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Discussion of 1.04 "Teacher's Pet" - Aired 3/24/1997 (WB-US)

Fuffy Baith

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Sineya
Yea, I'm with @Mr Trick in that it doesn't really bother me, but maybe that's because I've seen this in other movies and shows.
Inviting a student to come over and serve him alcoholic drinks is pretty illegal here
This is the part where it does start to gross me out, because that's very inappropriate to invite a student over and then illegal to serve them alcohol and try to "seduce" him. It's more disturbing knowing that she needs a virgin to fertilize her eggs. Eww!
One final point...Ms. French is not even hot.
No, I don't think she is either. But wasn't she like putting off pheromones or something. Didn't Giles even say she was attractive? Forget the Virgin thing and imagine if she was trying to seduce Giles instead. I think that would be better. Plus it would make sense why he was hesitant to get to know Ms. Calendar. Besides, Xander gets a better episode with The Pack. I actually sort of like Teacher's Pet even though I know it's terrible. Lol
 

GoSpuffy

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Black Thorn
The good:
Dr Gregory and Buffy scene, her whole school experience could have been different if she'd had a supportive teacher in her life
Giles: wasn't here, didn't see it, couldn't have stopped it. I've always loved Giles, right from the beginning
Xander being set on his path to being a demon magnet

The bad:
Angel - his character gets better in time but pretty pointless in the early episodes.

The ugly:
Cordelia, always Cordelia.
And The bug sandwich

Not my favorite episode by a long shot.
 
littlemisscooby
littlemisscooby
I love Giles, too. His character was perfectly played by ASH.

Jam

Pepper spray is just so passé
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Okay, it's been a long while but let's pick this rewatch back up, self!

"Teacher's Pet" is the first real dud of season 1, but I'm a fan of season 1 so there aren't that many duds this season for me.

Dr. Gregory also appears in the episode right before this, so that's a nice bit of continuity! His brief scene with Buffy is sweet, so of course he dies immediately after. RIP.

Xander smiling at the lead singer at The Bronze and the lead singer sneering at him has to be one of the most random scenes lol

Predictably, the saving graces of this episode for me are the Buffy/Angel scenes. Cute! "You're cold." / "You can take it." Who says Buffy and Angel don't have banter? Angel feels like his cryptic, awkward yet suave self in this episode. "Oh, boy." You don't even know the half of it, Buffy...

It's not romanticised at all, thankfully, but it is still supremely uncomfortable watching a teacher hit on students. Blech.

Charisma Carpenter sure does nail those horror movie-esque screams.

Yeah, I really don't have much else to say about this somewhat lacklustre episode other than the ending gives me X-Files vibes. I think the problem with the episode is that it's – like I just mentioned – lacklustre but at the same time it's also ridiculous; I mean, Buffy is battling the monster of the week using bug spray... let that sink in.

Tagline for Teacher's Pet: "What are you going to do?" / "My homework."
 

thrasherpix

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I just watched this today myself. I'll agree that it was lackluster, and that Dr. Gregory was sweet. The only part I really enjoyed, though, is the madman Giles talked about and eventually called.
 
littlemisscooby
littlemisscooby
'Well, no, you weren't right about your mother coming back as a Pekingese'

Mr Trick

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Buffy connecting to the teacher and being motivated to avenge his death is probably the highlight. There's some good comedy but the plot and effects are a bit of mess. Its nice watching on the re-watch in the knowledge that I'm getting the trash out the way early;) No matter what people think of S6 and 7 they don't have episodes this bad:D
 
K
katmobile
I'm not a fan of Doublemeat Palace or Him not yeah

RDHWesley

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I quite like this one, probably because it's totally ludicrous. The whole idea of Xander going to this GROWN WOMAN'S house because she invited him there is kind of unbelievable. Obviously Principal Flutie doesn't think highly of educating kids on stranger danger. I actually like Xander a lot in this episode; back in the high school seasons he was more immature and petty but he felt like he had more of a point to his character compared to Seasons 5-7 where he basically sits around and cracks jokes. In all honesty I also really like his line 'an actual woman finds me attractive': it's a tad petty towards Buffy but I sort of feel sorry for the guy seeing as it's implied throughout Season 1 that he's never had any success with women and this is his insecurity and depression bubbling to the surface. Could be way off on that though.
 

