Buffy Season 2 Reviews

Buffy - 2.1 - "When She Was Bad"

--- 30 - June - 2001 ---

Summary: Buffy comes back from her summer hols in LA with a new attitude - namely, she's a bitch. Meanwhile The Anointed One is planning on raising The Master and needs to sacrifice Buffys pals. Buffy soon cames to her senses when her friends are about to be killed and gains some closure on The Master by smashing his skeleton with a large hammer.

Best Scenes: There was a lot of good stuff this episode. Willow and Xander realising they might become more than friends. Buffy being an uber-bitch. Cordelia actually giving advice and helping out. Giles and Ms Calendar are always good. I love Principal Snyder. Xander facing off with Buffy and threatening to kill her.

Worst Scenes: I would have liked a bit more of Buffy trying to make up to the scooby gang. I mean she was a real bitch this episode. It would have been nice to see The Anointed One do something powerful that indicates why so many vampires fall over themselves to serve him.

Best Character: Buffy when she was in The Bronze dancing with Xander. That was her at her worst, hurting all those around her and also the moment when she stole the show. .

Most Underused Character: Quite a good balance this episode. Everybody had at least one line or one scene to claim as their own. I'll say Giles, but it was very evenly divided this episode.

Funniest Scene: When Giles was walking with Principal Snyder and they were talking about students. Very amusing.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "Yo! G-man! What's up?" - Xander, being a tad over familiar with Giles.

Quality Of The Villain: There wasn't really an out and out villain this week. Buffy was fighting her own personal demons and trying to lay the spectre of The Master to rest. I suppose The Anointed One was the real monster, since he ws trying to raise The Master in the first place and that pushed Buffy over the edge.

Things That Make You Ponder: The Vamps not killing Xander was a bit strange. I suppose they were in a rush though. Who actually owns The Bronze? The owner must be in serious denial with the amount of dodgy stuff that goes in there.

Final Verdict: I've seen some bad reviews of this episode and I can't disagree more. I thought this was great! Everybody had something to do, that's incredibly rare with such a large cast. "Evil" Buffy was fun to watch, plus the foreshadowing of what was to come, namely Buffy and Angel talking about fighting each other, shows amazing writing skill. This is a winner. 5/5

Buffy - 2.2 - "Some Assembly Required"

--- 30 - June - 2001 ---

Summary: After finding out that dead bodies are being dug up for sinister purposes, Buffy and the scoobys go to work to try and sort it out. It turns out two science students, Chris and Eric are trying to create a frankenstein type woman for Chris's undead brother, who has recently been brought back to life. Cordelia is the final victim and is kidnapped from a football game where coincidently Giles and Jenny are on their first date. Buffy and the scoobys manage to save the day, thanks partially to Chris who has had a change of heart, and the undead brother chooses to die in a fire with his unfinished 'Bride'.

Best Scenes: I liked the referring to the previous episode and how odd Buffy was acting. Specifically, the rather sultry dance with Xander. Good to see Cordelia become more involved with the gang, albeit by accident. Giles and Jenny on their first date was priceless.

Worst Scenes: Where was Angel for most of this episode? He just vanished. And where was his cool black leather jacket? Although it was good to see Cordelia playing a big part, how many times was she kidnapped or in a situation where she thought she was going to be? The actor playing the undead brother, Daryl, looked well older than his characters age.

Best Character: Buffy was in most of the scenes, but she didn't really do anything standout. Giles is my pick, if only for his scenes of trying to build up his courage to talk to Jenny.

Most Underused Character: Angel, who just vanished from the story after escorting Cordelia home. Did he lose his way? Maybe he was still dazed from getting a shovel to the face?

Funniest Scene: Giles being caught practicing his chat-up lines on a chair.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "Sorry, but I'm an old fashioned girl. I was raised to believe that men dig up the corpses and the women have the babies." - Buffy, revealing she was raised as a child using methods circa 1800.

Quality Of The Villain: The creepy guy Eric was the only character you couldn't feel sympathy for. He looked far too eager to start knocking off bodies. Chris was just trying to help his big brother, who he clearly adored and missed so bad he resurrected him. Daryl probably wasn't a maniac when he was alive, and in all honesty the frankenstein type monster was not really Daryl at all, just a confused creature who looked like him.

Things That Make You Ponder: The show never 100% showed you how Chris & Eric resurrected Daryl. This is surely some powerful knowledge. If they were that way inclined they could probably make a fortune from it. I thought Angel was a bit dopey tonight. He didn't see or sense a vamp coming straight towards him over Buffy shoulder, took a whack in the face with a shovel, then seemed to have lost his cool Fonz jacket and had to make do with a white one. And then he disappeared for most of the episode. Very strange. Cordelia must be a very tough girl if she can go on to a field and perform a cheerleading routine after an attempted kidnapping. In fact she was held hostage so many times, it's a wonder the poor girl isn't traumatised.

Final Verdict: Clearly a frankenstein inspired episode, this was okay, but a bit of a disappointment after the last episodes greatness. It's redeeming quality is Giles and Jenny though. They're great together. 3/5

Buffy - 2.3 - "School Hard"

--- 30 - June - 2001 ---

Summary: In school Buffy and another 'trouble' student, Sheila, have to organise a successful Parents Night for Principal Snyder otherwise one or both will be expelled. Also, a pair of new vampires called Spike & Dru are in town and decide to knock off the slayer. Spike attacks on parents night and forces Buffy, the scoobys and the teachers to hide in the school from the pack of vampires until help can arrive. Buffy confronts Spike and struggles to beat him until her family helps. The Anointed One is not best pleased with Spikes failure, but soon has no more worries when Spike cheerfully sets him on fire with sunlight.

