Drinks Taken: 20+
Vamps Dusted: 4
Follow the whole rewatch here!
I’m super excited to be joining y’all for this rewatch! Part of me feels like I have never stopped watching Buffy. I’m currently on the final season with my 12-year-old son, so it’s fun to revisit these early days and see how much the gang has changed. I’d say the clothes get better, but that’s really not the case for everyone. As Sarah mentioned last week, season one is not the best in terms of quality. And this week we’ll highlight that, by talking about one of the best (better?) eps of season one, and one of the worst.
The Buffy Drinking Game Rules
Drink once every time:
A vamp is dusted
Giles cleans his glasses
Cordelia says something cutting but true
Xander pines for Buffy
Willow’s brains save the day
Sparks fly between Buffy and Angel
Drink twice every time:
We see the entrance to Sunnydale High
We see a scene from the credits
There’s an extremely outdated pop culture reference
A scene takes place in a cemetery
A vampire is invited into a house
And now, let’s get to the kissing already!
The Master complains that Buffy keeps killing his favorites. Darla begs to take care of her, but he thinks Darla is too personally invested and decides to send The Three, a group of warrior vampires instead.
The gang is at The Bronze Fumigation Party, which is one of the most disgusting things to ever happen. How did these people eat and drink at this roach-infested place for years? I know Sunnydale doesn’t have a lot of options, but my corner gas station parking lot has fewer vermin.
Buffy is attacked by The Three as she’s walking home from The Bronze when Angel appears out of nowhere to help her get away. Remember how swoony it seemed for Angel to be lurking in the shadows all the time? See, it’s not creepy stalking if he’s hot. They run to Buffy’s house (which seems like a dumb idea to show the vampires where you live, but what do I know?) where she notices Angel got hurt in the fight and has him strip down so she can bandage him up. Sure, girl. They stand intensely close together while he denies having been following her. When Joyce interrupts with typically bad Joyce timing, Buffy claims Angel is a community college student who’s been tutoring her in history. Joyce pretends to buy this since Angel has his shirt back on. Buffy fakes sending him out the door and then sneaks him up to her room for the night to protect him from the vampires. We get all the hot tropes in this episode, sexual tension in close quarters, stuck in a room with one bed, bedtime confessions, like the fact that Angel’s family was killed by vampires and that he hasn’t slept with anyone recently enough to know if he snores.
They never make it totally clear why Buffy thinks Angel needs to spend the day hiding out in her room while she goes to school and training with Giles. When she comes home, she freaks at the idea that he might have read her diary confessions about him. He swears he didn’t touch it, but he did a lot of thinking and he can’t be around her because all he wants to do is kiss her and he’s too old for her. Of course, this just leads to kissing, and DAMN, Y’ALL.
And then the moment that surely caused dozens of teens to lose their shit in 1997, we see Angel’s game face for the first time.
The next morning, Buffy, in a full wiggins, consults Giles over whether vampires can ever be good, but he assures her that it’s not possible, as all vampires are demons. But, after doing some research in the watcher’s diaries, he tells them that there are notes about Angel going back 200 years, including the fact that since he came to America, he shuns other vampires and no longer appears to hunt humans.
Darla goes to Angel’s apartment to taunt him about how he’s not a human, though he lives among them and kills his own kind. She reveals some juicy tidbits, including that she and Angel have known each other for over a century, he keeps blood bags in his fridge, and he’s under a curse. Later, Darla heads over to Buffy’s house and talks her way in, by telling Joyce she’s a friend of Buffy’s. She bites Joyce and is interrupted by Angel (which was her plan all along). She manages to tempt him with fresh blood and scampers off before Buffy can arrive and find Angel holding her bitten and unconscious mother, and him with his fangs out.
Of course, Joyce is fine. Buffy leaves the hospital to hunt down Angel, and after she leaves, Giles learns that Darla was the one in the house with Joyce when she “fainted”. Buffy and Angel, by some unspoken agreement, have their big showdown at the closed Bronze. Buffy purposely misses with the crossbow and demands to know what his deal is. He tells her that he slaughtered his own family and everyone he met for 100 years, until he was cursed with a soul by Gypsies, and now has a conscience, and hasn’t fed on a living human since that day. The troublemaking Darla shows up (again) to rub it in that she and Angel used to be an item. She succeeds in making Buffy jealous, and also plans to hurt Angel by killing Buffy and making him watch. After a short fight, he ends up being the one to dust her. Later, Anointed One, Collin (who, I will never forget that O.G. Television Without Pity recaps referred to as The Annoying One) comforts the Master that he’ll make the slayer pay for what she’s done.
At the Post-Fumigation Party (hot), stalking Angel seeks Buffy out to tell her again that they can’t be together, and she agrees. They share a “final” kiss. When she steps away, you can see where his chest was burned by her cross necklace, which he didn’t even seem to notice. Literally smokin’.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Lost count at 15, and then the sparks burned up all my alcohol.
Four – Though, none by Buffy.
Oh Hey, It’s Angel’s Dumb Tattoo
Even the Watchers’ Diaries make mention of Angel’s griffin tattoo. Why a griffin and how did the Watchers know about it? Who knows? It’ll never come up again.
Xander’s Worst Shirt
I mean, the costume department had to go out of their way to find this vomit green shade. Was there a weekly competition or something? But, hey! Is that the return of our favorite Xander prop from the pilot? They figured out he’s better holding it than riding it.
The Truest Thing Anybody Said This Week
“Hi honey, you’re in grave danger. I’ll see you next month.” Hilariously, Buffy was completely right about her future relationship with Angel.
1.08 “I, Robot… You, Jane.”
