BUFFYVERSE

Episode reviews from a first time watcher

POSTED BY: FREDGIBLET
UPDATED: Monday, February 19, 2007 21:40
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 5810
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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 7:22 PM

FREDGIBLET


I didn't watch Buffy (or Angel) when they were on for a variety of reasons. Firefly opened my eyes to Joss which resulted in my trying Buffy.

I am currently going through the entire series (and probably Angel later) and I felt like sharing my experiences. As such I was thinking of posting my reviews of each episode here. I'll probably start by skimming seasons 1 and 2 tomorrow (I'm on 3 right now). There will be many spoilers (but if you're here you've probably seen most\all of the show), and if I start to annoy anybody then feel free to let me know and I'll stop.

I'll use this thread for all my reviews so as not to clutter the board. See you soon.


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Thursday, August 10, 2006 5:54 AM

ECGORDON

There's no place I can be since I found Serenity.


I also never saw Buffy or Angel before becoming a Firefly fan, but I have seen all of them now, and I have all but the final seasons of each on dvd. Just yesterday I started over with season 1 of Buffy. It will be interesting to read your opinions.




wo men ren ran zai fei xing.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006 8:46 AM

DEEPGIRL187


I'm seeing stuff for the first time myself, and so far I've had a blast. What disc of season 3 are you on?

*************************************************

"See, this is a sign of your tragic space dementia. All paranoid and crotchety, it breaks the heart."

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Thursday, August 10, 2006 9:48 AM

FREDGIBLET


Just watched Gingerbread (wierd ep) last night. Going at about the rate of 4 eps a night.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006 10:16 AM

ZORPRIME01


I too became a Buffy/Angel fan through Serenity/Firefly. I just can't get enough Joss. A friend even bought me the Star Wars spoof shirt that says "Joss Whedon is my master now!"

Anyway, I went backwards, first seeing Angel on TNT & then buying all the dvds and watching that series. Now I'm watching Buffy, and I'm currently in the middle of season 5. I'm also re-watching eps with my wife, and we're precisely in the same spot as you in season 3.

So far three is my fave season, though I've really enjoyed two and five so far as well.

"If wishes were horses, we'd all be eatin' steak."

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Thursday, August 10, 2006 10:27 AM

DESKTOPHIPPIE


Yay! I love seeing Buffy fans here

Season 3 is a real treat and is pretty much my favourite one, although season 5 comes a very close second. I really enjoy reading poster's reactions to the episodes, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Looking forward to long discussions on the show!




More animations available at http://desktophippie.googlepages.com

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Thursday, August 10, 2006 4:28 PM

FREDGIBLET


First off, while my reviews will likely be full of spoilers I would appreciate if people kept from posting their own spoilers of later episodes please.

Now for the reviews.

Episode 101: Welcome To The Hellmouth

We meet Buffy and the gang (or what will soon be the gang). We meet Buffy and find out that she has shall we say...a history, she has apparently been in a lot of trouble and is looking to straighten out her life. Unfortunetly she picked the wrong place for that.

I liked Buffy's interactions with Giles (first meeting, meeting after she sees the dead guy and "you didn't hone"), but was less than impressed by Cordelia (preppy ditz) and Xander (clueless bumbling guy).

Willow on the other hand while a bit stiffly performed was quite funny, Luke was kind of cool (wish he didn't die, he would have been a better villan than the Anointed One (but I'm getting ahead of myself)).

Angel...it is very interesting looking at Angel in episode one and contrasting with the Angel of the season 2 finale flashbacks, what a difference a year can make (but once again, ahead of myself). I didn't know what to think of Angel at this point but I thought he had potential (and if I didn't already know he was a vamp then I probably wouldn't have guessed).

The Master definitely seemed interesting and looked like he had the potential to be a really good villan.

I'm sorta skimming over the eps right now because I don't want to spend 45 minutes re-watching each one (especially since season 1 is my leaast fave so far). When I get to seasons 2 and 3 I'll get a little more in depth (maybe).

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Thursday, August 10, 2006 5:01 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 102: The Harvest

Where Buffy saves the world for the first time (that we see (not counting the movie (which is only partially accurate in this continuity))). The opening scenes of the episode show the biggest issue that I have with Buffy, the whole "she punched me so I'm going to run away" and "the bad girl is scaring me" syndromes that so many of the redshirt vampires have. I liked the exposition after the theme, it was well scripted and funny, while being quite informative without seeming to be written specifically to be informative.

Angel appears again, in another contradicted-later scene ("I'm afraid"), Cordelia is still an annoying ditz, but Xander shows that he can be a cool character as well. Personally I still (as of 1/3 through of season 3) don't like Cordelia, she has had some very good moments but for the most part she has been annoying and IMHO the poorest acted of the Scooby Gang. Willow was kinda bad the first season, but she picked up a lot faster than Cordelia.
EDIT: Clarification: Liked Willow's character, but not the acting.

The Master is even cooler now than he was last ep, but the fight scenes are just as bad (decapitation by cymbal? that belongs in cartoons). Don't get me wrong about the fights though, I just have issues with the cheese factor and how stiffly everyone seems to move while fighting. Also I don't like the anti-climax style of death that some of the villans come up against (Jesse getting bumped onto the stake), I'll be revisiting this complaint soon enough.

