PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE. If your diet requires you to dine on Buffy Spoiler-free ... good luck with that.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A little less ritual and a little more fun

Episode 2.3: School Hard. Original Airdate 9.29.97




Me and Dru, we're moving in.


"Buffy's mother and friends become trapped inside Sunnydale High School when a vampire named Spike launches an attack against the Slayer."















Daniel's Thoughts:
Miss Edith speaks out of turn. 

  • Sheila is chewing gum in the entire opening scene...but I don't think there is any gum in there!  Acting!
  • I like Willow in pigtails.
  • Welcome to Sunnydale, Season two Spike!
  • I love that saying "I was at the Crucifixion" is like a  common vampire boasts.
  • Dru is so freaking creepy.  I love it.
  • I love the whole moment between Dru & Spike when they're introduced.  The scratch, lick, creepy smile.  It really encapsulates their characters.
  • I heard that they didn't originally know where Spike would be from and James Marsters played with a few accents including Southern American.  I'm glad he didn't go with southern. [It was Cajun, I believe. - Z]
  • Nice transition: Spike: "Is she tough?" Cut to Buffy combing her hair and saying "ow".  Hee.
  • Worst. Mom. Ever.  "We moved once because of YOU!".  Shut up, Joyce.
  • "Je Stink" ~ I've used that.
  • I love Spike acting like a predator, stalking his prey.  Spike is smart. He studies his prey before he attacks.
  • Why is Sheila going home with two gay leather daddies?
  • Did I mention that I love Dru?  And I love her creepy dolls.
  • I love that Buffy cuts up the cucumbers with a machete.  I did that kind of fake out in a tenth grade film project.  Please note, this was pre-Buffy and therefore, I came up with it first. :)
  • Aly Hannigan is great at physical comedy.  I love her face when she tries the lemonade.  Great timing too.
  • Spike roaming through the halls of the high school.  This...was when Spike was scary.
  • This episode begins the Snyder/Joyce rivalry.  Love it.
  • Willow gets a bit vengeful in this episode.  I love how she offers Cordelia the lemonade and also when she tells her to pray for aspirin at the end.  Rowr!
  • "You get the hell away from my daughter!" ~ OK, Joyce has somewhat redeemed herself.


Zelda's Thoughts:
"Ask for some Aspirin." <3
  • "The Fire Marshall said it could have been mice." // "Mice." // "Mice that were smoking?"
  • This is kind of a stupid plan, Snyder. "I know! Let's have the two biggest fuck-ups in school plan a party that is intended to make the school look good for all the parents! This can in no way backfire for my image with the School Board!"
  • They're finally giving Willow some supercute quirky fashion and I likes it.
  • Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay SPIKE IS HERE AND HE IS AWESOME.
  • I remember when I thought combat boots were a good look. That was a strange time.
  • I notice the Annoying One's voice doesn't have that weird echoey effect anymore.
  • Fun trivia: Spike speaks so slowly in this episode because JM wanted to avoid the obnoxious lisp the vampire teeth give all the vampires (see: VampJesse).
  • Oh Drusilla. You're such a complete nutbar. And not annoying about it yet.
  • JM YOU ARE SO TALENTED I LOVE YOU. Such quiet menace, and confidence in his ability to tear everyone in the room to pieces, if he felt like it.
  • Buffy is wearing her overalls. I thought those were for her depression?
  • HAHAHAHA Giles tried to be authoritative by leaning on his fists on the table ... and got red paint all over his knuckles. I never noticed that before. That was awesome.
  • Oh Buffy and her ineptness at French.
  • Sssssssssssstalker Sssssssssssspike.
  • This episode is just so well-crafted. Love the scene in the Bronze.
  • Spike tells random dancing fools there's some big guy out there trying to bite someone. And .... they don't even blink. They keep dancing. For they are extras.
  • Xander spazzing over the tampon - kind of adorbs.
  • Spike does the slow clap. Because he's sassy like that.
  • Um....why didn't Buffy just chase down Spike and kill him then? Why did she let Mr. Vague Threat just walk away?
  • "Who are you?" "Who do you want me to be?" Spike is ... Julia Roberts?
  • "Why do they call it a mace?" I love ya, Willow.
  • Cordelia: "Even slaves get minimum wage!" ....No they don't.
  • "Cordelia, have some lemonade." XD
  • ...It's after nine. Why are there still any parents around at this hour?
  • Yeah, Willow, beaning a vamp with a bust. You is awesome.
  • And yeah on Buffy being her true hero self and taking charge right away, herding the civilians away from danger.
  • Yay! We're in the action movie section of the episode.
  • Snyder immediately says the vamps are a gang on PCP, which seems a pretty strong indicator that he knows what's what in Sunnydale. A fact which, unfortunately, is never really borne out.
  • "Someone's in the ceiling." eeeeeeeeeeee
  • I like Buffy's plan of action - she has to fight the baddies, but makes sure the person she can trust most - Giles - will get her mother out safely.
  • Spike is so infuriated at the incompetence of his minions. It's kind of adorable.
  • Annnnnnnnnnd Spike mispronounces Angelus and thus ruins the name for all of Season Two.
  • I do really like Angel playing at Angelus in this episode. It's a great teaser for what's coming. And nice to see his dynamic with Spike.
  • "Undead liar guy."
  • Wait, did we not kill VampSheila? She just runs away. [She ran to Jessedom. Never to be seen again. Is that a thing? It should be. - D]
  • "You think you can fool me?! You were my sire, man! You were my ... Yoda!" Spike is a nerd.
  • "I just like them. They make me feel all manly."
  • "The last slayer I killed, she begged for her life." - LIES LIES LIES. Neither Slayer did that.
  • I don't understand why they never gel StuntSpike's hair. It makes his stuntstatus very obvious.
  • "You get the hell away from my daughter." Hey Daniel, did Joyce win back some points from you? [Yes, as answered above :) - D]
  • Oh Angel and your total lack of giving a shit whether Xander lives or dies.
  • The police are also in on the vamp/PCP cover story. What is the up?
  • I want to call a shenanigan on the fact that Buffy left for home without making sure Willow wasn't dead.
  • "That sure as hell wasn't in the brochure." I just ... I love all the lines in this episode.
  • Yay Spike coins the name "The Annoying One" for us ... just in time to kill him. Whee! Thanks Spike! We're all very grateful.
  • "You should lay down your life!" Spike just looks at him, clearly not giving a teeny tiny crap what he has to say.
  • Such an awesome way to kill the kid (and without showing a kid dying on screen).
  • "Let's see what's on TV." - nice final line showing us that these are modern vamps we have on our hands.

