When we return, Wesley steps into Fred's hospital room only to find an empty bed. Gasp.
Fred knocks something off a counter in the lab. Wesley hurries into the lab and tells her to get back to bed, and Fred insists that she might find something everyone else missed. She says, "I am not the damsel in distress! I am not some case! I have to work this." Wesley is taken aback by Fred's expressing some personality other than generalized sweetness and light. I actually like Acker a lot in this scene, and she looks really good when she's all pale and messed up and, once again, clothed decently. And yet, this scene annoys me a lot, because everything about the scene directly contradicts what she's actually saying. She can say she's not a damsel in distress all she wants; she's still up in a tower waiting for a knight. Fred goes on, though: "I lived in a cave for five years in a world where they killed my kind like cattle -- I am not gonna be be cut down by some monster flu, I am better than that!" She thinks she's just sick? The MoG really aren't even telling her what they know about what's happened to her? How nice of them to deny her any chance of helping herself. Of course, Whedon could subvert this later, if they wanted to. At some point, Fred could learn what the problem is, and then she could still die while making the point that she was doomed at least partly because the MoG have gigantic holes in their brains when it comes to treating Fred like an adult. But that won't happen, and there's no indication that the audience should even ponder that aspect of the situation. Fred pauses and then notes, "What a wonder...how very scared I am." What a wonder, how awful many of these lines are. Wesley glares and insists, "I swear on my life, we will stop this, but you must be back in bed!" Fred mutters, "Like I'm six years old...," and collapses. That'll teach you to do something besides look pretty, Fred. Wesley catches her, and Fred looks up and moans, "This is a house of death." Johanna and I have taken to starting phone conversations off that way. And then continuing by reciting other terrible, terrible lines from this episode at each other. It's fun! Wesley and Fred breathe at each other for a minute, and then Fred asks if Wesley's magic book can call up any book he needs. He says yes, and she says, "Then bring it. Take me home."
Wesley carries teeny little Fred into her bedroom. That white hat from the flashback is hanging on a coatrack in the corner. Does that signify something? I doubt it. The camera gradually moves in on a mirror over a dresser, so that we can watch Wesley put Fred in her bed. I'm not used to mirrors playing a big role in a scene unless there's a vampire around.