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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Innocence

Angel: "She made me feel like a human being. That's not the kind of thing you just forgive."

Anyone who's ever been stalked by an ex or has slept with someone and had them change on them can identify with this episode, supernatural elements or not. We were all so accustomed to Angel being a warm and cuddly crime-fighting vampire, always so sweet and protective and romantic; having him change the way he did, so completely, was such a shock. When he first turned, having him bite that woman and then blow out her cigarette smoke was wild. "The pain is gone. I feel just fine." And having the Judge confirm it later was excellent writing; we know for sure that he's turned completely, and there's no going back.

David Boreanaz is much more impressive as Angelus than as Angel. I noticed mostly how he goes for a much lighter, more whimsical tone; good Angel is usually grim and haunted, but Angelus is playful, enthusiastic, and smiles all the time. Okay, smirks. Whatever – it works. What really makes this change give me the shudders is that even though he has changed completely, he's still obsessed with Buffy. That incredible and vicious scene in Angel's room where he deliberately lets her think that her inexperience disappointed him is just exceptional.

The resolution of the Judge subplot using Xander's "military experience" was very well done. The mall scenes at the end were great ("What's that do?"), and it was satisfying and appropriate to have Buffy hit Angel where it would hurt the most.

"Surprise" and "Innocence" together are outstanding, and mark a major turning point in the series. When I saw this episode for the first time, I was stunned by the enormity of the plot twist, and the chances that the writers were taking. I have since heard many other fans say that these two episodes were what hooked them on the show.

Bits and pieces:

— Angelus, Drusilla and Spike make a fascinating and unique love triangle; there is already a lot of tension here between Angelus and Spike.

— Giles shows his extreme loyalty to Buffy by almost immediately rejecting Jenny. He also shows remarkable sensitivity toward Buffy in the car.

— "The we-hate-Cordelia club of which you are the treasurer." Willow gets her heart broken, too, seeing Xander kiss Cordelia. At least she is finally getting somewhere with Oz. "Willow kissage."

— Loved Angel kissing Spike on the forehead.

— Angel's sheets are red, which seems to be every vamp's favorite color.

— Obligatory dog reference: Spike to Angel: "It made me sick to my stomach seeing you as the Slayer's lap dog."

— Note from later: I can't remember where, but Joss Whedon says at some point that "you gotta have a rocket launcher". Every time I see a rocket launcher in a movie or TV show now, I think about that and about Buffy with the rocket launcher in this episode.


Drusilla: "I'm naming all the stars."
Spike: "You can't see the stars, love. That's the ceiling. Also, it's day."

Xander: "Sorry I snapped at you before."
Cordelia: "Well, I'm reeling from that new experience."

Xander: "Whoa. Whoa! I... I think I'm having a thought. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's a thought. Now I'm having a plan. (The lights go out.) Now I'm having a wiggins."

Cordelia: "So, does looking at guns really make girls wanna have sex? That's scary."
Xander: "Yeah, I guess."
Cordelia: "Well, does looking at guns make you wanna have sex?"
Xander: "I'm seventeen. Looking at linoleum makes me wanna have sex."

Oz: "So, do you guys steal weapons from the Army a lot?"
Willow: "Well, we don't have cable, so we have to make our own fun."

Oz: "Sometimes when I'm sitting in class... You know, I'm not thinking about class, 'cause that would never happen. I think about kissing you. And it's like everything stops. It's like, it's like freeze frame. Willow kissage."

Five out of four stakes. One of the best episodes in the series, as far as I'm concerned,

Billie Doux reviewed all of Buffy and Angel, so she knows the plural of apocalypse.


  1. David Boreanaz really shines as Angelus. He can be funny and scary at the same time, being so cruel. I remember this episode was when I really thought his acting skills were more remarkable than his looks. Because, let's face it, Angel is a great character, but until this point he was just eye candy with an impressive backstory.

