So this took forever. And it’s not even that good. But if you’d like to know my thoughts, please continue reading…
There’s only one way to describe this crop of three episodes (2×03 “School Hard,” 2×04 “Inca Mummy Girl,” and 2×05 “Reptile Boy”): the writers of Buffy the Vampire Slayer obviously read my recaps and decided to tend to my vociferous grievances. Jocular vociferous grievances, of course. We already know that Buffy makes pop culture references from the future, so it’s not exactly uncalled for that they would travel back into the past, guys. Don’t look at me like I’m crazy.
Between making self-referential jokes about Angel needing surround sound speakers, Joyce being an unfit mother, Cordelia being Daphne from Scooby-Doo and so on…I have all the evidence I need. The Buffy writers and company have discovered time travel—and they ONLY used their newfound skills to tweak TV series a minuscule bit because duh.
You’ll have to forgive me, but I’m going to have to make this recap a bit quick. I’m suffering from having a life at this moment and need to do slightly more important things, like clean my room. Y’know, Big Boy stuff. Of course, there’s nothing more important than narcissistically writing everything I think, unfiltered. Seriously, a close friend just texted me to tell me I’m narcissistic, so now it’s ingrained in my brain. Am I? How!? I don’t even like myself. Forget Buffy, let’s talk about me for 2,000 words instead.
Speaking of which…
If I’ve learned one thing about having a TV blog, it’s that people seriously don’t like it when you mess with their shows. I understand that some series are sacred to people — I have intimate relationships with television shows as well — but it’s also like: this is TV, guys. C’mon. (He said, sobbing while reblogging shipper GIFs on Tumblr.) So when I poked fun about season one of Buffy, people left comments and tweets that were all: “Har har har, this is quite droll, yes. Hm, yes, I see what you did there; quite amusing. Nice… BUT DON’T YOU FUCK WITH SEASON 2, BITCH.” So it’s a little scary.
But also, this is how I show love. You know how little boys push girls they like on schoolyard playgrounds? That’s me. I’m dead inside. And we’re just having some fun! Well, anyway, I just wanted to give you a little five paragraph explanation about that. Let’s get to recapping per episode, pointing out the most important stuff!
2.03 “School Hard”
This episode centered around the very dreaded Teacher-Parent Night (or Open House or whatever you called it in your school), in which Joyce was going to meet Buffy’s principal. And he couldn’t wait to meet her, either, because apparently Buffy is just the worst and he wants her to pay for that. He keeps mentioning that she burned down a school gymnasium in the past (which, uh, Joyce and everyone already knows and seems to be his only evidence of her bad apple ways) but fails to talk about how she has broken the entire Sunnydale High School building’s infrastructure at least three times thus far.
“You’re so evil for doing that thing your mom knows about and of which we’ve moved on from! Also, hey, do you happen to know who keps breaking windows and walls and shit around here?”
It’s like, huh?
Anyway, so everyone’s in the school and then some vamps come to kill Buffs, lead by newcomer Spike. And he’s all foreign and bleach blonde which threw me off guard. And then they fail. The end. Okay, so let’s break this up.
FOTEs (Friend of the Episode): Here, you’ve got Sheila,
Who sort of reminds me of a 1950s fast-talking newscaster, see! Not because of anything she actually does, but just because I think her entire persona is redundant in how she just does not care. And the “see!” parts of her non-actual-dialogue reinforce that. Buffy could make an entire spinoff movie about Sheila — the girl from the wrong side of the tracks who is just misunderstood. It appears she doesn’t care about school, but the truth is that no one actually cared about her! Maybe she has an absentee father, y’know? Maybe her mom cares more about the lineup of guys she’s dating. Maybe all she needs is for someone to say, “Hey, Sheila. I see you; I believe in you.” Maybe then she can finally believe in herself enough to finish that huge art canvas. Maybe then she’ll submit her drawings to some bullshit New York academy or something. Maybe then she’ll get that acceptance letter and finally — FINALLY — believe in herself. She’ll stop smoking, stop hanging out with asshole guys, grow confidence and become somebody.
Oh, she’s just never talked about again. Because she’s a FOTE. And if we’ve learned anything about FOTEs, it’s that they never last. See, Sheila is like the actual bad apple foil to Buffy, and they’ve been paired off as the troublemakers. So the principal, as a punishment for the things they haven’t done yet, makes them paint a sign — and it looks absolutely amazing for a sign drawn by high schoolers. Take a look:
I told you she was an artist.
