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Discussion of 7.14 "First Date" - Aired 2/11/03 (UPN-US)

Buffy Summers

Yataro
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#1
Buffy accepts an invitation to dinner from the mysterious Principal Wood, and the secrets of his past are revealed. Xander impresses a beautiful girl with his knowledge of knots, and she seems to be interested in tying him up. Meanwhile the First contacts Andrew in another attempt to destroy the Potentials and Giles finds himself tongue-tied with the new Potential, Chao-Ahn.
Source: TV.com

Discuss this episode here!
 
D

DarlaDru

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#2
I re-watched this one today and there is something I don't understand.
Xander got tied up by Lissa in the basement, but how could Willow receive a text message of him? How was Xander able to use a cell phone while being tied up? He still was when Buffy, Spike and Robin arrived!
 

white avenger

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#3
Xander's text message was a pre-arranged code that was supposed to mean either, "Got lucky, won't be home before dawn," or "In trouble, send Buffy fast!" or something to that effect. Most likely, Xander sent the text while still thinking that all was well, and he had, indeed, "gotten lucky." Only after the text was sent did the truth be known. Luckily for him, Willow erred on the side of caution rather than discretion, and sent the troops to the rescue.
 
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Black Thorn
#5
I didnt like this episode for a number of reasons. The first is the Wood/Buffy storyline. I dont understand why all of a sudden there's this sudden attraction. I'm also not a fan of the new Potential, I can see that there trying to make the scenes with Giles humorous but I dont think they pull it off. I also didnt like the demon.

I enjoyed watching Andrew stand up to The First and I enjoyed seeing Giles' drawings again but that was about it.
 
AnthonyCordova
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Cheese Slices

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#6
I didnt like this episode for a number of reasons. The first is the Wood/Buffy storyline. I dont understand why all of a sudden there's this sudden attraction.
I agree with you although one could tell that it was mostly a way to show that neither Buffy nor Spike have or are ready to move on.
 

white avenger

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#7
The first is the Wood/Buffy storyline. I dont understand why all of a sudden there's this sudden attraction.
It wasn't really as much an attraction thing for Buffy as it was suspicion, at least at first. She and Willow had tried to find out something about Wood, but couldn't find anything anywhere, including the internet. Whether Buffy felt any sort of attraction for Wood or not, I'm not sure, but he most certainly was trying to come on to her, at least until he found out about Spike.

Just as a side note, here, I've always felt that Joss missed a great opportunity with Wood by not either letting him be in cahoots with the First Evil from the very beginning, or having him sell out once he found about Spike. With the charm, shaved head, and snappy wardrobe, he could have been as great a bad guy as Mr Sweet ever was.
 

HisMrs

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#10
I hate, hate, hate this episode. Simply because of the fact that Ashanti was in the episode. I don't care that she was playing Xander's love interest.; I just hate that she ever appeared on the show at all. I felt like Joss sold out when he allowed someone like her to be on the show.
 
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#11
Funny moment:

The first/Jonathon: "Willow brought something to this house. Something Good. Something you can use."

Andrew: "The new microwave?"

Andrew's little hand motions to the microwave seriously cracked me up right there, wasn't expecting that.

The chinese girl telling us she was lactose intolerant was hilarious too. I wonder how they'll make that work. Someone's gotta speak Mandarin. or Cantonese. Whichever, haha.
 
