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


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Don't Taunt the Fear Demon

Episode 4.4: Fear Itself. Original Airdate 10.26.99

"On Halloween, Buffy and her friends find themselves trapped inside a haunted frat house complete with real bats, zombies, and a terrifying demon."

Zelda and Daniel are excited that the Fear Itself recap coincidentally purposefully landed on Halloween week.  Happy Halloween from the scoobies and the receptionists at Wolfram & Hart!

Zelda's Thoughts:

  • I always wanted to be really great at pumpkin carving. Like, this was an actual desire of mine. And I was never better than pretty damn mediocre at it. My life is tragic.
  • Not as tragic as Buffy playing with pumpkin guts, though.
  • "Maybe it's because of all the horrific things we've seen, but hippos wearing tutus just don't unnerve me the way they used to." Never change, Oz.
  • I'm glad they all wanna smack Parker. Nice friends.
aka Aldis Hodge. Also he was on FNL
  • Oops Buffy was doing the wrong kind of support-o-friend.
  • At least Willow's not in pink today.
  • Oz, speaking with the voice of prophecy, warns Willow against getting in too deep with the magic and dark powers. Too bad HIS MOVIE CAREER WILL PREVENT HIS SEEING WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SHE DOES.

  • I love the different ways Giles's unemployment ennui are manifesting this season. He's so much fun. I can't wait for singing Giles. Also drunk Giles. DRUNK GILES I WANT DRUNK GILES.
  • Also I want candy from Giles's giant bowl of candy.
  • Hey it's that dude from Space Cases! (also apparently Power Rangers?)
I was the black power ranger.  Not Racist...
  • "Is there any holiday that's not about getting laid?" // "Arbor Day" Really? No wood puns?
  • See! See! Xander's insecurities, way better grounded and way better explored without contrivance here than in The Zeppo. Anya points out that he has less in common with his Scooby pals, and he feels it himself, as they forgot to tell him about the party in the first place. And then Oz calls him a civilian and he feels that burn. Much better set up for his invisibility thang.
  • Walsh is so warm and fuzzy. I'm super disappointed she left the show early. -_-
  • In the interest of being fair, I like that Riley doesn't just let Buffy's quips knock him down - he gives as good as he gets. He doesn't get flustery until he realizes he has feels for Buffy. I still don't find him interesting, but he's not awful right now.
  • Oh Oz. Never shake your blood out over a demonic symbol. Has living on the Hellmouth taught you nothing?
  • Aw Buffy. Your abandonment issues are showing. Stupid Hank. Stupid Parker. Stupid Angel. Stupid ... who else can we call stupid? The Doctor? Did he abandon her too? He abandons everyone.
  • Willow's costume is pretty awesome, gotta say. Oz's is better, though, but I mean ... hard to beat God.
  • AND AND AND the random guy Willow greets in the hall is Ray from Alex Mack! WHY IS ALL MY TV IN MY TV.
No seriously. How is it I'm recognizing all the bit players this week?
  • I love that Buffy's got weapons in her basket.  Buffy for the win.
  • Heh. Pretty sure the Initiative Guy who crosses the Scoobies' path and stops and straightens is Riley. If only because he's very very tall.
  • Oh CGI bats. Technology has improved so much since 1999.
  • Anya wins at Halloween. Giles and Oz are close behind, but she wins and we just need to acknowledge that.
  • I love that we don't realize when they stop hearing Xander at first, just like him. It's subtle and it's great - it's in fact a perfect match for his fear - that his friends will forget him no one will notice at first til it's too late.
  • ewwwwwwwwwwwwww real skeleton with sinews and an eyeball and crap ewwwwwwwww.
  • I like that Buffy is sending them away, not just because of her "I'll do it myself, you guys go hide," but also because she wants Giles's help.
  • Anya's one-track is so cute "Oh, they're trapped too but we've gotta save Xander!"
  • Oh but now they're all bickering. I'm blaming the spell.
  • "Oh yeah? Well, so's your face!" I use this. So much. Because of non sequitur.
  • Awwwww poor Xander.
  • Oh no Oz no.
  • These are incredibly helpful bullet points.
  • Aw Willow. "Oz, don't leave me!" That's what I've been saying all month, girl.
  • I like that, in addition to Buffy's current fear of abandonment, we have a variation on her old one from Nightmares, of being dragged into death.
  • Aw Giles took off his costume. At least Anya kept hers.
  • Buffy went through the Narnia door! Welcome to the attic!
  • "If we close our eyes and say it's a dream, it'll stab us to death." so much love, such good delivery
  • Maybe I just want Giles to be my spirit animal so I can have a chainsaw.
  • God I love the conclusion to this so much. Everyone is just in top form and then THERE'S A TINY FEAR DEMON
  • A really well-designed TINY FEAR DEMON
  • "Big overture. Liiiiiiiiiittle show."
  • His tiny voice! His tiny voice! "I am the lord of nightmares!"
  • "They're all going to abandon you, you know."
  • I love this episode so hard.
  • I want candy now. Can I have candy?
  • "Actual size." snerk

