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Discussion of 1.06 "The Pack" - Aired 4/7/1997 (WB-US)

GoSpuffy

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Black Thorn
#81
Really? I think it's more that the hyena possession opened the door and let the real Xander out. Sorry, I could go for this if Xander was in all ways animal, or even if he attempted to rape a non-specific girl and Buffy had to fight him off. This was a deliberate attempt to rape Buffy, for reasons that Xander felt strongly about without any hyena spirit! I will agree that he was never gonna express in that way without the hyena.
https://id%3D55735740941%3Bname%3Dxanderpostforanon
I think you'll like this link Bespangeled. I'm with you 100%
 

Give Us A Kiss

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Sineya
#82
It was interesting to see Xander possessed as an Hyena, shows a completely different side to things.

I loved the whole Hyena possession storyline, way better than the previous 2 episodes (Teacher's Pet and NKABOTFD).

I noticed that I'm liking Giles more this time around, but wouldn't put him on my top 10 just yet.

This episode also marks the first AR of the Buffyverse (Xander forces himself on Buffy).
 
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#83
It was interesting to see Xander possessed as an Hyena, shows a completely different side to things.

I loved the whole Hyena possession storyline, way better than the previous 2 episodes (Teacher's Pet and NKABOTFD).

I noticed that I'm liking Giles more this time around, but wouldn't put him on my top 10 just yet.

This episode also marks the first AR of the Buffyverse (Xander forces himself on Buffy).
Yeah, think this a sleeper hit of the season. Interesting concept and pretty edgy in places too. Think seeing that darker side to Xander works really. It also gives Willow more strength as a character as she must stand up to him.
 
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#85
Replying to the thread in general, having read all 5 pages just now:

Xander does say at one time that it's Angelus rather than Angel. Yep, just watched it again in S2E15: Phases. After Xander stakes Theresa (who told Buffy that Angel sends his love), he tells Buffy to not let Angel/us get to her, "He's not the same guy you knew." (Granted, as Xander had no reason to think Angelus would ever return to being Angel, he had less conflict about this idea, so he found it easier to comfort Buffy about it as Angelus was now the enemy, and would likely soon die as Angelus, taking Angel with it. But I like to think there was a seed of genuine compassion for Buffy, perhaps his remembering when he dusted his best friend in the Harvest and realizing how tough it will be for Buffy to stake her former lover turned demon.)

All the heroes in Buffy & Angel--including Tara and Fred--have their flaws and make some pretty big mistakes sooner or later, even those who are centuries old. And that's NOT counting when they were without souls or possessed or under some magic affecting their judgment, just them being jerks or otherwise putting others at danger recklessly for their own selfish (if sometimes understandable) ends, or at least misunderstandings that could've easily been cleared up if they talked (but then that would ruin a good story :p ;) ).

As for giving Xander and Spike a pass...I actually do give Spike With a Soul a pass on the AR because he was a soulless demon when he acted like the monster he was with the AR (though the story, both leading up to that and then even more so in season 7, was very poorly executed in more ways than one, IMO, but that's another topic), just like I don't hold Angel to blame for the actions of Angelus, or Buffy to blame for when Faith was in control of her body, or even the idiot things many do while under the influence of a spell (like Buffy going to prove her love with a rocket launcher, that's magic for you, she'd lost all reason, but just as I'm not going to hold Buffy accountable for trying to blow away the principal over a high school boy, I'm not going to hold Xander accountable for his actions while the Hyena was in him, even though it clearly worked with what was already in their psyche).

Heck, I cut Joyce and Giles a lot of slack for the stupid things they did after eating that enchanted band candy (though I'm fine with Buffy giving them a hard time in a teasing way over that from time to time, and glad she was able to keep Ripper in line).
 
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cryptwarmer

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Black Thorn
#86
Replying to the thread in general, having read all 5 pages just now:

Xander does say at one time that it's Angelus rather than Angel. Yep, just watched it again in S2E15: Phases. After Xander stakes Theresa (who told Buffy that Angel sends his love), he tells Buffy to not let Angel/us get to her, "He's not the same guy you knew." (Granted, as Xander had no reason to think Angelus would ever return to being Angel, he had less conflict about this idea, so he found it easier to comfort Buffy about it as Angelus was now the enemy, and would likely soon die as Angelus, taking Angel with it. But I like to think there was a seed of genuine compassion for Buffy, perhaps his remembering when he dusted his best friend in the Harvest and realizing how tough it will be for Buffy to stake her former lover turned demon.)

