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


  1. One of my favorite episodes! The ending is the best! with the tiny fear demon! I kind of feel bad for the little guy, I mean come on, couldn't they just send him away with a spell or something? Did they really have to kill him? "actual size" yes...that's the kind of thing that makes Buffy "Buffy" This season in particular is very funny

  2. I'm happy Anya's fear of bunnies became a recurring gag, UNLIKE WILLOW'S FROG FEAR!!! (Which btw, I didn't even realize she said she had frog fear until you guys pointed it out, thanks!).