Favorite Lines:

Daniel: "Miss Edith speaks out of turn. She's a bad  example and will have no cakes today." - Dru. She's so creepy and wonderful.
Zelda: "What were you thinking? Or were you even thinking at all?" - Willow. This is one of my favorite moments in the entire series. (close second, because I also use it a lot: "We're hindering.")


90s Factoid:
Those blue school chairs.

Actually, we're just assuming that's a 90s thing. Are those still around? We're old.




Arc/Continuity Stuff:
  • Spike and Drusilla's first appearance!
  • Spike was at Woodstock.
  • Spike killed two slayers - one during the Boxer Rebellion.
  • Spike loves to brag. 
  • Drusilla is batshit crazypants.
  • Angel knows Spike!
  • First appearance of Miss Edith.
  • Dru nearly died in Prague.
  • Spike used to be known as William the Bloody, who tortured victims with railroad spikes. He's barely 200, younger than Angel.
  • Spike calls Angel his sire. This is later retconned that a "grandsire" can also be called a sire. By that logic, The Master is also his sire.
  • The last we will ever see or hear of the Annoying One.

Stats:

Voiceover - Giles
Dead Humans - 5
Dead Undeads - 4
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 1
Apocalypse Called - 0

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

BYO Shovel

Episode 2.2: Some Assembly Required. Original Airdate 9.22.97
"Scream all you want!  ...On second thought.."



"Two science club nerds use body parts to create the "perfect girlfriend" for a teenager who has been brought back from the dead."










Zelda's Thoughts:
  • This episode is to be survived. Though I will note there was more funny than I remembered, the monster of the week is not terribly interesting.
  • Angel giving Buffy tips about what it's like for a vampire to rise. Heh.
  • Angel got beaned by the shovel blade. Zelda laaaaaaaaaaughed.
  • "Gee, I wish people wouldn't leave open graves laying around like this."
  • Daniel and I caught ourselves singing along to the theme song, nasally imitating the guitar riffs. We're such dorks.
  • Poor Giles is so awkward at trying to ask someone out. He's lucky Jenny is a dating ninja.
  • "She already knows that you're a school librarian, so you don't have to worry about how to break that embarrassing news to her."
  • OMG all the banter of Buffy & Xander teasing Giles is adorable.
  • "I know you meant to say gross and disturbing." // "Yes, yes, yes of course. Uh, terrible thing. Must, must put a stop to it. Damn it."
  • Eric: "Look at those legs!" // Willow: "No, thank you." // Us: Give her a few years.
  • "Hello, can we deal with my pain please?" // "There, there."
  • I kind of love how they're just completely ignoring Cordy. She may have gotten over the monster-amnesia, but she's still in no way a part of the group.
  • ...How many hours is cheerleader practice? School gets out at, what, 3:15, and Cordelia isn't headed out to her car until like 8:30 pm.
  • Oho now Angel is trying to make Buffy jealous with Cordelia! I'd laugh more if I didn't know what was coming on his own show (barf).
  • "It was horrible. Angel saved me from an arm!"
  • "Do I deconstruct your segues?" Pretty sure I've used this one.
  • GILES IS SO CUTE.
  • Ewwwwww creepy Frankenstein monster.
  • I do love Buffy's face as she realizes Daryl is alive again.
  • I am in total love with the overacting extra sitting next to Jenny at the game:

