Buffy Season Two: Spoilers and Foreshadowing

The Buffy Re-Watch continues! We're keeping spoilers out of the review comments, but they're very welcome right here. Post anything you want to say about the second season of Buffy and how it relates to the entire series.

We're assuming everyone who reads or posts comments here has seen it all. If you haven't seen the entire series yet, leave now -- or you're certainly going to be spoiled! You can always come back later after you've seen the entire series.

84 comments:

celticmarc said...

LOL

(When She Was Bad)

Both at the Bronze and at the class at the end, there's a blond guy that looks a LOT like Spike (in a distance) ! Subliminal !

Lamounier said...

It got to me now how many of those season premieres feature Buffy with a different behavior than usual.

"When She Was Bad" features bitchy Buffy, "Anne" has hiding-from-the-world Buffy, "Freshman" shows a somewhat scared and isolated Buffy, on "Buffy vs Dracula" she is put under the Dracula's thrall, and "Bargaining"... I don't even know how to describe her there.

"Welcome to the Hellmouth" and "Lessons" are the only exception, really. Nonetheless, this pattern shows how willing the writers were to put Buffy under pain and explore the characters on the most different situations and circumstances.

Miss Courtney said...

Lamounier, I was thinking the same thing especially with the parallels in Anne.

I'm really watching the interactions between Xander and Cordelia to see when a change happens.

Suzanne said...

Does anyone else wonder why Buffy was able to avoid slayage activities all summer long in L.A. given that we eventually find out that there is trouble there, too.

Josie Kafka said...

Lamounier and Miss Courtney, that's a really interesting perspective. I kept thinking of Season Six as I watched this--and how Buffy's grumpiness makes the season hard to watch, the same way that her brattiness in "When She Was Bad" makes that episode rather painful.

Annie said...

Its hard to imagine that they intended to kill Spike off, what a different show it would have been it that had happened.

Spike calling Angel his sire is the most glaring inconsistency that I could see. I'm glad they decided to go with Dru in the end.

When Joyce whacks him over the head with the axe it makes me smile thinking about the later episode when he awkwardly explains to her where she recognises him from.

Suzanne said...

I love the hint of sexual tension that Marsters admits to including in the Bronze scene. Watching it now, it really takes on a different meaning.

Miss Courtney said...

When Willow says "Maybe I should have worn something sexy?" in the mummy episode, it made me flash to vamp Willow. What are your favorite Willow outfits?

Lamounier said...

Miss Courtney, I love the Disney dress she wears on OMWF. Joan of Arc is also a standout.

Regarding Xander and his demon girlfriends/dates, are they that many? There's the teacher from season one, the mummy girl, Anya, and that one from season 7. Cordelia is the only exception, unless you count her in since she did eventually become part-demon.

Ok, so maybe it's not about quantity, but about 100% of his girlfriends being supernatural somehow.

"Willow, gay me up."

sunbunny said...

Lamounier - Almost everyone Xander dates/is interested in is either supernaturally gifted or at some point becomes supernaturally gifted. Buffy, Willow, Bug Lady, Inca Mummy Girl, Anya, Cordelia, Coffee Girl from season 7, Faith. I'm sure I'm forgetting one or two, but you get the point. :)

So "Reptile Boy." I'm determined in this rewatch to look out for Angelus foreshadowing. Having watched Angel before Buffy, I knew that he turned into Angelus at some point in season two so I wasn't really surprised but I was wondering if the unspoiled saw it coming. This week we have Angel saying "This could get out of control."

Also Cordelia hugging Angel at the end of the episode really reminded me of "City Of" for some reason.

Billie Doux said...

The unspoiled did *not* see it coming. I was shocked.

sunbunny said...

There are so many inconsistencies in "School Hard." Very un-Jossy. Spike instantly knows something is up with "Angelus" (which he freaking mispronounces), but he's run into him a few times since he was ensouled and never noticed a thing. One might argue he was distracted by his recent conquest during the Boxer Rebellion, but what about the encounter on the submarine? They were certainly in close quarters. Spike should have picked up on it then.

Spike also suggests that Angelus was never one for company, but they spent a century living together with their lady loves. That doesn't sound particularly lonerish to me.

The other major problem, which Annie's already mentioned is that Spike names Angelus as his sire. This one has never really bothered me. Dru was the one who turned him, but Angelus was the one who taught him pretty much everything he knew. He was sort of a surrogate sire/grandsire.

It's been a while since I've seen "Fool for Love." Did Nikki beg for her life or was Spike just trying to come off all badass?

