September 2005

Warning: before the review for season five begins, I’m feeling the need to tell you a little story on how my summer fling with Buffy came about. If you think such personal touches are bullshit, then feel free to skip ahead a few paragraphs. But know that by doing so you’re a bunch of heartless bitches!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Season 5
Custom Rating

So I got into Buffy almost by accident. A friend of mine was having a “Buffy Party” and I went mainly for the people, the booze, and the food (not necessarily in that order). I figured if I had to see some of that dumb show that I had purposely avoided all these years, the beer could always numb the pain. Well, we started off by playing the Buffy board game (which I kinda thought was lame) and as I am no stranger to geeky obsessions and even geekier people, I went along with it even though I had no idea who in the hell Xander was or what on earth a Hellmouth could be.

After a few adult beverages and the two-part series opener flashing before my eyes, I began to see that there was perhaps something to this little teenage comedy/drama with demons and vampires and things. I borrowed the first season DVD set from the host and started watching. After three episodes I was hooked. Soon after this I could be found sheepishly admitting to my friends that the reason they hadn’t seen me a week was because I’d been holed up in my room watching Buffy and the gang dust vamps and go through many apocalypses together (what exactly is the plural of “apocalypse” anyway?). Not too long after that I could be found proclaiming to anyone who would listen that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the best goddamn show that had ever been on TV. Period.

My friends still think I’m nuts.

Anyway, after watching the first season I devoured the next five in a matter of about a month, mainly borrowing the DVDs from obsessed friends and even actually purchasing the fifth season when no copy was available to borrow. So here I stand, a Buffy convert, nearly a year after the fact. I still haven’t seen the seventh season and the only one I own is still that fifth. Too bad it’s a fairly week season, even though it contains a few outstanding episodes and some events that are very important in leading up to what I believe is the best (season six).

And that’s what brings me to this review. I was chosen for season five because that’s the only one I have easy access to. Well, it’s time to dust it off (literally) and give my interpretation of what happened in the weird and wacky world of Buffy during that time:

HEARTLESS BITCHES START READING HERE!

Season Five continues in the transitional vein of the fourth, with a growing sense of doom and morbidity that leads up to the extremely gut-wrenching sixth season. As we watch the relationships of Willow & Tara and Xander & Anya grow, Buffy and Riley’s relationship begins to unravel (which is fine by me because I think that Riley really sucks). The still-chipped Spike goes from trying to kill Buffy to falling in love with her. Giles and the gang take over the magic shop and Willow becomes more skilled at being a witch. Warren makes his first appearance in a rather bad episode about a robot girl who has travelled a long distance to find him. Joyce dies and leaves Buffy shattered. All of these things are the beginnings of important plot points that rear their ugly heads in season six.

Of course the first thing that comes to mind about season five is the arrival of Dawn. I don’t think I’ve experienced a more “What the fuck?” moment on TV than when Buffy suddenly has a little sister at the end of the rather dumb “Buffy Vs. Dracula” episode that opened up the season. What actually pissed me off a bit was how during the next few episodes the characters acted like Dawn had always been around but we just somehow didn’t know she was around. My intelligence felt truly insulted as I watched these episodes in disbelief, thinking that they had actually committed one of the dumbest crimes in television history. Well, when it was finally revealed that everyone’s memories of Dawn were planted by those wacky monks from centuries before and that Dawn had only existed from the moment that us viewers met her, I realized that Joss and company had pulled off one of the more clever events in TV history.

The main story arc of season five concerns Dawn being the “key” and Glory trying to use her to bring about the end of the world. So the character of Dawn actually ends up serving a purpose rather than just being a young cute face to keep the kiddies watching the show. After finding out the Dawn was “planted” to bring about the apocalypse, Buffy’s love for her actually grows to the point where she is even willing to give up her own life in order to save Dawn’s. Buffy won’t accept the idea that Dawn must die in order to stave off the end of the world and turns inward for an answer. Buffy has spent the entire season seeking the true meaning of being a slayer and finds it by dying in order to save the world from destruction.

Buffy’s death is undoubtedly a big moment in the series. Not only does it bring forth the most noble and important qualities of the slayer, it paves the way for the complete horror and emptiness that Buffy feels when she is ripped from heaven and forced to live again in misery on Earth in season six. Also, Buffy’s death has a rather large impact on Angel in the first few episodes of that show’s third season. It’s a rather neat world that Whedon has created and the interplay of characters and shows is sometimes staggering.

