November 27, 2021

Buffy 2.3, School Hard: Maybe Nothing Bad Will Happen

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 1:19 pm by Jenn

Yep, they’re here

Summary: Snyder has Buffy and a student named Sheila in his office for a little intimidation session. He knows some principals want their students to see them as pals. In Snyder’s case, he wants his students to see him as their judge, jury, and executioner. He asks who they think is the school’s most troublesome student. Sheila looks at Buffy, but Snyder says it’s probably a tie. After all, Sheila stabbed a teacher with pruning shears (and she’s proud of it), but Buffy burned down her last school. She blames mice. Snyder doesn’t buy that, of course. “Mice that were smoking?” Buffy offers.

Both girls have gotten in fights and cut a bunch of classes, so it’s a close race. The winner gets expelled. As punishment for their misdeeds, both girls will have to plan the upcoming parent-teacher night. If they do a good job, Snyder may have nice things to say about them to their parents. Buffy immediately agrees, even before Snyder warns that if the girls don’t succeed, the next time their parents come to the school will be to clean out their lockers.

Sheila jets off as soon as they’re done, and Buffy wonders if her mom sees her the same way everyone sees Sheila, as a bad seed. Xander thinks Sheila’s much worse. Willow says she started smoking in fifth grade, and Willow even served as her lookout once. Buffy thinks she should be allowed to fight and cut classes since she’s the Slayer. Is she the only Chosen One who had to go to high school?

Xander tells her that as long as nothing bad happens in the next three days, before parent-teacher night, everything will be great. Buffy and Willow slam him for jinxing things. Xander defends himself, saying maybe this time things will be different and nothing bad will happen. That night, a car drives right through the Welcome to Sunnydale sign, and out steps the one and only Spike. “Home sweet home,” he says.

The Master and Anointed One’s remaining faithful have gathered to discuss their #1 problem, Buffy. One guy thinks he can take her out. When he does, “it’ll be the greatest event since the crucifixion.” He would know, since he was there. Spike arrives in the lair and challenges that claim. If every vampire who says they were at the crucifixion was actually there, “it would have been like Woodstock.” Spike was at the actual Woodstock and spent six hours staring at his hand because of the drugs he ingested when he fed off someone.

Spike asks who the vampires kill for fun in Sunnydale, then introduces himself. He’s familiar with Collin and his problem with Buffy. Spike agrees that killing her is the best option. He’s killed a couple Slayers himself, not that he wants to brag. “Who am I kidding? I love to brag!” he says. As he starts telling his story, his girlfriend, Drusilla, comes in. She’s not at her full strength, and she’s not all there mentally, but she can sense Collin’s power. She tells him she likes planting daisies, but everything she puts in the ground dies. Drusilla tells Spike she’s cold, so he gives her his coat. She says she’s a princess, then cuts his cheek and licks the blood.

Spike announces that the two of them are moving in, and they’re ready to see who thinks they’re stronger than Spike. He’ll kill the Slayer as long as Collin keeps the other vampires from messing with him. Drusilla frets that she can’t see Buffy because it’s dark wherever she is. She urges Spike to kill Buffy for her. Spike would do anything for Drusilla, so he’s already on board. He asks the other vampires if Buffy is tough.

Currently, she’s not – she’s trying to deal with a new cream rinse she’s been using on her hair that has disappointingly turned out to be “neither creamy nor rinse-y.” Joyce tells her she’s gotten a notice about parent-teacher night, which Buffy never mentioned to her. Joyce wonders what Buffy’s teachers will say about her. Buffy thinks they’ll all agree that she’s always ready to take notes. Her test scores might not say much about her, though Joyce warns that they’ll say whether Buffy can still have a social life.

She tells Buffy that life is more than school, but she’d prefer not to have to move again. She’d also like to not be disappointed in her daughter again. Buffy doesn’t want that, either. She tells Joyce that she has a lot of pressure on her right now. Joyce thinks she should wait until she gets a job to complain about pressure. Of course, Buffy already has a job, albeit an unconventional, non-paying one.

At school the next day, Buffy enlists Willow to help her paint a banner for parent-teacher night, since Sheila didn’t show up to do her share of the work. Buffy asks Willow to help her study that night, but when she realizes that that means skipping an evening at the Bronze, where Angel might meet some other girl, she changes her mind. She’s sure she can juggle school, partying, and parent-teacher night. She just can’t throw slaying into the mix.

Too bad! Giles and Jenny tell the other Scoobies that that Saturday is the Night of St. Vigeous. Basically, the vampires are going to cause trouble. Giles doesn’t want Buffy to put the rest of her life before slaying right now, but Buffy doesn’t really have a choice. Xander and Willow promise to help Buffy prepare for the big battle, though of course, she’ll have to fight on her own.

Snyder catches the group and calls Willow and Xander out for helping Buffy in Sheila’s place. He threatens to expel Sheila, but Buffy covers for her, saying she’s been helping for hours and just left to get more paint. Sheila shows up just then, looking hungover. Buffy continues the charade, and Snyder either buys it or just lets it go. Sheila asks if Buffy really burned down a school. She thinks it’s cool.

That night, Buffy tries to combine studying and partying by doing her French homework at the Bronze. She’s distracted since Angel hasn’t shown up yet. Xander convinces her and Willow to take a break and dance with him. Spike shows up and gets his first look at the Slayer he’s sure he can defeat. She doesn’t look so intimidating on the dance floor.

Spike sends a lackey outside to find a snack, then announces within Buffy’s earshot that there’s someone outside trying to bite someone. Buffy immediately runs out to the alley to do her thing. Xander and Willow save the would-be snack, and Xander runs into the club to get a stake from Buffy’s bag (no, Xander, a tampon won’t help in this situation). The lackey gets Buffy on the ground and tells her he’s not going to wait until the Night of St. Vigeous to kill her. She gets back up, so he asks Spike for help. Too late – Buffy’s already taken out the lackey.

Spike steps out of the shadows and gives Buffy a slow clap. He tells her he’s going to kill her on Saturday. Okay, but don’t get any blood on her cool purple jacket. Elsewhere in town, Sheila leaves a bar with a couple of guys who suddenly disappear. Spike takes their place, then gets Sheila to come with him.

The Scoobies (plus Jenny) meet up in the library to discuss their new threat, Spike. Giles isn’t familiar with his name. Xander suggests that they all just run away if Buffy’s going to be facing a big group of vampires on Saturday. Willow says they can’t run. Maybe they can hide, though. Giles doesn’t think Spike can be any worse than any other enemy Buffy’s taken on. “He’s worse,” Angel announces as he comes in. He knows that Spike will keep killing until he’s gotten rid of anything in his path.

Buffy and Angel have a brief conversation about how she wanted him to come to the Bronze, and how she never said definitively that she would be there, and how he should know after 200 years of dating what it means when a girl says she might be somewhere. Willow remarks that 200 years of dating is a lot, and even if Angel only had two dates a year, that would be 400 dates with 400 different… She catches herself and changes the subject to a nearby weapon: “Why do they call it a mace?” Giles gets everyone back on track, asking about Spike’s other names, but Angel’s already left. Xander suggests that they put a collar and bell on him.

The vampires are preparing for Saturday like they’re a religious order preparing for some holiday. Drusilla is sitting this one out, instead spending time with her doll collection. Spike wants her to eat something, but she’s not hungry. She misses Prague, even though she almost died there, thanks to a mob. Spike thinks this new home will help her get healthy again, with the added bonus of providing them a bunch of people to eat and a whole town to burn. Drusilla tells Spike to go join the others so they’ll start to trust him. Spike agrees, as long as Drusilla eats something. Well, someone – Sheila.

The day of parent-teacher night, Cordelia joins the Scoobies for weapons prep, though Buffy’s using her weapon to cut up vegetables. Giles tells them that the vampires will spend three nights in a scourge, then commit a huge, bloody attack. Buffy’s more concerned with making sure everything’s ready for parent-teacher night. Cordelia thinks her three minutes of carving stakes is enough, since Buffy isn’t going to live that long anyway. Not that Cordelia isn’t rooting for her on Saturday. Too bad she scheduled a leg waxing that day, so she can’t come and cheer her on.

Buffy leaves to make punch, briefly turning back to tell the Scoobies not to eat any of the snacks that are supposed to be for the parents. Willow checks on her later and lies that her sugarless lemonade is good. Buffy’s next goal is keeping Joyce and Snyder apart. Willow lends a hand, rushing Joyce to a classroom before Snyder can approach her. Buffy tells Snyder that her mom doesn’t speak English anyway.

The hours pass and everything seems to be going well. Cordelia might disagree, since she thinks Buffy looks tired. Buffy reminds her that she has a lot of things going on right now, and none of them mesh: “It’s kind of like oil and water and a…third unmeshable thing.” Cordelia comments that she can see the oil. She spots Joyce and praises her moisturizing routine.

Joyce comments that, strangely, every time she gets to a classroom, Buffy’s teacher has just stepped out. Snyder approaches, and this time Buffy can’t keep them apart. It’s time for Joyce to hear exactly what Snyder thinks of her daughter. Cordelia predicts that Buffy will still be grounded at their tenth high school reunion. Willow tells her to try the lemonade.

In the library, Giles finally finds something about Spike in a book. His nickname is William the Bloody, but everyone calls him Spike because he likes torturing people with railroad spikes. He’s not as old as Angel – he’s barely 200 – which Giles thinks is good, but when he reads on, he discovers that it doesn’t matter. Spike has already killed two Slayers.

Joyce returns from her meeting with Snyder unhappy and tells Buffy they’re leaving. The night is over, and as Snyder starts turning off lights, a group of vampires jumps through the windows. Spike tells Buffy he couldn’t wait until Saturday. So really, the night isn’t over after all.