  • Those are NOT high school boys on the Sunnydale High football team. Those are trucks. [to be fair, Cordelia's about 30...-D]
  • Cordelia's got a good scream on her.
  • I actually thing the strategy of the choreography of the Buffy/Daryl fight is well done. He's using his brute strength and size to just try and grab and crush her, she's trying to knock him down, take his legs out.
  • "Did you just say second date?" // "You noticed that, huh?" Awwwwwwww
  • Cordelia's whatever face. Amazing. --->
  • "He gets to see you in the sunlight." Awww.
  • Buffy and Angel hold hands as she walks him home. AWWWW. IT WON'T END WELL, I TELL YOU.
  • And the Buffy/Angel theme comes back.



Daniel's Thoughts:
  • Shenanigans!  - She’s not six feet!  When Buffy is standing in the grave in the open coffin, her head is fully out.  She's pretending she's not cute and short. [When does Buffy ever pretend she's not cute? - Z]
  • Giles, never work on your pick up lines with your back to the door.  I've learned this the hard way.
  • "How do you feel about Mexican?" That’s the pickup line I’ve always used.
  • “It’s a fruit”. - Brilliant.
  • Giles  - "Zombies don't eat the flesh of the living".  OK, in most things, I trust the Buffy Universe's interpretation of the mystical....but I can't have this.  Everyone knows that George Romero's zombies are the horror zombies to go by...and they do eat the flesh of the living.  Shame, writers, shame.
  • Worst Mom Ever – surprise, today it’s not Joyce.  It’s Chris and Daryl’s mom.
  • Oh, so much cheese. “Where you gonna throw?” - Daryl is the worst.
  • Cordelia is almost kidnapped but nothing is more important than cheer leading!
  • Knowing what we know about Jenny later…does she really like Giles or was she just getting close to him to look after Angel.  Of course, I don't think the writers even know what happens with Jenny later in season 2 at this point, so I'd like to believe that she really does like Giles.
  • I really try not to think about the fact that Buffy is only 16 and Angel is a big ol' perv.  I choose to suspend disbelief on this subject...cause...creepy.

Crossfire!

Zelda: Angel is jealous of Xander. Na na na na naaaaaaaaaa na.
Daniel:  I love that Angel is jealous of Xander.  As if.


Crossfire Part Deux!

Zelda: [re: above] That's not a good crossfire.
Daniel: Yes it is.
Zelda: But we're both laughing about it.
Daniel: What do you mean by the "na na na na?"
Zelda: I'm laughing at Angel being jealous. And his stupid face.
Daniel: Well, I'm laughing at anyone being jealous of Xander. And his stupid face.

Favorite Lines:

Zelda: Buffy: "Yeah. You just say, 'Hey, I got a thing, you maybe have a thing, maybe we could have a thing.'" // Giles: "Oh, thank you, Cyrano."
Daniel: "Guys, if we don't have it down by tomorrow then no one will be led by our cheers." ~Cordelia


Arc/Continuity Stuff:
  • Buffy is in Trig.
Stats:

Voiceover - Giles
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 2
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 1
Evil Reveal - 1 (Chris/Eric)
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 1
Apocalypse Called - 0

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Bitca?

Episode 2.1: When She Was Bad. Original Airdate 9.15.97

"Buffy returns from summer vacation sporting an attitude and suffers from recurring nightmares involving the Master. Meanwhile, the Anointed One and his followers plot their revenge."









Daniel's Thoughts:

  • I think these genre writers could have come up with better movie quotes for the movie quote game.
  • Nice and short exposition - catching us up on what happened over the summer.
  • 
    "I mock you with my ice cream cone, Amish Guy!"
    
