beginning | blinding torment | boils | lies | making me bitter | evil compounds evil | blah blah bity blah
season two > school hard
Principals just can't seem to stop dredging up Buffy's past little indiscretions. For one thing, they don't seem to want to forget about that one teensy gym burning incident. When Principal Snyder brings it up, Buffy deftly defends herself by blaming cigarette-smoking mice. Even so, she's still neck and neck in the worst kid in school contest with the girl who likes to stab her teachers with pointy garden tools. Their shared prize is perhaps as dark a fate as any she has ever faced. Sure, she's slain vampires, faced demons, and braved the world with that scary flippy hair, but never before has she seen this: not only will her mother meet her teachers, she has to orchestrate the whole thing -- lemonade and all.
It's not clear exactly what brought Buffy into Principal Snyder's office this time, although her obvious crime is wearing her hair in those pigtails. Is she five?
Buffy then meets up with her partners in fashion mistakes: Willow, who tries to one-up Buffy's hair with the Pippi Longstocking look, and Xander, who apparently just got back from surfing the big one off the Big Island. He also seems to be carrying a large purse. But I digress.
The next scene is an instant classic: the Sunnydale sign has welcomed its last visitor as a big black car thoughtlessly runs it down. And lest the violence, darkness, and scary music didn't tip you off, remember that Xander carelessly uttered the "ultimate jinx" in the previous scene: "As long as nothing really bad happens between now and then, you'll be fine."
Sunnydale will never be the same again.
So, who is this Billy Idol wannabe turned vampire in the long black duster? It doesn't take long to find out that his name is Spike and he doesn't seem overly impressed by the grandstanding of the vampires left in the wake of the Master's death. They're now doing the bidding of the Annointed One (who is scary only in the sense that he's a little kid and could probably throw a wicked temper tantrum).
Spike doesn't seem ruffled by the "annoying guy" or by some pesky Slayer. Who does seem to get to him is Drusilla. She's obviously missing a few garden implements in her shed, but he is enthralled with her. She may have psychic powers or she could just be a complete fruit loop. It's not entirely clear at this point.
What is clear is that she'd like Spike to kill Buffy as a sign of his affection, and he's more than up to the task, or so he thinks. He's already killed two slayers and figures a third will be cake.
Buffy, meanwhile, is beginning to realize that she has a serious problem: she's got to do something about that hair. And so begins a mother-daughter bonding session that starts with Joyce telling Buffy about life and ends with Buffy checking her holy water and crosses drawer to remind everyone that she knows all about it.
Ms. Calendar, techno-pagan extraordinaire, discovers that Saturday is the night of St. Vigeous, which could means good news for vampires, bad news for everyone else. In a shocking plot twist, the slaying once again could interfere Buffy's normal life, but the gang promises to help and "whistle a jaunty tune." That should help lots.
Buffy still hasn't figured out how to solve the hair crisis, as she now sports a paintbrush in her hair. I guess she's so used to making do with what she has for stakes, that she's carried this philosophy into hair accessories. Sometimes slaying crosses over into normal life a little too much.
Later, Spike draws Buffy out of the Bronze and tells her that Saturday is when he'll kill her. For reasons known only to her, she decides that her best strategy is to let him just turn his back and walk away from her. Might as well drag this showdown out as long as possible.
Back at library-central, Angel shows up and seems to know a bit too much about Spike. Obviously, since he is a storehouse of knowledge about the big bad vampire who seems set on having her dead, she quizzes him about standing her up.
But there are more pressing concerns… remember the whole parent-teacher night? And seeing Angel, Xander can't help blurting out a deeply hidden fantasy about putting a collar on him.
In them meantime, Spike has picked up some snacky cakes, um, the garden implement-wielding student, for the flat-out bonkers Dru.
Thursday night brings weapons-making, sugar-free lemonade, more bad Buffy hair, Joyce colliding with Buffy's teachers, and Buffy's purple sweater colliding with her green blouse.
The gang spends the night researching Spike, since Angel decided to (surprise, surprise) be all cryptic and stealthy rather than spill what he knows. And guess who decides to show up? Could it be? Yep, Spike couldn't wait 'til Saturday.
Giles suddenly has the brilliant plan of getting Angel's help since "he knows about Spike". Yeah, Angel also knew about Spike before Giles decided to spend the whole night reading through his books. Seems this brilliant plan could have helped a little earlier in the evening.
Buffy finally gets with the program and takes off that icky sweater. She also heads for the library and grabs some weapons. Xander comes back with Angel who has become all chummy and huggy with Spike while dragging Xander around as the next snacky cake. (The previous pruning shears-loving snacky cake is now an axe-wielding vampire.)
In a stunning turn of events, we find that not only are Spike and Angel old friends, but Spike tells him "You were my sire!" Dum, dum, dum… the plot thickens.
Don't worry too much though. We soon learn that Angel was just pretending to be all evil as a plan A type deal, and isn't going to drink Xander dry after all. Xander, for his part, is all aflutter after being in Angel's arms for so long.
Then the fighting begins. Just when it seems Buffy is done for, Joyce saves the day by wacking an axe over Spike's head. During the cleanup, it's clear that Principal Snyder and the Police Chief know a little more than what they're letting on. Other things also seem clear from the fact that Xander and Angel are fighting like an old married couple.
In a bit of foreshadowing, Cordelia spends the whole time in the broom closet. And there may be another bit of foreshadowing when Spike says "A Slayer with family and friends, that sure as hell wasn't in the brochure."
All's well that ends well and Spike becomes a hero worthy of cheering for when he puts the annoying one in a cage and turns him into a pile of dust.
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