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Season 2 was rather relexed year until Angel lost his soul.

Benz

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#1
After rewatch I look at witch season was Buffy was most simple time and I think her best time was first half of season 2 as then she thought she might be able to have some sort of future with Angel and she had Giles as father figure and her mother.
 

thetopher

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Sineya
#2
Not sure about 'relaxed year':

- Spike arrives and tries to kill her.
- Drusilla means that Buffy finds out more about Angel; that's some big emotional conflict right there.
- Ethan Rayne; Buffy discovers that Giles is a bit more complex that 'tweedy guy'.
- 'Lie To Me': Buffy realizes that good and evil are not so cut and dried.
- Buffy straight up kills a guy. But turns out he's a robot, so that's a relief.

On the other hand I suppose the knowledge that another slayer- Kendra- now existed was a bit of a comfort to Buffy.

But in comparison to the Angelus arc then I think the whole first half seems very light and simple, because of how dark that storyline got.
 
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#3
I don't think Buffy had a relaxed year:

Spike arrives and tries to kill her.
She nearly gets eaten by a giant reptile
Ethan Rayne turns Buffy into a helpless woman and Spike almost kills her.
She gets betrayed by her old friend Ford in a deal with Spike.
Ethan Rayne returns to cause trouble and tries to use Buffy as a sacrifice.
She faces assassins which Spike has hired to kill her.
She thought she'd killed Ted and was upset about it until he turned out to be a robot.
She had to deal with some knockoff facehuggers which attach themselves to the back of the head instead.
She had to deal with the judge which was assembled by Spike and Dru.

Spike certainly wasn't sitting on his laurels when it came to trying to kill Buffy. Angelus just went for the more personal destroy her first approach which is darker than just trying to kill her.
 

Benz

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#4
I don't think Buffy had a relaxed year:

Spike arrives and tries to kill her.
She nearly gets eaten by a giant reptile
Ethan Rayne turns Buffy into a helpless woman and Spike almost kills her.
She gets betrayed by her old friend Ford in a deal with Spike.
Ethan Rayne returns to cause trouble and tries to use Buffy as a sacrifice.
She faces assassins which Spike has hired to kill her.
She thought she'd killed Ted and was upset about it until he turned out to be a robot.
She had to deal with some knockoff facehuggers which attach themselves to the back of the head instead.
She had to deal with the judge which was assembled by Spike and Dru.

Spike certainly wasn't sitting on his laurels when it came to trying to kill Buffy. Angelus just went for the more personal destroy her first approach which is darker than just trying to kill her.
But most of those problems in first half of season 2 was delt with by end of episode and I think Buffy knew after taking down The Master that Spike and Drusilla can be taking down in time.

In most other seasons there was problem all season long.
Like in Season 3 worry about life outside of high school and knowing that she cant have any future with Angel

Season 4
Settle into Collage life

Season 5
Joyce drying and all sunden having young sister to protect form powerful hell god.

Season 6
She no longer has Joyce or Giles and depressed with life.
Willow getting deeper and deeper in Magic

Season 7
First Evil and about 40 annoying young girls in house and that never helps with money.
 
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#5
I see what you are saying, I think, that the overall theme of the season wasn't apparent at the start of the season, and I agree. I don't think relaxed is exactly the right word, as Buffy was actually pretty anxious a the start of the season and from episode to episode there were the usual monsters to face. Season 2 just seemed to continue the themes already illustrated in S1 so it wasn't exploring new territory.
 
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#6
If things were a little lighter the first half of the season, it was most likely to make the difference between the first half and the second, very dark half more obvious. The show plays with light and darkness and good and evil that way. Like in season 3, Buffy is "adjusted, *good* slayer" and Faith is "hurt, *corruptible* slayer." They make the contrast visible too -- Buffy is dressed in more girly clothes and gets blonder, while Faith has the dark hair and dresses in dark, tough clothes.

That's what I'm thinking happened with season 2, as well. Maybe there were a few lighthearted episodes to contrast with the heavy darkness of much of the season after "Innocence."

Just my take!
 
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#7
If Angel had stuck around, odds are the Judge still gets shot. That leaves Dru as the Big Bad, who .. is very strong, but isn't quite the menace that anyone else is.
 
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#8
Think they do a good job of fooling the viewer into thinking that Spike is going to be the main BB. Watching it for the first time and seeing the twist with Angel must have been a major punch to the gut!
 
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