Mr Trick

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I quite like this one, probably because it's totally ludicrous. The whole idea of Xander going to this GROWN WOMAN'S house because she invited him there is kind of unbelievable. Obviously Principal Flutie doesn't think highly of educating kids on stranger danger. I actually like Xander a lot in this episode; back in the high school seasons he was more immature and petty but he felt like he had more of a point to his character compared to Seasons 5-7 where he basically sits around and cracks jokes. In all honesty I also really like his line 'an actual woman finds me attractive': it's a tad petty towards Buffy but I sort of feel sorry for the guy seeing as it's implied throughout Season 1 that he's never had any success with women and this is his insecurity and depression bubbling to the surface. Could be way off on that though.

My guess is Flutie didn't know. I'm sure that could've put bug lady's plan at risk:D
 

DeadlyDuo

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The effects let down this episode massively and the eggs at the end are never addressed again, however plot wise this could've been a really creepy fridge horror episode (particularly if you're a parent) since the elements are all there. A teacher lures your son to her house with the intention of forcibly raping him in order to fertilise her desired offspring. If this was a later season and the effects were better and the plot a bit more polished then this could've potentially been a decent episode. It's never going to measure up to the more iconic episodes like Hush etc but it has potential to be better than it was.
 

Mr Trick

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The effects let down this episode massively and the eggs at the end are never addressed again, however plot wise this could've been a really creepy fridge horror episode (particularly if you're a parent) since the elements are all there. A teacher lures your son to her house with the intention of forcibly raping him in order to fertilise her desired offspring. If this was a later season and the effects were better and the plot a bit more polished then this could've potentially been a decent episode. It's never going to measure up to the more iconic episodes like Hush etc but it has potential to be better than it was.

I maybe remembering this wrong but I think Xander destroys the eggs. So I guess that's why they don't come up again. I'm fine with them not returning to the plot. Think it moved on to more interesting things.
 

DeadlyDuo

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I maybe remembering this wrong but I think Xander destroys the eggs. So I guess that's why they don't come up again. I'm fine with them not returning to the plot. Think it moved on to more interesting things.

The last shot of the episode was of some eggs concealed in a school cupboard with one moving and looking like it was about to hatch. I agree the show moved on to more interesting things so it made sense not to go back, but Season 1 does leave a few plot lines hanging unnecessarily eg Marcie and the invisible school of assassins.
 

Mr Trick

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The last shot of the episode was of some eggs concealed in a school cupboard with one moving and looking like it was about to hatch. I agree the show moved on to more interesting things so it made sense not to go back, but Season 1 does leave a few plot lines hanging unnecessarily eg Marcie and the invisible school of assassins.

True. I think part of it is just doing that classic horror thing of having an open ending as shot in the arm for the audience. The main reason is probably the writers not having a clear idea of what they were going to do in the future til later. I'm fine with it. Not everything has to be 100% tied up. They moved away from it pretty much after this season.
 

Kratos

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I hate this episode. It’s one of the few Buffy eps I’d probably skip on a subsequent rewatch of season 1. It drags on and on, though there are a few good moments (the scenes with the Scoobies). The worst Xander episode imo.
 

FaithLehane16

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The Dream at the start is maybe the highlight of the episode that and Buffy's touching scene with the teacher. Besides that I think its a terrible episode. Also there have been better Xander focused episodes such as 'The Replacement' and 'Zeppo'. The bit which is really dumb is when Buffy warns him not to go into the house and he dismisses her as being jealous. That made no sense because he knows that Buffy just sees him as a friend and besides if a friend warns you that you could be in danger then your at least going to consider not going in.
I like Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered as well as The Zeppo as Xander centric episodes, but I agree that this episode is the weakest of the Xander centric episodes.

I would say that this episode is the weakest of the Season 1 episodes.
 

littlemisscooby

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I love this episode! I love the gender reversal between Buffy and Xander and how it happens a lot on the show. Dark haired, handsome boy is the kidnapped virgin about to be raped, and the little blonde girl is Superman, marching in for the rescue.



