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Discussion of 1.02 "The Harvest" - Aired 3/10/1997 (WB-US)

Willow Rosenberg

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Season 1, Episode 2 "“ Aired: 3/10/1997
The Harvest (2)
Buffy rescues Willow and Xander, but Jesse is left in the hands of the vampires. Buffy no longer resists her calling, but immediately begins to plan a rescue. Because they are already involved, Giles tells Xander and Willow about vampires and demons, and that Buffy is the Slayer.

They are overwhelmed by it all, but they insist on helping Buffy. Meanwhile, Luke and the other vampires are planning to begin The Harvest, a dark ritual that will free the Master from his underground prison. Needing to slaughter innocents for the ritual, they descend upon The Bronze to feed. And only the Slayer stands in their way.
SOURCE: TV.COM
 

BananaBuffy

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Not quite as good as 'Welcome to the Hellmouth' but it's great. At times it had a harder job of keeping me hanging on, especially re-watching it but I love how Buffy kills Luke and watching Darla get hit with holy water. Not to mention Cordelia and Jessie, he has a cooler attitude as a vamp. I think it was a shame he got turned though and it would have been cool if he hadn't been killed off so we could have had Vampire Jessie. Maybe he could have had his own arc.
 
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"The Harvest" by Joss Whedon

- The silver cross seems to have more of an effect on Luke than crosses usually have on vamps. Perhaps it's enchanted in some way, which is why Angel was so keen to give it to Buffy?

- Buffy doesn't dust one of the vampires in the graveyard.

- Xander and Willow seem to take the reality of vampires surprisingly well, leading me to believe that weird events have always been happening in Sunnydale and this news provides a great explanation for it all.

- Giles doesn't really care that Xander and Willow learn Buffy's big secret or start helping them with their sacred duties. I wonder why? He's going to be all gung-ho about Owen Thurman not learning Buffy's secret, but he lets Xander and Willow enter the fray without a word.:confused:

- From the start, Willow is more useful than Xander. This does nothing for his feelings of worthlessness, so he decides to help Buffy in the sewers. Of course, this works out not so well. It will be several years before Xander finds his true place in the Scooby Gang.

- Willow insights: She is desperate to be important ("I need to help.") and shows a tiny bit of her not-so-innocent self when she plays the "deliver" trick on Cordelia. Also, her timid exterior hides a brave heart as shown when she doesn't hesitate to douse Darla with holy water.

- Cordelia sucks at computing. She doesn't know what the "delete" key is for? And why is she hanging out with that guy who looks like a Dazed & Confused reject?

- I actually like the Master. For someone who symbolizes the ultimate cheesy movie monster, he's actually pretty creepy, funny, and, in scenes like the one where he dashes out Colin's eye, a bit of an evil bad-ass.

- Darla isn't really that impressive. She is the Master's slave and runs screaming when Willow throws holy water over her. Apparently, she's a much stronger character when she appears on AtS.

- I sympathize with Joyce... for now. Also, she wins the award for Most Ironic Comment of the Episode. Well, besides "I'll be damned."

- So, Buffy has a stashed trove of slaying paraphernalia despite her claim that she's moving on? Oh, and she has a bundle of garlic in there, so presumably they do harm the Buffyverse vamps.

- As Joss points out, the false-bottom chest is a great metaphor, and they even use it again with Dawn and her box of stolen items in Season 6. Actually, Joss wrote the episode that box first appeared in.

- So, Giles says that a sired person is pretty much replaced with a demon. While most of the vamps on the show, including Angelus, bear this statement out, Spike and Dru are surely exceptions.

- Jesse is a human with floppy hair when Cordelia rejects him, but she dances with him when he's a vampire with hair going straight up. OMG, it's a parallel of the Angel/Buffy/Xander triangle! Probably not intentional, but it's hilarious in retrospect.

- Vampire Jesse considers himself a separate entity from Human Jesse.

