Drinks Taken: 13
Vamps Dusted: 5
Follow the whole rewatch here!
Last week’s Halloween episode was one for the books! Season two is the perfect time to start these fun, alternate reality episodes because at this point we have a good grasp on the characters’ core personalities, so the writers can really start to play around with them. This week’s episodes may not be as flashy as “Halloween”, but there are some poignant Giles and Buffy moments that warm my heart and deepen their friendship beyond just Watcher and Slayer.
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
There’s an extremely outdated pop culture reference
A vampire is invited into a house
Now let’s indulge ourselves in some Giles-y goodness!
2.07 “Lie To Me”
This episode opens on the saddest playground, where a little boy awaits his neglectful mother for a pick-up. Drusilla wanders up and begins telling him about the songs her mum sang to her as a child, then ominously wonders what this boy’s mummy will sing when they find his body—YIKES. Gotta hand it to Dru: she can be a genuine creep-fest. This smart little dude clearly thinks Drusilla is cuckoo (drink!) and luckily for him, Angel—our friendly neighborhood vampire—interrupts his attempted murder and tells the boy to scat. Let’s hope he goes home and calls CPS on his own parents for regularly leaving him alone at the playground past dark.
Drusilla taunts Angel about his soul and the fact that he’s the Slayer’s pet vamp, and warns him “things” are only getting started (I assume she means her and Spike’s reign over Sunnydale). It’s clear Angel is alternately repulsed by her, guilty over her, and, perhaps, a bit turned on? (He was obsessed with her for a long time.) Buffy happens to be hopping around on rooftops, patrolling, and spies them standing close together. She’s definitely battling her inner green-eyed monster over the way Dru’s hand lingers on Angel’s chest.
Back in the daylight it’s another school day as Jenny teases Giles about a surprise date she has in store for him. Giles notices Buffy looking glum and gives her the night off, even endorsing an evening out with Angel. So…I get Buffy’s teen-aged friends being kind of fine with her dating a reformed demon (they are demographic that made Edward Cullen popular), but it seems sort of weird to me that, as her Watcher, Giles is so easy-breezy with the Slayer he’s tasked with protecting getting cozy with a vampire. I going to assume he’s taking the parenting approach of supporting his charge without judgment so she’ll feel comfortable coming to him when she needs help. Either way, the LAST thing Buffy wants right now is to see Angel.
She’s being super mopey until who should appear but a heretofore unmentioned friend from her former LA days by the name of Billy Fordham (Ford). He’s finishing out the school year right here in little ole Sunnydale! Buffy recounts how sad she was when he didn’t return her fifth grade crush on him, and how she spent hours in her room listening to that Davinyls song, “I Touch Myself”. She’s quick to clarify that she had no idea what the song meant at the time.
Willow: “Oh, THAT’S what that song is about?!”
Pretty sure many teens of the day had this same exact moment.
Later, at The Bronze, we are beaten over the head with how much history Ford and Buffy share. Buffy asks Angel leading questions about his previous evening and her face falls when he says he stayed home all night reading. An upset Buffy asks Ford to take a walk with her out in the fresh air, and as they leave both Xander and Angel are staring daggers into the guy’s back.
Ford and Buffy overhear a scuffle on their walk and she tells him to go inside, but Ford catches Buffy staking a vamp (drink!) so she tries to make up an excuse on the spot. It is hilarious in it’s badness: “There was a cat! A cat, here. And then there was another cat. And they fought. And…then they left.” He casually puts her out of her misery by telling her he knows she was staking a vampire because he found out she was the Slayer right before she left. Buffy is relieved that she won’t have to hide this secret from him any longer, but we barely get twenty seconds to think all is well, because Ford decides to drops by his favorite local haunt, The Sunset Club, on his way home. It’s a completely over-the-top club for wannabe vampires. OMG so cringey, Ford.