Buffy throws a chair at Spike to try to hold him off for a little while, then leads Joyce, Snyder, and another guy through the hallways to find someplace safe to hide. Spike tells his minions not to let anyone escape. Willow gets a moment of awesomeness when she hits a vampire with a big bust. Buffy gets her group into a classroom as Giles, Xander, and Jenny barricade themselves in the library.

The vampires cut the power, and one tells Spike that Buffy’s still in the school, though he doesn’t know where she is. Spike kills a human just to make himself feel better. Giles realizes the phone lines are out, so he can’t call Angel. He remembers that there’s a boarded-up cellar behind the stacks, and he sends Xander to get Angel. Xander doesn’t want to leave until he’s sure Buffy and Willow are okay. Giles says no one will be okay without Angel’s help.

The people in Buffy’s group aren’t sure what’s going on. Snyder says they’re under attack by a gang on PCP. He wants to go out through a window, but Buffy tells him that everyone in the room will die if they don’t listen to her. No one can leave until she says it’s okay. Snyder hates being challenged, especially by a child, but Buffy says she knows how to stop their attackers. She tells Joyce she’s going up through the ceiling.

Spike calls for Buffy in an empty hallway like she’s a missing cat. He warns that if he finds one of her friends, he’ll kill them. He’s approaching the utility closet Willow and Cordelia are hiding in, and he’s about to kick in the door when a lackey hears Buffy in the ceiling. Giles wants to go check on her, so he prepares to leave Jenny alone in the library. Before he can leave, Buffy drops down from the ceiling. She grabs some weapons, planning to take out the vampires in the hallway while Giles gets Joyce and any other civilians out of the school.

As Buffy goes back up into the ceiling, Snyder tries to deny that anything bad is happening, as if that will end it all. Joyce wants to follow Buffy’s orders, and she tells Snyder and Other Guy to stay put. Snyder notes that she and her daughter are a lot alike. A vampire tries to break open the door to their classroom, but it’s too strong for him. Spike tells him to use his head. Specifically, he should use his head to break the glass over a nearby fire axe, then use the axe on the door.

The vampire gets through the door as Snyder and Other Guy break through the slats covering the window leading outside. Another vampire is already out there, though, and he grabs Other Guy and drags him out. R.I.P., Other Guy. Joyce should get a medal for not telling Snyder why he should have listened to her and Buffy. Spike hears Buffy in the ceiling again and follows her along to her destination.

Xander and Angel arrive outside, and when Xander asks what the plan is, Angel grabs him around the throat and drags him inside. Willow and Cordelia decide to stay put in their closet, even though they don’t think there are any vampires waiting for them in the hallway. Spike and another vampire use long poles to poke through the ceiling, trying to get to Buffy. The vampire with the axe is close to getting into Joyce and Snyder’s hideout, but Buffy gets to him before he finishes. Joyce is peeking through the hole the axe made in the door, but she doesn’t see Buffy staking the vampire.

Buffy tells her mother she needs a minute, then goes to ambush another vampire. That’s when Sheila arrives, having missed all the festivities. She grabs the abandoned axe and joins Buffy for a fight. Meanwhile, Angel encounters Spike, who calls him Angelus. They’re old buddies. Angel acts like he’s still his old, evil stuff, even saying he’s fooled Buffy into thinking he’s a good guy. Xander, whom he’s still holding around the neck, calls him “undead liar guy.” Angel exposes Xander’s neck and offers Spike a snack before they go after Buffy.

Buffy continues sneaking up on a vampire, thinking Sheila’s her backup. If she looked behind her, she would see that Sheila’s now a vampire. Fortunately, Giles can see through a library window that Sheila has raised her axe to hit Buffy, and he calls out a warning. Buffy takes out the vampire she’s been stalking, and Sheila realizes this isn’t someone she should mess with, so she runs off. With the hallway clear, Buffy gets Joyce and Snyder out of their classroom so Giles can take them to safety.

Spike wonders why Angel hasn’t killed Buffy yet. Is his tortured-vampire thing an act? Is he “house-broken”? Angel says that Buffy killed the Master, so he doesn’t think he can take her on by himself. Spike agrees to have a snack with Angel, but as they lean in to bite Xander, Spike punches Angel. He knows Angel isn’t his old self. He’s upset, since Angel was his sire (sort of; more on that later) and his Yoda. They’re demons; they shouldn’t change. Angel’s an Uncle Tom.

Spike urges his minions to join him in finding Buffy, but she’s already found them and is ready to fight. Spike agrees to go hand-to-hand, no weapons. He tells her that the last Slayer he killed begged for her life. He doesn’t think Buffy will do the same. She tells him he shouldn’t have come, and she’s going to make sure she gets in a good beating before finishing him off.

As they fight, Giles takes Joyce to the library to escape. Xander takes on a vampire himself, though Angel helps him out in the end. Spike’s surprised that Buffy is such a good fighter, and he’s even more surprised when, just as he’s about to shove a wooden beam into her, he gets hit in the head with an axe handle. Joyce has come to find her daughter, and she’s not going to let some supposed stoned gangster hurt Buffy. “Women!” Spike huffs before running off.

Once the siege is over, Snyder meets up with the police chief outside to discuss the two dead bodies they’re left with. Giles tells Jenny that he’ll understand if she doesn’t want to spend any more time with him. She makes it clear that she doesn’t feel that way. Xander chastises Angel for using him to try to convince Spike they were on the same side. He’d also like to know what Spike meant when he said Angel was his sire. Snyder and the police chief agree that they’ll tell the press the same thing they always do: This was a gang-related, PCP-fueled situation. It’s not like they can tell the truth.

Buffy finally gets to ask Joyce what she and Snyder talked about. Joyce says Snyder called her a troublemaker, but after tonight, Joyce doesn’t care. Buffy is brave and resourceful, and she looked out for others in the middle of a crisis. Joyce will sleep well knowing that (at least until Buffy gets in trouble again and that good will disappears). Willow and Cordelia are still in the closet, by the way, and Cordelia’s praying. She promises God that she’ll be a good person from now on, as long as no one earns her wrath. Bored, Willow tells her to ask for some aspirin.

Spike goes home to Drusilla, whining that he didn’t sign up to fight a Slayer who has a family and friends. He calls Collin the “Annoying One,” then approaches him to grovel. A lackey thinks Spike should die because he ruined the Night of St. Vigeous and got a bunch of vampires killed. Spike admits that he was rash, but if he had a second chance…well, he’d do the same thing over again. First, though, he’d do what he’s doing now – locking Collin in a cage and raising it up to a window so he’ll burn in the sunlight. From now on, Spike declares, the vampires in Sunnydale are going to do fewer rituals and have more fun.

Thoughts: James Marsters’ (Spike) British accent is so good that when I learned a few seasons into the show that he’s actually American, I thought it was a joke.

This rewatch is reminding me of all my favorite random moments and lines from the series, like, “Why do they call it a mace?”

So somewhere in here, Cordelia has decided to become a Scooby. I wish we’d gotten details on that. Did they invite her or did she just start showing up to their meet-ups?

Also, please join me in imagining Cordelia literally cheering Buffy on as she slays, pompoms and all.

November 13, 2021

Buffy 2.1, When She Was Bad: What’s Next?

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:16 pm by Jenn

Guys, you’re supposed to leave room for the Holy Spirit

Summary: Willow and Xander are walking home from somewhere, quizzing each other with movie quotes. They’ve had a very boring summer, which at least means they haven’t had to fight any vampires or monsters. Xander’s almost looking forward to school starting up. Part of that is because Buffy’s been in L.A. with her father all summer, so he hasn’t seen her. They go back to the movie game, but things turn a little intimate, and they almost kiss. As they pull apart, a vampire appears next to them. Xander fights him off, then gets an assist from the Slayer herself. She’s back!

The Scoobies happily reunite, and Buffy chastises Xander and Willow for not carrying weapons with them. They tell her that was the first vampire they’ve seen since the Master died. Buffy also spent the summer without vampires. Xander and Willow tell her that they buried the Master in the cemetery, doing a whole ritual with robes and holy water. Buffy hasn’t seen Giles yet and doesn’t see the need to visit him before school the next day.

Back at home, Hank and Joyce unpack Buffy’s stuff from her summer in L.A. They bicker about how much shopping Hank let Buffy do. Joyce is just glad that their daughter stayed out of trouble, though Hank says she seemed kind of distant. “At least when she was burning stuff down, I knew what to say,” he laments. Joyce hopes Buffy makes it through the school year.

At school the next day, Cordelia complains to a couple of her friends that her summer was terrible. Instead of going to St. Croix, her parents took her to Tuscany. The horror! “No one has suffered like I have suffered,” she says. She acknowledges that adversity builds character, but she already has a lot of character, so now she wonders if it’s possible to have too much character. Never change, Cordy.

Snyder chats with Giles about how teens are like locusts – they just want to feed and mate, and they destroy everything. “I do enjoy these pep talks,” Giles says. You should never change, either, Rupert. He suggests that Snyder find a new line of work. Snyder continues that teen boys are just walking hormones; every time they see a pretty girl, they lost the ability to speak coherently. Just then, Jenny comes over, and Giles…well, loses the ability to speak coherently. Snyder keeps grumbling to himself as Giles and Jenny walk off to flirt.

The other Scoobies arrive, and while Xander and Willow are excited to see Giles, Buffy is pretty subdued. Willow needs to calm down, since she says loudly that Buffy killed a vampire the night before. Jenny’s surprised, since the Hellmouth is closed. There’s still mystical energy in the area, though, so demons and vampires are going to continue to be drawn to Sunnydale. Giles says he’ll consult his books. Xander tells Willow to pay up, as he bet her that Giles would say that within the first ten minutes of the day.

