When we come back, they're still sorting Scythian spears by the seashore, or whatever. Wesley reminisces, "Y'know, back in my days as a rogue demon hunter, I once used that very spear to pin down what I thought was a small Rodentius demon. Of course, the poodle's owners weren't very happy." He chose to tell that story. Why? Lesson one: when telling a story, including a comedy bit that isn't very funny is more important than attempting to recreate plausible human behavior. Gunn begs Cordy to get a vision, and Cordy starts complaining about the "soul-splittingly agonizing" effects of the visions that she's repeatedly claimed are terribly important to her self-worth. Then she doubles over in pain, not because of a vision, but because she's banged her leg on Fred's mysterious-but-sure- to-be-useful contraption. I miss the Misdirection-Based-Comedy alarm already. Everyone stops to wonder what exactly the contraption is, and Wesley claims, "It almost looks like a spring-loaded decapitation device." To me it looks like a suitcase with an axe sticking out of it, but I haven't studied too many spring-loaded decapitation devices. Their speculation is interrupted, mercifully, when a middle-aged couple enter asking for "Angel Investigations." They introduce themselves as Roger and Trish. They were country when country wasn't cool. Wesley escorts the visitors into the office while they sneak a peek at the weapons scattered about.
After the introductions are made, Trish explains that their daughter is missing. The MoG start asking whether she was "kidnapped by evil fiends" or involved in demon worship, and a few pathetic sparks fly out of the sizzling remains of the Misdirection-Based-Comedy alarm. Will it never end? Roger and Trish try to answer the barrage of questions, and finally Roger explains that they've already hired a detective. Everyone pauses and finally allows him to say, "He said she was staying here, in your hotel." Because, see, they're looking for Fred. Whose full name is finally given as "Winifred Burkle." The MoG trade awkward glances with each other.
Fred enters the lobby from the basement, finishing off her cone. She pauses, and sees her parents talking with the MoG in the office. Looking frightened, she runs upstairs.
Roger and Trish ask whether Fred really is at the hotel, and whether she's okay. Wesley says that Fred's fine, and that she's out "with one of [their] associates" at the moment. Cordy smoothly covers up for the peculiarity of their earlier questions by adding, "Who's not an evil fiend. Or a vampire. Because they don't exist. In case you're unfamiliar with our L.A. gumshoe detective slang." Roger ignores that, and asks whether Fred has been with them the entire time that she's been missing. Wesley nervously explains, "We've only known Fred a few months, really. You see, we found her in..." Cordy helps out by adding, "...a fit of depression." Wesley goes on to explain that Fred had "relocated and was having trouble adjusting." Wesley asks how Trish and Roger tracked Fred down. Trish says they got a letter from her a month ago, with no return address, which said that she was fine and that they shouldn't try to find her. Trish quite reasonably notes, "Five years of not knowing whether your daughter is alive or.... How could we just let it go?" Gunn confirms that the detective the Burkles hired was able to trace an unaddressed envelope. "We could do that," he adds. Yeah, right. Suddenly Angel enters, excitedly saying, "Wait'll you guys hear what happened at Haagen Dazs! I mean, ordinarily these things don't put up much of a fight, but this one, whoa! I think I'm gonna have it --" He enters the office carrying a demon's severed head. Upon catching sight of the Burkles, he stops and lamely finishes, "-- mounted." I was hoping that the end of that sentence was "-- deep fried." Cordelia stiffly notes, "Angel, you're...alone. And you brought...a prop. From your movie!" Cordy carefully tells the Burkles that Angel makes monster movies, and introduces the Burkles to Angel by saying, "These are Fred's very normal parents." Angel sticks the severed head behind his back and says, "Ah," as a thought slowly begins to form. After a moment, he figures it out and says, "Fred has parents."