You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
May 21, 2018, 04:07:56 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Aragem's Buffy/Angel Reviews  (Read 1436 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline AragemTopic starter

Aragem's Buffy/Angel Reviews
« on: July 09, 2009, 09:13:02 PM »
This is something I started back on Deviant Art and decided to bring it over here.  I made a challenge to myself, since I have a habit of not fulfilling any goals I set for myself.

I love Joss Whedon's Buffy and Angel series.  I simply adore them.  So I broke out the DVDs and decided to watch each ep in order.  And I decided to put myself to a challenge of writing a review for each ep.

These reviews are my personal thoughts and feelings about each ep of both the Angel and Buffy series which I will watch in chronological order.  Now I am not a critical analysis and I don't expect people to agree with me.  In fact, I would like people to reply with their thoughts either concurring or disagreeing with me.

I will post the reviews as I watched the episodes and only after I watched each episode from start to finish. 
« Last Edit: March 11, 2010, 03:04:01 PM by Aragem »

Offline AragemTopic starter

Re: Aragem's Buffy/Angel Reviews
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2010, 03:05:08 PM »
Buffy: Welcome to the Hellmouth / The Harvest

I'm going to review these eps together because to me, they are really one episode.

A good series premier tells people what to expect from the rest of the series and this is a good one. Season 1 is full of classic episodes that are often referred to by the characters in later seasons.

I love the opening scene between Darla and the first victim because it fooled me the first time I watched it. And Darla is our first vampire to be seen and the guy is our first of many victims throughout the series.

I will make this clear, I don't like Buffy's mother. She is so preoccupied with being a good parent that she isn't a good parent at all. She seems to ignore Buffy's feelings to an extent that annoys me.

We get to meet everyone from the beginning.

Willow the shy nerdy girl.

Xander the unpopular guy at school.

Giles the British bookworm.

And Buffy who just wants to be a normal schoolgirl.

She comes to Sunnydale hoping that everything was going to be normal with no Slaying or no vampires, but discovers that she is going to be living on a portal between Earth and Hell. Which is a hive of mystical energy that calls to bad stuff. Sorry, Buffy. What I liked that though Buffy tries to deny her role as a Slayer, yet easily takes up arms to help when she discovers that the Master is going to break from his prison and take over Sunnydale.

The Master is an awesome villain. He's a Big Bad that we are introduced to from the beginning and keeps his Big Bad status throughout the the first season. In other seasons, we'll see the Big Bad status get taken over by Bigger Baddies. But for now, the Master retains his status as Big Bad in season 1.

I like how Willow and Xander are taken up into Buffy's world by simply having a vampire encounter and not having to go through the exasperating scenes of convincing them that Vampires are real and Buffy is a Slayer out to kill. And also, they are quick to be helpful. Willow looks up underground plans for Buffy to use as a map and Xander shows that he is brave by following Buffy to help her rescue Jesse.

The loss of Jesse is sudden and disturbing. Gets enough screen time to let us think he's going to be an running character in the series, but he soon gets captured and turned into a vampire and killed. It's a very rude awakening for both of them and it tells them and the audience that nobody is safe in this show. Good people get hurt and killed in this series so don't get too attached to someone.

Ah, and I can't end this review without mentioning Angel. The sexy mysterious stranger that gives vague warnings and aid to Buffy. It is very clear that Buffy is attracted to him from the beginning, but she is not a fool to allow herself to let her guard down around him. Which I very much respect.

Now we get to the relationships. Relationships, I mean as in romance or attraction. It's clear that Xander falls for Buffy at first sight. And at this time, Buffy has no knowledge or is eve aware of his feelings for her. At this time, she's not sure if she should be attracted to or suspicious of Angel.

Also we have Willow's sweet crush on Xander which makes this not a love triangle, but a love Square with Buffy, Angel, Xander, and Willow. Being a fan of love triangles, I dig this.

That's it for my first review. It's a pretty awesome first ep or two eps in others' opinion. It gets introduces us to Sunnydale and the main leading characters and gets them together in the Scooby Gang. We know who the main villain is and what his goals are. This is an awesome start to an awesome series.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2010, 03:20:19 PM by Aragem »

Offline AragemTopic starter

Re: Aragem's Buffy/Angel Reviews
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2010, 03:06:40 PM »
Buffy: Witch

This is the episode that informs us that its not just vampires that Buffy will have to battle. It also introduces us to Amy who will play a bigger role later on in the series, but for now, she's a girl trying out for the Cheer Leading squad with Buffy.

Really disturbing things are seen in this episode. From the auditioning cheerleader bursting into flames, Cordelia loosing her sight, and the girl in the science class having her mouth sealed over with skin. Eek!

What I liked about this, is that you weren't sure where the real threat was coming from. I liked the scene where Cordelia threatens Amy. Yeah, Cordy is a bitch in Season 1, but when she threatens Amy, even I was feeling the chill and I really thought that something was going to happen to Amy.

