Episode # 104
Original Air Date: March 3, 2004
Review by: Anne
Seeing Fred's body looking quite alive, Wesley hopefully calls her name, but he soon realizes that it is Illyria who has risen. She expresses disgust that humans have not yet died out. Wes tries in vain to convince her to leave Fred's body, but Illyria says that she is bound to it. Knocking him across the room, she declares that she has work to do. Wes returns to Wolfram & Hart with the news; back from England, Angel says that they will bring Fred back. Illyria shows up at W&H to free Knox, who is her priest and guide to this world. Angel and the gang try to stop her, but she escapes with Knox after momentarily altering time so that the A-team moves slowly. Gunn goes to visit the crooked doctor, who says that there is no way to bring Fred back: *everything* she was burned up resurrecting Illyria. Having found the doctor's number on Knox's cell phone, Wesley arrives at the doctor's office. He knocks the doctor out, and Gunn finally confesses about the deal he made. Furious that Gunn knew what was happening and did nothing, Wes stabs him. Angel confronts Wes, who says that he avoided the major organs so Gunn will probably live. Angel tells Wes to focus on the problem at hand: Illyria will try to raise her army. Spike, Angel, and Wes find her trying to open the portal to access her temple. While Angel tries to explain why he fights to save people, Wes shoots Knox who falls, dead. The guys move to attack her, but she effortlessly stops them. She opens the portal and Wes hurries in, too, just before it closes. However, Illyria is devastated to find that the place has been destroyed. "My world is gone," she laments. Wes replies, "Now you know how I feel." He points a gun at her, but she does her time-altering move again and leaves him alone to return home through the portal. Later in the lab, Wes packs Fred's things. Illyria appears, saying that she has nowhere else to go. She reveals that she is able to experience Fred's memories, and she asks Wesley to help her learn to walk in this world. He reluctantly agrees on the condition that she stops killing. He continues packing and we see that the rest of the gang sits, despondent and alone. Illyria recalls a memory of Fred hugging her mom goodbye before driving off toward a new life in Los Angeles.
A psychiatrist might have diagnosed Angel as being in the "denial" stage of grief, but on this series, his plan to bring Fred back seemed quite logical. Time and again people they know have come back, so why not work that to their advantage? However, as is so often the case with life, just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.
In a way, Illyria was doing the same thing. Her apparently predestined return was happening right on schedule, so she felt confident that she'd be able to make things like they used to be. Ultimately, her quest was as hopeless as Angel's.
Gunn's predicament was only slightly different: he wanted to undo something that he'd done. Nearly everyone has felt that way before, but even here in the Buffy-verse, escaping the consequences of one's actions is next to impossible. As the doctor told Gunn: you made a choice, and you'll just have to live with it.
When Illyria revealed that she has Fred's memories, I tried to recall where I heard someone say that memories make us who we are. Then it occurred to me that it was Darla who said that in season four when she appeared to Connor. I searched for that conversation on the 'Net to be sure I was quoting it correctly: after he accuses her of not being his mother, she replies that she has her memories and her feelings, and isn't that what makes a person who they are? Oh. It takes feelings too, does it? I was kind of hoping they were going to expand this Illyria-has-Fred's-memories thing to somehow make it so that Fred was not completely gone.
Make room for me on the banks of De-Nial, Angel.
* Knox called Illyria what he called Fred: "Boss."
* It was probably Wolfram and Hart that destroyed the army in the temple. Like Knox said, they want things to happen on their own timetable.