Buffy 2×09: What’s My Line? Pt. 1

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Howard Gordon and Marti Noxon | Director: David Solomon | Aired: 11/17/1997]

With Buffy’s world about to be in complete upheaval, “What’s My Line” takes a step back to broadly reflect on Buffy’s journey thus far while also offering hints as to what her future may hold. Despite a focus on Buffy and the presence of Spike and Drusilla — generally positive things — these two episodes have never been among my favorites. It’s hard to put my finger on why, because they’re both somewhat competent outings. I think most of the problems boil down to a tone gone awry. The music (score) is flat and tacky while the Order of Taraka is unthreatening and flat-out silly.

“What’s My Line Pt. 1” tries hard to ramp up the tension by utilizing synthesized gloomy music and sound effects — for example: a man walks by Buffy in a school hallway to comb his hair to the sound of a sword striking — yet the actual threat posed by the assassins is underwhelming. If Kendra is the scariest thing chasing Buffy, there’s a real problem. At least Spike’s plan to use assassins as a distraction for his spell to restore Drusilla back to full health makes sense. The assassins, as written, aren’t so hapless, but it’s in the effects where they fail. The non-visual, bloodless death of the first assassin is unconvincing, the bug man is cheesy and impotent, and the gun lady doesn’t make her move until “What’s My Line? Pt. 2” [2×10], all of which sets the stage for my lack of investment in the threat they represent.

While “What’s My Line Pt. 1” doesn’t completely come together, that’s not to say it’s of no value. On the contrary, actually, it’s quite packed with things to talk about. Of particular interest is a ton of Buffy and Angel foreboding and a closer look at Buffy’s options in life. “What’s My Line Pt. 1” focuses on the roadblocks that Buffy faces both now and in the near future, whereas “What’s My Line? Pt. 2” [2×10] offers hints at how Buffy can begin to break those roadblocks down.

One of the roadblocks is exemplified by Career Day at the high school, which both of these episodes circle around. Buffy feels trapped by her circumstances in life due to the Slayer gig, saying to Willow, “do the words ‘sealed in fate’ mean anything to you, Will? Why go there?” This reaction from Buffy is a new variation from what we saw in Season 1 where she was, at worst, trying to run away from her duties as the Slayer and, at best, trying to be both the Slayer and a “normal” teenager — i.e. ‘having it all’. Here in Season 2, though, it’s clear she has fully accepted that being the Slayer is going to be a duty she can’t run away from. Yet, Buffy still views this duty as a job, or a career (hence the focus on Career Day) — something she’ll essentially admit to Kendra in “What’s My Line? Pt. 2” [2×10].

So, naturally, Buffy is frustrated by a life that appears on the surface to be quite restricting. This is represented by the career evaluation at school on one side and the institution/rules of the Watchers Council — as administered by Giles — on the other. What makes these current frustrations so interesting is witnessing Buffy’s burgeoning realization that she need not be shackled by them — on the contrary, Buffy will eventually change the game entirely, in all facets of her life. (Note: the evaluation, while limiting, isn’t wrong. It suggests that Buffy is a good candidate for Law Enforcement, which lines up nicely with her budding notions of duty, justice, and sacrifice.)

“What’s My Line Pt. 1” offers buckets of foreshadowing (as has the season at large thus far) of what’s going to happen to Angel and their relationship soon. Buffy literally says, “Angel comes with bad news, what a surprise.” If only she could recognize that this statement is far more broadly relevant than she thinks. There’s a quick moment during the same scene where Buffy looks into the mirror and only sees her reflection, despite Angel sitting next to her. This is, of course, highlighting that he can’t really be there for her.

Buffy has a massive blind spot for Angel because she has tremendously powerful feelings for him — or, at least, the idea of him that she’s created within her own head. Buffy even says that she’s in “full see-no-evil mode”, which includes the risk Angel poses to her role as the Slayer and what that represents (i.e. maturing into an adult). What’s Buffy’s ‘line’? Well, it really shouldn’t be Buffy kissing Angel with his demonic face on next to a corpse.