  2. You always know you're in for something special when Joss is both writing and directing and 'Innocence' does not disappoint. Were it not for 'Passion' this would be my favourite episode of season two.

    Boreanaz really knocks it out of the park as Angelus. Of all the Big Bads I think he's the best simply because all he wanted to do was make Buffy suffer.

  3. I have (finally!) started watching Buffy after reading this site for years (since Alias). These last 2 episodes (Surprise and Innocence) along with "Passion" are what finally got me hooked. I watched Season 1 here and there when I had the time...but now I find myself wasting (? depends on your perspective) a day away watching episode after episode. Knowing (very generally speaking) what is to come with Buffy and Spike - I had no idea how the character (Spike) started on the show. Now that I am seeing it, I can't wait to find out how it all develops. And (unfortunately because I already have too much on my plate) I definitely have to add an Angel watch after I am done with this!
    Although now that I have seen SMG in Buffy, I am not so interested in Ringer anymore - honestly it is not doing her justice.

  4. For someone as vehemently feminist as Joss Whedon, I was shocked the first time I saw this episode and its message -- if you have sex as a young woman, your boyfriend is going to turn into (literally, in this case) a monster. Yes, it happens, but not always. That aspect of this episode has always really, really bothered me.

    But, when I get over myself and take off my own feminist cap, I love it. David Boreanaz is phenomenal as Angelus and the scene with Buffy in house is so cold (vicious is a good word, Billie), it makes me shiver.

    There are so many good moments aside from this main story as well. Willow's face when Oz tells her that he won't kiss her until she is ready to kiss him? Well done Alyson Hannigan -- you can see Willow fall in love with the guy. And, I love Xander's constant readiness to jump into danger for those he loves. What a good guy!

    But, the part that always gets me is the end. Giles being so lovely and sweet to Buffy in the car followed up by the wonderful scene with Joyce. That final moment, when Buffy tells her mother that she "grew up," but then puts her head on her mother's chest makes me cry every time I watch it. I'm welling up typing this...

    Agree that it's not the best of the second season, but it is certainly in the top ten of all time.

  5. This is the episode after which I started the Buffy marathon during my first watch. Until now it was max one episode a day... Its just so... heartbreaking.

    Couple of quotes:

    SPIKE: What's Big Blue up to anyway? He just sits there.
    JUDGE:I am preparing.
    SPIKE:Yeah. It's interesting to me that 'preparing' looks a great bit like sitting on your ass. When do we destroy the world already?

    WILLOW:My God, you people are all... Well, I'm upset, and I can't think of a mean word right now, but that's what you are, and we're going to the factory!

    How cute are Oz and Willow!!!

  6. Yeah! The Scoobies have a van:)

    I know, a lot more momentous things happened in this episode, but I got so excited when Willow said, "Oz has a van."

    I knew that Buffy wasn't actually going to slay Angel (although I don't know if I would have been so confident if I was watching this back when it originally aired) but I'm glad she kicked his ass anyway! I haven't pitied Buffy before, but that conversation in Angel's apartment was beyond dreadful. I'm glad Jenny told her that what caused him to lose his soul was having one moment of pure happiness. I hope she gets some solace from that...eventually, after the pain goes away.

    I hated that uncle whatshisname died, though. He was so frightening! I was looking forward to him showing up again...

    I loved all the Angel/Dru/Spike scenes but the scene with Spike listening in from behind the pillar was really interesting...I don't know why it stood out to me, but there seemed to be some foreshadowing in it. Plus, I bet he was really wishing that Buffy would kill Angel. Dru's freak out when the Judge exploded was awesome! I love how damaged she is, but it does make me a little nervous that Angel's goal is to again kill all of the loved ones/friends of the girl he's obsessed with...I almost screamed at the TV when Willow was walking towards him.

