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


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

We know the world didn't end, cuz ... check it out: Season Two in Review

Series Stats:

Dead Humans - 49
Dead Undeads - 66
Dead Flashbacks - 5
Giles Unconscious - 8
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 6
Buffy Breaks a Door - 11*
Evil Reveal - 26
Unevil Reveal - 8
Shenanigans Called - 51
Apocalypse Called - 4

Season Two Stats (including comparison to previous season):

Dead Humans - 27 (+5)
Dead Undeads - 45 (+24)
Dead Flashbacks - 5 (news stat)
Giles Unconscious - 4 (=)
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 5 (+4)
Buffy Breaks a Door - 5 (-1)*
Evil Reveal - 17 (+8)
Unevil Reveal - 5 (+2)
Shenanigans Called - 26 (+1)
Apocalypse Called - 2 (=)

Zelda's Thoughts:

Season Two is when they really started bringing arc to the show, and it was enormously satisfying. In Season One we had a lot of set up, monsters of the week, and character pieces, but the main throughlines (beyond Willow's and Xander's growing competence in the slayage world) was Angel-is-a-vampire-but-also-hot and The-Master-is-evil-and-stuff. Here, a lot of things were set up and followed through in really satisfying ways. Giles, Willow and Xander all got romantic partners, Willow started exploring the magics, Amy starting witching about too, everyone got their heart broken in some shape or other, Oz arrived and became a werewolf, Larry was gay, Jonathan was nebbishy (and EMMY WINNING, wait that happened now, not then), Spike arrived and was just a new brand of awesome, and, most importantly, Buffy's and Angel's relationship steadily progressed in intensity, leading to the sexes and the Season Two is definitely one of my favorite seasons - I think the emotionally arc tracks extremely well and organically, and is still effective years later. It gives me Spike, whom we all know I love. It gives us Angelus, who will always be loads more fun than Angel (for both DB and for us, I suspect). The season overall is very strong, and there are some stellar individual episodes as well. Which is probably why I keep forgetting (and am surprised by) the BAD episodes here. Inca Mummy Girl, Reptile Boy, Go Fish - though each contain some funny, I dread the rewatch on all three of these. Sometimes it's just because the metaphor is too preachy/overdone, but sometimes (mostly?) it just feels like bad writing - the funny isn't funny enough, the poignant isn't poignant enough, and I can't be made to care.

But then ... oh, but then ... there is Buffy's sad crumpling face, in Innocence or in Becoming Part 2. There is her small childlike voice asking "Angel?" in I Only Have Eyes For You. There is Buffy with the rocket launcher. There is Spike disposing of the Annoying One. There is Oz falling in love with Willow, over and over again. There is Buffy asking Giles to lie to her about adulthood. There is beautiful, wonderful Giles with the roses in Passion, and in the factory afterward. And yes, there is Sarah McLachlan.

And damn, Season Two is good. I can't wait for Season Three.

Come back, Buffy!

*Stats updated to reflect the door Buffy broke in Bad Eggs.

*******************SHAMELESS PLUG*******************
Zelda's book of short stories, This Is What They Made It Out Of: tales from the end of the world, is now available on Amazon Kindle. Get your copy today!


  1. this is the greatest blog in existence

    recently started my own rewatch of buffy (due to the face that my boyfriend had never watched it...lame right!) But were up through Season Four (just finished New Moon Rising...TARA squee)

    Love this!


    1. thanks Ashley! Glad to hear you're educating your boyfriend properly.

  2. Agreed on all points, Season 2 and three have always fought for my top favorites. Both have great big bads, excellent character development and heartbreaking story lines.

  3. I'm enjoying your blog immensely. Discovered it by accident, as the best things are always found, and have been reading it for much of the afternoon & evening. Although I don't always agree with your take on the episodes, you are bringing up fond memories of the years spent watching & re-watching it.

    As for your Season Two recap, one of my pet theories about television is that season two is usually the best one for most series. Season one is inevitably about introducing the characters, establishing the interpersonal dynamics, and so on. (And often as not, quietly discarding failed plots or characters.) When you get beyond season three or so, either the showrunner is so enamored of his show mythology that everything fits some grand design, or the writers and producers decide to "mix things up" by adding new characters or taking stories in a different direction.

    Season two, on the other hand, is "just right" -- the characters are well defined, so you can actually do some story-telling, but you're not slaves to defeating the evil overlord for the entire season, so you can do one-off episodes that don't have to fit in the big plot. Buffy's Season Two is a perfect example Yes we have Spike & Dru and eventually Angelus as Big Bads, but we also have time for mummy girls, Halloween, and ghost stories.

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! It's been fun for us to go and see all you've said. Your theory definitely holds true for both Buffy and Angel - they took some time to find their feet, and then really hit their stride the next season.

  4. LOVE your blog.. Where has this been all my life?! I tend to rewatch the show every 2-3 years and with the 20th anniversary, I just had to binge again. I'm having a blast watching then reading your posts!

    Agreed that season 2 was good. I think back when I first watched, it remained my favourite for a long time (I was 15 and in love with Buffy/Angel, so imagine my heartbreak at the end!). Can't wait to watch season 3 and follow your comments in parallel ;)

    1. thanks so much for joining us! you're still in the good stuff now (we're wasting away in season seven)