As the kids head off to class, Giles tells Buffy they can wait a few days to start her training back up. She tells him she’s ready now. After school, she gets right back to it, full of energy and focus. She tells Giles that whatever is coming next, she’s ready for it. Looks like someone hasn’t dealt with the trauma of fighting the Master. As for whatever’s coming next, a vampire named Absalom has gathered a bunch of vampires to discuss it with him and Collin. Within three days, someone will arise and they’ll follow him.

The next morning, Xander and Willow find Buffy lost in thought in a school lounge area. She tells them she had weird dreams the night before. Xander comments that dreams can be meaningful. Willow agrees – once she dreamed that Xander…no, wait, nothing happened. And it wasn’t her; it was a friend’s dream, and she doesn’t remember it.

Giles joins them and tells Buffy that what’s coming next is more complicated than they thought. Buffy confidently says she’ll handle it. “I’ve killed you once. It shouldn’t be too difficult to do it again,” he replies. He hits her, then tries to strangle her. Xander and Willow act like nothing’s going on as Buffy pulls off Giles’ face, revealing that he’s really the Master.

It’s just one of those weird dreams Buffy mentioned, and when she wakes up in her room, Angel’s there. She’s not interested in chatting, and she’s also not pleased to learn that this is a business visit, not a social one. Angel tells her that Collin has been gathering forces for some reason. Buffy figures she’ll find out why soon enough. She can handle it, and she’s actually looking forward to some action.

Angel warns that while Collin looks like a child, he has power, and his followers will do anything for him. Buffy cuts the visit short, saying Angel woke her up from a nice dream. As he leaves through the window, he admits that he missed her. She says it back, but he’s already gone.

The next morning (for real this time), Joyce drives Buffy to school, inviting her to open up about what’s obviously not right with her. Buffy stays quiet. At school, Buffy tells Xander and Willow that Angel came by to warn her about vampire activity. Xander says that the band Cibo Matto is playing at the Bronze that night, so they should go.

Cordelia approaches, calling the Scoobies the Three Musketeers, which they don’t find insulting. She asks if they fought any demons over the summer. “Yes, our own personal demons,” Willow replies loudly. Cordelia reminds them of everything that happened on prom night. “Cordelia, your mouth is open. Sound is coming from it. This is never good,” Buffy replies.

Xander and Willow tell Cordelia that they have to keep this kind of stuff quiet. Don’t worry, Cordelia hasn’t told anyone. For one thing, it was super-creepy. For another, she would have to admit that she spent the evening with the Scoobies. Buffy says that’s great – Cordelia won’t tell anyone that Buffy’s the Slayer, and Buffy won’t tell anyone that Cordelia’s a moron. As she leaves, the other three sense that something’s off with her.

At the Bronze that night, Willow brings up her concerns to Xander. Xander doesn’t think there’s anything to worry about, but Willow doesn’t like that Buffy’s mean now. Xander’s distracted by Buffy’s absence, so Willow tries to recreate the previous evening’s circumstances so they’ll kiss (or almost kiss) again. It doesn’t work.

Collin’s followers dig up the Master’s grave, some using their hands even though the ground is consecrated and burns their hands. Meanwhile, Buffy arrives at the Bronze, immediately catching Angel’s attention. She’s sarcastic with him, which makes him think he’s done something to scare or anger her. Is she afraid of the possibility of them being together? Buffy tells him to get over himself since that’s not going to happen. She didn’t spend the summer pining for him. She moved on to the living.

She joins Xander and Willow, inviting Xander to dance with her to a slow song. Buffy gets sexy, and though you’d think Xander would like that, he looks uncomfortable. So do Angel and Willow. After a while, Buffy asks Xander if she ever thanked him for saving her life. When he says no, she asks, “Don’t you wish I would?”

She leaves, and Cordelia follows her outside to call her out for her behavior and give her some advice: “Get over it.” She needs to deal with whatever’s making her act like this before she loses her friends. Buffy tells her to mind her own business, then storms off. Cordelia says she’ll just entertain Angel instead. But before she can go back inside, she’s grabbed by a vampire. She ends up locked up somewhere with an unconscious Jenny.

On her way home, Buffy cuts through a cemetery and sees that the Master’s grave has been dug up. She thinks she sees him next to her. The next day, Willow tells Xander and Giles that Buffy must be possessed. Maybe when the Master died, his evilness infected her. “Why else would she be acting like such a B-I-T-C-H?” Willow asks. Giles tells her they’re all too old to be spelling out curse words. “A bitca?” says a confused Xander.

Anyway, Giles thinks Buffy just has “issues.” She fought the Master and technically died for a few minutes. She just hasn’t dealt with it. Xander spots Buffy approaching them and pretends they were talking about trout. Buffy announces that the Master’s grave is empty – she thinks Collin and his followers are going to use his bones to resurrect him. Giles didn’t warn her that that could happen because no one has ever successfully revived a vampire.

Willow defends Giles, and Buffy snaps at her that she doesn’t need any comments from “civilians” on Slayer business. Xander in turn snaps at her for speaking to Willow like that. Snyder interrupts to send the kids to class, so they’ll have to finish the discussion later. After they leave, Snyder tells Giles that there are some things he can smell. “It’s like a sixth sense,” he says. “Actually, that would be one of the five,” Giles notes. Snyder means that Buffy is trouble. Eventually, she’ll be expelled and possibly sent to jail. Giles thinks she’ll surprise him. Snyder thinks he’s weird for having faith in teenagers.

Later, in the library, Giles tells the Scoobies that to revive the Master, Collin and his followers will need his bones and the blood of someone closest to him. Buffy thinks that’s her. Suddenly someone throws a big rock through the window. A note is wrapped around it, fastened with a bracelet Buffy recognizes as Cordelia’s. The note summons Buffy to the Bronze before the vampires make Cordelia a meal. “They’re going to cook her dinner?” Xander says. Yes, honey. That’s what that means.

Buffy announces that she’s going to the Bronze…alone. She can’t keep an eye on the Scoobies while she’s fighting vampires. Willow and Giles think she’s walking into a trap. Buffy says she can handle it, but Willow’s tired of her saying that. Buffy tells the Scoobies that this is her fight, not theirs.

Angel doesn’t get that memo, so he follows Buffy to the Bronze and insists on backing her up. She tells him she doesn’t trust him, since he’s a vampire. Angel says she has to trust someone, and she can’t do this alone. Buffy says she’s strong enough to do it, and definitely stronger than he is. She knows he’s thought about what would happen if the two of them ever had to fight. Why don’t they find out? Angel says no, but Buffy tries to entice him: “Come on. Kick my a%$.” Angel tells her to go off and fight Collin’s followers already. He’ll stay out of her way.

Inside the Bronze, Buffy finds someone crying, and she quickly determines it’s someone she’s supposed to think is Cordelia. It’s really a vampire, but Angel isn’t sure why she’s serving as bait. Buffy agrees – why would Collin’s followers only send one vampire? In the library, Giles answers that question. The blood in the resurrection ritual needs to come from the person or people physically closest to the Master when he died. That means Willow, Giles, Jenny, and Cordelia. The vampires lured Buffy away so they could invade the library and capture the Scoobies.

Buffy tells Angel to keep an eye on the bait vampire, then rushes back to the library, which is now trashed. Xander has been left behind, and he’s upset that Buffy’s lone-wolf attitude has led to Giles and Willow being kidnapped. If the vampires hurt Willow, Xander will kill Buffy. He explains why the vampires wanted Giles and Willow (as well as Cordelia and Jenny). Now they just need to find out where they all are.

Buffy and Xander go to the Bronze so Buffy can interrogate the bait vampire. She puts her cross necklace down the vampire’s throat to burn her in hopes of getting her to spill. Elsewhere, Absalom orders Collin’s followers to begin the ritual, which involves hanging Willow, Giles, Cordelia, and Jenny upside-down over the Master’s bones so they can bleed down onto him.

As Buffy, Angel, and Xander arrive, she tells the guys to help the Scoobies while she distracts the vampires. Well, I guess “distract” isn’t the right word. She’s just going to kill them. Everything goes according to plan, and once the humans are safe, Angel joins Buffy in fighting the vampires. Xander tells Giles that Buffy is “working out her issues.”

Absalom calls an end to the battle, announcing that he’s going to smash Buffy up. She asks if they’re going to make small talk or get to the fighting. Well, there isn’t any fighting, since she just lights him on fire and kills him. He leaves behind a big mallet, which she uses to smash the Master’s bones. The Scoobies look on as she finally deals with her feelings about what the Master did to her.

At school the next day, Cordelia tells Jenny that what happened will stay with her forever. Well, at least on her clothes. Buffy admits to Giles that she doesn’t think she can face Willow and Xander. He tells her it’s pointless to punish herself, but Buffy knows her behavior put her friends in danger. Giles says this isn’t the worse mistake she’ll ever make. (That’s supposed to be a good thing.)

Buffy gathers her courage and goes to class, where Xander and Willow have saved her a seat. They start talking about their teacher, then their plans for the evening. Willow doesn’t think the Bronze will be that much fun, since it’s the middle of the week. “Well, we could grind our enemies into talcum powder with a sledgehammer, but gosh, we did that last night,” Xander says. And just like that, everything’s okay.

I guess Collin missed all the action, because he comes to his followers’ lair to find smashed bones and no more vampires. “I hate that girl,” he complains.

Thoughts: Absalom is also Nat from ER, which might be the biggest difference I’ve seen in two characters I’ve recapped who were played by the same actor.

Jenny went to Burning Man and tells Giles he should have been there. Please enjoy that visual.

I don’t think I use any word or phrase from this show more often than I use “bitca.”