Even though there are rather stupid episodes like the Dracula one and the episode with the Buffybot, every episode has at least one important event in it that warrants a viewing. The weaknesses are more than made up for in the episode “The Body” (a rather horrifying and beautiful episode in which Buffy finds her mom dead in their living room and struggles to cope with the situation), one of the best episodes of the season and of the entire series. While it is not the best year of the show by any stretch of the imagination, season five is still an important part of the Buffy story and is essential viewing for any fan.

More transitional Buffy that leads up to the almighty and powerful Season Six!!!

Warning: before the review for season five begins, I’m feeling the need to tell you a little story on how my summer fling with Buffy came about. If you think such personal touches are bullshit, then feel free to skip ahead a few paragraphs. But know that by doing so you’re a bunch of heartless bitches!
So I got into Buffy almost by accident. A friend of mine was having a “Buffy Party” and I went mainly for the people, the booze, and the food (not necessarily in that order). I figured if I had to see some of that dumb show that I had purposely avoided all these years, the beer could always numb the pain. Well, we started off by playing the Buffy board game (which I kinda thought was lame) and as I am no stranger to geeky obsessions and even geekier people, I went along with it even though I had no idea who in the hell Xander was or what on earth a Hellmouth could be.
After a few adult beverages and the two-part series opener flashing before my eyes, I began to see that there was perhaps something to this little teenage comedy/drama with demons and vampires and things. I borrowed the first season DVD set from the host and started watching. After three episodes I was hooked. Soon after this I could be found sheepishly admitting to my friends that the reason they hadn’t seen me a week was because I’d been holed up in my room watching Buffy and the gang dust vamps and go through many apocalypses together (what exactly is the plural of “apocalypse” anyway?). Not too long after that I could be found proclaiming to anyone who would listen that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the best goddamn show that had ever been on TV. Period.
My friends still think I’m nuts.
Anyway, after watching the first season I devoured the next five in a matter of about a month, mainly borrowing the DVDs from obsessed friends and even actually purchasing the fifth season when no copy was available to borrow. So here I stand, a Buffy convert, nearly a year after the fact. I still haven’t seen the seventh season and the only one I own is still that fifth. Too bad it’s a fairly week season, even though it contains a few outstanding episodes and some events that are very important in leading up to what I believe is the best (season six).
And that’s what brings me to this review. I was chosen for season five because that’s the only one I have easy access to. Well, it’s time to dust it off (literally) and give my interpretation of what happened in the weird and wacky world of Buffy during that time:
HEARTLESS BITCHES START READING HERE!

Season Five continues in the transitional vein of the fourth, with a growing sense of doom and morbidity that leads up to the extremely gut-wrenching sixth season. As we watch the relationships of Willow & Tara and Xander & Anya grow, Buffy and Riley’s relationship begins to unravel (which is fine by me because I think that Riley really sucks). The still-chipped Spike goes from trying to kill Buffy to falling in love with her. Giles and the gang take over the magic shop and Willow becomes more skilled at being a witch. Warren makes his first appearance in a rather bad episode about a robot girl who has travelled a long distance to find him. Joyce dies and leaves Buffy shattered. All of these things are the beginnings of important plot points that rear their ugly heads in season six.

Of course the first thing that comes to mind about season five is the arrival of Dawn. I don’t think I’ve experienced a more “What the fuck?” moment on TV than when Buffy suddenly has a little sister at the end of the rather dumb “Buffy Vs. Dracula” episode that opened up the season. What actually pissed me off a bit was how during the next few episodes the characters acted like Dawn had always been around but we just somehow didn’t know she was around. My intelligence felt truly insulted as I watched these episodes in disbelief, thinking that they had actually committed one of the dumbest crimes in television history. Well, when it was finally revealed that everyone’s memories of Dawn were planted by those wacky monks from centuries before and that Dawn had only existed from the moment that us viewers met her, I realized that Joss and company had pulled off one of the more clever events in TV history.

The main story arc of season five concerns Dawn being the “key” and Glory trying to use her to bring about the end of the world. So the character of Dawn actually ends up serving a purpose rather than just being a young cute face to keep the kiddies watching the show. After finding out the Dawn was “planted” to bring about the apocalypse, Buffy’s love for her actually grows to the point where she is even willing to give up her own life in order to save Dawn’s. Buffy won’t accept the idea that Dawn must die in order to stave off the end of the world and turns inward for an answer. Buffy has spent the entire season seeking the true meaning of being a slayer and finds it by dying in order to save the world from destruction.