We open on a flashback to Cortona, Italy, in 1418, where some monks have formed the Circle of Kayless to banish the Demon Moloch, the horned demon from the opening credits. They bind him into a giant, leather-bound book, pack it into a wooden box that they pray shall never be loosed upon the world. Do they bury it, so that it’s never found again? Doubtful, since the next time we see it, Buffy has opened the box in the library, where they’re unpacking some of Giles’ new shipments, and the new computer teacher is having some of her students scan books to be uploaded to the web. And with that, we have the introduction of Jenny Calendar (aka, “that dreadful Calendar woman”). The delightfully modern thorn in stuffy “Rupert’s” side. With Miss Calendar, we also meet her student, Fritz, the hardcore internet enthusiast with anger issues who has “future 4chan member” written all over him.
The next morning, Buffy demands to know why she couldn’t get through on Willow’s phone line. It turns out, Willow was online all night, talking to her new Internet boyfriend, Malcolm. Oh no, Willow. I know how this goes, Willow. I met a guy online in 1997, too. Haven’t been able to shake him since. Buffy is a touch judgemental about the fact that Willow lives in a town full of monsters and doesn’t know much about the boy she has a crush on. Hey Pot, maybe leave the Kettle alone on that one. While the girls are chatting in the computer lab, Fritz is being super creepy and talking to his monitor. He also receives a file on Buffy, telling his monitor he’ll “take care of it.” Later, we see the other computer lab geek, Dave, in some sort of trance, repeating “I’m jacked in” while carving an M into his arm. Fun. Meanwhile, Fritz is lurking, every time Buffy questions anyone about Malcolm.
In the hallway, Xander riles Buffy up even further, about what sort of creep this Malcolm guy could be. It’s kind of nice that Xander makes time to be inappropriately possessive about all of his female friends. Buffy follows Dave to some old computer manufacturing plant that is decidedly not closed down. When Fritz sees Buffy on the security camera footage at the plant, he requests orders from his monitor and is told to kill her. Later, Dave lures Buffy into a trap in the girls’ locker room where she’s almost electrocuted. Dave can’t go through with it at the last minute and goes to yell at the computer in the lab that he can’t kill Buffy like he promised. The demon in the computer starts typing out a suicide note made to sound like it was written by Dave, while Fritz lurks creepily in the background, per usual.
Giles finally identifies the Monster of the Week as Moloch the Corruptor, a demon who preys on people by promising them love, power, and knowledge. They figure out that it must have been released when the book was scanned and decide to just delete the file to get rid of him. This is a very early lesson on how everything uploaded to the Internet lives there forever. Buffy directs Giles to get help from Miss Calendar to banish the demon from the Internet, while Buffy and Xander head off to find Willow.
The news in the background while Giles is researching in the library: an archbishop blames a computer error for an accounting discrepancy and the FBI reports that all of their serial killer profiles have mysteriously been downloaded from their central database. What a super creepy little throwaway to what Moloch has been up to when he’s not cyber flirting with Willow. When Miss Calendar arrives, Giles tries to gently break it to her that there’s a demon in the Internet, which she already knew, since she’s been reading the portents for days and casting bones. As one does. She denies having the power to be a witch, and prefers “technopagan,” thank you very much. She gathers enough of her group online to form a virtual circle so that she and Giles can bind the demon.
Before Buffy and Xander can make it to Willow’s house, Fritz arrives to chloroform and kidnap her. When Willow wakes up in the computer plant with its zombified employees, she finds they have built a metal Moloch reproduction to make him “flesh”. He kills Fritz and pledges his love and loyalty to Willow since she’s the one who brought him back. While he monologues, as they always do, Buffy and Xander try to break into the plant. They’re able to get in and rescue Willow as Moloch is about to kill her. The binding spell is completed, but Giles and Miss Calendar notice that he’s not back in the book. That’s because he’s now trapped in his computer parts body, which actually makes it easier for Buffy to fry him like an electrical storm.
Bleak, but oddly prescient.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
No vamps, but two students, one flashback dude, and one demon in the Internet.
Giles For Life
Giles: “Uh, when I’ve examined it, you can, uh, uh, skim it.”
Ms. Calendar: “Scan it, Rupert. That’s scan it.”
Giles: “Of course.”
Ms. Calendar: “Oh, I know, our ways are strange to you, but soon you will join us in the 20th century. With three whole years to spare!”
Giles: “Ms. Calendar, I’m sure your computer science class is fascinating, but I happen to believe that one can survive in modern society without being a slave to the, um, idiot box.”
Ms. Calendar: “That’s TV. The idiot box is TV. This is the good box!”
Giles: “I still prefer a good book.”
Giles: “Things involving the computer fill me with a childlike terror. Now, if it were a nice ogre or some such, I’d be more in my element.”
Um, excuse me. This is a school! Get out of here with your hot sexual tension, guys.
Most Y2k Moment
As someone who spent a lot of time in late 90’s chat rooms, I can tell you for sure, voice-to-text was not a thing anyone was utilizing. I can only assume the show decided that this was more interesting to watch than the audience having to read sentences on a screen, but just do voiceovers, You’ve Got Mail-style. Otherwise, you have people sitting alone in rooms, talking to monitors, and that’s goofy as hell.
Stylish Yet Affordable Boots
Season one Buffy never met a mini skirt and leather boots combo she didn’t love. Sadly, “what is happening on Willow?!” is a question we will be asking ourselves for six more seasons.
Did y’all think this was a realistic representation of the early days of the internet? In my opinion, it would have included a whole lot more conversation about that hot shirtless guy on The WB. Speaking of which, I definitely need to know if any of you were actually shocked during the original Angel reveal? Don’t worry, we’re not here to judge!
Don’t forget to join us next week, when Meredith will be covering “The Puppet Show” and a season one classic, “Nightmares.”