Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Anne

Buffy: "You wanna see my impression of Gandhi?"
Lily: "Gandhi?"
Buffy: "Well, you know, if he was really pissed off."

Buffy, understandably depressed after killing her boyfriend and getting expelled from high school on the same day, runs away and finds that being a waitress in a dive isn't anywhere near the fun it is cracked up to be. But even her bouts of depression plus her guilty nightmares about killing Angel can't keep her from dashing to the rescue of a seriously intelligence-challenged girl who makes her living giving blood.

Meanwhile, back in Sunnydale, the Slayerettes make several valiant attempts to fill the Slayer's shoes, with predictable results. I liked the thing about the mission statement, but that may only be funny if you've actually sat in a meeting room for hours trying to create one with a group of completely unenthusiastic co-workers.

Buffy's mother dumps on Giles; it is obvious that she is jealous of Buffy's relationship with him. Giles certainly doesn't need to feel worse than he already does. I know she's upset about Buffy running away, but you'd think Joyce would be glad that her daughter is a superhero instead of a juvenile delinquent.

Giles tells Joyce that Buffy is extremely capable, and he's right -- she is. She got a job and a place to live, and she even continued to help others. Buffy is much more capable and resilient than Lily, who starts here as the kind of girl who ends up joining cults. Because of Buffy's example, Lily pushes Ken off the platform, a very courageous act under the circumstances. She takes Buffy's name, job, apartment, uniform, and she acquires hope; it is implied that she will now be able to take care of herself.

This episode stayed firmly on the serious side; in fact, the only time I laughed out loud was when Xander and Cordy made a vampire sandwich of themselves.

Bits and pieces:

-- Like last year, summer has passed during the series hiatus; school starts "tomorrow."

-- Despite being dead, Angel (David Boreanaz) is still in the cast. Angel appears only in Buffy's dreams in this episode. Interestingly enough, in bright sunshine.

-- Seth Green (Oz) is now in the cast, and Oz, who was a senior last year, has been left back. Larry (Larry Bagby III) was also a senior last year, so he must be repeating his senior year as well.

-- The character Lily appeared in "Lie to Me" as Chanterelle, a member of the cult that worshiped vampires.

-- Although it is never mentioned what city Buffy is in, we learn in a much later season that it was Los Angeles.

-- Anne is Buffy's middle name.

-- I'm not a fan of fight scenes, but the one on the platform in the hell dimension was outstanding. On the platform, there's a winged human figure that we only see up to the neck; there are glimpses of its feet during the fight, making it look like a crucifix.

-- In this season's hair report, Willow's is now shoulder-length, and Buffy's has light streaks in front.

Quotes:

"I'm Buffy, the vampire slayer. And you are?" I believe this is the first time she actually says this in an episode.

Willow: "How was your summer?"
Cordelia: "Oh, I can't believe you brought that up. Las Palmas was the nightmare resort. They order you around and make you have organized 'fun', and I used sarcastic quote marks. Plus the fact there are cockroaches in Mexico big enough to own property. It was all about dread. How was your summer?"

Oz: "Well, it's sort of a funny story. You remember when I didn't graduate?"
Willow: "Well, I know you had a lot of incompletes, but that's what summer school was for."
Oz: "Yeah. Well, you remember when I didn't go?"

Larry: "This is our year, I'm telling you. Best football season ever. I'm so in shape, I'm a rock. It's all about egg whites. If we can focus, keep discipline, and not have quite as many mysterious deaths, Sunnydale is gonna rule!"

Xander: "Yeah, and the slaying isn't getting any easier, either."
Oz: "I don't know. I think we're kind of getting a rhythm down."
Xander: "We're losing half the vamps."
Oz: "Yeah, but... rhythmically."

Buffy: "This'll probably go faster if we split up."
Lily: "Can I come with you?"
Buffy: "Okay, where did I lose you on the whole splitting up thing?"

This one was disappointing after such a fabulous second season ender. Two out of four stakes,

Billie

[P.S. This was actually the first Buffy episode I ever reviewed. Seasons one and two I did later in the run of the series (but long before it ended), when they finally let us have reruns. No DVDs back then. It was the olden days.]
---
Billie Doux reviewed all of Buffy and Angel, so she knows the plural of apocalypse.

