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

Give Us A Kiss

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#21
Loved how the vamp's hand starts to melt as he was grabbing Buffy's leg :D

Was the scene where Willow tells Cordy to hit the "deliver" button meant to foreshadow how powerful she would become later on ?
 
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#22
Loved how the vamp's hand starts to melt as he was grabbing Buffy's leg :D

Was the scene where Willow tells Cordy to hit the "deliver" button meant to foreshadow how powerful she would become later on ?
I see it more as a character moment for Willow where she gets to use her smarts to get one over on Cordy. Its a nice gag and works perfect for me.
 

Foxy

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Sineya
#23
Angel dresses like a suave creep in this episode and he acts much more lime Angelus. He was very witty in this episode.
 
The music in this episode is spot on!
 
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#24
So vampires are supposed to be soulless. Yet Giles refers to the first vampire's creation as a part of the demon's soul went into the human (or something to that effect) and when the Master is anointing Luke, he says "My soul is now your soul".

Is this a continuity error?
 

Fool for Buffy

I'm just being a big nerd again
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Sineya
#25
So vampires are supposed to be soulless. Yet Giles refers to the first vampire's creation as a part of the demon's soul went into the human (or something to that effect) and when the Master is anointing Luke, he says "My soul is now your soul".

Is this a continuity error?
It is definitely a continuity error. Joss has said he didn't know exactly what his plan was for Angel at first. He thought of the vampire with a soul concept after the show started. So in The Harvest, Joss did not worry about souls because he hadn't established vampire science that vampires don't have souls. We have to ignore what Luke says and what Giles says once we find out about Angel, because that is Joss establishing Vampire science that was unclear before.
 
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#26
I take it you guys know that David was discovered for the part when out walking his dog? I guess Joss was just so impressed he forgot to write him a plot:p
 
Fool for Buffy
Fool for Buffy
Yeah, I heard that too. Kinda funny since he's worth 20 million dollars now
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#27
The Master also said that he had plans for Angelus to be his right hand lieutenant yet a subsequent flashback several seasons down the line shows that the Master didn't like Angelus for being disrespectful. Perhaps we should just assume that Season 1 is only canon for the scoobies side of things and Season 2 is where the vampire canon starts.
 

Jam

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#28
When it comes to 2-part episodes, the second episode tends to be seen as better/more memorable because the first part is usually setting the stage for all of the big moments to happen in that second episode... Welcome to the Hellmouth/The Harvest is one of the exceptions. I suspect it's because so much of 'Welcome to the Hellmouth' has the novelty of introducing us to the characters and to the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer whereas 'The Harvest' gives a lot more focus to what is a generally underwhelming threat. This really doesn't bother me much, though, while I'm watching and the episode is still pretty enjoyable!

It's pretty wild just how much David Boreanaz's acting improves over the course of the series! Seriously, some of his line deliveries are amusingly bad. The fact that Angel's whole demeanour changes after Buffy asks him if he knows what it's like to have a friend – showing he's clearly been putting on an act all this time – is part of what keeps me from believing that Angel seems out of character during this first season. But between David's not-so-impressive acting abilities and the show not quite knowing what to do with his character at this point, I can see why some people do believe that Angel seems out of character.

Giles describes the Hellmouth as "a portal between this reality and the next" which is a concept I'm into and one that makes sense, but also one that I think season seven forgets about...

Darla and her lackeys walking to The Bronze in slow-motion to "Ballad for Dead Friends" is honestly one of my favourite music moments on the show! I only wish it wasn't so brief.

I love how after Buffy takes a moment to laugh to herself after beheading a vampire with a cymbal, which gives Luke the opportunity to sneak up on her. It didn't need to be shown at all but it's a fun little moment. And then of course Buffy ends up outwitting Luke! "It's in about nine hours, moron."

And here begins the saga known as: Sunnydale residents are oblivious. Giles' explanation works for me, though. "People have a tendency to rationalise what they can and forget what they can't." I think think there's definitely truth to that! The final scene is so charming.

Ultimately, 'The Harvest' builds its characters and mythos up more than its monster(s) of the week, which I think is the right choice and also why the underwhelmingness of Luke, The Master and co. doesn't detract too much from my enjoyment of the episode. The monsters are there so that we can bring The Scoobies together and see how they are going to work both as a team and as individuals: Willow using her computer skills, Willow and Giles researching, Xander jumping into action without much thought, Buffy shouldering a whole lot of responsibility, etc.

Goodbye, Jesse. We hardly knew ye! And we still hardly know ye.

Tagline for The Harvest: "The Earth is doomed."
 