Best Scenes: Spike & Dru are great characters. A real Johnny Rotten feel to him, plus he doesn't care about anything. Except Dru, his deranged lover who seemingly has psychic powers. The attack on the school was well orchestrated, managing to shut Buffy and Co. down in a remarkably short time. The relationship between Buffy and her mom was well explored. Angel trying to bluff Spike, then Xander thinking he had been bluffed was great too. And finally, the killing of The Anointed One, the most annoying brat of the vampire world.. Thank you Spike, the viewers of Buffy are forever in your gratitude.

Worst Scenes: When Spike morphed back into his human face, it was quite bad blue screens in the background. Some of the vampires went down shockingly easy. Being hit by a chair topples somebody with superhuman strength? It would have been nice to see Willow be a little more resourceful. We all know she's an intelligent girl

Best Character: it's got to be Spike. His cruel sense of humour was infectious and the simple fact he killed the annoying one makes him the star of the show.

Most Underused Character: Willow and Cordelia didn't do much really. Being locked in a cupboard isn't very conductive to having an important part in the outcome of the plot. But Cordy had funnier lines, so Willow takes it i'm afraid.

Funniest Scene: Cordelia when she was saying her prayer to God and started straying off track. Plus Willows deadpan face was great.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "Okay, that's it. I'm putting a collar with a little bell on that guy!" - Xander, coming up with new methods of keeping track of sneaky vampires.

Quality Of The Villain: How could anybody not like Spike. He's witty, sharp, opinionated, genuinely threatening, doesn't follow anyone and has killed two slayers. He's certainly a lot more dangerous than The Anointed One.

Things That Make You Ponder: I'm not sure why Shelia wasn't simply killed by Dru. What was the point of Vamping her? Spike seemed to think she was just food. A lot of the vampires seemed to go down awfully easy. It might not have been St. Vigeous day, but they still have super strength. While i'm glad the Anointed one is gone, what was the point of him anyway? Was he just a plotline that ended up running into a deadend? Who cares anyway, he's gone. Hurrah for Spike!

Final Verdict: Great new characters in the form of Spike & Dru. They really did steal the show from Buffy in what was a cracking intelligent action episode (if that isn't an oxymoron). 5/5

Buffy - 2.4 - "Inca Mummy Girl"

--- 30 - June - 2001 ---

Summary: A mummy awakens from the dead after a rather careless student tries to steal a plate from it's grasp and breaks it. It turns out the plate was a seal and The Mummy can suck the life out of others. She then proceeds to kill the student and an unfortunate young man stepping off a bus. It turns out this was in fact Buffys exchange student and the Mummy, now an attractive young woman calling herself Ampata decides to take his place. Xander and Ampata soon fall in love but she has to keep feeding to live. Unfotrunately she picks Willow, who is unaware of the attention she is receiving from Oz, a lead guitarist in a band. The Scooby gang work it out and Xander challenges Ampata to kill him if she has too take a life. She crumble's to dust before his eyes, either because she didn't have time to feed of him or because she loved him too much and sacrificed herself instead of kiling more people.

Best Scenes: Xander and Ampta's doomed relationship was good. I really liked the lighting when she was kissing him. A vivid orange behind the pair turned them into silhouettes and looked very dramatic. Giles and his crap car was funny. Good to see somebody notice that Willow is an attractive girl. Nice one Oz. Quite good special effects when a persons 'life force' was being sucked out of them. Also nice to see a reference to "Teachers Pet" and the Mantis.

Worst Scenes: The actual notion that a centuries old egyptian Mummy could suddenly speak english and understand most culture references was pushing it a bit. The Bodyguard was pretty pointless as well, being sent to an early grave early on. Willow in the eskimo suit looked stupid, and though I know that was the point, she was clearly meant to look cute as well and didn't.

Best Character: Xander had a strong showing this episode, especially the scenes with Ampata.

Most Underused Character: Angel technically wasn't in this episode, so he doesn't really count. Cordelia had a few funny lines, but her impact on the plot was nil.

Funniest Scene: When Xander was getting jealous of the exchange student when he thought it would be a guy sleeping in Buffys house.

Laugh Lines Of The Week: Willow: "So, Ampata. You're a girl." Ampata: "Yes. For many years now." - Willow, redefining the use of small talk.

Quality Of The Villain: Ampata wasn't really a villain. She was a young girl who had been forced into these unpleasant circumstances. Buffy could clearly emphasise with her on being the chosen one and having duties.

Things That Make You Ponder: Ampata seemed to fit in rather too well for an ancient old mummy. She didn't seem remotely suprised to see cars and electricity. It also must be said that Ampata looked a lot older than her apparent age as a young girl. Xander said it himself, but he really does have a terrible track record with girls. If Willow was an evil witch, he'd fall for her in a second. Where was Angel?

Final Verdict: Not a bad Xander episode, but nothing really made me sit up and get excited. Great directing & lighting in the Xander/Ampata kiss though. 3/5

Buffy - 2.5 - "Reptile Boy"

--- 30 - June - 2001 ---

Summary: Buffy is getting sick of all work and no play, plus Angel is being difficult. So when Cordy invites her to a frat party, she unwisely accepts. Xander gatecrashes it as well to look out for Buffy, but is soon caught up in the party mood. it all goes pearshaped when Buffys drink is spiked and she falls unconcious. Her, Cordy & a girl who has been missing for a while are to be sacrificed to a snake demon that grants good fortune. Xander, after being humiliated when he is caught out at the party, meets the Scooby gang by accident and they help Buffy kill the Snake Demon.