The whole storyline was failry decent but nowhere near the later continuity episodes.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006 5:03 PM

FREDGIBLET


Just a note, to keep from confusion it would probably be best if you put the episode number with your posts.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006 5:23 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 103: The Witch

An interesting episode, gives a new take on the damaging aspects of parents trying to relive their glory days through their kids. We have a little more background on the world (witchcraft and the like), and the twist that was not entirely unexpected. I didn't care much for the stereotypical things (green boiling cauldron, black cat) though. I thought it was interesting that they showed Buffy as being quite vulnerable this early on, most hero-type shows aren't interet.

Cordelia again is the ditz ("hmmm, I can't see anything, maybe I should go driving!"), Xander may be kinda dumb but at least he's funny. Xander and Willow officially start the Scooby Gang in this ep ("we are a team right?").

The story is kind of good and shows how the team is already forming fairly well. A decent if unspectacular episode

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Thursday, August 10, 2006 5:49 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 104: Teachers Pet

I'm already finding the mini-intro at the beginning of each ep annoying. I'm glad that they've ditched it (I hope permanently).

The male fantasy scene at the beginning of the ep was hilarious with Xander killing the vamp and playing his guitar.

The first scene with Angel was pretty good, Xander's immediate dislike for Angel (based off of his physical attractiveness) was funny, the interaction between Angel and Buffy was good and shows development of their relationship. "Fork guy" was a pretty stereotypical enemy, and the fight with him was uninteresting. Miss French was an interesting enemy, but the final fight was somewhat lacking (probably due to the low special effects budget).

Buffy and Angel are starting to be attracted to each other (Angel has a head start but I'm getting ahead of myself), and there are some trust issues within the team (a later-season Xander probably wouldn't blow off Buffy's warning). Overall a decent episode but again, nothing spectacular.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006 5:53 PM

KANEMAN


Quote:

Originally posted by fredgiblet:
Episode 104: Teachers Pet

I'm already finding the mini-intro at the beginning of each ep annoying. I'm glad that they've ditched it (I hope permanently).

The male fantasy scene at the beginning of the ep was hilarious with Xander killing the vamp and playing his guitar.

The first scene with Angel was pretty good, Xander's immediate dislike for Angel (based off of his physical attractiveness) was funny, the interaction between Angel and Buffy was good and shows development of their relationship. "Fork guy" was a pretty stereotypical enemy, and the fight with him was uninteresting. Miss French was an interesting enemy, but the final fight was somewhat lacking (probably due to the low special effects budget).

Buffy and Angel are starting to be attracted to each other (Angel has a head start but I'm getting ahead of myself), and there are some trust issues within the team (a later-season Xander probably wouldn't blow off Buffy's warning). Overall a decent episode but again, nothing spectacular.



What do you mean by mini-intro? Not music etc.......I love that...head starts bobbing I get all excited.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006 6:14 PM

WTE


What do you mean by mini-intro? Not music etc.......I love that...head starts bobbing I get all excited.

I believe he's referring to the, "In every generation there is a chosen one" or whatever.

HONKS

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Thursday, August 10, 2006 6:29 PM

STAKETHELURK


EDIT: Curses, WTE has beaten me to it!
Quote:

Originally posted by Kaneman:
What do you mean by mini-intro? Not music etc.......I love that...

He’s probably referring to the “Into each generation there is born a Chosen One. She alone can stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness” intro montage that appears before each episode in the first two seasons, to introduce the concept of the show to new audiences. It’s especially bad in the first season, when they just have some guy deliver the lines in this cheesy, melodramatic way. I actually rather liked it in Season Two, when Giles was doing it--he really believes it when he says it, and he says it in that Giles kind of way, the manner he uses when describing the phlebotinin* every week so that the preposterous sounds not only plausible but concrete and interesting. The little intro sort of drops off towards the end of Season Two, I think because people had gotten the concept by that point, and yes, Fredgiblet, from Season Three on it is no more.

And yes, the theme music is awesome. The band that did it, Nerf Herder , actually plays at the Bronze in at least one episode (and the band that did the Angel theme, Darling Violeta, plays the Bronze twice--I believe the first time is in “Faith, Hope, and Trick”).

*If you haven’t watched the commentaries, Fredgiblet, (which you really should, the Joss ones are great--though sometimes there’s spoilers), phlebotinin is the “mystical MacGuffin” they use on Buffy and Angel to propel the plot: the amulet, the spell, the enchanted whatever that they need to find or capture or destroy. An example of “scientific” phlebotinin from Firefly would be the catalyzer from “Out of Gas”--we don’t really know the specifics of how it works, just that the ship needs it to run. So it propels all the action in the episode without being tremendously important in and of itself (it could be any piece of hardware--our attention is on Mal and the crew’s actions and reactions).

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Friday, August 11, 2006 5:28 AM

FREDGIBLET


Quote:

Originally posted by WTE:
I believe he's referring to the, "In every generation there is a chosen one" or whatever.



