Season 5 Episode 20

The Girl in Question

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM May 05, 2004 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
488 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Angel and Spike travel to Rome with plans to rescue Buffy from their old nemesis The Immortal. While in Italy, they also attempt to retrieve the head of a fallen demon leader to prevent a perilous power struggle between several warring demon clans. Fred's parents come to visit.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • IF you're confused

    The Buffy that Angel and Spike "see" in Rome is NOT Buffy, but a body double. Read the official Season 8 comic, written by Joss (an most of the writers) himself. Season 9 is better, and I expect 10 should rock my socks - but no LizR, that's not Buffy.
  • Funny but....

    As funny as this episode is, it's just not right. The immortal? weird.. Buffy being with him? insane.. After all that has happened, buffy's in italy snuggling up to her new honey? None of the characters (except the ones back at W&H) are acting like themselves.. it's just.. off..
  • The last glimpse of Buffy


    The Good;

    Personally I think it's worth it just to see 50s Spike and Dru in their chic Fellini phase. Also stunning to see Amy Acker switch from Fred to Illyria and back in the blink of an eye. Love the slow-motion fight in the nightclub.

    The Bad;

    DB's Irish accent, thankfully the last time we'll hear it.

    Best line;

    Ilona; "The gypsies are a filthy people and we shall talk of them no more!" (the line that stays with you from this ep)

    Jeez, how did they get away with that?

    Mucho racism against gypsies! And against Americans (which of course neither Spike or Angel are) and some great cliches about Italians both negative (feckless, excitable, untrustworthy) and positive (cultured, stylish, charming). Also it's a little bad taste for Spike to have kept Nicky's jacket all these years, especially when Robin Wood was around.

    Apocalypses: 5 Spike queries that defeating the Mayor or Jasmine really counts as saving

    the world?

    Angel Cliches

    Subverting the Hollywood cliche; our cool heroes Spike and Angel are defeated and humiliated by the infinitely cooler Immortal.

    In disguise; 8

    DB/JM get's his shirt off; 20 shirtless Spike but oddly not Angelus?

    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:

    Cordy: 15

    Angel: 20

    Wes: 10

    Doyle; 1

    Gunn; 4

    Lorne; 8

    Groo; 1

    Connor; 1

    Faith; 1

    Fred; 7

    Spike; 5


    Cordy: 5 vamps, 3 demons

    Angel; 48 vamps, 72 and 1/2 demons, 5 zombies, 12 humans, one werewolf and one cyborg

    Doyle; 1 vamp

    Wes; 16 demons+5 vamps, 5 zombies, 4 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, 4 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;

    Cordy: 4

    Angel: 12

    Fred; 3

    Wes; 1

    Gunn; 2

    Connor; 1

    Lorne; 1

    Characters killed: Angelus kills one of the Immortal's lackeys.


    Recurring characters killed;


    Total number of Angel Investigations; 5,

    Angel, Gunn, Lorne, Wes, Spike

    Angel Investigations shot: no but Spike and Angel get blown up

    Angel: 15

    Wes; 2

    Spike; 1

    Packing heat; Spike says they'll need lots of guns which may be a Matrix ref.

    Wes; 13

    Doyle; 1

    Angel; 4

    Gunn; 3

    Fred; 5

    Notches on Fang Gang bedpost: Angel describes himself as 'Seeing Nina' but denies she's his girlfriend. The Immortal of course is an eternal being who may or may not be evil, just as Buffy likes them. Spike says he knows he hasn't a shot with Buffy but still loves her. The bartender comments that the Immortal's girlfriends come and go. So this makes Buffy's track record;

    Buffy: 4 confirmed; Angel, Parker, Riley, Spike. 4 possible, Dracula+RJ+Shadowmen's demon and The Immortal(?)

    almost certain that Buffy and the Immortal have sex but we've never see it so unconfirmed, all we're told is that they snuggle. But then she's done that with Scott Hope, Owen and Jeffery.

