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Wow, and we end on a high with possibly the best episode of the Season. Why is that? Well, everybody gets a chance to shine- every single character. There are high stakes, tender moments, heartbreak and dramatics, all within 45 minutes, not a moment of this episode is wasted.
Good Bits: Buffy's slow-mo intro slay is gorgeous. Plus her complaints to Giles the next day ('Look, I'm wearing a press-on!') is both funny and contrasts nicely with the sense of impending doom later on. Xander asking Buffy to the dance is heartwrentching because not only do you feel for the guy but you know what the answer will be. Giles and Angel and Buffy in the library is pure perfection. SMG's performance is lovely. Cordelia being nice to Willow, and their reactions to the slaughter at school. AH's emotions are very raw here- very convincing. Buffy's beautiful dress. D), her resolve in going to meet her fate, punching out a determined Giles, ('Tell him...make up something cool, tell him I said it.')
Xander seeking out Angel and their discussion. (You're in love with her.' 'Aren't you?') The end fight with the Master at the end, some of Buffy's best lines. The last shot of them all walking out of the library. Glorious.
Not So Good Bits: The Annoying one's role is pretty much made redundant. Plus the Hellmouth monster is lame looking (but, hey, that's part of its charm imo. ), very Little Shop of Horrors..., the ending seems a little rushing for an end of the world scenario, but you can't have everything.
That's it. End Of Season 1. Better than I remember, not perfect, but often gets ignored because of the seasons that follow it S2/3, it utilizies the high school quite well, and Buffy's acceptance of her slayer-ness is a nice, logical progression, ending with her going to meet her 'chosen' fate. Roll on S2.
A really powerful and emotional episodes with some perfect acting from the leads and great action scenes too. Like someone said a real sample of what the show could become.
The scene which tends to get over looked was Willow's reaction after her friends have been killed. That was a big Willow moment and just heartbreaking. Another big Willow moment during the episode was when she turns Xander's offer of them going to the dance together down because she didn't want to be a Buffy substitute. That showed growth.
I've probably watched this episode more than any other and I still love it.
I thing I like a lot about it is the more macabre elements that come through. The scene where Willow and Cordelia discover the dead boys in the common room genuinely shocked me the first time I saw it - it's the bloody handprint on the TV screen and the dancing pigs, as if they are somehow enjoying it.
I also love the nod to 'Night of the Living Dead' when Willow and Jenny are running to the car and the vampires are stumbling across the playing field towards them, creepy stuff. (The movement of the vampires is a bit of a continuity error in this episode, in this scene they shamble like zombies and in the next, are running down corridors. This confusion also turns up in 'Welcome To The Hellmouth/The Harvest, when Buffy and Xander are being chased in the sewers, the vampires have the zombie shuffle going on again.)
Anyway, I think this episode was the first to really bring all the elements of the show together, the nice comedy, heartbreaking scenes of emotion, some kick-ass fighting and the unsettling bits. Showed the potential of what the show could do.
Love this ep, but how did Giles and Xander get Angel's contact details. Giles was able to call him and Xander knew his address, we've not seen Buffy go to his place yet so how would Xander know where he lived?
Which quote? On a Willow related note Hannigan's acting during the scene where she is upset about the students getting killed is first class. Love the "this was our world, and they came in and made it theirs" line.
Wasn't Joss trying to decide between Willow and Xander? Which is why there are so many Xander gay jokes. Though there's one scene (Reptile Boy?) where someone says something like, "Check out her legs!" and Willow's like, "Yuck!" lol
I don't have too much of a problem with the gay stuff with Xander actually. Part of it is just to do with the time, but I actually don't see it as being anti-gay just that as a straight teenage guy he would be nervious about someone else thinking he was gay and the thought that he might come onto him.
Still the subtext is open to the viewer. I'm a little unconvinced that what you hear arn't just jokes or lines which could be read a number of different ways, but with the later knowledge of what was in Joss's mind have been read as being gay jokes or lines etc..