Buffy Season 1 Reviews

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Movie"

A genuine curiosity, this is the film that came out in the cinema and didn't do very well. But thinking the premise was still sound and with out interference, Joss took his slayer to TV land. The rest is history. But is it any good? Frankly, no. The story is just…strange, with scenes that don't really have any payoff. The death of Merrick is rather lame and it's not clear what Rutger's character is exactly beyond a bad ass vampire. Everything just seems slightly off, especially the 'funny' vampires at the dance. You can see what the intent is, but the execution just isn't there. It's like watching one of those badly translated anime films from the 80's. The mythology is slightly altered from the TV show as well, sometimes not for the better. The Watcher is now reincarnated everytime a Slayer dies, vampires can fly (sometimes) and have pointy ears, but no sloping brow. Also when they get staked they don't disappear. Buffy has a 'spidersense' when Vamps are around but she doesn't get a tingle. She gets cramps. Thank god that was dropped for the TV show.

It's not all bad though. Pike (Luke Perry) is actually very cool. Certainly you could see him fitting into the TV show, perhaps as a Jessie type character and as another male Xanders age. Kirsty Swanson is also good as Buffy, but SMG has made the role her own now after 5 years. It's the William Shatner thing. He is James T Kirk. Sarah Michelle Gellar is Buffy Summers. I didn't really like the idea of one Watcher being reincarnated over and over. It's better to simply have him human. So, not a great movie then, but viewed as a 'pilot episode' that got turned down it's interesting to watch. - 2/5

Buffy - 1.1/2 - "Welcome to the Hellmouth"

--- 10 - June - 2001 ---

Summary: Buffy Summers is starting her first day at school when a dead body is found, bearing the unmistakeable mark of a vampire. Giles manages to convince her to follow her destiny as a slayer, but Xander overhears and eventually Willow finds out too. It all climaxes in The Bronze, as Luke tries to free the Master by killing as many kids as possible. Buffy saves the day though and the Master is confined underground. For now.

Best Scenes: Buffys first day at school was something everyone can emphasise with. Being the new kid is never easy. Xander establishes himself here as the Chandler of the group. Almost every thing he says is funny. The scenes with Buffy talking to Principal Flutie were great as well. Angel looked suitably mysterious.

Worst Scenes: Evil Jesse looked pretty lame to me. It would have been nice to see Cordelia do more as well. What websites is Willow visiting to get all this information?

Best Character: This was Buffys episode as it was the pilot. But honestly, Xander made me laugh every time he was on screen. He was my fave scooby after two episodes.

Most Underused Character: I don't know if Joss wasn't sure whether Cordy was going to have a bigger role in the series or not, but she didn't really do much in the pilot. Still came away with a few great one liners though.

Funniest Scene: When Angel is talking to Buffy in the Crypt. The banter between the two is great. Brilliant chemistry from the outset.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "Can I have you, duh, can I help you" - Xander making a freudian slip to Buffy.

Quality Of The Villain: Luke was really just a minion, someone to do the wetwork. The real villain was, of course, The Master. His makeup looked really solid to me, very beliveable. I wonder if that's what you turn into if you never revert back to human form?

Things That Make You Ponder: As a pilot episode setting the scene, "Welcome to the Hellmouth" did a great job. The cast are all really likeable, especially Buffy and Xander. One thing I didn't like was the reliance on the Internet to move forward the story. How do people find these sites? Who creates them? I was a bit suprised that the school wasn't shut for a few days after the corpse was found. And a massacre in The Bronze and it's open for Biz the next week? Sunnydale must have the keystone cops as a police force.

Final Verdict: Really good opening episode. Great characters, good special effects, and a nice setup for future shows. 4/5

Buffy - 1.3 - "The Witch"

--- 10 - June - 2001 ---

Summary: Buffy tries out for the cheerleader squad. A girl called Amy also desperately wants in, more for her mother than anything. After weird stuff starts taking out prospective, cheerleaders, the gang suspects she is a witch. The twist is that Amys mom has switched bodys and Amy is in fact the psychopathic mother. They switch back at the end thanks to Giles and Buffy reflects Amys Moms spell back on her. She disappears but ends up trapped in a cheerleaders trophy, only able to move her eyes.

