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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Never Kill a Boy on the First Date

Giles: "Buffy, when I said you could slay vampires and have a social life, I didn't mean at the same time."

The Anointed shall rise and five will die. (*ho hum*) An evil vampire child has been done before, and better; think Anne Rice's character Claudia.

Fortunately, this episode isn't really about the inadvertent bad seed; it's about Buffy's double life, and her unsuccessful attempts to date a regular guy. In this case, it's Owen "he can brood for forty minutes straight, I've clocked him," a rather reserved and intellectual studmuffin who has Buffy and Cordelia all hot, bothered, and competitive. Who knew that Buffy's lifestyle would end up turning him on? (Although there is a clue; Owen loves Emily Dickinson because she is so morbid.)

Giles is at first unsympathetic with Buffy's desire to do normal teenage things, but later shows more understanding of her dilemma, especially after she rescues him at the morgue. The two of them are slowly starting to relate; Buffy is becoming less Valley Girl and Giles less British Library.

Xander is consistently showing jealousy of every guy Buffy likes; he warns Owen that Buffy doesn't like to dance, or be kissed or touched. He also tells Buffy that she needs a guy who already knows her secrets, a not-so-subtle hint that Xander is the man for her.

Bits and pieces:

— Cordelia sees Angel for the first time and says, "Hello, salty goodness." She also says, "That boy is going to need some serious oxygen." Another hint?

— It is fun to see both Owen and Angel reject Cordelia in favor of Buffy.

— Owen has a gold pocket watch. Xander has a Tweety-Bird wristwatch. This is a terrific visual way of comparing the two of them.

— Although Owen loves the excitement, he doesn't pick up on the supernatural aspects of the evening. Must be that Sunnydale forgetfulness thing.

— The sign on the funeral home says punningly, "We'll take care of the rest."

— Giles was told at age ten that he was to be a Watcher, like his father and his grandmother before him. He wanted to be a fighter pilot, or a grocer. Unless he was kidding about the grocer part.


Giles: "Oh, Emily Dickinson."
Buffy: "We're both fans."
Giles: "Yes, uh, she's quite a good poet, I mean, for a..."
Buffy: "A girl?"
Giles: "For an American."

Willow: "Wow. He hardly talks to anyone. He's solitary, mysterious... he can brood for forty minutes straight, I've clocked him."

Giles: "All right, I'll just jump in my time machine, go back to the twelfth century and ask the vampires to postpone their ancient prophecy for a few days while you take in dinner and a show."
Buffy: "Okay, at this point you're abusing sarcasm."

Giles: "If your identity as the Slayer is revealed, it could put you and all those around you in grave danger."
Buffy: "Well, in that case I won't wear my button that says, 'I'm the Slayer, ask me how.'"

Buffy: "Tonight? You and me?"
Owen: "Well, we could invite the chess club, but they drink and they start fights."

Buffy: "Look, I won't go far, okay? If the apocalypse comes, beep me."

Two out of four stakes,

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


  1. I just rewatched this one and found it to be very enjoyable. There was a lot of humor in it as you point out, Billie. I thought it also did a good job of pointing out how isolated Buffy is as the slayer, but at the same time, the way she has a good network of support with her friends,Giles, and even Angel.

  2. Loved the watch juxtaposition. As many times as I have seen this, I had missed that. Yet another reason to love these reviews.

    Although this episode is rather weak, it does set up that our poor girl is going to have more than her fair trouble with men. The first in a line.

  3. I can't tell you how many times I have both seen this episode and read this review, but it wasn't until today that I figured out what the pun was in "We'll take of the rest." It's like this first time I got the pun on Diagon Alley all over again.

  4. I love the photo you chose for this one. The framing of Angel in this whole little sequence, at a distance yet very notably between them, was one of my favorite aspects of this episode. David Boreanaz also had some very funny reaction shots in that scene. He can be funny!

    Overall, this episode was a mixed bag. Some of it was campy fun, especially the Giles and Buffy interactions. But a lot of it was just awkward and uncomfortable. Or cheesy. Or over the top. Or tedious. I was actually rooting for the stupid airport bus to just crash already. Get on with it! I'm also starting to find the "band performs while people dance" interludes at the Bronze tiresome.

    Was that a funeral home or a mausoleum? What was up with the "postal box" crypts everywhere? In my experience they don't usually combine the two. Is that more common elsewhere?

    "Hello, salty goodness." I just love that line.

    I did rather love the twist that one date with Buffy turned Mr. Morbid Owen into a thrill-seeking, adrenaline junkie. They played it as a sad thing for Buffy, but I found it amusing.

    "No more Anointed One." If only, Giles. If only.

  5. Jess asked, "Was that a funeral home or a mauseoleum?" I think that the exterior, and probably the interior, was a building at Angelus Rosedale Cemetery. I was there once watching them set up for filming. Rosedale wasn't used much in the early episodes, but later it became their go-to place for any cemetery shots that they didn't do in the parking lot of their studios in Santa Monica.

  6. “If the apocalypse comes, beep me.”

    I don’t know why I love that quote so much, but it makes me laugh every time I hear it.

