Saturday, April 23, 2011


Season #2, Episode #6: Halloween

"She couldn't have dressed up like Xena?"

It's Friday Friday Friday ohh! So what am I doing? Outside my dorm window there's a 90s party goin' on, and I was just treated to a transition between "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Who Let The Dogs Out?" Ahh, that's exactly how I remember the 90s.

Me, I'm sitting in my room hacking up a lung and drinking cranberry juice and Emergen-C and feeling sorry for myself. No sooner did I hear the dulcet tones of Sisqo from outside than I realized it's time for me to distract myself with this blog.

The past two episodes have been quite awful, a direct consequence of their Xander-centrism. I have much higher hopes for "Halloween," the most 90s of all holidays.

Buffy sees Cordelia flirting with Angel at The Bronze, and we experience the joy of David Boreanaz Acting as he laughs jovially at Cordelia's Barbie jokes, sees Buffy, and pathetically whimpers. Cordelia tries to make him feel better by ordering him a cappuccino, leaving you to wonder who actually does things like that.

Principal Snyder coerces the Scoobies into taking a bunch of kids trick-or-treating. Xander takes out his frustration on a pop machine (yes, yes, it is a pop machine, sez this Chicagoan) that just won't give him his Diet Dr. Pepper! Larry, a big oaf jock type, tries to pummel Xander because of testosterone, and when Buffy intervenes and saves the day, Xander is VERY upset by her affront to his masculinity.

Buffy is still worried that Angel may secretly be in love with Cordelia. She and Willow conspire to sneak past Giles and steal some of the old Watcher diaries to learn more about Angel's 240-year-long love life. Now is a good time to mention that any time Giles has an epiphany or gets flustered he dramatically takes off his glasses, e.g. after Buffy tries to distract him by yelling, "Miss Calendar thinks you're a babe!"

The gang go shopping for Halloween costumes: Xander is an army dude, Willow is a ghost because get it she's meek and wants to cover herself up, and Buffy goes gaga for a super ugly Victorian dress, the kind of thing she suspects Angel likes. It's episodes like these that remind you for all her slaying, Buffy originated as a ditzy teenager.

And then...Spike and Drusilla are back! "Do you love my insides?" Drusilla asks. Spike entertains her tedious questions, but is more intent on studying the Buffy-slaying video one of his minions recorded. He reveals that once Buffy is out of the way, Drusilla can "get strong" again. So what, she's weak? Sick? Is it the drugs?

Everyone puts on their costumes, and Buffy encourages Willow to ditch her ghost outfit and dress up like A Girl in a Midriff Top.

The guy who we previously saw selling the Scoobies their Halloween costumes is now partaking in some Satanic ritual. Geez, aren't there any honest citizens in this town? It seems his spell turns everyone into their costumes, so little kids become monsters and attack poor old ladies, Willow turns into her own ghost, Buffy into a damsel-in-distress, etc. Nobody, except for Willow, has any recollection of their true selves. Oh boy, I see hijinks in our future!

Xander is much more tolerable as a no-nonsense soldier--finally, the masculinity he craves! But Buffy grates on the nerves a bit as 1700s Dame Buffy. She thinks cars are demons and just wants to get married to a nice baron and won't take orders from Willow because she's a woman.

"Look how far we've come!" -Joss Whedon

Willow and Giles go to confront the shopkeeper, and...Giles knows him by name! It's Ethan Rayne, an old acquaintance. This should have been evident as they are the only two people in Sunnydale with British accents. Well, except Spike. And apparently Drusilla.

Ethan says to Giles, "Hello, Ripper!" Ripper? He alludes to some dark secret in Giles' past that he hasn't revealed to anyone. Seriously, no honest citizens! Giles isn't having any of it, and he beats the crap out of Ethan, calmly wiping his bloody knuckles clean. Then Giles breaks the fourth wall! This is all so startling! What ever could it all mean?

Giles manages to break the spell just as Spike is about to sink his fangs into Buffy--instead, she pops up and says, "Hi honey! I'm home!" Ahh, there's the Buffy I missed.

But is Angel a little disappointed that Buffy has changed back? Why, not at all! In fact, the two have a romantic moment in which he tells her, "I hated the girls back then. They were just incredibly dull! Simpering morons!" Now, that's a progressive message!

Rote review + lack of snark = strong episode. You are redeemed, Joss Whedon. For now.