Between Angel dropping by Willow’s unannounced and Willow inviting him to play pool at The Bronze earlier, these two are getting quite chummy in this episode. Willow forgets she has to invite him in (drink!) and after she does she has a little freak-out when she realizes her bra is sitting out in plain sight (he so doesn’t care, babe). Angel asks for her help, and her reaction is pure Willow: “Oh, like with homework?” Then she corrects herself, and it’s not much better: “Oh no…’cause you’re old and already know stuff.” What Angel actually wants is for her to hunt down info on Ford, and she’s all, like, please don’t bite me, but you’re totally acting super jealous right about now.
Angel: “Things used to be pretty simple. A hundred years, just hanging out feeling guilty. Really honed my brooding skills.”
How dare Buffy make him feel things and interrupt his master-level brooding.
Turns out, though, that Angel’s spidey sense isn’t malfunctioning, because Ford isn’t even a registered student at SunnyD High. Willow promises to keep digging. The next morning she runs into Buffy and Ford and cannot keep her shit together to save her life. I love it. I’m shocked she’s managed to keep Buffy’s Slayer identity a secret for so long. Giles interrupts Willow’s slow march to an embarrassing death to give Buffy a copy of Jenny’s beeper number in case she needs him while he’s on his surprise date. (Spoiler alert: It’s a monster truck rally. He HATES it.)
Later, Buffy takes Ford with her on patrol and they spy some vamps being vampy on campus. Ford has to try REALLY hard to pretend he’s not super excited at the prospect of meeting a vampire. Buffy hands him a cross for protection and he produces his own stake from his pocket, which would be kind of cute if he wasn’t lying to her. He corners a vamp and extorts her for info, then lets her go but tells Buffy he staked her and it was “exhilarating.”
Angel, Xander, and Willow do some recon at The Sunset Club, which Willow connected to Ford during her search. They stick out like sore thumbs without Dracula-inspired costumes—“Do sore thumbs stick out?” ponders Willow—but a kind partygoer welcomes them the club where they worship “the lonely ones.” Xander and Willow are confused, until Angel wearily clarifies she means vampires, to which Xander replies, “Oh, we usually call them the nasty-pointy-bitey ones.” The brainwashed woman argues it’s a common misconception that vampires are interested in harming people. Oh, you sweet summer child.
Angel: “These people don’t know anything about vampires. What they are, how they live, how they dress.”
Say what you will about Boreanaz’s dramatic acting, but the guy has great comedic timing.
At the library Giles, Jenny, and Buffy discuss the fact that vamps are prowling around on campus when Buffy spots Drusilla’s picture in an old book and learns she is the sometime paramour of Spike, who was supposedly killed by an angry mob in Prague. But “they don’t make angry mobs like they used to” because Buffy knows she’s very much alive. Giles goes to get a newer volume in his office, but a vampire knocks him over and runs off. Giles is miffed because she STOLE A BOOK. Buffy is miffed because it’s the vampire Ford told her he supposedly killed.
Ford shows up at Spike’s lair, acting as if he’s starring in his own action-adventure film and even has the cojones to cajole Spike into playing along. It’s SO EMBARRASSING. Spike begrudgingly does, but only because Drusilla cautions against killing Ford. And then Ford does something completely unforgivable when he offers Spike a trade: immortality for the Slayer. Screw you, Ford.
Spike to Ford: “I’ve known you two minutes and I can’t stand you. I don’t really feature you living forever. *to Drusilla* Can I eat him now, love?”
Spike says what we’re all thinking.
Angel stops by Buffy’s house to discuss Ford (and doesn’t even close the door all the way. Rude.), but it turns into a much bigger and probably overdue discussion about trust and truth. Angel tries to explain what they learned about Ford at the club, but Buffy is stuck on the fact that Xander, Willow, and Angel all went behind her back. She’s already upset about Ford, and she’s DEFINITELY stuck on the fact that Angel met up with Drusilla. She demands an explanation from Angel. He tries to deflect by asking if she loves him. Buffy’s startled, and Angel seems vulnerable waiting for the answer. It’s a tense moment.
