There are characters we fall in love with. The perfect mix of actor and writer that breathes magic onto the screen or inside the television.
I enjoy all five season of Angel, but for me the show really hits its stride at the beginning of Season Three when it incorporates the character of Winifred Burkle as a full-time cast member.
"Fred" was introduced in the three-part season finale of Season Two in which Angel, Wesley, Gunn, and Lorne travel to Lorne's home dimension of Pylea to save Cordelia. It's in Pylea where we meet the once brilliant science student turned human slave.
When the team rescued Cordelia they brought Fred home as well. The tramatized young woman soon showed a hidden brilliance and unique skill set underneath the scared survivor who at first won't take a step outside her room. If you didn't fall for her immediately, just as Gunn and Wesley both did, you must be dead inside.
With her Southern drawl, quiet brilliance, and positive attitude Fred quickly endeared herself to the entire group. Fred believed there was good in everyone and everyone was worth saving, even Spike. She had a Stuffed rabbit named Feigenbaum, two parents who loved her, and a new family in Angel Investigations. There were many highs and lows for the character over three years including two brutal death scenes - her own and that of Wesley in Angel's final season.
The insanely cute Amy Acker starred as the character who could make you laugh and cry, sometimes both at the same time. Although Acker proved capable as Ilyria (the ancient demon who took over Fred's form in Angel's final season) and has gone on to have success with various other roles, it's Fred who won my heart. And it's Fred who I'll always remember her mostly fondly for.