Charmander
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PassionBecoming

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#12
-Always gotta love Giles kicking some butt!
-Spike tackling Giles. "Anya said you were evil!!"
-Yeah, that whole chip-removal thing without consulting with anyone. Though I would probably have made the same decision, I can see why everyone was upset, even if she had to make a quick choice.
-I also always wondered about the whole Slayer-wearing-hoop-earrings thing.
-Love the conversation that Giles has with Buffy concerning Spike. He has his "dad" moments now and then, and he is concerned that Buffy will get hurt if she continues a relationship with Spike. I do think it clouds her judgment, plus all the Scoobies have seen how it goes when Buffy gets involved with a vamp. I do think it's a bit of a double standard, however, since the Scoobies (minus Xander!) never really had a problem having Angel fight on their side.
-Xander is so awkwardly cute with girls. :)
-Wood can be so CREEPY.
-Buffy watches reality shows. Strike one! :p
-Quite the weaponry there, Wood. Also, how did he manage to get the secret spot there with no one noticing??
-"You'll have to dress for the ambiguity." Willow's humor is fun.
-Riley wasn't wicked energy!!!
-"Yay, someone who doesn't remember the Industrial Revolution." Heehee
-Andrew reading the microwave manual with a highlighter. Hahaha
-Buffy and Anya girlie moments. <3
-"Never much cared for picket fences, anyway. Bloody dangerous." That might make for a good banner.. [MENTION=9799]Taake[/MENTION]? [MENTION=8277]ItMustBeBunnies[/MENTION]? :)
-"Didn't you see the flashcards?!"
-After everything, it's always nice to see a good old-fashioned vampire fight.
-A Slayer with a kid is really flooring. Could you imagine having a toddler and then being told your life's calling is to fight against evil? How terrifying it would be to have to protect your child from that kind of evil? My chest gets tight just thinking about it....
-They wired Andrew against The First. Heehee. Be strong, Andrew!!
-Oh, Xander and his demon women. Poor guy.
-It's always so weird seeing Spike in a color other than black.
-Ashanti demon isn't too bright if she's trying to choke out a vampire...
-Principal Wood has now been introduced to the gray shades of the good vs. evil fight.
-"So how's your date going?" Yup, those people in the same room = more awkward than anyone knows.
-I get where Giles is coming from about taking The First serious, but you have to go on living. That whole "laugh or you'll cry" thing.
-Buffy frustrates me. She pulls Spike's strings and yanks him around so much.
-Love how cool as a cucumber Woods is with The First. Makes me like him more!
 
ItMustBeBunnies
ItMustBeBunnies
Haha. Next time I make banners I will give it a try :)
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#13
Loved seeing Giles have a go at Spike: "Well what the hell did you tackle me for, you berk!"

Oh yes because opening the cabinet with all the knives the minute Buffy leaves the room is a sure way to go unnoticed...

"Which is like, 100 years under your type". Go Willow!

The Asian potential was very funny. Giles' drawings, haha. :D
 
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Sineya
#14
Xander dating a demon - the good old times are back... And The First is back.

Buffy made a decision without consulting Giles, and he didn't like a bit; he is concerned about Buffy's personal life now? How about have been concerned a year ago, when she most needed support and he left because she "needed to grow up"? With the chip and under the First's control, Spike was able to kill, so Giles's concern isn't based on facts. And Buffy said something very important since the war is against the ultimate Evil: "You can't beat evil by doing evil."

The cat is out of the bag - Wood is a Slayer's son and fights evil. Pity that he was so easy maipulated by the First Evil.

Spike's jealous over Buffy's date... wanting go after her, and Willow insisting on calling... seeing her with Wood in the restaurant... poor vampire. But in the end Buffy says she is not ready for him not to be there, and it isn't because he is a fighter, not to mention that earlier she went to check on him before checking Xander - and the way they looked at each other eyes... such a Spuffy moment. :D

Andrew proving that he isn't evil anymore, not betraying the Scoobies, and "skillfully" interrogating the First... at least he tried.

At the car, Wood looks at the mirror, observing Spike who is sitting in the back seat - Spike is a vampire! :rolleyes: He just realizes it later, when they are saving Xander...
 
I didn't like much this recycled Xander-demon-magnet plot - he himself gets mad and wants to be turned gay, which would be to no avail, because he would certainly attract male demons...
 

Give Us A Kiss

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#15
Giles has good reflexes :D

Giles, you jinxed it :p

Giles, she had no choice...

Giles, none of us understand Buffy anymore...

Buffy, stop with all that soul bullshit...:rolleyes:

Tool demo day ??? Is that where people demo tools ??? o_O

She has a kayak ??? :eek:

Buffy, please tell me you aren't talking about Donald Trump's apprentice...

Wood is a bit wicked if you ask me...

Buffy, you are in love with Spike...:rolleyes:

Giles hates the mall, he's so cute...

Andrew, how bored are you ??? :rolleyes:

Andrew has a point, they are all murderers and Buffy is a big hypocrite...

Anya, Xander has moved on... :rolleyes:

Spike has a different jacket :eek:

Maybe Robin knows how to erase his tracks ;)

Giles can't draw to save his life...

He didn't set you up...

That's a nice restaurant :)

His mother was a slayer :eek:

Andrew, you perv...

How are you going to pay for that Andrew ???

She's crazy, just like the rest of them...

Spike's shirt has a thing on it in the back, also unusual for Spike...

Ow :eek:

Why does Xander always get the demons ???

Giles needs to learn some Chinese so he can understand the potential.

Andrew, we know you aren't exactly straight...

Buffy, Spike is becoming a clutch...

Nikki Wood, that's the slayer Spike killed :eek:

Next time: A potential commits suicide.
 
