harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote,

Review BTVS: "What's My Line" pII

BTVS: S2, E10

What's My Line Part II

Written: Marti Noxon
DIR: David Semel

Blurb: Buffy joins forces with a mysterious Slayer named Kendra in hopes of saving Angel from Spike and Drusilla and the deadly ritual they have planned.

Where We Are: Spike is planning on using a ritual from a book that had been stolen from Giles in "Lie To Me" to heal Drusilla and return her to full strength. In order to make sure Buffy is too busy dying to intervene, he's called in a group of assassins called the Order of Taraka. Buffy has already killed one of these. Another is currently readying to menace the unaware Cordelia Chase and Xander Harris. Meanwhile, what we thought was the third assassin is confronting Buffy at Angel's apartment, where she fled. He's not currently there. However, as Buffy fights for her life, the "assassin" doesn't seem to know who she is. When she turns the inquiry back on who Kendra is, the girl reports that she is the Vampire Slayer, flabbergasting Buffy....

We have spoilers, not just for this episode, but mentions of future developments, as well... if that is a concern, everyone has been warned:

Scene 01: We pan across Angel's room, to see Kendra and Buffy panting after their fight and regarding one another. Kendra is focused, while Buffy is gobsmacked. Buffy argues with Kendra over who the Slayer is in the room and then suggests a temporary truce so they can go to Giles and figure out what the hell has gone on with the whole "one girl in all the world" deal.

Scene 02: Meanwhile, Angel is in deepest doo-doo as the sun closes in on his huddled position in the indestructible storage cage....

Credits and Rockin' Theme

Scene 03: In the library, Kendra is meeting Giles. Buffy is still convinced that this is all a big goof, but at least Kendra's Watcher is a real person that Giles is familiar with.

Commentary: Buffy's gets some really funny catty lines at the new Slayer, too. One of the high points of this episode will be the snarky dialog, such as here. When Kendra informs them that she doesn't have a last name, Buffy rolls her eyes, "Can you say, 'stuck in the 80's?'"

I also like that anytime that Kendra says anything to Buffy, she also gives her this once over with her glance that just yells, "Vampire Slayer, my ass, Tiny Tot".

Bianca and Sarah do some great work being antagonizing toward one another. And in this very beginning of the episode, I don't find the accent to be annoying, at all. It does start to wear thin, as there is more dialog work to do, but I think it's annoying-ness has been blown out of proportion over the years.

Willow comes into the library, and Kendra immediately goes on the defensive, demanding her identity. Buffy says, "Back of Pink Ranger".

Giles explains Buffy has a select group of friends that no of her identity and assist her. Kendra is confused by this and by how a Watcher could allow civilians to know who the Slayer is and what she does. Speaking to Willow's skepticism about two Slayers existing at the same time, he tells her that usually a Slayer can only be called when the predecessor is dead... which, of course, Buffy was. And Giles realizes that she was technically dead and that must have activated the Slayer-in-Waiting.

Buffy's response, "I was only gone for minute!"

Apparently, however, the length of time that she was dead isn't relevent.

Commentary: Which, of course, started an entire debate on whether you could technically have dozens of Slayers by having each die and then resuscitate them. The answer is 'no'. The Slayer line rests with one Slayer at a time. This has been confirmed by Joss, which is why after Buffy dies for the second time, a third Slayer isn't referenced. From the point where Buffy drowned going forward, Kendra holds the line. After her, Faith will hold the line.

Now, how exactly the Scythe-Spell impacts all of this is left up in the air. Technically, there shouldn't be any more Potentials to be activated, so Faith's death should not have an impact on calling anyone. And, other than that detail, we've not seen any indications that the holder of the Slayer line has any other mystical or special prophecies written about them. In fact, Buffy seems to remain the one in which everything seems to revolve around in future and she is still referenced as THE Slayer, or The First Slayer -- even though, technically, neither is exactly correct. Buffy could slide with being 'The First Slayer' in that she is the first of this generation's Slayers and responsible for activating an army of them. But, Faith should be referred to as THE Slayer, in present continuity.

With this at least somewhat solved, Buffy tries to convince Kendra to pack up and go back home. But, Kendra reports that her Watcher sent her for a specific purpose. He stated that signs were pointing to a dark power rising in Sunnydale and she has a mission to stop it.

