Buffy the Vampire Slayer: What's My Line? Part 1

Buffy: "Do I like shrubs?"
Xander: "That's between you and your God."

When the gang take career placement tests, Buffy realizes that not only does she have no life, she also has no future -- except possibly in law enforcement. In the meantime, a testy Spike sends the Order of Taraka to assassinate Buffy, while simultaneously trying to cure Drusilla with a mystical cross and a codebook.

The Scoobies are matched perfectly with their prospective careers: Xander as a prison guard, Cordelia as a personal shopper and motivational speaker (how about office assistant to a vampire detective?), and Buffy, of course, as a cop. While Willow and Oz finally, actually meet as the only two students recruited by a "major software company."

Meanwhile, on the Buffy/Angel romance front, check out the two of them checking out each other's bedrooms. Angel is so enamored that he actually fondles Mr. Gordo (he did! I saw him) and he even indulges Buffy in her love of figure skating. (And doesn't Sarah Michelle Gellar look good on those skates?)

Buffy kisses her "cradle-robbing creature of the night boyfriend" while he is in vamp face. (The teeth must have been uncomfortable for both of them.) This was undoubtedly written so that Kendra would immediately assume Buffy was in league with the vamps. The Order of Taraka includes humans, probably because it was good from a writing standpoint to make it look as if Kendra was one of them. Was the assassin that attacked Buffy at the ice rink a human? If so, did Buffy kill a human for the first time?

Bits and pieces:

-- This episode introduces Kendra the Vampire Slayer. It also introduces Willy the barkeep snitch, sleazoid extraordinaire.

-- Those books Giles carried must have been glued together.

-- Both "slayed" and "slew" are correct, according to Giles... but not according to my word processing spellchecker.

-- Dalton the vampire in glasses is like a vampire version of Giles.

-- Buffy used to have a shrine to Dorothy Hamill.

-- Spike quotes My Fair Lady.

-- The group is referred to as the Scooby Gang for the first time.

Quotes: (and wow, there are a lot of them)

Xander: "Principal Snyder. Great career fair, sir. Really. In fact, I'm so inspired by your leadership, I'm thinking principal school. I wanna walk in your shoes. Not your actual shoes, of course, because you're a tiny person. Not tiny in the small sense, of course. Okay, I'm done now."

Snyder: "It's worth nothing, Harris. Whatever comes out of your mouth is a meaningless waste of breath. An airborne toxic event."
Xander: "Well, I'm glad you feel comfortable enough to be so honest with me. And I can only hope that one day I'm in the position to be that honest with you."

Xander: "What, and suck all the spontaneity out of being young and stupid? I'd rather live in the dark."
Willow: "You're not gonna be young forever."
Xander: "Yes, but I'll always be stupid."

Buffy: "Well, I'll just jump off that bridge when I come to it."

Cordelia: "'I aspire to help my fellow man.' Check. As long as he's not smelly, dirty or something gross."
Xander: "Cordelia Chase, always ready to give a helping hand to the rich and the pretty."
Cordelia: "Which, lucky me, excludes you. Twice."
Xander: "Is murder always a crime?"

Willow: "Angel ice-skating."
Buffy: "I know. Two worlds collide."

Giles: "It's a reliquary. Used to house items of religious significance. Most commonly a finger or some other body part from a saint."
Buffy: "Note to self. Religion: freaky."

Giles: "You remember the book that was stolen from the library by a vampire a few weeks ago?"
Buffy: "Yeah."
Giles: "It was written by Du Lac. Damn it! I let it slip my mind with all the excitement."
Buffy: "I'm guessing it wasn't a 'Taste of the Vatican' cookbook."

Giles: "This article describes an invention of his, which he called 'The Du Lac Cross'."
Xander: "So, why go to all the trouble of inventing something, and then giving it a weak name like that? I mean, I'da gone with 'The Cross-o-matic', or 'The Amazing Mr. Cross'."

Giles: "This ring is worn only by members of the Order of Taraka. It's a society of deadly assassins dating back to King Solomon."
Xander: "And didn't they beat the Elks this year in the Sunnydale adult bowling league championships?"
Giles: "Their credo is to sow discord and kill the unwary."
Xander: "Bowling is a vicious game."

Giles: "Well, maybe Buffy unplugged the phone."
Xander: "No, it's a statistical impossibility for a sixteen-year-old girl to unplug her phone."

Cordelia: "I can't even believe you. You dragged me out of bed for a ride? What am I, mass transportation?"
Xander: "That's what a lot of the guys say, but it's just locker room talk. I wouldn't pay it any mind."
Cordelia: "Oh, great, so now I'm your taxi and your punching bag."
Xander: "I like to think of you more as my witless foil, but have it your way."

Two out of four stakes,

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

24 comments:

Mark Greig said...

If I ever do own a pig (you never know, might happen) I will definitely call it Mr Gordo. Even if it's a girl pig.

