Buffy 2×02: Some Assembly Required

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Ty King | Director: Bruce Seth Green | Aired: 09/22/1997]

After the scorcher of an opener that was “When She Was Bad” [2×01], it is disappointing to see the show settle back into what feels like a normal routine. “Some Assembly Required” represents an interesting place in the show’s evolution. In many ways this feels like a Season 1 episode: it’s got the silly plot, the guest villains that barely register and never appear again, the labored pacing, and the failed scares. Despite the fact that this is a mediocre episode, something’s still different about it that I couldn’t quite put my finger on at first. Upon reflection, two things emerged: more relevant themes and much better character follow-through.

Thematically, “Some Assembly Required” feels right at home in the romantic, operatic Season 2; it is all about the push/pull in romance between your mind and your body. The plot is also a clear commentary on how often men objectify women, although this is unfortunately communicated through the cartoonish, one-dimensional Eric. Certain notable questions arise from these themes. Which should you listen to more: the mind or the body? Is it possible to responsibly integrate both aspects together? What happens when the desires of the flesh take control? These questions are all played out in metaphor through the brothers Daryl and Chris, metaphorically the body and the brain of one very frustrated and confused adolescent with a lack of parental guidance (as we see from the mentally absent mother).

The fates of these villains provide us with good answers to some of these questions. The body, or Daryl, ends up dying in a fire with his disgusting constructed “perfect woman,” grasping for love and connection in all the wrong places. The brain, Chris, ends up coming to his senses and at least helping Buffy stop the madness, but nonetheless still tries to rationalize his immorality (“I was just trying to look out for him, like he would have done for me”). Eric, the tool, ends up cowering in fear when confronted, then gets knocked out and saved, despite being a despicable person. Who fares the best out of these three? Clearly Chris, who — mistakes and all — doesn’t actually directly hurt anyone and comes around at the end. I think of this as communicating to the characters (and, of course, the viewers) that the mind must be in control of our decisions concerning love. To an extent, we can’t control how we feel in love, but we can still control what we do in love.

So, how does all of this relate to our characters then? Do they learn from it all? The truth is: not so much. At the end of the episode Angel points out several reasons why he’s not a good partner for Buffy (referencing that he can’t see her in the sunlight, which will be echoed when he leaves her in “The Prom” [3×20]) – this is the mind doing its thing. Instead of recognizing Angel’s legitimate concerns, Buffy sidesteps them simply because she has feelings for him. Even though Angel deserves props for at least consistently raising concerns about their relationship, he selfishly lets it continue anyway. Daryl may have been defeated, but what he represents lives on through Buffy and Angel. This doesn’t bode well for the two of them. The fear of being alone also seems to be a recurring element in the episode. Daryl expresses this concern quite loudly, which definitely resonates with Buffy’s internal conflicts and motivates her to push forward with Angel.

“Some Assembly Required” gives us something that no Season 1 episodes really did: follow-through. Right from the start of the episode we see Angel attempting to reconnect with Buffy after her emotional breakdown in the last episode. The characters not only reference the events of the previous week, but those events inform what they are dealing with this week. This is a very welcome change, and one that will happen on a regular basis going forward. But this trust must be reinforced on an ongoing basis or it risks being quickly lost. It’s these early Season 2 episodes that begin to show consistency in this area.

As for said reconnection attempts, it’s funny how Angel shows a little bit of jealousy towards Xander, a fun reversal of the usual situation. Normally you’d think that a guy like Angel would be more mature than to still be hung up on that “dance” with Xander, but this just highlights how, emotionally, Angel fits right in with the teenagers. It’s an understandable feeling, albeit a juvenile one. Even though Angel claims that Xander’s “just a kid,” he says it with an insecurity that suggests maybe he’s the one being the kid here.

An underlying question throughout the Buffy/Angel relationship is how Buffy can get to know Angel when Angel doesn’t even know himself yet. The fact that Angel can’t see that Buffy’s behavior in “When She Was Bad” [2×01] was an emotional anomaly unrelated to him shows just how unperceptive and immature he is. Even on his own show some of these deficiencies will persist, which I think stems back to his wild human childhood and daddy issues (see “Becoming Pt. 1” [2×21] and Angel‘s “The Prodigal” [1×15]). Angel will eventually grow up enough in Season 3 to see his relationship with Buffy for what it really is, but in many ways he needs just as much growth as the kids do – maybe even more. But that’s a conversation for another day (perhaps even another show). 🙂

As I pointed out in my review of “When She Was Bad” [2×01], Season 2 is very focused on coupling and sexuality, with a particular eye toward the adolescent treatment of said topics. So it’s of no surprise that the episode opens with Buffy and Angel having what almost looks like a relationship quarrel. This is immediately followed by Giles flimsily rehearing pickup lines for Jenny Calendar. Within the confines of just this episode, we get hints – both subtle and not – that the show is toying around with the idea of couplings for Buffy/Angel, Giles/Jenny, Xander/Cordelia, and Willow/Xander.

