December 25, 2021

Buffy 2.7, Lie to Me: The Lonely Ones

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:12 pm by Jenn

He really does look dorky

Summary: A boy is waiting for his mom in an empty playground at night. Drusilla approaches and offers to walk him home. The kid has good instincts and can see there’s something off with Drusilla. If his instincts were better, he would run. Fortunately, Angel appears and tells him to leave. Drusilla greets him as “my Angel” – they definitely know each other.

He tells her that she and Spike need to leave town. Drusilla asks if Angel will hurt her if they don’t, then realizes he can’t hurt her anymore. Angel warns that if they don’t leave, it’ll be bad for all of them. She knows he’s now aligned with Buffy, who’s currently up on a roof, looking down at them. Drusilla says that Buffy has no idea what’s in store. Angel tells her this has to end. She gets close to him, as if she’s going to kiss him, and says this is just the beginning.

At school the next day, Giles tries to get Jenny to tell him what she has planned for their upcoming date. She wants to surprise him and bring out his adventurous side. After she leaves, Buffy tells Giles that she patrolled the night before but didn’t come across anything “vampire-y.” He says he’s been researching Spike but hasn’t found anything. Buffy’s subdued, obviously hurt by Angel’s closeness with Drusilla, and Giles encourages her to take the night off and spend time with her boyfriend.

In history class, Buffy and Willow pass each other notes about Angel’s mystery woman. Cordelia complains that people are too hard on Marie Antoinette. She worked hard to look as good as she did. Yeah, the peasants were depressed (Xander corrects her, saying they were oppressed), but she cared about them: “She was gonna let them have cake!”

After class, Buffy and Willow talk more about Drusilla. Buffy doesn’t think she’s a vampire. Xander’s eager for information, since he’d love to know if Angel did something wrong. He suggests that the three of them go to the Bronze that night to cheer Buffy up. A guy approaches them and says that in the past, Oreos dunked in apple juice have done the trick. Buffy recognizes him as Ford, a friend/old crush from L.A. His dad just got transferred to Sunnydale. Xander’s annoyed that there’s another guy competing for Buffy’s affections.

Buffy says she spent months moping over Ford when he wouldn’t give her any attention. She listened to “I Touch Myself” a lot (though she was too young to know what it was about). She invites Ford to the Bronze with the Scoobies that night. After they leave, Xander complains about Buffy always being friends with attractive guys. Willow suddenly realizes what “I Touch Myself” is about.

That night, the group hangs out at the Bronze, and Ford tells Xander and Willow some embarrassing stories from Buffy’s past. She runs into Angel, whom Ford comments looks older than Buffy. “You’re not wrong,” Xander says. Buffy asks Angel what he did the night before, and he lies that he stayed in and read. She walks away instead of calling him out on his lie.

Angel meets Ford, who comments that Angel’s hands are cold. “You’re not wrong,” Xander repeats. Buffy invites Ford to take a walk, then blows Angel off. Angel’s clearly jealous, and he disappears without saying goodbye to Xander and Willow. “You made him do that thing where he’s gone!” Willow complains.

Buffy tells Ford that Angel is possibly her boyfriend, then hears sounds of a struggle in an alley. She sends Ford back to the Bronze to get her purse, then runs to the alley, where a girl is being attacked. Ford follows her and sees her fighting and staking a vampire. Buffy lies that the sounds in the alley were from two cats fighting. “Oh. I thought you were just slaying a vampire,” Ford says. “What? Whating a what?” Buffy replies. He tells her he knows she’s the Slayer.

At home later that night, Buffy calls Willow to talk about Ford and what he knows. She likes that he already knows her big secret, so she doesn’t have to hide. Meanwhile, Ford goes to an old building where a bunch of goths are gathered. A guy named Diego (real name: Marvin) asks for an update, and Ford promises that everything will be fine.

He reminds Diego and a girl named Chanterelle that they need to be ready when he says to be: “True believers only.” They don’t know what he’s planning, but they’re trying to trust him, since he’s helping them do the two things every teen in the country wants to do: “Die young and stay pretty.” There are TVs in the building, playing a ’70s adaption of Dracula, and Ford mouths the lines along with the vampire.

Angel stops by Willow’s house as she’s getting ready for bed. She invites him in, worrying that she’ll get in trouble for having a boy in her room. He asks her to use “the Net” to find out anything she can on Ford. She hesitantly tells him he’s being jealous. He admits that things were simpler before – he spent a hundred years just hanging around, feeling guilty: “I really honed my brooding skills.” Then Buffy came into his life, and now he has, like, feelings and stuff. But he also has good instincts about people, and Ford raises a red flag for him.

Willow can’t find Ford’s records in the school’s system, which is surprising. He isn’t registered for classes. Her mother calls for her to go to bed, so Willow rushes Angel out and tells him to come back tomorrow night for an update. She asks him not to say anything to Buffy until they have more information. Willow tries to convince herself that there’s nothing to be concerned about.