When the group suspected Amy, I was expecting it to be one of those red herrings for the gang. That Amy was not the witch causing the problems and that it was either her domineering mother or someone else, which I LOVED about the science class scene when Buffy "accidentally" spilled the potion on Amy and it turned blue revealing her to actually be the witch casting the spells!

Another thing about this scene that I want to point out because it is so awesome is the spectacular foreshadow of Willow's future role as a powerful witch. When she drops the ingredient into the potion and says, "Eye of newt", the teacher's chemical jar pops startling him in reaction to Willow's words. I don't think that the writers meant for this be foreshadowing. I think it was done just because someone was creating a potion and probably they would have had it done if it was Buffy or Xander or even Giles was doing it, but it just fit together nicely when they decided that Willow was going to be studying the dark crafts later on.

I love the huge flip or twist in the show when it is discovered that it was actually Amy's mother who is casting the spells, but in Amy's body! Creepy scene and realization there.

But the really creepy thing about this ep was the end. The cheer leading statue of which Amy's mother had trapped herself inside for all eternity which is pretty ironic since she was trying to relive her high school cheer leading through Amy's body. But now she's trapped in the symbol of her past life, in the trophy she won for the school. Awesome stuff.

Offline AragemTopic starter

Re: Aragem's Buffy/Angel Reviews
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2010, 03:21:19 PM »
Buffy: Teacher's Pet

The opening of this episode is hard to watch. In Buffy's school, she encounters teachers, aside from Giles, that are either apathetic, or just suspicious of her due to her record. But she then meets a kind teacher that is willing to support and believe in her. What happens? He gets killed before the opening credits. Sad.

And who replaces the deceased science teacher, a beautiful woman that hides a dark secret behind a seductive smile. Ms. French whom all the boys are smitten with, Xander included.

Xander is having a hard time with his crush on Buffy, when he learns about Angel and Buffy's attractiveness toward him. Especially when Buffy starts wearing Angel's jacket. And when Ms. French begins to show signs of being attracted to Xander, how could he resist? Being a teenage boy wanting to get rid of his virginity and the girl he likes shows no interest for him, how could he turn her down?

Unfortunately for her him, Ms. French is a demon praying mantis who kills virgins that she mates with.

My fave scenes are when the Vampire that Buffy chases comes across Ms. French. I love how she slowly turns around and smiles at him which causes him to hiss in fear and flee to the sewers and she goes along on her merry way while Buffy watches on in shock.

I love the bits of Xander being in the cage with his classmate. "He broke the cage!"

It's a pretty classic ep and Xander gets ribbed about it throughout the series.

Offline AragemTopic starter

Re: Aragem's Buffy/Angel Reviews
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2010, 03:22:51 PM »
Buffy: Never Kill a Boy on the First Date

This isn't my favorite episode of season 1. I get irritated with Buffy for wanting to blow off her responsibilities for a date with a guy. I know and understand that she wants a normal life and she is attracted to this boy who seems more available to her than the illusive Angel, but it irks me when she attempts to downplay sometime that Giles takes very seriously.

It tells me that at this point in the series, she doesn't accept Giles as a mentor. I'm not saying that she does not like or respect Giles, but she just doesn't take him seriously in this episode as she will later on in the series.

The boyfriend seem cut and paste to me. But in this episode Cordelia meets Angel for the first time and finds him attractive for her tastes. I know this doesn't mean much to begin with, but this is something for Cordy/Angel fans for the Angel spin off.

In the end, Buffy does learn a lesson about how the world she wants is separated from the world she is forced to live in. She understands that Xander and Willow understand the dangers of her world and are able to tread carefully whereas Owen sees it as fun and thrilling would likely get himself killed.

I do like the twist that the Anointed one is actually the little boy on the bus, not the derange man spouting doom and gloom.

Offline AragemTopic starter

Re: Aragem's Buffy/Angel Reviews
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2010, 03:30:40 PM »
Buffy: The Pack

A side note. I review episodes as I watch them. Now over the past two days, I have already seen the first half of Season 1 and I decided to challenge myself just today to review each episode. That is way there are a lot of reviews for today.

Okay, now for this review's episode.

Firstly, let me step onto my soapbox. Anyone who has to make fun or pick on someone to make themselves feel important or hurt someone's feelings to impress a group is sorry individual. That said, let's continue.

This episode brings into the foray Willow's crush on Xander and how hurt she was when he insulted her while under the influence of the hyena possession. But I like the conversation between Willow and Xander while he is in the cage in the library. I respect Willow that she didn't get taken in by Xander enough to know that he was attempted to steal the keys from her. Kudos!

Poor Flutie. He was a good principal in trying to motivate his students and be caring for their needs, even if he seems forceful. He didn't deserve to be killed like that. But it's another reminder that no one is safe in the Buffy world.