Buffy confronts her on trying to kill her and Kendra tells her she thought she was a vampire, since she saw her making out with one. Willow, (So, cute!) tries to defend her, and because she's so damned adorable, I quote:

[Willow jumps to her feet to defend Buffy's honor]: Buffy would never do that! Oh, e-except for sometimes you do that. But, only with Angel! Right? [She sits back down]

Kendra isn't buying the story about Angel being on the good team now, and Buffy gets impatient with trying to explain it. Kendra's confrontation with Angel earlier comes to light, and Buffy makes her spill what she'd done, afraid that she has slain him.

Scene 04: But, Angel is still hanging in. Just as the sunlight is closing in on his one area of reprieve left, Willie shows up with a smirk on his face and opens up the cage.

Commentary: And, wow, the lighting is really harsh in this scene. David looks AWFUL in this light... like a pasty-dough-boy with garish red lipstick on.

Apparently being so close to the sunlight for an extensive period has sapped Angel of all of this strength (which we'll never really see referenced again when he's running around in the daylight in future) because Willie drags him away by his feet.

Willie drags Angel to a trap door, and drops him into the sewer system beneath.

Scene 05: There, Spike awaits. He pays off Willie for his 'delivery', but being Spike, he drops the money in the dirty sewer water and makes him go fishing for it.

Scene 06: We skip over to Buffy's house, where Xan is still upstairs while Cordy is going on about the make-up to the secret assassin/salesman. When Xander returns, he asks who their visitor is. Cordy is freaked, because she saw a bug crawling on the guys hand.

Now, Xan and Cordy see another (horrible CG) bug crawling on the guy's face with him evincing no concern over this. It crawls in his ear, and Xan grabs Cordelia with orders to run.

In the meantime, our bug-guy breaks down into an army of flesh hungry somethings-or-others.

They run for the back door, but the bug guy's bug-components and apparently move at hyper-speeds, because they're at the back door and reformed into a person. Our gang backtrack and lock themselves in the basement.

The bugs come in after them under the basement door, but Cordelia finds duct tape and Xan tapes up the crack, at least temporarily blocking out the bulk of them.

Scene 07: At the bar, Kendra and Buffy find no Angel, but no ashes either. Willie comes in at the wrong moment and gets knocked to the floor by Kendra, who warns Buffy that he's dirty. Buffy agrees, but tells her that they can't get anything out of him if he's unconscious.

They threaten him for Angel's location. Willie technically-truths that he saved Angel's life, but then lies about where he went from the underground tunnels. Kendra, bored now, tells Buffy that since he's okay, they can return to her Watcher for orders. Buffy archly replies that she doesn't take orders and does things her own way.

Kendra's response: "No wonder you died."

Commentary: I love the bitchfest between these two. And, it's interesting in hindsight when we see how Buffy and Faith interact as well. There simply isn't supposed to be two girls in all the world called, and one has to wonder if there is a supernatural element to their inability to not clash. It would be really interesting if in S9 we saw more evidence among the Slayers of not being able to get along when they're in non-combat situations, precisely because they're not all supposed to exist at once.

Scene 08: At Vampire HQ, Spike drags Angel in and delivers him to Drusilla. Spike explicates that evening with the ritual, Angel's energy will be drained into Dru to restore her, killing him.

Dru, in the meanwhile, decides to spend the day "playing" with her Sire.

Scene 09: Back at the High School, Giles fills Kendra in on Drusilla and Spike. It is decided between Giles and Kendra's Watcher that she'll stay and help Buffy until the matter is resolved. Buffy is clearly left feeling put-upon and not just a little envious about Kendra's instant rapport with Giles.

Amusingly, what really sticks in her craw, is that Giles kinda lied to her in S1 about there not being a Slayer Handbook to guide her. This is something that Kendra has had a lot of exposure to in her studies to make her a better fighter. Giles awkwardly tells Buffy that after meeting her, he realized quickly that studying the Handbook with be of no use to her (and it's implied, no use to him in trying to 'manage' her activities). Heh-heh.

Commentary: Of course, there is plenty of amusement to be had by the Kendra/Buffy comparisons and contrasts. But, Kendra also comes off as having a rather empty life. She's what Buffy's life would have been if she hadn't resisted Giles' "Welcome to the Hellmouth/The Harvest" persona so strongly... for Kendra, EVERY aspect of her life is tied up in being the Slayer, preparing to Slay, and carrying out her orders to Slay. We'll find out later, that although technically proficient and knowledgeable, Buffy is better at her job because she has things outside of it that gives context and meaning to her fight. In fact, far off in S5 when Spike tells Buffy that she has a deathwish, it could be easily be applied to why Kendra loses to Drusilla in Becoming, Part I later this season.

