My feelings are ever evolving about this.
What I did like about the Gunn/Fred relationship was its relative purity at the beginning. How simply you can be in the trenches with someone, realize you have feelings for them, and create something that’s both fun & funny at the same time.
What I didn’t like was how they were basically The Two Stooges; because every assignment that they got after they became a couple they basically botched.
I also will FOREVER despise the ridiculous way in which Fred & Gunn were broken up; I’m one of the few fans of this show that hates Wesley. What he did, moving in on Fred right in the face of a friend, and what she did by responding & then lying is just unforgivable in my book.
I did not like Fred’s complete double standard with her reasons for breaking up with Gunn. I get that she was mad with him because he killed the Professor. That took away her free choice which was clearly wrong. Then she turns around and falls for Wesley. Wesley’s made far worse moral decisions and killed what he thought was his own father for Fred. And THAT’S who she prefers over Gunn??
I never blamed Gunn for Illyria; he had no idea of what was going to happen, and that wasn’t the first time he’d signed some random papers in his lawyer capacity for Wolfram & Hart. I did blame Wesley for his reaction in stabbing Gunn; that was just ridiculously over the top.
Finally, I never bought this “great love” between Wesley & Fred, because it never had time to develop into this epic thing that they kept indicating it was. For Wes it was clear infatuation turned obsession, which isn’t love. That is in fact very juvenile and sophomoric. And Fred….Fred was always just the needy/crushy type. First Angel, then Gunn, then Wesley…I think that Fred was enjoying being with boys again after five years in Pylea.
So even though that great ‘Oh my Love’ speech that Illyria gives in Not Fade Away was wonderfully written and brilliantly acted, I still didn’t buy it contextually between the characters. Plus, whenever someone says something uber stupid & creepy like “I loved you before we met,” yeah no. It was clear that Wesley spent too much time imagining being with a girl. Which reeks of Losertude. Wesley fell in love with the idea of her, instead of who she really was. So he will never get any props from me.
So there you have it.