Favorite moment:

Seth Green (who we now know to be Oz) sees Willow dressed in her Girl in a Midriff Top from afar and says, "Who's that girl?"
Please please please let's accelerate this plot and decelerate the Xander crush thing oh god :(

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Reptile Boy

Season #2, Episode #5: Reptile Boy

"You're gonna live forever and you don't have time for a cup of coffee?"

So after Inca Mummy Girl we have Reptile Boy--a match made in heaven! We've already been introduced to Spike, so it wears on one's patience a little to have a bunch of goofy standalone episodes afterwards that do not feature Spike at all. I demand justice.

The episode opens with a girl jumping off of a roof and running from a group of hooded dudes. She's intercepted by a bro with frosty highlights who says, "Where are you going? The night has just started." This is already gross.

Buffy tells Willow that she had a dirty dream about Angel. "In surround sound!" she says. Oh yeah, I forgot about that guy! Buffy's trying to forget about him too because they can't be together because vampire and she's a slayer and yeah. She runs off to train with Giles and they actually have another conversation about how she just wants to party and have fun but she can't because of her sacred calling. Right now we're averaging about three an episode.

Cordelia brags about her college boyfriend after school, and he pulls up in a sweet car, rolls down the window the frosty-tipped bro! His friend starts flirting with Buffy and is super charming and invites her to a frat party, but that darn Giles turns up and drags her back for training!

Buffy finds a bracelet in the cemetery and Angel suddenly materializes to tell her that there's blood on it! They have another lover's spat in which Buffy wants to date but Angel thinks it's too dangerous and also he's 241--Stephanie Meyer, take notes!--and they have this weird exchange:

Angel: This isn't a fairy tale! When I kiss you, you don't wake up and live happily ever after!
Buffy: No. When you kiss me, I want to die.

Woah, what?

The frat boys have a pretty kinky initiation process that involves stripping down in a dungeon, threatening each other with swords, promising to pledge themselves to some mythical creature, and then shotgunning beers. "In blood I was baptized. And in blood I shall reign. In his name." Pretty sure that's a Slayer album, bro.

Buffy tells Willow and Giles about her relationship woes, which gets Xander really excited because Buffy is his, ALL HIS! Then he gets super pissed off when she says she's going to the frat party with Tom, the frat boy. MINE ALL MINE!!!

Buffy lies to Giles about being sick and having work to do so she can avoid training and go to the frat party with Cordelia. Xander is so offended and feels he must go to the party to protect Buffy and also show her what a manly man he is. Eventually Willow will identify the frat house as a place of evildoing based on the bracelet in the cemetery, but too late to warn Buffy!

Frosty Tips offers Buffy a drink--with alcohol in it! Buffy just says no, but changes her mind after she's left all uncomfortable and alone. Tom comes by to keep her company, and they have a slow dance. Notice how he's a warm-blooded human, all non-vampirey and alive!

Meanwhile, Xander breaks in and is having the time of his life ogling all the bodacious babes!!! But he's identified as a crasher and gets hazed and kicked out. Oh no, no more babes :(

Buffy decides to drink up because she's sick of being mature! But it turns out her drink was drugged, and she stumbles into a bedroom and passes out next to a passed-out Cordelia. Frosty Tips comes in and tries to grope her, but is interrupted by Tom, who shouts, "She's not here for your pleasure, you perv! She's here for the pleasure of the one we serve!" This is really gross. Joss Whedon, could we cut it out with the frivolous rape episodes?

Buffy and Cordelia get tied up in the dungeon with the girl from the beginning. The girl warns them against Tom, who seems nicer but is actually the most dangerous. The frat boys, led by Tom, begin a ritual, pledging new offerings to Machida. But what is Machida? Why, he's a gigantic phallic reptile who brings wealth and success to all the frat boys in the land! "No woman speaks to him!" "Talk again and I'll slit your throat!" "You bitch, I'll serve you to him in pieces!" Tom yells when Buffy tries to sass Machida.

This episode is awful. In about 6,000 ways. I guess now is as good a time as any to reveal my dark secret: I hate Joss Whedon. Okay, maybe that's a bit strong--I think Joss Whedon is an asshole, and I would rather leave his version of feminism than take it. He is so self-satisfied and smug and creepy, one example (of many) being his tendency to create these creepy plotlines in which women are stalked and threatened with rape and it's so exciting! If that's what I wanted, I would just watch Law & Order: SVU.

