harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote,

Buffy Review , S 1 E 5

Never Kill a Boy on the First Date

Blurb: While awaiting the arrival of the warrior vampire called the Anointed One, Buffy's big date at the Bronze ends with an assault on a funeral home.

Fair Warning - Spoiler Zone Ahead

Scene 01: We open on a battle in progress between Buffy and random vampire guy. She quickly dusts him with an absolutely awful line. As she watches the vampire dust, Giles pops up from behind a crypt... "Poor technique." As he 'grades' her on the Slaying, she just looks at him. Then she gives him a "Giles, don't mention it. It was my pleasure to make the world safe for humanity...." in a sarcastic tone. Giles gives her a little recognition by admitting that she's doing quite well, but he feels like she's taking too long with the fisticuffs, rather than plunging the stake and moving
on. We'll actually explore why this may be in S3 and then more subtly in S5.

As Giles is lecturing, however, his attention is captured by something on the ground. It's a ring, covered in vampire dust. Buffy jokes that this is a great development... she can kill 'em and Giles can fence their stuff, to which he just gives her one of his "do be serious" looks. The ring disturbs Giles (but he doesn't mention the rarity of jewelry not dusting with the vamp, I think we can infer) that the ring symbolizes something bigger going on than a random vampire in a graveyard. He tells Buffy he'll consult his books.

Scene 02
: We jump-cut to a very dusty book being slammed down and opened, but it isn't Giles. It's The Master. He is holding court with his greatly reduced in number minion vamps, and we learn that he is expecting the Anointed One who is destined to lead the Slayer into 'Hell'.

He further reads how the Anointed will arrive and that, ominously (well you know, more so than the usual threat of doing something to the Slayer), he also read that "she will not know him"... which warns us that the one we think is the Anointed later actually isn't.

For all this good news for Team Evil, though, The Master is in a bit of a snit. It seems that vampire from Scene 01 was also one of his, but he was supposed to be lying low until the Anointed's arrival. Instead, he went out hunting and got himself dusted... something that is becoming really old to his Scary-Faced Lord. He warns the gathered that if they fail to bring him his destined warrior, he's going to be more than just in a snit.

Commentary: Just as an aside, I do believe that the vampire minion who gets thrown across the room is Colin, who lost an eye for his failure in either 'Welcome to the Hellmouth' or 'The Harvest', but his eye is back, now. Of course, we don't know if he's the same vampire. This vamp minion will show up over and over among The Master's stable, even after he gets dusted. We'll be keeping any eye for him and I'll try to mention him when I spot him....

Que up the kick ass theme song and credits....

Scene 03: Giles and Buffy are in the library where Giles fills her in on the ring. It has what he believes is a symbol of fidelity on it, but he doesn't recognize the sect that the symbol belongs to.

: And the wardrobe person, again, has chosen the stupidest clothes he/she could find. Buffy is the one suffering here - her dress is some sort of weird green vine thing over white.
Also, unsurprisingly, it's way too short to be wearing around high school. And, she's paired the already distracting dress with calf-high black boots.

Now, look, I'm not a fashionista or anything, despite my natural gay aura - but this is a horrible combination.
Back to the scene, if I can tear myself away from the mess of Buffy's outfit....

So, Buffy points out that she thinks she's seen the three stars motif somewhere else during her Slayer activities. It's also Buffy who flips to the right page and finds the symbol, and here we learn The Master's sect is the 'Order of Aurelious' which will be mentioned several times throughout S1, S2 and Angel the Series as we delve more into his, Darla's, Spike's and Dru's past.

Their discussion is interrupted by a student... Owen, who Buffy is more than obviously interested in seeing more of. The exchange is amusing so -

Giles: What do you want?

Owen: A book?

Giles: Oh!

Buffy: See, this is a school? And, we have students and they check out books and then they learn things.

Giles: I was beginning to suspect that was a myth.

: Hah, Buffy! The Giles character becomes far more interesting from here on out as we find that he has a droll sense of humor and isn't afraid to put Buffy and the others in their place with a clever quip or snide aside. And, though I don't find this episode to be all that compelling, I will say that it has some great little dialog scenes throughout.

