Angel/A Hole in the World

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A Hole in the World
A Hole in the World
Season 5, Episode 15
Airdate February 25, 2004
Production Number 5ADH15
Written by Joss Whedon
Directed by Joss Whedon
← 5x14
Smile Time
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AngelSeason Five

A Hole in the World is the fifteenth episode of the fifth season of Angel, and the one-hundred and third episode overall. A mysterious package arrives at Wolfram & Hart for Fred, but when the contents slowly kill her, Angel and the others must race to find a cure before the demon inside Fred destroys her.

Starring: David Boreanaz (Angel), James Marsters (Spike), J. August Richards (Charles Gunn), Amy Acker (Winifred "Fred" Burkle), Andy Hallett (Lorne)

and Alexis Denisof (Wesley Wyndam-Pryce)

Guest Starring: Sarah Thompson (Eve), Jonathan M. Woodward (Knox), Jennifer Griffin (Trish Burkle), Gary Grubbs (Roger Burkle), Alec Newman (Drogyn)

Co-Starring: John Duff (Delivery Man), Jeremy Glazer (Lawyer)


Plot Overview

After a mysterious sarcophagus arrives in Wolfram & Hart's lab, Fred is infected with something inside it. It turns out to be an Old One that's readying to use her as its host. As everyone else finds some way to stop it, Wesley does what he can to comfort her.


Monster of the Week

There is no monster of the week in this episode.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1/2 Guards Spike & Angel Decapitated Deeper Well
3/4/5/6 Guards Angel Stabbed Deeper Well
7/8/9/10 Guards Spike Stabbed Deeper Well
11 Fred Illyria Succumbed to the Virus Fred's Home


Music is listed in order of appearance in the episode:

  • David Greenwalt, "LA Song"

Arc Advancement



  • Fred: Fred dies after being infected with the demonic essence of Illyria, one of the first demons. Her body has been possessed by the demon and, for all intents and purposes, is now no longer hers.
  • Eve has been hiding out from the Senior Partners at Lindsey's place. When she sings for Lorne he sees that her future's "not too bright."


  • 2x18 - Dead End: The lyrics Eve sings are from the song that Lindsey played in Caritas after his hand was replaced. The song, "LA Song", was written by series co-creator David Greenwalt for the episode.
Eve: Pretty as a picture. She is like a golden ring.
  • 4x12 - Calvary: Angel refers to the incident when Cordelia/Jasmine cast a spell that would negate Lorne's empathic powers in order to make it so he would believe that Angelus had truly transformed back into Angel. His folly eventually caused Angelus to escape when Cordelia/Jasmine let him out to wreck havoc.
Angel: You've been wrong before.
  • 5x12 - You're Welcome: Cordelia died after spending much of the season in a coma. She was granted corporeal form for a little longer after her death by the Powers That Be in order to set Angel on the correct path again. At the end of the episode, she disappeared and Angel got a call from the hospital, alerting him to her death.
Angel: I lost Cordy.
  • 5x14 - Smile Time: Gunn's legal upgrade was beginning to fade when he demanded that the doctor who operated on him in the first place repair the regression. In return, the doctor asked that he help work some legal magic on customs to get a package to Wolfram & Hart. That package was the coffin that released Illyria.
Knox: You signed the order to bring it into the lab so you could get another brain boost.


The Show

  • Final/First Appearance: This episode is the final appearance of Amy Acker as Fred, barring dream sequences, flashbacks and the occasional Illyria shapeshift. However, this episode is also the first appearance of Acker as Illyria.
  • Set Struck: This episode is the last to feature the White Room.
  • First and Last Words: Fred's first words to Angel were "Handsome man—saved me from the monsters." She echoes this line, in a way, with the last words she speaks to Angel, "Handsome man saves me."
  • Continuity: This is not the first time that the Deeper Well has been brought up. The Watchers had their annual retreat in the Cotswolds, where the Deeper Well is located, according to Giles in "Faith, Hope and Trick".

Behind the Scenes

  • Ratings: On its first airing, this episode scored a 3.7/5 in the overnight Nielsen ratings.
  • Bombshell: Amy Acker didn't learn that Fred was going to die and become Illyria until Joss Whedon talked to her about the episode at the wedding of Alyson Hannigan and Alexis Denisof.
  • Overbudget: Joss Whedon's original plan for this episode was to have Angel and Spike go to see Giles in England for answers on their problem. However, this was nixed when they couldn't come up with the money in the budget to fly in Anthony Stewart Head.
  • The scene in the first act had Lorne, but his material was cut. There is some evidence of this in that you can see Gunn look specifically off-camera a few times.

