Buffy 2×12: Bad Eggs

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Marti Noxon | Director: David Greenwalt | Aired: 01/12/1998]

“Bad Eggs” is often considered one of the worst episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I disagree with this assessment. While far from great, “Bad Eggs” has a razor-sharp thematic focus that doesn’t let up. It’s so focused, in fact, that it ends up hurting itself at times by walking into heavy-handed territory. “Bad Eggs” is quite silly, but dumb it is not. It’s also very well placed in the season and acts as a thematic primer for the two big episodes that follow.

Nearly everything that happens in “Bad Eggs” is a reflection of Buffy’s increasing sexual desire for Angel, a desire which has been gradually intensifying throughout the season. There’s also an undercurrent of responsibility and consequences weaved into the fabric of the story, which is Buffy’s better judgment trying to have a say, and mostly losing the battle.

Let’s start with all the sexual subtext (and some plain old text as well — i.e. the health class discussion), because “Bad Eggs” has piles of it. Take the opening scene, where Buffy wants her mom to buy her an outfit that she’s “too young to wear.” Why does Buffy want such a fetching outfit? Well, for Angel of course. When Buffy fails to help pick up her mom’s outfit at a store, the first thing Joyce says is, “let me guess: you were distracted by a boy.” This statement really sums up Buffy’s relationship with Angel quite well — her lust for him is a dangerous distraction to her calling as the Slayer.

“Bad Eggs” goes on to emphasize this point during the scene in the graveyard, which features Buffy and Angel, like, totally making out while pretty much ignoring anything happening in the graveyard, including the fact that they’re being watched by a couple amusing redneck vampires. Before we even get to that, though, Xander and Cordelia are getting in some hidden smooches as well. It’s telling that Xander doesn’t want to hear Cordelia speak, and Cordelia doesn’t want the visual that is Xander. They’re clearly terrible partners for each other, yet their hormones override their intellect and better judgment.

As I brought up in my review of “What’s My Line? Pt. 2” [2×10], the Xander/Cordelia coupling is clearly shadowing/paralleling what Buffy and Angel are doing. The big difference between the two couples is that Buffy and Angel are representing the dramatic aspect of adolescent love while Xander and Cordelia are representing the comedic side of it — i.e. it’s ridiculous, and about as silly as this episode.

I just love the comical directness with which Xander and Cordelia’s early kissing session segues right into a teacher spelling out SEX on a chalkboard in health class. The teacher asks, “How many of us have lost countless productive hours plagued by unwanted sexual thoughts and feelings?” Of course Xander is the first to raise his hand and nod in affirmation. Since Xander’s relationship is metaphorically connected to Buffy’s, we can easily infer that Buffy is thinking about sex a lot too.

That health class lecture works its way into talking a lot a about consequences. Xander says, “you know, it’s the whole ‘sex leads to responsibility’ thing, which I personally don’t get.” This, of course, is a problem — apparently one that wasn’t learned from in “Reptile Boy” [2×05] and its ruminations about responsibility. Not long after this Buffy tells Xander, “please, like Angel and I are just helpless slaves to passion. Grow up.” Cut to Buffy and Angel madly making out. Heh. We’ll see the dark side — the consequences — of blind “Passion” [2×17] soon enough. “Bad Eggs” isn’t shy offering hints about it though. In the mall, for example, the vampire Buffy fights had lured a pretty girl into the dark with the prospect of games and flirtation. What did she get instead? A demon. The problem is, can Buffy save girls like these if she becomes one of them? I think not.

Probably the most interesting thing about the health class sex lecture was that Buffy was not present! Oh my! Consider what that means metaphorically. Buffy seems pretty cavalier about the whole thing, then finds out that being absent lost her an egg partner, which spooks her into thinking she might be doomed to repeat her mother’s life. Thanks to Dawn’s arrival and Joyce’s eventual passing, it’s interesting that this actually kind of comes true.

In an episode with so much discussion of sex, pregnancy, and consequences, it’s quite interesting to find out that vampires can’t have children (excepting the shenanigans over on Season 3 of Angel). This effectively removes a major physical risk to Buffy if she has sex with Angel, but Season 2 is very apt to point out that having sex has risks that go beyond the physical. There are also emotional and psychological risks, which can honestly be even bigger than the physical ones sometimes.

An example of this is when Angel asks Buffy if she ever thinks about the future. Her response is one of the worst things an adolescent can say: “no. Angel, when I look into the future, all I see is you! All I want is you.” If this sounds incredibly melodramatic, it’s because it is. That’s the whole point though. I’m sure it feels really romantic to both of them in the moment, but this path inevitably leads to disaster. It tells us that Angel is becoming more important to her than anything else, including her duty as the Slayer. Notice how the camera then pans by a tombstone that reads “in loving memory”? This relationship, as we know it, is about to collapse on itself because it has no foundation whatsoever. There’s excellent writing at work this season, and “Bad Eggs” gets to share in that glory a bit.