Best Scenes: The Cheerleader tryouts were nice on the eye (ahem). I genuinely didn't spot the twist, although it was a bit daft. More great one liners from Xander.

Worst Scenes: The actual premise of this episode, namely that a mother swaps minds with her daughter is a bit off the wall. It brings back memories of "Spocks Brain" and the flood of poor 80's movies like "Vice Versa" and "18 again"

Best Character: Buffy by a mile. No one else really had much to do, though Giles came good with his casting.

Most Underused Character: Cordy again for the second week in a row. She goes blind and that's about it really.

Funniest Scene: Xander drooling when he enters the cheerleading tryout hall.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "I laugh in the face of danger. Then I hide until it goes away" - Xander proving that telling the truth doesn't automatically make people think you are a brave person.

Quality Of The Villain: Not really all that impressed to be honest. Old school witch with a cauldron filled with bubbling green unindentifiable stuff. I didn't really think Buffy was ever really threatened this episode.

Things That Make You Ponder: Cordy suddenly going blind was pretty scary stuff. I know I would have a few sleepless nights if there were people running around who could do that at whim. Although Willow wasn't really a witch yet, it makes you realise how restrained she was in future episodes. Must be very tempting to use that power when somebody's giving you a hard time. Surely somebody like a cleaner or something is going to notice a statuette with a pair of eyeballs staring out.

Final Verdict: Not a great episode this. Lightweight and pretty forgetable really. 3/5

Buffy - 1.4 - "Teachers Pet"

--- 10 - June - 2001 ---

Summary: New substitute teacher Miss French has all the boys panting to help her. What they don't know is that she's a killer Mantis who kills virgins. There's also a vampire with a razor claw hand wandering around. Buffy takes him out, then the Mantis before saving Xander.

Best Scenes: The day dream at the start was funny. Xanders attempts to be smooth with with Miss French were hilarious as well. Angel's always interesting to see.

Worst Scenes: Like last week, this is a dumb premise. A killer Mantis, in the form of a teacher?! But it works. Just. The Vampire with the Claw was really pointless. It just seemed that someone realised there had been no vampires killed since the Pilot and shoved him in.

Best Character: This was a Xander episode, so he really was the star. I liked Willow though.

Most Underused Character: I'm fed up using Cordelia, so Giles is going to get the wooden spoon this week.

Funniest Scene: Xander in Miss French's house, trying to be James Bond and failing miserably.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "He's a very attractive man. How come that never came up" - Xander checking out Angel, but still being comfortable with his sexuality

Quality Of The Villain: Hey now, it's a she/killer/preying/mantis type thing. When you finally see Miss French in the flesh as it were, she looks very...rubbery. To be fair, I don't think anyone was expecting a scary creature and it seemed to be played for laughs, so there's no point critizing it.

Things That Make You Ponder: So everybody knows Xander is a virgin now. Perhaps this will quiet him down and cause a bit less jealousy when Angel's around. Or it could do the opposite. The eggs in the cupboard at the end were quite scary. The thought that we might see another killer mantis in the show is not a nice thought.

Final Verdict: Very much a Xander episode. Taken as a piss take, it's a good watch. 3/5

Buffy - 1.5 - "Never kill a boy on the first date"

--- 10 - June - 2001 ---

Summary: Giles finds out that the Master is going to raise the Anointed One, a great warrior. Meanwhile, Buffy is seeing Owen, a poetry loving student. The two storys collide at the Cemetry and Owen is nearly killed. Buffy Kills the Anointed One and breaks up with Owen. It turns out though that the Anointed One is in fact an 8 year old boy.

Best Scenes: The scenes with Buffy akwardly trying to ask out Owen were fun. Angel being jealous that Buffy was on a date. The way the vampires attacked the bus was cool.

