Shiny Shelf

Angel: Fredless

By Mark Clapham on 15 May 2002

And so the inevitable Fred-centric episode arrives, and mercifully it’s a good one, cementing her position at Angel Investigations. When Fred’s parents arrive in LA, determined to find their daughter, audience suspicions are immediately raised, especially when Fred seems none to eager to see her folks. Anyone fearing a cliche-fest need not worry – the reasons for Fred’s┬áreluctance to see Mom and Dad are far more interesting than any of the more ‘based on a true story’ TV movie options that spring to mind.

Of course, family tensions aren’t enough to fuel an episode of ‘Angel’, so there’s the obligatory demonic action, featuring some nicely effective giant-bug-things. That Fred’s parents have no idea about the demonic world she lives in provides rich opportunities for some very silly comedy – Angel pretending that the severed demon head in his hand is a movie prop, Fred’s father presuming the Host’s unusual complexion is just some silly LA fashion thing… good gags, although none are as impressive as the early scene where Cordelia and Angel re-enact the entire Buffy-Angel romance for Fred’s benefit.

Bugs, drama, jokes, and a snide reference to the Whedon-scripted ‘Alien Resurrection’. It’s a close call between this and ‘That Vision Thing’ for the title of best episode of Angel this season so far. But, for this reviewer at least, ‘Fredless’ is warmer, funnier and all-round better.

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By Mark Clapham

Mark Clapham is a Devon-based writer and editor. You can find out more about him at the egotistically named

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