The core plot is also tied into this discussion. The “offspring” that hatches from the demon egg — pregnancy being one of the consequences of sex as pointed out by Willow earlier — is impacting all of Buffy’s relationships: her friends, Giles, and her mom. This implies that consequences usually don’t just impact the individual, but also extend to those closest to you. Notice how drone-like everyone is when the creature latches onto them? That’s because their mind has been stripped from them, leaving only their bodies of use — yet another indictment on Buffy’s relationship with Angel.

As much as I enjoy the depth offered by “Bad Eggs”, that’s really about all it has going for it. It’s a pure setup episode, much like “Ted” [2×11] was. We are now fully prepped on Buffy’s emotional state as we move on to “Surprise” [2×13], where everything the season’s been exploring thus far comes together. Unfortunately, while the primary plot gets its point across, it’s otherwise tedious, uninventive, and silly. This episode is filled with so much sexual subtext that, at times, it borders on overkill — although, I think it knows it goes overboard (the “high voltage” sign in the basement, for example), which makes it kind of funny. The Gorch brothers are entirely superfluous, but also kind of amusing.

“Bad Eggs” may not be a good episode, but it’s not the travesty many paint it as — it’s too smart, focused, and self-aware for that. I kind of get a kick out of this little episode.

 


Minor Pros/Cons (+/-)

+ “Bad Eggs” reminds me of the awesome Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Conspiracy”.
+ The creature that hatches from the egg is genuinely gross.
+ I have to admit getting a kick out of the fact that the sex education teacher is leading the students down into the basement while the camera pans over a sign that says “high voltage.” It’s so corny, yet the sex metaphor is totally intact! I kind of love it. Haha.
+ Poor Jonathan. One of the creatures got him too.
+ Xander telling Buffy to be careful right before he slips.
+ The Gorch brothers looking for a fight with Buffy only to find the body snatcher drones all over the basement. Very funny moment where they briefly end up working together.
+ Buffy’s oily hero shot after slaying the mother creature. If it’s good enough for Lyle, it’s good enough for me.
+ Joyce lectures Buffy about responsibility at the end of the episode, and is unknowingly both right and wrong — right about Buffy’s romantic pursuits but wrong about her Slayer duties.
+ Buffy getting knocked out in one hit again. Sigh.
+ Joyce repeatedly overreacting to Buffy’s mistakes. It’s a little forced to make a point about responsibility.


Foreshadowing

* At the beginning of the episode, Buffy punches Lyle in the groin. Something suspiciously similar happens in “Innocence” [2×14] to Angelus.
* After Lyle escapes Buffy utters the line, “oh sure, they say they’ll call.” This is hinting at Angelus’ behavior ‘the morning after’ in “Innocence” [2×14].
* Notice when the teacher asks everyone to partner up for the egg experiment that Willow immediately starts moving towards Xander only to see him head towards Cordelia? This is a bit of a tip-off to their “relationship”, something that will be revealed to Willow in “Innocence” [2×14].


[Score]

69/100

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56 thoughts on “Buffy 2×12: Bad Eggs”

  1. [Note: robgnow posted this comment on April 9, 2007.]

    I did like the short scene where Giles matter of factly throws a parasite on Joyce’s neck. It was nicely creepy and his face looks so blank while he’s doing it.

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  2. [Note: Latoya posted this comment on May 13, 2007.]

    I really really shouldn’t laught at this quote but I always do.

    “I’m going to beat you like a redheaded stepchild.”

    Does it help that it is a evil vampire saying it? !!

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  3. [Note: buffyholic posted this comment on July 25, 2007.]

    I am sorry, you may call me cheesy but I like this one. I know this is a very lame plot but it just feels like everyone is having fun(including me, having silly fun) and also is a good break from all the drama we`re going to have.

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  4. [Note: Andrew posted this comment on January 9, 2008.]

    I’m another who liked this more than you. The ending was admittedly pretty weak. Yes, OK, the Wild West vampires added precisely nothing to the plot, leaving one somewhat confused about their purpose there. And yes, the whole thing was perhaps a little silly. But it’s a fun episode to watch, and I couldn’t really point to any bits I didn’t like.
    Oh, and the bit where Willow comes off the phone and a camera pans out to show the broken egg is pretty creepy.

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  5. [Note: wilpy1 posted this comment on March 24, 2008.]

    One of the worst episodes ever. The plot is left so open ended. What was the science teacher’s motive for selling the eggs? Why was he evil? Why wasn’t he dealt with? Is Joyce seriously that stupid to believe the gas leak contrivance? Why were Hector and his brother even there – what the hell did they add to anything?! Why were so many Buffy/Angel kissing scenes when these things could’ve been resolved or done better?

    I mean, the plot premise itself was ridiculous and there was only so much you could do with it. The first act of the episode actually set it up quite well considering. But it’s like Marti realised it was a load of crap a quarter of the way through, and just gave up. She could’ve made up for the lame plot by doing more with Buffy’s responsibility, but no. It just plain sucked in the end. Second worst episode, only beaten by the hideous Wrecked, in my opinion.

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  6. [Note: Elianne posted this comment on October 8, 2008.]