Oh, and in my ongoing quest to find foreshadowing for Angelus's coming: in "When She Was Bad," Giles tells Buffy "That was hardly the worst mistake you'll ever make" and in "Some Assembly Required," Cordelia says "Angel saved me from an arm." Reference to later events in which Angelus uses the Judge's arm to nearly destroy the Scoobies or am I reaching here?

Billie Doux said...

sunbunny, Nikki had no lines at all in "Fool for Love". Spike was being badass.

sunbunny said...

Thanks Billie! I'm caught up now.

No Angelus foreshadowing in "Inca Mummy Girl," (at least that I could tell), but maybe some foreshadowing for something else...Ampada was "the Chosen One," was fated to die, and leapt to her death dot dot dot

Lamounier said...

I have to say: considering how many Buffy episodes will begin with Buffy slaying a vampire, it's funny to see pucklady's complains about "Buffy, The Girl Who Never Slays Vampires". Her newbie reaction is amusing. I do hope she falls for the show, though.

sunbunny said...

not enough vampires was never a problem for me on Buffy. I remember at some point in Angel (season 4? season 5?) it occurred to me that we hadn't fought vampires in ages but it still didn't exactly bother me.

Her whole thing about rape makes me think of season 6. I can't wait to get to season 6!!! It's my favorite. Although this rewatch is helping me remember why season 2 is my second fave. :)

Billie Doux said...

I was thinking of season six, too.

ChrisB said...

I thought about season six as well. In my opinion, the biggest misstep the show ever took.

sunbunny said...

Chris - do you mean season six in general or Spike's attempted rape of Buffy in particular?

ChrisB said...

Season six gets a bit too dark for me, but I was referring to Spike's attempted rape of Buffy as the show's biggest misstep -- at least for me.

But, it is season six that gives us 'OMWF,' so it wasn't all bad.

Suzanne said...

I agree that Spike's attempted rape was a misstep, but I like Season 6, even though that is not true of many Buffy fans. I think since I came to it late and was prepared to hate it, I ended up liking it so much more than I would thought I would.

This week's Halloween episode made me really rethink my original ideas about Cordy and Angel. I hated that pairing the first time I saw it since it seemed very unnatural to me. However, watching Cordy and Angel interact in this episode, I saw some chemistry I hadn't previously seen. I am still a Buffy/Angel fan, but I have to say I could see how Cordy's humor seemed to affect Angel very positively. It lightens him up.

This episode also reminds me of how much I love Willow and Oz. They are the perfect pair. The just look so adorable together.

Lastly, I am really noticing this time around how many times Willow is thrown into scenes that involve magic in some way and that she seems more interested than the others in what is happening. I wonder if they always knew what her future would be in terms of magic.

Annie said...

I'd agree that the attempted rape in S6 was a big misstep. There's the threat of rape in this episode too, Xander rescuing Buffy from pirate Larry, hope its not the last straw for pucklady.

Suzanne - this is the first time I've noticed the chemistry between Angel and Cordy too... Angel just seemed to be more relaxed from that one tiny scene at the Bronze, but I really don't get the Buffy/Angel relationship, it never resonates as real with me and that's not related to my thoughts on Angel hitting on a 16 year old, I just don't buy the chemistry.

sunbunny said...

Speaking of missteps...Angel/Cordy, for sure. I love them together as friends/family. At the end of season one, when she's in the hospital and Angel goes roaring into the hospital shouting "I'm family!"? LOVE IT. Don't love them coupley. The franchise got us to invest years in Buffy/Angel and then it's just like...well, she's gone. What about Cordelia? Stop.

Season six is my favorite season and most of my friends' favorite season. It wasn't until a few years ago I realized that this wasn't universal. I got into a heated discussion with my RA at school. He was trying to convince me four was the best season. Four? Really? Anyway, my theory: those that came to the show either after its original run or late in its original run love season six, while those who've been with Buffy since the beginning (or at least early) do not love it as much. The change in tone really rocked the faithful while the newbies were, perhaps, prepared.

Billie Doux said...

The way the fans responded to season six was fascinating and sort of disturbing, so at one point I did a poll. It was evenly split -- half of of the fans truly loved it, and half of them hated it with a passion. I remember getting hate mail from (get this) The Buffy/Angel Warriors because I was pretty deeply into season six. It's definitely the most controversial season.

And FWIW, I was an early fan and into Buffy/Angel, but Spike just slowly won me over and I ended up preferring Buffy/Spike, and in a big way. It was like Angel was her teenage choice, but the thing with Spike was Buffy as an adult.

Annie said...