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#29
It's pretty wild just how much David Boreanaz's acting improves over the course of the series! Seriously, some of his line deliveries are amusingly bad. The fact that Angel's whole demeanour changes after Buffy asks him if he knows what it's like to have a friend – showing he's clearly been putting on an act all this time – is part of what keeps me from believing that Angel seems out of character during this first season. But between David's not-so-impressive acting abilities and the show not quite knowing what to do with his character at this point, I can see why some people do believe that Angel seems out of character.
Yes! This is why the scene works for me on rewatch and when thinking about his backstory. But yes, season 1 Angel suffers from a lack of direction (where they want to take the character or even who they want him to be) and David's acting. It still works for me though, probably because he's not much in it and 1x07 is solid enough.
 
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Jam
Jam
Agreed!

Carrie Hopewell

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Sineya
#30
@Jam, love the reviews and how often you rewatch this series! Since I've known of you, this has to be like the third time you do a rewatch of the high school seasons!
 

Jam

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#31
@Jam, love the reviews and how often you rewatch this series! Since I've known of you, this has to be like the third time you do a rewatch of the high school seasons!
Glad you're enjoying the reviews! Y'know, it's funny, I start each of those rewatches with the intention of rewatching the whole series :oops: I just always lose steam after season 3 and watch other things, which makes me forget about Buffy. Maybe these reviews will motivate me to go all the way!
 

Carrie Hopewell

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Sineya
#32
Y'know, it's funny, I start each of those rewatches with the intention of rewatching the whole series :oops: I just always lose steam after season 3 and watch other things, which makes me forget about Buffy. Maybe these reviews will motivate me to go all the way!
I don't know... I tried to watch season 4 as a whole for the second time ever and gave up halfway through. Rewatching the whole series is some serious commitment! I don't particularly care about the non high school seasons so I never really watch them either!
 

GoSpuffy

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Black Thorn
#33
I don't know if it's true about what's been mentioned in this thread about Joss not having a plan for Angel until a few shows in. It would explain the bad acting if you don't know who you are how do you play it? Cordy and Harmony are horrible, it was great to see Willow get back at them and to stand up for herself. Loved Buffy being inventive with her slay tools, cymbals & tree branches.
 

Mrs Gordo

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Black Thorn
#34
I know this is the pilot (I group it together with Welcome to the Hellmouth) but these are the things that bother me about these two episodes:

- Darla - yes, I get it, pilot probably not alot of back story thought into it, just yet. But unfortunately, I know what is coming and to see Darla coward in fear by Luke and how she interacts with the Master. She is 400 years old, she is one of the strongest vamps out there. Its unfortunate that the pilot didn't have her character down. When Willow hits her with holy water she runs away like a fledgling.

- Giles - I find him a bit creepy and a bit like Wesley in this first episode. He is creeping at the Bronze (Giles should never ever be at the Bronze) and he is overly dorky during the first scene at the library. A bit bumbly. I think Giles corrects himself pretty quickly during the next episodes.

- Angel - I read somewhere that Joss didn't even know if he wanted Angel to be a vampire at the time of the pilot. I don't believe that for a second because Angel was wearing a velvet blazer. Only a Season 1 Buffy Vampire would wear a velvet blazer. Putting DB's green acting aside, which I think he improves a great deal during this Season, I hate the writing and the directing for his character. His lines are buffy-esque, he has some sarcastic lines, he is a bit cocky a bit reminiscent of Angelus if you look at it closely enough. And the thing that bugs me the most is how Angel just basically watches the Harvest deal go down without helping. AGAIN - I know its the pilot and we don't even know who this guy is but now that we know Angel and looking back I find it hard to believe he wouldn't be in the trenches fighting with the Scoobies.

Things I Like:

Buffy - I love her in this episode she really captures who Buffy is.
Angel - the thing I love the most about Angel in this episode is what @Jam above, where he seems caught off guard when Buffy says "do you know what it's like to have friends?" and he looks sad for a second. And I get a little glimpse of the Angel we are going to get. Its a glimmer of hope. Plus I love the first scene with Buffy and Angel where she knocks him on his back and he gives her the crucifix.
Willow - I was instantly in love with Willow's character.

Mostly I like that this is the beginning of such a great show. I still enjoy going back to re-watch!
 
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#35
- Angel - I read somewhere that Joss didn't even know if he wanted Angel to be a vampire at the time of the pilot. I don't believe that for a second because Angel was wearing a velvet blazer. Only a Season 1 Buffy Vampire would wear a velvet blazer. Putting DB's green acting aside, which I think he improves a great deal during this Season, I hate the writing and the directing for his character. His lines are buffy-esque, he has some sarcastic lines, he is a bit cocky a bit reminiscent of Angelus if you look at it closely enough. And the thing that bugs me the most is how Angel just basically watches the Harvest deal go down without helping. AGAIN - I know its the pilot and we don't even know who this guy is but now that we know Angel and looking back I find it hard to believe he wouldn't be in the trenches fighting with the Scoobies.
I actually find it in character at this point. Not only is he still hiding being a vamp (so the less he puts himself in risky situations the less he'll show his vamp face) but he's also, like he said, a coward at that point. He doesn't know how to help and can't really find the strength within himself yet to do it. Even in Prophecy Girl he was being a coward. Xander had to MAKE him help. So I think it works well with his season 1 persona. Apart from Angel (1x07), there's not really any moment in the first season where we see him fight or help Buffy. The rest of the time, he helps by giving information or little things like getting them out of the room in Out Of Mind, Out of Sight, but that wasn't even a risk for him. It's really only after Prophecy Girl that he starts getting involved more. I'd say maybe seeing Buffy dead for a couple of seconds made him realize things. And seeing her risk her life to defeat the master despite the prophecy probably also had an impact on him.

