Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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Season 2

Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 1] When She Was Bad ...
Shown 8th April 1999 [Thursday]

Buffy returns - this time Season 2 [originally shown in the USA from 1997-8].

On the last night of the summer holidays, Xander and Willow share an intimate embrace, rudely interrupted by a Vampire [the first to appear since the death of the Master] and the Vampire-Slayer [back from her father's house in LA].

Buffy has issues left over from the end of last Season - being physically killed does that to people. She out-bitches Cordellia, comes on to Xander [in an incredibly erotic scene, considering the subject] and tries to pick a fight with Angel.

The Master is gone - his bones buried on consecrated ground and the grave sprinkled with holy water. However, the vampires have a new major character among their number - the show actually has a token African-American now!!!

Charisma Carpenter and Quark have the best lines, as ever - and while Quark is there as a cameo in between shooting eps of DS9, this week Ms Carpenter actually gets to do more than her contractually-obligated single scene!

The one loss, however, is the Master himself - without a strong recurring villain the show could well falter. Since it's still running more than a year later, one must assume the writers did something about it. However, the eXcreable-Files is in Season Six and lost all ITS redeeming features [except the female lead] when its first Season ended ...

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 2] Some Assembly Required
Shown 14th April 1999 [Wednesday]

Buffy slays the prerequisite Vampire in the teaser, then gets on with the main story of the episode. Someone has stolen bodies from the cemetary - as it turns out with the intent of creating a Bride of Frankenstein.

This episode is ambivalent towards the supporting characters; while Angel and Cordellia actually have a chance to earn their pay cheques, the OTHER school pupils in the show are complete non-entities. I mean, there are about 1000 kids in attendance at the school but only 4 have names?

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 3] School Hard
shown 15th April 1999 [Thursday]

Buffy is in trouble - not only have 2 new vampires arrived in town, but Parent-Teacher night is that week and our sexy Slayer has to sort out all the decorations under threat of expulsion!

The new Vamps, the ultra-cool Spike and his GF Druscilla [who is a TOTAL Malkavian] illustrate not only the World of Darkness influences creeping in - and they do it better than Kindred: the Embraced did!

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 4] Inca Mummy Girl
Shown 5th May 1999 [Wednesday]

Buffy faces up to an Inca mummy come to life. Not the most original plot idea, but as always the series' writers have put a nice spin on it. This reviewer has to wonder if the forthcoming Mummy movie due out in Summer 1999 will be as original in its own way, or just a cop-out to the SPFX.

The most notable aspect of this episode, other than the scene where Xander asks his newfound GF You're not a Preying Mantis, are you?, is the first appearance of Seth Green as Oz. Oz becomes Willow's BF in Season Three.

Note: Bruce Seth Green [his father?] worked as Director on several episodes in Season One.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 5] Reptile Boy
Shown 6th May 1999 [Thursday]

Last Season the morality story was Don't do on-line relationships. This Season it is Don't do College Fraternity parties. Yes, once again teenage hymens are in peril. Bah!

The supernatural aspect of this episode was stolen from Lair of the White Worm and tacked on at the end. The good thing about the story was the fact that Cordelia actually got a proper role in it. Yes, Season 2 has definitely improved on Season 1 in this respect!

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 6] Hallowe'en
Shown October 1999 [Thursday]

Buffy returns after a 6-month absence, and in a well-timed decision the first episode we get to see is the Hallowe'en show!

The Sunnydale High kids dress up in their costumes, but a passing Wiccan/ anarchist/whatever casts a spell and it makes the kids BECOME whatever they are dressed up as. Buffy has dressed up as a 18th century lady to impress Angel - it shows SMG as a talented actress and a gorgeous young woman, but in plot terms to quote Willow Why couldn't she have come as Xena.

With the teenagers up to their necks in trouble, only the Watcher remains. Rupert tracks down the villain, who recognises him as Ripper. Our favourite stiff-ass Brit lives up to this nickname as he tortures the bad-guy until the spell is reversed. The villain disappears, leaving in his wake only a note that threatens, in B5/Prisoner style - Be seeing you!

Cordelia gets more screen time, and it is revealed that although she knows about Vampires she doesn't know Angel is one of them.