    Well Joss's hooks are definitely in and I'm struggling to maintain my tenuous hold on the brakes...but I love the interaction of the rewatch, so I'm holding...for now:)

  7. I wrote this as I was watching the episode and I repeat some of what I said before, so apologies in advance. I guess the things I say twice I really mean!

    The title of this episode is perfect. Each of the Scoobies loses some degree of innocence and each of them grows up a bit. I’ve never much liked the lesson that Joss was teaching in this episode, but I understand that it works for the story. Over time, I have moved beyond my irritation.

    Obviously, this episode is about Buffy losing her virginity, but it is also her emotional innocence that is taken from her. The scene with Buffy and Angel in his apartment always upsets me. To have the man with whom she has finally had sex turn, and turn so harshly, is a hard lesson to learn. Their fight in the mall is epic and I love the moment when she kicks him.

    Willow grows up a bit as well. By catching Xander and Cordelia, Willow now must finally face the fact that Xander does not love her and, most likely, never will. She must accept that the boy on whom she has had a crush for years is not going to feel the same way and she must move on to someone who will love her.

    Luckily, a great guy is just waiting for her to discover that he is there. I love the scene in the van. Willow, feeling rejected and sad, wants Oz to kiss her, but he sees through her. In one of the most wonderful moments in all of this show, we watch as Willow realizes how great this guy is and basically falls in love with him in front of our eyes.

    The fact is that Xander does love Willow, very much, just not romantically. He doesn’t hesitate to step up and save her from Angel and he knows that taking Cordelia to the depot will upset his friend. We see him grow up a bit as well. He does what has to be done and handles it in a very emotionally adult way.

    Even Giles, who is mature to the point of stuffiness, loses some of his illusions. I understand that it is never easy for a father to accept the fact that his daughter has become sexually active. Giles not only has to accept that his slayer is growing up, he must do so at the same time that he realizes how badly Jenny has betrayed them all. It is to his credit that he never wavers from his support of Buffy and he never “wags his finger” at her.

    I love the two scenes at the end with Buffy and her “parents” and they always make me cry. Giles is simply wonderful with her. And Joyce, who on some level knows that something is very wrong, lets it go and just simply hugs her daughter. It doesn’t get much better than that.

    Some other random thoughts. I agree completely that Boreanaz comes into his own as Angelus. While I love Angel and think he adds a lot to the show. Angelus is much more fun to watch and, I would guess, probably more fun to act. Finally, Buffy with a rocket launcher. Fantastic!!!

  8. When I finished watching this episode this time, I really thought it might be the best one of the series. There are so many great ones, but this one really has it all. The bad guys are awesome, and they are also so three dimensional (except the Judge). It is fascinating to see the conflict that is beginning to arise between Angel and Spike over Dru. You even get the sense it goes back further between them.

    The moment when Angel breaks Buffy's heart is well written and gut wrenching. I didn't take it as a warning to all girls that this will happen when you lose your virginity, but as an example of how it sometimes happens. Anyone who has had a partner act like Angel does after intimacy, even if it isn't after the first time, knows how awful a moment like that can be. Joss captured it perfectly.

    Of course, Buffy's reaction is the best. At first, she acts as we would expect, but my favorite part is when Giles says, "He is trying to make it hard for you." And Buffy replies, "He is only making it easier." I loved how strong she was here and then later with her bazooka and her incredible kick to the groin.

    It is so great that in an episode with such a strong Buffy/ Angel story, Joss still included such great stories for Willow, Xander, and Giles. Willow's heartbreak was almost as powerful as Buffy's, but then she ended up with the sweetest, most wonderful guy ever. Can you tell how much I adore Oz for Willow? Their scene in the van is the best.

    Xander's suspicion of Angel finally pays off when he turns around in the hall and comes back. He shows a lot of courage in this episode and even his scenes with Cordy seem to have become more serious, less played for laughs.

    Giles turning on Jenny and talking to Buffy in the car were such great moments. I love the kind of father figure he has become for her. The ending scene with Joyce was also very touching.

