Drinks Taken: 19
Vamps Dusted: 2
Follow the whole rewatch here!
Last week, Kandis walked us through two sorta chill episodes, “Ted” and “Bad Eggs.” And thank goodness those episodes were chill, because these… are not. But they are fantastic, so strap in.
But first, let’s drink to Oz joining the Scooby gang!
The Buffy Season Two Drinking Game Rules
Drink once every time:
A vamp is dusted
A scene takes place in a cemetery
Cordelia says something cutting but true
Buffy and Angel share a romantic moment
Principal Snyder hates on students
Oz is ridiculously low-key cool
Drusilla says something nutty
Spike has mad swagger
Drink twice every time:
We see the entrance to Sunnydale High
We see a scene from the credits
Giles cleans his glasses
Jonathan appears in a scene
There’s an extremely outdated pop culture reference
A vampire is invited into a house
Onto the eps!
Buffy’s turning 17 and the gang wants to throw her a surprise party. Willow invites Oz, which is a big deal, partially because she says the word “date” (go Will!) and especially because that means Oz is promptly inducted into the Scoobs by virtue of discovering vampires exist and Buffy’s the Slayer. (He is, to no one’s surprise, ridiculously low-key cool about this revelation. Drink!) But I’m getting ahead of myself – Buffy’s birthday keeps getting interrupted by ominous portents and the like, such as dreams where Drusilla is still alive and kills Angel.
Drusilla IS still alive, and she’s working with her vamp gang (not including a wheelchaired and extra-grouchy Spike, who’s, I guess, just there for moral support these days) to reassemble The Judge, this bulky demon dude “brought forth to rid the earth of the plague of humanity. To separate the righteous from the wicked… and burn the righteous down.” Basically, he touches stuff and if there’s any humanity in that stuff, he burns it up. His limbs were separated and sent to the far corners of the earth, but Team Dru works to put him back together so they can go ahead and burn up humanity. Oh yeah, also “no weapon forged” can hurt him and it “takes an army” to stop him, yadda yadda yadda. This will all prove relevant very shortly.
Once the Scoobs realize what’s going on, they consider canceling Buffy’s surprise party, especially because she’s all wiggy about the Angel dreams, but they decide to go forth with it. When Angel and Buffy get a hold of one of the Judge’s arms, Angel decides he has to leave town for months to get rid of it, to take a ship to Nepal or some shit – none of it matters, because he doesn’t end up going. The vamps get the arm back, and Drusilla reassembles The Judge. Meanwhile, Angel gives Buffy her present, a beautiful claddagh ring, and they make love for the first time. HERE’S why that’s important, and it’s not only because it’s nice and romantic:
We see Miss Calendar talking to a Romanian-accented man, Uncle Enyos, who reminds her that Angel must never feel a moment of true happiness. Turns out, Jenny Calendar is actually Janna of the Kalderash tribe, and listen, it’s no longer cool to call these folks gypsies but that’s what the episode calls them so I’ll just paraphrase that here. She was sent to Sunnydale to make sure Angel remains miserable thanks to his gypsy curse, and she’s falling down on the job by letting him be all schmoopy with Buffy. Miss Calendar, I’m disappointed in you for lying to Giles!
So while Buffy and Angel are post-coitally spooning, he pretty clearly experiences a moment of perfect happiness, and the episode ends with him running out into the rain, screaming her name in anguish. Stuff’s about to get intense 🙁
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Stylish Yet Affordable Boots
Uncle Enyos is played by Ghost‘s and Fast Times at Ridgemont High‘s Vincent Schiavelli. I like his hat much more than Willow’s.
Giles For Life
When Xander and Willow assume they have to cancel Buffy’s party in light of the whole Judge thing, Giles says no, to their surprise and delight. “One thing I’ve learned from my tenure on the Hellmouth is that there’s never a good time to relax.”
Apocalypse of the Week
I feel very “…him?” when I see The Judge. He ain’t scary!
Oz: “I’m gonna ask you to go out with me tomorrow night. And I’m kind of nervous about it, actually. It’s interesting.”
Willow: “Oh! Well, if it helps at all, I’m gonna say yes.”
Oz: “Yes, it helps. It — creates a comfort zone. Do you wanna go out with me tomorrow night?”
Willow: “Oh, I can’t!”
Oz: “Well, see, I like that you’re unpredictable.”
Angel gives Buffy the claddagh ring and explains that it’s a sign of devotion, and if you wear it with the heart pointing towards you, it means you belong to somebody. He’s wearing the same ring, with the heart pointing towards him. Romantic!
Okay, Xander’s not doing as well in the romance department as his Scooby colleagues. He asks Cordy to be his date to Buffy’s party, and she’s pretty horrified at the very idea. Poor Xander.
Scooby Gang Feels
I continue to love when Buffy and Willow do girl-talk, with Buffy convincing Willow to ask Oz out and Willow repeating Buffy’s pilot advice back to her, telling her to seize the day when it comes to doin’ it with Angel. Obviously, that advice has some real bad repercussions, but that’s not on Willow!
We open with Spike, Dru and The Judge planning their sad lil apocalypse. These three seem so ineffectual by themselves – but they’re about to get a new teammate who is genuinely scary, unlike anyone I’m seeing onscreen right this second.
Speaking of the ability to truly torment The Slayer: poor Buffy wakes in Angel’s bed alone, which is just about the worst thing that can happen after you sleep with your much older boyfriend for the first time. Well, maybe not the worst thing – we cut to Angel moaning in the rain, and a woman smoking a cigarette walks up to him in concern and asks if he’s okay. He jumps to his feet, full-blown Angelus, and eats the heck out of her!