Portrait of an Uncomfortable Situation
You know, in terms of screentime, these two really haven’t spent a lot of time together. Watching this now makes me feel like they’re doing a lot of telling and not showing with regards to how much this relationship has progressed. Buffy responds that she does love Angel, but she’s not sure if she trusts him. Angel gets a little snippy, dolefully muttering, “Maybe you shouldn’t do either,” which, dude, seems kind of jerky because you DID ask.
But then he shares that Drusilla is the worst thing he ever did as Angelus. He was obsessed with her innocence and purity (ew), and before he turned her into a vampire—on the day she was to become a nun—he drove her insane by killing everyone she knew and mentally torturing her. Yeah, you know what, Buffy…maybe you should listen to the man and rethink that “I love you.”
Buffy follows Ford to The Sunset Club after she figures out he is going to trade her life for his own immortality. She is hurt and pissed off and asks him what his angle is, and the scumbag laughs in her face. His friend locks the door (which we’d previously seen being welded and reinforced) and Ford monologues that the door can only be opened from the outside. Come sunset, the vampires will come, and they will all be turned. Buffy is feeling quite overwhelmed with the amount of sheer bullshit she is hearing.
Buffy: “The only hope you have of surviving is to get out of this pit right now! And my GOD could you HAVE a dorkier outfit?”
Ford: “I gotta back her up, D. You look like a big ninny.”
She also can’t believe someone would want to die in this outfit.
Buffy keeps looking for a way out as Ford trails behind her, gloating. He agrees with Buffy that the rest of the vampire fetishers are fodder, but he doesn’t care about their lives as long as he’s changed. Real winner, this one. It’s here that Buffy (and the viewers) finally learn the truth. Ford is sick and has maybe six months left to live. He’s understandably bitter about this, but what’s less understandable is that he’s willing to compromise his soul and his humanity by allowing all these people and his one-time friend to die for his chance to survive.
He mocks Buffy for her righteous anger, but still: Screw you, Ford. Her anger is allowed to be righteous! Ford thinks these other clubgoers are bored, lonely sheep for wanting to be vampires, but he’s doing this out of necessity. Buffy disagrees. “You have a choice. You don’t have a good choice, but you HAVE a choice. You’re opting for mass murder here and NOTHING you say is going to make that okay.” Preach, sis!
The vamps arrive, and it’s the massacre Buffy warned it would be. Everyone is getting eaten, and there’s no way Buffy can fight every vampire, so she spots Drusilla enjoying the show and heads over to hold a stake to her heart. She forces Spike to let everyone (except Ford) go and releases Drusilla before she slams the door shut behind her—and remember, this door has no handle from the inside. Ford tells Spike that he handed Buffy to him on a platter and still deserves his reward. Um…I don’t think that’s how any of this works.
Buffy and Giles visit Ford’s gravestone with flowers, because even though he was awful, she is an amazing person and feels for him (just a little), knowing that he was a scared teenager who didn’t want to die. This is one of my top ten favorite Buffy and Giles scenes. Giles is so sweetly supportive as Buffy realizes that life—especially adult life—is super freaking complicated. It’s straddles that line of sad, bittersweet, and darkly amusing, and it’s so delicious.
Buffy laments, “Does it ever get easy?” But before Giles can respond, oh! Vampire Ford jumps up from his dirt nap! The show tricked us into thinking that he was just dead-dead, but, in fact, Spike DID hold up his end of the bargain. What a pal. Unfortunately for Ford, Buffy has a stake ready with his name on it, and dusts him before he can even get out a sassy one-liner.
All he is is dust in the wiiiiind.
They go back to their conversation:
Giles: “You mean life?”
Buffy: “Yeah. Does it get easy?”
Giles: “What do you want me to say?”
Buffy, sadly: “Lie to me.”
Giles: “Yes, it’s terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true. The bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats. And we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies, and everyone lives happily ever after.”
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Jason Behr of Roswell fame.