Owen has come for a Emily Dickinson poetry book as he's misplaced his and Buffy immediately becomes interested in her as well (although she calls her Emily Dickens, so we know her sudden interest in Owen-related). She leaves Giles to follow Owen up into the stacks where they lightly flirt with one another.

: ...Which, alas, I don't understand. Owen is blandly handsome (or rather the actor is - and I wouldn't kick him outta bed at all) but he's not a magnetic persona or anything. Buffy, Willow and Cordelia seem to find something in his Owenosity that I just don't see and I'm glad that we won't be revisiting this relationship again after this episode (I did remember the spoilage warning, above).

Anyway, Owen... blah.

So, he finds his book - Buffy is (why?) captivated by him.... Giles makes a snide comment about American poets. And Owen takes his leave. Giles tries to turn the discussion back to Aurelious, but Buffy's mind is on Owen, Owen, Owen.

Scene 04: Later, at lunch, Willow is excited that Buffy talked to Owen. Willow informs us of Owen's 'informed attributes' of brooding and being mysterious and we also find out that she's timed his brooding and has gotten up to 40 minutes! (Amateur next to Angel, of course)

Buffy informs Willow of Owen's interest in Emily and she all but squeals. This, apparently, makes Owen sensitive yet manly - two more plus points in a potential date.... Meanwhile, they join Xan at the lunch table where he dejectedly picks at his cafeteria food.

Xander: So Buffy, how'd the Slaying go last night?

Buffy: Xander!

Xander: I mean, how'd the LAYING go?

Buffy gives him a look of panic.

Xander: No, I don't mean that either.

Xander then spots "Mr. Excitement" sitting alone with his Emily and Buffy immediately decides it would be impolite to leave him there all alone. To Xander's surprised dismay, Willow has to break it to him that Buffy is interested in Owen's Owenosity.

Scene 05
: However, if Buffy is interested in a man, it's a fair bet that so will Cordelia Chase be. And she has also spotted the empty seat at Owen's table of brooding solitude.

Cordelia: Oh, look, an empty seat.

Buffy and Cordelia both go for the seat in dispute and Buffy ends up dumping her tray on the floor.

Owen: Let me get that!

As Owen bends to pick up Buffy's spilled food and book, Cordelia claims the prized 'next to Owen chair'.

Buffy: Thanks. Boy, Cordelia's hips are wider than I thought!

: And, this pretty much sums up the strengths and weaknesses of this one. The snark-dialog is funny throughout (including the oft-quoted
'if the Apocalypse comes, beep me!' and 'Clark Kent has a job! All I want is a date.') but none of it really has much to do with the actual plot.

Cordelia retaliates by inviting Owen to meet her at the Bronze later that night in front of a dejected looking Slayer. Owen keeps asking who else might be there, but naturally Cordelia is stuck on the fact that SHE'LL be there, so really - who else matters.

Owen turns attention back to Buffy's plans, despite Cordy's best effort to convince him that she 'doesn't like fun'. But he asks Buffy to meet him there at 8pm - turning the dejected frown back into cloud-nine grin.

Scene 06
: Buffy and Willow walk down the school hallway with Buffy telling her that her being invited to meet up with Owen later isn't that big a deal in that almost-squealing way that let's everyone know how big a deal it is.

: Buffy's outfit = appalling.

Anyway, they meet Giles who Willow immediately asks to confirm that it is a big deal... and he does. But naturally, he's talking about that ring symbol deal, not the Owen inviting Buffy out deal. They follow Giles into the library and Giles gives them the run down on the prophecy that is supposed to lead to the rising of the Anointed One. Buffy informs him they'll be ready to stop it, until she's told that the prophecy is to be fulfilled that very night - at which point, she anxiously points out that tonight was Owen-night!

He abuses sarcasm at her.

Giles dramatically informs Buffy that "tonight, we go into battle"....