    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:

    Spike tells Angel to 'Wank off!' The Immortal seems to have enjoyed a threesome with Darla and Dru which the pair are reluctant to do with Spike and Angelus. The Immortal didn't hurt Darla until she asked him to and describes him as insatiable and their sex as really great fornification. Dru refers to playing 'Pony'. Angelus once again declares that nuns are 'his thing'. The bartender describes Buffy as a 'girl gone wild'. Spike thinks that sex makes a relationship if you do it enough (good thing he never tells Angel about him and Buffy getting to fifth base on the balcony at the Bronze!). Trish Burkle seems very fond of Wes.

    WR&H Rome CEO is a knockout. Literally, I think her amazing breasts would knock you out if you got too close (but what a way to be rendered unconscious!). She also seems like a past amour of The Immortal and considers their dealings 'most satisfactory'. Angel refers to The Immortal eating Buffy's cookie dough. Andrew appears to be going on a date with a pair of beautiful Italian girls, has he become a Casanova or.....?

    Captain Subtext;

    ....are they his '*** hags' to quote Will and Grace? Loads of Spike and Angel bonding despite Angel commenting it's not 'About us' and referring to themselves as 'Partners'. Angelus' threat to shove the henchmen's arrows 'slowly up their arses' is rife with not so subtle gay innuendo as is the use of the phrase 'had us tossed'. Dru and Darla enjoy a threesome with the Immortal and then like to bathe together. Dru likes Darla to hold her underwater? Spike calls the Immortal a ponce. When they're on the scooter Spike tell Angel not to hold so tight. The male demon admits he's in love with the Immortal.

    Know the face, different character; 7

    Parking garages;


    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.

    What the fanficcers thought; .

    Lot's of fic where the Immortal saves everyone from every possible fate that has befallen them. Lot's more slashfic when we see him with Spike and Angelus and sometimes both at once. Also a lovely one where Dawn has The Talk with The Immortal just as Joyce had with Angel, telling him that if he loves Buffy he must let her go.

    Missing scenes;

    Rumour has it that SMG was willing to appear in this ep but Joss declined as he thought that the ep should be about the Angel characters alone and she would steal the show. Also rumoured that the Immortal would be played by Freddie Prinze aka Mr SMG or Christian Slater meaning that Buffy had fufilled her ambitions in the movie of graduate, go to Europe, marry Christain Slater and die. Then again maybe the Immortal is more of a Hugh Hefner/Errol Flynn sort of character and Buffy is just his latest Girl of the Immortal's Mansion? (RJ aside she always did have a thing for older men)

    Questions and observations;

    We never see Gunn in his suit again. Lorne seems to be drinking a lot, we hardly ever see him now without a glass in his hand. Did Wes never tell Fred's family what happened to her? So is this really Buffy? According to the comics this is actually a decoy she set up because she's actually in Scotland but maybe that's AFTER this episode? Surely Spike and Angel would be able to tell her by her scent alone? Sadly the last time we'll see Darla, Dru and Andrew. What does 'Ragazza' mean? The chase scene may be a homage to The Pink Panther. Spike refers to 'shemps' from the 3 stooges. Illyria appears to be developing human feelings. Personally I agree with Wes, as long as Illyria can always keep up the pretence it's kinder to the Burkles to have them think that Fred is still alive.

    I think a lot of people dislike this ep as we see our cool heroes humiliated by the much cooler Immortal but I think it's great. Andrew says that Buffy loves both Angel and Spike which the comics bear out. Personally I think Buffy/human Angel with resouled/human Dru as the girl for Spike, Spike in all honesty knowing he's not the guy. You must remember that the Immortal is not the long term guy as he doesn't age and Buffy does, as the bartender and Andrew point out they can't be together for long.

    Marks out of 10; 8/10

  • Hilarious perfection, touching side plots and characters

    I understand the bad reviews as this episode seems pointless given that the series is nearing an ending both do not want to watch yet are anxious to learn what happens to everyone.