Where Buffy is blind because she’s too emotionally invested in Angel (along with the raging hormones), Kendra is actually equally blind to Angel, but in a very different way. Kendra only sees Angel for what he outwardly appears to be: a dangerous vampire. The truth about Angel, of course, lies in between both of these girls’ perceptions of who Angel is, which is a bit of an unknown at this point… even to Angel! This is, ultimately, why their relationship is destined to fail. When there are two people who don’t know themselves very well yet, it’s literally impossible for them to get to know each other.

You know things are bad when the place Buffy feels the safest outside of her home is Angel’s loft. Notice the tense music playing when she knocks on his door and walks in to find him absent? This is, again, totally hinting at and building up to the big moment in “Surprise” [2×13]. To make this connection firmer, what does a Buffy sleeping in Angel’s bed wake up to? An axe in her face! This place, and Angel’s bed, isn’t safe at all! Instead of having confidence in herself, Buffy is losing herself in Angel. Remember Eyghon in “The Dark Age” [2×08]? Eyghon isn’t Buffy’s “drug”, of course, but her juvenile notion of “love” is. When Buffy tells Kendra, “thanks for the wake-up, but I’ll stick with my clock radio,” what she’s really saying is “thanks for trying to wake me up about Angel, but I think I’m just fine.”

“What’s My Line Pt. 1” establishes what the thematic stakes are for Buffy and ends things on a genuinely exciting cliffhanger (two Slayers!? OMG!), but it’s a bit of a snoozer before it gets there. This suggests that there wasn’t quite enough material here to fill two episodes. “What’s My Line Pt. 1” does at least offer a nice mix of humor and depth that helps soften its weaknesses. “What’s My Line? Pt. 2” [2×10] thankfully has the benefit — accent aside — of Kendra’s introduction to Buffy’s world and what that means to her, both tangibly and symbolically. On to Part 2!

 


Minor Pros/Cons (+/-)

+ Buffy climbs through her bedroom window even though her mom’s out of town. Her explanation is perfect: “habit”.
+ Spike picking up Drusilla and dancing around the room. These two have such an enchanting chemistry together.
+ Buffy’s reaction to finding out she’s got an aptitude for Law Enforcement. Ha.
+ I love Buffy’s habit of asking where common phrases like ‘whole nine yards’ and ‘hand over fist’ (“No Place Like Home” [5×05]) come from, and what exactly they’re supposed to mean. It’s quite endearing.
+ I love the scene where Buffy responds to Giles’ claims of immaturity by saying, “you’re right. I’m a teen, I’ve yet to mature.” It’s a brief self-aware moment that really speaks to the core of the next several seasons.
+ First time the group is called the Scooby Gang! Yay!
+ I also love the ice skating scene. It’s just a rare moment when Buffy gets to let all the struggles in her life drop away and just be a happy kid again. On the other hand, it’s a reminder of Buffy’s imitation of another person as a child, which will not help her on the path to self knowledge now.
+ Buffy walks right by the third assassin without knowing it.
+ Buffy meets Oz by throwing him against a locker. Haha!
+ Angel being so harsh with Willy feels vaguely Angelus-like.
+ Kendra not being what we think her to be is yet another continuation of the themes introduced in “Halloween” [2×06] and “Lie to Me” [2×07].

– Angel not being able to bust open the tiny padlock on the cage.
– It almost goes without saying, but Kendra’s accent is… a travesty.


Foreshadowing

* Xander tells Snyder that he hopes one day he’ll be in a position to be honest with him about how he feels. Well, that finally happens in “Restless” [4×22]…
* The first assassin has a scar over his right eyebrow, similar to Spike. This symbolically ties them together as villains. After Buffy’s kills this assassin we see that Angel now has a deep cut in the exact same place, thus hinting that Angel will soon be a villain as well.


[Score]

79/100

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49 thoughts on “Buffy 2×09: What’s My Line? Pt. 1”

  1. [Note: Mez posted this comment on January 13, 2007.]