Whedon didn't write this episode, and I realize I'm committing several intentional fallacies here, but his control over the show and the treatment of these topics in his other shows (again, I'm looking at you, Dollhouse), to me says that it wouldn't be unfair to consider him at least partially responsible for the creepier aspects of Buffy. (In fact, the show will intermittently become really good at dealing with these issues in later seasons...after Whedon has relinquished control.) His idea of being a good feminist is lusting over Buffy because she can kick ass, and he completely lacks critical distance. He has said multiple times that he aligns himself with Xander. And the lesson of this episode is that frat boys are scum, that they may seem nice but really if you go to their parties that they will drug and rape you. "They hate women, unlike me, Joss Whedon!" Turns out Xander was right to go and protect her!

But it's not just Xander. Look at this delightful piece of dialogue, which occurs after the Scoobies + Angel break in and help Buffy kill Machida:

Buffy: (sheepishly) I told one lie...I had one drink...
Giles: Yes. And you were very nearly devoured by a giant demon snake. The words 'let this be a lesson' are a tad redundant.

Yeah, Buffy. Next time you want to drink an alcoholic beverage, you better know the consequences.

Favorite Moment: None.

Oh okay. I don't think I've done justice to Cordelia, who is always a dazzling addition to any scene. She gets all of the best lines, and Charisma Carpenter pulls off her diva-ness in a really endearing way. After the gang kill Machida, she gives Angel a big hug, starts crying, and says, "I've never been so happy to see anyone in my life! I...I hate you guys! The weirdest stuff always happens when you're around!" She elevates this episode to a 1/10.

Inca Mummy Girl

Season #2, Episode #4: Inca Mummy Girl

"What kind of girl travels with a mummified corpse and doesn't pack lipstick?"

I haven't mentioned the infamous Buffy intro, a montage of creepy looking objects with a voiceover from Giles talking about The Chosen One™. Mercifully, they get rid of this intro by the third season, but it provides a good vocab list for you to follow the Big Themes of this episode.


Some foreign exchange students are coming to stay with Sunnydale High families, and while Cordelia is excited about a hunky dude named Sven staying at her house, Buffy is inexplicably pissed off. Xander joins in on the being pissed off because a GUY will be staying with Buffy and GUYS threaten his chances with Buffy and she shouldn't be around other GUYS. Also, Xander sucks.

The kids are on a field trip at a museum where they go to an exhibit on human sacrifice. That's a fun way to spice up your curriculum! Inside they see a mummified corpse of a beautiful fifteen-year-old girl who was chosen™ by her people to give a sacrifice. If you're seeing Slayer parallels...

Some scrubby guy who is a delinquent for the sake of being a delinquent decides to steal the mythical seal from the grip of the mummy corpse's hands, but oops! He breaks it! And the mummy comes to and sucks the life out of him! Double oops!

Buffy goes to pick up Ampata, who Xander angrily calls her "Latin lover," but it turns out he's a girl! But also we know that she's the mummy who sucked the life out of the real Ampata! Xander makes a series of such culturally sensitive remarks as, "I hope I'm not expected to speak to him in Spanish. I only know how to say Doritos and chihuaua!" And when he sees hottie Ampata, he basically forces himself upon her and tells her things like, "Your English is very bueno!" like he's talking to a two-year-old. Have I recently mentioned that I hate Xander?

Ampata: You're strange!
Xander: Girls always tell me that. Right before they run away :'( :'( :'(

Meanwhile, the Scoobies try to translate the broken seal so they can figure out how to stop the mummy. Ampata is very emotional about it and wants them to destroy the seal. This completely lacks dramatic tension as they've already showed us that Ampata is the mummy, so the only thing we have to look forward to for the rest of the episode is Xander's whining and racist comments and even more whining and did I mention whining?

Some dude with a ponytail keeps on popping up and threatening the Scoobies with swords, demanding they give him the seal. It's never really explained who this guy is, where he came from, or why he's dressed like that, except that he's some kind of bodyguard. He is awesome though because he threatens Xander with a sword immediately after Xander shows Ampata a Twinkie and says, "This is a snack food!

He pops up again in the ladies room while Ampata reapplies her lipstick, and tells her, "You are the chosen one™! You must die!!" "No, I have a choice! I'm in love!" Ampata says before killing him. And at home you're like, ...with Xander??