The twist in this ep was that the zookeeper had been trying to become possessed by the hyena's himself. I wonder why would he try to bite Willow on the head and instead of going for her throat? Isn't that what animals do for a kill? Go for the throat or stomach? It just seemed weird and funny

Offline AragemTopic starter

Re: Aragem's Buffy/Angel Reviews
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2010, 03:40:36 PM »
 O:)Buffy: Angel O:)

There is a lot to be said about this episode. A lot of people would say that it marks the beginning of the doomed romance of Buffy and Angel. Now, I'm not a hardcore fan of Buffy and Angel, but I will say that this is most romantic and tragic couple of the whole series.

From episode 1 (Welcome to HellMouth), we know that Buffy is smitten with Angel for his good looks and mysterious nature. This is the episode where the crush becomes love in my eyes.

Lets begin, shall we?

Let me start with the grossness of catching a roach to get a free drink. Any club that has to stoop to that to get customers and deal with roaches is gross. But it is during this that Buffy is bemoaning about how Angel is so illusive that she hardly knows him with Willow. You can tell from the way the girls discuss boys and love is that they have grown close over a short period of time. It a very open line of communication in contrast to the domineering speeches Cordelia dishes upon her flock of "friends".

The Master, getting frustrated with Buffy taking out vampires left and right summons The Three, a trio of vampires that wear armor and are excel in combat. They attack Buffy outside the Bronze where she is aided by Angel and they escape to her house.

What bothers me is when Joyce discovers them together and doesn't get upset or mad at Buffy. She had a knowing smile yet, she doesn't seem upset that Buffy is alone with an older attractive man. My mother would have gone ballistic if she caught me like that when I was a child.

Buffy and Angel decide that he should stay in case the Three come back, not knowing that the Master allowed Darla to kill them off for their failure in killing Buffy. Buffy does take this chance to try to get know Angel better to discover two things.

1. He returns her feelings

2. He's a vampire!

Even thought discovering that Angel is a vampire doesn't hamper Buffy's feelings. She doesn't hate vampires. It makes me think of the roaches in the beginning of the show. Does an exterminator hates roaches? I don't think so, he kills them because it's his job to do so, just as it is Buffy's job to slay vampires.

Another thing that I don't understand is why Giles is okay with the relationship? Being a Watcher who very likely has spent a great deal of time studying the evil of vampires would be outraged at the forbidden romance of a Slayer and a Vampire.

The only one who is outrage by the union is Xander and with good reason. He has a crush on Buffy and has been jealous of Angel for several episodes. And also, I believe that Xander has a greatly disliking for vampires over what happened to his friend, Jesse, in the first two eps. Thus, Xander has a double disliking for Angel that lasts for a very long time. Honestly, I can't remember ever seeing them buddy up.

Darla uses Joyce to trick Buffy into thinking Angel attacked her mother. Awesome bit of her kicking his ass out the window! And Buffy goes to take him down, but when Angel opens up to her, explaining the gypsy curse and all the grief he had suffered because of his actions, she believes in his goodness and they face Darla who comes after them with pistols.

We also learn here that Darla is Angel's maker and past lover. And Angel kills Darla, his maker. That sad and shocked, "Angel?" is a sad touch there.

At the end of the episode, Angel and Buffy meet up at the Bronze and have a very romantic scene together. They both talk softly and discuss why a relationship between them would never work out and then they kiss each other deeply. A very loving kiss.

Then Buffy draws away and we see a cross shape burn on Angel's chest caused from the same cross he gave her in the beginning of the season. It is a burn that she does not notice.

There is a lot of symbolism I see in this cross burning here. It symbolizes the suffering these lovers will endure in the future because of who and what they are. Especially in season 2 and they're separation in season 3. I will touch upon the burning of the cross into the flesh in later reviews.

Overall, it's a good episode that marks milestone in the series, the discovery of Angel's background.

Offline AragemTopic starter

Re: Aragem's Buffy/Angel Reviews
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2010, 03:46:51 PM »
Buffy: I Robot, You Jane

This was one of my favorite eps when I was a kid. I liked it because of the robot and the idea of a robot/human relationship. But I also liked it because it was a Willow episode as well.

I love Willow, I love her innocence, her wit, and her courage. But I also adore her in this season for her desire for love. Just as Xander turned to Ms. French when he believed that Buffy was beyond his reach, Willow turned to Malcolm.

Joss Whedon keeps reminding us of how no one is safe. Especially when student had a change of heart and was murdered.

And we are introduced to Jenny Calendar, the computer science teacher of the high school. Her modern ideals clash with Giles's old fashion notions, but didn't come across as a techno freak, but someone that was willing to use patience and reason to argue her point.

I adore the scene when Giles discovers that Jenny knows of the demon side of the world and that saved him a lot of explanation. In fact, she had a a bigger grasp on the situation than he did and she was able to help resolve the situation with the internet.