All the heroes in Buffy & Angel--including Tara and Fred--have their flaws and make some pretty big mistakes sooner or later, even those who are centuries old. And that's NOT counting when they were without souls or possessed or under some magic affecting their judgment, just them being jerks or otherwise putting others at danger recklessly for their own selfish (if sometimes understandable) ends, or at least misunderstandings that could've easily been cleared up if they talked (but then that would ruin a good story :p ;) ).

As for giving Xander and Spike a pass...I actually do give Spike With a Soul a pass on the AR because he was a soulless demon when he acted like the monster he was with the AR (though the story, both leading up to that and then even more so in season 7, was very poorly executed in more ways than one, IMO, but that's another topic), just like I don't hold Angel to blame for the actions of Angelus, or Buffy to blame for when Faith was in control of her body, or even the idiot things many do while under the influence of a spell (like Buffy going to prove her love with a rocket launcher, that's magic for you, she'd lost all reason, but just as I'm not going to hold Buffy accountable for trying to blow away the principal over a high school boy, I'm not going to hold Xander accountable for his actions while the Hyena was in him, even though it clearly worked with what was already in their psyche).

Heck, I cut Joyce and Giles a lot of slack for the stupid things they did after eating that enchanted band candy (though I'm fine with Buffy giving them a hard time in a teasing way over that from time to time, and glad she was able to keep Ripper in line).
Yeah, sometimes we just have to roll with it and accept a certain amount of emotional manipulation and suspend reason and go where the writers want us to...for the sake of enjoying the show.

then we come here and have fun nick picking the heck out of it. Thing is, sometimes it's alarming how much we do this in real life too. We do it and either don't notice it or care. We don't have the emotional energy to get worked up over everything etc. It would drive us insane, sometimes you have to take things on Faith or shrug and say...it happens.

Buffy would go to jail for humping that guy in "Him" and for trying to kill the principal...but it's funny as heck to watch.

Ah, the power of FICTION
 
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#87
Rewatched this episode and it got me wondering what would happen if the hyena people had run into a vampire.

In season 2, we saw Angelus back off from a confrontation with Werewolf Oz, and considering Werewolf Oz didn't attack him, it seems like both creatures respected what the other was.

If the hyena people had run into someone like Angelus, what would they do? Would they back off because he's a supernatural creature? Would they hound him to leave his kill or just wait for him to go before they swoop in to eat the remains like actual hyenas do?
 
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#88
Werewolf blood probably smells and taste different from a human possessed.

But the hyenas would smell a predator in a vampire and probably back off. A hyena in a pack would be avoided by vampires. A lone "hyena"? That could result in confrontation, I think, but presumably the hyena wouldn't be caught unaware, and there'd be an easier meal somewhere else.
 

Foxy

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Sineya
#89
I lived through this episode! It is a miracle. The only thing I enjoy about it is Buffy kicking Xander's ass with a desk. I love the girl power of it all.

I enjoyed the blooming friendship between Buffy and Willow though....and Giles got knocked unconscious for the 3rd time in the last 5 episodes! Poor guy!
 
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#90
I lived through this episode! It is a miracle. The only thing I enjoy about it is Buffy kicking Xander's ass with a desk. I love the girl power of it all.

I enjoyed the blooming friendship between Buffy and Willow though....and Giles got knocked unconscious for the 3rd time in the last 5 episodes! Poor guy!
Oh have to disagree with you on this one. Its one of the sleeper episodes of S1 for me. Gets better everytime I see it. The portrayal of bulling was very effective, and Flutie's fate was well handled. It was important to send out the message that such a character could die in this universal and in such a graphic way too.

Its one of the better b-movie plots of the first season IMO.
 