    And this episode does nothing to further the series along to its inevitable ending.

    However, being a writer, I am sure the writers needed a "filler" story while they worked out all the many details of how such a lengthy series filled with characters we all grew to love, would finally end.

    And this was the perfect filler or stand alone story.

    The chemistry between Angel and Spike is off the charts on the perfection scale. They manage to work some things out while still bickering like little old ladies. The slow motion fight in the bar to a Dean Martin ballad had me howling.

    The little old Italian lady--and her servant: again, perfection and laugh out loud hilarious.

    The CEO of Rome's W and H offices: another perfect performance. For some reason she was labeled a vampire in the recap here; this was never established, and she was a gem.

    I loved the flashbacks and I understand those who did not want Darla and Drusilla to go out with such minor parts, but again, I feel this was a filler episode held until a stall was needed; and as I mentioned earlier, the writers needed time to polish the ending of the series and this was the result.

    Ilyria turning into Fred to see Fred's visiting parents was a superb acting job by Amy Acker, and Wesley's reactions were so poignant.

    All in all a brilliant episode in every way: guest characters were not just wonderfully entertaining actors, their makeup was as bizarrely entertaining as their performances.

  • The Writer In Question

    The Girl In Question-Angel and Spike travel to Rome with plans to rescue Buffy from their old nemesis The Immortal. While in Italy, they also attempt to retrieve the head of a fallen demon leader to prevent a perilous power struggle between several warring demon clans. Fred's parents come to visit.

    Okay, so we've had a run of dark episodes and Angel's last 2 episodes sure can't be light fun! So the writers thought it would be fun to make " the calm before the storm" episode where cast can have fun before the big finish, but there is nothing fun about this episode! Watching Angel and Spike act like a couple of love sicked school boys is not a good way pass an hour. Sure, it's Buffy, but Angel haven't you been concerned with Nina, what about Cordelia? Spike, you slept with Harmony just as fast as the moment you could touch something again. I know SMG missed another chance for her to return to the Buffyverse as Buffy again, but this was no way to work around it. Watching a Buffy stand in, again, is just silly. What's even sillier is the whole Immortal plot. Not to mention, the final appearences of Darla and Drusilla on the series is completely anti-climatic! Here they are and here they go in the matter of seconds! Another thing, how did Angel describe Buffy's appearence wrong? Have they writing team forgotten what SMG looks like? She has green eyes, not blue! The Italian Wolfram and Hart even Andrew returning didn't help this storyline out!

    But there are some great things about this episode like the sub-plot with Fred's parents coming for a visit. As soon as you see them your just heartbroken that they will find out the turht but then Fred appears to welcome them. Wesley is shocked but it's Illyria, who seems to have another power which she can look like whatever she choses. How conveninent yet watching Illyria play Fred is amazing to watch. Especially that even without her Illyria make-up and outift, Amy Acker is still creepy playing the character. I just love how she switches between perky and monotone with ease. Wesley's reaction is understandable as Illyria's hidden ability could allow him to see Fred but he knows it's all a lie and she'll never be her. All and All, besides the great sub-plot, "A Girl In Question" tries to be a fun filler but ultimately is a dull dud. Like Andrew siad, "Buffy has matured, you guys should probably, too." Amen, Andrew, AMEN!moreless
Dominic Pace

Dominic Pace


Guest Star

Vikki Gurdas

Vikki Gurdas


Guest Star

David S. Lee

David S. Lee


Guest Star

Juliet Landau

Juliet Landau


Recurring Role

Julie Benz

Julie Benz


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • When Angel gets the call about Buffy, Spike asks: "What is it this time? Uber-vamps, demon-gods, devil robots?" The first of those is a reference to Buffy's season seven, in which they were part of the First's army. They have never appeared on Angel, only the other two have (Illyria and the cyborgs from "Lineage" respectively).

    • Spike's jacket gets blown to pieces in this episode. He gets another 10 from Bianci of Wolfram & Hart Rome, but its not the same exact jacket.