    The lock on Angel’s cage is interesting.

    Angel can easily pull a padlock to pieces, but the situation here is quite different. The mesh on the cage prevents him from touching the lock, so to break it he’d have to shear right through the metal, which is a LOT harder.

    Practically speaking, it’s probably easier for Angel to completely demolish the cage doors than it would be to break that padlock.

    (Sorry, my engineering degree is once again taking control of my brain…)

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  2. [Note: Barbara posted this comment on July 9, 2007.]

    You know I thought that there would be blood too, because I thought Buffy’s blade had slit his throat, but then my cousin said that maybe she hadn’t actually cut his throat, maybe she had just crushed his trachea. I have no idea if I spelled that right, but yeah. Wouldn’t it kinda have to cut him, because those blades are really sharp.

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

    Actually those blades really aren’t that sharp, they are about half a centimeter wide and hardly have a knife edge, however I think the viewer is led to believe it to be a slicing death, as indicated by the way she swipes her skate across his throat rather than just bashing it in like she would have if she was trying to smash the wind pipe.

    I just love the ice-skating scene, it’s one of the rare, tranquil moments in the series when buffy gets to relax and be a normal, beautiful young woman, at least for a few moments.

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  4. [Note: buffyholic posted this comment on October 13, 2007.]

    Yeah, the ice skating scene is sweet. I don´t mind the lock very much, maybe one of the plot contrivances. Once again, for me what really works is the wonderful dialogue and character interaction.

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

    Don’t know if anyone actually reads these comments now, but I just wanted to add something since I’ve been re-watching the S2 episodes with Spike in them:

    I agree on this two-parter being pretty lame on the whole, but on the other hand, IMO pretty much all of the Spike material since School Hard up until this episode was just lacking on a number of levels. Here, though, it really picks up. I particularly adore the first scene with Spike and Dru in this episode – when he hurts her feelings, then so totally softens and comes over to make up for it and take care of her. That kiss of theirs is just fantastic – one can feel the strength and reassurance Spike gets from Dru in return. I’m surprised you made no mention of that bit in the review.

    Too bad that in the second part, Spike’s jealousy over Dru spending time with Angel doesn’t really come across as clearly and consistently as it was written down in the script. That would have been very cool.

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  6. [Note: Paula posted this comment on June 5, 2008.]

    I forgot to add that it’s fun and interesting to compare all these Spike/Dru scenes with later Spike/Harmony ones (particularly in The Harsh Light of Day). I guess the latter is what you get when you strip the relationship of all tenderness, support and commitment on Spike’s side; with Harmony, he’s being totally selfish, only in it for the sex, and downright resentful of every other aspect of the relationship. I think JM nailed it on the DVD commentary, saying he’s at that point just plain revenging himself on all womankind – kinda like, “I did my utmost and much good did that do me, so to hell with it all”. I’m not saying I feel sorry for Harmony, because I’m physically incapable of even typing that :-)… but she does get a bit of a rough deal.

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  7. [Note: JVamp posted this comment on August 19, 2008.]

    I hate Kendra. Both her character, the performance and the way she’s introduced – Why would she beat up the airport guy? Then she somehow makes her way to the ice rink when she didn’t even know they were there. Just poor writing in my opinion.

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  8. [Note: Paula posted this comment on August 21, 2008.]

    JVamp, Kendra beat up the airport guy because we were supposed to think she was one of the Order-of-Taraka assassins. 🙂

    That’s about the best reason I can come up with, anyway. Or maybe she was trying to maintain secrecy – well, no, since she didn’t kill him, that doesn’t quite add up. Maybe she figured he’d try and get her arrested or something. I dunno.

    Poor writing? No kidding. 🙂

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  9. [Note: Nix posted this comment on August 21, 2008.]

    Perhaps she beat him up because she was feeling guilty about hitch-hiking in the cargo bay? (But then, er, if she knew it was wrong why didn’t she just get into the passenger compartment like anyone else? It’s a good thing for her that cargo bay was heated and pressurized!)