Yeah, after the third episode or so I was already going "OK I got it". It was particularly annoying when I was compressing episodes, since then I had one more thing to cut out.

Quote:


and yes, Fredgiblet, from Season Three on it is no more.



*Happy dance*

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Friday, August 11, 2006 5:28 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 105: Never Kill A Boy...

The one where Buffy has a crush. I didn't really care for this episode the first time I saw it, and with the knowledge of what happens later with the Anointed One I like it even less. I appreciate that Buffy wants to have a social life while she is slaying, but the whole episode was devoted to a rather flimsy plot device (Owen coming along). I did like near the end where Buffy realizes that her thing with Owen isn't going to work out though.

I liked the fake Anointed One too, he was appropriately crazy and buff, when we found out who the real Anointed One was I was surprised but figured that good things could come of it (how wrong I was).

This is probably my least favorite ep so far (having just watched Enemies)

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Friday, August 11, 2006 5:45 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 106: The Pack

A strangely fun episode. The whole "Evil Xander" thing was very well done. I liked the interaction between Xander and Willow (though it was painful to watch), the acting of the pack was very funny (though a little overdone). The death of Principal Flutie was unexpected and kinda gross. And last but not least, Xander's little talk with Giles at the end was great. The premise was a little weak but Nicholas Brendan (Xander) was great enough to lift the episode up.

A pretty good ep, but I've been too spoiled by later seasons to think it anything better than good.

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Friday, August 11, 2006 6:35 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 107: Angel

I'll be up front and honest, I like the Buffy/Angel couple better than any other pairing I've seen on the show so far. Angel is my favorite character and Buffy is a close second. So when I say this episode is really good, I'm biased. This is the only ep that I've re-watched in it's entirety to do these reviews (so far)

I thought that The Three was somthing of a waste, but they were just redshirts so we can move on.

Unfortunately I already knew that Angel was a vampire, so it came as no surprise (the problem with watching nearly a decade after the premiere). But Buffy and Xanders reactions were great (Xander immediately saying "kill him" Buffy not answering when asked if she loves him).

I liked Darla and think it would have been cooler if she had lived longer (I'm aware that she's not gone forever (I've heard things, don't correct me if I'm wrong)). The Master is still cool I think he's a great villan and wish he had lasted longer too.

Personally I think that crossbows are a poor choice for fighting vampires, a regular bow can be fired much quicker than a crossbow, though it does require more practice. But then I think swords are a better idea too (if you cut off their arms they can't hit you, think about it).

The plotline had some holes (Why did Buffy have Angel stay at her house during the day? Why didn't Angel speak up faster at the Bronze?), but overall was quite good and gave us all the background information we needed on Angel (Vampire? Check, Heinous monster? Check, Not a heinous monster anymore? Check.) It also had an excellent end image (Buffy's cross burned onto Angels chest).

My favorite episode of Season 1.

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Friday, August 11, 2006 7:18 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

...and the band that did the Angel theme, Darling Violeta, plays the Bronze twice--I believe the first time is in “Faith, Hope, and Trick”


And one of the songs they played was called "Blue Sun". Interesting, no? :)

Remember, Kiddies, you can't spell "QUAGMIRE" without "I", "R", "A", & "Q"!

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Friday, August 11, 2006 7:35 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 108: I Robot You Jane

A very strange episode. Fritz gives computer nerds a very bad name, you don't have to be jacked in to be alive, it just helps...a lot.

Willow is cool and I thought it was great that she got to be happy about a relationship for a little while. The use of computers was slightly odd, makes me cringe a little when I watch the technical scenes. The introduction of Miss Calender was cool, she proves to be an interesting character, I wonder how much of her was planned beforehand. I liked Willow freaking on "Malcolm" too, it was great to see her hammering away at Malcolm, though the end of that fight was a little unsatisfying.

A very strange and fairly good episode.

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Friday, August 11, 2006 7:59 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 109: Puppet Show

Ah talent shows and ventriloquism can the smell of cheese get any stronger? I liked the thought of Principal Snyder torturing the kids by forcing them into the talent show, it immediately shows off his sadistic streak. The dummy was an interesting character, and it was funny that the dummy was the smarter of the duo, but that joke has played itself out before.

I thought it was interesting that Sid thought that Buffy was the demon, since she and the gang were quite obviously looking for the demon (and it would seem obvious to me that Buffy wasn't a new addition either). But the plot must be driven on regardless of logic. The ending scene was great "I don't get, is it avant-garde?".

A solid if not great episode.

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Friday, August 11, 2006 8:23 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 110: Nightmares

A head-trip of an episode. We start with an arachnid invasion of a classrom, a fun event to liven up any occasion. We proceed to see people get attacked, Buffy utterly bomb a test, Giles can't read. Everyone is forced to face their fears and some of them come of a little worse for wear.

It is interesting to see in the end how this was all brought about because a coach couldn't stand losing. A little heavy-handed but a pretty nice condemnation of the obsession with winning that some people have.

The plot was a little off, but for the head-trippiness, and the comedy of some of the fears (clowns, singing a song you don't know the words to), I say it's a pretty good episode.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006 12:52 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 111: Out Of Sight...

