Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Buffy Rewatch: Season 2, Episodes 5-8

Reptile Boy
When I picked up the DVDs to resume this rewatch, I groaned about having to start with this episode. Partly, it turns out, because I had it confused with "Go Fish." So I'll groan about that one when I get there. "Reptile Boy" isn't so bad! It's a little heavy-handed (frat boys are eeeeeeevil) but it's actually pretty fun, and Xander gets shirtless. I think I remember it unfondly because I was always a mythology guy, and I wanted to get back to the "real" story.

This is one that I remember better than I liked it this time around, but it's still fun. Slutty ghost Willow ("the ghost of what?") is great, and it's a nice turnaround for Xander to get to be soldier boy for a while. SMG's attempt at an accent is painful, and a harbinger of old-timey flashbacks to come. Spike and Dru make an appearance, and the general chaos is fun. But it's oddly paced, and a little clunky.

Lie To Me
I feel pretty well-versed in Season 2 but I guess it's really just the second half, because I haven't seen this one in years either. It's much better than I remember. The vampire wannabes are a bit over-the-top and on-the-nose, but that's kind of the point. Jason Behr's performance is quite good. Most importantly, is this the first time Giles gets to be funny on purpose? His scene with Buffy at the end is funny and incredibly sweet, and really kicks their father-daughter relationship up a notch.

The Dark Age
Weird to have four basically standalone episodes in a row (a whole disc!) in a season that I remember so much for the strength of its mythology. There's some Angel, Spike and Drusilla stuff sprinkled throughout (knowing what I now know about how TV gets written, I feel like they were inserted into this and "Halloween" late in the game), but this episode is all about Giles' backstory, and some adorable awkwardness with Jenny. I didn't remember the actual plot of this one AT ALL. Another one I don't think I've seen in 10 years or more. I never cared for Ethan, and the monster in this one is weirdly ill-defined, but the episode sets up some nice stuff. Jenny just can't have a good day, can she? Also, the kids' talking about their image of Giles, in tweed diapers, and "There should be more math. This could be mathier" is great.


mcm said...

Doesn't Giles get to be a bid of a bad-ass in The Dark Age, too? I remember enjoying that.

Also, I might argue that this one is a little less stand-alone in that, one could argue, it does figure into the mythology of the series as a whole (learning more about Giles' past is a long and arduous process, after all). But everything could use more Dru and Spike, I agree.

Ethan Rayne turns up in the premiere episode of the new Torchwood. Marc identified him immediately.

Adam807 said...

Weird that I didn't spot Ethan in Torchwood, since I had just watched this!

It's good for the Giles kick-assery, but it feels unearned. And I find Ethan such a tedious antagonist, especially compared with the likes of Spike or The Mayor. It's also odd, given the pace of learning more about Giles, that this comes so soon after Halloween. Ethan's all, "I'm leaving town!" and then he doesn't.