Friday, April 3, 2009

DVD review - Buffy season 2, episodes 18, 19 and 20

Continuing with my viewing and reviewing of season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

***SPOILERS***

Episode 18: Killed By Death

Synopsis: While hospitalized with a severe case of the flu, Buffy battles a demon that sucks the life out of sick children. (written by Des Hotel and Batali, airdate 3/3/98)

Even the hospitals in Sunnydale are scary places. Sheesh. This one was just okay for me - kind of a filler, standalone thing. Sure, we have Angel dropping in and Willow, Cordelia and Xander holding their own against him while Buffy is flu-struck. And we have Xander standing up to Angel on his own that the hospital. And, we have some great Cordelia moments - her using her feminine wiles on the security guard while Xander snoops in the files, her calling Xander out on his Buffy-butt obcession, and her being the one to figure out who the demon is. Willow shows off her medical knowledge, even if she never "played doctor" the right way. And, of course, the way this demon "fed" was pretty twisted in the effects department. Still, it was just so-so for me. Sorry, they can't all be landmarks.


Episode 19: I Only Have Eyes For You

Synopsis: Sunnydale High is haunted by the ghosts of a former student and teacher who reenact their tragic romance through the bodies of the school's current inhabitants. (written by Marti Noxon, airdate 4/28/98)

Nice to see the school in focus. Willow is still doing the sub teaching, and Principal Snyder is still on Buffy's case. He even has to cover the whole snake incident ("sewer backup - happened down in San Diego last week"). But clearly the police chief keeps him in line - the City Council expects Snyder to contain things, otherwise he'll have to speak to the Mayor. Oooh - that scared Snyder and made me wonder "hmmmmm....". Poor Giles - he wants to believe it is Jenny's spirit involved, which is a nice showing that he is still grieving. The juxtaposition of James and the teacher with Buffy and Angel (complete with gender reversals) really worked well. That was a finely acted scene and moved the plot line along on where the couple now stands. Speaking of moving things, the tension between Angel-Dru-Spike builds to a fever pitch, and explodes when Spike now can walk(!). Ooooh, this isn't going to bode well. I expect fall-out in the final two episodes of the season.


Episode 20: Go Fish

Synopsis: Xander goes undercover on the Sunnydale swim team after members begin turning up dead, after apparently being skinned alive. (written by Fury and Hampton, airdate 5/5/98)

A nice twist on the whole "jocks deserve special treatment" aspect of high school. Snyder wants Willow to let one slide in classes, and Buffy gets in trouble when she defends herself from one getting too familar with her. Love seeing Conchata Ferrell in the role of "Nurse Ruthie" - too bad she won't be making a return appearance. Yikes. I love how Xander takes the undercover assignment and how Cordelia finds it strangely appealing. But when the truth comes out about the nature of the beast(s), Xander totally freaks out! I would too. Nice touch on how the transformations were happening and who was behind it. Cordelia again gets to deliver a heart-felt speech when she thinks the one in the pool is Xander (she really does love the big dork). In the end, I like how the coach got his just desserts (as did the swim team members). Definitely a "filler" episode, but a good filler episode none the less.

2 comments:

Michael O'Connell said...

KILLED BY DEATH: Yeah, this one just felt kind of...off. Not sure why. Maybe it was the change of location? Don't know. But you're right...not great. This ep is a reminder of why I'm leaning more toward 13-episodes seasons of shows these days. When you've got 22 to fill, there's more chance of getting one of these "filler" ones. But hey...great Man-Xander stuff! "You're going to die. And I'm going to be there". Love how he no longer has to hide his Angel hate. And another great chance to show how evil Angel's become. Seemed a little bit of a stretch that Buffy's cousin died the same way, didn't it? Oh, well. Hey, at least now we know where that disturbing evil laugh we've been hearing during the main menu on this season's DVDs came from, right?

I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU: Not surprised that this was a Marti Noxon episode. She does the painful romance stuff really well. Excellent ghost story! I really enjoyed it. Also loved the fact that the "Benny's World of Liquor" guy from "From Dusk Till Dawn" played the janitor. But even better...Merideth Salanger played the unfortunate 50s teacher. I love her! Ever since "Dream a Little Dream" in the 80s. She's...uh...nicely put together. ;) Awesome and unexpected Buffy and Angel "reunion". Loved his reaction to it (having to wash himself because he'd been infected with "love"...ewww!"). And yes...Spike's got plans! Yeah! Oh, and yes, that mayor DOES sound ominous, doesn't he? Heh heh heh. Oops...I promised I wouldn't do that...

GO FISH: Yeah, another filler. I didn't care for this ep. It was both written and directed badly. Some of the dialogue was really painful, and was delivered quite badly. And there were some bad edits. Like, swim guy getting attacked by Angel? Buffy comes out of the Bronze, stands there listening to his cries for help for like a full five seconds before reacting, even though she was purposely trying to keep an eye on him? Same thing with the scene with Cordy talking to underwater "Xander". Uh...you know he's underwater and can't hear you, right? This was definitely the weakest season 2 ep. I like them hitting the whole jocks-get-everything idea, but they didn't hit it well.

Martin said...

Starting season 3, I miss the more active DVD menus from Season 2. Ah well.

Meredith Salanger - I knew the name but didn't place her at the moment. She of co-starring with the Coreys.

I think it was sweet Cordelia was talking to swimming "Xander", even if he couldn't hear her. It just showed how much she cares for him, and that alone made any "you know he can't hear you" moment disappear from my mind.