Daniel's Thoughts:

  • This was the first episode of Buffy I ever saw and why I fell in love with the show.
  • This was also the theme for a murder-mystery game I designed on a message boa-  shut up.
  • Pumpkin carving!  This used to be a tradition with a few friends of mine until they MOVED AWAY.  (not bitter.)
  • Oh Buffy, so maudlin.   Still not over Parker.  ACCURATE.  But why is accurate good?
  • THIS SEASON GIVES ME COLLEGE FLASHBACKS.  But omg, seriously, the pumpkin and guts metaphor? I think I may have once done the same thing with a match burning out.  Yeah.  That was me.
  • Aww, Xander feels left out because he doesn't go to college.
  • And they never explain why he doesn't.  I mean, I’m sure he didn't have the grades…but also, I’m sure his parents wouldn't pay for college either.  It would have been nice if they explored that.  Or not, you know, whatever.
  • That Sunnydale street set is so fake – but cool factoid: they have that same area in the video game and you can go inside the movie theater.
  • Willow: “Then again, what is college for, if not experimenting?”  Sassy black lady Daniel: Mmmm Hmmm.
  • Giles! In a sombrero!
  • “it’s been exactly one week since we copulated.  Did you forget?” – Anya  Heheh
  • Walsh: Scary but she’s right.  A break up is not a good enough excuse to miss class. ESPECIALLY THAT JACKWEED PARKER.
  • The early stages of Riley and Buffy flirting.  It's subtle and I like it.
  • Nightmares, Fear Itself, Restless – there are tons of episodes that deal with the gang’s fears.
  • Aww, Joyce is being a good mom.  I approve of the costume altering. 
  • And I love Buffy dressing up as Little Red.  Throwback to Helpless?
  • Xander should look better than that in a tux. 
  • “If I were Abbot and Costello, this would be fairly traumatic” – Buffy
  • Anya in a bunny costume! ANYA IN A BUNNY COSTUME! 
It's just...the best thing ever.
Actual Size...

  • There's definitely a really good mixture here of good and bad special effects.  I love the weird green lights attacking Willow, and the gross skeleton man.  The head is a bit fake but still pretty scary.  The bats are...well CGI bats.  Oh, and that window closing up is pretty good too.
  • I don’t really get Willow’s snit here.  I mean why is she getting so mad?  Buffy is usually the one that comes up with a plan.  Will can disagree, sure but I don’t get why she’s getting so upset.
  • "Destroying the mark of Gachnar -" *Buffy destroys the mark* "- is not one of them."  HAHAH
  • Gachnar is so cute!---------------->

  • “Bunnies Frighten Me”.  AND FROM ONE LINE, STARTS A RUNNING GAG.
  • So I don't get it....the people in the house...did they really die or just fake die?  This is confusing


We only counted one human death - that guy who broke his neck.  Cause that seemed real.  Everything else seemed....just fear fueled.  What say you?

Favorite Lines:
Zelda: "I coulda been God!" // "Blasphemer." - Xander/Oz
Daniel: “If I were Abbot and Costello, this would be fairly traumatic” – Buffy

Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • Recurrings: Parker, Anya, Walsh, Riley, Joyce, Army Guys
  • Willow's still doing magic, but worries that she's plateaued. Others worry that she could climb to scary dark-haired veiny heights.
  • Xander's Uncle Rory gets another shoutout. He likes his Schnappes.
  • Shoutout to Ted. Whom, we have confirmed, Joyce knew was a robot (it was unclear in the episode itself)
  • Shoutout to Willow's almost getting burned at the stake.
  • Willow's first light-guide conjuring thing. We'll see this a lot.
  • Bunnies frighten Anya.


Oz's Hair - red
Anya's Hair - brown, a bit shorter, and less confusing
Dead Humans - 1
Dead Undeads - 1
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 0
Apocalypse Called - 0

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I Love Syphilis More Than You

Episode 4.3: The Harsh Light of Day. Original Airdate 10.19.99

"As Buffy gets to know a charming student named Parker, Spike searches for a ring that, according to legend, makes the wearer invincible."

Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Hey the Bronze!  Dingoes!
  • What is with Devin’s midriff shirt?
Not a great look, Devin...

