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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Reptile Boy

Buffy: "I told one lie. I had one drink."
Giles: "Yes, and you were very nearly devoured by a giant demon snake. The words 'let that be a lesson' are a tad redundant at this juncture."

Buffy still has no life, which is a major theme in the second season. Giles is too demanding, and Angel, the object of her affection, is resisting her. What better way to act out, rebel, and let off steam than to go to a college party that she knows she shouldn't attend?

The premise of this episode is clever and creepy, although Machida the phallic monster leaves something to be desired. High school girls don't usually become human sacrifices at frat parties, but bad things, like binge drinking, drugging and date rape, are certainly known to happen.

Xander once again backs up Buffy, although this time without her knowledge. He braves wigs, bras, lipstick and paddles just on a hunch that Buffy might be in danger, although jealousy of frat boys might be playing a role here as well. Willow also shows a lot of courage (something she often does on someone else's behalf), admonishes Giles for how he pressures and overworks Buffy, and asks Angel sarcastically why he doesn't have time to go out for coffee when he's 241 years old. In the end, Giles does let up on Buffy, and readily forgives her for her poor judgment.

The Buffy/Angel romance is escalating and the two of them are moving into scary territory, which is illustrated by this fascinating exchange:

Angel: "This isn't some fairy tale. When I kiss you, you don't wake up from a deep sleep and live happily ever after."
Buffy: "No, when you kiss me, I want to die."

Bits and pieces:

— It is established that vampires have a heightened sense of smell, since Angel can smell blood we cannot see on the ID bracelet.

— Cordelia specifically tells Buffy not to wear black. Buffy wears it anyway.

— Cordelia's license plate now says "Queen C".

— There is a delightful Giles scene, where he is practicing future training with Buffy, thinking he is alone: "Will you be ready if a vampire is behind you?"

— At the end, Cordelia is (briefly) dating Jonathan.

— In this week's hair report, Cordelia's hair is dark again. Good.

— Obligatory dog reference: Buffy: "Look, I wasn't lying. I was just protecting him from information that he wouldn't be able to... digest properly." Xander: "Like a corn dog."

— Richard and Tom are students at Crestwood College. This might have been a good time to introduce UC Sunnydale. Who knew?

— Richard's last name is Anderson. Callie, the third sacrifice, also has the last name Anderson. One assumes they were not related.


Giles: "Just because the paranormal is more normal and less... para of late is no excuse for tardiness or letting your guard down."

Cordelia: "You know what's so cool about college? The diversity. You've got all the rich people, and all the other people."

Willow: "Angel, how do you shave?"

Two and a half stakes,

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


  1. There are very few episodes of Buffy I don't like. This is one of them. Still, there was fun lines and the delightful sight of the Scoobies trying to make sense of a Bollywood musical. A futile cause if ever there was one.

    Oh, and one of those sleazy college guys looked creepily like Jamie Lannister.

  2. -- Richard and Tom are students at Crestwood College. This might have been a good time to introduce UC Sunnydale. Who knew? LOL

    Not the greatest episode, but I love the scene with Willow, Giles and Angel. The looks on the men's faces when Willow is finished admonishing them is worth the price of this episode.

  3. This was one of the first episodes I ever saw and as such I have a soft spot for it, despite its flaws. I also love episodes where the baddies don't know who they're messing with. The surprise when the tiny blonde girl starts to kick ass is always delightful.

    The Scoobies are really starting to come into their own. It's been a while since I rewatched the whole series, and it's interesting to see the beginnings of their shift from high schoolers to heroes. Willow takes charge here for the first time, shouting at Giles (an adult) and Angel (a super duper adult). Xander braves what might possibly a very dangerous situation to protect Buffy despite being utterly superpowerless (he even went to the trouble of attempting to blend in...the polo shirt! awww). Even Cordelia gets in on the action. Sure, she's still the screaming damsel in distress (she does give good damsel) but at the end she grabs Tom to get the last word in. I can't see Cordelia from even a few episodes ago doing that.

  4. Reptile Boy? Hmm...more like Reptile Bad. I really really dislike this one. It's just another one on my bad-episodes-countdown-list. Check. (Just two more bad episodes to go in the entire series. Yay!)
    I think the reason I don't like this is because of what they did to Xander. Is really college guys that mean and evil? Guys...that wasn't very nice!

    Still, the episode had some great moments with Giles/Buffy getting into their somewhat father/daughter relationship, and Angel came around at the end and offered Buffy coffee.

    Best scene though must be when Willow bursts out at Giles and Angel. The priceless expressions on their faces! Yeah, Willow, you go girl!:)) (Maybe this wasn't such a bad ep after all...)

  5. I'm seeing a pattern here : loved the banter (so much of it, so many good lines, ah heck with my notes taking !), the interactions between our beloved characters, etc, that bring so many smiles upon my face and then...the fight against the week's baddy which is...meh. Exactly what happened here (for me).

    Smiling when the trio is watching the movie. "Her lover ? I thought it was her chiropractor." "So how the water buffalo fit again ?"

