Cordelia in a cat costume

About:

Title: Buffy S2.E05 “Reptile Boy” + S2.E06 “Halloween”
Released: 1998

Drinks Taken: 27
Vamps Dusted: 2

 

Follow the whole rewatch here!

Last week, Kandis took us through the excellent episode “School Hard,” which introduced Spike and Dru, and the very-not-great episode “Inca Mummy Girl,” which still has its charms because HELLO OZ, I LOVE YOU.

More Oz a-comin’! But first, our drinking game rules:

Buffy eagerly watching a pitcher of beer being poured into her glass.

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There’s an extremely outdated pop culture reference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 and Cordelia chained to a wall.

2.05 “Reptile Boy”

I’m not gonna spend too long on this episode, because let’s be honest, we all want “Halloween” to arrive as soon as possible. (That’s true in regards to both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and to my actual calendar.)

So “Reptile Boy” introduces us to the very real horror of frat guys. Cordy’s dating a college boy named Richard, and he’s terrible in all the ways you might expect, but his friend Tom seems a little more charming. Tom meets Buffy while Richard’s at Sunnydale High to pick up Cordelia, and he has a yen for her. The fratties ask Cordelia to invite Buffy to their party, and while Buffy would normally NEVER say yes (and believe me, it hurts Cordy to ask more than it hurts Buffy to answer), she’s feeling a little more inclined for frat “fun” thanks to two fellas in her life:

First, Giles, who’s bossier than ever these days, and is constantly scolding Buffy for not working hard enough on her Slayer duties. (His training is always so cute, by the way, when he’s like, “I won’t be pulling any punches!” and then Buffy inevitably kicks his ass.)

And then there’s Angel, who’s in ultimate mope mode, and when Buffy tries to ask him for coffee (based on advice from an extremely adorable boy-talk sesh with Willow), he’s all, “I’M HUNDREDS OF YEARS OLD, OUR LOVE IS DOOMED.” So Buffy lies to Giles and says her mom’s sick so she can go to the party with Cordy, and Willow is SO disappointed in her dishonesty. It’s precious.

Xander, meanwhile, is Xander, and he decides to follow Buffy to the party so he can protect her, which is – I’m sorry, I can’t finish this sentence because I’m too busy half-gagging, half-laughing. Xander gets instantly bullied, and I can’t say I feel too bad for him, but I do feel bad for Buffy, because Cordelia of course immediately bails on her. Then Tom shows up and they slow-dance, but HEY, surprise surprise, these frat guys are actually a cult that worships an ancient reptilian god-thing, and they roofie Buffy and Cordelia to feed them to the snake. This episode is obviously a commentary on sexual assault on college campuses, but frankly, it’s not terribly well-conceived or elegantly expressed, so I’m not going to expend much energy discussing it. You get the gist.

When Giles and Angel discover that the local frat is behind Sunnydale’s recent slate of missing girls, Willow ‘fesses up that Buffy lied about her mom and is at the party, and both men are so aghast, but she reads them the riot act for the way they’ve been treating the Slayer, and it’s so great. They all head to the party to rescue Buffy, but she’s already freed herself and Cordy from their shackles and kicked everyone’s asses, as is her wont. Giles apologizes for pushing Buffy so hard lately, and Angel asks Buffy for coffee later. Yay, a happy ending!

How many times do I have to take a drink?

15

Vamps Dusted

0

Scooby Gang Feels

Buffy and Xander on Buffy's bed and Willow sitting on the floor between them

omg, this episode opens with a little Scooby Slumber Party, and they’re all curiously pondering a Bollywood movie while Buffy and Xander braid Willow’s hair and I! CAN’T! TAKE IT!!!! Less crushing, more slumber parties among these three, pretty please.

Giles For Life

Giles looks at Buffy sternly while she pouts and tries to get out of it
Buffy: *pouts* Giles: “And don’t think sitting there pouting is going to get me because it won’t. *looks away* It’s not getting to me.”

Listen, all I’m saying is, Giles could scold me.

The Most Reasonable Question Anybody Asked This Week

Willow, upon seeing Angel’s lack of reflection in the mirror: “Angel, how do you shave?”