Also, I have to say that after multiple exposures to Kendra's accent, it doesn't annoy me nearly as much as it used to. Her pajama pants though, with those clunky heels is a serious affront to my sensibilities, though.

Once Kendra and Giles go off to consult some volumes, Buffy talks to Willow about how maybe she could be free - or drop to part-time slayage - and let Kendra take the responsibility over.

Scene 10: Meanwhile, Xander and Cordelia are stuck in Buffy's basement. Cordelia and Xander argue vociferously and insultingly at each other over their predicament. Cordy decides she can't stand it anymore and goes to see if the assassin is gone, and then is incensed when Xan tells her to go. She berates him for not stepping up to be heroic when needed and he tells her she's acted stupidly over a free make-over to get them in this mess in the first place.

In the midst of their arguing, they're suddenly kissing with the requisite huge, dramatic scoring!

Commentary: The funny thing about this scene is exactly that scoring. This is such a cliche, and the Buffy creators know it - so they point it out that this is a ridiculous development by using the stereotypical, movie musical scoring to underscore the silly moment... and then have Cordy and Xan react to how ridiculous their kissing was by deciding to risk being eaten by worm-guy then spend another moment near one another. I could have hated this sudden hook-up, if it wasn't so obvious that Joss, etc. are in on the joke of how stupid that cliche is....

And, of course, this acts to bring Cordelia one step closer into the Scooby orbit, so she'll have much more to do with main plots.

So, after a prolonged, swelling music make-out session, Xan suddenly breaks the kiss and tells Cordelia that they so need to get out of there. She agrees with a panicked 'Uh-huh'.

They make a mad dash for the basement stairs.

At first they think that bug-guy has gone, but when they head for the front door, bug-guy rains his buggy-parts down on Cordy from the ceiling. She screams.

They run outside onto Joyce's front lawn with Cordy panicking because she has worms crawling all over her. Xander reacts with a hose to wash her off, and then they take off.

Commentary: Another funny scene. Cordy yells at Xan that they have to go, but he's gotten into soaking her down with the hose and HE KEEPS SPRAYING HER, until she finally runs past him. I'm almost sure that Cordy's dress was meant to be white in this scene, with Xander distracted by her sudden see through top, but for whatever reason, Charisma's dress is blue and it's of a material that doesn't allow us to check out her bra through it. The scene is still a funny moment that goes uncommented on within the show, though.

Scene 11: Back at the school, Buffy is talking to Willow about her law-enforcement seminar thingie that she has to do as part of Career-Week. She notices Oz checking Wills out, but Willow discounts this as just being 'nerd solidarity' with her. Buffy thinks it's more than that, as Oz makes his way over to them.

Buffy quickly excuses herself, so that Oz and Willow can talk, with a little "I told you" at Wills.

Scene 12: Oz is cutey. Willow is adorkable.

Scene 13: Buffy is meeting with her policewoman contact to discuss a future in law-enforcement.

But, remember how Kendra turned out NOT to be assassin number 3? Yeah. She pulls out a gun and tries to shoot Buffy, but Buff's Slayer reactions allow her to wrestle the gun.

Unfortunately, for Oz.

He's pushing Willow to the floor, when he takes a bullet!

In the meanwhile, Buffy is able to knock the gun from her hand, but she has a backup and pulls it. Kendra suddenly appears, however, and is able to kick her in the face, so she loses this gun, too. The assassin makes a retreat, briefly taking Jonathon hostage at knifepoint.

Kendra goes after her, while Buffy checks on Willow and Oz, who takes being shot in the arm in stride.

Scene 14: In the aftermath, Buffy informs Giles. Rupert asks after Oz, and we learn the bullet only grazed him.

Commentary: No, it didn't. We see the bullet mark on Oz' shirt as he falls and them him bleeding. The path of the bullet was not consistent with a "scrape" ... it hit his arm dead on. Obviously, they didn't want Oz seriously hurt, but the blocking for his scene was all wrong if they were going to go with the "it's just a graze" option.

Buffy is having her knee tended to again (it was already hurt during the confrontation with brute-guy at the rink, remember --- and yes, it's another continuity issue, since Buffy's super healing should have completely healed it by now) when Xan and Cordy come in. Kendra is all 'confrontation girl', but Buffy calls her off.

