In every generation there is a chosen one. She alone really doesn’t want to do this episode, in a very real, very visceral way. She will also recap every episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer with an eye to the following themes:
- Sex is the real villain of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer universe.
- Giles is totally in love with Buffy.
- Joyce is a fucking terrible parent.
- Willow’s magic is utterly useless (this one won’t be an issue until season 2, when she gets a chance to become a witch)
- Xander is a textbook Nice Guy.
- The show isn’t as feminist as people claim.
- All the monsters look like wieners.
- If ambivalence to possible danger were an Olympic sport, Team Sunnydale would take the gold.
- Angel is a dick.
- Harmony is the strongest female character on the show.
- Team sports are portrayed in an extremely negative light.
- Some of this shit is racist as fuck.
- Science and technology are not to be trusted.
- Mental illness is stigmatized.
- Only Willow can use a computer.
- Buffy’s strength is flexible at the plot’s convenience.
- Cheap laughs and desperate grabs at plot plausibility are made through Xenophobia.
- Oz is the Anti-Xander
- Spike is capable of love despite his lack of soul
- Don’t freaking tell me the vampires don’t need to breathe because they’re constantly out of frickin’ breath.
- The foreshadowing on this show is freaking amazing.
- Smoking is evil.
- Despite praise for its positive portrayal of non-straight sexualities, some of this shit is homophobic as fuck.
- How do these kids know all these outdated references, anyway?
Have I missed any that were added in past recaps? Let me know in the comments. Even though I might forget that you mentioned it.
WARNING: Some people have mentioned they’re watching along with me, and that’s awesome, but I’ve seen the entire series already and I’ll probably mention things that happen in later seasons. So… you know, take that under consideration, if you’re a person who can’t enjoy something if you know future details about it.
Well, this is the one, people. The one that made every fan lose their ability to trust anyone, ever again. Years before Age of Ultron, Joss Whedon shattered our faith in anything with his name attached to it, because of this. Fucking. Episode.
The episode opens with Angelus deeply underestimating how not-into Xander Buffy really is:
Angel: “Passion. It lies in all of us. Sleeping, waiting, and though unwanted, unbidden, it will stir, open its jaws, and howl.”
Because of this:
Ah, yes. Listless, arhythmic swaying, far enough apart to leave room for Jesus and his own dance partner. Passion incarnate.
Buffy and the gang leave The Bronze and walk right past Angelus, who’s eating a person. Remember when Buffy could like, sense if vampires were around? #16
At home, Buffy looks around to make sure nothing is up, then goes to bed. In the night, Angel comes into her room all Edward Cullen-like to watch her sleep, and does more of a voice over about obeying passion. After the opening titles, she wakes to find that he also was being all Jack Dawson-like:
At school, Buffy tells the gang that Angel was in her room the night before. Cordelia wonders why he was able to get in, since vampires have to be invited, and Giles explains that once a vampire is invited in, they’re able to enter whenever they want.
Xander: “You know, I think there may be a valuable lesson for you gals here about inviting strange men into your bedrooms.”
Shut up, Xander. Buffy invited you into her bedroom once, and you used the occasion to spy on her changing by looking in the mirror on her jewelry box, so why don’t you cram a Dracula in it. #5
Cordelia is freaked because she let Angel get in her car once, so when Buffy insists there has to be a spell to reverse the invites, Cordelia is all about having her car magicked, too. Giles says he’ll look for a spell.
Okay, you know how it’s only ever the Scoobies in the library? And how unrealistic that actually is? I love the way the show handles this. This is Xander’s reaction when two students walk into the library (one of whom is Jonathan, who will later become a series regular).
Xander: “Hello? Excuse me, but have you ever heard of knocking?”
Jonathan: “We’re supposed to get some books. On Stalin.”
Xander: “Does this look like a Barnes and Noble?”
Giles: “This is a school library, Xander.”
Xander: “Since when?”
If you’re going to use a device like this, like the school library being headquarters for your characters’ strategic anti-evil plans, and it’s going to be so unlikely that such a setting would work in the way you’re using it, if you self-reference that with humor, it really covers a multitude of sins. The audience knows that it’s weird that not many kids go into the library; the writers are savvy enough to let the audience know that they’re in on the joke.
The Scoobies abandon the students to fend for themselves in the library, and in the hall Cordelia wonders why Angel would just be leaving stuff in her room when he could have easily killed her in a bunch of ways she helpfully lists off. Giles believes that Angel is trying to get a rise out of Buffy so that she makes bad choices.