Season six is probably my favourite season too, love it! I only saw the whole series in its entirety quite recently, and I think when watching a series as it comes out can lead to more disappointment as fans have months to speculate about what might happen in the next season whereas now we can just watch the lot, less expectations and less disappointment.

I'm definitely with Billie on preferring Buffy/Spike much much more than Buffy/Angel, it just felt like there was more substance to it.

sunbunny said...

I didn't mean to suggest that I'm a Spike/Buffy hater (although I will freely admit I think the name 'Spuffy' is stupid). I shipped Buffy and Angel through season 3. I hated Riley (did anyone not?) and I liked Spike and Buffy together, but ultimately I have to agree with what Buffy said in the finale. She's still so young and, what with the constant apocalypses, hasn't really had a decent chance at life. She's not ready to end up with anyone yet. :)

Annie said...

absolutely agree, I didn't take that you were a 'spuffy' hater at all, and yes it is a very stupid name. Buffy is young and they are so old, but once she's cookies, if she was to be with either, I'd rather it was Spike because I find him a much more sympathetic character in the end.

Jess Lynde said...

I didn't hate Riley. Not to say I liked him as a partner for Buffy, but I thought he was a decent enough guy, and I actually felt rather bad for him later in his time on the show. I liked the episode when he turned up married and happy. I was glad to know things turned out somewhat okay for him, after the rough time he had on the series.

And, much as I have a huge soft spot for Spike, I didn't much care for his relationship with Buffy. It never struck me as healthy from either perspective. Until S7, his affection for her was obsessive and kind of scary, and her interest in him was purely a desire to dull her inner pain. The dynamic got somewhat better towards the end of S7, but ultimately, I agree that Buffy needed to get completely comfortable in her own skin before finding her true partner.

Suzanne said...

I agree that the chemistry between Angel and Buffy is not quite there in most of these early episodes ( except possibly Angel), but I do see it come into play very much in later Buffy episodes and then again very strongly in the Angel episode "I Will Remember You." I think that was the episode that really made me love them together only to be broken-hearted.

I agree that Cordy and Angel work best as family. I guess I just saw a little something about how she could help Angel reconnect with his lighter side in this episode. Maybe that is what he eventually saw in her.

I adore Spike and rooted hard for him and Buffy to be together. However, in the end, it just seemed as if she felt differently about him than he did her. She definitely loved him, but I am not sure she was in love with him. I will always love Spike best, though, for choosing to get a soul. If Buffy doesn't want him, I am sure plenty of other women will!

I found the discussion of various fan reactions to season six above to be interesting. I like it a lot, but I do think some of the factors mentioned above might account for that. I also didn't hate Riley, but I definitely didn't like him with Buffy. He a really great scene, though, when he talked to Xander and admitted to him that "she (Buffy) doesn't love me." That broke my heart for him.

sunbunny said...

Jess - I'm sure that not even the shippiest of shippers can argue that Buffy/Spike was healthy in season 6. :)

Interesting to learn that not everyone blindly hates Riley...maybe I'll give him another chance on this rewatch.

Annie said...

Suzanne, haha it was actually that episode of Angel that is the final nail in the coffin for me. He made his choice and I didn't feel sorry for him one bit! They always seem to strike the wrong chord with me.

I interpret Buffys Season 7 feelings for Spike as unresolved, she was not blindly in love with him but she did love him and not in a purely platonic way. Circumstances prevent them from working through their feelings, and let Buffy off the hook in dealing with how she feels fully.

Suzanne said...

Annie, I agree about the ending for Spike and Buffy not leaving time for her to resolve her feelings. I always kind if felt like the writers were keeping them away from one another in an artificial manner towards the end. They seemed to push the Spike isn't good for Buffy thing too far at times when to me he looked like he would do anything for her. I couldn't see what so bad about him a lot of the times, especially after he got a soul.

ChrisB said...

I am a much bigger fan of the Spike/Buffy dynamic than I am of the Angel/Buffy. Like Billie says, Angel is the high school guy. Yes, we love him and we lose our virginity to him, but he is not the right one for the long haul.

I always liked Riley and was sorry that the writers didn't keep him around for a while. It was nice to see Buffy in a semi-adult relationship, at least for a while.

I tend to agree with some of what you all are saying about Spike/Buffy. At some point during this re-watch, I will post my thoughts on Spike vs. Angel and why I think Spike is a much better character, finally.

The problem with the "romance" in Season 7 was the writers had to deal with the fact that Spike had tried to rape Buffy. How the hell a character be rehabilitated from that, it is difficult to imagine. They tried, but any kind of real romance would have felt too icky and off. One of the reasons that I believe the attempted rape was a HUGE misstep in the overarching stories of the series.

