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Discussion of 2.17 "Passion" - Aired 2/24/1998 (WB-US)

Jam

Pepper spray is just so passé
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This whole episode is so artfully constructed and as heartbreaking as it is, as someone who loves television, it's fascinating to watch. In the episode before, Angelus says "It lacks... poetry." In "Passion" we get a great understanding of what he means by this exactly.

Between the music and the voiceover, the tone for the episode is being set in this opening scene and you can tell very quickly this isn't going to be the typical episode. And then that scene just before the credits while Buffy is sleep is so creepy!

"I know how hard this is for you... alright, I don't." Oh, Giles. You will :(

"Watcher's pet." I mean, has there ever been any doubt that Buffy was his favourite?

I wonder how long Jenny has been planning this.

Cordelia's recurring 'I invited him into my car!' spiel adds a bit of light to the episode.

That scene between he and Joyce really shows how obsessed Angelus is.

"Sorry, Angel. I changed the locks." Great moment!

Always save your work.

Up until this episode, the characters – and probably the viewers – really underestimated just how dangerous Angelus is.

The way the music builds as Giles goes up the stairs is really well-done.

That fight in the factory is pretty riveting; really make use of the space.

"You can't leave me. I can't do this alone." Ahh this scene! An emotional gut punch for sure.

Tagline for Passion: "Passion rules us all. And we obey."
 

Mr Trick

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This is a classic Joss trait to follow up a lighter episode with such a dramatic and tragic one. It works to perfection. Jenny has such a sad, and yet fitting ending on the show (bar one or two other appearances in non-human form). I always liked that she redeemed herself in dying. I tend to feel that its from this point forward that Buffy sees there is no turning back than she must kill Angel.
 

FaithLehane16

"Five by Five."
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Something I have to say about this episode is that Jenny Calendar should have NEVER did that spell in a public building after school hours, in the dark. She should have did that at home. Angel was never invited in to her house, so it's a safer place. That would've saved her life. This is my main concern for this episode.

Side concerns are that Buffy, Willow, Giles, and Cordelia should have "changed their locks" weeks before. Didn't they not think that Angelus could come over to their house/car to do something sinister? Didn't they not think three steps ahead like the way Angelus was? I can understand if people have stuff going on in their lives, but their lives were on their hands.

Also, it doesn't matter if Angel is a vampire or not, Buffy should have told her mom about her dating him. It's not like Angel was going to kill Joyce while they were dating. Due to this, we were robbed of the Angel/Joyce content that the show needed. I mean we get more Spike/Joyce scenes. If only if the writers had Joyce know about Buffy being the Slayer, we wouldn't be so robbed.
 

Mr Trick

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Something I have to say about this episode is that Jenny Calendar should have NEVER did that spell in a public building after school hours, in the dark. She should have did that at home. Angel was never invited in to her house, so it's a safer place. That would've saved her life. This is my main concern for this episode.

Side concerns are that Buffy, Willow, Giles, and Cordelia should have "changed their locks" weeks before. Didn't they not think that Angelus could come over to their house/car to do something sinister? Didn't they not think three steps ahead like the way Angelus was? I can understand if people have stuff going on in their lives, but their lives were on their hands.

Also, it doesn't matter if Angel is a vampire or not, Buffy should have told her mom about her dating him. It's not like Angel was going to kill Joyce while they were dating. Due to this, we were robbed of the Angel/Joyce content that the show needed. I mean we get more Spike/Joyce scenes. If only if the writers had Joyce know about Buffy being the Slayer, we wouldn't be so robbed.
Have to disagree on this point. At this point Joyce doesn't know about Vampires being part of the world. Her knowing about Angelus is not going to make her any safer, if anything it would have complicated things. Plus its sensitive information for Buffy even more so because of Angelus.
 