    Well, the Gorch Bros. are in this episode probably because of Whedon’s great love for
    The Wild Bunch, a film in which they appear (not as vampires, thought :). They do feel like
    they’re shoehorned in a bit, and don’t really serve any useful purpose other than being a nod
    to the film. Actually Angel is also named after a character from TWB, as was Buffy’s
    boyfriend in the original Buffy film (his name was Pike).
    As for the B/A kissage, I’ll take all I get get.

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  7. [Note: bigmoneygrip posted this comment on October 10, 2008.]

    The one kinda cute thing was Buffy and the vampires fighting side by side against the zombie/possessed horde.

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  8. [Note: Sam posted this comment on May 7, 2009.]

    This is a really dumb episode, to be sure. Mike is right in pointing out how idiotic it is that Cordelia could knock Buffy out with one hit (I think that, at this early in the game, Buffy being easily knocked out may be in sync with her still being young and often acting like a teenager, but those innocent days are just about over).

    However, there is one priceless line when Buffy is incredibly anxious over how to best take care of the egg, and Joyce simply responds, “Wait until it starts dating.” Beautiful. Just beautiful. Other than that, a lame-ass episode.

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  9. [Note: Tash posted this comment on July 30, 2009.]

    One thing I really really liked about this episode was how at the end Buffy just jumps down into the hole with that thing – without thinking twice. She’s pretty cool that girl.

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  10. [Note: Emily posted this comment on December 2, 2009.]

    Did anyone notice the egg that was on the shelf when Giles was putting the books away? I didn’t notice it until now. (17:57)

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  11. [Note: Kate posted this comment on January 14, 2010.]

    Why would Jonathon be at the school BEFORE the egg got to him at 5:30? Who honestly walks around the corridors for that long?

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  12. [Note: Lauren posted this comment on April 29, 2010.]

    @wilpy1: I love smashed, wrecked, and gone. Maybe it’s the hidden tortured emo in me but those episodes get to me everytime. They represent the darkness of season six and “no hope” mentality that seems to be a theme. I understand if that’s not your cup of tea but find it seriously hard to believe you cannot think of any worse (I Robot, You Jane anyone?).

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  13. [Note: Jason posted this comment on May 19, 2010.]

    Not as bad as many people say. The final battle, actually, was pretty complicated: you had Buffy, the Gorch brothers, the monster, and the zombie-people. Four (or at least three) independent elements, making for a complicated fight. Not the best scene in the world, but certainly interesting, I thought.

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  14. [Note: Nia posted this comment on May 19, 2010.]

    I felt so sorry for Buffy. She gets grounded and lectured and has to see The Face of Disappointment on her mother. And it was for fighting vampires, patrolling, stopping a bezoar from possessing her, and saving everyone in town from an Invasion of the Body Snatchers situation.

    I completely believed that Buffy could bring up casually “Save the world from vampires?” with her mom even after she had once been placed in the psych ward for thinking demons were real and that she was a superhero. I bring up the fact that I am bi and a Pagan even though my parents think both of those are signs to see a psychiatrist and one-way tickets to Hell.

    It’s so sad that Buffy probably would have given up the idea of ever giving birth if it meant she got to still be with Angel and he ends up having a child with Darla. When she said “have little vampires” you could tell she thought it was cute. She wanted to someday have his children.

    At this point in Angel’s evolution he didn’t even patrol unless it was to give Buffy backup. She was surprised and touched when he said he would take that night’s patrol so she could get some sleep. Years later he patrols because it is the right thing to do (he did like helping damnsels in that mysterious Batman way).

    Buffy and a Gorch brother fighting side by side against the Bezoar-infected is kind of a foreshadowing to Spike & Buffy fighting together against Angelus in Becoming #2. Still enemies but putting aside that fact to fight a mutual enemy.

    Buffy looked HOT covered in that black ink. She looked really sexy chic in that purple tank-top and form-fitting skirt and heels.

    Cordelia’s car got A LOT of action in a short amount of time. She didn’t pass Driver’s Ed until after The Witch and yet she has been kicking the gear shift with how many guys?

    It’s funny that Buffy says “Oh, grow up”. The writers made that the theme of S6.

    Xander boiling his egg in a “you gotta be cruel to be kind” mentality is another sign that there were problems in his home life. Drunken Christmas fights. Trying to sell him to Armenians. Not wanting to visit his parents even after Buffy’s mom dies (it made Willow visit her mom Sheila a lot) Willow asking if his family owned a stove. Xander calling his mom on the phone and her not recognizing his voice. Poor Xander.

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  15. [Note: nathan.taurus posted this comment on July 28, 2010.]

    Now that is a huge parasite to fit in such a small egg.

    I loved the “red headed step child” line so much, so incorrect, yet so funny.

    Funny/Shocking scene: Possessed Cordelia punches Xander on his head wound and he punches her in retaliation “THAT”S MY BUMP!”, then is shocked by his action.

    I always think of the line “As punishments go, this is fairly abstract”. I find it so funny and remember it often, even when not thinking about the show.

    Unfortunatley another missed episode in a hit and miss season.

