beginning | blinding torment | boils | lies | making me bitter | evil compounds evil | blah blah bity blah
No, I feel fine. I mean, the world's spinning a little bit, but I like it. It's like a ride.
season two > killed by death
I was never really all that partial to this episode, although overall season two is one of my favorites. Ah, hindsight though. Had I known season six was coming, I would have been more appreciative of Killed by Death. It features exactly zero crackwhores hooked on the magic smack, no scenes of Buffy and Spike having sex, invisible or otherwise, and Giles didn't go away and leave us all. All in all, everything I look for in a solid Buffy episode. Killed by Death, how I love you.
Oh! Another reason this episode belongs in the Buffy Fantastic Episode Emporium: it opens in a graveyard and Buffy is fighting an actual vampire! And the gang's all there! Remember the days when they all used to hang out together, bond over staking the undead? Buffy almost stakes Xander accidentally. Such wacky fun.
Except Buffy's her same whiny "I have work to do" self. Wah, wah, wah, cry Buffy. Apparently even slayers get the flu and the gang's out patrolling so she can take the night off. Only since Buffy read our continuity guide, she knows that regular human high schoolers aren't really favored to win any human/vampire action since if they could, the whole slayer concept would be a bit moot. Too bad no one else from the show bothered with reading the useful guide we slaved over for possibly more than 15 minutes. And sadly, this show was written by two people who I don't even think are with the show anymore. Apparently, ME sacked anyone who did follow our easy-to-use guide. It figures.
Angelus shows up and heads right for Cordelia. You know, since she's his one true love and all. He would have swept her off her feet and taken her to LA right then and there so her disembodied head could float like a bobblehead doll up in heaven and so he could sleep with his long-dusted girlfriend as to make a baby for Cordy to have sex with later when she was sad and lonely, but Xander gets jealous that Angel isn't paying any attention to him and puts a stop to that idea. For the time being.
Buffy has one of those prophetic visions of the future and sees Angel and Cordy's future in LA. She passes out in hilarious laughter. She plays it off like the flu did it, but we know better.
The scoobies rush Buffy to the hospital where she's unconscious and unresponsive. From the flu? Seriously? Still better than Amy who couldn't even do a love spell knowing about Rack, so I'm going with it.
The doctors stabilize her and decide to keep her for a few days. From the flu? Seriously? I mean, never mind.
Buffy starts ranting about vampires and how she has to get out of the hospital. Joyce says, "not that again! After we institutionalized you and everything, we thought those delusions were gone for good!" Or possibly she doesn't say that since the writers didn't think up that wacked storyline until, when was it? Oh right. Season frickin six. Of course.
Joyce goes to call Almanzo. Because Buffy has the flu. Did anyone even call him when she died? But in season two, he got called for the flu. Joyce then tells Giles she thinks maybe Buffy got the flu because Jenny died. I knew Joyce was crazy way before her ghost started going on about evil and the sun rising.
Turns out Buffy's ranting isn't because she doesn't want to forsake her destiny, it's because she's got this hospital phobia. A phobia that we, of course, have never heard about before or since. Even though Buffy's been in many hospitals since. I suppose this is because she faced her fears in the episode and has overcome the phobia. Or something. Buffy's got this hospital phobia because her caring parents institutionalized her for a while before she moved to Sunnydale. Oh wait. Right. That was revisionist history. I keep forgetting. Sorry. Actually, it's because when she was eight, her cousin died in a hospital when Buffy was alone with her. Since when has Buffy had cousins? Where's the aunt and uncle? The grandparents? Did the cousin just exist on her own and once she was dead, all of Buffy's family was gone forever? Or maybe they disowned her when she was institutionalized. [oh oh oh! She HAD a cousin, but then Dawn came along, revise revise revise, and the monks decided that, you know, a cousin didn't really fit into the scheme of things! Oh my god, it all makes sense now! -ST]
The gang's worried that Angel might burst in and attack her when she's down, since the hospital is a public building and all, and too bad no one thought of the whole public building problem when Jenny was hanging out in the school in the dark. Xander offers to stand guard, since he could so easily take Angel. And when Angel shows up, sure enough Xander scares him off. Just go with it. I think the truth is that Angel wanted an excuse to bring Xander flowers and didn't come for Buffy at all. He wanted to make it up to Xander for making him jealous with the whole lunging for Cordelia earlier.