Scene 07
: And cut to Giles and Buffy sitting in a cemetery obviously bored. After some mild complaining from Buffy about the lack of battle-dom, Giles let's her go to meet Owen. He warns her about the dangers of dating a young man who isn't aware of her unique activities, though. And tells her that if her secret were to become known (such as by her not keeping this boy in the dark) she and everyone she cares for could be put in grave danger.

She responds with: "Well in that case, I won't wear my button that says, 'I'm a Slayer, Ask Me How!'"

Giles sighs out into the night, grumbling that he was sure the prophecy was tonight.

Scene 08
: We cut to elsewhere in town... on a quiet street, not in a graveyard. A small bus rumbles its way through town on the way to the airport. Aboard is 5 people. One of them is quoting apocalyptic passages about being judged.

Scene 09
: At that moment, Buffy arrives (late) at the Bronze. She looks around anxiously for Owen Owenosity, but finds him slow dancing (badly - and clearly not enthusiastically) with Cordelia Chase.

Instead of noticing that Owen looks trapped and marching over, apologizing for being so late and cutting in on Cordy, she quietly retreats out of the door with hurt-face.

Scene 10: Back aboard the Sunnydale Airport bus, Bible-belter has gotten a full head of steam and has stood up to orate on the fiery judgment of God at his fellow passengers. Distracted by rambling man, the bus driver doesn't notice the guy standing in the roadway until its too late. The bus slams into him, and goes off the road, crashing into a telephone pole.

Driver rushes off the bus to check on the man he's hit. But, as you should probably have guessed... it's not exactly a man. The bus, containing Bible-thumper, a black woman, and a mother and small boy is over run by the vampires.

: This scene is actually well done - they crashed for real, which is a nice car-stunt and the assault on the bus is filmed with an unusual sense of bleakness for a first season episode.
We are also meant to infer that this is the 'ashes of the five' prophecy Giles and The Master quoted earlier, meaning that one of our passengers must be this Anointed One who will lead the Slayer to Hell.

We cut out on vampires racing aboard and the screams of the women and violent rocking of the vehicle....

Scene 11
: The next day Buffy is complaining to Xander that she left Owen in the clutches of Cordelia. She asks what she could have done - explained she was stuck in a cemetery with a librarian waiting for a prophecy fulfilling vampire to show? He suggests a flat tire as an acceptable excuse.

: It will be a subtle running joke throughout the series that Buffy isn't good at lying, especially lying fast on her feet (as we saw in 'The Harvest' when she tried to trick Principal Flutie into thinking she was admiring some fence work or retrieving a book for Giles from off campus). I also think this scene would have worked much better if it had been Willow. From what we've seen of Xan's reaction to Buffy trying to date someone else, it just doesn't feel right that he's trying to point out how she can smooth things over with Owen, here. And, his shirt is distractingly fugly. Wait, let me rephrase: His shirt is distractingly

At Xander's locker, Owen makes his appearance, asking Buffy where she was the night before. And - bad lie alert - she stumbles through this lamest of the lame excuse involving broken watches and no clocks... it's painfully embarassing.

Owen plays along (and he gets cuter to me, starting here - the other characters are still overly responsive to his Oweny-ness, but I'm seeing that he's attractive - perhaps he just has pheremones that don't translate off the screen) and surprises her by suggesting they try again that night.

He jokes with her and basically does the perfect thing (I especially like his offering her his watch in response to her really horrible excuse) & Xander's response in the background is funny (however, it's in direct conflict with his encouraging her/sympathizing with her only moments earlier, adding to the feel that it should have been Willow earlier in the scene).

Buffy brings up that she 'heard' that he and Cordy had been sort of all over each other, but he sets her straight that they just danced a few times and Cordy was grabby. With Buffy wandering away in a daze of happiness, Xan is left to pathos that she's going with Owen and not him.

: This is also a running theme of the show - Xan pines for Buffy, while Willow pines for Xander. It could have so easily been an annoying cloying thing, but Joss uses the tensions between these three characters very well throughout the run, so it's brilliant instead of sucky. I like how Xan's desperate attraction to Buffy is dealt with in Prophecy Girl and how Willow's is dealt with in S2... oh S2 - how I love you!