Puppet

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Black Thorn
Something I have to say about this episode is that Jenny Calendar should have NEVER did that spell in a public building after school hours, in the dark. She should have did that at home. Angel was never invited in to her house, so it's a safer place. That would've saved her life. This is my main concern for this episode.
We don't know that she was planning on casting the spell on school grounds. We just know that she chose to translate the spell there, though it's tough to say why. I assume she just started the translation immediately after classes ended and wound up taking so long that it became after hours. My guess (and, really, guessing is all we have at this point) is that once the translation was complete and printed out, she would've gathered what she had and gone to Giles' place to explain what she had found. They would have done the spell there, together. Her time just ran out, unfortunately.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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She may not have owned a home computer. It was the late 90s. Computers were expensive on a teacher's salary. I think Willow is the only Scooby to own a computer in high school.
 
Puppet
Puppet
I almost made that argument myself, before sticking with that she probably just started her work at the school.

AlphaFoxtrot

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It's entirely possible Jenny became consumed in her work, and didn't notice it was after sunset. Again, something a "Techno-pagan" ought to have noticed. Like, make a computer program that has Ra announcing his journey has come to an end, or something.

My problem with the dis-invitation, I would have preferred a solution that suggested that one some subconscious level the citizens of Sunnydale were aware of the evil in their city. Like a soft version of The Wish. Like, how the Cemeteries are built to contain a Zombie outbreak, or the fall Garlic Festival, to encourage the planting and use of the plant. Or how the Churches when charted on a map form a pattern. Or Willow and Xander realizing that every January, her Rabbi and his Priest perform the exact same ritual on both of their family homes, to ward off evil. Like they know, but they don't know, just to add some degree of mystery before the Mayor's true nature is revealed.
 

FaithLehane16

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We don't know that she was planning on casting the spell on school grounds. We just know that she chose to translate the spell there, though it's tough to say why. I assume she just started the translation immediately after classes ended and wound up taking so long that it became after hours. My guess (and, really, guessing is all we have at this point) is that once the translation was complete and printed out, she would've gathered what she had and gone to Giles' place to explain what she had found. They would have done the spell there, together. Her time just ran out, unfortunately.
I can see that, but she could've thought more ahead. Plus after hours at nighttime, wouldn't be the best time for her to be there. She should have done it at home. I can assure you that if she didn't stay at the school, she would still be alive longer than age 37 or older. Didn't she know that much about Drusilla? When she and Giles were dating, wouldn't he gave her more of an update with what's going on? You would think her uncle could've given her more information about what happened to that certain gypsy girl? I guess there's many cases of hindsight is 20/20.

Have to disagree on this point. At this point Joyce doesn't know about Vampires being part of the world. Her knowing about Angelus is not going to make her any safer, if anything it would have complicated things. Plus its sensitive information for Buffy even more so because of Angelus.
Having her daughter tell her the truth about what her job was, and the sexy, sweet, intuitive, mysterious vampire she was dating from the start would be better. A mother should get to know her daughter's boyfriend. That would have saved her from being grounded at times. Joyce was possessed by the mother, Bezoar. She came to see strange looking beings at parent-teacher night in School Hard. She came across a weird drawing of Buffy slaughtering a monster in Killed By Death. She was under Xander's love/revenge spell in Bewitched, Bothered, & Bewildered. One of her ex-boyfriends was a robot, which she should've sensed right away. (I'm not sure why this television show is trying to represent robots as if they have soft bodies e.g. April and the disgusting sexbot of Buffy). I think it would be easy for me to sense that something is up with some guy who feels a little too hard on the body/face. I mean the guy was making comments that didn't make sense with sounds from his body when he was being both physically, and mentally abusive to her right in the kitchen. Joyce was sensing that something wasn't right about the doctor's statement in the episode Angel when Darla bit her neck. I'm not sure if Darla hypnotized her like Drusilla did Kendra before the assault, but Joyce seemed to remember quite a bit of what happened before that incident. She knew that she wasn't doing anything dangerous in her kitchen. Would Joyce wonder why Darla wasn't at the hospital when she woke up? Or better yet, why Darla wasn't the one who took her to the hospital? Why would only Willow, Xander, Buffy, and Giles be there? I can understand Darla wanting to prevent her from being killed, but I am just thinking from Joyce's perspective. In Bad Eggs, Joyce could've investigated what Buffy was hiding(the hatched being) underneath whatever Buffy had at the time, after witnessing her daughter, still dressed, just getting off the phone at the odd hours of the night.

