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

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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).

Like so:

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.

But then she does this that I’m equally thankful for and — tell me if I’m wrong — but does this NOT look like the spread of a deodorant ad?

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.

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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):

You’re welcome.

Remember we watch another three this Monday at 9:30PM EDT. Follow along with #BuffyRewatch!

Michael Collado
Mike's a television junkie located in Miami, where he spends all of his time watching TV with his best friends couch and cable access.
  • Angel being too silent is running gag in the show, about which I almost have forgotten by now, lol.

    What I love about School Hard is that Sheila genuinely does not care and is basically how authority figures in school IMAGINE Buffy to be – careless, nihilistic, pointless drop out who picks fights and does nothing all day, it contrasts nicely with Buffy actually trying to have her normal life back and at least in my opinion, adding ANY depth to Sheila would take away from it. We see Buffy actually trying to claw her way into normal life, something supernatural shows tend to usually forget that main characters even have such a thing(*cough*tvd*cough).

    It also helps to bring Joyce closer into the fold AND hints at something far more secretive going on in sunnydale, if one listens closely to the dialogue in the end scenes, with whedon’s tendencies to foreshadow stuff that comes latter starting to kick in.

    Also, Spike, hello, one of the best characters fiction ever created, nice to meet you(again).

    Inca Mummy Girl is pretty much pointless, except for the fact that it helps to fuel Xander’s antagonism towards Angel, considering how unlucky his budding romance with monsters has ended. The episode also sort of “helps” to parallel the mummy and Buffy herself, in a way both being “screwed over” by the whole destiny thing. Still its easily my least liked episode of the entire show.

    In Reptile Boy, while the main plot is yet again more of “weird stuff happens” transition from season one to more serial season two, what I love is that Buffy continues to get realistic flaws and defy people, authority figures. It helps to showcase that Buffy is still very much unstable from her, well, death? this Buffy tends to have very sporadic, sudden and destructive, almost hysterical retaliations to stuff she does not like or stuff that reminds her that her normal life is pretty much unreachable.

    Its one of those first situations that showcase that Buffy is not exactly the typical “lead character” and that she can make VERY wrong decisions and still try to justify them, which in my opinion, is VERY important aspect of her character, since big part of BTVS is essentially a deconstruction of a contemporary hero.

    Anyway, yeah, apart School Hard, which actually adds quite a lot to the show that is important, these are mostly “hey look, weird stuff still happens in sunnydale” kind of episodes, that help to ease in into the S2 mood from S1 episodic nature, before moving on into the overall narrative of S2, reminding us that the crazy weird stuff still is happening somewhere in this town. The way I noticed its sort of a tradition of this show to spend five or so episodes to transition from previous season’s atmosphere and themes, so the show does not feel disjointed.

  • Yayyy. Finally!

    Oh how glad I was when the Annoying, ahem I meant Anointed, One is finally gone! And now we get Spike! Once you see more of him, he’ll grow on you. Promise.

  • Buffy’s format is actually interestingly different from TVD (sorry can’t help but compare) and other kinds of shows like Gossip Girl etc. The latter shows have more of a soap opera format (or should) where it’s an ongoing story and every episode has the specific purpose of moving the story forward in some way (which, when done well, can just be incredible – ie Season 1 of Game of Thrones). Buffy is more…like it sets up the main story arc in the first couple of episodes; who the ‘Big Bad’ is, mostly. Then it’ll have a mix of myth-arc episodes and standalone episodes. The standalone episodes might have SOME myth-arc stuff in there, but it’s usually like, 1 scene with Buffy and Angel or something that inevitably only nods to the presence of a myth arc without actually moving it forward. And then you’ll get the episodes where the story is pushing forward and those are usually better put together but…the standalones…are really like episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark.

    Essentially, that’s why it’ll be a take it or leave it kind of thing with some of the standalones. There are a lot of standalones that are so fucking dumb in all the seasons, but I think people love Season 2 because they’re mostly thinking about the overall story arc, which was really good (at least it was to me when I was watching on my own back in 97 with my 90s, prepubescent sensibility of what is and isn’t cool TV) but again, the thing about Buffy is that it’s a cult hit, which means, by that definition, a small niche group of people (which may FEEL big when you’re on the internet, but in the grand scheme of things it is quite small which is why it’s a cult hit and not a mainstream hit) absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE it, and the rest of the world either have heard of it and don’t really get it, or haven’t heard of it at all, or hate it, or nothing it. But yeah, it really is one of those things that, to the people who LOVE it, it’s hard to understand why someone wouldn’t ABSOLUTELY LOVE AND ADORE THIS SHOW, but then, it’s a CULT hit for a reason.

    To make things more complicated, everyone seems to disagree which seasons are the best and which aren’t. Take a look at the Broken Base page of Tvtropes. I’m one of the people who think Buffy should have ended after Season 3, but some people love the College Years, some people even – yikes – love Season 6. WAT?