Remember that advice later on in the episode. #21
Buffy’s main concern is that when Angelus began to torment Drusilla, he killed her family. She says that since she and her mom aren’t always home at the same time–no shit–there’s no way Buffy can protect her mother from Angel. Giles keeps advising Buffy to stay calm.
Buffy: “That’s easy for you to say. You don’t have Angel lurking in your bedroom at night.”
Remember that line for later on in the episode. #21
Giles keeps telling Buffy that no matter what Angel does, she can’t let him get to her. We’ll see how well Giles can follow his own advice in a little bit here. This whole situation eerily resembles how stalking laws were structured at the time–and how they’re still structured in some places, including the internet. The “pretend you don’t notice and hopefully it won’t escalate” approach is basically bullshit, and Buffy sees right through it.
In computer class, Ms. Calendar asks Willow if she could cover the class in the morning because she might be running late. In true Willow fashion, she immediately launches into a litany of fears as to what could go wrong in this scenario, but Ms. Calendar reassures her that everything will be fine. At which point Willow becomes drunk with power and wants to know if she can give people detention or make them run laps.
Buffy and Giles stop by the door, looking for Willow, and Willow sheepishly apologizes to Buffy, reminding her that she has to talk to Jenny because Jenny is a teacher. After they leave, Jenny asks Giles how things have been, and he tells her about the new Angel problem. Jenny says she’s been doing research since Angel went bad, and she has a book that could help them with un-inviting people. She also asks how Buffy is doing, and Giles isn’t having it.
Jenny: “I know you feel betrayed–”
Giles: “Yes, well that’s one of the unpleasant side effects of betrayal.”
Jenny reminds Giles that she was raised to be loyal to her people. But she also says that Angel hurt her people the most. I’m curious about this. I think all we ever find out is that one girl was killed a long time ago, and Angel was cursed. But then I think of Drusilla, and how Angel tortured her until she was psychologically destroyed, then turned her into a vampire doll for him to play with. I’m like, not entirely sure how they’re carrying this grudge for so long that they believe they were the most victimized by Angel’s actions, but whatever.
Jenny tells Giles that when she came to Sunnydale, the intention wasn’t to harm anyone. She had no idea that things were going to get so bad, and, she says, dropping a massive bombshell, she had no idea she was going to fall in love with Giles. The music is all tender and they’re both emotional, and Jenny says she just wants to make things up to him. And you get a feeling that this is the moment, they’re going to get back together and everything will be wonderful, but… he tells her that he’s not the one she needs to make it up to, thanks her for the book, and leaves.
He chooses his Slayer over the woman he was romantically involved with, and it won’t be the first time. So I’m filing this as future evidence of #2.
Over dinner at home, Buffy tells Joyce that Angel, her “tutor,” was dating her, but now they’re broken up.
Joyce: “Don’t tell me. He’s changed, he’s not the same guy you fell for?”
Buffy tells her mom that since they broke up, Angel has been following her around. Joyce is alarmed, and asks if he’s done anything. You know, anything like send a dozen roses with a one-word threat attached. Joyce doesn’t even put this conversation and that event together (#3). Buffy just tells her that if Angel comes over, she’ll talk to him, but not to let him in.
While on the phone with Buffy, Willow says that Giles is right, Angel is probably just trying to throw her off her game. She sprinkles some food in her fishtank, then sees an envelope on her bed.
Is that a beta? That looks like a beta, or a male fantailed guppie. How was she keeping either of those fish in a tank with other fish? She’s not even a witch yet. Sorry, I used to breed guppies and keep betas. It was a whole stupid thing. I don’t advise it as a hobby because it’s mostly just cleaning up fish parts and watching your hard work get eaten.
The scene cuts to Willow clutching a stake in Buffy’s room, where they’re surrounded by garlic. Willow says she’s glad that her parents wouldn’t let her have a puppy.
Buffy: “It’s so weird. Everytime something like this happens, my first instinct is still to run to Angel. I can’t believe it’s the same person. He’s completely different from the guy that I knew.”
Willow: “Well, sort of, except–”
Buffy: “except what?”
Willow: “You’re still the only thing he thinks about.”
Youch, Willow! Keep that one to yourself.
At the factory, Drusilla brings Spike a puppy she’s named Sunshine. So he can eat it, obviously.
Okay, what the fuck does this show have against dogs? In the last episode, Giles says something about Angel nailing a puppy to something. Then Willow was all, glad I don’t have a puppy because Angel would have apparently killed it and jammed it into an envelope. Now Dru is trying to feed a puppy to Spike? So…are actual cats producing this show?