At this point, none of the Scoobies realize Ampata's true identity despite the fact that Ampata has done everything but hand out her "Inca Mummy Girl" business cards and commemorative T-shirt and baseball cap. She has ten fits over the seal and how they must destroy it. The bodyguard guy has his own fit as soon as he sees her. Buffy and Ampata bond over the fact that they just want to lead Normal Lives but have to fulfill their Sacred Callings©. At one point, Buffy actually kneels down, opens up Ampata's trunk, and doesn't even see the corpse inside.

Ampata tells Buffy the story of the Inca Mummy Girl, who is like totally not her or anything, just a story she heard, and says, "Out of all the girls of her generation, she was chosen™! She was sixteen, like us! Who know what she had to give up in order to fulfill her duty to others?" At the end of that speech you almost expect Giles to jump into the room and shout, "SHE IS THE SLAYEEEEERRRR!"

There's some big dance at The Bronze, and Ampata has to decide whether or not to suck the life out of her one true love, Xander, or re-mummify. Sadly, she opts for the latter. Just in time, as Buffy and Giles finally divine that Ampata is the mummy and manage to put the seal back together. Either way, Xander ends up walking away looking like a big idiot--a bright spot in this dark depressing episode. At least it produced lots of amusing screencaps.

Favorite moment(s): This episode introduced not one but TWO new characters! First, Inca Mummy Girl tries to prey on poor weak Jonathan, who will come back in a big way!

And second, Dingoes Ate My Baby, Sunnydale High's hottest band, play their first show, leading to the first appearance of...Seth Green? If you are like me the first time I saw this episode, you'll be thinking, "Since when was Seth Green on Buffy!" But here he is, spotting Willow in her Eskimo outfit across The Bronze and asking, "Who is that girl?" Woah...could it be?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

School Hard

Season #2, Episode #3: School Hard

"PCP! It's a gang on PCP!"

The first time I watched "School Hard" with two of my Buffy fan friends, they both giggled with excitement because, omg, it's Spike's first episode! Spike will go on to become one of the show's most popular characters. I find his appearance on the show a little lackluster compared to the fascinating character he turns out to be, but I should say that I think James Marsters is hands down the best actor ever to appear on the show. It's cruel how many times they put him in scenes with David Boreanaz.

Onto the episode! Buffy's met her bad girl match. Sheila, who stabbed a horticulture teacher with pruning shears, meet Buffy, who burned down a gym. Principal Snyder puts them in charge of Parent's Night--yet another brilliant idea from Sunnydale High's most revered principal!

But there are more important matters at hand. Who should come crashing into the "Welcome to Sunnydale" sign blasting menacing rock tunez, smoking a cigarette, and wearing a long leather trenchcoat but...Spike!

I knew Spike was a fan favorite, so imagine my surprise that he's a vampire! Okay, so it's not quite as climactic as Angel's big reveal. But in all seriousness, I didn't know anything about Spike besides the fact that he was a big heartthrob and fans loved him. So I was quite shocked to find out that he was a bad guy, and the true villain of this season. Who knew!

Spike waltzes into the Anointed's lair and make no mistake--he isn't too impressed. He sasses the Anointed's lackies, and better yet, he's British! Hey, I might kinda like this Spike guy! He promises the Anointed that he'll go kill the Slayer, nbd, does it every day.

But what is this demented jewelry box music? Who is this strange wispy woman trailing behind Spike? It's Drusilla, Spike's girlfriend and Rose's Official Third Most Obnoxious Buffy Character Ever! She will spend the entire series on opiates, saying ridiculously twee things with a macabre punchline and taking five minutes to spit out each word. She approaches the Anointed and says, "Do you like daisies? I plant them, but they always die!" You see, Drusilla is ~*~*~craAaAaAzy~*~*~! She does craaaaaaazy things all the time! And her British accent is so bad that my British friend was completely shocked when I told him that she was even supposed to be British.

Anyhow, Buffy is busy on the Parent's Day decorating committee. Sheila ditched Buffy, but Buffy covers for her cos she's one down chick. She doesn't want any trouble complicating this high stakes Parent's Day gig because Joyce is looking forward to meeting Principal Snyder, who has some not-so-nice things to say about Buffy's potential.