Where Buffy and Angel are caught up in puppy love, the budding romance between Giles and Jenny offers a different path. For as bumbling as Giles is, it’s his relationship with Jenny that will turn out to be — by far — the most mature and fertile of all the relationships that form throughout the season. Even though he, too, is not immune to a crush, he doesn’t let that crush consume him. Giles never shirks off his duty to Buffy, and he shares enough tangible interests with Jenny to sustain a longer relationship. In short: these are two adults with the potential for a real future together. The contrast with the kids couldn’t be clearer, and it’s an utter delight to watch the two of them interact together. This makes it all the more ironic (and funny) when Buffy and Xander lecture Giles about how to engage in the dating ritual.

After all of this analysis, it may seem like there’s nothing wrong with the episode! Unfortunately, for all “Some Assembly Required” has to say, it’s really uninvolving. Its biggest mistake is how it tries way too hard to generate emotion for Daryl and his plight. Outside of what it represents and has to say about the characters we actually care about, I just don’t care about the plot. Far too much time and melodrama is spent on these temporary villains, and it ends up making the episode a bore. Instead of feeling emotion about what’s happening, my eyes are doing some creative rolling. “Some Assembly Required” simply doesn’t earn its emotional beats, which makes a lot of the value of the episode too dryly academic.

At the end of the day we see just how much “assembly” our characters still need before they become adults. It’s going to require a lot of work, and will be quite the journey. “Some Assembly Required” is more substantive than meets the eye and thematically tight, but it still struggles with its plotting and ability to connect emotionally.


Minor Pros/Cons (+/-)

+ Buffy playing with a yo-yo in a graveyard. 🙂
+ Angel’s ghastly coat!

– Daryl besting Buffy in a fight. Buffy’s strength is way too inconsistent, particularly in the early seasons.


* Cordelia was really impressed by Xander’s heroics and is genuinely thankful he saved her, but Xander totally can’t see that she’s warming up to him. This is the very first sign that these two could develop a relationship, which will gain yet more credence in “Halloween” [2×06] until they eventually couple in “What’s My Line? Pt. 2” [2×10] .




54 thoughts on “Buffy 2×02: Some Assembly Required”

  1. [Note: Austin posted this comment on August 20, 2007.]

    Aww, Boo,Hoo no comments yet 🙂

    Anyways I loved the banter between Giles and Jenny, I thought it was hilarious:
    Jenny: So this is how you start our first date, by insulting my nation’s pass time?
    Giles: Did you just say date?
    Jenny: You noticed huh?


  2. [Note: buffyholic posted this comment on September 1, 2007.]

    I´m sorry but I like this episode very much. I mean, the plot is weak but it´s very fast paced. but for me, the great thing is the dialogue, very witty and the interaction is great.


  3. [Note: Nix posted this comment on September 2, 2007.]

    In regard to the `sensual’ stuff, note that the only other episode Ty King wrote was the excellent _Passion_, which goes overboard in related areas.

    (That the same author came up with this dreck and then _Passion_ adds weight to your hypothesis: the problem here was reuse of S1 stock stuff, not authorship per se.)


  4. [Note: Andrew posted this comment on January 4, 2008.]

    Have to agree here; this was just bad. Huge disappointment by comparison with the previous episode.

    The thing is, I think the main plot was actually not much worse than in When She Was Bad, but this time the focus was on the plot rather than the character development, and thus the episode as a whole ended up being a lot worse.

    Also, Jenny Calender really annoys me for some reason. She was particularly awful in IR,YJ (which of course was pretty much bad right through), but she came close to being as annoying here. She just comes across as consistently aggressive (in speech, that is, not physically). One ends up feeling rather sorry for Giles.


  5. [Note: wilpy1 posted this comment on June 14, 2008.]

    I agree with buffyholic. I also enjoy this episode immensely. Its dialogue is so sharp (although Giles is painfully over-written as the stuffy English guy), and the story is plotted very well. This definitely isn’t the worst of season 2 – not by a long shot. That’s handed to ‘Bad Eggs’, followed by ‘Reptile Boy’.


