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


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Did I Mention That I'm Having a Very Strange Night?


Xander and his thing

Episode 3.13: The Zeppo. Original Airdate 1.26.99

"Xander experiences an adventure of his own when he encounters a group of reanimated corpses out to construct a bomb. Meanwhile, Buffy and her friends battle the forces of evil when the Hellmouth reopens."

Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Willow is starting to show off her witchy powers!
  • I love that these are purely female demons
  • Bullies, so accurate - no matter what Xander says, they just spit off fighting words without any context
  • I think I like this episode mostly because I can kind of identify with High School Xander a little bit here
  • Of course, I never bought a car just to have a 'thing'
  • Buffy had three jellies!  How does she stay so skinny?  Ah yes, fighting vamps and stuff
  • But way to throw Buffy under the bus, Willow.  
  • Still, I like Giles's little snit about not getting a jelly doughnut
  • I love this stupid plot - it's so ridiculously funny.
  • And Nick actually shines in this episode
  • And yes, it's a little odd that they've never really treated Xander with such kid gloves before and never really do again, but I like the story/episode enough that I don't mind the contrivance fairy
  • Awww, Xander is so desperate, he's trying to hang out with Angel
  • The knife's name is Katie!
  • So these zombies don't actually follow the rules of normal zombies...  
  • Yeah, I know Faith did say that slaying makes her hungry and horny - but Xander, really?
  • And poor Xander - losing it to a girl who will never ever call him back
  • The only thing I like about this schmoopy Angel/Buffy scene is how they show how annoyingly schmoopy these scenes really are.
  • And I love that after Xander leaves, the schmoopy music comes back
  • And I think showing a B-plot as an A-plot shows that the rest of the world matters and though Buffy & company are trying to save the world, that's not the only thing happening in the world. 
  • Although I think that point might have been made better if it was someone like Jonathan starring in this episode
  • I love the zombie getting beheaded by the mailbox
  • "Note to self!"  sounds like a 80s/90s sitcom title starring Soleil Moon Frye or something.
  • I love the monster that comes out of the hellmouth in the library - but it all seems to be repaired very quickly by the next episode
  • The countdown on the bomb is totally off.  The beeps match the seconds only when the clock is on camera.  Otherwise, it would have gone off by now
  • But I still like Xander's speech - it's clever and brave.  Two things he'll never be again.
  • And at the end, I like that Xander finally learns that being silent is part of being cool.  (This is not something he'll retain.)

Zelda's Thoughts:

  • Ugh. I hate this episode. I'm not alone in that, am I?
  • I just feel like it's working too hard, at making everyone else treat him like he's completely useless. It feels Out of Character, the degree to which everyone is behaving this way. I know Giles and Angel think Xander's useless and Cordelia's suffering from Scornedwomanitis, but Buffy and Willow are not usually this condescending. And the writers are doing it to make the point they want to make about Xander's actual value, etc., but because it's so overdone and feels out of character to me, I don't believe it, I don't trust it, and it feels unearned.
  • AND AND AND they make the point in much better ways in later episodes. The Replacement is a marvelous example of Xander realizing his worth. The season finales usually give him some kind of badass moment (leading the army of students in Graduation Day, the glorified bricklayer picking up a spare in The Gift, and other fun moments (yes, yes, yellow crayon); my point is, they know how to correctly affirm Xander's worth in proper context of who he typically is, but for the purposes of this episode, they overexaggerate his perceived non-worth, both in his eyes and in the treatment by the rest of the Scoobies. It's lazy writing and it shows.
  • Also Shenanigans! that Xander would playing catch with the jocks. So many shenanigans.
  • Xander's spazz is overdone too. And not terribly funny. (well, the Jimmy Olsen joke was good)
  • The cafeteria food looks naaaaaaaaaasty. Yay realism!
  • The Oz scene might be the best part though. "short non-committal phrases"
  • "Just need to find my thing." DIRTY
  • The light in this episode is bothering me a lot. A bunch of scenes clearly shot in late afternoon/early evening pretending they are ... other times. YOU CAN'T FOOL ME, CALIFORNIA SUN.
  • "This is my thing!" // "Is this a penis metaphor?" Buffy gets me.
  • Haha Xander bored by the girl who's into cars.
  • Angel, doing his scene of dark foreboding doomy brood of the week. Thanks, Angel! See you next time.
  • I'm glad they acknowledge Jack O'Toole is way too old for high school.
  • That's a big knife. I can't wait to tell my friends. They don't have a knife this big.
  • Oh look a cop in Sunnydale. I wonder if he's deeply stupid.
  • Xander's car chick clearly is. Like deliberately oblivious to Jack waving a knife in Xander's face.
  • I do like how chill/stoked Bob is about Jack's bringing him back from the dead.
  • Man, it's just not Giles's month. First he gets fired by the Watcher's Council, then the glowy spirit guide blows him off:
aka, fuck the hell off
  • Even the treatment of the apocalypse feels kind of out of character. The characters are all so grave and melodramatic and my god SOAPY when it comes to Angel, but the episode itself is laughing at all of this. There's self-referential humor, and there's out of character self-mockery by an entire show of itself.
  • blah blah blah cakebomb blah blah blah Faith sex blah blah blah
  • Grabbing one of the zombieboys by the arm and dragging him by the car is pretty cool though, I gotta say.
  • I like that in the midst of the high school chase, one of the zombieboys notices the Hellmouth battles.
  • I do enjoy a good hallway chase scene - Xander chases zombieboy, then runs back, chased by scary apocalypse demons.
  • And I like that Xander does scare Jack into deactivating the bomb. With his words. Just think if he had a sweet story about a yellow crayon. He could save the world!
  • Hey, Oz killed someone! But a zombie someone, so it's okay.
  • So I guess things are okay between Giles and Buffy now.
  • The one thing I do find interesting is, just like the rest of the Scoobies never find out how Xander spent his night (except for the sexytiems), so we never find out fully what this latest apocalypse was about, how it involved Angel, or how they defeated it. Beyond that? Blah. Fuck this episode.

Favorite Lines:

Daniel: Xander: "Is it about the talking? You know, the way you tend to express yourself in short, non-committal phrases?"// Oz: "Could be."
Zelda: "I always have a jelly. I'm always the one that says, 'Let's have a jelly in the mix.'" - Giles

90s Factoid:
guys wearing necklaces with supershort chains

Bob: "Whoa! Walker, Texas Ranger. You been taping 'em?" // Jack: "Every ep."
because 1 - Walker freaking Texas Ranger, and 2 - taping shows. On video tape. [Hey, I taped Buffy on video! - Z]

Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • "Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 'You're fired.'" No, seriously. That's the entire previously for this episode. It was amazing.
  • Recurring: Faith, Willy the Snitch.
  • Willow's getting better at the magic, helping Buffy on slaying missions.
  • It's full moon time, and Oz is locking himself in the completely foolproof and safe book cage.
  • Jack's friend Bob is buried right in front of Alpert.
  • A new kind of zombie, way more sentient than those in Dead Man's Party
  • current magic shop is called: Uncle Bob's Magic Cabinet
  • Xander lost his flower.


Oz's Hair - red
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 6
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses -0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 1
Apocalypse Called - 1


  1. I remember taping episodes of Buffy too.

    I really like this episode, but then I don't hate Xander as much as everyone else does and I hate Angel more than anyone else does. So, I enjoyed the scenes mocking the schmaltzy love crap between Angel and Buffy and I really liked Xander saving everyone else so that they could save the world. It was cool.

    1. I don't hate Xander but I still hate this episode. :P


  2. Funnily enough. I do hate Xander, but I love this episode.

  3. I don't hate Xander but I still hate this episode. :P - Z

    Funnily enough. I do hate Xander, but I love this episode. - D

    You two are enigmas wrapped in mystery. :P

  4. I like to think the episode is all for Xander pov and not meant to be taken at face value, its more of an exploration of how xander views himself, his place in the group, and even buffy and angels relationship.