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

    I love this episode. Sure the plot is lame and nothing really happens, but you just feel like everyone was having fun when they made it and the feeling rubs off on you.

    Like

  17. [Note: CoyoteBuffyFan posted this comment on February 19, 2011.]

    I didn’t care much for this episode. The Gorch brothers are useless although it is kind of neat that Lyle comes back for revenge as part of Slayerfest ’98. It was just kind of a silly episode but one that didn’t interest me that much. I honestly don’t even have too much to say about it. Probably because I’m just giddily looking forward to the next few episodes.

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  18. [Note: Moses posted this comment on March 27, 2011.]

    Yeah this was a Invasion of the Body Snatchers filler but I loved it. Does not much to progess the main story arc but had some great scenes and lines.

    I was eatting boiled eggs at the time I watched this episode and got freaked out when I realized it.

    I did not understand when the egg hatched the first time, touch Buffy, and then just unhatched again. I thought it did something to them as they were all tired. What gives with that. They should of had the eggs in inpregenate them with demon seed!!

    I loved the “Saving the world from vampires?” line buffy gave her mother. That cracks me up. And the “As punishments go, this is fairly abstract”.

    I think they wasted a good villan with the “The Gorch brothers” in this episode.

    Buffy was so sexy when she came back all inky from kicking that demon ass in that hole. I love her expression.

    To much Angel and Buffy lip service. (Ok, I’m just jealous of Angel.) I did love thier little talk about the future.

    The Xander and Cordelia bit wAs funny in the last episode but is starting to get old.

    I love the way geeky Jonathon keeps showing up and shafted all the time. I think this is like the third time in this season. You think he would get a clue and tranfer from Sunnydale High.

    I want to see more of Jennifer Calendar. Please!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  19. [Note: Mash posted this comment on July 24, 2011.]

    “In loving memory” of this purity and innocent love. [Though Angel should have told Buffy more about his curse before hand.]

    Like previously said, I think this episode is mostly foreshadowing. I wanted to answer the teacher’s question [what are the consequences of sex] with “One of you loses a soul and starts killing everyone!”. Also, what was with Willow’s nervous face during that class [before the spat btw Xander & Cord]? Just awkwardness?

    -Xander: How are we going to tell them they are adopted?

    More foreshadowing about Dawn!

    -Buffy: Like Angel and I are just helpless slaves to passion.

    This reminded me of the poem Passion that Angel reads later in the season.

    Buffy’s egg seems to be missing from the library scene and how did one digit become an entire hand when the egg first opened?

    Please recall Joyce’s speech to Angel in S3 where she says, “Youre all Buffy can see of the future” and how it perfectly matches what Buffy says here.

    What the hell dragged that security guard to go down there? -Something I think often with this show. I think the teacher was probably also a victim so no need to go further with him.

    A little bit of the first slayer coming through when Buffy sets out with the ink/blood on her?

    Like

  20. [Note: Erin posted this comment on August 30, 2011.]

    I actually really like this episode. It doesn;t really add anything useful to the plot of the season, but is fun to watch.

    Like

  21. [Note: Gemma posted this comment on December 15, 2011.]

    The Demon is not conducive to this episode, there is no explanation around what the Mother Bezoar wants, or what its purpose is. There is a somewhat creepy element to the idea of eggs hatching little latch on demons that control a persons motor functions. The plot tries to subvert this problem with the escalating number of main characters caught up in the drama.

    The one thing this episode does do is explore the relationships of Xander and Cordelia, they’re forever hiding in supply cupboards which brings me to the conclusion that both are in some ways embarrassed to be with the other, Cordelia for obvious reasons of her somewhat shallow personality isn’t ready to admit that she has feelings for Xander, when he too is denying the relationship to Buffy and WIllow. Buffy and Angel’s romance is leading up to sex in this episode with the frequent kissing scenes. Buffy’s clearing head over heels for Angel and seeing these scenes make it more easy for us to resonate with her when Angel goes bad.

    Xander and Buffy are given some good scenes together, them being the only two unharmed by the Mother Bezoar and the hatchlings. Which was nice to watch.

    The episode itself though is pretty unnecessary. Other than the character development (there isn’t much) nothing remotely happens, the plot isn’t escalated. It had a feel of season one when it was monster of week and the show was finding its feet. I didn’t dislike the episode because it was well paced and there were some good one liners and creditable scenes. A small issue with looking at this episode retrospectively is that we are aware that the season is about to go dark from the next episode in and this has some bearing on this episode. You could argue that it simply didn’t work as well because it was badly placed within the season.

    Bad Eggs wasn’t the worst thing i have ever seen on TV; in fact the worst Buffy episode is always much better than many other shows out there. I can see that the writers were endeavouring to fix this episode utilising all the key cast members and having an influx of mini bad guys (The gourch brothers and the Mother Bezoar together) but i think this episode was always destined to miss the life boats. It had nothing to latch on to unlike the demon eggs within the show, this plot couldn’t control out motor neurones!

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  22. [Note: Odon posted this comment on January 23, 2012.]