Worst Scenes: Owen himself was really boring. What did Buffy see in him? Owen following Buffy to the mortuary was irritating. In fact I really hated Owen full stop.

Best Character: I quite Liked Giles this episode. He was always trying to help, even if he did it in a bumbling way.

Most Underused Character: Cordelia, again, had some great lines, but I really would like to have seen more of her.

Funniest Scene: Angel, after he found out Buffy was on a date. Instead of just vanishing as he usually does, he sticks around, just out of pure jealousy with Owen.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "If the Apocalypse comes, beep me" - Buffy, showing that she can be flippant under pressure.

Quality Of The Villain: The vampire Buffy was fighting was just a goon. The real Anointed One was a young 8 year old boy. I find this very creepy for some reason. Plus the kid looks spooky anyway.

Things That Make You Ponder: I still find it hard to belive that Buffy struggles so much to find dates. Are these people blind? Owen was really boring and I trust he will never show again. Where was the staff at the mortuary?

Final Verdict: Not a bad episode, but not great. The story arc of the Anointed One starts here, so it's worth watching just for that. 3/5

Buffy - 1.6 - "The Pack"

--- 10 - June - 2001 ---

Summary: A group of students, including Xander, are possessed by the spirits of Hyenas. After devouring the Principal, they turn on Buffy and co., but she is able to stop them and reverse the spell.

Best Scenes: It was fun watching Nasty Xander going around school. The death of Flutie was a real shocker. Good twist featuring the zoo keeper.

Worst Scenes: The rest of the pack were pretty boring. Not really the best acting either. Killing of Flutie was a shame as well. He was always funny. Hyenas possessing people sounds a bit silly in the light of day.

Best Character: Gotta be the Xan man. Great performance when he turned evil.

Most Underused Character: I thought Willow should have had more interaction with evil Xander, maybe even be possessed as well. A missed oppertunity.

Funniest Scene: Buffy trying to convince Giles that Xander is possessed.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "I cannot belive that you, of all people, are trying to Scully me!" - Buffy introduces Giles to pop culture references.

Quality Of The Villain: Not really a villain, but a bunch of Hyena spirits possessing folk. Not as daft as it might sound. It's all in the execution.

Things That Make You Ponder: I wish Xander hadn't been locked up when Flutie was killed. Would have made for an interesting moral puzzle in the future. And is Sunnydale school officialy the most dangerous place to work. Being a soldier in war would be safer. I hope all the teachers have wills.

Final Verdict: Another Xander episode, but the story's not really great. The cast of the pack let the side down slightly and it really is a shame that Flutie is dead. 3/5

Buffy - 1.7 - "Angel"

--- 16 - June - 2001 ---

Summary: Buffy is being attacked by The Three when Angel saves her. They run off and hide out at her house. Angel unwittingly reveals he is a vampire after kissing Buffy and flees. he is then framed by Darla to make it look like he attacked Joyce, Buffys mom. Buffy, Angel and Darla all face off in a shoot/flying-stake out and Darla ends up being dusted by Angel.

Best Scenes: When Buffy finds out that Angel used to be called Angelus and was not a nice person was good. All the scenes between Buffy and Angel were tense, through sexual desire or hatred. Darla going John Woo stylie with the guns was cool.

Worst Scenes: Angel's reaction when he learns he's been framed really annoy's me. Why not just try and least explain that it wasn't him?

Best Character: The title of the episode says it all. This was an Angel episode.

Most Underused Character: Why was Cordelia even in this episode? Seriously, if you are in the main credits you should have at least something to do.

Funniest Scene: Xander desperately trying to clutch at reasons why Buffy should not go out with Angel.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "You're in love with a vampire? What are you, out of your mind?!" - Xander, showing his sensitive understanding side.

Quality Of The Villain: Darla was a great opponent for Buffy and Angel. She's probably the first person to work out that a Slayer might not be able to outrun a speeding bullet. It was only when Buffy & Angel teamed up that she was beaten.

