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Discussion of 1.05 "Never Kill A Boy On A First Date" - Aired 3/31/1997 (WB-US)

thetopher

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A pretty solid high-school-y type episode, again highlighting Buffy wanting to have something normal in her life, and that conflicting with her slaying.

Good Bits: The beginning patrol with Buffy and Giles, plus their discussion at the end of the episode are both fun. In fact this is very much a Watcher/Slayer episode, with the both of them getting the best lines. Xander's jealousy of Owen, plus his (lame) attempts to sabotage their date is also fun. And Angel's slightly hurt reactiuon to the fact that Buffy's on a date. The end fight at the funeral home.

Not So Good Bits: Owen is a bit...bookish for Buffy, isn't he? He certainly doesn't seem her type (although he is tall.), and he's less Cordelia's type. I could see Willow crushing on him though. Oh, and the first appearance of the 'Annoying One'- child actor *sigh*.

Overall this is solid S1 episode, often overlooked.
Interestingly, looking at the shooting script a lot of this episode was heavily rewritten. Owen was originally called Chambers (and seems a lot less bookish.) he takes Buffy bowling on their first date, not to the Bronze, (plus there's a lot of Buffy not being able to 'switch off' while on the date- seeing vamps everywhere for example, which doesn't really fit at all with the rest of the Season.) and Giles and Buffy arguing and fighting is much more overt, although they dropped some good lines between the two of them.
And the way the script played out intially Owen would've had to be very stupid to not realise that Buffy was something extraordinary (for example she fights multiple vampires in front of him.)
 

Mr Trick

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This is a really fun episode which fulfils its purpose maturing the Buffy character and advancing the realtionship with Giles, the end scene between the two is again very touching. There are draw backs such as how dim Owen is (and I didn't really buy him as a book nerd either). But it was nice to have an episode which was high reactionary dialoque and good back banter between the characters. And I can't believe you guys missed this gem:

Willow: "Buffy has a really important date"

Buffy: "OWEN!"

Giles: "Alright, I will just jump in my time machine go back to the 12th centuary and ask the ancient vampires to postpone their prophecy for a few days, while you take in dinner and a show"

Buffy: "Ok at this point you are just abusing sarcasm":D

Cordy and Xander are on top comic form in this one too. Its clever how as supporting characters they almost steal the show without actually over shadowing the leads. Cordy getting her downfall is always great fun, she plays that element so well.

The ending is a nice little twist too, even if they never really did much with that little guy.

Overall not the strongest season one episode but it serves its purpose as a really fun character devolpment show.

7/10
 

Jules

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I like the contrast in this episode. You've got Giles the Watcher doing field work and Owen who starts off bookish craving action.

I liked the Willow/Xander pretending to date scene but I thought it was pretty silly. Buffy knew that Giles had said tonight was the night the Annointed One would rise and then Xander and Willow show up at the Bronze saying their dating. I expected her to know straight away that something major was happening.

Overall it was an entertaining episode.
 

Mr Trick

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I like the contrast in this episode. You've got Giles the Watcher doing field work and Owen who starts off bookish craving action.

I liked the Willow/Xander pretending to date scene but I thought it was pretty silly. Buffy knew that Giles had said tonight was the night the Annointed One would rise and then Xander and Willow show up at the Bronze saying their dating. I expected her to know straight away that something major was happening.

Overall it was an entertaining episode.
But don't they just do that for cover because Owen's there? Never got the impression than it as to hide anything from Buffy.
 

Jules

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I've probably explained it wrong. I get that it's a cover because Owen is there. I just don't understand why Buffy quizzes them so much. It should be obvious that teir there for help.
 

Mr Trick

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I've probably explained it wrong. I get that it's a cover because Owen is there. I just don't understand why Buffy quizzes them so much. It should be obvious that teir there for help.


Get you, it might just be Buffy wanting to enjoy her date and not worry about the other stuff, or maybe for some reason she just doesn't think than that. Also it could be for comic effect:)
 

Give Us A Kiss

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This episode has the introduction of "The Annoying One", who is supposed to stop the Slayer...

