beginning | blinding torment | boils | lies | making me bitter | evil compounds evil | blah blah bity blah
season two > when she was bad
It's season premiere time, and that means it's time for our annual installment of "Somebody's Cranky!" This year, it's Buffy. Not to ruin the surprise, but season 3 it's the scoobies, season 4 it's Buffy again, season 5 it's mostly Riley, and season 6, it's, well, Buffy again. Being dead and all can do that to a girl.
Before we get into the actual episode, can I just say that I loved the intro they used to do:
"In every generation, there is a chosen one."
I guess they had to get rid of that in season three, since they didn't want to have to revise it to:
"In every generation there is a chosen one. Unless the chosen one dies and comes back to life, and then there's a chosen two. And then if the second one dies and calls a third then the whole "in every generation" thing is blown too. So just forget it already."
In any case, the line that always makes me laugh is "She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness." As though the vampires and demons aren't dark forces or anything themselves. They're like puppies and ice cream!
It's not that I'm stalling to start the actual recap, it's just that I watched this episode on DVD a couple of days ago, and made a few notes in preparation. I'm not sure, but I think my first note is "smilie back bed." I can make out the next one a little better, but it just says "master bones." I'm not sure how helpful these notes are actually going to be. Maybe I should just wing it.
The thing that bugs me the most about this episode is that it hinges on the master not turning to dust when his heart met the big pointy wooden thing. Supposedly, he was reduced instead to bones because he was such an old vampire. Giles knows the ritual to bury vampire bones. And he finds the instructions on bringing a vampire back to life using the non-dusty bones. So, we are led to believe that this bones instead of dust thing happens a lot.
But then we never hear of it happening ever again. We meet old vampires. We hear tales of slayer's past. Never do we encounter a vampire turning to bones. Even once.
But for the purposes of this episode and this episode only, vampire as bones is possible. And with the bones, you can apparently get the vampire back. Just go with it. Lord knows I can't let go of it. Maybe you can.
Yes, getting to the actual recap now. No really.
So, when this episode starts, Willow is actually pretty happy about Buffy being a no-show all summer. She has Xander to herself, and with the Buffy not around with those push up bras distracting him, he actually notices Willow. Enough that he's considering kissage. And of course, Buffy shows up to interrupt just in time. Maybe Willow should be the cranky one this episode.
Anyway, Xander and Willow tell Buffy about how they buried the master and point out his grave. She goes from being bouncy snobby Buffy to silent snippy Buffy. Could she possibly be bothered by the mention of the vampire who killed her? You think?
So, Buffy's hanging at the graveyard while her dad apparently is at her house, hanging with her mom. See, Buffy spent all summer with him. He bought her shoes to show his love. He's worried about her. He loves her. Enjoy this thought because it's the last you'll ever see of it. We never see good 'ole Almanzo again. By the time her birthday rolls around, he's gone from being concerned dad, master of shopping to deadbeat dad, can't take you skating. Then one day, he stops calling entirely.
I guess the upkeep of a dad in the mix was just too much for those poor writers. Lord knows parents are hard to maintain. Peanuts fixed the problem by keeping all adults off-camera with voices that made no sense. I guess ME didn't want to go that route so they just didn't show parents at all. By the end of season six, both Willow's and Xander's parents have had exactly one appearance each on screen. And only Willow's mom. Her dad has only had a mention. It was a bit too much to expect that ME could sustain Buffy's dad for more than two episodes. It was hard enough for them to maintain her mom and they gave that up by the middle of season five. Now the show is parent-free! ME must be so relieved they don't have to deal with that peskiness any more.
I really should take notes I can actually read. They're not doing me a bit of good here.
The next day at school, Buffy tells Giles how she killed a vampire the night before. Giles is all, "I must consult my books!" Because she killed a vampire? He does realize this is the basic premise of the show, right? She's a vampire slayer? Hence she probably is going to be slaying, er, vampires? In any case, for this particular episode, seeing a vampire is significant. Unlike other episodes when the vampire has to at least be wearing jewelry for it to be a portent of evil.
After school, Buffy is ready to jump back into training. Which is good, because her fighting skills are really really bad. At no time do you actually mistake Sophia for her. Sophia beats up on the dummy as Buffy imagines the master's face. It's like they have some kind of mind meld going on.
That night Buffy has this whole weird dream where Giles is trying to kill her as Willow and Xander watch. She gets really bitchy when Angel pops into her room and wakes her up from it. And here, folks, is our introduction to Buffy and Angel's On Again Off Again, Beats the Hell Outa Me Season Two Relationship.
First of all, Angel has a new gig. He's climbing into her window rather than waiting for her in dark alleys to give her news of doom and destruction. Since he gave up the Codex, he is speaking cryptically not to be mysterious, but because he no longer knows it all. Guess he should have made a copy before he gave the book to Giles. Especially since Giles apparently lost it as we've never heard of it again.
Buffy snarks at him and he gets all hurt and takes off. Don't worry. They'll be all lovey again soon. Just wait five minutes.