Ah yes Cordelia, I can't bring myself to like Charisma or Cordelia, so the focus on Cordelia in this episode is a detriment.

I liked the idea, unpopular girl (who was made invisible by her popularity issues) seeks revenge. I liked the way Buffy has to rely on perception instead of raw power in the end fight. I liked the fact that Angel is taking a hand in the happenings instead of just giving cryptic warnings.

I don't like Cordelia.

A fairly good episode, but not great by any stretch.

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Monday, August 14, 2006 8:14 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 112: Prophecy Girl

In the intro, the whole thing with the Master going "Glory! Glory!" was slightly overdone (especially given the Masters personality up till now).

I thought is was harsh to have Xander rejected by both Buffy and Willow, but then he is the punching bag of the show. I thought the scene with Giles and Ms. Calendar was a little overdone with Apocalypse stuff (especially considering that we see a world where the Master rises later), but appropriately dramatic.

The Buffy dying thing was done very well IMHO, with her reaction to finding out about it and subsequent acceptance of her fate, the death (and the realization of what it meant) and resurrection. I didn't like how they telegraphed the ending though "oh hey, when Giles broke that table it made a HUGE pointy wooden thing, I wonder what's going to happen next". The Hellmouth turning out to be in the Library (where the gang spends most of their time) was a nice tough though.

I also liked the Angel/Xander interaction ("aren't you?"), but I'd like to see Xander lay off of Angel a little.

This ep does show one of the things that I I have been a little dissappointed in so far, the fights, I can understand a redshirt fight taking 10 or 15 seconds, but a boss fight should take a little longer (and be a little more damaging). But that's a nitpick coming from a hormonally challenged male so pay little attention.

A good ending to a mediocre season.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006 3:08 PM

EMBERS


Quote:

Originally posted by fredgiblet:
Episode 106: The Pack

A strangely fun episode. The whole "Evil Xander" thing was very well done. I liked the interaction between Xander and Willow (though it was painful to watch), the acting of the pack was very funny (though a little overdone). The death of Principal Flutie was unexpected and kinda gross. And last but not least, Xander's little talk with Giles at the end was great. The premise was a little weak but Nicholas Brendan (Xander) was great enough to lift the episode up.

A pretty good ep, but I've been too spoiled by later seasons to think it anything better than good.


this is definitely my favorite of all the first season, and one of my favorite Xander episodes.
I think the extreme preditory behavior of the 'pack' was necessary so that the eating of Principal Flutie seemed believable...

The dodge ball scene was actually my very favorite, when I was in school we always played dodge ball on rainy days and it was vicious... a real opportunity for the jocks to pound weaker students (including the girls) with impunity...

I really feel that they did a good job of presenting a number of broad metaphorical examples of High School being Hell...
which is actually a great set up for the more subtle complications of the the future seasons.

I'm introducing a friend to BtVS for the first time and at first I thought I should skip the first season and go straight to the good stuff, but then I realized that there was so much introduced and foreshadowed that it would be a shame to miss out on it.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006 6:15 PM

FREDGIBLET


Quote:

Originally posted by embers:
I'm introducing a friend to BtVS for the first time and at first I thought I should skip the first season and go straight to the good stuff, but then I realized that there was so much introduced and foreshadowed that it would be a shame to miss out on it.



I don't disagree, but if your friend doesn't show much interest early on you might want to skim Season 1, I didn't really get into the show until season 2.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006 6:53 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 201: When She Was Bad

Starts off slow, but the scene where "Giles" tries to kill Buffy was a shockingly sudden change of pace.

I would have thought that they would have buried the Master's bones deeper, but that's just me.

Buffy being a bitch was a new development, and one that was out of character and quite strange. Blowing off Angel (twice), the bump and grind with Xander, I mean when Cordelia is telling you to stop being a bitch...

Also I didn't really like the reason for it either, admittedly I've never been killed, but come on. After all, the Master is dead, she's alive (and still pretty too), move on.

A decent episode, but I'm really glad Buffy gets back to normal by 202.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006 7:52 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 202: Some Assembly Required

The little talk that Buffy has with Angel to start the episode is pretty funny, to think that Xander can make Angel jealous. It was nice to see Angel making Buffy jealous later with Cordelia too.

I thought it great that Giles is finally getting a social life (sort of), and I must say he can choose the ladies.

As for the monster of the week, I thought that the story was kinda good, genius trying to make a girlfriend for his re-animated brother, but Darryl's acting was a little overdone and cheesy IMO.

Once again I feel compelled to express a dislike for Cordelia that goes deeper than the character, I've seen Charisma act better than this and I just have to wonder if it's the writing or directing that is at issue. But either way...

A solid though not great episode.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006 8:34 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 203: School Hard

Principal Snyder is an ass, I hope he gets what's coming to him eventually.

Of course no discussion of this episode could be complete without mentioning that SPIKE HAS ARRIVED!! WHOO HOO!!! Spike is funny, and a badass (at least until his appearance in Season 3), and is a much better villan than the Anointed One (who had potential that was wasted by poor acting and an abundance of insignificant lines), I don't really mind his bumping off the Anointed One, but I thought it was a waste of the half-hour or so of screen time he's (Anointed One) taken up.