Another good scene is when the three friends are discussing their failed loves. Buffy in love with a Vampire, Xander's disaster with a praying mantis woman, and just not Willow almost being killed by a robot demon.

It's a good episode, not the best episode, but definitely memorable as it is mentioned several times by the characters in the future.

Offline AragemTopic starter

Re: Aragem's Buffy/Angel Reviews
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2010, 03:52:04 PM »
Buffy: Puppet Show

Now this episode is one of my fave season 1 eps. For one reason only: Sid the Dummy.

I loved this character and I am very sorry to see that he is only in one episode of the series. However, I do get a creep factor to see a smiling Dummy wielding a meat knife. *shiver* He honestly should have been a regular character or at least a character that popped in every now and then. He was funny and entertaining to watch, and the reaction from the other characters was hilarious.

I do know that he was a playable character in a Buffy video game that I have never played.

However, we are introduced to a not so likable character, Principal Snider. Whereas, Flutie actually cared about the students, Snider loathes them, Buffy and friends especially. He reminds me of the Headmistress from the book and movie "Mitilda", a person whose job it was to care and educate kids, yet hated them. . . a lot.

But, kudos for the Karma placed on Buffy and co. for making fun of Giles being forced to participate in the talent show. I love the not so subtle smile on Giles's face when justice is served.

The twist in this ep is that Buffy believes that Sid is the one murdering students for their body parts to become a real human when it is in fact the opposite. Sid is a demon hunter trying to locate and kill the demon responsible for the murders.

The highlight of this ep is the end. Where they just decapitated the demon and Sid's soul is released. Buffy and Co. are sadden by his departure and the curtains are drawn back to reveal a waiting audience. What was even funnier was the act Buffy, Xander, and Willow tried to pull off. Why did they choose a Greek play?

Anyway, this episode in my opinion is right behind "Angel" as best episode of season 1.

Offline AragemTopic starter

Re: Aragem's Buffy/Angel Reviews
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2010, 03:54:30 PM »
Buffy: Nightmares

Not my favorite episode of Season 1, but still entertaining for it's funny parts. Xander and the clown never fails to get a laugh out of me. Oh, and we get to see Buffy as a vampire!

Yet, this episode gets from gripes from me. The opening, when Buffy was in the Master's lair, how does she know what the Master looks like? Granted, she might have seen a picture of him in one of Gile's books or maybe it was one of those prophetic dreams she sometimes gets, so I'll let that slide.

Another gripe, is how does Billy being in a coma affect Sunnydale. The explanation given is that some people can project themselves while in comas and since they were on the HellMouth, it took a hellish turn. Forgive me if this explanation is a little flimsy to me. But the episode still has it's merits.

We also get to see Buffy's father. Cherish it, because this is only one in handful of times that you get to see him. However, he does come across as a bastard, but that's only a nightmare version of him informing Buffy that she was the reason her parents divorce. My heart hurts each time I see this scene.

We also get a not so subtle anti-smoking lesson from Joss Whedon, when a girl goes to smoke and gets beaten by a monster. A very brutal scene that made me surprised to see such a thing in a 90's tv show.

The show ends with having Billy confront his fear. . . .confront his fear? He did no such thing! Buffy wailed on the guy while little Billy cowered behind Giles and Willow. But then again, if you think out of the box, it might not be that Billy is afraid of the coach himself, but fearful of the truth itself.

Let's look at Buffy. Her worst fear was that she was the cause of her parent's divorce. Being that she was dealing with becoming the Slayer around the time that their marriage broke apart. Now whether this is true or not, Buffy and the audience doesn't know. What decent parent would tell their child such a thing? Now her worst nightmare came true when her father bluntly told her so to her face.

Now let's look at Billy. He must have been close to his coach due to the pet name or nickname the coach gave him. Lucky 19. But the coach is hot tempered and when Billy failed in a play that cost the game, he took his temper out on the poor boy with a baseball bat. I believe this because the monster version of the coach is brandishing a club. Billy, not wanting to believe it was someone he trusted would hurt him, casts him as a almost faceless monster. Buffy forces Billy to confront the truth by pulling off the mask and seeing the face of the man who hurt him.

Offline AragemTopic starter

Re: Aragem's Buffy/Angel Reviews
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2010, 03:55:25 PM »
Buffy : Out of Sight, Out of Mind

This is the episode where Cordelia joins the Scooby gang and acknowledges the darker side of Sunnydale.

It seems that an invisible person has been targeting Cordy for. . . .ignoring her?

Okay, truthfully, she's targeting the high school socialite because she blames her because she went invisible. Another flimsy excuse. Everyone ignored her and she went invisible because of the Hellmouth? Wait, then how come there was a classroom full of invisible kids at the end of the ep? They can't all be from Sunnydale.