But again - nice scenes that are outside of the main plot. I could almost put 'interpersonal relationships' as the A-plot here, as it overdominates the actual story of the threat of the Anointed One. Not truly a bad thing... but it is... unbalanced, I guess I'd say. The episode feels unbalanced.

Scene 12: In Giles' office, he's sitting with a cup of tea when Buffy bursts in in a whirlwind of talking. Her basic point is that Giles will probably be busy with the entire prophecy thing, so there will probably not be a need for her services so she'll be regrouping and resting and thanks, see you tomorrow- bye.

"She is the strangest girl," Giles responds once she's left.

Scene 13
: In The Master's underground lair, he is pleased by the coming of his 'great warrior' (err... not so much) and warns his minions that if necessary they're to give their very lives to ensure that the One makes it successfully to him. Except he says it all with a very clear threat in the air....

Scene 14
: Buffy, Willow and Xander are in her room, helping Buffy pick out an outfit for Owen. Both of the girl's choices are more short, short dresses. But Xan, just being helpful, points out that Owen is a bit more of a home-spun, meek girl appreciating sort.

He pulls out a huge, puffy winter coat more appropriate to the mountains and a ski cap instead. Next, Buffy asks about lipstick and remains missing of the obvious fact that Xan is not into her dating of Owen in the least.

She also chooses peach lipstick, which she tries to apply over her already-wearing-red-lipstick mouth. Uhm.... Having changed into a dress that is not one of the ones that Willow held up as a possibility seconds earlier, the door bell rings and she rushes downstairs excited that Owen is picking her up.

Scene 15
: Disappointment, as it's actually Giles. He excitedly points out a newspaper story on the five deaths the previous night in a 'van accident'.

Buffy isn't tracking what an auto accident has to do with scary vampire prophecy, but Giles points to one of the victims being Andrew Borba, wanted for questioning in two homicides, making him a prime suspect for being the Anointed One.

"Giles, why do you want to hurt me?" Buffy plaintively asks, just as Owen shows up at the door to pick her up.

There's a scramble to explain why the school librarian is visiting Buffy, at night, at her house. Willow and Xan take Owen aside so that Buffy and Giles can argue about date vs. investigating morgue. Xander basically tries to completely spoil things for Buffy by telling Owen that Buffy doesn't like to dance, kiss or actually to be touched in any way. Willow should slug him one, but I think Owen is sharp enough to get the picture anyway of what is really going on (it's hard to tell though, since he's so bland).

Back in the foyer, Buffy gives Giles her 'look, if you need me, beep me' line and he resolves to let her have her date while he'll confirm or deny that vampires are to blame for the bus victims. Willow expresses concern for Giles' safety and wants to follow him to the funeral home. Xander is focused on the threat of Owen and his 'crazy eyes'....

Scene 16
: We shift our location to The Bronze. Young people are dancing to the musical guest of the week. In a corner, in a scene that's too dark on DVD, Owen is being enthusiastic over his Dickinson-crush. He's attracted to her morbid fascination with loss and death. Buffy checks her beeper but there's nothing from Giles, so she grabs Owen and heads to the dance floor.

Another shot of our musical guest of the week....

: I love that comic-drawing behind the singer - who's name I'm just not going to look up, but I really wish we'd have less shots of the 'band of the week'. It's swell that they get to put a song on a tv show and all, and I like the CD, but they're padding.

Anyway, Buffy and Owen sway to the music. Owen shuffles horribly. He mentions to Buffy that she's like two different people and he can't quite figure her out.

Scene 17
: Cordelia arrives with her gang of Cordettes and spots Owen and Buffy together:

"Aren't there laws against this sort of thing?"

She makes an immediate beeline to the couple and attempts to cut in on Buffy. There is some mildly fun banter between Cord and Buffy and the cheer-queen stomps away.

: The whole of Scene 16 and 17 was relatively unnecessary.