    This episode is amazing in every way. It hits all the right notes!

  9. In which we meet Angelus and his leather pants. Angel, now afflicted with sexually transmitted soullessness, has reverted to Angelus. And omg, I forgot how much I love him.

    Honestly, I hadn't seen this episode in so long, I forgot how perfect it is. It seems so much longer than a typical episode. It's amazing how much there was time for; every character gets at least a moment to shine. Xander senses Angel's change first (logical, as he never liked Angel) and gets to be the badass and save Willow. Willow figures out Buffy's secret first and actually tells Giles to shut up. Giles was the perfect sorta daddy to his little girl. And Buffy with the rocket launcher?! I think that's one of everyone's favorite BtVS moments, yes?

  10. OMG.

    Another one written and directed by Joss, huh. SMG shines again, and even MORE than the previous ep. Wow.

    (imdb : OK, she won a few awards for her portrayal in this show; she deserves them, good)

    Well, the main theme of the day is "broken hearts".

    I'll continue later on; I haven't read your review yet, nor the comments. 2/3 and 3/3 of the fun.

  11. I totally agree with you Billie. The changed Angel is terrifying. (Gee whiz, kudos now for Mister Boreanaz !)

    Also, as you said, these 2 episodes were the turning point for a lot of people. If my love for these characters is already here today, as you already know, well, now, it is going to a new level.

    Every time a crazy wit comes from Xander's mouth, I just want to hug Nicholas Brendon ! So far, most of the best lines comes from his character. Buffian bliss.

    I was also very taken by...Willow's being upset at Xander. OH ! oh ! Giles' clock on the wall: the seconds hand is NOT moving. Love these details.

    "Ya baby; I'm back !" "Giles ! shut up !" "...wear something trashy...er." "I got older..." (this one is simple AND brilliant) (and I can relate personally and it's not my birthday...)

    And the hooker (with a good heart?) and the gypsy uncle are other proofs that smoking is bad.....

    You gave it a 5; I rest my case too. Brilliant.

  12. ChrisB, excellent comment.

    On the theme on the rocket launcher, a different kind of classic :


  13. "sexually transmitted soullessness"

    Joss should spend some time on this site....

  14. This was an even better follow-up to Surprise than I had hoped for.

    Angel's transformation made me wince for Buffy, but it really does things for the story possibilities. Plus - leather pants!

    I think the thing that is really starting to please me to watch is this great way Buffy and Willow seem to be on two very different journeys but they are really following the same path. Buffy has this larger-than-life life with mortal danger and stunning heartbreak. Willow is experiencing the same hopes and hurts as Buffy and it give me this kind of reciprocal appreciation for each of them. It makes super strong Buffy more relatable and everyday girl Willow more epic. Very cool.

  15. STS really is a tragic disease. Unfortunately it's more damaging to those who haven't contracted it...

  16. Great episode, great comments. I felt awful for Buffy and think that Joss has perfectly captured the abusive boyfriend who wants to destroy what he "loves" from the inside out. I love that Buffy doesn't crumble even though she is in pain.

  17. Wow. I'd completely forgotten how sad I get watching this episode. I got all weepy three different times.

    ChrisB, as I rewatched this I noticed that Joss contrasts Angel's behavior with really exemplary behavior from the other men: Xander is honest with Cordelia about sex (even though he's been running a long, sad con on Willow--but that's complicated), Oz is the most stand-up awesome guy in the world, and Giles says the perfect thing.

    In other words, I think Joss is aware that he might be taking the "monsters-as-metaphor" thing a bit too far, and he counters the evil-boyfriend bit with lots of great examples of men acting with honor and bravery. Even Xander taking the cross from Jenny, preparing to fight Angelus, was noble. (And showed how ambivalent Jenny is about "the kids," as she calls them.)

    In other observations: I love Drusilla swimming in the air as she jumps away from the Judge.