    Why is it so strange that Buffy would get knocked out by someone slamming her in the head with a pipe? Slayer physiology or not, I assume her brain still reacts the same way to getting violently slammed against the skull.

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  23. [Note: Ryan ONeil posted this comment on June 12, 2012.]

    Emily, if I’m understanding the timeline of my favorite Christmas movie correctly, “Yippee Kay-Yay” actually comes from an old Western that John McClane quoted (then followed up with an ad-libbed expletive) in response to Gruber calling him a cowboy as an insult. Since John had a bomb at the time, what he was essentially telling Gruber was: “Yeah, I’m a cowboy, tough shit for you.” Imagine if someone attacked your friend, you defend him, the other guy insults you as a wannabe-superhero, and you respond with “Hulk smash, Jackass” before wiping the floor with him. I’m pretty sure that’s what McClane was gong for with the cowboy thing. So essentially, McClane isn’t just one of the baddest MFs in movie history, he’s the baddest GEEK in movie history!

    Like

  24. [Note: John Roberts posted this comment on December 13, 2012.]

    Just watched it for the first time, had always avoided before due to its bad reputation.

    Fun. It made me think of Live and Let Die, the Roger Moore bond film. Loose and silly and nothing remotely makes sense if you think about it, but why think about it? (Now that I think of it, Live and Let Die has a stupid, funny Southern sheriff, Bad Eggs has stupid, funny cowboy vampires.) I mean come on now, this is BtVS, not Ibsen.

    Plot was annoyingly derivative, that is true. If I want to see icky crawly critters creating pod people, I’ll take Wrath of Khan, thanks much.

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  25. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on December 13, 2012.]

    “But why think about it?”

    I think you might have this site confused for another, John. Its entire purpose is to critically analyze the show while also embracing its more emotional qualities. You might not think the show is anything more than a goofy teen romp, but there’s a tremendous amount of depth if you’re looking for it.

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  26. [Note: Summer posted this comment on December 16, 2012.]

    OMG on the front page I swear it says this episode has an A. So I was like huh?! C makes more sense, especially for you Mike. It’s kinda gross. I really hate how Joyce is just coming down so hard on Buffy when you know it’s not entirely her fault. Sigh. But you also know that Joyce is trying to be the best parent she can. So you forgive her. Lots of making out from Xander/Cordy and Buffy/Angel. Yet Willow is the only one who seems to understand the consequences of sex. I like how Willow is the one who notices something kinda off about Xander and Cordy running off together and arguing with each other in class. It was also nice to have that Buffy and Xander working together scenes. This episode really squicks me out tho. Best line is Buffy saying how she killed her Gigapet. How 90s is THAT?

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  27. [Note: JessP posted this comment on January 23, 2013.]

    I also appreciated the comment about foreshadowing Angel’s change with the “in loving memory” gravestone. Watching it now though, it made me think more of the bigger picture, and of Buffy’s death and her own gravestone. Angel asks if Buffy thinks about one year from now, or five years from now — and she can’t see ahead, anything past Angel himself. She’s so young and in love that her vision is limited to the present. But the camera pans over to the gravestone, giving us a glimpse of the future. And that future is death. Jenny, Joyce, Jonathan, etc — and of course, Buffy herself, who doesn’t make it five more years. Incredibly sad and poignant, I thought.

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  28. [Note: Gemma posted this comment on January 24, 2013.]

    You could also argue that the ‘in loving memory’ could reference the end of Buffy and Angle’s innocence and the start of Angelus reign of fire.

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  29. [Note: Seele posted this comment on January 30, 2013.]

    Maybe the Wild West vampires were supposed to be boring because that kind of rampant violence in the streets is not what the real world looks like anymore, so people who look to killing as the answer to all of their problems are bored to death with our more civilized world, what with restrictions on weapon usage the such?

    Which is ironic, because if there were anywhere in the country that should look like that, it would be the Hellmouths!

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  30. [Note: Jeremy G. posted this comment on February 4, 2013.]

    Another thing that both “Bad Eggs” and “Conspiracy” have in common is their stomach-churning finales. Although Buffy covered in goo is admittedly kind of funny, as opposed to Picard and Riker frying a parasite that’s just burst out of someone’s chest.

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  31. [Note: Gon posted this comment on March 7, 2013.]

    I feel “Bad Edgs” has the same intentions of “Some Assembly Required” and “Go Fish”: they all have lame secondary plot, a lot of interaction and fun, and they present where the characters are before main changes (“School Hard”, “Surprise” and “Becoming”).

    Like

  32. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on December 8, 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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  33. [Note: Joy posted this comment on December 12, 2013.]

    I’ve always enjoyed Bad Eggs. It’s not the greatest episode, but it’s a lot of hokey fun. Xander’s “That’s my BUMP!” is priceless.

    Like

  34. [Note: danny posted this comment on December 14, 2013.]

    Hmm.. Have to say I think you went to easy on this episode, the main plot is hokey enough but the cowboy vampires hmm.. its like the writers realised that the episode was gonna be short and just harpooned them into the episode. Overall I find Bad Eggs to be a pretty poor episode overall. But as any buffy episode fun character moments and foreshadowing always lift the material

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  35. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on December 14, 2013.]