November 6, 2021

Buffy 1.12, Prophecy Girl: As It Is Written

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 1:04 pm by Jenn

It’s time

Summary: The Scoobies are at the Bronze, and Xander is finally declaring his feelings for Buffy. No, wait, he’s declaring them for Willow. No, wait, he’s just practicing on Willow. He wants to take Buffy to the Spring Fling, AKA the prom. He’s not very good at the asking-out part. He decides to just go for it, but Buffy isn’t there.

That’s because she’s slaying. Cordelia happens to be nearby, making out with a guy named Kevin in a car. She hears the sounds of Buffy’s fight with a vampire, which turn into the sounds of the vampire dying. Buffy notes that she’s killed three vampires in one night. At the library, Giles is reading the Codex Angel brought him, which contains a prophecy he’s been looking for: “The Master shall rise, and the Slayer…” He doesn’t finish the sentence, but it’s something bad. Just then, there’s an earthquake felt all over Sunnydale. The Master is the only one happy about it – this means he’s nearing his time to rise.

The next day, the Scoobies leave a science class that was so boring, even Willow the science nerd hated it. Xander gets her to leave so he can ask Buffy to the dance. (He also makes some random guy sitting on a bench leave. Don’t be a bully, Xander.) He starts to launch into his awkward speech, then cuts to the chase and asks Buffy to the dance. He tells her he wants more than just a friendship with her.

Buffy gently says she doesn’t want to spoil that friendship. Xander thinks that you either feel something more or you don’t. Buffy says straight out that she doesn’t. She doesn’t think of him as a romantic prospect. Xander’s hurt, and he guesses that she would rather be with Angel. Buffy feels bad for turning him down, but he doesn’t want to hear her expressing any sympathy.

Jenny catches Giles making a call to someone he insists on seeing that night. She notes that he’s wearing the same clothes he had on the previous day. Something big must be happening. She did some sleuthing and found stories about weird things that have happened recently, like a cat giving birth to snakes and a boiling lake. She thinks the apocalypse is nearing.

Giles isn’t sure he can trust Jenny, but it turns out she has information that’s useful to him. A monk emailed her from Cortona about the Anointed One. Giles is surprised to hear anything about him, since the Anointed One is supposed to be dead. He tells Jenny to email the monk. Even though he’s impatient and short with her, she agrees to help.

Cordelia and Kevin flirt while discussing plans for the Spring Fling, which will be at the Bronze. She asks Willow to help them set up the sound system. She’ll even be nice to Willow and talk to her at the dance. Willow agrees, though she’s distracted by the sight of Xander moping over being rejected by Buffy. “On a scale from 1 to 10? It sucked,” he tells her. Willow says at least now he knows how Buffy feels. Xander suggests that the two of them go to the dance together instead. Willow says no, since he’ll spend the whole night pining for Buffy. Xander decides to spend the evening listening to country music, “the music of pain.”

That night, Buffy hangs around school before going out to patrol. She’s shocked to see the water in the bathroom sink turning to blood. She heads to the library, where she’s shocked again – Angel is there conferring with Giles. She eavesdrops as they talk about the prophecy from the Codex. Giles says everything prophesied in the book comes true, and no matter how much Angel insists he read this one wrong, it’ll happen: Tomorrow night, Buffy will fight the Master…and die.

The guys are alerted to Buffy’s presence when she starts laughing. She wonders who will take her place as the Slayer, since a new one gets called when the current one dies. Will Giles be her Watcher, too? She asks if the Codex says how she’ll die. Scared, she asks if it’ll hurt. Angel moves to comfort her, but she doesn’t want that from him since he and Giles kept this from her.

Giles says he was hoping he would never have to tell Buffy, that he would have found a way around it. Buffy has a solution: She’ll quit. Someone else can fight the Master. Giles starts to tell her that’s not possible, because of the signs. She throws books at him, yelling, “Read me the signs! Tell me my fortune!” He and his books aren’t as helpful as he’d always seemed to be.

Angel tries to express his sympathy, but Buffy notes that he’s never going to die, so there’s no way he could understand what she’s dealing with. Angel says he doesn’t want her to die – he wouldn’t be able to stand it. They need to find a way to get out of this. Buffy repeats that she’s quitting, and she doesn’t care what happens if the Master rises. “Giles, I’m 16 years old. I don’t wanna die,” she says sadly. She tears off the cross necklace Angel gave her and throws it on the ground.

Willow calls Xander, who hangs up the phone without answering it. He’s listening to Patsy Cline. Joyce finds Buffy looking through a photo album in her bedroom and asks what’s going on with her. Buffy tries to talk her into going on a trip, immediately. Forget about school and Joyce’s job. They’ll just get out of Sunnydale.

Joyce thinks she’s brooding because no one asked her to the Spring Fling. She bought Buffy a dress she liked and encourages her to go to the dance. Buffy says she can’t go alone. “Says who? Is it written somewhere?” Joyce asks. She went to Homecoming alone her freshman year of college, and that’s where she met Buffy’s father. It was a great night. Buffy notes that Joyce had her whole life ahead of her. “Must be nice,” she says softly.

Cordelia and Willow meet up at school the next morning to get the stuff Kevin was supposed to take to the Bronze for dance set-up. Cordelia’s surprised to find herself not being upset with him for not doing what he was supposed to do. She even thinks it’s cute. Also cute: Kevin and his friends are hanging out in a lounge, watching cartoons. Well, not really – they’re all dead. It’s not cute anymore.

Buffy’s getting ready for the dance when Willow calls, then comes over to tell her what happened. She’s really shaken by the sight of all those dead classmates. She can’t find the words to express how hard it was to see the bodies of people she knows. “It wasn’t our world anymore,” she says. “They made it theirs. And they had fun.” Buffy tells her they’ll do what they have to. As she heads off to take back her job as Slayer, Willow compliments her dress.

Underground, the Master tells Collin that it’s almost time. In the library, Giles has filled Jenny in on everything she needs to know about the Slayer and the Master. She’s surprised someone as little as Buffy has such an important role. Jenny hasn’t been able to get in touch with the monk who emailed her, but he sent out an email to his followers mentioning Isaiah 11:6. Giles knows it by heart – it’s about how normally combative animals will live in harmony, “and a little child shall lead them.” Add that to another prophecy Giles has read and it probably means the Anointed One is a child who will lead Buffy into Hell.

Giles has decided that he’ll face the Master in Buffy’s place. But Buffy’s there, wearing her nice dress and Angel’s jacket, and ready to fulfill her destiny. He tries to talk her out of it, since he’s the adult here and she’s supposed to follow his orders, but she refuses to listen. Knowing she can’t change his mind, she punches him unconscious. Buffy puts her cross necklace back on and says to Jenny, “When he wakes up, tell him…I don’t know. Think of something cool; tell him I said it.” Jenny reminds her that she’ll die if she fights the Master. Buffy replies that she might take him with her.

It doesn’t take Buffy long to come across Collin. He lets him take her hand and lead her away. The other Scoobies gather in the library, trying to figure out how to help Buffy. Jenny points out that they also have a pending apocalypse, but Xander doesn’t care about that. He thinks he can find out where Buffy is.

Collin takes Buffy to the Master’s lair as Xander shows up at Angel’s…well, lair. He tells Angel that Buffy went to kill the Master, and the two of them are going to save her. Angel refuses to take Xander to the Master, knowing there’s no way Xander would survive that confrontation. Xander holds up a cross and says he hates Angel, but Buffy doesn’t, so he needs to prove that she’s right to like him. “You’re in love with her,” Angel realizes. “Aren’t you?” Xander replies.

Back at the library, Jenny asks where the Hellmouth will open. She and Willow start researching. Underground, Buffy finally comes face to face with the Master. He welcomes her and she thanks him for having her over, then tells him to have a contractor look at the water damage in the lair. “Oh, good, the feeble banter portion of the fight,” he says. Buffy moves things along by firing a crossbow at him, but he’s fast enough to catch the bolt.

Xander and Angel are now underground as well, looking for the Master’s lair. Xander accuses Angel of eyeing his neck. “I told you to eat before we left,” Xander says. Buffy reloads as the Master vanishes from her sight. He tells her she doesn’t get that she’s not the hunter here – she’s the lamb. In the library, Giles, Jenny, and Willow figure out that Master has probably sent an army of vampires to the Bronze, where the prom is currently taking place.

As Willow and Jenny leave to go to the Bronze, Buffy goes looking for the Master, who wants to drag out their fight. Buffy would rather get it over with. He sneaks up behind her and grabs her neck. Willow and Jenny realize too late that the vampire army isn’t at the Bronze – they’re at the school, slowly approaching the two of them.

Back underground, the Master is able to mesmerize Buffy in some way, so there isn’t much of a fight. He praises her for trying to fight him – and the prophecy – but she’s there to fulfill her destiny. If she hadn’t come there, the Master wouldn’t be able to rise. He bites her, thrilled with the power it gives him. He drops Buffy face-down in a pool of water and compliments her dress.

The prophecy has been fulfilled, and the Master begins to ascend. Xander and Angel make it to his lair and realize they’re too late to stop him. They’re also too late to save Buffy…almost. Xander points out that if she drowned, they might be able to revive her with CPR. Xander administers it, since Angel, as a vampire, can’t do the rescue breathing part of it.

Willow and Jenny are seemingly hopeless until Cordelia drives up to rescue them. Back underground, Xander’s successful with CPR and Buffy wakes up. Willow and Jenny tell Cordelia to get them to the library, so she drives her car right into the school. “What’s happening?” Giles asks when they run in and start barricading the doors. “Guess!” Jenny yells. As they try to protect themselves from the vampire army, another threat lurks in the stacks: snakes.

The Master takes in the view of Sunnydale from the roof of the school as Xander and Angel tell Buffy he rose. They think she’s too weak to fight him, but Buffy says she feels different – stronger. Vampires start coming in through the library windows as Buffy, Angel, and Xander head toward the Master (Buffy somehow knows where he is). She easily takes out a vampire, then goes up to the roof by herself. She tells the guys that no matter what happens next, it won’t take long.