    This is definitely a(nother) plot hole. But then, this is Buffy: fine plotting has never really been its strong point.

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  10. [Note: Leelu posted this comment on February 12, 2009.]

    My issue with Kendra is, if she was never allowed to be around boys and have a normal-ish life at all, then why did she wear so much damned make-up, and why were her clothes not plainer and more practical? And just because she supposedly lives a spartan life, she should have more than one damn shirt (she says at some point “that was my favorite shirt; that was my ONLY shirt”).

    Also, her Watcher could have easily obtained a fake passport or whatever they needed to get her to Sunnydale. There was absolutely no need for her to hide in the wheel area, which is impossible, anyway. They don’t make room in there for anything other than the damned wheel. I understand they wrote her hiding in there to make her look like a sinister bad guy, but please, there are other, better, ways of doing that.

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  11. [Note: Emily posted this comment on February 16, 2009.]

    I love the Buffy-Angel interaction in this episode!!!! (I’m sure you could tell that I’m a Bangel person lol). Especially given the complete and total lack of communication in the last episode (see my comment there).

    I think a definite pro is when Buffy asks Angel how he knew about career week, and he says, very matter of factly, “I lurk.” It should at least be in the quotes section, Mike.

    I like how Buffy knows Angel won’t care if she breaks the knob of his apartment door.

    Stupid lines like, “Giles, you’re in pace mode. What gives?” have to go. Seriously. It’s the middle of the second season- let’s all move on from the corniness. (Or maybe it could be that the delivery of the line was bad.)

    When Buffy and Giles were talking in the library, they talked about how she’s the only Slayer and if he doesn’t like how she does her job, that’s too bad. It’s really not the greatest way of re-introducing the idea that there’s only one Slayer. I understand that they have to do it for all people who haven’t seen the show from the beginning, but honestly, they could’ve made it less obvious.

    Xander tells Buffy, “You totally contribute. You go for snacks!” And I think it’s in Season 3, after he and Cordelia break up, that she makes fun of him for never really doing anything worthwhile in the group- and you see him going to buy donuts. Just thought it’s worth mentioning.

    The worm guy has FREAKED ME OUT since the first time I saw this episode. Ew. *Shudders* Props to Joss, Gordon, and Noxon (I think they wrote this one). But question: how would he go about killing someone? Dissolve them to death?

    It’s funny how Willy says, “Hey, Angel. I didn’t recognize you in the dark there.” When would anyone ever have the chance to see him in the light? lol

    I’ve seen the whole series of Buffy a few times, and after I watch these 2 episodes and Season 2 finale, I like Kendra. I do- she’s ok. But every time I see this episode, when she locks Angel in, I actually wish Spike would find her and kill her. Slowly.

    When Buffy tells Kendra, “You must be #2,” she actually isn’t wrong. Kendra isn’t the second assassin, but she is the second Slayer.

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  12. [Note: Selene posted this comment on July 6, 2009.]

    I may be the only one, but I ADORED the whole “Don’t warn the tadpoles!” scene.(and Alyson Hannigan’s delivery of that line and the shamefaced admission that she has frog fear is priceless!) Not only did Willow actually look like she had just woke up (hair messy, eyes bleary) but the interaction between her and Giles is wonderful. He is surprisingly gentle with her considering he’d just snapped at Xander on the phone, yet doesn’t talk down to her while explaining the ritual. He talks to her as an equal in intelligence.

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  13. [Note: Sunburn posted this comment on September 18, 2009.]

    Emily:

    “Stupid lines like, “Giles, you’re in pace mode. What gives?” have to go. Seriously. It’s the middle of the second season- let’s all move on from the corniness.”

    Nooo! I love Buffy’s snappy, silly little cracks. Not only are they endlessly imaginative, but they’re totally in character with her teenage self.

    “But question: how would he go about killing someone? Dissolve them to death?”

    Best not to think about this one, surely!? SHUDDER.

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  14. [Note: Emily posted this comment on December 7, 2009.]