    I totally see where you’re coming from with this one. But an amusing episode with this much thematic relevance and foreshadowing deserves a little lift. The episode may be ridiculous, but at least it’s focused.

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  36. [Note: Boscalyn posted this comment on December 14, 2013.]

    Personally I think the Bezoar was a pretty neat monster. It’s classic early Buffy– you take a b-movie monster (body snatchers) and a standard high school plot (raising an egg) and you put them together to get something new and clever. Also, the little tentacles? Adorable.

    This episode is more about parental relationships than anything– the way the cast interacts with their eggs is pretty representative of their relationships with their family.

    BUFFY narrowly saves her egg’s life at the start of the episode when Giles nearly crushes it with his Tome of Vampy Badness, and later coddles her egg and makes checklists in her egg diary to ensure it’s developing well. Obviously, this is foreshadowing Dawn and her position as the damsel in distress of the Summers household. Less obviously, it represents Joyce’s approach to parenting– highly methodical, based on the most recent scientific research of child development, well-meaning but ultimately ineffective.

    It’s worth noting that this episode foreshadows the events of Tough Love– Joyce disciplines Buffy in the same way Buffy will later discipline Dawn.

    XANDER is pretty neglectful as a parent when he’s not downright abusive. For christ’s sake, he’s totally willing to devour his son with a smile– “Sorry, Junior, but a man’s gotta eat!” No wonder he’s worried he’ll make an awful father.

    WILLOW seems pretty unconcerned about her child, but only in an intellectual way– the only thing about the exercise Will expresses interest in is impressing Jewish morals onto her child. When we meet Sheila Rosenberg in Gingerbread, she seems more interested in projecting her ideological beliefs onto her child than anything, and what little we hear of Ira implies he’s very religious.

    GILES doesn’t actually get an egg, but he visibly cringes when Joyce asks him if he has any children. His dream in Restless will later imply that he’s infertile. (Or maybe Olivia is… “bad eggs” indeed.)

    Feels like a season one episode, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If nothing else we get some quality Buffy/Joyce snark time.

    One final comment, this time on the episode’s title– obviously it literally refers to the Mommy Bezoar and its bad eggs, and idiomatically refers to the Gorches, but it could also refer to the game of bad egg, where one player turns away from the group and another spreads their legs. Given what happens next episode…

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  37. [Note: beck posted this comment on December 15, 2013.]

    Glad that you have rated this episode higher in your new review, I know this episode if daft but I really love it for some reason.

    Like

  38. [Note: Silver posted this comment on January 10, 2014.]

    I think this rating is quite fair. I’ve always liked this episode as a kid, it was silly but amusing. Watching it years later and reading this review does make it good, but understood. I love how you put every piece in place, MikeJer.
    Also, thank you Boscalyn for your input, very interesting!

    Like

  39. [Note: buffyholic posted this comment on January 1, 2015.]

    First, I like this episode because it just seems everyone had a good time doing this episode and while silly, it´s fun to watch and it´s the calm before the storm.

    Second, when Angel asks her if she worries what will happen in a year or in five years from now, we remember Angel leaving in a year´s time and Sunnydale will be destroyed five years from now. Cool tidbit or even, foreshadowing.

    Like

  40. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on January 31, 2015.]

    While I can definitely appreciate a lot of this foreshadowing you’ve brought up in this review now, which helped to raise it out of the bottom spot upon thinking about it with Teacher’s Pet taking it’s place, there are just so many dumb contrivances and moments of bad storytelling in this episode I just can’t bring myself to appreciate it that much. At least Where the Wild Things Are got me at least two hard laughs, though I can’t really argue with the criticisms. Not to mention Smile Time did the “comedy episode before crap goes down” episode WAY better than this with a plot that actually made some level of sense and some decent story structure.

    Like

  41. [Note: Pathbeyondthedark posted this comment on March 22, 2015.]

    Just bad. That’s all I have for this episode. It pretty much nails why I’m not fond of most of this first half of the season. Not subtle, uninteresting, and doesn’t break any new ground thematically. Again, consistent theme but too much of the same ground being covered in each episode.

    I’ll need some time to gather my thoughts for the next episode. It’s too important not to, and I might even add more to the following one even though I already jumped the gun and commented on it.

    Like

  42. [Note: Vincent posted this comment on April 19, 2015.]

    I would have given this episode a F, a F- if it was possible.

    I hate it. It’s boring, stupid, I couldn’t get it.
    The sexuality theme is pretty obvious, but still, it doesn’t mean anything. The monster doesn’t mean anything. The episod doesn’t mean anything.

    Probably the worst episode of the whole series in my opinion. “Where the wild things are” is a masterpiece compared to… this.

    Like

  43. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on April 19, 2015.]