Jess Lynde said...

At risk of starting a heated debate ... I never thought it was that big a jump to rehabilitate Spike in S7. He did what he did to her without a soul. His interest in her was never presented as a healthy thing. It wasn't really love. It was an obsessive need. He wanted her and wanted to love her, but couldn't really. And she couldn't return his feelings, given her own mental state. It seemed a natural progression to me that his inability to truly have her drove him to attempt the rape. And (if memory serves) it was going that far that drove him to seek out his soul. To become a man who could actually love her, and to be a man she could actually love. He chose to change and to be better, and that was enough to rehabilitate him in my eyes.

But, I guess I can see how it could be difficult for Buffy to truly see it that way, as the person who was attacked. And for many viewers, as well. Making it hard to invest in a future for them as a couple.

Of course, I didn't really root for them as a couple, regardless. Not as an epic, must-be-together couple, anyway. Spike was in a similar position to Riley. He loved her (once he had his soul), and I think he became worthy of her love. But she never loved him, even though she grew to care for him deeply. And I felt like Spike deserved better. To find someone who could truly reciprocate his love. Buffy never could. And, from my perspective, it wasn't just because of the rape. She simply didn't love him that way.

All that said, I think the pairing and the dynamic made for good storytelling!

Jess Lynde said...

Also, I should note that the episode that made me completely fall for this series is the final one of S2. The epically tragic moment in which Buffy gets her love back, but still has to damn him to hell to save the world, completely hooked me. I just love a tragic ending sometimes.

And, in that light, I think I tend to view the attempted rape as a good story move, because of the tragic, dramatic irony it creates. The very act that drove Spike to recognize what a monster he was, that caused him to change and become a man who could be worthy of Buffy's love, was also the act that prevented him from ever truly winning her love. Aaah, tragedy.

Of course, I certainly recognize that viewers with different sensibilities strongly disagree. :)

Annie said...

For me, in the buffyverse there's no problem with Buffy and Spike starting a relationship in S7 after the attempted rape because he now has a soul, Angel was forgiven worse. But, I think such a storyline could have attracted a lot of very bad press, also ending the series with them together would have upset all the Angel fans, also they had plans for Spike.

I have to disagree about Buffy not loving Spike, I think she did. She obviously found him attractive, then he goes and gets a soul... what's not to love? But adjusting to the idea that he has become someone she could love is not something that would happen overnight.

sunbunny said...

What makes this show so awesome is the fact that we're still discussing this stuff a DECADE after the show went off the air.

"Angel was forgiven worse." Sigh. This is one of the most annoying continuity errors the show made. Season two Angel KILLS people. A lot of them. Then he pops back up a few months later and Buffy gets back together with him. Sure, there are a few episodes of hesitation and yes, he spent a century in hell, but even so. Flashforward to season 6. SOULLESS Spike tries to rape Buffy and is so horrified by his actions that he goes through painful trials to get a soul. Angel never chose to get a soul. And yet Buffy never quite forgives Spike.

I think part of the problem was that Joss didn't want to send the wrong message about the rape. Angelus killed people, but how often does a real life boyfriend snap your computer teacher's neck? On the other hand, how often do real life lovers rape/attempt to rape? The situation with Angelus is fairly impossible, but the situation with Spike is, unfortunately, not. I forget which episode's commentary it is (the finale, maybe), but Joss talks about not wanting Buffy to fall back into Spike's arms because it would send the wrong message and, from a non-supernatural point of view, be gross.

Annie said...

Good point, and I think that it really would have been the wrong message to send in Season 7 because the attack is quite recent and there wasn't the time for them to work through that in a way that wouldn't be have had the potential to be very offensive to real life victims or rape.
I guess it all goes back to whether the attack in seeing red was a mistake. I really don't like that it happened, but I do love that it made Spike fight for his soul.

Jess Lynde said...

Re: 'Inca Mummy Girl' --- The episode draws obvious parallels to Buffy's past experience in the Season 1 finale, but it also had some interesting potential foreshadowing for the Season 2 finale. Or at least some echoes of what's to come. When Ampada tells Buffy "There is ... just me" (meaning she has no friends), and Buffy replies "I've been there," I immediately thought of her final battle with Angelus, when he taunts before he's about to kill her, asking what does she have left if you strip away all her friends, and she catches the sword blade and replies "Me." Buffy's makeshift family support system does make her unique among slayers, but in many respects, she's alone and it all comes down to her. (That's certainly how she feels much of the time anyway. I guess S7 was largely about her coming to see things differently.)

sunbunny said...