Best Scenes: When the gang are watching the Indian film and offering comments. Willow finally losing her temper with Giles and Angel was great. Cordelia advising Buffy on how she should behave at the party and the weird thing with her hair. Willow asking Angel how he shaves.

Worst Scenes: Cordelia seemed to have regressed in this episode into total vain brainless bitch of the week. And her screaming in the cave was really annoying. The humiliation of Xander was really dark and not nice. The same goes for spiking the drinks. Very nasty subject matter being dealt with here and arguably trivialising it.

Best Character: It's got to be said, no one behaved like there usual selves this episode. Buffy was stupid in lying to Giles and going to the party. Cordy was back in season 1 mode and Xander seemed more interested in when the orgy was going to start. Plus what was Angel all about, half threatening Buffy in the cemetary? Willow was the only real good characterisation, especially when she was shouting at Giles and Angel.

Most Underused Character: Giles wasn't really in the story much. He didn't really know what was going on until the last 3 minutes.

Funniest Scene: Giles and Angels' faces after Willow had a good shout at them.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "Angel, Angel, Angel. Does every conversation we have have to come around to that freak? Hey, man, how you doing?" - Xander, putting his foot in it, yet keeping his cool at the same time.

Quality Of The Villain: Shite, quite frankly. The Snake Demon never appeared until the end and didn't look very threatening. The Frat guys were far scarier, simply because they exist in real life. Hazing is nasty and when a girls drink is spiked, it's not usually to sacrifice them to a demon.

Things That Make You Ponder: The timescale of this episode was strange. First you had Buffy and Cordy drugged and out for the count. Then they were bright and bushy tailed not 2 hours later. What is the deal with Buffys slayer strength? It seemd to me that she should be able to expel any narcotic through her system in 10 seconds flat. Kind of like Wolverines healing power. But I digress. At the end of the show, presumably the next night, Xander reads that the Frat Boys were tried and convicted. What, in the space of 15 hours? That's some trial system they've got in Sunnydale.

Final Verdict: This was a strange episode. Everybody, with the exception of Willow, seemed to have fallen into a timewarp and ended up in their season 1 personalitys. Plus the subject matter, drugging girls drinks and hazing, seemed a tad dark for a show like Buffy. 2/5

Buffy - 2.6 - "Halloween"

--- 3 - July- 2001 ---

Summary: As Halloween approaches, ironically the quietest day of the year for Vamps and Demons, Buffy, Xander & Willow are pressganged by Principal Snyder into escorting children trick or treating. The fun ensues when the costume seller, Ethan Rayne, casts a spell on everyone who bought a costume from his shop, apparently out of malicious fun. Buffy turns into a helpless 18th century girl, Willow is a ghost cum hooker and Xander is a soldier. Giles comes to the rescue by facing off Ethan, who he knows from his past, and forcing him (i.e. beating the crap) to reverse the spell.

Best Scenes: Giles was great. He's definitely got a side we (or Buffy) don't see very often. Who'd have thought his nickname would be the 'Ripper'. Willow looked suitably tarted up and it would have been interesting to see her play a Cordelia type character. How cool is Oz with his "Who is that girl?" line. Very funny. Spike as always provides good entertainment.

Worst Scenes: Buffy as the 18th century girl was a bit over the top. Quite annoying too. It's quite convenient that Spike managed to rustle up a pack of demons that contained the best and most expensive make up jobs. Might as well get good value out of them.

Best Character: Giles wasn't in this episode much but he stole the show. Quite a bruiser. It makes ne wonder if he went over on his arse so many times on purpose. Perhaps he was just faking all this time too see if Buffy could fight her own way out of a situation.

Most Underused Character: Probably Buffy, mainly because her 18th century alter ego was rubbish at everything. Cordelia runs a close second, but she was in a cat suit and had some great lines (as usual) so Buff takes the wooden spoon.

Funniest Scene: Xander as macho soldier guy was great.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "Private Harris reporting for... Buffy! Lady of Buffdom, Duchess of Buffonia, I am in awe! I completely renounce spandex." - Xander, calling Buffy by her official title.

Quality Of The Villain: Ethan Rayne was a rather nasty individual. But what made him stand out was his past with Giles. How many skeletons in the closet does 'Ripper' have? More than Angel? And will Ethan be back to blab about them? We can only hope so.

Things That Make You Ponder: The whole costumes turning you into your character you're pretending to be thing was quite cool. I'm not sure why Willow didn't simply become a white sheet though. What if Cordelia dressed as Buffy? Would she become a slayer? Why Cordy would be dressed as Buffy is another matter, but it would have been cool.

Final Verdict: Interesting idea this episode, but I thought it could have been taken further. Imagine Willow as Cordy, Buffy as Willow, Xander as Angel! Well, I think it would have been interesting. Of course, the best thing about this episode was Giles. He is a dark horse and no mistake. 4/5

Buffy - 2.7 - "Lie To Me"

--- 3 - July - 2001 ---

Summary: Buffys old pal Ford comes into town and hooks up with the gang. Xander and Angel are far from impressed, so they decide to do a little research. It turns out Ford is in fact very eager to become a vampire, because of a tumour that is killing him. He is willing to sacrifice Buffy to Spike, along with a crowd of misinformed vampire worshippers, but she gains the upper hand when she takes Dru hostage. Spike is forced to let Buffy and the others escape, but he sticks by his deal and turns Ford into a vampire, but he is staked 2 seconds after he rises by a confused Buffy, who realises life is not always black and white.

