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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Some Assembly Required

Buffy: "Sorry, but I'm an old-fashioned gal. I was raised to believe that men dig up the corpses and the women have the babies."

Love does indeed make you do the wacky, and this doesn't just apply to the lame Frankenstein monster plot. Everyone seems to be preparing to couple: Buffy is slowly succumbing to a taciturn Angel, who can't stay away from her, while Giles is drooling over Jenny, who is fortunately doing all of the chasing since he can't seem to remove his foot from his mouth. Willow and Xander are even acting couple-y, while Cordelia is actively panting after Angel.

I've never understood why mad scientists cut the bodies up and sew mismatched pieces together before flipping the switch. Wouldn't they have more luck with reanimating a complete dead body, like Chris did with his brother? Wouldn't it be a lot less work, and hey, no annoying seams? At any rate, Chris's creepy friend Eric wasn't doing it for love or science; he was really into it. He needs life in prison more than "industrial-strength therapy." Too bad Giles and Willow saved him.

My absolute favorite of the many witty lines in this episode is Buffy giving Giles advice on how to talk to Jenny: "She's a techno-pagan, right? Ask her to bless your lap-top." I also liked Xander's "Do I deconstruct your segues?" although that is probably too literary for his character.

All the screaming that Cordelia has done up until this point is nothing compared to what she does here. Did they cast Charisma Carpenter based on her ability to scream convincingly on cue? Cordelia also joins the gang in the library, although she doesn't do any research; and she does some serious clamping onto Angel, who just looks helpless as it's happening. (Cordelia: "Why are these terrible things always happening to me?" Xander: *cough* "Karma.")

Bits and pieces:

-- The "Into every generation" intro is back, and for the first time the voice is that of Anthony Stewart Head. The intro is used only sporadically throughout season two, and then dropped.

-- The football team now seems to be the "Greenbacks" (Cheerleaders say, "Go Greenbacks, go"). I thought they were the Razorbacks. Their uniforms certainly aren't green.

-- Jenny and Giles discuss football; i.e., Giles' scathing comment about strapping on forty pounds of protective gear to play rugby, with Jenny's retort that he is dissing our national pastime. Isn't our national pastime baseball?

-- Buffy and Xander tease Giles about dating. A "little Gene and Roger" must refer to Siskel and Ebert, since they're reviewing Giles' technique.

-- Giles says that zombies don't eat the flesh of the living.

-- Angel states that he is 241 years old.

-- What's with Angel's new outfit? It makes him look more like a college boy than a creature of the night.

Quotes:

Angel: "'Danced with' is a pretty loose term. 'Mated with' might be a little closer."

Giles: "Grave robbing? That's new. Interesting."
Buffy: "I know you meant to say gross and disturbing."

Cordelia: "It is not fair that they're making participation in this year's science fair mandatory. I don't think anyone should have to do anything educational in school if they don't want to."

Buffy: "Sorry to interrupt, Willow, but it's the bat signal."

Willow: "This shouldn't take long. I'm probably the only girl in school who has the coroner's office bookmarked as a favorite place."

Xander: "So, we're set then. Say, nineish? BYO shovel?"

Buffy: "Anyway, he was being totally irrational."
Willow: "Love makes you do the wacky."

Willow: "By the way, are we hoping to find a body, or no body?"
Xander: "Call me an optimist, but I'm hoping to find a fortune in gold doubloons."

Angel: "Well, what I saw didn't add up to three whole girls. I think they kept some parts."
Buffy: "Could this get yuckier?"
Willow: "They probably kept the other parts to eat."
Buffy: "Question answered."

Xander: "And speaking of love..."
Willow: "We were talking about the re-animation of dead tissue."
Xander: "Do I deconstruct your segues?"

Buffy: "She's a techno-pagan, right? Ask her to bless your laptop."

It's hard to rate this one. The horror plot was only so-so, but I laughed out loud several times. Two out of four stakes?

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

14 comments:

  1. A definite two out of four stakes. It had its moments but the 'Buffy meets Frankenstein' plot was weak.

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  2. I agree with the two out of four. One of the weaker episodes, although "love makes you do the whacky" has been a standard phrase of mine for some time now, so maybe two and a half?