Fuffy Baith

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Sineya
#91
Oh have to disagree with you on this one. Its one of the sleeper episodes of S1 for me. Gets better everytime I see it. The portrayal of bullying was very effective, and Flutie's fate was well handled. It was important to send out the message that such a character could die in this universal and in such a graphic way too.

Its one of the better b-movie plots of the first season IMO.
I agree. I think it's the 5th best ep of season 1 for me. It does get better the more I watch it. Season 1 is pretty much ALL B- horror movie plots. lol. But The Pack works pretty well. It both establishes the Scoobies, but does it through separating them. If that makes sense? I guess I mean that by the end of the episode, I feel like we get the Core Four.

Giles got knocked unconscious for the 3rd time in the last 5 episodes! Poor guy!
Yea, Giles got knocked out a lot in the early seasons. lol. Which I almost find worth it, just for Cordelia's brilliant line "One of these days, you're going to wake up in a coma". lol
 
Mr Trick
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Yeah good point on the Scoobies.
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#92
I always thought the 4 kids were just trying to scare Lance when they made it look like they were going to throw him in the hyena pit before Xander stops them, but I now think they were actually planning on throwing him in. A "predatory act" needs to be performed to transfer the hyena's spirit. The zoo keeper tied Willow up and was gong to slit her throat with the big knife before Buffy came running in with the kids chasing her. She falls over and the kids descend on her before the zoo keeper chants the incantation and draws the spirit into himself. For that to happen, the "predatory act" was the kids trying to kill and eat Buffy, therefore the "predatory act" at the beginning of the episode was the kids trying to actually kill Lance.
 
Fuffy Baith
Fuffy Baith
Good observations

Out for a walk

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#93
I always thought the 4 kids were just trying to scare Lance when they made it look like they were going to throw him in the hyena pit before Xander stops them, but I now think they were actually planning on throwing him in. A "predatory act" needs to be performed to transfer the hyena's spirit. The zoo keeper tied Willow up and was gong to slit her throat with the big knife before Buffy came running in with the kids chasing her. She falls over and the kids descend on her before the zoo keeper chants the incantation and draws the spirit into himself. For that to happen, the "predatory act" was the kids trying to kill and eat Buffy, therefore the "predatory act" at the beginning of the episode was the kids trying to actually kill Lance.

I think so too, wasn't the symbol on the floor where they were standing? I think it was wanting them to sacrifice him.
 
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#95
Poor Principal Flutie . Then we got one of the worst Buffyverse characters ever
Principal Snyder.
Also Xander was the absolute worst in this ep. It was so sad watching Willow be so hurt!
When you say Snyder is one of the worst do you mean as in the character was a asshole (which is of course the point;)), or are you just not a fan of the character? I love him. He's one of the best supporting characters for me. Think it was important to have that human enemy to Buffy in school hours.

Its painful watching what Xander did to Willow, but its also a important episode for both. Don't forget Willow gets the best of him when he's in the cage.
 
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
I'm not sure, but I think I clapped or cheered when she did, after sure he was going to get her. Maybe I just felt that way as I saw Willow show some of her inner strength. It was too many years ago for me to recall what I did exactly.

PaulParmar1

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Sineya
#96
When you say Snyder is one of the worst do you mean as in the character was a asshole (which is of course the point;)), or are you just not a fan of the character? I love him. He's one of the best supporting characters for me. Think it was important to have that human enemy to Buffy in school hours.

Its painful watching what Xander did to Willow, but its also a important episode for both. Don't forget Willow gets the best of him when he's in the cage.
Not a fan of Snyder at all!
I know we're supposed to hate him & I just do a lot! He annoys me to no ends lol
 

Jam

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#97
This is an episode that certainly makes use of the 'high school is hell' metaphor, but it's easily my least favourite season 1 episode. (It's about as subtle as season 6, too)

Did the Zookeeper want the hyena to possess a group of people? He pops up awfully quickly when Buffy and Willow make their move toward the exhibit, yet he didn't notice when six students did just seconds before. The scene he has later on with Giles implies no, I think, but the timing just seemed very convenient. Then again, TV timing is usually convenient.

Considering the very next episode is "Angel", the references to him are appreciated and probably necessary.