Drusilla is cool in her own spaceily evil way, but still not as cool as Spike.

We find out a little about Angel in this ep, not only does he know Spike, but Spike knows Angel well enough to see through Angel's ruse. Interesting developments are ahead.

I thought it was interesting how no one seemed to notice that Buffy took care of the "Gang members on PCP" seemingly by herself. I would think that that would warrant a little bit of attention from the survivors, but then I don't live in wierdness central.

One of the more interesting developments is that the local officials seem to know more than they are letting on (foreshadowing for Season 3's villan?).

A great ep that kicks starts Season 2 (finally).

P.S. I've stopped watching new eps (3 left to go in Season 3) until I catch up, since I'd like my reviews to be made after a fresh watching without knowing whats going on 2 seasons ahead of time.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006 7:15 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 204: Inca Mummy Girl

I've met a lot of retarded people in my time, none of them would hang around in a mueseum longer than they had to. I just don't see redshirt guy hanging out there, but the plot must move on.

Poor Xander, he has such crappy taste in women, first a giant mantis, now a ancient mummy. Can't the guy ever get a break? There is a moral to Xander's story people: DATE THE NERDS! It was nice that this time the person Xander fell for actually did care about him, but all the same.

We meet Oz for the first time, though we receive little indication of his later importance to the gang. Is it just me or does Seth Green start out looking vampirically pale? It's nice to see that someone normal (or at least as normal as Oz gets) is interested in Willow.

The story was decent and I'm glad they made the mummy more than just a shambling monstrosity.

A decent episode, higher marks for people who really like Xander (just because I identify doesn't mean I have a particular fondness).

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006 7:55 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 205: Reptile Boy

How does the Water Buffalo fit in?

For those of you who haven't heard much about fraternities, they are actually fairly well represented by this episode. It was a fairly heavy-handed cautionary story about the dangers of college guys and fraternities, but actually quite accurate as well.

The interactions with Buffy and Angel seemed really forced and out of character. Angel didn't seem to care that much about the issues he raised for the last season, why is thinking all this now?

Cordelia is still being a ditzy bimbo, and I still don't like her character or acting. I have to say I was rooting for her to get eaten.

Whatever happened to Buffy's Slayer physique? A little drug takes out Buffy just like Cordelia?

Willows outburst was nice, and fit in nicely with the cautionary nature of the episode, lots of kids start lying, drinking and the like because of the pressures of being a teen.

A bit too heavy-handed but a decent ep.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006 11:51 PM

WTE


Quote:

I've seen Charisma act better than this and I just have to wonder if it's the writing or directing that is at issue.


I'm pretty sure Buffy was one of her earliest, if not the earliest, acting jobs. Odds are in other places you've seen her she'd had time to learn from mistakes and whatnot.

Still, I'm enjoying these. I'm looking forward to late season two and most of season three.

HONKS

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Thursday, August 17, 2006 6:48 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 206: Halloween

The episode starts off with a nice drawn out fight, fighting is good.

Snyder is still an ass. I still hope he gets what's coming.

The whole scene with Buffy distracting Giles was gut-busting "babe...I can live with that".

The stroyline for this episode was really cool, who wouldn't like to be completely changed into a fantasy version of themselves once in a while? Xander becoming the action man soldier, Buffy fainting the second the first wave of baddies comes into view. The writers used this story as an excuse to show the characters as opposite of what they are, and it works great.

It was interesting to get a glimpse into Giles past "Ripper?", Giles getting some swings in was a welcome change, I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Willow finally gets a little confidence, chucking the ghost costume and sticking with the...the..hooker costume...I guess.

A great episode which helped the characters show more personality then we've seen previously.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006 7:37 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 207: Lie To Me

Are all women this insecure about their relationships? The instant Angel comes within 100 feet of another woman Buffy starts wondering if he's cheating, I mean come on.

Meeting one of Buffy's old friends is an interesting development, him turning out to have ulterior motives for showing up was a nice plot move. I thought it was great that they mocked Goths and cults in one swoop, with the vampire club.

The scene with Angel confessing one of his sins to Buffy was well done and gives us insight into Angel and Drusilla.

The conversation between Giles and Buffy at the end was a classic, Giles can sure lie well can't he.

It is nice to have morally ambiguous enemies instead of just a constant stream of Black Hats, here we have someone who is trying to save his own life (ironically by dieing). It brings up the question, how far would you go to save your own life?

A very good episode that unfortunately ends up being overshadowed by the second half of the season.

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Friday, August 18, 2006 4:45 AM

CYBERSNARK


Quote:

Originally posted by fredgiblet:
I thought it was great that they mocked Goths and cults

And Angel's fashion sense.

-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

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Friday, August 18, 2006 8:00 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 208: The Dark Age

Note to the guy at the beginning of the ep: If the door doesn't open, find another one.

The scene with Giles and Jenny was great, you could practically see the fuses popping in Giles head as she talked about what she did to the book.

