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Buffy Rewatch: 1.01 Welcome to the Hellmouth

Buffy Summers

Yataro
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Buffy Summers is the Slayer, but after being expelled from her old high school for burning down the gym (it was full of vampires) she just wants to forget about her destiny and be a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She and her mother move from L.A. to Sunnydale, California. She now has a new school, new friends, and a chance to start over. But Sunnydale is on top of a Hellmouth -- a center of mystical convergence that draws evil and demonic forces -- and Buffy soon realizes that she will have to pick up her stakes and holy water in order to save her new friends.

Source: TV.com
 

Buffy Summers

Yataro
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I think they really set the series up well with this episode. You really feel where Buffy is coming from, in wanting to put her past behind her. The conflct she feels. And for the other characters, we understand who they are from the very beginning. And they set up the Big Bad very well I thought. They also got the humor right - making it funny without it being a farce.
 

Mr Trick

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Being a mid-season replacement is always tough. I think they handle this really well. They give you a tease what you can expect from the show but don't over do it. Its a very enjoyable and solid pilot.
 

Cohen

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So I first saw this and 1.02 “The Harvest” as one episode. It’s still hard for me to separate the two because each part flows seamlessly together.

Taking this episode by itself, it sets up a great 2 part arc. We get glimpses of the characters and a build up of the stakes. The fake-out teaser where the scared blonde bombshell is actually the monster was genius on Joss’ part and sets the series up for the feminist roots it’s known for. I’ll reserve my other ideas about this episode for the second episodes thread because a lot of my thoughts are of these two as a whole pilot, how Joss originally intended it.
 
Mr Trick
Mr Trick
I see it as a two-parter too.

telperion66

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The standard of the writing that would continue for the remainder of season one (with the exception of the Puppet Show and Nightmares) is set very high in this opening episode of the season.

Xander is instantly uplifting and hilarious. Willow is really cool as a supporting character and is very likable. SMG revels in the starring role of Buffy. DB is brooding and mysterious in his first appearance and we see sparks in his chemistry with Buffy right away. Giles is quirky and charming as he enters his fresh role of Sunnydale High librarian to guide Buffy as the slayer.

Jesse is pretty cool (who I now admire in 24 as Mylo), as is Darla, who of course went on to have a massive impact on AtS, especially during season two.

The big bad (The Master) is introduced well, along with Luke, a wise decision being made in not devoting too much time to their part in the plot, yet giving them enough clout in the narrative whilst keeping it all pretty straight-forward as to their part in the story.

One thing that always brings a smile to my face about this episode, and in fact for many of the episodes of BTVS season one, is that there are so many "quotable" lines in the dialogue between the characters. A bit like Star Wars, you really remember the dialogue of this season (and episode) as being truly memorable which very few TV shows do nowadays.

Hands down, an all-time classic, 9/10
 

thrasherpix

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I'm saving the bulk of my comments for after The Harvest as it's all one episode to me, but I will say that I adore the campiness (including background music and sounds) of this season. And I was invested after seeing the introduction with Darla. At the time when I first saw it as fun that could still be compelling, and fully pulled in by the end of Prophecy Girl.
 

thrasherpix

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I'm watching The Harvest tonight and will comment after I have. I don't expect others to hurry to watch it, I'm just saying that's my plan (which could conceivably change, or at least I might hold until tomorrow to comment here). Unless someone hurries on and says "No, it's strictly once a week" or some such.

Other than that I'm going to assume the default is one episode a week, unless someone wants to get an early start (as I do, because I just don't like waiting awhile before seeing part 2). I'm also assuming that these eps are to be chronologically in order, and not multiple eps so that the rest of us can be on the same page in regards to what ep we're talking about.
 

thrasherpix

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Notice that in The Harvest Cordelia says there's no cover charge. So why was that bouncer counting money? Just what was he selling? And why did he need to see ID when kids (of the 90s) go there? (Maybe he was shaking people down? In that case good riddance.) And when trapped inside why didn't Cordelia (and others) use her phone?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer wrekt. :p


But seriously, it was so good upon first viewing that I couldn't be bothered with such petty details. (And my headcanon is that Cordelia tried to use her phone but Jesse--or the thing that killed him and wore his body as a mask--destroyed it. Darla would make sure the other vampires destroyed any phones as well.)



Interesting plot twists that never happened: Joyce discovers Buffy is gone, perhaps when supper is ready, and goes to the only place she knows of: the Bronze. Hijinks ensues. Alternately she shows up just in time to see the last run away and goes in ton wonder what the hell Buffy is doing now.

Another possible element...some of the members of that vampire worshiping goth club were there and volunteer to Luke (perhaps asking to be made one of the "lonely ones") Heh, good thing they were in that club they go to instead.




And what DID happen, at least in my headcanon. Mayor Wilkins learns of "an incident" at the Bronze, but he's relieved, saying that "the situation is taken care of?"

"Yes, sir."

"These demons, they all hate each other. They're like, well, rival gangs on PCP. Hahahaha! That's close enough to the truth, and what the papers will report."

"Yes, sir."

"So who was the rival gang, in this case?"

"A girl called Buffy Summers. She already has a record from Los Angeles. I hesitate to say it, sir, but could she be a...Slayer?"

Mayor Wilkins frowns, and then sighs. "I need to make a few calls, and maybe get some more competent adult supervision in that high school. It always draws the worst elements."


And Cordelia has a copy of the next morning's newspaper. She felt both relieved and yet troubled as she read it was gang related activity. And yet Buffy Summers is at school, and it did not mention her. How could they not know? She even called her uncle who worked at the paper but he wouldn't say anything, though he was suddenly interested, at least for awhile, when he learned Cordelia has talked with Buffy Summers, but then he said to stay well away from her.
 

Buffy Summers

Yataro
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But really you should hold your comments for the next thread instead of posting about the next ep in this one.
 
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
Ok, this works differently from the last rewatch thread I participated in.

DagonSphere

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I wish there were more self-contained two-hour pilots like this or Serenity these days, because for an entrance to a new world, it actually gives so much more space to breathe and to get to know the characters.

My favourite scene in this is probably the scene between Giles and Buffy in the library, but also their scene at the Bronze. Love how both Buffy and Willow bond throughout the episode.

David Boreanaz's acting is pretty wooden in this episode, not sure if it's because of his abilities or because the role is still so restrictive at this point or whether it's just the dialogue, but it's amazing how far he's come and what a versatile leading man he ended up to be over on Angel.
 

Grrr Argg

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love the first episode! I rewatched it for the first time in years last night, and it was just as amazing as I remembered. I laughed every time Angel came on screen though. Seeing his mr mystery man act vs him in his own show is literally so hilarious. Willow was of course the best, and I still continue to not like Xander..
 
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