At this same time, Buffy is having this dream about this scary (read: not) guy who's stalking little kids and she ends up at her cousin's bed (remember, her only living relative in the world ever who died and traumatized Buffy forever?). And then she wakes up and wanders around the halls (how she doesn't pass right by the Angel and Xander lovefest I have no idea) and sees the little boy from her dream who tells her that death just killed another kid. Well, duh. Death is what kills most people. Otherwise, they'd still be alive. Anyway, the little kid says that grown-ups can't see death; only they can. Because little kids have death-vision superpowers or something.
Then we get a flashback to little girl Buffy playing superhero with her quickly-made-up-for-the-plot "cousin". [Darling, you act like this is new ground. Everything is made up for the plot here: Dawn, Buffy's "friends", Angel's history, Slayer skills, insane asylums It is the way of the Buffyverse. We must accept it, and bow to its, uh. Whatever. Suck it up. Buffy was a spazz as a child who had a cousin. End of story.] She looks completely different from little girl Buffy in Weight of the World. I mean, different color hair and everything. You'd think they could have at least kept the hair fairly consistent. Sure, Buffy probably started bleaching her hair in high school, but it's doubtful she did when she was elementary school.
I suppose this is to make us feel the bond between Buffy and her "cousin" and make us all understanding when Buffy becomes all hell-bent on finding death later. [No, no, no, it's a premonition! Buffy knew, deep deep down, that she was going to be a Slayer, much like Willow knew deep deep down that she was a lesbian. Maybe that's how the Watchers find the SITs! Maybe they roam the planet, looking for girls pretending to be super heroes! By jove, I think we've got it!] Because, not to spoil it for you, but this invisible death guy who's going around killing little kids now actually killed her cousin too! What a coincidence.
Now, Buffy couldn't see invisible-death-who-only-little-kids-see back when the cousin was killed, so apparently he can only be seen by little kids who have the flu. Or something. And also by high school students who have the flu since Buffy stops seeing him when she gets better. This part of the plot makes the least sense, so there's really no need to try and figure it out logically. It's like when Cinderella's fairy godmother told her that everything would turn back at midnight. Why midnight? If pumpkins can turn into carriages, why not make it last until the ball's over? And why didn't the glass slipper turn back if everything else did? It's like that. It's no use to question it. You'll only go insane. And then possibly be institutionalized like Buffy.
Buffy tells the gang about how the invisible death monster is killing all the kids with the flu and she thinks maybe the doctor has something to do with it. Since it's too early in the episode to wrap things up, we know that he's completely innocent. They start poking around, Cordy hits on a dorky security guard, and Willow and Giles go back to the library. Meanwhile, no one is guarding Buffy's room. I guess they figured the Angel threat was a one-time deal. Once Xander and Cordy are done with the Nancy Drew thing, then he decides he'll guard her then. Hey, why not.
Of course, she's not in her room. She's off hanging with the little "I see death" boy. Meanwhile, Willow and Giles find out supposed evidence against the doctor, but since we know he's not the problem, we'll just skip all that. And plus, he dies in the very next scene. I bet Willow and Giles feel silly now.
Oh, so Buffy sees death murder the doctor, only she can't see death anymore, so she realizes she's now all grown up and can never go back to never never land again. Or she decides that she needs to come down with the flu again.
I'm going to have to skip to the end a bit here, because damn this episode is boring in the middle. Buffy ends up giving herself a flu shot that gives her the flu so she can fight death. Cordy and Giles research in the library, and for possibly the only time ever on this show, Cordy tracks down the demon's identity. He sucks the life out of kids while pinning the down, and Buffy's all, he killed my cousin! Of course, we already knew that, but try to pretend to be all shocked.
The kids are off hiding, Buffy finds them and kicks death's ass (and also snaps its neck). The little boy is admittedly all cute here, leading the little kids to safety. Later, Buffy, Willow, and Xander take advantage of Joyce by making her cut the crusts off their bread and give them her secret stash of cheesy chips. [one of my favorite scenes ever. I just felt the need to say that.] She refrains from putting them all back in the hospital, and instead silently vows to haunt them all when she's dead. It's all very touching.
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