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Gunn/Fred/Wesley after Supersymmetry

r2dh2

Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain
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I’m having trouble understanding Fred’s behavior after Supersymmetry. I understand that Gunn killing the professor made her look at him in a different light. She tells Wesley earlier in the same episode that she loves Gunn in part because he doesn’t have that side in him. Gunn killing her professor changes that perception. But I’m having a really hard time understanding her feelings. She seems deeply disappointed of Gunn, while I think that I’d feel deeply guilty for pushing him to cross that line.

I also have a very hard time understanding why she gravitates towards Wesley in the following episodes. I get that Wesley is still in love with her and cannot help himself (this part is debatable, but for the purposes of this post, I’ll leave it at that), and since her insertion into the group, Wesley and Fred had a lot of affinity from an intellectual point of view. At this point, this is still the case; however, Wesley has shown to have very questionable judgement (at times) and clear bitterness after the Holtz/Connor storyline. In my mind, it doesn’t make much sense that Fred moves towards him. Maybe it could have something to do with Gunn’s jealousy, but IMO Gunn’s reaction is more than understandable (Fred goes to Wesley for help in Supersymmetry and then allows him to kiss her and get closer to her).

Honestly, I simply don’t understand her behavior, she shuts down and never has a real conversation with Gunn after what happened, even though he insists that he wants to talk to her again. I also feel that Fred should have had had that conversation with him, she owed him at least that, but instead she pulls away. And I like Fred, but I hated this arc, it was never fully addressed, and I think that Gunn deserved better here. Of course, this story was kinda dropped at some point with all the other craziness happening in S4.

Thoughts? Explanations? Did I miss something in later episodes?
 

Athene

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I think Fred maybe enjoyed that Wesley was willing to help her punish the professor whereas Gunn took her opportunity to punish him away.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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That episode. I mean, they kill people all the time. I mean, it's not like Fred doesn't. And the professor wanted to kill the Grad students who were smarter than him? They are grad students in science! They are basically his slaves for the next four to ten years, and he has tenure! In fact, slaves were better fed, and got a week off at Christmas, and could get paying jobs, so worst than slaves. And he gets to take credit for their work! But overall, I don't really understand a lot about that love triangle, aside from giving actors stuff to do between fight scenes.
 
r2dh2
r2dh2
They need to add some drama in between apocalypses ;).

Priceless

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The Fred/Gunn/Wes triangle is one of my least favourite things in the Buffyverse. The only way I can make sense of Supersymmetry and its aftermath is that Gunn's action makes Fred reevaluate how well she knows him and she realises she doesn't know him very well at all, whereas she is certain what kind of man Wesley is and what he is capable of, so she's drawn to him because of that certainty. After five years in Pylea, living off her wits, permanently terrified, I would think surprises are the last thing she wants in a partner.

I've always thought Fred was drawn to Gunn because what you see is what you get. There are no hidden depths with Gunn, he's honest and true, easy to be with and knowable in a way that probably makes her feel secure and maybe a little superior.
 

thetopher

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I think the dynamic in the relationship shifted, beforehand Fred and Gunn had been partners and treated each other as equals, especially in how they worked together. I think Gunn, more than Wesley, saw Fred as a tough survivor rather than as a victim of Pylea. It's what I liked most about their relationship from his perspective.
But in this episode Gunn, instead of helping Fred, firstly tries to put himself in her way and talk her down and then took that much-sought after revenge away from her, which in not treating her like an equal and putting something on himself that she never asked for. In contrast Wesley helps Fred, talks her through her feelings and treats her feelings with respect.
So ultimately Fred didn't get what she wanted and also has to deal with Charles killings somebody, for her. I think all that weighed heavily on their relationship from that point on.
They may've been able to talk through their problems if the whole apocalypse hadn't gotten in the way.

I think it just goes to the 'seeking vengeance always leads to badness for those involved' message that both shows repeat over and over consistently.
 

r2dh2

Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain
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Yeah, I can see all of the above happening. Thinking more about this, Fred does show a lot of conflicted emotions for Gunn: disappointment, guilt and anger. I do understand that humans are complex, and I can understand Fred feeling disappointed by realizing that Gunn is like any of us and angry at him for taking away her “revenge.” Although, I keep having conflicted feelings myself, but I was looking again at the scene:

Fred: "Go away, Charles! You asked me not to kill him and I'm not. - Not exactly."
Gunn: "Sure you are. No way he can survive that."
Gunn takes the crossbow away from Fred.
Gunn: "Fred, don't let him do this to you."
Fred: "How dare you? You don't know. You don't know what it was like!"
Gunn looks at the growing portal.
Seidel: "Please help me!"
Gunn: "I promise, we'll stop him. We'll find some other way."
Seidel: "Fred! Winifred, please! Help me!"
Fred: "You see? He'll never stop! He'll do it again!"
Gunn: "If you kill him, I'm gonna lose you."
Seidel: "Help me! Help me!"
Gunn runs over and pulls Seidel away just as the table is sucked into the portal in the floor.
Fred: "Charles, no!"
Gunn looks at Fred. He takes a hold of Seidel's head, breaks his neck then lets the body drop into the portal, which closes behind it.


I guess that maybe I’m holding Fred at a higher standard. She was clearly using a loophole to get rid of the professor. And later she does show signs of guilt:

GUNN You sure? We don't talk. We sleep on opposite sides of the bed. We haven't even touched each other since—
FRED (they both look down, avoid eye contact) Since we murdered Professor Seidel.
GUNN No, since I did.
FRED For me.
GUNN I couldn't let you carry that.
FRED It wasn't your choice.
GUNN Fred, it's not who you are. It isn't in your heart.
FRED But it's in yours?
GUNN It is now.
FRED (starts to cry, runs back down the stairs) I'm sorry.

But I don’t buy the idea of Fred seeing Wesley as being more respectful of her feelings. If that were the case, he wouldn’t have acted like jealous ex-boyfriend when she started dating Gunn nor keep pursuing her after Supersymmetry. Regardless of her problems with Gunn, Fred was in a relationship with a (former?) friend of his. Wesley was aware of their problem and keep pushing for more.

But I can see Fred letting herself go towards Wesley because he didn't judge her or imposed “standards” on her (?). He seemed to be blindly in love with her and had screwed up so badly and crossed the line so many times that it might have been easier being with him than facing the emotional fallout with Gunn. I don’t know, maybe she also felt less guilty around him (?).

I still think that Fred handled really poorly the pre- and post- break-up. Gunn might have done something she didn’t ask for (out loud), but he still deserved a conversation with her to clarify Fred’s reasons for distancing from him. For the rest of the season, he was under the impression that their lack of intellectual compatibility was the main cause, especially after he seeing her getting closer to Wesley. And this lead to his own mini-arc in S5 and ironically and indirectly to Fred’s death.
 
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Veronique

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I prefer Fred alone, I disliked what happened with Gunn and Wesley friendship. and Fred was wrong seeking revenge.
 

Cohen

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It was definitely a very interesting dynamic to go from 4 episodes before where they were literally on their own "raising" Conner together, and could withstand the loss of every one of their friends, to roughly a month later not being able to recover because they killed a monstrous human being.
 

Anyanka Bunny Slayer

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When Fred was introduced in the Pylea arc, I thought she was sweet and kooky. I liked her. But after how she treated Charles in Supersymmetry, I couldn't stand her. He killed the professor so she wouldn't have to...and look how she repaid him. It was such sweet karma that Charles inadvertently played a hand in her death later on.

Illyria was far more interesting than Fred anyway.
 

Cohen

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When Fred was introduced in the Pylea arc, I thought she was sweet and kooky. I liked her. But after how she treated Charles in Supersymmetry, I couldn't stand her. He killed the professor so she wouldn't have to...and look how she repaid him. It was such sweet karma that Charles inadvertently played a hand in her death later on.

Illyria was far more interesting than Fred anyway.
That's an interesting take on Gunn's involvement in her death. I tend to forget his desperate(?) actions of needing to be integral to the group led Fred to hear untimely death. I will agree Illyria was very compelling. I am still so miffed that the WB cancelled Angel at the height of its resurgence, because we would have gotten so many good stories in season 6, based on what the drafts were to be. I don't consider ATF a true sense of season 6, because Joss relied heavy on the capabilities of graphic novels that you cannot replicate on television...similar to BTVS Season 8. But the stories we would have gotten with Illyria were to be so cool. It's a shame she became a domesticated shell of herself by the end of the comics.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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Fred and Wesley are one of those couples where you really feel for them, but you know the actual relationship would have been really boring. Fred and Gunn was, eh? For Jay's sake, I'm glad it happened, he has enough problems being typecast as an asexual gangbanger, adding anything to his resume was a good thing. As Amy would latter learn, playing against type is the only way to get work. Wes is a better character when he is miserable.
 
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