Commentary: And there is a very nice character moment for Kendra, here. Notice that as soon as Xander quips, Kendra looks down at the library floor. She'll continue to have a problem with interacting with Xander, which leads to more discussion of Kendra's backstory in a discussion with Buffy.

Giles asks after what Taraka assassin Cordy and Xan had just run into, and Cordy pulls a live bug out of her hair. She runs off for the girl's shower room. Buffy asks, "You and bug-people, Xander, what's up with that?" referencing the S1 episode, Teacher's Pet. I love continuity -- but maybe we could not reference that episode again.

Xander clarifies that the assassin wasn't a bug, like the faux-Ms. French, but was made of bugs.

Rupert brings up why the assassin's are trying to hard (and publically in gun-lady's case) to kill Buffy with the knowledge gleaned from a volume that Kendra referenced earlier. He tells them about Dru needing her Sire in order to be cured of her weakness, and Buffy has to reveal to the gang that Angel is the sire in question. Giles has to admit to Buffy that the ritual, set for that night with the new moon, will be fatal to Angel.

Kendra gets into another mini-confrontation with Buffy over their priorities, she wanting to focus on Dru not 'rising', while Buffy wants to protect Angel. They reach an agreement when Buffy points out that their goals are meshing.

Commentary: There is another mildly amusing moment when Buffy tells the gang that she's fine with having Spike want to kill her, she's okay with him sending assassins after her, but NOBODY messes with her boyfriend, so he's going down. The amusing thing is SMG's delivery, which is utterly serious as she decides Spike is dying tonight for messing with Angel, instead of y'know, trying to kill her and all.

Scene 15: Back at Spike HQ, Angel is tied to the foot of Dru's bed. She opens a box helpfully marked "Holy Water" and pulls out a vial of the stuff. She rambles in her Dru-way and then pours the holy water over Angel's naked chest, burning him in vengeance.

Commentary: And Juliet does that wonderful thing again, where you kind of feel bad for Dru, even though she's a horrible, evil, torturing vampire. She's so... broken... by the memories of what Angelus did to her family before he finally vamped her and Juliet gives Drusilla this quality of frailty and lingering pain in her voice during her lines. She's just a marvel in the role of Dru.

Scene 16: In the library, Willow is trying to narrow down where the ritual is to take place (they know it will be an abandoned church) and Cordy and Xan are looking to identify the bug-guy for a future confrontation. In the meanwhile, Buffy is sharpening a blade in Giles' office where Kendra also is. Kendra brings up Cordelia and Xander also being aware of Buffy's calling, and asks her if no one explained the concept of 'secret identity' to her.

Commentary: Okay, I'll admit that the accent is a problem when it comes to a lot of "t" sounds in the same sentence. It does get wearing on the nerves. I like the flashes of sarcasm from Kendra, though. She's not just a robotic Slayer, but does have opinions and a sense of humor, even if she's wound much tighter than Buffy is.

Scene 17: We rejoin Xander and Cordelia briefly, as they find a passage about bug-man and snipe at each other, much to Giles' annoyance.

Scene 18: Back with Buffy and Kendra, Kendra tells Buffy that her life is very different from what Kendra's has been. They do a little bonding and Buffy gets a glimpse of what her life could have been if she'd been found earlier by the Council. Buffy and Kendra compare their techniques and Buffy goads her into becoming a little angry at her when Kendra tries to tell her that emotions are a weakness to a Slayer. Buffy tells her that emotions are a total asset, and after Kendra gets angry at her fighting style being mildly insulted points out that the anger she's feeling gives her fire... something the Slayer needs in order to stay limber on her feet and always thinking ahead.

Commentary: This is a really nice scene between Kendra and Buffy, again because of SMG's performance. But, it's also very interesting in hindsight after we meet Faith, in which Buffy will have the opposite reaction, that going completely on feelings ISN'T a Slayer asset, due to Faith's impulsiveness.

Xander comes in and Kendra again goes into 'barely verbal mode'. Buffy brings up that their Watchers do have one thing in common... both interfere with their desire to date.

During the conversation, Buffy gets an idea that Willie might be able to provide information....

Scene 18: Back at the Vampire Lair of Light Bondage, Angel is weak and his chest and abdomen is a livid red from the holy water torture. Spike comes in to retrieve them for the ritual and Angel taunts Spike about how much Dru enjoys his presence and how he knows her so much better than Spike ever will. He attempts to goad Spike into staking him in order to stop Dru's return to full power and it almost works, until Dru yells at Spike not to do it.