Giles realizes that Hellmouth creatures are starting to invade the library. The Master watches through a skylight, thrilled. He’s shocked to see Buffy behind him – her death was written in a prophecy. “What can I say? I flunked the written,” she replies. Giles hits some big, ugly thing with an axe while Buffy tries not to be killed by another ugly thing. The Master is no longer able to mesmerize her, which means this is more of a fair fight.

Angel and Xander join the fight in the library as the Master taunts Buffy for not making quips anymore. He says she’s been laughing while Hell has been unleashed on Earth. Through the skylight she spots a big, broken piece of wood in the library – basically a huge stake. She tells the Master that if he loves Hell so much, he can go there. Then she tosses him through the skylight and down onto the wood, killing him.

The Hellmouth creatures leave and the Scoobies gather at the Master’s bones in the library (since, for some reason, he didn’t turn to dust like vampires usually do). Giles is pleased that even death didn’t stop Buffy from defeating the Master. Everyone wants to do something fun to take their minds off of what just happened, so they decide to go to the prom. As they all head off together, Angel starts to tell Buffy he likes her dress. She says it was a hit with everyone. I guess they figure all the debris and the skeleton in the library are tomorrow’s problem. I hope no one from the janitorial staff comes in overnight.

Thoughts: Sarah Michelle Gellar is so good in the scene where she addresses the prophecy. It’s that scene that takes the show from “this is just a dumb teen show” to “this is actually a serious drama.”

I like how Xander asks Angel if he can come in, then just walks inside, with an unspoken, “Ha ha, I don’t have to be invited because I’m not a vampire.”

I also like how Cordelia has no questions about what’s going on. “Oh, we’re fighting snakes and vampires? Cool, no problem.”

Season 1 is short, so we’re already done with it. Next up: Spike, Drusilla, Oz…and Angelus.

October 23, 2021

Buffy 1.10, Nightmares: Fear Factor

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:13 pm by Jenn

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Summary: Buffy creeps into the Master’s lair, where he’s ready for another face-off. She’s not. She’s so nervous that she drops her stake and doesn’t fight him when he backs her up against a wall. He puts his hand around her neck and leans in for the kill. Fortunately, it’s just a dream. Buffy’s so happy to be awake and not in danger that she almost gets excited about going to school. Joyce confirms that her father, Hank, will be visiting that weekend.

At school, Willow asks Buffy a little about her dad and his divorce from Joyce. Willow’s not familiar with parents who can’t stand each other. Hers only bicker, and sometimes they glare, but other than that, they’re fine. Buffy thinks the trouble she was getting into at the time of the divorce didn’t help anything.

In a classroom, Cordelia complains that a guy named Wendell is standing between her and the sunlight she’s using to check herself out in a mirror. Xander comes to his rescue. He asks if they had any homework, and his friends remind him that they’ve been studying active listening. As class begins, Buffy notices a young boy standing in the doorway. Suddenly, Wendell starts yelling – his textbook is full of tarantulas. “Sorry about that,” the boy in the doorway says as the whole class panics.

Underground, the Master tells Collin that fear is the most powerful force in the world, stronger than love or hate. When Collin was mortal, before he became the Anointed One, he feared monsters. The Master admits to being scared of crosses, but “fear is in the mind,” and he can control it. That means his fear can’t control him. He knows there’s some new powerful force above-ground, and change is coming – bad change.

Buffy had more nightmares the previous night, and she’s distracted when Joyce drops her off at school. She realizes she forgot her overnight bag, so she and Hank will have to go by the house before he takes her to L.A. for the weekend. Joyce is a little surprised that she’s nervous. She reminds Buffy that Hank loves her.

Willow has been obsessing about the tarantulas, since spiders freak her out. “What do they need all those legs for anyway?” she asks Buffy and Xander. “I’ll tell you: For crawling across your face in the middle of the night.” Xander doesn’t think things like spiders are that scary now that he’s faced so much supernatural stuff. Plus, if there’s something Hellmouth-y going on, Buffy will take care of it.

The Scoobies go to the library, where Giles is a little off, having gotten lost in the stacks. He also hasn’t found anything helpful on what happened with the spiders, so he suggests that the Scoobies talk to Wendell. When they do, he’s still pretty shaken. He admits that this has happened to him before. He loves spiders, but they hate him. Cordelia walks by and comments that she hopes Buffy studied for the test they have in fourth period. Buffy knew nothing about it, so she runs off to cram.

Wendell tells Xander and Willow that he used to have a huge collection of spiders. His brother didn’t tend to them properly while Wendell was away at camp, and they all died. Since then, Wendell has had a recurring nightmare about spiders crawling out of his textbook in class. He figures his spiders are mad because he didn’t take care of them. When it happened again yesterday, he thought he’d fallen asleep in class, until everyone else started screaming.

Buffy has trouble finding the class where she’s supposed to take that test she didn’t know about. Cordelia notes that she keeps cutting class, so of course she’s not prepared. Buffy struggles with the test, as well as with time management, since the whole class period flies by before she can even write her name. No one else seems to have the same problem. Also, the boy from the day before is in the doorway again.

He heads into the hallway, spotting a girl named Laura who’s sneaking into the basement to smoke. A demonic-looking guy is lurking down there and greets her with, “Lucky 19.” He beats her (ironically, right near a poster that says, “Smoking kills”). Later, Giles and Buffy go to the hospital where Laura’s been admitted. She’s too traumatized to tell them any details about what happened to her, but she tells them that her attacker said, “Lucky 19.”

Giles and Buffy talk to Laura’s doctor, who says she came out of her assault pretty well, considering. Another patient was attacked in the exact same way recently, but he’s in much worse shape, and he’s still in a coma. The doctor says someone needs to find the guy who attacked both of his patients. Buffy assures him that someone will.

Back at school, a guy who thinks a leather jacket makes you tough tells his friends he’s willing to fight a guy who wants to fight him. Willow and Xander discuss whether what happened to Wendell is connected to Laura’s attack. Way Cool Guy (as he’s officially credited – love it) gets a surprise when his mom shows up to coo over him. Who’s the tough guy now, Way Cool Guy? When Willow and Xander get to class, Xander’s confused to hear everyone laughing at him. He’s walked into the room wearing just his boxers. He thinks he’s in a dream, but when he pinches himself and doesn’t wake up, he realizes he’s not.

In the library, Giles has trouble doing any further research because he suddenly can’t read. Buffy picks up the newspaper article he was trying to read and realizes that Laura’s doctor’s other patient is the boy she keeps seeing around school. His name is Billy, and he was beaten after a baseball game last week. In other words, he’s in a coma and shouldn’t be at Sunnydale High. Giles suggests that this is a case of astral projection; Billy’s able to move around in the world even though he’s physically in another place. Buffy sees that Billy’s number is 19, as in lucky 19.

Just then, Hank arrives, hours early to pick up Buffy. He takes Buffy for a walk so he can tell her that she’s the reason he and Joyce split up. Raising her and seeing her every day was too much for him. He’s not surprised she didn’t figure it out herself; she’s pretty selfish, after all. Buffy wasn’t the child he wanted, so he just left her. Hank doesn’t appreciate her crying about this when he’s just trying to be honest. Also, he doesn’t get anything out of their weekends together, so he’s done with those. As he leaves, Billy appears again.

Xander and Willow head to the library to tell Giles about the latest weird occurrence. Willow pretends she didn’t enjoy seeing Xander in his boxers, though she acknowledges that having everyone stare at her would be awful. When Xander says it was a “total nightmare,” Willow realizes that something is going on with people’s dreams. Wendell has a recurring dream about spiders, and it happened in real life. Giles agrees – he dreamed about getting lost in the stacks, and then it happened. He tells them about Billy and how he might be influencing events in the real world while comatose.

The longer this goes on, the more Sunnydale citizens will face their worst nightmares, like Cordelia having a horrible hair day. Poor baby. Buffy has real problems to deal with! She spots Billy going into the school gym and follows him in. She tries to talk to him about his attack, but he doesn’t remember what happened after the game. He confirms that “the ugly man,” Laura’s attacker, calls him lucky 19. Before Buffy can get any more information, the ugly man attacks. Buffy’s able to fight back, unlike in her nightmare about the Master, but it’s a tough fight and she ends up running away.

The other Scoobies split up to find Buffy, though Willow doesn’t think that’s the safest option. Buffy traps the ugly man in the gym, and Billy tells her they need to hide, even though the ugly man will find them. After spotting Cordelia – now wearing clothes she would never willingly wear – getting dragged to a chess club meeting, Willow hears Buffy calling to her from the basement. She gathers her courage to go down there, where someone grabs her. Xander finds himself in an abandoned wing of the school, which has been trashed and graffitied with swastikas. He finds a trail of candy bars on the ground and follows them, because Xander is a child.

Meanwhile, Buffy gets turned around on the way to the library, and she and Billy end up by the school’s baseball field. He comments that losing a baseball game is bad. His team lost their game last week, and Billy blames himself because he missed a catch. Buffy points out that there are other players on the team, so he can’t blame the loss on one player. Billy tells her that someone else blamed him for the loss. Buffy guesses that’s the man who hurt him. They spot the ugly man and go back inside, but somehow find themselves in a cemetery instead.

Willow, now dressed in a kimono, is backstage in the auditorium, about to take the stage with an opera singer. Willow is supposedly “the world’s finest soprano.” Willow doesn’t know the words to the duet she’s supposed to sing with the other singer, and he’s not happy about it. Xander follows the candy-bar trail to his own worst nightmare, a clown from his sixth birthday party. To be fair, the clown has a knife, which is pretty scary.

