beginning | blinding torment | boils | lies | making me bitter | evil compounds evil | blah blah bity blah







season three   >  beauty and the beasts


And what do we learn this episode, gentle readers? Say it with me now: All men are beasts. Abuse is bad. Eating people just because they talked to your girlfriend is wrong. Etc.


Other important factoids to remember from this episode:

1. Oz used to be in a marching jazz band.
2. It is okay to use the public school's library's weapons cage to house your werewolf of a boyfriend.
3. Hiding your ex-homicidal ex-boyfriend when he may have eaten someone is bad.
4. Sleeping through werewolf duty is not okay.
5. It is possible to be extremely bitter and jaded re: men at the tender age of 17.
6. Everyone has demons.
7. Some people have literal demons.
8. Demons can be fought.
9. People can change.
10. Love is cool and all, but don't let it own you.
11. Don't be afraid to ask for help, preferably before the person you go to for help has his face chewed off by a homicidal twit named Pete.
12. Home brewed potions are no substitute for good old fashioned steroids.
13. Poker? Not Giles' game.


This entire episode is about men and women and how some are from Mars, some are from Venus, some are part-time werewolves who may or may not get out of their cages at night and attack the masses, some return from hell and some are just raging abusive assholes. And it's not always easy to tell which is which. Now you, like Cordelia by the end of this episode, can have deep thoughts for the rest of the day, no matter how much it pains you.


But let's return to our heroine and her continuing doomed attempt to date a non-undead American. She quickly dispels any rumors of her kicking around gear shifts under Faith's rather inappropriate questioning, yet cozies right on up to him at school and gives him a kiss, so we can assume that the whole Buster Keaton thing of the previous episode went well, but not too well. Continuing this exercise in futility, since we all know the relationship's going nowhere, we meet Scott's friends Debbie and Pete, but we'll just call them RS1 and RS2 (Red Shirt 1=Pete, Red Shirt 2=Debbie). RSs 1&2 are a couple and I'd give you some interesting stats on them, or at least make some up, but it doesn't matter. Do not get attached. I'm not going to give anything away, but, you know, don't.


I hope you realize I don't actually know these people. I just, I thought you would like me better if I had friends, so I hired them.


Buffy has been assigned to the crotchety yet loveable school counselor to prove she is both stable and sane. He's cool, he's hip, he smokes in the office and he don't take no guff from no one. Yeah. Don't get too attached to him either. In fact, if you could get less attached to him than to RS2 or RS1, that might be best. In fact, we mine as well just call him RS3, and not just because I seem to completely have forgotten his name. So this man, that you should not get attached to, gives Buffy some sass and somehow accurately guesses that there was some guy that done her wrong and reminds her that love is great, love is grand, but it can become your master and then you're nothing but it's dog which I don't really get, and I'm not sure any 17 year old would either, because when you stop to think about it, is it really that bad? My dog is one spoiled little mofo. I wouldn't mind her life of lying around and eating everything in sight while getting petted. But, for the purposes of this episode, we are to assume it's bad.


Interwoven amongst all this is the "did Oz eat someone" sub plot. Oz, for some unknown reason, spends his wolfy nights naked in the library cage, rather than comfy at home in his parents' chains. Willow seems to usually guard his cage in the library with the tranq gun alone overnight, because this makes sense and I'm sure is a legitimate extracurricular activity, but she had a test or something to cram for that she couldn't do in a library or something, so Xander takes over. Xander promptly takes an 8-hour nap. During this 8-hour nap, a young man from the marching jazz band went and got himself eaten. It then turns out that not only does the library have a weapons cage, it also has a window in the weapons cage. Said window being ajar the next morning, natch. So it's all very "oooh, did he? Didn't he? But wouldn't he feel full?" and stuff.


Oz does not eat people. It's more werewolf play. You know, I bat you around a little bit, like a cat toy. I have harmless wolf fun. Is it Oz's fault that, you know, side effect, people get cut to ribbons, and maybe then he'll take a little nibble and... I'm not helping, am I?


