Friday, April 3, 2009

DVD review - Buffy season 2, episode 17

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


Episode 17: Passion

Synopsis: Angel steps up his torment of Buffy and her friends even as Jenny Calendar searches for a way to restore his soul. (written by: Ty King, airdate 2/24/98)

The lesson of this episode is this: be careful what vampires you invite in when they are good, because when they turn bad you're in serious trouble! Buffy, Willow and Giles learn this lesson painfully well. But poor Jenny Calendar learns it worst of all. The Angel-Dru-Spike triangle continues to intensify. Angel's taunts like "spinning your wheels" and "I can use you when I need a good parking space" are going to cost him at some point when Spike gets better. You can see that rage seething behind Spike's eyes. So, as note, Angel is in full stalker-mode and Jenny has to go into gypsy/magic-mode but she's not fast enough. She loses the orb, her computer and her print out (though I am betting that fallen diskette at the end will be key later in the season - funny how back in 1998 everyone had diskettes, today it would be a burned CD-ROM - but I digress). Buffy keeps Angel out (loved the line "sorry, changed the locks" - door slam) but not before Joyce finds out the two had sex. That leads to the inevitable, and slightly veiled, mother-daughter talk. Nice twist fitting in with the show genre and all. Then, poor Giles - arriving home and thinking he's about to get some only to find the surprise Angel left him in his bed. What man wouldn't go off the deep end and try to take on the trio of evil himself? A pissed Giles is not one to mess with! Good thing Buffy is there for the last minute rescue, but the villains get away to taunt and haunt another day. I'll miss the character of Jenny Calendar - she brought something unique to the group and her departure will leave a void that should be felt for awhile to come.


Michael O'Connell said...


One of THE seminal Buffy episodes. This is the one where Joss announced to the world that he will kill anyone, anytime, and won't care how much you whine about it. The drama on this show hit several notches higher, because Joss took away the safety net of usual television expectation. The last-minute save for Jenny did NOT happen. Angel did not have a last-minute change of heart. Her death was shocking, and brutal...and brilliant. As was what he turned it into, via the set-up at Giles' house. Man, the scene with him outside Buffy's window when she and Willow got the call...just watching, almost giddy, waiting for the big payoff. Eeeeeeevil.

Right on for Giles going on the payback quest, and looking badass doing it. But there was a fine line there - he couldn't succeed TOO much. The minute that happens, your next question is "Well, if he can stop Angel and Spike and everyone else, what do we need a slayer around for?". So, will part of you really wanted to see him finish the job, to keep true to the show, he had to get his ass handed to him by Angel and get the Buffy save. So, so loved that moment in the alley outside. The punch, the hug...the "You can't leave me, I can't do this without you". The single biggest moment of Giles/Buffy bonding yet, both at their lowest, their most destroyed, needing each other. Beautiful.

And on a lighter note...loved the bit with the puppy ("Come on, open wide..."), and loved that someone (Jonathan!) finally came into the school library to get a BOOK. And I loved how confused the whole Scooby gang was by it. Great meta joke. Also, loved the moment at Buffy's house, while Buffy was upstairs having "the talk" with mom, when Giles says maybe he should go up and say something. Loved Willow's "Sure. What are you going to say?". Loved the way she delivered that line. Nicely played, Will!

Incredible episode. Totally creepy and frightening stalker Angel stuff, uncomfortable emotional moments (Buffy and Jenny, Giles and Jenny...), hope for the future, then all hope lost. Powerful stuff. I miss Jenny! (sniff!).

Oh, it is now ON...

Martin Maenza said...

I agree - a writer really hits his stride when he he says "I know you love this character and I do to - but for the story they're going to have to die". It is a hard thing to do but it is what seperates the amateur fan-fiction folks from the true writers. You have to break a few eggs to make an ommelette, and sometimes they have to be the best eggs.

Michael O'Connell said...

And sometimes, the hottest eggs... ;)

Martin Maenza said...

Definitely the hottest eggs. Huevos caliente!