ChrisB said...

My one quibble with this episode has always been: if vampires can change from regular face to vamp face so quickly at any time they need to, why does Angel stay in vamp face here? It's always irked me, although I take your point about Kendra needing to see them together. Still -- a tad lazy on the writers' part.

QRS said...

Chris: I read that as Buffy specifically asking to see Angel's Game Face to show him that it didn't bother her as much as he thought it would

Miguel said...

The first two-parter! Whoo....not near as good as the other two-parters this season but I still enjoyed it.

And Kendra the vampire slayer! I almost forgot about her. I like her. If only for her interesting clothes and accent.

And Angel and Mr. Gordo was just great.

Billie Doux said...

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.

Juliette said...

Xander's line in response to the shrub question is one of my favourite Buffy quotes :)

Bea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bea said...

Sorry for deleting! My computer is funny today.

I like the idea of this episode more than the episode itself. I always find it so slow and full of exposition...

Also, I never really get why Kendra would hit that guy at the plane. I get they wanted the audience to think she was part of the Order of Taraka, but it feels a bit like a plot-hole to me.

Still, there are great character bits, and the Angel/Buffy romance really works for me here. Also, I love that Angel knows what's going on with Buffy because he lurks. Lurking and brooding are definetely two of Angel's talents.

As little as we got of Dru and Spike here, I also loved it. It's kind of terrible when one loves the villains so much.

... And that ending! Definetely makes you want to see the second part!

Billie Doux said...

I agree, Bea. This one is a lot of set-up for part 2, which I loved. But it has some fabulous quotes, a couple of which are faves. Like "note to self: religion, freaky" or "Is murder always a crime?" which I actually use in real life a lot. :) And the "bowling is a vicious game" quote never fails to make me laugh.

sunbunny said...

I agree with what everyone's been saying. This episode is full of awesome dialogue, but totally forgettable without its better half.

Cordelia mentions her 'first husband' At 17, she's already planning to get divorced. That always makes me laugh.

Angel should really be able to get through that gate. It bugs me the way that vampire and slayer powers change depending on what the script requires. Last week, Spike and his cohorts were able to escape a bomb shelter. Now Angel can't get through a wire gate?

Oh and how has no one mentioned the Oz and Willow cuteness? I love the look on his face when he realizes it's 'that girl.'

celticmarc said...

(Wooops. I guess I fell asleep at the same time as Buffy did in Angel's bed.) (Just kidding, the past few weeks were personally intense.)

Ah ! Crap ! A 2 parter ! So used of having a resolution at the end of an episode that I'm a little annoyed of waiting 2 days to see its conclusion. No ! I do NOT cheat people ! (Yes, yes, I will wait) (Promise, I swear; 2 every 2 days is a good rhythm.)

Hey !! Dalton the vampire, no, no, Norman Pfister is Picket Fences' Kelly Connell (they should have changed his glasses; he reminded me too much of his former character in that show !)

Kudos for the massive amount of witty dialogue. Loved the exchanger between Xander and Snyder. Whoa with the skate cut killing. After what I've seen (so far), this was a considerable bold move from the producers.

celticmarc said...

SOB ! I completely forgot :

Oz and Willow finally meeting !

Annie said...

Yeah, it is more a build up episode but the dialogue is still fantastic. My favourite being Snyder and Xanders interaction.

Snyder: “Whatever comes out of your mouth is a meaningless waste of breath. An airborne toxic event.”
Xander: "Well, I'm glad you feel comfortable enough to be so honest with me. And I can only hope that one day I'm in the position to be that honest with you."

I just love the way Nicholas Brendon delivers his retort.

Oz finally meeting Willow is charming, canapé?

As someone who's doesn't really 'get' the Angel and Buffy dynamic, I do have to admit they are kind of sweet together in this episode.

I always enjoy Spike and Dru. Dru's fragility continues to highlight Spikes devotion, his concern for her wellbeing is palpable. He's getting desperate.

I can't believe cordy let the bug man into the house, he hardly looked to be selling the kind of high end cosmetics I'd have thought she would have been used to... who gets cosmetics of a creepy door to door salesman??

I agree with you sunbunny on the variation in strength from story to story. I really thought that buffy should have been able to get out of Ethan Rayne's rope restraints in 'Dark Age'

Overall... I'm mostly looking forward to part 2.

a.m. said...

I'm not like celticmarc. I'm a newbie and a cheater who's already seen part II. Though, after I watched this episode I read your review first before seeing the second one. At first I wondered why you had given it just 2 stakes...and then I saw part II and understood :)

Still, as your quotes show, this was a great episode. I loved the Xander/Snyder exchange. But the best moment was when Oz and Willow finally met. Simple, understated, and perfect!

drnanamom said...