    Also LOL at your astute observation that Sunnydale has, like, no minorities because maybe WE’RE NOT STUPID ENOUGH TO LIVE IN A TOWN WITH THE HIGHEST MORTALITY RATE IN AMERICA. XD

    BTW – Ampata’s hair was gorgeous…

    • I actually thoroughly disagree with standalone episodes not matering. Every episode has a certain theme. It might not be so clear in some episodes, but Second season has every episode focus on certain themes in characters lives and overall themes of the show important that season. The episode might not be connected directly to ongoing myth arc, but is most likely connected to the main themes of the season.

      There ARE some episodes that do not have meaning in the overall myth arc per season , mainly some episodes in Season one and four for example, but majority of seasons have connections between episodes, either metaphorical or figurative,, as show gets less episodic with every season.

      Such a thing as ‘standalone episode” eventually disappears as, while you still can have some episodic content, all the characters will act accordingly to what has already happened.

      It might not be obvious first, but as the seasonal storylines unravel, it becomes more clear on WHY those certain episodic storylines were placed there and what do they mean. Whedon is a master of subtext, symbolism and foreshadowing, so a lot of things that happen that can be taken at the face value and at least 3 or 4 other different interpretations.

      Even those three episodes that that are talked about in this article affect character motivations and reactions(like Giles willingness to trust Buffy after this or Xander’s stance towards Angel or the whole buffy/angel thing), as well as explore certain themes important for this season..

      Now some of those episodes(inca mummy girl….UHHH….) might be awkward or bad, but they all matter in some way or another.

      Thats what makes BTVS have such a persistent fanbase. Every cause has effect. Everything has consequences. Stuff might be done in a standalone storyline episode, but the actions characters take in it can affect future situations in different ways. So one could be rewatching the show years after and would still find out some of nudges and hints and pushes that he/she missed before.

      As for making Buffy a “cult” thing…now thats, I don’t know…biased? Buffy has been a strong influence to overall genre tv. Writers of this show went on to create some of most famous tv shows ever and generally ideas, themes and tropes presented in Buffy became a mettle to rate supernatural shows for. Any other shows got their own scientific community in universities? Not really. I’d go as far as to say that without Buffy, we would not HAVE a contemporary fantasy genre in tv shows anymore, as it literally reinvented it back then and very few shows manage to top certain things Joss Whedon has done.

      Also yes, I am one of those people who think that sixth, seventh and fifth seasons are the best seasons of this show and the pinnacle of tv storytelling. I seem to think that the direction Whedon has taken the show to was utterly amazing and ground-breaking and those seasons made Buffy into my all-time top1 favorite character.

      • YES, the last two seasons are absolutely AMAZING. Season 5 also has some of my favorite episodes of TV ever although certain aspects of it annoyed me. Glad to know I’m not the only fan of the later seasons!

        • Queenoftherant

          Yes I loved them all too. At the time I as a bit blah about season 4 but I got it later. Same with six. On rewatching everything just got better and better.

          • Yes, same here, at first I did not like season 4 too because it did not seem to have an ongoing narrative, but upon rewatches I started to understand the importance of it – its an interlude season, a transition in everyone’s lives from the first three years into adulthood of the last three years. Everyone was going through changes, reflecting upon mistakes made, reliving and revisiting the places, tragedies and events they have been to.

            By now I learned to appreciate the Fourth as sort of coda for the “earlier years” and the finale of that season really embodied that nothing will be same ever again.

            The last three seasons however I loved from the very first time watching back then when it aired. I am still fascinated at how much character depth it added to already very well developed and deep cast.

  • cacherr1

    The Anointed was originally suppose to be the season 2 Big Bad, however as you can somewhat tell the actor who played him was going to puberty (sort of like Lost got rid of Walt and dropped that storyline) and I think he was suppose to be a child forever. But by killing him Spike kind of amp up his badness as they are playing by his rules.
    Dru is creepy and bat shit crazy but I love her. I always say in a fight with all the vampires she would kick pretty much every vampire on TB and definitely kill TVD vampires (though she wouldn’t win overall in a fight between BTVS vamps).

    • Agreed about the fight part.

      Its mainly because BTVS vampire FEEL and ACT for the age they say they are. You do not have 500 year old teenagers who act like they have been frozen in time doind and learning nothing. BTVS ones actually improve through their lives LEARN STUFF.

      Angel already feels “old”, from his interactions with Buffy alone. As someone said, Angel feels and acts more like 60 year old man who has seen and experienced everything, yet lives in a body of 20 year old.

      • cacherr1

        I agree about that BTVS did have the old world quality to them that for some strange reason, TVD vampires lacked (the only one in the originals who gave me the opinion they were over 1000 years old was Finn and that led no where).

  • guyzrhot

    Originally Sarah Michelle Gellar auditioned for Cordelia so it’s funny that you say that she was preparing for her role in Scooby Doo and that Cordelia is really Daphne.

