NAME: Winifred "Fred" Burkle JOB: Science gal for the Angel crew TALENT: Physics & Math LOW POINT: Nearly losing her head (figuratively and literally) in a demon dimension where humans are enslaved
Winifred "Fred" Burkle, daughter of Texans Roger and Trish Burkle, was one of the later additions to Angel's team. While a bit spacey and quirky, Fred was a brilliant physicist and mathematician. In 1996, Fred was accidentally sucked into a dimensional portal to Pylea, Lorne's home world, which was opened by Fred's jealous college professor, Dr. Seidel. For five years she spent an arduous life as a "cow"-the Pylean equivalent of a slave. The harsh life of solitude and serfdom took a serious toll on her social skills, as well as her mental health. However, her salvation came when Angel and his crew arrived in Pylea to find Cordelia, who had become trapped there. When Pylea was liberated Fred accompanied Angel and company back to L.A. and stayed in his hotel to readjust to life on Earth and regain her mental stability. Fred became an indispensable member of the team. Despite several traumatic instances, Fred completely adjusted to "normal" life. Her knowledge of physics and mathematics made her an excellent asset when researching and developing strategies. On the social side, she developed and ended a relationship with Charles Gunn. Unbeknownst to her at the time, she was also the object of affection of Wesley Wyndham-Price, who nobly stepped aside and gave Gunn his blessing.
However, everything changed for Fred upon joining Wolfram & Hart. Getting her own laboratory and being the head of the Science Division, Fred never felt more comfortable with her life. A major asset to the team, Angel consistently relied on her department to quickly and efficiently solve problems. Despite teasing around a relationship with her coworker Knox, she finally noticed Wesley's feelings and returned them. Unfortunately the couple's happiness was not to last. One day a mysterious sarcophagus, allowed through customs by a signature from Gunn, appeared in the lab. As Fred examined it a large cloud of dust exploded into her face. The sarcophagus was a holding cell for Illyria, one of the ancient demons predestined to rise again. The dust Fred inhaled was actually Illyria's essence, which immediately began a parasitic like existence in her body, eating away at it and making her a shell. Worse still, Knox had worshipped Illyria for years and worked at Wolfram & Hart for the sole purpose of bringing her back. Because of his affections for Fred, he "chose" her as the only one worthy to house his god. As Angel and Spike traveled to England to find a cure, Wesley remained in Fred's bedroom with her, comforting her as she fought bravely but slowly began to die. Angel learned that the only way to save Fred would be to release Illyria and draw her back to the Deeper Well in England. However, thousands of others would die as Illyria's essence cut across the world back to the Well. Thus, Angel and Spike did nothing. Cradling her in his arms, Wesley stayed with Fred until the moment she died.