Cordelia’s Trademarks

These are the wardrobe items that Cordelia believes are an integral part of her personal brand, and that Buffy is in no way allowed to wear to the frat party: black, silk, chiffon, spandex. Buffy, never much of a rule follower, does end up wearing black. Cordy doesn’t end up wearing any of her trademarks, btw.

When Xander Cosplays As A Frat Guy

Xander in a polo and khakis

Nailed it!

The Lair of the White Worm

A worm-y demon jumps out of a hole heading towards buffy and cordelia

The reptile god is giving me some serious Ken Russell vibes, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing?

Swooooon

Angel goes Vamp Face and heroic wanting to save Buffy

I’m already starting to lose interest in Angel, but I gotta say, when he realizes the frat-cultists are at the same party “with BUFFY,” and gets all vamp-facey, it’s hot. (Willow agrees, as she confesses to Buffy later.)

Most Cordelia Moment

After the chaos dies down and Cordy’s freed from her cult-chains, she sort of sobs, “You guys. I just hate you guys. The weirdest things always happen when you’re around,” and it’s such a hilarious delivery, I love it.

WILLOW FOR PRESIDENT

Oh man, I adore her angry speech to Giles and Angel:

Why do you think she went to that party? Because you [Angel] gave her the brush off! And you [Giles] never let her do anything but work and patrol, and I know she’s the chosen one, but you’re killing her with the pressure! She’s 16 going on 40! And YOU! [Angel again.] You’re gonna live forever. You don’t have time for a cup of coffee?!

She’s so mad! What a good bud.

Willow in a sheet that says Boo

2.06 “Halloween”

It’s Halloweeeeeen! Buffy’s stoked because that means a night off, as Giles informs her that vamps tend to veg on All Hallows’ Eve. But Principal Snyder has decreed that all Sunnydale High students must volunteer to take kiddos trick ‘r treating, so the Scoobs head to a new costume shop in town: Ethan’s! (eeeee!)

The costumes they choose are very indicative of their current inner turmoil:

Buffy in a fancy dress

Buffy’s feeling less than feminine because she shows up all disheveled to a date with Angel post-vamp-pummeling, and she finds him being heavily flirted with by an impeccable Cordy. She and Willow read up on his past, and she becomes insecure that he was once surrounded by “pretty coiffed” noblewomen. So she finds a gorgeous costume drama gown at Ethan’s, and the owner (uhm, Ethan. Obvs.) cuts her a deal because SINISTER MOTIVES!!!

Xander as a commando

Xander’s being bullied by Larry the Jock (welcome, Larry!) when Buffy shows up and saves his hide, and of course he’s mortified because he thinks being rescued by a girl makes him look like, and I quote, “a sissy man.” Yiiiiikes. So he dresses up as a Ford-tough soldier dude.

Willow in a revealing midriff top and mini shirt looking uncomfortable

A twofer! Buffy tries to convince Willow that Halloween is “come as you aren’t” night, to dress sexy and wild, and holy shit, Alyson Hannigan looks amazing. But she chickens out at the last minute and puts on a lame ghost sheet (pictured above in the episode header) because Willow has the kind of self-esteem that convinces her she needs to be invisible even though she has ABS LIKE WHOA.

Cordelia in a cat costume

Oh yeah, and Cordy dresses as a sexy cat, because girlfriend has no inner turmoil. But IMPORTANT: Cordelia procured her cat costume at Party Town instead of Ethan’s. This will prove relevant shortly.

While the Scoobs are prepping for Halloween, we cut to Spike and Drusilla, and Dru’s delivering one of her droopy prophecies for the evening, how everything will be all upside down and inside out, and “it makes her weak.” Spike correctly assumes she means Buffy, and he is super into this news. Meanwhile, we cut back to Ethan, the costume shop owner, and he’s in a robe and praying to a bust of a god with blood-red candles and says, totally casually, “Chaos, I remain, as ever, thy faithful degenerate son.” Turns out that lil prayer is transforming everyone into their costumes for the evening – so Sunnydale is overrun by tiny beasts and monsters and ghouls who used to be kids. It’s awesome!

