Sunday, April 19, 2009

DVD review - Buffy season 3, episode 13

Continuing with my viewing and reviewing of season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer...


Episode 13: the Zeppo

Synopsis: While the gang battles creatures from the Hellmouth, Xander has his own adventure when he encounters a group of reanimated corpses out to blow up the high school. (written by Dan Vebber, airdate 1/26/99)

Xander takes a much needed spotlight in this episode as he wrestles with his own identity, purpose in the group and self-confidence. I must say this was a very interesting episode - sort of having a feel of that 80's film "After Hours", the 1985black comedy about a man's trials and tribulations in NYC after hours which starred Griffen Dunne. Poor Xander - everyone thinks he'll just get in the way as the big nastiness is about to arise from the Hellmouth. He tries to impress chicks with a car and instead ends up in a heap of trouble. Of course, things are so crazy that no one has time for Xander and he can't get anyone to tell him he is needed so he can get out of the mess he's in. So what does he do? Get in harms way! In a big big way. This one had a lot of dark humor and craziness. In the end, not only does Xander get used (and abused) by a horny Faith but also ends up saving the day (sort of) without anyone being the wiser. And does he gloat about it to Cordelia in the end? Nope. He keeps it to himself. That speaks volumes for him. I love the fact that this was two episodes in a row that Xander made a Superman reference (last time types of Kryptonite, this time Jimmy Olsen).


Michael O'Connell said...

There's no question about it - this IS one of my top five Buffy episodes. Brilliant! Loved the storytelling idea, switching the "A" and "B" stories around, letting the "main" story happen in the background while Xander's facing his own issues. It was a perfect episode to showcase every one of the characters on the show - this, in fact, was the very first episode I showed to A.T., as I thought it was a perfect intro to the series and the characters, one you didn't need a lot of backstory to enjoy. The comedy was GOLD, start to finish. All the "can I help?" moments (my favorite being Xander showing up in the middle of one of the big Angel/Buffy drama moments). The zombie guys were hilarious. So many good lines, like with Oz on music ("Is it hard to play guitar?" "Not the way *I* do it"). Cordy knocking Xander down (which we even felt was justified on her part after what she went through) was the perfect set-up for his redemption - and the loss of his virginity (!). Great timing on melding the two stories together, building up to the big finale. And the perfect Xander ending, where he's become a man to the point where he doesn't even have to let the others (or Cordy) know. Brilliant final shot. "What?". Loved the Zeppo! Everything I love about Buffy, all in one ep.

Martin Maenza said...

I'd put this one in my current top 10 at the moment (but I still have four seasons to go through).