More of Giles dark past, more of Ethan, oh yeah the making of a good episode. I really liked that Ethan makes a return and isn't just a one ep villan, I see much more room for development in his character. It was interesting to see Ms. Calendar doing the evil thing, I think she pulled it off (the actress I mean). The use of Angel to trap the demon was a little stange IMO, I would think that the risk of the demon taking over his body would be too great, but that's just me. Willow was great as the enforcer in the library, I can't wait to see her get more assertive later.

Note to people doing do-it-yourself tatoo removal: If you're going to use acid, pouring is probably a worse idea then immersing, when you pour it goes all over, but you can immerse only specific areas.

A pretty good episode, but something just wasn't right about it, I don't know why but I just feel that the whole was less than the parts on this one.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006 4:20 PM

JOLLY


I've never really been bitten by the Buffy bug either, but I've been giving it another go this week. Following the wisdom of the web, I've decided to skip the first season and start with number two.

First two episodes didn't really get my attention. First was fall out from season one, and the Frankenstein story in episode two seemed rather tepid.

The third episode, though...now this is more like it! Spike is a fun baddy, I thoroughly enjoyed the episode, and I'm looking forward to episode number four (unlike FF and BSG, I'm going to try to exercise some self control and pace myself and *not* watch three episodes a night!).


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Saturday, August 19, 2006 5:03 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 209: What's My Line part 1

Career Week, the only redeeming value being that you get out of class for a while, the nightmare of High School continues.

Question: If the Order of Taraka is so badass, how come nobodies sent them against Buffy before?

It was interesting to have both Giles and Angel saying that Buffy can't handle the heat, makes for a good build-up. The Order seems to be not nearly as badass as there reputation if Xander and Cordelia can escape (then defeat) one of their members. I was fearing for Angel a little bit, but I knew he wouldn't die (for a variety of reasons not even including him getting his own TV show). Kendra being a Slayer is an interesting twist, that actually makes perfect sense (makes me wonder if they had it planned or just realized that it could happen after the fact).

Not a particularly good episode by virtue of the fact that it is almost completely build-up for the next ep.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006 5:07 PM

FREDGIBLET


Quote:

Originally posted by jolly:
I've never really been bitten by the Buffy bug either, but I've been giving it another go this week. Following the wisdom of the web, I've decided to skip the first season and start with number two.



Two suggestions.

First:

From season one watch the Premiere, Angel and the Finale (there is some continuity stuff to pick up on).

Second:

If you get hooked in Season 2 go back and watch Season 1. It was not particularly good, but Buffy is a continuity heavy show and you miss a lot of little things if you completely skip S1.

Just my 2 cents.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006 5:56 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 210: What's My Line part 2

Angel is captured by Spike, this can't bode well. It is certainly interesting to see the difference in style between Kendra (Slaying is her life) and Buffy (Doesn't want Slaying to be her life), quite a contrast. I have to ask though, if Kendra is supposed to have dedicated her entire life to slaying, why the fancy clothes? Shouldn't she be wearing drab, utilitarian clothes?

The scene between Xander and Cordelia was great...until they starting kissing, I don't know if it's just me, but their whole romance storyline seemed contrived. Additionally Kendra's reaction to Xander seemed completely off, I could understand her acting like that if he was trying to hit on her, but just talking?

Oz and Willow, that is a relationship I can support. Willow finally getting a guy, and that guy being fairly cool to boot.

The grand melee scene in the church was cool, and Drusilla buffing up leads to some interesting possibilities.

Overall a worthy second part, definitely makes the somewhat lackluster first part worthwile.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 8:30 AM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 211: Ted

I don't know how many of you are the appropriate age (or living situation) to remember, but for me, seeing my parents kissing grosses me out and they are married. I can only imagine what watching one of my parents frenching someone else would be like *shivers*.

If a potential stepparent started talking to me in the middle of school the day after we met, I'd be pretty creeped out myself. Ted struck me as a little off from the first moment he came on screen. It was interesting to watch how the only person who saw him as off was Buffy. John Ritter did a good job of playing the creep. I have to say, they did a good job of foreshadowing ("Not wired that way", "The Machine"), And I didn't really figure it out until Buffy stabbed him.

It was painful to see Buffy thinking that she killed someone, but then at least she reacts better than some people in the series do.

The story was just a little lacking with Xander explaining the whole thing in the last minute, though it was probably neccesary for the plot (after all, if they knew what he was then the twist is pointless).

A solid ep, with some great acting, hampered slightly by the story.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 1:50 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 212: Bad Eggs

Poor Buffy, getting in trouble with her mom because she has to protect people. Seriously I would have probably have told my parents by now, just to get them off my back (with the side benefit of having an excuse whenever I wanted to do..anything really).

The Xander\Cordelia thing still seemed contrived and unrealistic, but at least it's funny.

I'm very glad my school never made me do the whole egg thing, it's very dumb and besides...they poke things into your ears and suck out your strength. It is amazing the number of thigs that can be crammed under a high school, Hellmouths, Bezoars, geez what's next?

The scenes with Angel and Buffy were funny, I would not mind being David Boreanaz..at all.