Scene 19: Meanwhile, at Willie's bar, he folds and offers to take Buffy and Kendra to where Spike's ritual is going to take place after a little threatening. Buffy decides to rush off to save the day, while Kendra insists on following procedure and reporting in to Giles. Kendra accuses Buffy allowing herself to be too distracted by Angel's danger, while Buffy accuses Kendra of being "brainless" in her subservience to protocol.

Kendra bluntly tells Buffy that Angel is a vampire and should die, which causes Buffy to leave her behind.

Scene 20: At the church used for the ritual, Willie delivers Buffy right into the vampire's hands. With them are also Bug-Guy and Gun-Lady.

Scene 21: After a commercial break, we return to find Spike beginning the ritual service to drain Angel of his energy for Dru. We find that the du Lac cross has a dagger hidden in it, which Spike uses to stab through Dru and Angel's bound hands. This begins a colorful-spell-of-restoration as Angel yells in pain and Dru looks a little turned on.

Willie interrupts with the minion vampires and the assassins, delivering the Slayer to him for the bounty. Spike is less than pleased, considering the delicate juncture they're in, but since she seems under control, he taunts her with Angel's short term prospects for survival.

Spike orders Patrice, the Gun-Lady to shoot Buffy dead immediately. Once again, though, Kendra arrives to save the day allowing the Slayers to go on the attack. Fisticuffs, Fisticuffs, Fisticuffs.

Commentary: I really like these scenes because everyone is given a little heroics, including Cordelia who helps Xander trap the buggie-parts guy in glue and stomps him to death. The fight coreography is really good, too, and I like that we keep hearing battle going on in the background, even when the camera is on another sparring pair. You can continue to hear Buffy's grunts and her fists hitting the bad guys, while Xander is running out and leading the bug guy into his trap.

Scene 22: Buffy fights with Spike and throws him to the side in order to save Angel. Spike nearly kills Willie for leading to this disaster, but Dru distracts him by calling weakly for help, as Buffy disconnects her and Angel.

Spike decides a retreat is necessary, but Buffy is able to send he and Dru into a giant church organ, which collapses on them.

Scene 23: Buffy cradles Angel as he lies gasping, and Kendra rushes up to them. She tells Buffy that she'll help her get Angel out of the now burning church (Spike threw a torch at the Scoobies to cut them off from interfering further).

Scene 24: The following day, Willow checks in with Oz on his wound and they have the famous 'animal cracker scene'. There isn't much to say about it, because describing it doesn't do justice to just how adorable Seth and Aly are.

Oz flirts with her... she's all giggly... there are monkey-pants involved... it's so cute, it hurts my face.

Scene 25: Meanwhile, Xander and Cordelia try to deal with their own aftermath. This takes the form of Xander trying to be mature about them not having to panic everytime they see one another, just 'cause of that little kissing spell. Cordelia accuses him of causing the whole thing by being a pervert.

They both accuse one another of being the jumpee in which they were taken by surprise and are just outraged by the other jumping them and forcing them into a liplock.

Commentary: Alas, Xander's purple pants are distracting me something awful... what was that dialogue, again?

This ends with Xander and Cordelia arguing with each other that the whole incident never happened, before falling into one another lips-first again, with the whole cheesy musical emphasis and it is still amusing.

Scene 26: Outdoors, Buffy is sending Kendra off with both of them coming to an understanding that each of their techniques has its strength. Buffy thanks Kendra for helping Angel, and she admits that she won't be sharing that tidbit with her Watcher. Buffy makes a little joke about being fired for dating a vampire and Kendra very seriously tells her that she's always referring to her Slayerhood as a job to do. Kendra tells her that it isn't just a job... but it's what they are.

They have a moment between them, when they both realize that they're not the only "freaks" in the world anymore. Buffy goes to hug Kendra, but she steps back and warns Buffy that she doesn't hug. They have more humorous reparte and then Kendra exits Sunnydale.

Everything seems to end well and be well with Spike and Dru stopped, Angel on the mend, Buffy and Kendra feeling less alone and Oz and Willow being cute together (I refuse to speak of the disturbing notion of Xan & Cordy at this time).

Scene 27: But, back at the burned church, we see Spike twitching and definitely not ash. He's scorched, but not dead and gone. In addition, Dru suddenly comes into frame as well, and she's looking much, much less frail that she used to and yanks Spike out of the rubble with one hand.

She carries him out of the church's ruins, confirming for us that she's strong again despite the ritual having been interrupted!