Buffy lied about reading to Owen so he would like her, which shows that she still has some of her old personality in her.

The whole date at The Bronze must have been awkward for both Buffy and Owen, with Angel, Xander and Willow all showing up there telling Buffy that she needs to go to the funeral home.

Giles hiding in the drawer was a genius move, makes people think that he was dead.

In the end of all this, Owen gets a concussion from the vamp and wants to get a life that involves more than reading books.

Overall, this episode is mostly filler, but it explains to us about The Annoying One who appears in some non-filler episodes as well.
 

Foxy

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I love this episode, but I dislike the annoying one ugh.

I loved the interactions with Buffy and Giles. They have got such great chemistry together and their dialogue is spot on. I don't really care for Owen but it was a way for Buffy to start accepting her duties as the slayer.

The rewatch continues!
 

Mr Trick

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I love this episode, but I dislike the annoying one ugh.

I loved the interactions with Buffy and Giles. They have got such great chemistry together and their dialogue is spot on. I don't really care for Owen but it was a way for Buffy to start accepting her duties as the slayer.

The rewatch continues!
Yeah I always enjoy re-watching this episode. It was never going to be earth shattering, but is watchable and does some effective world building. Owen is the big black hole of the episode of course....

The Annoying one is rubbish, but I like the twist with him in this episode.
 

Fuffy Baith

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I dislike the annoying one ugh.
Lol. I don't think anyone likes the Anointed One.

I don't really care for Owen
Owen is the big black hole of the episode of course...
I think my main problem with Owen (there's a lot of problems with Owen:rolleyes:) is that he just came out of nowhere. I don't believe this is the first time he's been in the library checking out Emily Dickinson. He's suppose to be so "dreamy" that even Cordelia wants him. I would have accepted this "I want to date Owen" plot if he had been introduced in an earlier episode. And while I don't like Owen's "I'm sensitive because I read Dickinson" vibe, I do like that this starts off Buffy love interest type of guy. She always falls for the sensitive type.
 

Mr Trick

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Lol. I don't think anyone likes the Anointed One.



I think my main problem with Owen (there's a lot of problems with Owen:rolleyes:) is that he just came out of nowhere. I don't believe this is the first time he's been in the library checking out Emily Dickinson. He's suppose to be so "dreamy" that even Cordelia wants him. I would have accepted this "I want to date Owen" plot if he had been introduced in an earlier episode. And while I don't like Owen's "I'm sensitive because I read Dickinson" vibe, I do like that this starts off Buffy love interest type of guy. She always falls for the sensitive type.
Well the lack of an introduction to a character like Owen happened a few times in season one. Guess its what happens when you have less episodes and most of them are stand alones. It doesn't bother me as much as some people. The character of Owen fits his purpose for this one, he just needed to be better written.
 

Fuffy Baith

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Well the lack of an introduction to a character like Owen happened a few times in season one. Guess its what happens when you have less episodes and most of them are stand alones. It doesn't bother me as much as some people. The character of Owen fits his purpose for this one, he just needed to be better written.
Yea, I mean they always bring in characters for one episode, and sometimes it works. I just don't believe that Buffy and Cordelia would think that Owen is so great. He walks into the library and Buffy turns to mush, already having a crush on him. Now I think if Owen was a new kid, I would totally believe the girls being into him.
 

Bluebird

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My problem with Owen was the casting. It could have worked, even with the clichéd characterisation, if they had a better actor in the role. He just did not fit the part - he didn't have the right look and is just an amazingly bad actor. He was equally awful in Jericho too.
 

Fuffy Baith

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My problem with Owen was the casting. It could have worked, even with the clichéd characterisation, if they had a better actor in the role. He just did not fit the part - he didn't have the right look and is just an amazingly bad actor. He was equally awful in Jericho too.
Yes, the actor was pretty bland. Like a Riley but more boring. Lol. I've not seen the actor in anything else. Maybe it could have worked with a better actor, but you can say that about a lot of characters, I do think writing plays a big part too.
 