Best Scenes: Ford seemed a really cool guy and could easily have been part of the Scooby gang, so it was a shocker to see him betray Buffy. Angel telling Buffy his dark secret about Dru was great. Angel and Willow working together was really novel.

Worst Scenes: Where was Cordelia at? The lady vanishes. Thats about it really.

Best Character: Buffy, when she realises that Ford might actually have different reasons for becoming a vampire than she had thought of before. Good acting from SMG.

Most Underused Character: Sing it with me: Cordeeeliaaa. Where did you goooo, my lovellllly! (paraphrased from old 90's Backstreet Boys song. No link being provided, because they aren't very good)

Funniest Scene: Xander and Angel being oh so jealous of Ford.

Laugh Lines Of The Week: Xander:- "Yeah, I'm goin' to have to go with Dead Boy on this one." Angel:-"Could you not call me that?" - Xander trying out a new handle for Angel.

Quality Of The Villain: Ah, now this is a great foe. An old friend of Buffy, who has remarkably good reasons to become a vampire. It asks what we would do if we were in such a situation. Dying of cancer, in pain 24/7, wasting away until you're a living skeleton, a freak of nature. And you have the option of being young, immortal, superstrong, and propably better looking than you ever have been before. Wouldn't you be tempted? Would you ignore the people who would have to die for you? It's a situation nobody would like to be challenged with.

Things That Make You Ponder: Although it's common knowledge that if you become a vampire, you really have died, a demon has taken over your body, there are always the exceptions that tempt people. Angel, with his soul and Spike with his chip. And I can't belive these are the only ones. These are good guys, who are vampires. If the exceptions to the rules didn't exist, perhaps there wouldn't be such an attraction.

Final Verdict: This is dynamite stuff. An answer that throws up far too many questions that can't be properly answered, if at all. If there was the slightest chance that we could save a loved one, have them become a vampire yet not demonic, would we take it? Would we thinkthat we could find the equivalent of a gypsy curse and make them good again? This show continually strives to ask the big questions. 5/5

Buffy - 2.8 - "The Dark Age"

--- 8 - July - 2001 ---

Summary: The past comes back to haunt Giles as a demon called Eyghon, who he invoked with his friends when he was young, starts to hunt them down and kill each of them one by one. Buffy finds Ethan Rayne and he explains about the tattoo that each of them have, enabling the demon to track them down. After the scooby gang captures the demon, it jumps into Jenny, who sets about trying to kill Giles. Angel saves the day by letting the demon jump into him and he destroys it using will power and the fact he is half demon himself. It's not all happy endings though as Jenny does not feel safe round Giles and Ethan Rayne escapes again.

Best Scenes: Giles slowly descending into a total different character was great. It was such a shock too see him unravel. Ethan is a good foe as well, a mirror version of Giles who uses his knowledge for his own gains. Willow taking charge in the library was fun and Angel saving the day was a nice touch. Good special effects too. Jenny giving Giles the cold shoulder was realistic for once. All the cast seem to have a fast mental recovery period, whatever they face, so it was nice to see someone unnerved for once.

Worst Scenes: Buffys reaction to having her body defaced with a tattoo was remarkably uncaring. I thought she might feel a tad violated. Then, when Ethan escapes, she makes a joke. This guy has tried to kill her twice now and caused her friends no end of pain. The least she could have done is show some concern. No Spike? Not even a one minute subplot?

Best Character: This is the first real Giles episode and it was a good stage for him. I'd love to have saw him totally fall from grace and be a complete bastard. A bit like Buffy in "When she was bad". Strong performance by Tony Head.

Most Underused Character: Although Angel saved the day, he was AWOL for most of the episode. What gives?

Funniest Scene: Not many laugh out loud moments, but Xander and Cordelia arguing was fun.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "Giles lived for school. He's actually still bitter that there are only twelve grades." - Xander, reading Giles like a book.

Quality Of The Villain: The Demon was quite boring really. it didn't want to do anything beyond kill some people and move on. The real joy was in seeing Giles self destruct as the sins of youth caught up with him. He must have felt like the villain as he helped invoke it, plus his actions have indirectly mentally scarred Jenny and physically scarred Buffy (not that she seemed that bothered).

Things That Make You Ponder: It took the Demon long enough to get around to killing the rest of the group. Where has it been all these years, pulling a gig on Xena? I'm suprised Ethan didn't try to get rid of the tattoo long ago. If it was the equivalent of a tracking device and knowing the coward that he is, it's a bit odd. Giles would probably keep it on to remind him of the tragedy he helped bring about. Unless, of course you can't remove the tattoo. Xander and Cordelia are becoming a real comedy act.

Final Verdict: I didn't think we would see Ethan again for another season, so it's nice to be wrong for once. Good stuff with Giles coming apart at the seams and showing the Scoobys that he was quite a bad boy when he was younger. I would have prefered a bigger skeleton in his closet, but this was a good episode. 3/5

Buffy - 2.9 - "Whats My Line, Part I"

--- 8 - July - 2001 ---

Summary: Buffy and gang face the trial that is Career Week, though Buffy can't see the point as she is locked into her slayer destiny. Angel, sensing her mood, suggests they go ice skating to cheer themselves up. Meanwhile, Spike had taken a contract out on Buffy, and various assassins try to wipe her out. One woman captures Angel and locks him in a cage where the sunlight will fry him. She attacks Buffy, but has a suprise in store when she reveals she is Kendra, the Vampire Slayer.

