Continuing with my viewing and reviewing of season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer...
Episode 7: Lie To Me
Synopsis: Buffy is lured into a trap by a group of vampire wannabes who hope Spike will thrun them into vampires in exchange for giving him the Slayer. (written by Joss Whedon, airdate 11/3/97)
Nice - lies upon lies upon lies in this episode, making the life lesson that things aren't always what they appear really drive home. Buffy sees Angel in the playground with Drusilla, but it isn't what it seems. Buffy's old friend Ford shows up in town, but it isn't what it seems. The wannabes have this vision of what vampire life is like, but that isn't what it seems. Buffy has to set up Ford only to follow him, but that isn't what it seems. Ford makes a deal with Spike, but that isn't what it seems.
I liked Xander's jealousy continuing to be a center point. And right after Angel mocks the wannabes dress only to have one come by dressed just like him - very funny. Learning more about Drusilla was good - and that scene with the bird just shows how crazy she is. I am curious too to see what Spike will do with the book stolen from the library. Good episode all around, but that's to be expected as it was one of Joss'.
Episode 8: The Dark Age
Synopsis: Giles' past comes back to haunt him when a demon he and Ethan Rayne summoned in their wild days come looking for them in Sunnydale. (written by Batali and Des Hotel, airdate 11/10/97)
So, what was hinted at in "Halloween" is revealed two episodes later. I was expecting something a bit more serious and lasting, but I guess this works. The connection of Ethan and Giles to their college days of demon summoning comes back in a deadly way. The casualty, alas, is the relationship between Giles and Jenny Calendar. I'm sorry to see that. But I guess it hard to forgive someone after they lead to your being possessed.
Some great Cordelia moments, and Willow and her speech about shaping up or getting out of "her library" was fantastic. And, I love Giles' last line "The Bay City Rollers - now that's music".
"Lie to Me".
Yeah, pretty obvious this was a Joss episode, huh? The man understands THEMES, baby! Lies and their consequences. Love it! I thought the whole Anne Rice nerd sub-culture was brilliant. Look how those wacky goth kids are NOW in a world where vampires DON'T really exist (or do they...?). Loved their "cosplay" lifestyle and complete disconnection from reality (vampires don't want to harm us!). A lesson well-learned.
Yes, the dead bird thing was a perfect way to show just how nuts Dru is. And it's even creepier knowing that it was Angel who drove her that bat-poodoo. Fascinating backstory vampirical triangle growing here, hmmm? Oh, more trivia - Juliet Landau (Drusilla) is the daughter of actor Martin Landau. In case you didn't know that.
Great twist with Ford at the end, revealing what led him down the path to all this. You felt for the guy. And that made that final scene at the grave site so much heavier, her just waiting there to stake him. Great acting from everyone on this one. Having Joss direct it, of course, probably helped that a great deal.
"The Dark Age"
And may I point out - I want Jenny Calendar to make me squirm...
Didn't have to wait to long to Giles' past to come back to haunt him, did we? Or for more Ethan, for that matter, which is awesome, as he is so eeeeevil...in a great way. You just want to smack the guy. Great use of Cordelia in this one, yes...especially her sudden desire to help and everyone being like "Huh?". I really enjoyed the theme on this one, of young people realizing that "old" people are people, too, were once young, and have their own demons (not usually this literally) and regrets. It reminds me of a line from the film "Citizen X", where Max Von Sydow says (don't have the exact quote, but this is pretty close), "It's terrible to see grown men run from their responsibilities. It is like seeing your parents drunk for the first time." Whether she liked it or not (and she clearly didn't), Buffy was finally forced to see the human side of her father figure, and while it was unpleasant, in the end, it brought them closer together. Very good watchin'! Bay City Rollers rock! If I'd only gotten to this ep last night, I could have said that I saw it on S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y...night!
I love all the triangles: Buffy-Xander-Willow, Angel-Buffy-Xander, Angel-Dru-Spike that have shown up so far. That time of life was all about the triangles. I did not realize Juliet Landau is Martin's daughter. That explains why she does creepy/crazy so well. Well-acted - subtle and scary. And staking the rising Ford at the end inbetween conversation beats with Giles was the perfect ending.
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