Allusions and References

  • Three Little Maids: Before segueing into rap, Gunn sings "Three Little Maids from School", a song from Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera The Mikado. Along with a comprehensive knowledge of the law, the Senior Partners also gave Gunn a memory of the complete works of Gilbert and Sullivan.
  • Feigenbaum: Fred named her stuffed animal after Mitchell Feigenbaum, a mathematical physicist who pioneered chaos theory and discovered what would become known as the Feigenbaum constant. The constant is used to predict when chaos will arise in a chaotic system before the event actually occurs.
Fred: I can't make the trip without Feigenbaum. ... He's the master of chaos.
  • House of Pain: Gunn refers to The Island of Dr. Moreau, a novel by H.G. Wells about a reclusive doctor who, in attempt to create a race of beings without malice, has been using vivisection to combine man and animal. In the House of Pain, the main character learns that Moreau is actually attempting to turn animal into man, rather than man into animal.
Gunn: No secrets in the House of Pain.
  • Jake LaMotta: Jake LaMotta, commonly known as The Bronx Bull, is a retired middle-weight class boxer who was the first boxer to beat Sugar Ray Robinson in the 1940s. LaMotta's career continued into the 1950s before he retired. The film Raging Bull tells the story of LaMotta's life.
Lorne: I'm Jake LaMotta over here.
  • Carmen Miranda: Carmen Miranda is a Portuguese samba singer and actress whose career peaked in 1940 with movies like The Gang's All Here. She died in 1955 of a heart attack suffered while she was performing.
Lorne: Well, nothin's written in stone—lately—but, uh, if I was about to face your future, I'd make like Carmen Miranda... and die.
  • Christmasland: In The Nightmare Before Christmas, the entrances to the various holiday lands are in hollow trees. Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown, discovered these entrances while wandering through the forest and eventually found his way into the tree entrance to Christmasland, which had a door shaped like a Christmas tree.
Spike: Either that, or Christmasland.
  • A Little Princess: The book that Wesley reads to Fred from is A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, a children's story about a girl whose life is completely changed in an instant. Over the course of the story, the girl adapts to her new surroundings and, eventually, lives happily ever after.
  • Walt Disney: Walt Disney is an animator, director, voice actor and producer that is responsible for the Disney company's most famous characters, including Mickey Mouse. Popular urban legend has it that Disney was cryogenically frozen in order to be cured of his lung cancer by future generations.
Gunn: You got me all up in this Walt Disney mojo.
  • Les Misérables: Les Misérables is a musical based off the French novel by Victor Hugo. The musical tells the story of an ex-convict who attempts to start a new life and make the world a better place. It is the third longest running music in the history of Broadway.
Angel: I've never seen Les Mis.

Memorable Moments


  • Angel: You just like stabbing me.
Spike: I'm shocked, shocked that you'd say that! I much prefer hitting you with blunt instruments.
  • Wesley: Sorry. Is this something we should all be discussing?
Angel: No.
Wesley It just sounds a little serious.
Angel: It was mostly... theoretical. We...
Spike: We were just working out a — Look, if cavemen and astronauts got into a fight, who would win?
Wesley: Ah. You've been yelling at each other for forty minutes about this? (beat) Do the astronauts have weapons?
Angel & Spike: (simultaneously) No.
  • Angel: You and me. This isn't working out.
Spike: Are you saying we should start annoying other people?
  • Fred: Handsome man saves me.
Angel: That's how it works.
  • Angel: Guys...
Wesley: You don't have to say it.
Angel: I'll say it anyway. Winifred Burkle. Go.
  • Lawyer: These guys are really important, I just need, I mean, the whole company can't be working Miss Burkle's case.
Wesley: Of course.
(Wesley pulls out a gun and shoots him in the leg)
Wesley: Jennifer, please send anyone else who isn't working Miss Burkle's case to me.
  • Lorne: Here's the thing, Eve: You're going to sing for me and I'm going to read you right now. And here's one more thing: Winifred Burkle once told me after a sinful amount of Chinese food, and in lieu of absolutely nothing, "I think a lot of people would choose to be green. Your shade, if they had the choice." If I hear one note — one quarter-note — that tells me you had any involvement, these two won't even have time to kill you. Oh, and anything by Diane Warren will also result in your death. Well, except "Rhythm of the Night".
  • Wesley: Time is not on our side.
Spike: Nobody's on our side.
  • Wesley: Fred, you can't be doing this.
Fred: Please, Wesley, I am exactly the person to be doing this. Something could've been missed.
Wesley: Whatever it is that's happening, we will stop it, I swear to you.
Fred: I have to work.
Wesley: You have to lie down!
Fred: I am not... I am not the damsel in distress! I am not some case. I have to work this. I lived in a cave for 5 years in a world where they killed my kind like cattle. I am not going to be cut down by some monster flu. I am better than that! But I wonder... how very scared I am.
  • Fred: This is a house of death.
  • Spike: When is a door not a door? When it's not sodding well there.
  • Angel: Seriously, he doesn't like questions.
Spike: Why the bloody hell not?
Angel: He can't lie.
  • Fred: Cavemen win. Of course the cavemen win.
  • Spike: Someone took it from under your nose a month ago and you didn't miss it till now? That makes you quite the crap jailer, doesn't it? Also a statement.
Drogyn: Your friend likes to talk.
Angel: So much he's even right sometimes.
  • Drogyn: It's been freed? The demon's essence.
Spike: Yeah, it's been freed. Why do you think we're here? And what's your favourite colour? Whats your favourite song? Who's the goal keeper for Manchester United? And how many fingers am I holding up? You want to kill me? Try! I don't have time for your quirks.
  • Spike: That's madness.
Drogyn: This is a place of madness.
  • Fred: My boys. I walk with heroes. Think about that.
Wesley: You are one.
Fred: Superhero. And this is my power: to not let them take me! Not me.
  • Spike: This goes all the way through, to the other side. So I figure, there's a bloke somewhere around New Zealand standing on a bridge like this one, looking back down at us. All the way down. There's a hole in the world. Feels like we ought to have known.
  • Fred: (last words) I'm not scared. I'm not scared. I'm not scared. Please. Wesley. Why can't I stay?