"Lie to Me"

Is it worth pointing out that Ford makes the second teenager in 13 episodes with terminal brain cancer? Ford didn't actually develop his in Sunnydale, but Morgan did. Three seasons until Joyce. Why is it always brain cancer? Is it totally unintentional? Is Sunnydale built on radioactive waste as well as a Hellmouth? Also, Buffy says they can come back later for "the body." Coincidence? Maybe.

"Lie to Me" also provides our first warning that Angelus was more than your average crush/kill/destroy vamp. I always get intensely creeped out by Angel's description of what he did to Drusilla, given what's coming in just a few episodes.

Onto something that really annoys me. Chanterelle/Lily/Anne and Angel have a conversation and yet somehow he doesn't remember her when he runs into her in "Blood Money"? I can see her forgetting a random guy she met once, but Angel remembers what happened in 18-whatever-whatever. He can't think back to three years ago? Isn't he supposed to have a superhuman memory capacity?

Eddy Triana said...

Sunbunny, I think nikki did beg for her life, in Angel 5x11, there's this insane slayer who belives she is many slayers from past years but she think she is nikki the most because of spike, who reminds her the fight nikki and spike had, and in one line she begs for her life, asking spike to let her go because of her son robin, So I think she did beg for her life, but they didnt show it

sunbunny said...

Eddy - !!! Totally forgot about Dana!

"The Dark Age"

This episode introduced the magic as a drug metaphor which will be further developed in season 6. Willow and Giles certainly do have a lot in common.

I never noticed it before, but in the library when Eyghon/Phillip breaks out of the book cage, Xander shields Cordelia, not Willow. She doesn't look like she minds too much either.

Giles says “The Bay City Rollers, now that’s music.” I think he might just be trying to bait Buffy. In later episodes we see that Giles’ taste in music is much more akin to Oz’s.

In a further quest for Angelus foreshadowing, this episode presents us with a rite of passage + demon format. We'll see this again in Surprise/Innocence. Angel says, “I’ve had a demon inside me for a couple hundred years, just waiting for a good fight.” Also Cordelia and Xander discuss decapitating Miss Calendar. She ends up getting her neck snapped, but that's close. "She'll be the first headless computer teacher in school."

celticmarc said...

As I was saying for The Dark Age : (Love the Scoobies (more and more actually). Their reaction thinking about Giles and Jenny getting together is also priceless.)

After seeing Jenny's reaction to Giles and (re)checking on imdb, I said to my self : ah ! crap ! we're going to loose a nice character. Pity...

The danger of attaching yourself to a character too fast; oh heck.

sunbunny said...

I never was attached to Jenny at all, which I know makes me a minority among BtVS fans. Part of it might've been knowing her eventual fate when I first met her, but she also seemed way too aggressive with Giles from the beginning. After a later revelation, it got me wondering if she went after him to get close to Buffy.

Annie said...

I like Jenny, but I didn't know her fate in advance so my guard was down.

Re Giles liking The Bay City Rollers, I agree with you sunbunny, there is no way he was being serious. He's listening to Cream in later episodes, I don't think they would have made it into his vinyl collection... although maybe it was his guilty pleasure.

I never noticed Xander shielding Cordy before Willow that's interesting and must be deliberate foreshadowing, I did notice that sparks are starting to fly between them both though.

celticmarc said...

When people were congratulating Billy a while back on (for) completing her reviews of the "8th" season, I saw this link by Tom L in his comment:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2hnc7RQPXE

This is a trailer for season 6; I had a Lostian freaking out experience (on the positive side, of course) watching it. WOW. As they say, the best has yet to come. Totally flabbergasted.

Cup of tea, cup of tea.

sunbunny said...

Please, for the love of God, will someone explain to me the whole 'vampires can get injured/ill and take weeks/months to heal' thing of season two that doesn't recur once after this? I almost buy Dru's incapacitation. We never sees what happens to her, maybe the "idiot mob" knew a spell or something. But Spike gets crushed by an organ and it takes him weeks to heal? wth? He and Angel get injured horribly later in the series and always perk right up again after (at most) a couple of hours. Drives me insane.

Suzanne said...

I am noticing more and more inconsistencies in Buffy this time around that I never noticed before, Sunbunny. However, I am still enjoying it as much as ever, so I guess I just have to put them aside. Like you, I did wonder about the illness and how it doesn't seem to correspond to anything else we see about Vampires later. Another small inconsistency in this episode that bothered me was the way that we saw Angel in a corner trying to avoid the rising sun and then we cut to Buffy's house where it appeared no time had passed since Cordelia had opened the door for the maggot man since the previous episode. That is an example of some of the small things I am noticing lately.