Oz [Seth Green] gets some more screen time, and there is yet more foreshadowing of his relationship with Willow.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 7] Lie To Me
Shown First Weekend, November 1999

Buffy meets an old friend - her best buddy from L.A. transferrs into Sunnydale High, and somehow he has found out that she is the Slayer.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 8] The Dark Age
Shown Second Weekend, November 1999

Buffy and her pals think Giles is too straight-laced to be true, and they turn out to be right. A demon is stalking a group of 40-something Brits in Sunnydale; the victims all have a mystical tatoo [the mark of Igon], and the only two survivors so far are Giles himself and Ethan [the Chaos-worshipper who switched everyones' personalities in the Hallowe'en episode].

Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 9] What's My Line? (Part 1)
Shown Third Weekend, November 1999

Buffy is back again, and the story arc progresses. She and dead-boy start to hot up - she refers to him as her cradle-snatching undead boyfriend and they go on a date together at the skating rink. Xander and Cordelia are on speaking terms, and Oz gets to offer

The episode's plot? The vampires have been collecting certain items over the last few episodes. It is revealed that Spike wants to cure Druscilla, and the key to the cure is Angel, Druscilla's sire. However, Buffy has been a thorn in their side for too long. Spike calls in a secret order of assassins - some human, some supernatural - to do the job that vampires cannot. These hitters include a man made entirely of caterpillars, and a high-kicking Louisiana creole girl ...

Cordelia gets a couple of great lines, directed at Xander [of course]. These underline this reviewer's firm belief that in relationships the female trades up, the male trades down. Look at Angel; 200 years of achievement, and the only female interest he can get is a 16-year-old schoolgirl!!!

  • You think I spend my time wishing you losers were all my best buddies? Yeah, and I want my first husband to be a balding demented homeless guy!
  • Why are you always risking your life helping Buffy? What chance have you got? Remember, you're the lame-ass, she's the super-chick.

    This is part one of a 2-part show; it will be TWO WEEKS until the second part!

  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 10] What's My Line? (Part 2)
    Shown First Week, December 1999

    Buffy is back in Season 2 again - and face to face with Kendra the Slayer! Yes, when Ms Summers was snuffed by the Master at the end of Season 1 a new slayer was recruited. Buffy's line Back off, Pink Ranger is an in-joke; the newcomer was a Power Ranger. And now that Buffy has a replacement she starts to plan a normal life for herself.

    Angel is saved before the sunlight kills him - but he ends up in the hands of Spike, who needs to sacrifice him in order to restore Druscilla's health. The lady vamp takes the chance to share reminiscences with her sire, and to playfully pour some holy water on his naked chest.

    Cordelia and Xander are trapped in Buffy's basement by the centipede-man, and get hot and stuffy together ... And when they finally escape, it appears that Kendra has a soft spot for Xander too. Finally, things are looking up for the poor sap.

    The importance of the human barman at the vamp-friendly nightspot in this episode is something that should not be ignored. While most episodes portray the vamps as ravenous blood-suckers, the fact that the barman is on first-name terms with Angel AND Spike shows that Buffy's take on the toothy types is a bit mis-guided. Maybe she and Spike should have peace talks, and hammer out a few ground rules or something. I mean, how can vamps be such a threat? Even a mundane can kill one by stabbing it anywhere in the torso with a splinter of wood!

    The end? Kendra and Spike are all written out - but they may be back. Probably.

    Buffy The Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 11] Ted
    Shown Second Week, December 1999

    Buffy remarks at the start of the episode that now Spike and Druscilla are MIA, their vampiric minions are disorganised and hardly a threat at all. This gives the show room for a change of scope - this episode revolve's around Buffy's mother and her new BF, Ted [John Ritter - Stay Tuned].

    Everyone loves Ted, but Buffy automatically dislikes him [he's invading her territory]. Of course, he's the pushy dark side of the 1950s American Dream.

    The problem with this episode is its typical Buffy hypocrisy. To kill a vamp is right, to kill a human is wrong, but if the person only THINKS they're human then it's okay.

    Buffy The Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 12] Bad Eggs
    Shown Third Week, December 1999

    This week explores the kids' sex lives instead of the parents'. Not only have Giles and Ms Calendar restarted their relationship, but Xander and Cordelia have started necking in the stationary cupboard.

    2 redneck vampires come to town, to cause more trouble for the Slayer. For some reason Buffy's mother has completely forgotten that her daughter is a Vampire Slayer!

    The kids' school project is to nurse an egg - yes, more don't have sex until you're grey, wrinkly and senile crap. Luckily for the plot, the eggs are actually bodysnatchers/puppetmasters type aliens that take over the school population. Yes, we've seen this idea done a LOT better by Williamson and Rodriguez in The Faculty - but it's interesting to see how TV and Film differ as mediums.