  • Is the Bronze walking distance from UC Sunnydale?
  • I love Harmony.  “Big snake, huh?”
  • Good continuity considering the last we saw of Harmony was her getting bit by a vamp.
  • Hey Anya’s sorta…in the credits.
  • But yay! Emma’s first episode in season four!
  • Parker. Oh he’s good.  It’s the long con of sexual conquests.  How do you consciously pretend and lie for so long just to get a girl in bed?
  • Buffy, stop being so na├»ve!  AH hell, who am I kidding. I would have fallen for it too. (and have.)
  • YAY! Anya!
  • Devon and Harmony dated?  Nice retcon, right there.
  • Hey it’s Spike!  Yeah, I still like him at this point.
  • Hey, I've been to that frat party…
  • No one notices that that guy looks half dead?
  • Gem of Amara.  The stuff of legends.
  • Prime opportunity to stake Spike.  Missed. Why exactly?
  • I don’t like Anya’s dress but at least it’s easy to slip off.
  • Speaking of Antonio Banderas – rent The Skin I Live In.  Seriously.
  • “Behind me figuratively.  I’m thinking face to face for that actual event” 
  • Everything Anya says is awesome.
  • UGH – Parker is so SWARMY.
  • OH BUFFY, SO VULNERABLE. I mean…she can’t be buff Buff all the time…
  • It’s a montage! "Even Rocky had a  montage!" - From Team America!
  • Nice catch!
  • This episode gives me way too many college flashbacks.
  • Hey! Look how long it’s taking for Spike to burn up! How convenieeennnttt.
  • I want Buffy to be strong and realize Parker is an asshole and not worth her time but...the story is still realistic.

Zelda's Thoughts:

  • I'm still doing my Cher imitation. Turns out I'm really good/annoying at it! New skill for the resume!
  • Goddammit Willow. Pink sweater again. Why does the costume designer hate me. If I knew it was gonna turn into a thing I would have never started commenting on it, but now I can't let go of it.

  • Buffy's having lusty wrong feelings.
  • So I guess the Bronze, formerly a high school hangout, is now a cool college hangout? Just go with it!
  • Harmony's a vampire!  Yay? I like Harmony, but only in small doses. Too much, and she gets annoying. Like the Trio. And like her appearance on S5 of Angel.
  • I'm not even going to bother trying to track if Buffy's scar from Angel's bite will ever appear after this episode, because I doubt it.
  • "I'm dark and brooding, so give me love." YES WE'RE ALLOWED TO MAKE FUN OF ANGEL NOW. IT IS CANON.
  • It's the Xander and Giles Show! For men feeling useless and impotent in Buffy's life!
  • "You should lock your door." Anya, answered my question from The Freshman.
  • "I need to talk to Xander ... go away!" Emma Caulfield's delivery is flat-out flawless. I'm so glad she's back.
  • "And the whole you-used-to-be-a-man-killing-demon thing. Which, to be fair, is as much my issue as it is yours." This is why they're adorbs.
  • I love Anya because she wants to learn, she wants to do the human thing.
  • "Yeah we came to warn you about the angry puppy." Oz's little squint as he makes sure he's playing along to the correct lie.
  • Hey, Spike got himself a British vamp minion. Those have got to be rare in Southern California. Only the best for our Platinum Baby.
  • Spike's relationship with Harmony is confusing to me. How did they meet exactly? And whyyyyyy were they drawn together? I genuinely can't figure the circumstances. I mean, I sort of understand why they would hook up, I just don't know like ... how they would be thrown together? Spike would be looking for a rebound, someone who wouldn't take him for granted (and be certifiable). He clearly loathes Harmony, but finds her sexually interesting enough to keep her around. Harmony, meanwhile, has always been a follower, one to glom onto someone more powerful - first Cordy, now Spike. Harmony has low enough self esteem that I can see her staying with him even with how shittily he treats her. Spike seems to be staying with her more out of laziness? Watching their scenes together are sort of funny, sort of ... painful? It's an unhealthy relationship, but then so was Spike/Dru. But it's unusual for Spike, who usually gives himself entirely over to his partner, be it Dru or Buffy. Here, he's giving barely anything, except hostility. And his beautiful muscled torso, I guess.

