Janes (a True Stan) and Nerdy Spice (a New Fan) are watching all of Buffy together and comparing notes.
Season 2, Episode 10: “What’s My Line, Part 2”
We pick up right where we left off: Buffy is fighting with Kendra, who claims that she’s also a Slayer. They agree to a detente, and with Giles’ help, they figure out that Kendra was called when Buffy died for a few minutes in “Prophecy Girl.” Twist!
Kendra is the complete opposite of Buffy–bookish, super serious, and diligent about following orders to the letter. As Buffy puts it, she’s the “she-Giles.” (Buffy also gets all jealous that Giles might like Kendra better than her, which is sibling-like and cute.) It turns out that Kendra attacked Buffy because she saw her kissing Angel, and assumed she was a vampire. Which, fair. Once they’re all on the same side, Buffy figures out that Kendra has locked Angel up at Willy’s, and goes to save him. But by the time she gets there, Willy has already sold Angel down the river to Spike, who wants to use him for a ritual that would kill Angel and revive Drusilla from her mysterious mob disease.
Buffy is gung-ho about saving Angel, and Kendra is confused about why anyone would care about saving a vampire. The conflict between Buffy and Kendra’s diverging Slayer styles comes to a head when Kendra insists that they return to Giles for orders after finding Angel’s location. Buffy refuses because Angel “could die,” and Kendra says he’s a vampire, and he “should die.” Which is insensitive, yes, but in Kendra’s defense, everyone did a really terrible job of convincing her that Angel is good now. Would it really have taken that long to explain that he has a soul?
Anyway, Buffy goes to find Angel alone, and Willy leads her into a trap. Luckily, Willy is so incompetent, his “trap” takes her exactly where she needs to be: the church where Spike is doing the ritual. Angel is tied up and slowly dying as Drusilla saps his strength away from him, and Spike orders a human member of the Order of Terraka to kill Buffy. Kendra arrives to save her just in time, and together they defeat Spike and rescue Angel just as the church crumbles around them. They weirdly assume that Spike and Drusilla are dead, even though they all understand that vampires can’t die from being crushed by debris, so it’s no surprise when they’re actually alive. It’s slightly more surprising that the ritual actually worked–Drusilla is strong now, which is fun.
Notes from a New Fan:
- I wish Kendra had beaten up that guy after he asked them to take nude photos with his “buddy.”
- For a woman who’s dying of galloping consumption or whatever it is Drusilla has, she sure has some fierce biceps.
- Spike and Drusilla have Angel gagged, but it looks like they barely have him tied up, except for a gag. Why doesn’t he like headbutt them or something and get away? Do they even have his feet bound? Weak sauce, Angel.
- Did Buffy go to school in her pajamas? She’s still wearing the giant flannel shirt she was wearing to take a big nap in Angel’s bed.
- I really appreciate that Xander has finally come up with a good plan: to wait in the basement till Buffy saves them. Growth!
- Xander looks like a really bad kisser. I’m not surprised.
- That said, I still got all the happy feelings when he and Cordelia made out.
- Xander greets Kendra in his usual horny, gross way RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE GIRL HE JUST KISSED. Shut up, Xander. Even old-school Cordelia deserves better.
- I like that Buffy is getting all knight-in-shining-armor about Angel.
- Kendra’s lipliner is OUT OF CONTROL.
- Buffy makes fun of Kendra’s accent. Rude!
- So Buffy died a year ago, but Kendra’s been training with her watcher since before she can even remember her parents, and her parents sent her there, but she believes the Slayer should be a secret identity? I’m confused.
- Everything about these maggots is so gross. Can we not, with the bugs? Ugh.
Notes from a True Stan:
- Why is Buffy saying random Spanish words to a girl with a Jamaican accent?
- I love the “two Slayers” thing, but so many things about this don’t make sense. Slayers lead dangerous lives–none of them have ever briefly “died” before this? And Kendra’s been training with her Watcher for a year, so presumably the Watcher’s Council “called” the Watcher to help her, and they didn’t bother to tell him that there’s another extant Slayer? They should tell him, if nothing else, for exactly this purpose–so they don’t have redundant Slayers fighting the same evil in the same town.
- Giles’ “The Slayer Handbook would be no use in your case” is such a savage burn. Also love the nerdy bonding over footnotes.
- Love that Cordelia doesn’t give a shit that there’s another Slayer.
- Buffy didn’t tell anyone that Angel was Drusilla’s sire? Not even Willow?
- Drusilla seems genuinely upset that Angel killed her family, which always confused me. This show is very inconsistent about whether vampires have feelings about their lives as humans, or whether they just become entirely different people when they’re turned, and it only becomes more confusing as the show goes on.