Another unexplained plot device.

Now for the ups of this episode.

I love Snider's line in this. "Dead? Of course not, what are ya? Ghouls? There are no dead students here . . . at least not this week."

Angel makes an appearance, after a bit of an absence. He's staying away from Buffy because being around her hurts him. He loves her, but he knows that nothing could come of a relationship between a Slayer and a Vampire.

Another thing that I pointed out in the Angel review, is Giles's attitude toward Angel. I do like that Giles isn't all up in arms when Angel comes around. He accepts him as an ally so readily. . .too readily.

For someone who has studied the forces of darkness and is part of a group that supports a warrior that slays vampires, you'd think he'd be a bit more wary of a vampire, even though he has aided them and has his soul.

I want to say that the ending scene when the FBI agents take the invisible girl away, is the first tip that the government is aware of the supernatural and is taking steps to control it. I got chills when I saw the chapter title of Marcie's text book. Also, dare I say its the first hint of the Initiative?

Offline AragemTopic starter

Re: Aragem's Buffy/Angel Reviews
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2010, 03:56:30 PM »
Buffy: Prophecy Girl

Now we come to the season finale of Season 1. Prophecy Girl where Xander confesses his feelings, Buffy fulfills a prophecy and the Master is freed and killed all in the same episode.

Let's start with Xander's confession to Buffy. It's one of those scenes that you hate watching because you know it has the potential to destroy a nice friendship. Buffy has no feelings for Xander beyond friendship, and also doesn't want to hurt Willow by accepting Xander. Xander, hurt by her rejection, lashes out insulting her for her feelings for Angel.

I think this deepens Xander's resentment of Angel.

Xander later attempts to get Willow to go to the dance with him as a friend, but she refuses, not wanting to be with him when he is wishing to be with Buffy. That had to be a very hard thing for Willow to do and she was later regretting her decision.

Then things become worse when Buffy discovers that there is a prophecy stating that she will die if she goes to confront the Master. This scene is excellent.

First, you see Buffy coming to the library to speak with Giles to see Angel there speaking with her Watcher. Delight at seeing him after so long (she hasn't seen him since "Angel") and goes to the doorway, but overhears their concern regarding the prophecy which devastates her.

"I'm 16. I don't want to die."

Heartbreaking line.

But later, Buffy is convinced to do her part as the Slayer when there is a brutal murder of students in the teacher's lounge. She goes off to face her destiny.

Now here is something that bothers me about the Anointed One. We are introduced to him in the "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date", and I wonder, what role does he play? They spoke about him as if he was some powerful vampire, but he NEVER does any fighting whatsoever? He doesn't even gain a vamp face nor do they allude to him drinking blood. All he does is hang around the Master in Season 1 and lead Buffy to the Master's lair. . . which a lackey vampire could just as easily have done! Then in few eps that he appears in on Season 2, he commands vampires. . . .why do the vampires obey him?

With other Big Bads, you know why they are obeyed. . . because they are tough Mother Effers who will snatch their heads off their necks if they don't obey! The Anointed One is a weak child that Spike was able to very easily get rid of in the next season.

Anyway, just to move on . . . .

Buffy confronts the Master, but he easily overpowers her revealing that it was her blood that would give him the power to break free and he would never gain that power if she never came. He drinks her blood and tosses her aside to die in a pool of water.

Fortunately for her, Xander overcomes the pain of her rejection to go to the one person he detests for aid. Angel.

I understand why Xander hates Angel, but what was with the nasty tone from Angel when Xander came. This is the first time that we see them talking or even alone in the same room. Does he somehow know that Xander has feelings for Buffy and resents him for it because Xander is more available to Buffy than Angel would ever be?

Anyway, both guys agree to help one another to save the girl they love. And it is Xander who gets his shining moment to save Buffy. Buffy then heads to the school while the opening song plays as background music *cool scene* and kills the Master.

I hate to break it to you, Buffy, but this is the easiest time you'll ever have killing a Big Bad. Trust me, the Master is a cream puff compared to some of the nasties you'll be dealing with in the future.

And that concludes season 1.

Story Arc: Keeping the Master from escaping his underground prison. Some of the episodes were episodic, but I think it was Joss Whedon's way of keeping us on our toes and to let us know that we should expect all kinds of horrors to be throne in Buffy and co.'s way.

This story arc is more clear cut than future ones, but simple and clean for a season 1. Which is to introduce us to the characters and allow us to get to know them and their backgrounds. To see what the established relationships are and what we can expect or hope to see come of them.

Big Bad: Even though, the Master is the weakest of the Big Bads, that doesn't mean he doesn't deserve merit. He had a fun personality and was actually a character. Not a stereotype of a vampire master being all dark and deep voice and slinking through the shadows. He was witty and commanded full respect from his henchmen which he didn't hesitate to put in their place in a bloody way.