- I think it's very nice that, in these early episodes, Buffy feels deep regret for not saving the monsters' victims, even if they are perfect strangers. She really does have her heart on her sleeve now, but the events of the season finale will start to change that.

- People have complained that Jesse was never mentioned again. However, later episodes paint a picture of a childhood for Willow and Xander without a third friend present. I think Xander distanced himself from Willow and started hanging out with Jesse in high school. This is partially justified by Willow's line in "The Pack" that she and Xander haven't always been close, although they consider themselves best friends. Besides, Xander doesn't really talk about unpleasant past experiences very much. He very much bottles it all up (in contrast to Willow, who either openly mopes or turns to external sources to end the pain without dealing with it properly).

- So... Angel's... scared of the other vampires and that's why he's being all weird? Is he scared that the other vamps, Darla among them, can seduce him back into the fold? The writers didn't know where they were going with the character at this point and it definitely doesn't shed a great light on him. Thankfully, he starts getting better in a few episodes.

- Oh, the Scoobies are all so happy in the last scene. I just want to hug them and prevent all the terrible events of the next seven years from happening to them. "The world is doomed." And it's also in for the best television show ever.
 
S
SallyCinnamon
Great post.
PassionBecoming
PassionBecoming
Excellent observations!

Chosen Enemy

Losing my soul
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To add to the above, Angel in these eps always bugged me. I think they had him coming across too cheesey or something. I don't know...
I know! I'm not sure if that was bad acting, but he really wasn't him (yet, I guess). Too puppy faced, scared. Even the way he talked, it was weird after we see the future Angel.
 

KellGreen

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I know! I'm not sure if that was bad acting, but he really wasn't him (yet, I guess). Too puppy faced, scared. Even the way he talked, it was weird after we see the future Angel.
I kinda liked him all mysterious and unknown. First time through, I knew something was up with him, but didn't really know what.
 
Taake
Taake
[No message]

Bluebird

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I've finally started on my long awaited rewatch. No idea how many rewatches I've done now though. Anyways, I adore the 2 part opener, because as a piece of television, it's perfect. Writing is spot on, pacing perfect, and each character properly realised already. By the time the ep is done it feels like a show that's been on for years. And that's the best praise you can give to a pilot. To have these characters affect you so much already.

I particularly liked Xander's part in it, with Jessie. You can see his loyalty to his friends here, that shines more in future seasons. Although they forgot about Jessie pretty soon after he gets killed, cracking jokes in the next episode like their best friend DIDN'T GET MURDERED! A bit off, really.

To add to the above, Angel in these eps always bugged me. I think they had him coming across too cheesey or something. I don't know...
I thought he was a bit cheesy too but then he had small moments where the mask slipped. The subtle moment when Buffy asks if he knows what it's like to have a friend, and you see his bravado shot down for a moment.

Overall I really enjoyed this ep, both as the 2nd part of the opener of the series, and as a single ep.
 

Amethyst

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Sineya
Can someone please tell me why Buffy needs those little wafer things from the church to fight Vampires?? LOL unless it's not those and something completley different! It's just what it looked like to me, is she gonna throw them into the mouths of the vamps?? LOL :rolleyes: :D


 

Taake

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Can someone please tell me why Buffy needs those little wafer things from the church to fight Vampires?? LOL unless it's not those and something completley different! It's just what it looked like to me, is she gonna throw them into the mouths of the vamps?? LOL :rolleyes: :D


http://www.screencap-paradise.com/caps/albums/Series/Buffy/Buf_S1/Buf_102harvest/Harvest_420.jpg
Well if it's the sacramental bread, or wafers or whatever, it is a holy representation of the body of Christ isn't it? Then it stands to reason that if vampires are afraid of the cross and holy water then they should also fear/get a burning sensation from other Christian symbolism, such as the wafers.

I imagine we don't really see them used because the effects would have been considered 'lame' or something, but technically they could have worked like the rings of salt does in Supernatural or caused a reaction similar to splashing a vampire with holy water.
 