Things That Make You Ponder: The scene where Buffy and Angel hide in the house and the other Vampires can't cross the threshold. Well, how did that hand manage to get round the door? In fact, Buffy shouldn't even have had to struggle to close the door. The vamps should have been stuck just outside the doorway. Also when she told Angel to get in, could one of The Three have interpreted that wrongly on purpose and assumed she was talking to them so they could get in the house? Who decides exactly what an invite constitutes? Is it the intent of the inviter? Can you invite one person from a crowd without inviting them all in?

Final Verdict: Great episode, showing the early signs that Buffy has a definite story arc and won't simply be a monster of the week show. 5/5

Buffy - 1.8 - "I Robot, You Jane"

--- 23 - June - 2001 ---

Summary: Willow has an online boyfriend. Unfortunately it's a demon called Moloch whom she accidently released into cyberspace while scanning a book he was trapped in. Moloch attempts to have Buffy wiped out and when Willow rejects him, he gets a goon to kidnap her and take her to a factory. Willow finds he has created a robot body for himself. Meanwhile Giles and Ms Calendar invoke a binding spell and he is released from the net and trapped in his new body. Not best pleased, he takes it out on Willow and the scoobys by trying to kill them. Buffy outsmarts him though, by tricking him into electrocuting himself.

Best Scenes: The interaction between Giles and Ms Calender is great. It was also good to see Willow get the lead in a story. The two mesmerised students, Dave and Fritz, were kind of spooky. Especially when Fritz started mutilating himself. And i've got to say, Buffy seemed to be wearing very low-cut tops and mini skirts throughout the episode. Was this a ploy to get more viewers in?

Worst Scenes: Lets be honest: Moloch in robot form looked laughable. He reminded me of a badguy from the Power Rangers. No amount of metallic sound effects could convince me that suit wasn't made of rubber. I didn't like the way Giles was such a technophobe. It seemed a bit stereotypical of the englishman out of his element. Giles is a smart guy you know. And where the hell was Cordelia?

Best Character: Willow all the way. it was good to see her in the limelight and possibly establishing herself as the strongest actress on the show .

Most Underused Character: Remember that plotline where Cordelia walked in on the group and found them talking about an internet demon? And the bit where she said snide remarks to Willow about an online relationship? No, neither do I. And that's because she wasn't in the bloody episode. What is going on here? Has she fallen down a well?!

Funniest Scene: When Moloch was walking about in his poor man's Robocop oufit and doing the robot dance was pretty funny, albeit unintentionally. But the scooby gangs faces at the end when they realise they are doomed never to have a normal relationship was funnier.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "It's great! It's your best hair ever!" - Xander, lying quite frankly.

Quality Of The Villain: When Moloch was confined to the net and Fritz was walking about trying to kill people was good. It seemed sinister, especially when Fritz started carving letters into his arm. Then Moloch came out of the net. And turned into a rubbery transformer. I think maybe he was supposed to be funny because he had some cracking one liners.

Things That Make You Ponder: The whole Moloch on the internet kind of opens a can of worms. Fair enough, he's a centuries old demon and probably isn't au fait with how the web works. But he seemed to grasp it pretty quickly, breaking into scholl records, using webcams and commandering a factory. So the question is why didn't he create a back up copy of himself? Why not semd himself round the world to every e-mail box? Why were certain people not affected by his mesmerising power? And where the hell was Cordelia?

Final Verdict: While it was good to see Willow take center stage, the fact is that this was a pretty lame episode. The robot Moloch killed of any credibility it had. 2/5

Buffy - 1.9 - "The Puppet Show"

--- 14 - July- 2001 ---

Summary: The talent show approaches Sunnydale High and unfortunate Giles is in charge, drafted by new Principal Snyder who also catches the Scoobys making fun of it and orders them to particpate. The gang soon have more worries when a girls heart goes missing. A demon among the students participating in the show is Giles first guess, namely a weird kid with a creepy looking ventriloquists dummy. The Dummy then become the no.1 suspect but It transpires that it is in fact a human being, cursed to live in the wooden body until the demons that trapped him are killed. He teams up with the Scoobys and they rescue Giles before he is killed by the real demon, an ordinary kid nobody suspected.