Angel arrives at the factory to taunt Spike about not being able to walk and fucking his girlfriend and stuff like that. You know. Friend stuff. Drusilla has a vision that “an old enemy” is trying to destroy their little vampire family.
Cut to the local magic shop, the existence of which gives no one in Sunnydale pause, even when paired with everything they keep conveniently forgetting about vampires and monsters running around in their town.
I’m particularly interested in this, the first appearance of a magic shop in Sunnydale, because in season five, when Giles buys The Magic Box, I for some reason assumed that it was the exact same magic shop that everyone keeps getting murdered at, but this place has a below-ground level door, which The Magic Box does not have, and which I don’t believe the magic shop has in season three. Are there other magic shops in Sunnydale? All of them peddling legitimate magical goods? What happened to there not being very much town?
Jenny Calendar comes in, and the shop keeper tries his very best to impersonate the racist caricature bazar vendor from the beginning of Disney’s Aladdin (#12), but he drops the act when she asks for an Orb of Thesulah. In other words, he pretends to be a mystic foreigner from a far off land, but it turns out that he’s just a greedy trickster. Did I mention #12? As well as #17? Because as he knows all about “Janna” and her dead uncle, as well as the magic rituals of her “people,” I assume he’s meant to be Romani.
Luckily for Jenny, this dude has an Orb of Thesulah in stock. He sells them to New Age customers as paperweights, because, let’s just ram the point home here, he is greedy and will happily rip people off and that’s supposed to be quirky and amusing for the audience. He tells Jenny that the instructions needed to operate the orb can’t be translated, and she tells him about a computer program she’s created that will decipher the text. He asks her what she’s going to do with it, and she tells him she’s going to give a friend a gift. His soul.
At school, Willow and Buffy tell Xander they they had a sleep over, and he’s all like, why didn’t you take pictures, and I stab myself in the back of the hand with a nail file just to feel something other than my rage. Willow is disappointed to see Jenny crossing the lawn toward the school, because that means her whole, “I’m gonna be the teacher” plan is ruined. Buffy catches up with Jenny to tell her she’s glad Jenny feels bad about the whole Angel thing. Then Buffy gets the courage to tell Jenny that Giles misses her, and that he shouldn’t be lonely.
Inside the school, Giles tells Buffy and Cordelia–who has traded cars with her grandmother in an attempt to not be the one eaten by Angel–that there’s a way to revoke a vampire’s invitation. Cut to Willow’s house, where she’s trying to figure out how to explain the sudden presence of crucifixes in her room to her Jewish family. Cordelia is there, being unhelpful, and Buffy suggests that since the car is already done, Cordy can leave. As she’s about to go, she spots an envelope on Willow’s bed. Inside is another one of Angel’s drawings, this time of Joyce.
Can we take a moment to wonder about something? Namely, how Angel is sneaking all this stationary into people’s houses? The first one, I understood. He was already in Buffy’s room, drawing the picture of her. The fish one? A little harder for me to believe. Willow was in her pajamas, after all, so she’d been home for some time. Yeah, she’s on the phone and distracted, but for long enough that Angel could sneak in, scoop up all her fish, hang them on hooks, and leave the envelope on the bed while her back was turned? Probably not, so he would have had to have murdered the fish when she wasn’t home. So, she walks in and doesn’t notice this envelope on her bed? And then the same thing happens twice? The “conveniently placed envelope” thing wasn’t executed real well here.
Anyway, Joyce pulls into the driveway at the Summers residence, where Angel is waiting for her.
Angel: “Ms. Summers, I need to talk to you”
Joyce: “You’re Angel.”
Angel: “Did Buffy tell you about us?”
Joyce: “She told me she wants you to leave her alone.”
Angel: “I can’t. I can’t do that.”
Joyce: “You’re scaring her.”
Angel: “You have to help me. Joyce, I need to be with her. You can convince her, you can convince her.”
Joyce: “I’m telling you to leave her alone.”
Good job, Joyce! Flying in the face of all those bad parenting allegations!
Angel keeps acting like creepy stalker boyfriend, pursuing a frazzled Joyce to the porch, where she fumbles for her keys and drops her bag of groceries. When Joyce threatens to call the police, Angel says:
Angel: “I haven’t been able to sleep since the night we made love.”