Jules

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I'm rewatching the Buffy series from start to finish while I'm off for 3 days. I loved the second episode. I noticed something about the fight between Buffy and Luke that contradicts something that Angel says in season 3 ''Amends''. I know that that can happen when your just starting on in a show, idea's change and so on. Angel in Amends says that he can feel the sun coming before it rises, like a warning system, yet Luke was easily fooled into thinking the sun had already risen.
 

SallyCinnamon

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I love this episode, and I love Luke, I think he really works as a scary vamp, probably because he's so huge. Other than the Master, I think he comes across as the first genuine threat to Buffy. I love it when he says, "You're strong...I'm stronger." It's just creepy.
 

SpikeAllTheWay

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I don't really know if I like The Harvest or Welcome To The Hellmouth better, they are both awesome. Like the huge post somewhere above me says Luke seems to be more affected by the cross Angel gave to Buffy. Or maybe the cross is way more effective if the vamp is about to feed, did we we ever see something similar in the Buffyverse which would either support or disprove that theory?

Another thing I noticed in this episode is Buffy jumping over the gate, did we ever see her or another slayer jump that high again?

Willow's nerd revenge was great lol, deliver I gotta remember that one.

Angel is kind of different in the first few episodes, I like him better a couple of episodes in.

Buffy fooling Luke is great, kick ass moment of this episode.


When I first saw this episode at the end I thought oh my god why is there such a typical happy ending, but then Giles The Earth is doomed! and I loved the show even more.


 
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Jules

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I've listened to the commentary by Joss and he mentions some interesting things.

Originally Darla was meant to die, Willow was meant to kill her with the holy water. They didnt want The Master trying to kill Buffy every episode and failing because it would make The Master look weak.

The computer scenes, and tunnel scenes and the book Giles refers to are all for convenience. The information that Willow gets from the computers wouldnt have been accessable (I didnt know that, but maybe other people did :)).

Willow standing up to Cordy in the computer room is to show how much her near death experience and friendship with Buffy is empowering her.

He points out the blooper that when Xander kills Jesse he's holding the stake no where near the heart :) And then the shot after all the vampires run away there's no dead bodies in the Bronze. He said it would ruin the moment :)

The scene were Buffy breaks the window to use the sunlight was meant to be used in the film.
 

thetopher

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Sineya
A strong finish to the first episode.

We move away from characterisation to concentrate on the plot, the rising of the Master and researching how to stop the Harvest, all without losing the humour of the first ep and expanding the scope of the universe through Giles exposition. (which he does really well.)

Good Bits: All the stuff with Giles explaining things to Willow and Xander, their reactions are spot on, plus Xander wanting to rescue Jesse and then disobeying Buffy and following her anyway. (Showing quite a bit of bravery.)
Buffy and Xander escaping the trap is fairly suspensful, plus the climax at the Bronze is nice. Buffy fighting and outsmarting Luke to kill him, plus her posing at the end. :)
Oh, and the end sequence. Giles saying: 'The World is Doomed.' :)

Not so Good Bits: Not much, I'm not a big fan of the Master or his entrance here, I prefer Luke as a baddie, overall. Angel is a little out of character, but that's a minor thing- he mostly 'mysterious guy who helps' which is cool.

I remember originally In the UK this was shown together with the first part to make an awesome 90 minute pilot, I was hooked from the start. :)
 

Mr Trick

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I do think this one runs out of steam after a very strong opening episode. Still some cracking action scenes, and Giles witty final line do save it.

6/10
 

Jules

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I love the progression that Willow shows from the first episode. Her friendship with Buffy is really bringing her out of her shell. If you think about it in Welcome to the Hellmouth when confronted by Cordelia at the water fountain she meekly walks away without comment but when Cordelia is calling Buffy she defends her and even gets revenge with the whole 'deliver' comment. It might be she has more confidence when defending her friends more than herself but it's a really moving scene.
 
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