  6. [Note: Paula posted this comment on November 8, 2008.]

    Re-watched this just a few days ago. The plot is dumb and S1-ish, and oh man does Angel wear ugly clothes, but scenes like the one where Buffy and Xander tease Giles about the whole asking-Jenny-on-a-date thing (including Giles’s eventual “You know, I’m suddenly deciding this is none of your business”) simply crack me up.

    Oh, and I like Jenny Calendar. Way to handle stuffy British librarians. 🙂


  7. [Note: Emily posted this comment on February 13, 2009.]

    I kinda like this episode, though I agree with Mike that the plot is just AWFUL. I like how Buffy and Angel’s relationship really begins to progress, from the opening scene to when Cordelia wants him to take her home, and Buffy gives him this disbelieving look. I interpret this look as, “I can’t believe you’re not going to tell her no.” It’s ironic to me that she wants him to admit he’s jealous at the start of the episode, and in the end, it’s she who’s jealous.

    One of the best parts of this episode- in terms of Buffy and Angel- is Angel’s speech at the end. “He [Xander] gets to see you in the sunlight.” This actually foreshadows his speech in “The Prom,” where he tells Buffy, “You should be with someone who can take you into the light.”

    I like Xander’s line when he’s holding the skeleton head: “For the love of God, can somebody scratch my nose?” Lol.

    I would feel bad for Chris if he wasn’t, as Buffy said, “a ghoul.” (That was a terrible line.)

    I’ve seen the episode a few times, and I still don’t understand one thing: after Buffy figures out that Darryl is stilla live, she and Chris come back to his house to find that Eric and Darryl aren’t there. But what was the point of them coming there? If Darryl had been there, what would they have done? It was a little bit of a pointless scene- a time-filler.

    I really like everything about this episode except for the plot line.


  8. [Note: Selene posted this comment on July 25, 2009.]

    IMO, this was a horrendous episode! And I can hardly believe I’m sating that about any Buffy episode. The only worthwhile stuff in the entire episode are the Giles scenes. Otherwise it’s just a waste of time and talent.


  9. [Note: nallan posted this comment on September 8, 2009.]

    I agree with mikejer on this one for sure….plot = bad…..charater development and interaction = good 🙂

    Loved the scenes with Angel, but I’m just a hopeless romantic. Although I know how this love story ends, I can’t help feeling hopeful as I re-watch this season….crazy, eh?


  10. [Note: vera@amsterdam posted this comment on November 16, 2009.]

    One of the worst. Hate to say it but I did NOT like this episode.

    But there is not any show in the history of television that has only great episodes. All’s forgiven…


  11. [Note: Nick posted this comment on February 11, 2010.]

    To Emily:

    Buffy has every right to call Chris a “ghoul”. If you are capable of not only defiling the body but also the soul of your own brother, digging up and defiling the bodies of others and plotting to murder an innocent, I’d say “ghoul” is still a pretty loose term. “Madman” would be closer.

    But I do agree that, unlike the complete madman Eric, Chris can be redeemed. He was for the most part motivated by brotherly love and ultimately understood how wrong his actions were (including raising his brother). And Buffy recognized this at the end of the episode.


  12. [Note: Selene posted this comment on September 5, 2010.]

    Lousy episode. Joss just couldn’t do Frankenstein monsters (As witness Adam)However loved the line: She’s a technopagan, right? Ask her to bless your laptop. Also the library scene where Cordelia is whining about her ‘pain’ and Giles just kind of absentmindedly pats her and says “There, there.” while keeping his nose in the book.


  13. [Note: John Roberts posted this comment on September 14, 2010.]

    Think of this episode as a breather, sandwiched between the emotionally fraught The Prophecy/When She Was Bad, and the series-changing School Hard. This episode serves to show off the newly matured Buffy, the person who survived both the Master and the Post Master Trauma (PMT).

    Within those terms, the episode was OK. As usual, the show deftly subverts various cliched afterschool-special topics — the HS football star who (quite literally) has no life after high school, the pining mother, the younger brother idol worshipping the hotshot older brother, the impressionable girl throwing herself at the cynical older stud. They’re caricatures rather than characters but are so cleverly done that the effect is fun rather than a groaner. It’s what BvTS does so well.

    And the plot moves quickly. It’s kinda dumb and riddled with holes, but it blithely races along without fussing over its various silly bits, works for me.

    I wished for more Giles/Calendar. More Calendar period. Plus Buffy getting her butt whipped was foolish. Because now I realize that Sunnydale is in no danger at all. Three or four HS linebackers would clean out Hellmouth all by their lonesomes.