Plus, I would find it to be odd of why some random guy shows up at my house, helping my daughter to study, only to not see him much afterwards. Joyce knew that it was a little bit more than a study thing. Angel's attractive. I would also find it odd getting the excuses after what Joyce had experienced in the first 2 seasons.

Another thing is that if I was Joyce, I would be concerned why my daughter has blood on her clothing almost every other day.

She may not have owned a home computer. It was the late 90s. Computers were expensive on a teacher's salary. I think Willow is the only Scooby to own a computer in high school.
It still isn't the brightest idea in the history of the world. She is putting herself at risk. You would think a techno-pagan would have a computer at home. She seemed to know A LOT about them. If what you are saying might be correct, then why couldn't she take a sick day, to a public library in the daylight? Isn't Joss not thinking all the way when it comes to his characters?

@Mr Trick then Buffy SHOULD HAVE FOUND THE TIME.
 
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Mr Trick
Mr Trick
I think Buffy should be free to tell Joyce in her own time.

DeadlyDuo

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Having her daughter tell her the truth about what her job was, and the sexy, sweet, intuitive, mysterious vampire she was dating from the start would be better.
I disagree. Even when Buffy did tell Joyce about being a slayer, Joyce didn't accept it. At best she'd see Angel as a bad influence and any "demonstration" that Angel was really a vampire eg just showing his game face, would put the fear of god in Joyce and she wouldn't want Buffy hanging around someone like that. Also what parent would willingly accept a far fetched sounding story from their teenage daughter.

A mother should get to know her daughter's boyfriend. That would have saved her from being grounded at times.
Doubtful. If anything it could've made Buffy's relationship with Joyce worse because if Joyce told her she couldn't see Angel and then Buffy did it anyway, she would deliberately be undermining her mother. At least if Joyce didn't know, then she couldn't stop her.

Joyce was possessed by the mother, Bezoar.
I thought the possessed didn't have any memory of the event?

She came to see strange looking beings at parent-teacher night in School Hard.


The vampires are passed off as "gangs on PCP", both by Snyder and the mayor. people tend to believe what authority figures tell them.

She came across a weird drawing of Buffy slaughtering a monster in Killed By Death.


Kids draw weird things. It doesn't always mean something.

She was under Xander's love/revenge spell in Bewitched, Bothered, & Bewildered.


We don't know how aware the women were of their actions. When the spell broke a lot of them looked confused over what they were doing there. Joyce was in her own home, she might wonder why there were loads of people there, but she wasn't anywhere odd.

One of her ex-boyfriends was a robot, which she should've sensed right away. (I'm not sure why this television show is trying to represent robots as if they have soft bodies e.g. April and the disgusting sexbot of Buffy). I think it would be easy for me to sense that something is up with some guy who feels a little too hard on the body/face.
The skin of the robots look to be quite thick which could've acted as padding to soften the robot's skeleton. Also Warren designed the sexbots not to be hard and probably made them quite flexible. They don't necessarily have to be made from steel and metal (which would've added weight). So long as the wiring is protected and there's some form of structure, the robots probably feel relatively normal, if a little cold to the touch.

Also Joyce was under the influence of Ted's cooking.

I mean the guy was making comments that didn't make sense with sounds from his body when he was being both physically, and mentally abusing her right in the kitchen.
Joyce was actually concerned about Ted's behaviour then he knocked her out. She might not remember the finer details, just the general ones eg Ted was acting weird then knocked her out, rather than Ted was making weird noises.

Joyce was sensing that something wasn't right about the doctor's statement in the episode Angel when Darla bit her neck. I'm not sure if Darla hypnotized her like Drusilla did Kendra before the assault, but Joyce seemed to remember quite a bit of what happened before that incident. She knew that she wasn't doing anything dangerous in her kitchen.
Joyce questioned the statement because the doctor did it looked like she fell on a toasting fork and they didn't have one (they do later). Also it's likely to have happened so fast that Joyce didn't get chance to comprehend what was happening. Darla had only just fed when Angel showed up and Joyce was still alive so it happened very quickly.