Buffy’s death is undoubtedly a big moment in the series. Not only does it bring forth the most noble and important qualities of the slayer, it paves the way for the complete horror and emptiness that Buffy feels when she is ripped from heaven and forced to live again in misery on Earth in season six. Also, Buffy’s death has a rather large impact on Angel in the first few episodes of that show’s third season. It’s a rather neat world that Whedon has created and the interplay of characters and shows is sometimes staggering.

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Science vs Magic: Buffy Season Four

by Alan Rapp on September 27, 2005

in Uncategorized

Great individual episodes stand out in Season Four of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Themes of disconnection, life’s changes, and evolving relationships occur throughout the season and the main story arc examines the idea of science versus magic in the Buffy universe.  New characters as well as the return of old friends set up a season that although is one of the weakest, provides some individual great moments and lays the groundwork for themes and stories that will be explored through the end of Season Seven.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Season 4
Custom Rating

Great individual episodes stand out in Season Four of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Themes of disconnection, life’s changes, and evolving relationships occur throughout the season and the main story arc examines the idea of science versus magic in the Buffy universe.  New characters as well as the return of old friends set up a season that although is one of the weakest, provides some individual great moments and lays the groundwork for themes and stories that will be explored through the end of Season Seven.

 

The Slayer does not walk in this world

Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Willow (Alyson Hannigan), and Oz (Seth Green) have graduated high school and moved onto college at UC Sunnydale.  Xander (Nicholas Brendon) returns home after a summer of misadventure to live in his parents basement and try and understand his relationship with Anya (Emma Caulfield ).  New faces abound as Buffy gets a new beau in undercover soldier Riley Finn (Marc Blucas ), Willow begins a new stage in her life with Tara (Amber Benson), and an entire army appears underneath the campus known simply as the Initiative. The theme of science versus magic will be explored throughout the season as the government run Initiative delves into the world of the supernatural and tries to harness the power for new weapons, the last of which, a human/demon/cyborg called Adam (George Hertzberg), will bring down the fall of the Initiative and threaten the safety of Sunnydale.  Buffy will need to reunite the Scoobies, who have moved further and further apart during the year, to stop Adam and once again save the day.

Adam

Where Season Three played on graduation and completion of a stage of life, this season focuses mostly about being in a new world and trying to find your place in it. Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) and Xander both begin to feel useless to the group, Buffy struggles with fitting in at college and trying to live in Riley’s world, Willow deals with the heartbreaking betrayal and abandonment of Oz and goes through an emotional upheaval and onto a new relationship with Tara, and Spike (James Marsters) is neutered to the point that he can no longer hurt humans and is forced to ask the Scoobies for help.

The season is something of a mixed bag. The Initiative storyline never really reaches the level of other Buffy season arcs.  If you like the final battle sequence between Buffy and Adam in Primeval you might want to rummage through your local comic shop as it’s stolen from an Alan Moore book called Promethea.  Aside from the main arc we do get some very good stand alone episodes.

Hush

Language can often get in the way of communicating, trying to say what you actually want to express.  For twenty-five minutes no one speaks in this episode as the entire population of Sunnydale is rendered without speech by the Gentlemen.  It’s a great stand alone episode, but at the same time the style is used to push plot and story.  Xander is finally able to express how he feels about Anya, and Riley and Buffy finally stop dancing around the issue and kiss.  The Gentlemen and their straightjacket wearing servants are creepy villains and the score greatly adds to the feel.  Also worth noting is this episode introduces the character of Tara.

Superstar

Jonathan Superstar

A creature is terrorizing Sunnydale and Buffy and the Scoobies call on Jonathan (Danny Strong) to help.  Jonathan?  A very nice stand alone episode where Jonathan has altered reality to his will making himself a paragon, the best of all things.  The episode also is important because it is Jonathan who heals the wounds Faith caused in the Buffy / Riley relationship and Jonathan who comes up with the source of Adam’s power.  Cool moments abound here, I especially like Jonathan’s performance at the Bronze and all the specially created product placements and advertisements for our new hero.

 

This Year’s Girl / Who Are You?

Faith (Eliza Dushku) awakes from her coma and seeks revenge against Buffy for taking everything away from her.  It’s great to see Dushku return to reprise her role in this two-parter where Faith switches bodies with Buffy and takes over Buffy’s life.  Suberb acting by both actresses.  The conclusion of the story takes place in Season One of Angel.