    Smiling with the banter exchange between Xander and Cordy. (C1, X0 !) Smiling again with Giles and Buffy. The first half of this one made me smile a LOT. I stopped pausing the video player because, as I said, so MANY good banter lines that I could write a 500 words comment (and yes, yes, I know, we haven't started the GREAT Buff-stuff yet).

    "Maybe catch an orgy ?" "If it's on early !" Smile, smile, smile. (David Greenwalt wrote this one : he was on fire !) "Angel, how do you shave !?" Cordy hugging Angel at the end was good. 4 stakes for the banter; for the episode itself Billie, I stand by your rating.

  6. A ps

    I love these characters more and more with each viewing (and we're still at the beginning). Harder for me to be neutral : I accept the weaker stuff of every episode.

  7. @celticmarc - I so agree. I keep trying to figure out why I love the episodes that everyone hates and I realized that the banter is so clever and I love the characters so much that I am just having fun watching each episode and I really don't care if the plots are weak or the baddy for the week is boring. Just watching Willow chew out Angel and Giles or Giles trying to be tough is enough to make my day.

  8. drnanamom - I feel the same way about season 4's "Beer Bad." A bad monster of the week is not a deal breaker for me. :)

  9. Hey Sunbunny, hands off "Beer Bad"! I haven't checked that one off my bad-episode-list yet, and we are a long way to go until then...:)

    But I do understand what you and the others are saying. It doesn't really matter does it? It's all about the characters. And because of that, we Buffy veterans love everything about the show no matter what. We would probably love an episode with Willow & Cordelia teaming up to fight a fashion demon, or, we probably wouldn't mind if Angel and Giles were synchronize swimming to defeat the evil Esther Williams mermaid. I guess I would probably rate those imaginary episodes as bad though...

    And, "Reptile boy" is one of those (the bad ones) that I would never show to a friend who isn't Buffy initiated. I tend to give the "bad" label to the ones that aren't very Buffy-introduction-friendly, if you know what I mean...

  10. It's funny because I really don't give Supernatural the same leeway. As much as I love it, the ones with the less than fabulous monster of the week stories (mostly from season 1) really put me off. There's even a few I won't watch for that reason. But I would totally watch an episode of Buffy in which everyone has to help Giles paint his apartment.

  11. As I say above, while this is not my favorite episode, I simply love the scene with Willow, Giles and Angel. She tells them things they need to hear and, because it is coming from Willow, they hear her and listen to what she is telling them.

    Doc -- I tend to agree with you in that I will watch this gang do just about anything. I think my problem is that, as we get closer to the truly great episodes, I get impatient to get there already. Having said that, I am having a blast re-watching this show with people to discuss it with. That helps my impatience.

  12. I am also looking forward to getting past these weaker episodes. I adore the banter, too, and didn't even mind these "bad" episodes on my first two watches. However, I have been busy the last couple days and couldn't bring myself to spend the time on theses again. Hearing all of you discuss the great banter makes me regret my choice a bit.

  13. For a what is a kind of 'bad' episode I enjoy it well enough but I'd agree it would not be one to introduce Buffy to the uninitiated.
    The frat boys are so easy to dislike, I really hate those guys! So as a result I really enjoy it when they get their comeuppance and agree with Sunbunny that its good when Buffy's antagonists are unaware of who they are dealing with. It was nice to see Xander getting his own back for his humiliation and I too loved Willow's outburst at Giles and Angel.

  14. I just love that Buffy didn't immediately fall all over Angel at the end when he finally asked her out. 'I'll let you know' with an adorable smirk as she walks away. Hell yeah!

  15. Newbie report:

    Date Rape for Fun and Profit!

    Tra-la! Tra-la!

    What is it with this show and rape? This is now the second episode with it. The first time, Xander (possessed, but still) tried to attack Buffy and now the Young Republicans roofy girls for money.

    So, the episode is mis-titled. The Reptile Boy was just an animal doing what his species does. The monsters were the frat boys and their parents (and their parents' parents?) As you can tell, I did not like this episode a bit. I like my monsters fanged and imaginary. This other kind of monster is way too real. The bullying piled on to Xander was just the cherry on the crap sundae of this episode. My recommended title is the first line of this post.

    Another episode of Buffy, The Girl Who Never Slays Vampires.

    And no more with the rape. I'm serious.

  16. ChrisB: "As I say above, while this is not my favorite episode, I simply love the scene with Willow, Giles and Angel. She tells them things they need to hear and, because it is coming from Willow, they hear her and listen to what she is telling them."

    Exactly. And I love that the characterization on this show is such that the "nerdy" girl has more facets than just being smart--she's also brave, curious, willing to call it like it is, and (apparently) not scared of Angel, which is rather awesome.

    Having said that, I got this and "Go Fish" confused, so I spent the first 15 minutes of this episode very puzzled.

  17. I love Buffy's and Giles' first scene after the opening credits where he admonishes her and tells her not to pout. The cutest darn pouting ever. "It's not getting to me.." That was peak SMG

  18. This episode was fun, I like it when we get to see a lot of Cordelia. But Xander is really annoying me. Following a girl to a party just because you don’t like that she has a date, is beyond creepy and he never gets called out for it. His behaviour towards Buffy constantly disgusts me, and I have a hard time imagining any one who could kick his ass (like Buffy easily could) would put up with it.


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