- I love when Buffy tells Kendra she has “no imagination” when she fights, even though her technique is better, because it’s so consistent with everything we’ve seen. As we’ve written before, Buffy’s greatest asset in a fight is always her resourcefulness and her ability to improvise. You could even see the difference in the characters’ respective choreography during their first fight.
- I also love that Kendra thinks emotions are “weakness” while Buffy says her emotions are “assets” in a fight. Girly feminism ftw!
- Buffy has a lightbulb moment about beating up Willy for information but… why didn’t they just do that when they first discovered Angel was gone?
- There are only like, two people holding Buffy when Kendra saves her. What happens to her superpowers during scenes like this?
- It’s funny that Buffy doesn’t end up killing the policewoman because she’s human, even though she’s also supernatural bounty hunter whose only purpose is to kill Buffy. It’s very Batman.
- Xander and Cordelia continue to be adorable together in their makeout scenes. This is the only pairing that makes Xander seem even remotely sexy.
Season 2, Episode 11 “Ted”
Mrs. Buffy continues the trend of being completely unable to make good decisions by bringing home a teddy bear of a new boyfriend named “Ted.” He sets off Buffy’s spidey senses almost immediately, but everyone else, including Willow and Xander, is totally charmed by his cooking skills (and his ability to give Willow tech gear at a low cost). Buffy takes out her aggression on some redshirt vampires. She also complains about Ted to Angel, who then impatiently says, “So are you going to talk about something else at some point?” Um, rude!
Ted takes everyone to mini golf and everything is hunky dory until he catches Buffy cheating (which, seriously, Buffy?!) and goes into a full-on abusive tirade when everyone else can’t hear, about how “right is right and wrong is wrong.” Given what happens later, I feel like we’re supposed to think that his obsession with black-and-white morality is related to the fact that he’s a robot. But, like. She cheated!!!
Anyway, no one believes Buffy. She investigates Ted and finds out that he’s telling everyone at the company he’s engaged to Mrs. Buffy. Then, after a tense family dinner, he shows up in her room reading her diary. He tries to use her supposed psychiatric delusion of being a vampire slayer to blackmail her into supporting his relationship with her mom. When Buffy tries to prevent him from leaving, they get into a fight… and Buffy kills him. Whoa.
Mrs. Buffy is understandably a little gobsmacked by this development, but manages to pull herself together long enough to lie for Buffy and say that Ted fell. But Buffy confesses, and tells the police that she hit him after he hit her, but didn’t mean to kill him. She feels completely horrible and wonders if she’s a terrible person–and even Xander and Willow are shocked when they realize that Ted wasn’t a demon. “He was a person,” Buffy says sadly, “and I killed him. I’m the Slayer. I had no right to hit him like that.” It’s so dark!
Luckily for Buffy, this is all moot. Ted totally comes back to life and comes to her room again, only this time she gets him in the arm, revealing his robotic control panel. Because he’s a salesman! But like, a salesman demon. He starts short-circuiting, but locks Buffy in her room long enough to convince Joyce that he’s just a human who wasn’t really dead after all. She finally spooks when he suggests they run off together to get married right away. He knocks her out too, but then Buffy breaks out and finally gets him in the head with the cast-iron skillet he used to make his mini-pizzas.
Meanwhile, the Scoobs have figured out that there’s some kind of happy drug in Ted’s cookies, because Willow can use a high-school-lab-quality microscope to identify specific molecules. (For some reason this makes Xander think that it clears Buffy of being a scary violent person, even though Buffy didn’t know that Ted was putting drugs in the cookies.) They break into his house and find his first four wives in a closet (luckily we’re not treated to this sight). So he’s a serial-wife-killer salesman robot.
Also, Giles tries awkwardly to talk to Ms. Calendar, and she explains patiently to him that she was inhabited by a demon and sometimes people need time and space to get over their trauma and not be bugged every other day by their ex. She does follow him to the graveyard to talk more, only to get attacked by another demon. Whoops. Luckily Ms. Calendar gets ahold of a crossbow… and shoots Giles. Then Giles pulls the arrow out of his own back and stabs the vampire. Well played, Giles? I guess? He is next seen making out with Ms. Calendar in the library.
Meanwhile, Xander and Cordelia discuss how they’re not going to tell anyone that they kissed (while Xander has a mouth full of cookie crumbs, by the way). Then they go to a utility closet to make out. Squee! I love it.
Notes from a New Fan:
- The episode is called “Ted.” Gee, do you think the baddie of the week is going to be named Ted?
- Ted fries his pizza after baking it. I want to act like a fancy Italian connoisseur the way Keets would want me to and say clearly he’s a monster, but uh, I want to go to there.