I think that the possessed people sequences were way over dramatized, but the storyline was sound and pretty decent. All in all, a pretty good filler ep.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 10:03 PM

JOLLY


Quote:

Originally posted by fredgiblet:


Two suggestions.

--rest snipped for brevity--




Thanks for the advice. I watched episode 204 tonight. It was OK, but I realize that Spike is the only character I really like so far. Buffy, Xander and Willow just don't do it for me, not enough to want to watch "Monster of the Night" on a regular basis. The Firefly characters are so much more enjoyable to spend time with.

I can now see that Smallville borrows rather liberally from Buffy. Another show I've never really gotten into.

How many more weeks until season 3 of BSG?

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Monday, August 21, 2006 4:48 AM

CYBERSNARK


Quote:

Originally posted by fredgiblet:
Episode 212: Bad Eggs

And my favourite exchange of the entire series.

WILLOW: You boiled your young?!?
GILES: It does show a certain Macchiavellian ingenuity. . .

(And later, when Xander attempts to eat his own young. The facial expression. )

-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

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Monday, August 21, 2006 7:57 PM

FREDGIBLET


In the interest of brevity I will be combining all future two part episodes into one review.

Episodes 213 and 214: Surprise and Innocence

After watching the first part of this I have to reiterate, I would most definitely would not mind being David Boreanaz. The relationship is moving along quite nicely (I wonder how long that's gonna last?).

Oz and Willow are progressing nicely as well. Oz is a welcome addition and Willow is finally getting a guy.

One thing that bugs me is the gangs apparent belief in the death of Spike and Drusilla, personally I would think that they should assume alive until proven dead.

Wait, what? Jenny isn't Jenny? Did I miss something? Oh the plot twists abound.

The scene at the docks was great, the emotion was palpable. I have to ask though, why did Angel jump in the water after Buffy? Sure we haven't seen her swim (that I can remember) but she should be able to.

Another question, why do the boxes for the Judge interlock? And open in one direction? I would think that they would be designed to NOT open OR fit together, but that's just me.

Of course we now come to the end of the first part. Angel and Buffy...um...consumating shall we say, nicely done scene IMO, and then Angel doing the screaming thing. This is most certainly not good.

Part 2:

I'll be following the system that buffyguide.com (and I believe a lot of the fans) uses and calling bad Angel Angelus and good Angel Angel.

This is interesting, Angelus is back...minor plot twist. Angel is my fave character, and I have to say, Angelus kicks ass, an excellent villan on par with Spike.

As for Xander\Cordelia\Willow, it had to happen sooner or later, but IMHO it was a little overdone, I still think that the romance isn't realistic and Willows reaction seemed a little overboard.

I don't particularly like the whole Judge thing, first there's the minor thing I mentioned before, but the big thing is how they kill him. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for rocket launchers and the like, but the whole thing smacked of cop-out. It was like in Return Of The King "no man can harm me" "oh really? well I'm a woman so there" "Blarg I am dead". I just expected a little more from the whole immortal demon thing. I also know that that wasn't the point of the episode, but still.

The interactions between Buffy and Angelus, and the realization that it was her that caused the change were extremely well done. The talk with Giles at the end was a little touching as well, in any other series this would be a season finale.

This was actually the episode that got me hooked. Up until this point I was still on the fence about the series, but now I own the whole thing. A great piece of TV.

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Monday, August 21, 2006 8:10 PM

STAKETHELURK


Quote:

Originally posted by Fredgiblet:
One thing that bugs me is the gangs apparent belief in the death of Spike and Drusilla, personally I would think that they should assume alive until proven dead.

I likewise was irritated by that until I realized they can’t exactly “check for bodies” with vampires. Either Spike & Dru burned up in the church, or they didn’t. There’s really no way for the Scoobies to know for certain, but since the bloodsucking duo haven’t made their presence known for some time, I can understand them lowering their guard.
Quote:

I don't particularly like the whole Judge thing, first there's the minor thing I mentioned before, but the big thing is how they kill him. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for rocket launchers and the like, but the whole thing smacked of cop-out. It was like in Return Of The King "no man can harm me" "oh really? well I'm a woman so there" "Blarg I am dead". I just expected a little more from the whole immortal demon thing.
I actually loved the bit with the rocket launcher. It was climactic enough to satisfy me (I mean, c’mon, rocket launcher), but it also undercut convention enough to be funny as well (“What’s that do?”). In the end, I felt proud that Xander of all people had outwitted the demon and that the creature had been dispatched in such an efficient, cinematic, and entertaining way. Besides, they’ll be plenty of other smackdowns with übermonsters later.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006 5:27 AM

CYBERSNARK


Quote:

Originally posted by fredgiblet:
I'll be following the system that buffyguide.com (and I believe a lot of the fans) uses and calling bad Angel Angelus and good Angel Angel.

'Cause they are two very different beings, with very different styles and personalities.

You'll meet "bad Angel" later. . .

-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006 6:56 AM

FREDGIBLET


Quote:

Originally posted by StakeTheLurk:
I actually loved the bit with the rocket launcher. It was climactic enough to satisfy me (I mean, c’mon, rocket launcher), but it also undercut convention enough to be funny as well (“What’s that do?”). In the end, I felt proud that Xander of all people had outwitted the demon and that the creature had been dispatched in such an efficient, cinematic, and entertaining way. Besides, they’ll be plenty of other smackdowns with übermonsters later.