I think the progression towards becoming a hero felt very natural and it really happened with time. He's also more heroic in s3 than in s2.

I loved reading your thoughts by the way!! Made me want to start a rewatch lol
 
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#36
The Harvest: Here begins my rewatch beginning with the Harvest.

Scene 1: Giles "Demons were here before humans" for philosophical purposes, this a very important bit of mythology in the show. I had forgotten this speech great to hear it again.

Sence 2: Darla has tasted The Masters first food in eons and uh oh he seems really pissed. "You bring me scraps!" Actually, it reminds me of this line from vampire mockumentary "Why do we like virgins? let me put it this way, if you bring me a sandwich, I would enjoy it a lot more if I knew no one had ****ed it."

Scene 3: Back in the library: These early episodes really let us see the the characterizations we will come to know. I predict I will be able to see and investigate more deeply the underlaying assumptions we have come to take for granted. The Xander we see in this early library scene already feels like less of a man

"I'm the slayer, you're not" "Sure, I knew you would throw that in my face."

A early demonstration of Xanders characterization as a conflicted character. He does not meet or feel like he meets any of the expectations of traditional masculinity yet he very much wants too, while at the same time all of his closet friends are girls.

Scene 5: Hey everybody remember that in SH, only the seniors are aloud to leave campus for lunch? ;) Buffy, you will be happy to know those boots are still in.

Scene 6: "Yesterday my life was pop quiz now its rain of toads" This is controversial actually, were Xander and Willow safer before they met Buffy? well yes but actually safe? no they only felt that way because they were not aware of what was out there. They could have still been the victim of any number of things.

Scene 7: Angel is fantastic. I can clearly see here, he is like a really, really good effective version of his jump-off Whistler, so ambigious and fun.

Aw! look Buffy doesn't even know his name yet :):(

Look how much Angel is flirting with Buffy, of course his character evolved throughout the series but we can see a beta characterization here that is much contrasted to the brooding bryonic hero we came to now. Now Imagine if Angel had remind this Angel? What would that be look? If Angel remained as a much wiser advisor to Buffy sent by the powers that be.

Scene 8: A much braver then Angel, Xander shows up.I think Xander is the most passionate of the Scoobies, even if he is wrong, no especially when he is wrong, I still kind of love it because it is so passionate and human. He reminds me of Spike in this way actually.

I can picture a alternative Xander that grows into less of a neither do well and that would in one sense completely change the character (the conflicted insecure nice guy) but in another its simply a different route for the same man. I can see this Xander taking on Riley's place. Buffy torn between Xander and Angel.

Scene 16: Back in the summers home, Buffy is sneaking out in bubble rings and high ponytail, cute there are still moving boxes.

Bronze 17: Love the bronze sequence this show is so good. The Masters main minion Luke
is such a brillaint wise reuse of a actor as the villain in Helpless.

Hilarious use of accidental staking we will see all these tropes again, smashing sunlit windows, wisecracks, "Nothing will ever be the same again" cut to everything exactly the same tomorrow. such Iconic, upending, trademark Whedon.

And the classic The Earth Is Doom makes it debut appearance here.
 
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PaulParmar1

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Sineya
#37
Jesse becoming a vampire was shocking on my first watch because he hung out with the gang so I expected him to have some role in the series.
Jesse never really being mentioned again like many others said was a bad move. I think Xander could've mourned over his friend more.
 
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#38
Interesting question: do the vampires really lock others out, or was Angel trying to lock them in?

Because why would the lock with the key be on the OUTSIDE? And if it was up because the evil vampires wanted it there, then who held the key and opened it for them?
 

Jam

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#39
Interesting question: do the vampires really lock others out, or was Angel trying to lock them in?

Because why would the lock with the key be on the OUTSIDE? And if it was up because the evil vampires wanted it there, then who held the key and opened it for them?
Huh, I'd never given any thought to this! Is it standard for mausoleums to have chained up doors? I suppose the vampires could be locking it to keep Buffy, specifically, out... given Buffy and Xander's escape out of the manhole, I assume that's the route most of the vampires would take but the thought Angel trying to lock them in is interesting!
 
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