    Sunburn, I agree with you that Buffy’s snappy lines are awesome, but sometimes they’re really badly written. They may look good on paper, but when you actually say them out loud, it makes you shudder. The worst one is “Let her go, Wormy!” in “Reptile Boy” [2×07]. Sorry, but sometimes these lines are ridiculous.

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  15. [Note: Shannon posted this comment on December 17, 2009.]

    Been re-watching Season 2, and the music in this and the next episode was noticeably bad, thanks Mike for pointing that out.

    I mostly agree with Emily on the cheesiness of some of Buffy’s lines, although the pace mode comment wasn’t nearly as cringe-inducing as “Let her go, Wormy!” I believe it’s in the next episode when Angel is kidnapped, but Buffy’s “You can attack me, you can send assassins after me, that’s fine. But nobody messes with my boyfriend!” is also terrible.

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  16. [Note: Lizzie posted this comment on June 28, 2010.]

    I agree with the score. Spike and Dru should have had more screen time. I love their little scene dancing. Notice how Spike is already blaming everything on Buffy.

    “I’ll dance with you on the slayer’s grave.”

    He’s already getting obsessed with her, not romantically, but in general, he’s thinking about her even when she’s got nothing to do with what’s going on…

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  17. [Note: CoyoteBuffyFan posted this comment on February 18, 2011.]

    Great misdirect by the writers to try to make the audience think that Kendra was part of the Order of Taraka at the beginning of this episode. In retrospect, her actions make no sense, but if you think of 1st time viewers, the end reveal that she is a slayer is quite shocking.

    The guy who turns into bugs is one of my favorite villains of the series. Not the most fearsome demon (I mean, they literally squish him to death like bugs) but he is pretty creepy and the bugs have a cool ick factor.

    The rest of the order is pretty lame but the thought that they would keep on coming until Buffy was dead is a good concept. Plus the ice skate kill is pretty sweet, lack of blood notwithstanding.

    The scene at the ice skating rink between Angel and Buffy is touching but there is something creepy about her making out with him in vamp face. It does, however, make it very clear just how much Buffy is in love with him — all of him. She doesn’t even flinch at him as a vamp. It’s sweet in the way only BtVS could be.

    Buffy and Oz’ first encounter is a classic. It is amazing how much character Oz has after only a few lines in the whole series. You already care about him through the brilliant way they introduced him to the show which makes the episode Phases really have meaning.

    I agree that these two episodes are good but could have been much better.

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  18. [Note: Matt posted this comment on March 6, 2011.]

    The “What’s my Line” 2 parter steam rolls the shows previous MotW format and sets the framework for the rest of the season and, by default, the rest of the mythos. “Suprise” and “Innocence” are the cappers to this 2 parter; “What’s my Line” sets up our expectations while those two eps obliterate our expectations. Finely done reviews!

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  19. [Note: Andrea posted this comment on April 18, 2011.]

    Anyone notice the implication that Kendra is represented by the leopard tarot card? Part of a long Western literary legacy of representing African/black women as ‘animalistic’ (or animals). (Hello, Edward Said!)

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  20. [Note: Jan posted this comment on June 2, 2011.]

    Weirdest plothole is how Kendra get to be a Slayer in the first place. According to her, her family ‘gave her away’ to the Watcher, which sounds like it happened long ago. She’s obviously been training and studying for a long time, so this must mean that she has actually been a Slayer as long, if not even longer than Buffy. But Buffy ‘died’ what, half a year ago? Does this mean there a lot of Slayers-in-training around the world, waiting for the pat on the back to jump on the field as soon as another dies?

    Weird posting comments about a show that’s so old, but just got a little Buffy kick again and watching them over when a bit bored…

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  21. [Note: Dana posted this comment on June 5, 2011.]

    Hey Jan,

    There are hundreds of “potential slayers”. Think of them as athletically gifted with some pretty good reflexes and so forth. Nothing too super power freaky, just physically talented. These potentials can be called upon to begin training early on in life to be prepared just in case they are ever called to duty. I imagine that in some cultures (e.g kendras) it is a honour to be a potential and the job of a slayer is of the utmost importance.