- Wait, Giles tells Buffy that “the subtext here is rapidly becoming text.” I thought that was a silly thing they only said on Dawson’s. Now the question is who ripped off who?
- Um… why is Buffy cheating in mini-golf? I kind of judge her. Actually, scratch that, I totally judge her.
- Xander asks Cordelia if she’s talking about the fact that they kissed with cookie crumbs filling his mouth. She makes the exact horrified noise that she should. (But she does continue kissing him, which honestly, I support. I’m really torn on this.)
- Buffy kills Ted 23 minutes into the episode. Huh, that’s weird. [ETA: I guess I should have seen the rest coming.]
- Mrs. Buffy is totally covering for Buffy when she just busts in with, “I hit him.” That’s the last time anyone should do you any favors, Buffy.
- Sarah Michelle Gellar kills it (er, sorry, no pun intended) in this scene when she apologizes to her mom.
- Also, poor Mrs. Buffy.
- Oh. I’m kind of disappointed that Ted isn’t just a bad guy and he really is supernatural. But I guess it makes it less upsetting that Buffy killed him. I like that she stabs him with a girly nail file though.
Notes from a True Stan:
- Buffy says the “contract is off” with the Order of Terraka because she thinks Spike and Drusilla are dead. But we know they’re not, so what happened with this plotline? This always bugged me.
- Willow’s sad “I have my own fun” when no one laughs at her joke is perfect.
- The writers referenced subtext and Freud in the span of fifteen minutes! Is this a Dawson’s episode?
- The conversation where Buffy confides in Angel about Ted is super adorable, but also sort of highlights how seldom they actually have conversations.
- But like, why did Buffy feel the need to cheat at miniature golf?? It’s not worth a threat of violence, but this would be really weird behavior even if she didn’t have supernatural athletic abilities.
- Joyce’s behavior is completely egregious in this episode. She lets Ted, a man who has only met Buffy once, comment on her daughter’s grades and dating life, then she dismisses Buffy when Buffy says Ted threatened to hit her. I know some of this can be explained by the drugs in Ted’s food, but are we supposed to think she’s literally been high for weeks? Didn’t she, at any point, think maybe she should listen to her daughter?
- Even knowing that she’s the Slayer, the scene where Buffy finds Ted in her room is so scary.
- I never know how to interpret the detective’s weird delivery of “Things got out of hand. He’s a big guy.” It sounds like he thinks Buffy has been a victim of abuse that she’s not disclosing, but she is disclosing it–she said Ted hit her. So confused.
- Or maybe he’s just saying that it would be crazy to prosecute her when she’s a tiny girl and he’s a huge dude who stole her diary and then hit her, because I was thinking the same thing.
- Also, I totally forgot that this is the same detective who returns next season. No wonder he’s so suspicious of Buffy in season three!
- I always laugh when Ted says, “Do we have something to say about [killing me]? Are we sorry?”
- He kept his wives’ corpses in the closet!! How very Bluebeard of him.
- I love this episode. When I was introducing an old boyfriend to Buffy, I didn’t want to show him a season one episode, or a serialized season two episode that would spoil him, so I showed him this one. I think it’s a near-perfect MOW episode, especially since they divert from the Buffy formula and keep you in suspense about whether Ted is actually bad.
Season 2, Episode 12 “Bad Eggs”
First off, did kids ever actually have to take care of an egg like it was a baby, or can we file this under “things that only happen in 90s WB shows”? By the time I took sex ed, it was a robot baby with a defective sensor that cried for an entire weekend (which, to be fair, taught me a hell of a lot more about how demonic newborns can be).
Anyway, Buffy and friends are doing this project just as all of their hormones are running wild. Xander and Cordelia are making out in broom closets and insulting each other and generally being adorable, and Buffy and Angel can’t make it through two minutes of “patrol” without kissing as loudly and smackily as possible. Joss punishes them all for these urges, as he is wont to do, by making their symbolic eggs actually hatch into something: namely, these truly disgusting demon-parasites:
More specifically, Buffy’s hatches into this worm-hand thing, and it attaches itself to her face like a chestburster and sucks the life force out of her for a night. (And then it inexplicably retreats back into the egg and like–glues the eggshells back together? It’s intact the next morning, at any rate.) Buffy and Willow are both suspiciously tired in the morning, while Xander is flying high because he boiled the egg to prevent it from breaking. (“You boiled your young?” Willow asks, scandalized. Hee.) That night, Buffy’s egg hatches into a full-on demon scorpion thing and tries to attach itself to her back, but she uses her Slayer reflexes to stab it to death. She calls Willow to warn her, and Willow reassures her that her egg is behaving normally, but then we see that her egg has actually hatched and she has the dead-eyed stare of body-snatcher thrall. Eek!