In the cemetery, Billy points Buffy’s attention to an empty grave. The Master appears and taunts that he’s free because that’s what Buffy fears. People’s nightmares are coming true, and the world is now crumbling. He grabs Buffy, telling her this is real, not a dream. Then he drops her into the grave, where she falls into an open casket. The lid closes and the Master starts to bury her alive.

Xander finds Willow, who run into Giles while trying to escape the killer clown. But instead of running, Xander stops and attacks the clown. “You were a lousy clown!” he shouts. “Your balloon animals were pathetic! Anyone can make a giraffe!” The three Scoobies head outside, where things are chaotic. Giles warns that if they don’t end this nightmare stuff soon, the dream world will envelop the real world. They need to find Buffy. Hey, maybe the cemetery that’s suddenly appeared across the street will provide them with some answers!

As the three head over, Giles realizes that they’re in his nightmare. He finds Buffy’s headstone, which means he failed in his duty to train and protect the Slayer. Fortunately, she’s not dead, as she demonstrates by reaching out of her grave and pulling herself out. Unfortunately, she’s a vampire. Now the Scoobies are in one of Buffy’s nightmares. Giles tells Buffy that if they can wake Billy up, they may be able to return the world to normal. Buffy will just need to keep it together long enough to do that. She says they should hurry, since she’s getting hungry. Willow worries that they won’t be able to wake Billy. “Willow, do shut up,” Giles tells her.

At the hospital, the Scoobies encounter both the real Billy and his dream self. The ugly man is on his way, and dream Billy says he needs to stay asleep so he can hide. Buffy isn’t scared, though. She faces the ugly man, knowing he’s not the scariest enemy she’ll ever face. “There are a lot scarier things than you – and I’m one of them,” she says. They fight, and this time she’s stronger than he is. Buffy tells Billy to finish him off so he can stop hiding.

Once Billy pulls off the ugly man’s face, a bright light shines out. The world returns to normal and Billy wakes up. Moments later, his baseball coach arrives and tells the Scoobies that he comes to visit Billy every day – he just has to see his lucky 19. Buffy realizes the coach beat Billy because he blamed Billy for losing the game. But Billy no longer blames himself, and Buffy’s proud to hear him repeat what she said about one player not being responsible for a team’s loss.

The Scoobies head back to school after making sure the coach has been arrested. Hank arrives to pick up Buffy for the weekend, both of them happy to see each other. Willow asks Xander if he was still attracted to Buffy while she was a vampire. He pretends that’s a horrible question, then admits that the answer is yes.

Thoughts: Jeremy Foley, who plays Billy, looks amazingly like Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Wendell: “They’re arachnids.” Xander: “They’re from the Middle East?” Stay in school, buddy.

I wish Cordelia’s nightmares had been less shallow. I think it would be realistic for her to worry that her friends don’t really like her, or that her money and popularity won’t mean anything when she’s out of school and in the real world, or that her shallowness means she’s not prepared for life beyond high school.

October 2, 2021

Buffy 1.7, Angel: Kill or Be Killed

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:03 pm by Jenn

I, too, like to make out with mysterious guys I know nothing about

Summary: Collin and the Master are hanging out underground, still waiting for their minions to do their jobs so the Master can ascend. The Master complains to Darla that Buffy killed another one of his minions. He’s tired of the Slayer taking out all his guys. Collin suggests that the Master kill her, so Darla volunteers to do the job. The Master decides to send the Three instead.

The Bronze is about to close for a few days for fumigation, which means it’s time for their annual fumigation party. Catch a roach, get a free drink! Willow thinks it’s fun, but Buffy’s distracted. She laments that she’s single. Willow suggests that she date Angel, but since he’s not around much, that doesn’t appeal to Buffy. Still, she does like when he is around.

Xander is dancing dorkily, trying to find someone to dance dorkily with him. Cordelia taunts him and he taunts her back. So…same as usual. Xander joins Buffy and Willow, but Buffy thinks she’s bringing down everyone’s mood, so she leaves. On her way out, she passes a lurking Angel, but when she turns to double-check that he was really there, he disappears.

On her way home, Buffy senses a vampire and prepares to stake him and be on her way. Unfortunately, it’s not one vampire, it’s three. Specifically, it’s the Three. They’re all really strong, and she’s more outnumbered than she would be with just three regular vampires. Fortunately, Angel comes to her rescue and makes it a more even fight. But they don’t finish any of the vampires off, and Angel takes a metal post to the stomach. The two run to Buffy’s house, which the Three can’t enter without an invitation.

Buffy goes to get some bandages for Angel’s wound, telling him to take off his jacket and shirt. That’s a little treat for the audience. Buffy asks how he happened to be in the right place at the right time. Angel pretends he wasn’t stalking her and was just out for a walk. Buffy says it’s not a huge problem if he’s been hanging around her, but she’d like to know why. “Maybe I like you,” he says.

Buffy hears Joyce come home and runs to the front door to make sure the Three aren’t still outside the house. She rushes Joyce upstairs before she can realize that there’s someone else there. But Angel makes himself seen, so Buffy has to introduce him to her mother. She lies that he’s a college student who’s been tutoring her in history.

After Joyce goes upstairs, Buffy pretends to see Angel off, then sneaks him up to her room so he won’t have to face the Three. She offers to let him sleep in her bed while she sleeps on the floor. He’s too chivalrous for that, and also too chivalrous not to look away while she’s changing clothes. They chat while he looks out the window to see if the Three are still there.

Buffy asks why Angel has taken on the tasks she’s destined for as the Chosen One. He says someone has to protect humanity. His family’s dead, and Buffy guesses vampires are to blame. They are, but Angel says it was a long time ago. He changes the subject, telling Buffy how pretty she is. As they get in bed/floor, she asks if he snores. He doesn’t know, since it’s been a long time since he’s slept close enough to someone who might hear.

Xander’s upset to hear the next day that Angel spent the night in Buffy’s room. Willow thinks it’s romantic and wonders if anything happened. Buffy happily says that Angel was a gentleman. Xander thinks Angel set this all up to impress her. Giles asks about the Three, who he’s identified as warrior vampires. Willow wonders how Giles always knows what’s going on. She never knows what’s going on. Giles tells Buffy they need to step up her training. Xander suggests that Buffy stay with him for a while. Willow can tell Angel to leave town. Xander, stop talking. Giles says Buffy and Angel aren’t in immediate danger. The Three won’t be a problem again.

Indeed, the Three admit to the Master that they failed to kill the Slayer, which means the Master is allowed/expected to kill them. The Master tells Collin that this is part of the responsibility that comes with their power. He doesn’t see the point in killing the Three, but he lets Darla kill them anyway, because why not find joy wherever you can?

Buffy raids the book cage, where Giles keeps the weapons they haven’t gotten to use yet. She’s especially interested in using a crossbow. He wants her to start with a quarterstaff instead. They spar, and she quickly disarms him and flips him onto his back. That’s enough for Giles to allow her to try the crossbow instead.

Angel’s been hanging out in Buffy’s room all day, so she brings him dinner. In a bag. I guess it’s the thought that counts. She gets upset when she thinks he read her diary, since she’s written a bunch of stuff about someone named A. Not that A is Angel! He’s Achmed, a charming exchange student! Buffy loves Achmed! You heard it here first! Angel tells her that Joyce moved the diary when she came in to straighten up the room. Angel hid in the closet and didn’t read it.

He’s decided he can’t hang out with Buffy because when they’re around each other, all he can think about is how much he wants to kiss her. Since he’s older, this can’t happen. Buffy isn’t deterred by that, so they kiss. But he pulls away, and when he turns back to her, his face has changed – he’s vamped out. Buffy screams and Angel jumps out the window. When Joyce runs into find out what happened, Buffy says she just got spooked by a shadow.

The next day, Buffy shares the news with the other Scoobies. She wonders if a vampire can ever be a good person. Giles says no – even with his memories from his human life, he’s been taken over by a demon. Buffy wonders why Angel was so nice to her, then. Is this something the Master cooked up? Xander doesn’t care – Angel’s a vampire, so Buffy has to slay him.

That won’t be so easy, since Buffy has developed feelings for Angel. You might even say she’s in love with him. Xander exclaims that she’s out of her mind for falling for a vampire. Cordelia overhears, so Xander corrects himself: Buffy’s in love with an umpire. Cordelia quickly moves on to confront a girl who’s wearing the same dress she is. “You think we have problems,” Buffy quips.

Angel goes home to what can only be described as a lair. Darla’s waiting for him there, and this isn’t their first encounter. In fact, they’ve known each other for decades. They used to wreak havoc together, but now Angel’s hanging out with a Slayer and acting like a human. Angel acknowledges that he’s not human, but he’s also not like other vampires. Darla points out that he still needs blood to survive. (Unlike other vampires, he drinks from blood bags.)

Darla tries to entice Angel to let his real nature come out. She knows it’s brewing inside him, and she hopes she’s around when it finally explodes out of him. She taunts that Buffy’s probably afraid of him. Or maybe not. Maybe if Angel tells her about the curse, she’ll change her mind. But if she still doesn’t trust him, Angel knows where he can find Darla.

The Scoobies do some research in the library, but they have trouble finding any information on Angel. Giles comes across something about Angelus, so named because of his angelic face. That means Angel’s about 240, which isn’t as old as many vampires, but is still pretty old. Angelus came from Ireland, caused trouble in Europe for decades, and then came to the U.S. about 80 years ago and basically became a hermit. Willow thinks that means he’s a good vampire after all. Buffy agrees, since Angel never fed on her.

Underground, Darla presents a plan to the Master: Have Angel kill Buffy, then return to their fold. The Master is a big fan of Angel’s, or at least the evil version of him, Angelus. Darla plans to force Angel to kill Buffy to keep her from killing him. The Master is pleased that his “family” is looking out for each other.