As for foreshadowing, I am really noticing this time around small instances where a different side of Angel appears that give hints of what is to come. Of course, in this episode it was kind of obvious with the way he tried to "torture" Spike by taunting him about Dru. However, I also noticed it a couple of times before this more slightly.

Lamounier said...

Celticmarc, those trailers have way too many spoilers! Don't watch them. Believe me, the ride will be much cooler if you're not spoiled.

I was young when I started watching Buffy, and Latin America Fox was mean and delayed the episodes for months (a new season would begin in the US while the previous one was still ending here in Brazil), so I could never hold myself and always read spoilers. I’m a spoilerphobic today, and I do regret not keeping myself away from spoilers when I first watched Buffy. Of course, that doesn’t diminish the impact the show had in my life and how much I love it. But, still, avoid spoilers.

Sunbunny, that always bugged me too... I guess Drusilla was cursed or something, but Spike and the wheelchair? I started watching Buffy on season three, so I only catch seasons one and two later on reruns. I was surprised to see Spike on a wheelchair and for that long. It was really weird. On "The Gift", Spike falls from the top of Glory’s tower and doesn't break a bone (which, ok, it’s also kind of hard to believe in).

I usually don’t mind those inconsistencies as I tend to think the show was still building its mythology and the rules of the Buffyverse on the first two seasons. Some later inconsistencies, though, do get on my nerves.

Annie said...

Suzanne, I notice that with Angel and its a little chilling the way he can switch it on like that. Also killing humans is the natural order for Vampires, torture doesn't seem to be but it is Angelus' calling card an that knowledge is with Angel too, it seems he's got more to atone for than most.

I'd never really considered the inconsistencies with the injuries but Spike going by season 2 Spike should have been more injured than he was in Season 5 finale. I've always thought that Dru was literally beaten to a pulp in Prague, all bones broken except neck - gruesome but I just assumed it would have to have been incredibly bad for her to need such an extreme cure, some kind of curse would make sense though.

Spike's paralysis indicates his back was broken, probably badly, but he's not out of action for that long.

sunbunny said...

So I'm watching "Bad Eggs" for tomorrow and I just had to drop by and say how sad it makes me! It's one of the reasons I don't like this episode very much at all. Angel and Buffy are so happy smooching in the graveyard, but by the end of the next episode....

Here, they're kissing and they're happy and I just want to warn them that this is the happiest they will ever be together, but I can't. Because this all happened over a decade ago. And is fictional. Sadsies!!

ChrisB said...

I think one of the reasons I am not a huge fan of Bad Eggs is that it is the episode that stands between us and the next two great ones. I agree with sunbunny -- all the kissing scenes really have a poignancy about them when you know what is coming.

sunbunny said...

My obligatory point-out-obvious-foreshadowing comment:

The sex ed class in this ep was all about sex having consequences. Buffy ditched that day and missed the lesson. Also, she says "As far as punishments go, this is fairly abstract." I'm reaching, but her and Angel's punishment for sleeping together is also rather abstract.

celticmarc said...

So far, sex and cigarettes are BAD.

(And so are monsters, vampires, annoying children, evil robots, expired eggs and frat boys.)

Ah ! Widescreen starting in season 4, yay.

Josie Kafka said...

Terrible, terrible continuity: the quote that is Billie's lead for the "Bad Eggs review is:

Joyce: "A little responsibility is all I ask. Honestly, don't you ever think about anything besides boys and clothes?"
Buffy: "Saving the world from vampires?"

Given what we learn in "Normal Again" (Season Six), that comment should shock and horrify Joyce. But it doesn't.

Conclusion? I am correct in assuming that "Normal Again," like the fourth Indiana Jones movie, does not actually exist.

sunbunny said...

Joyce forgot about Buffy's institutionalization. It's Sunnydale syndrome. I think Sunnydale syndrome is also responsible for her never finding it odd that a bunch of 16 year olds spend inordinate amounts of time with a single adult man who acts all cagey and mysterious when you ask him why he has books on demonology in his library.

Lamounier said...

I'm very fond of Normal Again. Having that said, the final scene and the continuity error bit are so unnecessary.

Suzanne said...

Sunbunny, I always wonder why more people don't find it odd to see the Scoobies hanging around Giles as much as they do. Can you imagine what people would think about this in a real high school, especially in the scenes where Buffy and Giles stand really close to talk in the hallways of the school.

sunbunny said...