In Bad Eggs, Joyce could've investigated what Buffy was hiding(the hatched being) underneath whatever Buffy had at the time, after witnessing her daughter, still dressed, just getting off the phone at the odd hours of the night.
That doesn't mean anything. Buffy being dressed just means she hadn't got ready for bed (which is more a case of "go to bed!" rather than "what are you hiding?") Also Buffy making phone calls late at night doesn't necessarily mean anything sinister.

Plus, I would find it to be odd of why some random guy shows up at my house, helping my daughter to study, only to not see him much afterwards. Joyce knew that it was a little bit more than a study thing. Angel's attractive. I would also find it odd getting the excuses after what Joyce had experienced in the first 2 seasons.
Again not out of the ordinary. Buffy could've just asked Angel not to come round to the house anymore after Joyce caught them.

Another thing is that if I was Joyce, I would be concerned why my daughter has blood on her clothing almost every other day.
Buffy brought this up. However, since Buffy had history of fighting, Joyce probably thought it was that. She hadn't got a call from the school, and Buffy seemed herself so she probably thought it wasn't anything major. She may have even thought it was paint. I hardly think Buffy's clothes were covered in blood.

If what you are saying might be correct, then why couldn't she take a sick day, to a public library in the daylight? Isn't Joss not thinking all the way when it comes to his characters?
If you pull a sickie, you don't then go to a public place where you might get caught and then consequently reprimanded by your employer.
 
FaithLehane16
FaithLehane16
I was just explaining my thoughts.

thrasherpix

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Unless the Orb was cheap (and given some used it as a paperweight, it might've been, but the store owner did say sales of such items put his kids through college), Jenny was able to buy it on credit. I'd think a computer would be about the same. (And given all the chaos at the school, stealing one from school should be easy.)

It also seems like it would be easy to justify the gypsies to get her one, though they could just be jercks about it (perhaps she was in Sunnydale as punishment, and they didn't like her interest in computers or her techno-pagan friends).


Speaking for myself, I used to juryrig computer components. I know this sounds amazing to some, but it was an exercise in frustration that would eventually pay off, and I often wasn't sure why. For the longest time my computer was nicknamed Frankenstein by many, and was slow as hell and with less memory than most other computers (though a computer technician eventually gave me a hard drive destined for the dump which helped A LOT here, and THEN I was able to play movies on it). And in helping a college student to cheat, I also got some expertise and components that helped (not pro worthy, but it was helpful for my purposes). I think my biggest score was when I did some housesitting for a guy on real estate business in Mexico, he agreed that I could take my payment in his old computer that he didn't use anymore. What this means is that from the early 2000s on I had a decent (though not great) computer (despite how terrible the wiring in the house was so that surge protection was mandatory) all the way until I bought the one I'm using now (after Frankenstein just mysteriously died while I was moving into a new home).

I'd think Jenny, with both her expertise and her connections (the technopagans if the gypsies were going to be jerks) would make sure she had access to a home computer. 'Course given that magic was online it's possible that her home computer got fried channeling arcane energies, and as she was in a hurry she continued her project at the school given the importance of it (and her desire to be fully forgiven) despite the dangers (and not thinking it would be THAT late). Even so, she'd at least have a cross (like the first time she faced Angelus), along with whatever other gypsy methods her clan had (and surely they got some after Angelus if not before), though maybe she had a subconscious death wish based on guilt (and also the death of her uncle).
 
DeadlyDuo
DeadlyDuo
I always interpreted the store owner meaning that he sold a lot of orbs frequently.

Btvs fan

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I think this might be besides Becoming Pt2 my favourite episode of S2.

I remember when I first saw it in Real time and I always expected Jenny to get away or be saved by Buffy. That Angel actually caught and killed her was shocking. No she wasn't a Regular but she wasn't a Redshirt either. Plus she wasn't brought back either which is very un- Joss like too.
Then the scene of Giles finding her on his bed is so fantastic add on Angel smiling at Willow and Buffy learning the news. It's great stuff to watch.
 

Tank1978

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One thing I wonder about this episode. Had Giles ever invited Angel into his house? I really can't remember. If he hadn't Angelus could never have broken in and left Jenny's body for him
 
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