunn: Sure you are. No way he could survive that. Fred, don't let him do this to you.
    Fred: How dare you! You don't know You don't know what it was like!
    Seidel: Please, help me!
    Gunn: I promise we'll stop him. We'll find some other way.
    Seidel: Fred! Winifred! Please! Help me!
    Fred: Don't you see? He'll never stop! He'll do it again!
    Gunn: If you kill him, I'm gonna lose you.
    Fred: Charles, no!
    Angel: What happened to the professor?
    Gunn: It's taken care of.

    Cordelia: You should have somebody look at that.
    Angel: It'll be OK. Run-in with a Voynok demon. Turns out they have nine lives.
    Cordelia: Like a cat?
    Angel: Only less stand-offish.
    Cordelia: We were friends. I know that. Not just from the pictures, but... And I know that's why you lied before to protect me. Well, I-I staked a vamp today
    Angel: Connor took you?
    Cordelia: And what I realized is whoever I was before, I'm still her. She didn't need protecting, and neither do I. So no more lies.
    Angel: No more lies.
    Cordelia: OK. Because there's something I need to know. Were we in love?

    Story: 10
    Acting: 10
    Writing: 10
    Picture: 10
    Gripping: 10
    My Rank: 9
    Total: 9.8
  • The very short calm before the very big storm.

    I've decided I don't care about the physics. The writers did just fine, with one or two egregious errors it is impossible to entirely overlook, or forgive.

    First and foremost, however, let's truck out our patented JASMINE WATCH, sponsored by Seiko, and take a little look-see under Cordy's hood, since she //gave// us one with that cleave-tastic top.

    The progression to Jasmine is not complete, nor is it a steady rate of growth. This is good. It suggests that Cordy is still in there, that she may actually be trying to overcome whatever demonic possession she's facing.

    Sadly, her instincts are to remain in retreat, to face this time of uncertainty alone with Connor, who, by the end of the episode, can't get his head around her wanting to go to Angel any more than Angel can get his head around her wanting to go to Connor.

    Actually, a lot of the rest of us may be right there with him on that.

    But between that "nesting" thing she was doing, reveling in her fuzzy slippers, repelling Connor's deeply inappropriate advances (she's sick, for crying out loud -- let her get //completely// possessed before you shag her) and heading back to CYN! for some answers, I think what we saw was between 60 and 70 percent Cordy.

    Her fighting was a little off. And ... since when is sparring with Cordy the same as romancing her? Angel did that whole "training session" thing with her too and ... fighting a vampire in a sewer --

    ... incidentally, is there a rent-a-vamp service in L.A.? There's always one around when there needs to be. ...

    -- //so// not the same as an expensive meal and night on the town.

    But I digress.

    The important thing we need to be looking at in this episode is Gunn's feelings for Fred and Fred's feelings for Gunn. Apart from the technical definition the title of this episode has in Superstring (M) Theory, that is a significant aspect of the story.

    Let's just build up to that.

    Fred has been //busy//. She's gotten her head around a significant mathematical concept whereby all reality can be expressed in the non-collapsivity of string compactification. Dynamical.

    Well, however she wants to express it, it's gotten published. And it's the most radical concept ever.

    We must have ... missed Ed Witten's presentation. And no chance of Brian Greene ascending that stage -- y'know, after //that//.

    Among physics geeks, those two are the gods of rock. So that half-heartedly filled lecture bowl was unconvincing, unless they already knew that Witten and Greene wouldn't lecture //anywhere// that Oliver Seidel was teaching, that their scheduled lectures were joke listings and that Stephen Hawking himself didn't even bother to participate in the psych-out.

    The only fresh meat on the docket was Fred, who's finally back in her element. She's tough, she's presenting, they're responding -- the self-effacement would have to stop shortly -- but she was //doing// this!

    And then, just as the verbiage started getting away from the writers (why, oh why, oh //why// was there no commentary on this episode?) a monster appears. Wesley for some reason hesitates while Angel and Gunn leap forward, and Lilah slinks away.