Yay! We're to the good stuff. Correction: to the great stuff. It's Buffy, so it's all good. :)

This time around, I'm really noticing the similarities between Buffy and Drusilla. Buffy obviously looks more like Darla, but she has more in common with Dru, particularly in this episode. Both are celebrating something (Buffy's birthday, Dru's return to health), both have prophetic dreams in this episode, and Angelus is obsessed with both. His first impulse after turning is to kill Buffy's family and friends, which is exactly what he did to Drusilla.

In Buffy's second dream, both she and Drusilla are wearing white. They are both innocent victims.

It might be totally coincidental, but Drusilla was about to become a nun before Angelus turned her. In "Triangle," Buffy visits a convent and talks about becoming a nun. It's presented as a joke, but the similarity is still there.

Annie said...

I'd been thinking about Buffy and Dru too, mostly from the pov of Angel and Angelus. Angelus plans to put Buffy through what he did to Dru, in the end then is it safe to assume that he'd have turned her? Its a shame we never really get to see Dru as she was when human and happy, only when Angelus is making her life a misery.

They really can be seen as two sides of a coin in this episode though.

Suzanne said...

Sunbunny,

What a great observation about Buffy and Dru and their similarities. I did notice the white dress on Dru this time -- not sure I ever did before. I also thought about the fact that they both have premonition dreams. However, you made the parallels even more clear. I wonder if it makes Angel's attraction to Buffy even a bit creepier than some already think it is with the over 200 year age difference? ;)

celticmarc said...

(Innocence)

LMAO when I saw Dru poking her fingers into that poor doll. Oh ! That weird fixation about eye poking !

Billie Doux said...

Re: "Innocence," I absolutely love it when Spike says that he was sick of Angel being Buffy's lap dog. :)

sunbunny said...

Chris - As far as the 'sex is bad' theme goes, I don't think Joss was being sexist. Although, it's Joss, so I give him the benefit of the doubt when dealing with sexism. When Willow loses her virginity, nothing bad happens to her because of it. But when Xander does, Faith ends up choking him in a later episode. So I don't think it's necessarily a sexist thing.

That said, Cordelia does seem to get impregnated by demons a lot on Angel. And I hadn't realized how often Buffy is threatened with rape until pucklady brought it up. The threats aren't really serious except for Spike, though.

ChrisB said...

sunbunny -- it's funny that you bring up Xander because I was going to mention that when the episode occurred. He, too, does not have the best experience when he loses his virginity.

But, and it's a big but, the situations that he and Buffy are in were vastly different. Xander barely knows Faith and, at least on some level, knows that sleeping with her is just so they can scratch an itch. Buffy, on the other hand, loved Angel, was sure that he loved her and the two of them were in a committed relationship (whatever that means when you're in high school).

The objection I have when I put my feminist cap on is that the message is bad. Even if you are 17, even if you love the guy you sleep with, even if you believe he loves you, if you make the mistake of having sex, your guy is going to turn into a monster (literally in this case). I think this is the wrong message to send out into the world, especially for a show that was originally aimed at a teenaged audience.

As I am sure I will mention when we get to season four, the second guy Buffy sleeps with ends up being a douche as well. It's not until Riley that she finally has a boyfriend who loves her and doesn't want to leave her after they have sex.

Back to season two. I understand that Joss and Co. wanted to take the story in another direction and I really like where it went. I have said before and I will say it a lot more before our re-watch is over -- Angelus is a much more interesting and fun to watch character than Angel, even on his own show. I just wish Joss could have done it in a way that did not imply that sex is bad.

Annie said...

I have to say that I'd never taken that storyline as deliberately sending a 'sex is bad' message at all. But on reflection I guess that might well play a part. However, I don't know where they could have taken the Buffy/Angel romance that wasn't difficult territory. While it might not bother many, the age gap is kind of problematic, so its unlikely the romance could have been allowed to blossom unchecked. I think the resolution is quite perfect, Buffy had a perfect night with Angel, she now knows it was perfect for him too so the relationship is not cheapened in any way. The result of this perfect night, Angel losing his soul, fractures the awkward angsty and often saccharine romance that didn't really have anywhere interesting to go and opens up a wealth of much more interesting options.

Over all I don't think there is a 'sex is bad' message from Buffy, I think it shows a broad view where some experiences are good, some bad, like it is in real life.

Jess Lynde said...