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  22. [Note: deadlego posted this comment on June 6, 2011.]

    @Dana-you put that so much better than me.

    @Jan-re-reading what i wrote i didn’t intend to come off as rude, just meant if you haven’t watched it watch season 7, if you have then you’ll see there are LOTS of potentials.

    I think that in some cultures they know about slayers and how to recognise a potential slayer, therefore they will get trained up. Also the watchers council sometimes is able to recognise a potential slayer and make sure they are trained up. But in some cases they potential isn’t noticed and found and so isn’t trained. This was the case with Buffy until she actually became The Slayer, presumably the watcher’s council found her using magic.

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  23. [Note: Octolars posted this comment on August 2, 2011.]

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned kendra’s accent. Is she supposed to be Jamaican? I have been to Jamaica and she sounds pretty off to me. It’s so distracting!

    I’ve been reading these for a while but never post. You do a great job!

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  24. [Note: Gemma posted this comment on December 13, 2011.]

    This episode has some great moments. Oz and Willow finally meet, his introduction into Buffy-verse has been spread over the previous episodes and this is the perfect way to introduce a new key cast member, nothing about Oz feels contrived or deficient.

    Its good to see continuity in the season, the book that was stolen in Lie to Me crops up again containing Dru’s cure. The implication’s of a healthy Dru and Spike being a strong cohesive force against the slayer is exciting to thing about, and this episode and its conclusion are great in escalating the plot. Spike, demonstrates he isn’t stupid by sending the assassins after Buffy, a clever misdirection to enable his prominent plan to help his beloved go ahead without an influx of problems and meddling from Buffy. – Writing this retrospectively i know it doesn’t all go to plan but he does deserve some kudos for this.

    The introduction of Kendra was handled well. Her initial appearance gave the impression that she was one of the assassins but this is seriously subverted with the proclamation she makes at the end. Huge shock, it still packs a punch no matter how many times you see it. A great cliffhanger to end this first part. Que. The To Be Continued…phase out!

    Buffy’s desire to be a regular girl is once again focused on in this episode through the subplot of career day. Its good to see that the characters are still living their own desires, wants and needs. Although they are taking baby steps to over come these life lessons, in real time this takes a person a while. Its good to see Joss and the writers act this out in the same way. It would be flawed to have them overcome everything instantly within two episodes. Buffy’s and Giles discussion in the library with Buffy pointing out there can only be one slayer, and the speech about her dying is a nice touch to help introduce Kendra and set up the exploration and explanation needed in the following episode. Oh and some interesting foreshadowing in this episode for the end scene is when Dru mentions ‘…it brings the slayer closer to them’ Now it is possible that she means Buffy closure to the order of assassins but it could also be an insight into Kendra being brought closure to Buffy and the gang!

    This episode escalates Angel’s character a little, allowing him to take more of a role in Buffy-Verse. He is in peril when this episode concludes, something we as an audience have not witnessed before. He usually as a character swoops in and either helps save the day or gives cryptic messages not this time. His being locked up in a cage feels a little contrived though, as a vampire he surely has enough strength to break down the cage door, especially given the events of the episode prior to this one whereby we witnessed the demon within fight Eyghon with no trouble. Not so quintessential of his character.

    The bottom line is that this is a very good episode, there is a volley of plot events going on or being set up for what should be a great climax. Its palpable that Spike’s plan is almost complete and that Buffy is in a bit of a dilemma to say the least. Roll on part two.

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  25. [Note: David posted this comment on February 16, 2012.]

    Sorry if this has been mentioned but one thing in terms of continuity ( or lack of) that I noticed after rewatching this epissode. Is how Giles talks about how the order of taraka even if Buffy kills the first 3 will keep on coming until she is dead but no more even turn up funny that

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  26. [Note: JustJenna posted this comment on March 15, 2012.]