Restless Slayer

Restless

Whedon’s finale is an out of body dream sequence that explores the different characters subconscious as they are hunted by the force of thePrimitive (Sharon Ferguson), the first Vampire Slayer, they called on to help them defeat Adam.  Some really cool stream of consciousness stuff here.  The episode also sets up Season Five, Buffy’s need to come to an understanding what being a Slayer means, and the coming of Dawn.

Season Four gives us some nice extra features.  We get featurettes about Spike and Oz, an interview with set designer Carey Meyer and a look at the sets of Sunnydale, original scripts, and commentary for an amazing seven episodes.  There is a short documentary about the making of Hush as well.  My favorite extra is the featurette which examines the use of music in Buffy.  We are given a look and listen to the theme song and the use of score throughout the season and discussing Anthony Stewart Head’s performances of Freebird and Behind Blue Eyes as well as his singing an exposition song written by Whedon in another episode.  Some really good extras that help round out this set.

Season Four is my least favorite of all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  The problem arises in the main story arc – Science vs Magic.  It’s an interesting idea that could have been explored in one or two episodes, but the theme is drawn out over the season as the government starts to interfere in Buffy’s world.  The villain of Adam is one of the least interesting of the series and I give the season bad marks for introducing the much hated character of Riley Finn to the Whedonverse.  Also we get some of the worst written shows of the series such as Beer Bad, The Freshman, and Where the Wild Things Are.

That having been said, a less than brilliant season of Buffy is like coming in fourth at the Olympics – still pretty damn good.  There are still numerous reasons to check out these episodes as they lay the foundation for all the seasons to follow.  There are some great individual episodes, some great building blocks and development of these beloved characters, and some pretty cool extras including the commentary and the featurettes.

The series breaks down into two blocks: the high school years (Seasons 1 – 3) and the adult years (Seasons 5 – 7).  This season is all about not belonging to either world and rediscovering your place, making new realtionships, struggling to keep old relationships, and moving onto a new world.

Slayerfest: Buffy Season Three

by Alan Rapp on September 27, 2005

in Uncategorized

Buffy’s final year in high school ends with a bang (in more ways then one).  We get a new slayer, a new watcher, and a politician that’s even more evil than you would expect.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Season 3
Custom Rating

After a summer in Los Angeles, and a brief trip to a hell dimension, Buffy returns to Sunnydale to once again take up her destiny as “she who hangs out in cemeteries”, reconnects with her friends, and kick some serious ass.  There are a few stumbling blocks in the way.  The first is the arrival of a new Slayer who’s carefree attitude and enjoyment of the kill will cause problems.  The second is the unexplained and unexpected return of Angel, Buffy’s one true love who was last seen as Buffy plunged a sword deep into his chest sending him to hell in order to save the world.

 

I’m Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.  And you are?

After the fallout from Season Two, Buffy (Sarah Michelle Geller) is hiding in Los Angeles and waiting tables.  Finally she is forced to confront her destiny and return to Sunnydale and try and put her life back together. Just as she has reclaimed her life Faith (Eliza Dushku), the new Vampire Slayer, arrives and creates all kinds of new havoc for our heroine.  Faith is a wild card ; she relishes in the power, the chase, and the kill. Faith’s style clashes with Buffy’s need to analyze the situation. The friendship is further strained when it is discovered that Angel (David Boreanaz) is alive and Buffy has been hiding him.  Faith’s actions get more and more erratic to the point where she accidentally kills a human being. Unable to deal with the situation, Faith moves further down her dark path as she decides to throw her fate in with the Mayor ofSunnydale.  Richard Wilkins (Harry Groener) created the town over a hundred years ago as part of his plan to ascend and become a full demon.  Buffy and the Scooby gang must now try to stop the Mayor’s ascension, and Buffy must face Faith as well.

Ask most Buffy fans which is their favorite season and many will put this one high on the list. It is one of the tightest and best written seasons that explores the dynamic of Buffy and of Faith and what it means to be a Slayer. Thedichotomy is well played out and the pay off is huge as Slayer is pitted against Slayer. The writers are also clever in exploring the paternal relationship that forms between Faith and the Mayor. BothDuskhu and Groener are excellent in their roles and play off each other so well.

The Chosen Two

Relationships play a big factor in Season Three.  Romance for ill-matched Xander (Nicholas Brendon) and Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), and the sweet coupling of Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Oz (Seth Green).  Buffy’s relationship with her mother (Kristine Sutherland) is changed now that Joyce knows about Buffy’s late night activities. Buffy and Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) relationship will be strained after the events of Helpless where Giles betrays Buffy to follow the orders of the Watchers Council only to turn back at the last instant. Giles leaving the council provides some interesting reworking of the series formula and also brings us the wonderful character ofWesly Wyndam-Pryce (Alexis Denisof).  And finally Buffy and Angel are forced to confront some unpleasant truths about the nature of their relationship.

