I am very fond of this episode. What I’m noticing as I’m going through this is that most of this season seems to be about stripping Buffy of all hope. Okay, that might be a little extreme but I do think Buffy is just realizing, inch by incredibly painful inch, that she will never be able to live a normal life. This episode is a big one of those inches. I would like to note as well that almost every picture in this is going to be of insane clothing that Buffy or occasionally other people wear in this episode because seriously the 90’s are running wild all over the place here. I mean, who doesn’t want a giant tie dye target on their boobs? Or crimped hair? Or leopard coats? SO MANY THINGS.
The episode begins with Buffy doing comically bad kicking and fighting, followed by Giles reviewing her performance. I like this and I actually occasionally wish we had a little more of the training. I’m curious how a lot of that works out but, on the other hand, probably that’s less interesting than story arc so whatever. She’s quipping and joking, he’s finding a ring on the ground. This confused me a little bit because are there other instances where vamps leave something behind after they dust? Is it only certain things? I mean, he’s certainly not the only vamp to ever wear jewelry. Ultimately this ring leads to the realization that a big threat is coming, yadda, yadda, yadda. This, however, is not nearly as interesting to Buffy as Owen. I think that SMG’s playing of the Buffy/Owen scenes are awesome. I love her in these moments. She’s such a pretty girl and she plays awkward and flirty and nervous really well, I think. She likes this boy and if he will date her, she’s going to date him. She’s going to be a girl and have fun and for one night not worry about vampires or the apocalypse. This will not work out for her.
The Master has a plan, of course. The ominous book of prophecy says that the Chosen One will rise and the Slayer will not recognize him and he will lead her into hell. I wonder what happened to this book when the Master died. I mean, it’s full of fun phrases and seemingly very important prophecies about the Slayer. I might have tried to grab that if I were them. But that’s neither here nor there. The point is that badness is coming and they are really not prepared. Giles realizes, through some sort of research, that this is something that is coming and is unfortunately coming on the very night that Owen has asked Buffy out on a date. Much to her chagrin, they head off to the cemetery. No fresh graves, no sign of anyone rising so reluctantly he says she can go. Goes to the Bronze and manages to totally misread what’s very obvious going on and assume that Owen magically overnight changed his mind and decided he dug Cordelia. This annoyed me.
In the next scene, Xander is making some very logical points. Like… being late sucks but there are a lot of excuses you can make that don’t require pulling the slayer card. So why is she being crazy about it? Maybe it’s the shirt. Which I would like us to see again for full effect. Xander whines a bit, “I can read tooooooooooo Buffy!! Notice me, Buffy! Love me, Buffy! Look, I have a Tweety watch, Buffy!” Blah, blah. I like Xander but he improves dramatically once his obsession with Buffy ends. Owen comes over and acts all cute and Buffy fawns and whatever, new date has been set up.
Now there’s preparation for the date. You’ll notice I don’t have a lot to say about this episode but whatever, I want to include more pictures. They ask Xander which outfit he prefers, which I think is odd. Buffy says she’ll mix and match, even though there’s no indication she does anything but put on another dress. Xander acts whiny. Oh. And then she decides to change while he “just turns around”. Okay, people, was this something else I missed? I don’t remember ever even considering changing in the same room with a guy who was just a friend. Like that would have seemed super weird to me. Especially in high school when things are awkward and such anyway. Xander of course tries to look in the little mirror and doesn’t see anything, whatever
Anyway. Buffy blows Giles off to go on a date, and the date goes really well. Owen is talking ridiculously and pretentiously about Emily Dickinson. She’s mooning over him because when you’re in high school, pretentious bullshit is really hot. She’s having a good time, telling him that she almost feels like a girl, which makes sense to us because we understand who Buffy is, but would have to make very little sense to Owen. During this scene, Cordelia pulls one of her typically awesome Cordelia moves and tries to steal Owen away from Buffy. Which is remarkably ballsy, really. Especially considering she is doing it with her hair crimped. I’m mostly just writing this paragraph so I have an excuse to show her with her hair crimped.
Buffy kicks ass and saves the day, Owen almost gets himself killed and is excited by it. He wants to see Buffy all the time so that he can be dangerous and feel alive. This is an absolutely idiotic perspective and Buffy at least recognizes that it is definitely going to get him killed. She tells him no and, as she does, she recognizes more what this really means for her. She’ll recognize it many times over the course of the show but this is one of those moments. People could die from just being near her. More than that, people probably will. This isn’t something she can escape. It’s during this moment that Giles has one of his first truly sort of father moments with her. He sits down and he tells her about when he found out he was going to be a Watcher, that he was in fact more or less destined to be one. But he is telling her that he will be with her, he will be on her side. I think it’s a fairly significant step for their relationship and it’s definitely my favorite scene in the episode.
Oh yeah. And they didn’t stop the bad guy. Handily or otherwise, the prophecy has been fulfilled. Oooooooo.
Questions and comments
They head off to which cemetary exactly? I believe a later episode states that there are like 14 in Sunnydale? How does he know which cemetary the dead will rise from? I realize this is probably because the idea of having multiple cemetaries probably didn’t come to them till later but even my not so big town has 2.
I want to know more about becoming a Watcher. Is every Watcher born into it? Is it always destined or can you study to be a Watcher?