Scene 18
: At the local funeral home, Giles pulls up with a bag of staking stuff to investigate the bus accident victims. There's some creepy noises that have him on edge and he makes the mistake of stopping to look around, instead of making a dash for the building's relative safety (yes, it isn't much, but there are doors and places to defend). Giles quickly finds himself stuck between two fang-faces....

He's able to hold them off by brandishing a cross, and makes it into the funereal building.

: And, one must wonder why the main doors would be left unlocked, at night, in Sunnydale of all places.

The two vampires follow the Watcher in as he dashes down corridors looking for an unlocked room.

Scene 19
: Back at The Bronze, we're still listening to the guest singer of the week! At least she's on a new song. And Owen and Buffy are still awkwardly swaying in one another's arms.

: Okay, that scene was empty and pointless.

Scene 20
: Back where something is actually happening, Giles finds himself in the morgue. He props a file cabinet against the door and as the bloodsuckers bang at it, he realizes he's got nowhere left to go. As he makes his way across the room, looking for something he can use (forgetting he has vampire fighting stuff in his kit), Willow and Xander startle him at the window. They're unable to directly help him because of bars over the window, but he sends them off to Buffy for help.

: I have to ask... do window bars usually get installed on the inside? Because this scene just looks odd. Also, we didn't see Giles go downstairs, but the positioning of the window would indicate we're in a basement now. And, why would a basement window open outward?? This room was clearly designed to allow this scene rather than a scene being constructed around something that makes more sense in the real world.

Scene 21
: Back in The Bronze, Owen and Buffy stand awkwardly and to break the uncomfortable lull in the date, Owen offers to grab Buffy something to eat. Across the room, Cordelia is going on as if O & B are acting inappropriately - obviously full of sour grapes. As Cordelia complains to one of the sycophants that Buffy in wantonly throwing herself at Owen, Angel walks in behind her. As he passes by, she immediately refocuses her attention from Owen to the new guy... who she hasn't met before:

"Woo-hooo. Hello, Salty Goodness. Pick up the phone, call 9-1-1. That boy is going to need some serious oxygen after I'm through with him."

Alas, before Cordelia can grab hold of Angel, he's spotted Buffy standing near the dance floor (awaiting Owen and junk food) and walks off on her. When she sees that Angel stops and talks to Buffy, she has another self-involved fit:

"Why is this happening to me?!"

Scene 22: Focusing on Angel and Buffy now, he at first excites her a bit by telling her how he was hoping to find her there. But then he blows it by making it clear that this is 'business', which she isn't at all interested in hearing right now. She points out that she's there with a guy that actually wants to be there WITH her. Angel evinces surprise she's there on a date and annoys her. Owen returns with a muffin and there's an awkward moment when Angel and Owen get introduced to one another.

: Every time I see this scene, I can't help it, I want Owen to push Buffy out of the way and for he and Angel to throw themselves in each other's arms. I know. I don't know why my brain works like this, either.

As Owen asks where Angel knows Buffy from, and he replies 'Work', which causes Owen to ask if Buffy has a job - Xander and Willow break things up by arriving and calling out her name.

Owen points out that Willow and Xan seem to show up everywhere, and Xan asks what Angel is doing there, to which Angel responds that it's probably for the same reason they are (which is incorrect but close - Angel is there about the Anointed One prophecy, Xan & Willow are there to get help for the trapped Giles).

Buffy is irked that everyone seems to be conspiring against her having her normal, everyday girl date. Through some heavy hinting, Xan and Willow are able to get across that they need her to go to the funeral home. She tries to make an excuse to Owen, that won't leave this as the last date they ever have, and skips out with Xan and Will.

Commentary: Alas, with Buffy taking off, Owen and Angel apparently don't leave together....

Scene 23: Back at the funeral home, the gang arrive, but come to a dead end as they try to find where Giles is located. Owen startles them by just appearing behind them, having followed them.

: This scene is also very, very dark at least on my computer screen. It makes it hard to see anyone.

Buffy tells her friends to watch out for Owen, while she is "checking for guards, so we don't get in trouble". I notice that Angel didn't bother to follow along, which I find to be a strange decision.