In an attempt to solve this mystery worthy of Miss Marple or even Hercule Poirot himself, Buffy heads out on patrol where she happens to run into Angel. Angel, by the way, fell out of the sky naked at the end of the last episode. I may have left that out. What can I say? I was repressing. No repressing is needed this week, however, as Angel seems to have found himself a pair of lovely brown pants. And possibly some socks. It's hard to tell.


Buffy knocks the rabid dumbass out, drags him to the deserted mansion he occupied at the end of last season and chains him to the wall. She then goes to the library, where Faith is guarding the cold-blooded jelly doughnut known as Oz. Buffy lies and says she has to study for French or some such nonsense, then goes straight to the card catalogue. That's where I always go when looking for books on the occult or demon dimensions or Acathala-the high school card catalogue. I know Giles is a geek who enjoys cross-referencing, but even I don't think he'd go so far as to alphabetize his demonic books.


But apparently I am wrong and Giles has even less of a life than his closet full of tweed would suggest, because Buffy finds exactly what she's looking for. Buffy falls asleep and when woken up by Giles the next morning, feeds him some shit about a vivid dream about Angel coming back. It looks to me like Giles does not completely buy this and why should he, since it's a horrible lie, but it's never exactly followed up on, so we'll just have to file that under "phenomenons that make Giles look like a dumbass". It's a pretty thick folder. We can thank ME and season seven for that.


Anyway, he looks troubled and tells her that even if Angel did somehow make it back, chances are he'd be a monster, which he already was, and that only someone with extraordinary will and character could survive the demon dimension. Oh, do you mean, like, a champion? Really? Would we really say that Angel has an extraordinary character? He was rather persistent in his use of hair gel and chasing young booty, but I'm not really sure that's what Giles was going after. Perhaps he was let out of hell free because Jasmine needed him to sleep with Darla so she could have Conner so he could sleep with Cordelia so Jasmine could be born? And that was rather difficult for him to do, fathering the young lad and all, from hell? Or maybe he just thought that if he couldn't have Buffy, it sure as hell wasn't going to be anyone blander than him. Which doesn't explain Riley though…damn, this is hard. It just happened, okay? Because he's strong and because the female population greatly desired to see his naked ass fall out of the sky. Not me, but then I'm sane.


While Buffy ponders the meaning of life, the universe and everything, Willow, Xander and Cordy prove just how easy it is to break into the Sunnydale coroner's office and find evidence on the body. [That would be the jazz band student's body, previou.sly described as "eaten", but apparently there's a least part of it left. Guess who ever ate him wasn't that hungry.] They just waltz on in, like they're arriving for a Nancy Drew themed slumber party. Maybe they have a key? And they know the employees by name? Or they have frequent visitor cards that they just have to flash at the gate? Eh. Anyway, hairs are found, Xander and Cordelia gag at the sight and smell of the ex-marching jazz band geek and Willow faints because it doesn't look good for our favorite little hairball.


And then it's daytime! Lunchtime, to be precise! Buffy trots about the cafeteria as if in a daze with some truly offensive looking jello on her tray. I'm disturbed. No, not by the jello. I'm disturbed because I don't hate Scott this episode. I vaguely recall hating him. Which is shocking, because you'd think I'd take anyone over Angel. But I don't think I did. And he's really sort of likeable here, what with his giving Buffy nutritional demerits for jello with marshmallows in it and the fact that he told Buffy she looked amazing when she totally looked like crap and his non-assholiness in general…in fact, I'm really annoyed at Buffy for blowing him off like the manic depressive girl psycho Pete thinks she is.


Oh, you didn't know Pete was psycho yet, did you? Oops.


Anyway, this all changes next episode, so the Scott thing? Doesn't really matter. I just think it's interesting they build him up to be a nice guy in two episodes, he dumps her the third and takes another date to the dance, then we don't hear anything again until CWDP when Holden *sniff* tells Buffy that Scott's gay. And, really? Out of all of Buffy's boyfriends? He seems the least gay of the bunch.