At school the next day, Willow has a hard time acting normal around Buffy and Ford. Buffy thinks she’s just overcaffeinated. Giles gives Buffy Jenny’s beeper number in case there’s a slaying emergency (though he doesn’t say those words, since Ford is right there). Buffy tells him that Ford knows who she is, so Giles doesn’t have to be so vague.

That night, Buffy gives Ford a tour of Sunnydale, which ends when they spot a couple of vampires entering the school. She gives Ford a cross and a stake, and they go check things out together. The vampires jump Buffy, and as she fights one, Ford questions the other. By the time Buffy gets back to them, Ford is alone. He tells Buffy he dusted the vampire.

Willow has found an address associated with Ford, so she, Angel, and Xander go check it out. It’s the building Ford went to the night before, a place called the Sunset Club. Willow and Xander are wearing colorful clothes, so they’re going to have a hard time blending in with all the goths. Willow ponders the accuracy of the phrase “stick out like sore thumbs.” Xander tells her she has too many thoughts.

They quickly pick up on the theme of the club, which Willow calls “vampires, yay.” Chanterelle greets them, saying the people there welcome anyone who’s interested in “the lonely ones.” Angel translates that as vampires. This group wants to correct the misconception that all vampires are evil. They should be exalted since they’re above humans.

Angel blurts out that Chanterelle is a fool. Hurt, she encourages him to listen to other people’s viewpoints. Willow’s disappointed that Angel has outed them as nonbelievers and ruined their chances of talking to anyone in the club. He scoffs that the group has made up stories about friendly vampires to make themselves feel better. They don’t know anything about vampires or how they live or even dress. Just then, a lonely one walks by wearing the exact same outfit as Angel. Xander refocuses the investigation on Ford, wondering why he’s hanging out with vampire wannabes. They pass Diego, who hears them talking about Ford.

Buffy summons Giles and Jenny to the library to talk about the vampires she and Ford saw. Giles is secretly thrilled to have been called away from his date – he and Jenny were watching monster trucks. Buffy has sent Ford away so he doesn’t have to get more involved in the situation. She’s impressed that he killed a vampire on his first try, though.

She spots a picture of Drusilla, whom Giles IDs for her as Spike’s girlfriend. She was supposedly killed by a mob in Prague. Buffy announces that she’s alive, and was last seen talking to Angel. Before they can discuss more why Angel would be talking to Spike’s girlfriend, they’re ambushed by a vampire who’s fleeing Giles’ office with a stolen book. Buffy recognizes her as the vampire Ford said he killed.

Drusilla is encouraging her (dead) pet bird to sing when Spike finds her and mentions that she went out alone the other night. He knows she ran into Angel and asks what they talked about. He doesn’t want them to be friendly with each other, since Angel’s the enemy. Drusilla is focused on the bird, and an annoyed Spike tells her it’s dead, just like the last one; she never feeds them. Dru gets upset, and like a classic abusive boyfriend, he says he just worries about her, then offers her a new bird.

Ford suddenly arrives, since Spike’s minions apparently suck at security. The vampire Ford didn’t kill gives Spike the book she stole from the library. Ford wants to make a deal with Spike, and he expects Spike to now pull out a watch and give him 30 seconds to convince Spike not to kill him. This isn’t a movie, though, and Spike is too impatient for that. He just grabs Ford by the ear and tells him to talk.

Ford really wants to live out the fantasy, so Spike plays along. Anyway, Ford wants to become a vampire. Spike is like, “I hate you after meeting you two seconds ago; I’m not giving you the opportunity to keep annoying me forever.” Ford offers up a trade: turn him and he’ll hand over Buffy.

Angel goes by Buffy’s house, politely asking to come in even though he’s been invited and can come in whenever he wants. He tells her that Willow looked up Ford, and the two of them and Xander went to dig up information on him. Buffy notes that this is another topic Angel has kept a secret about. She wants to know who Drusilla is.

Angel says he was justified in keeping her a secret because the truth is bad. Buffy insists that she can handle it. He asks if she loves him, and after thinking about it, she says she does, but she’s not sure if she can trust him. Angel replies that maybe she shouldn’t do either. She thinks she should be the one to decide that for herself.

He tells her that when he became a vampire, he did a lot of bad things, but Drusilla was the worst. He was obsessed with her. She was a chaste, sweet girl, and he ruined her. He killed everyone she loved and tortured her. She fled to a convent, and the day she took her holy orders, he turned her into a vampire. Buffy’s hurt by this glimpse into her boyfriend, but she acknowledges that she wanted the truth. Turning the topic back to Ford, Angel says that he’s part of some group that worships vampires. He’s not sure what Ford wants from Buffy, but she can’t trust him.

At school the next day, Buffy keeps this in mind when Ford approaches her. He wants to take her to a surprise location that night. She agrees, then goes to see Willow and Xander. She’s not happy with them for going behind her back. Xander’s even less happy to hear that Willow talked with Angel in her bedroom. “Ours is a forbidden love,” she says.

