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Discussion of 2.13 "Surprise" - Aired 1/19/1998 (WB-US)

DeadlyDuo

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I'm not going to waste my time arguing with someone who is going to have a conversation that is going nowhere for me. Cordelia did put down the Scoobies when she wasn't a Scooby. The only reason why she became a Scooby was because she was dating Xander!!

Buffy and Cordelia weren't exactly friends at the time. It is oddly suspicious of someone who you aren't even close to, to be at an intimate gathering of yours.
Then why even bring the subject up if you don't want to discuss it? That's pointless.
 
W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
A normal definition of bullying says that: 1) The bullying takes place consistently over time, 2) the bullying causes the victim considerable distress and 2) there is an asymmetry in the relationship between the bully and their victim.

Going by this definition, I think Willow is the only one you could say for sure gets bullied by Cordelia. Xander gives as good as he takes, and it rarely looks as though Cordelia's insults cut too deep. Cordelia only gets under Buffy's skin when she makes moves on Angel. Apart from that, Buffy sees her as a nuisance.
 

DeadlyDuo

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A normal definition of bullying says that: 1) The bullying takes place consistently over time, 2) the bullying causes the victim considerable distress and 2) there is an asymmetry in the relationship between the bully and their victim.

Going by this definition, I think Willow is the only one you could say for sure gets bullied by Cordelia. Xander gives as good as he takes, and it rarely looks as though Cordelia's insults cut too deep. Cordelia only gets under Buffy's skin when she makes moves on Angel. Apart from that, Buffy sees her as a nuisance.
Exactly, and by Season 2 Cordy has stopped picking on Willow.
 
W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
Exactly, and by Season 2 Cordy has stopped picking on Willow.
For the most part, but more importantly, we rarely see it affect Willow the same way as in WttH and The Harvest. Willow often does refer to bullying that took place in the past, though.
 

thrasherpix

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I'm not sure how suspicious it would be for Cordelia to be there in large part because I didn't have birthday parties like Buffy did, at least not once I reached my teens (the one exception not helping me here).

But I remember not questioning it much as she had been helping, such as against the Order of Taraka, and she also saved Jenny and Willow in season 1, and even tried to give a little helpful advice (in her own bitchy way) when Buffy was popping an attitude in WSWB, and that's off the top of my head. I suppose Buffy could've wondered (more so than Oz who was there openly as Willow's date) but she was really distracted, and may have even assumed on some gut level (without thinking to question it) that Cordelia might even be showing appreciation for saving her life more than once. In any case, thinking of Cordelia dating Xander wouldn't have even occurred to them given how much the pair seemed to fight. (Willow did say she sensed something weird about the pair later on, something she couldn't put into words.)
 
W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
Also, there was never an actual party. Buffy came and left with Angel and the box. She hardly got a chance to clock Cordelia. Next episode, cat was outta the box, but Buffy had other things on her mind ... to put it lightly.
 

Btvs fan

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Xander in this episode is creepy. The whole saying to Buffy about spanking her line is just 🤢 That's even for 1998 as well
 

thrasherpix

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Xander in this episode is creepy. The whole saying to Buffy about spanking her line is just 🤢 That's even for 1998 as well
Props to Jenny's response, which would've been my own adult response to him in overhearing that. As a kid back in 1998 (Texas at that), who knows what I'd have said, but if he's my good friend then I'd have taken it in good humor, probably with my own inappropriate responses (the most sanitized saying I gotten all mine from the principal already).
 

RDHWesley

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Like many others have said, this is the turning point of the entire series, where Buffy, Angel and the others are left to enjoy one last night of relative comfort before the real story kicks in. Season 2 remains superb for the most part before reaching this episode, but it steps up a gear. Spike and Dru are just as good as before, the plot is engaging and tense, and the ending provides a great cliffhanger into the next one.
 

ashleigh

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Black Thorn
Am I the only one that can't help but laugh when angel gets his soul back? It's supposed to be a serious thing but it's so over dramatic/over acted that I can't take it seriously
 
Octavia
Octavia
Nah, yeah, it was a bit of an odd cum face.
DeadlyDuo
DeadlyDuo
He also finds the time to get dressed.

Btvs fan

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Ok on the rewatch. Yes Xanders lines are still a bit creepy and Jenny's Uncle is straight from Borat and B/A is in full melodrama mode and how he managed to get all his clothes on despite being in pain and not waking Buffy is unintentionally funny 😃 but that aside I still really like this episode. The first dream sequence was the best and creepy. Of course even in a wheel chair Spike is awesome. Buffys surprise birthday party is both funny and touching at the same time. While the exposition/reveal to Oz and his reaction "actually it explains a lot" is pure gold.
All in all 8/10 now on to Innocence
 

Priceless

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When I first watched this episode, I was so engrossed it didn't even register that Angel was fully dressed in the alley scene 😊
 

Btvs fan

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When I first watched this episode, I was so engrossed it didn't even register that Angel was fully dressed in the alley scene 😊
I dunno why they just didn't have him in some boxers. Yes I know he and Buffy have just had sex but it would work better than him fully clothed while supposedly being in so much pain 😄 Also I found DB's acting not very good in that scene which makes it unintentionally funny.
 