18 comments:

Mark Greig said...

I've never been keen on this one. With the exception of 'When She Was Bad' I always find Buffy season openers underwhelming.

QRS said...

I take it you haven't gotten to Season 6 yet >:)
(That is the devil-horn smile, right?)

Billie Doux said...

QRS, The reviews starting with this episode were written while the show was airing. So no. :) Even if they were, I'd do my best to keep spoilers out of the reviews. A lot of readers have told us that when they try a classic show that we've reviewed, they read along.

Billie Doux said...

BUFFY RE-WATCH comments begin here! Remember, no spoilers for future episodes. Want to talk spoilers and foreshadowing? Post them here.

Jane said...

Ok, so this was kind of boring. I was very tempted to fast forward through lots of it. I laughed at the Xander & Cordelia vampire sandwich too. It was that great combo of awww & ewww. By the way, why doesn't anybody sneeze or cough when a vamp is dusted?

Annie said...

I like this episode, Buffy's attitude is fun to watch, especially the conversation with the nurse when she breaks into the blood bank.
Its also nice to meet Chanterelle/Lily again, and I like that at the end of the episode things are looking up for her.

Re-vamped theme tune and Seth Green in the opening credits – nice. I love the scene with Willow and Oz bartering about how Willow should view his repeating a year.

sunbunny said...

I've never disliked this episode, but I don't think I've ever liked this episode as much as I did this time around.

"I'm Buffy, the vampire slayer" is one of the great girl power moments of the series (also including Buffy grabbing the sword in "Becoming Part 2," Buffy with the rocket launcher in "Innocence," and that speech that makes me cry from the finale)

Cordelia and Xander demonstrate why they are such a terrible couple. They're only kept together with adrenaline and hormones. In the real world, the normal world, outside fighting demons, they do not get along. At all. They're hilarious together, but this doesn't feel healthy.

drnanamom said...

I liked this episode for two reasons - the social commentary and Buffy finding herself again. I agree with sunbunny, that Buffy naming herself is a power moment. She realizes, as she lectured Lily, that she can't avoid facing her life and the losses in it. The other part I liked was the comment on how we treat street youth. Our society sees them as disposable so is it any wonder that a creep like "Ken" would find a use for them. I only wish Buffy had brought more of them back with her. I think they also helped Buffy to realize that she had friends and family who cared for her unlike the poor kids that had been turned into slaves. I was really glad to see Lily start to stand on her own two feet. @Jane - great point about the dust - what if you had an allergy to vampire dust? Could you be a vampire slayer if you had asthma?

a.m. said...

I thought about the dust too! I was really hoping Cordy would go "eww there's vampire in my mouth" and then start kissing Xander again...Alas, it wasn't meant to be:)

It was an okay episode, but I'm really waiting for the Buffy Willow reunion. Joyce is still irritating me, but I have mother/daughter issues so I could be projecting.

Suzanne said...

I didn't have time to rewatch this one, but I had rewatched it fairly recently. I remember liking it. It is definitely not as humorous as some others and has a different vibe to it. I find that many of the season openers with this show are like that. This might have been Joss's way of keeping the series fresh. I am looking forward to a lot more greatness to come.

rebecca_s921 said...

I always have a soft spot for this episode, even if it doesn't match the wrenching emotional intensity of "Becoming part 2." The opening misdirect of Willow standing over the grave saying "That's right big boy, come and get it" just puts a smile on my face. Then there's the long continuous shot of first day of school, which always made me wonder how long it took to set up and how many time they had to do it to get it just right.

I like the portrayal of Buffy being self sufficient in spite of all her losses. I love the character continuity of Chantarelle / Lily - even secondary characters on this show got development. It's heartwarming to see that in addition to Buffy's self realization and empowerment, her rescuing Lilly also inspired Lily to start seeking a better life.