    I wouldn’t necessarily say that the sex and the monster doesn’t mean ANYTHING since as these reviews show there can be intended meanings for things.However I do agree that this episode does suck pretty hard and made me had a real dislike of Marti Noxon for a while. I might hate Teacher’s Pet a little more than this but it’s still pretty bad. While Mike’s points about the foreshadowing do give it some value it doesn’t help the lameness of the plot and the humour and some questionable Joyce actions. If Smile Time on Angel is how you do a “comedy before the storm with foreshadowing” right Bad Eggs is on the opposite end of the bell curve.

    Like

  44. [Note: Random posted this comment on April 19, 2015.]

    From a strictly observational standpoint, I’m not particularly sure why this episode is so hated. The MOTW wasn’t particularly good, and the fact that its eggs looked like chicken eggs was unavoidable (how else would they have been considered suitable to hand out?) but laughable. Lyle and Tector were okay (and occasionally even amusing) villains. I grant Joyce’s behavior seems a bit out there. It’s not clear exactly why she picked this moment to go all Gunnery Sergeant, especially since this followed right after the events of Ted, where Buffy appeared to have saved Joyce from the clutches of a serial killer — information available not just to those ‘in the know’ but to Joyce as well for once. I got the sense that there was supposed to be some thematic relationship between Joyce’s parenting and the egg experiment, but whatever it was got lost in a muddle of plotting.

    Overall, though, it just seems like an inoffensive episode. “Teacher’s Pet” and “I Robot, You Jane” were cheesy in a bad way. “Beer Bad” was just a terrible afterschool special with all the subtlety of Olaf’s hammer. And “Where the Wild Things Are” was just plain off-putting in addition to having a terrible MOTW (though it did have a couple funny moments.) “Bad Eggs” mostly strikes me as forgettable rather than terrible. It’s one of those episodes that I have to rewatch just to remember what all happened.

    Of course, when I last rewatched it, I did wonder, once again, how the teacher came into possession of the eggs in the first place. He clearly wasn’t body snatched during the class when he handed them out. On the other hand, it just occurred to me that this episode is all about the dangers of adopting, where you take in a child, only to have to deal with the birth mother causing problems. Okay, so that was probably not intentional, but it’s fun to take really muddled themes and unravel them in strange ways.

    Like

  45. [Note: Krssven posted this comment on August 10, 2015.]

    Not a great episode in the Buffy lexicon, but an entertaining, funny and grossly underrated one. Even when Buffy is doing filler, it has meaningful things to say.

    Stop saying x or y Buffy plot is silly…justify why, rather than ‘I didn’t like this plot idea, so I’m going to label it ‘silly”. It isn’t a bad plot at all. Given the absence of plot in many S6 episodes, I find this highly ironic. Also, check what the title of the show is and then think back to your favourite episodes of this season (probably Becoming, Passion or Surprise/Innocence). Passion is a brilliant, basic plot. But the others are either about a stone demon eating the world, or blue demon that can’t be killed with forged weapons burning people alive with his hands. This whole setting is fantastical.

    This episode is a breather between WML and Surprise/Innocence, which for some reason is never considered a two-parter yet was marketed as a feature-length TV movie on VHS, like ‘Becoming’. It’s interesting to see a Buffy take on Invasion of the Body Snatchers but to pair it with so many sexual themes that tie directly into the next couple of episodes. This episode just has all the hallmarks of Season Two – it might not stand out next to the best episodes of the season like ‘Passion’ and ‘Lie to Me’ (the latter is easily better than Becoming or Surpise/Innocence but is always marked down in comparison), but it is still a good episode of television. When I compare it to the filler episodes in some other genre shows of the time, it’s way ahead. I watched all these shows at the time and filler on Buffy is entirely different (better) than filler elsewhere).

    I liked the Gorch bros., however they were comic relief and didn’t add much. They were just thrown into the mix, most likely because Whedon wanted to have some cowboy vampires! Sometimes even he does things just because they’re cool. The Bezoar was a very interesting monster and maybe could’ve been threaded through a number of episodes, since the thing lives under the school and needed help to get out. It would’ve carried more threat as an unseen enemy slowly taking people over until dealt with. But, they had Angelus to come and enough villains, so I can see why it was just a monster-of-the-week. The only part I didn’t particularly like was that you only saw its eye and tentacles…probably hard on the budget they had, but I wanted to see a Bezoar fight (I had read about this episode prior to seeing it, and what I imagined was more grand).

    Also, I don’t see the ‘plot holes’ others claim to. When Buffy’s Bezoarling punches a hole in the egg to touch her, then is unbroken the next morning, I assumed this was because they could seal up their eggs. I also assumed it couldn’t do the job right away, possibly because of Buffy’s increased constitution from Slayerhood, or that it just needed her to turn over! Buffy tends to sleep on her back from what we’ve seen. It’s also fine that Buffy has been knocked out by very hard blows to the head from very hard implements – Rayne, Ted, and Cordelia all bludgeon her hard rather than the feather-touch knockouts we’re used to on other shows (well, Ted kicked her – but is a robot and therefore made out of very hard materials). It’s refreshing to see them shy away from Buffy shrugging things off ‘because she’s a Slayer’ – the original Star Trek series used to do this regularly with Spock avoiding something merely because he was Vulcan.

