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

RDHWesley

Odd Individual
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Love this episode just as much as WTTH. The pacing is actually perfectly fine for me; I like how they let the first story take place over two episodes to let the whole thing have room to breathe. Luke is a really enjoyable villain; forgot how cool he is before watching it again. Angel's behaviour in these first two episodes are a bit out of character and it could be put down to him having never met Buffy before and being nervous. Keep in mind he hadn't gone out of his way to talk to many people for the past few decades and the first one he really makes an effort for he fell in love with before they met. Overall, excellent conclusion to what was a strong opener. Everything just fits into place.
 
Joined
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OK, so I'm here to ask the important questions...in the final scene Giles has the sleeves of his jackets rolled up....wtf? It's an, erm, interesting look, and it's always made me laugh.
Is he trying to be trendy? Was he just clearing out his drains? Answers please ;)
 
Stake fodder
Stake fodder
He didn't know California was going to be too hot for tweeds?

Stake fodder

Soulless
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Angel does seem different than he becomes later in the season, but then I can believe he might be very nervous around a Slayer. Who knows if she will care if he's souled? You'll note in his last scene, he is standing in front of a sign that says, "Watch Your Step." It's good advice for him, and also echoing Principal Flutie's comment to Buffy that other schools would tell her to watch her step, with her record.

I thought the Master had a weirdly high-pitched voice, which made him seem a little ridiculous. I thought he might have done better with a low voice like Luke. But perhaps this was another way of the show subverting our expectations? Petite girls can be Slayers, and evil lords can be countertenors?

"Call the police? They'd only come with guns!" Which are never useful (for Buffy's work, at least), we learn in Season 6. I wonder if the writers already had this theory in mind from the beginning.

As others said, the vampire rules haven't been completely established. One thing I noticed is when Buffy stakes one off-screen with a pool cue, it wobbles then falls forward. But the vampire should be dusted, and thus the cue should fall straight down. (Yes, I love nitpicky details!)

All in all, two good starting episodes, getting a lot established right away without bogging down in too much 'splainy.
 

Antho

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Call the police? They'd only come with guns!" Which are never useful (for Buffy's work, at least), we learn in Season 6. I wonder if the writers already had this theory in mind from the beginning.
Well Buffy isn’t wrong. Guns don’t kill vampires. And on the contrary she isn’t right either because bullets still hurt them, so it’s kinda useful against vampires if you want just to escape.

Also you noticed some details really interesting 🤔
 

thrasherpix

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I expect most vampires, if they didn't run, would play dead until police or others got close, and then attack. They're certainly not going to allow themselves to be taken into custody since that's an automatic death sentence even if they don't realize it's a vampire (like taken to court or to prison in the day, they'd never arrive before going up in flames). Ironically, cops would likely do better with tasers given what magical weapons they seem to be in the Angelverse.

There's one episode (The Dark Age) where one detective, probably just transferred there for reporting on superiors or something, that seems intent on investigating crimes (as opposed to taking down names beyond the bare minimum like the rest) and I don't recall seeing her in any other episodes. It's all too easy to form head canon on why. The rest of the cops probably had a lottery on how long she'd last. :p
 
Stake fodder
Stake fodder
Wrote mine below before seeing yours. Exactly, the police better keep a low profile at the Hellmouth.

Stake fodder

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Well Buffy isn’t wrong. Guns don’t kill vampires. And on the contrary she isn’t right either because bullets still hurt them, so it’s kinda useful against vampires if you want just to escape.

Also you noticed some details really interesting 🤔
True, it's nuanced. I just remember watching S6 and thinking, "What, there are police in Sunnydale? Where have they been the last few seasons?" So it was interesting to hear them mentioned, at least!

I feel like I am preceded by so many great comments and insights that I don't want to repeat, though I agree with a lot of what's said above. So I'm just trying to add a few things that I haven't seen mentioned.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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I doubt the police are truly in the dark regarding vampires. My guess is, they segregate the night watch homicide and missing person units from everyone else, so department knowledge on the subject is compartmentalized. You work Vice or Gangs or stolen property? No clue. Obviously, those neck wounds can't be covered up, and Missing Persons eventually gets reports of people walking around again. But they are the only ones who need to know, and they can be manipulated, isolated and coerced. But daytime beat cops who would be sent regarding a hostage situation in the sewers? They would get torn apart.
 
Stake fodder
Stake fodder
Or consider how serial killers get away with it for so long, because police resources are compartmentalized, as you say.