Everyone else’s eggs seem to be normal, so Buffy assumes that hers was a trap set by the Gorches, a pair of over-the-top redneck vampires that we get way too much of. Do I care about seeing them tussle in a sewer without any of the other cast members? No. (It is funny when the older one says, “I’m gonna beat you like a redheaded stepchild,” though.) But then, Xander goes to eat his boiled egg for lunch, and finds a curled-up boiled demon-scorpion fetus instead! Ew!!
Buffy brings the fully-hatched dead one to the science lab so Willow can dissect it (ewww this is definitely one of the grossest episodes), but Willow and Cordelia–who both have bugs attached to their spines–end up knocking out Buffy and Xander and dragging them into the broom closet. Also, Joyce comes to the school to pick up Buffy, and Giles plants a bug on her. Everyone who’s been body-snatched walks robotically to the basement, where a gigantic, slimy pink demon is pulsating beneath the floor. Ugh.
It turns out that the eggs were laid by this demon, called a bezoar, and then the baby bezoars attach to everyone’s spines and control their motor functions and make them slaves to the mama bezoar. The Gorches find Buffy just as she’s about to fight the bezoar, so they end up fighting off all the bezoar zombies together while also fighting each other. The bezoar ends up eating the younger Gorch brother, and the older one keeps trying to kill Buffy until the bezoar opens its giant single eye, wraps a slimy tendril around her legs (yuck!) and drags her underground. Buffy grabs a pickaxe on the way down, and a few loud minutes later, she emerges, covered in the bezoar’s black blood. The remaining cowboy skedaddles.
Notes from a New Fan:
- Mrs. Buffy shops at “Everyday Woman.” That is so sad. Not as sad as Buffy asking at the mall for an outfit that makes her look like a “thin streetwalker,” but, pretty sad.
- This cowboy vampire is… somethin’. I hope that scenery he’s chewing is delicious.
- “This ain’t over,” the vampire says, and skedaddles. Hee!
- Mrs. Buffy asks Buffy if she ever thinks about anything but boys and clothes and Buffy is all, “Saving the world from vampires?” I would say that she’s bad at being stealth, but… I think we all know that Mrs. Buffy is never gonna catch on. So I’ll give her a pass on that.
- Cutting to this teacher yelling, “S. E. X.,” from Xander and Cordelia getting down in the closet, made me giggle. Yes, I’m twelve.
- I enjoy all of Xander and Cordelia’s absurd classroom behavior, but I don’t get how no one has figured out that they’re doing it? I guess that explains how no one has picked up on Buffy’s secret identity either.
- Well, this is disgusting.
- Xander boiled his egg. I admit I laughed.
- These extremely loud, smacking kissing noises that Buffy and Angel make in the cemetery are almost as gross as those slimy egg fingers.
- Why is Angel asking Buffy if she thinks about the future? SHE IS SIXTEEN. SHE IS A CHILD. YOU ARE TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY.
- I like that Cordelia peels off from her conversation with Buffy to microaggress against a girl named “Shanice” and ask her if it’s her real hair.
- It seems to be sort of a motif that the camera zooms in on Xander maltreating seemingly inanimate objects that we know are actually sentient. I feel like this is some kind of comment on the fact that, you know, he’s the worst.
- Ewww, this giant lobster thing has formed some kind of infected tramp stamp on Willow’s back.
- Why can’t Buffy break out of the closet with her super strength?
- Xander mansplains to Buffy to “be careful” as she nimbly scales the hole in the wall, and falls flat himself. I love it.
- This episode is SO GROSS. I hate it. It was worse than the episode with all the spiders!
- Why doesn’t Buffy just say that the gas leak knocked her out, instead of telling her mom she was at the gym? She’s so bad at this!
- Oh my GOD with the kissing noises, Bangel. [Oh, yeah, it’s a problem. –Janes]
Notes from a True Stan:
- Willow looks soooo guilty when the health teacher starts talking about their “urges.”
- Speaking of which, Xander tries to be partners with Cordelia, she shuns him, and then he goes to some nameless stranger with no lines. Poor Willow!
- Buffy vaguely says she isn’t feeling well and Joyce immediately feels her forehead and says, “You don’t feel warm.” Aw. Sometimes she does act like a parent!
- This egg project spurs Angel to tell Buffy that he can’t have children, which seems like the least of their problems. Even if he could have kids, they would have so much explaining to do.
- Cordelia’s teddy bear backpack is ridiculous and I kind of want it:
- Xander boiled his egg so he could make sure it didn’t break–and then he eats it? But what is he going to hand in to his teacher??