    • Andrew makes it very clear at the end of "Damage" that he and Scoobies think that Angel is evil and yet he has no problem inviting him into his apartment? He's not even worried that the now "evil" Angel would be angry that Andrew double-crossed him?

    • Judging by the blast zone after the bomb explodes there was no way Spike and Angel could have survived it at that range. Even if you ignore the fact that the two of them should have caught fire from the blast, and then died from that, the blast would have blown them apart. You could argue that vampires have more resilient bodies than humans and that's how they survived, but as Spike was holding the bomb he certainly should have at least lost his arms (again)!

    • Spike says he's been wearing his leather jacket for over 30 years. But he got it in 1977, which was only 27 years before this episode aired.

    • Angel asks the female Italian bartender at the club in his own words, "We're looking for a girl, American, blonde hair, blue eyes." referring to Buffy Summers.

  • QUOTES (22)

    • Wesley: Stop it! Change back. Be blue. Be anything. Don't be her. Don't ever be her.
      Illyria: As you wish.

    • Angel: Gunn, we didn't get the head. Start preparing the troops for war.
      Gunn: The head is here.
      Angel: What?
      Gunn: The head's on your desk.
      (Angel reads the note with it)
      Angel: "With regards, the Immortal." I really hate that guy.

    • (Spike pulls up on a motor scooter to Angel)
      Spike: Hop on, little mama.
      Angel: I'm not riding on the back.
      Spike: He's getting away!

    • Ilona Costa Bianchi: Now, what happened to the drop? No grazie, prego, kiss, kiss?
      Angel: Grazie. Prego. Kaboom.

    • Ilona Costa Bianchi: The gypsies are filthy people. (spits) And we shall speak of them no more.

    • Angel: Ours is a forever love.
      Spike: I had a relationship with her, too.
      Angel: Okay, sleeping together is not a relationship.
      Spike: It is if you do it enough times.

    • Spike: I don't even speak the language.
      Angel: We'll get you a book.
      Spike: How do you say "wank off" in Italian?
      Gunn: Will someone just get on a plane?

    • Angel: (about the little bottles of alcohol on the plane) Huh. Really can't get drunk off these things.
      Spike: Not us, anyway. Vampire constitution not always a plus. How did you know?
      Angel: Drank a lot of 'em, and I still don't like you.
      Spike: About Buffy. How did you know she was in trouble?
      Angel: I got word.
      Spike: From who?
      Angel: A source.
      Spike: You've been spying on her?!
      Angel: I just wanted to make sure she was all right.
      Spike: Sending your lackeys to do your stalking for you. That is really pathetic.
      Angel: All right, fine. I'm not proud of it, but it's... it's Buffy.
      Spike: How many you got on her?
      Angel: Uh, just the one. But he got spotted. Called me from the hospital
      after he regained consciousness.

    • Spike: Every time he shows up, I either lose my girl, get beaten by an angry mob, or get thrown in prison for tax evasion. (Angel stares) Long story.

    • Angelus: That's why he had us tossed. So he could violate...
      Darla: He didn't...
      Angelus: Violate our women!
      William (Spike): Violate in succession!
      Darla: Concurrently.
      Angelus: Concurrently? You never let us do that.

    • Spike: I just want to see you happy. Not too happy though or I might have to stake you. Second thought...have at it.

    • Angel: Our friend, she's under some sort of spell...
      Spike: Cast by the vilest wretch this side of Mount Everest. Which...I'm told he has climbed...several times.

    • Angel: You want a drink?
      Spike: God yes!

    • Spike: Can't we just... lock her away in a box where no one can ever touch her? You know? Like we did with Pavayne?
      Angel: I don't think she'd let us. She's pretty strong.
      Spike: We could do a spell. Some sort of mind control.
      Angel: Oh, she'd figure it out. You know, she's pretty smart.
      Spike: So, what? We just have to live with it? Get on with our lives?
      Angel: 'Fraid so.
      Spike: Fine. No problem. I was planning on doing that anyway.
      Angel: Yeah, me, too.
      Spike: Actually, I'm doing it right now. As we speak, I'm movin' on.
      Angel: Movin' on.
      Spike:Oh, yeah.
      Angel: Right now.
      Spike: Movin'.