Cheetah

Townie
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Mar 26, 2021
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I finally got my Buffy and Angel box sets this morning, so I'm just starting the rewatch.

Something puzzles me about The Harvest - when Luke and co take over the Bronze Cordelia is dragged up to Luke to be bitten and only saved because Buffy intervenes. And yet in a later episode, when Cordelia wishes that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, she gets transported into a reality where the harvest succeeded, and yet she's still alive. Surely Cordelia should have died in the harvest if Buffy had never come to town.
 

thetopher

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Sineya
Something puzzles me about The Harvest - when Luke and co take over the Bronze Cordelia is dragged up to Luke to be bitten and only saved because Buffy intervenes. And yet in a later episode, when Cordelia wishes that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, she gets transported into a reality where the harvest succeeded, and yet she's still alive. Surely Cordelia should have died in the harvest if Buffy had never come to town.

Interesting. I guess its the ripple effect. So Buffy doesn't come to town, doesn't she tell Willow to 'seize the day'? So does Willow still chat with 'De Barge vamp-guy' and get turned, or does that happen a different way? Jesse still probably gets chomped, but, since there's no need for bait then he's just food- no VampJesse.
Hey, without Buffy there maybe Angel desperately tries to intervene when the Harvest comes, saves some lives (including Cordy) but gets captured in the process? That's how we got Puppy!Angel...

Still, its fun to speculate.
 

thrasherpix

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Vengeance demon wishes may have clauses in them, either to prevent paradox (if she dies before making the wish then that might get dangerous for everyone, including the vengeance demons) and/or to be sure they get to see the customer's reaction learning to beware what you wish for, so that it somehow prevents death of the client that would've happened (that is, Cordelia's fate is as tweaked along with Buffy's).

Though another idea that hurts my brain is that she DID die, but a similar glamor that vengeance demons use to insert themselves (making themselves look like students or school counselors, which means a lot of paperwork, and sometimes personal interviews, so I presume a glamor of some kind is at work messing with the memories of others) is used to allow Cordy to "enjoy" this new reality (and everyone made to forget she died).
 

Cheetah

Townie
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Both those theories make sense. Angel probably did try and stop the harvest since he got captured and locked in a cage, so yeah he could have distracted Luke long enough for Cordelia to get away.

It would also make sense that a vengeance demon would fix it so that the wish maker is alive long enough to see the results of their wish.

Head canon is fun. 🤗
 

Mr Trick

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Flutie's Royal Family line always stands out to me. It has nothing to do with what he's saying and doesn't make any sense. Also Buffy's not English so what is he driving at?! :p
 

Cheetah

Townie
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Flutie's Royal Family line always stands out to me. It has nothing to do with what he's saying and doesn't make any sense. Also Buffy's not English so what is he driving at?! :p
I'm not sure but wasn't the first season of Buffy made at a time when the British royal family was hit by various scandals? The Queen referred to one year in the late 90s as her annus horibilis, maybe that's what Flutie was alluding to.
 
Mr Trick
Mr Trick
Yeah could be. Might have something to do with the whole Diana thing.

Ninjagirl2008

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I like so much about this episode, including many things that you all have pointed out in this thread. The Jesse/Cordy dance scene really bothers me, though. I didn't even notice this before, but when I watched this as an adult, I realized it falls into a troubling romantic trope. Previously, Cordy rejected Jesse and he left her alone (as he should). This time, when she says she doesn't want to dance, he ignores her wishes and pulls her onto the dance floor. Instead of yelling at him or attempting to pull away or even repeating her rejection in a more scathing way, Cordy just goes along with it after a token insult. She acts like this dominant act is attractive to her. This reminds me of Han and Leia's first kiss scene in Empire. Leia says she's not interested, Han says he knows better and kisses her without consent. As a teenager, I thought that was romantic. My friends and I quoted that scene to each other. Now I see how insidious this kind of scene is. In both the Han and Leia scene and the Jesse and Cordy scene, the man ignores a clear rejection and forces physical affection. The woman goes along with it, and possibly enjoys it/really wanted that all along. In this scene, it's true that Jesse is a vampire, thus a bad guy, and we wouldn't expect him to respect Cordy's rejection. However, when she goes along with it ("okay, just one dance"), that strongly implies that she likes this new, dominating personality. This trope teaches that men should ignore it when women say no, because either women don't know what they want, or they are playing hard to get. Either way, that's a toxic way to approach romance. This might be kind of nitpicky, but for a show that is in general so empowering for women, this stood out to me as problem.
 
Stake fodder
Stake fodder
Not nitpicky at all, but an outstanding point!
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