    @David

    It’s mentioned in the episode following WML Part Two that the contract with Taraka has been called off.

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  27. [Note: Seele posted this comment on January 17, 2013.]

    “Uh, Giles, it’s one thing to be a Watcher and a librarian. They go together like chicken and… another chicken, or… two chickens, or… something, you know what I’m saying!” Like a chicken and a cow? :)And Buffy said it during career week!

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  28. [Note: Jen posted this comment on September 11, 2013.]

    Gee, I wish I’d read your review before I showed this to my husband. I had never asked him to watch Buffy with me before, even though I had always told him it was my favorite show in the whole world. But that said, I hadn’t watched any of Season 2 in several years. When I was a teenager, I remembered this two-parter as being one of my favorites of the series! But now as an adult, and particularly a person who knows exactly where the show is going, I kept thinking, “Gosh, this is so boring. Why are there so many library scenes? Why can’t Angel break through that little padlock? Where is the blood in the ice rink?” I was sorry I’d picked these particular episodes to show him.

    Anyway, the hubby is being very patient. I’m sure he’d rather be shooting aliens on his XBOX, but he’s putting up with a few episodes every week.

    Glad I checked out this website. I read all of your reviews many years ago, and now I’m enjoying a re-read.

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  29. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on December 5, 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.

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  30. [Note: StakeAndCheese posted this comment on December 5, 2013.]

    C’mon, Mike. Kendra’s accent is apparently pretty much perfect. It’s just from a really, really rural area of Jamaica.

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  31. [Note: TheTad posted this comment on December 6, 2013.]

    Yes! Glad to see this two-parter has gone up by about 15 points! Always felt they were among the most underrated on the review pages.
    Good work!

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  32. [Note: ElectricNova posted this comment on December 6, 2013.]

    It’s been ages since I watched this one, so i’ll have to rewatch it before I can really give much of an opinion. Anything with Drusilla focus is good though.

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  33. [Note: buffyholic posted this comment on December 12, 2013.]

    Like when you´re talking about the scene where Buffy only sees her reflection. I just thought : he´s a vampire and so, has no reflections. I never thought that meant that Angel would never be there for her. Or even when you talk about how her notion of juvenile love is her drug, is Eghyon for her.

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  34. [Note: Lydia posted this comment on May 4, 2014.]

    Maybe I’m reading too much into it but when Willy says, “Angel. Didn’t recognize you in the dark there.” (or something like that) sounds like a foreshadowing to the ‘dark’ side of Angel (Angelus), who’s going to be introduced in just a few episodes. Also, I think they’re trying to get us to sympathize with Angel as much as we can so that when he becomes evil it hurts just as much. And that actually works and you’ve got to hand it to the writers for thinking long-term!

    Spike is starting to obsess on the Slayer already, he blames everything on her and even has this quote I don’t quite remember where he’s talking about her. I also love it when he says “We’ll dance on the Slayer’s grave!” and twirls Drusilla around. They make such an amazing couple.

    I don’t know if Kendra’s accent is fake or not but it’s terrible to hear! And it makes it really hard to understand and no fun to hear her speak.

    I loved Willow’s sleep comment, “Don’t warn the tadpoles!” Haha. Classic adorable Willow moment. It reminds me of Season 7 when Spike is talking in his sleep and randomly mutters, “I’m drowning in footwear!”
    Gotta love the writers sense of humour.

    I also love everything Xander/Cordelia. A lot of Xander’s quotes were really funny in this episode, like, “Is murder always a crime?”
    And the “mass transportation locker room talk” comment. Priceless. Ha.

    I don’t find the icky bug guy cheesy, he’s actually creepy! There’s an ick factor to the whole thing. Buffy doesn’t have a lot of scary bad guys, and this guy wasn’t scary but just the thought of a man that turns into a dozen bugs. GROSS! Also, the way he shows up at people’s houses like a salesman. Gah.

    One thing that pissed me off throughout this episode was the horrible background music, I thought that was only a Season 1 problem! Apparently not. The corny stuff HAS to go!