Best Scenes: Starting back to front, but the scene with the trio at the end performing a stage play and being quite awful was very funny. The Dummy really was creepy looking and looked quite scary in parts. Funny stuff from the new Principal as the guy kids love to hate. Also, excellent misdirection from the script. I totally thought the Dummy was the Demon.

Worst Scenes: Although it was cool seeing the Dummy sitting talking to the gang and helping them out, it looked a bit ridiculous in parts. It was bizarre, seeing Buffy talking to him and required a large suspension of disbelief. Where was Angel? Not even a 2 minute subplot?

Best Character: Giles was unusually in the middle of the plot, organising the Show. He was also very funny, especially near the end when it was nearly time for the curtains to raise.

Most Underused Character: Angel was AWOL this week, but once again he can't really be counted since he wasn't in the episode at all. It's got to be Cordelia, who had some funny lines, but wasn't crucial to the outcome of the episode at all.

Funniest Scene: Giles using Xanders trick to get rid of Cordelia. Namely, mention her hair.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "There are things I will not tolerate; students loitering on campus after school, horrible murders with hearts being removed... and also smoking." - Principal Snyder, giving Buffy a sneak preview of how the new school charter will look.

Quality Of The Villain: Well, the whole entire episode, I thought the Dummy was the Villain. And he wasn't. Which doesn't make him less creepy. There is something spooky about an inanimate object being made to look human, a gross caricature of a human being at that. The real monster, was some demon that needed organs. Not scary or threatening. But that Dummy. Even when you know he's a good guy, you would still be looking over your shoulder at those cold staring eyes.

Things That Make You Ponder: It would have been very amusing if the Dummy had remained alive and stuck around with the Scooby gang. I can just imagine story lines revolving round him helping out the gang and sitting in on Library meetings. He might even have got a spin off instead of Angel. He could have wandered round LA on his tiny legs, solving crimes and drinking hard liquor…Possibly not though. And where was Angel?

Final Verdict: The Dummy was really creepy looking and there was great red herrings this episode. But at the end of the day, it wasn't the best ever Buffy you're ever going to see, but certainly not the worst. And that Dummy was spooky. 3/5

Buffy - 1.10 - "Nightmares"

--- 22 - July - 2001 ---

Summary: After a boy in class has spiders crawling all over him, Buffy loses an hour of time in a test and Giles loses the ability to read, the Scooby gang spot a pattern. Nightmares are coming true and it all stems around a young boy in a coma who has gained the ability to have peoples fears come to life in the real world. The gang solve it when the boy is confronted with his own monster, a violent ugly man who actually turns out to be his baseball coach who beat him into a coma in the first place.

Best Scenes: The nightmares were very different and imaginative. Willow singing with a soprano was funny, but Xanders was downright spooky. The nazi crosses and the clown was very creepy. Buffy turning into a vampire was quite a novelty. Giles feeling of dread when he sees Buffys gravestone was very touching. Cordelia as a nerd was great. The scene where the ugly monster beat up Laura was brutal.

Worst Scenes: No Angel? It would have been interesting to see his nightmares. Becoming Angelus again? I thought Buffy would have clicked that her nightmare version of her dad wasn't real and simply walked away. Easily said I guess, but emotionally draining.

Best Character: Xander, mainly because he had the best monster to run away from. That clown was scary. And he beat it as well. So gold star for the Xan man then.

Most Underused Character: Angel by his very lack of being in the episode once again escapes this 'honour'. Once he's in the opening credits though. Then he's fair game. So Cordelia, again, takes the wooden spoon.

Funniest Scene: Cordelia being dragged by nerds into a chess competition.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "If there's something bad out there, we'll find, you'll slay, we'll party." - Xander, feeling super confident.

Quality Of The Villain: The kid was making nightmares come to life, but not on purpose. He was as much the victim as anyone. The real villain was the coach, who beat him so violently that he suffered brain damage and went into a coma. An unusually undemonic villain for Buffy and possibly more frightening than any vampire could ever be.

