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The Girl in Question

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Season 5, Episode 20
Air date May 5, 2004
Written by Steven S. DeKnight
Drew Goddard
Directed by David Greenwalt
Episode Guide
"Time Bomb"
"Power Play"
David Boreanaz Angel
James Marsters Spike
J. August Richards Gunn
Amy Acker Illyria
Andy Hallett Lorne
Mercedes McNab Harmony
Alexis Denisof Wesley
Special Guest Starring
Julie Benz Darla
Tom Lenk Andrew
Guest Starring
David Lee Alfonso
Gary Grubbs Roger
Jennifer Griffin Trish
Carole Raphaelle Davis Ilona
Juliet Landau Drusilla
Co Starring
Vikki Gurdas Bartendress
Rob Steiner Pietro
Andrew Ableson Italian Man
Dominic Pace Bouncer
Irina Maleeva Old Demon Lady
Brian Oerly Italian Henchman

"The Girl in Question" is the twentieth episode of the fifth season of Angel and the 108th episode overall. Written by Steven S. DeKnight and Drew Goddard and directed by David Greenwalt, it was originally broadcast on May 5, 2004 on the WB network.

When Angel and Spike go to Italy after hearing that Buffy is in trouble, they discover she is dating their long-time nemesis The Immortal. While searching for Buffy—and the head of a demon which must be brought back to L.A. to prevent a demon war—they reminisce about their history with The Immortal and finally accept that they can't control who Buffy dates.



Angel doesn't want to ride on the back. (click for animation)

Gunn discovers a demon gang war is imminent, unless the head of the deceased leader is retrieved from Rome so that he may be resurrected. Angel initially tries to send a reluctant Spike there, but Spike refuses, saying that "he doesn't know the language" and "Angel should do it himself". Angel then however receives a call of The Immortal being found near Buffy, which causes Angel to immediately leave. Spike hears of this and decides to come along, much to Angel's chagrin. Once on the airplane, Angel points out that Spike is going to try and win over Buffy again and Spike says "As if you're not thinking the same thing." Angel retorts that he has a girlfriend but Spike points out that Nina doesn't know that he's traveling all the way to Rome to visit his ex. Spike asks Angel how he knew Buffy was in danger, which Angel replied "A source". Spike mocks the fact that Angel sent a spy to do his "stalking" for him but Angel defends himself, explaining that he just wanted to make sure Buffy was safe and while he wasn't proud of it, it's Buffy so what can he do.

They reach Buffy's apartment but instead finds Andrew Wells, who explains that Buffy and Dawn have been letting him live here since "that thing happened", apparently a "cultural misunderstanding" that led to the destruction of his casa. He immediately asks them what there doing here and they both bring up Buffy. Andrew explains that Buffy isn't here and went to meet The Immortal. Angel and Spike immediately worry about her and decide to go and find her, assuming her to be danger, until Andrew tells them that Buffy is actually dating their arch-nemesis The Immortal. Besides the usual jealousy that comes from Buffy dating other guys, flashbacks are shown that explain why Angel and Spike hate The Immortal: he slept with Darla and Drusilla simultaneously (something the ladies had never allowed Spike or Angel to do) while his minions kept Angel and Spike away by holding them in chains. To make matters worse, the ladies both enjoyed the experience immensely. They first appear to be in shock which quickly turns to outrage and jealousy, concluding that Buffy must be under some sort of love spell - why else would she be dating a dark, centuries-old supernatural creature who may or may not be evil? Spike declares that it must be a spell, and Angel agrees.


Angel and Spike punching each other. (click for animation)