    • Angel: But she's not finished baking yet. I gotta wait 'til she's done baking. You know, 'til she finds herself. 'Cause that's the drill. Fine. I'm waiting patiently, and meanwhile The Immortal's eating cookie dough!
      Andrew: Um... Spike, is Angel crying?
      Spike: No. (looks at Angel) Not yet.

    • Spike: She's glowing, mate.
      Angelus: She isn't.
      Darla: Little bit.
      Spike: Best fit you for a pair of antlers. Been made the right cuckold, you have.
      Drusilla: (steps out) Time for another pony ride?
      Spike: Son of a bitch!
      Angelus: The both of ya?
      Darla: He's insatiable.

    • Darla: Come on, Dru, let's take a bath.
      Drusilla: Will you hold me under the water?

    • Spike: The Immortal?!
      Angel: I mean, come on!
      Spike: She's smarter than that!
      Angel: She'd never fall for a centuries old guy with a dark past who may or may not be evil.

    • Demon: Oh, look - the Americans are relying on violence to solve their problems. What a surprise.

    • Angel: I helped save the world, you know.
      Spike: Like I haven't.
      Angel: Yeah, but I've done it a lot more.
      Spike: Oh, please.
      Angel: I closed the Hellmouth.
      Spike: I've done that.
      Angel: Yeah, you wore a necklace. You know, I helped kill the Mayor, and, uh, Jasmine...
      Spike: Do those really count as saving the world?
      Angel: I stopped Acathla. That saved the world.
      Spike: Buffy ran you through with a sword.
      Angel: Yeah, but I made her do it. I signaled her with my eyes.
      Spike: She killed you. I helped her. That one counts as mine.

    • Spike: The man has no sense of indecency. You remember Frankfurt. He hatches the Rathruhn egg personally, and then just decides to give those nuns safe passage.
      Angelus: Those were my nuns!
      Spike: Yeah. Nuns are your thing. Everybody knows that. They respect it. They respect us.
      Angelus: We are the reason men fear the night!

    • Angelus: Go ahead. Take your best shot. I'll snatch your little wee sticks out of the air and spend the next fortnight shoving them slowly up your arse.
      Spike: Can you really do that?
      Angelus: The arrow thing? I don't know - never tried.

  • NOTES (7)

    • This was the last time that any character crossed over from Buffy to Angel.

    • Illyria confirms that she could talk to plants (an ability Spike suggested she might have in "Origin" and "Time Bomb"), and she refers to it as "the song of the green." However, she lost that ability when Wesley drained most of her powers during "Time Bomb," and can no longer hear them.

    • This episode marks the final appearances of Julie Benz (Darla), Juliet Landau (Drusilla), Tom Lenk (Andrew), Gary Grubbs (Roger Burkle), and Jennifer Griffin (Trish Burkle) on the show.

    • It was planned that Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn) would appear in this episode rather than Andrew. She was unable to because the filming schedule for Ice Princess changed at the last minute.

    • The song playing during the bar fight is Dean Martin's "Take Me in your Arms."

    • The Rome Wolfram & Hart looks exactly like the one in L.A.

    • The techno music playing when Angel and Spike are at the club looking for Buffy is the same that Spike comments on in 'Life of the Party' (5x05). It was one of the songs playing at Lorne's Halloween bash.


    • Angel: We're gonna need a chase helicopter, assault team...
      Spike: And guns. Lots and lots of guns.

      In the movie The Matrix, the main character Neo delivers a popular line almost identical to Spike's line here. Like Spike, Neo also frequently wears a leather trenchcoat.

    • Andrew's shirt:
      The image on Andrew's T-Shirt is "Strong Bad," one of the main characters featured on the Homestar Runner website.