GoSpuffy

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Love the start with Giles correcting Buffy's slaying form. They are great together and he's such a good "dad"

I don't understand why the ring didn't dust. It fell off the vampire as he dusted? Doesn't work for me

The master says "here endeth the lesson" , guess Spike got his teaching style from his great grand dad

Love to see Owen ignore Cordelia after she knocks Buffy's tray out if her hands

Xander has a tweedy bird watch? I had him pegged as a road runner man.

Now Buffy says "in point of fact" to Giles just like Spike says to Buffy in as you were. Wierd . I guess the writers only know so many words?

Giles would have made an excellent grocer but I'm glad he's a watcher

Owen is as boring as Riley. I'm glad Buffy got better taste in men as she grew up.

I enjoyed this episode because of the humour.
 
Grace
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Good point about Giles making an excellent grocer! Ha!

Jam

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This is a fun episode; lots of great one-liners! Most of them get their deserved recognition, so I'll just mention this one line that I don't see mentioned often: "I'll just jump in my time machine, go back to the 12th century, and ask the vampires to post-pone their ancient prophecy for a few days while you take in dinner and a show."

All of the banter between Buffy and Giles in this episode is very charming. And topped off with a sweet scene at the very end.

The Master is really overhyping the Anointed One in this episode, saying how the Anointed One will be his greatest weapon against the Slayer... that's not really the case come the season finale. I enjoy The Master as the Big Bad, but much of the things that surround him kind of bore me; thankfully, the show doesn't ever focus on it too much.

Okay, after reading the Critically Touched review of the episode, I can appreciate the role the Anointed One plays – at least with "Prophecy Girl" in mind:
The Annoying One (...) serves a thematic purpose: the temptation of eternal childhood in the face of impending adolescence. The Master calls him his greatest threat to the Slayer, and that he will lead her into Hell. This only really makes sense in subtext: if Buffy doesn't defeat eternal childhood, the Master wins, as Buffy won't be mature enough to make the sacrifices necessary to defeat him.
"What do you want?" And so begins the 'no one ever comes to the Sunnydale High library except the Scoobies' running joke.

Willow talking about how Owen is mysterious, solitary, and can brood for 40 minutes straight... Buffy certainly has a type.

Buffy's date outfit is cute; love the pink jacket!

The look Angel gives Owen when they meet always cracks me up.

The Anointed One may get a lock of flack from viewers, but at least it wasn't Mr. Pork 'n Beans because he is just way too much. (If he actually was the Anointed One he obviously would've survived the episode)

Buffy regretfully turning down Owen's "let's get into a bar fight!" date idea is kind of weird; little season 1 Buffy looks so sad that I can't help but feel for her, but I wish Owen's dialogue was better because I feel a dissonance between what he's saying and Buffy's reactions + the music playing in the background.

I'll have to rewatch the episode to be sure, but NKABOTFD has quite a few elements that remind me of "Reptile Boy." Overall, though, an enjoyable episode – and one that gets forgotten about a lot.

Tagline for Never Kill a Boy on the First Date: "Clark Kent has a job. I just want to go on a date."
 

Mylie

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@Jam yes! I’ve always considered this ep and reptile boy the 2 buffy wants a normal life and disobeys orders episodes and found both very underrated. They’re some of my favorite episodes to watch!
 

Mr Trick

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One of those episodes I always find watchable despite the terrible hole which is Owen!:p I love Giles pep talk to Buffy at the end.
 

RDHWesley

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For some reason this one has never really stood out. I like parts of it: Giles being given more to do and the final scene between him and Buffy is one of their best. Owen is just a one and done character who adds nothing besides a pretty face to look at and to throw you off by making you think he's the Anointed One. The plot is a little bit too thin seeing as the whole thing basically involves going to a funeral home and killing a vampire. Which isn't even the right one.
 
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