The entire Buffy / Faith arc is incredibly well played out and culminates on one hell of a huge fight sequence in Graduation Day Part 1. Aside from the main arc there are some terrific stand alone episodes aredefiantly worth checking out.

Lover’s Walk

Spike (James Marsters) returns in a drunken melancholy over his breakup with Drusilla (Juliet Landau). Spike actions throughout his one night stay lead to the breakup ofXander and Cordelia, forces Oz to reevaluate his feelings for Willow, and his comments to Buffy and Angel prophetically start the demise of their relationship as well.

The Zeppo

Technically I think that’s a sword

Some of my favorite episodes of the series are Xander episodes.  The entire episode is structured with the other Scoobies working on saving the world as Xander gets into his own trouble involving a classic automobile, the raising of an undead gang, some one-on-one with Faith, and a very explosive cake. The name of the episode comes from Cordelia’s line about howXander is the useless part of the group, the Jimmy Olsen or the Zeppo Marx.  What makes the episode work so well is Xander is actually given the opportunity to save the day in his own small way; even if no one else ever knows he is changed by the experience.

Amends

Angel is haunted by visions of his past deeds as Angelus, and his dreams spill into Buffy’s nightmares. It turns out Angel is being systematically driven insane by a force called only The First, an incorporeal evil that wants Angel to lose his soul in Buffy and become Angelus once again.  This is one of the best villains of the series, here used for only one episode and forgotten until…well we’ll get to that in Season Seven. It is also one of the few episodes of Buffy that shows Angel’s actions before he was cursed with a soul, something the spin-off would explore in more detail.

Careful what you wish for

The Wish

What if Buffy Summers had never come to Sunnydale? Cordelia is granted her wish and reality is changed as history is rewritten. The Master (Mark Metcalf) rises and takes over Sunnydale turning Xander and Willow two of his most deadly vampires. A great what if… episode that lets the actors each play the same characters but in quite different circumstances. The episode also introduces us to the character ofAnyanka (Emma Caulfield) a vengeance demon who grants Cordelia’s wish and then loses her powers as reality is put back to normal. Anya becomes quite a funny character as Xander’s girlfriend for years to come.

A nice collection of extras includes commentary on four episodes from writers and directors but no commentary from Joss Whedon in this collection.  We do get two short interviews with Whedon about four episodes including one on Bad Girls and Consequences.  We get a season overview which looks back over the season’s run.  One of the most interesting extras is a short feature on the language used on Buffy, where it comes from, and how popular it has become.  Also included are original scripts for four episodes, an art gallery collection of photos, and short featurettes on special effects, wardrobe, and weapons.

This is one of the best seasons of Buffy.  The main story arc of Faith and Buffy is one of the best crafted of the series, and the fight scenes between the two kick some serious ass.  We also get some wonderful stand alone episodes and are introduced to new characters who will continue to populate the Buffy / Angel universe until the end.  The set is a nice collection with commentary, a season overview, and some nice short interviews with Whedon.  A great bookend for the first three seasons that completes the high school years of the Scooby gang.

The Scooby Gang Grows Stronger

by December Lambeth on September 27, 2005

in Home Video

In season 2 the Scooby Gang faces many evil Sunnydale Hellmouth trials and tribulations and find themselves stronger in the end for it. Plenty of romance is on the line for all characters, some good and some not so safe. Buffy and Angle really heat up the screen in almost every episode, either by their heated arguments or their really loud smooching and heavy petting. New characters like Oz, cool alternative grunge guy who has a wonderfully witty comeback for everything and then there are the 2 new bad guys, lovers for life, Spike and Dru, they couldn’t mess up a wet dream. Every time Spike tries to kill Buffy or simply bring her to her knees he screws up. Sunnydale has nothing to worry from Spike, but still it is on the Hellmouth and all kinds of evil lurk for Buffy and The Scooby Gang to kill.

Buffy Season Two
Custom Rating

In season 2 the Scooby Gang faces many evil Sunnydale Hellmouth trials and tribulations and find themselves stronger in the end for it. Plenty of romance is on the line for all characters, some good and some not so safe. Buffy and Angle really heat up the screen in almost every episode, either by their heated arguments or their really loud smooching and heavy petting. New characters like Oz, cool alternative grunge guy who has a wonderfully witty comeback for everything and then there are the 2 new bad guys, lovers for life, Spike and Dru, they couldn’t mess up a wet dream. Every time Spike tries to kill Buffy or simply bring her to her knees he screws up. Sunnydale has nothing to worry from Spike, but still it is on the Hellmouth and all kinds of evil lurk for Buffy and The Scooby Gang to kill.