Things That Make You Ponder: The episode never got into the actual physics of how the kid nearly brought down reality. But if every thing that came to pass was real, it makes for interesting ideas. The nerds who pulled Cordy into the chess room. Were they real with personality's? Just because they were her nightmare, doesn't mean they didn't have feelings. And Buffy as a vampire. She actually died then. Although everything was reversed, see was a member of the undead for a while. That means she died twice in season one! Pretty unusual to kill of the star of your show. Twice! It's a shame Angel never got to meet her in this state. I don't know what he would have thought.

Final Verdict: Good episode, very apocalyptic. The nightmares were all fully realised and well done. The only downside was no Angel to see the vamped up Buffy. 4/5

Buffy - 1.11 - "Invisible Girl" aka "Out of Sight, Out of Mind"

--- 30 - July - 2001 ---

Summary: Cordelia's friends are being attacked, seemingly by an invisible force. Buffy finds a secret hideaway place with food and living materials. She also finds a yearbook and deduces with the help of the Scooby's that the invisible entity is in fact Marcie Ross, a girl who simply wasn't noticed by anyone. Eventually she literally faded away and became invisible, unhinging her already unstable mind. She blames Cordelia, who has turned to Buffy for assistance, but Marcie manages to capture them both. Meanwhile, Angel is helping Giles by looking for a book called The Codex and also saves the gang after they have been trapped in the basement with leaking gas. Buffy manages to free herself and using her hearing manages to beat Marcie without the need to see her. Marcie is taken away by Men in Black who take her into a class where everybody is invisible. We leave her learning the useful art of assassination.

Best Scenes: Cordelia really came good this episode, finally justifying why she is in the main credits. Her defence of her lifestyle to Buffy was very emotional and shows she's not a Harmony bimbo. Principal Snyder is possibly the funniest man in the series after Xander. Everything he says makes me laugh. Very cool ninja type fighting from Buffy at the end as she blocked out everything and concentrated on her hearing. Marcie was actually quite spooky, especially her intended threat that she was going to disfigure Cordy. Nice playoff with Giles and Angel.

Worst Scenes: Pretty convenient that Angel found the Scooby's in the basement. Also what about Marches parents? Surely they must have been wondering where their daughter was? Mind you, that might have been part of her problem if they ignored her as well. The explanation of why she turned invisible was fair enough; The Hellmouth caused it, but what about the other cases across the land. Is there more than one Hellmouth?

Best Character: Hurrah! First time ever, Cordelia is the star of the show! With her opinions in class and revealing to Buffy she is alone as well, she really came good this episode.

Most Underused Character: Willow seemed a bit out of the picture this episode. She did have stuff to do, but everybody else seemed to have more.

Funniest Scene: Whenever Cordy went to the Scooby's for help, she always ended up insulting them in some way. Great to watch.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "There are no dead students here. This week." - Principal Snyder, staring to recognise a possible problem emerging in having your school next to a Hellmouth.

Quality Of The Villain: Marcie was strangely an unsympathetic character. She was ignored by everybody because she decided she didn't want to belong in a bottom rung social group. But she was never going to get into Cordys group. So she fell between two stools. It's also not much to aspire to. Becoming another Harmony. She was quite brutal though. Suffocating a teacher just because she liked Cordelia and thinking about stabbing Buffy. Then the talk about cutting up Cordelias face…brrr, very creepy stuff. Very dark the more you think about it.

Things That Make You Ponder: Turning Invisible is every child's dream. Being able to hide from people, spy on girls, see things that you shouldn't see but all the time nobody knows you're there. Sure, it's creepy and bad if somebody else has the power, but if you have it, it's fine. Of course, the only problem is if you can't turn it off. If you can't see yourself. How do you define yourself? Would you lose touch with perspective. How could you function in a group capacity? At what point would you lose your sanity. Angel is Invisible to himself, but people see him, react to him. If he looks angry, he knows people are going to behave in a certain way. But not Marcie. All she can do is scream into the silence and hope somebody hears.