  18. This episode is so amazing, it made me forget the minor quibble that it seemed way too easy for Xander to steal a rocket launcher from an army base. Beside, the visual of Buffy firing said rocket launcher at the Judge was simply too cool and entirely appropriate for the story to make me mind it too much.

    "It's not justice we serve, it is vengeance."

    By ripping Angel's soul away when he experiences happiness, it'd create carnage as Angelus will immediately go after those he love the most. I think the gypsy probably planned to curse him again after he's wreaked additional havoc to add to his suffering and guilt. If that's the case, it made the gypsies very cold blooded, with no regard to others' lives. Unfortunately the ensouling ritual is lost.

    "Lay low for a night. I guarantee you by the time you go public she won't be anything resembling a threat."

    I'm glad no scoobies were seriously injured or harmed during the making of this episode. But when Angelus said that, I immediately thought how wrong he was, as I thought Buffy is way stronger than that. The murder of uncle Enyos only built her resolve. I also started thinking about all the big bads in the series that'd underestimated our plucky heroine. It's part of the reason I love this character and the series so much.

    "Come on, Buffy. It's not like I've never been there before."

    The first time I watched this exchange, it's meaning flew over my head. Chalk it up to a sheltered upbringing. It's on repeat viewing that I realized its malice. That kick to the groin is so very well deserved.

    "I might die from you. Does that get me any points?"

    I really didn't like Xander here. I enjoy the comedy of him and Cordelia together, but when Willow caught them kissing, he immediately protested that he was "just kissing, it doesn't mean that much." Willow is so right that he has "gross emotional problems." Then he saved Willow from Angelus and made me like him again.

  19. The fam is out of town and I was so distracted by re-watch I forgot to feed the cat. Having major guilt now.

    I clapped when Angelus fed off the smoker and exhaled. Brilliant! The dark tone is tempered with humor in the perfect proportion. The men steal the show with great dialogue from Angel, Oz and especially Giles. Although my favorite is "In my fantasy YOU are kissing Me." It only gets better from here. Standing ovation.

  20. Newbie report:

    There was a lot to like in this episode.

    Awesome Xander was awesome. But I think he needs more self-confidence. "I think I'm having an idea. I know I'm having an idea. I think I'm having a plan." He reminds me of the Cowardly Lion. The Wizard said something like "men no braver than you do heroic things. The only thing they have that you don't is a medal." Xander needs to find a Wizard of Oz. Wait! We have one! What would our Wizard give Xander for self-confidence?

    I liked that when Angelus bit the streetwalker, he didn't come up with his mouth dripping blood, but blew out a breath of smoke. Yay, a vampire with table manners! And the smoke was much more effective anyway.

    In the theater, when The Judge link-zapped everyone there, as soon as he got hit with the arrow, everyone was fine? That confused me. I would think they'd at least drop to the floor.

    I loved it when Buffy raised up the rocket launcher and Angel and Dru beat feet to get out of the way. And yay for David for doing his own stunts.

    Vamps don't seem to feel pain, but they don't have dead nuts? Weird.

    And, since you asked so nicely ...

    The Judge was the Biggest Bad yet
    As big as a Bad oughta get
    It took a bazooka
    To waste that palooka
    And Buffy not breaking a sweat

  21. Josie -- that is an excellent point about the other guys in the episode. They all really do shine.

    pucklady -- that is your best yet! LOL

  22. pucklady - I hope this doesn't count as a spoiler, but Xander devaluing himself/being devalued by others is a recurring theme in the series. It's addressed directly several times. Don't want to say more due to the risk of spoilage...

    Oh and DB does a lot of his own stunts. :)

  23. I agree with everyone that this is an excellent episode and overall one of the best.
    DB is excellent as Angelus and so much more interesting than Angel (although I have to say that I think DB is excellent as Angel too, only Angel is not as interesting to watch)

    There are so many stand out scenes in the episode as demonstrated by all the comments. My favourite is the end scene with Buffy and Joyce, it really shows the impact the events have had on Buffy, her coming of age as a women went from magical to ,literally, soul destroying, she's so forlorn, all Joyce can do is be there. Its very touching.