But that’s not ALL they’re in charge of — they also have to, like, do EVERYTHING: refreshments, food, HOST. Seriously. The punishment for the kids the principal doesn’t think is a good representation for his school is to represent the school. So… I don’t even. It was a weird punishment for the zero things they’ve done. But he tells them that since he’s going to shittalk them to their parents anyway, they might as well do what he says since it might change his mind (it doesn’t change his mind, by the way). And Sheila’s all
Anyway, from that scene we cut into meeting Spike for the first time. And he gets the Turn Face treatment, y’all!
And this is where I mention: how in the world was he smoking? Vampires don’t have breath! It’s the reason Angel couldn’t give Buffy CPR. He didn’t say, “I don’t have oxygen.” (Which if he didn’t have oxygen but had breath, he’d still be useless.) So either this was just a fluke to make Spike seem more like a badass, they revoked the breath rule, or Spike is an undead/living hybrid! IS THIS A CLIFFHANGER? Don’t tell me! I want to be surprised, obviously.
So, of course, Spike isn’t a FOTE, since he’s extremely important. He’s set on killing Buffy, because he’s like the Slayer Killer of sorts, or the Slayer Slayer if you will. So he goes to The Anointed and tells him, “Yeah you should probably kill The Slayer.” And The Anointed is all
Because The Anointed has only been set on killing Buffy since season one. No biggie. And then the show introduced Drusilla:
who’s in a whispering war with Angel and currently losing because, sorry Drusila, no one beats Angel at that game except maybe Chuck Bass. She says things like “Everything I put in the ground withers and dies” which (A) DUH and (B) OMG SERIOUSLY DUH. So, yeah, she’s creepy.
Buffy’s dance moves: Anyway, after we meet her, I have to mention this, but this is the show’s version of Buffy working so hard:
You see that? Picked up hair! Overalls and a tie-dye t-shirt! THAT RED PAINT SMUDGE. Oh, the paint smudge! Buffy is EXHAUSTED. Don’t you get it, Giles? And this is where Xander says, “And while I’m whittling, I plan to whistle a jaunty tune” and the way he bobs his head! You guys, go back to that moment (11:50 minute mark or so) and tell me that Xander is NOT Chandler Bing! Come ON. From now on, all of Xander’s caps will feature Chandler’s head on his body (because I hate myself and want to work more).
What? I never said I would put ACTUAL hard work into this. I don’t hate myself THAT much. But anyway, Xander asks the girls to dance. So I’m DESPERATELY hoping for Buffy to do that shoulder move again, right? And so is Spike:
So I’m here waiting for it, but Buffy is just a huge shoulder tease.
Just picture it, okay? Scratch that. Let me paint you that picture:
Right!? Secret really missed out on this one. You’re welcome, Secret. That will be one million dollars. What? It’s not like Buffy has a problem with (feminine) hygiene products.
I didn’t have the heart to put Chandler on his face (whoa, that sounded very sexual) because OH MY GOD look at his reaction! BAHAA!!! But next time, promise. For now, let’s have some fun captioning this screencap, shall we?
That’s all I got at 9PM. I only slept 4 hours last night.
What I think about Spike: I didn’t anticipate this, but people have been messaging me asking about the recap and all “I want to know what you think of Spike!!!!” So since I started writing this before those messages, I decided to dedicate a little section to Spike.
There’s only been one episode (that I’ve seen) with Spike, and I knew about the hair, but the accent REALLY threw me off. More so than it should with a character like Giles on the show. And I hate to be ambivalent about this but, given the circumstance, my only real feelings towards Spike is that he’s now the Big Bad, like the Anointed and the Master before him. I know that he becomes much more integral than that, but we haven’t seen any other episode yet!
I know what it comes down to, however. It’s all about what I think of him versus Angel, right? Well, let’s keep a tally:
So, y’know. That’s who’s in the lead currently.
How the Buffy writers read my recaps: This episode focused on Joyce actively seeking out what was happening in Buffy’s world, like she actually cared. It was insane! And once the vampires broke into the building, it was even MORE insane that everyone was actually listening to Buffy. Who listens to a 16 year old at a time like that? And Joyce was sort of just okay with it.
Oh, yeah, I forgot. Everyone sort of just thought that the vampires were gang members on PCP. It was strange. (I’m just saying, Buffy could be honest with her mother. There are zero reasons why she can’t just say it now!) So, to be fair, Joyce was pretty upset that Buffy was fighting these guys alone, but the only time she actually redeemed herself was this:
YES! She totally knocked out Spike with an axe! It was glorious. I mean — AGAIN — she can even handle herself against the slayer slayer, but Buffy still won’t tell her about vampires. Joyce, however, sort of just blindly accepts it’s a PCP gang even though Spike, like, growled. And his face has ridges. It’s not like his skin is peeling. It’s a weird scenario. But, anyway, Joyce totally redeemed herself in that scene.