  • Ice cream moment – if Xander and Willow got together now, I might have bought it.  I don't buy it when it actually happens.  More on that later! Spoilers!
  • I agree with Buffy – no stake,  no cross, no garlic, nothing? Come on guys!
  • Buffy: Hey guys, miss me? Me: YES!
  • Worst mom ever: "I’ll just be happy if she makes it through the school year."
  • Cordelia: "Is it possible to have too much character?"
  • Aww Giles in love J
  • Jenny is such a hippie - Burning Man? Really?
  • I like this episode as a continuation of the last episode of season one – it didn't just end with Buffy killing the Big Bad. It showed that this show is good (most of the time) with follow-through.
  • Xander and Willow are even witty in Buffy's nightmares!
  • Giles turning into the Master – creepy! 
  • Three musketeers convo – hilarious - I love all the back and forth and witty banter.  It's also nice that Cordelia is able to show both sides: She's still bitchy and insulting but you can tell she wants to be a Scooby.
  • Made by Darathy!  My Favorite scene
  • The whole scene at the Bronze is one of my favorite directed scenes on Buffy.  From the music, to everyone's reactions and performances.  The timing is just perfect and I love especially when Buffy walks past each character.
  • As shown in last year's English class, Cordelia can be surprisingly observant.
  • I love the bitchfest between Cordelia & Buffy – it’s a very well written scene.
  • Snyder:  There're some things I can just smell. It's like a sixth sense. Giles:  No, actually that would be one of the five.  Hehehe!
  • Everything Snyder says is so awesome.
  • “PS this is a trap.” – I love smart, sensible Willow.
  • Vampire’s name is Tara!  It's never spoken, but it's listed in the credits.
  • Musta been fun for SMG to smash up those bones!
Zelda's Thoughts:
  • I was surprised to hear from Daniel, as we started watching this episode, that it is one of his favorites. I have it sort of set in my head that the season premieres are never as strong as the later meat in the season, or the finales. And while I have absolutely nothing wrong with this episode, and it is in fact really pretty dang good, it didn't ever stand out for me on my list of favorites. For that, I apologize. It's awesome.
  • 
    Hey guys, what's up? Whatcha doing?
    
    And so we begin with Xander's flirting with Willow even though he's not actually into her. And so we begin with my hating Xander a bit.
  • Shenanigans! Would that vampire just hover next to them while they're about to kiss?
  • First clue Buffy is being a bitca: she calls her two best friends losers almost right away.
  • Buffy is 16. Her parents are unpacking for her???? Is this a thing parents do for their 16 year old children? I don't remember ever not packing for myself.
  • "One day the campus is completely bare. Empty. The next, there are children everywhere. Like locusts." Oh Snyder, I missed you.
  • "Nice to see you. And don't ever call me that." Giles! I missed you too. (I ... guess I'm pretending I took the summer off as well?)
  • In the midst of her crazy-fueled training montage, Buffy decided she blamed the punching dummy.
  • Shut up, Absalom.
  • $(@#*)$)(# it, the Annoying One is back.
  • Love the moment of Xander and Willow swapping snacks in the common room, completely sans dialogue.
  • And oh my god, I forgot this was a dream sequence, so Giles saying "I've killed you once, it shouldn't be too difficult to do it again" HURT!
  • Creep Alert! Angel watches Buffy sleeping! I thought only sparkly vampires did that.
  • Willow: Uh, yes! Our own personal demons. // Xander: Such as, as, as lust and, uh, thrift! <3
  • "Cordelia, your mouth is open and sound is coming from it. This is never good."
  • I can't wait for Oz to show up so Willow will stop being pathetic about Xander.
  • Is Absalom Jewish? What's with the six-pointed star necklace?
  • Aw, Angel is such a kicked puppy, thinking Buffy is mad at him. heeeeeeee.
  • Buffy's sexy dance is a big escalation in her meanness that has been present all episode - she's now punishing Xander, Willow, and Angel. I do like that Xander isn't all gropy on her, that he's not fully giving in to her game. I think he recognizes that something is wrong. But then, that clenching jaw could be his attempt to not get a hard on.
  • I like that Cordelia is the one who calls Buffy out on her bitca-ness.
  • In general, I really like the rather unusual way they're exploring Buffy's PTSD. She's so strong, and is used to relying on that, and is trying to make herself as emotionally strong/cold as she thinks she needs to be, which translates into meanness, but the truth is she's terrified because she's seen her own weakness laid out for her - she can be killed, and the creature who killed her is looming, threatening to return.
  • Giles's face as he drinks his soda. Hilarious. I don't even know.
  • Also a good sign of Buffy's skewed sense of priorities: she's known since last night that the Master's bones have been dug up, but she buries the headline and waits until the next day to tell Giles.
  • "The part that says 'P.S. this is a trap!'" So many good lines in this episode!
  • I'm glad Willow is not a total dishrag about the crappy way Buffy is treating them. It would be so easy, on another show, to have the meek geek just cow down when someone is mean, but she fights back.
  • What a mess in the library! This is why California schools can't have nice things. That, and bankruptcy.
  • NB is very good in this episode. I don't care what Daniel says.
  • Buffy torturing the vamp with her cross in the mouth - badass.
  • I guess it makes sense that the Master's followers would be all religious and stuff, but I'm still bored by it.
  • "I'm gonna kill them all. That oughta distract them."
  • Buffy smashsmashing the Master's bones - awesome. SMG's crumpling face as she does it - awesomer.
  • And the Buffy/Angel theme music comes in! Is this the first we've heard it? I honestly can't remember. But we're gonna hear it sooooooooo much this season.
  • Willow: We saved you a seat! // Me: By ... not putting anything on it to save it and just assuming that no one would want to sit by us!
  • "Well, we could grind our enemies into talcum powder with a sledgehammer, but gosh, we did that last night." = best line of forgiveness ever?
  • Annoying One: I hate that girl. // Me: I HATE YOU.