Best Scenes: Angel trying to cheer up Buffy was good. The small moments in the episode, between Willow & Oz, as well as Xander & Cordy were nicely played. Spike as always is good. The money shot with Kendra revealing herself as the Slayer instead of an assassin was a good cliff hanger.

Worst Scenes: Dunno about Kendras accent. Maybe it's authentic, but it's quite annoying. Angels inability to open a cage door with a padlock on it seems strange. What is the powerlevel of these vampires?

Best Character: Buffy, feeling blue and just wanting the ability to run her own life was another good acting turn by SMG.

Most Underused Character: Giles did participate this episode, but on the whole he didn't have that much too do.

Funniest Scene: The gang filling in the career applications at the start.

Laugh Lines Of The Week: Buffy:- "Do I like shrubs?" Xander:- "That's between you and your God." - The Xan man getting metaphysical towards plants.

Quality Of The Villain(s): The Assassins didn't really have much to do this episode. The guy who attacked Buffy in the ice rink looked like a poor mans wrestler. The creepy door to door salesman was much better. Very spooky guy. And of course Kendra wasn't an assassin at all, not that you'd know since she was a tad over indulgent in trying to kill Buffy & Angel.

Things That Make You Ponder: It's quite a cool idea, having two Slayers wandering around at the same time. It's still a bit of a mystery how Buffy came back to life though. If you're dead, even for a second, then that is kind of the point of no return. Mouth to mouth isn't gonna save you. Still, she does have Slayer powers, so it might be a different set of circumstances for her. How can vampires go toe to toe with a Slayer, yet not be able to pull a padlock off a metal door. I'd love to see a geeky power rating for everybody in the series, like superhero trumps.

Final Verdict: Very much a setup episode, with the promise of answers in part 2. Aside from her accent, Kendra looks a good addition to the Buffy family. 4/5

Buffy - 2.10 - "Whats My Line, Part II"

--- 8 - July - 2001 ---

Summary: Buffy & Kendra call a truce, until Giles can work out what is going on. It transpires that Kendra was called when Buffy died, albeit only for a minute. Spike has captured Angel and is going to use him in a ritual that will kill him, but reinvigorate Dru. Xander & Cordy manage to escape from the maggoty assassin, but not before some serious snogging. Buffy & Kendra team up with the scoobys and rescue Angel, but Dru is brought back to full strength even without the ritual being completed.

Best Scenes: The all out action finale was good fun. Two slayers are better than one it seems. Giles bonding with Kendra, while Buffy looked on jealously was funny. Xander and Cordelia kissing seems like it could lead somewhere. The maggot assassin was very creepy. Nice to see Oz & Willow finally having a conversation. The final scene, with Dru carrying Spike out the church was a great shot.

Worst Scenes: Kendras accent is out of order. That could get seriously annoying. Buffy made hard work of the fake police woman. I take it she wasn't simply a human then? Purely personal thoughts here and you may want too skip them since they don't relate to Buffy, but two quotes really irritated me. Xander with his "Who sponsored career day today? The British Soccer Fan Association?" Soccer (or football as it's known outside of America) did have a bad reputation in the 80's and very early 90's. But that was 5 years ago, and the UK have cleaned up their act big time. At the time the episode was filmed (1997), British football was a very safe and respectable place again, namely due to money from Sky and the efforts of the FA. To make a throw away joke about it seems to piss on the efforts of a lot of people, including fans who don't wish to be associated with the actions of a minority group. This is a touchy subject for me and i'm probably over reacting, but I felt it had to be said. On a lighter note, the other thing was Buffy telling Kendra not to watch a Chevy Chase film on the plane. I like Chevy Chase! I'll admit he's had a few (alright more than a few) dodgy movies, but he's made some very funny films. In no particular order: "Caddyshack", "National lampoons Vacation", "European Vacation", "Fletch", and some early Neil Simon stuff. I'm telling you, it Tarintino had cast him in Pulp Fiction, Chevy would be a star again! *ahem* Anyway, back to the review.

Best Character: I really liked Angel this episode. When he was being tortured by Dru, you felt sympathy, but he did create her, Dru was the real victim. Then when he was riding Spike, teling him about his sexual prowess with Dru, you could tell Spike was seriously pissed off. Good stuff.

Most Underused Character: I'll have to say Giles again. He did have a few scenes, but everybody had more standout moments. It was a packed episode to be fair.

Funniest Scene: Buffy feeling disgruntled when Kendra and Giles talk about reading Watchers volumes and she looks like an unwanted child.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "Angel's our friend! Except I don't like him!" - Xander, undermining his own argument.

Quality Of The Villain: The assassins sort of fell by the wayside this episode. The Maggot guy was cool, but the more I think about it, it was quite a daft power. Beyond the actual revulsion of maggots, it wasn't really much use, as witnessed by the fact he got killed so easily (and in a rather funny manner). Spike trying to kill Angel too help Dru was the real villain of the piece, though if he hadn't ordered the hit on Buffy, Willy would never have taken her to him, so he kind of set up his own downfall.

Things That Make You Ponder: I wonder if the cop shooting at Buffy in school and injuring some kids would make the show these days in light of various real life events that need no retelling. Xander and Willow seem to be getting split up recently, with Cordy and Oz entering the picture. It's a shame, but inevitable if the charcters aren't to stagnate, Cordelia especially since the writers seemed to find it hard in the past to think of reasons for her to be with the Scoobys.