  • Hah Buffy's face as she realizes Spike is dating Harmony.
  • I loves you James Marsters.
  • Harmony is the worst evil planner ever. "Let's tell Buffy our whole plan!"
  • A disco ball, Xander? Really?
  • Xander's juicebox had a premature ejaculation. Xander's juicebox really likes naked Anya.
  • Shirtless Spike is enjoyable. But Harmony is annoying.
  • Buffy, your shirt has no back. That looks kind of uncomfortable.
  • Yay "Lucky" is such a pretty song. Totally singing along the entire time. Out of tune. Guess my Bif Naked impression isn't as good as my Cher one.
  • Aw Buffy. It's sad because right now it seems like a nice morning after, but we know better.
  • "I love syphilis more than you." Does this mean Spike is in love with Xander?
  • d'aww Willow is a good friend.
  • Harmony's hair is gorgeous.
  • "A place which has witnessed some truly spectacular kickings of my arse." Man has a point. He's used to being a Big Bad, but Sunnydale just sees him get like paralyzed and burnt up and fun stuff like that. He really should never come back again except YAY HE DOES.
  • :( Sad Buffy Tiems.
  • I like the costume detail that Spike's nailpolish is always really chipped off.
  • "I thought maybe you'd look taller." Oh Harmony. No one on this show is tall. Except Riley.
  • Hi Katie Loomis! 
"I'm next!"

  • Parker, Resident Douchecanoe. His casual language "you'd like her a bunch," his complete lack of investment in maintaining any contact with Buffy now he's bedded her.
  • "Is that all it was?" // "What else was it supposed to be?"
  • Ugh. Ugh, Parker, ugh.
  • And poor Buffy, trying not to cry in front of him, she's confused and she's trying to be an adult but she doesn't play this way.
  • Hi Spike!
  • "Sun beaming down in a nice, non-fatal way. It's very exciting. Can't wait to see if I freckle."
  • Okay, here's what I like about Spike's incredibly crude taunting of Buffy's one night stand with Parker - I think it throws into harsh relief how much ALL THE BAD here is on Parker, and not on Buffy not being, what, mature enough to handle casual sex. She's still not all better right away (I point our attention to the forthcoming Beer Bad), but I think giving her those words, and not just Spike's face, to fight against, is a bit helpful.
  • "Maybe you made a mistake but that's okay." Yes, Buffy, listen to the wise Willow.
  • "He's a poop head." YES BUFFY LISTEN TO THE WISE WILLOW.
  • "I think you're missing something about the whole Poop Head Principle."
  • And we have three sad, rejected girls, walking the saddest walk of sad walks. Of course, Anya's is easily fixable, as that was mostly a misunderstanding. But both Buffy and Harmony need to realize their respective rejectors are Poop Heads (yes, I love Spike, but he's being a poop head in boyfriend terms).
  • I suppose I should also be deep and say something about the episode title, "Harsh Light of Day," which is about looking at things clearly, in bright light, with a sober mind. Buffy (and we) have been looking at Parker through loveydovey shades. And also Spike did that walk in the sunshine thing. (fittingly, his crossover ep on Angel is "In the Dark") But as far as final tableaux go, I find it interesting that all three women, facing the heartbreak of rejection, aren't making their Sad Walks in that harsh light of day, but in the dark of night. Yes, I know, Harmony's a vampire, blah blah blah. I'm just pointing it out.

Favorite Lines:

Daniel: “I have condoms.  Some are black.” - Anya
Zelda: "Everybody, Giles has a TV! He's shallow like us!" - Xander

90s Factoid:

This whole look from the lead singer of Bif Naked

Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • Recurring: Devon, Parker, Harmony, Spike.
  • Harmony's a vampire now.
  • Apparently Devon dated Harmony. Was that before or after he dated Cordelia?
  • Dru dumped Spike again - she left him for a fungus demon this time.
  • Xander and Anya's first time.
  • Buffy uses her Sunnydale yearbook to try to track down Harmony.
  • Buffy and Willow live in 214 in Stephenson.
  • Sex with Buffy turns men evil. 2 out of 2 = proven statistic.


Oz's Hair - red
Anya's Hair - long, brown, and confusing
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 0
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 1 (Harmony. Parker doesn't count.)
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 0
Apocalypse Called - 0

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

She Irons her Jeans. She's Evil.

Episode 4.2: Living Conditions. Original Airdate 10.12.99

"Buffy finds herself at odds with her new roommate and is troubled by a series of disturbing dreams involving a soul-sucking demon."