Plot: Season 2 is full of surprises and romance. Willow finally finds the perfect man for her in Oz, a quirky little rock and roll guy with a hairy secret. Xander and Cordy find themselves smooching in the closet more than they should and consider a relationship. Giles finally works up the nerve to ask Ms. Calendar, Jenny, out and then has to do it all over again after his past catches up with them. Buffy’s mom, Joyce, tries her luck with a wicked evil robot, Ted. And Buffy and Angel get it on big time, Angel experiences his one true moment of happiness and looses his soul. Angelus appears and tortures Buffy’s friends in return and ultimately torturing Buffy. With a little help from the two new, yet failing bad guys, Spike and Dru, Angelus tries to tear down the slayer and open the Hellmouth again. Buffy is forced to send Angel to hell to shut the Hellmouth and leaves her in what she thinks is going to be a forever Hell of her own. Little does she know that hell is just like any other place, maybe nice to visit, but nobody really wants to live there and Angel returns a little worse for wears and wild. She forgives him for all his wrongs and still loves him dearly. Now I have gone too far and extended into the next season, but now you know what there is too look forward to. And just think I haven’t even got started on the 3rd slayer to come to town, Faith. You are in for a real treat after season 2.

The Slayer Having A Rough Day

Characters:

Buffy:(Sarah Michelle Gellar) The chosen one, the slayer, but still a teenage girl who wants to be normal and date like any other girl in her school. She’s not too quick with book smarts, but has a mouth like a whip and a questionable fashion sense. Season 2 introduces a deeper side to Buffy and a great deal of growth and understanding to her character.

Angel:(David Boreanaz) A 250-year-old vampire who is dark and brooding and starts out as a mysterious guy who gives Buffy little bits of advice to lead her along her dark path. Season 2 brings the fighter and the romantic out in Angel, before hand he stayed in the shadows and seldom interfered, but now he is hero guy and fights right along with Buffy.

Giles:(Anthony Head) The “watcher”, Buffy’s trainer, teacher and coach; he keeps her in line and helps her understand her path. Gile’s cover is a librarian for Sunnydale High. Right from the beginning Giles acts like a father figure for Buffy.

Xander:(Nicholas Brendon) Sensitive, unsure, comical relief guy, who always gets himself in some form of trouble. He has serious self-confidence issues and covers up his shortcomings with witty comments and jokes. Xander never gets over his crush on Buffy, but moves on to the only available body Cordelia.

Willow:(Alyson Hannigan) Nerdy computer girl, whose hacking skills add great assistance to the Scooby Gang. She is always looking for romance in all the wrong places and desperately wants to be noticed, but hides in Buffy’s shadow most of the time. Willow gives up on the idea that Xander will ever notice her, but while she wasn’t looking Oz found her.

Cordelia:(Charisma Carpenter) Cordy grows a great deal in season 2, she realizes the dangers around her and that as long as she is with The Scooby Gang and Buffy, she has a better shot of staying alive, plus she secretly is crushing on Xander.

Oz:(Seth Green) This guy is brilliant; he has a wonderfully dry sense of humor that keeps season 2 light and easy going. Wearing his black nail polish and jamming with his band on occasion, Oz is more than willing to accept there are evils out there beyond his control and helps the gang in the good fight. Oz has a little hairy secret of his own that comes out closer toward the end of the season. Willow doesn’t care, she loves him anyway.

Spike:(James Marsters) An evil screw up of a vampire who is always trying to bring Buffy down and conquer Sunnydale. He was sired by Drusilla who was sired by Angel.

Jenny Calendar:(Robia LaMorte) Computer teacher by day and secret gypsy clan daughter by night. She and Giles get it on, but she keeps her true identity a secret. Her only purpose to being in Sunnydale is to keep Angel from experiencing that one true moment of happiness and getting his soul removed. Um yeah, she fails miserably.

Drusilla:(Juliet Landau) Spike main gal and the more evil and wicked do the two. Dru is a little off her rocker, okay a lot. In a ritual to make her strong, Spike is hurt and she is made whole again to protect and help Spike through his crippling, faking towards the end, days. Angelus sired Dru.