    Another standard first season episode, but I really like the talk Giles and Buffy have at the end. He respects her and her choices and he has her back. Pretty great watcher, if you ask me.

    P.S. Buffy is turning up as the most popular show on Netflix right now. Wonder how much of that is due to us!

  7. This was another very strong first season episode, helped along by how smokin' hot Christopher Wiehl is. If I went to high school with him, I'd have been crushing too.

    The reveal of the "Annoying One" was a surprise.

    Even though I knew when watching the first season of BUFFY that the series was going to go against the grain of most expectations for character development and characters, I still assumed the tough guy would be the Anointed One. Seeing the kid was a shock.

    It was nice to see Buffy and Cordelia have a teen Krystle and Alexis type moment there for a bit.

  8. "As it is written, so shall it be." Wow, a sentence that reminds me of BOTH The 10 Commandments and Battlestar Galactica !

    Ok, cuteness factor has risen to 15 now. Loved the tweety bird watch. Loved the competition between Buffy and Cordelia at the cafeteria. Yes, yes, cheesy, but I loved it. Loved the clothes choosing between the 3. Lucky Xander. Oh, and I like him more and more. All of them actually. These characters are starting to grow on me (already).

    "Man, you really care about your work !" And Giles' Citroen needs a serious checkup. And kudos for the man for hiding on top on a corpse, in an enclosed space. Eesh.

    And the last moments between Giles and Buffy. Aw, a father figure. And I see the potential for, yes, character development.

  9. ...on top of.....

    A good thing that I do re read myself.

  10. Newbie report.

    I didn't like this episode at all. It seemed to be about making fun of gentle hobbies like reading poetry. At the beginning, we have a cute boy with a sensitive side. By the end, he seems to have abandoned all that just for a chance to live on the wild side with the Scoobies. Too bad. I had given him more credit than that when he was first introduced. It seemed that all the relationships in this episode were shallow. Buffy is pretending to be something she's not to impress Owen, and being a bit jealous when she sees Owen dancing with Cordelia. That doesn't seem like the Buffy that I'm just getting to know. That Buffy is full of self-confidence and doesn't have to pretend to be awesome.

    I wasn't sucked in to the plotline, either. The "five will die" was telegraphed a mile away. I admit, I was surprised by the evil child, though.

    And there weren't even many witticisms in the dialog. I liked "Now you are abusing sarcasm." but basically, a sort of blah episode. I did like Xander and Willow pretend cuddling. And Cordelia at the dance was delicious, getting shot down by everyone.

    Overall, though, a big meh. The bug episode was better.

  11. I enjoyed many aspects of this one even though I agree with some of Pucklady's criticisms. I did think Buffy's crush was a little over the top. However I think her childish behavior in some of these earlier episodes is her subconscious attempt to revert to childhood to escape her responsibilities. She wants to live as a normal teen, so she puts on an act as a way to escape. Don't many of us do this when we are teens, though? The real Buffy comes out in her more serious moments when she talks to Giles near the end. I loved that scene and I love that relationship.

    Also, this episode features one of my favorite Cordyisms: "Hello, salty goodness!"


  12. I enjoyed this episode overall. Buffy is being very girly over Owen but that's just natural behaviour for a teenager and I don't think it is at odds with her more mature slayer outlook. She wants to be the girly girl, but can't pull it off with the weight of slayer responsibilities holding her back and I like that there is a theme of the two sides of Buffy going through this episode.

    Buffy, Cordy, Owen interactions are great and I also love when Xander compares his watch to Owens.

    Giles' car might be run down, but I kind of want one of those.

  13. For me, I think the weakness in these first episodes of season 1 is that Buffy and the gang act so over the top childish and irresponsible. I get it that Buffy wants a normal life, but there's no way in hell(mouth?) that any teenager would act so carelessly, when there's creatures around you on a killing mission - just for a date? It's only Willow that is the voice of reason occasionally so far...

    That said, I guess this episode was ok...ish. Once again Angel steals the scenes his in. Cordelia's "Salty goodness" - we have to remember that one:)

  14. I want a button that says, "I'm a watcher. Ask me how." I love the sarcasm paired with the serious tones exploring death in this episode.

  15. ChrisB at least my Netflix download was because of you guys.

    My daughter and I were both home sick last week and I suggested we take a look at Buffy, since it came so highly recommended. We tried, we really tried. What about this series finds you so enthralled?

    It seems like (please don’t hate me forever)a bad cross between High School Musical and an on the cheap version of Supernatural, I understand Buffy came first but my frame of reference for TV is tiny, minuscule even.
    We held on until we got to the introduction of the Spike character, and my daughter called it quits. She said when she wants to watch Scooby-Doo; she’ll go for the real thing. Ouch.

    Rather like Lost though I like reading your reviews of Buffy. The line about, “Now you are abusing sarcasm” was truly clever.

    So no more views, just reading reviews.

  16. Katherine, I appreciate that you tried. Not everything is for everybody, and I know that some people just never "get" Buffy. C'est la vie.

    FWIW, I didn't become enthralled until the second half of season two. I enjoy the earlier episodes now because it's my favorite show and I see the seeds of what made me love it in the earlier episodes. I'm sure a lot of other fans feel the same way.