Joyce manages to unlock the door and get inside, and Angel goes to follow her, but he’s prevented from entering by an unseen force. Buffy comes down the stairs, with Willow chanting a magic spell behind her. Buffy slams the door in Angel’s face, telling him they changed the locks.
Back at the school, Jenny is working late when Giles comes in and says that she’s working late. And it’s like, duh, so are you, that’s why you’re there at the same time. She tells him she’s working on a special project, but she doesn’t want to tell him what it is because she’s not sure about it yet. She asks if she can seem him later, and he tells her to stop by his house.
At the magic shop, the owner is just closing things up. After dark. In Sunnydale. Even though he knows monsters and shit are real. He’s clearly infected with #8 as well. It must be in the drinking water. He doesn’t even bother to lock the door. Drusilla walks in with her puppy, who apparently told Dru that Jenny Calendar had been to see him. She wants to know what they talked about.
Back at the school, Jenny’s translation software decodes the instructions for the Orb of Thesulah. She saves this important information on a diskette, and I feel like a thousand years old, because I remember using those, and because I remember when computers went from the old eight inch floppies to those super sturdy and portable diskettes. I saved my very first manuscript on one of those. Now, it’s the save icon for pretty much every piece of software in existence, and my children’s generation will have no idea why.
As the document starts printing on a dot matrix printer, Jenny sees Angel sitting at the back of the class. He got into the school because of the Latin motto over the door, which invites people in if they want to learn. I’m not sure why that’s a question at this point, since vampires have crashed the school before without an invite. It seems like since it’s a “public” school, there shouldn’t have been a need for an invite, anyway. Angel tells her that he knows she went to the magic store and what she bought. He throws it at the chalkboard beside her head, and it busts into a billion pieces. He also attacks her computer and burns up the ritual of restoration in the flames from the monitor, so his soul can’t be restored.
Jenny tries to run, like an idiot, away from the classroom door and right past Angel. But it’s all good, because he throws her into the door, and she’s able to escape. She runs through the school, finding all the exits locked.
Hey, you know where she should run? To the fucking library, where there’s bound to be a weapon laying around. But whatever.
She’s actually outside at one point and runs back into the building for some reason, where she’s caught by Angel, who snaps her neck. Bye, Jenny.
No, seriously, bye, Jenny. The first time I saw this, I thought, “Oh, it’s going to be fine, she’s going to turn into a vampire and there’s going to be all this angst and shit because Giles will love a vampire, but Ms. Calendar is DEFINITELY FINE.”
She isn’t fine, y’all. She is not fine at all.
Giles goes to Buffy’s house, where Willow answers the door. She gives Giles the book they used in the ritual, and he asks Willow how the ritual went. She tells him that everything went fine until Angel told Joyce that he and Buffy had slept together. Then Willow panics:
Willow: “You do know, right?”
Giles: “Oh, yes. Sorry.”
Willow: “Oh, good, ’cause I just realized, that being a librarian and all, you maybe didn’t know.”
Giles: “No, thank you. I got it.”
This is one of my favorite Giles and Willow scenes, because for as awkward as Willow is, she can steer Giles around like a boss a minute after telling him she assumed he doesn’t know about sex because he’s a librarian:
Willow: “Okay, well, I’ll tell Buffy you stopped by.”
Giles: “Would you, um– Perhaps I should intervene on Buffy’s behalf with her mother. Maybe say something?”
Willow: “Sure! Like what would you say?”
Giles: “W–uh. You will tell Buffy I dropped by?”
Willow: “You bet.”
One of the best parts of early series Willow is that she’s innocent and naive, but not stupid.
Upstairs in her room, Buffy tells Joyce that the ritual they were doing was because Angel is superstitious. Joyce asks Buffy if Angel was her first, then says she doesn’t want to know. Buffy tells her that Angel is the only person she’s slept with, and Joyce scolds her about Angel’s age. Which, you know. You don’t know the half of it, Joyce. She goes on to say that Angel is obviously not stable, like Buffy should have known this. Like a teenager should have realized that a grown man could be manipulating her.
Joyce: “I really wish… I just thought you would show more judgment.”
Joyce berates Buffy for making the mistake of having teenage sex, and accuses Buffy of shutting her out. Except, you know, Joyce, for your daughter to be able to share anything with you at all, you have to fucking be around. Like, enough to know that your daughter has an inappropriately close friendship with a grown man who works at her school. Enough to know that she is out literally all night every night. Enough for her to trust that you’re not going to flip out and blame her when her boyfriend turns out to be an abusive psychopath. And while Joyce tells Buffy she loves her, that doesn’t erase any of that hurtful shit. Her daughter is in an abusive relationship and she blames her for it, despite signs being there since the last episode. This is, quite possibly, Joyce’s biggest #3.
