Prophecy Girl

This episode is so good. As much as I do like the rest of S1, this really is a massive step up in quality. Everything has more meaning, more depth, more resonance and, overall, it is as rich as a double chocolate cake with chocolate sauce. Actually, scratch that analogy because that sounds inedible. OK, as rich as a lemon cheesecake with double cream. Hmmm.

In the “I quit” scene, Sarah Michelle Gellar is simply amazing. Both Andy and I cried and we may have seen it several times. She is perfect and Joss Whedon must have been thrilled that she was because he then knew he could really make her work hard for her money in subsequent seasons. And she earned it over all 144 episodes.

I don’t like Xander but I do like Willow. And their scene after he is rejected by Buffy sums up why. Anyway…I am looking forward to S2 a lot.

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Out of Mind, Out of Sight

I swear there was more of Clea DuVall in this. She's the main reason I like this episode along with the brilliant Cordelia character development.

It has a very X-Files ending which I didn't mind but I'm glad they stayed away from that. After all government involvement in this series would just kill it, wouldn't it? Erm.

Just how did Marcie transport Cordelia and Buffy to the Bronze: invisibility and super-strength? No wonder the government is interested.

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Rewind

(I didn't like the ending in 2006 but now I don't mind. However, in general, I am struck by how consistent my thoughts on the episodes were back then compared with my thoughts now. Consistent or boring?)

Nightmares

I'm puzzled that some people recommend that Buffy virgins should skip S1 and start with S2. It's not as if S2 doesn't have a good selection of clunkers and, in order to get episodes as good as "Innocence" and "Passion", you need to develop the characters and plotlines; you need to have earned the right to break our hearts.

If you don't get Buffy after viewing "Welcome to the Hellmouth" and "The Harvest", I'm surprised if you get Buffy at all.

"Nightmares" is great. That is all.

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See here for a Willow fancies Buffy screencap.

The Puppet Show

Why is there a public phone backstage in Sunnydale High?

This was a fine MOTW episode with strong dialogue and a superb first appearance by Armin Shimerman as Principal Snyder.

Buffy forgets to put on her trousers a couple of times.

I'm quite pleased the smug Scoobies have to take part in the talent show just because they were smug and laughing at Giles.

There are some clever things going on in this such as the cutting between separate conversations to move things along quickly (there is a technical term for this, isn't there?); the low level camera work; and, maybe the most hilarious shot in Buffy ever:

I Robot… You Jane

I don't care what many people think because in this instance, I simply don't care about the derivative story. It's not that bad and it doesn't get in the way of the fact that the dialogue in this episode is on fire; there are loads of great lines brilliantly delivered.

In addition: Buffy wears dark glasses and a trenchcoat; Xander falls off a fence; Giles and Ms Calendar have instant chemistry; it's Ms Calendar's debut and Robia LaMorte is perfect, Angel isn't in it; Willow wields a fire extinguisher; you feel sorry that Dave is murdered; and it ends with the Scoobies fearing for their chance for happy, normal relationships.

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Angel

Buffy spares Angel despite the fact that she had no reason to think he wasn’t in the process of murdering her mother.

At the very least there should have been a fight from which he escaped but he was only thrown through the window and that’s not good enough. It was her mother!

The first in a long line of “why doesn’t she just kill him?” moments relating to Angel and Spike.

The Pack

The best episode so far but it fails to deal adequately with its disturbing material: teenagers EAT their headmaster and Xander tries to RAPE Buffy (and is unbearably cruel to Willow). Like the Cordelia demon pregnancy in Angel (“Expecting”), it was too soon to go such dark places because neither series was in a position to deal with the subject matter with the respect that they deserved.

Xander remembers the things that he did and I would have liked to see the series exploring that issue in the future but, as per his actions that precipitate the events and deaths in “Once More, With Feeling”, he is never asked to explain himself.

I also found Giles’s dismissal of Buffy’s concerns about Xander’s behaviour to be unbelievable: not all sixteen year old boys tease the unfortunate and testosterone doesn’t turn all men into morons, and certainly these things don’t happen overnight.

Nevertheless this is a good episode: Xander is never going to look sexier, the murder of Principal Flutie is truly shocking, the plotting is decent, Willow is proved to be both really bright (by proving to herself that Xander is possessed) and dim (by getting tied up by the baddie), and it is funny (of course).

Never Kill a Boy on a First Date

I think this is a strong episode but something isn’t quite clicking yet for the creative team. There are good ideas and some very funny moments but it’s all failing to come together because the execution is poor e.g. where do the two vampires guarding the outside of the funeral parlour go? Giles hides in a body fridge and the vampires are too stupid to look there?

The relationship between Giles and Buffy is coming along nicely. The actors and the characters have a wonderful chemistry.

I’m afraid to say that David Boreanaz has been terrible so far: I really don’t recall him being this bad but he really is awful and he needs to stand up straight!

I love the scene when Xander compares his literally childish watch with Owen’s more mature one. Nicholas Brendon is so funny in that scene. Almost as funny is the scene when Giles turns up at Buffy’s house to Owen’s bemusement. Willow and Xander are then left behind either to wait for Joyce or to lock up on Buffy’s behalf. Yet another funny moment is when Xander, Willow and Owen have to remove the pile of furniture which was supposed to be for their protection as a vampire goes for them.

“Ooh, hallo, salty goodness!”

“I have volumes of lore, of prophecies, of predictions. But I don’t have an instruction manual.” Why doesn’t he? Did he lose it?

She wore that outfit to school?! No wonder Giles isn’t wearing his glasses.

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Teacher’s Pet

The last act of this is pretty dire concluding with Buffy‘s best forgotten cliffhanger.

Based on this, the best way to keep the young men of Sunnydale from blabbing about the demons would be to blackmail them about their virginity.

We were all pretty horrified when Angel took off his leather jacket to expose his white vest. Eww. However, Xander fancied him! Because he’s buff!

The special effect when Miss French swivels her neck was surely naff in 1997?

If there had been a sequence of episodes as feeble as this one then I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog.

Willow checks out Buffy.

Witch

Apparently this is called “Witch” and not “The Witch”, well, well.

Despite not knowing its true title for so long, nevertheless this is definitely one of my favourite S1/S2 episodes: an excellent MOTW episode. However, the weakness of episodic series is exposed when you consider that not one character mentions Jesse. Willow and Xander’s best friend is forgotten that quickly?

Anyway, I love the fakeout telling off that Giles gave Buffy in her cheerleader uniform. Perky Buffy singing “Macho Man” is a Buffy highlight.

Buffy comes extremely close to death and Giles truly watches out for her though I can hardly believe it’s his “first casting”. The show’s early days are a bit off as regards future developments.

Buffy is rocking the retro look here. I like Amy’s trousers and I like her dialogue (“Well, I know that I’ll miss the intellectual thrill of spelling out words with my arms”.) Poor Amy was such an attractive character until she became a rat.

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