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 13] Surprise [Part 1]
    Shown First Week, January 2000

    Buffy dreams that Druscilla is still alive, and after Angel. Worse still, minor aspects of the dreams start to come true and it looks like the Slayer's Vampire Boyfriend might be leaving us for good.

    The plot thickens when it is revealed that Jenny Calendar is actually a Gypsy sent to spy on Angel; the character was originally a one-off for an episode about a demon, and has been beautifully retrofitted into the main plot arc! Ms Calendar's mission; to ensure Angel's suffering continues by seperating him from Buffy.

    Dru and Spike revive The Judge - a killer vamp who detects and destroys all humanity in a victim. He chides them for their human emotion of love - how odd that he is Brian Thompson [Luke , killed in the pilot] in the Master's makeup. The producers must have finally realised the series needs an EVIL villain!

    Buffy and Angel fulfill their relationship [ie shag like a pair of horny things] - but Angel was touched by the Judge, and his soul [returned by the Gypsy curse] seems gone. It looks like the evil villain will be ... Angel!

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    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 14] Innocence [part 2]
    Shown Second Week, January 2000

    Angel is back to his evil self, because Buffy gave him a moment of true happiness - equate happiness with orgasm.

    Willow catches Xander and Cordy together, and is totally heartbroken. You'd rather be with someone you hate than with me! she screams. How sad - but when Buffy breaks Xander's heart, are we expected to be sympathetic and understanding?

    Buffy has to live with the fact that the man [OK, blood-sucking fiend from the lowest reaches of Hell] that she just lost her cherry to has defected back to Spike and Dru's side. Angel dumps her, and she's heart-broken.

    Is this a morality tale about teen sex? Lose your cherry before you reach 18, and your lover will become a soulless vampire? Sheesh!

    Angel, Dru and the Judge take their followers [all 4 of them!] go on a kill-crazy rampage, and Xander comes up with a plan to take the monster out. You see, he still has his soldier know-how from the Hallowe'en episode. And Buffy gets a show-down with Angel ...

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    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 15] Phases
    Shown Third Week, January 2000

    While parking in lovers' lane Cordy and Xander are pestered by a werewolf.

    Giles and Buffy set out to capture the creature, because it's still a person and can't help being the way it is ... As opposed to Evil Angel, who pops up briefly to Embrace a victim.

    Buffy displays superhuman strength when she throws a much larger opponent with brute force rather than judo technique.

    There's a werewolf slayer in town, BTW - not a buff one like Kendra or Faith, but a big mean guy who does it for a living. I mean, is this show hypocritical or what? Buffy slaughters supernatural creatures at regular weekday intervals. Hell, the name of the show tells us what she is, a killer!

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    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 16] Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
    Shown Fourth Week, January 2000

    Valentine's day hits Sunnydale. Spike gets Dru a necklace, while Angel gets her a human heart. Yes, there's trouble a-brewing in vamp-land.

    Cordelia and Xander are now officially and openly dating, which causes problems for Cordy since her peer-group of snooty bitches [like Harmony, who pops up again in Season 4] hate geeks like Xander. So she dumps him, and makes him a laughing-stock of the entire school.

    Why don't you learn a second language, so even more girls can reject you?

    Xander has Amy the teen witch [from Season One] to cast a love spell on Cordy, but it goes wrong; every girl EXCEPT Cordy is after him! And Buffy gets to know how she made him feel.

    Is this a game to you? You make me feel this way and then you reject me?

    Even Dru is after Xander - and we see what happens when a vampire tries to cross a threshold without being invited.

    There is a happy ending, of a sort; Cordy learns to stand up to her friends, and Giles & Ms Calendar are [temporarily] on speaking terms again.

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    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 17] Passion
    Shown First Week, February 2000

    The Season 2 villain, Buffy's ex-BF Angel, makes his mark as story-arc villain. Over the last few weeks he framed a werewolf for murder and tried to kill Xander on Valentine's day; now he breaks into Buffy's bedroom and leaves a charcoal drawing of her sleeping. Willow's pet fish suffer an unpleasant fate, and the Scooby gang are forced to call upon the services of Gypsy techno-witch [and helpful teacher] Ms Calendar, who Buffy still blames [on no real grounds, in the opinion of this reviewer] for Angel turning evil.

    Ms Calendar, still feeling guilty, discovers a way to return Angel's soul. Angel tells Buffy's mother that the buff one shagged him, and then goes after Ms Calendar. The most outstanding things about the episode? Well, like Posh Spice, Ms Calendar does not wear a bra; a couple of things come to mind ...