  24. Oh my, picture this :

    Buffy as Dorothy
    Xander as the tin man
    Oz as a little (they all are) flying monkey with a red outfit (first bonus)
    Willow as the scarecrow
    Giles as the Wizard
    Jenny as the W W of the W (ouch, sorry, but you hair fits the character)
    Cordelia as a porcelain doll (second bonus)

  25. And I completely forgot the darn lion !

    Dru ? Spike ? Angel ? I'm out of inspiration, sorry.

  26. pucklady, vampires do feel pain, they just have more tolerance for it.

    Biologically speaking, though, nothing about the dead/alive thing makes sense. Joss addressed the issue once, answering a question about how vampires shouldn’t be able to have sex. And I recall the show making a joke on vampire's lack of blood circulation (hope that doesn’t count as spoiler).

  27. This is going to be a long comment, so I'm going to apologize in advance and I'm going to split it up into multiple comments.
    Wow! I definitely did not see that coming. This was a very good episode and I was impressed that they surprised me several times. However, I can't give it a completely glowing review, because there were some major problems with it. And when I say problems, I mean they pulled me completely out of the story and annoyed me.
    First of all, while I can get past Xander knowing military protocol and the layout of a base he was NEVER stationed in just because he was turned into his costume in Halloween makes no logical sense, I can't believe he was able to talk a guard into letting him walk into an armory just to impress the girl he was with. Are they kidding? I couldn't see that happening if the most advanced weapon in there was a bow and arrow, but a rocket launcher? Come on! I don't claim to be the smartest guy here, but I'm never going to buy that.
    And I know some people felt it was worth it just to have the image of Buffy with the rocket launcher, but it had the opposite effect on me. Seeing her with the rocket launcher just reminded me of the absurdity of that aforementioned scene all over again, so it was like one of those nightmares where you keep seeing the same awful scene play out over and over again.
    And that mall scene was really stupid, too. The Judge walked in and zapped the old guy into ash and no one batted an eye. No one in the whole mall noticed? Then he starts zapping everyone and a tiny little arrow stops him (why?) and everyone just stands there looking confused. So, a giant, blue, monster-looking dude with horns disintegrates one guy and attacks everyone else, and it's just another day in Sunnydale, but a girl shows up with a rocket launcher and NOW it's time to run? And to top that off, she defeats him with one shot from that rocket launcher! This is the guy that they spent all of last episode dreading. They set him up as an unstoppable villain and spent the entire episode trying to prevent him from being reassembled. And when they found out he was active, they gave us one of those "everyone-stare-at-each-other-because-we-don't-know-what-to-do" scenes. But when they face him, they destroy him with one shot from a weapon that was forged, when we were told repeatedly that he cannot be killed by any weapon forged! I know he's not dead, just disassembled, but really all I saw in that scene was the writers realizing they had written themselves into a corner and this was the best they could come up with. How can I take any villain in this show seriously when even Buffy called him a smurf?
    I apologize if I sound overly critical or harsh. Believe it or not, I liked most of the rest of this episode, but those things really got to me. I'll try to say what I liked now.