    But hey it’s a breather episode and I’m actually trying to analyze the plot. Silly me.


  14. [Note: Ellie posted this comment on September 16, 2010.]

    I always liked this episode. I never felt it was meant to be anything more than a fun romp before the heavy stuff.


  15. [Note: CoyoteBuffyFan posted this comment on February 13, 2011.]

    This is definitely toward the bottom of my list of episodes but I didn’t dislike it. There are only about 3 episodes that I don’t like and only 1 episode that I despise to the point that I almost can’t watch it again (yes, I’m talking about you Where The Wild Things Are) in the entire series. Damn fine series.

    Giles/Jenny are cute and Angel/Buffy are awesome. They are definitely setting us up for Passion here. And they do so well at this. Even in plot driven episodes, there is always still such great character interaction. This is precisely why I love this series so much. Even if the plot is bad, there is enough character stuff that you want to watch the episode anyway. This is one of those.

    One thing that Buffy says in this episode struck me — she tells Chris that she knows what it is like to lose someone you are close to. Do you think she is referring to her cousin Celia there? I can’t think of anyone who Buffy was really close to that died up to this point. If so, this is a nice bit of continuity all the way through to Killed By Death!


  16. [Note: fray-adjacent posted this comment on February 16, 2011.]

    It could also be a reference to Buffy’s original watcher being killed. That happened in the movie, which as far as I can tell isn’t canon with respect to the TV show, but some aspects of the movie, like the name of her school in LA, make it into the show. So this early in S2 anyway the writers might have that in mind. Just conjecture though, and one without a lot of support since no one ever refers to this in the entire 7 seasons of the show.


  17. [Note: deadlego posted this comment on April 18, 2011.]

    I think this episode has some foreshadowing related to season 6. It shows us that just because you bring someone back from the dead it doesn’t mean they are going to be pleased about it. Chris tells himself he is saving his brother but is really being selfish in bringing him back, and actually damns his brother by resurrecting him as a monster. In season 6 when the scoobies bring buffy back they do it for selfish reasons and she, like Darryl, is less than impressed with being ‘saved’ and essentially dragged out of heaven to live again in a world that she feels disconnected from.


  18. [Note: Dana posted this comment on May 25, 2011.]

    I am so happy I found this site, I am re-re-watching the entire series on Much More Music right now and I really wanted to find someone else’s perspective to go along with the series. This is my absolute favourite show and can watch every episode over and over again. It is the only series where the same scenes, lines and characters can make me laugh and cry even though I know what is coming!

    So about this episode…

    definitely not great, especially after When She Was Bad, but I do love the relationship development between Angel and Buffy. It is so weird to see Angle on Buffy compared to his spin-off. He is a completely different person. For one thing, how did he survive 240 years with the sad display of fighting skills we see in the beginning of the series? I agree with you Mike in that they really do play up Buffy’s “sensual” side in this season! I mean gosh, where the heck was her bra during the latter half of this episode?!

    Giles and Jenny don’t really do it for me personally. I agree with the fact that Jenny is overly aggressive in speech and there isn’t a whole lot to her character to make me root for those two together. I was more intrigued by pray mantis lady than I ever have been with Jenny. Giles on the other hand is adorable and the bumbling school boy crush act makes many of the scenes in this episode worth the reconstructed zombie bit.

    On a side note, I really don’t like the direction Buffy’s dialogue is still heading. In ‘When She Was Bad’ I understood the need for her moodiness and cruelty but I find that her snide comments, especially towards Cordelia were just uncalled for. I can’t remember but I hope that doesn’t keep


  19. [Note: Gemma posted this comment on December 7, 2011.]

    I plan to watch the episode fully soon but i have a collection of thoughts i want to post on here before i forget them.

    Some foreshadowing moments i think worth noting is the idea behind this episode making or having what you want but can’t get. In some manner this foreshadows Spike and the Buffy bot in season 5. He can’t have the real thing so he compromises.

    On a small least prominent note the theme of zombies foreshadows the season 3 episode Dead Man’s Party and The Zeppo.

    Cordy’s inherent fixation with Angel (notable in season one also) foreshadows her relationship with him in Angel (the show)


  20. [Note: Gemma posted this comment on December 8, 2011.]

    The actual plot of this episode was certainly creepy, watching the characters reaction to the idea of dead bodies being chopped up and reassembled was portrayed well. Vampires and demons are removed from reality and so the dispatching of them doesn’t affect the gang but the notion that a human being, a fellow student in fact messing around with the dead and then proposing and endeavouring to carry out murder is something else.