And then we get a visit from the editing demons from hell. It's times like this when you wonder if anyone screens this show at all before it airs. Joyce is driving Buffy to school and Buffy is completely in the depths of despair. She won't even answer her mom's loving attempts to find out what's wrong. Completely stonewalls her, looks out the window like the world isn't a place worth living in. Now, was that little dream and the visit from Angel really enough to send her over the edge like this? Is she truly that moody? OK, maybe she is, but also take note of her hideous pink crocheted tank top. I know it's painful to look at, but try to just catch a glimpse.
So, mom drops her off, she heads to her locker, wearing, what's this? A white tank top! And her mood has changed considerably. It's still bitchy and moody, but not silent and pained.
Did she walk through a dimensional rift that changed her outfit and her mood? Maybe. Or maybe the Buffy and Joyce in the car scene was supposed to be for the next day. The morning after Buffy finds out that somebody's been digging up the master's grave and wants to party with them. The morning when she keeps that bitter mood all the way up the school steps and berates Giles for not telling her the master could come back. While wearing the hideous pink tank top.
Maybe this episode is like one of those constructor games. Get out your VCR. Cut the scene, paste it in the right spot. Watch again. Helps you truly feel you're part of the process.
Anyway, it's not the morning after yet. It's the morning before. Buffy is only slightly wigged at the dream and the late night visit.
My next note says "heads to brush her hair."So, possibly Buffy or another character on the show brushes her hair at this point. And it's very important you know this. For some reason. I have no idea what that reason could possibly be. I apparently left that part off the note.
Maybe it was a magic hairbrush. No, that doesn't sound right for some reason.
Willow and Xander get all worried about Buffy because she insults Cordelia. Because members of the I Hate Cordelia club would be concerned about something like that. Or wait. They really wouldn't be, would they.
The night at the bronze, it's clear that now that Buffy's back, Xander has lost all interest in potential kissage with Willow. Don't worry Willow. He's get that loving feeling back when you actually have a boyfriend. And soon, all this liking boys will just be a bad dream anyway.
As the minions of the anointed one dig up the master's bones, Buffy does the sexy dance with Xander. Doing the sexy dance is apparently the worst thing she's ever done and it gets everybody concerned. Even Cordelia. Hell, I've done a sexier dance with ST. But whatever. The point is Buffy is bitchy mean and selfish. You're getting that right?
She does the dance at least partially to make Angel jealous. And here we get another installment of Buffy and Angel's On Again Off Again, Beats the Hell Outa Me Season Two Relationship. She was completely bitchy to him during the Romeo and Juliet balcony scene. But then she softened with the whole "I miss you" after he'd jumped out of the window. She claims to have been mad at him for coming to see her to tell her about danger, rather than just to see her.
Now at the bronze, she's mad at him because he came to see her. And find out what was wrong. She tells him she's "moved on to the living." He did exactly nothing to elicit this response. Not even a "hi, I'm here to cryptically tell you you're in danger but not actually help you or anything!" speech.
But, through all this, she still likes him, because she does the sexy-hope-to-make-him-jealous dance. Because she's bitter about being dead? Well, OK, I can buy that. She often gets bitter when she's been recently dead.
The miniony vampires kidnap Cordelia and Jenny and maybe they'll both be killed! Nah, ME would never kill either of those beloved characters. Both of them will be on this show until the end!
As Buffy heads home, she decides to pay her last respects to the master's bones, and finds that they're gone! Oh wait. I probably gave that away already, huh.
She's traumatized! She's shaken! The next morning... insert cut scene with hideous pink tank top from above here. Excellent. Now everything's where it should be. Buffy, in said hideous tank top, runs in to school and whines to Giles and gang. Everyone together now?
The vampires lure Buffy out by telling her they have Cordelia. Giles and gang want Buffy to wait and work with them to figure out what's going on, but she's all, see you losers later. I'm going to kick me some vampire ass!
Of course, it's all a trick to get Buffy out of the way so they can grab Giles and Willow. How embarrassing! She fell for it! The vampires are smarter than she is!
See, the vampires need all the people that were next to the master when he died into order to bring him back. I don't know why there's a ritual for this when the master is the only vampire ever to turn to bone rather than dust, but I guess I've already bored you with that rant, huh. It's very irritating! You can't just change vampire lore when you feel like it! You have a certain comfort level that when you stake a vampire, he turns to dust! And then you can dustbuster him right up! It's hard to do that with bones!
The vampires string everybody upside down on this pulley thing that they must have originally put together for that big blood-flavored slurpie machine and start the ritual.
Angel and Xander burst in with Buffy. Of course Angel basically stands around and stares while Buffy kills everybody. That Angel, quite the champion.
Buffy sees the master's bones, as well as a conveniently placed slegehammer. If he didn't turn to dust when she staked him, well, Buffy's going to turn him to dust now. Apparently that cleanses her of the bitchiness, at least for the next five minutes, and she sobs in Angel's arms.
The next day, she's a little embarrassed that she almost got everyone killed and everything, but they're like, hey, we all do embarrassing things. Think nothing of it!
The little anointed boy gets really annoyed at Buffy. Can't wait 'til their big showdown!
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