I really love that Fred is there in the final scene with Darla and Angel in the alleyway. I think it serves a few different purposes: - She holds the jacket over Darla's face, shielding her from the rain. Although Angel could have also done that, he needed to be looking at her face the whole time, so it would have put him at an awkward angle. Yes, Darla could have just had rain pouring down into her face, but that would have blurred the emotions on her face, and also made her just that much more pitiable (let's face it, it's hard to watch someone with water getting into their eyes and mouth and not be distracted by the thought of what that must feel like on your own face). Her final act is a heroic one - we don't want to be pitying her while that happens. And having Fred hold the jacket means she's not just an onlooker with no role to play, she does have a role and is actively helping to ease Darla's suffering in this moment. - It shows that Angel is no longer alone or operating alone, and he won't be in the future, either. Losing Darla and then standing by himself in the rain holding a baby he wasn't expecting to have and now needs to protect would have made the scene very lonely, as well as positioned him as the baby's sole protector. I'm watching the series for the first time, so I have no idea how it's going to play out, but I expect that everyone (Cordelia, Fred, Gunn, Wesley) will be helping to raise this child together. In that sense, it could have been any one of the team or all of them in this scene, but at least one of them needed to be standing with Angel in this critical moment. - As stated before, I can't not see the Christian imagery in this scene. I grew up in a Catholic church and have a lot of experience with Christian symbols. Telling aspects of the Christ story is one of the most common elements in narratives, and one of the most universally appealing in the West as well, since it is so familiar, even to people who aren't religious. Having Fred there simultaneously lends Angel support AND also increases the vulnerability of the whole little group, since it is not one strong man holding a baby but rather a little vulnerable "family" at the end. Which leads me to the strongest point... - Like so many others, when Holtz pointed the weapon at Angel and then paused, and finally lowered it, I really did believe that he had had a change of heart. Hearing him state at the end that he will show no mercy in the future was a shock. It took me a second to even figure out what he meant. In fact, that scene was so strong that it's left me wondering if he in fact did have a change of heart, or at least a change of intention. He intended to shoot Angel, but then when he saw him with the baby and Fred standing close by, the picture of this vulnerable little "family" struck him. It's possible that doubt was going through his mind during those long seconds with the weapon pointed at them. I'm sure he was remembering his own family, or perhaps the birth of one of his children and how it felt to hold them for the first time. But whereas many viewers (including myself) thought he had reached the conclusion that Angel has a family, therefore he shouldn't harm him, in fact he was reaching the conclusion that Angel has a family, now he has a way of making him suffer the same way he did. The misdirection is very effective, and leads me to fear not only for the baby, but also for Fred and all the other members of Angel's "family". In this sense, Fred was the best person to put next to Angel because out of the team members she is the most defenseless.