I need to take a moment.
Because this is where we are:
Can I just say that it is BEYOND CRUEL that they chose to use that image, of Giles smiling and thinking he’s about to reconcile romantically with Ms. Calendar, in the opening titles? What kind of fucking monster does that?
Giles goes into his house and finds opera music playing, champagne chilling in a bucket, and a note that says, “Upstairs.” There are candles everywhere. He goes upstairs. And it takes him a second:
But there’s Ms. Calendar’s dead body in his bed.
And after a shot of the champagne bottle shattering on the floor and a close-up of Jenny’s wide open, dead eyes, the scene cuts to Giles in shock as the coroner removes her body from his apartment and the police ask to take him in for questioning.
Remember, this is a show aimed primarily at teen viewers. It is, for lack of a better comparison, a YA novel on television. And it does. not. underestimate. its. audience. The writers and producers of the show knew that teenagers are not the selfish creatures who could only empathize with the loss of a boyfriend or the death of pets, but with adult characters in unimaginable pain. The writers could have ended Ms. Calendar with that scene in the school, and the characters grieving her loss. Instead, it delivered on the promise it made, that Angelus is not just a vampire, but the most sadistic vampire who ever lived, and that he will come for Buffy and put her loved ones through hell before he destroys her.
This is the ultimate show vs. tell; for all they were saying, over and over, that Angel is now truly evil, without hope of redemption, once the viewer sees this scene, they know that’s true. Everything else was playtime. It’s not just the characters who’ve been hurt by Angelus. It’s everyone who loves the show and the characters. He truly comes after the people who love Buffy, including the audience.
If you’re a writer, and you manage to evoke even fifty percent of the horror of this scene, you’re writing a phenomenal story.
The police are going to bring Giles in for questioning, but he asks to make a phone call first. At Buffy’s house, the phone rings. Outside, Angel enjoys more voice over monologue about passion while he watches as Buffy and Willow learn that Ms. Calendar is dead:
We see the scene unfold through the window, as well. There isn’t much audible dialogue, either, and the separation makes it even more painful for the viewer. We’re not beside Buffy and Willow as they go through this. We just have to watch as Buffy slides down the wall and Willow says, “No, no, no,” over and over. The style of the scene renders us totally helpless. We can’t be there, going through this with our friends.
But while all of this is amazing, it does set up a problem in season three, when Angel returns and we’re supposed to feel sympathetic toward him. Because honestly? I’ve never, ever forgiven him for this. I literally carry a grudge toward a fictional character who hurt me, and I know I’m not the only fan who feels this way, even after his soul is restored. That’s a pitfall of great writing. It sticks, and it’s hard to scrape it off the audience.
Xander and Cordelia show up and tell Buffy and Willow that Giles has already left the police station. Buffy is worried about what Giles might do, and she’s right to worry. He’s stocking up a bag full of weapons, beside a drawing Angel has left of Ms. Calendar’s dead face.
The Scoobies arrive at Giles’s place, where they realize what Angel has done. Xander, in a rare moment of sensitivity, actually says, “Poor Giles,” before explaining that the weapons in the house are the “good” weapons, unlike the ones kept in the library. This is a nice touch, because it shows that Xander, despite all of his joking, not only cares about Giles, but notices details about him in the same way he notices details about all of his friends.
And for once, I’m on Xander’s side:
Cordelia: “So Giles is going to try to kill Angel then?”
Xander: “Well, it’s about time somebody did.”
Xander: “I’m sorry, but let’s not forget I hated Angel long before you guys jumped on the bandwagon. So I think I deserve a little something for not saying ‘I told you so’ long before now. And if Giles wants to go after the, uh, fiend that murdered his girlfriend, I say ‘faster, pussycat, kill, kill.'”
Okay, well. I sort of agree with him. Xander has had an air of “I told you so” wafting from him like body spray since Angel turned evil. But he’s right about this being the point where they need to stop worrying about how to protect themselves from Angel, and start worrying about how to kill him.
But I continue to marvel at how these 1990’s teens keep making references from the adult writers’ knowledge of pop culture. I’m not saying teenagers aren’t aware of things that happen before they were born, but Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! is a Russ Meyer movie from the 1960’s. Meyer is kind of a cult fave. I know adults who’ve never heard of that movie, and I only know about it because I was obsessed with movies and thought I was going to be the next Quentin Tarantino someday. So to me, it sticks out as something a Hollywood writer would be familiar with, rather than an average teen. I’m making a new list item, #24, How do these kids know all these outdated references, anyway?
