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Season 3, Episode 5
Fredless Main
Air date October 22, 2001
Written by Mere Smith
Directed by Marita Grabiak
Episode Guide
Carpe Noctem
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
David Boreanaz Angel
Charisma Carpenter Cordelia
Alexis Denisof Wesley
J. August Richards Gunn
Amy Acker Fred
Guest Starring
Andy Hallett Lorne
Gary Grubbs Roger
Jennifer Griffin Trish

"Fredless" is the fifth episode of the third season of Angel and the forty-ninth episode overall. Written by Mere Smith and directed by Marita Grabiak, it was originally broadcast on October 22, 2001 on the WB network.

Fred's parents, Roger and Trish Burkle, arrive in town from Texas for a visit and plan to take her home with them, prompting Fred to run away. Angel and the gang go in search of Fred. But are these really her parents, and what is it about them that scared Fred so much that she felt she had to flee? And what is that strange beast with glowing eyes that is following Angel around?


Wesley, Cordelia Chase, Fred, and Gunn joke around in the lobby, while Fred works on some kind of strange contraption that nobody can figure out. Wesley and Cordelia mockingly act out a summary of Buffy and Angel's relationship while Angel is somewhere between Sunnydale and LA visiting his resurrected ex-lover. However it is quickly broken up when Angel walks in on this, much to his annoyance and their embarassment. Cordelia attempts to get him to talk about what went on with him and Buffy, but Angel won't talk, so Fred and Angel go out for ice cream. They run into a monster so they chase it into the sewers, then Fred returns to the hotel alone while Angel goes after the monster.

Back at the hotel, a middle-aged couple show up looking for Fred; they are her parents and had thought that she had been missing for the past five years, until they got a letter from her a short time ago. Fred espies them without them noticing her, and she runs to her room and starts trying to erase all of the writing she has made on her walls. Angel arrives, carrying the severed head of the monster he just killed. The crew find Fred's dropped ice cream cone, but she is not there, having fled. Cordelia feels something is "off" about Fred's parents. They all go to great lengths to conceal from her parents anything about the supernatural or magical, while the parents act confused by the many strange things they encounter—severed heads, weapons, demons, men wearing bathrobes in public, and other strange behavior. They all go in search of Fred, while she seeks refuge at Caritas (Lorne's karaoke bar), which has not been cleaned up since the massacre of several weeks earlier. A sarcastic Lorne, hanging around in pajamas and a robe, tells Fred that he thought she could outrun her monsters, but they've hunted her down. He tells her she hasn't run far enough.

Angel searches for Fred in the sewers, and, unbeknownst to him, is being followed by a creature that looks like a giant fly with glowing blue eyes. Everyone heads on over to Lorne's to talk. Lorne treats Gunn (whom Lorne blames for the latest fracas in Caritas) with hostility, so he goes and waits outside. Lorne doesn't tell them he knows where Fred is. Her father treats Lorne's appearance and clothing with disdain, and Lorne is in no mood to humor anyone. Angel convinces him to help them find Fred, and he tells her where she is but warns him that it's not going to be easy for her...

Meanwhile, an agitated Fred is at the bus station, talking to herself and trying to decide where to flee to (her ramblings manage to scare off a homeless man), when her parents find her. They greet her with love and tenderness, and it becomes clear that she didn't want to see her parents because she didn't want them to know where she had spent the past five years and didn't want to relive those horrible experiences when telling them about her ordeal. They hadn't been menacing at all, and there had been nothing "off" about them. They were exactly what they seemed: loving parents distressed about the well-being of their daughter and confused by the many odd things they kept encountering. With her friends watching in silent support, Fred breaks down in tears and is comforted by her parents as she is forced to come to terms with the fact that the terrible things she went through in Pylea actually happened. They all embrace with love, and just then, the giant fly creature descends upon them in the bus station and starts attacking. All attempts to continue fooling the Burkles are abandoned, and everyone fights the creature, but it is a losing battle until Fred's mother, who is a bus driver, hits the creature with a bus from the lot that she commandeered, squashing it.

Back at the hotel, they all talk with Fred and her parents, who take the knowledge of supernatural beasts and monsters in stride, just happy to see their daughter. Fred decides to go home with her parents, believing that she doesn't have a place with Angel Investigations.

Fred and her parents leave, but then Fred puts together some information that makes her realize that the severed head Angel brought back is full of the offspring of the giant fly-like creature who had attacked them at the bus station. Indeed, a whole group of fly creatures start attacking the hotel. Just then, Fred walks in and sets off her strange contraption, which turns out to be a hands-free device that flings an axe across the room. The axe bisects the severed head, releasing hoards of bugs. Seeing this, the fly creature leaves. Fred ultimately decides that she does have a place with Angel Investigations, after all, and her parents respectfully accept her decision.

The crew paints over Fred's wall scribblings while Angel and Fred's dad bond over the knowledge that Spiro Agnew was a demon.

Body Count

  • A Durslar beast, beheaded by Angel.
  • One Bug demon, squashed by Trish Burkle with a bus.


Behind the Scenes

Pop Culture References

  • When Fred's mother is talking to Cordelia about her husband's love of Alien movies, she says he loves them all "except that last one they made. I think he dozed off." The movie she is referring to is Alien Resurrection, the screenplay of which was written by Joss Whedon.
  • Lorne's watching of Judge Judy is interrupted by Fred.
  • Angel makes a reference to The Sound and the Fury: "Durslar beasts are pretty Faulknerian. A lot of sound, no fury."
  • Lorne: "It turns out massacres are a lot like sitting through Godfather III: once is enough."

International titles

  • German: Fre(u)dlos (with the letter u - Joyless ; without the letter u - Fredless)



  • This episode is Fred-centric
  • Spiro Agnew was Richard Nixon's first Vice President. At the time of the Watergate scandal he was under investigation for accepting bribes during his tenure as governor of Maryland. He was the second Vice President in history to resign the office, which is why Gerald Ford became president when Nixon resigned. 
  • This episode is included in The Vampire Anthology: Fred DVD.

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