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#16
Another good episode. Liked all-action-Giles, bragging about killing a bringer and it was fun to see Spike tackling him, believing he was The First. Of course Giles is not happy the chip didn't fire, and Spike says twice that removing the chip was 'a choice'.

The scene between Giles and Buffy seemed very paternal and reminded me of Joyce talking to Angel in The Prom;

Giles: Buffy, I want more for you. Your feelings for him are coloring your judgement. I can hear it in your voice. And that way lies a future filled with pain. I don't want that for you . . ..It doesn't matter if you're not physical with each other anymore. There's a connection. You rely on him, he relies on you. That's what's affecting your judgment.

Joyce: I don't have to tell you that you and Buffy are from different worlds. . . Sometimes even I forget that she's still just a girl. . . . She's just starting out in life. . . when it comes to you, Angel, she's just like any other young woman in love. You're all she can see of tomorrow. But I think we both know that there are some hard choices ahead. If she can't make them, you're gonna have to. I know you care about her. I just hope you care enough.

As Buffy is asked out by the ambiguous Robin Wood, so Xander asks out a girl he meets who is buying rope. These two dates are mirroring each other, both Lissa and Robin could be either good or bad. Though both Robin and Xander are very sweet and charming when doing the asking. I'm not sure how I feel about both characters being black, it just seems too obvious especially on a show that is very white.

Buffy and Willow chatting about Buffy's date is a great scene, especially Willow pairing socks - is this a relationship goal metaphor? While Giles seemed paternal, Willow seems quite maternal, doing the motherly chores and dispensing wisdom to her child. Of course this is the scene with the great Spuffy line 'Still in love with Spike', proving that Buffy Season 6 was in love with Spike.

Were Giles had earlier said 'You rely on him, he relies on you' about Buffy and Spike, Willow says the opposite 'No, I-I meant move on from this imposed super-self-reliance. Let somebody get close'. Is this the difference between the man/woman view, father/mother parent/friend?? Giles believes Buffy and Spike are to reliant on each other and it's affecting Buffy's judgement, while Willow believes Buffy is too self-reliant and needs to let someone get close. Plus 'bidet of evil' is a great line.

The Jonathan Andrews scenes are good. Jonathan tells Andrew using the microwave is intuitive, the third time intuition is mentioned in this episode. Giles bragged he had intuition when defeating the bringer, but later admits he heard his shoes squak, and Buffy believes in her own intuition when having Spike's chip removed 'you can't fight evil by doing evil. I know that'.

Buffy and Spike meeting in the hallway is awkward. Spike talks about his 'eyes being clear', and Buffy tells him he should start to date, but Spike isn't ready for that. Anya and Spike have the same feelings of jealousy about their exes going on dates, Spike trying to be cool,but Anya is far more forthright. (It was a nice callback to see Anya cleaning the shirt that Dawn got pizza on in CWDP)

We finally discover Robin is Nikki Wood's son, looking for a little vengeance on the vampire who killed his mother. There's obviously a little attraction between Robin and Buffy, but I put that down to the delicious French food :)It's cute to see Spike offer three times to go find Buffy, his mask of coolness slipping. The best line of the episode 'Oh my god, that might be the best thing I've ever had in my mouth' . . . and as Robin is feeding her 'a bite with sauce' there's Spike :)

I like that Andrew wears a wire to help learn about the First, but Jonathan's redemption isn't interesting enough to me, because he keeps talking about it which I find annoying. But I do like Jonathan appearing as a dead and rotting corpse.

The car ride to the school is so awkward, and Buffy's 'he works with me' just sounded so like a lie even Robin picked up on it and he later realises Spike is a vampire. The worst thing in the episode is the fight with Lissa. I understand she's a 'guest star' so they had to give her airtime, but the fight goes on too long. I liked that Buffy goes to check on Spike after the fight and he puts his hand on her arm, a way of saying he's ok. The later scene in the living room, when Spike offers to leave and Buffy says 'Cause I'm not ready for you to not be here' is lovely, as is Spike being unable to hide his jealousy any longer 'And the principal?'
 

white avenger

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#17
Has it occurred to anyone else that this is the only episode where we ever see Robin Wood be actually successful at dusting vampires? The only other times we ever see him in any sort of action, he has to be bailed out by Spike, gets the crap beaten out of him by Spike, and is darn near killed and gets bailed out by Giles. You would think that they would have let him show a little more potential than that, having been raised and trained by his mother's Watcher and devoting most of his adult life to tracking down his mother's killer. Then again, he did tell Faith that he was "totally out of his league," there in Sunnydale.
 
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#18
Nice review! Prefix everything below with IMO!