Buffy and Willow try to study in the library, but Buffy’s understandably distracted. Willow gets that Buffy’s still hung up on Angel. She herself can’t help fantasizing about Xander just grabbing her and kissing her. Buffy encourages her to speak up if she wants to be with Xander. Willow knows that’ll end badly, so she’s not going there.

Darla lurks in the shelves upstairs as Buffy and Willow talk about Buffy’s kiss with Angel. Willow thinks it’s nice that Angel will always be young and handsome, though it’s not quite as nice when she thinks about how Buffy will grow old and die. Plus, what if they have kids? Buffy wants to get all this out of her system and come to terms with the fact that Angel’s a vampire, so nothing can happen between them.

At home, Joyce hears creaking noises outside and checks to make sure she’s alone. She’s not – Darla’s outside. She introduces herself as a friend of Buffy’s who’s there to study. Joyce naïvely invites her in and offers her a snack. Angel’s lurking outside as well, and he almost knocks on the door to see if Buffy will talk to him. That means he’s close enough to hear Joyce when she screams.

Angel bursts into the house (thanks to Buffy’s earlier invitation) and tells Darla to let Joyce go. Darla tries to tempt him into drinking some of her blood. He vamps out but struggles to stop himself. Of course, that’s when Buffy comes home and catches him in vamp face, bent over her unconscious mother. She throws him out a window and tells him that if he comes back, she’ll kill him.

Buffy calls an ambulance, telling the 911 operator that Joyce cut herself. The Scoobies reconvene at the hospital, where Joyce is told that she slipped and cut herself on something resembling a barbecue fork (which the Summerses don’t have). She meets Giles for the first time and is impressed by how caring the teachers are in Sunnydale.

Buffy thinks she was stupid to trust Angel and not kill him after she found out that he’s a vampire. Willow thinks it’s reasonable that she couldn’t bring herself to kill someone she cares about. But now Buffy is ready to make sure Angel never hurts anyone else she cares about. Giles reminds her that Angel knows she’s a Slayer and has taken on the Three. This isn’t going to be an easy kill.

Darla goes back to Angel’s lair to tell him that Buffy’s looking for him. She taunts him for letting himself believe that Buffy might accept him. As Buffy gets in some crossbow practice, Darla urges Angel to kill Buffy before she can kill him: “Kill. Feed. Live.” Angel tells her he wants this over, which Darla is happy to hear.

Since Buffy knows Angel lives near the Bronze, she goes there to try to figure out where he might be. Back at the hospital, Giles chats with Joyce about Buffy’s trouble with history. Since Buffy “lives very much in the now,” she has a hard time learning about things that have already happened. Joyce says she’s trying, since she’s studying with both Willow and Darla. Giles isn’t familiar with Darla, whom Joyce notes was still in the house when she had her “accident.” Giles figures out that Darla, not Angel, attacked Joyce.

Buffy follows some noises into the closed Bronze, hunting Angel. He appears to her with his vamp face on, ready to fight. But when she has her chance to send an arrow into his heart, she hesitates. He morphs out of his vamp face and encourages her to go ahead and stake him. Buffy asks why he’s acted the way he has. He was nice to her, and now he’s her enemy. Why go after her family? Angel says he killed his own family, so why not?

For 100 years, Angel killed everyone he met, and he did it happily. Then one day he killed a Romani girl about Buffy’s age. Her elders came up with a creative punishment: They restored his soul. When you become a vampire, your soul disappears, leaving you without a conscience or guilt. That makes it easier to kill innocent people. “You have no idea what it’s like to have done the things I’ve done…and to care,” Angel says. He hasn’t fed on a human since that day.

Buffy wonders why Angel suddenly chose to attack Joyce. He says he didn’t, but he knew Buffy wouldn’t believe him if he said so. Plus, his demon side took over and he truly wanted to kill her. Buffy puts down her crossbow and walks up to him, offering him the chance to do it. When he doesn’t move, she says it must not be as easy as it seems. Darla, who’s just arrived, disagrees.

As the other Scoobies search for Buffy, Darla lets Buffy know that she and Angel were involved for a long time. Buffy just insults Darla’s outfit, hair, and wrinkles. Darla reminds Angel that he threw away his shot at ruling with her in the Master’s court because he wanted to get to know Buffy. He’ll always be sick, and he’ll spend the rest of his eternal life remembering what it was like to watch Buffy die.

Buffy picks up her crossbow again, but Darla isn’t scared, since she has two guns. She shoots Angel, though a bullet won’t kill a vampire. She continues firing at Buffy, who’s able to hide from her. The Scoobies are outside and hear the shots. Buffy’s a better shot with her crossbow than Darla is with her guns, though she doesn’t get an arrow in Darla’s heart.

Xander suggests that the Scoobies distract Darla, so Willow yells out that Darla was the one who attacked Joyce. Darla starts shooting at them but keeps missing. Still, the distraction works, and Buffy is almost able to get the upper hand. While Darla’s focused on her, Angel comes up behind Darla and jams an arrow through her back, into her heart. Darla says his name, surprised, then turns to dust. Angel leaves without saying anything to Buffy.

Underground, the Master is distraught to lose his favorite vampire. Collin says Darla was weak and they don’t need her. He’ll kill the Slayer. The Master is also sad that Angel won’t be returning to the fold to sit at his right hand. Collin says everyone’s against the Master, but he’ll rise soon and they’ll kill everyone.

The Scoobies (minus Giles) go back to the Bronze for the post-fumigation party. Angel’s been radio-silent, but Buffy feels like he’s still watching her. Willow notices that he’s lurking in the shadows once again. Xander decides not to watch, which means his full attention is on Willow.

Angel approaches Buffy, saying he just wanted to make sure she and Joyce were both okay. He knows he and Buffy can never have any kind of relationship. She understands, and she agrees that they both need to walk away. But neither of them does. Instead, they kiss again. Willow decides not to tell Xander about that. This time, Angel doesn’t vamp out, though he says it hurts. When Buffy leaves, saying she’ll see him around, we see what Angel meant: Her cross necklace burned his chest.

Thoughts: The show uses the word “gypsy,” but that’s considered a slur, so I’ll be using “Romani.”

For the record, Buffy telling Angel, “Get in” when they get to her house counts as an invitation.

I’d forgotten how little Willow gets to do this early in the season. It’s too bad, especially since Alyson Hannigan is so funny. But at least she gets more to do than Charisma Carpenter.

September 18, 2021

Buffy 1.5, Never Kill a Boy on the First Date: “If the Apocalypse Comes, Beep Me”

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

Sorry, Owen. You’re not broody enough for Buffy

Summary: Buffy’s fighting some truly ugly vampire in a cemetery, and though she kills him, Giles has some notes about her performance. She’s spending too much time doing fancy moves. She needs to just stake vampires and move on. Giles notices a ring the vampire dropped and thinks it’s significant. He’ll have to consult his books.

Also consulting a book: the Master. There’s some kind of vampire scripture, I guess, that contains a prophecy about an Anointed One. He’ll have a ton of power and the Slayer won’t be able to defeat him. In fact, “he will lead her into Hell.” The Anointed One will rise from the ashes of five dead people, then be led to his “immortal destiny” by the Brotherhood of Aurelius. One of those brethren was the vampire Buffy just killed. The Master isn’t happy, and he wants to make it clear to the other members of the Brotherhood that there’s no room for any more mistakes.

Giles tries to look up the ring in the library the next day but doesn’t have much luck. Buffy notices a sun and three stars on the inside and easily connects them to the Order of Aurelius. A guy named Owen arrives and Giles asks what he wants. I don’t know, maybe a book? From the library? Where the books are kept? Owen lost the copy of Emily Dickinson poems he usually carries around, and he wants to check out another one. He likes to carry it around as a security blanket. Buffy babbles about her actual security blanket.

Owen notes that Buffy doesn’t seem like the type of hang out in the library. He worries that he’s offended her, but she’s just surprised that he’s given thought to what she might like. She promises she loves books. Buffy obviously has a crush on Owen, and it seems like he likes her, too. She decides to read some Emily Dickinson to have something to talk to Owen about. Giles would love to celebrate the fact that she wants to read, but vampires should take precedence. Giles, what kind of a librarian are you??

At lunch, Willow’s thrilled for Buffy that she got to talk to Owen. He’s usually silent and broody. Well, Buffy likes ’em that way. Xander loudly asks her how slaying went the night before. When she chastises him for saying it in a cafeteria full of people, he corrects himself: “How’d the laying go? No, I don’t mean that, either.” Buffy tells him and Willow that there’s a new vampire sect in town.

They notice that Owen’s sitting by himself, so Buffy goes over to eat with him. Xander’s confused. Cordelia gets to Owen first, bumping into Buffy and making her spill her tray. Buffy makes a fat joke, because ha ha, that’s always funny. Cordelia invites Owen to the Bronze that night, but he needs more incentive to go than just hanging out with her. He’d much rather hang out with Buffy. After lunch, she tells Willow that Owen asked her out, though she tries to downplay the evening as less of a date and more of a group hang-out.

Giles has other plans for Buffy, though: The Brotherhood of Aurelius is about to fulfill a prophecy. Buffy protests, thinking her date is more important than some ancient prophecy. Giles says he’ll just get in his time machine, go back to the 12th century, and ask the vampires to postpone things for a few days so Buffy can go out with Owen. “Okay, at this point you’re abusing sarcasm,” she admonishes. Giles warns that the Anointed One is no ordinary vampire, and she has to stop him before he reaches the Master. Yes, yes, her date with Owen is very important, but this is a chance to get ahead of the forces of darkness. Tonight, they go into battle.