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
Don't forget running outside and closing the door before calling out to Buffy. :P

Priceless

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I dunno why they just didn't have him in some boxers. Yes I know he and Buffy have just had sex but it would work better than him fully clothed while supposedly being in so much pain 😄 Also I found DB's acting not very good in that scene which makes it unintentionally funny.
I thought DB did really well in that scene and as soon as becomes Angelus, he's fantastic. Angelus is a bigger character and that suits DB's acting ability so much better.
 

Btvs fan

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I thought DB did really well in that scene and as soon as becomes Angelus, he's fantastic. Angelus is a bigger character and that suits DB's acting ability so much better.
I agree he is much better as Angelus than Angel pre Ats
 

DeadlyDuo

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Ok on the rewatch. Yes Xanders lines are still a bit creepy and Jenny's Uncle is straight from Borat and B/A is in full melodrama mode and how he managed to get all his clothes on despite being in pain and not waking Buffy is unintentionally funny 😃 but that aside I still really like this episode. The first dream sequence was the best and creepy. Of course even in a wheel chair Spike is awesome. Buffys surprise birthday party is both funny and touching at the same time. While the exposition/reveal to Oz and his reaction "actually it explains a lot" is pure gold.
All in all 8/10 now on to Innocence
Buffy s wearing Drusilla's nightdress in that first dream sequence. Spike and Dru are still touchy feely with each other, there's a scene (though it could be in innocence) where Dru is holding on to Spike's hand tightly and even though he's having to flex his fingers, she still doesn't let go. Also love the scene that's definitely in this episode where Spike gets all confrontational with the Judge, despite being wheelchair bound, when it looks like the Judge is threatening Dru.

I dunno why they just didn't have him in some boxers. Yes I know he and Buffy have just had sex but it would work better than him fully clothed while supposedly being in so much pain 😄 Also I found DB's acting not very good in that scene which makes it unintentionally funny.
Spike was in boxers after he and Harmony had sex and we then see him grab his jeans in THLOD. Perhaps having Angel running outside in his boxers would've been unintentionally funny.
 

FaithLehane16

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While I'm giffing the Bangel moments in this episode, I still think it was too weird and suspicious of why Cordelia, who wasn't even a friend of Buffy's, was included in her birthday party. Oz was there because Willow invited him, and Willow was a friend of Buffy's. The Cordelia that The Core Four known would've had better things to do than be at Buffy's birthday party. The suspicion of Xander&Cordelia started in Ted, but this episodes ups that level of suspicion even more. Cordelia did bully Buffy, Xander, and WIllow, so why would she be included in such an intimate gathering of Buffy's?? I know that Cordelia did reluctantly help The Core Four in the past, but that still wouldn't make sense to why she was at that party unless if someone of the opposite sex in The Core Four invited her, which most likely be Xander. No one put 2 and 2 together in this episode.
 

vampmogs

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In S2 Cordelia was around the gang a fair bit. Her life was in jeopardy alongside them in WSWB, Schoolhard, Reptile Boy, Halloween and Bad Eggs, she was saved by them and expressed gratitude in Some Assembly Required, and in Schoolhard, The Dark Ages, What's My Line and Ted she actively participated in research, sharpened stakes, or even battled with them to stop the threat. By the time we get to Surprise I think it makes sense that she would be invited to Buffy's birthday party. I very much see Willow inviting her despite still not liking her all that much as it was the polite and customary thing to do and that's just Willow (the same reason she invites Spike to Buffy's birthday in Older and Far Away despite having no idea of Buffy and Spike's secret relationship).

As for why Cordy would accept her invitation and attend the party, I don't think this would raise many suspicions. Why did she help sharpen stakes in the school library? Why was she eager to help Giles? Why agree to drive Xander to Buffy's house? Why follow the Scoobies into the library to talk about Daryl? For that matter, why get herself involved in Buffy's issues at The Bronze when she was being nasty to her friends and Angel? I think it's clear that Cordelia was circling the Scoobies since probably Out of Mind, Out of Sight. At the end of that episode was genuinely grateful of their help and I think she secretly would've yearned to part of such a close knit group after expressing to Buffy how lonely she was earlier in the episode. She approached them at the end of that episode and wanted to reach out but lost her nerve once Mitch approached her ("Please don't tell me you're hanging out with these total losers"). In Prophecy Girl her attitude towards Willow has noticeably softened and after going through through that nightmarish experience with them and then partying at The Bronze with them later in the episode, I think she longed to join them. Even in Inca Mummy Girl Buffy and Cordelia have a pretty friendly rapport at the museum when they discuss their exchange students.

Cordelia was around a lot. It makes sense to me that she was invited and it also makes sense to me that they didn't find it suspicious that she'd attend.
 
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