Children in Halloween Costumes turning into the real monsters because of magic and attacking an old lady

Consequently, Xander’s now a Ford-tough soldier, Willow’s the ghost of a total babe, and Buffy’s useless. Hilarious hijinks ensue! Willow’s awesomely in charge (as she pretty much always should be) because Xander and Buffy’s costumes sort of give them amnesia while Will remembers everything as a ghost. Oh yeah, and Angel can help, because he didn’t dress up, and Cordelia is still just cat-costumed Cordy, because she got her duds at Party Town.

Willow clues in Giles, who hears about Ethan and heads to the costume shop to save the day. TURNS OUT Ethan and Giles clearly have a very compelling history, and we see a previously unsuspected, kinda scary side of Giles as he beats Ethan’s ass and convinces him to reverse the spell. It’s hot, okay.

And just in the nick of time! Spike and his merry band of vamps have got the jump on Buffy’s crew, and he’s menacing the newly helpless version of the Slayer until all of a sudden the spell’s reversed and we get our old Buffy back. She kicks Spike’s ass and he runs off with his tail between his legs. It RULES. Buffy realizes she likes being a powerful, modern woman, and Willow realizes she no longer wants to be invisible, trashing her ghost costume and proudly walking the streets of Sunnydale with her stunning abs on display. (We don’t see Xander come to any profound realizations about his regressive preoccupation with machismo, unfortunately.)

The episode ends with happy Buffy/Angel smooches, as he tells her she’s a thousand times more interesting than any overly-coiffed woman from his youth, and with Giles finding Ethan’s costume shop recently emptied, with an ominous note left for him: “Be seeing you.” An intense Giles face takes us into the credits!!

How many times do I have to take a drink?

12

Vamps Dusted

2

Meet Ethan Rayne

I love this character and the chaos he always wreaks on our good guys. And his knowledge of a younger, more violent Giles – whom he calls “Ripper” – is VERY INTRIGUING. “I know who you are, Rupert, and I know what you’re capable of – but they don’t, do they?” Gasp!

Scooby Gang Feels

willow and buffy peer through the porthole in the library door

Willow and Buffy are SO CUTE when they sneak into the library to nab Giles’ Watcher diaries and learn more about Angel’s dating history. Boy-talk Willow and Buffy are always my fave.

Lord, Give Me Cordelia’s Confidence

“When it comes to dating,” she says…

Cordelia says
Cordelia: “I’M The Slayer”

And The Line Delivery Of The Episode Goes To

Willow annoyed that Buffy is helpless because her costume is magicked.
Buffy: “Surely he’ll not desert us!” Willow: “Whatever.”

Willow’s annoyance with Coiffed Buffy is so funny to me.

The Truest Thing Anybody Said This Week

Willow’s the MVP of this ep, clearly. When Xander’s freaking out over looking like a “sissy man” (ick) in front of Larry, Willow sighs, “Boys are so fragile.”

The Birth Of A Crush

But listen, as often as I’m annoyed with Xander, I have to agree with Cordelia, who’s weirdly turned on by Private Harris. I DON’T LIKE IT ANYMORE THAN YOU DO, CORDY.

Best Grrrl Power Moment

Buffy is de-magicked before Spike can hurt her and hits him.
Buffy: “Hi, honey. I’m home.”

YES! YES! YES!

OZZZZZZZ <3 <3 <3

Oz, in his van, watches a newly confident Willow walk across the street.
Oz: “Who is that girl?”

I could watch Oz watch Willow for the rest of my life.


That’s it for this week! Questions, since I have both “Halloween” and Halloween on the brain this almost-October. Have any of you ever dressed up as a Buffy character for Halloween? Pics in the comments would rule! Here’s my friend Mandy and me as A Gentleman and Dark Willow, respectively.

Mandy and Meredith at a Halloween Party dressed up as the Gentlemen and Dark Willow, respectively.

Meet us here next Wednesday morning as Stephanie covers “Lie to Me” and “The Dark Age.” Those are both major episodes, so tune in! 

Meredith Borders is formerly the Texas-based editor of Fangoria and Birth.Movies.Death., now living and writing (and reading) in Germany. She’s been known to pop by Forever Young Adult since its inception, and she loves YA TV most ardently.