The Grade: Is it sort of becoming a pattern that the first episode out of every rewatch night is THE BEST? I mean look what we got here:
- Characters we care about in danger.
- Cordelia and Willow stuck in a custodial closet!
- The beginning of Spike.
- The ending of the Anointed — which, like, it was time right?
- Calendiles being their old, bickering selves.
- The fact that the principal and a police officer know about vampires because apparently it’s a huge non-secret.
- And Joyce being a BAMF!
Like, what more can you ask for? Stop being so ungrateful!
2.04 “Inca Mummy Girl”
This episode was about the foreign exchange student program. Buffy was supposed to get this Hispanic guy, but ended up getting an old mummy girl who was out for everyone’s soul! Anyway, she falls in love with Xander and fails and the story is over.
FOTE: This is Rodney:
who I knew I wasn’t going to like very much but then he just dies before the opening titles.
And then you’ve got Ampata:
Which, googling just the first name, brings you to Buffy paraphernalia. So. Anyway, she’s the episode’s titular character — Inca mummy girl. She’s sort of a succubus in that she needs to feed off people’s lives to continue living. But it’s like every hour that she’s got to do it! And there’s a dilemma: she loves Xander! And he loves her! After two days. These people fall into love WAY too quickly.
Evidence the Buffy writers read my recaps: Well there’s actually TWO signs in this one. The first being that they gave Xander a love interest and had him stop pining for Buffy every scene. I especially like this one:
Which, I HAD to put “[metaphor]” on because people are ALREADY calling my recaps crude and offensive. And it’s like, geez, all I’ve said in these recaps so far is “orgasmed.” Like, c’mon, guys. Who are you—the House of Representatives?
So, yeah, it was nice that Xander and not-Ampata could fall deeply in love (though he would have loved her more if she [metaphor] am I right?). It just made his character better. And I sort of really liked Ampata anyway. Too bad she was a creepy, soul-sucking, mummy or whatever. (I love that line at the end from Buffy about how she was just a — ahem — 16 year old girl like they are.) They could have had it all…
And the second way they listened to me was that there were actual foreign people in Sunnydale for a change. Everyone was extremely quizzical about it, like “Huh? I don’t. So you’re NOT White? How does THAT work?” And they wanted them out of town, but at least it’s progress you know? I mean, they DO live in California. Not in some middle American suburbia-slash-farm. Like, get it together. Sunnydale is believed to be in SOUTH California, at that, so…I know there’s got to be at least some sort of Hispanic character there.
But, y’know, now that I think about it, maybe it’s just that minorities are much more quick TO LEAVE A TOWN WHERE EVERYONE DIES. Like, we do NOT stay around. “Oh, a PCP gang busted into the school trying TO KILL EVERYONE? Yeah, okay, have fun at school today.” No. We GTFO.
The Grade: For filler, this is probably as good as it gets. Ampata and Xander had good enough chemistry, the story was creepy enough to have heart, and so on.
2.03 “Reptile Boy”
I don’t even know what this episode was about. Buffy and Cordelia score college dates but it turns out they just want girls to sacrifice to some huge, reptile-looking thing. And Xander is there in a wig and a bra. It was strange. Oh, and Willow tells off Angel and Giles in one of the best scenes ever! The end.
Update on Cordelia and Xander: So, this is TOTALLY happening right? They’re like the younger Calendiles. Except, maybe, BETTER. In this episode they have the best back-and-forth scene.
Tweedledee and tweedledum because who’s got the time to remember really? They’re creeps that want to “date” Cordelia and Buffy.
How this episode was a metaphor for the dangers of college dating: Without getting into specifics because it’s a serious issue, dating in college is DANGEROUS. How could this episode NOT be about that? Though, it’s like EVERY fraternity on a series has some sort of cult that involves the dehumanizing of women in general.
Evidence the Buffy writers read my recaps: On her dream about Angel the night before, Buffy says:
Need I say more? I mean, sure, she meant it in good connotation. But c’mon. That was TOTALLY a shy wink from the writers who went back in time and put that in just for these recaps.
And, also, Cordelia being a damsel in distress and all that.
The Grade: Let’s not talk about it.
Those were another three episodes of Buffy. Sorry it took so long even though there wasn’t much content to read about it. I’m absolutely AWFUL at schedules and stuff. I apologize.
As a bonus, here are all of the overalls and suspenders these three episodes (that I could spot):
Remember we watch another three this Monday at 9:30PM EDT. Follow along with #BuffyRewatch!