I don't disagree on any particular point, but my point was that they built it up as invincible and then they say "Well no forged thing can hurt him so let's just blow him up" It's not the climaticness of it, or the coolness of it (both of which were great) but the play on words that pissed me off. It's like I said, they did the same thing in Return Of The King and it pissed me off then too.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006 4:50 PM

STAKETHELURK


Quote:

Originally quoted by Fredgiblet:
I don't disagree on any particular point, but my point was that they built it up as invincible and then they say "Well no forged thing can hurt him so let's just blow him up" It's not the climaticness of it, or the coolness of it (both of which were great) but the play on words that pissed me off. It's like I said, they did the same thing in Return Of The King and it pissed me off then too.

Well, both BtVS and RotK are referring to a much older tradition in fantasy literature, that of the “misleadingly-worded prophecy, curse, or protection spell.” One key element of fantasy and horror literature is always that while supernatural beings and powers exist, they are bound by their own set of rules. Thus, the tellers of folklore on which fantasy & horror is based can simultaneously invent a terrifying monster (often to explain some unknown real world problem) and the rules to control it (thus, if the real world problem affects you, it’s because you weren’t following the rules to keep you safe). To tell an entertaining tale, a useful way of creating suspense is to create a seemingly invincible curse or prophecy--so that the audience can’t imagine how the heroes will survive--and then have the heroes spot some ingenious loophole and save the day. This traces back to folklore, where people would use the supernatural rules to their advantage—the average person can hardly be expected to go toe-to-toe with a demon, but if the demon has to obey certain laws they may be able to outwit it.

It is this tradition that both BtVS and RotK are making an homage to, since both owe a great deal to folklore and earlier fantastic stories. RotK takes a much more traditional approach, however, in that the specificity of the Witch-king’s prophecy is used against him (“No man can kill me!” “I am no man!”). Since LOTR is trying to present itself as an epic in the ancient style, it pretty much has to use some traditional tropes this to establish its cred.

BtVS, on the other hand, is as much a deconstruction and reinterpretation of traditional horror fantasy as it is a horror fantasy story, so it takes a different approach. Had they used the standard technique of finding a loophole in the wording, the final confrontation would have been more like this: “No weapon forged can kill me.” “My wiffle bat wasn’t forged so take that!” In other words, they would have used the specificity of the prophecy (i.e., it only protects him from things that have been “forged”) against the Judge. However, Xander realized that contemporary advances in weapons technology made the entire prophecy irrelevant. It’s not so much that they’re playing with the wording of the prophecy as completely ignoring it. “That was then, this is now.” The Scoobies were so used to battling these ancient demons with ancient weapons that it just took them a while to realize that their arsenal could expand beyond the fifteenth century. The Judge, meanwhile, is a dinosaur, a relic, totally out of place in the modern world. His time has come and gone and he doesn’t realize it—he doesn’t realize how much the world has changed (we get some that earlier on from his dialogue: “Spiffy?”). That’s what I really appreciate about the rocket launcher sequence--it’s not so much that they’re following the ancient rules by using the letter of the law against the Judge so much as breaking the rules because they cease to apply, because times have changed. I’ve always felt it’s just a very entertaining and appropriate spin on the “misleadingly-worded prophecy” trope, one that very much fits the show.

That said, I can understand why you’re less than satisfied. Just bear in mind that this situation is an important tradition in fantasy fiction and having grown out of folklore, probably satisfies some psychological need among most people. So, it’s something that can’t really be avoided in fantasy literature—however, as indicated above, new and original spins can be put on it.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006 8:28 PM

FREDGIBLET


Episode 215: Phases

Ah yes, romance, Willow/Oz is apparently progressing slowly (much to Willows dismay), and Xander/Cordelia is a little bumpy because Xander isn't a one girl kind of guy. Oh and Buffy/Angel is on hold because he wants her dead.

In this episode we get to see the first of two (so far) truly bad Werewolf costumes. *sigh* allowlances must be made for budgets (and usability) I suppose.

Giles is great, getting excited over a new monster showing up, "my books and I are in for a fascinating afternoon".

Kane (Cain? Caine?) is an ass, it's too bad he doesn't get killed, but the conversation where he thought Giles and Buffy were together was classic (if just a little crude). I'm surprised at Buffy's control, I would have broken a few of his bones by halfway through the episode. But the bending the gun thing was cool.

The commiseration between Cordelia and Willow was an amusing shift from the normal relationships.

The scene with Xander confronting Larry was painful to watch, just about blew a circuit laughing. The post-Larry conversations with Buffy was great too.

Does nobody notice when bodies go missing in Sunnydale? I mean when they've already been buried I can understand no one noticing, but when they are still above ground and no one comments on them going missing?

Oz being the werewolf should lead to some intriguing developments down the road, and Oz and Willow kiss (all together now, AWWWWWWWWWW).

A pretty good episode marred by a horrendous werewolf costume.

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