Final Verdict: Quite a nice wee episode, but not as good as I thought it was going to be. The Kendra thing never really came to anything and I was quite gutted that she left at the end. The pivotal scene for me was Angel, Dru & Spike. Really excellent stuff from the Vamp trio. 3/5

Buffy - 2.11 - "Ted"

--- 14 - July- 2001 ---

Summary: Buffys mom, Joyce, had been stepping out with a new guy, Ted. Buffy doesn't like him though. Not because he's nasty or not nice. But because he's too nice and everybody loves him apart from her. She does some investigating, but Ted finds out and confronts her which eventually leads into a fight. Buffy unwittingly kills Ted and has to go to the police. While Buffy tries to cope with the fact she killed a human being, Giles goes on patrol and manages to make up with Jenny. Ted comes back from the dead though and is eventually revealed to be a Robot. Buffy shuts him down, with the aid of a frying pan.

Best Scenes: Buffy reacting to the thought that she might have taken a human life, albeit unintentionally, was great. Superb acting by SMG as she starts too emotionally shut down. Good detective work by the Scoobys. Xander really wanting to play minature golf was funny. Nice to see good continuity with Angel still nursing his hand. John Ritter was good as Ted. Good to see Giles and Jenny back.

Worst Scenes: I didn't like the whole concept of Ted being a robot. In such a serious episode, it seemed a daft 50's B movie concept. Let's not forget that Joyce thought her daughter had killed her perfect boyfriend, simply out of jealousy or confusing feelings. Plus, is Joyce in denial? She didn't notice that Ted was acting robot like at the end. Is she permanently drunk? Stay of the drink love. Shame there wasn't any more Spike or Dru.

Best Character: Buffy all the way. As I said earlier, she really carrys the episode and seems genuinely traumatised that she killed Ted, even if he was an abusive father figure who pushed her to the edge.

Most Underused Character: Angel was still licking his wounds and it was nice to see the hand still wrapped up. But he was fairly absent.

Funniest Scene: Any scene with Xander going on about how much he loved Ted.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "How is Angel? Pretend I care." - Xander, wanting to sound like a good friend, but not quite making it yet.

Quality Of The Villain: Ted wasn't really a villain, just a screwed up robot. But he did make life very difficult for Buffy. He drove a wedge between her and Joyce, one that I can't believe was simply repaired over one night. Buffy killed the man she loved and just because he was a serial killer robot, she still must have thought dark things about her daughter in the period just after his 'death'.

Things That Make You Ponder: I wonder if Ted really didn't know he was a robot. Could he have the skill to manufacture more of himself, perfect copies all with the same flaw? Is there lots of Teds running around America as we speak? Maybe the maker, the original Ted was a bit of a psycho himself. Perhaps the robot Ted is really an accurate copy of his personality.

Joyce was ready to lie to save Buffy from jail time, but there must be some strained feelings between them. Will Joyce feel that any possible man she brings home could be in danger from Buffy? Would Buffy be hesitant on using her strength in the future?

Final Verdict: The idea of Buffy killing an innocent human being was great. The idea of him being a robot was stupid. For me, it ruined an episode that could have been a 5/5. As it stands…3/5

Buffy - 2.12 - "Bad Eggs"

--- 14 - July- 2001 ---

Summary: As an experiment, Buffy and her class are given eggs to look after, the idea being that this will show them how difficult it is too care for a child. However, the eggs turn out to be parasites that take control of humans, spawned form a demon that lies under the school. Meanwhile, two old cowboy vampires are in town, looking for trouble. Soon everyone is taken over apart from Buffy and Xander and they manage to beat the demon and free everyone who was enslaved, though one of the cowboy vamps loses his life and the other scarpers when he realises he is no match for the Slayer.

Best Scenes: Xander and Cordelia arguing is fun to watch. The cowboys were interesting, if slightly wasted. The actual facehugger/parasite type things looked suitably creepy and spider like.

Worst Scenes: The demon, Bezoar, was not very impressive. A giant jelly fish with an eyeball. Great. This was clearly a filler episode, a tribute to the Puppet Masters, but it wasn't all that good. I really am starting to hate the fact that Joyce doesn't know Buffy's the Slayer. And her constant refusal to see that strange things are going on in Sunnydale. I'd like to know where she hides the booze. And how come Buffy hasn't noticed her moms a raging alcoholic with constant memory losses? Also, where was Angel for most of the episode?

Best Character: No one really shone in this. I'll go with Xander though, because he had the common sense to boil his egg.

Most Underused Character: Angels spidersense sure wasn't tingling this episode. He was probably fast asleep, dreaming about Buffy and brooding in corners.

Funniest Scene: The scoobys talking about Buffy and Angel smooching.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "It's an egg Buffy. It doesn't emote." - Cordelia, explaining to Buffy about the lack of feelings that certain food groups have.

Quality Of The Villain: Awful. Truly awful. It reminded me vaguely of red jello. And what was that eye about? Where did it's eggs come from? How the hell did it get under the school in the first place? The parasites were quite cool, if shamelessly lifted from Alien. The two cowboy vamps were actually quite funny, but I don't think we'll see them back (well, surely not one of them since he got eaten/dissolved/slurped too death).

Things That Make You Ponder: The whole idea that Joyce doesn't know about Buffy or that she doesn't notice strange things is getting beyond the joke. I mean, a gas leak to explain the searing pain as a parasite attaches itself to your back, digging in a basement for weird eggs, being a slave and seeing your daughter killing a giant jellyfish, trying to kill her yourself. And you buy the story that it's a gas leak? What is she, nuts?! Wake up Joyce, smell the f--king coffee! Sheesh.