The fight in Hell dimension is very well done. I don't have a problem with Buffy not saving more people. In my mental editorial, if the slaves didn't notice the commotion and figure out a way to escape with Buffy killing demon guards left and right, I'm not sure they have the power or desire to escape in the first place.

Buffy's impression of Ghandi : how awesome is that? :-)

Miss Courtney said...

Joyce doesn't really need to feel jealous. You only have one mom, and she is the one you turn to when you really need someone, which is shown in the ending scene. Buffy could have gone to Giles first, but she chose to go home.

I actually love the opening scene with the vamp rising and glimpsing legs, which you can only assume will be Buffy. Not in this universe, though, there will always be a surprise. My favorite part shows Oz throwing a stake and missing the vamp by a mile. "That never works." Then, the "past tense rule" breakage is bitter sweet.

I have to mention Giles, too, because (well) he's my favorite. He never gives up hope that Buffy can be recovered. He never stops looking for her. We see the library bustling for the first time, but he doesn't hesitate to walk away from it on the smallest chance that this lead will have results.

I'd give it one more stake on the rating scale. Plus, I love everyone's new do's! Oh, and Billie, "Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod" -- be still my heart.

pucklady said...

Newbie report:

Willow: Come and get it big boy.

(Um, Willow ... Evil Overlord rule number 6?)

Loved Oz's stake toss fail.

And it's Rhonda the Immortal Waitress

Holy crap! There are students in the library! What are they doing in the library, don't they know all the books are off-limits? In fact, the whole room is The Restricted Zone. I never even knew it had a check-out counter.

I read the name of that restaurant as "Hell's Kitchen". I wonder if that was the point?

Actually, I liked this one quite a bit. I liked the dispair being reborn into determination while we watched, and yes, it was the recognition that she was Buffy the Vampire Slayer that brought her out of her funk. Kendra knew who she was, get with the program Buff. Quit whining and maybe I might even like you.

But again, the best scenes were when Buffy was off-screen. The opening vamp battle was wonderful.

Buffy's fight went on too long. I was playing solitaire while it went on. That cage coming down on the monster's foot looked ugly.

Chanterelle/Lily/Anne isn't dead. No limerick for you.

Bea said...

I quite like the feel of this episode, as well as the theme, but I still find it kind of boring. Oh, well.

It is season 3, though, which is actually my favorite Buffy season, so yey! Can't wait to re-watch!

ChrisB said...

I'm never a real fan of the season openers and this one is a good example. It's hard to invest in a LA story when we all know that Buffy will go back to Sunnydale soon.

What struck me this time was the scene on the beach between Angel and Buffy. There is an almost identical version in Alias. The situation is similar and the words are similar. JJ Abrams has made no secret of the fact that he is a Buffy fan. Guess he chose his homage...

intp said...

It's interesting. This is one of the first episodes I ever watched (recorded it to VCR way back when) and I thought it was terrific. I've seen it so many times that I have, sadly, memorized most of the dialogue. Yet, it seems to be a relatively unpopular episode.

I think what I liked so much about it was the somber, contemplative tone (I like somber, as long as it's contemplative); and the message Buffy learns here: when you're down and out, others will just try to take advantage of you (Ken), so you really are better off with your real friends and family (especially the latter).

That's part of the reason I hated the second episode so much. Unlike "When She Was Bad", where the Scoobies forgive Buffy's bad behavior really, really easily (almost too easily), there they act like total douches to her.

magritte said...

I like this episode. I'm a Buffy virgin on my first go-round and I felt like Buffy's reaction to everything that happened in seasn 2 was realistic. And I think when she names herself the Vampire Slayer, it's not only reclaiming her identity but gives her the impetus to go home. I also liked Lily finding the courage to push the big bad over the railing.

Also, totally agree with intp's comment on the following episode and "When She Was Bad".

Bruce Burns said...

I love BTVS and this episode too, but I'm nitpicky and I have always had a problem with the time passage aspect in the hell dimension. 15 mins there would be about 1 year and 3 months on Earth. Even if all the action took place in 15 mins at least a year + would have passed and Buffy should have missed her entire Senior year. The writers should not have been so loose with the time differential.