Cut to: that night, when there’s definitely no battle. Giles admits that his supposedly precise calculations might not have been that precise after all. After hanging out in the cemetery for a while, he decides they can call it a night. Buffy points out that there are no fresh graves, so there are no dead bodies for the Anointed One to rise from. Giles gives her permission to go to the Bronze and find Owen. He reminds her to keep her secret identity hidden so no one is put in danger.

As Slayer and Watcher split up, a bus arrives in town. One of the passengers is mumbling about a pale horse being ridden by Death. A kid on the bus, Collin, is just excited because he got to fly on an airplane. At the Bronze, Buffy’s too late to spend time with Owen – he’s already dancing with Cordelia.

Back on the van, the mumbling guy starts prosthelytizing to the rest of the passengers. When the driver tells him to sit down, the guy asks if he’s ready to stand with the righteous. Before the driver can tell him to shut up, he has to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting a vampire standing in the road. The bus swerves and crashes, but no one seems injured. The driver goes to check on the vampire from the road, who kills him. More vampires board the bus and kill the other passengers.

At school the next day, Buffy tells Xander she went home without talking to Owen. She feels like a freak for not having a social life. Xander thinks she’s overreacting; she could get any guy in school. Owen approaches and Buffy lies that she missed their date because her watch broke and there are no clocks in the house. Owen brushes off this horrible excuse and asks her out again for that night. He even loans her his pocket watch. Xander is embarrassed that his own watch has Tweety Bird on it.

Buffy says she heard that Owen and Cordelia were together the night before. He makes it clear that he wasn’t completely comfortable with that. Buffy eagerly accepts his invitation, which makes Xander mope. She rushes to the library to confirm with Giles that without a sure date for the prophecy to be fulfilled, she has the night off.

Underground, the Master praises the Brotherhood for doing their job. He’s one step closer to being able to ascend. If Buffy comes after the brethren, they should be willing to die to stop her from interfering. Their only goal right now is bringing the Anointed One to him. The Master reaches out to one of the vampires, making him flinch, but the Master just wanted to pluck a bug off of the vampire’s shoulder.

Willow and Xander help Buffy get ready for her date. I don’t know why Xander agreed to this. He suggests that Buffy wear a parka to cover up. Also, if she wears lipstick, she’ll just kiss Owen, and then he’ll lose respect for her and then tell everyone at school how “easy” she is. Go home, Xander. Buffy doesn’t know where Owen’s taking her, and isn’t even sure what teenagers do on dates. Willow says she knows from movies and TV that some teens like things called movies and parties.

Giles arrives with a newspaper reporting that five people died on the bus. One of the dead people was a man named Andrew Borba who’s wanted for questioning about a murder. (It’s the mumbling guy.) Giles thinks he could be the Anointed One. He wants to go check out the bodies at the local funeral home. Just then, Owen shows up, and Buffy pretends Giles is there to collect some overdue books.

Xander and Willow take Owen into another room so Buffy can convince Giles that she’s going on this date no matter what. Xander tells Owen that Buffy doesn’t like to dance or kiss. He shouldn’t touch her or even look at her. XANDER, GO HOME. Buffy keeps working on Giles, arguing that she has room in her life for both her slaying responsibilities and fun. After all, Clark Kent has a job. This is just a date. Giles admits that he’s not even sure the bus deaths have anything to do with the prophecy, so Buffy might as well go. She promises to be on call: “If the apocalypse comes, beep me.”

As Buffy and Owen leave, Giles heads off for the funeral home. Willow suggests that she and Xander go, too. He thinks she means follow Buffy and Owen to make sure nothing happens there. Owen takes Buffy to the Bronze, where they talk about Emily Dickinson. He can relate to her, since he also has a sequestered, uneventful life. He finds most girls “frivolous.” There are more important things than dating. Buffy gets that.

She takes him to the dance floor, and he comments that it’s like she’s two people. She asks which he likes better. He says he’ll let her know. Cordelia arrives and makes a beeline for the couple. If Owen thinks most girls are frivolous, he can’t be into her at all. But Cordelia is either in denial or is completely clueless about the fact that Owen would rather be with Buffy.

Two vampires are waiting for Giles at the funeral home. He uses a cross to make them back off and tries to find an office to hide in. While Buffy enjoys her time as a normal girl, Giles barricades himself in the morgue, which is where Xander and Willow find him. They decide it’s time to contact Buffy.

Cordelia sneers at Buffy and Owen until a better prospect enters: Angel. “Hello, salty goodness,” Cordelia comments. No, I don’t know what that means. No one does. When Angel goes straight to Buffy, Cordelia wonders what she’s done to deserve all this. Angel tells Buffy that she needs to be out slaying, not here on a date. Owen joins them and asks Buffy and Angel how they know each other. Angel just says, “Work.”

Xander and Willow arrive next, pretending they wanted to join Buffy and Owen for a double date. Owen’s very confused. But when Xander and Willow suggest that they move the evening’s activities to the funeral home, Owen’s all for it. I guess a guy who broods and reads Emily Dickinson would be pretty interested in death. “Bite me,” Buffy says under her breath. Angel gives her a look that says, “I’d rather not.”

Buffy tells Owen she needs to leave for a while, but she’ll come back. She promises she doesn’t want to leave. This is just part of being two different people. One of them has to go, but the other is having a great time and will be back. She starts to leave, then comes back and kisses him. Owen comments to Angel that she’s a strange girl.

The Scoobies go to the funeral home…followed by Owen. He’s very excited to see a dead body. Buffy goes off alone to make sure it’s safe; Willow tells Owen she’s on the lookout for security guards. Buffy finds the morgue, where Giles has hidden in one of the drawers (and not one of the empty ones). Buffy says she’ll have to get rid of Owen before they continue trying to figure out what the Brotherhood is up to. “Buffy, when I said you could slay vampires and have a social life, I didn’t mean at the same time,” Giles says.

Since they don’t know where the brethren are, Giles is worried about Owen leaving alone. Buffy doesn’t want Owen to know that Giles is there, since that’ll just lead to more questions. She returns to Owen, Willow, and Xander, and they find a safe office to hang out in so Buffy can go do her job. She goes back to the morgue and searches the drawers with Giles, hoping to find the Anointed One before the brethren do.

Xander and Willow barricade the office while Owen snoops around. He finds something disturbing. The morgue drawers are mostly empty, so Giles and Buffy guess they’re too late to get to the Anointed. Meanwhile, Owen has found a window looking into a prep room, which holds Borba’s body. Only he’s not dead, since he’s a vampire. “I have been judged,” Borba says, pleased.

He breaks the window with his head, and down the hall, Buffy hears the glass break. Willow, Xander, and Owen undo their barricade while Borba babbles about stuff, happy to have a meal right nearby. The Scoobies meet up, and Buffy sends her friends away while she handles Borba. Owen’s starting to regret this field trip.

Buffy goes back to Giles, who gives her a stake. Borba finds them and starts fighting Buffy. Xander, Willow, and Owen haven’t been able to find an exit, and Owen decides to go make sure Buffy’s okay. Giles holds Borba off with his cross as Borba says “they” told him about Buffy while he was asleep. He knocks the cross away and throws Giles across the room. Giles slams into a button that turns on the cremation furnace.

A Borba goes after Buffy again, Owen arrives and tries to fight him. Despite Borba being a muscular vampire, Owen does pretty well taking care of himself. Borba eventually knocks him out, but Buffy gets back to the fight. She uses his treatment of Owen as motivation, thinking Borba killed him. Xander and Willow arrive as Owen regains consciousness, but Willow decides they shouldn’t tell Buffy that Owen’s okay, since her anger is making her fight better. She’s able to slide Borba across an exam table and into the furnace.

Owen was unconscious for most of the fight, so Buffy easily convinces him that they just scared Borba away. Understandably, Owen’s not really up to continue their date. Xander and Willow take him home as Giles tries to offer Buffy some words of comfort. She doesn’t want to hear them. She gets now that slaying and socializing don’t mix.

At school the next day, Buffy asks Xander and Willow if Owen said anything about her on the way home. Sadly, no. Xander thinks Buffy should date someone who already knows her secrets and likes her anyway. Oh, Xander. Buffy tries to start a conversation with Owen, guessing he’s too freaked out about the night before to want to spend time with her again. Amazingly, she’s wrong. He thinks she’s cool, and he enjoyed the rush of his near-death experience. He wants to do something else dangerous. Buffy realizes she can’t date a danger junkie who might wind up in too much danger.

Resigned to just be friends, Owen leaves, and we never see him again. Oh, well. This time, when Giles offers Buffy some words of comfort, she listens. When he was a kid, he wanted to be either a fighter pilot or a grocer. His father gave him a lecture about sacrifice, knowing Giles was going to grow up to be a Watcher. Buffy doesn’t want to put Owen in danger, so she knows she has to let him go.

She also feels bad that she wasn’t there to help Giles when he went to the funeral home. He takes full responsibility for going there on his own and letting her have the night off. Slayers don’t really come with an instruction manual, so they have to feel their way through this on their own. (We find out later that there is a kind of instruction manual, but considering how different Buffy is from other Slayers, my guess is Giles knows it won’t help.) He thinks she’s doing pretty well. Plus, they stopped the prophecy and got rid of the Anointed One, so it’s all good.

…Except it’s not. The prophecy is still in play because Borba wasn’t the Anointed One. It’s Collin, and he’s already with the Master.

Thoughts: Who cast the guy playing Owen? He looks 30. (The actor was 27 at the time, so I’m not exaggerating that much.)

I don’t get why Cordelia would be into Owen. He’s not the type of guy she would even want to be seen with in public.

It’s been a really long time since I’ve watched this season (it’s not one of my favorites), and I’d forgotten how good Mark Metcalf is as the Master. He brings a great balance of menacing and entertaining.

I kind of want a Tweety Bird watch now.