Buffy leaves Scotty hanging with his soon-to-be-dead psycho friends (oh, come on. You knew they were dead. Red shirts! Red shirts!) and cuts school to go stare moodily at Angel. Get used to it. This right here makes up about roughly half of what you will see this season. Oh, sure, sometimes they mix it up with a bit of dialogue here and there, but generally speaking? This is as good as the B/A relationship gets.



The two red shirts go to make out in what seems to be a janitor closet that RS1 has sort of squatted on and declared his mad scientist lab. [Later claimed by Xander and Cordelia as their closet 'o love.] RS2 gets in trouble, because she's a bad, evil women who makes him mad. Also, she poured his nuclear-looking energy drink of evil out, and that sort of makes RS1 unhappy. He goes all big veiny and long, curvy fingernaily and bats her around a bit, before apologizing and getting her to console him. [He's the Hulk with really bad makeup instead of CGI!]


Buffy goes from Angel to her shrink's office and spills her guts and asks for help so of course he's dead, and not only is he dead but it looks like someone gnawed out one of his eyes like I gnaw at a block of cheddar cheese, and there's also a lovely bite out of his cheek. This is more than a little reminiscent of that Cape Fear movie where DeNiro bites a woman's cheek and for some reason that act alone gave me nightmares for months and my boyfriend still finds it funny to pretend he's going to take a chunk out of my cheek. So thanks for that ME.


Oz meets RS2 in the quad to give her notes for senior bio because he aced that test, huzzah, and RS2's flunking. He notices RS2's recently acquired shiner and is all "hey man, I care". RS1, watching from the shadows like a good little stalker, is not happy with this. He follows Oz to the library and sort of goes a little crazy outside of Oz's cage. Poor Oz is all alone here because an illogical leap of logic led the Scoobs to connect the two dead folk with RS2 which led Buffy to assume that it was RS1 doling out the punishment, so they all split up and went looking for him. They asked RS2 for help, but she was too busy being broken to be of much assistance. [And whatever happened to the vigilant guarding of Oz' cage anyway?]


So RS1 busts Oz out and the fight's on. And for the record, Oz's stunt double? Huuuuuuuuuuuuuuge. Ten times Seth's size, man. It's insane. Oz gets tossed around like a little rag doll until the sun goes down and then time's up and the rules change and he's on RS1's scary ass like a rabid squirrel on a tourist covered in peanut butter.


Buffy, Faith, Willow, the broken RS2 and Giles all hear the commotion and come running. RS2 causes Buffy to shoot Giles with the tranq gun because she doesn't want them to catch RS1 because he loves her he really loves her and it's all her fault for making him mad and driving him crazy. And then she sort of trots off to their janitor's closet of love while everyone's all confused and deciding who to chase, and a frustrated Buffy sends Willow and Faith after the wonderdog while she follows the convenient trail of blood to RS1's lair of madness.


RS1 kills RS2 because he thinks she's bad and told on him, Buffy gets there too late to save RS2 but just in time to get batted around by RS1, Angel breaks free from his chains and manages to arrive just in time to rescue his lady fair, by snapping RS1's neck. He then kneels at Buffy's feet and just sort of hangs out there. Luckily we go from this to the land of exposition fairly quickly, and I'm appalled at how the whole school is all "yeah, Pete had too many lattes and birth control pills and killed Debbie", like it's a non-issue. Callous bastards.


And here's where it really just sort of starts to unravel. It's like ME had the analogy they really wanted to use figured out, but then couldn't think of a reason. In the end, the best they could do was say that Pete went all Jekyll and Hyde because he was afraid Debbie would leave him so he wanted to become super mas macho. Cuz chicks dig the psychos, and nothing screams "you're mine forever" like a black eye.


But we're not done yet, because Buffy has to console Scott. Scott, who's known them since pre-kindergarten and didn't realize anything was going on. Way to go there, buddy. But he learned something from this-you never really know someone. Ever. And this makes him sad. 2 points for Scott! He truly does belong in the Scooby gang, yo. It's too bad Buffy left him once again to go stare moodily at Angel's greased up torso in the moonlight, now isn't it? I never thought I'd say this, but *sigh*…poor Scott.



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