Angelus:(David Boreanaz) The evil returns after many years of being stuffed under a soul. Angelus comes out after Angel and Buffy have their night of lovemaking. Angelus tortures and kills Buffy’s friends and family and tries to bring on the opening of the Hellmouth. He gets his soul back just in time for Buffy to send him back to hell.

Xander

Episodes:

When She Was Bad Buffy, not dealing with her prom night death and resurrection, becomes a self indulgent little snob for all of 5-minutes. The anointed one tries to bring The Master back and kidnaps Willow, Giles and Xander for their blood to do so. Xander blames Buffy for they’re near death and she realizes he’s right and tries to awake from her comma. Beating The Master’s bones to dust gives her the release she needs to move on with her duties and returns to her witty slayer self.

Some Assembly Required

Giles tries to start a romance with Jenny. Two science geeks play Dr. Frankenstein, to create a love interest for their brother, who they brought back to life after his horrific death the year before, and want Cordelia’s head for the final masterpiece. Buffy fights the monstrous brother, a fire breaks out, Xander saves Cordelia and the brother goes up in flames with the headless body.

School Hard

Something’s rotten in Sunnydale, no worries it’s just the comic relief and the new bad guys, Spike and Drusilla. Spike crashes parent’s night to let all know that he ahs arrived and has planned to take over Sunnydale and kill the slayer. This of course will never happen because he ultimately fails at every attempt.

Inca Mummy Girl

Xander gets a beautiful foreign exchange student who is actually an Inca Mummy, her name is Ampata. She mesmerizes Xander, like that hard to do with all his over powering sexual hormones, which seem to really show themselves throughout most of season 2. Ampata goes after Willow for her next victim to keep her young and beautiful, Xander offers himself up instead, but neither is needed Buffy saves the day and turns the Inca princess to bones and puts her under wraps.

Willow

Reptile Boy

Buffy finds herself on a date with Cordelia in a frat house full of rich boys you kidnaps girls every year and offers them up as a sacrifice to a reptile demon to keep their wealth. Angel catches wind of this and his jealous at first until he realizes the danger Buffy is in and helps save the day.

Halloween

Oz appears and starts admiring Willow from afar. It’s Halloween and Buffy wants to dress up like women did in the days when Angel was young, She wants to impress him with powdered wigs and a big girlie dress. Giles has an old acquaintance wreak havoc on Sunnydale, by selling costumes that people turn into at midnight during a ritual. Children are roaming around like goblins and ghouls and Buffy is this innocent young lady who is completely oblivious to her role as a Vampire Slayer. Willow turns into a ghosts and Xander becomes the hero army guy. Spike tries to venture out on the one night of the year that true demons and vampires are suppose to take a vacation. Spike tries to destroy Buffy, but fails once again. Angel wants to know why Buffy wanted to be all wimpy girl after the spell is lifted, and she replies with that was what she that he wanted. He let her know under no circumstances, that he is interested in any other type of young lady than whom she is now; commence with the heavy petting and kissing.

Lie to Me

An old childhood crush of Buffy’s shows up and plays Mr. nice guy, but he has one thing on his mind and that is to become a vampire. He traps the gang and himself with a bunch of innocent people in to become a feast for Spike and his crew. Spike going back on his word to change him into a vampire tries to kill them all until Buffy stops him and foils his plans once again.

The Dark Age

Giles buddy who caused so much trouble on Halloween comes back to town to escape his fate with an evil demon that he and Giles stirred up years ago. This demon possesses Ms. Calendar and goes after anybody with a particular Etruscan tattoo. Buffy awakes with this freshly printed tattoo on her back thanks to Ethan and the possessed Ms. Calendar hot on her trail. Angel jumps in to take over the possession and save the day. Giles was just working up to a good romantic standing with Jenny and now has to earn her trust back after she has been possessed with the evil demon that he had a part in creating years ago.

Cordelia

What’s My Line, Part One

It’s career week at school and once again Buffy is reminded that she will never lead a healthy normal life and will always be alone and the slayer. Oz notices Willow even more when she is seated in the genius room right next to him. He is an accidental genius who doesn’t care if he finishes school, he’s all about his music and Willow finds him very cute and intriguing. Xander figures out that he shouldn’t even try he’s not very book smart and may end up being a florist or a garbage truck guy. Angel takes Buffy ice-skating to help her forget about her troubles, but they are attacked by a hired man sent to kill her, thanks to Spike. After Buffy dies in season one, don’t forget another shall arise. Angel is thrown in a cage to face the sunlight and Buffy fights Kendra, the next slayer.