Zelda's Thoughts:

  • So it turns out I do a mean impression of Cher singing "Believe." More on this below.
  • This is another episode where on rewatches I try to figure out when the spell started, and when exactly in the narrative Buffy's craycraytiems began due to soul sucking. Did Kathy start last ep? Or wait til now? Did it not start until the first nightmare? Did Kathy not think to start until she realized her dad (or whoever) wanted to drag her back to her dimension? SO MANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ABOUT AN EPISODE I DON'T REALLY CARE ABOUT.
  • Though I do like that it keeps up the tradition of the series, metaphorizing into Evil Demon real problems, like Worst Roommate Ever problems.
  • At least they both seem to hate each other equally? And it's not like only Kathy is insane, but some of her issues with Buffy's behavior are legit. Like: late hours, swiping food.
  • "Stitch in time -" // " - catches the worm." YES.
  • "Sid the Wily Dairy Gnome." I WANT THIS SPINOFF. Also I wonder if he's friends with the gum gnome. I'm just sayin' ... lot of gnomes for one episode.
  • I have to give massive props to Dagney Kerr as Kathy. She's so good at the cheerful passive aggression.
  • I don't understand Buffy's jeans ... did she decide her capri length cut was too short and try to lengthen them ... and then not lengthen them enough?

  • I do like that it takes a while for their roommie behavior to escalate. At first they're just irritated with each other. But after Kathy's sweater gets ruined when Buffy pushes her into the bushes, and she steals Buffy's, the behavior starts getting more aggressive.
  • "You're not having one of those mid-life things, are you?" No, Buffy, that's next season.
  • I'm confused. This ep was written by Marti Noxon, but there's no heartbreak or breakups in it.
  • Giles. Beautiful wonderful Giles and his beautiful wonderful delivery. "A friend of mine recently acquired an original Gutenberg demonography and it suddenly occurred to me that you've never once asked me what my day's plans were."
  • See, Buffy's current gripes about Kathy are her pencil sharpening ways, her music preferences, and her in general anal retentive approach to living. Not yet of the "SHE MUST BE EVIL" ness.
  • Seriously, though, Kathy, you just went through Buffy's closet like you were shopping. wtf that's not cool. Taking milk is one thing, taking sweaters is worse.
  • Hi Parker! Remember when you were gay on Dawson's Creek? And when you tried to sell an air conditioner to Betty Draper?
  • Those dining hall salads look appropriately disgusting.
moment of realism right there.

  • His meetcute with Buffy is appropriately meetcute, though. Pretty eyes, soft hair, and charming banter.
  • Buffy's face after Parker walks off: "Oh yeah, still got it."
  • Buffy's twitchy eye at Kathy. Love it.
  • "Don't forget to log those calls." Oh Kathy. Calls from dorm to dorm are free! It's only long distance that you get charged for. Proof she's evil?
  • I kind of love that Kathy clearly has a label maker for her food - it's all typed labels - only the eggs handwritten. Bitch be cray.
  • But seriously Buffy, don't leave your gum on the side table. That's third grade stuff.
  • haha Buffy thinks the worst part of her dream is Kathy. Everyone else votes for blood down her throat. Of course, the truth is, THEY'RE ONE AND THE SAME.
  • Oz, deadpanning "Well, I'm a good guesser." I'm gonna miss you, Oz. Stupid Seth Green's stupid movie career.
  • Haha and we have definite proof that Buffy is enspelled - rather than seeing the significance that Kathy had the same dream, she's just mad at Kathy for horning in on that too.
  • Parker schmoozing Kathy on her music taste is our first clue that he's a womanizer, a Man of Conquests.
  • Oh Buffy, that's no way to drink milk. You're gonna vomit it up. And all over your black shirt! That's gonna stank.
  • "Well, I'm not saying we'll braid each other's hair ... probably, but" Why do I suspect Oz was one of their favorite characters to write? He's got all the best stuff.
  • That shot was so economical. After Veruca we had random army guys.
  • "So either you hit her or you did your wacky mime routine for her." DON'T LEAVE US, OZ.
  • "On the plus hand, you killed the bench, which was looking shifty." I HATE YOU FOR LEAVING US.
I give you Pink Sweater #7

  • I had no idea this episode would give me such caps locks feels.
  • Seriously, though, while I'm glad Willow tells Giles & Co that Buffy's a bit off her rocker, but like ISN'T THAT ALSO A CLUE THAT SOMETHING MAGICAL IS HAPPENING. Like, she knows Buffy's not like that. And like MAYBE BUFFY'S INTUITION IS RIGHT and Buffy's homicidalness is because of horrible Kathy?
  • Oz is so tiny, you guys. So very, very tiny.
  • I love that Buffy's reaction to FACE IN HER HANDS is a triumphant "I knew it!" I freaking love it.
  • "So I'm borrowing [your soul]"//"Without even asking." Buffy banter at its finest.
  • RIP Buffy's sweater.
  • I do respect that they're having the same old conversation of "treat me like an adult" but in demonese.
  • Heh, nice touch that Dingoes's ONE SONG is playing while Willow moves in, instead of Cher.
  • Yeah but also Willow don't eat Buffy's sandwich.

Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Man, this roommate. With the Cher and that song.
  • I’m really lucky I never had a terrible roommate.  Except maybe the one with the 40 year old boyfriend who used to watch me sleep. True story.
  • MAN, their dorm rooms are HUGE.
  • Ugh, this roommate passive aggressive awkwardness is so passive aggressively awkward – in a roommate way.
  • Wow, Buffy’s jeans are horrible (as seen above.)
  • This is why I live alone, Buffy.
  • Seriously, your dorm room should not be bigger than your room at home.
  • Ick. Parker. ICK.
  • Oh he’s smooth.  He’s smooth, that boy.
  • As much as I hate Parker, I’m glad they didn’t push Riley on Buffy right away and that they just let it happen.
  • Why isn't Willow equally-bitching about her roommate?
  • And did they automatically get a mini-fridge?  We had to rent ours.
  • Ok, with the whole gum thing?  Ew. Buffy can be an equally bad roomie.
  • Man, Seth Green is so good as Oz.  Too bad he’s Seth McFarlane’s bitch now.
  • Why would Kathy reveal her dream?  It connects her to the demons…of which she is one.
  • CORDELIA MENTION!  Even if it’s a bit of a negative one.
  • And some of Kathy’s points are really valid.  Buffy is an only child. ….for now….  And only children are not used to needing to share.
  • Ick.  Veruca.  I didn’t remember that she’s introduced so early.
  • Where did Kathy boil these eggs?
  • Why didn’t Willow & Buffy just room together from the beginning?  Ah right – cause this episode is awesome.
  • Buffy’s “I KNEW IT!” triumph is amazing.
  • Why did ripping off her face change her teeth too?
  • “So Buffy was right all along”.  Yeah…she usually is.
  • Hey, no deaths!  

  • ...although Kathy does get sucked into a hell there's that.


  • This is the cartoon Daniel made showing his feelings on Zelda's singing of Cher.

And this is the FB discussion that followed.

Favorite Lines:
Zelda: It was hard to choose which Oz line, because everything he said was pure gold. "Nobody deserves mime, Buffy."
Daniel: "On the plus side, you killed the bench - which was looking shifty." -Oz.  I chose the other one, Z.
90s Factoid:

You must be subjected to this as well:

Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • First appearance: Parker, Veruca
  • Recurring: Kathy Newman, Random Army Guys

Oz's Hair - red
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 0
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 1 (with her body)
Evil Reveal - 1 (Kathy)
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 0
Apocalypse Called - 0

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I Hope It's a Funny Aneurysm

Episode 4.1: The Freshman. Original Airdate 10.5.99

"As Buffy adjusts to college life, she notices that classmates are mysteriously disappearing."

Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Is Buffy really just choosing her courses like a day before college?
  • I love Willow’s new hair.
  • I remember taking short stories just because of the word “short”
  • Hey I wonder if Sunnydale has the “Buffy” course.
  • “It’s been a very slay-heavy summer”.  Good thing last year wasn't….
  • Credits! No Angel or Cordelia.  Shot of Anyanka!
  • UC Sunnydale seems huge.
  • Oh all the craziness of first day of freshman year. I remember when.
  • Shenanigans – you don’t pledge on the first day of college.
  • How do you really not know your classes until your first day?  I had all my courses down pat during the summer.
  • Willow’s comparison of HS and college is pretty accurate, though: "It's just in High School, knowledge was pretty much frowned upon. You really had to work to learn anything.  But here, the energy, the collective intelligence, it's like this force, this penetrating force, and I just feel my mind opening up - you know?" - While I had a pretty decent High School, I can definitely relate to this.
  • Beautiful library.  Too bad we’ll never see it again.
  • Funny Aneurysm. That’s…not cool.
  • Hey Riley!  You’re a big hunk of America-ness.
  • Man, his arms are like tree trunks.
  • Aww, Buffy is so awkward on her first day!
  • Hey, Kathy.  I bet she’s a demon.
  • That room is freaking HUGE.  My roommate and I needed to have bunk beds because otherwise they wouldn't fit otherwise..
  • That shot of Kathy putting up the Celine Dion poster is so well shot. (As seen in our 90's factoid below).
  • Ugh, I hate this teacher.  Fuck humiliating people just to be a dick.
  • And he’s taking acting lessons William Shatner.
  • Ok, the hallways are definitely sets because ARCHES.  If I had any ambition at all, I’d find all the arches that the Buffy designers have built and make a collage.
  • I love professor Walsh’s classroom, though.
  • And Walsh is as hard-nosed as that other teacher but in less dickish way.
  • Hey look, Buffy met a lost soul!  I’m sure he’ll last…at least through the night.  I was wrong.
  • Does she have Psych every day?
  • So it’s a neat concept and all.  Kill the freshman, leave a note so everyone will think they just couldn't handle it.  But…what about their parents?
  • Stoner vamp is kinda lame.
  • Giles!  It’s about time!  And oooh, Giles has a girlfriend!
  • I feel bad for Anthony Head. They never really found a place for him this season.
  • I wonder how much Olivia knows about things.
  • Poor Eddie!
  • I love that Buffy is so insulted by the dig at her clothes that she’s thrown off guard.
  • Stunt Sunday has huge arms.  Maybe it’s Riley in drag.
  • So I heard that Sunday was supposed to be an ex-slayer turned vamp but they decided to chuck the idea since that would be more of a season long arc.
  • I hate when Buffy goes all sad and inside of herself and doesn't trust her friends to confide in.
  • Hey! They still have the home set!
  • Worst. Mom. Ever. Really?  Turned her room into storage already? And the “I didn't think you’d be back so soon” line she keeps uttering.
  • Xander!  Yeah, I’m not as excited to see him.  But it’s nice for Buffy to see a friendly face.
  • Could Buffy really not ask if Xander’s heard from Cordelia?
  • Extra’s shirt at the bronze is really odd:

  • I'm really glad they didn't force Xander into college.
  • For a guy who doesn't want to talk about a story, he sure mentions the story a lot.
  • “Do we hug?” “I think we’re too manly.”  Heh.
  • I bet the prop guy was pissed when he read the script and realized they were breaking the umbrella.
  • See Buffy? Friends are your gift! [Uh... ~First Slayer]
  • I love that Willow is carrying the most stuff
  • And a nice set up for the season long arc we’ll all grow to love…

Zelda's Thoughts:

  • Oz is on disc one of season four. Because Oz leaves right after disc one. [And Anya is on NONE of the discs..-D]
  • So apparently unlike everyone else in the universe, Daniel and I don't hate S4. We welcome your arguments. (We don't think it's perfect, but there's a lot of good in the season)
  • It's a cute touch that Willow is in Sunnydale High colors as she helps Buffy choose classes.
  • "Yes, first there's the painful nowning process."
  • Willow and I have the same haircut but my hair is curly and not red. Hey! I thought I was supposed to bond with Buffy the most!
  • Hi first vampire of the series! Hi first Buffy failure to stake first vampire of the series!
  • I forgot how huge Aly's eyes are.
  • What the fuck, Whedon. One of Oz's shots in the new credits is from his EXIT EPISODE. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, SIR.
Even Seth Green thinks this is tacky.

  • Also this means that by the time this episode aired Seth Green had already wrapped on shooting and it's just not fair.
  • Yeah my first day of class/orientation was nothing like this.
  • Evidence Willow is Not Gay Yet: her turning first day of college into a hetero sex metaphor.
  • Aw Oz trying to make Buffy feel better about being disoriented. Failing utterly.
  • Aw, I forgot "funny aneurysm" was from this episode.
  • Hi Riley. You're very tall and corn-fed. I don't like you the way Daniel does, but I don't hate you just yet. I just find you a somewhat boring actor in terms of delivery. Not as inaccurate in your delivery as Glory (and sometimes Tara), but not interesting.
  • Oh Em GEE their dorm room is huge. They try to hang a lantern on it by commenting on the niceness of the room but WHAT THE HELL NOW. Sophomore Me is super jealous. I was in budget housing that year - 1 tiny closet, bunkbeds, NO dresser or shelving, just one large desk with three drawers.
  • Kathy's passive aggressiveness is well-begun.
  • Man, this teacher is a douche.
  • Okay, so I've been reading the highly-entertaining recaps by Snark Squad. And their big problem is they felt like Buffy's scramblings to find her footing in this episode were out of character with how confident and BAMF she was by the end of S3. I'm going to respectfully disagree, because I RELATE COMPLETELY. Every time in my life I've been thrown into a new setting, I freak out, turn completely silent, and try to stumble my way through til I figure out the rhythm. This was true when I went from middle school to high school, this was REALLY FREAKING TRUE when I went from high school to college (that first day was so truly awful I contemplated dropping out), and it continues to be true with every new job I get. I'm all confident and whatnot now, but throw me in a new setting with rules I don't know, and I feel like a spaz. So ... smoke on your pipe and put that in.
  • I just was completely ignoring Buffy's meetcute with Eddie to write the above, but it's okay because he's about to die.
  • It is a pretty clever way to pick off freshmen without ticking the radar too much. Way to be covert (and evil!), Sunday's gang of meanies.
  • I've never read Of Human Bondage. Is it good?
  • Sunday, your hair is awful. Awful.
  • Sunday's minions are all in vampface, for they are unimportant. Sunday isn't, because she is a featured guest role and wants to look pretty.
  • Does Buffy have a key to Giles's place, or does he leave it unlocked? [Never mind, this gets answered by Anya in  The Harsh Light of Day - Giles leaves it unlocked for he is footloose, fancy-free, and kinda foolish, frankly]
  • Hi Olivia!! I really liked you and I'm sad we didn't get more of you.
  • Buffy freaking out about Giles having a sex life, while completely unfair, is also hilarious. Props to SMG for adorableness.
  • I like that Buffy is spot on about the evil afoot. Giles has a point, though, he's not officially her Watcher anymore.
  • BUT then why the hell is he still in town? BE HER WATCHER, GILES. BE AWESOME.
  • SMG's delivery is so golden this ep. "I was worried that something had happened to you and of course it has 'cause you're a vampire."
  • Aw Buffy ran away. This gives me sads.
  • So I've never understood the arm thing. We hear it go crunch, but later in the climactic fight, she says it's hurt, not broken. Does that mean it never broke, or just magic Slayer Healing?
  • Hi Xander! Yay! (I'm not going to apologize for that yay, it was a nice entrance and just what Buffy needed in her sadness)
  • Hah. Xander was a stripper.
  • I'd call contrivance on the way they keep Xander around even if he's not in college, but no, I totally believe everything about that story.
  • "cancer of the puppy" haaaaaaaaaaaa
  • Avengers Assemble!