Relationships: Xander/Buffy = The crush Xander had on Buffy was sweet and it was hard to watch him be hurt when she rejects him, but fortunately he was able to put aside any bitterness and accept the friendship she readily holds out to him.

Xander/Willow: Poor Willow. She has a crush on Xander who has a crush on Buffy who happens to be her first girlfriend. She hides the pain so well, or perhaps she's not fretting since she understands that Buffy has no interest in Xander?

Buffy/Angel: This is where the doomed love story begins. Where the lovers meet and fall for one another, but stand aloof knowing that this is a relationship that couldn't and shouldn't work...yet they continue to stare at each other in a dim Bronze.

Offline AragemTopic starter

Re: Aragem's Buffy/Angel Reviews
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2010, 05:14:21 PM »
Buffy:  When She was Bad

Now we come to Season 2 of the Buffy series.  This is the season that takes a very serious edge.  Compared to this season, Season 1 is light and fluffy.  This season covers everything.  Love, hate, loyalty, betrayal, and sacrifice.  This is the season that Buffy truly becomes the Slayer.

It starts off with When She was Bad.

It seems that while Buffy has been away for the summer living with her father, Xander and Willow had almost kindled some feelings toward each other.  Then when Buffy returns, Xander forgets nearly kissing Willow in the park and focuses on Buffy.  Xander sometimes needs a brick to the head.

We also get to see Buffy's dad again.  I don't think we see him again until much later in the series making it a total of three times that we do see him.  Also, we see that Giles and Jenny are attracted to each other, with Giles acting unsure of himself around her.

Much of this episode centers around Buffy's trauma of being killed by the Master.  In the previous episodes in Season 1, she had always came out on top, easily defeating any vampire or threat.  The fight with the Master is the first time she felt helpless and had actually lost a fight making her feel vulnerable and isolated.

Thus she begins pushing her friends away and in the end, nearly looses them.  She does rescue them and destroys the Master's bones, thus cutting off any chances of reviving him.  She makes up with her friends and seems to have gotten over her trauma or accepted her shortcomings.

Now one thing I want to bring up, and this is something that will come full circle.  When Buffy receives the note leading her to an obvious trap and her friends wanted to go with her, she states that she is the Slayer, she had to do it alone.  The Slayer is a lone figure, a single warrior against a horde of demons.  This is something that will be commented upon by another character in another episode.

Buffy is unusual in that she has friends and a family.  We see the contrast between her and other Slayers later on.   

Offline AragemTopic starter

Re: Aragem's Buffy/Angel Reviews
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2010, 05:54:30 PM »
Buffy: Some Assembly is Required

This episode is mediocre in my opinion.  It doesn't have anything very memorable in it except that Cordelia nearly gets decapitated.  It does contain some Angel and Buffy issues.

It seems that Angel is jealous of Xander because he can more freely be with Buffy than Angel could ever be.  Being human that is.  But Buffy is persistent that she wants Angel despite the issues revolving around them if they are ever together.  Also, remember the sexy dance from last ep?  Yeah, that does get mentioned in their conversation.

What happens is that they discover that these high school students are digging up bodies to creature a girlfriend one of the student's brother who was brought back to life by said student. 

As for the moment in the library when Buffy sees Angel with Cordelia and Angels sees her with Xander; I hate it when couples go through the "jealousy" thing on tv.  The whole, "Hey, why were you with her?"  "Whoa, why were you out with him?"

It's just annoying and it distracts from the story.

Offline AragemTopic starter

Re: Aragem's Buffy/Angel Reviews
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2010, 09:38:07 PM »
Buffy: School Hard

Ah, I love this episode.  How we are introduced to Spike is just awesome.  He drives a car right through the Welcome to Sunnydale sign and steps out of the car look all bad ass.  You know that this is a very different vampire than we are used to.

He is a very different vampire than the cannon fodder Buffy has dealt with in the past.  He's not a mindless obedient lackey like vampires we have seen in the past.  He's witty, rude, resourceful, impatient, sexy, and touch as nails and we love him for it all.  Spike is not going to be Buffy's usual quick stake slay.

Here is what happens.  Buffy is put in charge of getting the school ready for a parent-teacher conference for fear of being expelled if Principal Snider isn't pleased.  Unfortunately, the girl she is set to work with isn't interested in staying in school and Snider has it in for Buffy.  And on top of that, the night after Parent-Teacher night is a special night where Vampires' powers are heightened and that's something she has to prepare for.

Meanwhile, Spike and Drusilla arrives and promises the Anointed One that Spike will kill the Slayer.  However, unlike the other vampires Spike isn't too impressed or respectful of the Anointed One (I don't blame him).  And decides to crash Parent-Teacher night a day earlier than the planned night where his power would have increased, taking Buffy by complete surprise.