I like the intense, slow-motion musical moment of Xander and his 'pack' walking outside after eating poor Herbert.

I don't like how Xander feigns amnesia at the end of the episode in front of Buffy and Willow; he's getting them to recount all of the things he did, Buffy explicitly says that "it wasn't him", and he doesn't put up a fight when Giles catches his lie. What I'm getting at here is that it doesn't really add anything, except that it starts the pattern of Xander dodging responsibility and consequence.

My problem with episode is entirely to do with personal preference; objectively, this probably is not the worst episode of the season, but for me, I get such little enjoyment out of this episode. There are so many uncomfortable scenes and moments: Xander's treatment of Willow; the way 'the pack' turns to their own teammate during dodgeball and gang up on that kid; the principal gets eaten by a group of students; that whole scene between Buffy and Xander that leads to Buffy hitting him with a desk... What I like about season 1 is its humour and campiness, and "The Pack" really lacks on those fronts as it takes itself very seriously.

Tagline for The Pack: "They prey on the weak."
 
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#98
This is an episode that certainly makes use of the 'high school is hell' metaphor, but it's easily my least favourite season 1 episode. (It's about as subtle as season 6, too)

Did the Zookeeper want the hyena to possess a group of people? He pops up awfully quickly when Buffy and Willow make their move toward the exhibit, yet he didn't notice when six students did just seconds before. The scene he has later on with Giles implies no, I think, but the timing just seemed very convenient. Then again, TV timing is usually convenient.

Considering the very next episode is "Angel", the references to him are appreciated and probably necessary.

I like the intense, slow-motion musical moment of Xander and his 'pack' walking outside after eating poor Herbert.

I don't like how Xander feigns amnesia at the end of the episode in front of Buffy and Willow; he's getting them to recount all of the things he did, Buffy explicitly says that "it wasn't him", and he doesn't put up a fight when Giles catches his lie. What I'm getting at here is that it doesn't really add anything, except that it starts the pattern of Xander dodging responsibility and consequence.

My problem with episode is entirely to do with personal preference; objectively, this probably is not the worst episode of the season, but for me, I get such little enjoyment out of this episode. There are so many uncomfortable scenes and moments: Xander's treatment of Willow; the way 'the pack' turns to their own teammate during dodgeball and gang up on that kid; the principal gets eaten by a group of students; that whole scene between Buffy and Xander that leads to Buffy hitting him with a desk... What I like about season 1 is its humour and campiness, and "The Pack" really lacks on those fronts as it takes itself very seriously.

Tagline for The Pack: "They prey on the weak."
Interesting post. For me this is actually one of the strongest episodes of the season. Part of that might be because for me season 1 is the weakest. So if I was comparing The Pack to episodes from a lot of other seasons chances are it wouldn't rank so high. Also because the big metaphor of the season is to do with High School hardships such as bullying. So I think this is a crucial episode in selling that. Also, unlike Teacher's Pet or IRYJ The Pack isn't just another throw away MOTW story, but one with real substance.

True, but again Xander's actions do add meat on the bone when it comes to discussing the episodes themes. It's character growth too, not just for him, but for Willow. She is challenged by Xander acting out of character, but she responds in a strong way during the cage scene. Its a big moment for her character.
 

Jam

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Mr. Trick said:
Interesting post. For me this is actually one of the strongest episodes of the season. Part of that might be because for me season 1 is the weakest. So if I was comparing The Pack to episodes from a lot of other seasons chances are it wouldn't rank so high. Also because the big metaphor of the season is to do with High School hardships such as bullying. So I think this is a crucial episode in selling that. Also, unlike Teacher's Pet or IRYJ The Pack isn't just another throw away MOTW story, but one with real substance.

True, but again Xander's actions do add meat on the bone when it comes to discussing the episodes themes. It's character growth too, not just for him, but for Willow. She is challenged by Xander acting out of character, but she responds in a strong way during the cage scene. Its a big moment for her character.
See, I can understand how others would like this episode and I don't necessarily disagree with much of your points, but I just don't like to watch the episode. I'd say that "Out of Mind, Out of Sight" also tackles bullying – in a different way, of course – so it could be interesting to compare and contrast the two when the time comes.
 
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