  • Let's take a moment to celebrate how much Xander has improved from S1 though. He's all "let's problem solve!" Even if his problem solving falls apart in his "Fear leads to hate. Hate leads to the dark side."
  • "I feel much more abstract now."
  • "Maybe in high school I was Buffy." Buffy, stating in fewer words what I tried to argue above.
  • "What Would Buffy Do? You're my hero." d'awwwwwwww
  • hey look Buffy knows how to use a computer without Willow! I'm so proud!
  • srsly Buffy, why are you keeping a diary. It already got you in trouble with Ted. Keep a LiveJournal like any self-respecting young woman in 1999.
  • Sunday's hair is slightly better in this scene but still kind of annoying.
  • Do people like Sunday? Her banter is well-written but the actress is rubbing me wrong.
  • haha Willow's freakout about the "note" "Buffy" left is very reminiscent of "Buffy would never do that! Except for that sometimes you do that."
  • "Long, arduous hours of practice." Damn there are some good lines in this ep. Just a heads up my "favorite line" below is gonna be arbitrary because I couldn't really pick one.
  • "from her friends who sleep all day and have no tans."
  • Oh hey, Buffy got her mojo back. Do we credit her little toy surprise?
  • Yay Giles! Giles is back in the gang!
  • "The evil is this way?"
  • Why is Xander carrying the heavy trunk of weapons? Shouldn't strong Buffy do that?
  • I imagine this was a very wtf moment at the end, when the Initiative tasered and scooped up the vampire. Like ... that actually is a pretty cool way to end a season premiere ep - we solved the problem of the week, but here's this other big thing we'll have to contend with.


D: [Before pressing play on The Freshman] Okay, so what happened at the end of season three? [Z stares blankly] Oh the school blew up. And DONE.

Part Two:

Daniel and Zelda are pretty impressed with how much this doppelganger looks exactly like David Boreanaz, but is clearly not him in the next shot. Almost tempted to believe they brought in DB for a 2 second shot. What say you all?

Favorite Lines:

Daniel: Xander: "What would Buffy do?"  I do have this on a t-shirt and got an air-high-five from a girl across the subway once for wearing it.  This line also made it into a play I wrote and produced a few years ago.
Zelda: Buffy: "You got a nice set up here, but you made one mistake." // Sunday: "Yeah? What was that?" // Buffy: "Well, I'm not actually positive, but statistically speaking, people usually make at least - " // *punch*

90s Factoid:
Celine Dion was Super Fun!

Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • First appearance of Riley, Walsh, Kathy, Olivia, and SUPER SECRET ARMY GUYS
  • Recurring: Joyce, Mr. Gordo, that random vampire from Sunday's gang who then gets kidnapped by the Initiative
  • The phone in Buffy's house that rings (and she answers) with no one on the other end is Angel calling from LA.


Oz's Hair - red
Dead Humans - 1
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