Favorite Lines:

Daniel: “Cibo Matto can clog dance?” - Willow.  Ok line, excellent delivery.
Zelda: "Trout? (notices Buffy behind him) Trout! Yes, trout ... is a fish. Good morning." - Giles

90's Factoid:

Vests. They were a thing.


Arc/Continuity Stuff:
  •  Angel has joined the opening credits as a regular!
  • Our first time in the Sunnydale High common room set.
  • Cordelia has gotten over her Sunnydale-induced amnesia regarding all things monstical, and now remembers quite clearly vampires and other things that go "grr. argh."
Stats:

Voiceover: Giles
Dead Humans: 0
Dead Undeads: 6
Giles Unconscious: 1
Giles Cleans His Glasses: 0
Buffy Breaks a Door: 0
Evil Reveal: 0
Unevil Reveal: 0
Shenanigans Called: 1
Apocalypse Called: 0

We Saved the World. I Say We Party. Season One in Review

 Season One in Review


The earth is not so doomed as Giles would have us believe...


Stats:

Dead Humans - 22
Dead Undeads - 21
Giles Unconscious - 4
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 1
Buffy Breaks a Door - 6
Evil Reveal - 9
Unevil Reveal - 3
Shenanigans Called - 25
Apocalypse Called - 2


Daniel's Thoughts:

I love season one. It's a great introduction to the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Even though most episodes are the standard 'monster of the week,' we still have a consistent season-long arc. I like season one because I still like Xander and Willow. This will change. Sure, the later seasons are more complex and have better character development but, like the first Harry Potter book, season one is about introducing us to a magical world. We, as the audience, get to be a part of the newness that brings Willow & Xander in.  And if that was this season's aim, it did it's job.

Zelda's Thoughts:

First, my thoughts on the stats: Although officially we have one more dead human logged than dead undead, that is including Buffy's own death, which was not all that permanent as such things go. So in that sense, humans vs. not humans, we're coming out even. Which ... yay Buffy! Balancing the scales of justice, an eye for an eye, a slay for a slay. I must say I was quite disappointed in Giles's only cleaning of his glasses once in the whole season, but I know - I know - that he'll do it much in future. But right now he's the Holy Grail of stats. A further note: Since Angel will now be joining the cast of regulars on the show, we will cease to track his total lack of a consistent character. But rest assured, we will find new things to track!

I don't tend to give Season One much credit as a season, perhaps because it is young, short, and the overarcing Big Bad is not that compelling to me. But rewatching the season again has taught me that, while as a unit it still doesn't feel as strong or as gut-punchy as later seasons, the sum of its parts are still pretty damn strong. We have good solid introductions to our core team, and each character is given his/her own episode to further explore their range and limitations (okay, maybe not Giles, and maybe when he does get his episode it's kind of lamish, but ASH is awesomeness incarnate, so hush). The show consistently sets up conventional scenarios and expectations and consistently smashes those to take us to a realer, more honest place. It quite literally sets our metaphor of "High School is Hell" by building Buffy's new highschool right on top of the big ol' Hellmouth (a fact our heroes don't officially learn until "Prophecy Girl"), and sets up the M.O. of exploring that in a myriad of different ways for the upcoming seasons (including giving us the "free pass"/hanging lantern of the Hellmouth attracting all sorts of whacko mystical energy and thus giving our heroes an unending stream of foes to battle).

The season ain't perfect. There are clunker moments, and the throughline isn't as through or liney as it might be. But the season ends in "Prophecy Girl," which is about as perfect a season finale as I could ask for.


Next - We kick off Season Two with When She Was Bad!