Meanwhile, all of the vampires are gearing up for what sounds like Sid Vicious Day [Note: Later research has revealed that the holiday is actually St. Vigeous Day--whatever], another sacred vampire holiday in which bad things are supposed to happen if they are not thwarted by Buffy, which they always are. Spoilers! Spike is in town on vacation and hopes to join in the festivities, and brings Sheila to Drusilla as a little appetizer. But Drusilla is busy fondling her creepy doll collection and chastising them for speaking out of turn cos she's CRAAZY!!!

It's Parent's Night, also the eve of Sid Vicious Day. Giles, Xander and Jenny lock themselves up in the library to do research on this new Spike fellow. Bad news--he likes to torture victims with railroad spikes and has killed not one but TWO slayers! In other news, Buffy gets in big trouble with Joyce after she talks about Buffy's delinquency with Principal Snyder. Just when she's about to dole out the punishing, Spike and co. come crashing through the school windows because they just could not wait for Sid Vicious Day.

All of the parents and teachers lock themselves in the classrooms per Buffy's insistence. Snyder and Joyce are like, "No way Buffy, you can't face those guys, they're on PCP! There's something wrong with their faces!" Instead, she crawls around in the airducts, bein' a pro, takin' names, I don't know, stuff like that.

Xander has to run and find Angel, a task he whines and whines about because Buffy loves Angel and Angel is soooo annoying and what does she see in him anyway? And oh yeah, Xander is a tool. It turns out that Angel and Spike have a history--they used to be pals! Not only that but, as Spike yells, "You were my sire, man! You were my Yoda!"

Lots of stalking about the high school ensues. And yet, for all of Buffy's Slayerness, it's Joyce that gets Spike to run away by hitting him over the head with a blunt object. "Women!" Spike yells. Yes. This is all very likely.

So all is resolved? No? Everyone goes on believing vampires are PCP gangs, Joyce accepts that Buffy is a bad girl, Jenny and Giles walk away hand in hand, and...Snyder reveals that he knows vampires are real and willingly spreads misinformation! Uh oh, this is coloring my opinion of him :(

But wait, we're not finished! It's Sid Vicious Day, and Spike has to go prostrate himself before the Anointed One because he failed to dispose of the Slayer and ruined everyone's holiday. But Spike isn't the prostrating kind, and he throws the Anointed One (whom he affectionally calls "the Annoying One") into the sunlight for an insta-cremation. Jesus, it's about time!

"From now on, we're going to have a little less ritual and a lot more fun around here!" is his parting note. I think I'm going to like this season.

Favorite moment: Annoying One bites the dust, obviously.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Some Assembly Required

Episode #2: Some Assembly Required

"I was brought up to believe that men dig up the corpses and women make the babies."

A few things worth noting about season 2:
1. Angel is now featured in the opening credits. Cue fan girls and boys.
2. A clip of Buffy and Xander sexy dancing is also featured in the opening credits.
3. Ewwwww.
4. The first half of the season is quite goofy and full of standalone episodes, which I find tiresome to get through because the second half of the season is sooooo dramatic and pulpy and delicious. So you'll have to bear with me.

Take this episode, for example. I have zero recollection of it from my first viewing except that it is vaguely gross. I'm like a virgin, watching for the very first time.

Angel's miffed about Buffy and Xander's sexy dance (UGH can we please just FORGET that this EVER HAPPENED already?) and they have a lover's spat. "You were mating!" he cries into the night. But Buffy gets distracted by a lost platform shoe near an open grave, which to her implies that somebody dug up the body and dragged it away. Gross.

She goes to alert Giles, who is busy practicing asking out Jenny Calendar in the library. How will the stodgy British librarian with all his musky books romance the modelesque techno pagan? Tune in next time! Buffy suggests he simply ask, "How do you feel about Mexican?" "Mexicans?" Giles replies. Oh Giles, you card!

Willow's competing in the science fair, and she flirts with perennial winner, Chris. Chris is a good guy--we can tell because he shouts at his pervy friend Eric and tells him to stop taking pictures of random girls. But as soon as Willow walks away, things change!

Eric: Look at Cordelia. Mmm, she'd be perfect for us!
Chris: Don't be an idiot! She's alive!

Uh oh. Looks like we've found our bodysnatchers.

The Scoobies trace the missing corpse back to a high school girl who died with two other girls in a car crash, and go to find out if the other bodies are still in their graves. But Buffy and Willow first have a heart-to-heart in the graveyard about the sexy dance with Xander. ENOUGH ALREADY. Willow inexplicably brings up Chris's brother, football captain who recently died in a hiking accident. I wonder if this will somehow become relevant.