Buffy manages to fight off the attacking vampires with Angel's help and save her mother along with the other teachers, or most of them.  Also, we get see that Snider and possibly the local authorities know the truth about the vampires and the Otherworld of Sunnydale.   This is nifty foreshadowing of what's going to happen in Season 3, but that's getting ahead of this review.  Let's continue.

I love Spike.  He's my favorite vampire out of the series.  I like Angel, but if I had to choose between them, it would be Spike.  He has a very hard, tough guy exterior, but later on we'll see a sensitive side of him that other vampires just don't have.  Not even Angel. 

I especially enjoyed watching him introduced himself to the Anointed One's. . . cabal. . . if you want to call it that.  He gives a tough guy show, but when Drusilla comes in, he melts into a tender and gentle person that deeply loves and cares for the insane wretch. 

I like Dusilla, especially her accent.  She's a fun character to watch and she makes me think of Malkavian from World of Darkness RPGs.  I also like the relationship between them in the beginning of Season 2, but later on, not so much. 

I know I said that I disliked Buffy's mother and I wasn't able to give a good reason why, but this episode demonstrates why.  Why does Joyce feel like it is necessary to keep reminding Buffy of why they had to move to Sunnydale?  Yes, Buffy knows!  She was accused of being a troublemaker and burning down a school building.  She KNOWS!!!  STOP BRINGING IT UP!!!! 

Yes, I know and I understand that it'd have to be serious stuff for them to move and I am not downplaying arson.  It is serious and not cool to do so, but we all know why she did it.  It was full of damn vampires! 

I just hate the unfairness of it all for Buffy.  She's a decent girl that wants to do good and make her mother proud.  She studies at the Bronx with Willow and works hard getting ready for Parent Teacher night not to mention all the world saving she does.  She's loyal to her friends and her Watcher and helps anybody who needs it. 

Yet, she keeps getting kicked in the teeth!  Her mother doesn't trust her and keeps drudging up the past, her principal is out to get her, and on top of that, she has to deal with the Netherworld trying to kill her.  It totally pissed me off when Snider spoke to Joyce and very very very likely, he embellished some of the things Buffy did just to get the girl in trouble with her mother.  That is not professional behavior, folks. 

Yet, her mother didn't wait to hear her side of the story before being all pissed at her.  And it took being attacked by vampires for her mother to fucking mellow out about it.  I do not like Joyce.  I do not like her at all.

In with the new, and out with the old.  Spike kills the Anointed One who will not be missed because he had VERY LITTLE impact on the series.  All the little kid did was lead Buffy by the hand to the Master's lair, something a vampire lackey could have done.  Why did it take an "Anointed One" to do it. 

Jenny and Giles said that a little child would fool her, but she KNEW WHO HE WAS when he approached her in the park.  He tries to fool her but she said, "I know who you are."

And what was he exactly?  Was he a vampire?  Was he a ghoul that would die in sunlight or a demon?  They never say he was a vampire or do we see him drink blood or go vamp face on us.  So what was he!?  They never go into detail about that! 

Overall, the Master's reign is truly over and Spike takes the place as the new Big Bad of Sunnydale.  He's a vampire punk that is resourceful and has already been the death of two Slayers.  Watch out, Buffy.

Offline AragemTopic starter

Re: Aragem's Buffy/Angel Reviews
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2010, 10:30:22 PM »
Buffy:  Inca Mummy Girl

Another episode that is mentioned a lot by the characters.  The one where Xander falls for a mummy girl that can drain the life out of people.  The story is open and cut.

During a field trip to the museum where one of the exhibits is of a mummified girl holding what looks like a plate.  One of the punk kids fools around with it, breaks the plate and the mummy comes to life and sucks him dry.  She takes the appearance of a young healthy girl who is very taken by Xander who is likewise with her. 

The romance between Ampata (Mummy girl) and Xander is sweet and sad.  It would have been a very nice romance.  What I love about Joss Whedon romances is that they don't make me want to throw up.  They are interesting and I end up liking the couple and wanting them to stay together. 

However, the girl still has to suck life out of people to live.  Not good and Buffy ends up taking her down.

We get to see that Willow still has feelings for Xander.  I find it very foreshadowing that in the same episode that Willow talks of giving up on Xander, we are introduced to Oz who is quite taken with Willow even though she's wearing a very modest Eskimo outfit while performing at the concert. 

Also, we know that Xander still has feelings for Buffy, being jealous at the prospect of her getting a male foreign exchange student living with her. 

Another thing of note is the conversation between Ampata and Buffy about being "chosen".  I like how they are talking about themselves without the other knowing.  Buffy was chosen to be the Slayer and Ampata was chosen to be the sacrifice.  Both girls didn't want it, it was forced upon them.

However, whereas Buffy is willing to accept her role, Ampata rebels against it willing to take lives and Xander's as well.