    But 'scuse me while I kiss this guy:


    Pity poor Dr. Oliver Seidel. Unremarkable in his own studies, he somehow still manages to recognize -- and somehow to cultivate greatness, and then, because it must never outshine him, to destroy it.

    But everyone in his world is brighter than him -- except for the tottie in the lab coat -- rowr! And except for this bit where he can send people to other dimensions and summon demons to do his fighting for him.

    Fred could've been reading any book in the library when Ollie dropped the portal (though we're meant to understand that she was, in fact, reading it, which opened the portal in the first place). He text-messaged a portal at Wesley's, he opened the one above with the monster -- he's a portal-opening fool!

    And having done this, he earned whatever happened to him -- even if she would never have come up with her "string compactification" theory without his sending her through.


    When she was rescued from the monster, the expression on her face was perfect. Sheer, mad-making terror. She stumbled home and tried to make it through the night but she couldn't sleep. And when she realized what had happened, what had been done to her, she went as dark as we've seen her since "Deep Down." He's done this before. He's done this to her. He's an untraceable serial killer who the law could never touch and no jury could ever convict.

    And Gunn and Angel try to ... talk her out of it?

    That is //one// of the unforgivable errors. They can't think she's kidding. And they can't deny they were planning to do something themselves. And boy has he earned it.

    Five years in a hell dimension later, the girl has earned her pound of flesh. Let her take it! Let the disappearances of top physics students stop! Let this jerk be dropped down his own portal! How is that not justice? He's a scientist, send him //exploring// a politically unstable hell dimension in the middle of a Dance of Revolution.

    Why break his neck, Gunn? Why even interfere? That's such loping artifice on the part of whoever wrote this.

    The truth is, Fred would've slept just fine having banished him from this dimension. Hell, you never know -- he might escape someday. And if he doesn't, well, how many Pylean cows haven't quite made it over the years?

    Gunn, however, has never killed a human (maybe -- I'm not entirely sure, but I don't think he has). But again, there's no reason for Fred to be that upset with him. It was her portal the body was disposed into, after all. And justice was done, at least on some level.

    So everyone's all upset at the end of this and there's no really good reason for them to be.

    Oh, the unforgivable thing?

    The //truly// unforgiveable?

    Fred's backstory. She wasn't a history major when she drove up that long and dusty road in "Shells," filmed maybe 1-1/2 seasons removed from this. When something that //bonehead// sneaks into the backstory of a major character I'm deeply irritated by it.

    And I personally believe the Feigenbaum scene, so it was one more thing for this writer to be wrong about.

    Like when Angel goes redecorating with his mind. Yeah. //Riiiiiiight//.


    -- "Supersymmetry" was a wonderful emotional showcase for Amy Acker. She did an astonishing job and pronounced everything correctly.

    -- And hey, shirtless Gunn. The scene where he's comforting Fred in bed, looming protectively about her and looking twice as large as life, that scene was art.

    -- And while it was never going to work for Joss to try to explain hell dimensions with String Theory, it was a nice attempt.

    But I just ... I can't be satisfied with this episode.

    -- I wish the story held within its own logical construct, which with the order of presenters, for example, it simply didn't.

    -- I wish the story held within the arc of the show, which it sort of didn't. I mean -- what was that helmet Lilah gave Wes? I'm not certain it ever comes up again. Why not give him something //useful//?

    -- Why didn't Angel bite Lilah? This is at least the third member of CYNTHIA! she's attacked personally and in cold blood. Why leave her out there walking around? Or better still -- vamp her, and let her be //truly// badass.

    There was something ... off about this ep. Don't know what it was. People getting upset about stuff they shouldn't logically get upset about, people acting contrary to character, people just ...

    ... I didn't want to leave motives as unexplored as I have, but I'm finding them ... very hard to read in this episode.

    So, having just stared at it for five hours, I'm afraid I owe everyone an apology.

    This is the best I can come up with on this.


    //The weirdness has started.//
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