Meanwhile, Cordelia fears she's being stalked in a parking lot and hides in a dumpster. This whole episode plays off of women's fear of stalking, assault, and rape in a way I found super icky. Turns out it's only Angel, but it also turns out that there are body parts in that dumpster. What could it all mean???

There's a hilarious shot of Chris's home life--his mom has frizzy hair, smokes cigarettes, and ostensibly sits in silence watching football videos of her dead son over and over and over.

Buffy searches Chris's locker because Willow says he is interested in physiology/chopping people up. She finds a newspaper article about the three dead girls along with autopsy manuals, Grey's Anatomy, Slicing Up Tendons for Dummies, and this collage:

If only she'd dug a little deeper, she would've found the singing telegram in his locker that said, "I, Chris SmithJones, have been digging up corpses, cutting them up, and assembling a dream girl! Signed, Chris SmithJones."

Then we get creepy shots of said dream girl being assembled by Eric as he jovially sings "My Girl." Ew, do I really want to keep watching this?

Not really. Here are the highlights:
1. Giles and Jenny Calendar make a date, bow chicka wow wow!!!
2. Chris reanimated his dead brother's corpse and the dream girl is meant to be a gift for his brother. But dream girl's missing a head, so they set out to kill Cordelia and use hers.
3. Vague attempt made to instill sympathy for the fallen football player, who just wants to relive his glory days. You know, who can blame him!
4. Buffy wins.
5. Chris has a change of heart but goes the way of those kids who ate their principal. Years of therapy. Never seen again.

Lame review, I know. But lame episode, too. Never fear, the next episode is far from lame, and features the first appearance of...Spike! Get excited!

Favorite moment: Giles and Jenny go to the ball game.

When She Was Bad

Episode #1: When She Was Bad

"I'm gonna kill them all. That oughta distract them.

Woah, it's been about 10 years since I last updated this blog! In my defense, I had two visitors from home, midterms, spring break WOOO!, and other things contending for my time. Other things meaning this paradox:
1. I read a book called Reality Bites Back, in which author Jennifer Pozner tells us that reality TV is literally the worst thing that has ever happened in the entire world ever IN HISTORY and that Tyr(ant) Banks is a tyrant who poisons our brains.
2. I then watched two entire seasons cycles of America's Next Top Model in one week.

In all seriousness, though, I am QUITE excited to review season 2, as it is by far my favorite season of Buffy. My fingers are twitching just thinking about all the juicy episodes to come!

So where did we leave off? Master's skeleton in the library, yadda yadda, Spring Fling, Buffy died, etc. Summer break happened offscreen, leaving us in those dark final days of vacation. What have the Scoobies been up to? Xander and Willow are strollin' along past the graveyard without a care in the world, ice cream cones in hand, no Buffy Bodyguard in sight! It seems that The Master's death made all the vamps and demons flee (along with Buffy, who went to stay with her dad in LA), so things have been awfully boring. To combat the boring, the two make kissy faces at each other and lean in for...and you're at home like...please let this be a dream sequence...and then it isn't...and they're about to kiss and it's like...

Thank GOD a demon turns up to interrupt their fun. Cue Buffy's big entrance--she got a cute new haircut! "Miss me?" she says. Oh Buffy, you've no idea.

It's the first day of school, and Cordelia is perturbed, Principal Snyder is adorable, Giles has grown a pompadour, Jenny Calendar is just back from Burning Man--you know. Business as usual.

But something's wrong with Buffy. Papa Summers tells Joyce that she was distant and lifeless all summer, and she's all too eager train her heart out to a goofy 80s montage. Worst of all, she's having Master flashbacks and nightmares and hallucinations, oh my! Get it together, Buffy! The Master's dead!

In his place, we have a Southern preacher-type vamp extolling the virtues of a new Big Bad, revealed to be...The Anointed One. Okay, seriously? Does anybody understand what purpose this kid serves? That is, besides sitting underground and making smug faces?

[Joss Whedon still hasn't decided how best to kill off my character.]

Angel's grand entrance into the season involves breaking into Buffy's bedroom while she dreams of Giles choking her to death. Kinky! Buffy's being a little bratty, constantly reminding Angel that he's a vampire! Like, "Hey Angel, isn't it lunchtime? Did'ya barbecue any of my family members while I was gone?" Angel responds, pathetically, "I missed you." Aww, how romantic!