They then locate and retrieve the head. They go to Buffy's apartment again, which causes Andrew to inform them that Buffy still isn't back yet and that she's at the club. They go to the club and see Buffy from a distance. Angel and Spike immediately start to fight over Buffy, as Angel taunts him by saying Spike won't be with Buffy again. Spike admits that he doesn't think he has a chance with her but he still cares about her and won't let her end up with The Immortal OR Angel. Angel then says what he and Buffy have is a "forever love" and Spike scoffs that he had a relationship with her as well. Angel retorts that having sex is not a relationship but Spike points out "it is if you do it enough times." In the midst of their petty arguments, they accidentally leave the demon head in a bag on a table, and it is filched by The Immortal's demon butler. Angel and Spike fight the minions and "accidentally" hit each other a few times, too. The demon butler gets away with the head and mocks the heroes as he leaves. They unsuccessfully try to get the bag back but again fail. Angel states that they'll just get the head and leave, but that earlier statement is quickly contradicted as they are again at the club, looking for Buffy, only realizing that she already left. Angel, frustrated and disappointed, laments that The Immortal has Buffy and why do things like this always happen to them. Angel and Spike argue over how "if they had all their resources", they would be able to find the head. Spike points out that there is a Wolfram & Hart office in Rome.

Meanwhile, at Wolfram & Hart in L.A., Fred's parents show up and Wesley ushers them into his office to tell them she is gone. But as he is about to tell them, Illyria walks in the door looking and acting exactly like Fred. Later, while her parents are being shown Fred's office, Wesley confronts Illyria. She explains that Wesley's grief is unbearable so she could not bear to witness Fred's parents' grief as well. She explains that she can appear in the form that she wishes. After Fred's parents leave, Wesley asks her if she got what she wanted from that experience. Illyria answers "Yes", and Wesley orders her never to do it again.

Angel and Spike go to Rome's Wolfram & Hart offices, which are identical to the LA offices. They are greeted by a caricature of an Italian party girl—very ebullient, wearing a low-cut dress—who turns out to be the CEO. She says the head is being held in a standard ransom situation. Angel and Spike want to fight, but she explains that they have a civilized way to do this, and they are given money for the drop, which they exchange with the butler for the bag. They open it and in it there is a bomb that explodes. Spike complains about his ruined jacket—the one that had belonged to a Slayer, Robin Wood's mother. They go back to the Rome Wolfram & Hart - the CEO laughs, saying criminals always do that to first-timers. She replaces their damaged clothing. Spike and Angel declare their intention to go home, but return to Buffy's apartment and Andrew tells them to let Buffy move on, while he, clad in a tuxedo, leaves the apartment with two sexy Italian women. Frustrated by their inability to contact Buffy and by the demon butler's chicanery on The Immortal's behalf, they decide to go home.


Angel and Spike look into the bag and discover that it contains a bomb

Illyria follows Wesley into his office, still appearing and speaking as Fred. She states that she wishes to explore the relationship further and does not understand why Wesley is angry about it since he obviously loved Fred. He replies that she is not Fred and that he is sickened by the sight of her. He tells her to be anything as long as it's not Fred. She appears somewhat confused and when he leaves the room changes back into her usual form. "As you wish" she says.

When Angel and Spike return home, they find the head on Angel's desk with a note signed by The Immortal. They are outraged; this is the second time he "distracted" them while he put the moves on "their" girl. They declare their intention to get over Buffy and move on with their lives, but neither Spike nor Angel appear to have succeeded.[1][2]