Final Verdict: At last, we have an episode in which Cordelia takes the centre stage. I don't know how many times she has been woefully underused. There seemed no real difference between her or Harmony or any of the other Cordettes. Why was she in the credits? What did she bring to the show? She showed in this episode who she really is and how she might develop in the future. 4/5

Buffy - 1.12 - "Prophecy Girl"

--- 6 - August - 2001 ---

Summary:All the signs that an apocalypse are coming seem to be getting stronger. While Giles tries to decipher The Codex, Xander finally plucks up the courage to ask Buffy out. Unfortunately, she turns him down and he leaves a very unhappy man. Meanwhile, Giles has worked out that Buffy is going to face The Master…and lose. Buffy, accidentally overhearing this, takes the news of her impending death not very well and decides her best move would be to quit. The vampires are getting stronger though and after a bunch of students are found massacred, she faces her destiny and fights the Master. And is killed. Angel and Xander find her face down in a pool of water but manage to revive her. She doesn't feel weak though, if anything she is stronger than ever after her miraculous resurrection. In the library, Giles and co. fight a large monster that has risen from the not quite fully opened Hellmouth yet. Overhead, Buffy faces off against the Master again, but this time beats him and throws him through a glass skylight onto a sharp piece of wood. The Master dies and the Hellmouth closes. The gang retires to the Bronze, happily exhausted having survived the year and prevented the Hellmouth from opening.

Best Scenes: Lots and lots. In no particular order; first of all the directing was top notch. Really liked the slo mo on Buffy fighting the vamp at the start. Great to see Cordelia play a part in the episode. Xander asking out Buffy was good closure on a storyline that had run it's course. The whole scene between Giles, Buffy and Angel when she finds out about her destiny was beautifully played. The monster at the end was really quite cool. Looked very impressive. The final battle between Buffy and the master was great.

Worst Scenes: The actual resurrection of Buffy was very strange. How exactly did she come back to life? I suppose her slayer strength could account for it, but an explanation would have been nice. And one of my pet hates, the one thing that Buffy the television show seems to rely on too much. The 'accidentally overhearing/seeing something by accident' scene. It's the only flaw I've ever seen in this great show. But it comes up more than a few times. The scene where Buffy accidentally overhears Giles and Angel talking was really irritating. Sure, it gave us a great emotional three-way argument, but it's totally cliched. I wish she could have found out her fate some other way.

Best Character: Well, no real suprises, Buffy takes it again. And quite rightly. It was her death scene and her climactic fight with The Master that made this a great episode.

Most Underused Character: Willow wasn't hugely influential this episode. She had a nice scene with Xander, but nothing much beyond that.

Funniest Scene: I liked Xander and Angel reluctantly working together. Especially when Xander accuses him of staring at his neck.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "That's okay. I don't want to go. I'm just going to go home, lie down and listen to country music. The music of pain." - Xander, not in a happy place.

Quality Of The Villain: The big three headed monster that came out in the library looked very cool indeed. All slime and tentacles. You can't go wrong with that. But it wasn't the real villain. That was The Master, finally freed and ready to cause havoc. He killed Buffy after all. You can't get more threatening than that! But he succumbed like all the others. Although if he handily hadn't landed on a stake then who knows how the battle would have turned.

Things That Make You Ponder: Buffy takes a very sensible and rational attitude when she finds out she is going to die. She runs away from it. If she isn't the slayer, then she can't be killed by The Master. It's a very logical way of looking at it. Sure, it means the Hellmouth will open and that won't be nice. But if she was going to die anyway, what difference would it make if she didn't face The Master? Of course she did face him and lost. But perhaps she couldn't have beaten him without being 'reborn' and gaining some sort of temporary superpower that made her strong enough to face him.

Final Verdict: Well, the Season 1 finale more than lived up to it's billing. Storylines were ended, a couple of new ones introduced, some great scenes and as I said before, brilliant directing. Truly a great episode. 5/5


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    Copyright 2001 - 2002 David McNulty