Final Verdict: Probably the worst episode I've seen on Buffy. A lot of people slag of Teachers Pet, and while that was ridiculous, it was good fun. This was just filler space and it showed. 2/5

Buffy - 2.13 - "Surprise (Part I)"

--- 14 - July- 2001 ---

Summary: As Buffy prepares for her birthday, Spike, who is now crippled and in a wheelchair, and Dru are planning to resurrect a demon called the Judge by joining his various body parts together. Angel, who is being watched by Jenny, really a gypsy from the family that cursed him, suggests he takes one of the demons arms and go into hiding with it. Buffy is far from happy with the plan, but they are intercepted By Spikes goons and barely escape from the now risen Judge with their lives. Sheltering in Angels home, they end up making love, but Angel awakens in the night, clutching his chest in pain and running out into the night screaming Buffys name.

Best Scenes: The dream at the start was suitably Twin Peaksy. There were also a lot of relationships going on; Willow & Oz, Xander & Cordy, Giles & Jenny and of course, Buffy & Angel. All the scenes were excellent, especially Buffy & Angel when she thought he was going to leave. The Judge seems a cool enough villain, if slightly too blue looking. Good too see Spike & Dru back as well. And Spike in a wheelchair? Interesting stuff. Good twist with Jenny as well. It makes sense that the gypsies would keep tabs on Angel. Great cliff hanger, with Buffy and Angel finally committing to each other, but Angel knowing that it's all gone very wrong.

Worst Scenes: The idea of Angel going away too look after an arm that is alive is very strange sounding. Only in the Buffyverse. I hope Spike doesn't fade into the background. Dru can be…shrill at times.

Best Character: Buffy, who had a lot of great emotional scenes, namely with Angel.

Most Underused Character: Cordelia wasn't used much this episode, despite some funny one liners.

Funniest Scene: The reaction from Oz when he discovers Vampires are real.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "Buffy, I feel a pre-birthday spanking coming on!" - Xander, always willing to lend a hand.

Quality Of The Villain: The Judge was quite cool looking. He didn't really show up until the very end, so there wasn't much threat from him. I still can't get my head round the fact that all his limbs are alive. If the Scoobys had found his leg, would it have tried to kick Buffy in the arse? It would probably be a first on television if a demonic leg tried to kill someone.

Things That Make You Ponder: If Buffy hadn't got shoved in the water, there is a good chance that they might have recaptured the arm. Why did Angel jump in anyway? There's a good chance Buffy could swim and she does have Slayer strength. Is it possible on a subconscious level that they purposely sabotaged their own attempts to recapture the arm? I don't doubt Angel would have gone through with it, but they must have been praying that Spike would send a pack of Vamps to retrieve it. How come the rest of the Scoobys didn't help bodyguard the arm as well? They could have turned their backs while Buffy & Angel said their goodbyes.

Final Verdict: Part one of a two part story usually sets the scene and this was no different. But it was good. Lots of shocking twists (Jenny being one) and nice developments in all the characters. Plus Buffy & Angel finally slept with each other, so it's a bit of a landmark episode. 4/5

Buffy - 2.14 - "Innocence (Part II)"

--- 15 - July - 2001 ---

Summary: While Buffy sleeps in bliss, Angel is having his worst nightmare come true as he loses his soul and becomes a demon again. He starts out by reuniting with Spike & Dru and tormenting Buffy by trying to break her emotionally and kill all her friends. Jenny stops him by revealing he is evil again, but also unwittingly reveals who she really is, a gypsy keeping an eye on Angel. The Judge is at full strength and sets out to massacre a mall, but Buffy kills him with some good old 2oth century technology; namely, a bazooka that Xander acquired using his soldier information that he learned in Halloween.

Best Scenes: Angel as ultimate evil guy is a great idea. The way he goes about breaking Buffy down, especially the way he treats her after they have had sex was brutally entertaining. He truly is the guy we will love to hate. Willow finding out about Xander and Cordy was dramatic too. How will Giles react to Jenny now she's revealed to be a watcher of her own kind? Nice to see continuity as Xander remembers being Soldier guy. The end climax with Buffy and the bazooka was great! And the final showdown with Angel and Buffy in the rain topped it all off.

Worst Scenes: There were very few flaws this episode. The only thing I could find fault with was the way the Judge was killed off so quickly. I guess he was just a plot device to confirm to Spike & Dru that Angel was really evil again.

Best Character: How good was Angel? He stole the show with his evil antics. It's ironic that Angel smiled more in this episode than the rest of the season. You just know how much he is enjoying causing mayhem and misery.

Most Underused Character: Giles took a back seat this episode, though there was so much going on, it's not surprising somebody had to be sacrificed.

Funniest Scene: He was truly evil, but every line that Angel said made me smile or laugh in a 'I can't believe he just said that!' way. The part where he compared Buffy to a 'Pro' was brutally funny

Laugh Line Of The Week: "I'm seventeen! Looking at linoleum makes me want to have sex." - Xander, saying what every teenager is thinking across the world.

Quality Of The Villain: The Judge was killed off pretty easily. Bazooka to the body? No problem for the Buffster. The real monster was Angel, minus his soul. This guy is evil, in the worst possible way. His capacity for hurting his loved ones is truly frightening and reveals a very fertile mind when it comes to new ways of tearing a person apart emotionally. Buffy might face more powerful demons or monsters, but none that could tear her heart apart.