  • Heather

    I really want to see your reactions to the episodes “Innocence” and “Surpise” because OMFG, first time I saw them I was really suprised! I only watched the series once a while back, but I remember being completely shocked (not giving anything away). Maybe you won’t be, but I was. So…yeah.

  • hahaha I was actually laughing out loud at work while reading this!

  • Queenoftherant

    Hahaha loved this, the white white everyone white thing is so much more noticeable now that most modern shows are much better at diversity in their casting. 

    Hey vamps can suck right? So Spike is totally sucking in air through the cig and releasing it passively back out. It may be going into his stomach rather than his lungs but he is STILL SO DAMN COOL!! Now we know that his character hangs around it is interesting seeing his first appearance. He is different right from the beginning because he is the first evil soulless vamp we see who is capable of caring romantic love (towards Dru). Angel is obviously in a different camp because of the curse we learnt about back in ep 6ish. I always liked the moment in this ep when Spike’s face softens and returns to human form when Dru walks in. 

    I wish you could watch more eps at once, it must be frustrating when you wait all week to watch three and two turn out to be stand alones! But rest assured from next Monday it will really start picking up. Even if an ep may seem stand alone on first watching, pay extra attention because, well, just take my word for it. The next three are also lots of fun, creepy and just entertaining all round so I think you may really enjoy them. But if you don’t I will still like you and not call you names I promise! 

    So ps you are not narcissistic. Not everyone gets blogging and putting your own opinion out there as a selling point. The important thing here is no one HAS to come to your site and read your opinion. It is there to voluntarily find and join in with if people are interested in similar things and want to and obviously heaps of people want to so feel good about yourself, you are contributing and making people smile 🙂 I think your friend may have been having a bad day or (sorry) may be slightly jealous. Look at me, all mature life advice. I know from experience that friendships through your twenties can get interesting at times! Good luck with your big boy life stuff, look forward to reading next week’s recap:)

    • I think yeah, vampires in BTVS can “Inhale” but they have no way to exhale the air so it just “goes out” slowly without them exhaling it. Good for sucking blood or smoking, REALLY not effective for CPR.

      Spike is awesome. period. Despite utterly hating Drusilla, I love the character depth that her just being there gives him, giving Spike actual motivations and depth beyond “I am evil” kind of schtick that vampires usually have.

      And yeah, the first 5 episodes are like a transition. Yes they are typical MOTW with actual MOTW being not exactly interesting and the other things in the episode mattering more, but they are there for a reason, mostly to establish the new “post-death” Buffy and the personality changes in her, as well as to showcase certain themes important to the show. They make more sense once the entire season has been seen and there are a lot of “A-HA!” moments that get used latter on.

  • I love these recaps so, so very much.

  • kay

    Yeah, just shut your brain off on the vampires breathing thing. It’s one of those things that really doesn’t make sense. The closest explanation is that they don’t need to breathe per se, but can force air through their lungs to do things like, oh, I don’t know, talk. Why Angel couldn’t do it to save Buffy is a little thing we just won’t think about too hard.

  • Mary

    OOOOOH, wicked House of Reps burn! People are saying you’re crude? Are they watching Buffy too? Because I’m pretty sure there is all sorts of PG-13 material there…. Keep on with your bad self, M!

    And oh my god, and Willow is just THE BEST. I love her and want to be friends with her but I cry because I can’t because she’s totally fictional.

  • flootzavut

    Spike as a smoker isn’t actually a big stretch: Angel said he had no breath, how the hell does he talk, then? It makes more sense that Spike smokes than that vampires don’t have breath. Breath is kinda necessary for the use of vocal cords.

    Either Angel is simplifying (he has breath enough to talk, Spike has breath enough to smoke, but the kind of force of air necessary for CPR is beyond his capabilities (or he believes it is) – I’ve never done real CPR, but if Resusci Annie is in any way an accurate representation, it takes a fair amount of puff), or he’s lying (which is not a big stretch, frankly, he’s already told Buffy at least one porker at this point, it wouldn’t be out of character, although it would be a strange thing to lie about).

    It’s also possible that for a vampire, smoking could actually improve lung capacity, by giving the dead lungs more exercise than just speaking. Whether the inability to do CPR is specific to Angel or not is therefore debatable.

    Why would he lie? Best guess, for some reason he’s afraid of getting near a bleeding, possibly dead Buffy. He’s shown at several points to not have the best control over his demon/his bloodlust, think “Amends” and “Graduation Day”; there’s even implied necrophilia in “Destiny”. Maybe he thought if he got near her, he might do something he’d regret/something worse than simply letting her die. Possibly, between his assumption he can’t do CPR and the attraction of her blood, he thinks it’s not worth the risk?

    Option one seems the most likely to me. Not having any air at all would make smoking difficult, but it’d also make talking difficult. At any rate, having no breath when all the vampires we meet are able to talk and appear to do so by normal means is more of a stretch, IMO, than Angel either simplifying the matter in an emergent situation or outright lying.