Actually it does happen. More than once. In fact, Xander saves Buffy in the last episode of this season.
I never thought about it like this - cool take on it! I really enjoyed this episode too, but I loved all of season 1. I think to love season 1 you have to accept for what it was it and see it how it is. They had a low budget because they didn't know how well the show would be received by audiences and I think they did really well. I also thought they did well with developing the bond between Willow, Xander, Buffy and Giles and got us feeling like we knew (and came to love!) the characters personally after just a few episodes. Plus, it was right in the thick of the 90s and I love that nostalgia!
 

littlemisscooby

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Xander smiling at the lead singer at The Bronze and the lead singer sneering at him has to be one of the most random scenes lol
"

I think this was to pretty much cement in the audience's viewing that Xander had zero 'coolness' factor, so it was clear to us that it was a huge deal for him when the teacher paid him attention that wasn't rude or awful lol. I could be wrong though but that's my take on it.
 

FaithLehane16

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I think Cordelia getting her specialized lunch that was prescribed by her doctor was in this episode instead of the last one. I wish that I had rich family member who could provide me with that kind of a service.
 

katmobile

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Another great season 1 episode! The more I watch these season 1 episodes, the more I love them!

Thoughts and observations:
- Loved the initial dream sequence, when Xander got to be a macho man. Cut to the end of the episode and Buffy saves Xander from the bad teacher. Lovely!
- I really liked Dr. Gregory, he was warm and supportive. It's nice to see someone who believes in Buffy.
- Loved the scene with Miss French walking towards Xander. The music and Xander's face are perfect. This episode has great comedic timing.
- Agree with @sosa lola about how disturbing Miss French's interest in high school kids is. Although Buffy and Willow acknowledge how weird the situation is, no one is rightfully alarmed! The teacher is taking students to her house! It's also frightening how Xander's mom actually let his son go to his teacher's house (she told Willow) without realizing how inappropriate and odd that was.
- I liked how Miss French, a female, was after male virgins, It's a nice role reversal, since it's usually the female virgins being sacrificed.
- The substitute teacher is the first in many of Xander's non-human love interests.
- Buffy was really clever all around in this episode: doing great research, using the Fork Guy to find the teacher's house, etc.
- Angel is back! This episode is written by David Greenwalt, who also wrote 'Angel', and obviously created Ats along with JW. Seems like he was very involved in this character right from the start. DB's acting skills this season were pretty bad, but having seen all of AtS I find it funny now. It's amazing how cocky Angel was in the beginning of the season; he only drops the act in the episode 'Angel'. I loved how David delivered the line: "Don't let him corner you. And don't give him a moment's mercy. He'll rip your throat out.". He almost sounds gleeful! I was right there with Buffy when she said "Oh, boy..." though. I think I watched this episode after having watched the whole season and it was 'Teacher's Pet' that made me realize I had developed a crush on Angel, much like Buffy.

'Teacher's Pet' has a great first half, then gets a little less interesting, but it's overall an enjoyable episode - with a subtle message that I didn't quite catch the first time I watched it. It reminds me of how smart the writing used to be. More so than in the later seasons.
I find it hard to take someone seriously when they're talking about how the writing deteriorated in later seasons in a Teacher's Pet episode guide. Maybe it's more akin to you personal taste but really!
 

Stake fodder

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I didn't love this episode, but it does continue to establish some standards for the series: Xander being girl crazy, the gender reversal of the male virgins being targeted. Buffy leaped awfully fast to the conclusion that they were dealing with some insect demon.

Xander has a much more positive reaction to his first drink than Buffy does in S6, "Euhhh... hello!" vs. "Bleeahh!"

Buffy kills the vamp with a white picket from a fence. I was reminded of Spike's line in S7's First Date: "Never cared much for picket fences. Bloody dangerous." Indeed they are!
 

thrasherpix

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Wow, we may have watched this at the same time. I saw it sometime last night.

I love this ep with its fun dialog and action, though it's not one of my favorites (I see I didn't like it anywhere as much a few years ago, but last night I was really in the mood for something light, fun, and nothing deep, sometimes I'm just in the mood for junk food).
 
Stake fodder
Stake fodder
There should be a list somewhere of Buffy episodes for every mood! Light, funny, need a good cry, etc.

Mr Trick

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The one question from this one for me is was Xander under some sort spell when he ignored Buffy's advice not to go to Miss French's house? Even given his teenage angst, if he was of clear mind he has no reason not to take Buffy serious. 4 episodes in you can kinda give it a pass, but it always stands out to me.
 
Puppet
Puppet
I think it was meant to be the pheromones that Buffy was trying to warn him about; they were already effecting him.
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