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  3. BUFFY RE-WATCH comments begin here! Remember, no spoilers for future episodes. Want to talk spoilers and foreshadowing? Post them here. Let's get others to join us! Please click the Twitter/Facebook buttons at the bottom of the review.

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  4. So we're back to silly. Two nerds going all Frankenstein-y plus bride must be the lamest storyline so far.

    I think some of the episodes in season 2 kind of regress back into season 1 territory, and this is definitely one of them. And it's baaad.

    Except for the cute Giles/Jenny scenes, this ep is totally foregettable.

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  5. I agree with most of what was sad before, but I did really enjoyed the coupling, including the conversation between Xander and Willow about the two of them not having anyone to couple with :)

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  6. I enjoyed the Giles and Jenny scenes, Cordelia's better role this season, and Buffy/Angel interaction. The rest was dull. I agree that this one seemed a bit like some of the weak episodes from Season 1. The only difference is that Buffy seems to have a harder edge, almost too hard at times in this one.

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  7. The voice of dissent again... There are a couple of scenes that make me tear up in this one. Darrell running into the fire saying he didn't want to be alone after looking under the bleachers at what he lost and won't have again really parallels Buffy. As the slayer she is destined to stand ALONE. Then, Angel 's declaration of love and longing, "He gets to see you in the sunlight." Gets me every time.

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  8. (Too much happening in my life right now. I shall return)

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  9. yeah, this is not a great episode, although I do feel for Darrell... but that he seems like an okay Guy really jars with him being okay with turning Cordelia into a bride of frankenstein.

    As always there's good character interactions. Buffy and Xander catching Giles practising his lines is a favourite.

    I do find the Buffy/Angel developments a bit uncomfortable, Angel should not be making moves on a 16 year old, its kind of wrong. I feel I am meant to feel for them but all I feel is ewww.

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  10. Ah, Frankenstein being an ex football player. The "famous" dance from last week sure left a powerful impression on both Angel (yes, ugly coat) and Xander (mega witty and sarcastic today, wow).

    Loved, loved, loved the witty dialogue (a lot today), always a great Buffian standard; but less thrilled when I saw the "monster" coming out from the dark. Oops ! Eyes rolling ! But so many great lines !!

    Xander did a brilliant line about the porn he found in the computer, but I'm too lazy to "rewind" and make the exact quote. And this one was mean : "Do you mind ?! We're talking here !" Cordy is less a threat, but I guess it'll take time before the Scoobies fully accept her. Or it is just Xander. Oh heck.

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  11. Newbie report:

    It was fine. It served the purpose of a MotW filler episode. And also, the obligatory football episode that every youth series must have (Even Glee had one). Okay, showrunner, you may check off that box. When we get to the other obligatory episode - the boxing one - I'll pass, thanks. (Is there a boxing episode in Buffy?)

    Buffy was kind of off-balance throughout most of the episode. She lost her stake when she needed it the most and when she should have been helping with the grave digging, she was chatting with Willow.

    Come on, girls - you agreed to come along on this outing, grab a shovel.

    I think we learned one bit of mythology - when you dust a vamp, the dusting tool seems to get dusted as well, otherwise there would have been a broken shovel left after the fight.

    Tall Buffy double got a lot of action tonight, even full-face into the camera.

    And Xander got to be a hero again! Extra points for that. Double extra points for dissing Cordelia.

    We advanced the story arc a bit with Buffy and Angel arriving at a point of agreement.

    Anyway, it was fine. Not much more to say than that.

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  12. As I say above, "love makes you do the whacky" has become a stock phrase of mine. I used it the other day, in fact, to someone who had no idea what I was talking about. I pointed her in this direction...

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  13. I was very curious to re-watch this episode, as I had no memory of it. I'm with Pucklady--it was fine.

    But "love makes you do the wacky" might make it a fine + 1.

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  14. I've always liked season 2/3's 'let's take a classic movie monster and Buffify it' runner. This is one of the weaker ones. Still, the banter is some of the best we've had so far. "Can we deal with my pain please?" "There, there." Also the high schools in Sunnydale unofficially compete for most dead students in a year. This gels with what we learn in season 3: the school paper has an obituary section :)

    Cordelia always finds herself in trouble, doesn't she?

    pucklady - no boxing, but there is a self defense class in an episode.

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