The scene between Giles and Buffy seemed very paternal
I thought that too - though I hadn't made the connection with Joyce. What did interest me was the "I wanted more for you" remark which just hints at the idea of a financial transaction (there was a further remark but I'm damned if I can remember what it was). What I also thought significant was the cut to the DIY store where we see an employer cutting through a pipe with a very large power tool (severing connections?). I presumed the text was hinting at a power struggle between B&G (so testifying to the truth of Spike's allegations in Touched...you used to be the big man etc). Ties in nicely with the fact that Spike's resting against pipes when they look and touch and connect.

I also liked the first shot of the café - the clock surrounded by maps (same time, different places - we've already had "Same Time, Same Place" and in Get it Done we have same place, different time).

I agree the race thing is a problem - particularly since we're not encouraged to be sympathetic towards Rona. It does seem to be very blatant. Although - and this has just occurred to me - there are allusion to the American Dream and the founding myths of America - Spike's "crypt for two with a white picket fence" Giles "We should be circling the wagons" "She's grateful to be in the land of plenty". It would be interesting to see if the maps mentioned above were time zones or railroad maps. There could be a connection to race via this but, if so, it's too subtle for me.

Willow and Spike/William have been mirrored since S6 (IMO) - darkness connected them at the end of 6; light connects them at the end of 7. Both will need to be pushed to overcome their reluctance to use their full power. I liked Andrew "playing it by the book" instead of following his instinct because I'm also partially twinning him and Spike.

“There's obviously a little attraction between Robin and Buffy” – I agree. But – and this again has just occurred to me. Are we seeing a potential “Riley” situation? She’s already discussed “normalcy” – he’s a teacher – Riley was a TA. Both were secret vampire slayers. Both had connections with covert institutions. etc. Not sure – just wondering.

I actually felt sorry for Buffy when she realised Wood had manipulated her into post because she was the slayer - not because she had an intrinsic worth as Buffy - a value outside of slayer. Does this tie in to Joyce's remark "Sometimes even I forget that she's still just a girl"? Is Willow talking about Buffy the woman and Giles about The Slayer? That would connect Wood and Giles (the teachers) and is a further connection between Willow and Spike. It also ties in nicely with the top - blood/slayer - pizza/Buffy - can't tell them apart (although we know it was pizza / Dawn).

I also like the edit when Giles lose his temper and walks out of the door. In the next scene Spike (wearing similar clothes to Giles) walks into the room through the same door. Their footsteps bridge the scene. It suggests to me that she's taken Willow's advice - not Giles'. In a sense he's replaced Giles.

The car - I didn't get. I've never looked in the mirror that many times since I passed my driving test! Why was Wood so surprised he was a vampire? Spike looked very surprised at "he works with me". I wondered whether there was a connection to Crush "Two people ... in the workplace ... feelings develop" The car...references to date etc. Then it needs Dawn to tell her Spike's in love with her - also, she tells Dawn the only thing holding him back is the chip.

Agree with the fight - the editing was terrible. I liked the fact she went to Spike first (sorry Xander). I also liked the triangulation of looks.

What I REALLY want to know is how was the sentence "You don't have to—" meant to finish? I wish he'd stop bloody interrupting her! I want to say "worry". Is that wishful thinking? I've just realized - I'm sure I'm reading this as more "Spuffy" than you! :)
 
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#19
I thought that too - though I hadn't made the connection with Joyce. What did interest me was the "I wanted more for you" remark which just hints at the idea of a financial transaction (there was a further remark but I'm damned if I can remember what it was). What I also thought significant was the cut to the DIY store where we see an employer cutting through a pipe with a very large power tool (severing connections?). I presumed the text was hinting at a power struggle between B&G (so testifying to the truth of Spike's allegations in Touched...you used to be the big man etc). Ties in nicely with the fact that Spike's resting against pipes when they look and touch and connect.
I would never have thought of it being a financial transaction. There is something off about Buffy sat at a dressing table putting on earings while Giles talks to her . . . right now it makes me think of Joyce once commenting on Buffy wearing her earings, though I cannot remember the episode (or if I'm actually making it up :oops:) Anyway, the putting on of earings makes me think of Joyce, which makes me think Buffy is seemingly adult, earings, putting away clothes in a very tidy grown-up bedroom, while Giles is talking to her like a child.

