Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What's My Line Pt. 2

Season #2, Episode #10: What's My Line Pt. 2

"Kendra? You slay. I'm going to Disneyland."

Oops. I swear I planned on reviewing this episode right after Pt. 1, but my busy schedule of being unemployed is more trying than I expected. Not to mention the fact that every time I considered reviewing What's My Line, my brain would inevitably jump to "What's My Name?" by Rihanna (feat. Drake, unfortunately), at which point I would watch all of Rihanna's music videos On Demand, feel very badly about myself, and apply to six more jobs. Luckily I have managed to break this vicious cycle by turning off my television. So let's do this.

If you recall, we left off with Kendra the Probably Jamaican Vampire Slayer in a death match with Buffy. Meanwhile, Angel is huffing and puffing in terror as sunshine creeps into his cage. This is where we begin.

Buffy and Kendra agree to go to Giles and try to figure out WTF is going on--Buffy, of course, does not yet know that her one true love is on the brink of death! Giles thinks about it a 'lil, removes and replaces his glasses a few times, and realizes that Buffy died temporarily in Season 1 finale Prophecy Girl, at which point Kendra was called to be the new Slayer. Two Slayers at once! Spike must be peeing his pants right now.

The two Slayers do not get along well. Kendra, who has no last name and is all business, looks down on Buffy with her friends and her attitude. Buffy is exasperated with Kendra's inability to understand the lives of American teenagers. Keep this in mind, because it's about to get real gross real soon.

Spike pays Willie the bartender to rescue Angel from his cage and deliver him, something something, I stopped paying attention because Spike is inexplicably boring in this season. This leaves Buffy flummoxed when she runs to rescue Angel from his cage, only to find it empty. They beat up Willie for information and we have Personality Clash #12--Kendra wants to go back to Giles for orders, but Buffy has to do things ~her own way~.

Spike presents Angel, all tied-up and helpless, to Drusilla. Angel is forced to watch the two of them make out while Drusilla says, "Spooooiiikee? Can I have him?" and other creepily whimsical musings. This is the cruelest torture the show has devised so far.

Personality clash #13: Kendra likes to study The Slayer Handbook and other books that Buffy finds hopelessly nerdy. This endears Giles to Kendra and makes Buffy feel all jealous and inadequate. The silver lining here is that Buffy decides she can turn over Slayer duties to Kendra, who is obviously more dedicated. Then she can be--you guessed it--a normal teenager!

Remember Xander and Cordelia, locked in Buffy's house with the worm assassin? They discover his worminess and hide in the basement, where they bicker and shout about how much they hate one another and then...

The two are properly horrified by what they've done and run out of the house, worms raining from the ceiling. And then Xander hoses her down, literally. Jesus show, what is going on???

Lest you forget it's career day, Oz and Willow flirt about their elite status, and the law enforcement representative turns out to be one of the assassins and tries to shoot Buffy. The Scoobies reconvene in the library to figure out how to stop Spike and his assassins, and somehow mystically divine the secret villainous plan. Spike needs Drusilla's sire, Angel, to complete some ritual that will make her strong again.

In the middle of all this, Xander and Cordelia come running in to warn about worm guy, but get distracted by Kendra, whom they haven't met. Kendra gets super fidgety when approached by Xander and stammers and twitches awkwardly. Remember this for purposes of future grossness.

Kendra and Buffy have a heart-to-heart and address their differences. Kendra explains that she was taught not to have and friends or emotions, and that her parents gave her up to her Watcher when she was young. But, wait a second, Buffy died less than a year ago, so how could Kendra's parents have known that she was going to maybe be a Slayer one day? These are questions you shouldn't ask while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I guess this is as good a time as any to address the grossness I've been alluding to. Kendra is the first person of color to appear on the show in any significant way, as I mentioned in my last review. So it was probably not in the show's best interests that her character comes from some distant, foreign culture that is never identified and Buffy finds totally backwards. Every single thing Buffy says to or about Kendra is dripping with disdain for her rigid social mores. Not until they have this heart-to-heart does Buffy treat her with any respect at all, and the major lesson derived from their conversation is that Kendra needs to loosen up a little and be more like plucky American Buffy. The show also NEVER addresses Kendra's behavior around Xander except to say that she is not allowed to speak to boys. Her weakness in the face of Xander and subservience to men (except for vampire Angel) is just left to hang there as an example of the superiority of Buffy and her culture. This will become a perennial problem in the series whenever it addresses other/former slayers, but I'll address that more thoroughly when the time comes.

Anyhow, Drusilla ties Angel up and pours holy water over him in a super kinky fashion, reminding him that he slaughtered all of her family members and was a bad bad boy. Angel tells Spike that Drusilla is obviously relieving all of her sexual frustration and that Spike needs to take care of her better. "Oh no, not my masculinity!" Spike cries into the night.

Buffy goes to pump Willie for information yet again, but because he is a slimeball, he delivers her to the assassins. Conveniently, he brings her to the exact place where Spike, Drusilla, and Angel are holding the ritual. Spike is none too pleased by this, but is still confident that he can kill Buffy and complete the ritual. "At least Angel has one thing you don't have. Five minutes," he tells Buffy. And at home you're like, okay Spike, sure. You weren't even strong enough to fight Buffy's mom.

Blah blah, Kendra shows up just in the nick of time to help Buffy fight off all the assassins. Kendra learns to ~use her emotions~ when law enforcement lady ruins her only shirt, and becomes, like, sooo much stronger because of it. Buffy collapses an organ on Spike and Drusilla, rendering Spike even more useless. But, dun dun dun, the ritual was still successful and Drusilla is strong again! You may make the same mistake I did by thinking this will make her whimper less, but no.

I forgot to mention that Oz got shot in the face or something earlier this episode. He survived, and in true romance novel fashion, it brought him and Willow closer together. They lurk around the school hallways together saying cutesy things like, "You have the sweetest smile I've ever seen <3 <3 <3!"

Xander and Cordelia are still embarrassed by the HORRIBLE HORRIBLE THING that happened in the basement that I don't even want to discuss, and shout at each other loudly, like, "You're a pervert!" "It's your fault!" "I would never kiss you you have cooties!!!"

And then they make out again :'( :'( :'(

Favorite moment: I got a little bit overzealous with this review and mentioned basically everything that happened in Pt. 2. Perhaps I should point out that this episode features what may be the first piece of Xander dialogue that didn't make me want to throw tomatoes at his head. When he and Cordelia research the worm assassin in the library, and he takes a break from treating Cordelia like a child because he's the worst person ever, he finds a picture of the assassin and says, "I am the bug man! Coo-coo-ca-choo!" And it's almost cute.


  1. Joss Whedon is on the record for saying that Drusilla killed Kendra because Kendra isn't a "strong individual," like Buffy is.

    Ergo, a strong individual cannot tolerate damage done to her clothing. Mmmhmmm.

    Kendra is a huge problem for the show. Who's the next recurring person of color? Mr. Trick, and, well, you know the rest. :(

  2. Everything Joss Whedon says is the worst.