    Anyway, good episode…Not one of my favorites, but definitely an episode worth the watch with subtle character material, great humor and a decent cliffhanger.

    Like

  35. [Note: Boscalyn posted this comment on May 4, 2014.]

    I actually watched this episode and thought Norman Pfister was the greatest, funniest, scariest monster of the week and that everyone in the Buffy fandom agreed that he was great.

    I thought wrong.

    Like

  36. [Note: Nix posted this comment on June 12, 2014.]

    One note: though this episode is… perhaps not ideal, it marks the beginning of the real Buffyverse writer’s room, with the debut of both Marti Noxon and David Solomon, who will keep writing (and eventually showrunning!) and directing for the whole six seasons to come.

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  37. [Note: Nix posted this comment on June 12, 2014.]

    Am I overthinking things to wonder how very convenient it is that Drusilla has not-Tarot cards with just the right images to represent what she wants to foretell?

    … yes, I think I am. It was creepily effective, even if it was totally implausible.

    As noted, the music in this episode and the following one is not credited to Christophe Beck, but rather to Shawn K. Clement and Sean Murray. And can you ever tell 😦

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  38. [Note: Nix posted this comment on June 12, 2014.]

    Marti, on the DVD commentary for this episode, notes that she intended that there would be blood too — she wrote the episode with a great pool of it. It just didn’t get into what was shot. A shame: blood on ice would have made for a very impressive effect. (She also makes fun of the tiny bike padlock that somehow keeps Angel penned, even though we’ve seen vamps bend sheet steel doors completely open in a few seconds before).

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  39. [Note: slayerfemme posted this comment on October 13, 2014.]

    Aside from Kendra’s accent and why she beat up the guy at the airport, this just bugged me:

    The female “cop” assassin shoots at Buffy but the bullet hits Oz; a straight shot right into the middle of his bicep, we clearly see the wound and he’s all “I’m shot, it’s so painful.” Yet in the next scene, the gang says that the paramedics said it was just a scrape…?

    Kind of a big difference. I know it’s just a random detail, but some continuity would be nice.

    Like

  40. [Note: Sarah posted this comment on March 16, 2015.]

    Ugh I hate how people don’t mention Oz’s reaction to Willow next to him. I love how he has been noticing her for two episodes and you can see that he is attracted to her and even tries to hit on her before she walks away in “Inca Mummy Girl” and when he finally gets to talk to her, he looks all excited right when he sees her and is almost trying to say a good pick up line and then ends up offering her the appetizer. “Canape”? Hilarious! He is so cute

    Like

  41. [Note: Pathbeyondthedark posted this comment on March 18, 2015.]

    It’s hard to recollect everything about season 2 even just having watched it a couple of months ago. I think it’s because, despite it being tied probably as my favorite season, I feel a lot of the first half is very forgettable. It’s why although i personally love it, I can’t rank it among the top 3 when being objective. It’s thematically brilliant, don’t get me wrong, but so many individual episodes fall short of interesting me. I also think the theme, while consistent throughout, is anything but subtle unlike seasons in the future. But I’ll elaborate more in the season review if/when I get there.

    As for this episode, nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, really comes to mind of real value. I barely remember any of it other then it’s the introduction of Kendra, who herself is nothing more then an assist to Faith’s introduction in season 3. The “order” was terrible, not worthy of their hype and status. And Drus “sickness”, although mildly implied she had something wrong with her earlier, being suddenly thrust to the surface feels contrived. It’s mostly a setup for the next episode, which itself doesn’t feel all that memorable or relevant outside supposedly killing Spike (more on that in that episode). There’s some character stuff, but I barely remember so it must not have been significant.

    Like

  42. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on March 18, 2015.]

    I think it’s fair to assume that Spike was originally supposed to die in What’s My Line Part 2 before he became popular kinda lie how Castiel presumably was supposed to leave by Heaven and Hell of Supernatural. Drusilla would then presumably take over as the main villain at least until Angelus showed up, if indeed they knew he was coming at this point.

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