The quips in this episode (and in most episodes) were great. You can never have two many clever one liners to still or I guess in some cases 2-4 liners! @Billie, I love that you use that phrase. I think I will begin to throw it about when my children are annoying me! I am not a huge continuity nut so the changes in strength don't really bother me - maybe it was super duper wire or maybe it took all of the vamps to get out of the bomb shelter. I really think my critic hat only comes out when I am reviewing a show. I particularly enjoyed the quip about phones and sixteen year old girls except now they carry the phone everywhere they go and freak out when they can't get a signal.

drnanamom said...

Ps: I have no willpower and am now about to go watch part II but I won't comment until everyone else has seen it.

Billie Doux said...

I am *not* going to scold anyone for jumping ahead. :) Really wanting to move on and see the next one? That just means the ReWatch is working. We've roped in more Buffy fans! Success!

Suzanne said...

I have mixed feelings about this episode. It was slow on parts, but as everyone has said, the dialogue is great. I find that I catch more and more of the humor every time I watch the show. It is one of the funniest shows I have seen, which is weird considering it is a blend of comedy, drama, and horror/fantasy elements.

Angel and Buffy are great together in this episode. It was the first time that I could really see their connection. I think he relates to her depression over her fate more than the Scooby Gang members do since, he suffers the same fate in many ways. I also thought her reference to his "cradle robbing" ways was cute. For some reason their age difference doesn't bother me since her fate has forced her to grow up in unimaginable ways already, so it seems different than a much older man and a young girl in real life would seem. The scene in this episode handled the issue well with the right blend of humor and truth to the issue.

ChrisB said...

As so many have said, this episode is the set-up for the second part. I'm all right with that as the dialogue is on track and the payoff is worth the hour to get there.

Having said that, what a great final line for an episode!

pucklady said...

I got kind of behind on my newbie reports. These episodes come fast!

I decided to look at Dru's spread. It's a modified Celtic Cross, but short two cards.
Her query is represented by the eight of cups - weariness and moving on. Crossing is the two of swords - blocking of emotions, stalemate. Unknown forces is the Hierophant/Priest which could mean religion or belief system is influencing events. Present and passing is the Eight of Swords - confusion, powerlessness. The near future is the fool, reversed meaning anything can happen. Supporting Events has the Nine of Swords - Dispair. The Emperor is in the Other People position (or it could be Outcome. The missing two cards in the spread is confusing me) That would be an important male figure, anyway. She is just turning over the last card. That is usually in the Self position, but in this spread, it could be the Outcome position. She is turning up the Ten of Swords: ultimate failure or victimhood, but her deck has a different card for the Ten of Swords. Usually, it is a dead person stabbed with ten swords. In this case, the swords are replaced with a mausoleum.

Not a good spread, if you ask me.

Angel and the stuffed pig is adorable. Especially dressed in silk and velvet. Is that his normal attire?

"I handed in my test; I used a number two pencil!" hee!

"Why don't you find someone else? Oh, yes, there can only be one." Wait is this Buffy or the Highlander?

For her second spread, there is the Devil, the Ace of Eek! It would have been the Ace of Pentacles, but somehow became a millipede? The final card is sort of Strength, but without the maiden.

Career Fair poster - "Now Think of your Bet Friends Dead" Okay. Great positive thought.

I love the suited waiter at the Career Fair. Canape?

Oh, no! A monster escaping from the airplane! And it's Emily Bennett! Dressed like a belly dancer for some reason.

And SMG can ice skate. Got to use that skill from the list. Check. And hey! It's the Paramount Ice Rink! I used to play hockey there. (Pucklady) That should help with placing Sunnydale. Driving distance from Paramount.

Well, now we see the significance of the Ace of Worms. It's a worm guy. The millipede became mealworms, but I get the idea.

This episode was interesting, but the pacing wasn't very good. The first time we get to see Angel's apartment and it's dragging and I want to fast forward.

I'm of mixed feelings about Kendra. On one hand, she looks the part - moreso than Buffy. Kendra has abs, man! But when she had Angel in her sights, she didn't administer the coup de gras. Well, it's a good thing, but it makes a crummy slayer.

Her final card is a modified Ace of Cups. Instead of the hand and the cup, it's a crashing angel. (Didn't we just see something like that on Supernatural?) Ace of Cups is new love. I don't know what Ace of Falling Angels of Death is.

pucklady said...

Actually, I think I do.

Ace of Falling Angels means a ninth season of Supernatural! :)

sunbunny said...

I think on one of the commentaries (which you should NOT listen to if you don't want to be spoiled fyi), Joss says they had how to do the tarot cards properly and that they just wanted to make them look cool and appropriate for the episode.

I've never understood Paramount. Why call it that? It's nowhere near Paramount Studios. Also, all ice rinks look the same to me. That sounds pretty rink-est, I know. Does anyone know which one they used on Alias?

sunbunny said...

*had no idea. sorry. is late and I is sleepy.

celticmarc said...

A Buffy re-watch is incomplete without a fun to read pucklady report !!

And now ! there is light...understanding your nickname LOL