I agree the race thing is a problem - particularly since we're not encouraged to be sympathetic towards Rona. It does seem to be very blatant. Although - and this has just occurred to me - there are allusion to the American Dream and the founding myths of America - Spike's "crypt for two with a white picket fence" Giles "We should be circling the wagons" "She's grateful to be in the land of plenty". It would be interesting to see if the maps mentioned above were time zones or railroad maps. There could be a connection to race via this but, if so, it's too subtle for me.
You are right, there are several mentions like that, I hadn't picked up on it at all. Though I'm not sure what that means when it comes to people of colour in the show. There seems to be no-one of colour that we can unambiguously root for and it's surprising that none of the writers had a major problem with this. It would have been fantastic if someone like Oz or Warren or Tara were non-white.

“There's obviously a little attraction between Robin and Buffy” – I agree. But – and this again has just occurred to me. Are we seeing a potential “Riley” situation? She’s already discussed “normalcy” – he’s a teacher – Riley was a TA. Both were secret vampire slayers. Both had connections with covert institutions. etc. Not sure – just wondering.
I can definitely see the similarities between Robin and Riley, though of course I am glad they didn't go too far down that path. I would also say Robin is far more interesting character than Riley. It's good that Faith finally gets her own 'Riley' instead of stealing someone elses :D

I actually felt sorry for Buffy when she realised Wood had manipulated her into post because she was the slayer - not because she had an intrinsic worth as Buffy - a value outside of slayer. Does this tie in to Joyce's remark "Sometimes even I forget that she's still just a girl"? Is Willow talking about Buffy the woman and Giles about The Slayer? That would connect Wood and Giles (the teachers) and is a further connection between Willow and Spike. It also ties in nicely with the top - blood/slayer - pizza/Buffy - can't tell them apart (although we know it was pizza / Dawn).
Love these connections and it makes sense that Willow would be treating Buffy as the woman and Giles sees her as the Slayer. The blood/pizza is perfect, though I don't know why Anya is cleaning it, why isn't Buffy cleaning her own shirts? There are a lot of 'clothing' things going on in this episode, Willow/sock, Anya/Buffy/ Shirt, Buffy/jumpers and including Xander talking about needing a whole new wardrobe if he goes gay. Plus there is the ripped shirt and blood on Spikes shoulder when he leaves the house to go look for Buffy, ( how does he get that??) though I have no idea if that means anything or if I'm just goin to the nth degree :rolleyes:

The car - I didn't get. I've never looked in the mirror that many times since I passed my driving test! Why was Wood so surprised he was a vampire? Spike looked very surprised at "he works with me". I wondered whether there was a connection to Crush "Two people ... in the workplace ... feelings develop" The car...references to date etc. Then it needs Dawn to tell her Spike's in love with her - also, she tells Dawn the only thing holding him back is the chip.
I think Spike was so far to the right that Robin wouldn't have seen him in the mirror anyway, which is why he didn't immediately think he was a vampire. Definitely a link to Crush with the work/workplace etc, and does that mean Buffy has the crush?

What I REALLY want to know is how was the sentence "You don't have to—" meant to finish? I wish he'd stop bloody interrupting her! I want to say "worry". Is that wishful thinking? I've just realized - I'm sure I'm reading this as more "Spuffy" than you! :)
I want it to be 'worry' of course, but it could be 'pretend' . . . Spike just let the woman finish a sentence! Either way, she wants him and she wants him to know that without having to say the words- intuitively even :)
 
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#20
while Giles is talking to her like a child
There's definitely a "rites of passage", "transition" thing going on. I hadn't picked up on the whole clothes issue but you're right (I wish someone would take Spike shopping for new clothes - personally, I don't think he has a good look in that episode). It does feed into him renewing his acquaintance with the coat in Get it Done. Could be something to do with masquerade - Giles is lying to maintain face. Xander puts on an act for Lissa and lies about the coffee Lissa reverts back to a different form when she dies. Spike, as you say, is making a terrible job of putting up a front. Thing is - I remember reading the shooting script and it describes Spike/Buffy as "hurting each other" with their pretence (so - I'm having worry!). Cho-lin could be hurt by Giles' lies - Xander is also hurt. Just realised - the socks - could be to do with pairing based on sameness and pairings based on difference or randomness. Of things being put together or things being inevitable because of attraction. The remark about Clem and Xander - demon attraction regardless of gender. Buffy trying to persuade herself she's not attracted by demonic energy.

There's definitely an overlap with Crush - Buffy accuses Dawn of stealing her blue sweater - this ties into the top Dawn was going to borrow. I've decided it means this is Buffy/Spike's first date. Why IS Anya cleaning it? Anya can't get rid of a trace...a trace of her demonic past? Spike's demonic past?

LOL! I never noticed the rip and blood! I thought it was an odd pattern...serves me right for watching on the computer and not the TV! Ordinarily, I'd say there must be a significance but the editing is so bad I wonder whether it's a continuity error?
 
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