Ford goes to the Sunset Club to make sure Diego and Chanterelle have everything ready for that night. They believe that Spike and his minions will bless them. Diego asks about Ford’s other friends, the Scoobies. Ford had no idea they were at the club. He assures Diego and Chanterelle that the vampires will come through and everything will be fine. Buffy, who’s also found the club, tells him he’s wrong.

She blasts him for lying to her, but he says everyone lies. She demands to know what he’s up to. Ford says he’s going to become a vampire, and Buffy easily guesses that he was going to trade her for that opportunity. He was actually hoping she would figure it out. In fact, his plan isn’t going down that night – it’s already in motion. The door to the club has a special lock and can only be opened from the outside. Whoever’s there now will still be there when the vampires arrive.

The lonely ones are all in for what they think will be a glorious transformation and ascension to a new consciousness. “No one gets out of here alive,” Ford tells Buffy. She starts looking for another way out, but they’re in a bomb shelter surrounded by concrete. The lonely ones don’t get why Buffy isn’t excited to become a vampire. This is a wonderful opportunity.

Buffy tells them that they’re not going to turn into vampires – Spike and his minions will kill them and dine at the “all-you-can-eat moron bar.” Diego calls her an unbeliever. Buffy tells him they’re taking a huge risk and she’s trying to save them. Their only chance to survive is to get out of the club right now. P.S. Diego’s outfit is dorky. (Ford agrees.)

The sun is setting, so Buffy’s running out of time to save these idiots. Spike gathers his minions for their feast, promising Drusilla a special treat. Back at the club, Buffy keeps looking for a way out as she tells Ford that he’s the bad guy in this situation. She’s guessed that his deal with Spike only applies to him. She tells him that he’ll just turn into a demon; he won’t really be his current self forever.

Ford says it’s better than nothing. Buffy tells him the lonely ones don’t deserve to die. Ford says he doesn’t, either, but it doesn’t matter – he’s still dying. He has six months left, if that, and when he dies, it won’t be pleasant. He wants to go now, still looking like himself, not whatever his brain tumors will turn him into. Buffy’s sympathetic but still thinks he’s being an idiot.

He tells her the lonely ones are sheep. They’re bored and miserable, so they want to change their lives. Ford doesn’t feel like he has a choice. Buffy says he does – he can choose not to kill a bunch of innocent people. He’s trying to live out some fantasy, and she won’t let it continue. If the vampires do show up and start killing people, Buffy will take Ford out herself.

The vampires arrive, and Buffy begs Ford to help her stop things before they get out of control. He won’t, so Buffy tells everyone that they’re going to die. Ford attacks her and knocks her out. Spike and his minions enter the club, and Chanterelle immediately realizes that she made a mistake. He bites her first, telling the others to kill whoever they want but leave Buffy for him.

Instead of stopping the massacre, Buffy gets a better idea. She takes Drusilla hostage and threatens to kill her if Spike doesn’t let everyone go. Once the lonely ones have left, Buffy runs out, locking the door behind her to trap all the vampires inside. Angel, Xander, and Willow arrive outside as the lonely ones disperse (or possibly head to another location to reform their vampire cult). Buffy tells the Scoobies they should go; they can come back later. Come back for what? Ford’s body. He’s stuck in the club with the vampires, and he wants his “reward” for keeping his end of the deal with Spike.

The next day, Buffy returns to the club. The vampires have fled, leaving Ford’s body behind. That night, Buffy and Giles go to his grave, where she wonders what to say. She wishes she hated Ford; she thinks he wanted her to. But he was just scared. Buffy’s struggling to work through all the complicated pieces of her life. She never knows who to love or trust. The more she learns, the more complicated it gets. Giles says that’s what growing up is about.

Buffy asks if it ever gets easy. Just then, Ford emerges from his grave as a vampire. Buffy casually stakes him and turns him to dust. Giles clarifies that Buffy wants to know if life gets easier. He’s not sure what to tell her. She asks him to lie to her. Giles says it’s very easy: The good guys are always good. The bad guys are easy to defeat. “No one ever dies, and everyone lives happily ever after,” he says. “Liar,” Buffy replies.

Thoughts: The idea of the combination of Oreos and apple juice makes me cringe.

“The Net.” Adorable.

I’m mad that we didn’t get to see Giles at the monster truck rally. That scene basically writes itself.

Giles is very relatable when he complains that a vampire took one of his books. I get it. You don’t mess with someone’s book collection.

2 Comments »

  1. Myriam said,

    This is one of my fav s2 episode! It’s really well-done for a stand-alone episode. It was great meeting someone from Buffy life’s pre-sunnydale and I found Ford’s story/motivations believable. I’m also a huge Jason Behr fan (Roswell is my fav show! Buffy is a very close second.)

    • Myriam said,

      Also – I could have totally seen Jason Behr playing Angel. If you have seen Roswell, there’s an ep in S1 in which his character becomes evil and Behr was SO. GOOD. Boreanaz did an amazing too and I’m not unhappy with his casting in the role, but it makes me wonder if Behr auditioned for Angel’s part since he was active in the network of late 90s WB shows.


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