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    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 18] Killed by Death
    Shown Second Week, February 2000

    The Buffster is down with the flu, but she goes on patrol anyway. Angel kicks her ass, and she is saved [yet again!] by the intervention of her [mere mortal] friends. They take her to hospital, where she is diagnosed as suffering multiple injuries!

    Buffy realises that something in the hospital is badly wrong. She glimpses a character resembling the villain of Poltergeist 2, and in the morning one of the patients in the childrens' ward is dead. But is Buffy overreacting due to repressed memories of her cousin's death in hospital when she was aged 8?

    Richard Herd [John in V ] guest-stars as the doctor who is testing new cures on his patients. Is he the one responsible for killing the children?

    In-joke of the week? Cordy says that while Buffy is in hospital she should get plastic surgery for That thing on her face! :)

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    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 19] I Only Have Eyes For You
    Shown Third Week, February 2000

    Buffy gets flashbacks to 1955, when a tragic pupil-teacher love affair ended in a double death. Giles realises there's ghostly activity afoot [the canteen is filled with snakes] and hopes Jenny Calendar is behind it. Willow is still taking Ms Calendar's classes, so her last project may still be uncovered ...

    The Principal and the Chief of Police are both aware that Sunnydale is situated on a Hellmouth - as are their bosses, the Mayor and the town council.

    Angel is still making moves on Druscilla - much to Spike's chagrin. But there will be a reckoning, and soon.

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    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 20] Go Fish
    Shown First Week, March 2000

    Finally Sunnydale High has excelled at something other than its mortality rate. The Swimming Team is in the running for the State Championships. However, a strange fish-monster thing appears, and members of the swim team are going missing. Steroids may be involved ...

    Buffy and Giles break out the tranquilizer gun again; it was last seen in the werewolf episode. Speaking of which, Oz is conspicuously missing. Xander goes undercover on the Swim Team, which impresses Cordy. She accidentally opens her heart to him.

    Buffy leads on a Swimmer, then breaks his wrist and his nose. Wentworth Miller [yet to be in Dinotopia, Ghost Whisperer and Prison Break] is another poor fellow who is not up to her standards. She also turns down a gang-bang with the entire Swim Team - but her life was not in danger and she previously lost her cherry to an ugly vampire. Her answer is always violence!

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    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 21] Becoming, Part 1
    Shown Second Week, March 2000

    This episode gives a series of flashbacks into the history of our local ugly vampire.
    1753 - Darla embraces Angel.
    1860 - Angel starts to drive Druscilla insane - she was psychic even then!
    1898 - Angel is returned his soul by the gypsy curse.
    1996 - Angel is a homeless bum in Manhattan, where he meets the blueprint for his sidekick in Angel Chronicles. They go to L.A. and watch Buffy meet her first Watcher [not Donald Sutherland].

    A strange monolith is uncovered, and stolen by the vampires. They want to free a demon and destroy the world. Original, huh?

    Kendra drops by, to help out the Scooby gang. Just in time to duel Druscilla!

    Buffy discovers Jenny Calendar's last bequest - the computer disk with the gypsy curse on it. The questions?

  • Will the curse work?
  • If so, should they bother using it?
  • If they can cure one vampire, why not all of them? It appears they get a replacement good Vamp in season 4 ...
  • Is it the demon that makes the vampires evil? Some [like the cowboy brothers] were evil BEFORE they were embraced.

    Continued next week!

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  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 2, Episode 22 - Finale] Becoming, Part 2
    Shown Third Week, March 2000

    The cliff-hanger ends with Buffy on the run for mass murder. The cops treat her as a suspect, not a witness - and when she stupidly comits a real crime [assaulting a police officer] they open fire on her [an unarmed teenage girl!!!] within the school building itself!

    All this within the pre-title sequence.

    Willow is comatose, and Giles is Angel's prisoner - but Buffy finds a new ally. Spike and Buffy's mother meet for the second time; the first time she hit him with an axe and shouted Get the hell away from my daughter!

    The story raises a number of questions;

  • Can Angel force Giles to tell the secret of reviving the demon?
  • Can Spike be trusted?
  • Can Willow return Angel's soul in time?
  • If not, can Buffy bring hereself to kill him?

    The ending? Surprisingly bleak, especially for a USA TV show aimed at teenagers. Star Trek would never have the gall to use an emotive, downbeat ending like this. The only problem is, it may not be downbeat enough; it deliberately implies that everything will be all right again.

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