At the factory, Spike points out–rightly so–that Angelus’s usual tactics aren’t going to work when they’re up against a Slayer, and they’re going to just end up pissing her off. Of course, since #19, I like to believe that Spike is just secretly horrified at how evil Angel’s act was. As Angel insists he’s got everything under control, there’s a crash, and flames engulf the table beside them. They run, and Angel gets hit by a crossbow bolt that narrowly misses his heart. As he pulls it out, Giles walks out of the shadows in Scary!Giles mode (which we will see again, but rarely, which only makes him more terrifying) with a baseball bat on fire. He starts whaling on Angel with it, while Angel tries to crack wise. Drusilla wants to help, but Spike stops her, because let’s face it, Spike wants to see Angel get murdered.
Giles not only holds his own, but he’s actually getting the best of Angel, until he makes an error and Angel grabs him by the throat.
Angel: “All right. You’ve had your fun. But you know what it’s time for now?”
Buffy: “My fun!”
That’s right. Buffy races in and fights Angel while Giles, knocked unconscious yet again, is perilously close to some fire. And Buffy lets the fuck loose on Angel, until he points that out, and Buffy is forced to let him go in order to save her Watcher.
Outside, Giles has conveniently regained consciousness. He shoves Buffy and tells her she shouldn’t have come after him because it wasn’t her fight. So she punches him. Which should knock him out again, because his head is fragile like an egg from a calcium deficient chicken, but #16. The shock of seeing these two engage in physical confrontation is amazing, because, as the title suggests, it’s passion that’s ruling them in the moment. Giles only cares about revenge, and Buffy only cares about saving Giles, and they’re both so driven by those passions that they’re willing to harm each other. One might assume that the title of the episode ironically refers to the relationship between Giles and Ms. Calendar, but it really fits this scene, too. Passion isn’t just romantic love, but friendship and anger.
Buffy: “Are you trying to get yourself killed? You can’t leave me. I can’t do this alone.”
Buffy and Giles hold each other and sob in front of the burning factory, before the scene cuts to Giles returning to his apartment and taking the police tape off his door. Angel monologues over the whole thing:
Angel: “It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion, maybe we’d know some kind of peace, but we would be hollow. Empty rooms…shuttered and dank. Without passion, we’d be truly dead.
At Jenny’s grave, Buffy watches Giles place flowers at the headstone. Which inexplicably reads “Jennifer Calendar” instead of her actual name. Which I guess, if she was undercover or whatever, maybe that was her legal name and not Janna. But whatever.
Giles: “In my years as Watcher… I’ve buried too many people. But Jenny was the first I’ve loved.”
Buffy: “I’m sorry. I’m sorry I couldn’t kill him for you, for her. When I had the chance. I wasn’t ready, but I think I finally am.”
While Buffy says her lines, the scene cuts to the computer room, where Willow timidly accepts the post of substitute teacher in place of Jenny. When she sets her things down on the desk, we hear Buffy’s voice saying that Angel is gone and he’s never coming back, and the disk with the spell that will restore Angel’s soul slips into a crack and is lost.
Okay, this is probably the best episode of the entire series, hands down, even if it’s the hardest to watch. No other episode engages the viewer on such a personal level, not even “The Body” in season five. This is the episode that fully brought the viewer into Buffy’s world, and made us feel like we were a part of the show with the characters, which is truly the mark of a great series.
Head canon time, for #2. Jenny Calendar and Buffy are incredibly similar characters. They’re both “the chosen one.” Buffy has been chosen to protect the world from vampires, Jenny has been chosen to ensure the eternal torment of Angel. Their duties create complications in their love lives, as they both fall for men who are incompatible with their destinies. Jenny and Buffy both have irreverent senses of humor, and fluster Giles with their frankness. The only difference between them? Is that one is an adult, and therefore a suitable romantic partner for Giles, and the other is a child, and he’s not a creepy, creepy pervert waiting on a young girl to become barely legal. However, as the show progresses and Giles starts to see Buffy as an adult, and their relationship becomes of that of two adults relating to each other, he becomes more and more uncomfortable with his place in her life, which we really begin to see mid-season four. But more on that when we get there. Anyway, this season shows us that Giles has a type, and Buffy fits it.
But I really wish Ms. Calendar hadn’t died, and I think that’s something most of us can agree on.