  28. I have newfound respect for David Boreanaz. He is a lot more talented than I would have given him credit for up to this point. He played such a different character in this episode that I had a hard time seeing him as the same guy. (The negative side of this is that I have to agree with my daughter when she said Buffy must be really stupid to not realize there was something more to it when he was acting in such a different way in that bedroom scene.)
    I really liked the scene with Giles and Buffy in the car at the end of the episode where he just supports her and doesn't wag his finger at her. And I almost welled up when Buffy was crying alone in her bed. Unfortunately, I still find Buffy herself the least interesting character on her own show. I enjoy Oz and Willow together and I liked the scene where he explains why he's not going to kiss her right then. And I liked the way Willow smiled after he left the car, like she was realizing how great he was (although I'm not going to call it love; again she doesn't know him well enough to love him). And I enjoy Xander and Cordelia together, even though I don't really see it.
    And even though I've said multiple times that I like Jenny and I am sad that they appear to be either writing her into a villain or writing her out of the show completely, I did really like that Giles was immediately on Buffy's side and told Jenny to get out after Buffy did.
    One last thing, I forgot to mention this in the comments from the previous episode, but I loved seeing Vincent Schiavelli here. He has been in some great, memorable roles, and he was always underappreciated because people didn't really know his name. They just knew him as that sad-faced guy. (At the risk of sounding offensive, I will admit that when I was a very young child, his face frightened me. I hope that isn't offensive, but what can I say? I was a kid.) I did learn as I grew older, though, how enormously talented he was. Even though I never met him, I also heard he was one of the nicest guys ever. I was sad when he died in 2005. I first saw him in Taxi, but my favorite of his roles was when he was the subway ghost in Ghost.
    I apologize for writing such a long comment. I thought of trying to cut out some extraneous sentences, but then I thought this was what this forum was for in the first place. Plus, I'm really curious to know your thoughts on my thoughts. :)

  29. I also forgot to mention that I'm enjoying the new dynamic between Dru, Spike, and Angelus. I am looking forward to seeing where this goes. I hope they aren't going to take Angel back to where he was anytime soon, because he is much more interesting as a villain than he was as a brooding love interest.

  30. JBA, much agreement to much of what you said. I think you might be expecting too much of stuff like the Judge and the Army stuff. Again, low budget cult show, and Buffy isn't known for its realism. I realize that a lot of people can't get past that, and if you can't, I get it. Everyone's mileage varies. It was always the characters and the clever writing that blew me away.

    I think Josie (comment above) had a really good point about the heroism of the other male characters as a contrast to Angel. David Boreanaz was an unknown and he was amazing as soulless Angel. And I'm deeply, deeply fond of Spike and Dru. Two of my favorite characters ever.

  31. Hi Billie, I believe you are correct that I may be expecting too much from the show. I try not to, but I may be spoiled by Supernatural. I do like the writing (as is expected since it's Joss Whedon), but usually the most important part of anything I watch is the story. I enjoy good banter between characters, I enjoy an exciting action scene, I enjoy some angst and drama, etc. But it all has to be in the service of a great story. If the story doesn't draw me in completely, I usually bail out. That was why I loved Firefly, Smallville, Agents of SHIELD, and Supernatural so much (my favorite shows). I'll write when I can about the next episode.

  32. The Judge is both a plot device and a misdirection. That's part of the twist. They anticipate him as the next big bad, but in reality Angelus is the actual big bad. A more traditional storytelling would make the Smurf the one to beat. BtVS is at its best when it doesn't really care about how powerful a villain can be, but how much emotional damage they can stir. Buffy mocking The Judge is par for the course.

    I agree that Xander convincing his way into an armory was completely unbelievable. I was a military once, and the protocols for someone to get a weapon, let alone enter the armory, were very strict. That plot hole doesn't take me out of the story, though.

  33. A great episode. The rocket launcher theft scene was fine with me and enabled one of the funner scenes (Buffy with the launcher). I did find the pacing a bit off - lots of foreboding, then the big bad was done for within minutes. While the armory/launcher scene didn't break my suspension of disbelief, I was kind of surprised at Oz saying to Willow that she was trying to make Xander jealous - was her infatuation with Xander such public knowledge?

  34. How does Joyce not know about the incident at the mall?! She just ask Buffy how her day went, is this gallery she works at out of the city limits and how much time does she spend there?! Multiple people saw her used a bazooka to blow some guy up!


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