What’s My Line, Part Two

Continued from last episode Kendra and Buffy face off. Spike has hired 3 assassins to kill the gang and Buffy and trap Angel. Willy sets Angel free from his cage of certain dusting death and Willow and Xander are locked up in a basement hiding from the bug man, another Spike minion. Buffy and Kendra call a truce to prove Kendra is who she says she is and they fight the 3 together, kicking ass and taking names. Angel is kidnapped while Buffy is distracted and Spike tries to use him in a ritual to make a sick and week Dru. Xander takes a bullet in the arm to save Willow and the gang storms in together to save Angel. Spike is crippled in the falling debris and carried out by a completely healthy Drusilla in the end.

Ted

Joyce’s new boyfriend is a little off. Ted isn’t human or monster he’s a machine and completely off his rocker. Cordy and Xander carry on with a secret smooch party in the broom closet. Giles saves Jenny’s life while patrolling and earning her trust back. Ted tries to kidnap Buffy’s mom, but she lays him flat with a skillet.

Bad Eggs

A weird episode that deals with a couple of western vampire brothers and a giant Bezoar demon that has possessed the students at Sunnydale High and makes them worked at digging up it’s eggs. Buffy, of course, slays all and all ends well.

Surprise (Part One of Two)

A surprise birthday party for Buffy, a surprise birthday gift from Spike and a night of hot lovemaking and bake it for 30 minutes on high and what do you get? Angelus and the true evil begin. I almost forgot Oz finds out that vampires and demons truly exist, but not the least bit surprise and finds him initiated into The Scooby Gang.

Innocence (Part Two of Two)

The Judge, who’s arm accidentally showed up as a gift for Buffy the episode before, is regaining his powers and starts with the killing of the innocent. I lied; it wasn’t the episode before that Angelus shows his face, it was the night of the episode before. Angelus comes out to join Spike and Dru’s little party, but Xander rains on their parade by killing The Judge with a rocket launcher, good thing he remembers his military training from Halloween.

Phases

Oz’s hairy secret comes out in the full moonlight, he’s a werewolf. The gang is worried, at first that Oz is behind a few killings in the woods, but later finds out that he is innocent when they lock him up and they keep happening. Willow has no problems coming to terms with Oz’s little secret and they kiss for the first time. By the way Angel is still evil.

Oz

Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered

Xander talks a little witch into casting a love spell on him to get Cordy to love him. The spell backfires and Xander almost ends up dead by an angry mob of love-crazed women. Buffy and Willow find out just in time to break the spell and save Xander’s life.

Passion

Angelus continues to torment Buffy and her friends, but even after he ended Miss. Calendar’s life, Buffy still can’t bring herself to kill him. She still loves Angel.

Killed by Death

An odd episode out, Buffy gets some serious illness and sees an invisible monster that feeds on children. She puts stop to that right away.

I Only Have Eyes For You

A romantic tryst between a teacher and student goes awry years before. Odd things start to happen at Sunnydale and the gang chalks it up to a poltergeist, but truly it’s the ghosts of these two lovers. The lovers take possession of Angel and Buffy and give the two a sweet moment, before Buffy reenacts what the student did to the teacher years ago, she shoots him. Of course Angelus can’t die, but they both had a moment and he runs off, angry that she reminded him, but for a split second of what his humanity felt like.

The Last Kiss Before Hell

Go Fish

Xander goes undercover to solve the munching mystery that is taking over the swim team. The truth is, the coach is putting something in the swimming pool water that is turning the team into creatures of the blue lagoon and they must feed on human flesh. Buffy catches him trying to offer up Xander as a snack and stops him cold in his tracks. She releases the creatures to the ocean, what a weird little episode thrown in the group of serious love lorn teen loss and death and mayhem from evil vampires.

Becoming, Part One

This marks the beginning of Angelus trying to bring a demon forth that will open Hell on earth. In Buffy’s struggle to stop him without killing him, Willow finds the answer to restoring Angel’s soul. Angel and Dru go after the gang to keep Willow from performing the ritual.

Becoming, Part Two

Buffy pissed enough at Angelus to kill him for what he has done to her friends, she grabs the sword that can kill the demon and close the mouth to hell. The key to shutting this catastrophe down is Angel. Willow restores Angel’s soul just in time for him to reach out one last time to Buffy with love and a tear in his eye and she drives the sword right through his heart shutting the mouth to hell and sending him there in the process. CLIFFHANGER!!!