Offline AragemTopic starter

Re: Aragem's Buffy/Angel Reviews
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2010, 05:46:53 PM »
Buffy: Reptile Boy

Buffy feels unhappy because Giles is piling pressure on her to train her and patrol for vampires.  Also, Angel keeps her at arms length, not wanting to date her despite his feelings.

In an act of rebellion, she attends a frat party with Cordelia lying to Giles about staying home with her mother.  However, the fraternity is a cult that worships a snake demon in their frat house and they intend to sacrifice Buffy and Cordy to it. 

Buffy saves the day while Giles decides to be more lenient with her training and Angel asks her out for a cup of coffee. 

This episode pinpoints when Angel and Buffy officially start dating.  I love their dialogue in the cemetery when she attempts to ask Angel out for coffee, but he turns her down. 

He goes over the reason why they shouldn't be together and they exchange my favorite lines in this episode.

Angel:  "This isn't some fairy tale. . . when I kiss you, you don't wake up from a deep sleep and live happily ever after."

Buffy:  "No, when you kiss me, I want to die."

Pretty deep stuff. 

We also get a not so subtle message about not drinking.  Buffy's drink is drugged and passes out nearly being taken advantage of by a frat boy and sacrificed to a reptile demon.  Just like the anti-smoking message in the Nightmares episode from last season. 

In the end of the episode, Angel decides to allow Buffy closer and asks her out for a cup of coffee sometime.

Offline AragemTopic starter

Re: Aragem's Buffy/Angel Reviews
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2010, 06:44:10 PM »
Buffy:  Halloween

This is a very fun episode.  The one where everyone becomes their Halloween costumes.  Willow becomes a ghost, Xander becomes a soldier (which gains him useful skills and knowledge that helps the gang out several times) and Buffy becomes a noble woman from the middle ages.

Buffy doesn't feel very feminine while being the Slayer.  She comes to a date with Angel ruffled from a battle with a vampire and is humiliated by Cordelia who is after Angel as well.  She wonders about what sort of girls Angel liked back when he was alive and a costume dress catches her eye.

Unfortunately, the store she purchases the dress from is run by Ethan Rayne, a wizard or warlock who cursed the costumes to turn whoever wears them into what they are dressed as.

Buffy, as a weak frightened Lady is helpless against demons and vampires which Spike tries to take advantage of.  I love how Buffy is week and enfeeble in this episode because it is sooooo funny. 

Willow's first reaction is to find Buffy when the trouble happens, but that turns out to be useless as Buffy is out.  I like how Willow takes the role of leader which is usually Buffy's role of the Scoobies.  She gets them to a safe place which is Buffy's house and goes to alert Giles to what is happening. 

Together, they figure out that it is the costumes that have changed everyone.  Meanwhile, Cordelia and Angel joins Xander and Buffy.  However, Buffy is frightened by vampire Angel and flees to be attacked by Spike. 

Giles finds the costume store and reveals that he and Ethan Rayne knew each other from the past.  Giles reveals a brutal side by beating Ethan to force him to break the spell.  Once Ethan breaks the spell, everyone changes back to who they truly are and Buffy fights off Spike. 

One thing, I'd like to mention is that I think we see a tender side of Cordelia in this episode. 

I'm going to get ahead of myself a little bit and mentions Cordelia's vast change of character in the spin-off series Angel where she becomes a much more caring person and is almost a polar opposite to her materialistic vain self in Buffy. 

When she comforts a terrified Buffy, telling her that Angel wasn't going to hurt her, we see a hint of that other side of Cordy.  Cordy was attracted to Angel and had been attempting to steal him away from Buffy.  Here was a chance to scare an unknowing Buffy away from Angel and have him for herself.  Yet, she did the right thing by consoling her.

I look forward to see Cordy's personality change once we get to Angel's series.

Offline AragemTopic starter

Re: Aragem's Buffy/Angel Reviews
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2010, 05:56:15 PM »
Buffy: Lie to Me

A friend from Buffy's old life in L.A. arrives which makes her happy.  I think Billy, the old friend, reminds her of her life before becoming the Slayer.  However, Billy has an agenda to become a vampire and he is willing to sell her out in order to become one.

He uses a club of kids who have a very romantic view of vampires which disgusts Angel and weird out  Willow and Xander.  The reason why he wants to be a vampire is that he is dying of brain tumors within six months and is worth becoming a vampire to avoid that fate.  Even if it means betraying Buffy and turning over ignorant kids to vampires.

Though Buffy feels sorry for him, she still sees him as the villain and is confused about the nature of evil.  So far, villains have been monsters and vampires, not sick kids who were once her friend. 

She waits by Billy's grave to kill him as he comes back as a vampire, thus ending his life as a vampire before it began. 

Billy really irritated me.  No way do you walk into a vampire's lair and act that cocky when you want something from him.  He was an asshole and I was quite satisfied when Buffy staked him as soon as he reared his head from his grave.