    The writers did a great job establishing the back story to this episode, done mainly through the use of character interaction especially Cordelia. It was palpable why Chris needed to do what he was doing and the the scene when he is explaining to Buffy in the girls locker room is touching but still disturbing.

    The interaction of the characters as i noted above was conducive to the story, Cordelia is now pretty much a fully fledged slayerette and Giles and Jenny’s date added comedic value especially the library scene with Giles planning his asking out of Ms Calendar.

    The bad though is the sheer volley this episode had. Particularly with the character Daryl, it was unclear whether his character deserved sympathy or not. Erick was a character i felt that was also a deficient in this episode, was he just a creep or whether he was merely over eager?

    Some aspects of this episode were a little pointless, the picture cordelia’s head on the diagram wasn’t necessary. Daryl waddling back into the fire to save his build it yourself girlfriend.

    The ending of this episode served for some entertainment, for instance Xander pushing Cordelia to safety when she was strapped to the table. This was clearly the beginning of Cordelia seeing Xander in a new light.

    The speech Xander gave about people not falling in love with whats in front of them was apt in describing his feelings for Buffy.

    Best moment: When Xander and Willow are talking about why very never get dates and Cordelia comes up to him and starts to convey something to him, saying if she could do anything…and he cuts her off with a Do you mind we’re talking…to Willow ‘what were talking about?’ Willow: Why we never get dates. Classic!


  21. [Note: x factor posted this comment on December 22, 2011.]

    This episode is easily an A. The dialogue is outrageously witty and like Gemma said, the villains were jarringly creepy.

    No forced contrived storylines? Check.

    No ridiculous character developments? Check.

    No mindnumbing boredom? Check.

    No sadomasichism or sadism? Check.


  22. [Note: CassieNewton posted this comment on July 4, 2012.]

    lol I always hated that ugly grey jacket of Angel. Spike was wearing a similar one in season 5 (I think it was crush, one of the scenes at the BRONZE)


  23. [Note: thebuffster posted this comment on July 21, 2012.]

    Hey! Mike I love your reviews I’m a longtime reader first time commenter. This is probably my 5th rewatch of season 2 (my personal favorite!) anyways I always thought when Buffy walked Angel home in the last scene and they zoomed in a shot of the tombstone that, that was foreshadowing too the end of the season and their relationship.

    Thanks so much for your reviews, I found them last year and after each episode now I read your amazing reviews (:


  24. [Note: Gemma posted this comment on August 8, 2012.]

    This episode alludes to a lot of things to come in Buffyverse, the concept behind building girls is later explored with April and the Buffybot in season 5.

    The idea of bringing someone back from the dead is explored here and we all know how vital and big that notion becomes (I am aware that the Prophecy Girl was the first episode to get behind this train!)

    Plus i loved the scene when Giles is asking out a chair!


  25. [Note: Summer posted this comment on December 14, 2012.]

    I’ll be real interested to read your rewrite on this one, Mike. I wonder if you’ll give it a higher score. Lots of good points in the comments. Especially the foreshadowing about bringing someone back from the dead and being a Xander fan I liked the hint of possible relationship between Xander and Cordy. The eyeroll she gave after he blew her off when she was trying to thank him so classic. I never knew someone could roll their eyes that hard.Also, I was watching this episode last night under the lens of the overarching theme about adolescent sexuality that Mike brings up earlier. It’s very on the nose here. Everything in this episode is sex sex sex and then how destructive it can be if relationships are forced or… created out of dead girl body parts. I also like the no life after high school for the big football star metaphor someone pointed out in the comments.


  26. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on May 29, 2013.]

    ADMIN NOTE: This episode review has been completely rewritten. In light of this, references to the old review have been edited out of the the above comments.


  27. [Note: Alexei posted this comment on May 30, 2013.]

    Interesting, for the first time ever i think that this episode has some redeeming qualities. But you did focus almost entirely on the few good sides that this episode has, and not the bad ones. But then again, there is not much to be said about high school students raising the dead plot…


  28. [Note: Jeremy G. posted this comment on May 30, 2013.]

    Very cool review. The only thing I can think of to add is that there’s a mildly interesting character connection between Daryl and Angel. Both of them are “undead” creatures, and both of them – in this episode, at least – are trying to find love, but neither has sense enough to succeed at it. (Although you touched on Angel’s perspective nicely.)

    Also, thanks for the shout-out on the main page. I’d do the same for you, but heck, I don’t think anyone who visits this site needs to be told to read your reviews.


  29. [Note: StakeAndCheese posted this comment on May 30, 2013.]

