We’re so close to revealing the top moment! The runner-up is…
#2 – FRED (Angel, S5 Ep15, “A Hole in the World”): When Joss Whedon kills off one of his characters, it’s not just for the ‘hellmouth’ of it nor is it pretty.
The gifted writer/producer/director always introduces us to a wide variety of characters: rebels, villains, and flawed heroes/heroines. Then there were the ones that held them all together: Willow in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Kaylee in Firefly, and Fred in Angel. Putting any of those three in dangerous situations upped the ante for the rest of the characters and tugged on the viewer’s emotions.
Portrayed to perfection by Amy Acker, Winifred ‘Fred’ Burkle became the heart, soul, and innocence of the team. A character full of so much heart, joy, intelligence, and compassion added balance amidst the tormented souls that surrounded her. From the moment she was introduced on the show, Fred’s journey was one we wanted to follow. Over the course of the next three years we watched her come into her own and flourish. So, when Fred died in the arms of the man she loved I wept along with the characters. “No, not Fred. She can’t die,” I thought. “She’s too important.” I didn’t have long to mourn the loss of such a beloved character, because in true Joss fashion, Fred’s death opened a portal (wink, wink) to a new character. Fred’s spirit ceased to exist and Illyria took over, thus, providing Amy a new acting challenge and giving the show added conflict. We lost Fred but still had Amy, and she continued to impress.
This TV moment ranks high on my list not only because Fred is one of my favorite TV characters, but because of the episode as a whole. Written and directed by Joss Whedon, “A Hole in the World” paid tribute to a character we all came to love and admire. As her friends rushed to find a way to save her, we felt the fear that they wouldn’t be able to and the disappointment in realizing that they couldn’t. This stunning hour of television remains embedded in my memory due to the talents of those in front of and behind the camera.
Dramatic television series can inspire, motivate, educate, and empower. However, they also have the ability to reach us on an emotional level. They do so by creating characters we enjoy watching, and rooting for, only to take them on journeys that make us reflect on our own lives and choices. While I’ve cried many a time during TV shows, there are five TV moments that not only had me sobbing like a baby but impressed me on a creative level.