We should’ve known Ford was bad right off the bat because he’s wearing an earring, and everyone knows Max Evans would never wear an earring.
The Truest Thing Anybody Said This Week
Buffy: “Nothing’s ever simple anymore. I’m constantly trying to work it out: Who to love or hate, who to trust. It’s just like, the more I know, the more confused I get.”
Giles: “I believe that’s called growing up.”
Buffy: “I’d like to stop then, okay?”
Giles: “I know the feeling.”
Stylish Yet Affordable Boots
Ah yes, who doesn’t miss the style of placing a random barrette on the side of your head like you got ready that morning in the dark?
Best Xander Line
Xander: “You need cheering up and I know just the thing: Crazed dance party at The Bronze! Very calm dancing at The Bronze? Moping at The Bronze.”
Xander’s Willow’s Worst Shirt
It’s such a tough call. Is it the psychedelic monkey head patterned shirt she wears out to play pool?
Or the sweater only a Grandma would wish upon you?
Best Grrrl Power Moment
Buffy’s had enough of these vampire wannabes:
Buffy: “What I see is that right after the sun goes down, Spike and all of his friends are going to be pigging out at the all-you-can-eat moron bar.”
Moron: “Okay, that’s it, I think we should we should gag her.”
Buffy: “I think you should try.”
2.08 “The Dark Age”
It’s late at night, so of course Buffy is in the library doing step aerobics while Giles tries vainly to research through the “noise” she plays to keep her hyped. Outside, an unknown-to-us man ineffectually claws at the library door, and for some reason refuses to run to save himself as a zombified woman sloooowly shuffles forward and chokes him to death before melting into a pile of goo.
The next morning turns into an informal Giles Roast Day. The Scooby Gang poke fun at how studious and dull Giles must have been as a child: “He probably sat in math class thinking, ‘There should be more math. This could be mathier.’” Willow, as a fellow nerd, tries to give Giles the benefit of the doubt, but Buffy doubles down with a crack about how his even diapers were tweed. He really goes the extra mile to prove their point when he stuffily reminds Buffy to meet up with him later that night to protect a medical transport of blood donations.
Ms. Jenny Calendar steals Giles away, and, hey-o, she doesn’t think he’s a nerd. Well, okay, she totally does, but at least she thinks he’s a HOT nerd (like all of us). They cutely flirt like mad, and Jenny makes Giles’ glasses go all steamy:
Jenny: “This weekend.”
Giles: “Would you like to go out?”
Jenny: “No, I think I’d like to stay in.”
GET IT, MS. CALENDAR.
But then Giles receives a cold shower via the Sunnydale police department when they show up to inquire about the dead body they found outside. Giles identifies the deceased as his former friend, Philip Henry, whom he hasn’t spoken to in 20 years. Philip has a strange tattoo on his arm, which Giles lies to the police about recognizing. We haven’t seen Giles this shook since he found the prophecy about Buffy and the Master. Later that night, Giles stays home, drinking away his sorrows and crossing off the names of dead people he once knew. Then, gasp, we learn he has the same tattoo on his arm, hidden under all that tweed! What did you get yourself into, Giles?
Buffy shows up at his house after he misses their rendezvous at the hospital (where Angel had to step in to help her fend off three vamps who wanted their free Meals on Wheels). She’s definitely feeling awkward having to be the adult in this situation, but it’s sweet that she’s genuinely worried about her Watcher. She’s never seen Giles so disheveled and whiskey-wasted. But Giles blows off her concerns and shuts the door in Buffy’s face.
A preoccupied Giles is a rude Giles.
Buffy is so concerned that she goes to school on a Saturday (where Jenny and Willow are conducting extra tutoring sessions for students failing Ms. Calendar’s computer labs, namely, Xander and Cordelia) to tattle on Giles to Jenny. I love the gravity in her hesitant delivery that he was home, alone, drinking. “But, tea, right?” Willow asks, shocked. No, Willow. Everyone quickly confirms they haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary with him lately, but then Cordelia, with her ever-perfect timing, chimes in, “He seemed perfectly normal yesterday when I saw him talking to the police.” Cue that Captain Picard head-in-hand meme.