    Xander getting turned on by being called an idiot is even more foreshadowing for his relationship with Cordy!


  30. [Note: WCRobinson posted this comment on June 7, 2013.]

    I’m watching Buffy through a second time now, and the start of Season 2 is just such a step up. If nothing else, the humour is brilliant and just my type of humour.

    Buffy: “Yeah, speak English, not whatever they speak in…”
    Giles: “England?”



  31. [Note: Sarah M posted this comment on September 4, 2013.]

    Yeah, this episode may be a monster-of-the-week filler show, but it’s such a vast improvement over the comparable Season 1 outings. It’s a good representation of the show’s growth curve, and the confidence of the writers and crew in actually making a competent TV series, that I don’t mind the meh plotting so much.


  32. [Note: Conor posted this comment on January 22, 2014.]

    I felt this was a weal episode – the strong scenes featuring Giles and Jenny Calendar notwithstanding. For the first time since this series bagan, Xander actually managed to irk me here. He’s become too passive-aggressive. And Angel looked like a dork in that beige jacket. The plot is, as you said, quite awful too. Easily the worst episode since “I Robot…You Jane” (albeit with some redeeming features, as always).

    On the other hand, I’m starting to really like Cordelia. For most of Season 1 she was nothing but a living cliche. She’s actually evolving into a real character in her own right at this point. And there was some foreshadowing of the future Xander-Cordie coupling later in this season also. I also liked that Xander saved her from the flames. Every scene with Giles was also praiseworthy.


  33. [Note: Lydia posted this comment on May 1, 2014.]

    Actually, this episode’s rating is spot-on. The character interaction was brilliant, I loved all the scenes that had Jenny/Giles and of course, Cordelia. The dialogue was hilarious and brilliant (shocker ;)) and it’s true, this episode compliments the overall theme of Season 2. (Which by the way, I wouldn’t have picked up without your well put review :D)

    However, the plot was just terrible. They expected us to feel sorry for the Daryl guy when I just found him and the whole concept of ‘making him his perfect woman’ absolutely cringe-worthy. Like, gross! They spend too much time trying to get us to sympathize with one-dimensional characters that only last an episode. It’s sad that there are a few episodes this season that seem to drag Season 2 (which is an otherwise awesome season) down a little. What with episodes like Inca Mummy Girl, Reptile Boy and Go Fish and stuff. :/

    Oh, and Xander’s quote: “Do you ever feel like the whole world’s playing musical chairs, and when the music stops, we’re the only ones left without a chair?” I’m not sure if I got the quote correct, but I can so totally relate to! So it resonates with me. Most of this episode’s dialogue is A+ worthy!

    Also, glad I’m not the only one who found Angel’s clothing choice awful!


  34. [Note: Freudian Vampire posted this comment on June 29, 2014.]

    BUFFY:Sorry, but I’m an old-fashioned gal. I was raised to believe that men dig up the corpses and the women have the babies.

    Foreshadowing for “Halloween”?


  35. [Note: research-kills-demons posted this comment on August 2, 2014.]

    Eric very much reminded me of an early Warren! Especially the scene where he was urging Chris to kill as if it wasn’t a big deal in the name of getting the “project” done.


  36. [Note: noise posted this comment on September 2, 2014.]

    Also, alluding to their ‘love triangle’, Xander comments on how the “more unattainable, the more attractive” someone is (while looking straight into the eyes of Buffy).

    Buffy uses the same argument to dismiss Spike’s love in season 7- the word ‘unattainable’ is actually what makes Spike pissed off and leads him to his famous speech on how he has seen the best and the worst of her and that he has nothing to do with him.


  37. [Note: buffyholic posted this comment on December 6, 2014.]

    You state that Giles is not immune to a crush but doesn´t let that crush consumme him. But Giles isn´t 16 and most people at 16 always treat things with much more intensity.


  38. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on December 6, 2014.]

    Totally right. The point I was trying to make was that the way Giles handles his relationship with Jenny sets a good example for Buffy to see, even if she’s too consumed by feelings right now to fully understand it yet. Many “adults” don’t act like adults, but Giles does here, which is great to see.

    With Buffy lacking role models at home, it’s nice that Giles is being one, through his actions, here. Plus, in a season filled with adolescent relationships, it’s wonderful to have that balanced by a mature and intelligent — yet still exciting and playful at times — relationship.


  39. [Note: Pathbeyondthedark posted this comment on February 19, 2015.]