  • The woman who Spike and Angel saw in Italy with The Immortal was actually a look-alike Buffy projecting a very public "party girl" image in order to draw attention away from the real Buffy Summers, who was leading the Slayer Organization. Andrew merely lied to them about Buffy dating The Immortal as a prank.[3]
  • Illyria first displayed the ability to impersonate Fred. She would continue to use this ability.[4][5]
  • In one of Angel's angry, jealous outbursts, he said, "But she's not done baking yet! I have to wait til' she done baking! You know, so she could find herself. 'Cause that's the drill, fine. I'm waiting patiently, meanwhile The Immortal's eating cookie dough!", a reference to Buffy's 'cookie-dough speech' about her relationship with him and Spike.[6] Of course, this is not explicitly explained, leaving Spike immensely confused by Angel's seemingly random statement.
  • Angel straightforwardly argued to Spike that his relationship with Buffy was a "forever love." Ironically, in one of Buffy's dreams of Angel while he was still in Acathla's hell dimension, Angel had said something very similiar in the episode "Anne": "Forever. That's kind of the whole point."
  • Although Angel and Spike have a particularly acrimonious relationship where Buffy is concerned, this adventure provides them with somewhat of a bonding experience—they drink together, engage in their most civil conversation to date, and reminisce about the past. It is also relevant that Andrew, when sending the vampires away, says that Buffy does love both of them. In the last episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy had told Spike she loved him, and he had told her "No you don't, but thanks for saying it."
  • Spike complains about the duster he'd 'ripped off a dead slayer' (Nikki Wood, Slayer from the 1970s and mother of Robin Wood, who appears in the final season of Buffy). Clips of the encounter are seen throughout the seasons, most notably "Fool for Love".
  • This is perhaps the only episode where Angelus is portrayed as anything but a manipulative sociopath, joining Spike as being the target of many comical misfortunes, ranging from their mutual disbelief that Darla and Drusilla had been seduced "concurrently" by The Immortal to suffering the indignity of being denied entrance to one of The Immortal's parties while seeking a 'Blood Vengeance'.
  • Along with "Becoming, Part One", "Fool For Love" and "Darla", this is one of only four Buffyverse episodes in which all four members of the Whirlwind (Angel, Spike, Darla, and Drusilla) appear.
  • During their argument over which of them has helped saved the world more times, Angel and Spike refer to the events of 'Prophecy Girl' and 'The Zeppo' (in which Angel helped to close the Hellmouth), 'Doomed' and 'Chosen' (in which Spike did so), 'Graduation Day, Part Two' (in which Angel helped defeat the Mayor), 'Peace Out' (in which Angel Investigations defeated Jasmine) and 'Becoming, Part Two' (in which Spike conspired with Buffy Summers so that she could kill Angelus before he could awaken the demon Acathla)
  • In the original Buffy movie she states her four aims in life are to 'Graduate, go to Europe, marry Christian Slater and die'. By the time of this episode she has achieved three out of four, graduating in 'Graduation Day pt2', dying in 'Prophecy Girl' and 'The Gift' and now going to Europe (though she is actually in Scotland and not Italy).

Body Count

  • Capo di Famiglia, killed by a rival gang, later resurrected (only mentioned)
  • one Immortal's henchmen, snapped by Angelus (in flashback)



Behind the Scenes

520 - The Girl In Question00:23

520 - The Girl In Question

The Girl in Question - TV Promo


  • In the original script, Dawn was supposed to open the door of Buffy's look-alike's Roman apartment and welcome Angel and Spike. (This would have marked the first appearance of Dawn on Angel.) But due to other projects, Michelle Trachtenberg wasn't available to appear. It was then decided to give Andrew the scenes which were originally planned for Dawn.
  • Andrew's final scene in this episode (leaving for the Opera with two attractive females while commenting that "people change") is at odds with the fact that Andrew was heavily implied (although never actually stated) to be attracted to men. Joss Whedon later discussed this on Whedonesque and admitted this apparent character change was due to this being a hold-over scene from when Dawn was expected to be in this episode (the idea being that Buffy's younger sister was now grown-up) and it was meant to be a mixed-sex group rather than all-female, but he wasn't there when it was filmed to make sure it was done properly.
  • Kristine Sutherland who played Joyce Summers was absent for much of season 4 of Buffy as she was housesitting in Italy, partly to allow her daughter to go to school there and learn Italian. Now her character's daughters do the same.  

Pop Culture References

  • Andrew wore a Strong Bad T-shirt
  • The music playing in the Rome office of Wolfham & Hart is very close theme music of Federico Fellini's film Amarcord.
  • The Princess Bride: Illyria says to Wesley, "As you wish" which is what the character Westley says to Buttercup repeatedly in The Princess Bride to show he loved her.


Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors

  • When Angel asks the lady at the bar if she has seen Buffy, he describes her as having blue eyes in the way the character itself is meant to have had, and not in the way the actress looked, according to creator of the character Joss Whedon's wishes. "A girl, American, blonde hair, blue eyes." Sarah Michelle Gellar has naturally dark brown hair, which was dyed blonde for the role of Buffy and actually has green eyes, followed by Kristy Swanson who originally played Buffy with brown eyes.
  • Spike says he wore his leather coat for over 30 years, when it was actually for about 27 years. He obtained it in 1977 and it gets destroyed in 2004


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