Buffy immediately runs to call Giles’ house, but she gets distracted by a shadow in the stacks. And who does she find lurking about but Ethan Rayne, the man from the “Halloween” episode who sold half of Sunnydale magicked Halloween costumes and shares a mysterious past with Giles. Ethan is all too forthcoming compared to Giles (we all know he just wants the Slayer’s protection), and warns Buffy that he and Giles “are next.”
They finally get a hold of Giles and interrogate him about the Mark of Eyghon, but get interrupted when the reanimated corpse of Philip Henry crashes through the window and tries to attack Ethan. Buffy locks him up the super-convenient library prison cell until Giles arrives, looking worse for wear. Immediately, Philip breaks open the cage door to attack him. Ms. Calendar gets hit by the flying door and gets knocked out. Buffy only gets in a few solid kicks when Philip suddenly stops and liquifies. A little of…the goo…gets on Jenny’s outstretched and unconscious hand, EW, but no one notices (some friends they are).
Jenny wakes up, disoriented, and Giles lovingly takes care of her. He’s pissed at Ethan for coming to town and endangering everyone, but Ethan says they’re both equally a risk since they’re the only two left. Buffy demands an explanation for what the heck is going on once again, but Giles tells her to mind her own beeswax, which really rankles her. After he leaves to take Jenny home, Buffy assumes the role of Watcher and directs Willow and Xander to their research posts: “Xander, how do you feel about digging through some of Giles’ personal files and seeing what you can find?”
Xander: “I feel pretty good about it. Does that make me a sociopath? Nah.”
I mean…it may, Xander.
Willow (of course) learns that Eyghon is a sleepwalking demon who can only exist in their reality when he possesses an unconscious host. The mark is worn by his initiates to call him forward so he can possess their skin-suits. But unless the proper rituals are observed, the possession becomes permanent and Eyghon is born from within his host. “I’m guessing: ew,” Cordelia says, quite correctly. And everyone realizes Jenny was the only unconscious person near Philip when he went goo, so…uh oh, she’s the new host!
And unfortunately for Giles, he brought Jenny home for a spot of tea to settle her nerves. Jenny-as-Eyghon tries to seduce him, but when he’s too gentlemanly to take advantage of a shaken-up lady, the demon within shows its true colors and starts beating the crap out of him. Apparently Giles was always a little too “soft” for whatever the demon enjoyed doing, but it wants to play with him anyway…yeesh. Buffy shows up in the nick of time to scare Jenny-as-Eyghon off. She’s super concerned about how ineffectual Giles is acting with this particular baddie: “Don’t be sorry; be Giles. Come on, we fight monsters! This is what we do! They show up, they scare us, I beat them up, and they go away. This isn’t any different!”
Giles finally confides in Buffy, and I adore seeing them together like this, talking honestly. He explains that as a college student, he chafed at the idea of being a Watcher and having to be so studious. He fell in with a bad crowd (Ethan and the reanimated corpses; also a great band name), and they would practice magic for pleasure. Then he and Ethan learned about Eyghon, and they would all take turns getting possessed for the high. It soon became too much for one of them, and Eyghon killed their friend before they could banish the demon. Giles is still wracked with guilt over it, and, um, as well he should! He’s really scared now that he has no idea how to kill it without killing Jenny, but Buffy’s got Willow on the case so it should be fiiiine.
Look how much hair Ripper had back as a youth. What a rebel!
Buffy heads to Ethan’s old costume shop so she can protect him, since Egyhon is likely going after him next. Ethan’s an ass, though, so he knocks Buffy out and tattooes the Mark of Eyghon on her, then uses acid to burn it off his own arm (ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!) so he will no longer be a target. Giles senses what’s happening through his own dark mark (sure, okay) and rushes over to the costume shop. But then Jenny-as-Eyghon shows up, looking quite demonic (must have been a fun work day!) and begins fighting with a marked Buffy.