Scene 24
: Buffy finds the morgue room, but the door has been bashed in and the window bars have been bent open. Things don't look like they went well and the only sign of Giles is his bag on one of the tables. Giles scares her by banging open a cadaver slide door and exiting from the body drawer.

Buffy is relieved but wants to know if the vampires were after him, or if they expected the Anointed One here - he isn't sure. Buffy points out she needs to get rid of Owen first, and then they can track down the vampires that must still be in the immediate area. Giles warns her that he can't just be pushed out, as he could get attacked in the graveyard surrounding them. He offers to escort him, but Buffy points out that Owen seeing him there will only raise far more questions than he already has... she leaves to find the gang and stash Owen somewhere so she can do her Slaying thing before the boy gets a true picture of what is going on.

Scene 25
: Buffy stashes the gang in the observation room, making the excuse that she needs to run to the bathroom. Owen sounds disappointed about not finding any bodies, yet. He's looking forward to seeing some corpses - that fascination with death thing, don't you know.

Scene 26
: Back in the morgue, Buffy and Giles open up the remaining body drawers one by one, looking for any vampires - like this mysterious Anointed One.

Scene 27
: In the meanwhile, Xan and Willow are barricading the door, further confusing Owen. He wanders away and opens the viewing curtain. He sees something that causes him to say,

'Oh, my!'

Scene 28
: Back in the morgue, Giles and Buffy reach the last body drawer. When they open it up with a lot of fanfare, however, it's completely empty. Giles opines that the Anointed must already be gone.

Scene 29: Back in the viewing room - Owen is near hyperventilating. This is the first time he's actually seen a dead body. His eyes widen as he notices that this dead body is starting to move.

The body belongs to the bible-spouter from the bus accident. He's excited to be back. The gang is less so. As Owen is asking what is going on, bible-quoter in full vamp face, head butts the viewing window and smashes it in.

Scene 30
: In the morgue, Buffy and Giles hear. Buffy dashes off with an 'oh, no'.

Scene 31
: In the viewing room, bible-thumper-vampire quotes some more scripturey sounding hooey and adds the very weird, "pork and beans, pork and beans" - your guess is as good as mine.

The gang try to get their (rather lame) blockade out of the way, Andrew Borba-vamp crawls through the empty window pane and into the room with the gang. Buffy arrives in the hallway just as the gang run past her. She orders them out of the building, but Xan, Willow and Owen are stopped by a vampire right outside the door, trapping them inside with Andrew.

In the meantime, Buffy has made a dash back to the morgue room to get any stakes that Giles might have in his bag. Giles asks what he should do and she directs him outside to see that the others are making the escape. Before she can get back to Borba, though, he finds her. Grabbing her from behind, he throws her into the room, where she bounces painfully off of one of the metal cabinets. She falls to the floor, temporarily unconscious.

Scene 32
: Giles rushes to Buffy's side, while at the same time in the corridors, Owen insists that someone has to help Buffy. He runs off toward the morgue, leaving the Scoobies to follow after him. In the morgue, Andrew Borba makes some intriguing statements:

"They told me about you while I was sleeping".

Giles holds him off for a moment with a cross, but Andrew bats his arm away. He grabs Giles, just as Buffy is coming to, and throws him. He bounces off of a control box that fires up the crematorium furnance.

: Obviously, we can see where this is going to end - but I want to return to Andrew Borba's utterances. Most of this can be discounted as his being a nut-ball, but the comment about 'they' is very interesting. We know that vampires seem to very quickly be capable of kung-fu moves (which is joked about later) but now we get an intimation here that they are also being filled with knowledge from something while their bodies are changing. This actually calls back to Jesse (remember him? the Scooby Gang doesn't) telling Xander that he feels connected to something.

Anyway, Andrew grabs up Buffy next and as he lifts her above his head, Owen arrives and attacks him. She's sent into the metal drawers, where again she lies stunned while Borba grabs Owen and goes in for a bite. Owen smartly grabs an urn and smashes it over the vampire's head - which should have little effect, but since Andrew falls to the ground, let's just say that he's still weak because he hasn't fed yet.... Owen checks on Buffy.