Maybe you could think of it as more of a, "Sex can have unforeseen consequences that you may not be emotionally be prepared to handle" message. That seems a worthwhile message to send to a teen audience. It isn't the sex itself that is bad, it's the potential consequences for a teenager (or anyone really), in terms of disease, pregnancy, or different ideas of what it all means emotionally. So give it some good thought before giving in to your hormones. :)

(I keep flashing to Tami Taylor's speech to Julie in S1 of Friday Night Lights.)

Suzanne said...

Jess, Tami Taylor's speech to Julie on FNL was the absolute best handling of this subject I have ever seen on TV. I thought Giles handling of it was a close second, though. What a great "dad."

ChrisB said...

Ah, the glory that is FNL. Of course Tami rocked it; she rocks everything.

Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose.

ChrisB said...

Just watched "Phases" and, as Billie says in her review, I was stuck once again by the potential romance between Buffy and Xander.

The first time I watched Buffy, I was convinced that the two of them would eventually end up together and was shocked when they did not, not even once. Does anyone know why? At this point, it seems an obvious pairing -- even for just a while.

celticmarc said...

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered :

Hum, that "soon" card from Angel...something bad is approaching (and so is the end of that second season....)

Josie Kafka said...

Upon watching "Bewitched..." I got this stuck in my head:

An anti-anti-love-spell-spell...spell.

sunbunny said...

Random question: who do you think was unluckiest in love in Buffy and Angel? I'm thinking Cordelia, although Wesley certainly gave her a run for her money.

First there was Xander, who never really committed to her in the way she did to him, then Doyle, who died, then Angel, but they never got their shit together before Connor and the PTBs intervened. Not to mention the interim guys who were either monster food, evil, or just douchebags.

Just realized: the whole Cordy/Groo relationship is a mirror image of Cordy/Xander. One person in love, the other happy enough but ultimately interested in someone else.

Suzanne said...

Sunbunny,

You might be right about Cordy. Don't forget her failed attempt with Wesley, too.

sunbunny said...

Suzanne - I did forget about that! Sometimes I have trouble reconciling BtVS Wesley with Angel Wesley. They're so different. Wes is definitely the character who changed the most over the course of the shows imho. :)

Suzanne said...

Sunbunny, I agree, and I liked the change in him a lot. He became one of the best characters out of a character that was very one dimensional and only played for laughs.

ChrisB said...

I never really noticed it before, but when Joyce and Giles are talking in the hospital, there is a certain spark. Foreshadowing?

ChrisB said...

Sorry -- the comment above refers to "Killed By Death." Lack of sleep makes me loopy.

ChrisB said...

Speaking of foreshadowing, Giles says to Willow in "Killed By Death," "Death and disease are things -- possibly the only things -- that Buffy cannot fight."

sunbunny said...

"I Only Have Eyes for You"

Xander joking suggests the Scoobies "nuke the school."

On the chalkboard behind Willow is a list of kids getting detention. Someone named "Tara" appears there. Yes, I know our Tara didn't go to SHS...still, cute right?

ChrisB said...

It occurred to me during the first part of "Becoming" how similar human Angel and Angelus are. Much more so than human angel and vampire Angel.

Now, consider human William and Spike. Although Spike arguably is much less like his human self as a vampire, the roots of the poet with the romantic soul never go too far away. First is his love for Dru, then Buffy.

This is something I am going to watch as the series progresses.

Josie Kafka said...

"You can become someone. A person. Someone to be counted."

Billie emphasized this quote in her review, and I like to think--with 20/20 hindsight--that Whistler is actually alluding to the Shanshu prophecy. That the events in "Becoming" are one part of that. And, of course, yet another example of how prophecies always tend to go sideways.

sunbunny said...

It makes me smile in "Becoming" when Buffy attempts to stake her first vamp and misses the heart. I love the scene in "Lessons" when she tries to comfort Dawn about missing the heart. So cute.

I always confuse the vampbacks in "Becoming" with those of "The Prodigal." I prefer the latter. We get to see Darla's side of the story and a pre-Joan Holloway Christina Hendricks. So fun.

Chris - Spike's always all about the ladies. :) I like to think of Angel as being the guy Liam would've turned into if he had had enough time to grow up and mature past his eighteenth century frat boy phase.

Annie said...

I'm really not convinced that Liam would have been likely to develop like Angel in his lifetime had he not been turned. I know I'm maybe being hard on him but he was cursed in 1898 and didn't seem to do much other than brood for the next 90 years and it took Whistler and the sight of Buffy to put him on a path to redemption.

I don't think being good would have come easy to Liam, I don't think he was an evil man, he was weak however and this trait is evident in Angel also, but he strives to overcome it and eventually (kind of) gets there.