It’s looking dire for our heroes when Angel and the gang show up. Angel chokes Jenny-as-Eyghon until the demon jumps into him (Willow’s bright idea). We get some amusingly bad CGI as the vampire demon wages war with the Eyghon demon inside Angel and ultimately kills him. “I’ve had a demon inside me for a couple hundred years,” Angel says, “just waiting for a fight.” So Jenny is fine! Angel is fine! But, oh darn, Ethan escaped! Giles takes a shaken up and exhausted Jenny home.
Next week, at school, Giles tracks her down to see how she’s feeling, and it’s clear Jenny’s super jumpy around him. He offers to lend a sympathetic ear over drinks or dinner, and she completely blows him off in a nice but obvious way. Giles is devastated that Jenny will probably never forgive him, and thinks she shouldn’t, but Buffy is such a pal and gently tells him that maybe he should try to forgive himself. This moment between them is such a great bookend to that “Lie to Me” final scene in the graveyard. There, it was Giles comforting Buffy as she faced some harsh realities of adult life, and now here she is, comforting him with her newfound wisdom:
Giles: “I never wanted you to see that side of me.”
Buffy: “I’m not gonna lie to you: It was scary. I’m so used to you being the grown up, but then I find out that you’re a person.”
Giles: “Well, most grown ups are.”
Buffy, wryly: “Who would have thought?”
Giles: “Some are even, uh, short-sighted, foolish people.”
Buffy: “So, after all this time, we finally found out we do have something in common. Which, apart from being a little weird…is kind of okay.”
She even smoothly transitions out of the touchy-feely zone like a boss and allows Giles to gain some emotional equilibrium by teasing him about her training music from the start of the episode. Off they stroll, better friends than before, and my heart is happy.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
2 (I think, but I kept getting distracted by so much Giles.)
Giles For Life
Look at that cocky little smile he has when he realizes Jenny thinks he’s sexy:
Jenny: “Did anyone ever tell you you’re kind of a fuddy-duddy?”
Giles: “Nobody seems to ever tell me anything else.”
Jenny: ” Did anyone ever tell you you’re a SEXY fuddy-duddy?”
Giles: “No, actually, that part usually gets left out. Can’t imagine why.”
If only you knew how dependent we’d all one day be on our smartphones, Xander-cakes.
Xander lamenting his computer class: “When are we going to need computers for real life anyway?”
Jenny: “Hmm, let’s see: there’s home, school, games…”
Xander: “You know, computers are on the way out. I think paper is gonna make a big comeback.”
Stylish Yet Affordable Boots
Who else remembers when chenille sweaters like Willow’s were all the rage? I had this red one that I absolutely loved. It was so cozy…
Best Grrrl Power Moment
Buffy gets some retribution on Ethan for how he almost got her killed by selling her that magicked costume:
Ethan: “So now we’re even?”
Buffy: “I’ll let you know when we’re even.”
Cordelia and Xander’s sexual tension is ratcheting up every episode in the form of frequent bickering, but Willow has had enough and serves them a smackdown:
See? Cordelia Has A Heart…Mostly
Buffy gives everyone but Cordelia a researching task, and I love Cordelia’s expectant smile as she steps up. She so likes being part of their team, even if she won’t admit it.
Cordelia: “What about me? I care about Giles.”
Buffy: “Work with Xander.”
Cordelia: “Well, when I say “care”, I mean–“
Cordelia: “Okay, okay!”
So did you guys think Jenny was being too hard on Giles? It’s not like he summoned forth the demon to possess her on purpose. And did you feel any sympathy for Buffy’s dying friend, Ford, or did he get what he deserved?
Be here bright and early next Wednesday with Sarah to squeal about Oz and Willow finally meeting as she covers “What’s My Line, Part 1” and “What’s My Line, Part 2”!