An Italian job for Spike and Angel
Written by: Steven S. DeKnight and Drew Goddard
Directed by: David Greenwalt
Spike and Angel are arguing over which of them should visit Rome to pick up the remains of the Capo of the Goran demons when Angel gets a call saying that Buffy may be in danger from The Immortal, also in Rome. The two vampires immediately both insist on going.
In a flashback, we see an incident explaining their hatred of The Immortal - he once had the two of them tied up, so he could have his way with Dru and Darla.
Arriving at Buffy's apartment in Rome, they are greeted by Andrew, who tells them that Buffy's just left to meet The Immortal, and what's more, she's going out with him. Spike and Angel are sure it's because of a love spell.
The vampires pick up the Capo's remains - his head - then rush off to find Buffy. As they search for her in a bar, the head is stolen. Turning to the Rome branch of Wolfram and Hart, they're given a suitcase of Euros to ransom for the head, but no help against The Immortal.
Back in L.A., Fred's parents drop in. Just as Wesley is about to break the news of Fred's death to her, she arrives and welcomes them. It's Illyria, who is playing the part of Fred as she can't stand the scent of grief.
In Rome, Angel and Spike are handed a bomb rather than the head, then told to leave well alone by the Wolfram and Hart CEO there. Returning to the apartment, Andrew gives them similarly short shrift - Buffy fell in love with The Immortal by herself, and they should just move on.
They go back to LA - where the head has been delivered in their absence.
Quiz: - ten quick questions.
Nuns on the run: In the flashback to 1894, Spike notes that nuns are Angelus' thing. This is a reference to Drusilla's origins, as revealed in Buffy's second season. We learned then that Dru fled to a convent after Angelus had killed her family. The vampire eventually sired Dru on the day she took her holy vows.
Other continuity nods include Angel's reference to Buffy’s "cookie dough" speech in Chosen, talk of Angel's werewolf girlfriend Nina, Fred's parents - and a second raiding of the minibar in the Wolfram and Hart jet as first seen in Shells.
Bat Pack: Angel and Spike's nightclub battle is played out to the strains of Dean Martin's Take Me In Your Arms, from his appropriately titled Italian Love Songs album.
When in Rome: Ilona, the fabulous CEO of Wolfram and Hart's Rome office, is played by Carole Raphaelle Davis. Believe it or not, she's actually English. Throughout her varied career, Carole has been the lead singer for French rock band Les Variations and a Penthouse Pet. Her previous films include Mannequin and Piranha Part Two: The Spawning.
The heart of The Girl in Question is, of course, the irresistible interplay between Boreanaz and Marsters. They’ve had some great moments earlier in the season, but this is perhaps their finest comic hour.
Meanwhile, back at the Wolfram and Hart ranch, it's heart-rending business as usual. Alexis Denisof gets plenty to scowl at as Ilyria goes all Stars in Their Eyes with an impressive Fred impersonation.
The limitations of having to recreate Rome at the Universal back lot only add to this show's charm, giving it the delightful air of a cheap and cheerful episode of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The car chase isn’t exactly The Italian Job either, but is equally endearing.
Finally, who would have thought Andrew would end up batting for the home team? Not what I was expecting at all. Is it only the girls who are allowed to be gay in the Buffyverse?