Andrew rears up behind Owen and grabs him by his coat back and slams a cadaver drawer door into the back of his head. He drops him with the word, 'dead'. Buffy looks on shocked.

Buffy goes on the attack against Andrew Borba.

"You killed my date!" Buffy exclaims as she begins to pummel Andrew.

Willow and Xander FINALLY arrive, and we see Owen - alive - coming to on the floor. Willow goes to tell Buffy that Owen isn't dead, but Xander stops her so she won't be distracted in kicking Andrew's ass. She ends up sending Andrew Borba into the furnace, as we guessed she would.

Giles has come to, and he quickly slams the heavy furnace door on Borba's yells. Buffy sees Owen, and that he isn't dead. Owen is disoriented and he leaves Buffy with the impression that there won't be a second date after this....

Xander and Willow see to it he makes it home. Buffy's bummed. Giles tries to give her a word of wisdom, but she cuts him off.

Scene 33: The next day, Buffy grills Xan and Willow at school about Owen, but Xander is pretty sure that he's not going to be into her (and seems a little too pleased about it). He tells her that she should go out with someone who already knows her deep dark secrets and still wants to be with her - and it's obvious to us, he means himself - but Buffy will refuse to clue in until 'Prophecy Girl'.

Anyway, he's about to suggest himself as a candidate, when Owen appears and grabs her complete attention. Owen brightens Buffy's day by telling her she's the coolest and he wants to see her again... but then he mentions that nearly being killed has made him feel alive for maybe the first time. Buffy's face falls. Owen suggests doing more dangerous stuff together, like picking fights in rough bars at 3am or something.

Buffy is forced to give Owen the "let's just be friends" speech and we'll never see him again, so that didn't work out either.

Poor earnest, blandly handsome Owen... poor lonely Buffy.

: I really need to re-introduce Owen in some way into fan-fic. There should be more vamp-Owen fic out there, but I don't recall reading anything with him. Considering how anal-retentive we can be as fans, I find this odd.

Anyway, Owen gets the kiss off and Giles wanders into the picture to sympathize with her over the complications that come up because of who they are and what they have to do. We also find out here that Giles didn't want to be a Watcher either, but was informed he had a destiny when he was 10. And, that he doesn't have an instruction manual to guide her through these difficulties (which would be a half-lie, we find out later there is a manual).

: The real benefit of this episode is that it sets up things for later, most obviously about Giles' past that will come back to haunt him. But also, this entire story can be tied directly to 'Prophecy Girl'....

Buffy comforts herself that at least the Anointed One prophecy has been defeated with her killing of Borba and Giles happily agrees.

Scene 34
: In The Master's lair, he sits on a throne-like chair and we think he's depressed about his latest defeat (prompted by the blue light shining on him). He gets up from the chair, quoting his Anointed One prophecy from early in the episode and we think some minion or another is about to get punished most harshly....

But instead, The Master kneels down to be eye to eye with the boy from the bus accident - and he greets him!

The Good
: The tidbits we get that we're going to see lead into other stories later: Giles' past, the Anointed One leading the Slayer to 'hell', Xander's comment to Buffy that she needs a man who knows her secret (and she gets one in Angel) and Buffy's hardship with relationships in general due to her calling.

The twist with who the Anointed One actually is was nicely done and left one with a chill down the spine during the reveal.

There's some very funny bantering from Buffy, Giles and Cordelia throughout.

The Bad
: Nothing was glaringly bad (except some of the clothes, of course), but this one runs a bit dull. There's just a lot of shots that are clearly for the padding.

Owen just didn't have the magnetic presence to justify everyone's attention to him - a more interestingly featured actor would have helped.

The Score
: Despite some clever lines and the twist at the end, this one just doesn't jump off the screen. It's relatively dull and there are some real lighting issues, made worse by the film stock used. It's not a bad episode by any means, it's just... average... and a 3.0 out of 5.

Tags: buffy season 1 reviews

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