Things That Make You Ponder: The Judge was really quite stupid. He might never have seen a bazooka before, but the fact it's gun like and Buffys facing it at him, plus the way that Angel & Dru are scampering away from him might make him think that he should possibly duck. The vamp trio would be well advised to never resurrect him again. Let a dog run of with his limbs or something. Jenny did a really crap job of watching Angel. If her whole aim was to make Angel unhappy, why not simply tell Buffy they could never have sex, in case he achieved bliss? She could even have wangled it so Giles found a book in his study that told of the curse if she didn't want to reveal to the gang who she was. Hell, just confront Angel with it and tell him to move on. He's hardly in a position to argue if he's supposed to be repenting for decades.

Final Verdict: Very good episode. It takes real balls to turn one of your most attractive lead characters into an evil bastard, but it totally works. Evil angel is actually a lot more entertaining than good Angel, so long may he continue to be villainous scum. 5/5

Buffy - 2.15 - "Phases"

--- 15 - July - 2001 ---

Summary: A Werewolf is terrorising the good people of Sunnydale, specifically the ones who are creating a sexual tension i.e. teenagers. A hunter is tracking it down and things become more complicated when Oz finds out it is him. He chases Willow down but before the hunter can shoot him, Buffy stops him and Willow tranquillises the werewolf. Later, Oz says he'll understand if Willow doesn't like him anymore and she answers by kissing him.

Best Scenes: Good too see Angel still tormenting Buffy and facing off with the werewolf. The hunter's comments to Buffy & Giles were really sleazy. Nice to see Oz get slightly worried about his situation. I thought the guy was a robot for a while (a cool robot I hasten to add). Gay Larry was brilliant. Loved the continuity in this episode. Oz looking at the cheerleader statuette (from "The Witch") was great! And the references to "The Pack" and "I robot-you Jane" were welcome as well.

Worst Scenes: The werewolf costume looked a bit dodgy at times. Also, where the hell did those shackles come from? Are Oz's parents into kinky stuff? And does any kid in Sunnydale High apart from Buffy have parents?

Best Character: Good turn for Willow. She really seemed frustrated and confused with Oz, but it worked out all right in the end.

Most Underused Character: Hate to say it, but Cordy again. She still doesn't seem to be 100% part of the gang yet and as a consequence is excluded some times.

Funniest Scene: Larry coming out to Xander was hilarious. The whole misunderstanding thing and Xanders typical reaction to Buffy later on was great fun.

Laugh Line Of The Week: "On behalf of my gender, hey!" - Xander, using lawyer type skill too defend the human male.

Quality Of The Villain: The werewolf was, of course, Oz and though he was wild, he wasn't actually evil. It might have been wise for him to ignore the front door when Willow came round though, since he was only seconds from changing. What if it had been a door to door salesman? No great loss I guess, but Oz would be advised that sometimes you simply don't have to be polite, especially if you're probably going to eat your visitor.

Things That Make You Ponder: The hunter, Cain, must have great news sources if he heard of a wild animal in a small town and instantly knew it was a werewolf. Also, his claims that he had killed 11 werewolves previously. They looked more like sharks teeth I thought. And he wasn't really successful killing Oz. Sounds like a bullshit artist to me. Even if he was telling the truth, 11 werewolves? Over how many years? Decades? I hope he really does make some good money, otherwise he's in the wrong business.

Final Verdict: Nice to see Oz and Willow finally get together. The werewolf thing was interesting, but it should be easy enough to keep under wraps. Really loved his reaction to finding out what he was - "Huh". Somebody get that boy in the main credits. 3/5

Buffy Season 2: 2.16 - 2.22

2.16: "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered": Xander casts a love spell on Cordy. But something goes wrong…quite a nice little episode this. Having the spotlight on Xander is always welcome and mixing Cordelia in practically guarantees fun times. The idea, everybody loves Xander apart from Cordy is well executed. The Buffy, eh, in the buff scene is very sexy, but also with a feeling that Xander knows it is pointless. The BG music is very cool as well, especially when Xander is walking down the hall. Good stuff. - 3/5

2.17: "Passion": Angel starts to make his move. Great, great, great episode! With a voice over by angel and excellent music throughout, this is brilliant. The death of Jenny just as she finds the cure is superb (if very heart breaking) and Giles reaction suitably furious. Again, brilliant. - 5/5

2.18: "Killed by Death"Buffy is hospitalised and starts seeing an invisible monster that can only be seen by the sick or very young. An unwelcome diversion from the main storyline concerning Angel to be frank. The monster looks cool and quite creepy, but it's still filler. 2/5

2.19: "I Only Have Eyes For You" A couple of ghosts force students to act out their death scene over and over. I thought this was going to be a poor episode and even though the whole situation is contrived, it's worth it to see Buffy and Angel together, especially the role reversal of Angel being the woman and Buffy the guy. Watch it for the second half. - 3/5

2.20: "Go Fish" Incredibly stupid, but strangely watchable episode. The Sunnydale team turns into fish men and Buffy investigates. Very daft and certainly not the episode to show friends if you want to convince them of the quality of the show, but it passes the time. - 2/5

2.21 & 2.22: "Becoming, Part I & II" Angel is getting ready to send the World to Hell. What can you say about the best 90 minutes of Buffy ever produced? It rocks, quite frankly. Angel fighting Buffy at the end is superb and the final scene, where Buffy has to send him to hell, even though he has his soul back…well, it's gut wrenching stuff. Everything sings in these episodes. From seeing Angels past, too Spikes alliance with Buffy, too the Scoobys, to Willow wanting Oz before Xander, everything. For Christ's sake, if you only watch 2 Buffy episodes in your entire life, watch these. And if you're still not impressed, then beat it, you're not worthy. - 6/5


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    Copyright 2001 - 2002 David McNulty