    Personally I think the teacher was in control of the Bezoar at that point, when distributing the eggs. Willow, Cordelia and Giles all appeared normal immediately prior to attacking people – I think this was because the Bezoar exerted more control to get them to do certain acts (like bludgeon people, put parasites on them, dig her out), but not as much to appear ‘normal’ (but still under enough control to not give away that they had parasites on their backs). When Willow is examining the Bezoar she’s entirely normal on the surface (the viewer is spoiled by already knowing she’s been taken over).

    The episode also highlights Joyce’s bad parenting skills. Fair enough, ground Buffy for being out late. But for heaven’s sake, you don’t make the jump and get to the bottom of why? Talk about pushing Buffy further into rebel-mode and wanting to jump into bed with Angel. Typical Joyce, ever on the reactive side. Even when a terrible accident happens (‘gas leak’), all she gives a crap about is why Buffy wasn’t in the Library when she Told Her To. What happened to her admiration of Buffy’s qualities in ‘School Hard’? Terrible parent.

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  46. [Note: MichaelJB posted this comment on September 8, 2015.]

    I wonder of the creatures latching onto the hosts is itself something of an admittedly cynical metaphor for the parent/child relationship. The creatures did emerge from the eggs that were supposed to represent children, after all. And in the library, Joyce complains to Giles About parenthood being a “burden.” It’s telling, I think, that once these “children” latch onto their “parents,” the “parents” become mindless drones with no thoughts or behaviors of their own; everything they do is in service of the creatures’ will. I certainly wouldn’t say that this is an accurate picture of parenthood in general (I hope), but I do think it serves as a fair metaphorical warning against teen pregnancy.

    Like

  47. [Note: aidni posted this comment on August 5, 2016.]

    I simply cannot understand how anyone could love Angel at this point in the show. He needs his own show to even become remotely engaging as a character. Currently the only facet to his character is ‘Hot Mysterious Brooder.’ So boring. I find Spike much, much more interesting, even after Angel gets fleshed out and admittedly much more likeable on AtS. But at this point, he is overwhelmingly uninteresting at the moment. I completely agree with Mike that it is young love. I do appreciate the layers their relationship gives to the show, but dear God, I hope they don’t ever get together in Season 11.

    Like

  48. [Note: link posted this comment on February 18, 2017.]

    honestly, some of the plot is bad, like how does the teacher get the eggs.
    also, of they were going for an alien homages, I think that at the tentacles scene, they should have had some wrap around her neck, and maybe have some go up her nose, really invading the body.

    some wonder why buffy doesn’t wake up here. one answer: it is a hellmouth. my best guess is to say that it was emitting something that kept here asleep, as it can drain her energy. but lets focus on where the tentacles go: her ear and eyes. sight and sound are probably the most used senses, but also our sharpest so infiltrating those effectively cuts her out from the rest of the world.

    on her eyes stops them opening, and ears stops sound getting in, so if joyce did come in, she would not be able to stop the bezoar baby.

    i think that this episode would be better if buffy were under the control of the bezoar, and say.. willow and xander weren’t (I was going to say cordy instead of xander, but I like him boiling his child), then it would be: what do we do when buffy is against us?

    either the vampires should be expanded on or removed, or at least allowed to feed, maybe have them and angel controlled by the bezoar too? put all the powerful characters on the bad guys side, but also expand on the bezoars’ history.

    as for the name, I read somewhere that the word means cure or something like that. so, could we assume that it was a demon that named it a bezoar, as it is a cure for humanity/free will.

    please don’t criticise my lack of capitals

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  49. I don’t want to be negative here because I just LOVE reading these reviews they’re amazing!

    But, what has happened to this website visually? Everything is so hard to find? I can’t click through to the next review in order anymore, it was perfect and easily accessible before and now it makes me so frustrated trying to find each review! Not only that but for some reason every pro/con list on here has only + signs listed even when they seem like a negative post? I’ve tried requesting the desktop version on my mobile but not doesn’t work! I’d really appreciate it if you can take a look at these because it’s making accessing these reviews a lot more hard work than it needs to be! In this day and age websites need not be so complicated!
    Thank you

    Like

    1. The website has moved to WordPress. The old site was custom-built by me and had a notable monthly cost to run. I no longer have time in my personal life to maintain and pay for it, so I’ve copied over all the content to this new free site that will allow Critically Touched to continue existing. The only other option was to shut it down entirely.

      One piece of advice for episode navigation: on the right-hand sidebar, when reading an episode review, you will find links to each season of the show. There you will find a clean list of episode reviews from first episode of the season to the last. This should help make navigation a bit easier, although it will never be as easy as it was before (I put in a ton of custom programming time so it would be that easy).

      You can also search for an episode review in the search bar at the top of the sidebar — the search results tend to be quite good.

      Like

      1. Thank you for replying! I completely understand
        I do wish to stress how grateful I am for your time and effort,
        I do love reading these reviews so I’m glad you didn’t choose to shut down completely.
        Thank you again for your advice!

        Like

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