Commentary: Interestingly, she also took the time to return to their lair and change her clothes into something appropriately, sinisterly gothic black from her virginal white dress that Spike had her wear for the ritual itself before returning to find him. This passed unnoticed the first time that I watched this episode, and even on repeated views. But, now, with all of the hindsight I have, you have to wonder if this might not be a sly commentary on Spike and Dru ... Spike lies injured, but Drusilla only returns to help him after she's taken care of herself ... whereas you wouldn't see Spike having any thought foremost in his mind above Dru's welfare, she treats finding Spike as an afterthought almost. It speaks volumes for how she'll respond when Angelus returns to the fold and later developments between Spike and Drusilla. Not that I think it was planned out or anything considering that Spike's continued presence was a fluke caused by how well the fans responded to James Marsters' flair, but it nonetheless is very interesting now.

I also love the hyperbolic music playing over the scene of Dru carrying Spike out and over final credits... it has a very "Best of Both Worlds" sound to it that is warning us that the stakes have been raised by the failure of Buffy and the gang to kill Drusilla when they had the chance.

The Good: Juliet remains amazing as Drusilla.

I really liked Bianca as Kendra in this second half, as well.

I liked the glimpses we're getting of who Angel was before he became Angel... Drusilla's references to what Angelus did are so dark, compared to who we're seeing in Angel.

Oz and Willow! I squee embarassingly in my fan-squee-ness.

I loved the way that Buffy and Kendra both learn something new about being a Slayer by being exposed to one another's different philosophies and styles. I also love the way that Giles is even more fantastic, after we learn about Kendra's upbringing and the way she's been so regimented to be a "typical" Slayer. It just makes Giles' flexibility in allowing Buffy her own style and life outside of being The Slayer that much more impressive to me. There will be many such moments in future too, when the Council becomes a greater presence in the narrative. Giles is awesome.

The Bad: Nothing really, well - okay, the CGI bugs.

Other Thoughts: But, I do need to nitpick some things here. While I love the whole introduction of a second Slayer and what this might mean to the mythos, the effect on the Slayer line is utterly ignored here. And... it continues to be ignored for the most part: Everyone will continue to express Buffy as THE Slayer, even though she isn't. I wish that this had been played up more here beyond what little scenes we had of Willow insisting Buffy is the 'real' Slayer and Buffy expressing the hope that sometime in future someone else could take over the mantle without her being dead. It would have been nice for a scene of her and Giles discussing this new situation and really having Buffy seriously bring up her not being THE Slayer, anymore.

I also take a small exception with this plot being given a two-parter, and I'll try to articulate why. It basically feels to me like this story is too small to justify the two-part structure. We do have a second Slayer introduced, new relationships being started that disrupts the status quo, the idea that Buffy still has a contract out on her (which we'll discuss next episode, or the following one after that, I believe) and most importantly a far more dangerous and powerful Drusilla. But, none of this seems to have an epic feel like "Nothing will ever be the same", which should come with a Two-Parter. I guess, I'm trying to get at, badly, that a Two-Part episode carries with it a certain connotation that "What's My Line" simply doesn't meet. Compare these two episodes with Surprise/Innocense that actually do form an epic two-part story, but isn't treated as one double length episode, or compare to "Becoming, Part I and II", where things really will never be the same on a status-quo busting scale. If this story were broken into two seperate titled stories, I think it would have had more impact, because the "this story is so big, we've had to break it up into a Part I and Part II" expectations wouldn't have been placed on this arc. Nothing about this double-lengthed story has the sort of impact needed to justify that labeling ... if you get what I'm trying to say... it is, in fact, more springboard for future stories than an epic tale in its own right.

I would much have rather scene this have two titles, indicating that each was its own contained story, even though their inextricably linked and have the 'Multi-Part moniker' given to something like the Surprise/Innocence episodes that really does feel like it should be considered the same extended story where big things happen that is changing Buffy forever ... "What's My Line" fails to leave us with that sense of "things just changed drastically - what the hell is going to happen next" excitement that you should expect from a cliffhanger/resolution long-form story (and since I mentioned it above, also consider one of the best examples of what a two-part story should do and be, ST-TNG's: The Best of Both Worlds, from S3/S4).

The Score: The episode is above average in that it causes us to question our assumption about The Slayer line, and hints more at Angel's dark past and Drusilla's danger in being around still, but it just doesn't live up to the hype of being a Part I/Part II story:

3.50 out of 5


Tags: buffy season 2 reviews

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