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  • For better or for worse?

    Was it better to kill off Fred or was it better to keep Fred alive and bring illyria into the picture in another way?

  • #2
    I think that having Fred killed off was the only way to do it. There's no way that Illyria would have had quite the impact she did, if it wasn't for the loss of Fred, and her having Fred's features. To me, that was the worst thing that illyria ever did, was to look like Fred - as that really cut deep into Wesley and the other characters.

    Had Illyria appeared through some other way, then she would be just another demon that they would figure out who she was, and destroy. It wouldn't have had quite the same emotion to it, whereas her arrival into Angel via Fred's body hold so much more impact because the fans are losing a character and can see the emotional turmoil of Wesley and the lengths the others are going to, to save Fred; then to be faced with Illyria, a demon god you could say, they're quite unprepared, taken off guard, and Fred's demise had kind of taken precedence until Illyria was actually there before them. This resurrection of Illyria would never have been the same if she just appeared, the way she killed Fred in the process was what really made this different from the others they have faced in the past. (Unless of course you consider the way they wrote Cordy out to bring in a new evil, kind of similar, I guess.)

    Sayjay
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    • #3
      oh, very good thinking about it.. But i do have to say, I liked Fred more.. she was so dorky is what i think made her my favorite character :P

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      • #4
        First I will start off by saying that Fred was one of my favorite characters. She was cute, brainy, and a pleasure to watch. She made some of the crappiest episodes easier to watch.
        With that said, I truly think the death of Fred and the introduction of Illyria was one of the best plot lines ever thought off in the Jossverse. That woman unnerved everyone in that building. She would walk in the room and you could almost feel the pain, and the tension. Can you imagine for one sec how awful it would be to see a loved one walking and talking, yet you know that what you see is a complete lie? That your loved one is gone, and left in its place is a completely different being using the body. Illyria was fun to watch and I love how she didn't understand certain things. I missed Fred, but Illyria was the perfect touch to the last season.

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        • #5
          I would definitely have to say that Illyria would not have had the kind of impact that she did if she wasn't in Fred's body. (Kudos Slaycandy for the worst thing line-perfect) The rest of the season felt it felt a bit like a haunting, like Fred was there even though she was gone.
          "All I ask is that... that you try to see me."

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          • #6
            Good question.

            One point, before I get into it, I'll take the opportunity to say, damn but Amy Acker is a fine actress. We get glimpses of her range before Illyria, like when she's inhabited by the weird wet squeegy monster things, but watching her perform as Illyria, then Fred, then Ilyrria, is a real treat.

            For better or for worse... Fred was one of my fave characters, and her impact on Wesley was wonderful to watch as well. His forgetting of the pain of season three and four through Angel's deal with W&H was really well rounded by the reflected innocence effect that Fred and his growing relationship with her had on him. The spiralling effect of the loss of Fred, Illyria's awareness of the lines/holes created in reality, the reopening of the genie's bottle, so to speak- the damage healed and then caused by the one body with its two different inhabitants and the way in which Joss and team pulled it off... well, it almost made up for the crappy Jasmine/Cordy/Beast/Incest storyline of season four!

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            • #7
              I actually quite enjoyed watching the implications of Fred being gone yet still there and how it was dealt with amongst the characters. Plus, I loved her costume and her whole look, the way she spoke and the straight face. I thought the storyline infused an extra punch of emotion at a time the show really needed it.
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              • #8
                I think it was a really creative idea and gave Amy Acker the chance to tackle a completely different character. I prefer Illyria aswell and I think it took a lot of guts to do it as Fred was a popular character. I think it was one of the best ideas in the whole of the Jossverse.
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                • #9
                  Fred was one of my favorite characters of the whole jossverse, but it really was brilliance what the writers did with her character in S5. It was just so unexpected and the shock factor really had me reeling (I was not a spoiler queen in those days).

                  I agree with sayjay, that the role of Illyria wouldn't have had much effect at all on the cast had it not been brought forth the way it was. And Veverka made an excellent point about Amy Acker's acting ability. It really WAS like two completely different actresses playing the two roles, it was that good.

                  I found the role of Illyria fascinating. The way she spoke and moved, the way her thought processes so differed from Fred's. I loved the straight-faced comedy that she brought to the show, like telling Wesley she'd like to keep Spike for a pet. Classic!

                  But most of all I loved the dynamics between Illyria and Wesley. In The Girl in Question when she posed as Fred for Fred's parents, I thought Wesley would totally come apart. It broke my heart. And yet Amy Acker's acting skills were even more greatly displayed as she tackled an even harder role - Illlyria as Fred. There were subtle differences in the roles - especially in the eyes. It amazes me the talent of Amy Acker.

                  Though, I believe that if the show had been renewed for a 6th season we would have seen some type of resurrection of Fred. I don't think the Fresley ship was anywhere near complete in Joss's mind with Fred's demise. I think Illyria was the beginning of a fabulous story-arc that would have continued into the next season had Angel not been abruptly cancelled after A Hole in the World/Shells was filmed.
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                  • #10
                    I grew to really love Fred over the years and was devastated by her loss, but I absolutely LOVED Amy as Illyria! She was a blast to have on screen, and the emotions invoked by Illyria's presence....heart-wrenching, to say the least. Part of what kept me coming back for more.
                    It's blood...It's just like mine.
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                    • #11
                      Even though I really loved Fred and the relationship between her and Wesley, I think Illyria not only helped the show progress, but really showed Amy's talents as an actor; I had no idea she could play that! As someone else mentioned, it else gave the show more depth because of the tension and the heartbreak Wesley felt when she would take Fred's form. I actually think Wesley started to maybe not love her, but in some weird way accept that he was never going to get the real Fred back; there also seemed to be some affection there from both sides and I loved how Illyria became part of the AI team.

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