    Not much to say about this episode except it seems like a step backward from the previous one. It may be thematically relevant, but the lack of any other substance makes this one of the biggest disappointments post Season 1 “BtVS.” As such, I always skip it during my rewatches of the series.


  40. [Note: MichaelJB posted this comment on August 28, 2015.]

    Another item of interest is the contrast between Daryl and his mother. Daryl (technically dead), is very much alive and kicking; his mother, by contrast, is technically alive, but only in the most rudimentary of ways. Her grief over her dead son, and her obliviousness to her living son, seem to render her as more of a zombie than the Frankenstein-like Daryl. This is brought out even further in the makeup and performance of the mother, which is reminiscent of a woman in her final days of life.


  41. [Note: NightLady posted this comment on July 27, 2016.]

    I just rewatched (part of) this episode for an essay I’m planning to write and I came here to see what are the others’ opinions on this and ok, I know I’m biased by my dislike of Angel, so it’s possible I see some details with a different set of mind, still I think it’s weird that no one thinks that Angel’s actions are creepy and his interactions with Buffy are just… wrong. Actually it’s the opposite and it seems that everyone thinks that the Bangel relationship is ‘romantic’ and that their scenes here are awesome.

    So, this is it:

    First, there is the scene in the graveyard when he, like Buffy herself says, sneaks on her. Probably to see if she is alone? He surely shows interest in this and when Buffy asks him if he is jealous he is scornful, pointing out that Xander is just a kid (and of course she doesn’t take it well, because she is of the same age). Then she mentions her dance with Xander in ‘When she was bad’ and he says that what she was doing wasn’t dancing but mating. He then becomes verbally aggressive (not the right word but I can’t find another) about the vampire thing and states that they are fighting… which they are not! I mean I just watched the scene and up to that moment they were just talking and bantering, at least Buffy was. She was flirting with him, admitting she wanted him to be jealous. They are interrupted and when she brings up the age issues he is clearly annoyed and walks away, dismissing her. So it seems to me that Angel basically treats Buffy like a kid and slut-shames her 😦

    Second, there is the scene with Cordelia walking in the parking. Someone is following her, and we later know that it’s Angel and that he was ‘looking for Buffy’ and ‘thought she was Buffy at first’. There is a world of wrong here. Firstly, no way could anyone mistake Cordelia for Buffy! Especially a vampire! Cordelia is much taller and with black hair, she wears the cheerleader uniform, she calls out loudly and he can see her while she is trying to open her car (which would exclude she is Buffy a priori lol). She is clearly frightened, to the point of running away and hide in a dumpster… why doesn’t Angel make his presence known? It really looks like he is stalking her, knowing very well that she is Cordelia. And the look on his face when she gets out and he startles her is one of amusement and satisfaction. Something else I noticed is that when Cordelia tells him that Buffy is out at the graveyard, he says “She said she’d be home”. But why would he go looking for Buffy if he thought she was at home? Seems to me that he was stalking Cordelia while (he thought) Buffy was at home! Isn’t this creepy? Imagine somebody else doing this, in Angel’s place… would someone still think it’s ‘romantic’?

    Third, the scene in the library. He is there with Cordelia at his arm, waiting for Buffy and he has this… attitude. I don’t know how to explain it, it’s like he thinks he has some right over Buffy, some right to judge or blame her. He questions her about her movements and when she tells him that she changed idea he tells her “Cordelia told me the truth”. He calls her a liar in front of everybody. Then Cordelia asks him to take her home and he just doesn’t answer and leaves with her, even if he can tell that Buffy isn’t pleased with this. He knows Buffy has feelings for him and purposefully upsets her, in spite of the fact that she has a job to do. A dangerous job he should be helping her with, by the way, since that’s the ‘official’ reason he came to Sunnydale in the first place.

    Final scene, he admits being a little bit jealous of Xander and everything is fine and oh-so-romantic because hey, he’s jealous. Is this all it takes to erase all the creepy, wrong things and make a fictional relationship awesome and romantic?


  42. [Note: Boscalyn posted this comment on July 27, 2016.]

    No, I’m in total agreement with you: Angel is totally a creeper! A large part of why I don’t love “Becoming” to the extent everyone else does is that for all its brilliance, the flashbacks with Angel and Whistler are totally, totally skeevy and when Buffy has to kill Angel I’m like “HELL YEAH!!!! STAB THAT PEDO, GIRL!!!!”


  43. [Note: Samm posted this comment on July 28, 2016.]

    You two aren’t the only ones, i find him creepy in the poor sense of the word. Angel is very possessive and falls in love with a 15 year old girl who is sucking a lollipop. I don’t need to say anything else. And it honestly confuses me how this point was missed by everyone working on the show, especially Joss.