Watch out in this next scene for a QUINTESSENTIAL Buffy moment, the moment for which I will always remember this episode:

Xander: Oh hey! Did you guys hear that Cibo Matto is gonna be at The Bronze tonight?

Anecdote: Every time I go to a record store now, I look for a Cibo Matto record, turn to the nearest person and say, "Did you hear that Cibo Matto is playing at The Bronze tonight???" In the right company, this trick can be used with any band, e.g. if the conversation turns to "I'm Too Sexy," say, "Hey, did you guys hear that Right Said Fred is gonna be at The Bronze tonight?!?!"

[Did you guys hear that Michelle Branch is gonna be at The Bronze tonight?]

Around the time that Buffy tells Cordelia, who is still shaken up by prom night with The Master, that she's a "moron," you might be thinking, "Buffy's being a little too mean." Let's just hope that no hyenas are involved in this.

The Anointed One leaves his underground lair for the first time ever to order all the vampires to dig up The Master's bones. One poor actor is forced to dig through the dirt with his hands, look shocked when they start burning, and shout, "The ground! It is consecrated!" Little John Cusack so totally does not even care.
[It is consecrated!!!]

OMG!!!!!! The gang go to The Bronze, and CIBO MATTO IS PLAYING!!!!!!!!

Buffy shows up and she's ready for some fun, y'know what I'm saying? She sasses Angel again, leaving me to wonder if I missed the episode before this one where Angel tried to set Buffy on fire or something.

But who cares about Angel? Buffy invites XANDER out onto the floor to do a little sexy dance. "Sugar Water" by Cibo Matto is playing (at The Bronze tonight), and it keeps on playing, and they keep on dancing FOREVER, like they never EVER stop rubbing up against each other, it goes on for BILLIONS OF YEARS as Willow (and Rose) look on in horror. Then Buffy whispers sensually:

Buffy: Did I ever thank you for saving my life?
Xander: No...
Buffy: Don't you wish I would?

And she slinks away.

Cordelia tries to intervene and tell Buffy that she has a "Joan Collins tude," but Buffy is like so totally not having any of it, and doesn't even notice when a group of vampires kidnap her! They throw her into a dungeon with Jenny Calendar--not even the fun kind!

The Scoobies try to figure out what's wrong with Buffy ("She's possessed!") when Buffy walks in (awkward) and just so totally does not even care. You see, she found The Master's open grave and is none too pleased. Right around the time she tells Willow to shut up because she's just a civilian, Snyder finds them using his Spidey sense and breaks up all their fun <3 <3 <3 <3

Snyder: There's some things I can just smell. It's like a sixth sense.
Giles: Actually, that would be one of the five.

Angel follows Buffy to The Bronze, where she's gonna foil the big resurrection. "You know, being stalked isn't really a big turn on," she tells him. I kinda like the new Buffy! But it's all a trap--while she's at The Bronze, vamps come and kidnap all the Scoobies because they need all of the people who were with The Master when he died or something, yeah. Only Xander was spared, and he's PISSED and just so totally like does not care about Buffy's issues right now. "If they hurt Willow, I'll kill you!" he says. lol ok xander! Why don't you try!

So Little John Cusack dangles everyone over The Master's bones.

Yep, pretty much.

Buffy shows up and goes all nuts on everyone, and then smashes the skeleton into itty bitty flecks of Master dust. This sudden outburst brings forth all of those emotions she was hiding underneath her so totally not caring about anything act, and she cries and cries while the Scoobies watch from a distance and comment, "She's working out her issues." Angel comes and gives her a big 'ol hug while the sad theme plays. I should point out here that Sarah Michelle Gellar is a really really good actress, and were she not, the show would not be able to pull off any of this silliness. And yet, it does!

But will Xander and Willow forgive her? They sit together in class, make some awkward faces, and then joke around as if to say that it's all better, no worries Buffy! "I heard a rumor that Mr. Cox is the most boring teacher in the world!" Xander says. Wow, pretty juicy Xander! Then the camera circles around the three of them as their dialogue is drowned out by the most unbelievably cheesy health class film type music of all time. I am serious. There is no way that I can possibly demonstrate the cheesiness. It goes on for like, a full minute. Then the credits roll: Written and directed by Joss Whedon. Really? Couldn't tell.

Favorite moment: Did you guys hear that Arcade Fire is gonna be at The Bronze tonight?