Buffy’s late to check in at the library, and all the Scoobs are anxious, with Willow and Xander ready to storm off and save Buffy from the Factory like the sweeties they are. But when she arrives, she tells everyone what happened with The Judge, omitting her romantic evening with Angel, and asks urgently if anyone’s heard from him. No one has, and she’s really worried, for reasons only she understands. Angel, meanwhile, has shown up at the Factory, and when The Judge tries to burn him up, we learn that he has no humanity left. Spike and Dru are THRILLED, and they’re ready to destroy the world, but Angel wants a night first to emotionally torture Buffy. “She made me feel like a human being. That’s not the kind of thing you forgive.” Spike just wants him to kill her, but Dru understands that Angel wants to break The Slayer first, the way he did to Drusilla. Angel doubles down: “To kill this girl, you have to love her.”
So here’s how that goes, and it’s an utterly devastating scene, with a heartbreaking performance from SMG:
This is obvs a deeply upsetting metaphor for the way many teen girls find that their boyfriends turn callous after they get what they want from them, but with actually murderous and maybe world-ending consequences. Gah!!!
Speaking of Gah!!!, Xander and Cordy are making out in the stacks when Willow finds them. She’s STRICKEN, and when she runs off Xander runs after her. She reminds him that they’re founding members of the We Hate Cordelia club, and says tearfully, “This means you’d rather be with someone you hate than with me.” GAH GAH GAH. She leaves, but comes back, telling Xander, “Let’s get this straight, things are not okay between us. But what’s happening now is more important than that.” Willow is so amazing! Xander handles all of this reasonably well, giving her respectful distance, and when they start talking about The Judge, the whole “no weapons forged” and “takes an army” thing, Xander gets an idea!
But first, Angel shows up, and he attacks an unsuspecting Willow. Miss Calendar gets that he’s a baddie before anyone else does, and she saves Willow, and then Buffy arrives to scare Angelus off. But first he tells her, “Dream on, schoolgirl. Your boyfriend is dead,” and we all realize that Buffy’s nightmares have come true. She’s so broken over this, and only Willow really seems to understand what exactly happened and what it means to Buffy, likely because of their conversation about sex in the last episode, and also because Willow’s a really good and perceptive friend. She supports Buffy and makes Giles shut up when he’s grilling her about how Angel changed. I love Willow so much in this episode.
Decidedly NOT the MVP of this episode is Miss Calendar, who never admits to her part in any of this until Buffy figures it out on her own, and then she’s like “oh right, sorry, I’m somewhat responsible for all of this.” Buffy and Giles are both furious, and when Miss Calendar takes Buffy to Uncle Enyos to see if he can restore Angel’s soul, Angel has already gotten there and killed him. Miss Calendar asks if there’s anything else she can do, and Buffy replies, “Get out.” Giles says the same. You know, they’re kind of going through the same thing here, realizing they can’t trust the people they’ve loved. It sucks.
BUT they still need to stop The Judge, and Xander’s plan has him using his ol’ Halloween soldier knowledge to break into an army base and steal a rocket launcher. Willow and Oz are keeping watch from the van, and omg, the best scene ever happens here. Willow asks Oz if he wants to make out, and he’s like “whaaaat?” in that adorably chill way he has, and she repeats the question. Oz kills me with this speech:
Sometimes when I’m sitting in class – you know, I’m not thinking about class, ’cause that would never happen – I think about kissing you. And it’s like, everything stops. It’s like, freeze frame: Willow kissage.
Oh, I’m not gonna kiss you. To the casual observer, it would appear that you’re trying to make your friend Xander jealous or even the score or something. And that’s on the empty side.
See, in my fantasy when I’m kissing *you*, you’re kissing *me*. It’s okay. I can wait.
OH MANNNNNN. So they steal the rocket launcher and Oz figures out that the vamps are probably going to take The Judge to the mall because that’s where the most humans would be in Sunnydale (I guess The Bronze is closed that night). The Scoobs show up in the nick of time, and Buffy reminds The Judge that “no weapon forged” means back in The Judge’s good ol’ days. Today, a rocket launcher definitely does the trick. She ‘splodes him but good, and then beats the hell out of Angel in the rain during a very good fight scene. She almost dusts him, but can’t bring herself to do it, and he stupidly mocks her. “See, you can’t kill me.” She instead kicks him in the dick, and as he’s bent over in pain, she mutters, “Give me time,” and walks away. GO BUFFY!
The episode ends with Buffy getting the comfort she needs and deserves from both of her parental figures. Giles gives her a wonderful speech in the car, telling her she should never feel bad for falling in love, regardless of the consequences. “If it’s guilt you’re looking for, I’m not your man. All you’ll get from me, Buffy, is my support. And my respect.” And then she curls up on the couch for an old movie and cupcakes with her mom. SOB.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Xander’s Best Worst Joke
The Moment Willow Realizes Oz is the Perfect Man
Best Grrrl Power Moment
(besides the dick-kicking)
That’s it for this week! I’d love to hear from readers who watched this when the show was on TV – I saw it much later and had already heard about this plotline (and it STILL got me), but I imagine Buffy sleeping with Angel and then Angel losing his soul had a big impact on viewers back in 1998. Lay it on me in the comments!
And meet Stephanie here next Wednesday morning as she deals with the fallout in “Phases” and “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”!