So, finally got to watch the episode, thanks to the kindness of seekrit download benefactrix.
Anticlimactic on the "Yes, Angel did decide not to save her" front. Luckily for my wounded pride in textual interpretation of the previous episode, I no longer care. ;-) Which is to say, I never did have a problem with Angel making that decision, I just hated the thought that I missed the implication that it had already happened. When my biggest complaint in the Jossverse in the last year or so has been lack of subtlety (in dialogue, in humor, in message), it rather burned me that I'd missed what on re-evaluation is the sort of scene I've been regretting the lack of in these troubled times. ;-)
Illyria looks blind; it's the effect of her alien pupils, but it's a very good dranatic effect - she's constantly peering at the world, very obviously not seeing what we see.
Amy Acker rocks.
As someone who did like Fred, and at the same time fully believes she was the character-destroying Mary Sue From Hell, I miss her hard. Won't miss people's OOC reactions to her, but I'll miss her.
Wes makes my heart hurt.
Speculative thought: though I'm as spoiled as it's possible to get, this particular thought is more finale-bound, and past the reach of any of the spoilers out there:
Last word in this episode, if we count the musical montage? Home.
Episode that brought them to Wolfram and Hart, and, in some ways of looking at it, got Fred killed? Home.
Episode whose events, if "You can't be saved by a lie" is a true statement, will come undone by the time the series ends? Home.
Episode whose events, if Angel's wish for Connor changed the world in significant ways, and not just people's memories, might actually reverse or at least alter everything that's happened this season, including Fred's death, if its events literally are undone? Home. 1
1 I'm not saying I necessarily believe that will happen. Fred may be dead forever. I'm almost positive Cordy is. I'm just saying, if anything is going to bring the "Can't be saved by a lie" lesson home to Angel, it might be (as multiple others have specced - can I just credit TBQ and Jennyo and call it a day?) having to take back what he gave to Connor. Having to trade a true death for his son, for the undoing of whatever presumably terrible, bigger-than-Illyria thing will happen before the season is over. If that were to happen, I could buy Fred's death being undone -- the weight of the choice would make it dramatically earned, for me. Angel can't trade 1000 innocent lives for Fred's -- but could he trade Connor's? What about for Fred and several not-yet-dead players to be named later, if we end up with an old-style Blake's 7 / Forever Knight cast massacre?