  17. Thank you for your kind reply. There is a running theme through the shows that I’m drawn to right now that all deal with some element of the supernatural/magic including Merlin. It seems to me that all stories have two main sources, Bulfinch’s Mythology and the bible and maybe throw in Shakespeare, but even he harkens back to both.

    It was delightful to find Uther Pendragon being a Librarian.

    I’m a big enough geek to not only to have played D&D, but to have retained my Monster Manuel which is very useful when watching Merlin.

    The introduction of Spike lends an element of three dimensions to a bad guy, so perhaps I shouldn’t be hasty and view a few more episodes solo.

    Again and always, thank for your writing and this site.

  18. Katherine - I agree with Billie. The second half of season two is where it gets good. My favorite episodes, though, are in seasons 5 and 6. If you want to watch attractive people defeat monsters, Supernatural may be the better show for that. Buffy resonates more with me emotionally and it's funnier. The first few seasons can get very cheesy, but eventually it gets really good, better than SPN in my opinion. That said, I totally understand that you don't want to stick it out. I applaud you for getting through "I Robot, You Jane." :)

    I love the mixed reactions this episode is eliciting! It's one of my favorites from season one. And before you ask, no, I can't explain why. It's certainly not The Annoying One. Buffy trying to have a normal life and failing at it is a recurring series theme, but here is one of the best examples of it. By the end, she comes to acknowledge that she's not normal and can't always get what she wants, but girl doesn't stop trying!

    Giles gets knocked out. Again. Three things he does very well: look things up in books, clean his glasses, and get hit in the head.

    I always love seeing tiny Angel. He's de-Hulked somewhat since then, but by season 5 of Angel, I wondered if Boreanaz ever got stuck in doorways.

  19. lol twice, Sunbunny. You always make me laugh. I agree that the response to this episode is fascinating. It's not a fave of mine, but I've always considered it to be a decent early episode. Certainly not as bad as "I Robot You Jane".

    Katherine, if you like Spike at all, and I don't want to spoil anything so I won't say more, you might want to grit your teeth and hang in for a few more episodes. I do think Supernatural owes a lot to Buffy; it's often been referred to as "Buffy with dudes", and there are definitely Buffy homages. Supernatural found itself a bit sooner than Buffy did.

  20. Katherine, I'm also with Billy and sunbunny on this. Although I enjoy this episode it is mostly because of how much I love the series that I ever re watch any of season 1. From season two onwards I have all time favourite episodes within each season so I do think it is worth watching through season two if you've got the time... ...I've never got through season one of supernatural, should I give it another go? I wasn't really getting/caring much about the characters.

  21. Annie, if it helps any, Supernatural got very good and stayed good. It's on my top five list of favorite shows now.

  22. Annie - I started watching it a couple of months ago. I didn't fall in love with it immediately, but Billie's right, it got very good. If you shows where attractive people defeat monsters (and don't we all?), it's worth another try imho.

  23. Warning TMI notice (you’ve been warned)…

    I am weird in regards to TV, the last time I watched it Happy Days was in prime time and I was a whippersnapper. I decided I was watching too much TV and stopped; completely. I have never owned a TV as an adult and only have access to one since DH thinks they’re useful.

    When I was drawn back in I found myself in Ecclesiastes, there is truly nothing new under the sun. It is fun though watching the stories being retold with different shadings.

    Annie I really got in to Supernatural but if I hadn’t read about it here I never would have pursued it. I will take another look at Buffy. I can see where Supernatural uses a lot of Buffy’s ideas.

    Sunbunny, thank you for your comments, you always add something I did not catch.

  24. Thanks for the advice everyone, I'll give it another go.

    Not that I'm religious (I'm really not), but I did study Ecclesiastes as part of a university course and I love it because it is so very true, there really is nothing new just the same things packaged differently and I agree that its great to find familiar favourites in 'new' guises.

  25. Hmmm...I remember liking this episode a lot more than I actually liked it this re-watch. In fact, I've watched Season One so rarely that many of these episodes are full of surprises.

  26. This episode’s teaser made nothing for me. Over the top vampires were boring down the show again. But then the episode quickly became so much fun. Owen was awesome. Tall, handsome and yet sensitive and mysterious. He and Buffy had instant chemistry. I was actually rooting for them, but as the episode went along, the writers decide to make him dumb and reckless. What was with that?

    Willow and Xander were so much fun. Appearing at the funeral home together, just their heads on that little window, and then pretending to be a couple at the Bronze. I want to see more of their relationship with Giles when Buffy is not around.

    I laughed out loud at two moments. First, when Giles was all serious about the impeding apocalypse and then they cut to: nothing. The other one was Xander looking at his own watch after Owen gave his pocket watch to Buffy. I cannot believe Xander would have such a kid looking watch, but that still made for a good laugh.

    I liked how Buffy turned Owen down in the end. I mean, I don’t think it was necessary to make Owen less interesting as the writers did, but I believe that was the first moment Buffy realized she could not have the normal life she so much longs for. Poor Buffy. My heart is with you, girl.


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