  44. [Note: NightLady posted this comment on July 28, 2016.]

    Samm, Boscalyn… I’m glad to see I’m not the only one! To me it’s not only about the age issue though, truth is I don’t believe that Angel was ever in love with Buffy. I don’t know how it could be possible with his nonchalance towards Buffy’s welfare all through s1 and especially in the season finale. He didn’t care if she died or not and showed no grief when she did die. How can anyone believe that he loved her at that point is beyond my comprehension! And later, when he lost his soul, he ‘forgot’ his supposed love for her? It’s proved over and over again that vampires retain their feelings with and without their soul. It happened to Spike and to Angel himself. The hate toward his father was there when he was turned and there is a panel in the s10 comics where it’s clear that it’s still there. So imo the only explanation to his erasing his love for Buffy in s2 is that that love was never there in the first place.

    Samm, I was confused as well but I’ve come to a conclusion and I don’t believe the point was missed by Joss and the other authors. There are a lot of things, the scene I mentioned about Angel stalking Cordelia in this episode being just one, that cast a different light to the character and prove that Angel is not a good guy. He was introduced to us as a stalker and a liar since the beginning, the writers never cheated us and they are not to blame if a good part of the viewers choose to ignore all these and to look at the character and at the bangel relationship as something to praise. Imo it’s disturbing that they do but that’s solely up to them.


  45. [Note: Samm posted this comment on July 28, 2016.]

    I definitely agree that they show Angel as not being a good guy. But my interpretation is about the Buffy and Angel relationship, is to me they are pushing the point that it isn’t creepy, and is Buffy’s best love. And when Angel is in the wrong they always try and take the blame from him, like when he fought with Riley, or making Xander look like a jerk when he raises any issues about Angel.

    But they do show both sides to the story, but to me they always seem to push that Angel is in the right.


  46. [Note: NightLady posted this comment on July 28, 2016.]

    I definitely agree that they show Angel as not being a good guy. But my interpretation is about the Buffy and Angel relationship,

    Well, to me there is a direct connection between the two things. I can’t judge the Buffy and Angel relationship without taking into account my judgment of both characters.

    is to me they are pushing the point that it isn’t creepy, and is Buffy’s best love. And when Angel is in the wrong they always try and take the blame from him, like when he fought with Riley, or making Xander look like a jerk when he raises any issues about Angel.

    But they do show both sides to the story, but to me they always seem to push that Angel is in the right.

    I don’t know… I mean, as you said they show both sides of the story, so how exactly do you think they push it?
    Let’s take the creepy factor in the bangel relationship. To me the fact that they played the scene in the flashback like they did, with Buffy and the lollipop, means that they WANTED to portray it as being creepy. Why else would they do it? And there is much more to it also. There is the part where he is spying on her while she is in her bathroom and that’s even creepier. There is his lie when he tells Buffy that he loved her from when she wasn’t yet a Slayer and that he came to Sunnydale to protect her. If we know all these it’s because it’s the story the writers want to tell, it’s what they want to show us. How is it their fault if some viewers refuse to see and accept the creepy side of the story?
    Now let’s take the fight with Riley you mentioned. I don’t see the writers taking the blame from Angel, actually the opposite. Angel learns from Buffy that she has someone in her life, someone normal, someone she trusts and loves. Since he told her that he was dumping her because he cared for her and wanted her to have someone normal in her life, logic dictates that he should have been happy for her, right? But not only he clearly isn’t, he even holds that against her, trying to make her feel guilty for doing exactly what he claimed he wanted her to do: move on and be happy. And then he goes to Sunnydale and he tells her that it’s because he wanted to apologize to her. It’s obviously an excuse. Anyone with an ounce of sensitivity and common sense, anyone who really cared, would have avoided going there. Because everyone would understand that going there was bound to create troubles between Buffy and her new boyfriend and Angel’s behavior with Riley shows that that’s exactly what he wanted, the true reason he decided to apologize in person instead of doing it by phone. The fight with Riley wasn’t something that happened casually, Angel was the one who purposefully caused it. So many things prove that. How did he know Riley’s name? How did he know Riley was connected to the Initiative? Why else would he attack those commandos? Why would he be so obnoxious and challenging with Riley? I think Riley was wrong because he doubted of Buffy, but that’s another matter. Just talking of the fight, I see nothing there telling me that Angel is not to blame for it so I don’t understand why the writers should be blamed if many fans do not understand that Angel is not in the right there.


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